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Full text of "America revisited : from the bay of New York to the Gulf of Mexico and from Lake Michigan to the Pacific"

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AMEKICA EEVISITED. 



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DURING THE OLD DAYS IN THE SOUTH. 



AMERICA REVISITED: 

FROM THE BAY OF NEW YORK 
TO THE GULF OF MEXICO, 

AND 

FROM LAKE MICHIGAN TO THE PACIFIC. 



\ / 

By GEORGE AUGUSTUS SALA, 

AVIHOR OF "a journey DUE NORTH," " PARIS HERSELF AGAIN," "AMERICA IN THE MIDST OF WAJt," ETt 



ILLUSTRATED WITH NEARLY 400 ENGRAVINGS. 



SIXTH EDITION. 



LONDON: 
VIZETELLY cs^ CO., 42, CATHERINE STREET, STRAND. 

1886. 



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£6 



TO 

LADY LINDSAY 

(OF BALCAREES). 

Dear Madam, 

It was ou board the good ship Sajtlda, Captain Haias, bound 
from Liverpool to New York, in Xovcmber 1879 (and in veiy rough 
weather), that I finished a newspaper article commenting on an admirable 
Address on Art delivered in public by your accomplished husband. The 
remembrance of that circumstance, and of a hundred kindnesses besides, 
for Avhich I am indebted to yourself and to Sir Coutts Lindsay, leads me 
to hope that you will look with some slight favour on this Book, which, 
with feelings of the sincerest admiration and respect, I dedicate to you. 

And I am very much your Ladyship's servant, 

GEORGE AUGUSTUS SALA. 



46, Mecklenburgh Square, VV.C., 
July, 18S2. 



PEEFACE 

TO THE FIRST EDITIOX. 



King Charles the Second, urbane to the last, apologised 
to the . courtiers who surrounded his death-bed for having 
been an unconscionably long time in dying ; and " America 
He visited " needs, perhaps, to be made the subject of even 
more profuse apologies, owing to the apparently unconscion- 
able amount of time which has been consumed in bringing the 
work out. Its publication indeed, has been postponed in conse- 
quence of a variety of circumstances, with the enumeration 
of which it is not necessary to trouble the reader, beyond 
hinting that among the causes of its tardy solicitation of 
public favour has been my own absence from England on 
journalistic business during a considerable portion of the year 
1881 : — first in Russia, whither I proceeded on the morrow 
of the assassination of the Tsar, Alexander II., and next in 
Italy, where I was fain to rest during many weeks toAvards 
the close of the year, slowly recovering from a severe illness 
by which I had been prostrated in Corsica. The delay, how- 
ever, has enabled my publishers to bestow the most elaborate 
care on the illustrations of these two volumes, which, from 
the pictorial point of view, will, I hope, be found worthy of 
the same amount of public encouragement as Avas bestowed on 
" Paris Herself Agaim" 

With respect to my own share in the work — the writing 
of it^ — only a very few words of mine are needed. When I 



Vlll PEEFACE. 

first went to the United States, in the year 1863, I was, com- 
paratively speaking, a young man : — very prejudiced, very con- 
ceited, and a great deal more ignorant and presumptuous than 
(I hope) I am now. When I landed in America, the country 
was convulsed by one of the most terrific internecine struggles 
that history has known. I took, politically, the wrong side ; 
that is to say, I was an ardent sympathiser with the South in her 
struggle against the North. In so taking a side, I was neither 
logical nor worldly-wise ; in short, I approved myself to be 
what is commonly called a Fool; but my partiality for ''Dixie's 
Land " was simply and solely due to a sentimental feeling ; 
and at thirty-four years of age it is permissible to possess some 
slight modicum of sentimentality. My heart was with the 
South because I came on my mother's side of a West Indian 
family — and a slave-owning family — ruined by the Abolition of 
Slavery in the British Colonies ; and although I know per- 
fectly well that I was altogether wrong in what I wrote poli- 
tically concerning ''America in the Midst of War," my heart 
is still in the South : — 'with her gallant sons and her beautiful 
daughters ; and the song of " Maryland ! My Maryland ! " yet 
•stirs that heart like a drum, and will not cease so to stir it, I 
hope, until it ceases to beat, for good and all. 

During my stay in the States in 18G3-4, I did not go 
farther south than Culpepper Court House, in Virginia. In 
order to penetrate to the extreme South I should have had to 
run the blockade ; and to do this would not have been agree- 
able to the interests of the paper for which I Avas writing, the 
proprietors of which required two long articles a week from 
my pen. I might, indeed, have gone by sea to New Orleans, 
over which the Federal flag floated ; but General Benjamin 
Butler was in command in the Crescent City, and knowing that 
distinguished soldier and lawyer to be a very ^' thorough" 
personage, I thought (remembering that I had written sundry 



PREFACE. IX 

remarkably uncomplimentary articles about him) that it would 
be on the whole a prudent thing not to give him the chance of 
hanging me. Very possibly General Butler never heard of my 
name, and never read a line of what I wrote about him ; but 
it is always well to be on the safe side. 

I may fairly say that from the end of 1864, when I returned 
to England, to the end of 1879, when I revisited America, I 
was haunted by a yearning to see ''the Palms and Temples- 
of the South." That yearning was gratified just after th& 
New Year 1880, when after passing many delightful days in 
Baltimore, Maryland, in Bichmond, Virginia, and in Augusta,, 
Georgia, I found myself in the charming city of New Orleans. 
In the capital of Louisiana my wife and I spent the Carnival ;, 
and among the polished, amiable, and kindly society of a most 
interesting and picturesque city we made a host of friends who,, 
we hope, will not readily forget us. I am sure that Ave shall 
never forget them. 

Equal kindness and courtesy had been shown to us in New 
York, at Philadelphia, and at Washington, and were after- 
wards extended to us at Chicago, at Omaha and at San Fran- 
cisco. ''Bailway Kings," ''Silver Kings," " Corn Kings,"" 
" Pork-Packing Kings," " Hotel Kings," were all kind to us. 
Photographers took our portraits for nothing ; theatrical 
managers offered us "the courtesies of the house"; I was made- 
an honorary member of at least twenty clubs between the 
Atlantic and the Pacific ; we had invitations to balls and 
receptions innumerable, and even the "interviewers" were 
merciful to me, and forbore from publishing embarrassing 
particulars touching the total of inches of my circumference of 
waist, the precise hue of my complexion, or the exact number 
of front teeth which I had lost. In fact we found friends 



PREFACE. 



everywhere. We spent four and a half months in the States, 
and travelled twenty thousand miles ; and as the Heda, one 
sharp afternoon in April, 1880, steamed out of the Port of 
New^ York, the last of our friends who " saw us off " shouted 
from the wharf, " Good bye ; and be sure to come back 
again ! " We hope to go back again, if we are spared. 

GEORGE AUGUSTUS SALA. 



The majority of the letters comprised in " America Revisited," Avere 
originally puLlished in the " Daily Telegraph " newspaper, and are now re- 
produced by permission of the proprietors of that journal. AH of them, 
however, have been carefully revised and considerably amplified ; and the 
concluding letters from Salt Lake City and Chicago are altogether new ones. 

The publishers of "America Revisited" desire to acknowledge their 
obligations to Messrs. Harper Brothers, of New York ; and to the proprietors 
of the New York "Daily Graphic," for permission to copy from various 
publications belonging to them some of the more interesting illustx'ations 
contained in the present volume. 



CONTENTS. 



I'AGE 

I. — OUTWARD BOUND 1 

II. — THANKSGIVING DAY IN NEW YORK 17 

III. — TRANSFORMATION OF NEW YORK 30 

IV. — ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR 48 

V. — A MORNING WITH JUSTICE 02 

VI, — FASHION AND FOOD IN NEW YORK 74 

VII.— ON THE CARS SG 

VIII. — THE MONUMENTAL CITY . . . . . . .100 

IX. — BALTIMORE COME TO LIFE AGAIN 113 

X.— THE GREAT GRANT " BOOM " . . . . . . 123 

XI. — A PHILADELPHIAN BABEL 134 

XII. — AT THE CONTINENTAL 142 

XIII.— CHRISTMASTIDE AND THE NEW YEAR 155 

XIV.— ON TO RICHMOND 1G9 

XV. — STILL ON TO RICHMOND 179 

XVI. — IN RICHMOND 188 

XVII. — GENIAL RICHMOND 202 

XVIII. — IN THE TOMBS — AND OUT OF THEM . . ... . 21G 

XIX. — PROSPEROUS AUGUSTA 228 

XX. — THE CITY OF MANY COWS 240 

XXL — PORK AND PANTOMIME IN THE SOUTH 249 

XXII. — ARROGANT ATLANTA 258 

XXIII. — THE CRESCENT CITY 270 

XXIV. — ON CANAL STREET . 279 



Xll CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

XXV. — IN JACKSON- SQUARE 294 

XXVr. — A SOUTHERN PARLIAMENT 309 

XXVII. — SUNDAY IN NEW ORLEANS 319 

XXVIII. — THE CARNIVAL BOOMING 333 

XXIX. — -THE CARNIVAL BOOMS 342 

XXX.— GOING WEST ......... 357 

XXXI.— THE WONDERFUL PRAIRIE CITY 3G7 

XXXII. — TO THE HOME OF THE SETTING SUN 380 

XXXIII. — AT OMAHA 393 

XXXIV. — THE ROAD TO ELDORADO 403 

XXXV. — STILL ON THE ROAD TO ELDORADO 419 

XXXVI. — AT LAST 427 

XXXVII. — ASPECTS OF 'FRISCO 447 

XXXVIII. — CHINA TOWN 458 

XXXIX. — THE DRAMA IN CHINA TOWN 474 

XL. — SCENES IN CHINA TOWN 487 

XLI. — CHINA TOWN BY NIGHT . . . , . . . . 497 

XLII. — FROM 'FRISCO TO SALT LAKE CITY 504 

XLIII. — DOWN AMONG THE MORMONS 517 

XLIV.— THE STOCKYARDS OF CHICAGO 541 



%iv%;/,^M^f(^^--^-<7 




JIUSTER OF THE CREW OF THE SCYTHIA. 



AMEEICA EEVISITED. 



I. 

Outward Bound. 

On Board the Ciinard SS. Scytliia, at Sea, Nor. 23, 1879. 

Sixteen years ago, at nine o'clock, on a fog'gy November 
iilglit, I went away from Euston Terminus by the famous express 
popularly termed " the Wild Irishman." We sped to Holyhead, 
whence we crossed, in what seemed to me a terrible storm, but 
which was pronounced on competent nautical authority to be 
^' only a capful of wind," to Kingstown. If I remember aright, 
we contrived to snatch some breakfast in Dublin; and then we 
raced away by another express southwards to Cork, and so to 
Queenstown, where, with our luggage, a tender conveyed us on 
board the British and North American Royal mail steamer Arabia^ 



2 AMERICA IlEVISITED. 

Captain Cook commandmgv bound for Halifax, Nova Scotia, 
and Boston, United States of America. Well do I mind the 
ugly, gusty, iron-grey Sunday afternoon Avhen I set foot on the 
Arabia s deck ; the too copious dinner which was served almost 
so soon as we had cast off the tender ; the forty-five lady and 
gentlemen passengers who, with beaming countenances, sate 
down to the repast ; the four or five gallant yet oscillating- 
individuals who were all that remained at table by the time that 
the boiled mutton and caper sauce had succeeded the fried sole. 
How we tossed and tumbled during our ten days' voyage ! 




What desperate attempts did I make to acquire the nse of my 
" sea legs " — attempts which only resulted, after infinite stagger- 
ing about and " cannoning " against one's fellow-sufferers, in the 
humiliatingconviction that the legs which had been found tolerably 
efficient in the Mediterranean, the Adriatic, the Baltic, and the 
Black Sea, were miserably unserviceable in Mid-Atlantic. How 
strongly did I "make believe" in November, 1863, that I liked 
my trip, that I was enjoying myself immensely, and that I felt 
" awfully jolly : " the pusillanimously concealed truth being that 
I was hitensely wretched, and that had a big fish come that 
way I should not have very much minded to have voluntarily 
played Jonah's part by way of a change. Oh ! the wearisome 
iteration of the remark, " How rough it was last night ! " Oh ! 



OUTWARD BOUND. 3 

tlie intolerable monotony of tlie boiled mutton and caper sauce. 
There was of course plenty more to eat on board, (indeed you 
are rather over than underfed in a Cunard steamer) ; yet one 
always gravitated, one knew not why, to the salubrious yet 
somewhat insipid diet on which, it is stated, Lindley Murray 
composed his English Grammar. To be sure the distinguished 
Anglo-American grammarian (I am wholly unacquainted with 
the rules laid down in his book) Avas for many years a chronic 
invalid, and confined to his room : thus nothing more " choleric " 
in the way of meat than boiled mutton was allowed him by his 
physicians. 

How grateful I was on that first Transatlantic voyage for the 
few hours' respite from pitching and tossing which we enjoyed at 
Halifax. One shaved, one posted up one's log, one scribbled 
complacent letters to friends at home, one paced the deck with a 
confident stride, as though one had been born with " sea legs." 
Vain pretender ! Next morning you could not have " toed a 
line " had it been as wide, even, as a church-door. There was a 
large military garrison — the " Trent affair " was then to the fore 
— at the Halifax of those days ; and the British " soldier officers " 
in astracan-lined pelisses, and escorting beauteous damsels in 
sealskin mantles and pork-pie hats of sable and beaver, came on 
board to peep at ns as folks fresh from strange and fearful ex- 
periences of the melancholy ocean. To me the sea is never sane. 
It has too much to do with the moon to be quite compos mentis ; 
and it is always either melancholy mad or raving mad, like 
Gibber's " Brainless Brothers." 

To be stared at when you come into port is at once the 
privilege and the purgatory of those who go down to the sea in 
ships. Grin and bear it ; that is the only counsel that I have to 
offer when such a contingency arises. It is your lot to-day ; it 
may be that of Alexander the Great to-morrow. Console your- 
selves with such a reflection, ye unfortunates, who, landing at 
Folkestone from the Boulogne packet, are subjected on your way to 
the Pavilion Hotel to the coarse scrutiny and the ruffianly com- 
ments of " 'Arry." " 'Arry " is all over the world. He is the 
same darkly covered curious Impertinent who asked ^sop what 
he had in his basket, and got his answer to the effect that the 
pannier was purposely veiled in order that fools should not know 
what was within it. He is the Fool of Scripture ; stripes are ap- 
pointed for his back, and the correction of the stocks for his 
ancles ; but no amount of remonstrance nor of appeals to his 



4 AMERICA REVISITED. 

better feelings will deter him from thrusting the tongue of vulgar 
impudence into the cheek of imbecile derision, and mocking his 
wretched little self of his betters because they happen to be dis- 
hevelled and unshorn, and are looking pea-green after a sea 
voyage. But there is a Nemesis for " 'Arry." Sometimes the 
creature goes to sea himself and is forced to run the gauntlet of 
criticism when he lands. Poor wretch ! A trip to Southend 
on a breezy day will suffice to convert him to the semblance 
and status of a sponge in a gutter and an oyster at the bottom 
of a barge. 

Sixteen years make a considerable slice out of a wayfarer's 
life. Try to count up the strange and wonderful adventures 
and misadventures, the hair-breadth 'scapes — were they even 
from the pedagogue's rod — the hopes and fears, the joys and 
sorrows that were your portion up to the time when you were 
sixteen — and it seemed, when you had passed that age, that you 
would never be twenty-one. Sixteen years may mean, even 
the most precious period of life — the period when our scent is 
keenest, and our ears are quickest of hearing, and our eyes 
most widely open in the matter of men and cities — the period 
when, if we are ever to buy wdsdom at the price of experience, 
we may purchase a vast stock of the first named connnodity, 
and lay it by for the invalid days when our travels are over, 
and we can behold fresh men and fresh cities no more. Any 
way, sixteen years are a large excision, a terrible shrinking of 
that " Peau de Chagrin," which all of us carry concealed about 
us, and the irreparable area of which we generally do our best 
to diminish every day of our lives. 

I arrive, not without some sadness — and not without some 
cheerfulness, too — at the recognition of that fact when, on a 
foggy November evening in 1879, I find myself standing on the 
platform of a Pullman car attached to the five o'clock express 
from St. Pancras to Liverpool. Once more I am bound for the 
United States ; but my bourne, this time, is New York instead 
of Boston ; and I am not by any means in so feverish a hurry 
as I was forced to be in 18G3. Then I was on the War path ; 
now I am in quest of meek-eyed Peace. I mean to take things 
easily, for I am not a solitary traveller. I have somebody with 
me to part my hair (she can part it, even in a nor' wester) and 
take care of my money, and rally me Avlien I am cross. There 
is no need to tempt the tempestuous billows of St. George's 
Channel, nor to race across the Green Isle. I am content to miss 



OUTWARD BOUND. 5 

the chance of hearing those briUiant repartees, full of mother-wit, 
for which the outside car drivers of Cork and Queenstown are so 
justly renowned. I escape the quadruple shipment and tranship- 
ment of luggage. I elude the payment of much hachshish to 
porters, and the possible loss of more valuable temper. I intend 
quietly to board the Cunard steamship Sc}jt]na, at Liverpool, to- 
morrow (Saturday) morning, and I should be very glad to go tran- 
quilly to sleep so soon as 1 enter my state-room, and to wake no 
more until the good ship arrives at Sandy Hook. Failing the 
desirable consummation of some skilful physician inventing a 
Temporary Animation suspender for the use of ocean steamer 
passengers, I must take the rough with the smooth and resign 
myself to the inevitable — the pitching and the tossing, the 
boiled mutton and the caper sauce. 

The Pullman car, which I consider for the nonce, as a 
cheerful instalment of Transatlantic experiences to come — and a 
very comfortable and even luxurious instalment it is — conveys 
us to the great city of the Mersey ; and we iind cosy quarters 
at the Adelphi Hotel — quite another Adelphi to the snug 
hostelry which I knew sixteen years syne ; tending somewhat 
to the caravanserai stage of development, with post-office, 
telegraph offices, hairdressers' shops, lifts, and other innovations 
on the premises, and excellently well appointed in every respect, 
and, m particular, providing you with a capital breakfast. 
Should you be slightly sad on the occasion of the last breakfast 
which you are to consume in your native land? Is a little 
melancholy permissible over the muffins ? Is a sigh quite out 
of place over the kippered herring, or the broiled ham and 
eggs ? May you drop one tear into your tea "? I think not. 
AVhen Lord Byron went away from the Island of Naxos, he 
]-emarked (in verse) that, although not a tear in sorrow fell, nor 
a sigh in ialtering accents escaped his bosom, the heart within 
him grew cold at the thought that the shores of Naxos he 
should never more behold. 1 utterly and deliberately decline to 
believe that Lord Byron's heart was affected one way or the 
otlier by his departure from Naxos, where his lordship only 
abode a very few days, and wdiicli is an island mainly noticeable 
for its abundance of fleas, and for the quantity of resin with 
which the natives (who are great rascals) doctor their normally 
nasty wine, which they still have the impudence to call " the wine 
of Bacchus " (/c/aacrt rov Atovocrov). I suspect that Lord B. 
pretended to be so fond of Naxos, because it was there that 



6 AMEETCA KEVISITED. 

Theseus (a strongly Byronic hero) behaved so iinliandsomely to 
Ariadne. 

I do not know whether probity prevails as a rule on the 
occasion of every departure of a Transatlantic steamer from 
Liverpool ; but so far as my observation extends, the neighbour- 
hood of the landing stage in that superb city presents on a 
" Cunard Saturday " the aspect of a Rogue's Paradise and a 
Carnival of Knaves. The pohce do their best to keep the 
brigand baggage porters and the bandit newspaper-vendors in 




ARRIVAL AT THE LANDING STAGE. 



something approaching tolerable order ; but you must have all 
your wits about you to avoid being fleeced at every step. The 
noise, confusion, extortion, and downright cheating going on are 
nearly as disgraceful as the chronic row outside the railway 
terminus at Naples. I dare say that the neighbourhood of our 
own docks in London is almost as unseemly ; but, save when 
we take the " Ankworks package," or Antwerp packet, as Mr. 
and j\Irs. Jonas Chuzzlewit did, English tourists usually begin 
their voyage at Charing Cross or Victoria station, and not at 
the Docks. I have travelled a great many thousands of miles in 
strange lands in the course of the last tive-and-thirty years ; but 
cannot remember that I ever started on a continental tour by 



OUTWARD BOUND. 7 

steamer from the Thames save on one occasion, and that was 
when as a boy of ten the steam-packet Harlequin took me and 
my sister from St. Katherine's wharf to Boulogne, on our way to 
school in Paris. 

We escaped from the Liverpool landing stage Gondottieri by 
the skin of our teeth, and witli the loss of a considerable 
number of shillings ; and in due time we were bestowed on 
board the Scythias very lively little tender, appropriately named 
the Satellite. And it was on board that craft, steaming towards 




GOING ON 150ARD THE TENDER. 



the great ship, that the philosophical side of the melancholy and 
muftins, the tear and teapot question presented itself to me. It 
is when there is nobody to bid you good-bye when you are 
starting on a long voyage that you feel sad. Our hands had 
been half shaken off our wrists ere we left St. Pancras. Dear 
old friends of my youth had clustered round the Pullman car to 
bid us God speed and good luck. My dear old American friend 
" Sam " Ward (then on a short tour in Europe) was among 
them. But there are half a milHon people, more or less, in 



8 AMERICA EEVISITED. 

Liverpool the Superb, and Nobody that we knew. Stay ! 
Sursum corda I Tlie heart was not to feel cold at the thought 
of behig quite solitary anion.2,' so vast a multitude. A familiar 
face, a kindly hand presented themselves. Everything by the 
thoughtful politeness of Mr. George Behrend and Mr. Charles 
M'lver had been made " right " for us on board the Scytliia. 
Comfortable state rooms, seat at the captain's table, everything 
tliat courtesy could suggest ; nor am I infringing the laws of 
maritime etiquette, I hope, by tendering here my very warmest 
thanks to the authorities of the Cunard Steamship Company 
for the obliging attention extended irom the beginning to the 
end of the Scytldcis voyage to two very old travellers. 

The landing stage was covered with a frosty rime ; it was 
bitterly cold, and there was a sea-fog ahead when the Satellite 
left. But soon the air grew milder, the fog cleared off, and the 
sun shone gloriously bright ; and a perfectly lovely day made all 
hearts glad by the time when we found ourselves in the midst 
of a wilderness of luggage nt the gangway of the Scytliia. 




PASSENGERS ARRIVING ON BOARD THE SCYTHIA. 



OUTWAED BOUND. 



9 



Anxious moments, tliose, to all of us ! Wherever was the brown 
leather bag? What on earth — or rather on sea — had become 
ot" the dressmg case ? Had the portmanteau labelled " state 




room " got inadvertently lowered into the hold ? That way 
madness lay. Then you had to find your bed-room stew^ard and 
" interview " him, and do your best to produce in his mind the 
impression that you were a rigidly exigent and austere person, 
always wanting something and sternly determined to have it, but 
who might possibly be mollified by unflagging attention to your 
wants into the administration of a " tip " at the conclusion of the 
voyage. I do not know whether all the 'tween-deck servitors of 
ocean steamers receive a gratuity from the j^assengers, but I am 
certain that the stewards, and especially the stewardesses, 
deserve one. How^ w^ould you like to be called up at three 
o'clock in the morning, and in the middle of a heavy gale, to 
])rocurc oranges and stewed prunes for a lady passenger who 
does not feel quite so well as she might? 

We took in cargo up to the very moment of our departure ; 
and to the contents of the lighters which swarmed like wasps 
round our big black hull there seemed to be no end. All kinds 
of incongruous merchandise did the SqjtMa engulf in her huge 
maw. Pig iron and tin plates by the ton were hopelully 
reported by commercially-minded passengers ; and there w^as 



10 AMERICA REVISITED. 

clieerful talk of tlie revival of trade and prosperity wliicli was to 
inflate to immeasurable proportions. There was a rumour, 
likewise, that we carried boxes galore of oranges and lemons 
and grapes. What, indeed, might not be expected to form part 
of the cargo of a Cunard steamer ? Consider the prodigious 
quantity of coals which she has to carry. Ponder over the 
enormous aggregate of her stores, from the flour for her daily 
fresh-baked bread and pastry to her wines and spirits, her beer, 
and her aerated waters. We were about a hundred and twenty 
saloon passengers on board ; while forward, in the steerage, 
there were about a hundred more. Think on the enormous mass 
of daily sustenance required by this great company of hungry 
people, and the provisions for the officers and crew, and the 
(h-inking water for all on board. Admiral Noah's purser may 
have had a hard time of it, and it is possible that the carnivora 
on board the Ark may have grumbled somewhat at being 
temporaril}^ restricted to diet farinaceous or leguminous ; but 
the human passengers in the saloon of that primitive craft were 
few : whereas, on board a Cunard steamer, tlie humans are 
many, while the dumb live stock has altogether disappeared. 

Each Cunard er, sixteen years since, used to carry a cow for 
the supply of milk for the saloons, to say nothing of a sheep or 
two, a pig sometimes, and numerous live poultry ; but since the 
rumours of rinderpest and pleuro-pneumonia have been rife in 
the land, and the passing of the Contagious Diseases (Animals) 
Act, the great ocean steamers have carried no live stock for 
saloon consumption at all. On their return voyages the Atlantic 
steamships carry, however, some live stock on freight, in the shape 
of numerous barrels of American oysters, the pearls of Fulton 
market, which bivalves have been consigned by hospitable 
Americans to their friends in England. The milk on board the 
Scythia is all condensed, or otherwise preserved, and we had 
plenty of it, and to spare. The supply of fresh meat, poultry, 
and eggs was seemingly inexhaustible, yet everything of that 
nature had been carefully packed in ice. Thus also was it with 
the lettuces, the beetroot, and the mustard and cress, of which 
healthy green-meat we had a regular, copious supply. Thus, 
too, was it Avith the tomatoes, and the rich abundance of fruit 
provided at dessert. As for the celery, it only " gave out," or 
became exhausted, thirty-six hours before the time forecast for 
arrival in port; and that last-named esculent only failed us owing 
to the astonishing avidity with which the American ladies .on 



OUTWARD EOUKD. 



11 




THE SALOON OF THE SCYTHIA. 



l)()ard munched celery at all times and seasons. Is there a 
belief prevalent in the feminine mind that celery is a preventive 
of sea-sickness ? 

I have touched on the abundant nature of the " provand. " on 
board a great ocean steamship of the present day, because I 
have a keen remembrance of what a ship's culinary arrangements 
were like, not sixteen but six and thirty years ago, when I first 
undertook a sea voyage of any duration. How astonished would 
be a saloon passenger at this time of day were he expected to 
(line at least four times a week on pea-soup, corned beef, fat 
salt pork — often rancid — and suet pudding without any suet in 
it ! He would be even more amazed if the captain were in the 
habit of getting drunk, swearing at his passengers, and threaten- 
ing to put them in irons ; that the biscuit was weevilly, and the 
butter — when there was any butter — horribly tainted. 

But the last case of tin plates was dropped by the derrick into 



12 



AMERICA EEVISITED. 



the big ship's hold, and I found myself humming- " When I 
beheld the anchor weighed" from Balfe's "Siege of Rochelle." 
Good-bye, tender Satellite ! Good-bye, superb city on the 
Mersey ! We drop down below the docks, " below the church, 
below the hill, below the lighthouse top." Only in the remote 
distance, now, we discern the fluttering of tiny white pennons 
from the tender's deck. Yes ; it is possible to put a deal of 
heart into a pocket-handkerchief We wave our handkerchiefs 
in response to the last salute of friendship. Good-bye, England ! 
The bell rings for lunch, and there is at once an immense 
demand ibr chicken broth, than which there is supposed to be 
not a finer antidote for the mal de mer. Some experts recom- 
mend dry champagne. Others pin their faith to bottled beer. 
Yet another section of suggesters boldly proclaim their belief in 
brandy and soda. There is, on the other hand, a sect of sea- 
quietists who assure you that all you have to do is to prostrate 
yourself flat on your f^ice on the sofa in your state-room and 
remain there until the voyage is at an end. But how is an in- 
dividual to remain prone on his bosom for eleven mortal days ? 
The ordinary Atlantic traveller has little in common with the 
Greek monks of Mount Atlios, who, as Gibbon tells us, used to 
pass years in one position, intently occu})ied with the outward 
contemplation of their stomachs. A good many travellers by sea 
are, it is true, forced to devote more of their time than is 
pleasant to internal stomachic contemplation. 




OUTWARD BOUND. 13 

Poor Aiteiiuis Ward said that the two greatest difficulties 
wliicli lie had to encounter on a sea-voyage were to keep inside 
! his bertli, and outside his dinner ; and most of us have heard 
; the story of the gahant officer in the American army, wlio wlien 
\ he landed at New York from the steamer which had brought 
' him from New Orleans, declared that he had " thrown up every- 
I thing except his commission." I am on the whole led to believe 
[ that the Americans are more subject to sea-sickness than we 
i Englisli are : and this I ascribe less to stomachic disturbances 
; than to their excessive nervous temperament. American ladies 
! as a rule suffer fearfully at sea ; and in many cases they are 
: absolutely deterred from coming to Europe through the dread of 
i sea-sickness. 

j Another division of doctrinaires cry out " Nonsense ! hard 
I biscuits, and an occasional nip of green Chartreuse are the only 
\ real panacea." Meanwhile, among the ladies, there are dark and 
distant rumours of chloral. And all this while the sea is like a 
1 millpond. 

My own belief concerning sea-sickness is that the best way 
to deal with it is not to think anything about it. If you are going 
I to be sick you will be sick ; and very often the sickness will 
I prove a benefit instead of an evil, and after two or three days' 
! agony will bring you up in the saloon again, smiling and 
; with a prodigious appetite. But the very worst thing which, 
j according to my thinking, a lady oi" a gentleman can do, is to 
worry him or herself at the commencement of the voyage about 
: what is going to happen, either in the direction of sea-sickness or 
otherwise. All kinds of things may happen. You may be sea- 
sick, or you may be shipwrecked, you may be captured by 
pirates — piracy is a great deal more prevalent than most people 
imagine — the ship may take fire ; you may " pig " right into the 
middle of an iceberg, as the Arizona did ; or you may see — or 
fancy that you see — the Great Sea Serpent. 

The best thing, I apprehend, that you can do is to take all 
things quietly and cheerfully, and to be thankful for all things, 
especially for the blessing of being in a place where neither news- 
papers, letters, nor telegrams can reach 3'ou. The last of those 
inflictions we underwent at Queenstowu on Sunday morning. At 
two o'clock in the afternoon of that day the Scijthias Irish tender, 
also appropriately named the Jachal, came over to us with the 
mail bags and a few more passengers, who had chosen to under- 
take the great race against time by leaving London on Saturday 



14 



AMERICA EEVISITED. 



night and scampering across Ireland. Then there was more 
waving of pocket-handkerchiefs. Our screw began to make 
alarminof noises — noises continued without intermission during: 
the voyage. The tender Jackal diminished to a very small 
speck indeed ; the green shores of Ireland gradually disappeared 




BEHIND THE WHEEL HOUSE. 



OUTWARD BOUND. 



15 



below tlie horizon. We left the Fastness Rock behind iis, and 
were off in right earnest on our way to a land whicli, when I 
first visited it, was in the midst of war ; but which I hope to 
find now in the full enjoyment of peace and returning prosperity. 



Nov. 2G. 



Well, all things must come to an end ; and my third Atlantic 
voyage is over. We have sighted Sandy Hook ; we are in the 
beauteous bay of New York. The good ship, which in bygone 




A GLIMPSE OF XEW YORK. 



days would have landed her passengers at Jersey City, now 
swings her enormous bulk into a comfortable berth at a pier on 
the North River in New York itself, and within an easy distance 
of the chief hotels of the Empire City. Ours has been rather 
an eventful voyage ; but my log of it would have been much 
longer had I been able to hold a pen or write a legible sentence 
during at least five-eighths of that voyage's continuance. We 
have had a storm or two — a storm or six, so it appears to my 
darkened mind — since we left Queenstown. On the Monday 
after our leaving the shores of Erin I deferentially asked an 
ancient mariner who was swabbing the ScyfJiias quarter-deck 
what he thought of the weather outlook. The reply of the 



1(3 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



ancient mariner was oracular in its ambiguity, but still it was 
much to the point : " Them as likes a good dinner^'' quoth he, 
" had better get it to-day ^ 

I dined as heartily as I could that Monday ; but on the 
morrow came Chaos. How we pitched ! How we tossed ! 
How we rolled ! How we w\allowed in the trough of the sea ! 
How some of us were bruised from top to toe by tumbling about 
our state-rooms and grovelling under our berths ! But it has 
all come to an end, and everybody on board the Sq/thia is 
shaking hands Avith everybody else, and exchanging congratula- 
tions upon the "good time" which we have all had. Champagne 
is flowing ; healths are being drunk ; and from the smoking- 
room I hear the refrain of " For he's a jolly good fellow." And 
so say all of us ; and everybody pledges Captain Hains, our 
gallant and courteous commander. One terror only looms 
ahead — that of the New York Custom House. 1 wonder whether I 
shall lose my temper there, as I did at Boston sixteen years ago. 
But of my fiscal experiences I shall have to tell you in my next 
letter. 




MAKING ONE S TOILETTE UNDER DIFFICULTIES. 




We's stuffed you long eiiuf. Now you've got to stuff us.' 



11. 

Thanksgiving Day in New York. 

Xew York, Nov. 28. 

Yesterday (Thursday) was Thanksgiving Day in New York ; 
l)ut, ere I discourse concerning that highly important celebration, 
I must say something touching the manner in which we passed 
the terrific ordeal of the Custom House. Throughout the 
voyage of the Sci/tJiia the Custom House had been held up to 
nie as the fearfullest of bugbears ; and it was not only the 
loreigners on board who were loud in denouncing the grinding 
tyranny of the tariff and the inquisitorial proceedings of the 
'louaniers. Those of my fellow-passengers who were Ameri- 
cans were prompt to join in the chorus of indignant disparage- 
ment of the fiscal system at present in force, and f,o indulge in 
the most dismal prognostications, touching the treatment to 
which their trunks and themselves would be subjected on our 



15 AMEKICA REVISITED. 

arrival. Ladies turned pale with mingled horror and wrath, as 
they recited how the masterpieces of Worth — the exquisite 
textile frivolities which they were hringing home to rejoice the 
eyes, or make envious the hearts, of their female friends withal — 
had been ruthlessly dragged out of Saratoga trunks, exposed 
coram puhlico on the dockhead, and ungallantly examined under 
the arms to ascertain whether the dresses had ever been worn ; 
and how, if they proved to be new, they liad been subjected to 
exorbitant duties. 

Then uprose shrill complaints that renovated lace and cleaned 
gloves had been treated as unused articles of wear, and saddled 
with a charge of sixty per cent, ad valorem ; that the inhuman 
Custom House officers would not recognise the right of a lady 
to import, say, fifteen corsets — best " Duchesse " or " Swanbill " 
pattern — eight Parisian bonnets — either of the " Gainsborough," 
the " Leonardo da Yinci," or the '"'' Galette jieurie " fashion — 
with, say two dozen pairs of silk stockings, a couple of fans, a 
sunshade, and a box full of cambric handkerchiefs, trimmed with 
'point d'xihnnon, for her own personal use. "As if we wanted 
to smuggle anything! As if we were New York milliners and 
dressmakers, who crossed the Atlantic half-a-dozen times a year 
in order to smuggle ' dutiable ' articles into the States." At 
the vehement disclaimer of such an imputation, I noticed that a 
lady, presumably of French extraction, nodded her head in 
acquiescence with the sentiments just uttered, but, at the same 
time, turned very pale. The gentlemen on board were quite as 
excited, and took equally gloomy views of the prospects before 
them. One passenger, presumably addicted to field sports, had 
brought with him a hunting suit of the most approved Melton 
Mowbray model, which he hoped to display at a meet at Rock- 
away Beach on Thanksgiving Day. He would have to " declare '' 
that suit, he muttered. He would have to pay for his "pink," 
for his buckskins, for his tops, for his velvet cap — nay, even for 
his new hunting crop. There Avas no way out of it. Articles 
not " declared," and found to be " dutiable " — the abhorrent ' 
Avord — Avere liable to peremptory seizure ; and the Avorst of it 
Avas, that it Avas impossible to bribe the Custom House officers. 
They are for the nonce immaculate. They are all inherently as 
incorruptible as the late Lord Bacon ; AAdiile, practically, their 
acts and deeds are, moreover, so narroAvly Avatched by agents 
from the Treasury Department at Washington, flitting about in 
plain clothes, lurking round corners in the approved manner 



^ 



THANKSGIVING DAY IN NEW YORK. 19 

patronised by Mr. Chevy Slyme, peeping tliroiigli cliinks in parti- 
tions, and taking notes of all they see, that the subordinate officials 
of the revenue could not be venal, even if they wished it. 

I listened to the dolorous forecasts of my fellow travellers 
and held my tongue, hoping for the best. I have seen some- 
thing of Custom Houses — even to the most rigorous of those 
detestable anachronisms — and I never came to much grief. I 
cannot remember, out of the United States, ever to have paid 
any duty upon anything save on one occasion, when a French 
doiianier at St. Jean de Maurienne, when I had crossed Mont 
Cenis, mulcted me in the sum of five francs, as an ad valorem 
duty on a plaster statuette of Garibaldi which I had brought from 
Turin. As regards snmggling — a recreation to which I never 
cared particularly to devote myself — it may be held to be like 
matrimony — a lottery. I remember, in the spring of 1864, 
sailing from New York to Havana and the Spanish Main ; and 
prior to our departure, the Custom House officers searched not 
only the baggage, but the persons of sundry of the passengers 
who were bound for St. Thomas, and whom they suspected of 
conveying contraband of war for the use of the Confederates. 
Symmetrically suspended to the crinoline of one particularly 
guileless-looking young lady, the female searchers found no less 
than twelve revolvers ; Avhile in her toilet-bag was a rebel mail, 
in the shape of a large packet of letters, addressed to prominent 
personages in the South, and a very nicely-bleached human 
skull, labelled " Chickahominy," a trophy of warfare down by 
that river, I apprehend. Everybody was very much shocked 
when revelation was made of the trouvaille discovered on the 
guileless-looking young lady. Elderly gentlemen on board 
opined that she ought to be sent to Fort Lafayette. The 
Northern ladies sent their erring sister to Coventry. In par- 
ticular was a tall gentleman, with an orange-tawny beard, and 
wearing an Inverness cape and a Jim Crow hat, scandalised by 
the escapade of the fair Secesh. " She oughter liev known 
better," he more than once remarked. When we were under 
weigh, and he had found out that I was an Englishman, he 
informed me confidentially that he was an habitual blockade- 
runner, and that he was " all over quinine and spurs," both 
being just then articles of prime necessity in Secessia, An odd 
time. I was told once of five-and-twenty thousand dollars' 
worth of smuggled diamonds being hooked, by a cautious 
" superviser, out of a German lady's chignon. 

c 2 



20 



AMERICA EEVISITED. 




^■EW YORK FROM FORT WADSWORTH, STATEN ISLAND. 

It was after the ScytJda had passed the fort on Staten 
Island — I do not know its name, but it is one of the most 
picturesque forts I ever saw — that we Avere boarded from a 
pretty Httle steam yacht by the much-dreaded officers of the 
Custom House. Everybody answering- to the name of passenger 
trembled. Everybody seemed a galled jade, and our withers 
were all wrung. Wincing appeared to be universal ; and all 
placidly indifferent to doings of a fiscal nature as I had been, 
I remembered that, stowed away in a particular portmanteau, 
I had three pairs of new shoes. Why had I not had the soles 
shoded or roughened with a file before leaving my native 
land l But I consoled myself with the hope that somebody else 
might have taken the precautions which I had failed to take. 

Now was the moment to " declare " as to what you had in 
your belongings, and to make solenni oath as to the truth of 
your declaration. So, very weak with the mournful feelings 
and dejected mien of schoolboys on Black Monday, we descended 
to the saloon. The chief official — a benevolent old gentleman, 
with snowy hair — sat enthroned in state at the head of the 
table, at which Captain Hains had, during eleven days, presided 



X 

R 
> 
C 




THANKSGIVING DAY IN NEW YORK. 21 

with so iniicli g-race and urbanity. Some subordinate inquisitors 
and sworn tormentors sat by liim ; and the table was Httered 
with forms of declaration. I think that I was number three on 
the list of declaratory oath takers. I gave the chief inquisitor 
my name. He bowed gravely, and said that he had a 
communication for me. I felt slightly unnerved. What could 
the communication be 1 An order to quit the territory of the 
United States forthwith ? Not at all ; it was an invitation 
from a valued American friend of many years' standing to dine 
with him at his beautiful country house at Glen Cove the next 
day. I'felt reassured, and immediately affirmed to I am sure 
I know not what — for I am parcel blind and hard of hearing — 

'' quite clieerfully. 

Then I made way for a crowd of ladies and gentlemen, who with 

I troubled aspect thronged round that terrible table. Some of the 
ladies subsequently dissolved into tears. Some of the gentlemen, 
more philosophic under tribulation, consoled themselves with 

^ those especially mild and balmy " cocktails " for the confection of 

I which liobert, one of the saloon stewards of the Scythia^ is so 
justly celebrated. There was, of course, a good deal of swearing 

. gone through below ; but I incline to the opinion that there was a 
prodigious deal more swearing performed in an unofficial manner 
on the Scjjtliias deck and in the dock-shed during the agonising 
period of baggage examination. Oaths of allegiance — we had to 
hear a disastrous deal about them during the English Parlia- 
mentary session of 1880 — are, no doubt, very important matters 
(Talleyrand, as is well known, swallowed thirteen of them), but, 
ill my humble opinion, the American Custom House oath is a 
force and nothing more — a " screaming," not a solemn one. 

What happened to my companions I candidly aver that I do 
not know, and I am selfish enough to confess that I do not 
luiich care. In a Custom House examination it is a case of 
every man for himself; and given a grinding, rasping, indis- 
'criminate, omnivorous tariff, such as the present American one 
is said to be, I suppose that most persons strive to evade the 
duties as far as they possibly can, and that if everybody had 
;their deserts few would escape the whipping in the Avay of 
; surcharges. My ow-n experiences were brief, simple, and 
'eminently satisfactory. The enormous dock-shed into which we 
;were turned loose from the Scytldas gangway presented one of 
;the most extraordinary spectacles that I ever beheld. Imagine 
the Long Room at the London Custom House brought into 



'O' 



22 AMERICA REVISITED. 

combination with the platform of the ]\Iidhind Railway Terminus 
at St. Pancras. Throw in one of the huge corridors of the 
Bezesteen at Stamboul with a soupcon of the Agricultural Hall 
at Islington. Imagine this colossal area traversed in every 
direction by brawny porters wheeling towering masses of 
luggage on hand-barrows, and in the corners of the shed picture 
the powerfully-horsed wains of the Express Company ready to 
carry away the trunks and portmanteaus, so soon as they have 
passed the Custom House, to the various hotels at which the 
owners of the luggage intend to stop. 

The transport of baggage in the United States has been 
reduced to a science, and entails the merest minimum of dis- 
comfort to the traveller. There are very few hackney carriages, 
comparatively speaking, in New York, and the light and elegant 
coupes which you hire for a dollar an hour — the tariff at the 
steamboat piers is much heavier — cannot be expected to carry 
heavy luggage. Thus, you are thrown on tlie tender mercies 
of the Express Company. But the Express man takes no 
advantage of you. He is your guide, philosopher, and friend. 
You tell him where you mean to stay ; he whisks with amazing 
celerity your needments into one of his wains, and away he 
goes, down all manner of streets to the Brevoort, to the Fifth- 
avenue, to the Windsor, to the Buckingham — to anywhere in 
Manhattan that you choose to indicate. You may proceed to 
your hotel in a coupe, or by the Elevated Railroad, or by the 
street cars, and arrive at your destination laden only with a 
hand-bag or a writing-case ; but the Express man will not 
be long after you ; the hotel lift (in American invariably 
" elevator " '") will hoist your things to the floor on which your 

* Altliougli it may seem a very petty point of detail on wliicli to dwell, I may 
jifiint out that in tlieir travelling as well as tlieir official technology tlie Americans 
seem to show a preference for words of French or Latin derivation over words of 
Anglo-Saxon origin. Thus our " lift " is tlie American " elevator," a government 
office is often a " bureau," the word eating-house has almost entirely disajipeared in 
favour of " restaurant " and " saloon ; " a doorkeeper is a "janitor ; " a dead-house 
a " morgue ; " a coffin a " casket," and a shroud a " rolje." Tlie system of railway 
nomenclature seems to have been designedly built on French instead of English lines. 
Thus out " station " is a " dei^ot " (pi'onounced iht\wt) ; " luggage " is " baggage " 
(French hagage) ; the " guard " is a " conductor," the " driver " is the " engineer," 
and the " engine " the " locomotive." " Railroad " and " Railway " are with us 
convertible terms ; still, officially, Ave adopt the word " Railway." The Americans 
have adopted " Railroad." The " London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway" — 
the " Erie Railroad." In the latter is there not a slight assimilation to the French 
" chemin de fer ? " 



THANKSGIVING DAY IN NEW YORK. 23 

room Is situated ; and by the time you are out of your bath you 
will find your trunks and portmanteaus in your bedchamber, 
unstrapped and ready for opening. The trouble and the travail 
lie in getting these said trunks and portmanteaus through the 
Custom House. 

The which, since I last strove to picture it, has undergone 
another transformation. Did you ever read Beckford's " Vatliek ? " 
If you have ever perused that delightful romance, carry your 
mind back to the description of the Hall of Eblis, with its count- 
less multitudes of troubled souls wandering hither and thither in 
two opposite tidal streams. As I contemplated the new aspect 
of the dock-shed, the locale of the Hall of Eblis seemed to have 
been transported to a pier on the North River, New York. 
There were the countless multitude of anxious souls, wandering 
up and down, hither and thither, in dolorous quest of their 
luggage. I had been " fetched " by trusty emissaries from the 
Brevoort, and " Jerry," an old retainer of that establishment, 
and an old ally of mine, had, with the aid of certain stalwart 
porters, swiftly rescued what belonged to me from Chaos ; but 
all the " anxious souls " had apparently not been so fortunate. 
Inquiring countenances, perturbed countenances, despairing coun- 
tenances, flitted by me. The scene became Dantesque and 
Gustave-Dore-like in its intensity. Imagine Francesca di Rimini 
in anguish-stricken quest of her Saratoga trunk. This day she 
flirts no more. You might offer her chicken salad, stuffed 
tomatoes. Blue Point oysters, a Chlckering piano, and a Tiffany 
bracelet, to say nothing of your hand and heart and all your 
New York Central stock, and she would not heed you. Where 
is her bonnet box ? Where is the coffer containing her rohes a, 
qiieue ? And echo answers, " Where ? " Stay, another echo, 
in the sonorous voice of an Irish porter, makes reply, " Shure 
it's here ; " and the bonnet box and the coffer with the lon^:- 
tailed dresses arc disinterred from the baggage of a confirmed 
old bachelor, a Congressman from Wisconshi. 

A yellow ticket, bearing a number, had been handed to me 
when I signed my declaration. I was taken to an official, to 
whom I made the most diplomatic of bows that I could master 
after ten days' tumbling about the decks of the Scythia; and 
the authority handed my declaration and myself over to an 
elderly gentleman In private clothes, but who wore a brazen 
badge, of the shape of a shield, at his button-hole, and who was 
the examining officer. My Interview with this functionary lasted 



24 



AMERICA REVISITED. 




FRAXCESCA IN ANGUISH-STRICKEN QUEST OF HER SARATOGA TRUNK. 

precisely seventeen minutes. We had some ten packages, large 
and small, to examine; and every package, down to railway 
rugs, and a slieaf of sticks and umbrellas, was opened and care- 
fully scrutinised. The officer was scrupulously and, indeed, 
amicably polite, and incidentally mentioned that his was far 
from an agreeable duty, but that he was bound to do it. I was 
not made to pay a single cent ; so I suppose that I had nothing 
liable to duty. As each trunk or bag was relocked, the side of 
the package was chalked ; and in another ten minutes the 
Express Company had got my heavy luggage, and with my 



THANKSGIVING DAY IN NEW YORK. 25 

lighter encumbrances, I was safe and sound in tlie Brevoort 
coach, and on my way to that most comfortal)le of hostehies. 
"Well out of it*" I thought. 8till I could not help thinking 
that the much-dreaded and much-abused New York Custom 
House is, like something else which you may have heard of, 
not so black as it has been painted. 

Thursday was, as I have said. Thanksgiving Day — an 
anniversary of actions de cjrdcc, or general expression of gratitude 
for mercies received, the holding of which is appointed by 
solemn proclamation from the Governor of each State in the 
Union. In the old Puritan days of Northern America, Thanks- 
giving Day was probably a strictly religious celebration, with 
some moderate indulgence, perhaps, in substantial creature com- 

; forts when prayers, and preachments, and exhortations, were at 
an end. Notwithstanding Butler's scornful allusion to the ill- 
conditioned abstemiousness of the Puritans, in " Hudibras," 
who, according to the satirist's showing, hated all kinds of good 
cheer, opposed goose and tat pig, blasphemed custard through the 
nose, and even disparaged " their best and dearest friend — plum 

i porridge," I cannot help fancying that tlie Pilgrim Fathers were 
by no means averse to good living, when they could enjoy their 
cheer in a sober and serious manner. Did not her Highness the 
Protectress, consort of Great Oliver, write a cookery and house- 
hold recipe book ? The Lady Protectress was as economical as 
she was skilful in culinary things ; for it is a matter of history, that 
when, one day at dinner, Oliver called for an orange as an 
accompaniment to a roast loin of veal on which he was intent, 
her Highness told him that " oranges were now oranges indeed" 
— England was on the eve of a war with Spain — and that she 
could not aftbrd to let him have with his dish of meat that 
which would cost her at least a groat. 

Be it as it may, the modern solemnisation of Thanksgiving 
Day in New York, and, I suppose, all over the States, entails a 
gigantic amount of eating and drinking. It is, from a convivial 
point of view, our Christmas Day come just four weeks before 
its time. Turkey and stewed cranberries are the traditionally 
orthodox dish for the occasion ; but there is no law against 
consuming as much as ever you feel inclined of plum-pudding and 
other dainties. Charity plays a conspicuous and a very beautiful 
part in the festivities of the day. Everybody who has "joined a 
church" attends his own particular place of worship in the morning 
— be it Episcopalian, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, 



26 AMERICA EEVISITED. 

Baptist, Independent, Congregational, Universalist, or what not. 
Sermons galore were preached on Thursday, the discourses 
liaving mainly reference to abundant harvests and rapidly 
reviving prosperity. The rest of the day was devoted to 
pleasure ; and Broadway and Fifth-avenue became moving pan- 
oramas of holiday-makers. From Fifty-ninth-street to Wash- 
ington-square the side- walks were densely thronged ; and 
in the afternoon the roadway was crowded with carriages, bound 
to the exterior boulevards of the Empire City. In the leading 
thoroughfares all the great stores were closed ; but eatables, 
drinkables, and cigars could be bought at will in the side 
streets. All the theatres and other places of amusement were 
open at night, and at many of them afternoon performances were 
given. One of the New York papers published, on Thursday 
morning, a Thanksgiving Anthem, of which I append a 
portion : — 

In Sixteen Hundred and Twenty-one, 

"When the Pilgrims' first year's Avork Avas done, 

Wlien the golden grain and the Indian corn, 

And the wild fruits plucked from the forest thorn, 

Wei'e gather'd and stor'd 'gainst the winter's wrath 

Till the drift should lift in springtime's path, 

Far into the woods, on fowling Lent. 

Four good men Governor Bradford sent. 

The fowlers went into the woods to shoot turkeys and gather 
cranberries for sauce. The Thanksgiving Song concludes : 

'Tis now of years full thirteen score 
Since thus our fathers blest their store, 
But each recurring year has brought 
The blessings which oiu' fathers sought — 

Rich harvests ripe Avith golden grain, 
And I'arest fruits and turkeys slain., 
But still that pious " Let us j)ray " 
Is heard on each Thanksgiving Day. 

The cheerful piety of these grateful orisons being at once 
conceded, it still strikes me that Thanksgiving Day is somewhat 
*' rough" on the turkeys. That festive bird will have an equally 
hard time of it at Christmas, and especially at the New Year. 
But the turkeys have not been the only victims to the exigencies 
of Thanksgiving Day. The Massacre of the Innocents in the 
way of fowls and chickens was overwhelming in its vastness on 
Thursday. The poorest of the poor, the meanest of the mean, 



THANKSGIVING DAY IN NEW YORK. 



27 




A BOOST ON A LARGE TUKKEY KARM. 



i the lowest of the fallen, were regaled with succulent white meat. 

j The destitute and the infirm, the prisoners and captives, were 

: abundantly fed. One thousand eiglit hundred pounds' weight 

of poultry was dressed for consumption at the Almshouse and 




SCALDING, PLUCKING, AND PLUMPING TUKKEYS FOR THANKSGIVING DAY. 

Penitentiary on Blackwell's Island, and not a morsel was left. 
The Charity Hospitals and Lnnatic Asylums enjoyed a similar 







INSANE ASYLUM, BLACKWELL S ISLAND. 



THANKSGIVING BAY IN NEW YORK. 



9.9 



feast, and even the gaol-birils in the Tombs liad a " square 
meal," and were further favoured by a volunteer choir, who 
perambulated the gloomy corridors of the prison, singing glees 
for the solace of the prisoners. The children in the ref )rma- 
tories and the industrial schools, and the poor little urchins in 
the as3dum of the Five Points INlission, all held high festival ; 
and, to crown the blessings of Thanksgiving Day, the Indian 
summer shone with all its mellow brilliance on the 27th of 
November — the sun glittering in an atmosphere as elastic and 
as exhilarating as that of Athens, the sk}^ a lapis-lazuli blue, just 
flecked with a few streaks of golden colour, like that great 
sphere of blue and gold above the altar in the Gesii Church at 
Rome. They tell me that there is a great deal of misery in 
New York ; but, to all appearance, the Good Samaritan was out 
and about in every street of the Great City on Thursday, laden 
with the good things of the earth, and sedulously seeking for the 
poor folks to relieve their bodi!}- needs, and comfort them with 
kind words. 




DISTRIBUTING FOOD AT THE FIVE POINTS MISSION. 




WASHINGTUN ijCJUARE AND FIFTH AVENUE. 



III. 

Transformation of New York. 

New York, Dec. 1. 

" Nothing is lost, nothing is created," wrote the ilhistrious 
French chemist. And a great many savants both before and after 
liis time may have advanced a similar proposition. I know that 
Dr. Erasmns Darwin has done so in his beautiful verses on the 
decomposition of our bodies after death. I would not dare to 
gainsay a philosopher, much less a chemist ; but assuredly there 
are a vast number of things terrestrial which, without being 
absolutely and irrecoverably lost, have a way of getting mislaid, 
and for a time baffle all your attempts to regain possession of them. 
I noticed the other day in the Academij that an ingenious French 
traveller employed in the Lorillard expedition for the discovery 
of Mexican antiquities had found an old Indian cemetery at a 
considerable height on the banks of Popocatapetl. From the 
memory of the writer of this interesting piece of information 
there had evidently been mislaid the fact that Popocatapetl is a 
mountain and not a river, and has " sides " and not " banks." 
The name indeed of the colossal mountain Avhich dominates 
the city of Mexico is not very easy to pronounce, and it is well 



TRANSFORMATION OF NEW YORK. 31 

to adopt the mnemonic formula invented by an American traveller 
(was it General Grant or the late Commodore Wyse ?) " Pop 
the cat in the kettle." There you have " Popocatapetl " in the 
twinklinf^ of a tongue. 

The human memory, I take it, abides, not, as Sinionides will 
have it, in a series of pigeon-holes, but in a nest of drawers, all 
duly fitted with locks and keys. "Memory," says Burton, 
" lays up all the species Avliich the senses have brought in, and 
records them in a good register, that they may be forthcoming- 
when they are called for by phantasy and reason. His object is 
' the same with phantasy. His seat and organ the back part of 
the brain." The worst of it is that a man with the most sys- 
tematic of memories sometimes forgets the whereabouts of his 
register, or loses count of the particular drawer at "the back 
part of his brain " in which a particular assemblage of facts is 
stored. Or, with a dim perception of where the drawer may be, 
he cannot, for the life of him, find the key at all. Or, finally, 
the lock may have grown rusty and the "Fors clavigera " results 
only in blank disappointment. Under these circumstances two 
courses are open to you. Either yield to the sorrowful per- 
: suasion that your memory has altogether decayed, and that you 
are becoming imbecile, in which case you should tranquilly 
retire to Bournemouth and a Bath Chair, and cease to trouble 
a work-a-day world with which you are no longer competent to 
cope; or — and this is the better way — you should strive to learn 
las many new things as you can, and tabulate and register and 
put them away in fresh-made drawers; and while you are doing 
this, if you bide your time and opportunity with patience and 
strong will, it will often mercifully happen that the Things 
Departed will return — that the lost will be found, and that 
Memory will come back to you as fresh and as green as the 
olive-branch that was borne by the dove. 

When I first went to St. Petersburg, three-and-twenty years 
[ago, I tried my hardest, during four or five months' sojourn, 
to learn a little Russ. I never got beyond a rudimentary 
knowledge of that difficult tongue, but I mastered the written 
character, and could make out the sense of a paragraph here and 
there in a newspaper ; and I could ask for what I wanted in 
the Slavonic vernacular from shopkeepers, and waiters, and such 
people. I went away ; and for twenty years I had never 
occasion to speak one word of Russian. My familiarity with the 
printed and written character did not desert me, and I could 

I 



32 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



still remember the melody, and repeat the words of tlie Russian 
song, " Vot net poufi cdo halschoia" wliicli I had learned by 
heart ; but the sense of those words had become utterly dark to 
me ; nor, to save myself from Siberia, could I have asked for a 
basin of soup or a slice of bread and butter in Russ. Circum- 
stances led me, some two or three years since, not only to return 
to Petropolis, but to traverse the whole length of the empire, 
from the capital to the Black Sea. Altogether I was not more 
than three weeks in the dominions of the Czar ; but every day 
that I abode there, and every day that I journeyed over the 
snowy steppes, long-forgotten Russian words and phrases came 
back in snatches, and wholly uncalled for, to my mind. 

Have you ever experienced the feeling of forgetting things 
and of their returning, quite unbidden, but, ah ! so welcome? I 
have been feeling such a sensation ever since last Wednesday 
afternoon, when I landed from the hospitable ScytMa^ Captain 
Hains commanding. The city of New York has come back to 
me. I have seen so many habitations of men in divers parts ot 
the world since I was here in 18G3-i that I am not ashamed to 




MEW YORK, FROM BROOKLYN HEIGHT;^ 



TRANSFORMATION OF NEW YORK. 



33 



own tliat I remembered the New Yorkers much more vividly 
than I did New York city itself. You do not forget your old 
nurse who alternately coddled and scolded you live-and-forty 
years syne ; but you are apt to have but a very dim and confused 
remembrance of the house anil the street in which you dwelt, 
and even of the furniture of the room in which you used to play. 
I might dimly recall that the shape of Manhattan island was 
like that of a sole Avith its head at Harlem and its tail at Castle 
Garden ; the backbone being represented by Broadway, and 
the continuous line of ships fringing the wharves along the East 
River and the Hudson River respectively figuring, the lateral 
small bones of the fish ; but had you asked me to mark on a 
piece of paper, from memory, the relative positions of Brooklyn, 
Hoboken, Jersey City, and Staten Island, I should have 
bungled sadly, last October, over the task. But I could mark 
the plans, now, and well enough, of Stamboul, Pera, Galata, 
Scutari, tlie Bosphorus, the Golden Horn, and the Sea of 
Marmora. Perhaps, in a year or two that faculty of remem- 
brance may fade away — perhaps to be revived one day ; perhaps 
to be utterly engulfed in the Great Lethe when we shall remem- 
ber nothing at all. 

Had I been suddenly summoned on Wednesday, Nov. 2G, 




BOWLING-GREEN AND COIIMENCEMENT OF BROADWAY. 



34 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



1879, to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but tlie 
truth concerning the great city in which, off and on, I abode for 
more than twelve months sixteen years since, I should have 
made answer that, with tolerable distinctness and minuteness, I 
could in my mind's eye picture the aspect of Broadway from 
the Bowling-green to the City Hall, to the Astor House and 
Barnum's Museum, and thence " up-town " to Union-square, 
where I think there was a w^ondrous restaurant called the Maison 
Dort^e. I think that 1 could have remembered Fifth-avenue 
from Washington-square by Eighth-street and the Brevoort 
House to Fourteenth-street, at the corner of the Eastern section 
of which was the " up-town " Delmonico's restaurant and cafe, 
and in the Western part of which I once occupied one of the few 
suites of furnished apartments which at that period were to let 
in New York. Upwards from Fourteenth-street I could have 







f" f jrL_rii f m^^ 






^ril^^ f |"\^^i^|ifMf lifter m 1 




FIFTH-AVENUE HOTEL, MADISON-SQUARE. 



recalled to mind Madison-square and the Fifth-avenue Hotel, 
and two other then new caravanserais, the Albemarle and the 
Hoffman House. Of the old established hostelries, the New 
York, then chiefly frequented by Southerners ; the Clarendon, 
much patronised by Britons ; and the Metropolitan, I could ol 



I 



TRANSFORMATION OF NEW YORK. 



35 



course have kept count. Wall-street and William-street, tlie 
lead-quarters of the fiercest gold-gambling the financial world 
lad ever seen ; Chambers-street, the habitat of the " down- 
town " Delmonico ; Canal-street, Lafayette-place, and Bleecker- 
treet were all tolerably fresh in my memory ; but of the 




ORXKIl OF BROAD AND WALL STREETS DREXEL's BUILDING AND STOCK EXCHANGE. 



theatres of New York I remembered nought, save that there 
was one called Wallack's, and another called Niblo's Gar- 
den; that there was an Academy of Music where M. Max 
Maztzeke used to give performances of Italian Opera ; and that 
across the water, at Brooklyn, there was a very large opera 
[house, and a very large church where an eloquent minister 
j named, I think, Beecher used to preach. Stay, I was also taken 



36 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



by my old friend Pliineas T. Barniim to hear another eloquent 
divine, named Dr. Chapin, who belonged, if I remember aright, 
to the Universalist persuasion. There were some palatial clubs, 
too, that I used to know ; the Union, the Union League, the Ne\y 
York, the Manhattan, and the Athenaeum ; and on certain Satur- 
day nights, at a reunion styled the Century Club, I have frequently 
met literature, art, and science in combination with stewed 
oysters and liot " whiskey skins." 

After this it would have been better, perhaps, if my sup- 
posititious examination had not been persisted in. My replies ' 
would have been of the vaguest nature. The Central Park ? 
Well, I do remember the existence of such a place, but of its 
exact locality and appearance I had not the remotest idea. The 
Bloomingdale road? Well, I fancy that there was a Lunatic 
asylum there past which I was once taken for a drive in a 
spider-like vehicle, all wheels and no bulwarks, and to which i 
was harnessed one of the most appallingly fast-trotting mares 
that a helpless Briton ever risked his neck behind. My friendlv 




BOWERY 3irf?IC HALL, 



Jeha was, I remember very well indeed, the lamented Henry 
J. Raymond of the Neic York Times. The Bowery? I had 
quite forgotten where the Bowery was, and I don't know where 
it is now. I intend to try and find out to-morrow. The Five 
Points '? My acquaintance with that quarter does not yet extend 
beyond what I have read in Mr. Dickens's " American Notes 
— you remember the description of the "break-down" dancing 



TEANSFORMATION OF NEW YORK. 37 

l^uba wlio "winked with his boots;" but, for tlie rest, Mr. 
)ickens's description of New York, for any practical purpose 
vhich it would serve nowadays, might as well be a description 
>f ancient Persepolis ; and as for Mrs. Trollope, those "Domestic 
Iklanners of the Americans," in depicting which she so good- 
laturedly revelled, apply about as closely to the usages and 
customs of the Potawotaniie Indians as they do to the Americans 
)f the present epoch/-'-' The " Points," however, must still exist, 
lince I read in the New York Herald that there is a " Five 
.■*oints Mission" and an industrial school' there for some seven 
lundred poor young waifs and strays, who on Thanksgiving Day 
ivere feasted on poultry and pudding in the play-ground on the 
oof of their asylum. 

Pardon me if I once more revert to Thanksgiving Day 
n connection with poultr3^ To indulge in white meat on this 
estival is more than a national custom. It amounts to a 
passion. Two ladies belonging to the fortune-telling profession, 
and the husband of one of them, with two German and one Irish 
name between them, are just now in trouble for decoying and 
hocussing with morphine a simpleton whom one of the ladies 
met promiscuously on a steam-boat. Their object in administer- 
ing the narcotic to the gentleman was to obtain his watch, 
chain, and loose dollars ; for as the husband of one of the ladies 
pertinently put it, " the shop-lifting line was played out, and he 
wanted a man with money." One of the female fortune-tellers 
has turned, it seems. State's evidence, at least she was " on the 
stand," or in the witness-box for six hours yesterday testifying 
against her companions ; and, in the course of her revelations, 
she stated that, on the morning of the day when he was hocussed 
(being Thanksgiving Day), the gentleman who was a simpleton 
was invited to breakfast, and that one of the ladies and her hus- 

* It may be noted as a very gratifying proof of tlie diminution of what may be 
termed " tliin-skinnedness " and the increase of a good-natured toleration of the 
criticism of foreigners among a peoi^le who were once thought to be the most 
sensitive in the world that I have frequently heard Americans in good society 
frankly admit that very many of the Trollopian strictures on manners in the United 
States some forty-tive years ago were substantially true, and that their public exi)0- 
sure did the cause of national rehnement in manners a great deal of good. In 
particular have I heard it admitted that voracity in eating and uncouth behaviour 
in places of public resort were formerly conspicuous failings among Americans. It 
is droll that a critic of polite versus coarse manners should have been found in the 
authoress of "The Widow Barnaby," which, as regards style and diction, is a model 
of vulgarity. 



28 AMERICA REVISITED, 

band proceeded to Jefferson-market for tlie purpose of stealing a 
turkey to celebrate the day of jubilation withal. They returned 
however without the festive bird, and, sad to relate, " under the 
influence of liquor," remarking in broken accents that turkeys 
were plentiful in Jefferson-market, but there were also plenty of 
people about to take care of the feathered bipeds. Nothing- 
discouraged, the simple-minded gentleman "stood" a turkey, 
and even went out himself for cranberries to furnish sauce. 
After that they put some doctor's stuff in his beer. He is not 
dead, but " feels bad," and has been bound over to prosecute. 
These simple yet touching details carry the mind back to the 
idyllic incident of our Maria Manning — I had the privilege of 
seeing her and her husband hanged — basting the goose over the 
trench in the back kitchen which the precious pair had dug to 
receive the corpse of their guest, Mr. Patrick O'Connor. In 
sucli cases pleasure comes first and business afterwards. Turkey 
— or goose — with cranberry sauce first, and then murder. 

And M'as this all that I remembered only five days ago of a 
metropolitan city, numbering, with its outlying suburbs, some- 
thing like a million inhabitants ? I repeat without shame that 
this was nearly all that occurred to me concerning the enormous, 
hive of humanity which now covers from end to end the island 
of Manhattan. It is a far safer thing to underrate than to over- 
estimate your knowledge of a place. In the first-named case 
you do not run much risk of being convicted half-a-dozen times 
a day of scandalous ignorance, and of having the finger of scorn 
consequently pointed at you. With the few exceptions of 
recollection, then, which I have named, my mind on my arrival 
in this most interesting city, which I should hke to al)ide in and 
to study for at least a year, but which I am bound to leave at the 
expiration of ten days' sojourn, was virtually a sheet of blank 
paper. I declare that when, with the inquisitiveness of a 
traveller just arrived in a strange land, I began to look to this 
side and to that from the windows of the carriage — it was a 
" high-toned " carriage, and bore a curious family resemblance 
to the " glass-coach," in which one used to go to wedduigs in 
England — in which we were being jolted over the much tram- 
rutted thoroughfares, on our way from the Scythias bertli on 
the North River to the Brevoort House, the most forcible impres- 
sion on my mind was to the effect that that most frugal and in- 
genious people, the Dutch, had been forced by the machinations of 
Prince Bismarck to evacuate Holland, and had suddenly colonised 



TRANSFORMATION OF NEW YORK. 



89 



the purlieus of Paradise-street, Liverpool, wliich by some preter- 
natural means or other had been transported across the Atlantic. 
The little red-brick houses, the high "stoops" or flights of 
wooden steps in front, the green "jalousie" shutters, the handi- 
crafts and shop business carried on in cellars, the amount of 
mopping, and scrubbing, and scouring going on, the endless pro- 
cession of open drays full of corpulent little kegs presumably full of 
Schiedam, all at first bespoke the neighbourhood of Amsterdam, 
Rotterdam, or the Hague. But no ; I was not in Holland. 
Locomotives and passenger cars are not accustomed, so f;ir as 
my remembrance serves me, to whizz through the ambient air on 
a level with the second-floor Avindows in the towns of the Low 
Countries ; and it was only when crossing one of the Avenues, — I 




ELEVATED RAILWAY, THIRD-AVENUE, NEW YORK. 



40 AMERICA EEVISITED. 

am sure I forget wlilcli, but I shall learn all their numbers and 
attributes in time — that I began to realise the fact that I had 
reached the only country which as yet possesses that not very 
artistic-looking but still distinctly beneficial institution, an " Ele- 
vated Railroad" — America. A great many people abuse it— or 
rather them, for there are at least two lines — yet everybody 
travels by the "Elevated" to the immense lacilitation of the 
traffic. To the complexion of the " Elevated " we may have to 
come ourselves some day in overgrown and congested London. 

I had scarcely, however, made up my mind that I was in the 
United States, when a change came over the spirit of my dream, 
and I found myself murmuring that surely I must be in Germany. 
Those unmistakably Teutonic names over the shop fronts, those 
bakeries, barbers, billiard rooms, shops for the sale of " under- 
wear " {itnterwahr 9) eating and drinking houses, lager-beer 
saloons, bowling alleys, and corner groceries — the whole redolent 
with a mild perfume of sauerkraut, sausages, and Bremen to- 
bacco, belonged obviously to the Fatherland — not, perhaps, so 
much to austere Berlin, or vivacious Vienna, or aesthetic Munich, 
or decorous Dresden, as to one of the Hanse Towns. The very 
people looked German, steady-going, sober-sided, tawny-haired, 
passably phlegmatic, but on scant provocation willing to quaft" 
multitudinous seidels of lager, in rivalry of the immortal toper 
(whose achievements have been recited in an English version of 
the German ballad by the Herr Hans Breitmann, otherwise my 
good friend Charles G. Leland) who swigged beer for three whole 
days at the Black Whale at Ascalon, till he grew " stiff as a 
broomstick on the marble bench." Yes, I was in Germany ; 
and I waited in fear and trembling to hear the strains of the 
" Wacht am Rhein," to see the warriors of Germania with their 
invincible " pickelhaube" helmets and their irresistible needle-guns 
march by "in squadrons and platoons, with their music playin 
chunes," and to feel that I was a " Philister." 

Not a bit of it. We jolted round a corner. We passed 
by a Monte Testaccio of potatoes, of evidently Irish extrac- 
tion. I saw Mike from Connemara smoking his dhudeen. Biddy 
M'Flinn was brushing up some blooming Newtown pippins with 
a corner of her woollen shawl, to make the fruit look spruce 
and tidy for market ; and Father O'Quigly the priest passed b}^ 
sleek and smihng, w^ith a broad-brinnned hat and a black broad- 
cloth coat reaching down to his heels. Father O'Quigly 
flourishes here exceedingly, and New York abounds not only 




BIDDY M'fLIXN AND FATHER o'qUIGLY. 



wit]) stately Roman Catholic cathedrals and churches, but also 
with admirably appointed orphanages, schools, and other Catholic 
cliarities.* Every creed and denomination indeed seems to 

* In tlit'se orphanages llllmLel•^5 of young girls are trained for domestic service ; 
and multitudes of Irish immigrant girls are constantly going into service, generally 
as cooks, although they are incapable of cooking anything more recondite than a 
potato. Germany and Scandinavia also furnish a continuous and numerous con- 
tingent of parlour-maids and nurse-maids, and in affluent families whose members, 
like " Mrs. Gen'l Giltiory," have " lived so long in Europe," it is not uncommon 
to find the care of the juveniles entrusted to French bonnes, whose smart aprons and 
tlainty Normandy canchoises make Fifth-avenue quite resplendent, and still further 
increase the decidedly Parisian aspect of some parts of New York. 



42 AMERICA REVISITED. 

vie with its neighbour in tending the poor, the disabled, and the 
sick, and in training up fatherless and neglected children, I 
suppose that the professors of the various religions quarrel , 
among themselves now and again — they would scarcely be 
human if they did not ; but, so far as information can be derived 
from the columns of the newspapers, the odium tlieologicum 
seems to be reduced just now to a minimum, and kindliness 
towards one's neighbour the chief doctrinal point insisted upon. 
I don't think that a journalist could make a very remunerative 
livelihood here by Avriting in a secular paper furious leading 
articles concerning the Thirty-nine Articles, the Athanasian 
Creed, and the Eastern Position. 

I am free, indeed, to confess that, as an old wrestler with 
wild beasts at Ephesus, and an inveterate grumbler, grievance- 
monger, and partisan, I am, up to this time of writing, 
sorrowfully disappointed with the coolness, almost amounting 
to indifference, with which Americans of culture seem to be 
treating things in general. People talk freely enough about 
" H. M. S. Pinafore," the musical genius of Mr. Arthur Sullivan, 
the wit and humour of Mr. W. S. Gilbert, and the talent and 
hanhomie of Mr. Frederick Clay, all of whom are at present 
among the choicest lions of New York fashionable society ; and 
the " Princess Toto " they talk about, the millions of dollars 
which ]\lr. James E. Keene is reported to be continually making 
in Wall-street speculations ; Mr. JMapleson's opera coming is 
frequently discussed ; people of culture and people who arc 
" intime " discourse concerning Mr. E. Burne Jones's pictures 
and Mr. Whistler's etchings ; but they have nothing to say on 
the Eastern Question ; and even the Nicaraguan Canal, Chinese 
cheap labour, the Customs Tariff, the chances of General Grant 
as a candidate at the next Presidential Election, Mormon 
polygamy, and the expediency of the gradual withdrawal of 
greenbacks from circulation fail, although touched upon in 
President Hayes's Message— which everybody had read two 
days before it was communicated to Congress — to excite any- 
thing beyond the most languid amount of interest. 

As for the Ptebellion, as for the greatest and most momentous 
Civil War that modern times have seen, it is never made a 
subject of conversation in polite society. What ! never ? AYell, 
scarcely ever. Now and then a Republican organ has a 
half-spitefnl, half-bantering paragraph about " Confederate 
Brigadiers '' and " the bloody shirt." Occasionally a Demo- 



TllANSFORMATION OF NEW YORK. 43 

[cratic journal recalls the exploits of tlie " carpet bac^gers," and 
[" revenue sneak thieves," and the scandals of the " Freedinen's 
''bureaux ; " but if a man talks too nuicli about Antietain and 
the Shenandoah Valley, about the bombardment of Charleston, 
and Sherman's march to the sea, he will incur as great a risk of 
being set down as an unmitigated bore, as in the days of our 
youth those high-stocked old gentlemen used to be who, after 
dinner, were wont to recount the entire history of the Waterloo 
campaign, marking Mont St. Jean, Hougoumont, La Belle 
Alliance, and the forest of Soignies with morsels of biscuits and 
walnuts ; the nut crackers illustrating Bluchers advancing force, 
and a little old port wine being spilt in a stream on the 
mahogany to symbolise the hollow road of Ohain. Should the 
Rebellion Bore persist in invoking phantoms which had much 
better be laid in the Red Sea, the chances are that his indignant 
hearers will vote him a "cold potato" and "run him out." You 
see that the victors in the great struggle are quite content with 
the triumphant end, as well they may be, and do not care to 
inquire about the means by which that end was brought about. 
The vanquished down south have a variety of things to think 
about — the principal object of their preoccupation being the practi- 
cability of keeping a particularly gaunt and famished wolf from the 
door. But even in that distressful region things are looking up. 
Thus, having traversed in imagination Holland, North 
Germany, and Ireland, I arrived at length at my destination, the 
Brevoort House, an hotel situated in a region to which I hesitate 
to assign a parallel in the way of locality. The truth would 
seem to be that within the last sixteen years the city of New 
York has become not only structurally but socially transformed, 
and that the Brevoort, although as comfortable and as aristo- 
cratically frequented as ever, is no longer situated in a fashion- 
able quarter. The Brevoort — it must be told in Gath — is now 
"down town." To what district in London shall I liken the 
quarter in which it is situated ? Russell or Bloomsbury-square ? 
Portland-place ? Bruton-street ? Well, it is something between 
the three, taking " up town " in New York to mean Belgravia 
and South Kensington on the one side and Tyburnia on the 
other. For the Central Park at New York you may take our 
Hyde Park, and the region surrounding the Fifth-avenue and 
Madison-square may tolerably well represent the Oxford-circus, 
as Union-square does the Piccadilly one. Beyond the Central 
Park the City continues to develop for miles and miles towards 



44 



AMERICA REVISITED. 




THE HARLEM RIVER, 



the Harlem river, and beyond it laterally into West Chester 
County. Suppose we compare the newly-settled region with 
the Regent's Park and the villa-covered acclivities of Belsize 
Park and Haverstock Hill. 

All this, I am perfectly well aware, is playing " confusion 
worse confounded " with the points of the compass, since a 
glance at the map will show you that there are no topographical 
ieatures in common between New York and London. In the 
last-named metropolis the shipping quarter is so far distant from 
the ftishionable districts of the city that there may be thousands 
of well-bred Londoners who, in the course of their whole lives, 
have never set eyes upon Wapping or Rotherhithe, Shadwell or 
Stepney ; and who, save when they condescend to go down by 
steamer to eat whitebait at the Ship or the Trafalgar at Green- 
wich, have never passed through the Pool. Obstinate exclu- 
sives in London may even shut out such things as tramways 
from their serene view ; but the most patrician dweller in Fifth- 
avenue cannot ignore the tramcars which are plying in all the 
avenues and cross streets skirting his residence ; and a Avalk 
down these cross streets either wa}^ must inevitably end in the 
not very remote prospect of docks, and piers, and wharves, and 



TRANSFORMATION OF NEW YORK. 




FREIGHT FOR EUROPE. A XEW YORK WHARF. 



I ferries, and all the hurry and bustle of a " Yo, heave ho ! " state 
of things. 

AVhen I came here first, Twenty-fifth-streot ^vas accounted 
as being sufficiently far " up town," and Fortieth-street wns 
Ultima Thule. Beyond that the course of town lots planned out 



46 



AMEllICA EEVISITED. 



and prospected, but structurally yet to come, was only marked 
by boulders of the living rock having weird fp'affitt eulogistic of 
the virtues of Drake's Plantation Bitters, the Night Blooming 
Cereus, the Balm of a Thousand Flowers, and Old Dr. Jacob 
Townsend's Sarsaparilla. What has become of those strange 
stencillings on the living rock? Where I remember Avilder- 
nesses I behold now terraces after terraces of lordly mansions 
of brown stone, some " with marble facades," * others wholly 




of pure white marble, gleaming like the product of Carrara in 
the clear blue sky, and lacking only a few palm trees and orange 
groves to surpass in beauty the villas of the Promenade des 
Anglais at Nice. Unless my friends in New York are laughing 
at me, this state of things architectural goes on up to One 

* When a InisiiiL'^s man comes to financial '^viei in New York and is accused by 
his credits lis of having lived extravagantly, it is generally iirged against him that he 
lived in " a brown stone house with a marble facade, kept fast trotting horses, and 
^ave champagne suppers to the " blonde belles of ' Black Crook ' burlesque." 



TRANSFORMATIOX OF NEW YORK. 



47 



Hundred and Ninetieth-street. It may go on still further for 
iu<^ht I know, right into West Chester County, and so on, and 
^^till on towards the Adirondack Mountains, until Niagara Falls 
i)C reckoned a tolerably fashionable " up-town " residence. Why 
Qot? London has come to Brentford, and means to go to 
Hounslow ; and some of these days will take in Uxbridge. Only 
the other day I was writing about Young London ; but the 
growth of Young Manhattan, as it is much more ra}3id, is also 
Imuch more astonishing than our own metropolitan transformation. 
jGrowing London absorbs suburbs, villages, and towns. Grow- 
ling New York has had nothing to absorb but the open. Its 
idevelopment almost belies the dictum of the illustrious French 
ichemist. It does create. 




VIEW IN CENTRAL PARK, NEW YORK. 





IV. 

All the Fun of the Fair. j 

New York, Dec. 3. 

I ENJOYED, some years since, tlie friendship of a small 
American girl-cliild — 1 do not tliink that she was more than i 
seven — who Avonld occasionally permit me to join with her ini 
a diversion wliicli, just then, was frequenth' and passionately 
pursued by her elders. Throughout the Great Civil War, the 
Northern people maintained two admirably beneficent organisa- 
tions, for the support of which many millions of dollars w^ere 
cheerfully subscribed. One was called the Christian Commis- 
sion, and ministered to the spiritual wants of the Federal 
soldiers. This C-ommission, unless I am mistaken, likewise 
provided a supply of Sisters of Mercy for the service of the 
hospitals. Then came the Sanitary Commission, which was, 
perhaps, the more po])ular body of the two, and which looked 
after the physical needs of the warriors in the sky-blue gaber- 



ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR. 49 

dines, supplementing their rations with the " goodies " of which 
Americans are so fond, providing them with extra articles of 
lothing, and, in short, making them comfortable in all kinds of 
"ways.* For the sustentation of the funds of the Sanitary Com- 
mission, periodical festivals of a charitable nature were held all 
over the loyal States, and these were called Sanitary Fairs. I 
remember to have attended at least a score of them. There 
used also to be balls, pie-nics, masquerades, " surprise 
parties," " church oyster stews," and " clam-bakes," always in 
aid of the funds of the Sanitary Commission ; and so numerous 
and brilliant were these merry-makings, that a distinguished 
American statesman (he was on the Northern side, too,) was 
once led in a moment of irritation to declare that the war had 
been to the North " a gigantic frolic." But a terribly stern 
purpose underlaid that frolic. 

As for the Sanitary Fair, it may be defined as having been 
a combination of our English fashionable fancy fairs, the old 
" wheel of fortune " bazaars at Margate and other English 
watering-places, and those philanthropic but eccentric Irish 
lotteries in which, with the praiseworthy object of raising money 
for the support of St. Somebody's Roman Catholic Orphanage, 
you take a ticket in a raffle, in which the grand prizes may be 
an Alexandre harmonium, a billiard table, or a phaeton and pair. 
^The winter of 1803, when war was hi its bitterest stage of 
exacerbation, was marked by an unusual plenitude of Sanitary 
Fairs. " Calico Balls," " Patriotic Romps," and Sanitary Fairs 
were continuous throughout the States undesolated by lire and 
sword ; and in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, 

i * Tliose communicative statists in tlie English morning papers who are so fond 
of enumerating how many thousands of pork pies, bottles of ginger beer, and penny- 
buns are consumed at the Annual Foresters' Fete at the Crystal Palace, or the 
Police Orphanage gathering at the Alexandra, would open their eyes wide with 
;i-ti>nisliment were the statistics presented to them of the quantities of "candies" 
forwarded to the valiant warriors of the Union by their affectionate friends in 
Xnrthern cities. The army of the Potomac, I should say, ate more lollipops in the 
Course of a month than the ladies of the Sultan's harem at Constantinople do in 
the course of a whole year ; and that is saying a good deal, since we have all 
lu-ard that the culinary department of the Commander of the Faithful comprises 
three hundred confectioners, whose sole duty it is to prepare " Lumps of Delight " 
and other sweetstuif for the Jchanoums of the Seraglio. The confectioners are all 
lilack, and they are made to sing Ethiopian melodies while at work to prevent their 
surreptitiously helping themselves to the boiling syrup ; if the superintendents 
ha\(i to leave their posts for a few minutes, they always chalk the sweetmeat-makers' 
lips in case of a sweet tooth getting the better of them. 

E 



50 AMERICA REVISITED. 

there was plenty of fun. The chiklren — the "small infantry" 
cannot be left out of account in any description of American 
social life, and, unlike Leigh Hunt's " small infantry," they do 
not habitually " go to bed by daylight," but, on the contrary, ■ 
stay up to all manner of hours — were prompt to imitate the 
rejoicings in which their grown-up relatives and friends took so 
much delight. " Now," would the small girl-child to whom 1 
referred — she is since married, I believe, to a wealthy speculator 
in Wall-street — say to me, " We play at Tanitary Fair. 'Oo j 
keep a candy-store, and me buy candy of 'oo." So we used to ! 
sit down on the carpet and play at Sanitary Fair. Her ideas I 
of the game were simple but peculiar. I was to provide an ! 
indefinite but tangible quantity of candy or sweetstuff of varying i 
saccharine capacity, from the toothsome but toothache-giving i 
cocoa-nut rock to the luscious chocolate cream. Did my stock- 
in-trade comprise a few marrons glaces, so much the better for i 
my youthful patroness. I 

You must understand that, in the days of Avhich I speak, 
the national currency was in a very mixed and perturbed state. 1 
Greenbacks were the legal tender, the smallest one being for ten ' 
cents or fivepence ; but there was a multitude of other notes , 
in circulation, the value of which you were apt to discover, 
when, at the railway depots, the clerks scornfully refused to 
accept in payment for fares the elaborately engraved promises 
to pay of the Ugly Mug Bank of West Wumscroggs or the 
United Freebooters' Bank of Kafoozlumville, Kansas. Boot- 
blacks and barbers in those days used to issue their own 
currency ; and tokens inscribed " Good for one shave," " Good 
for one polish up," Avere not uncommon. My young companion, 
in the game of Sanitary Fair, also presided over a Bank of Issue 
of her own particular devising. Her notion was that a Blue Point 
oyster shell w^as equivalent to an ounce of toffy ; that a torn enve- 
lope, bearing an obliterated inland postage stamp, represented 
three chocolate creams ; and that a piece of hardbake as big as 
your thumb was rather dear when exchanged for a wooden doll 
of the same size, undraped, with one arm, one leg, and a damaged 
nose. As she was accustomed to insist, first that her currency 
should be returned to her at the end of each game, and next that 
I should bring a fresh stock of candy to the front at the begin- 
ning of another — she used to beat me down frightfully in tlie 
sticky article known as " red hearts," which succulent goodies 
was constrained to let her have at the rate of four for 



ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR. 



51 



one hair-pin — I need scarcely say that, at the conclusion of our 
transactions, the balance of trade was largely against me. 

Bearing in mind one's old pastimes, 
can you tell me of a pleasanter pas- 
sage in "Chesterfield's Letters" than 
that in which the highly moral and 
exquisitely polished essayist recalls 
his school days at Westminster, and 
the hop-scotch and chuck-farthing of 
his youth. It was with a keenly 
cheerful interest that I noticed, soon 
after my arrival in New York, the 
announcement of the holding of the 
Fair of the Seventh Regiment of 
New York State I\Iilitia, at their 
Armoury in Lexington-avenue. This 
Fair has now been in full action for 
the last ten days, and u]3 to Thursday 
last, according to the newspapers, 
some $75,000 had been taken as 
gate-money — the price of admission 
to the fair being 50c. a head — and 
for shares in the innumerable lotteries 
organised within the building. I 
eagerly asked an American Iriend 
whether the Fair was really a 
" Boom," and whether I ought to 
visit it. I was told the Fair icas a 
"Boom," and no mistake. Now a 
"Boom," as I understand it, is the 
very reverse to a " fizzle," and the 
antipodes to a " fraud." A " Boom," 
whether it apply to the expected 
nomination of General Ulysses S. 
Grant for the next Presidency, the 
Nicaraguan Canal scheme, the Egyp- 
tian Obelisk — which (chiefly through 
the unwearied efforts of the Editor 

of the Neiv York World) is to be brought from Alexandria 
and set up in New York, obviously in order to bring about the 
utter collapse of our Cleopatra's Needle, and make the Luxor at 
Paris feel " mean" — the grain operations of Mr. J. R. Keene, and 

E 2 




DRUM-MAJOR OF THE NEW YORK 
SEVENTH REGIMENT. 



52 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



Mr. Vanderbllt's recent colossal sale of New York Central stock, 
those are all big things that for the moment make a big noise, 
and they are all consequently entitled to rank as " Booms." 
After a time the " Boom " has a tendency to go out with a 
splutter, and an unmelodious twang. 

When I inquired what the final cause of the " Boom " was, 
I learned that the Seventh Eegiment — which is a highly 
important and fashionable corps of militia, rivalling in efficiency 
of drill, discipline, and splendour of equipment the far-femed 
" Boston Tigers " — had built a grand new Armoury upon 
Lexington-avenue, for the performance of their manoeuvres and 
the storage of their weapons, and that the object of the Fair was 
to defray the cost of this edifice. Now Lexington-avenue is a. 
stately boulevard, which begins at Fourteenth-street, and extends 
north, between Third and Fourth-avenues, as far as the pretty 
expanse known as Gramercy Park. From Gramercy Lexington- 
avenue is continued as far nortli as Hamilton-square, at Sixtv- 




THE SEVE>'TH REGIMENT ARMOURY. 



ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR. 



53 



sixth-street, which existed not when I first came hither, and the 
name of which presents no Knk of purport or significance to my 
mind. But the huge brick building whicli forms tlie Seventh 
Regiment Armoury is, I tliink, at Sixty-third-street. If I. 
bhmder as to the exact numeral, who is to blame me, seeing that 
New York has increased in size full sevenfold since 1863? I 
ought to have mentioned, too, that after passing tln'ough 
Holland, Germany, and Ireland, on your way from the North 
River Pier to the Brevoort House, there is a densely populated 
French quarter, equally reminding you of the Rue St. Denis and 




A FRENCH BAKERY, NEW YORK. 

the Rue IMouffetard, south of Washington-square ; while at 
Madison-square, from the Fifth-avenue Hotel and Delmonico's, 
are the central structures attracting strangers. There branch at 
least half a dozen splendid counterparts of the Boulevard des 
Capucines, the Rue Scribe, the Avenue de I'Opera, the Rue du 
Quatre Septembre, and the Chaussee d'Antin. 

I have given to these letters the general title of " America 



5i AMERICA REVISITED. 

Revisited," but I have not seen America yet. I have only seen 
New York, and very little of that. I must wait, I suppose, until 
I get to Baltimore, and especially to Philadelphia, before I really 
feel that I am on Transatlantic soil ; and surely the sensation 
which I should properly have of being there has not been 
heightened by the aspect of the Empire City, which to me 
appears to be many degrees less American than when I was here 
last. Meanwhile, it is not at all unpleasant to dwell in Cosmopolis, 
to have at one's disposal a Turkey-carpeted, bird's-eye maple and 
plate-glass lined elevator which conveys you to tlie one hundred 
and ninety-fifth storey of the Tower of Babel, if you live in one 
of the big hotels, and to hear a confusion of tongues going on 
around you, till you begin to ask yourself seriously of what 
nationality you may personally be, and whether that stormy 
voyage across the Atlantic, per Cunard steamship Scythia^ was 
not, after all, a tempestuous dream. That I could not find my 
" sea legs " I owned in a former letter ; but I have as much 
difficulty in New York in finding my land legs. My perambu- 
lations are more of a perpendicular than of a horizontal nature. 
I am always going up and down in an elevator (not at the dear 
old Brevoort, where they have been thinking of having an 
" elevator " these seventeen years past, and have at length 
determined to have one, but it is not finished yet) ; and when I 
am free from the pleasant thraldom of the " lift," I find myself 
the slave of the horse tramway cars, or else scudding through 
space at an altitude of sixty or seventy feet above the street on 
the Elevated Railroad. 

Uncertainty, however, as to the particular Elevated Railroad 
station to which Sixty-third-street was nearest led me to patronise 
one of the neat little coupes which now stand for hire in front of 
the principal hotels in New York. Americans in the full posses- 
sion of their faculties rarely, I am told, use these handsome and 
commodious vehicles, of which the fare is one dollar, or four 
shillings, an hour ; and if your journey only extends to a hundred 
yards, or, as it may very often happen, a hundred paces, you 
Avill have to pay a dollar all the same. The New Yorker who 
is compos mentis jumps into a horse car, or ascends the staircase 
of the nearest Elevated station, and is, for a few cents, swiftly 
borne to his destination, however far up or far down town it 
may be ; but the foreigner who does not " know the ropes " — 
that is to say, who is crassly ignorant — must be, after a manner, 
topographically distraught. Americans should be tender to him, 



ALL THE FUN OF THE FATE. 55 

I think, for lie knows not wliere lie is, nor what to do for the 
est. Under these circumstances the coupes at a dollar an hour 
,re a smiling boon. The carriages are neat, clean, and even 
legant, with rugs inside to keep you warm. They are capitally 
^vell horsed, and the drivers are civil Irishmen. No j^ourhoire 
lis expected, although, of course, a trifle for "a drink " would not 
be refused ; the men drive quickly and cleverly ; and you may 
get over an immense amount of ground for 3^our dollar. 
Altogether, a New York hack coupe is superior structurally, 
decoratively, and locomotively to one of our four-wheelers, as a 
Havanna regalia is superior to a " twopenny smoke " at a 
suburban tobacconist's. But mark this: the London "growler," 
infected and unsavoury old vehicle as it undoubtedly is, and 
deserving all kinds of contemptuous disparagements, possesses 
two distinct advantages, of wdiich the neat, prett}^, and expe- 
ditious coupe is destitute. The "growler" will convey four 
passengers instead of two, the coupt^'s complement ; and its 
much-enduring roof will carry besides any quantity of heavy 
trunks, to say nothing of your portable bath, your perambulator, 
and your bicycle. 

We reached the Fair about nine o'clock in the evening, and 
found the thoroughfares surrounding the capacious and stately 
Armoury building flooded by the electric ligjit ; nor was this 
brilliancy by any means a superfluity, for the gas in New York 
seems to be somewhat weak ; and when the stores are closed, the 
lighting of the streets, although the lamps are very numerous, 
appears to leave much to be desired. An analogous objection 
will apply to the pavement. There is plenty of it — at least the 
sidewalks are abundantly flagged ; but in the side thoroughfares 
ruts and fissures, and those viatorial complications which the 
Irish term " curiosities " abound. As for the roadway, it is so 
hopelessly cut up by the trams intersecting each other in every 
imaginable direction, that you scarcely know whether the middle 
of the street is paved or not ; and the discomfort of walking is 
increased by the circumstance that the inhabitants of the houses 
are still permitted to deposit ashes and other refuse in barrels 
placed at stated intervals along the kerbstone. In a free country 
the people have, of course, the right to "dump" their ashes 
wheresoever they please ; but when a stiff north-east wind is 
blowing, every ash-barrel becomes the centre of a little sirocco of 
its own. The dust and other refuse perform "Sahara waltzes" of 
an erratic but distracting character, and you are half blinded by 



56 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



the flying particles. Tiiese observations do not, of course, apply to 
the fashionable thoronghtares, in which promenading is as facile 
and as pleasant as it is on the Paris Boulevards or in our Regent 
Street. It is only in the back streets that you feel from time 
to time that the Commissioners of something or another, or the 
Board of you know not what, might do something for the pave- 
ment and the dust nuisance. But what American in his senses 
walks about the back streets of New York, unless he have direct 
business on hand taking him to a specified locality? To my 
misfortune, I have been during twoscore years prowling about 
back streets all over the world, and taking note of them. 

The arrangements for setting down and taking up at places 
of public amusement in New York strike me as being admirable. 
There is no hurry, no confusion, no rudeness, no extortion, and 
no unnecessary delay. An adequate force of stalwart, intelligent, 
and obliging policemen is always on hand. I am perfectly well 
aware that the New Y^ork poHce are being violently abused by 
the papers for the addictedness to " clubbing " people — that is 
to say, to brain them on slight provocation with their truncheons : 
all I know is that they did not " club " me, and that whenever I 

asked a question of a con- 
stable he answered me 
politely. When you alight 
from your coupe, a ticket 
bearing a number is handed 
to you. Another ticket 
bearing the same number 
is given to your coachman, 
who knows where to take 
up his stand, and who 
promptly responds to the 
summons of the police 
when he is wanted. There 
is no frenzied shrieking of 
"Mrs. Smith's carriage" 
stopping the way. No- 
body's carriage stops the 
way. Mrs. Smith is Num- 
ber Sixty, or Number One 
Hundred and Ten, as the 
case may be, and when the carriage is called it comes. Such, 
at least, was my experience at the Seventh Regiment Fair. 




ARMS OF THK NEW YORK SEVENTH REGIMENT. 



ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR. 57 

So we paid our fifty cents at the Armoury, the cliecktakers 
being ten privates of tlie Seventh Regiment in full uniform, 
who were not only imposing examples of the New York State 
militiamen, but also, to my mind, very favourable specimens of a 
type of humanity which, ethnologically as well as socially, is 
coming to the front in a very conspicuous manner — I mean the 
young New Yorker. According to Dr. George M. Beard, an 
eminent American physician, Avho has just published in the North 
American Beview a remarkable paper on the physique of the 
two great sections of the Anglo-Saxon race, tlie type of 
Transatlantic virility consists in " chiselled features, great fine- 
Mness and silkiness of the hair, delicacy of the skin, tapering 
jextremities,'' the whole attended by chronic and excessive 
Inervousness. Now this seems to me — when accompanied by a 
(turn-over collar of large dimensions and a dreamily uplifted eye 
I — to constitute what we used to recofirnize when we were youns: 
jas the Byronic type ; and the number of Byronic sets of features 
(that I have noticed, not only at the fair and at the opera, but 
jamong nearly every class of well-to-do New Yorkers, is quite 
astonishing. 

I may be laughed at by the unthinking among my own 
countrymen, Avhen I say that some of the handsomest young 
fellows I have ever seen in my travels have been American hotel 
clerks, assistants in stores, and sleeping car conductors. Some 
adventitious aids to comeliness these Transatlantic Adonises 
nay have, through their constant sacrifices to one at least of the 
jrraces of the Toilette. Every American who does not wish to 
3e thought "small potatoes" or a "ham-fatter" or a "corner 
oafer," is carefully " barbed " and fixed up in a hair-dressing 
5aloon every day. The young clerk or assistant who in England 
either shaves himself or gets shaved in the (nearest and earliest) 
Darber's shop for a penny or three half-pence, and who thinks four- 
)ence quite enough for the raw and unskilful cutting of his hair, 
las no corresponding type of simplicity, or, if you will liave it so, 
carelessness, in the United States. His congener in America 
'egularly and punctually repairs to a hair-dressing saloon where 
lis head is shaved and shampooed, where his hair is washed and 
mointed and invigorated by bay-rum, where, if he likes, it is 
curled ; and where, in any case, it is carefully combed, brushed, 
md " fixed," in a style which a 3'oung Enghshman would either 
idmire or sneer at as tonsorial dandyism in the superlative 
legree. To be sure an English clerk or shop assistant very 



AMERICA REVISITED. 




HAIR-DRESSING SALOOX, NEW YORK. 

rarely cherishes the hope of being one day Her Majesty's I 
Ambassador at Paris, Chief Secretary of State for the Home s 
Department, or Governor of the Bank of England ; whereas a i 
juvenile American, earning a salary of say six dollars a week, i 
whose ideas rim in the proper channels and Avhose head isj 
screwed on the right way, rarely looks at himself in the glass, ' 
after he has been "lixed" by the barber, without seeing reflected 
in the mirror the features of a future President of the United 
States or of a Minister Plenipotentiary or Judge of the Supreme 
Court, or a big hotel proprietor at the very least. Is it a good ■ 
thing to be devoured by ambition? I must leave the question' 
to be discussed by young men just entering life. It strikes my 
limited intelligence that our young English business men are 
not ambitious about anything save in attaining excellence as 
cricketers, bicyclists, and lawn-tennis players ; whereas the'young 
American appears to be continually possessed by a settled purpose 
and determination to do somethhiar and become somethins; " big." 
Dr. Beard says that the nervousness of the third generation 
of Germans who have become American citizens is full as 
remarkable as that of the Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Irish natives: 
and that young men whose parents on both sides were born ir| 
Germany exhibit all the features of the American type as just 
set forth. That type is, to me, the Byronic — I mean the pic-l 



ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR. 59 

torially Byronic — for people who knew the author of " Childe 
Harohl " in the flesh have repeatedly warned me that he was not 
nearly so comely as he has been represented to be by the 
painters and sculptors. I shall see, it may be, a great many 
varying types of manhood before I leave this country. 1 am 
going South, and hope to go very far West ; but there need be 
no beating about the bush, and no paying of fulsome compli- 
ments in saying that the young men of New York are an 
eminently good-looking race. One reason for this general come- 
liness may be tlie abstemiousness of the modern American. I 
am bound to believe so distinguished an authority as Dr. Beard 
when he states that, "although the Americans are fast eaters, or 
used to be so a quarter or half a century ago, yet, in the quantity 
both of food and drink which they consume, they are surpassed 
both by the English and by the Germans .... The American 
of the higher class uses but little fluid of any kind. The 
enormous quantities of alcoholic liquors, including beer, used in 
the United States are used to a large extent by Irish and 
Germans, and by those who live in the distant West or South. 
There are thousands of Americans who, from year to year, drink 
no tea or coffee, and but very little water." 

It is refreshing to hear this concerning a people among whom, 
when I first knew them, there was a terrible consumption of 
cocktails, and who even at irregular times of the day were 
accustomed to "take the oath." "Taking the oath" meant, 
when you paid a visit to a friend's house, accidentally finding a 
bottle of Bourbon whiskey and a pitcher of iced water in the 
recesses of a bookcase, or in a corner of the conservatory, or 
behind a statuette of Mr. Hiram Powers' "Greek Slave," and 
straightway swearing fealty to the Republic by " liquoring up." 
So far as my brief experience goes I can vouch for the strict 
accuracy of Dr. Beard's statement touching the temperance of 
Americans of the higher class. In the restaurant of the hotel 
where I dine at not one of a dozen tables have I seen any wine 
or beer served. With grief and shame also do I note Dr. 
Beard's strictures on English intemperance. "A number of 
years past," he observes, " I was present in Liverpool at an 
ecclesiastical gathering composed of leading members of the 
Established Church, from the Archbishops and Bishops through 
all the gradations. At luncheon, alcoholic liquors were served 
in a quantity that no assembly of any profession in this country 
could have desired or tolerated." This is bad; but worse 



60 



AMERICA KEVISITED. 



remains beliiiid. " To see how an Englishman can drink," 
remarks the writer in the NoTth Ainerican Review^ " is alone 
worthy the ocean-voyage. On the steamer a prominent clergy- 
man of the Established Church sat down beside me, poured out 
half a tumblerful of whiskey, added some water, and drank it almost 
at one swallow. He w^as an old gentleman — sturdy, vigorous, 
energetic — whose health was an object of comment and envy. 
I said to him, ' How can you drink that ? In America, men of 
your class cannot drink in that way.' He replied, ' I have done 
it all my life, and I am not aware that I was ever injured by it.' " 
The Fair was as other fancy fairs — a kind of International 
Exhibition in miniature ; and it was replete with all the usual 
fun of the fancy fair in the shape of the fascinating and ravish- 
ingly-dressed ladies who kept the stalls, and strove their 
enchanting best to dispose of tickets in the lotteries, of which 
the name was legion. I kept at a respectful distance from 
vScylla and Charybdis in the way of counters ; and, remembering 
that in 1878 I was asinine enough to purchase a hundred and odd 




THE NEW YORK SEVENTH KEGIMENT FAIR. 



ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR. 



61 



tickets in the Paris Exhibition Lotter}^, and that I never won so 
much as a kilogramme of candles or a bottle of citrate of mag-nesia, 
I prudently abstained, while 
tmder the hospitable roof of 
the Seventh Regiment, from 
speculating in raffles by 
means of which I might 
have won a T-cart and a 
trotting mare, a gold 
mounted rifle, a C bickering 
pianoforte, a Tiffany goblet 
of oxidised silver, and, for 
aught I know, a Pullman 
car, a patent turnip-slicer, 
and an ice-cream soda- 
making establishment com- 
plete. There was an 
enormous doll's-house, too, 
which tempted me sorely, 
and a christening party, 
composed of male and 
female dolls, arrayed at 
the summit of the newest 
Paris fashions. An excru- 
ciatingly comic performer 
in the doll's comedy was a 
black footman, who had 
^apparently got " tight " at 
an early stage of the pro- 
ceedings, and who was 
reclining in a chair in a 
corner, in a wretchedly limp 
and Guy Faux-like condi- 
tion, and with a copy of the 
NciD York Herald under 
his arm. But I preserved 
my strength of mind, and 
stood aloof from temptation 
in the way of lotteries. 
Altogether the " Boom " was as grand as brilliant illumination, 
martial music, and an immense crowd of well-dressed gentlemen 
,aud elegant ladies could make it. 




THE SEVENTH KEGIMENT MEMOKIAL STATUE 
IN CENTRAL PARK. 




DELINQUENTS IX CUSTODY OF NEW YORK POLICEMEN. 



V. 

A Morning with Justice. 

New York, Bee. 4. 

"Who's yon Gal with the Sore Eye?" asks 'Zekiel 
Homespun, in the American farce, when in the ante-room of a 
courthouse lie beholds the effigy of a classically-attired lady with 
a pair of scales in one hand and a sword in the other, and with 
her optics partially veiled, as tradition has laid down that they 
should be so. 'Zekiel Homespun, you will remember, was the 
type of the American farmer who was wont to boast that his 
father " fit in the Revolution," inasmuch as " he druv a baggidge 
waggin," and that he was "wownded," to the extent of being 
" kickit by a myowle." It is explained to Mr. Homespun that 
the effigy of the "gal with the sore eye" represents Themis. 
It was in pursuit of this damsel that I recently left my bed at an 
extremely matutinal hour, and that, through the intermediary of 
sundry kind friends in New York, I was enabled to make a 
careful, although brief, study of the Seamy Side of life in that 
surprising capital, by takuig note of one morning's administration 
of criminal justice. It was my desire to behold Bow Street in 
Manhattan. A few years ago I beheld Bow Street on the 
Bosphorus ; that is to say, I sate on the bench by the side of her 
Britannic T^Iajesty's Consular Judge at Constantinople, as he 




• klx 



V^\ 



'Arf^y^fe^^ 



U\ 



m 



'm) ^\l\jAil'{^\ 



CAUICATUKKh OF SOME WELL KNOWN TYPES. 

(Vtom the New I'oik Daily Giaiihic). 



P. 02. 



A MORNING WITH JUSTICE. G3 

heard the night charges from Galata, and complaints from 
Scotch captains whose ships were moored in the Golden Horn 
against Irish sailors who had turned restive during the voyage 
from Odessa. When the court had risen, we went over the 
consular prison, where we saw, under a shed in the yard, a 
gentleman under sentence of penal servitude for forgery, grind- 
ing in a very leisurely manner at the crank, and another gentle- 
man in a cell, who looked gloomy ; and well he might, seeing 
that he was in hold on a vehement suspicion of murder, and that 
the probabilities were strongly in favour of his being tried, 
convicted, and sentenced to death by the consular judge, and of 
his being then comfortably sent to Malta to be hanged. It was 
odd, while listening to these purely British matters, to peep 
through the barred windows of the prison corridors at the blue 
Bosphorus with its dancing caiques, and in the distance at 
Seraglio Point, and the domes and minarets of Stamboul. 

From the Turkish to the English Bow-street, and thence to 
the cognate tribunal in New York, is a farther cry than to 
Lochawe ; but humanity in its scoundrelly aspect presents very 
strong points of similarity. All the world over, rascals are your 
true cosmopolitans ; and in the course of the morning, which I 
spent with Justice in New York, I was many times inclined to 
forget that I had crossed the " big pond," and apt to think that 
the sitting magistrate was Sir James Ingham or Mr. Flowers, 
and that his worship was dealing, not with the frailties of the 
Bowery river and the aberrations of Greenwich-street, but with 
the nocturnal escapades of Seven Dials and the peccadilloes of 
Drury-lane. I must premise by reminding you that the courts 
of petty sessions in New York have a very extended jurisdiction, 
and deal with highly important, albeit somewhat repulsive, social 
matters. The total number of persons arraigned before the 
police courts of the Empire City daring the year ending 
October 31, 1878, was 78,533, of whom 56,004: were males and 
22,529 — a dismally large proportion — females. Out of this ag- 
gregate 51,780 were " held " for adjudication, and the remainder 
were discharged. These included all cases of felony, misde- 
meanour, and summary trials, or what we term night charges. 

In addition to the above, 243 male and 72 female persons 
were committed to the House of Detention " for witnesses." 
This, which at the first blush would seem to be a strange 
violation of the liberty of the citizen, is the American substitute 
for the English system of binding over the witnesses for the pro- 



C4 



AMERICA EEVISITEU. 





Ml i 

AflfTli , .T^( ' tit, 



LODGING-ROOM AT STATION-HOUSE. 



sedition in tlieir own recognisances to appear at the trial. A 
respectable witness who can give substantial bail would not of 
course be clapped into gaol to await the finding of a true bill or 
otherwise by the grand jury ; but in the case of a witness wdiose 
antecedents are doubtful, whose social status is equivocal, and 
whose hona fides is vague, and who might in all likelihood " skip 
the town," or show^ justice a clean pair of heels before matters 
came to the consummation of Oyer and Terminer, American 
criminal juris]Drudence very practically holds that the best 
possible recognisances that the future testifier can possibly give 
are his own proper person. So they lock him up, in non-affiictive 
imprisonment — that is to say, he has unstinted opportunities for 
" loafing," during his detention until the time of trial. I suppose 
that this system, wdiich is decidedly repugnant to our ideas of 
individual freedom, is found to work well in the States. In 
any case, it has undergone no material alteration since its 
prevalence w^as mentioned — and mentioned with reprehension — 
by Charles Dickens, in his " American Notes," more than five- 
and-thirty years ago. On the other hand, bail on criminal 



A MORNING WITH JUSTICE. 65 

charg-es, even to the most serious ones, is much more freely 
granted in New York — I am careful, you will perceive, to 
particularise one State, because I do not know what may be the 
practice in other commonwealths of the Union — than it is in 
England, where within recent times there has been a growing- 
disposition among stipendiary magistrates to regard bail, not as 
what it constitutionally is in all cases save felony, a right, but as 
a privilege to be arbitrarily extended or withheld, according to 
the magistrate's opinion of the prisoner. This is specially 
noticeable in cases of assault. 

My experiences of a " ]\[orning with Justice " would be also 
comparatively without value were I to omit a brief mention of 
the relative nativity of the various persons arraigned before the 
police-courts. Broadly speaking, I believe that I am not much 
beyond the mark in saying that, in point of population, New 
York is the first Irish and the third German city in the world. 
These are, indeed, portentous statistics. I have repeatedly 
heard it said that New York is the second Teutonic city ; but I 
wish rather to over-estimate than under-estimate a computation 
which can only be unerringly verified by the next census 
returns. Of the 51,780 persons " held to answer," fined, 
committed in defixult of bail, or sent to reformatory institutions, 
the several nativities were as follows : 22,571 came from the 
United States, 19,021 from Ireland, 6,358 from Germany, 1,444 
from England, 614 from Scotland, 379 from France, 406 from 
Italy, 981 from other countries; and the nationality of 11 
persons was not ascertained. There were only 719 males and 
629 females of coloured extraction in the aggregate, but the 
very large proportion of female to male prisoners of African 
descent is certainly remarkable. In the way of fines, between 
the police-courts, the courts of special sessions, and the mulcts 
paid, after conviction, to prison warders, there were collected in 
1878 some 53,000 dollars, say £10,600. 

For the purpose of equitably deaHng out justice among this 
great army of misdemeanants, New York is divided into six 
districts. It was at the court held at Jefferson-market, a few 
minutes' walk from the Brevoort House, that I spent my morn- 
ing with Justice, and the Csesar who sat in judgment on that 
particular morning, was Mr. Charles A. Flammer, the President 
of the Board of Police Justices, from whose fifth annual official 
report I have gathered the foregoing statistics. The office of 
police-justice — or stipendiary magistrate, as we should term it — 



r 



66 AMERICA REVISITED. 

is, like tlie majority of judicial appointments in the United 
States, an elective one, and is held for a term of years. The 
work is extremely hard — certainly harder than that of a London 
police magistrate — and demands the possession not only of a 
large amount of legal acumen, but also a reserve of strong 
common sense. The salary is about equal to that paid to our 
own stipendiaries ; but it must be borne in mind that the post is 
not permanent, that the cost of living is much higher in New 
York than in London, and that there is no retiring pension to 
the veteran and worn-out distributor of justice. I was pre- 
sented to Mr. Flammer through the intermediary of a friend, 
who is the editor of a New York newspaper, and by a gentle- 
man whom I had known in former years, not only as a con- 
spicuous politician, but as District Attorney or Public Prosecutor 
for New York. Nothing could have been greater than the 
courtesy and kindness shown to me by the magistrate in placing 
me face to face with Justice, and explaining to me the inner 
mechanism of his tribunal, from the tabulation of the charges to 
the ultimate bourne of the prisoners charged. 

Jefferson-inarket Court-house, which adjoins a real market, 
overflowing with the good things of this life, is a very spacious 
and lofty building of red brick, with stone casings to the doors 
and windows. The pile is flanked by a lofty and imposing 
tower, the purpose of which I shall presently explain. Li fact, 
the entire structure is as commodious, and as handsome, as I 
trust that new Bow-street Police Court will prove to be, Avhicli 
the Office of Works are building in view of the wretched and 
squalid structure over the way, which has so long been a dis- 
grace to the administration of summary justice in the British 
metropolis.* The police court-room at Jefferson-market is a 

* The new Bow-street Police Court is now an accomplished fact. I leave the 
passage standing in which I mentioned the old and , abominable den ; because I 
"hammered away " at it in the columns of the press for years, almost as sedulously 
as I hammered away at that other scandalous nuisance — Temple Bar. Persons of 
my profession in England have not much to be thankful for. The journalist is 
assuredly no favourite of fortune. We work desperately hard, and looking at the. 
work we do and the immense fortunes which we materially help the jiroprietors of 
the newspapers to make we are but poorly paid. The English journalist has no 
definitely ascertained social jiosition. The courts of law do not even consider him 
to be a professional person — much less a " gentleman " fit to serve on the Grand 
Jury ; and he is liable at any moment to be summoned on a petty juiy, and to 
sit day after day at the Old Bailey or the Middlesex Sessions trying pick-pockets 
and pot stealers ; while his next door neighbours in the street where he lives — the 
solicitors, the surgeons, the architects and surveyors — are excused from serving. He 



A MOENI^^G WITH JUSTICE. 67 

lofty, well-ventilated, and generally comely apartment, with 
fittings of some dark wood very tastefully carved. Right across 
one extremity of the room runs a high raised partition or bar, 
behind which is the bench, a roomy, carpeted area ; in the centre 
of which the police justice is throned in a comfortable arm-chair, 
his clerks being seated at desks on either side of their chief. 
This arrangement obviates ranch inconvenience, and loss of 
time, in handing np official documents to the magistrate, who 
has all his judicial apparatus, from a volume of statutes to a 
-commitment warrant, at hand and at conmiand ; and, irreverent 
■as may be the simile, the magistrate, behind his high counter, 
assumes the guise of a kind of Rhadamanthus " bar-tender," who 

may have an extended knowledge and experience of politics, and lie may be a 
iiuent and sensible speaker, but seats in j)arliament being naarketable commodities 
nsnally fall to tlie sbare of the highest bidder. The doors of the House of 
Commons are partially closed against the journalist ; if he has had the means or the 
"Opportunity in early life of getting called to the bar, he may possibly when he is 
bordering on fifty years of age, obtain a County Court Judgeship, or the post of a 
stipendiary somewhere in the manufacturing districts ; but if he be not a barrister, 
the very most which the chief of the political party to which during half his life he 
has done yeoman's service, can do for him, is to fling him, very much as though it 
■was a pennyworth of cat's-meat — a vice-consulate at Caqueville-sur-Mer, or a 
consulate in the Cruel Islands. And, unless he fails to obtain either a County 
Court Judgeship, or a consulate, he dies, in harness, and Avhen it is discovered that he 
ihas not left .£50,000 invested in the elegant simplicity of the Three per Cents, and 
that his wife and children are comparatively destitute, many heads are dolefulh" 
shaken over the extravagance and lack of thrift of literary men ; and if a public 
■subscription lie made to assist those whom he has left, the usual sneering allusions 
to " sending the hat round " are indulged in. I should have mentioned that the 
journalist, if he happens to achieve eminence in his calling, is expected to contribute 
largely to miscellaneous charitable institutions, and that he is the prey of all the 
■ begging letters in London ; nor should it be omitted (for the benefit of foreigners, 
and especially of Americans) to hint that however eminent an English journalist 
may be, there is not an idiotic lordling, nor a smooth-faced sub-lieutenant in a 
jnarching regiment, who does not consider himself fully justified in calling the 
Avriter in a newspaper " an anonymous scribbler," or a " wretched penny-a-liner." 
This is the ordinary fate of the follower of a vocation in Avhich the kicks are many 
.-and the halfpence few ; but there are consolations and compensations for my 
brethren and myself. We possess the power to redrtss grievances and to serve good 
■and iiseful purposes. We have the ^ opportunity for "hammering away" at 
nuisances and misfortunes, to denoimce the jobbing minister, to expose the netarioui 
speculator, to shame the intolerant priest, to rebuke the unjust judge : and, on t.h(! 
•other hand, to plead the cause of the poor and oppressed, the fainting and feeble 
folks. We are foiled and baffled sometimes: — Avitness that hideous insult to 
propriety and good taste, the Griffin in Fleet-street ; but I mean to keep on 
" hammering away" at that disgrace to the city, as I " hammered away " at old 
Temple Bar, and old Bow-street Police Court ; and I hope, before I die, to see the 
•Griffin in the gutter. 

F 2 



68 AMERICA REVISITED. J 

mixes you precisely tlie sort of " drinlv " wliicli lie thinks most 
suitable for you — from a short drink of ten days in the City Prison 
to six months on the Island, which is decidedly a long drink. 

Between the magisterial dais and the body of the com't there 
is another space, securely railed oif from the section set aside for 
the public, and having lateral access to the depot for prisoners. 
In this space, 1 suppose, are situated the dock, the solicitors' 
and counsel's table, and the witness-box, or " stand," as the 
place of testimony is called on this side the Atlantic. I say 
that I suppose ; but 1 really cannot tell Avith accuracy — first, 
because my organs of vision are lamentably faulty, and, next, 
because the order of procedure in a New York police-court is 
very peculiar, and amounts in substance to the following : — A 
stalwart policeman brings the prisoner's body forward, but with- 
out, in any way, hustling him or " dragging him along." He 
merely seems to present the individual in trouble to the magis- 
trate, with an air as though he Avere asking, " Now, what do 
you think of this specimen of humanity, your honour ? " A 
very choice specimen of humanity the prisoner usually turns out 
to be. The prosecutor stands cheek by jowl with the person 
whom he accuses, and the witnesses for and against the defendant 
are all close at hand. There is a crier or usher, who administers 
the oaths to witnesses ; and now and again the head of a gentle- 
man — generally well bearded and eye-glassed — is popped out of 
the group, and the head proves to belong to the attorney, or the 
counsel for the prosecution or for the defence. Anything more 
informal, and at variance with our cut-and-dried traditional 
notions of the administration of justice, it would be difficult to- 
imagine. But it is from beginning to end highly practical. 

Half-a-dozen times during the hearing of a case the foreigner 
begins to be nervous lest the witnesses on either side should fall 
foul of one another — they do indulge, it is true, in violent 
personal recrimination — lest the prosecutor should " go for " the 
prisoner, or vice versa, or lest the lady or gentleman in trouble 
should suddenly take it into his or her head to emulate the 
exploit of Jemmy O'Brien, as recorded in the stirring lyric of 
" Garryowen," by leaping over the dock, "in spite of the judge 
and the jury." It is true that there is no jury, unless a concourse 
of the sovereign people who fill the benches in the body of the 
court can be taken as representing the " twelve honest men," 
multiplied to a considerable extent. Yet this seemingly 
" higgledy-piggledy " manner of doing things seems to me, in the 







RAGPICKERS COURT, MULBERRY STREET, NEW YORK. 



P. 69. 



A MORNING WITH JUSTICE. 69 

long run, to be eminently sensible and bnsiness-like. There 
is a sufficient number of policemen at band to take good care of 
"the prisoner should he exhibit premonitory symptoms of turning 
"ugly," or of "raising Cain and breaking things." The 
magistrate, on his high dais, is tolerably safe from the peril of 
having a leaden inkstand or an iron-heeled shoe flung at him by 
an irate defendant — dangers to which Enghsli stipendiaries 
are not mifrequently exposed — and ha-s besides the inestimable 
advantage of hearing every word that the parties have to say 
and of looking at them all " straight between the eyes." 

In most police cases, all over the world, there is, I take it, 
an immense amount of lying. Sometimes the mendacity is on 
the part of the complainant, sometimes on that of the defendant, 
and occasionally it is on the side of the police, who have so far 
the better of their adversaries in the circumstance that their 
experience in mis-statement and prevarication is lengthened and 
varied ; and in the telling of fibs, as in most other things, practice 
makes perfect. Now, the main object of a police-magistrate is 
to get at the truth, and to find out who is stating the thing which 
is not ; and the system pursued at Jefierson-market Court ap- 
peared to me peculiarly calculated to bring about such a desirable 
consummation. For example, one of the cases turned on an 
" interfamiliar " row in a tenement house." Mrs. Jones accused 

■^ The Xow York " tenement house " corresponds with the loAver-class unfurnished 
lodgings of London. Its occupants are chietiy the poorer mechanics, Labourers and 
•their families, foreigners and the like. It is considered almost disreputable to live 
in one of them, and the native-boj-n clerks and artizans who cannot afford a house 
of their own, seem to prefer the " boarding house " and its sempiternal " hash " to 
the comparative freedom which the " tenement house '"' affords. One of the most 
pictures(|ue and at the same time unsavoury blocks of tenement houses, is situate in 
' Mulberry-street, near the Bowery, and is known as '• Rag-picker's court " from the 
calling pursued by the bulk of its inhabitants. A cellar in the front house opens 
to the street, and peering down one sees a score of men and women half buried in 
l^iles of dii'ty rags and paper which they are sorting and packing for the mill. The 
place serves as a general depot to which the rag-picker brings his odds and ends for 
sale after he has sorted them. Two passages ruiniing through this and the neigh- 
bouring house, lead into a small badly paved courtyard which separates the front 
buildings from those in the rear. Looking up, the spectator Ijeholds rags to the 
right of him, rags to the left of him, on all sides rags, nothing but rags. Lines in 
the yard are strung with them, balconies festooned with them, tire-escapes draped with 
them, windows hung with them ; in short every available object is dressed in rags of 
every possible size, shape, and colour. Some have been drawn through the wash-tub 
to get rid of the worst of the dirt, but for the most part they are hung up just as they 
are taken from the bags, and left for the rain to cleanse and the sun to bleach them. 

The yard is in an abominable condition, and the rooms, the upper of which are 
reached by external staircases, are but little better. Every inch of the Avails and 



70 



AMERICA EEVISITED. 



Mrs. O'Flalierty of breaking into lier bed-room -wliere she was 
lying sick, and proposing to pour a pailful of boiling water over 
lier. Mrs. O'Flalierty made a comiter-accusation against Mrs. 
Jones, first of having called her " out of her name in a most bare- 
faced and onlady-like manner," next of having, without any 
reasonable cause, violently "spanked" three of her, Mrs. 
O'Flalierty 's, children, and finally of having incited one Mr. 

ceilings is as black as ink. Against tins dark back-ground are Imng old hats of odd 
colours and odder shapes, musical instruments of various kinds, pots, kettles, pans,, 

joints of raw meat, 
strings of sausages, 
■women's gowns and l.iig; 
pipes. The beds are al- 
1 Host in\'ariably covered 
with old carpets retain- 
ing something of their 
original colours. None 
of the chairs have liacks- 
and hardly any of them 
four legs. Seated on 
these uncertain sup- 
ports, or oftener on au 
emi)ty l)ox, or iqiturned 
boiling pot, are the rag- 
pickers sorting old rags, 
or cutting up old gar- 
ments that are too rotten 
to wear, and stuffing the 
l)its into l)ags for the 
marine store, or "junk"' 
dealer, as he is styled 
in New York. In some 
of the rooms the horri- 
ble odour of rottenness 
is sufficient to knock 
one down; and only those habituated to such pestilent smells could e?ast in tin- 
place. These rag-2:)ickers are mostly Italians. 

They might certainly find cleaner — if not to their minds more comfortaljle — quar- 
ters, a little way off in the poor man's lodging house known as " Shiloh Shelter," at 
the corner of Prince and jMarion-streets. The building was formerly a church, but in 
1875 a philanthrojnc merchant, Mr. C. H. Dessart, rented it, fitted up the pews and 
benches as bimks, and erected frames of timber from Avhich hammocks were slung, 
so as to afford accommodation for some 450 lodgers. At first the lodgings were free, 
tickets being distributed at the police stations with requests to give them to resjiect- 
able but destitute men. It was found, hoAvever, that the privilege was abused, and 
now a nominal charge is made for a lodging ; a bunk in a pew costing three cents m 
night, and a hammock five. In the morning a breakfast of boiled "mush," a kind 
of jiorridge, is served, and every one can have as much as he wants for a couple of 
cents. Towels, soap, hot water in aljundanco, Inittons, needles and thread, are also 




il^rrlits-.— ,'J 



AT SHILOH SHELTER. 



A MORNING WITH JUSTICE. 



71 



Timothy 0'Galla,i;her, a lodger in the same house, to revile and 
" bate " Mr. O'Flaherty while that last-named gentleman was 
" thick with the dhrink." Mr. O'Flalierty, who seemed rather 
thin than thick from the effects of the maddening wine cup, was 
then heard in aggravation of his wife's statement ; but Mr. Jones, 
a pauper-looking boot-clicker with a black eye, testified some- 
what to the conclusion that Mr. O'Flaherty had run amuck in the 
tenement house, and ever since Thanksgiving Day had been 
" stoking with whiskey, and busting lire and flame all around." 
All these good folks said their say at the very top of their voices, 
and eventually the magistrate remarked that, "judging from what 
he had heard, and from the general appearance of the litigants, 
he liked Mrs. Jones's side of the house better than he did Mrs. 
O'Flaherty 's." Then he sent complainants, defendants and 
litigants, all about their business. 

It fared harder with the habitues of the charge-sheet — the 
topers Avho had been arrested by the police either in a drunk and 
disorderly or drunk and incapable condition. The ordinary fine 
inflicted in these cases was ten dollars, or two pounds sterling. 

provided free. The " shelter " is opened at eight in the evening and closed at ten. 
At six in the morning the lodgers are called, and by half-jjast seven the place is 
cleared of all Avho are not working, or washing their clothes. During the winter, it 
fills every night, hut in the summer the demand for hunks is not so brisk. The 
annual deficit is made up by Mr. Dessart, Avho personally superintends the place. 




SLEEPING ARKANGEMEXT.S IN" SHILOH SHELTER, NEW YORK. 



72 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



litfl|!,lnn>\\VvVV 




" Lying dead drunk on the side-walk " was the usual formula of 
the police indictment. One of the defendants was an old lady 
witli wavy liair, who was seemingly not far from sixty, and who 
was quite respectably dressed in a serge dress and a Paisley 
shawl. She did nothing but wag her head in a disconsolate but 
comically penitent manner, mumbling some incoherent sentences, 
the end of which was that " Satan was in the street cars." The 
Enemy of jMankind, we all know, is ubiquitous, Init I was un- 
aware that he was specially addicted to travelling per street car. 
Then there was an Irishman, who had been arrested at the suit 
of his wife for "bating" her when "thick with the dhrink." She 
did not want to have him punished, she said, but he nmst swear 
a " big oath " before the judge that he would never touch liquor 
more. The magistrate had to tell her that he had no power to 
compel the man to swear any oath, big or little, in his court to 
abstain in future from strong drink ; but on the toper expressing 
repentance, he was advised to go to his Eoman Catholic priest in 
ordinary to " swear off," and was discharged without any tine. 
One very humorous defendant appeared in the person of a 



I A MOllNIXG WITH JUSTICE. 73 

Frenchman, very swarthy of complexion and with a singularly 
shaggy head of black hair. He described himself as a wood 
pngraver, and I fixncy that he mnst have come from Marseilles 
or somewhere in the JNIidi. He had been picked up in his shirt- 
sleeves and working apron on the side-walk, insensibly intoxi- 
cated, at nine in the evening. When called upon to say what 
he could for himself, he grinned a most dolorous grin, showing 
the whitest of white teeth, and, holding his shaggy head between 
his two hands, declared that it felt " comme un tonneau " — like 
a hogshead. He was let go with five instead of ten dollars 
fine. A sadder fate befell two pretty brazen girls from Green- 
wich-street : the Colleen Bawn and Kathleen IMavourneen 
"gone wrong." Poor things! They were "sent down" for 
ten days. Several Germans, a Dane, and an Italian were 
arraigned, the services of a police-constable sworn as an inter- 
preter being occasionally called into requisition ; but of one 
defendant, a bearded creature wearing a serge blouse and a fur 
"'cap nearly as large as an English grenadier's " busby," neither 
the Court nor the interpreter could make anything. I think that 
he must have been a Moldo-Wallachian. Perhaps he was one 
of the " heroic Lazes," who had taken shipping at Erzeroum, 
and turned up, somehow, at New York. It was instructive to 
remark that, out of seventeen night charges to which I listened, 
only one referred to a native-born American. That was a case, 
ancl a very bad case, of burglary ; and the detectives employed 
in the affair made a most dramatic display of "jemmies," skele- 
ton keys, and other housebreaking implements, on the magis- 
trate's desk. The man accused of burglary — a skeleton key had 
i'allen from his pocket when he was arrested on the staircase of 
a house in Broadway — was remanded for further examination, 
lie looked a poor, destitute creature enough, with barely suffi- 
cient rags to cover his back ; but he had sufficient dollars, it 
would seem, to procure legal advice, and had retained a fashion- 
al)ly attired young gentleman learned in the law to defend him. 
1 wish him — the prisoner — a good deliverance ; but if ever a 

man had a " Sinf>: feins: " face lie had. Let me conclude this im- 

. ••11 

perfect record of a Morning with Justice by mentionmg that the 

magistrate took his seat shortly after eight a.m. At noon there 
is a " recess " of two hours; and thereafter throughout the after- 
noon so long as may be necessary the magistrate continues to sit, 
patiently and conscientiously plodding through the warp and 
woof and weft of the Seamy Side of New York life. 




VI. 

Fashion and Food in New York. 



i 



Xcw York, Bee. 5. 



Tpie Seamy Side ! I saw sometliliig of it in Paris, in 1878 ; 
and wretchedly seamy indeed was the side which revealed itself i 
when only one small corner of the tapestry on which were? 
figured all the luxury and the splendour of the Elxposition 
Universelle was lifted. I have been in New York only ten days, 
yet, for all the brevity of my sojourn, I have experienced, these 
three days past, a strangely uneasy longing to behold the Seamy 
Side of the Empire City. You may opine that such a desire on, 
my part, savoured of the discontented and ill-conditioned. ' 
" Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise." That choice 
maxim of poetic paradox — perhaps the neatest example of. 
epigrammatic clap-trap extant — was taught us many years agO' 
b}^ Mr. Thomas Gray. Why should I not be content to remain 
in blissful ignorance of the " seamy " side of the poverty, and 
vice, and crime of Nev/ York ? Why could I not let well 
alone ? To the tourist A\ell supplied with letters of introduction, 
and with plenty of money in his pocket, Manhattan is, at the 
present moment, perhaps, with one exception, as enjoyable a 
metropolis as could be found in the whole world over ; tlie 



FASHION AND FOOD IN NEW YOKK. 



75 



jxception of whicli I speak is the potential occurrence — when the 
frost is apparently at its hardest, and promises to last some 
/■eeks longer — of a Thaw. Then, everything;, in an out-of-doors- 
sense, goes to wrack. Slush is triumphant ; crossing Fifth- 
venue is wading through a Malebolgian mire, and perambula- 
^tion is, to a lady, next door to the impossible. But, if you can 
jiftbrd to keep a carriage, or to hire a hack coupe, you will find 
Xew York between the end of November and the beginning of 
March, gayer than Paris, and almost as gay as St. Petersburg 
was before the Nihilist revolts. 

The fashionable season is beginning, and society is brilliant, 
varied, cosmopolitan, refined, intelligent, and almost totally free 
from prejudice. Politics are wholly tabooed from polite conver- 
sation,* and people talk no more about the Eastern Question 

"•• This was written before tlie beginning of the Electoral " Campaign " for the 
Pivsitlencv ; and (so far as I can judge from the " Campaign " articles in the news- 
[ia]>ers) tlie contest v.'ould appear to have been carried on, from tirst to last, with 
imich less than the customary acrimony. One of the most heated of the " Cam- 
[»aign " utterances that I came across in the States was the following choice excerpt 
which I cut from the Okolona Soutliern States : — 

•'a strong government" — HOW THE INFANDOUS IDEA HAS BEEN SERVED IN AMERICA, ANI> 
HOW IT WILL BE SERVED AGAIN. 

I! ■ "A strong Government." 
! So saj's tlie Stalwart Saltimbanco of the Xew 
rork Tribune, in his issue of the 14th ult. ; 

And the remark is being quoted by the Re- 
lulilican press with many commendatory com- 
iients. 

The old Continentals had 

" A strong Government " 

Prior to 1776 ; 

IJiit they read the law of liberty to 

The palace-born whelps of St. James, 

And they rammed it down the throats of his 
soldiers. 

With a seasoning of saltpetre. 

That was the way our fathers served 

" A strong Government ; " 

And their sons haven't forgotten the trick. 

The Confederate Commonwealths were sub- 
jected to 

" A strong Government " 

From 18(J.j until 1875, 

But a storm kept brewing and blowing up 
:hrough all that Dark Decade. 

It broke in 

lUood and 

Flame, 

And our people 

Sabred and 

Shot-gunned 

Their way to liberty. 

The questards for 



" A strong Government " 

Can learn a salutiferous lesson by conning, 
those precedents, and committing them to. 
memory, 

For just as surely as .Jehovah 

Holds this planet in the hollow of His hand, 

Just that surely will our people 

Spot 

The first man that undertakes to inaugurate. 

" A strong Government " 

On our soil, 

And crack his infernal neck on the gallows- 
tree. 

They will do it, 

If they die for it — 

They will do it if they have to paint the mid- 
night sky with a fret-work of fire, and wasli 
tlie high -ways and by-ways of the land with the 
life-blood of the 

Catilines and 

Conspirators. 

We thought that the 

Infandous idea of 

" A strong Government " was dying out- 
with the despotisms beyond the Atlantic. 

Europe is leaping into a 

New, 

Freer, and 

Transplendent 

Life 

Under the magic touch of liberty, 



76 



AMEKTCA KEVISITED. 



tluiu tliey do about tlie Alabama Claims, Hospitality is as 
unstinted as it is splendid ; and masquerades are not looked 
upon as tliey are with us as shockingly wicked things, to be 
repressed with the most wrathful rigour of which the Middlesex 
magistrates are capable. I don't know Avhat would be thought 
of the Middlesex magistrates in this city, whei'e public music and 
dancing are a recognised feature in the amusements of the 
people. The " serious " classes here go their own way — and a 
very useful and beneticent way it is — but they do not strive to 
coerce their non-serious fellow citizens into ways of asceticism 
and gloom. The truth is, that in New York there is room 
enough for Everybody ; whereas in London, huge as it is, there 
is not sufHeient room for Anybod}^ Our houses, our interests, 
our idiosyncrasies, our creeds, our habits and modes of life are 
continually jostling and conflicting with each other ; and the , 
natural result is that we are always snarling and grumbling and 
bringing actions against our brothers and sisters. A significant 
example of the placability of the Americans, is that the columns j 
of the news])apers are almost entirely devoid of letters from out- ; 
side correspondents fiercely protesting against social grievances. ! 
"A Subscriber from the First" is not accustomed vehemently j 
to inveigh against the disgraceful conduct of the proprietor of J 
the Great Bonanza Hotel, in the matter of the quality of the 



And is Leing 

Kedeeiued, 

Regenerated, and 

Kepublicanized. 

Are we to drop back into the Dark Ages, 

As the Eastern Hemisphere heaves upward 
into the light tliat was first quickened and 
kindled on our soil ? 

Shall we introduce tke 

Trumpery and 

Filigree 

Of Imperialism, 

Together with its 

Janizaries, 

Bastiles, and 

Chains, 

As the Old World discards these 

Ilelics of barbarism, 

And transforms her subjects into sovereigns ? 

Never ! 

r,j the Holj- Trinity ! 

Never ! 

NEVER ! ! 

But this is the ultimity of Stalwartism. 

Therefore Stalwartism 

]\[ust and 

Shall 

Die the Death. 



This Union is a 

Loose and 

Temporary 

League 

(Jf Sovereign Commonwealths. 

They are their own lords and masters. 

No central power will be iiermittcd to usurp 
one solitary 

Right or 

Function 

That is guaranteed to them by the royal* 
sign-manual of (iod Himself. 

The people of ]\Iississi2ipi, for instance, are a. 

Separate, 

Distinct, and 

Sovereign 

People ; 

They i)ropose to do precisely as they please,| 
whether the citizens of tiie other States like it' 
or not, 

And the sooner that this fact is understood,; 

( >nc8 for all. 

The better and 

The safer 

It will be for the unhung scelerats who an 
brawling in behalf of 

' ' A strong Government. " 



FASHION AND fOOD IN NEW YORK. 



77 




WAITING FOR A TRAIS OX THE ELEVATKD KAILAVAY AFTER THE MASQUERADE. 



maple syrup supplied with the buckwlieat cakes at breakfast ; 
nor does " Amicus Justitiai " fight furiously in print with 
■' Paterfamilias " on the disputed question of hot air flues versus 
anthracite stoves for heating apartments. 

On the whole there seems to me to be far less social friction 
in modern New York life than is the case on our side. People 
here do not trouble themselves much about things calculated ta 
arouse embittered controversy ; and in this respect the New 
Yorkers closely resemble the Viennese. La Barjatelle appears, 
for the moment, to be triumphant. There are a multitude 
)f cheap and well-managed theatres open, playing mainly the 
lost frivolous and nonsensical pieces it is possible to conceive ; 



78 AMERICA REVrSTTED. 

and tliey are all crowded nightly. How many tens of thousands 
of dollars a week ]\Ir. Delmonico is clearing I do not know, and 
it is surely no concern of mine to inquire ; but his palatial 
establishment, as well as scores of the restaurants and cafes, 
continually overflow with guests. I dined at Delmonico's hard 
by the Fifth-avenue Hotel, a few nights ago ; and among the 
dainties which that consummate caterer favoured us with, was 
an entremet called an " Alaska." The " Alaska" is a hahed ice. 
A heau mentir qui vient cle loin; but this is no traveller's tale. 
The nucleus or core of the entremet is an ice cream. This is 
surrounded by an envelope of carefully Avhipped cream, which, 
just before the dainty dish is served, is popped into the oven, 
or is brought under the scorching influence of a red hot sala- 
mander ; so that its surfoce is covered with a light brown crust. 
So you go on discussing the warm cream souffle till you come, 
with somewhat painful suddenness, on the row of ice. E'en so 
did the Shepherd in Virgil grow acquainted with love, and find 
him a native of the rocks. 

When I Avas here last the fashionable or " up town " 
Delmonico occupied a large building at the corner of East Four- 
teenth-street, and Fifth-avenue. But East Fourteenth-street 
is now " down town," and the existing Palazzo Delmonico 
fronts Broadway, Fifth-avenue, and Twenty-sixtli-street. The 
furniture and hangings are splendid, but very quiet and 
refined. The establishment comprises an immense cafe, and 
a public restaurant of equal dimensions, while on the second 
floor (reached of course by a lift or " elevator ") there are first 
a ma2:nificent saloon which can be used as a ball room or as 
a dining hall, and next a series of handsome private rooms for 
select dinner parties ; on the upper floors are a limited number of 
furnished apartments for gentlemen. You may dine, I have 
been told, very modestly indeed at Delmonico's for about five 
dollars, including a bottle of light, but drinkable claret. I state 
this merely on hearsay, because the good people who took us, 
over and over again, to Delmonico's to dine, are in the habit j 
of paying the dinner bill themselves, and refusing to show I 
it to us afterwards. But I may hint (also on hearsay) that | 
a first rate dinner at Delmonico's is a very serious aflair in the 
way of dollars. Next in renown to Delmonico's is that of the 
Hotel Brunswick which is " diagonally opposite " Delmonico's 
(I am quoting that abundant repertory of information, "Appleton's 
Dictionary of New York and its Vicinity "). Here the viands 

1 



FASHION" AND FOOD IX NEW YORK. 



79 




EATING AS A FINE ART. 
{From the " Xcw York Daily Graphic."') 



80 AMERICA REVISITED. 

and courses are quite as recherche s as tliey are at Delmonlco's. 
The prices are also rechercJtes. The Brunswick presents an 
additional attraction of a kirge garden in the rear, and liere, in 
summer, meals are served under a canvas awning. Described 
as "strictly first class" but a trifle inferior to Delmonico's 
and the Brunswick, are the restaurants attached to the Golsay 
House, Broadway (at Twenty-sixth-street), the St. James's 
Hotel (Broadway and Twenty-fifth-street), the St. James's 
Hotel (Broadway and Twenty-sixth-street), the Hoffmann House, 
Broadway, between Twenty-fourth and Twenty-tifth-streets ; 
and the Rosmon Hotel (in Broadway at Forty-second-street). 
On the lower rungs of the social ladder are the so-called "fifteen 
cent houses," where for sevenpence halfpenny you may be served 
with a cut from a hot joint with bread, butter, potatoes and pickles. 
The florists, the dry goods storekeepers, the confectioners, the 
silversmiths, and the French milliners ought all to be making 
gigantic fortunes. There is a tidal wave, just now, of matri- 
mony, and of fashionable weddings there is no end. Old St. 
Mark's Church — the late Mr. A. T. Stewart's place of worship — 
was, the other morning, the scene of a most superb wedding, 
the young couple being the representatives of two very ancient 
Manhattan famihes. The bride was exquisitely attired in a 
costume consisting of a long train of rich brocaded satin trimmed 
with " point Duchesse " lace. Her veil was of old point, which 
had been in her family for more than a century. It was fastened 
with a magnificent spray of diamonds, which also held a few^ 
natural orange blossoms. Her necklace w\is of diamonds upon a! 
band of black velvet ; and she carried a gorgeous gold and I 
velvet bound Prayer Book in lieu of a bouquet. The bride's 
mother wore a primrose satin, " of slight, pretty, delicate, lilac 
shade, with a rosy flush to it, which has of late become fashion- 
able." Elsewhere I read of a " seven hundred dollar dress," just 
completed for a lady leader of fashionable society, and which 
consists of a long train of ruby-red brocade, edged with a pure 
gold cord as thick as the index finger. " The entire front is of 
solid cloth of gold, with gold embroidered lace let in, and striped, 
insertions of superb bronze beading on lace." Dresses of equal 
splendour are to be worn at a ball to be given at Delmonico's 
this evening, for the purpose of introducing a charming young 
dehuta^ite to society. 

I may just quietly hint that all these fine things are not so 
enjoyed without the expenditure of a vast amount of money. I 



FASHION AND FOOD IN NEW YORK. 



81 




luppose tliat luxurious life in New York is at the present 
noment about the most expensive of any life in any city in the 
vorld. Living is clearer than at St. Petersburg, dearer than 
it Madrid. I am constrained to have a private sitting room 
n addition to a bed room, as I have a great deal of writing to 
lo, and I pay seven dollars a day, or twenty-eight shillings, for 
iccommodation which I could certainly obtain at the Hotel 
I'Angleterre at St. Petersburg for six roubles, or fifteen 
shillings, and at the Fonda de los Principes at Madrid for an 
-sabellino or twenty shillings per diem. Yet the cities on the 



S'Z AMERICA IIEVISITED. 

Neva and the Manzanares are proverbially quoted as phenome- 
nally expensive capitals. Good wearing apparel here is surpris- 
ingly costly. Two dollars and twenty-five cents., or nine 
shillings, are charged for a pair of Dent's kid gloves, which you 
could purchase in Piccadilly for four shillings and sixpence. 
Ladies' gloves are proportionately expensive. You cannot 
obtain a Havana cigar worth smoking for less than ninepence ; 
and two shillings is thought to be quite a moderate price for a 
Regalia Britannica. There is no drinkable champagne under 
three dollars or twelve shillings a bottle. Claret is almost 
equally dear. In fact, so far as my experience goes, I have 
found that the purchasing power of the dollar in New York 
does not exceed that of an English florin ; just as in analogously 
expensive Holland the tourist finds, to his dismay, that the 
Dutch guiklen does not go further than an English shilling. 
This condition of things financial is all the more productive of 
consternation to me, since when I w^as last in America gold! 
was at from one-fifty to one-eighty per cent, premium — that is- 
to say, for every hundred dollars I got from two hundred and 
fifty to two hundred and eighty dollars in greenbacks ; and I 
cannot recall to mind that things in New York were so very 
much dearer in 18G3-64 than they are now in 1879. I re-- 
member, indeed, being once sharply, yet pertinently, told by an 
American gentleman, with whom I was having a political dis- 
cussion, that I had no right to grumble, since, as he put it, " I 
Avas living on my exchange ; " nor am I prepared to deny that 
there was some admixture of truth in his assertion. 

The truth of the matter is that several experienced lady 
housekeepers gave me to understand that the necessaries of life, 
properly so called, may be bought in the numerous and ex- 
cellently provided markets of New York at prices which, 
estimating them by comparison with our own, we should be 
entitled to consider as ridiculously cheap. Thus very good beef 
is procurable at from eight to ten cents — fourpence to fivepence 
— a pound. The choicer parts do not go beyond twenty-four 
cents. Mutton ranges between fourpence halfpenny and eight- 
pence. Pork is a little lower. Butter commands about thej 
same prices as with us. Cheese is wonderfully cheap. Sugar ; 
is dearer than it is in England, varying between fourpence and : 
fivepence. In London good moist sugar may be bought for 
threepence a pound. Coffee in New York fluctuates between 
ninepence and fifteen pence a pound. Oysters of every size and 



FASHION AND FOOD IN NEW YORK. 



83 




OUTSIDE WASHINGTON MARKET, NEW YORK. 




OYSTER BOATS, NEW YORK. 



11 



84 



AMERICA KEVISITED. 



variety of flavour arc as clieap as oranges are at Havana — that 
is to say, they may be bought for " next to nothing." Fish is 
amazingly plentiful, delicious, and inexpensive. The New York 
markets provide delicacies of the deep — striped bass, Spanish 
mackerel, sheep's head, kingfish — positively unknown to us ; the 
cod is superb, but the sole is non-existent. There is a kind of 
plaice that professes that he is a sole, but he is not to be 




SHAD FISHING IN DELAWARE BAY. 



believed. He is a " fraud." Smelts abound. The vegetables 
are prodigious in size. I never saw such gigantic cabbages 
and cauliflowers out of Valencia, in Spain ; and they are cheap 
in market overt. There is an inexhaustible plentitude of 
tomatoes, of " squash," and of the health-giving celery ; which 
American diners almost incessantly nibble from the beginning to 
the end of their repasts. Of other salads there is uo stint. 
Yenison is excellent and cheap ; and the Americans have the 
good sense to eat it when it is fresh, and not rotten. A perfectly 
fresh steak of boiled venison beats all the chateaubriands in the 
world. Poultry is abundant, and may be quoted "all round" at 
tenpence a pound. Ducks are multitudinous : but a canvas- 
back duck at a restaurant costs you three dollars; and a man 
with a healthy appetite can scarcely dine off a canvas-back 
duck, seeing that it is only the breast of the bird that is eatable. 
On the other hand, I And from a carefully compiled table of 



i 




FASHION AND FOOD IN NEW YORK. 




PREPARING FUR THE HOLIDAY BANQUETS IN WASHINGTON MARKET. 

' I prices and rates of ^Yages in a New York paper that bricklayers 
I here earn from twelve to tilteen dollars — from £2 8.s. to £3 a 
! week — that the liebdomadal wage of a mason or a plumber is 
'. from twelve to eighteen dollars, of a tailor from ten to eighteen 

dollars, and of a day labourer from six to nine dollars. In a 
! comitry where food is so abundant and so cheap, and where 

labour is so amply remunerated, there ought scarcely to be any 

Seamy Side. 




A PULLMAN I'ARLOLR CAH. 



VII. 
On the Caks. 



Baltimore, Dec. 7« 



It Is always hard to leave New York — first, because, as a 
stranger, you probably find more friends there than in any other 
part of the Union ; and next, because foreigners frequently 
cherish a preconceived notion that the Empire City is the head- 
quarters of what Europeans usually consider to be refinement 
and comfort ; and that, once out of New York, you must expect 
nothing better than pork and beans and Indian pudding, or 
hog and hominy if you go South ; the whole washed down by 
rough cider or molasses and water — 'tis only the Germans and 
Irish, I am told, who drink lager beer and whiskey in the 
America of to-day. In any case, it is certain that temperance — 
even to total abstinence — has made enormous strides within the 
last few years in the States ; and, but for a kindly and thoughtful 
tolerance of the bad habits of foreigners, whom they ask to 
dinner, and whom they still insist on regaling with the rarest of 
vintages, I am assured, in some quarters, that the custom of 
wine drinking would speedily fade out altogether from good 
society in America. 



ON THE CARS. 87 

I had, in transatlantic parlance, such a Ihoroughly "good 
time" since I landed from the Sc?/thia, that I found it doubly 

, grievous to quit, even temporarily, a city where I had found so 
many dear old friends, and made so many new ones. But busi- 
ness is business ; and the entries in the femlle de route^ which 
I had proposed to myself when I started on this expedition, 
had to be, so far as circumstances would permit, duly attended 
to. I v/as due at Baltimore, in the State of Maryland, on the 
evening of Saturday, December 6, so on Friday I sent round 
^ my pasteboard " P.P.C/s ; " and the next day, at noon, one of 

' the comfortable cowp^s of the Brevoort conveyed me, per Jersey 
€ity ferry, to the- terminus of the Pennsylvania Railroad, by 
means of which, via Philadelphia and Wilmington, I Avas to 

I reach Baltimore. We left Jersey City at one p.m., and I wish 
to be tolerably minute in recording even the trivial incidents of 
a seven hours' journey of about 200 miles, in order to show 

i how, since my last coming to the States, the disagreeable 

I features of a formerly dreadfully uncomfortable railway trip have 
been reduced to a minimum. In the war time it was my 
frequent and unhappy lot to travel, at least once a fortnight, 
between New York and Washington by the way of Philadelphia 
and Baltimore ; and on the eve of every departure, I was filled 
with gloomy pre-occupation at the thought of the miseries which 
I was about to endure. But I have no wish needlessly to renew 
the memory of bygone dolour. Let me draw a veil over the 
melancholy past, and record only the cheerful present. At the 
same time it may be stated that it required rather a plentifully 
permanent stock of animal spirits to be cheerful on Saturday 
morning, seeing that it rained heavily, and that the steady 
vertical downpour ceased not during the whole day and evening. 
Still we contrived, systematically, to baffle the Avrath of the 
elements. Mark in what manner. 

In London,' one would have driven, say from home to Euston- 
square, in a four-wheeler. Act the first : Loading the roof of 

' the four-wheeler with the heavy baggage ; curses both loud and 
deep on the part of a rheumatic and rum-odorous cabman ; 
appearance on the scene of the "odd man," who turns up 
fortuitously, to assist in loading baggage, and wishes to know 
whether I consider myself a gentleman, on his receiving what 

I he deems an inadequate remuneration for breaking one of the 

! windows of the vehicle with one of the iron clamps of a trunk, 
and lettuig a lady's bonnet-box tumble in the mud. Act tha 



88 AMERICA REVISITED. 

second : Arrival at Euston terminus ; fearful row with the cab- 
man about fore and Inggag-e ; exciting chase after porter, who 
has snatched np your small articles, and fled with them you 
know not whither. Another hunt after porter, who has wheeled 
away your heavy trunks ; discovery that you have gone through 
the wrong door, and got on to the Liverpool platform instead of 
the Birmingham one. Eventual finding of the ticket office, 
where your purchase of the necessary billet is delayed by the 
inability of the deaf old lady in front of you — first to find her 
porte-monnaie^ and next to make up her mind as to what class 
she means to travel by. Culminating confession of the deaf old 
lady that she wants to go to Norwich, and that the Great 
Eastern, not the London and North-Western, is the line by 
which she ought to travel. Tableau : the bell for departure 
having begun to ring. Fearful scene on the platform ; almost 
by a miracle, so it seems, you get your luggage labelled, fill 
your pocket-flask with — well, say orangeflower Avater, at the 
refreshment buflet, buy your morning papers, and, asking for a 
smoking carriage, get bundled into a compartment with two 
Quakers, a lady with a cough, a nurse, and a baby. Act the 
third : — N.B. In the interval between second and third acts, 
you have had four minutes' liberty to scald your throat with 
some soup or some tea — you scarcely remember which — to half 
choke yourself with a sandwich, and to cultivate an acquaintance 
with all " the Painful Family of Death, more Hideous than their 
Queen," beginning with the indigestion which lurks in the 
geological formation of a pork pie. — Arrival at your destination ; 
grand salmagundi of luggage on the platform. Your favourite 
valise undiscoverable for fifteen minutes; it is fished out at last 
from the remotest corner of the van. Your luggage-label has 
been converted by the rain into a little pellet of yellow pulp ; 
possibly you have lost it altogether. If you are so fortunate as 
to get all your luggage hoisted on to the roof of another four-ii 
wheeled cab, fresh brawl with the other cabman when you 
arrive at your hotel. Compensation : You have been travelling|i 
at the rate of forty miles an hour. 

My experiences of a journey to Baltimore on a hideously wet 
day were very different from the foregoing. Persistently as it 
poured, not once did I have to unfurl my imibrella. The 
obliginof gentlemen in the clerk's oftice at the Brevoort 
purchased our railway tickets for us, together with a couple 
of fauteuiis in the Pullman " parlor "■ — or, as it is called in 

I 



ON THE CARS. 



89 




.PICTORIAL RAILWAY' TICKET. 



lEngland, "drawing-room car" — attached to the train. On 
arriving at Jersey City ferry we ahghted, under cover, at a 
commodious booking-office ; and our luggage was at once 
hoisted on to a high counter to be " checked." There was 
[)lenty of it (the baggage) ; but no charge was made for excess 
^veight. On a French railway I should most assuredly have : 
been surcharged at least 50 francs ''''pour excedant de hagage." 
riie checking consisted simply in buckling a strap, to which was 
xttached a brazen disc bearing a number, to each of our trunks, 
md handing me an equal number of brazen circular counters 
jearing corresponding numbers. Provided with these 1 needed 
;o trouble myself no more about my belongings. The porters 
.vho conveyed the baggage from the waggon which had fol- 
owed us from the Brevoort did not ask for any gratuity, and the 
-vaggon and our own coupe had been duly charged for in the 
lotel bill before we left. After about five minutes passed in a 
leat waiting-room, the doors swung open and we stepped on 



I 



90 



AMERICA REVISITED. 




riCTOUIAL RAILWAY TICKKT. 



board tlio Jersey ferry boat — a huge steam-launch with a 
hurricane deck and a comfortable cabin for ladies, in which no 




ON THE CAES. 91 

smoking was permitted. We glided easily and almost noise- 
essly across the North River, which was veiled in one dun 
i/hite shroud of rainy mist, hiding shore, docks, houses, 
ihipping, everything from the view, to Jersey City. Landing 
—still under cover — we found ourselves in a spacious, well- 
mrmed, and tastefully decorated salle cVattente,, almost Swiss 
halet-looking with its prettily carved decorations and inlayings 
n fancy woods. In the old time an American railway depot 
vas little better than a log cabin on a large scale, and between 
icket-hunting and luggage pursuing you lost your temper 
ibout twice in every three minutes. I know that I lost mine so 
horoughly that I never found it for nearly thirteen months. 
The waiting-room at Jersey City — perhaps a trifle too well 
■ jvarmed with anthracite coal, so as to produce the impression on 
^our mind on a wet day that you were so much barley that had 
)een well sprinkled and had germinated, and were now being 
oasted, as malt, in a kiln — was provided with all kinds of 
ravelling comforts. There was a drinking fountain, yielding 
nexhaustible supplies of iced water. There was a bookstall well 
i)rovided with newspapers and illustrated periodicals ; a kiosque 
vhere cigars, cigarettes, smoking and chewing tobacco, could be 
)btained — the quid has still a few votaries left — and you may 
)e sure that there was a very grand " candy " stall, overbrimming 
vith those lollipops so irrepressibly dear to the American palate. 
■* Candy " and '' caramels " are " institutions " in this country. 
Swiss confiseurs, German conditdrei keepers flock over here and 
nake fortunes. The latter, also, have the lager beer trade 
vholesale and retail, almost entirely in their own hands : indeed 
: lEom banking to barber-shop keeping, from lithographing to 
i bather dressing there is no department of trade or commission in 
Ip'hich the thrifty and laborious Teuton does not make himself 
I elt — and make money to boot. I like him not, personally — nor 

I [is boorish ways, nor his arrogant insolence of demeanour since 
ledan, nor his (to me) hideously uncouth language which T have 
I leen trying to speak fluently these forty years past, without even 
\ . modicum of success ; still the German in America, looking at 
I lim corporately, fills me with admiration. Honest, capable, frugal 
I hid industrious, peaceable and law-abiding : — he is the model of 
' I good citizen. And boorish as he is (or rather as he seems to 
lie, who am of the Latin race and whose tongue is hung on a 
50utliern belfry), the German in America has done a vast deal to 
mprove the element of picturesqueness, now of an a3sthetic, now 



92 AMERICA REVISITED. 

of a convivial cbaracter, into the manners of a people who, 
nominally, are the most unpicturesque of any people on the 
earth's surface. " Santa Clans " is of Dutch origin, and I will not 
rob the knickerbockers of their due ; but the German has imparted 
carnival balls and masquerades, processional pageants, the fachel 
tanz and the facJieJzug^ choral unions, glee societies, and in fact 
social music in any form, and he gets on so well in the United 
States, learns English so quickly, and associates himself so 
thoroughly to the political and social usages of his new home, 
that I am only surprised that there should be any Germans, to 
speak of, left in Germany at all. 

I suppose that it is patriotism keeps a tolerably dense popu- 
lation there ; but in the way of being able to talk German and 
read German newspapers, and keep up German customs, they 
can be quite as patriotic in Minnesota or Nebraska or Ohio, as in 
Pomerania or Silesia or Brandenbourg, and in America they are 
free. No gendarmes, no press-laws, no conscription, no addle- 
pated "Vons" to sneer at and bully the "Kauffmann." Why 
don't they leave the Fatherland to the " Vons " and the drill 
sergeants and the polizas^ and make a new Germania of their own 
in the AVest? They have already done so, to a considerable 
extent, but a very much larger clearing out of oppressed nation- 
alities (so some people think) to the New World is necessary 
before the governing classes in the despotically governed countries 
of the Old World can be made to understand that the millions do 
not intend any longer to be their slaves and thralls — to toil and 
work for them, and see them pampered with luxuries, bedizened 
with stars and crosses, and demanding homage to be paid to them 
on account of the rank which they have no right to possess and 
the tom-fool titles which the ignorance of the masses have allowed 
the " Vons " to arrogate to themselves. In old times, such-like 
fools used to be burnt by the common hangman. There is a 
book that wants burning by the common housemaid — the house- 
maid of common sense — very badly indeed, that book is the 
" Almanach de Gotha." 

Nevertheless — pardon that little digression about the German 
conditorei keepers — candy tempers the bitterness of scandal, and 
mollifies the exacerbation of political controversy. It even 
counteracts, to some extent, the deleterious influence of Pie — 
pronounced "Poy" — which is the Transatlantic incubus, and 
clings, with its doughy legs, over the shoulders of Columbia like 
an Old Man of the Sea. Almost everything that I behold in 



ON THE CARS. 93 

this wonderful country bears traces of improvement and reform 
-everything except Pie. The national manners have become 
^'softened — the men folk chew less, expectorate less, curse less ; 
the newspapers are not half so scurrilous as our own* ; the Art 
idea is becoming rapidly developed ; culture is made more and 
more manifest ; even " intensity " in aesthetics is beginning to 
be heard of and Agnosticism and other " isms" too numerous 
to mention find exponents in " Society," and the one absorbing 
and sickening topic of conversation is no longer the Almighty 
Dollar — but to the tyranny of Pie there is no surcease. It is a 
Fetish. It is Bohwani. It is the Mexican carnage god Huitch- 
lipotchli, continually demanding fresh victims. It is Moloch, 
^len may come and men may go ; the Grant " Boom " may be 
succeeded by the Garfield " Boom ;" but Pie goes on forever. 
The tramp and the scallawag, in pants of looped and windowed 
raggedness, hunger for Pie, and impetuously demand nickel cents 
\vherewith to purchase it ; and the President of the United States, 
amid the chastened splendour of the White House, can enjoy no 
more festive fare. The day before we left New York one of the 
ripest scholars, the most influential journalists (on the Demo- 
cratic side) the brightest wits and most genial companions in the 
States lunched with us. He would drink naught but Chriteau 
Yquem ; but he partook twice, and in amazing profusion of 
Pumpkin Pie. They gave me Pie at the Brevoort, and I am 
now fresh from the consumption of Pic at the Mount Vernon, 
Baltimore. Two more aristocratic hotels are not to be found on 
this continent. I battled strongly against this dyspepsia-dealing 
pastry at first ; but a mulatto waiter held me with his glittering 
eye, and I yielded as though I had been a two-years child. The 
worst of this dreadful pie — be it of apple, of pumpkin, of mul- 
berry, or of cranberry — is that it is so very nice. It is made 
delusively flat and thin, so that you can cut it into conveniently- 
sized triangular wedges, which slip down easily. Pardon this 
digression ; but Pie really forms as important a factor in 
American civilisation as the pot-au-feu does in France. There 
is no dish at home by which we nationally stand or fall. The 
" roast beef of Old England " sounds very well to the strains of 

* The modem American press seems to me to oft'end only against good taste in 
their omnivorous appetite of interviewing celebrated or notorious individuals (and 
the inter\'iewing nuisance has become common enough in England), and in theii- 
fondness for filling their columns with brief personalities sometimes very quaint, but 
usually almost childishly frivolous and quite harmless. 



94 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



Mr. Dan Godfrey's band at a dinner at the Freemason's Tavern; 
but sirloin of beef is fourteen pence a pound, and there are 
hundreds of thousands of labouring English people who never 
taste roast beef from year's end to year's end — save when they 
happen to get into gaol or into the workhouse at Christmastide. 

There was a handsome restaurant attached to the waiting- 
room at the Jersey City terminus, and I have no doubt that pie 
galore was to be found in the bill of fare ; but I had newly 
breakfasted, and could defy the voice of the charmer. More 
pleasant and more novel was it — on American soil — to contem- 
plate the trim little maidens tripping about offering bouquets for 




sale, or " boquets," as, 1 know not why, the Americans persist in 
pronouncing and spelling the French noun, which surely has the 
vowel U in it. The French do not speak of a lady's " boche/' or 
a gentleman's "mostache." This, however, to my ear, is not 
so aggravating as the " theater," which American purists in 
orthography have substituted for our time-honoured theatre. It 
stands to reason, by analogy at least, that if "theater" bo 



ON THK CARS. 95 

correct, the Latin accusative " theatrum tectum " should be 
"theaterum tecterum," which leads us by an easy incline to the 
rhythmic dictum of the dark lyrist : 

" Dere was a poor man whose name was Luzzarite, 
O, bless tie Lor', Goary Hallelujerum ! " 

No, it cannot be. I firmly protest against " theater," and 
against " boquet." Fancy the " boquet " of Chateau Lafitte. 

There was nothing, happily, to protest against in the railway 
time-bills arrangements at Jersey City. At a few minutes 
before one wide portals again swung open ; and without any 
crowding or fluster we passed from the salle d'attente to the 
platform. There were plenty of polite conductors and ticket 
collectors in neat uniform, with gold-braided caps, about; and 
we were at once directed to our particular Pullman car. This, 
handsome and comfortable caravan needs no description on my 
part. You have seen it in full working order, both as a sleep- 
ing, a drawing-room, and recently as a restaurant car on the 
Midland, and as a drawing-room car on the London and Brighton 
Railway. "\Ve were duly inducted in our numbered fauteuils, 
while our wants, intellectual and physical, were sedulously 
ministered to by itinerant " car-wallahs," who perambulated the 
whole line of carriages offering for sale all the New York papers. 
— Harper s Weekly, The Daily Grapliic, Frank Leslie's 
Chimney Corner, Puck, Scrihner, Lippincott, and so forth — 
together with Malaga grapes, California pears, and the inevitable 
candies and caramels. There was plenty of drinking-water on 
board the Pullman, which was fully warmed by means of steam- 
pipes ; and at one end of the vehicle was a luxurious smoking room. 

Touching the journey between New York and Baltimore, I 
can say but little. Torrents of rain never ceased descending ; 
and we could see but little from the windows, which presented 
only so many large rectangles of fretwork in watery beads. 
However, I shall be going and coming with tolerable frequency 
over this line between now and the New Year ; and shall be able 
to tell you something concerning the aspect of the regions, 
through which we sped. For the nonce my business is with the 
inside, and not the outside of the cars. So fixr, nevertheless, as. 
I could make out through the persistent rain and mist, the 
country between New York and Philadelphia is densely populous^ 
and to a very great extent manufacturing. The train seemed to 
pass right through the main streets of a large number of thickly- 



96 



AMERICA KE VISITED. 



inhabited towns ; and the perils of level-crossings were indicated 
by significant reminders on the signposts by the way, " Look out 
for the Locomotive," and by the gruesome pealing of a bell on 
the locomotive itself. 

Another faint impression de voyage whicli I got through the 
rain-clouds may very possibly be, like most hastily-formed 
notions on the part of travellers, an erroneous one ; still, I give 
it for what it is worth. In days long past I used to be told that 
the Board of Directors of the Cam-den and Amboy Railroad were 
lords paramount in New Jersey, but so far as my limited 
observation extended, not only the State of New Jersey, but 
those also of Pennsylvania and Delaware right up to the borders 




AN ARTIST IX ROCKS. 



of Maryland, have fallen under the dominion of one Schenck. 
8chenck's proclamations to the million were on every wall, every 
paling, every fence, every tree-stub and rock-boulder for miles 



ON THE CARS. 97 

and miles around. There was no field without its printed or 
stencilled portent of Schenck and his wares. His pulmonic 
syrup, his gargles, and his many varieties of pills, met you at 
every rood and furlong of your course. Does he go on like this, 
even to the Rocky Mountains and the Yosemite Valley, and so 
on to the crack of doom ? In the environs of New York Sozo- 
dont ran him hard, and in Pennsylvania his supremacy was 
combatted by the Iron Bitters — one bottle of which has just 
restored an old lady of ninety-two, belonging to one of the iirst 
Revolution families, to the comeliness and vigour of sixteen — and 
especially by the " Rising Sun Shoe Polish " — when I go home I 
mean to patent the Aurora Blacking — but in the long run 
Schenck was triumphant. Somewhere in Pennsylvania I had a 
view of Schenck's sawmills. I can dimly fancy him sawing up 
primeval forests to make his pill-boxes withal. A wonderful man." 

I was revolving in my mind the various turns of fate below, 
and what might possibly happen to me if I were to devote my- 
self for a regular and systematic course of Schenck, when a hand 
was laid affectionately on my arm. The hand was that of the con- 
ductor of the Parlor Pullman, who considerately apprised me that 
refreshments could be served on board the car on our arrival at 
Wilmington, in the State of Delaware. The bill of fare was simple, 
but succulent and sufficing. There was a choice of beefsteak and 
porksteak, fried oysters, and ham and eggs, with tea or coffee, 
Philadelphia ale, and lager beer. Our dessert we had already 
laid in, so far as Malaga grapes and California pears went. We 
elected to try fried oysters and beefsteak as an evening collation, 
and the decision was telegraphed from the next station to Wil- 
mington. It was raining more pitilessly than ever when we 
reached that important city (does not Senator Bayard hail from 
W^ilmington, Delaware 1), and the platform, with the restaurant 
dimly visible beyond, was filled by a dense, surging crowd, sable 
in garb, steaming with moisture ; altogether unattractive to look 
•upon. A railway platform in Lancashire on a soaking December 
evening — that was the kind of aspect presented by Wilmington. 

Still, in our Parlor Pullman, our withers were unwrung. 
Once more the train started ; and anon a slim youth made his 
appearance in the car, bearing a towering pile of deep quadran- 
gular baskets of the " picnic " kind. One of them he deposited 
in front of us. Straightway tlie careful conductor, unlocking a 

* I <:;ot into terrible trouble at a dinner party at Baltimore by confounding 
Schenck of the Pills with a popular preacher of the same name. 



98 AMERICA REVISITED. 

cupboard, produced a stack of well-polished mahogany planks. 
One of these he brought into an horizontal position, and by 
means of a symmetrical arrangement of pegs and holes, dexter- 
ously " hitched "one side of the plank to the wall of the car. 
From the other side a flap-leg was let down ; and at once a 
table was improvised. The well-packed picnic basket behig- 
opened, the board straightway " groaned under the delicacies of 
the season." The fried oysters were a great success. They were a 
little shorter than French sabots, and not quite so wide as the 
knife-board of an omnibus ; but they were very toothsome. 
The steak was well broiled, tender, and juicy. Moreover, there 
were fried potatoes, crisp and hot ; good white bread, fair butter,"' 
tolerable coffee, and excellent lager beer, sparkling, exhilarating, 
and non-intoxicating. Stay, there were also table-napkins, line 
of hue and gauzy of texture. They were not much bigger than 
postage-stamps ; still they served. When our repast was con- 
cluded, the picnic baskets were repacked, and the slim youth, 
bearing a pile of them much taller than himself, disappeared from 
view. He could scarcely have quitted the train, seeing that it 
was in full motion, but had possibly sought fresh fields and 
customers new. It was the conductor with whom we settled. 
The entire charge for our collation was one dollar and fifty cents 
— say six shillings — including the use of the table, which could 
be afterwards utilised for the purpose of indulging in the 
mirthful ccarte or the innocent picquet. 

About a quarter before eight there was a cry of " luggage 
for Baltimore." One of the Express Company's familiars took 
me, in a friendly manner, into custody at once. How many 
packages had I ? Where did I mean to stay ? With lamb-like 
resignation I surrendered my brazen checks. With becoming- 
meekness I mentioned that I intended to alight at the Mount 
Vernon. The familiar of the Express Company vanished noise- : 
lessly. Did I want a hackman to drive me to the hotel ? the 
conductor asked. The porter who was to carry our minor 
packages and rugs and convey them to the carriage, at once 
grew up, as it were, from the floor of the car, just as if he were 
the ghost of a Corsican Brother. Did I mind two ladies, who 

* Not from one end of the United States to the other, have I ever tasted any ; 
butter equal to our Cambridge "best fresh," or to the butter of first class Paris i 
restaurants. The very best American butter tastes more or less of salt ; and butter 
should' be sweet. American' housekeepers will probably vehemently dispute my 
contention. 



ox THE CARS. 



99 



were bound in the same direction, sliaring the carriage with us ? 
Not the least in the world. They proved to be most charming 
ladies ; and one of them told us tliat on Monday we should be 
just in time to see the " Frog " Opera, and hear the " Polly vvog " 
Chorus, which extravaganza is just now rivalling "H.M.S. Pina- 
fore " in popularity. 

By half-past eight we were snugly installed at a very clean, 
quiet, and beautifully furnished hotel called the Mount Vernon. 
No hachshish had been demanded from us at any stage of the 
journey ; hut, the obliging hackman who drove us from the 
station charged us a dollar and a half for what in England 
would have been an eighteen-penny drive ; and for a modest bed- 
room on the third floor of the Mount Vernon I am now benig 
mulct at the rate of four dollars or sixteen shillings a day, ex- 
clusive of board. Never mind, I had rarely made so comfortable 
a railway trip, except in Russia, where railway comfort and even 
luxury have been brought almost to perfection. So I went to bed 
with a clear conscience at the Mount Vernon, Baltimore, in the 
beauteous State of Maryland, and dreamt that I was listening to 
the Polly wog chorus, to the accompaniment of the booming bell 
and the hoarse fog-horn of the locomotive. 




" KIN I TOTE YER LUGGAGE, SAH ? " 



h2 




servants' office in an AMERICAN HOTEL, 



VIII. 
The Monumental City. 

Baltimore, Md., Dec. 10. 

When I awoke at the Mount Vernon Hotel, Baltimore, to 
find that tlie mereilessly drenching Saturda}^ night had been 
succeeded by a Sunday morning glowing w^itli sunshine, and 
with a sky of cloudless cobalt blue, it was with no small curiosity 
that I stood at my casement to take a first peep of the newest 
city that was to be revealed to me. The town was hilly ; the 
undulating sky line made that fact at once prominent, and 
pleasantly so ; for there is no use in disguising the fact, that the 
unvarying flatness of New York makes it, after a time, dis- 
tressing to the eye. But Baltimore has not yet been graded to 
a dead level ; and its surface presents a most agreeable variety 
•of ups and downs. When looking straight ahead from my 
window, I beheld an amphitheatre of handsome villas, with 
green jalousies and shining steps of white stone in front of the 
houses : and especially when I noticed that the pavement of the 
side-walks was of red tiles, that the rain had completely dried 



THE MONUMENTAL CITY. 101 

up, and that there was not a symptom of mud to be seen 
anywhere, it occurred to me, in that confusion of ideas to wliich 
the freshly awakened traveller in a strange place is liable, that I 
was in the rearward and upward regions of Brighton — say at 
Montpelier. Then, extending my range of vision, I noted 
gentle acclivities crowned by groups of really stately mansions 
of red brick and somewhat in the Queen Anne type in archi- 
tecture. Surely, I reasoned, this must be Bath — where, by the 
bye, I have never been — the Crescent must be close by ; and 
after breakfast I must ask my way to the Pump Room. 

But by degrees, first through hearing the distant jingle of a 
tramway car bell, and next from observing the passage to and 
fro on the side-walk of a number of American citizens of 
African descent and of both sexes, most of them in their Sunday 
best — and very gay and sparkling is that " best," 1 can assure 
you — I began to understand tliat 1 was neither in Brighton nor 
in Bath, but in Baltimore, in the State of Maryland — the 
" Capua " of poor Guy Livingstone, whence he set forth on his 
" Border and Bastille " expedition : he lingered too long on the 
Border, else he might never have got into the Bastille of the Old 
Capitol Prison at Washington — and one of the comeliest, the 
most sociable, the most refined, and the most hospitable cities of 
the United States. More than that, I was on the shore of the 
beautiful river, the Patapsco — all the rivers hereabouts have 
pretty names, as Southey found out long ago, when he proposed 
to emigrate to the Susquchana merely because it had such a 
musical sound — -and I was in Dixie's Land. Yes ; Dixie. I 
mind how, in the old dark days of war, I often used to sit 
in the great cafe of the Dominica at Havana, listening to a 
cracked fiddle and a wheezy clarionet discoursing " Dixie," the 
" Bonnie Blue Flag," and the " Homespun Dress the Southern 
Ladies Wear," for the delectation of the " Secesli " exiles in 
Cuba. But anon a consumptive accordion and an asthmatic 
harp of Federal tendencies would join issue with the Southern 
minstrels ; and the Dominica would be made cacophonous with 
the Northern dities " John Erown's Body," " The Sky-blue 
Coat," and " When this Cruel War is Over." Then some strong 
Federal voice would intone " We'll hang Jeff Davis on a Sour 
Apple Tree !" to which Confederate lungs would responsively roar, 

*' I hear the distant tlumder hum, 
Maryland ! my Maryland ! 
The old lion bugle, life and drum, 
Maryland ! my Maryland ! " 



10.^ AMERICA REVISITED. 

Then mutual scowls would be exchanged between the Nor- 
therners and Southerners present, culminatmg perhaps m " a fite," 
happily innocent of shooting episodes, but resulting in the destruc- 
tion of several rush-bottomed chairs and Panama hats, with perhaps 
the coming to grief of the cracked fiddle, and the ignominious 
expulsion from the premises of the asthmatic liarp. It is very- 
different days now, thank goodness ! The hatchet is buried, 
and a new line of railroad is being built over the place of the 
obliterated war-path. 

Humbly following the example of the illustrious Knight of 
La Mancha, I have ever striven to be the earliest of risers ; but 
on this particular Sunday morning T should have liked to re- 
main an extra half-hour between the sheets. I was constrained, 
however, to rise by the persistent booming of the churcli bells. 
They rang me into nervousness, they rang me into consternation 
and prse-cordial anxiety ; they rang me into a most irreverent 
and un-Sunday-like state of exasperation, and they rang me 
temporarily very nearly mad. There may have been a good 
many people sick unto death that morning in Baltimore ; and the 
incessant clanging and jangling of the bells may have been as effi- 
cacious as the old *' Mrs. Gamp," pulling the pillow from beneath 
their heads in order to terminate their sufferings. I suppose 
that campanology is a science, and I wish its votaries joy of it. 1 
can understand the zeal of the "College Youths" and other 
amateur bell-ringers who ring " triple bob majors " by the ten 
thousand ; because at the conclusion of their labours they are 
sometimes regaled with a leg of mutton and "trimmings" for 
supper ; but I do seriously think that the time has arrived for 
quiet people all . over the world to unite in a protest against the 
senseless, cruel, and barbarous practice of jangling bells in order 
to invite the public to attend divine worship. 

The bell-ringing nuisance is nearly as offensive in England 
as it is in America ; and in both countries the practice is equally 
needless and wantonly indifferent to the requirements of those 
who need rest and quiet. Surely a man knows to what religion 
lie belongs, and at what hour the services at his particular place 
of worship begin. Yet the sexton goes on tugging at his bell 
as though Christians had altogether lost their memories, and as 
though there were no clocks and watches in the world. More- 
over, how is the churchgoer to discriminate between the different 
bells when they are all brangling at the same time ? Here in 
Baltimore, a city of 300,000 inhabitants, there are about 200 




»,-i,^ -t 









J 







THE MONUMENTAL CITY. 103 

cliurches, besides a number of halls used by different religions 
sects and societies. There are cathedrals and churches 
belonging to the Roman Catholics, the Protestant Episcopalians, 
the • Baptists — this persuasion has one vast marble church in 
Eutaw-place, with a bell-tower 187ft. high — the Methodist 
Episcopalians, the Independent Methodists, the Lutherans, the 
Presbyterians, the English Reformed, the Independents, the 
Unitarians, the Society of Friends, the " Christians," the United 
Brethren, the Universalists, and the Swedenborgians, or New 
Jerusalemites. There are 12 Jewish synagogues ; and there are 
numerous places of worship for the 50,000 coloured people who 
inhabit Baltimore, many of whom, however, are communicants 
at churches frequented by white worshippers. With the ex- 
ception of the Quakers' meeting-houses — I am not certain about 
the synagogues — all these churches — chapels you never hear of 
— are amply provided with bells, which boom and brawl from 
j sunrise to sunset, as though they Avere so many hotel gongs, 
calling guests to theological meals. 

I Avant to know — in the interest of the sick and nervous — 
what good these bells do any wliere ? Do they render anybody 
more serious, virtuous, or devout ? Or are they only a survival 
of uncivilised ages when savages felt bound to make some kind 
of noise before their idol or their fetish ? I recommend the 
campanological nuisance to the attention of all sensible 
physicians. Robinson Crusoe, according to Cowper, longed for 
the sound of " the church-going bells." He should have come to 
Baltimore ; and I fancy that after a single course of Sunday bell 
ringing in the Monumental City he would have been ready to join 
the Monastic Quietists of Mount Athos, who ring no bells, and 
sing no services, and preach no sermons, but let their beards 
grow, and " fash " themselves about nothing in particular, passing 
the major portion of their lives in the placid contemplation of 
the pits of their stomachs. 

The Mount Vernon Hotel, to which I had been urgently re- 
commended by American friends in England to sojourn, is 
situated in Monument-street, hard by Monument-square, in that 
which I was told is the most fashionable, and which is certainly 
the most sequestered portion of the Monumental City. The 
Mount Vernon was formerly the town mansion of a wealthy 
]\Iaryland magnate, and retains many traces of having been the 
residence of an affluent private gentleman of taste and culture. 
To meet the needs of a large number of guests, a spacious 




^ a 






THE MONUMENTAL CITY. 103 

churches, besides a number of halls used by different religious 
sects and societies. Tiiere are cathedrals and churches 
belonging to the Roman Catholics, the Protestant Episcopalians, 
the Baptists — this persuasion has one vast marble church in 
Eutaw-place, with a bell-tower 187ft. high — the Methodist 
Episcopalians, the Independent Methodists, the Lutherans, the 
Presbyterians, the English Reformed, the Independents, the 
Unitarians, the Society of Friends, the " Christians," the United 
Brethren, the Universalists, and the Swedenborgians, or New 
Jerusalemites. There are 12 Jewish synagogues ; and there are 
numerous places of worship for the 50,000 coloured people who 
inhabit Baltimore, many of whom, however, are communicants 
at churches frequented by white Avorshippers. With the ex- 
ception of the Quakers' meeting-houses — I am not certain about 
tlie synagogues — all these churches — chapels you never hear of 
— -are amply provided with bells, which boom and brawl from 
sunrise to sunset, as though they Avere so many hotel gongs, 
calling guests to theological meals. 

I want to know — in the interest of the sick and nervous — 
what good these bells do anywhere ? Do they render anybody 
more serious, virtuous, or devout ? Or are they only a survival 
of uncivilised ages when savages felt bound to make some kind 
of noise before their idol or their fetish ? I recommend the 
campanological nuisance to the attention of all sensible 
physicians. Robinson Crusoe, according to Cowper, longed for 
the sound of " the church-going bells." He should have come to 
Baltimore ; and I fancy that after a single course of Sunday bell 
ringing in the Monumental City he would have been ready to join 
the Monastic Quietists of Mount Athos, who ring no bells, and 
sing no services, and preach no sermons, but let their beards 
grow, and " fash " themselves about nothing in particular, passing^ 
the major portion of their lives in the placid contemplation ot 
the pits of their stomachs. 

The Mount Vernon Hotel, to which I had been urgently re- 
commended by American friends in England to sojourn, is 
situated in Monument-street, hard by Monument-square, in that 
which I was told is the most fashionable, and which is certainly 
the most sequestered portion of the Monumental City. The 
Mount Vernon was formerly the town mansion of a wealthy 
Maryland magnate, and retains many traces of having been the 
residence of an affluent private gentleman of taste and culture. 
To meet the needs of a large number of guests, a spacious 



lOi 



AMERICA llEVISITED. 



structure, to serve as a restaurant, lias been added to tlie 
original edifice ; but the private dining room of the original 
owner has been preserved intact — a spacious apartment with a 
painted ceiling of the Verrio and Laguerre type, an elaborately 
sculptured marble mantle-piece, and walls covered with stamped 
and gilt Cordovan leather. From this proceed a suite of lolty 
parlours and withdrawing rooms, richly furnished with Brussels 
and Aubusson carpets, crystal chandeliers, handsomely-framed 
mirrors, amber satin and white lace window-curtains, tapestried 
portieres^ and console tables adorned w^ith bronzes, marble stat- 
uettes, and Sevres and Minton china. The Maryland gentleman's 
library, affluent in carved oak book-cases, is over against the 
drawing-rooms, across a marble-paved hall. The library now 
serves as a smoking-lounge and reading-room, while a contiguous 
boudoir has been converted into a clerk's oftice, with the usual 
apparatus of telephones and electric bells, and the usual display 
of placards and time tables relative to railroad routes all over the 
enormous area of the Union. In the dark backjrround of the 




THE MONUMENTAL CITY. 



J 05 



clerk's sanctum looms the inevitable appendage, the Fire Proof Safe. 
In the marble hall dwell a continuous contingent of dark servants, 
all very civil and serviceable fellows. If you look pleasantly at 
tliem they immediately begin to grin from ear to ear, which 
puts things in general on a good-humoured footing. Besides 
the public entrance to the hotel, there is a handsomely-carpeted 
side entrance for 



,;li 



i"^ 



ladies. The baggage 
department is under 
the charge of a strong- 
armed colossus from 
Chicago, who exhibits 
slight traces of Irish 
ancestry, and is as 
obligino; as he is 
strong. 

, The clerk allotted 
us a capital " alcove" 
bedroom on the third 
floor, expensive in 
price, but handsomely 
furnished, and really 
serving all the pur- 
poses of bed-room 
and sitting-room. The 
bells were promptly 
answered, so far as 
the negroes were 
concerned ; but the 
chambermaid (who 
wore a " Princess " 
robe, with puffs and 
frills all down the 
skirt which would 
have photographed 
admirably, but, in 
textile truth, was of printed calico) turned out, from a sociable 
point of view, a failure. This young person was White ; and 
it had seemingly occurred to her at an early period of life 
that she was at the very least a Duchess. The attitude 
towards us was throughout one of inveterate hostility and un- 
mitigated scorn ; and the firmness with which she declined to 




THE CONTEMPTUOUS CHAMBERMAID. 



106 AMERICA REVISITED. 

ma,ke any response to tlie salutation of " good morning," wlien 
we chanced to pass her on her stairs, merited commendation if 
only on the score of its consistency. Of course she wore her 
hair, and a great deal of it, or of somebody else's, en clieveux^ and 
" fixed up " according to the latest modes presented in " Harperfs 
Bazaar ; " but this, I am told, is not the inexorable rule witli 
American girls when they condescend to be "helps." An 
advertisement was pointed out to me the other day in a New 
York paper, in which a young lady who wished to obtain a 
domestic appointment distinctly proclaimed herself to be an 
American, and as distinctly announced her willingness. to " wear 
a cap." Is this a hopeful sign, or the contrary? American 
ladies, who have been accustomed to live in Europe, complain 
bitterly on their return of the difficulty which they experience 
in obtaining " helps " of native extraction ; but on the other 
hand, there may be many uncompromising Republicans who 
hold it to be derogatory for a Daughter of the Gracchi to wear a 
cap, and otherwise submit to the little descents from personal 
dignity which, in antiquated and still semi-feudal Europe, "we 
expect from lovely woman when she accepts the functions ai)d 
the wages of a housemaid or a chambermaid. 

The philosophy of the matter, as it seems to me, is that, as 
regards domestic "help," England is becoming rapidly American- 
ised, whereas America is becoming slightly P^uropeanised. The 
Baltimore chambermaid, as beseemed the denizen of a Monu- 
mental City, was phenomenally self-conscious and stuck up ; but 
at the Brevoort, at New York, we had a female attendant 
who was as attentive and deferential as a chambermaid at 
a first-class Englisli hotel could be. I noticed, too, a vast 
number of gentlemen's grooms and coachmen in Fifth-avenue 
and in the Central Park, clad in livery and wearing crest 
buttons, and even cockades in their hats. In the old time 
a gentleman could certainly procure the services of a " help " 
who, for a consideration, would drive his carriage for him ; but 
in very few instances would the " help " in question deign to 
wear anything approaching a livery. Remember, I am not 
prepared to make an affidavit that the retainers in the handsome 
liveries and the cockaded hats are native Americans. I am yet 
raw and unfledged as a tourist in this country ; and everything 
that I record must, as the lawyers say, be taken " erjiqrs 
excepted." But I have beheld the liveries and the cockades- 
rivalling as they do, in their plenitude and their splendour, the 



THE MONUMENTAL OITY. 



107 




LrilHance of Hyde Park-Corner at tlie height of the season. In 
concludhig this digression on domestic servants, I may just 
vindicate that which I said concerning the rapid " Americanisa- 
tion " of England by asking any EngHsh lady, long accustomed 
to keep house, whether five-and-twenty years since she would 
have allowed her female servants to dress their hair precisely as 
they chose, or to be called *' Miss " on the letters addressed to 
them through the post? "No ringlets," at the distance of time 
to which I refer, was a Median and Persian law imposed on 
English parlourmaids and housemaids ; but if rhiglets were 
fashionable now-a-days who would dare to gainsay Sarah Ann 
if she appeared with her tresses laterally corkscrewed out even 
to the similitude of Ninon de I'Enclos or a Blenheim spaniel ? 

Sunday in Baltimore proved, from a theological standpoint, 
to be unexceptionably admirable and amiable, but in a secular 
and sociable sense it was undeniably most deplorably and 
desperately dull. I had plenty of letters of introduction ; but 
I hesitated to deliver any of the credentials with which I was 
furnished on tlie Sabbath. I made up ray mind at starting to 
tread on as few toes as ever I possibly could on this vast 
continent ; and for aught I could tell Sunday observance might 
be a very soft corn indeed in Baltimore. Nevertheless I endured 
all the agonies of intense boredom. Beyond church-going there 
was nothing to do; and one could scarcely go to church 
morning, afternoon, and evening. Let me remark, once for all, 



108 AMERICA REVISITED. 

that tlie observance of tlie Sabbath in some parts of the United 
States is a substantial, stringent, inflexible, but doubtless 
beneficent reality. It is more than Scotch in its severity. We 
all know how vastly serviceable to the cause of morality and 
virtue the strict observance of the Seventh Day has been to our 
brethren beyond the Tweed, and how "proper" Sabbath-keeping 
statutes make them a model people in the way of ethics and 
abstinence from intoxicating liquors. Similarly, righteous 
respect for the sanctity of the Sunday has evidently been 
productive among the Americans of that rapidly growing 
temperance, frugality, and law abidingness, and that surprising- 
development in political purity and commercial probity which 
no foreign visitor to their country can fail to observe as being 
eminently characteristic of the nation. 

Baltimore is not behindhand in the Spartan strictness of its 
Sabbatarianism. I was wicked enough to wish to get shaved ; 
but the sable barber of the Mount Vernon had bolted and 
barred himself up in his den in the basement of the building, 
and informed me through the keyhole that it would be against 
the law of the State for him to shave me then and there, but 
that he was shortly about to come upstairs ibr the purpose of 
" barbing " Number Sixteen, and as soon as he was " through " 
he would come and " fix " me. He did accordingly " fix " me in 
my own apartment, and charged 25 cents, which, considering 
the trifling " gettin' up stairs " he had gone through, was not 
greatly in excess of the normal rate of 15 cents. 

Another illustration of Sunday strictness will be afforded 
should you happen to require, before dinner, such an " appetiser " 
as a glass of slierry-and-bitters, or that even more pungent whet, 
a whiskey-cocktail. I am ready to grant, for the sake of argu- 
ment, that it is sinful to drink sherry-and-bitters, and that a 
cocktail is perdition. Now, in the underground regions of the 
hotel there is a bar, where from Monday till Saturday, from 
early in the morning until late at night, you may obtain as many 
cocktails, cobblers, juleps, brandy smashes, and gin-slings, as 
you may choose to order. But on Sunday, and during the 
whole of the Sabbath, from midnight till midnight, the Law of 
the State inexorably closes, not only the dram shop, but the 
hotel bar. You can obtain nothing whatever that is potable, 
either in or out of church-time. From the locked and bolted 
bar you are sent away thirsting ; but there is not the slightest 
necessity for your being thirsty in your bedroom. You have but 



THE MONUMENTAL CITY. 



109 



to ring your bell, and signify your wishes, and in a few minutes 
a smiling attendant will bring you whatsoever you require in the 
way of stimulants. The same toleration extends to the dinner 
table. It is the bar only that is sealed ; and the Sunday taboo 
was, I have no doubt, prompted by a laudable desire to exclude 
the bibulous loafer from without. How the bibulous loafer gets 
on in an American city on Sunday, I have not the slightest idea. 




THE BIBULOUS LOAFER. 



We hired an open carriage and pair from the hotel at three 
in the afternoon — driving, for pleasuring on the Sabbath has 
fortunately not been prohibited by the Laws of the State — and 
made the circuit of the smiling city. I could not help being 
struck with astonishment by the perfection to which Sabbath- 
keeping had been brought in Baltimore. Not a cigar shop, not 
a fruit or candy or cake store, or ice-cream saloon, was open. 
All the petty branches of commerce which flourish in London on 
Sunday were entirely suspended. The solitary exception made 



110 



AMERICA EEVISITED. 



was in the case of the pharmacies or drug stores — the chemists^ 
shops, as we should call them. Many of these are very large 
and handsome establishments, and aerated and mineral waters 
are among the articles which they vend. I wonder whether it 
would be against the Law of the State to enter a drug store, and 
call for a certain febrifuge well known in military circles in 

England, and compound- 
ed of seltzer water, sal 
volatile, syrup of ginger, 
and gentian. It is called, 
I beheve, the "Steel 
Battle-axe Pick-me-up." 
Would the Baltimore 
druo^o-ist be stricken with 
horror were he asked for 
the unhallowed tipple ; 
or, on the contrary, might 
he not possibly suggest 
that quinine wine and 
Vichy water was an 
agreeable tonic, or that 
Apollinaris and " iron 
bitters " had been found, 
under circumstances of al- 
coholic stress, refreshing? 
AVe drove by the chief 
architectural attractions 
of the Monumental City, 
imposing columnar monu- 
the nobly simple inscrip- 
The column stands on a 
Howard's Park, but now 




THE ■WASHINGTON MONUMENT. 



including 



grandiose 



and 



the reall}' 
ment to George Washington, with 
tion, " By the State of Maryland." 
beautiful eminence, formerly called 
rechristened Mount Vernon-square, a hundred feet above the 
level of the Patapsco at high tide. The pillar, which Avitli 
the base is nearly two hundred feet in height, is surmounted by 
a colossal statue of the Father of his Country, represented in the 
act of resigning his commission as commander-in-chief of the 
armies of the United States. Only one lunatic has thrown him- 
self from the top of that monument ; that was in 1875, and the 
madman, of course, was instantaneously killed. We drove by 
the famous " Battle Monument," erected to commemorate the 
citizens who fell in defence of Baltimore durins: the engagement 



THE MONUMENTAL CITY. 



Ill 



at North Point and the bombardment of Fort iM'Henry by 
the British forces in September, 1814. An Englishman can never 
think without bitter 
chagrin and vexation of 
the veterans of the Pe- 
ninsula campaigns, the 
Hower of WeUington's 
conquering legions, frit- 
tered away in one of the 
pettiest and most pur- 
poseless wars that was 
ever concerted by a 
knot of unusually stupid 
statesmen. We saw 
the Oddfellows' Monu- 
ment and the memorial 
erected over the tombs 
of the fiery youths, 
Daniel Wells and Henry 
G. M'Comas, who killed 
the British General Ross 
at our attack on Balti- 
more in 1812. The fiery 
youths were themselves 
immediately afterwards 
slain by the British. 

Finally we drove to Druid-hill Park, one of the handsomest 
pleasaunces to be found, I should say, in any city of the United 
States. It comprises about five hundred acres, and was 
first laid out more than a century ago, in the style of English 
landscape gardening then in vogue. It was not, however, until 
1860 that the property was purchased by the city of Baltimore 
for the sum of $500,000. It occupies the highest point of land 
in the immediate vicinity of the city, and commands magnificent 
views of stately Baltimore and the Bay beyond, down to Kent 
Island and Annapolis. Here are splendid thickets of trees, of 
great age and magnitude of girth — catalpas, Lombardy poplars, 
hickories, and white oaks ; here are a cascade and a lake, 
verdant lawns, umbrageous bosquets — Sleepy Hollows and 
lovers' walks, for aught I know. There are herds of grace- 
ful deer ; in fact, almost everything was visible in Druid-hill 
Park, this particular Sunday, except Humanity. Comparatively 




THE BATTLE MONUMENT. 



112 



AMERICA REVISITED. 




VIEW IN DRUIi) HILL PARK. 



speaking there was nobody about, either on foot or on wheels. 
Outside the park, the avenues leading therefrom were traversed 
by tramcars ; but the passengers were few and far between. 
The fiiir city of Baltimore seemed to be lying dead in its smooth, 
shining, silent, Sunday sarcophagus. Where were the three 
hundred thousand inhabitants of the Monumental City? All at 
church, I suppose. I began at last to feel guiltily uncomfortable. 
Conscience reproached me with Sabbath-breaking, as we sped 
through the still streets homeward to the Mount Vernon ; and 
then came darkness, and the bells began to jangle again for 
evenino; service. 




EXCHA.NGK PLACP], BALTIMORE. 



IX. 

Baltimore come to Life again. 

Baltimore, Decemher 13. 

That you sliould "sleep upon it" is a very excellent piece 
of advice, the common-sense of which, as applied to most of the 
affairs of mankind, has made the counsel proverbial. " Sleeping^ 
upon it," then, I arrived, after a night's rest, at the conclusion 
that Baltimore was not so like Tunbridge Wells, or Brighton, or 
the Bath, which I had never seen, as it was like York ; and that 
impression grew upon me as I reviewed the scenes, so charming 
yet so socially depressing, of the day before, and recollected the 
jangling bells which had so distracted my nerves on Sunday. 
There are, I believe, in the venerable city of Constantine, exclu- 
sive of the Minster, fifty churches belonging to the Establishment 
alone. Make allowance for the difference of population, and add 
your churches of other denominations — Americans are too lofty- 
minded to acknowledge such edifices as chapels, although they 
sometimes speak of " going to meetin' " — and you have an 
ecclesiastical aggregate for which our York may be accepted as 



Hi 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



a tolerably close parallel. There is, moreover, a decidedly 
Eboracan appearance about the first-class dwelling-houses in 
that which I should call the capital of Maryland, did I not 
timeously remember that the State capital — that is to say, the 
seat of the Legislature — is at Annapolis. 

These tall, grave, and dignified mansions in Baltimore, with 




ROOM IN THE BRICE HOUSE. 



their casings of white stone, these shining windows of plate 
glass, and the steep flights of stone steps in front, have a 
strikingly Georgian look ; and many of these edifices are hand- 
some enough to have been built by that much maligned but 
really very capable architect, Sir Jolm Vanbrugh. There are 
plenty of such houses in York, and in imagination I peopled the 
steep fliglits of steps in Baltimore Avith bevies of pretty English 
girls — you know how charmingly pretty are the maidens in the 
City of the Five Sisters — on their way to or from church, all 
carrying handsomely bound prayer-books, and escorted either by 
portly mammas of that amplitude of figure which the amiable 
Nathaniel Hawthorne erroneously assumed to be peculiar to the 
British matron, but which, I rejoice to observe, is not by any 
means uncommon among the mothers of the American Gracchi 



baltimokp: come to life again. 115 

ill 1879, or else accompanied by auburn-bearded and athletic 
brothers, exemplarily devout and demure-looking-, as beseemed 
Sunday, yet in whose guise there was a lurking and latent 
Something which hinted that on Monday and the remaining 
days of the week they knew a great deal on the subject of a 
horse, and would be prepared to express their opinions concern- 
ing the Doncaster St. Leger if called upon to do so. 

Nor would it at all have astonished me had I met, trotting 
along the red-tiled side-walks of Baltimore, a number of plump 
personages whose rosy gills, clean-shaven chins and upper lips, 
and neatly-trimmed side whiskers, no less than their shovel hats 
and black gaiters, proclaimed them to be dignified clergymen of 
the Church of England. I was quite prepared to meet an Arch- 
deacon " performing archidiaconal functions" in the chief city 
of Maryland. I think that, without collapsing, I could have 
supported even the spectacle of a Rural Dean. The city looked, 
not only ecclesiastically but municipally, like York. I had green 
turtle and venison steak for dumer on Sunday. My bosom 
swelled with patriotic pride within me as I partook of callipash 
and callipee ; and I had nearly screwed my courage to the 
sticking-place to sally fortli and ask the way to the Mansion 
House, with the intent of interviewing some rubicund personage 
with a gold chain, whom I might deferentially address as My Lord, 
and of whom I might inquire when it would be convenient for 
me to pay my respects to My Lady ]\Iayoress. 

To tell the truth, I had been in desperate conversational 
straits all day Sunday. I had a sheaf of letters of introduction 
in my satchel ; but I dared not commit a possible breach of 
etiquette by presenting any of those missives on the Sabbath. 
I had been promised by friends in England a hearty reception at 
the Maryland Club ; but on Dead Sunday I was as the Peri at 
the Gate of Paradise — if you can imagine a corpulent and 
elderly Peri in a carriage and pair, raging in his inward heart 
because he found himself in a city renowned for its courtesy to 
strangers — a city of 300,000 inhabitants — without anybody to 
talk to. Liside the Baltimore Club House were no doubt some 
of the grave and reverend seigniors of Maryland — those at least 
of their number who were not at church — to say nothing of the 
jeunesse doree^ the gay young bloods of the city. That there 
zcere some gay young bloods in Baltimore I was certain ; for on 
Sunday evening, accidentally peeping into the stately Cordovan 
leather-hung apartment, which had been the gentleman's dining 

I 2 



116 



AMERICA REVISITED. 




SOME MEMBERS OF THE OLD MARYLAND CLUB. 



room Avlien tlie IVIount Vernon Hotel was a private mansion, I 
saw a table laid, in approved Delmonico style — bouquets, ferns^ 
silver candelabra, crystal, and so forth — for four. The sable 
waiters were bringing- in the Blue Point oysters on the " half 
shell " when I fled disconsolate to the desolate public dining 
room, where, save the waiters and ourselves, there was nobody 
but a clergyman, who was taking his tea and a liberal allowance- 
of stewed oysters in a silent hurry, having doubtless to preach a 
sermon later in the evening, and a gentleman with a snuff- 
coloured beard, whose vesper repast consisted of a baked apple^ 
a quantity of uncooked celery, and a glass of iced water. I 
very much feared that there was something the matter with 
him, or that there would be shortly. For the sake of con- 
versing with somebody or anybody (for 1 was growing 
desperate), I would have addressed the vegetarian unintroduced^ 
and advised him for his stomach's sake to try some of the 
medicaments of the wonderful Schenk, Waywode of Pennsyl- 
vania, Hospodar of New Jersey, and Kaimakan of Delaware — 
say his Pulmonic Syrup or his Mandrake Pills — but my com- 
panion besought me to be quiet. The mulatto waiter was a most. 



BALTIMORE COiME TO LIFE AGAIN. 



117 



civil and obliging creature, but, conversationally, he was a 
failure. 

The bar, as I have already stated, was closed, else I might 
have renewed my acquaintance with a very genial old gentle- 
man with whom I had conversed late on Saturday night. He 
was good enough to adopt the hypothesis — I was in travelling 
garb of a shaggily woollen texture — that I was " a captain of 
one of them big ships that was taking grain to Europe ; " and 
he confidently expressed his opinion that Great Britain was not 
in a position to pay for the bread-stuffs with which she proposed 
to feed her starving population. We had got no money, 
according to the genial old gentleman, " Nary cent." He 
offered to treat me to a " hot whiskey skin," in compassion, I 
presume, for my insolvent and destitute condition. But he was 
not accessible on Sunday. Nobody was accessible. 




118 AMERICA REVISITED. 

I went after dinner into the apartment in front of the clerk's 
office which served as a smoking room. Three speechless 
gentlemen occupied three rocking chairs. They read news- 
papers, they smoked, they expectorated, and they said nothing. 
One side of the room was nearly filled by a huge book-case, 
splendidly carved ; but the shelves were protected by plate 
glass, and the case was locked. I felt too dejected to ask for 
the key, and only peeped through the glass at the library store 
within, which, so tar as my dim vision could aid me, appeared 
to consist of Reports submitted to Congress on tlie Ku-Klux 
outrages in the Southern States, in three hundred and sixty-five 
volumes. I never before beheld such a mass of " outrageous " 
literature collected under one head. 

Behind the counter was a very paragon of mutism in the 
shape of an hotel clerk. I tried him on all kinds of subjects — 
on the weather, on the trains southward, on the price of grain 
at Chicago, on the addresses of people on whom I wished to 
call. For a long time he w^as dumb ; then he became respon- 
sive, but only monosyllabically so, and in a voice that came as 
it seemed from the Tombs. I would have asked him if he had 
ever tried one of Schenk's curatives, but I was fairly afraid of 
this mute man, so I sate, and smoked, and felt as though I were 
turning into stone. But my sense of hearing became painfully 
acute. I could hear every pulsation of the hotel clock. I could 
hear every rustle of the leaves of the hotel ledger as they were 
turned over by the speechless cashier ; and, worse than all, I 
could hear the distant lauirhter of the four guests in the 
Cordovan leather-hung dining room. Ah ! they were having 
" a high old time of it " for certain. Terrapin {\ la Maryland 
as a matter of course. Extra dry Yerzenay, no doubt. Regalias, 
Imperiales, probably.* 

On Monday morning — and a delightfully mild and i-adiant 
Monday it was — Baltimore, to my infinite delight. Came to Life 
again, and proved to be a very vivacious and cheerful city, full 
not only of commercial bustle and activity, but of social amenity 
and refinement. I set out for a long ramble, and found that the 
principal streets extending through the city — -which has a circuit 
of tw^elve miles — were Baltimore-street (formerly called Market- 
street), Lombard, Batt, Frederick, Gay, Holliday, North, South, 

* In MaryluiKl a striiij^i'iit Act exists wliicli protects diaiiiond-ljack terrapins in 
tlie waters of tlie State. The fishing opens on the fii"st of Xovember and terminates 
on the 31st of ]\Iarch. It is nnlawful to catch any terrapin of a size less than five 



BALTIMORE COME TO LIFE AGAIN. 



119 



Calvert (a dim reminiscence this of the Calverts Lords Balti- 
more, proprietaries of the colony of Maryland), Light, St. Paul, 
Charles, Hanover, Sharp, Howard, and Entaro. Exchange- 
place in Lombard-street is the focns of the heaviest business : 
the Merchants' Exchange, Post Office, and Custom House 
being all in this locality. South and Second-streets close by, 
are crowded with banks, many of which are really palatial 
structures ; and with the offices of insurance companies, stock- 
brokers, and real estate agents. The real estate agent is a 
very important personage in a country where house property 
in cities, otlierwise known as " town lots," possesses such an 
enormous value. I was told that Baltimore-street was not only 
the chief emporium of retail business, but also the principal 
promenade of female beauty and feshion ; and here I was 

inches on the bottom of the shell, or to interfere Avitli or destroy the diamond-ljack 
terrapin's eggs. Thirty years ago the dealers fonnd it ditiiciilt to sell terrapins at 
$6 a dozen, and now the dilficiilty lies in obtaining them at even f 38 a dozen, OAving 
to their increasing scarcity. The male terrapin is known as the " liull," the female 
as the " cow," the lady being more in request on account of her thirty eggs, which 
are used to garnish the delectable dish. 






'^ ^l^J^' v-^<- 




KETTING TERRAPINS. 



120 AMERICA REVISITED. 

gravely informed I might " determine on the comparative beauty 
of the Baltimore ladies." I resolved to survey this notable 
thoroughfare, under its double aspect of commerce and come- 
liness ; and, as regards the latter, I own that I had formed 
high, exalted expectations. 

Feminine fashions in Baltimore are serious matters. I had 
been reading that morning in one of the local journals a most 
portentous colunm of items, headed " For the Ladies." May I 
venture to hope that some of my lady readers in England may 
be edified by the announcement that, in the genial city of 
Maryland, " hoops threaten to come once more into feshion, and 
satin cashmere is a new dress material " ? Further on I learned 
that " the new shade of purple is called ' dahlia,' " that " epin- 
geline"is "a novel name for uncut velvet," and that "new 
plaid stockings have the checks set diagonally." This I hold to 
be a decided advantage, since many years ago, when the exuber- 
ance of crinohne occasionally led to indiscretions in the revela- 
tion of ankles, I remember seeing a lady the rectangular black 
and white checks on whose hose suggested to an irreverent 
omnibus conductor in High-street, Knightsbridge, the profane 
remark to the driver of the vehicle that he would " werry niucli 
like to 'ave a game o' draughts on that gal's legs." Then, 
again, I gathered that, " to be fashionable, one must have a 
leopard skin muff," and that the " Derb}^ hat " is very nuich 
worn by young coloured girls. Subsequently I came to the 
mysterious statement that " an innovation in underwear is seen 
in the fine pink and blue flannel, beautifully embroidered with 
flowers in white floss." " White skirts," the oracle w^ent on, " are 
no longer worn in the street ; black satin or Japanese blue, scarlet 
or olive green satin or flannel, take their place." After this I 
concluded that it was time to retire from the perusal of the 
column for the ladies. Even the writer seemed to have grown 
terrified at his own audacity, for after the allusion to the black 
satin " underwear," he became slightly trite and jejune, con- 
tenting himself with remarking that " wool plaids in plum-colour, 
black, and gold are patronised by the most fashionable school- 
girls," bidding those young ladies " who have no sealskin 
sacques cheer up, for the doctors say they are very unhealthy," 
and drifting at last into the mere platitude of advising girls who 
wished to have small mouths to repeat, at frequent intervals 
during the dciy, " Fanny Finch Fried Five Floundering Frogs 
For Francis Fowler's Father." 



BALTIMORE COIilE TO LIFE AGAIN. 



121 



As a matter of fact, I found Baltimore- street and Charles- 
street, by which last-named thoroughfare you descend from the 
fashionable district of the city, full of well-dressed ladies intent 
on shopping. Sealskin " sacques " or jackets were plentiful, 




but, according to a critical authority by whom I was accom- 
panied, the American ladies patronise a sealskin which is dyed 
almost black instead of a rich chestnut hue, and they have con- 
sequently a somewhat sombre appearance. The " Derby " hat 
is simply what we call a " pot," of black felt ; and it had need 
to be patronised by young ladies of colour, for it is inexpensive. 
Imitations of our " Devonshire," " Gainsborough," and, indeed, 
every kind of " hard " and turned-up hats for ladies, were 
numerous. So far as I could obtain information from the price 
tickets aftixed to tasteful Paris bonnets in the shop windows, a 
lady's chapeau here, as, indeed, throughout the States, is an 
inordinately costly article. A very pretty article Avith an em- 
broidered crown and trinnnings of black velvet was priced five- 
and-twenty dollars, or five pounds ; a tiny little baby's straw 
bonnet with a plain white caD was ticketed seven dollars, or one 



122 



AMEHICA REVISITED. 



pound eight shillings. In Oxford-street it would have been 
dear at half a guinea. 

For these astounding prices, which rule not only every 
department of male and female apparel, but almost every 
appliance of what we call civilisation, Americans have to thank 
the Tariif — that Tariff which not only imposes an almost pro- 
hibitory duty on imported commodities, and thereby encourages 
an inconceivable amount of smuggling, venality, and corruption, 
but which, notwitlistanding the assertion of the doctrinaires and 

the interested, also seems to 
have the effect of paralysing 
native industry. We are con- 
tent in England to pay a high 
price, say four shillings and 
ninepence, for a pair of the 
very best kid gloves ; but 
" 'Any " can purchase at 
hundreds of London shops a 
shilling's worth of "bow-wow,"' 
that is to say, a pair of strong, 
serviceable so-called dogskin 
gloves, for twelvcpence ster- 
ling. The American must 
pay, thanks to the Tariff, two 
dollars four, or eight shillings, 
for a pair of kid gloves, and 
those not of the first quality ; 
and I should be very much 
obliged if any one would tell 
me in what American city, 
and at what kind of store, I can buy a pair of strong leather 
gloves, simulating dogskin, for five and twenty cents, or one 
shilling. Yet the Americans have plenty of leather, and are 
expert mechanics. Why should they not make their own gloves, 
as they are making their own watches — which are coming to be 
of surprising excellence — and their own sewing machines ? You 
must excuse my occasional references to the Tariff. It is the 
Bottle Imp of American life, and people have not yet " learned 
to love it." 





INDEPENDE>"CE HALL, PHILADELPHIA. 



X. 

The Great Grant " Boom." 

Xew Yurk, Dcceiiijer 20. 

I HAVE just returned from an interestino- although l)i-ief 
sojourn in Washington and P]nhidel])hia ; and liave first of all to 
narrate some personal experiences in the City of Brotherly Love in 
connection with the grand parade held in Philadelphia on Tuesday, 
the 16th of December, in honour of General Ulysses S. Grant. It 
was from the Quaker City that the ex-President of the United 
States took his departure some two years since, amid universal 
manifestations of respect, to make a tour round the world. 
He travelled, indeed, far afield ; and, like that other Ulysses that 



124< AMERICA REVISITED. 

we wot of saw men and cities innumerable ; and, as liis brilliant 
pilgrimage was to come to a close in the self-same place M-liere 
it had begun, the Generars admirers in Philadelphia — and their 
name is apparently legion — determined to make the penultimate 
week preceding the Christmas holidaj'S the occasion of the very 
grandest festive patriotic demonstration, with General Grant for 
its hero, that it was possible to organise. The " Great Grant 
Boom " is now gone and past — it is a " played out " boom so far 
as festivity is concerned, and must now give place to the Christ- 
mas boom and Santa Claus, and the approaching masquerade 
ball at the Academy of Music. My business is only with the 
■events of Tuesday, the 1 Gth instant, and that immeasurably 
i^rand parade of which I will once for all frankly admit I was an 
involuntary and a miserable spectator. I have suffered much 
since last Tuesday, and the Great Grant Boom has entered into 
my soul. 

It is rather late in the day to observe that the government of 
the United States of America is strictly and irrevocably a 
Republican one ; and that, in the whole Union, there is not a 
anore sternly loyal commonwealth than Pennsylvania, the 
■" Keystone " State, nor a more intensely Eepublican centre than 
the city among whose monuments of the past the historic Inde- 
pendence Hall is the most proudly conspicuous. Philadelphia, 
nevertheless, rejoices, so far as the refinements of society are 
•concerned, in a King, by the name of Mr. George W. Childs, the 
j)roprietor of a very well-known daily newspaper, called the 
J^ublic Ledger. Mr. Childs, it is universally acknowledged, 
-comprises in his individuality the attributes of a man of Boss, a 
Ma3cenas, an Amphitryon, and a Herodes Atticus. His activity 
is indefatigable, his public spirit indomitable, and his hospitality 
inexhaustible. Mr. Childs' proprietorial Sanctum at the oftice of 
the Public Ledger is a marvel of art furniture, decoration, and 
tasteful hric d brae ; and he makes it a "pimdonor^ as the 
Spaniards sa}^, to present every lady who visits him w-ith a piece 
of rare porcelain specially imported for him from the Old World 
by the fiamous Tiffany of New York. 

When Mr. G. W. Childs is not engaged in entertaining his 
friends and the strangers that are within the gates of Philadelphia 
4it luncheon, dinner, or tea, he presents stained-glass windows to 
Westminster Abbey, or indulges in some other delassement of 
cosmopolitan munificence ; and some of those days it may be 
confidently expected that he will give the finishing architectural 



THE GREAT GRANT BOOM. 



125 



toucli in the way of a spire a coujile of luindred feet liigli, to 
Boston " stump," in Lincolnshire. ]Mr. Geo. W. Childs is, in 
fine, a highly representative American in general and Phila- 
delphian in particular ; that is to say, a thoroughly courteous, 
hospitable, and generous gentleman. I had no knowledge of 
him, save by repute, when T arrived in America ; but he was 
good enough to offer to show me all the episodes of the Great. 
Grant Boom, which was to last an entire week, and during which 
I was to be his guest. Mr. Childs' own house was to be entirely 
devoted to purposes of feasting, and General Grant and his suite 
were to be lodged on the first Hoor of the colossal establishment 
in Walnut-street, called the Continental Hotel. In that same 
gigantic caravanserai, apartments, I was informed, had also been 
secured for me and mine. 

When Americans are on hospitable cares intent they are not 
accustomed to do things by halves. They come down on you, 
: figuratively, " like a hundred of bricks " in the way of kindnesses 
and courtesies ; and during the fortnight when I was staying^ 
between New York, Baltimore, and Washington, the United 
States mails were conveying to me premonitory reverberations 
of the Great Grant Boom, in the guise of biddings to participate 
in the rejoicings of the memorable week which was to begin on 
the 16th and to end on _ ,^_ __ 

the 23rd. First came — ^»— -— ^ 

a prodigious glazed card 
bearing a large corpo- 
rate seal and an en- 
graved heading, whicli 
at first made me some- 
what uncertain as to 
whether I was survey- 
ing a United States 
Uive-twenty bond or a 
certificate of member- 
ship of the Ancient 
Order of Foresters. This 
proved to be a general 
invite signed by the clerk 
of the Collected Com- 
mittees of Councils to 
partake during seven days of "the liospitalities of the City of 
Philadelphia." I promptly accepted the liberal offer, but I felt 




ENTRANCE TO FAIRMOUXT PARK. 



126 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



slightly uncertain as to the nature of these hospitalities and 
where I was to hnd them. 1 asked American friends, and they 

smiled. Would 
the prodigious 
enamelled card 
enable me to 
occupy an al- 
fresco bench all 
night in Fair- 
mount Park, or 
to ride gra- 
tuitously in the 
street cars, or to 
"shin round the 
free lunches," 
or to get shaved 
the coming Sun- 
day. AVlien I. 
was young a 
favourite diver- 
sion on the 1st 
of April was 
to forward to 
our friends and 
acquaintances 
cards of admis- 
sion to the Tower of London for the purpose of " seeing the 
lions washed." Would the invitation to enjoy the " hospitalities 
of the City of Philadelphia " prove as derisively delusive as the 
lion-washing permit ? 

But the invitations continued to pour in. Cards for recep- 
tions and soir<^es, issued always " to meet General and Mrs. 
Grant," from influential private citizens of the Chess Board City, 
it would be obviously indecorous to particularise ; yet of such 
cards I had a pack. Then the Union League of Philadelphia 
wrote on hot-pressed Bath post, surmounted by an elaborately- 
engraved vignette of the American Eagle gazing at the rising 
sun and holding the star-spangled banner in his talons, to say 
that I was expected to meet General Grant on Tuesday, the 23rd. 
Subsequently, and still through the medium of copper-plate 
engraving, the AVorshipful Mayor of Philadelphia signified to me 
that on a given evening he should be at home to receive General 




A SKETCH IX FAIRMOUNT PARK. 



THE GREAT GRANT "BOOM." 1-27 

Grant ; and then, on a prodigious placard of Bristol board 
covered with chalcographic effigies of eagles, thunderbolts, stars, 
stripes, St. Andrew's crosses, sabres, and cannon balls, the 
" Grand Army of the Republic" informed me tliat they would 
hold "a grand camp fire " at the Academy of Music on the 18tli, 
with the object of welcoming " Comrade Ulysses S. Grant." 
Likewise was I told that, on a certain afternoon, and at this same 
Academy of Music, twelve thousand schoolgirls would go through 
a variety of recitations, musical performances, and calisthenic 
exercises : always in the presence and in honour of General 
Grant. 

Finally came from Mr. Childs a triumph of chromo-litho- 
graphy in golden blazonry of the flags of all nations, surmounting 
the bill of tare of a " quiet little dinner " to be given on Tuesday, 
the IGth, at the proprietor of the Public Ledger s private residence 
in Walnut- street, to a select party of guests, including General 
and Mrs. Grant, General Sherman, the Hon. Hamilton Fish, 
General Sheridan, Mr. A. J. Drexel, Senator Cameron, the Hon. 
Edwards Pierrepont, sometime United States Minister to the 
Court of St. James's, the Hon. John Welsh, also an ex-" plenipo " 
to London, and the Hon. George S. Boutwell. These are names 
of European as well as of American renown ; and that is wh}^ I 
enumerate them. Places at this distinguished board were re- 
served for your obedient servant and partner. It was a wonder- 
ful menu. Blue Point oysters — they are almost as small and as 
delicate in flavour as our English native, and are thus grateful to 
the palate of the uncivilised foreigner who cannot relish the 
genuine American bivalve, which is a trifle smaller than a coal 
barge and a " wee bit " larger than a roller-skate — green turtle 
soup, fried smelts and striped bass, filet of beef with mushrooms, 
spinach with cream, ^507zc/^e a la Romaine to " cut the courses ; " 
terrapin and celery, canvas-back duck, and a wilderness of sweets 
and ices. Alas ! 

We had been bidden to dinner in Massachusetts Avenue, 
Washington, on Tuesday, the 16th, at the house of the most 
hospitable, the most accomplished, and the most brilliantly 
conversational of Democratic Senators. He would not have been 
thought Democratic (in one sense of the political term) in 
England. He would as to his manners and culture have been 
pronounced decidedly (that is to say naturally) aristocratic. We 
were congratulated on our good fortune in being invited to the 
" quiet and select " dinner party at Mr. Childs', for as a matter 



128 AMERICA REVISITED. 

of course the bill of fare and a complete list of llie guests had 
been published in all the newspapers. Woe is me ! I dreamed 
golden dreams. Was there a possibility, I wondered, of obtain- 
ing a divorce swiftly and cheaply in the convenient State of 
Indiana — where growling at the amount of a wife's millinery bill 
is said to be recognised as legal cruelty — and marrying the 
daughter of a Grand Vizier, or at least of a Billionnaire from 
Nevada, a Croesus from Colorado, or a PetnJeum Plutus from Oil 
City ? I dreamed of giving " surprise parties " at Delmonico's, 
and of purchasing all the repousse silver ware at Tiffany's. 
Alnaschar ! What had I in the basket of my brain ? Nothing 
but some brittle glass and fragile crockery. 

The morning of Wednesday dawned somewhat cloudily and 
coldly, but I was up with the lark, or, at least, with the screech- 
owl, one of the sable attendants in the lower regions of 
Wormley's Hotel, Washington, having recently caught a lively 
specimen of the species just named, which used to perch on the 
marble counter of the bar all day and hoot as though he were 
a Vice-Chancellor about to commit a refractory defendant for 
contempt, or a discontented shareholder at the annual meeting of 
a joint-stock company. The screech-owl, together with a mock- 
ing-bird occupying a cage in the clerk's office, and which was 
the most discordantly derisive bird that I ever came across, used 
to have " a high old time " of it at Wormley's Hotel ; and when 
the screech-owl was at his shrillest and the mocking-bird at his 
harshest, there was only needed the horrible disturbance made by 
the steam-heating apparatus, which began \o fonctionner about five 
in the morning to split the ears and rend the nerves of the guests. 

How is it that the Americans, whose nervous system is^ 
according to physiologists, so exquisitely sensitive, and who 
are, until they have been introduced to you, so distressingly 
taciturn, seem to be so completely indifferent to the noises made 
around them ? They tolerate on the collars of their horses those 
bells which in London are prohibited by the Police Act. Of the 
maddening nuisance of the church bells 1 have already spoken. 
An American workman makes much more noise at his work 
than an Englishman does. He bangs and slams, rams and jams 
about as though the by-passers had no drums to their ears. A 
baggage porter "dumps" trunks and portnianteaus down on 
the pavement as though he were delighted with the noise they 
made in falling. Yet a car full of travelling Americans is about 
the quietest company in which you could possibly find yourself ; 



THE GREAT GRANT BOOM. 



129 



and an American crowd, unexcited by whiskey, is a model of 
placid good behaviour. One noise, years ago productive of 
infinite anguish to me, I have not yet become re-acquainted 
with. I have not heard it in New York ; nay, nor in Baltimore, 
nor Washington, nor Philadelphia. I wonder hosv far down 
South I shall get ere I meet with that appalling engine of torture, 
the Hotel Gong. 

In travelling from Baltimore to Washington — a short trip of 
some eight-and-thirty miles, and in view, I suppose, of the 
brevity of the journey — the train was unprovided with a Pullman. 
The clerk, however, who sold me my tickets civilly directed me 
to take the "third car to the left" when I reached the platform. 
This proved to be virtu- 
ally a first-class car, 
since, although the doc- 
trine of "equal rights" 
is legally established 
throughout the United 
States, I found that all 
the coloured passengers 
(of whom there were 
many in the train) es- 
chewed the " third car 
to the left," and settled 
down quietly in other 
compartments. It did 
not appear to me that 
they were in any manner 
coerced into thus segre- 
gating themselves from 
their white brothers and sisters. They seemed to keep them- 
selves apart as much from choice as from custom ; and this I have 
noticed many times during my stay in this country. It would 
be mischievously idle to assert that the negro — his thorough 
political enfranchisement notwithstanding — "goes into society" 
in the Reunited States. He does nothing whatever of the 
kind. Nobody grinds him to the wall, nor is unkind or uncivil 
to him — so far as I have yet seen ; but he, on his part, does 
not seem very anxious to mingle socially with the race who, of 
course, at this time of day, neither dislike nor despise the black 
man, but who, perhaps, feel as uncomfortable in his company 
— as a social and political equal — as he does in theirs. But, 




130 AMERICA REVISITED. 

perhaps, I am prematurely broacliing a subject on wliicli I sliall 
probably have to say a great deal by and bye. 

There was nothing to remark about the car, substantially a 
first-class one, save that midway on each side of the vehicle 
there was a small rack, in which was placed a Bible, with the 
printed memorandum beneath, " Read and return." I saw the 
sacred volume read and returned many times in the course of 
the journey ; and this constant familiarity with the Scriptures — 
you meet Bibles and Testaments at every turn all over the land 
— should surely have a very beneficial effect on the morals of 
the population. It may be (on the other hand) that their 
minutely intimate acquaintance with Holy Writ occasionall}^ 
betrays the Americans into some slight amount of irreverence, 
not to say profanity. For example, at a public dinner lately in 
New York, I heard a reverend gentleman who was a Doctor of 
Divinity, and a deservedly popular preacher, tell a highly comic 
story about Daniel in the lion's den. In the course of this 
apologue he incidentally remarked that if the lions had carried 
out their " programme " the prophet would, at least, have been 
safe from the afflictive contingency of making an after-dinner 
speech. Remembering one of the most moving of Scriptural 
dramas — remembering Mr. Britton Riviere's weird and mys- 
terious picture of Daniel — I confess that I could not see anything 
very funny in the notion of the prophet being called upon to 
make an after-dinner speech. 

But the Americans have their own notions about religious 
reverence, and we have ours. On a recent Sunday night there 
was given in this city of New York an entertainment which 
began with the " Stabat Mater" and ended icith a hall ; and I 
notice that next Thursda}^, being Christmas Day, there are to be 
morning performances at several of the fashionable theatres. 
And yet a barber may not open his shop, nor a barrowman sell 
pop-corns or ice creams, on a Sunday. These are the things 
which perplex foreigners, and occasionally provoke them into 
making ill-natured remarks — not designedly ill-natured, since 
theremarks are mainly attributable to the foreigner's ignorance 
of American feelings in the matter of fasts and festivals. As 
we wonder at their secular celebration of the Feast of the 
Nativity, so may they think our shutting up of the theatres on 
Ash AVednesday — when few people fast and nobody puts ashes 
on his head — a detestable piece of hypocrisy. 

Pullman the beneficent did not fail, however, to be vehicu- 



THE GREAT GRANT "BOOM. 



131 



larly manifest on the train which conveyed us from Washington 
to Philadelphia on the momentous morning when the Great 
Grant Boom was to be " inaugurated ; " and Pullman's luxurious 
accommodation was all the more welcome since, as the day 
matured, it grew colder and colder. We left the Federal capital 
at 9.30 a.m. The train was an express one, and kept admirably 
punctual time ; and precisely at 1.15 p.m. we w^ere in Phila- 
delphia. The railway depot bore a singularly deserted look. 
1 had duly "expressed" my luggage, and handed in my checks; 
but there were no express Avaggons at the station. There were 
but two hack carriages waiting for fares. One I straightway 
engaged. I told the driver, a good-humoured Irishman, with a 
moustache tliat would have done honour to a captain of British 
Heavy Cavalry, that I wished to go to the Continental Hotel, 
How much would it be? "Two dollars," he made answer. 




132 AMERICA EEVISITED. 

Eight shillings for a two miles drive ! I own tiiat I thought the 
price a little stiff; but then Great Grant Booms do not rever- 
berate every day, to paraphrase the sage remark of the 
Hampshire innkeeper in 1814, when he charged the allied 
Sovereigns half-a-guinea apiece, all round, for their hard-boiled 
eggs. The good-humoured driver added that he would take ns 
as near to the Continental as he could, but that we had much 
better go to the Colonnade Hotel, Avhich was a most " iligant 
house." I mildly informed him that I was bound to go to the 
Continental, as apartments had been taken for us there ; 
whereupon he whistled, and mounted his box with an expression" 
of humorous resignation on his confiding countenance. 

Something was evidently wrong, AVhat that something 
was the driver of the other hack obligingly volunteered to inform 
us. We should never get to the Continental, he consolingly 
remarked — at least not until there was a " month's Sundays,'^ 
or there were five Fridays in a February. In consequence of 
the Great Grant Boom, business for the day was entirely 
suspended. General Grant had arrived early that mornings 
and was then sitting in his carriage witnessing the march-past 
at a given point of the Grand Parade, which was eight miles- 
long, and would certamly not be over until four o'clock. It was 
now half-past one. The main streets had been all carefully 
roped in by the police ; the street cars were abroad, but the 
traffic was wholly stopped, and altogether we had about as 
much chance of reaching the Continental Hotel by any route, 
direct or indirect, as we had of reaching the North Pole by wa}' 
of West Weehawken, Jericho, Hong Kong, Communipaw, and 
the Straits of Bab-el-Mandel. Our driver, nevertheless, set off 
at a leisurely trot ; but, so soon as he reached the vicinity of the 
Colonnade Hotel he stopped, dismounted from his aerial perch,, 
flung open the carriage door, and, in expressive American par- 
lance, " dumped " us down on the pavement, saying that he 
could do no more for us, and that to go any further was an 
" onpossibility." 

It was by this time two p.m. We had breakflisted early and 
slightly, and the nipping cold had made us fearfully hungry ; so- j 
before pursuing our pilgrimage on foot — we were encumbered j 
with minor luggage in the shape of wraps and hand bags, in 
addition to the heavier articles which I had " expressed "—I 
deemed it politic to enter the Colonnade in quest of lunch. The 
clerk belnnd the office counter, whom I had never seen before 



THE GREAT GEANT "BOOM. 133 

in my life, was very glad to see me, and shook hands with me 
quite cordially. I told him my tale, and that I did not want a 
room, but only something to eat and drink. He sympathised 
with our sorrows, and himself most obligingly led us to the 
dining-saloon. On our way thither we passed through a suite 
of prettily decorated parlours, in one of which I noticed a grand 
pianoforte, and a young couple, who, seemingly newl3^-married 
and quite indifferent to the attractions of the Great Grant Boom, 
were singing " La ci darem la mano," from " Don Giovanni " in 
splendid style. Happy, happy, happy pair ! We got some 
lunch : oysters, cold chicken and ham, apple pie, and a pint of 
Mumm's extra dry; all very good, and nicely served. The 
price, I need scarcely say, was as stiff as the broomstick to the 
rigidity of which was brought the man who, in the German 
student's song, " swiped " beer for three days in succession at 
the Black Whale at Askalon. We were charged four dollars 
and sixty cents, nearly a sovereign, for our refreshment. 

Then we adventured again into the streets. We found our- 
selves in the thoroughfare called Chestnut-street, which was 
almost entirely deserted by pedestrians. Nearly all the stores 
were closed; and all the doors and windows were veiled by 
garlands of evergreens and fasces of United States flags. This I 
had noticed in every thoroughfare through which we had passed. 
Proceeding a few blocks up Chestnut-street I came upon a line 
of street cars, empty and motionless. This looked ominous, and 
the omens soon became fertile in direful result. The given point 
of the march past was in Broad-street, intersecting Chestnut- 
street, close to a magnificent pile of unfinished marble buildings, 
which are to serve, I am informed, as the new^ Post Office. We 
made for this given point ; and there Ave contrived to get wedged 
in the midst of a huge crowd, in which we remained utterly 
powerless to move from half-past two until half-past five in the 
evening. But worse remained behind. 




J^^^^^^^^=-s=^ 



STREET IX PHILADELPHIA. 



XL 

A Philadelphian Babel. 

Nl'W York, Ikcemher 22. 

Some days may have elapsed in and about that audacious 
tower which was builded in the pLain in the land of Shinar, with 
brick for stone and with slime for mortar, before the people that 
had journeyed from the East, and who had heretofore been of 
one language and of one speech, began fully to realise the fact 



A PHILADELPHIAN BABEL. 135 

that tliey did not understand one anotlier. Tlie breaking up of 
Babel must have been a marvellous spectacle. I wonder whether 
the Continental Hotel in Chestnut-street, Philadelphia, is any- 
thing like what the Babel of old was. I am inclined to think that 
it may be. I told you in my last letter how, on the first day of 
the Great Grant Boom, we were for three bitterly cold hours 
hopelessly wedged up in the midst of a compact multitude 
thronging every inch of the side-wallc, while the Grand Parade, 
eight miles long, filed through the intersecting Broad-street. 
We saw as much as we could of that Parade, making allowances 
for the fact that we were half " perished " by the cold, and that 
ever and anon we were all but carried off our feet by the 
tempestuous swaying to and fro of the mob. For one full hour 
we could see little of the procession beyond a chaotic bobbing 
past and up and down of banners bearing devices to which the 
celebrated inscription, " Excelsior," was quite tamo in the way 
of strangeness. 

Now, the contemplation of banners may, for a brief space of 
time, be as interesting as that of " the 'oofs of the 'osses " may 
be to the little country joskins who, lying prone on their 
stomachs, peep beneath the canvas drapery of a travelling 
circus, and satiate themselves with the sight of sawdust and the 
lower extremities of the noble animals : the entire performances 
of which the exiguity of the small rustic's purses will not permit 
them to behold. Still, such gratuitous and restricted entertain- 
ment is apt to grow eventually monotonous ; and this I found to 
be the case after witnessing for sixty minutes the incessant 
flapping of flags. Even our Lord Mayor's show, under analogous 
circumstances, would pall upon the sense, but that your attention 
is from time to time diverted by the frequent attempts of the 
larcenous among the spectators to pick your pocket or snatch at 
your watch chain, and by the ruffianly behaviour of that foulest 
of all foul scamps, the London Blackguard, whose delight it is 
on all public occasions to gratify his instincts of mischief and 
cowardice by squirting dirty water over the garments of females by 
means of abominable liitie syringes called " Ladies' Tormentors," 
the manufacturers of which ought certainly to be indicted for a 
constructive breach of the peace. 

Fortunately the many-headed at the corner of Chestnut and 
Grant-streets were not, in the main, tall-hatted. " Stove-pipe" 
or " chimney-pot " beavers were few and far between ; and 
when we once contrived to struggle from the back settlements 



136 AMERICA REVISITED. 

of the side-walk, and to take up a position alternating between 
the second and the third ranks of the spectators, we obtained, 
owing to the general lowness of headgear of those in front of us, 
a tolerably good view of one of the most remarkable assem- 
blages of humanity on which I have ever set eyes. Bear in 
mind that I was Avitnessing it against my will ; that this was 
not by any means the show which I had bargained to see ; that 
I was the victim of circumstances over which I had no control ; 
and that my mind was full of anguish at the evanishment of all 
prospect of dining with General Grant and the statesmen and 
diplomatists bidden to the Apician board of Mr. Geo. W. Childs. 

Premising thus much, I trust that I shall not be treading on 
any American corns, nor irritating any American skin, figura- 
tively speaking, by hinting that the mob in which I involuntarily 
found myself a member for the nonce did not, in its outward 
aspect, in any way represent the respectable citizens of Phila- 
delphia. Quite the contrary, I should say. To put it jjlainly, I 
was in the thick of a " populacho " that howled and that expec- 
torated freely, and that used language whicli was the reverse of 
choice, and that was not, in its whole length and breadth, quite 
sober. The reason for this became at once obvious. The 
respectable citizens of Philadelphia were either taking part in the 
Grand Parade, or, with the ladies of their famihes, were 
witnessing the defile of the procession from the banner-hung 
and evero-reen-festooned windows in Broad-street. Fullv to 
understand the purport of the Great Grant Boom, it must be 
realised that the whole adult, valid, arms-bearing population of a 
great American city had turned out to do honour to a representa- 
tive American soldier and statesman. The aged, the infirm, the 
ladies, and the children, were at the windows, or were seated in 
stands of tribunes specially erected for the purpose along the 
line of march. Only tag, rag, and bobtail — only the populace — 
were on the foot-pavement : and we were of it. 

To place the aspect of the show and its components clearly 
before the unimpressed British mind, I will just ask my 
compatriot reader to imagine this : first, a strong contingent of 
regular troops, followed by seamen and ]\rarines of the National 
Navy ; a prodigious volunteer force, some of them clad in sober 
uniforms of blue or grey, others rejoicing in a garb so brilliantly 
fantastic as now to remind you of the Preobanjinski Guards of 
the Emperor Alexander, and now of the Vieille Garde of 
Napoleon I. These were, I apprehend, the Militia of Phila- 



A PHILADELPHIAN BABEL. 137 

delplila. Then came contingents of the Grand Army of the 
RepubHc, representmg, I presume, old soldiers who had fought 
in the Federal ranks during the Great Civil War ; and they 
were apparelled in their historic and battle-stained sky-blue 
gaberdines, which led their foes on the other side of Mason and 
Dixon's line to speak of them as " Blue Bellies." They retali- 
ated by nicknann'ng the Confederate soldiers " Gray backs." 
What more ? Regiments more. Brigades more, Divisions more. 
The Tenth Legion multiplied by Ten and Standard Bearers in- 
numerable. The Union League Club, marching I do not know 
how many abreast, with gorgeous rosettes of velvet and gold at 
their button-holes. All the fire companies of Philadelphia, with 
engines, hose, hooks, and ladders complete. The w^ar-charger 
of General Meade, bearing the scars of twenty-six distinct bullet 
wounds. Four old tattered flags, which had waved over the 
Ninth and Eighty-seventh Regiments at Gettysburg, borne by a 
veteran comrade with a wooden leg. Thirty-nine hundred 
citizens, representing the textile manufactures of Philadelphia. 

This section of the Parade comprised a hundred and fifty 
operatives from the Germantown Mills, bearing "regalia" com- 
posed of different oils and wools. They were followed by a 
huge wagon laden high with woollen fabrics, and surmounted by 
an abnormal banner in the shape of a Brobdingnagian stocking 
woven in the device and colours of the Stars and Stripes. An 
ingenious device, truly. But are w^e Englishmen to be less 
patriotic than our Transatlantic brethren? Will no public- 
spirited manufacturer of Nottingham or Coventry register a 
"Union Jack stocking" ? It would be a sweet thing in fleecy 
hosiery for British ladies' winter wear. Another textile trophy, 
consisting of an omnibus heaped Atlas-high with " dummy " 
blankets, informed an amazed world that the annual product of 
the Manayunk Mills amounted to twelve millions of dollars. 
glorious art of Advertising, thon wert not forgotten, even amidst 
the most patriotic throes of the Great Grant Boom ! I noticed that, 
on their banner, the Ridgway Upholsterers declared that they 
*' would see it out on this line if it took all winter." I began with 
inward dread to opine that I should have "to see it out on this 
line," and that it " would take all winter " to see it. Room for 
the West Philadelphia Republican Club ! Room for the Twen- 
tieth Ward Hoyt Club, five hundred strong, and carrying a 
banner Avith " the five-hundred-dollar portrait of Governor 
Hoyt," heroic to look upon and cheap at the price. Then there 



138 AMERICA REVISITED. 

was a club — I forget its precise designation — tliree Imndred 
strong, who varied the monotony of civilian attire by all wearing 
bright yellow gauntlets. The Old Reliable Club was composed 
of American citizens of African descent. The Delmonico 
Assembly — who never perform out of Philadelphia — also num- 
bered two hundred coloured members, and an omnibus. 

For some mysterious reason quite inscrutable to me, the 
Consumers' Ice Company figured as a political organisation 
in this astounding Parade. These Hyperboreans had with them 
a wagon laden with effigies of eagles, cannon, and a huge bust 
of General Grant, all made out in solid ice. This Arctic art 
was shocking to me, wedged as I was, in the centre of the cold 
crowd, and so hideously did my teeth chatter that I could find it 
neither in my heart nor in my cachinatory muscles to grin when 
a number of garishly-painted and gilded chariots tottered by 
crowded with strange beings in masquerading attire ; kangaroos 
and baboons, clowns and crowned kings. What did these 
mummers here? What political org'anisation did they typify? 
Mystery. The Iron and Steel Delegation, 2,450 strong, all 
wearing purple badges. That stalwart Delegation I could very 
well comprehend. Trucks bearing forges in full blast, with 
"smutty smiths " at their anvils. Trucks full of minstrels with 
tin horns — motet sincerely do I hope that tliey never perform out 
of Philadelphia — playing airs from " Fatinitza " and " H. M. 8. 
Pinafore." A crane-beam christened after General Grant, 
forged by an enterprising Philadelphian firm for the Russian 
Government, fifteen feet long, weighing one hundred and 
twenty thousand pounds, and claiming to be the biggest crane- 
beam in the world. Twelve Imndred shipwrights, bearing axes, 
mallets, tar-mops, and other implements of their calling. 
Machinists, boiler-makers, carpenters, sail-makers, and figure- 
head-carvers, all displaying trophies technically emblematic of 
their respective trades. The Ancient Carpenters, the House 
Furnishers, and the Schumachers' Pianoforte-making Company. 
The brickmakers, the gas-manufacturers, and the soap-makers — 
the latter with the effigy of a Red-skin plentifully lathered 
with soap, and bearing the superscription, " Settling the 
Indian Question." It is assuredly not with soft soap that the 
Indian question, so far as the troublesome Utes are con- 
cerned, is being settled. 

Then, may it please you, came a cavalcade of five hundred 
journeymen butchers mounted, accompanied by the Washing- 



A PHILADELPHIAN BABEL. 139 

ton Greys' Band, the musicians in a circus chariot drawn by 
eight coal Wack horses. Attendant on the butchers were first, a 
dikpidated vehicle, labelled, I know not why, the "Great London 
Mail Coach," and last, a poor little shivering beast put up in a 
cart, and reputed to be " the smallest bullock in the world.'' 
This diminutive specimen of the bovine species, which was 
about the size of an average Alderney, did not look at all 
flattered by its liliputian reputation. Two hundred master 
butchers in barouches closed the cortege of the marrowbone- 
and-cleaver fraternity. It is something to have seen and to be 
able to remember with pity two hundred master butchers in 
barouches ; but I am afraid that did an English mob gaze upon 
so numerous and so prosperous an assemblage of retail 
slaughterers and vendors of butchers' meat, dark thoughts would 
come over the hungry multitude touching leg of mutton at a 
shilling and rump-steak at eighteenpence a pound ; and those 
thoughts might be succeeded by a burning desire to string them, 
the master butchers, up to the nearest lamp-posts. The 
butchers were not clad in what "\ve traditionally consider to 
be the professional blue. They wore over their black broad- 
cloth flowing white gaberdines or smock-frocks. To them 
succeeded the milkmen and the buttermen of Philadelphia. 

What came next I know not, for dusk had been succeeded 
by darkness ; the procession was probably " whittling down to 
the fine end of nothing ; " and, for the lirst time in three weary 
hours, the police slackened the ropes which had been stretched 
across the intersecting thoroughfares, and allowed the public to 
cross Broad-street. How eagerly did I rush across the road. 
We might be happy yet ! It was only half-past five, and by 
superhuman eftbrts one might manage to dress in time for dinner. 
AVretched I ! wretched we ! I had not proceeded two blocks up 
Chestnut-street before I found myself in the midst of a denser 
mob than ever. The Continental Hotel, so far as its accessibility 
went, might have been ten thousand miles away. Inspired by 
what seemed to me to be a purely demoniacal impulse, it had 
occurred to the five hundred journeymen butchers on horseback, 
to the two hundred master butchers in barouches, and to the 
milkmen and buttermen of Philadelphia in vans, shandrydans, 
drays, and milk-carts, escorted by the Phoenix brass band of 
Phoenixville, the AVashington Greys, and other contingents of 
brazen instrumentalists, all armed with shawms, psalteries, and 
Chaldean trumpets, all powerful enough to blow down the 



140 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



Walls of Jericho and affright the ^ew Moon from her propriety, 
to make a detour after marching past the new Post-office-build- 
ings, and, swooping down upon Chestnut-street, serenade Mrs. 
General Grant at the Continental. 

Beshrew those journeymen butchers! How they pranced 
and curveted in their snowy bedgowns ! Some of them 











whooped and howled for patriotic joy. It must have been 
patriotism. Bourbon and Old Rye had nothing to do with it. 
The air was innocent of the odour of cocktails — I would have 
given a dollar for one, so cold was I ; — but the crowd whooped 
and howled as lustily as did the butchers on horseback and the 
butchers in barouches. Yelling, we all know, is contagious. 
I remember once, that after listening for three-quarters of an 



A PHILADELPHIAN BABEL. 141 

hour to the Howling Dervishes at Constantinople, I felt a 
■ passionate yearning to join in the chorus of ululation ; and I 
frightened my English travelling companion half out of his wits 
by warning him that in another minute I proposed to begin 
roaring like a very bull of Bashan. But I had no wish to howl 
in Chestnut-street, Philadelphia, in the midst of the seething 
crowd. You do not howl when you are cold and hungry, you 
collapse in mute despair. 

The clock struck six ; and in mine eye there stood a drop 
of "unfamiliar brine," as I remembered that the last chance of 
the gala dinner was gone. It would be unjust, while recording- 
as I must needs do the boisterousness of the immense throng 
which crammed the thoroughfare, certainly at this point not 
broader than Cheapside, but as long as two Cheapsides joined 
end to end, to omit mention of the fact that the mob was 
eminently good-humoured ; that wherever it was practicable 
courtesy and kindness were shown to the weaker sex, irrespec- 
tive of colour ; and that when, in my immediate vicinity, women 
began to shriek and children to exhibit symptoms of sutfocation, 
strenuous efforts were made by the brawnier members of the 
throng to secure a little breathing-room for those who were 
fainting. I never witnessed such a fearful " scrouge " in my 
life, and, quite apart from the deep respect and sincere 
admiration which I am bound to feel for General Grant as a 
gallant soldier and an upright statesman, I most earnestly hope 
that I shall never witness — save from the secure coign of 
vantage of an upstairs window — such another " scrouge " again. 

It lulled at about a quarter-past six. Remember that we 
had arrived in Philadelphia at a quarter-past one. When the 
last of the mounted butchers, in his snow-white bedgown, and 
the last of the buttermen and milkmen had clattered down the 
stony street, the thickly-packed concourse began to break up ; 
and by dint of infinite elbowing and shoving we reached the 
Continental Hotel, there to be received with all possible 
kindness and courtesy, and to be straightway conducted to the 
elegant apartments which had been prepared for us. But it 
was Too Late. Ah ! fatal word. Our " expressed " luggage 
did not make manifest the expression of its appearance until 
long past seven ; and by that time we remorsefully thought 
i\Ir. Geo. W. Childs and his distinguished guests would be well 
" through " w^itli their yonclie d la Roinaine, and well " on " 
with their canvas-back ducks. 




TRAVELLERS ARRIVING AT A LARGE AMERICAN HOTEL. 



XII. 
At the Continental. 

Xew York, December 24. 

Gentlemen from the West in general, and from the State 
of Ohio in particular, who are apt to regard pork-packing and 
grain-elevating as about the most important factors in the re- 
generation of humanity and the bringing about of tlie Millen- 
nium, have frequently assured me, lately, that the most wonder- 
ful hotels in the whole world, both for size, splendour, and luxury 
in accommodation, are to be found at Chicago.'"'' I have usually 
noticed that this assurance has been given me in the presence of 
gentlemen from Xew York, and in somewhat of a humorously 
defiant manner ; whence I have been led privately to infer that 
not only in commerce, but also in most institutions representing 
the progress of civilisation, there exists a chronic and steadily 
growing rivalry between the Atlantic metropolis and the won- 
drous Phoenix-City of the Lake Shore. I hope to touch Chicago 
before I have done with this continent (during a second trip — 
I should like to make a third or a fourth, but I am growing 
old and stupid), and to judge of its hotels, as well as of other 

* As a matter of fact, the most magnificent hotels on the American continent, 
and, perhaps, in the whole world, are the United Palace and Grand Hotels, of which 
Mr. Sharon is lessee, at San Francisco. 



AT THE CONTINENTAL. 143 

things, for myself; but, so far as my observation up to tbis pre- 
sent time of writing extends, I should certainly say that the most 
wonderful caravanserai that I have yet beheld in the United 
States is the Continental Hotel, Philadelphia. 

You must bear in mind that I am as yet a mere babe and 
suckling in respect to Transatlantic hostelries. 1 know nothing 
as yet of the Windsoi* and the Hotel Brunswick in " up town " 
Manhattan. The hotels in which I have hitherto found " ease " 
— the Brevoort, New York ; the Mount Vernon, Baltimore ; 
Wormley's, at Washington — are all comparatively small and 
quiet houses, conducted on what is called the " European " 
system, that is to say, so many dollars a day for your rooms and 
a restaurant d la carte, and resembling residential club houses 
more than hotels proper. I have yet to travel forth into the 
wilderness, and to fight with wild beasts at Ephesus. Whereso- 
ever I have been as yet, I have been expected, and known, and 
kindly welcomed. I have yet to find myself in a hotel many 
sizes larger than Noah's Ark, a total stranger, and bound to 
take the rough with the smooth, and to find perchance that the 
rough predominates. Hitherto I have been petted and spoiled 
in the way of comfort and luxurious living. It may be that in 
hotels, as in many other concerns to me as yet unrecked of, I am 
a young bear, and that all my troubles are to come. 

Arriving, as I did, at the Continental at Philadelphia, foot- 
sore and half frozen, on the first evening of the Great Grant 
J>oom, my earliest impressions of the establishment were of a 
tripartite nature. First, I was impressed by the idea that I was 
on the basement floor of that Tower of Babel to the resuscitation 
{ of which on American soil I have already hinted ; next, that I 
I was in the 'tween decks of the Ark of Noah just mentioned 
i above, and that the animals, having been fed, were going to be 
(Watered ; and, finall}^, that I was in the midst of Bedlam broke 
jloose. Stark, staring, raving madness seemed to me to be pre- 
I'valent everywhere. The male portion of the mob that had 
Ipacked Chestnut-street so densely during the passage of the 
(jubilant butchers and the festive butternien and milkmen had 
Ipoured, with all their brothers, and all their cousins, and all 
I their wives' relations, into the pillared marble halls which form 
ithe ground floor of the hotel. Colossal as is the edifice, it is not, 
at first sight, externally imposing as an architectural mass — 
! resembling as it does in this respect the Grand Hotel, Paris, It 
[ is of the street, streety, forming one huge many-storied block of 



144. 



AMERICA REVISITED. 




H THE CONTINENTAL HOTEL, THILADELPHLV. 

bnilding pierced by innumerable windows. The Americans are 
not, in the North, at least, a balcony-loving people, and the ab- 
sence of the stone or iron excrescences to the first floors, which 
in England look so light and handsome, and which are, in the 
estimation of our Chief Commissioner of Police, so eminently 
conducive to the perpetration of burglaries, give to American 
house-fronts rather a flat and monotonous aspect. 

In the case of the Continental, however, I am not speaking 
by " the card." It is possible that it may possess ever so 
many tiers of balconies, and that on Tuesday, the 16th, I 
beheld not these adornments for the reason that on the evening 
of the Great Grant Boom nine-tenths of the facade of the 
Continental and of every other house in Chestnut-street were 
concealed by flags, banners, festoons of evergreens, and brilliantly 
illuminated transparencies — the last representing General Grant 
in every conceivable attitude and costume, from his full military 
uniform to a Roman toga, and under every conceivable circum- 
stance of Apotheosis. In particular was I called upon by an 
enthusiastic Grantite to admire a radiant effigy of the General, 
painted on linen, and exhibiting him, according to my informant, 
" mounted on an Arabian charger, in the Shenandoah valley, 
up to his pant-knees in blood and glory — a wavin' of a crooked 
sabre above his head, and ladlin out Topliet among the Con- 
federate Brigadiers." I might easily have missed the Continental 
also — being short-sighted — as it possesses no lofty portico, and 



' 



AT THE CONTINENTAL. 145 

no commanding flight of steps at the entrance. The name only 
of the workl-fiimous hostehy is inscribed on a conple of lamps 
flanking the entrance, a circumstance which again reminded me 
of the Grand Hotel, on the Boulevard des Capucines, the 
carriage entrance to which is so ingeniously on a level with the 
side-walk that you risk being run over by an omnibus laden 
with heavy luggage while you are tranquilly crossing from the 
shop where the French Government retail at extravagant prices 
the worst Havana cigars to be found in Europe. 

But there the resemblance between the Continental and the 
Grand Hotel ends. The Philadelphian caravanserai has no 
glass-roofed courtyard into which carriages drive, and on the 
ferron of which the ladies sit en grande toilette when the table 
d'hote is over. Not a female form w^as to be seen in the roar- 
ing lower halls of the Continental ; and the absence of the foir 
sex from the business section of an hotel constitutes a peculiar 
feature in purely American hotel life. The Americans entertain 
so great — and I believe so sincere — an admiration and a rever- 
ence for Woman that they shrink from exposing her to the 
possible contact of rough male humans, endowed with uncourtly 
manners, using occasionally uncourtly language, and in particular 
given to the consumption at all times of tobacco. The Ameri- 
can ladies abhor, as a rule, the Indian weed ; and cigar smoke 
is in particular distressing to them. The other day a lady in 
New York, who had inadvertently entered a tramway car set 
apart for smokers, was so justifiably incensed by the conduct of 
a male passenger who persisted in smoking — in a smoking car — 
that she beat him violently about the head with her muff; and 
the more refined portion of the New York press has been 
affected almost to tears by the ungallant conduct of the per- 
sistent smoker in prosecuting the muff-wielding lady for assault. 
We in England are singularly impolite in this respect ; and it 
would be beneficial to the cause of chivalry, perhaps, if we 
remembered the Virginian dictum, that " a smoking car ceases 
to be a smoking car when once a lady has entered it." 

Thus, to obviate the occurrence of such disagreeable incidents 
as mufl-fights in public resorts, where the guests are numerous 
and miscellaneous in their habits and their social status, the 
thoughtful courtesy of American hotel-keepers has led them to 
provide elegant side-entrances for the sex to whom they pay 
such well-deserved homage. A lady travefling in the States is 
not called upon to undergo the trying ordeal of passing through 



146 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



a tumultuous liall filled with men smoking as fiercely as Strom- 
boli, and talking about the price of grain and New York 
Central.* The carriage which brings her from the Erie depot 
lands her at a private door in a side street. She ascends a 
handsomely carpeted staircase ; courteous attendants ccmmuni- 
cate her arrival to the clerks below, secure a room, and bring 
her a key ; and, according to the floor on which she is to be 
domiciled, the " lift " conveys the lady to the Earthly Paradise 
at so many dollars per diem which is her sphere. 




H.VLL OF AN AMERICAN HOTEL. 



Meanwhile the ears of tlie groundlings below are split by a 
tornado of tempestuous talk. The j^^^^pos cles hiiveurs in 
Eabelais, the tohu-hoJm of the Paris Bourse in full blast of 
Mammon yell, and Aldridge's yard on a Saturday afternoon, 
would be as Quakers' meetings in point of noise compared with 
the halls of the Continental I managed to elbow my way 
through the chaotic throng to the clerk's counter, and found a 
pile of letters and telegrams waiting for me. I was handed my 
key, and was kindly told that I was bound to dine with j\lr. 
Childs, and that I must " hurry up " to do it. Hurry up ! Mr. 
Childs kept telling me to hurry up every ten minutes in hastily 

* There is a r.otaLle exception to this rule at the splendid St. Charles Hotel, New 
Orleans, where long processions of ladies habitually traverse the central hall of the 
hotel before and after meal times ; and they seem to like it. 



AT THE CONTINENTAL. 147 

pencilled messages, brought by almost breathless couriers. But 
how was one to hurry up when one had no luggage and no 
wedding garment ? 

A very quiet, mild, unobtrusive-looking gentleman advanced 
and accosted me. He sympathised with my sorrows ; he said — 
which was simply the truth — that accidents happened every 
day, and that they could not be helped ; and he offered to assist 
me in any manner practicable under the circumstances. To 
whom, I asked, was I indebted for such prompt and unsolicited 
politeness ? The mild and unobtrusive-looking gentleman made 
answer that he was the proprietor of the Continental Hotel. 
The proprietor of the Continental Hotel, Philadelphia? The 
Admiral commanding Noah's Ark, the Landlord of the Mam- 
moth Cave, the " Boss " of the Tower of Babel and the Hanging 
Gardens of Babylon, rather. Why was he not one hundred and 
twenty feet high, at the very least ? Why did he not have a 
guard of halberdiers, or of Varangian cross-bowmen ? Why was 
he not accompanied by a Grand Vizier, a Kislar Aga, a Sheikh- 
ul-Islam, and several Bimbashis? I declare that the salaried 
manager of a second-rate hotel at a third-rate English watering- 
place would have given himself more airs than did this Lord of 
a Thousand Bed rooms — this monarch of an Immeasurable 
Table d'HGte. 

We refreshed ourselves amply but cheerlessly enough in 
our own apartments that evening, thinking of the vanished 
dinner at J\Ir. Childs' ; but on the morrow, both at breakfast and 
dinner, I tried the Innueasurable Table d'Hute. I have seen 
nothing like it in Europe, in Asia, or in Africa, to say nothing 
of England, which is a country sui gejieris, and one which differs 
in its dining, as well as its other social arrangements, from the 
rest of the world. There are two immense refectories on the 
first floor of the Continental Hotel. " Full board " is charged so 
many dollars a day. I am not, in this particular case, qualified 
to say how many : seeing that, in our own individual case, " the 
hospitalities of the City of Philadelphia," as privately supervised 
by Mr, G. W^. Childs, were conducted on the old Spanish prin- 
ciple of " Esta pagado, Seiior." How often, in bygone days, 
have I received that pleasing information from the mucliacJio^ or 
waiter, in the Dominica at Havana ! A courteous Cuban had 
entered, espied you, seen that you were a stranger and a pilgrim, 
paid for your ices or other refreshments, and vanished without 
making himself known to you. 

1.2 



148 



AMERICA EEVISITED. 



During our sojourn at the Continental I did not, witli the 
exception of a few fees to servants, who made no sign of ex- 
pecting to be fee'd, pay a cent to anybody. For whatever the 
tariff at the Continental may be you are entitled to consume 
five ample meals in the course of every four-and-twenty hours 
— breakfast, luncheon, dinner, tea, and supper. The Continental 
would surely have tried the fortitude of Bernard Kavanagh, the 
Fasting Man ; nor, without thinking twice, should I like to turn 
a Trappist, or even a vegetarian, loose in these halls, since all 

the meals, I am given 
include 



to understand, 
flesh meat. I will speak, 
however, only of the 
repasts with which I 
became personally ac- 
quainted — breakfast and 
dinner. For the first- 
named collation, wliicli 
is served from six in the 
morning — for the conve- 
nience of passengers by 
early trains — until ten or 
eleven, there is a bill of fare comprising such dishes as boiled, 
fried, poached, " dropped," and scrambled eggs, omelettes in every 
style, fried, stewed, and roasted oysters, hashed codfish with cream, 
fish-balls, dried and smoked salmon and herrings, salt mackerel, 
fresh fish in season, mutton chops, beefsteaks, pork cutlets, sau- 
sages, ham, bacon, cold meat, chicken, tea, coffee, and chocolate. 




INDIAN CORN. 







AT THE CONTINENTAL. 149 

a variety of fancy bread, including "waffles," muffins, and 
those buckwheat cakes so inexpressibly dean to those who are 
venturesome enough to eat them without tliinking of the immi- 
nent perils of dissolution through indigestion, and, to crown 
all, a copious dessert — remember, we were in mid-December — 
of apples, Californian pears, oranges, fresh Malaga grapes, and 
bananas. 

There is no limit whatsoever as to quantity. You may order 
as many dishes as you please. For dinner, which was served 
from two until five and from five until seven p.m., the menu is 
more varied. At least half a dozen varieties of soup, the same 
of fish, turkey with chestnut or with cranberry sauce, salmis of 
chicken and game, beef, mutton, veal and pork, roasted or fried, 
three or four kinds of wild fowl, a wilderness of vegetables, 
including, in addition to our ordinary English esculents, sweet 
potatoes, fried bananas, " succotash," " squash," Lima beans, 
oyster plant, ag^ plant, preserved corn, and stewed celery, plenty 
of salad, and a dessert even more abundant than that which you 
enjoyed at breakfast. I noticed that the almost exclusive beve- 
rage partaken of at dinner was iced water. Symptoms of beer 
or of wine w^ere almost altogether wanting ; and, whatever m.ay 
be the modes and wdiatever the times of the Americans sacri- 
ficing to Bacchus, it is certainly not at their meals that they seek 
to propitiate the rosy god. 

The simultaneous feeding of hundreds of guests in an hotel so 
vast as the Continental is not altogether devoid of drawbacks ; 
and, seeing that these drawbacks are complained of quite as 
bitterly by Americans as by foreigners, they may, I hope, with- 
out offence, be slightly glanced at here. Against the quality of 
the food, be it animal or vegetable, there is not one word to say. 
Touching the manner ui which that food is cooked, I will not say 
that it equals the cuisinG of Delmonico, of the Ctife Anglais, or 
of a London Pall-mall club; still, an American hotel dinner com- 
prises an immensely greater variety of dishes than an English 
hotel dinner does, and in the way of sauces and seasoning the 
American chefs are a long way ahead of their Britisli brethren ; 
but the temperature of the dishes which are brought to you — not 
consecutively, but en masse — is uniformly tepid. The art of 
serving a dinner in courses seems to be utterly ignored, and dish 
covers to be utterly unknown. You order a heterogeneous 
assortment of viands, and the waiter brings them to you in a 
series of little oval dishes — which he carries, by means of some 



150 



AMERICA EEVISITED. 




indiscriminate dexterity of muscle, on one arm — and lie "dumps" 
down the dishes before you to pick your way through the wilder- 
ness of esculents as best you may. 

This system would seem to afflict not only public but private 
dinner tables, and is beginning to be denounced by the Americans 
themselves — at least, so I am entitled to opine from the following 
significant passage in the New Yorh Tnhune : " The time is 
fast coming when the ' medley dinner,' will be a thing of the 
past. By the ' medley dinner ' you are to understand a meal 
served in one course. It is all summed up in the remark which 
some people will no doubt remember having heard made by a 
kindly oldfashioned hostess, ' You see your dinner.' And a 
bountiful table it probably was, with a good dinner utterly ruined 
for lack of a little judgment in serving. Soup, a chicken pie, a 
dish of pork and beans, a roast, four or five vegetables, pickles, 
preserves, pastry, pies and fruit, are all crowded together, 
leaving little room for your own plate, and none for your appe- 



AT THE CONTINENTAL. 151 

tite. It is a common saying of housekeepers that it is all very 
well for French people to serve their dinners in courses, their 
servants^ are used to it, know how to do it, and do not rebel ; 
but that you cannot train a green Irish girl for instance — and 
most American housekeepers are subject to that kind of aid in 
their kitchens — to serve a dinner, nicely, in courses. Now the 
result of actual experience is that either a green Irish girl or a 
clever American girl can be taught to serve a dinner in the best 
style, and learn to appreciate the fact that it is on the whole the 
most convenient and least perplexing manner in which any meal 
can be served." Thus far that eminently serious and practical 
authority, the New York Tribune ; and the reform which it 
advocates could probably be carried out without much difficulty 
at private and middle-class American dinner tables.* 

The affluent and refined classes dine, it is almost needless to 
say, precisely as people dine in Europe, and in many particulars, 
notably as regards oysters, a great deal better than we do in 
Europe ; but I gravely doubt the practicability of serving a groat 
hotel dinner to two or three hundred guests at a time in duly 
following courses. The utmost that the waiters seem to be able 
to do is to bring your soup and your ice cream — I omitted the 
ice cream in my Hst of dishes — separately : and the soup is often as 
cold as the ice-cream is warm. In the first place, the distance, as 
Charles Dickens put it in the memorable case of "A Little 
Dinner in an Hour," is far too great between the kitchen and the 
tables. In the next place the bill of fare is, to my mind, far too 
varied. Be it generosity, or be it a desire to appear " splendi- 
ferous " and outshine all rival hotels, the Transatlantic caterer 
seems to offer his guests the choice of at least twenty more 
different preparations of food than they actually require. As it 
is, there is a superabundance of everything ; and superabundance 
is apt to beget satiety. After all, the minds of mankind are 
more various than their appetites. There are certain edible 
things which some people like and others dislike ; but strike an 
average all round, and the number of generally accepted eatables 
will not, I apprehend, be found to be very numerous. 

* AVliile on the subject of dinners and dining, in the States, I may take the 
opportunity of mentioning that Schools of Cookery for young ladies are becoming 
prevalent in the principal cities of the Union. At many of these estabhshments, 
the halfnlozen members of the highest class, which includes married as well as 
unmarried ladies, enjoy the privilege on stated occasions, of each inviting a gentleman 
to partake with them of the diimer which they have previously prepared. The 



353 



AMERICA EEVISITED. 



The American bill of fare, as it at present stands, reads as 
tliongli it were designed to meet the antagonistic tastes of a 
motley assemblage of Christians, Jews, Mohammedans, and 
Chinamen, and an infinite variety of Hindoo castes, all perti- 



&M&;fi:MiKiflI 



.^^Jj^;^,^ 



::S,"1.'^ ■ M ■ ^^lvr;!|)7f ? '^'/!v:';'?''i Iii,l!r/( i!S'!li ■ ^^ 




AN AMERICAN SCHOOL OF COOKERY FOR LADIES. 



guests not infrequently however, make tlieir appearance long before tlie appointed 
time, and fintling tlieir -way into the kitchen, occupy themselves in passing approAing 
judgments on the soups and sauces beforehand. 



AT THE CONTINENTAL. 153 

nacioiisly declining to eat what other castes eat. The result in 
' my own case has sometimes been comparative starvation in the 
midst of plenty ; for I have found so many good things offered 
to me in print that I have not known what to order, and have 
found myself at last dining on some lukewarm soup, a boiled 
onion, a couple of pig's feet fried, and a vanille ice. Surely in 
colossal hotels of the Continental calibre it would be feasible to 
provide what is known as a dtner die jour — a bill of fare of 
moderate dimensions, comprising, say, a couple of soups, four or 
six entrees^ a couple of roasts, with vegetables, sweets, and 
dessert in proportion. 

As regards the service at the gigantic hotel, there is no 
cause whatsoever for grumbling. At the Continental the table 
d'hote waiters are all either negroes or mulattoes ; they are 
scrupulously attentive and polite, and need only the encourage- 
ment of a smile and a cheery word to be effusively kind. I do 
not think that they are so from a mercenary point of view. You 
may " tip " an obliging servant if you like ; but your omission 
to " tip " him makes him neither sullen, impertinent, nor 
inattentive. Down stairs the " help " is all done by white men. 
The luggage porters are usually brawny Irishmen, willing and 
good-humoured fellows. The luggage " lift " brings 3^our trunks 
to your floor noiselessly and expeditiousl}^ and in a surprisingly 
short space of time strong-armed faccMni bear the heaviest 
coffers into your room and unstrap them, ready for opening. 
Nor have you the slightest trouble about your luggage when 3^ou 
depart. In the same block with the hotel there is an office 
where you may buy railway tickets and Pullman coupons to any 
part of the Union. Then and there your luggage will be checked, 
and the brass counterfoils handed to you. 

Anything that can possibly be done to reduce personal incon- 
venience to a minimum has been done in the colossal American 
hotel. If the weather be inclement, or yourself sick or infirm 
or lazy, there is no necessity for you to quit the hospitable roof 
of the Continental for a whole month together. Plenty of 
walking exercise may be obtained by a lady in perambulating 
the sol'tly carpeted corridors. There are suites upon suites of 
luxuriously furnished drawing rooms in which visitors can be 
received, and where grand pianofortes are to be found. There 
are reading rooms, and there are boudoirs. Downstairs there 
is a monster bar, should 3^ou need the refreshment of occasional 
cocktails, and where you can smoke, and " loaf," and learn by 



154 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



eiectric " tape " the last quotations from Wall-street and the 
Gram Exchange. Kocking- chairs are scattered about, in- 
viting the meditative and the idle to take their " kef," as the 
]\Iuslims phrase it. 

Should you wish to be shaved, or to have your hair cut, you 
will find a superb tonsorial establishment attached to the hotel. 
Do you need a cigar, tobacco in every form is to be obtained in 
the hall. Do you want to read, there is an inexhaustible store 
of newspapers and periodicals for sale. There is a telegraph 
office, wlience you may despatch messages to the uttermost ends 
of the earth. There are places where you can purchase postage 
stamps, and mail your letters ; and, shoidd the day be a rainy 
one, and you feel inclined to sally forth to see how things are 
looking in Chestnut-street, you will find always within the halls 
of the Continental a modest bureau where umbrellas are lent on 
hire for five-and-twenty cents a day. I wonder if they lend 
evening dress clothes at that bureau. If such was the fact, I 
might have hired a " claw-hammer " coat in which to attend 
that never-to-be-sufficiently-regretted dinner. 




SWELL CLERK. PRESENTING UMBRELLA TO TRAVELLER. 




XIII. 

Cheistmastide and the New Year. 

Xew York, January 2. 

" Shut, shut the door, good John — I mean Jerry. — I pay 
no visits and I receive none," I sternly said, on the morning 
of the First day of January, 1880. I am thoroughly conscious 
that by omitting to make the customary New Year's calls on 
the ladies with whom I have the honour to be acquainted I 
subject myself for the remainder of the twelve months which are 
just now beginning to run their course to the very direst infliction 
of social ostracism. Never mind social ostracism. Major 
Pendennis asked his nephew Arthur, after the latter had been 



156 AMERICA REVISITED. 

plucked at Cambridge, whether "it" — meaning the pkicking — 
had " hurt him much." I have a strong idea that to be 
ostracised, under certain circumstances, does not break any 
bones, and that, with a healthy, sanguine temperament, and 
the mens conscia recti under your waistcoat, you may in time 
recover from any amount of " ostraiication." Besides, what 
would my personal call or my humble visiting card have been 
among so many ? A mere drop of water in an ocean of 
politeness. 

Thus did I meditate on New Year's Day, as I resolved to sit 
at home and write about Christmas and the New Year instead 
of arraying myself in mourning weeds and a white cravat and 
hiring a coupe at a dollar an hour, making calls and dropping 
cards at the residence of persons, half of whom might languidly 
wonder at my impudence in calling, while the other half would 
be totally indifferent as to whether I did not put in an appear- 
ance at their elegant mansions. There are other reasons, too, 
which might impel sensible people to stay at home on the first 
day of the year in New York. In the most conspicuous portion 
of the Herald this morning, between the important announce- 
ment that Mr. Secretary Sherman wishes to purchase more 
U.S. Bonds for the Sinking Fund and a magisterial leading 
article on the arrival per steamship Scytliia of ]\Ir. Charles 
Stewart Parnell, M.P., I read this portentous announcement : — 
" A man who would canvass the city to-day with headache 
cures and temperance pledges could do a lively business in 
both." Coupling this significant hint with sundry appalling 
yells and shrieks which 1 heard in the dead of last night, I am 
inclined to think that in some qr.arters the festivities of the New 
Year failed to terminate in a manner v/hich would have met 
with tiie entire approval of the United Kingdom Alliance or the 
Church of England Temperance Society. 

I notice that, in a recent speech at Rochdale, England, 
]Mr. Thomas Bayley Potter testiiied to the pleasing fact that 
during the whole of his stay in the United States he had only 
seen four drunken men ; and in more than one of my own letters 
I have been enabled to bear humble witness to the undeniable 
and the steadily progressing growth of habits of sobriety among 
the American people. At the same time it must be borne in 
mind that Christmas comes but once a year ; and that pleasant 
truism applies with equal force to New Year's Day. It may 
be that we in England are apt to indulge slightly to excess in 




^ -^lig^k^ 



CHRISTMASTIDE AND THE NEW YEAR. 



157 



the £?ood tilings — or tlie unwliolesome tliino-s — of life at Clirist- 



■mastide. The New Yorkers 



begin 



th 



en- 



convivialities a little 
later ; but they cer- 
tainly display much 
alacrity in making 
up for lost time. 
For example, a most 
delicious " scrim- 
mage " took place 
on New Year's 
Night, or rather in 
the small hours of 
the present morn- 
ing, between a 
squad of police 
belonging to the 
Eighteenth Pre- 
cinct and a mob of 
about fifty roughs, 
in East Twenty- 
third - street, be- 
tween First and 
Second Avenues. 
fficer Hogan found 
the mob, " all of 
whom had partaken 
freely of liquor," 
surrounding one 
Mr. Daniel Sulli- 
van, who was using- 
boisterous lan- 
guage"' towards a 
fellow-countryman from the Green Isle of Peace and Parnell. 
Threatened with arrest if he did not cease from cursing, 
Mr. Sullivan showed fight, and, expressing an opinion that the 
whole pohce force of New York were not strong enough to 
"take him in," closed with the officer, and knocked him down. 
The New York constabulary have, apparently, no rattles to 
spring. Their way of summoning assistance is to strike their 
clubs on the pavement ; and in answer to this signal three 
additional policemen appeared on the scene of the vixe. 

But these reinforcements were insufficient. The mob got the 




ONE WHO IS IX FAVOUR OF ABOLISHING THE AVHISKEY TAX. 



158 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



entire mastery ; and Mr. Sullivan was rescued by a select circle 
of friends, who drao-cred him Into the hall of a house and locked 
the door. Officer Hogan, however, determined not to be baulked 
of his prey, set his stalwart foot against the street door and burst 
it open. He " went for " Mr. Sullivan, and Mr. Sullivan for him, 
while the three other policemen did their best to keep the crowd 
of roughs at bay with clubs and levelled revolvers. Eventually 
police reserves arrived from the station-house ; and Mr. Sullivan 
Avas overpowered and removed to strong lodgings for the night. 
A like fate befell Mr. Francis Callaghan, a compatriot of the 
captive, who strove to raise another riot, but was promptly 
arrested : his head being cut open by a terrible blow from a 
police club. The police did their best to take others of the more 
conspicuous roughs into custody ; but they only succeeded in 
capturing Messrs. Sullivan and Callog'han, who. It is to be feared, 
will be debarred from taking part in the grand Parnell demon- 
stration at the Madison-square garden next Sunday evening. 
Their absence will be mourned by their oppressed country, If by 
nobody else. As for officer Hogan, lie emerged from the fray 




CHillSTMASTIDE AND THE NEW YEAR. 



159 



itriumphant, but minus his liat, and very badly bruised all over 
his valiant body. 

It may be noted here that the personnel of the New York 




OXE OF THE BROADWAY SQUAD. 



' police force are specially selected for their size and courage, and 

\ that physically the New York policeman (pronounce the first 

I syllable long) combines the aspect of an English Life Guardsman 

with one of Messrs. Barclay and Perkins's draymen. His salary 



160 AMERICA REVISITED. 

might, at the first blnsli, seem to us a splendid one. It is a 
thousand dollars, or two hundred pounds a year; but this stipend-! 
is subject to considerable reductions by the " assessments " made ! 
on the policeman by the committees of the political organisation | 
of which he may happen to be a member, in aid of the funds 
necessary to provide banners, brass bands, and other " regalia," 
for torch-light processions, mass-meetings, and other party mani- | 
festations inseparable from the life of a democratic community, i 
These assessments, together with other incidental surcharges of I 
a public and private nature, are so heavy that the net income of i 
a New York constable cannot be estimated at more than six | 
hundred dollars a year — say two pounds ten shillings a week. ; 
His life is an exceptionally arduous one; and he has to cope with 
some of the most amazing ruffians that the whole w^orld of 
rufiiandom probably could furnish. 

Yet officer Hogan, who may himself be fairly assumed to he 
of Hibernian extraction, did not, it may be, pass through the 
trying scenes of the " scrimmage " of New Year's Night without 
a certaui sense of enjoyment. It was a brawl wholly devoid of 
bad blood. Pray observe that not a single knife was drawm, and 
that, although the police presented their revolvers, they did not^ 
use those weapons; while on the part of the mob not a single i 
shot was fired. Indeed " firing free," as the indiscriminate use 
of the six-shooter used to be called in my time, seems to be going 
rapidly out of fashion in New York — about the other States I 
am not yet qualified in this regard to judge — and a certain family 
of roughs named Scannell, wdio have long been notorious for their ^ 
fondness for putting bullets on slight provocation through other' 
people's bodies, and the last surviving member of which, ISh. 
Edward P. Scannell, is now in the Tombs for pistolling a casual; 
acquaintance in the back room of a groggery, have come to be 
regarded as quite an abnormal and monstrous race, whom it is' 
expedient sternly to stamp out and abrogate. The " scrimnjagc"' 
of New Year's Night was just a fleeting survival of Donnybrook 
Fair, when the irrepressible Pat capered about at random,! 
waving his sprig of shillelagh over his own head, and feeling for 
other people's heads which might be palpable to touch beneath 
the canvas of the tents. AVhen he came upon a cranium suit-, 
able to his taste he whirled his trust}^ bit of blackthorn in the air 
and swiftly cracked the invisible pate. 

Not by any means, however, is it to be supposed that) 
*' scrimmages " are the only social observances which take place 



CHRISTMASTIDE AND THE NEW YEAR. 161 

in New York in honour of the New Year. Goodness knows 
that we have enough and to spare of riotous disturbances in the 
neighbourhood of every one of our own London dramshops at 
Christmastide ; and, indeed, my principal object in mentioning 
the brawl in East Twentj'-third-street was to sliow that many of 
the more revolting features of an English brawl, such as kicking, 
3iting, and jumping on the prostrate forms of the guardians of 
law and order, were absent from the New York riot. Mean- 
:'' while, not so many blocks westward, flishionable society was 
; gaily supping at the magnificent restaurants that surround 
ii iMadison-square. In New York the Tarpeian Rock is uncom- 
monly close to the Capitol, and the Gemonian Steps are within 
u. ([I stone's-throw of the Golden House of Nero. Fifth-avenue is 
it Iprobably the handsomest street in the whole civilised world, 
taking it in the sense of comprising in its prodigious length more 
!c jstructural splendour and richness of internal decoration, and re- 
lit ipresenting a larger amount of Avealth, than are to be found in 
lit fany thoroughfare in any European capital ; but Fifth-avenue is 
01 jintersected throughout its length by streets at right angles, 
inl which terminate to the eastward in a Wapping, and to the west- 
lOt Itvard in a Wapping and a Whitechapel combined. To that com- 
ic blexion of the lowest waterside life you must come at last if you 
\i walk long enough. But the Americans are not a walking people, 
iij parriages, horse cars, and the trains of the Elevated Railway 
1 j^arry them swiftly through or over the unlovely portions of their 
iij Empire City ; and they hasten to forget its unloveliness, con- 
eiijiguous as squalor is to the very doors of their brown-stone 
lei {louses with marble facades. 

It. It was only of the handsome houses that I took note yester- 
iial lay, for, as I have already mentioned, I did not leave the house 
liepntil late in the evening ; but tlie window of my sitting room 
is Overlooks Fifth-avenue, close to Washington-square; and from 
,,y liorth to south I could enjoy a lordly sweep of vista of many- 
,ij|;|;toried mansions inhabited by the magnates of society of Man- 
mi, lattan. I called on nobody myself; but I watched the arrival 
fcijind departure, from noon until sunset, of numerous contingents 
Jill tf the great army of " callers." I had previously derived much 
lit- idification from the study of a code of New Year's etiquette 
;ii[ ecently promulgated and made public by some occult but doubt- 
ess potent arbiters of fashionable society in this city. In this code 
Ijat scarcely inferior as it is to the Blue Laws of Connecticut in rigor- 
itrus explicitness), I read that the hours designated by the beatc 



]63 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



monde for tlie reception of visitors on the First of January are 
from noon to ten p.m. Cards of invitation are sent to* 
gentlemen. No visitors are admitted without a card. If the 
ladies are in full dress, the house is lighted up as for an evening 
reception. Callers should not remain longer than ten or fifteen 
minutes. Directly after the interchange of sentiment suitahle 
for the day, the servant offers refreshments. If the room be 






SiP'i ' 




KKW year's DAY.-^" doesn't HE THINK HE LOOKS NICE I " 



CHRISTMASTIDE AND THE NEW YEAR. 



163 



crowded wlien the visit is concluded, a formal leave of the 
lostess is not necessary. Gentlemen who are not able to call 
end their visiting card enclosed in an envelope. Gentlemen 
ivho call, bnt do not enter the honse, send in their cards with 
;he right-hand upper corner folded down, whicli indicates that 
;he gentleman has presented the card in person. Gentlemen 
ihould visit in full evening costume, and leave overcoat, hat, 




A ladies' favourite. 



164 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



and card in the liall before entering the parlour. Refreshments 
may be very elaborate or quite simple ; or there may even be 
no refreshments at all. The majority of ladies do not approve 
of offering wine to their visitors on this day, and prefer coffee, 
houillmi^ and chocolate instead. 

Thus far the code. I am bound to say that its enactments did 
not meet, when published, with general acceptance, and that in ; 
many quarters it was denounced as so much " hide-bound 
snobbishness" and "poppycock display." What "poppycock" i 
may be I do not know ; but the word is certainly a forcibly i 
expressive one. On the other hand, it was rumoured that 
certain of the most socially influential of the New York clubs 
had issued a fiat strictly prohibiting the assumption on New 
Year's Day of evening costume by morning or afternoon callers. 
There is a kind of crusade going on against that sable garb of 
custom which we term the swallow-tail, but which, from its 
caudal bisection, is more appropriately designated by Americans 
the " claw^-hammer " or " steel-pen " coat. It was resolutely 
repudiated yesterday in Philadelphia by gentlemen callers, but 
in New York, so far as my personal observation extended, 
^...^^^ sumptuary conserva- 

^^:.p'^j-X;>>.^ _^c^^ tism prevailed, and 

cl? ,*«<<Jr=---'''-^-^'i^"::i^^^, ^u. the " war paint " 

worn was of the 
orthodox undertaker's 
tint and waiter's cut. 
The white necktie 
was de rigueur, the 
which, combined with 
the asj^erity of the 
weather — it was fine 
overhead, but despe- 
rately frosty beneath 
and slippery on th( 
side walks — and th( 
fact that from m} 
window I could per 
ceive group afte: 
group of dandies ii 
evening dress remov 
ing their goloshes or being disrobed by sable servitors of thei 
fur-lined great coats and sealskin caps in the halls of th( 




NEW TEARS DAY 



-THE MORNING TOILETTE. 



CHRISTMASTIDE AND THE NEW YEAR. 



165 



mansions wliero they were visiting, gave to Fifth-avenue an 
aspect curiously suggestive of the" aspect of some fashionable 
street in St. Petersburg — 
say the Great Morskaia. 
The resemblance was mate- 
rially aided by the plenitude 
of claw-hammer coats and 
■white cravats. The Russians 
are, I should say, the only 
people beside the Americans 
who pay morning visits in 
evening dress. 

I did not notice any blinds 
drawn down, nor any symp- 
toms of lighting up in the 
mansions visible to me over 
the way; but you must re- 
member that Washington- 
square and Clinton-place, at 
the corner of which last is 
the Brevoort House, which 
were "up town" when I 
first came here, are as much " down town " as Long s Hotel, 
Old Bond-street, is now " down town " in London, in comparison 
with one of the 
grand new fashion- 
able hotels at South 
Kensington. Per- 
haps fashionable 
New York yesterday 
began to draw down 
its blinds and to 
light up about the 
vicinity of Gramercy 
Park, which is about 
midway between 
" up " and " down" 
town, and so con- 
tinued to be arti- 




THE FINISHING TOUCH. 





THE FIRST CALLER. 



THE HOSTESS. 



ficially nocturnal to 

far beyond the new and astoundingly palatial "Windsor Hotel. 
As to the refreshment question, a really animated controversy 



168 



AMERICA REVISITED. 




has been for some time in progress in New York society and in 
the New York press. I never made but one round of New 

Year's Day visits iu 
'I. I > 1 ;' !■ New York. That 

was on the First of 
January, 18(')3. I 
v/as young in the 
land, and did not 
know very many 
lamihes. I hired a 
two -horse vehicle, 
closely resembling 
a hackney coach, 
which cost me six 
dollars ; but, ah 
me ! gold was then 
at a hundred pre- 
mium, and six dollars 
meant, not twenty- 
— ''^■-'' four, but only twelve 
shillings — and I 
made, if I remember 
aright, about five-and-twenty calls. It was hard work — despe- 
rately hard work. The snow lay deep in the roadway, and 

where it had been scraped 
away from the side-walk 
a fearful slipperiness 
prevailed. The high 
" stoops " before the 
houses were also glacially 
glassy as to surface. The 
house doors were mainly 
on the swing. You 
needed no card of invita- 
tion. You were received 
in the hall by an affable 
negro man in a striped 
jacket. You grinned 
A QUIET FLIRTATION. patrouislngly. He grin- 

ned with an exjDression 
in which obsequiousness and patronage were mingled : for the 
sable child of Africa has his own notions of etiquette, and they 



FLORAL OFFERINGS. 




CHRISTMASTIDE AND THE NEW YEAR. 



167 



are rigorous. A lady in Washington lately told me that, hap- 
aening to mention incidentally to her mulatto serving maid the 




AN UNLOOSED FOR VISITOR FROM TEXAS. 



THE IRREPRESSIBLE POET. 



name of some family of Senatorial rank, the coffee-coloured 
damsel, after cogitating for a moment, remarked inquiringly, 
" I'se never heerd 
on 'em before. Do 
■we visit \im .^" If 
the sable servitor 
in the striped jacket ^('^^ 
was pleasantly satis- 
fied that you visited 
him as well as his 
employers, he speed- 
ily inducted you into 
a handsome parlour, 
where the lady of the 
house, surrounded 
by other ladies, of 
every nuance of 
youth and grace, sat 
perpetually bowing, 
smiling, and shaking hands. You bowed and you smiled. The 
room was full of gentlemen bowing and smiUng. Negro 
attendants, smiHng, flittered around with silver trays laden with 




THE ITALIAN COUNT. 



16S 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



sandwiclies, plum cake, and rare wines ; and in tlie dim distance 
of the extensive parlonr there were visions of oysters and cold- 
turkey and ham. I 
will not be certain 
whether there was 
pumpkin pie or not; 
but most assuredly 
there were cut glass 
decanters containing 
the whiskey of Bour- 
bon the Festive and 
the cognac of Gaul 
the Vivacious. 

So you went from 
house to house, all 
through the live 
long day, bowing 
and smiling, and 
was some danger, 
Manhattan, of your 
" stoop " — bowins: 




A TETE-A-TKTE. 



being bowed and smiled at, until there 
when the shades of night had fallen on 
bowing to one of the slippery steps of a 
with your nose and not getting up again- — or of your smiling 
in the open lire grate, with your head in the coal-scuttle, 
whence you emitted cordial but scarcely articulate aspirations 
for a happy New Year to all and sundry. This was the old- 
fashioned or Knickerbocker mode of keeping New Year's 
Day ; and during the last few years a reaction has set in against 
the convivial custom. The coffee, chocolate, and houillon 
system is naturally strongly favoured by advocates of total 
abstinence, and by not a few hospitable but not over-affluent 
persons, to whom the heavy price of foreign wines must be a 
serious consideration ; while the really stingy section — a very 
small one, for the Americans are the least stingy people in the 
world — pin their faith to the maxim of " No refreshments at all 
on New Year's Day." I cannot help fancying, nevertheless, 
that the old and time-honoured Knickerbocker fashion had, in 
the main, the best of it yesterday. 




SELECTING A BANJO. 



XIV. 
On to Richmond. 

Eiclnnond, Virginia, January 4. 

Long, long ago — not precisely " ere heaving bellows learned! 
to blow, and organs yet w^re mute " — but really a good many 
years since, when the voice of the banjo was young in the land^ 
and Mr. Pell, the "Original Bones,"* was only just beginning: 
to instruct the small boys of England in the art of making a 
novel and diabolical street noise — in the days when we first 

* Pell, Harrington, Wliite, Stanwood, and Gormon, -were tlie original qiiintetfc 
of " Ethiopian Serenaders " who appeared at the St. James's Theatre, London, in 
1846-7. For years before that period, however, Mr. T. D. Kice had " jumped Jim 
Crow" with immense success in the British metropolis; and in the interval between 
his departure and the coming of Pell and his bretliren, several isolated " burnt-cork 
minstrels " (one, I remember, in particular, named Sweeny, who played the banjo at 
the Princess's about 1843) visited London. 



170 



AMERICA REVISITED. 




gomg 
;" of 



eagerly listened to the 
lyrics which told of the joys 
and sorrows of Lucy Neale; 
of the deliirhts of 
" Ober de Mountain ^ 
the cheery life of the Boat- 
men " Sailin down de rib- 
ber on de Ohio ; " which so 
pathetically deplored the 
decrepitude of " Uncle 
Ned," and so piously ex- 
pressed the aspiration that 
" he was Gone where de 
Good Niggers Go ; " wdiich 
ecstatically proclaimed the 
culmination of " a Gittin' up 
Stairs and a Playin' on de 
Fiddle ; " which passion- 
ately implored the Buffalo 
Gals to Come out and 
" Dance by de Light ob de 
Moon," while they sternly 
warned the too impetuous "Mr. Coon" that he was all too Soon, 
seeing that " de Gals dey won't be ready till To-morrow After- 
noon," and which, finally, 
cautiously inquiring " Who's 
dat Knockin' at de Door?" 
derisively added that there 
was no entrance for him who 



knocked, seeing that his hair 
did not curl : — In that re- 
mote epoch of primitive 
^' Ethiopian " serenading, I 
remember to have heard a 
simple strophe reciting how 

Away down South 
A Nigger in the water 
Was standin' in a luillpond 
Longer than he oughter. ^^ 

.. , ,, '^"J^, ' ^ 

Full five-and-thirty j^ears "' "' 

had I been waiting to see that nigger standing in that mill- 
pond. I saw him in all his glory and all his grimy wretched- 



OLD DAN ■ TUCKER, 




ON TO RICHMOND. 



171 



ness at Guinnejs, in the State of Virginia, tlie day before 
yesterday. 

But I must tell how I came to Guinneys, on my way from 
New York to Richmond. I own that for some days past the 
potential African " standin' in de millpond longer than he 
oughter" had been lying somewhat heavily on my conscience. 
My acquaintance with our dark brother since I arrived in this 
countr}^ has not only been necessarily limited, but scarcely of a 
nature to give me any practical insight into his real condition 
since he has been a Free Man — free to work or to starve ; free 
to become a good citizen or to go to the Devil, as he has gone 
mundanely speaking in Hayti and elsewhere. Coloured folks 
are few and far between in New York ; and they have never, as 
a rule, been slaves, and are not even, generally, of servile 
extraction. In Philadelphia they are much more numerous. 
Many of the mulatto waiters employed in the hotels are strikingly 
handsome men ; and, on the Avhole, 
the sable sons of Pennsylvania struck 
me as being industrious, well dressed, 
prosperous, and a trifle haughty in 
their intercourse with white folks. 

In Baltimore, where slavery existed 
until the promulgation of Mr. Lin- 
coln's proclamation, the coloured 
people are plentiful. I met a good 
many ragged, shiftless, and generally 
dejected negroes of both sexes, who 
appeared to be just the kind of waifs 
and strays who would stand in a 
millpond longer than they ouglit to in 
the event of there being any con- 
venient millpond at hand ; but the 
better-class " darkies " who liad been 
domestic slaves in Baltimore families, 
seemed to retain all their own affec- 
tionate obsequiousness of manner — 
a kind of respectful familiarity that 
is only feasible between seigneur and villein. There is an 
exquisite crystallisation of this feudal entente cordiale in La 
Fontaine's tale of "Le Baiser Rendu." On such terms were the 
'Muscovite nobles and their serfs when I first went to Russia. 
Now all is changed in that respect. The emancipated moujik is 




172 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



usually a sulky fellow ; and, wlien lie 
dares, he is insolent. Again, in Wash- 
ington, the black man and his con- 
geners seemed to be doing remarkably 
well. I saw stalwart negro policemen 
doing duty in Pennsylvania Avenue ; 
and at one of the quietest, most elegant, 
and most comfortable hostelries in the 
Federal capital, Wormley's Hotel, I 
found the establishment conducted by 
the proprietor, Mr.Wormley, a coloured 
man, of gentle manners and great ad- 
ministrative abilities — many an Under- 
Secretary of State would break down 
over the task of "running" a first-rate 
American Hotel — all of whose em- 





A GUARDIAN ANGKL. 



ploy^s, from t] 
clerks in the offi 
to the waiters ai 
chambermaids, we 
coloured. 

At Wormley: 
perhaps, tlie neg: 
and negroid we> 
seen at their ve; 
best. They h;! 
been slaves, or we; 
the children 
slaves. I found 
the coloured peof 
with whom I cari 
in contact not on! 
invariably civil ai; 
obliging, but 
many cases ve 
bright and intel 
gent. Our chai 



ON TO RICHMOND. 



173 



bermaid was quite a delightful old lady, and insisted, ere we left, 
that we sliould give her a recijDe for " a real old English Christmas 
plum pudding." I wrote her out the only recipe for the goodness 
of which I cared to vouch — seeing that it was my mother's — but 
when I came to the item " a whie glass and a half of the best 
brown brandy" I ventured to add, parenthetically, " taking care 
not to drink it yourself." Aunt Phoebe — suppose we call the 
ebon chambermaid Aunt and Phoibe — was immensely tickled by 
this piece of advice, and was frequently overheard, while intent 
on her domestic duties, to repeat, "Lorful sakes. Not drink 
'um youself ! Takin' care not to drink 'um youself! hee ! hee ! 
gorry." 




But these were not the millpond folk of whom I was in quest. 
They were of the South, as an Irishman in London is of Ireland, 



174 AMERICA REVISITED. 

but not in it. I liad a craving to see whether any of the social 
ashes of slavery lived their wonted fires. A " way down 
South " was the real object of my mission ; and in pursuit of 
that mission I came, on the Second of January, on to Rich- 
mond. The day following the festive First is known as 
Ladies' Day. On the Second the leaders of fashion, who have 
undergone so dire a martyrdom in sitting to receive male 
visitors throughout the First, have their " day out," and 
make a round of visits to each other, mutually exchanging 
experiences, comparing notes, and ascertaining how many new 
and eligible additions, in the shape of British peers and baronets, 
silver-mine millionnaires and Wall-street quadrillionnaires, each 
lady has made to her visiting list. The British baronet is 
usually pretty plentifully " on hand." The British nobleman 
just at present is rather scarce in the market ; and his absence 
is accounted for by his inability to obtain any rent from his 
starving tenantry, and consequent lack of funds to pay his 
passage money to New York. The Italian count is not in much 
request ; and the German baron has too frequently been found " a 
fraud ; " although Italian tenors and German pianistes are always 
sure of a hearty welcome, even if they do not happen to possess 
handles to their names. If there ever existed a people who 
have gone music mad that people are the Americans. Chickering 
and Steinway are Kings ; and I should mention, if I omitted to 
do so before, that the niarch-past of the Philadelphian parade, 
in honour of General Grant, was enlivened by the' strains of no 
less than one hundred and twenty brass bands, among whom 
German instrumentalists predominated. " When Music, hea- 
venly Maid, was young," she only played "Yankee Doodle" 
upon a humble fife ; but Mr. Gilmore's new national anthem, 
" Columbia," is performed to the strains of hundreds of instru- 
ments, and is sung by thousands of voices. This country is 
rapidly becoming the paradise of fiddlers. 

Ladies' Day in New York was a drippingly wet one, and it 
was through a fine black sea of slush that our carriage had to 
flounder and splash, at half-past nine at night, on our way to the 
Jersey City ferry. I feel tolerably certain that the New Yorkers 
will not be very angry with me — nay, I cannot help feeling that 
they should be, on the contrary, grateful to a stranger — for 
hinting that the streets of the Empire City are, throughout the 
winter, in an inconceivably neglected and filthy condition. 
When a heavy fall of snow has occurred the servants belonging 



ON TO RICHMOND. 175 

to eacli lionse sweep just so iniicli snow as concerns them from 
the side walk into the kennel, where it is allowed to accumulate 
in huge mounds. Meanwhile the authorities of all the horse- 
railroads hasten to strew the tramways with salt, which, 
mingling with the snow, produces a rich icy slush, and which 
can be warranted to permeate the stoutest boots and the 
thickest sock, endowing the wearer forthwith with all the gifts 
that catarrh can give or that bronchitis can bring.* Our 
London omnibus companies know something about the art of 
salting the streets in snowy weather ; but in New York the 
practice has been brought to a degree of perfection unknown 
in other capitals. 

It is scarcely worth mentioning, perhaps, that street pickling 
has been explicitly prohibited by the Legislature of the State. 
There are so many things which are prohibited by the Legislature 
— cockfighting, for example, a sport which still goes merrily on 
— that the multiplicity of prohibitive statutes is haply too much 
for the popular memory. The ordinances, if any exist, touching 
the cleaning of the streets seem in particular to have slipped the 
recollection of those entrusted with the duty of looking after the 
" cedility " of the Empire City. The garbage-boxes or ash- 
barrels on the side-walks, in which receptacles the inhabitants 
deposit their household refuse, are still the same unsightly and 
unsavoury nuisances that I remember them to have been seven- 
teen years ago ; and in windy weather the miscellaneous contents 
of these " hopeless Pandoras " are distributed by the bounteous 
blast in unstinted profusion over the garments and into the eyes 
of passers-by. In winter, when a thaw takes place no combined 
efforts of any kind are made to cleanse the streets ; and when a 
heavy black frost supervenes on the thaw — which, with un- 
pleasant frequency, is the case, the winter in New York being 
subject to continual mutations — no systematic action is taken to 
clear the pavement from ice, much less to sand it. 

Of course it is whispered that the large sums of money which 
are periodically voted by the City Council for street cleansing 
purposes are not as a rule applied to the exact purposes which 
they were intended to serve. The consequence of not sandhig 
or otherwise obviating the glossy slipperiness of the side walk, 
is that the pedestrian is perpetually performing involuntary 

'■•■ Witlioiit, scarcely, the variation of a Avord, this brief description of municipal 
carelessness would apply to the scandalous condition of the streets of London dm-ing 
one whole "fortnight of the Great Frost of January, 1881. 



17G AMERICA REVISITED. 

"cellar-flaps" and unwelcome back sommersaults, ending In un- 
prepared-for " break-downs," conducive, no doubt, to the delec- 
tation of the small boy who is passing, and of glee to the surgeon, 
to whom broken bones, in others, is as milk and honey, and 
somebody else's fractured skull a thing of great price, but which 
can be productive only of modified enjoyment to the person who 
wishes to perambulate the streets of a great and most interesting 
city without being tripped up by the treacherous ice or foot- 
soaked by the saline slush. It is, however, principally foreigners 
who are the victims of the horrible iiicuria which makes of every 
thoroughfare of New York either a Slough of Despond or a Via 
Dolorosa. The natives, wise in their generation, do not walk, 
save in the very finest of weather. AVhy not imitate the wisdom 
of the natives ? Simply for this reason : that it is difficult, if not 
impossible, to study the manners and customs of the people 
of a gigantic metropolis by merely passing to and fro in or over 
their thoroughfares by means of tramway cars and Broadway 
stages. 

The New Yorkers, it is but fair to observe, grumble much 
more bitterly about the state of their streets in winter time 
than I have ventured to do ; but I rejoice to note that a turn to 
their complaints in this respect seems to be approaching, and 
that the winter of their discontent is to be made glorious summer 
by the sun of Captain Williams. This eminently energetic public 
functionary was formerly the captain bold of a police precinct in 
New York. He had but one failing — an excess of that zeal 
against which Talleyrand so strenuously warned youthful diplo- 
matists. Captain Williams, being armed with his " locust " or 
truncheon, seemed to have deemed it to be his bounden duty to 
smite everybody on the head — with the view of mending their 
morals, and never minding the injury which he inflicted on their 
heads and limbs. New York was to him one vast CrackskuU 
Common, and he roamed about continually in quest of crania 
to crack. In fact. Captain Williams, in his conscientious but 
excessive zeal, " clubbed " so many people, the majority of 
whom had not deserved clubbing at all, that at length the 
popular wrath was excited, and the enthusiastic clubbist was in- 
dicted for assault. He was acquitted ; but the Board of Police 
Commissioners, possibly thinking that Captain Williams liad 
done enough for fame in the way of "caving in" the heads of 
the citizens of New York, removed him from the command of 
his police precinct, and appointed him an inspector of street 



ON TO EICHMOND. 177 

cleaning;. By the time that I return to the shores of Manhattan 
I hope to find the streets very clean, indeed. 

The distance between New York and Richmond is certainly 
under four hundred miles, and in Great Britain an express train 
would have accomplished such a journey in less than eight 
hours. We made the run in thirteen hours and a half, which I 
consider to be, on the whole, very good time. Once for all I 
may observe that, for any practical purpose to be served there- 
by, it is quite idle to compare English with American rates of 
speed to the disparagement of the latter. Their railway system 
is a very different one from ours, and a good deal of time is 
often unavoidably lost in shunting from one line of railway to 
the other. Taken altogether, the arrangements leave little 
ground for complaint; and the improvements in transit and 
traffic which have taken place since I came here last are really 
wonderful. It used to be a standing ground of complaint against 
the constructors of the permanent way on American railways 
that they did not " fish their joints ; " but this technical griev- 
ance has now been definitively abolished; and the almost universal 
introduction of steel rails has added much both to the safety of 
the trains and the comfort of those riding in them. 

The only serious annoyance to which the traveller is sub- 
jected on a lengthened journey is that arising from the frequent 
collection of tickets. The " conductor," or guard, seems to be 
always " at you." For example, between New York and Rich- 
mond I was asked to show my ticket, or rather to pay fragments 
of fare — for circumstances over Avhich I had no control debarred 
me from booking right through — first at Jersey City, secondly 
at Philadelphia, thirdly at Baltimore, fourthly at Washington, 
and fifthly at Quantico, a little riverside station between Alex- 
andria and Richmond. Dozing off into slumber, composing 
yourself to read, subsiding into meditation and the enjoyment of 
a cigar, it was all one. The inevitable conductor, a glaring 
lantern in his hand, ruthlessly woke you up, or implacably inter- 
posed between yourself and your cogitations, and demanded 
your ticket. This is not done with the slightest wish to cause 
annoyance to travellers, and is due only to some mysterious 
clearing-liouse exigencies. It may be that, in the course of 
such a journey as I undertook, bet\veen New York and Rich- 
mond, lines belonging to half-a-dozen different railways had to 
be travelled upon ; and each company had its own conductor, 
who was bound to look after the interest of his employers by 



i 



178 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



collecting tlie tickets, or the equivalent cash, from all passengers . 
passing over that particular line. The result is not the less 
annoying, and it sometimes approaches the verge of the distract- 
ing ; but there is much consolation in knowing that, come what 
may, you are not compelled to leave your Pullman car. The 
car in which I was a passenger was available for travelling in as 
far as Augusta, in Georgia — whither I am going presently — a 
distance of live hundred miles from Richmond. 





BREAKFASTING AT WASHINGTON. 



XV 

Still On to Richmond. 

Richmond, January 6. 

More than once I have taken occasion to observe that the 
Pullman Parlour Car — commonly termed a " chair " car — is a 
decided boon to railway travellers in America. Equally bene- 
iicent are the arrangements which permit you to take luncheon 
or dinner on board the car. Touching tlie sleeping accommoda- 
tion provided by the thoughtful Pullman, it has hitherto im- 
pressed me more from the point of view of its extreme ingenuity 
than from any amount of actual comfort which I have derived 
I from it. I have not yet mastered the art of going to sleep in a 

N 2 



180 AMERICA REVISITED. 

sleeping- car — I suppose that I shall acquire it after having 
travelled a few more thousands of miles; — but I have not the less 
regarded the process of converting a railway compartment into 
a dormitory as a highly amusing one. Indeed, the " tricks " 
and "transformations " through which the vehicle passes before 
you are entitled to sing — sotto voce, of course — "Bonsoir, Signor 
Pantalon," are much more diverting than an ordinary comic scene 
in a Christmas pantomime : which last is, I take it, next to a pub- 
lic dinner, about the most wearisome entertainment conceivable. 
AVe were half way between New York and Philadelphia 
when the negro attendant in the Atlanta car in which we 
were passengers began to " fix up tings for sleepin'." First 
he divested himself of his jacket, and appeared in a blue-checked 
overshirt or guernsey, which gave him a curious resemblance to 
a theatrical scene-shifter. Then, at his leisure, he "prospected" 
the car, as though slightly uncertain as to what section he should 
first set about " fixing," in a somniferous sense. Meanwhile he 
softly jingled a bunch of electro-silvered keys, and murmured to 
himself some bars of a little song. I tried, but unsuccessfully, to 
catch the words. What were they ? Perhaps some snatch of a 
hymn familiar to him in his dusky childhood. Peradventure, 

When de brimstone's ladled out, 

O ! ! de moanin' ; 

Den de white folks howl and shout, 

! ! de groanin'. 

But de cullered folks sing out, 

" No more de moanin'." 

The " white folks " generally experience rather hot weather in 
Ethiopian hymnology. The negro attendant was full six feet in 
height, coal-black, shiny, and with a magnificent set of white 
teeth. Do you remember the stalwart Etliiop who, apparelled 
in a gorgeous costume of scarlet and gold and a splendid tur- 
ban, used to play the cymbals in the band of one of our Guard 
regiments ? I remember when I was a small boy I used to gaze 
with particular awe and admiration on a very curious device in] 
gold embroidered on what the Americans would euphemisticallyj 
call the " hinder stomach " of the black cymbal-player's panta- 
loons. Many years afterwards an officer in one of the Guards' 
regiments told me that this golden glory was technically known 
as the '' dickey-strap." The negro cymballer and his " dickey-j, 
strap " have alike faded out of our service. 

The Pullman bed-room steward would have made an admir-l 



STILL OX TO RICHMOND. 181 

able cymballer. Witli proper training be niiglit liave performed 
Otbello. Had bis lot been cast in anotber age, and under otlier 
auspices, be migbt bave been a Jugurtba, a Toussaint I'Ouver- 
ture, a Soulouque — que saisje? As it was, Fate bad appointed 
tbat be sbould make tlie beds for tbe ladies and gentlemen on 
board a Pullman car. Well ; it was better, perbaps, tlian toiling 
in tbe rice swamps or tbe cotton fields, or wasting bis oppor 
tunities away down SoLitb, standing in a millpond longer tban 
expediency demanded or decorum required. After be bad taken 
bis survey of our car, be pitcbed upon tbe section immediately 
opposite our own as tbe one on wbicb to commence operations. 
A " section " is made up of two crimson velvet-covered bencbes 
containing four seats at riglit angles to tbe wall of tbe car ; and 
tbis section was occupied by two ladies, motber and daugbter, 
bound to Savannab, a favourite bealtb resort for delicate Nor- 
tberners during tbe winter montlis. Fortunately tbe car was 
not by any means full, or tbe ladies would bave been compelled 
to stand in tbe gangway or passage between tbe rows of seats 
wbile tlieir beds were being made. As it was, tbey bestowed 
tbemselves on two vacant bencbes, wbile tbe atbletic liomme de 
chamhre deliberately proceeded — so it seemed to my unaccus- 
tomed eyes — to pull the Pullman car to pieces. At least be 
broke up tbat particular section very small indeed. His electro- 
plated implements apparently included a "jemmy," a crowbar, 
and a wbole buncb of picklocks. He tapped tbis, be unscrewed 
that, and be took a " nut " out of sometbing else ; and tbe im- 
mediate results were collapse and disintegration, speedily 
followed, bowever, by tborougb reconstruction. 

One toucb of bis magic wand, or screwdriver, and tbe roof 
of tbe " section " came down bodily. It did not, fortunately, 
tumble on bis bead, for its descent was arrested in mid-air, and 
out of it successively " cascaded," so to speak, a mattress, a 
blanket, a counterpane, and a pair of pillows. Tben tbe sable 
atblete solemnly stalked to tbe end of tbe car and applied one 
of bis sbining keys to tbe centre of a panel of ornamental wood, 
ornamented witb pretty carvings and inlaid work. Tbe interior 
ot a Pullman Palace Car is, I may mention parentbetically, as 
tasteful and as puzzlingly complicated as a box made of Tun- 
bridge Wells ware wbicb lias gone tbrougb a course of Elkington 
in tbe way of electro-silver adornments. Tbe variegated panel 
being tapped, a cupboard was revealed, from wbicb tbe atblete, 
bumming bis little song tbe wbile, abstracted a store of snowy- 



182 AMERICA REVISITED. 

white bed linen. Again, parenthetically, I am bound to note 
that all the appurtenances of a Pullman Sleeping C^ar are spot- 
lessly clean. By dexterous sleight of hand, and holding one 
corner of the linen sack between his teeth, the attendant, who 
might have been Jugurtha, or Mungo in " The Padlock," at the 
very least, contrived to get each pillow into its proper case. 
He would then have converted the " section " into an upper or 
a lower berth, steamboat fashion ; but the ladies gave him to 
understand that one berth would suffice for them both, and that 
he might dispense with the ceremony of plachig bedding on the 
upper shelf. At this he grinned solemnly, and a fresh feat of 
legerdemain on his part sent the disintegrated roof of the section 
back to its original position. 

A great necromancer this. By magic art he had produced 
from unknown regions sliding panels which served as a top and 
a bottom to the bed' — the edification of which would have been 
watched with the most intense interest by Messrs. Box and 
Cox — and, finally, this wizard of the rail spirited up, from some 
vasty deep to me unknown, a pair of higlily ornate tapestry 
curtains, which buttoned all the way up, like the iront of a 
modern lady's dress. Happy thought, those buttons ; yet are 
those snugly-closed draperies pervious to the Tarquin-touch of 
the ticket-collector. Macbeth murdered Sleep in the days of 
old. That act of assassination is now performed by the railroad 
conductor. How the ladies managed to go to bed I know 
not. Of course I was as discreet as the youth in Thomson's 
" Seasons ; " and while the beauteous Musidoras of the train 
were retiring to rest I fled to the little cabin at the extremity 
of the car where smoking is permitted. 

When I returned our own section had been taken to pieces 
and put together in the guise of a bed, curtains and all ; and 
about one in the morning — somewhere between Wilmington 
and Baltimore, I fancy — I crawled into my berth, to toss and 
tumble in uneasy slumbers until five. But during that broken 
sleep — rendered additionally feverish by periodical visits from 
the ticket-collector — I was haunted by the learsome vision of a 
Human Foot and Leg, quite guileless of stocking. Whose Foot 
and Leg were they ? Mine ? Mystery. Next door but one to 
the opposite section there was a tremendously tall gentleman, 
with a sandy beard and a widely-flapped hat. He drove the 
negro attendant to the verge of distraction, first by persistently 
reiusing to go to bed until an unholy !iour, and subsequently 



STILL ON TO EICHMOND. 



183 




|| by declining as pertinaciously to get up tlie next morning. He 
bad the longest legs that I have set eyes upon since I landed 
on this continent ; and he pl;=^ed outside his curtains the largest 
pair of square-toed boots that I ever remember to have Avondered 
at. Did the Foot and Leg, the semblance of which haunted 
me, belong to that gentleman ? It mattered little. I continued 
to toss and tumble, fitfully dreaming — now that I was a student 
in a Life Academy, and that my tibia and fibula were out of 

■ drawing, and my metatarsal bones hopelessly wrong, in the study 
from the human model which I was making in Italian chalk ; and 
now^ that I was a corn-cutter condemned for maladroitness as 
a chiropodist to undergo the medijBval torture of the " boots." 

On the whole, a sleeping-car, however admirably appointed, 
may be said to be adapted to all purposes save those of sleeping. 



184 AMERICA REVISITED. 

Man, nor woman neither, was not born to go to bed on wheels. 
Very many persons will disagree with me on this head ; yet I 
venture to adhere to my own opinion, and to the regularly 
made-up bed. I prefer the fauteuils with moveable backs, 
forming couches, on which you may recline, with which the cars 
on the railroad between St. Petersburg and Moscow are provided. 
You may recline there at full length. You have ample elbow 
room and space overhead. You cover yourself up with rugs 
and furs ; you place your dressing bag under your head, and 
you sleej^ the sleep of the just. The berth in a sleeping-car 
cannot, on the other hand, be occupied without a more or less 
immediate sense of suffocation. 

Obviously these remarks apply only to comparatively short 
journeys. On such a trip as that from New York to San 
Francisco, occupying as it does an entire week, the Pullman 
Sleeping Car may be an unmitigated blessing to travellers. 
When the run is one only of three or four hundred miles you 
need not, I take it, be so very particular about going to bed, 
and the pleasantest features in a Pullman car under these 
circumstances are the gentle motion and the abundant acces- 
sories of elegant comfort and convenience. But the case, I have 
very little doubt, assumes a widely diiferent aspect when the 
journey is one, not of so many hundreds, but of thousands of 
miles. Then it becomes a matter of importance to health that 
you should assume, once at least in every twenty-four hours, 
that which Mr. Carlyle expressively terms "the horizontal 
position," and then you will indubitably a})preciate with all due 
gratitude the liicilities of a Pullman Sleeping Car. 

So at about six In the morning we came to Washington, 
where there was a halt of some tive-and-twenty minutes for 
refreshment. I was puzzled to know how the ladles and 
gentlemen who had gone to bed in right earnest would contrive 
to get any breakfast. IManlfestly they would have no time 
wherein to rise, perform their toilette, descend from the car, 
enter the restaurant, and partake of a collation ; and as mani- 
festly a picnic of ladies and gentlemen, more or less in the 
costume of Amina in the " Sonnambula," Zerllna iu " Fra 
Diavolo," and the late Mr. William Farren in the farce of the 
"Double Bedded Boom," regaling themselves with hot rolls and 
coifee in the gangway of the car, was not a thing to be thought 
of. Much exercised in my mind in this respect, and being, 
moreover, fully dressed, I thought that i might as well pay a 



STILL OX TO EICHMOXD. 185 

visit to the restaurant and see liow things were looking in tlie 
direction of breakfast. I had scarcely entered the spacious 
marble hall serving as a refreshment room, before all my doubts 
were resolved by an obliging waiter in a white jacket, but 
ikcially and manually as black as the Ace of Spades. Break- 
last? He would "fix" it for me "right away." Lady in the 
car! What would " the Madam " — the lady who is with you is 
always " the Madam," and is treated with as much deference as 
though she were the Queen of Sheba — like? Ham and eggs? 
1 >eefsteak ? Porksteak ? Hot cakes ? French coffee ? English 
breakfast tea? Hominy? Everything was "on hand," and was 
procurable " right away." 

This pearl — there are black pearls, and precious ones — of a 
waiter proceeded to perch me on a high stool, where I felt 
jor a moment as though I were a junior clerk in an attorney's 
oftice, at a salary of eighteen shillings a week. The waiter's 
))rother proceeded to supply me with hot coffee, hot bread and 
butter, hot muffins, hot eggs, and iced water. The waiter liim- 
self took my order for the lady in the car ; loaded a tray with 
the required refreshments, and stepped away with the alacrity of 
an ebony Ariel. Then his uncle (presumably) presented me with 
a piece of crimson pasteboard inscribed with the number of cents 
which I was to pay — it was under a couple of shillings — and tliis 
card, with the necessary cash, I handed to the waiter's grand- 
lather — his supposititious grandsire, at least — who sate at the 
receipt of custom in a little white marble niche, looking like some 
ancient idol of Murabo-Jumbo ; and then I hied me back to the 
sleeping-car, where I found that one lady, at least, had had her 
breakfast in bed very comfortably. How she received it I have 
not the remotest idea. I retired to the smoking compartment, 
and sta^^ed there, talking to a cheery old farmer from Rhode 
Island and an affable gentleman from Philadelphia, who men- 
tioned in the course of conversation that he was a lineal descen- 
dant of John of Gaunt, and that his uncle was in possession of 
"time-honoured Lancaster's" own walking-stick. When broad 
daylight set in, 1 returned to tiie sleeping-car to find that 
another transformation had taken place. The beds and bedding 
and the tapestried curtains — with but one exception, the " instal- 
lation " of the obstinate gentleman who was averse from retiring 
to rest, and reluctant to rise — had all disappeared, and the 
dormitory on wheels had resumed its drawing-room aspect. 

We sped, all too rapidly for me, through a deeply interesting 



18G 



AM ERIC A RPJA IS ITEL>. 




A Gl-IMl'SE Ol'' STONKAVALL JACKSON. 



country. We were traversing a liiindrecl miles of most momen- 
tous History. From AVasliington Ave crossed the I^ong Bridge 
into the State of Virginia, and ran down seven miles in a parallel 
course with the Potomac to the city of Alexandria. Thence to 
Quantico, whence the train took the track of the liichmond, 
Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad, and entered a broken and 
desolate-looking region, famous to all time as " The Wilder- 
ness," which was the scene of some of the most terrible battles 
fougiit in 18G3 and 18G4. Twenty-one miles beyond Quantico, 
we halted at the quaint-looking old town of Fredericksburg, on 
the south bank of the Rappahaimock, and near which was fought 
u bloody engagement, in which the Federal General Burnside 
was routed by the heroic Confederate Commander Robert hee. 
The graveyard of the gallant dead who fell in that strife is fully 



STILL ON TO RICHMOND. 



187 



visible from the cars. Eleven miles west of Fredencksburg the 
battle of Chancellorsville was fought. There "Stonewall" 
^Jackson was mortally wounded. He died at the little hamlet 
called Gninneys, which I have more than once spoken of, and 
liis last words were, " Let ns cross over the river, and rest under 
the shade of the trees." 

" Stonewall" Jackson ! I mind how, in the summer of 'G4, 
being at Niagara Falls, on the British side, one of the Confederate 
Commissioners, who had come to the frontier to try to treat for 
])eace, showed me a pencil drawing of the face of " Stonewall " 
Jackson as he lay in death. The Confederate Conmiissioner 
Jdndly lent me this relic for an hour, that I might make a tracing- 
of it, and that tracing I have now in an album at home. Leaving 
Fredericksburg, we came to Hanover Junction, where, in May^ 
'04, another doughty battle was fought between General Grant 
and General Lee. A very cock-pit, this country ! A tilt yard 
of heroes. The trees are very young and slim, and grass grows- 
very richly hereabouts ; but the land, they tell me, the desolate- 
"Wilderness" always excepted, is beginning to smile again, 
and, this last harvest time, was teeming with grain and tobacco, 
^lay it so teem through unnumbered harvests ! The old State of 
Virginia has surely seen enough of the dreadful realities of war, 
and to spare. 




STONEWALL JACKSOX AS HE LAY IN DEATH. 
(After a tracii)g by the Autlior from an original sketch.) 




COFFEE AND FRIED CHICKEX AT A VIRGINIA RAILWAY STATION. 



XVI. 
In Richmond. 



Eiclimoiid, January 8. 



" Agricultural labour in tlie State of Virginia is supplied 
cliiefly by the negro ; and be lias no superior as a fiirni labourer. 
' Is not the negro idle, thriftless, and thievish ? ' 'Do not judge 
<a whole class of people by a few street-corner or cross-road 
loungers. The negro is to some extent superstitious ; but we 
will do him the justice to say that, in Virginia at least, he is im- 
proving in morality and industry, and that the charge of larceny 
against him is a very rare thing in our criminal records. The 
price of farm labour varies according to the work required. It 
ranges between eight to ten dollars a month, with rations." It 
must be considered as fortunate for the cause of impartiality 



IN RICHMOND. 189 

that, before addressing myself to the task of writing anythino- 
concerning the social position of the manumitted African in the 
Southern States, there should have been put into my hands the 
lucid and exhaustive " Handbook of Virginia," recently compiled 
and presented to his Excellency Governor Holliday by the State 
Commissioner of Agriculture, Mr. Thos. H. Pollard. The 
Handbook contains a mass of varied and valuable information 
respecting the agrarian, mineralogical, and metallurgic resources 
of the " Old Dominion ; " but, for the present, that little admoni- 
tion to foreigners touching the negro has been of the greatest 
service to me. At a dozen places lately, travelling to this fair 
city, did I come across the "cross-road lounger." He has been 
standing at all the street-comers ever since I have been in 
Richmond itself, and a most appalling spectacle he is. But for 
the kindly caution in Mr. Pollard's work, I should have mis- 
taken this gruesome loafer — this amazing tatterdemalion — for 
the average type of the enfranchised negro. 

Let us take the Lounger in the country first. Take him at 
a wayside railway station — I beg pardon, I should say " depot." 
The rural depot is certainly not a very imposing edifice. An 
American writer of note, Mr. Richard Grant White, says of it : 
" It is surely the height of absurdity to give the name to a little 
lonely shanty which looks like a lodge outside a garden of cu- 
cumbers, and a staging of a few planks on wliicli two or three 
people stand like condemned criminals on a scaffold." But 
then, it has been pointed out, the American loves big names, 
and ere long he is quite sure the depot will become what the 
name indicates, so rapid is the growth of the country, and so 
marvellous the power of railroads in developing its resources. 
Just now the Virginian roadside raihvay halting-place is in the 
very earliest stage of development. It is, in trutli, a wretched 
little hole, presenting a dismal contrast to the trim Eno-lish 
station, with its nicely kept platform, its tiny refreshment room 
and well-stocked bookstall, and its snug residence for the station 
master, with perchance a pretty little garden laid out by the side 
of the line. You must expect nothing of tliis kind in Virginia, nor 
indeed, in any part of rural America. The age of trimness and neat- 
ness is not come, yet. Everything for the present is in the rouo-h. 

The ordinary accessories to the roadside shanties are dwarf 
vegetation, broken fences stencilled over with advertisements of 
nostrums for coughs and indigestion, and the "cross-road louno-er " 
who, in Virginia, is black. What is he like ''i Well, take Don 



190 



AMERICA REVISITED. 




A CHOSS-ROAD LOUNGER. 



Caesar (le Bazan in tlie guise in which he makes his first appear- 
ance in " Ruy Bks." Tlien, out of Callot's " Habits and Beggars " 
select tlie most hopelessly tattered and villanous looking mendicant 
to be found in that astonishing gallery of ragamuffins. Add the 
wardrobe of a London rough as he infests Fleet Street on a Lord 
Mayor's Show Day, or Hyde Park on some Sunday when there 
is a political meeting at the Reformers' Tree. Sprinkle in an 
admixture of a Parisian rodeur des harrieres^ and complete your 
amalgam of raggedness and wretchedness with the costume of 
an Irish bogtrotter newly landed in England, and just setting 
out on his first hop-picking expedition in the county of Kent. 
Having by dint of great perseverance gotten together such a 
miscellany of rags and tatters, it might be as well to shred them 
all somewhat fine in a sausage machine, and then to fasten them 
together again with pins, or skewers, or crooked nails, or frag- 
ments of tape or string, or, indeed, anything that came handy ; 
and then, having rolled the mass in the mud and roughly dried 
it, the whole might be shaped into the rude semblance of a coat, 
vest, and pantaloons. About the shirt there is no need to be 
very particular — almost anything will do : a scrap of canvas 
sacking or a couple of discarded dishclouts. Well, it is possible 
to be good and kind without a shirt. The Happy Man had n(» 
shirt. The Emperor IMarcus Antoninus had none. The boots 
should be of the " canoe " pattern, several sizes too large for 



I 



IN RICHMOND. 191 

;my pair of human feet smaller than those of the Colossus of 
Uhodes. The}^ should he quite innocent of blacking and desti- 
tute of string ; and there should be a decided solution of con- 
tinuity between the soles and the upper leather. The hat — 
tlie " cross-road lounger " always wears a hat, and disdains a 
cap quite as much as an Eton boy could do — utterly baffles 
my feeble powers of descri])tion. It is something like an in- 
verted coalscuttle without handles, and pierced by many holes. 
It is something like the bonnet of a Brobdingnagian quakeress, 
supposing that there were any female members of the Society of 
Friends in Brobdingnag. It is huge and flapped and battered, and 
fearful to look upon : that is the most that I can say about it. 

Hang all this equipment on the limbs of a tall negro, of any 
age between sixteen and sixty, and then let him stand close to 
tlie scaffold-like platform of the depot shanty, and let him 
" loafe." His attitude is one of complete and apathetic immo- 
bility. He does not grin. He may be chewing; but he does 
not smoke. He does not beg ; at least, in so far as I observed 
him, he stood in no posture and assumed no gestures belonging 
to the mendicant. He looks at you with a dull, stony, pre- 
occupied gaze, as though his thoughts were thousands of miles 
aw\ay in the Unknown Land ; while, once in every quarter of an 
hour or so, he woke up to the momentary consciousness that he 
was a thing neither rich nor rare, and so wondered how the 
Devil he got there. He is a derelict — a fragment of flotsam 
and jetsam cast upon the not too hospitable shore of civilisation 
after the great storm had lashed the Southern Sea to frenzy and 
the ship of Slavery had gone to pieces for ever. Possibly he is 
a great deal more human than he looks ; and, if he chose to 
bestir himself and to address himself to articulate discourse, 
could tell you a great many things about his wants and his 
wishes, his views and feelings on things in general, which to 
you might prove little less than amazing. 

As things go, he prefers to do Nothing, and to proffer no 
kind of explanation as to why he is standing there in a meta- 
phorical millpond very much " longer than he oughter." And 
so I shall find him standing, I am told, all the way down South. 
Sir John Falstaff would have clapped him on the shoulder and 
enlisted him at once as a full private in the Ragged Regiment. 
A London police-constable would have bidden him to "move 
on," and, in default of his so moving, would have " run him in." 
He runs himself in voluntarily, they tell me, sometimes. When 



192 



AMERICA PtE VISITED. 



lie begins to feel tlie wintry weather somewhat too keen to suit 
his looped and windowed raggedness, or when he grows tired of 
standing at the cross road or at the street corner, and wondering 
how the dickens he got there, he pays a nocturnal visit to some 
neighbouring farm-yard, or he drifts into a grocery store and 
pilfers something. Then they lock him up in the Penitentiary 
for a while ; but he lies warm and snug in gaol ; he is well fed 
and not too hardly worked, and he does not mind it, much. I 
am happy to be told that the "cross-road lounger" is in a 
decided minority among the freedmen of the South. 

A grave problem — somewhat of a distressing problem — this 
ragged black enfranchised bondman, living, but making no sign 
— excrescent to, rather than part of, the body politic — having 
nothing to do with the public groimds save in so far as the 
public mud and the public dust-heaps are concerned. What is 
to be done with him ? Perchance - no more than he does with 

himself: that is to say, 
Nothing. Yet who 
shall say that long, 
long ago there may 
not have been all the 
making of an excellent 
^^„ ^ , , fellow in this most de- 

/i-^^^0^ "^r^^^^sf^-^ plorable and unsightly 

castaway? More than 
once have I drawn at- 
tention to a wayside 
station called Guinney s. 
The name of the place 
dwells in my mind 
chiefly, perhaps, be- 
cause there I made a 
tolerably careful study 
of the raggedest and 
most dejected of the 
black Virginians that 
it has been as yet my 
lot to behold. The 
poor creature looked 
like some Coffee Calcalli in irremediable difficulties, grey, dis- 
crowned, "gone up," "busted," and "played out," mourning in 
sackcloth and ashes the loss of his umbrella. Yet was there 




INJURED INNOCLNCE. 
"Do you took mc for a Thief? Do you see any 
Chickens 'bout me ? Go 'way dar, w-Lite man ! Treat 
a boy 'spectablc, if he am brack ! " 



IN RICHMOND. 



193 



about liim a touch of Human Nature, to me very sorrowful and 
pathetic. Snugghng by his tattered side — "freezing" to him, as 
the Americans phrase it — was a tiny yellow boy of some eight 
years. The urchin was a bright mulatto. His eyes were very 
full and sparkling, his hair was straight and silky, his mien full 
of infantile grace and sprightliness. Pie was as ragged as a 
robin ; indeed, when I say that he wore a badly-patched trouser 
— one leg of the pair was almost entirely gone — suspended by 
some subtle contrivance over the shoulder of the dolefullest 
apology for a checked shirt that I have ever beheld, and that 
his head-gear consisted of the fragment of an old cast-off mili- 
tary shako (a relic, may be, of Spotsylvania or Chancellorsville), 
with the peak gone, I think that I have enumerated all that there 
was of his apparel. The elder negro, the umbrella-bereft Coffee 
Calcalli, was holding one of the little fellow's pale yellow hands 
in his own osseous and corrugated black paw ; fitfully he would 
press the small hand and fondle it, as though he cherished the 







194- 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



child, very clearl3^ But lie did not turn liis gaze upon liira. 
His dusky eyes were looking far away, " away down South," in 
the direction of the Gulf of j\[exico and the islands of the Carib- 
bean Sea. A strange couple. What was the bond of union 
between them? The features of the child were regular and 
delicate; while those of his companion Avere of almost brutish 
Ashantian or Dahomian ruggedness. 

For some time past an exodus of coloured people from the 
State of North Carolina to Kansas and Indiana has been going on 
to a very considerable extent ; and the magnitude and continuity 
of this " stampede " have so perplexed and perturbed politicians 
all over the Union that the "North Carolina Emigration" — an 
emigration seemingly quite shiftless and objectless — formed the 
subject lately of a debate, at which I Avas present, in the Senate 
of the United States. I was curiously interested to find the 

exodus mentioned and 
warmly deprecated in a 
letter vv^ritten to the New 
York Evangelist by a 
Presbyterian minister in 
the South, himself a per- 
son of colour. Remarks 
this respectable gentle- 
man : " The North Caro- 
lina exodus is a most 
miserable mystery. It is 
nothing but tramping in- 
stead of toiling by people 
who are the drones of 
the coloured race, who 
find more pleasure in 
wandering from place to 
place than in working 
h'om day to day, and who 
are ignorant of the fact 
that God has said, by the 
pen of Moses and Paul, 
' In the sweat of thy face 
thou shalt eat bread,' and 
' If any will not work 
neither shall lie eat.' Here (in North Carolina) the coloured 
people have a good chance and a good climate ; yet some want 




WESTWARD HO ! 



hi- 



m RICHMOND. 



19; 



to go to Indiana to freeze to death for want of clotliing, food, and 
work. Christian friends, pray against this exodus." It would 
appear tlien, from the above authority, that this tattered Coffee 




NEGRO EMIGRANTS ON THEIR WAY TO KANSAS. 



CalcaUi, shorn of his umbrelhi and other regalities, is not a person 
deserving of much compassion.* 

* According to a writer in Scribuer\'j Macjazine, the first band of negro emigrants to 
the West made its unexpected appearance at Wyandotte in Kansas on lioard one of 
tlie Missouri steamers one April morning in 1879. It comprised several score of 
' "h)ured men, Avomen, and chihlren, bringing with them divers barrels, boxes, and 
1 >iindles of household effects. The garments of the new-comers Avere terril )ly tattered 
and patched, and there was in all likelihood not a dollar in money in the pockets 
• if the entire ]iarty. They were speedilj^ followed by new arrivals, and before a 
fortnight had elajjsed, their number had increased to upwards of a thousand, all of 
tliem jiitifully poor and hungry, many of them sick, and not one with any future 
jihm of action before him. On being (piestioned as to the reason of their coming to 
Kansas, they Avere reticent and evasive in their reitlies, although they resolutely 
ilfclared Avith couA'incing emphasis that notliing Avould induce tlieni to return 
to the South, and as for Avhat lay before them—" Well, de good L(jrd could be 
■trusted." 

Later on they explained their grieA^ances to consist in there being no security for 
their lives and property in their old homes, tliat the laAvs and courts Avere alike uiimi- 
■al to them and their interests, that their exercise of the electoral franchise Avas 
I o 2 



196 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



Speaking only of tlie State of Virginia, there is not the- 
slightest necessity for the negro to stand " longer than he 

obstructed and made a personal danger to tliem, tliat no facilities were afforded or 
permitted tlieni for the education of their children, and above all that they "were so 
unjustly dealt with by white landowners, employers, and traders, it was impossible 
for them to make a living. On the other hand numbers of them gave as their sole 
reason for leaving the South, that the times were dull, and that they hojx'd to better 
themselves elsewhere ; and they freely admitted that most of the misfortunes of 
their fellows were mainly due to their own folly, imjiriulence, and cowardice. 

Temporary shelter was speedily provided for these unexpected and helpless visitors, 
food and the fixcilities for cooking it were furnished them, and local jiliilanthropists- 
hastened to devise measures to secure them honu'S and employment. As this- 







influx of coloured immigrants continued without cessation, a more organized 
system of dealing with it soon became a positive necessity. Few of the new-comers 
had so much as a single article of furniture, or any kind of bedding, their Avearing 
apparel was scant and threadliare, the men were mainly without coats or a change 
of underlinen, and most of the women owned merely a single gown. Half of the. 
children were barefooted, and clad simply in a single cotton garment. Under such, 
conditions much sickness was necessarily prevalent. 

A State Freedman's Eelief Association liaving lieen formed, the' contributions 
forwarded to it sufficed for the purchase of food ai^l clotliing, and the securing of i 



IN rj(;;LMo:<i). 



197 



ougliter " either In a millpoiid or at the intersection of cross 
roads, or at the corners of the streets. There is plenty of work 




homes for the imniigmuts. Barracks were constructed for tlieiu and fanning imple- 
ments supplied to them, and the experiment of founding a colony was commenced 
under rather hopeful conditions. By the end of the antumn their number had 
swollen to upwards of 15,000, and winter with its ice and snow and piercing winds 
was looked forward to with dread. Fortunately, however, the season proved an 



198 AMERICA REVISITED. 

for him to do in the country and in the city of Richmond itself 
The great iron works, the flour mills, the tobacco and cigar 
manufactories of the Virginian capital are all willing to employ 
negro hands at good wages ; and from ocular experience I can 
vouch for the fact that coloured mechanics and labourers are 
largely employed in all the great industries which are rapidly 
making Hichmond a city as great and prosperous as she is 
beautiful. The blacks and mulattos ply their calling by the side 
of white workmen, and seem to live in ])erfect harmony with 
them. They labour under no kind of political disabihty; and 
there is a select band of coloured delegates in the Lower House 
of the Yirgininn Legislature, in which honourable assembly 
the advantage of their presence is, perhaps, problematical, 
seeing that they are the mere tools and stalking-horses of the 
Extreme Radicals or "Readjustors," who are "readjusting" 
State matters by turning old and valuable public servants out of 
office to make way for their own friends, and by coolly proposing 
to repudiate the State Debt — a debt of which the obligations are 
largely held by foreigners. Tliere, however, the black legislators 
are, and there, in the presence of Equal Rights and Universal 
Suffrage, they must remain. Naturally the wdiite owners of 
property — manufacturers, storekeepers, and the like — people in 
short, who have what we term " a stake in the country " — com- 
plain, not Avithout bitterness, that these sable delegates are sent 
to the Legislature by the votes of negro electors, too often 
influenced by the so-called "Readjustors," and who are generally 
steeped to the lips in ignorance, and pay few taxes, if they pay 
any at all. But Je viii est iire^ et il faut le hoire. jManumission 
cannot " go bail " upon itself 

The Virginian gentlemen with whom, daring more than a 
week's sojourn in Richmond, I have conversed — and during that 

unexpectedly miltl one — " God seed dat de darkies liad tliin clotlies," remarked one 
of tlieir preacliers, " and he sone kep the cole oft"." 

At the present time it is estimated that the numher of negro emigrants to the 
West is not far short of 50,000, a considerable proportion of Avhom have fonnd 
employment in the towns, ■whilst a miicli larger number are engaged in farming 
operations on their OAvn account ; others being employed in a desultory Avay, Avoik- 
ing for •\vhite fiirmers and herders, and getting on as best they can. Somi- 
thousands have been drafted into the neiglil touring States, in many instances, on 
solicitation from the authorities, shewing that there are openings for these immigrants 
and a disposition to give them a chance, if they will really work. It is commonly 
believed that the prosperous agricultural States east of the Mississipjii, where pro- 
dxictive land is largely rented and farm hands are never too numerous, could 
absorb them in thousands and convert them into a po. iti\e benetit. 



TN IIICHMOND. 



199 




A " beadjustor" cajoling a >;kgro voter. 

time I have had the honour to meet nearly every gentleman of 
political or social note in the city — are perfectly candid and 
tolerant in the expression of their opinion on the negro question. 
Of their Lost Cause they speak with becoming sadness and dignity 
— a dignity all the more noble when you remember that almost 
every gentleman of middle age with whom you meet — be he go- 
vernor, lawyer, merchant, journalist, or trader — has fought in the 
Confederate armies ; but they have acquiesced in the Inevitable ; 
and their children, while they are proud of the heroic record of 
their sires, are being educated in principles of loyal adherence 
to the integrity of the Federal Union. The elder generation 
hold liberally practical views on the subject of the freedman 
and his descendants. Not once have I spoken with a Southerner 
who has defended slavery in the abstract. All hut unanimous 
has been the verdict which I have listened to, that slavery 
was a social curse and leprosy, and that it is a good thing 



200 



AMERICA EEVISITED. 



that America should be rid of it. 



'/ 




THE REVEREND JOSIAH HEXSOX 
(the original of UNCLE TOM). 



From tlie charge of general 
inhumanity to their 
slaves, the Virgi- 
nians are too proud 
to defend themselves. 
They treat such accu- 
sations with contempt. 
There is no use in 
continuino; a contro- 
versy as to what might 
or might not have 
been done in the past ; 
or whether " Uncle 
Tom's Cabin " was a 
plain and unvarnished 
narrative of fiicts or 
a tissue of isolated 
cases of cruelty and 
oppression, skilfully 
selected, dexterously 
exaggerated, and 



consummate art. 



woven together with 
The business of the white Southerner is not 
with the past but Avitli the 
})resent, and with the negro 
whom he is anxious to em- 
ploy, and to whom he is 
willing to pay good wages. 
]\Ir. Pollard, in his official 
Hand-book, puts the negro 
question almost within tlie 
capacity of a nut-shell. "The 
labour system of Virginia," 
he points out, " as well as 
that of the whole South, has 
been unsettled by the war 
and its results, and along 
with this unsettled condition 
of labour has come the loss 
of capital — the lever with 
which to utilise it properly, 
not to control it improperly, but to pay it fairly and make it efficient. 




THE NATION S WARD. 



IX RICHMOND. 201 

On our farms there should be no conflict between labour and 
capital, and there is none. The great difficulty with which the 
farmer has to contend is to obtain money wherewith to pay his 
labourer promptly and sufficiently for the support of himself and 
his family. We have the negro as a portion of our permanent 
population, as far as we can see at present, and he has to be 
supported from the soil ; and our policy, as far as possible, is 
to make him a profitable producer, and not to permit him to 
become a drone and mere consumer. It has become too nmch 
(lie custom to denounce him as thriftless and lazy. Among 
this population there are some who will not work, and this is the 
case with most races ; but if the negro is promptly and fairly 
paid enough, good labourers can be obtained from among them 
to till our farms properly. Our 'policjj is to elevate and encourage 
tins race in everij proper manner; not to debase and abuse it. 
AVe are forced to employ the negro, for the present at least, and 
have no choice." I thoroughly believe that the common-sense 
view of the case here enunciated by the Commissioner of Agri- 
culture is one that is shared by almost every educated Virginian. 
The negro is, from many different aspects, a bad job ; but the 
Southerners are trying hard to make the best of him ; and it is 
gratifying to know that the ragged and umbrellaless Coffee Cal- 
callis constitute only a sprinkling among the coloured race in 
Virginia. 





HO^•UME^■T TO WASHINGTON AT RICHMOND. 



XVII. 



Genial Richmond. 

Eiclimond, Janvanj 10. 

The meteorological amenity of the capital of tlie Old Domi- 
nion has failed, during the greater portion of my sojourn, to 
correspond with the acknowledged and traditional social geni- 
ality of the inhabitants of the City. In fact, I have been more 
than once mildly reproached by a host of newly-found friends* 

"' I had not Leen t-\vo lioins in tlie city Lefore I received card8 of admission to 
tlie privilege of meiubersliip of three principal clulis. The ladies most distinguished 
in Eichmond society hastened to call on my -wife ; and His Excellency Colonel 
Holliday, Governor of the State of Virginia, -was so kind as to call on ns and ask ns 
to breakfast. I had brought but a single letter of introduction with me, and the 
gentleman to -vvliom it -was addressed had come to see me before I had time to pre- 
sent it. I cannot help fancying that one little circumstance contributed very strongly 
to the exceptionally kind reception Avith Avhich Ave met in the Avhilom Confederate 
Capital. It Avas noised about that I Avas a friend of William HoAvard Eiissell and 
Francis LaAvley, and those names are toAvcrs of strength throughout the South, even 
from the James Eiver to the Gulf of Mexico. 



GENIAL EICHMOND. 203 

with liaving brought "real English weather" with me. The 
Virginians have a strong and really affectionate liking for most 
things English, and rival the people of Baltimore — which is say- 
ing a great deal — in expressions of kindly sympathy for the 
" bid Home ; " but I can scarcely quarrel with them when they 
object to the importation on the banks of the James Eiver of a 
sorry imitation of the weather to which at this season of the 
year the dwellers on the shores of the Thames are, for their sins, 
liable. I have done my best to assure my good friends in Rich- 
mond that their simulation of an English January is, at its very 
strongest, only a very feeble one. It has not snowed once these 
ten days past ; and the early mornings' frosts have been inter- 
mittent and slight. On the other hand, the chief characteristics 
of the temperature have been rawness and dampness, unplea- 
santly provocative of bronchial disturbances, and thereby condu- 
cive of great glee to the vendors of pectoral nostrums. 

I have been in and out of the druggists' stores almost ever 
since my arrival ; and I have quite a collection of lozenges, 
wafers, powders, and syrups, which make you sick, and do not 
make you well. " Gen'lm don't take to his board kyndl}-," I 
heard one coloured waiter observe to a colleague yesterday in the 
dining hall of the Ballard House and Exchange Hotel. I should 
take very kindly indeed, very kindly, to the ample and wholesome 
meals provided by Colonel Carrington, the esteemed proprietor of 
the hotel, for his guests ; but how are you to enjoy your dinner 
— to say nothing of your breakfast, luncheon, tea, and supper 
(for five meals a day are the rule in Richmond) — when you have 
been swallowing lozenges and wafers, syrup of squills, extract of 
poppies, and syrup of toulu all day and nearly all night long? 
Then we have had a succession of Scotch mists — not downright 
straightforward rainfalls, but insidious environments of moisture 
which enwrap a man all round like a damp plaid, and chill him 
to the bones. Finally, we have been hivoured, late in the even- 
ing, Avith a couple of fogs — white, not orange coloured, in hue. 
But, all our discomfort notwithstanding, the asperity of the 
weather in Richmond certainly does not exceed that conmion in 
London at the beginning of October. Moreover, we had a glo- 
riously warm and sunny day at the beginning of last week ; and 
now, when I am writing, the sky is deep blue, without a fleck of 
cloud; the sun shines Avith dazzling brightness, and the tempera- 
ture is suggestive of the " merry month of May " — when J\Iay 
was a merry month, if it ever were so in England. 



204* 



AMEKICA KEVISITED. 



The sunlit aspect of Eiclimond, even in mid-wliiter, was 
charming, and quite unlike that of any other American city that I 
had seen. You felt at once that the South had begun. Its 
aspect was palpable, even at the railway depot, in the shape of 
a general and picturesque untidiness and " go as you please " 
appearance of things. The dolce far m'ente was beginning to 







assert itself. AVherever a broad ray of sunshine illumined tlie 
road the black man was basking in it. But he was not the 
" Quashie rejoicing in abundant pumpkin," so imaginatively 
portrayed by Mr. Carlyle. Quashie was either the wretched 
losel in frowsy tatters, and with no pumpkin at all to rejoice in, 
whbm I have already dwelt upon ; or he was Quashie at work, 
taking things easily it is true, and not toiling and moiling to an 
<3xtraordinary degree of exertion, but still doing his spell of 
labour, and gettuig his dohar a day for it. Yes, the black man, 
for labour which can scarcely be called skilled, earns his live- 
and-twenty shillings a week in the towns of Virginia. As a 
mechanic he receives much higher wages. His remuneration 
as an agricultural "hand" without wages I have already touched 
upon. Such food as he requires, and which is most appetising 
to him — Indian corn, molasses, and a I'Ltle pork — is abundant 



GENIAL RICHMOND. 



205 




and cheap ; but even tlie industrious and law-abidin^^ negro in- 
the South has to the foreign eye a poverty-stricken look, because 
he is so wretchedly clad. This is no fault of his. It is the 
fault, free traders say, of an aggressive and vindictive Protective 
Tariff, which grinds out the commercial body and soul of the 



206 AMERICA REVISITED. 

South, Clippies the AVest, exasperates tlie foreigner, and only 
enriclies a fraction of Northern and Eastern speculators and 
monopolists.* It is somewhat consolatory, nevertheless, to 
reflect that, in a region where the climate is usually temperate 
in winter and tropicall}^ hot in summer, much wearing apparel is 
not needed. 

The negroes are probably much better off than they look, 
from a sumptuary point of view ; and in fact I fail to see that 
they have very much to complain of, except that when they die 
their remains are apt to be stolen by the professional body- 
snatchers. From the negro portion of the cemetery in this fair 
•city of Richmond scores and scores of coloured corpses have 
lately been filched. The Resurrection Men are no mere " black- 
mailers." They are not moved by that splendid cupidity which 
led to the grave of the late A. T. Stewart being rifled. They 
are simply unlicensed servants of the healing art, who, for the 
consideration of so many dollars per " shot," or human body, 
undertake to supply subjects for dissection to the anatomical 
.schools throughout the States. They prefer, it is said, coloured 
to white corpses, for a very ghastly but practical reason. Dying 
in the case of a white man, in this country, is a very expensive 
affair. The first thing the undertaker does with our dear brother 
departed is to pack his frame into a receptacle full of ice 
and salt. When the body is frozen stift' it is placed in a more or 
less sumptuously-adorned " casket " — such is the euphemistic 
name given to a coffin — and this coffin is hermetically sealed. 
Of course, wdien the casket is consigned to the earth, the body 
thaws, and rapid and dreadful corruption sets in beneath the 
gorgeous envelope of hermetically sealed ebony and electro- 

* Tliere is no country in tlie world in -wliich "f^^entlemen" dress more hand- 
somely, and " ladies " (I am using the terms in the European sense and assuming 
the existence of castes Avhich the Americans fully know to exist in their society, Init 
the existence of Avhich they vehemently deny) dress more richly and more hand- 
somely than in the United States ; but the attire of the section of the community 
answering to our middle class is, as a rule, extremely shahhy. Female attire, in 
particular, is '' dowdy" in the extreme. The reason is that clothes of all kinds are, 
owing to the tariff, inordinately dear; and such home-made falirics as my wife 
pointed out to me in the Avindows of the dry goods stores seemed t6 he either coarse 
or " sleezy." There are many excellent dressmakers (mainly French), and tailors 
(mamly Gennan), in the American cities ; but I suppose that I shall not be con- 
tradicted (save, perhaps, by some archaic journalist say at Hoshkosh, Michigan) 
Avhen I remark that an American gentleman of fashionable standing generally 
obtains his clothes from London, while a lady in a corresponding grade of society 
buys her dresses in Paris, 



GE^'IAL RICHMOND. 207 

silver. The poor negro is not interred in so luxurious a fashion. 
His body is easily removable from its plain piue-wood shell ; 
and the remains are naturally in a better state of preservation, 
' and fitter for the dissecting table, than the mortal coil of the 
white Dives. The " shots " of the Richmond resurrectionists 
are headed up in casks as petroleum, and are so transported by 
railway to their different destinations. 

The whole business seems a very shocking one ; yet it is 
obvious that the requirements of the medical schools must be 
supplied in some manner or another. There can be evidently 
no Anatomy Act applicable to the whole Union. There is not, 
and there cannot be (from the Federal nature of the Constitu- 
tion), any general Poor Law ; and medical science is thus unable 
to depend upon what in England are her chief sources for supply- 
ing bodies for dissection — the Hospitals and the Workhouses. In 
.Vmerican infirmaries and asylums for the destitute the number 
of unclaimed bodies is comparatively small ; and although the 
corpses of murderers are still liable in some States to be "anato- 
mised," it is, throughout the Union, far more feasible, as a general 
rule, to commit a murder than to hang the murderer. What 
with points of law reserved, motions to stay proceedings, motions 
for a new trial, and alternate appeals and re-appeals, the most 
flagrant of assassins may usually reckon upon from six to fifteen 
months' surcease of execution — if he ever gets executed at all ; 
! and he very frequently escapes with a few^ years' incarceration 
in the States prison for a crime for which in England he would 
most inevitably swing. 

The number of assassins who annually cheat the gallows in 
this country is to an Englishman wdio is not an advocate of 
the total abolition of capital punishment simply amazing and 
disheartening ; and the uncertainty of the criminal law actually 
gives not only an aspect of " wild justice " but of practical 
common sense to the occasional interference of the public at 
large and the invocation of the ministrations of Judge Lynch. 
Lynching assassins does not, however, serve the interests of the 
medical schools, which require a constant and regular supply of 
bodies. They must be obtained, of course, somehow, else science 
would languish ; but the danger of winking at a surreptitious 
traftic in human remains will be plain wdien we refer to our own 
experience in this regard. Body-snatching leads in the end to 
burking. When Messrs. Burke and Hare and their London 
compeers, Messrs. Bishop and Williams, w^ere no longer able to 



208 AMERICA REVISITED. 

procure " sliots " by tlie comparatively fair means of rifling • 
the grave-yards, tliey took to obtaining subjects by means I 
that were foul ; tbat is to say, by clapping pitcli-plasters 
over the mouths of helpless old women and by suftbcating 
friendless Italian boys. 

This is, I must admit, somewhat of a grisly prelude to the 

geniality of Eichmond ; but the dark deeds of the Ghouls in the 

cemetery have been town-talk for an entire week, and I was 

bound to say something about them. Let us turn to Richmond 

in its genial aspect. The city is built on several eminences — 

seven hills they tell me — on the north bank of the James River, 

about one hundred miles from Chesapeake Bay. It is, like all 

American cities, regularly laid out, the streets intersecting each 

other at right angles ; but this topographical uniformity is, to 

the eye of the stranger, pleasantly relieved by the constant 

succession of hill and dale. Of course the main thoroughfares 

are cut up by tramways and traversed by horse cars, but these 

necessary nuisances and beneficent plagues — pardon the paradox 

— are not so obtrusive in Richmond as in the Northern cities. 

In New York and Philadelphia, for example, the frequency of 

street cars is as maddening to the pedestrian and the lover of 

riding and driving as it is delicious to the passenger who is 

anxious to save time and to be transported for a few cents over 

a vast area of ground — and in Richmond plenty of hack carriages 

may be found roaming about the city and plying for hire. The 

driver is a civil and willing negro — ordinarily in rags — and 

the fares are stiff : a dollar and a half for the first " hour, and 

a dollar for every succeeding one. But the carriage is a roomy 

barouche ; and the daintily caparisoned pair of steeds by 

which the vehicle is drawn are generally capital specimens of 

horse-flesh. 

Virginia is, indeed, altogether a "horsy" Dominion. She 
has her stud-book ; and the stallions and brood mares of that 
renowned politician and country squire, John Randolph, of 
Roanoke, are yet spoken of with proper pride. This fine old 
Virginian gentleman, one of the Olden Time, set all his slaves 
free when he died, providing them by will with adequate means 
for their subsistence. His memory is still beloved by his fellow- 
citizens ; and old folks love to tell how on election days no 
citizen would venture to approach the ballot boxes before John 
Randolph, of Roanoke, had come up and cast his vote ; and 
how, when he had become old and infirm, and racked by painful 

i 



GENIAL RICHMOND. 



209 



disease, the country people used to come out for miles on the 
way towards his domain and remove the rough stones from the 
road which his gig had to traverse, so that his good old bones 
should suffer as little discomfort as possible from jolting. 

This John Randolph had Indian blood in his veins. He 
was, indeed, like the members of other distinguished Virginian 
families, of the kitidred of the good and beautiful Pocahontas, 
whose ashes, as you know, moulder on the banks of our English 
river Thames, but whose sweet memory lives here, in her own 
Virginia, green and blossoming from the dust of ages. Is there 
not in St. Sepulchre's Church by Newgate the grave of that 
Captain John Smith whose name 
is so indissolubly connected with 
that of the poor little Indian 
squaw who prevailed on her stern 





CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH. 



POCAHONTAS. 



father, the Sachem Powhatan, to spare the Captain's life, just 
as an appointed band of redskins were about to dash out 
his brains with clubs. 1 hope that the story of Pocahontas 
and Captain John Smith is true, every line and word of it, 
just as I hope that the detestably cynical story of Inkle and 
Yarico, as related by Steele, is false. The one makes us think 
excellently better, the other miserably worse, of humanity. Of 
late times attempts have been made by American antiquaries 
to disparage the reputation of John Smith, and to prove, indeed, 
that the Captain was rather a humbug than otherwise ; but I love 



210 



AMERICA EEVISITED. 




^mitkhnuletli irfilu J<Jf iohis aimi' 
^ _ JialtUtJlWiihtluF'w^ iTf Hjim'vnvJ pcanri^ 
^S. all hi f company, %nt/f1^w^ oft/trm . "^i 



CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH S ENCOUNTERS "WITH THK INDIANS. 

From Smitlis " General History." [^Fac-similc.'] 

to believe in all the stories told al)oiit lils prowess and Lis ingennlt}'' 
— was lie not tlie inventor of flasLing telegraphy, among other 
things ? And I am told that there is at least one Virginian 
family that quarters in its coat-of-arms the three Turks' heads — 
Turks decapitated at a single blow by the scimitar of Captain 
John Smith, who was forthwith rewarded with maiiy purses of 
broad gold pieces by an admiring Kaiser. And there is his 
tomb in St. Sepulchre's, as trustworthy a piece of evidence as 
the brick out of Jack Cade's house, to show that he did the 
doughty deed. 

You see more ladies and gentlemen on horseback on a single 
fine afternoon in and about Richmond than you do in the course 
of a whole week in a city of the North. Then the farmers come 
riding into Richmond town on plump, well-fed nags, full of good 
equine points. Nor are the grooms and farm servants at all ill- 
mounted : although I confess that the first sight of a very tall, 
very old, and white-bearded negro man, in a long and ragged 
black gaberdine, bestriding a very long-legged white horse with 
a " fiddle-case " head and a switch tail, was to me equally a 
solemn and a risible spectacle. He put me in mind irresistibly 
of that weird etching of Thomas Landseer, in the illustrations to 
Southey's "Devil's' Walk," of the "Apothecary on a White 
Horse," proffinely likened by the poet to " Death in the Revela- 
tions." Very picturesque, too, are the "lorries*' driven by 
negroes, and the great wains, somewhat resembling the " ladder 
waggons" of Hungary, laden with tobacco and meal barrels. 



GENIAL RICHMOND. 



211 



These continually passing vehicles, alternating with a few private 
coupes and buggies, give an air ot" great cheerfulness and anima- 
tion to Kichmond, which is otherwise a typical country town. 
Broad-street reminds you at times so strongly of High-street, 
Southampton, that you 
begin to look around 
you instinctively forthe 
Bar, and to conjure up 
the legends of Sir 
Bevis of Hampton; but 
^lain - street may be 
considered the leading 
conunercial thorough- 
fare of the city. 

Extending from this 
thoroughfare to the 
James liiver, are the 
principal flouring mills 
and factories, which 
are making Richmond 
quite prosperous, if not 
quite happy, again. 
The ironworks, the 
machine shops, foun- 
dries, and sugar refine- 
ries, the tobacco and 
cigar and cigarette 

manufactories — the noted "Richmond Gem" cigarette is really 
made here — the coach and waggon factories, the w^orks for 
sheetings and shirtings, and in particular the colossal flouring 
and grist mills, are among the largest in the world. There 
is one flouring mill — the Haxall — which exports fine Avlieat 
flour only to the Brazils. There is one stupendous manufactory 
of chewhig tobacco, the product of which is exported exclusively 
to our Australian colonies. I am glad, however, to hear that the 
Australians do not chew the whole of the mighty masses of com- 
pressed nicotine wdiicli Richmond sends them. Large quantities 
of the " honeydew " and " cavendish," and other varieties of 
" quid " tobacco, are cut up for smoking. There are other 
manufactories of " quid " tobacco for home consumption, of 
course ; but I am not prepared to say that in Richmond is made 
the celebrated " Little Joker " tobacco which, on five hundred 




MEW ON THE JAMES RIVER. 



212 AMERICA REVISITED. 

fences and in big- white stencilled letters, I have been adjured, 
in the States of Maryland and Virginia and in the District of 
Columbia, to chew.* 

Whether, since I was last here, there has taken place through- 
out the Union any sensible diminution in the nastiest conceiv- 
able method of consuming tobacco, 1 am not at present in a 
position to say. There is certainly no apparent decrease in 
what Mr. Thackeray, so long since as the time when he wrote 
the " Paris Sketch Book," a good forty years ago, used to call 
" expectoratoons." But these are things which I shall know — if 
they are worth knowing at all — later on. For one verity, how- 
ever, I can confidently vouch. Smoking is very rigidly pro- 
hibited in numbers of places where it is openly tolerated in 
England ; and on board the railway cars there is not half the 
amount of smoking that there is in an English railway train. In 
fact, in England we should hotly resent the continual caveats 
against smoking which are posted up in places of public resort in 
the States. 

Main-street, Richmond, although spacious and regular, well 
lighted by night, and tolerably well paved, is rather a disappoint- 
ing thoroughfare. Many of the stores are large and handsome 
buildings ; but tliey do not seem to me to be so amply supplied 
with goods, especially those of the better class, as they should be. 
Articles of wearing apparel for both sexes are, I am told, 
excessively dear ; and it is a common thing to send to New York 
for items of ladies' dress and millinery which should surely be 
procurable on the spot, as they would be procurable in any popu- 
lous country town in England or France in close and constant 
connection with London or Paris. But I am bound at once to 
remember that, although the population of the city has vastly 
increased within the last ten years— in 1870 it was 51,038, and ii] 
1878 it was estimated at 77,500 — although the conniierce of the 
city is very large, and, in addition to its superb waterway, is 

* After the iron industries, tlie toLacco factories and ilonring mills constitute the 
two great material interests of Richmond. Its tohacco manufactures have materially 
increased since the war, and now represent a much larger outlay in active capital 
than any other single industry of the city. They, moreover, employ a force of 
11,049 workpeople — ecpial to about one-fifth of the entire j^opulation. The number 
of pounds of manufactured tobacco is roundly stated at 20,000,000, netting an 
annual revenue to the Federal Government, at the present rate of taxation, of 
$4,800,000. It is chiefly plug and twist tobacco that are produced, altliough 
smoking tobacco, fine cut, cigars and snuff are manufactured on an extensive scale. 
The heaviest foreign shipments are to Europe, South Vmerica, and Australia. 



GENIAL RICHMOND. 



213 



connected by five Intersectini^ lines of railway with Baltimore, 
Philadelphia, and New York, Richmond must still be looked 
upon as a town gradually rising from her ashes. 







VIKW OF THE JAMES EIVER. 



When the stranger surveys 
from the heiglits of Hollywood 
and Chimborazo the beauteous 
city, with the winding river 
dotted with islands rich in trees, and curiously reminiscent of 
our own Richmond in Surrey; when he descends and ascends the 
gentle slopes crossed by 
handsome streets, and 
crowned by cheerful villas ; 
and when he demands from 
this seemingly thriving but 
really struggling place, 
all the appliances and ac- 
cessories of luxury which 
he finds in those cities of 
the North which, during 
a whole hundred years, 
have never felt for one 
moment one stripe of the 
dreadful scourge of war, 
he should remember that, 
less than twenty years ago, 
Richmond was the capital 
of the Confederate States 
of America, and that the 
collapse of that Confede- 
racy left her not unscathed — left her not unwrung. When 
General Robert E. Lee evacuated Petersburg, on the 2nd of 




ANGLING IN THE JAMES RiVEll. 



2U 



AMEKICA 1IEVI8ITED. 



April, 18G5, tlie Confederate troops defending Ricliniond on the 
East were withdrawn, and to prevent the tobacco warehonses 

and the pnblic stores 
tailing into the hands 
of the Federal forces 
all these buildings 
with their contents, 
together with the 
bridges crossing the 
James l\iver, were 
lired. The conflagra- 
tion resulted in the 
entire destruction of 
a large part of the 
business portion of 
the city. Nearly one 
thousand buildings 
were wholly burned 
or gutted by the 
Hanies, and the entire 
damage done was 
estimated at eight 
millions of dollars. 
Sinoe then liich- 
mond has had enough to do in re-building her blackened 
quarters ; and that so lew traces remain of the devastation of 
1865 must be considered wonderful. The city — as indeed 
was the case with the entire South, with the exception of 
New Orleans — was absolutely ruined and beggared. An irre- 
deemable currency, which for four years had perforce been a 
legal tender, but which had become depreciated in value to a 
level similar to that of the French assignats in 1793-4, so that 
ten dollars in Confederate money was the price of a dram of 
liquor and a pair of boots were worth two hundred dollars, 
i)ecame all at once worth no more than the paper on which it 
was printed, and promises to pay for large amounts were bought 
lor a few cents as curiosities by the Federal soldiers. Tlie 
suddenly emancipated slaves were widely demoralised, and could 
only be deterred from acts of outrage and murder by the most 
sternly repressive measures on the part of the victors. They, it 
nmst be owned, in the outset at least, used their triumph with 
moderation and humanity. Politically, they were to be for a 




■WAITING FUK A liiTE. 



GENIAL RICHMOND. 



•215 



long period the liarJest of masters ; but tliey did not, tlicy could 
not, allow the vanquished to starve. An entire non-combatant 
population — mainly women, children, and infirm old men — utterly 
destitute, in almost every city in the South, had to be fed. 
Those who have seen ]Mr. Rogers's picturesque group in terra- 
eoth, "The Oath — with Rations," will know how relief was 
administered in kind by the Federal officers. It was a bitter pill, 
but it had to be swallowed. With starving children crying for 
bread, a mother does not much mind to what power she swears 
allegiance. 

Richmond was the first city to recover from the staggering 
blow inflicted b}^ the disruption of the Confederacy, and she is 
progressively gaining in substance and affluence ; but many more 
years must pass away before the stage of struggling is passed, 
and that of permanent prosperity sets in. How many years did 
it take La Vendee to recover from the effects of the civil war 
between the Chouans and the Republicans? Old Bretons will 
tell you that La Vendee yet bears the furrows made by that long- 
agony. And La Vendt^e is but a paddock, or a village green, 
as compared with the Great South. Pondering on these things, 
I cease to murmur because the stores of i),Iain-street, Richmond, 
seem but poorly provided with the gewgaws of wealth and 
luxury. It is a Genial City ; that is enough for me ; and in the 
whole course of my travels I have not met with a more courteous, 
a kindlier, or a more simple-hearted people than I have met with 
here. 




EARTHWORKS ON THE CHICKAHOMINY, NEAR RICHMOND. 







AMERICAN CONVICTS AT AVORK. 



XVIII. 

In thk Tombs — and out of them. 

Riclimond, January 12. 

" Dear me — wLat a \Aiy \ You're just ten minutes too late 
to see our Penitentiary." Sucli was the kindly expression of 
regret on the part of a charming lady in Richmond to my travel- 
ling companion, whom she had been taking for a carriage drive. 
As a compensation, it was not too late for the charming lady to 
take her visitor to the cemetery. In fact, I think that the pair 
visited two graveyards — an American would shudder to use the 
cacophonous word — the cemeteries both of Oakwood and Holly- 
wood. Elsewliere Necropolis is frequently called Greenwood ; 
but you must see it ; that is a sine qiid non ; and if your hospit- 
able cicerone can only persuade you to inspect the local gaol into 



IN THE TOMBS — AND OUT OF THEM. 



217 



the bargain, he or she is satisfied. The Americans aVe justly 
proud of their cemeteries and their prisons ; but I have a roGted 
aversion from sight-seeing, so far as gaols and Golgothas are 
concerned. In this fair city of Richmond there are, or rather 
were, two world-famed places of confinement, which even the 
most apathetic foreigner might desire to see. I mean the Libby 
Prison and Castle Thunder. You remember the warnnig apos- 
trophe of the elder to the younger Breitmann, when he "schlogged 
him on the kop " in deadly fray: 

" Your vatcli an' ctaiii an' creenpacks you over now must shell ; 
An' den you goes to Libby sbtrait, and after that to ." 

The verse closes with a word unmentionable to ears polite. The 
Libby, as everybody knows, was used as a place of detention 
for Federal officers during 
the Civil War, and Castle 
Thunder and Belleisle 
were devoted to similar 
purposes ; but all that 
has long since been at 
an end. The renowned 
Libby has been converted 
into a tobacco ware- 
house. Only a few iron 
bars before some of its tall 
narrow windows remain 
to remind the passer-by 
of its bygone use ; and 
as for Castle Thunder, it 
has been pulled, or as they say in this rapidest of countries "torn"" 
down altogether; and its site, now desolate as that of our own 
" Bench," will soon be covered by some new mill or factory. 

There is a gigantic red brick penitentiary in the western 
suburb of Richmond, and there is a handsome gaol to boot ; but 
I have resolutely declined to enter these correctional institutions. 
A man's main business in life, I take it, is to keep out of prison 
as long as he possibly can ; but so mutable are the affairs of this 
world that you can never be quite certain when you are visiting 
the place of durance, as an amateur,, that the authorities will let 
you out again. It is true that I made an ocular acquaintance 
lately with some of the gentlemen who are involuntary guests at 
that very extensive hotel, the Richmond Penitentiary. Driving 




THE LIBBY PRISON, KICHMOND, VIRGINIA. 



218 



AMEEICA EEYISITED. 



to a rodvj eminence called Cliimborazo — the site for a nascent 
pi:il)iic park, and troni whicli a magnificent view of the city and 
the James River can be obtained — I noticed, diii-irinii: and delvinjr 
among* the white and coloured labourers, a proportion of cleanly- 
shaven men attired in loose jackets and trousers of some light 
woollen stuff, covered with horizontal bars of a dingy blue. They 
were noticeable not only on account of this strange garb, but 




CONVICTS KETURXIXG FROM WORK, RICHMOND rKNlTENTIAHY. 

also from the circumstance that they seemed to be taking things 
very easily, and to be doing much less work than the ordinarily 
dressed labourers. "Those," observed the friend who had 
brought me to Chimborazo, in answer to my inquiry, " are some 
of our Zebras." For awhile I was puzzled ; but he went on to 
explain that a "Zebra" was a humorous nickname for a convict ; 
and then I remembered that when Charles Dickens saw the 
convicts at Blackwell's Island, New York, who are harioles in a 
fashion closely resembling the costume of the Richmond gaol 
birds, he christened them " faded tigers." 

1 tried hard when in New York to avoid both the gaols and 
the graveyards. To the latter I was fortunately able to give 
the widest of berths ; but a darker fate befell me in the matter 
of the prisons. The obliging gentleman who introduced me 
some weeks since to the police magistn^te at Jefferson -market 



IX THE TOMES AND OUT OF THEM. 



2:9 




Court insisted that, after Laving- passed a morning witli Justice, 
I should make a regular criminal day of it, and see the cele- 
brated Prison of the Tombs. 
Not to be behindhand in hospi- 
tality, his worship the police 
justice himself pressingly urged 
me, before I went down town, 
to have a peep at his own par- 
ticular gaol in the Jefferson- 
market house. For a while I 
feebly resisted these invita- 
tions ; but when an American 
lias made up his mind to 
"put "a stranger "through," 
he means business, and is not 
to be deterred from carrying 
out his programme to the 
very letter. So, as an ante- 
chamber to the Tombs, I took 

a cursory view of the Jeffer- - ' --rf.'^^^'' ' -"lj«'^^|,'^,^, 
son-market Gaol, which occu- "~ _- .•--/'.-- 

pies a very tali tower ot brick ^^. official of jeffehsox-market gaol. 
and stone in the Italian Gothic 

style of architecture. The cells are airy, and not by any means 
cheerless : the inmates being permitted to read the newspapers 
and to smoke. But I should be discounting that which I have to 
say concerning American prison discipline Avere I to say more on 
'the reading and smoking heads in connection with the Jefterson- 
market Gaol. The detenus were chiefly the " drunk and incap- 
ables " and the " drunk and disorderlies," who had been committed 
for short terms in default of payment of their five and ten dollar 
fines. Some of them were not placed in the cells at all ; but 
were locked up in association in a large room, down each side of 
which ran a single tier of open wooden cribs or bunks furnished 
with a blanket and a coverlet, and where, chatting together 
(juite gaily, they did not seem one whit more uncomfortable 
than the steerage passengers whom I had seen on board of the 
good ship Scythia:-' 

* I am glad, by tlie way, to note, in a recent number of " Macmillaii," that, 
in Lis "Fii'st Impressions of the New AVorkl," the Duke of Argyll lias done graceful 
justice to the excellent qualities of the Sajthia as a seaLoat, and to the good seanian- 
.ship and kindly courtesy of her worthy coniman^ler, Captain Hains. 



220 AMERICA REVISITED. 

Revenons d nos moutons^ of wliicli "Let us retiirii to our 
black sheep " may be accepted as a tolerably close translation. 
There was a room in the gaol where peccant hidies were held in 
durance ; and there, sitting- up in a bunk which tliey occupied 
in common, I recognised the two poor Irish girls, Kathleen 
Mavourneen and the Colleen Bawn o-one wrong — " twin cherries 
on one stalk." A very sorry stalk. The Colleen, her feet 
stretched out, was admiring a pair of new bronze boots, which 
contrasted rather conspicuously with the other vrise imperfect 
state of her attire. As for Kathleen, she " made believe," when 
I passed her cot, to cover her face, for shame, with a corner of a 
gaudy plaid shawl. But the pretence was a transparent one. 
She was obviously making fun of us from behind that shawl ; 
and I am even afraid that she put her tongue out. Some of the 
female prisoners were doing " chores," or light house-work, 
about the gaol, which was altogether very clean and comfort- 
able-looking, and the strangest feature about Avhicli to me was 
that it was provided with a lift or elevator passing from tier to 
tier of cells. I mention this structural improvement for the 
benefit of the architects and surveyors of her Majesty's gaols in 
Great Britain. 

I was sincerely glad to emerge out of Jefferson-market 
Gaol, and as sincerely gratefid that during my brief sojourn with- 
in its walls nothing had turned up of a nature to warrant Mr. 
Justice Flammer in detaining me. There has been dwelling on 
my mind a paragi'aph which 1 read lately in a New York paper 
concerning a gentleman who was suspected of dealing in 
counterfeit trade dollars. The paragraph recited that the gentle- 
man " skipped the town to avoid further judicial complications." 
Right merrily did 1 " skip " Jefferson-market Gaol ; and then I 
skipped — literally so — up an iron staircase some tljirty feet 
high, and into Sixth-avenue, and so into one of the Elevated 
Railroad cars, which, in a few minutes, deposited me at a point 
close to Broadway, crossing which 1 foimd myself at the distance 
of a few " blocks " from my destination. The Tombs — rarely 
has so appropriate a name been bestowed on a prison — is a 
really remarkable and grandiose specimen of Egyptian architec- 
ture ; and but for the unfortunate position of the site it would 
be the imposing public building in New York. The structure 
occupies an entire block or insula, as an ancient Roman district 
surveyor would phrase it, bounded by Centre-street on the east, 
Elm-street on the west, Leonard- streL;t on the south, and 



IX THE TOMBS — AND OUT OF THEM. 221 

Franklln-street on tlie north ; and it is tlius in tlie very heart of 
the lower or business quarter of the Island of Manhattan, and 
within a few minutes' walk of that astonishing Wall-street, in 
the purlieus of which so many speculative individuals are so 
persistently and so continuously qualifying themselves for an 
ultimate residence in this grim palace of the felonious Pharaohs 
and Ptolemies. 

The really striking proportions of the building are dwarfed 
into comparative insignificance by its unfortunate structural 
disposition, which is in a hollow so deep that the coping of the 
massive wards of the prison are scarcely above the level of the 
adjacent Broadway. The site of the Tombs was formerly occu- 
pied by a piece of water known as the Collect pond, which was 
connected with the North or Hudson River by a swampy strip, 
through which ran a rivulet parallel with the existing Canal- 
street. The Collect pond was filled up in the year 1836 ; and 
within the two years following, the Tombs Prison was built on 
the reclaimed land. The marshy soil was ill-calculated to 
support the weight of an edifice so colossal ; and although the 
foundations were laid much deeper than is customary, some parts 
of the walls settled to such an extent that the gravest apprehen- 
sions were for a time felt for the safety of the entire building. 
Possibly, if the clerks and warders could have been extricated in 
time, no great harm would have been done had the ponderous 
walls settled altogether, until the Tombs and all the rogues 
witliin it had been comfortably embogued in the swampy bosom 
of the bygone Collect pond. As it is, the dismal fortress has 
stood for a third of a century without any material change, and 
is considered perfectly safe. Who gave it the name of " Tombs " 
1 am unable to say, since it is legally the City Prison — the Gaol 
of Newgate, substantially — of New York ; but the criminal 
stronghold earned its appellation, I should say, from its general 
fimereal appearance and its early reputation as a damp and un- 
healthy place. Its lugubrious aspect, it should seem, ought to 
have made the Tombs a terror to evil-doers ; but such, I fear, has 
not been the case. The prison is generally full ; and the crop of 
murderers is, in particular, steady and abundant. 

Externally the building is entirely of granite, and appears to 
be of only one storey, the windows being carried from a point 
about two yards above the ground up to beneath the cornice. 
The main entrance is in, or, in Transatlantic parlance, " on," 
Centre-street, and is reached by a flight of wide, dark stone 



i)i>.9. 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



steps, tlirougli a spacious portico supported by four ponderous 
columns. The external walls of the remaining three sides are 
more or less broken up by columns and secondary doors of 
entrance, thus infusing some degree of variety into the oppressive 
monotony of the pile, the remembrance of which hangs heavily 




THE TOMBS riUSOX, NEW YORK. 



upon you afterwards, like a nightmare on your soul. I was 
accompanied on my visit to this abode of misery by a gentleman 
who had been formerly Mayor of New York ; and a word from 
him acted as an " open sesame " to the most recondite penetralia 
of the prison. The chief warder, who took us in charge, was a 
" character." He had been a custodian of the Tombs for more 
than a quarter of a century — a wonderfully long spell for an 
office-holder in America — and he was, if I mistake not, an Irish- 
man. At least he was endowed with a brogue as rich and 
melodious as though he had only left the county Cork the day 
before yesterday. He was a wag, too ; but in every line of his 
honest countenance there beamed one unmistakable and prevailing 
expression — that of benevolent pity. 

He was very careful to show us first of all the gate by whicli 
the prisoners' van — called here, as on the other side of the 
Atlantic, the "Black Maria" — entered the prison-yard, and then 
he conducted us to the quadrangle when executions take place. 



IX THE TOMBS — AND OUT OF THEM. 223 

Wc saw the places for the posts of the gallows, and the hooks 
and staples in the wall for fixing the grisly apparatus of death. 
The culprit, the halter behig placed about his neck, is at a given 
signal run up to the cross-beams of the gallows by means of the 
liberation ot a counterweight, which is put in action by a simple 
piece of mechanism touched by the foot of the sheriff or his 
assistant. No hangman, strictly speaking, is thus employed ; 
but the services of several persons are nevertheless required to 
get the condemned wretch ready for being put out of the world. 
On the day when I visited the Tombs there were no less than 
twelve men under sentence of death in the cells. Not one of 
them (at this time of writing) has yet been executed ; and it is 
highly probable that at least two-thirds of the number may 
eventually cheat the gallows. 

As I have hinted on a previous occasion, it is an extremely 
tedious and difficult process in this country to give a murderer 
his due. If the wretch have a clever lawyer he may fence with 
justice not only for weeks but for months and months together ; 
nor is it always imperatively necessary that he should be well 
supplied with funds in order to carry his case from tribunal to 
tribunal. Legal costs in the States are not nearly so afflictive as 
they are with us ; and even if the murderer be absolutely 
penniless, he will be out of luck indeed if he fail to find some 
sharp and promising young lawyer who will take up his case for 
the mere honour and glory of the thing. As for the criminal law 
itself, it seems to be endowed with a whole host of contrivances 
either indio:enous to the soil or borrowed and modified from our 

o .... 

old legal procedure, by means of which the action of justice can 
be stultified ; but the result of all these multiplied facilities for 
staying proceedings, suing out writs of error, and obtaining new 
trials, seems to me to be rather of a doul)le-edged nature, and 
not wholly conducive to the well-being of the commonwealth. 
So many are the checks and the counterchecks, the easements 
and escapements, available to the condemned person, that it 
appears close to a moral impossibility that any innocent person in 
the State of New York should suffer the punishment of death. 
On the other hand, the multiplication of facilities for delay by 
appeals and rehearings, renders it equally possible for a vast 
number of manifestly guilty people to obtain a commutation of 
their sentence, or to escape punishment altogether. 

Internally, the Tombs is rather a series of prisons than 
a simrle structure. The cells rise in tiers one above the 



224 AMERICA REVISITED. 

other, witli a separate corridor for each tier. There is a 
grating before each cell, between the bars of which the visitor 
can converse with tlie prisoner within. Throughout the day 
the inner, or wooden door, of the cell is left more than half 
open. Beyond the circumstance that the window — which 
admits plenty of light — is barred, and is high up in an embra- 
sure of the wall, there need be nothing whatever dungeon- 
like about a cell in the Tombs. The prison furniture is 
necessarily scanty in quantity and simple in quality ; but the 
prisoner more or less blessed by affluence is at liberty to 
supplement the equipment of his apartment by any such fittings 
and decorations as the length of his purse and the refinement of 
his esthetic taste may lead him to adopt. ]\Ir. Edward Stokes, 
it will be remembered — he is now, I believe, in California, 
enjoying himself* — when "in trouble" for shooting Mr. James 
Fiske to death, furnished his cell in the Tombs in the most 
luxurious manner. He had his books and pictures, his Persian 
rugs, and, Avliile prosperous, his wine and cigars, and lived 
altogether like a gentleman. 

One cell did I see in the course of my visit which had been 
converted by the culture and liberal expenditure of its occupant 
into quite a Bower of Bliss. The floor was richly carpeted ; 
and the trim little camp bed was covered with a dainty counter- 
pane of quilted crimson silk with an overall of lace : frilled 
pillows of course. The walls were entirely covered with 
chromo-lithographs, Mora's photographic album portraits, and 
the tasteful Christmas cards of our Delarues and Marcus 
Wards, for which there is a prodigious demand in the United 
States. The Epicurean occupant of the Bower of Bliss was 
smoking a remarkably fragrant Havana cigar when I was 
introduced to him. He shook hands with me warmly, and 
Temarked that he hoped I should enjoy my visit to America. 
He knew England, he said, very well, and liked it very much. 
So much, indeed, had he liked it, my conductor whispered, that 
it was only through the agency of an extradition warrant that 
he had been induced to quit the hospitable shores of Albion, 
"whither he had repaired in consequence of being "wanted" in 
New York, either for forgery or for taking something out of a 
bank safe. I forget the precise nature of the charge ; but it 

* I aftenvaiVis sate at the same breakfast table Avitli liiin at tlie Palace Hotel, 
San Francisco, wliere, I believe, he is engaged in some tinancial business and is 
■doinpr very well. 



IX THE T0ME8 — AND OUT OF THEM. 225 

was a matter of some score of thousands of dollars. A lady in 
a sealskin mantle, very deeply veiled, and bearing a pretty little 
basket, probably containing something nice to eat, advancing to 
the grating at this conjuncture, I was glad to bid the inhabitant 
of the Bower of Bliss good-bye, and to \vish him well out of his 
little difficulties. Shall I ever meet him again, I wonder? 
Possibly ; but where ? In the Gold Room at Monte Carlo, or at 
the Central Criminal Court ? At Delmonico's, or at Sing Sing ? 

Somewhat reluctantly I proceeded to follow my obliging- 
conductor to a range of cells, familiarh^ dubbed by the authorities 
'•Murderers' Row." These cells were tenanted by the men 
condemned to death. I only took a fleeting view of one — an 
Italian by the name of Balbo — who was in his shirtsleeves, and 
was gesticulating violently after the " altro " fashion made 
fomiliar to all English people by the description of Cavaletto in 
" Our Mutual Friend." Balbo had been cast for death for the 
murder of his wife. To most English minds his guilt would 
seem to be palpable, and his crime an exceptionally ferocious 
and dastardly one ; but, since leaving New York, I have read in 
the papers that Balbo's able and energetic counsel had succeeded 
in obtaining, on some purely technical point, a new trial for 
him. I read, furthermore, that he was " overjoyed at the news," 
and forthwith asked the condemned murderer in the next cell, a 
negro named Chastine Cox, for a light for his cigarette. When 
I saw Balbo he did not by any means look overjoyed. He 
looked the rather like a hyena, who, for once in a while, did not 
feel inclined to laugh, but was contenting himself by gnashing 
his teeth, and throwing his limbs about. The kind Italian 
priest, who had undertaken the task of administering ghostly 
comfort to Balbo, had fitted up for him in his cell a little altar, 
gay with scraps of lace and coloured ribbons, tapers, and 
artificial flowers. The doomed wretch, the gaolers told me, ap- 
parently took great pleasure in "fixing" and unfixing this altar, 
and in lighting and extinguishing the candles — operations which 
he would repeat half-a-dozen times in the course of the day. 

It may be that he will have leisure to amuse himself with 
his toys, and to smoke, and to gesticulate in the " altro " fashion 
for several months to come. It is not until the last motion to 
stay execution has failed, and the last appeal has been rejected 
that the doomed murderer is watched night and day, as is the 
case in England. Then the sheriff places two of his deputies, 
who are relieved at stated intervals, at the cell-door ; and the 



226 AMEEICA REVISITED. 

convict is never out of official eyesight until lie is led out into 
the quaclrang-le, to be hanged. Chastine Cox, the black assassin, 
would surely swing, they told me. I hurried away from 
"Murderers' Row," feeling very sick ; nor shall I readily forget 
one miserable man who, when his cell-door was opened, flung 
himself face forward on his bed and lay there groaning in a 
muffled manner, horrible to hear. Is it merciful to allow these 
doomed creatures to smoke and to read ilhistrated newspapers 
and magazines and the like ? That is a subject to be debated, 
but this is not the place wherein to debate it. I only take note 
of what the practice is in American gaols ; yet I do not 
remember that any special mention was made of these indul- 
gences at the last International Prison Congresses. The pro- 
moter of these congresses, a philanthropic American, called 
Dr. Wines, died only the other day. 

I hope that I shall never see " Murderers' Row " again, but 
I may make passing mention of the fact that a few days after I 
visited the Tombs the twelve men sentenced to death were 
" interviewed" seriatim by a zealous reporter of the New York 
Herald^ who endeavoured to elicit from them their respective 
views as to the expediency of capital punishment, and the par- 
ticular form of death which they would prefer, supposing tliat 
they admitted the punishment to be expedient. To speak by 
the card, there were only ten catechumens actually awaiting 
strangulation, as the sentence on two of their number 
had been commuted to imprisonment for life just before the 
reporter arrived. Two more of the miserables refused point- 
blank to answer the questions put to them ; but the eight re- 
maining were explicit enough. They were all dead against 
hanging. One man said that if he nmst needs bj put to death 
he should like to be drowned, and another avowed a partiality 
for being shot ; a third wanted to be poisoned; another suggested 
electricity, " or something scientific of that kind ; " while yet 
another modestly hinted that he thought all tlie requirements of 
his case might be met if he were " sent to the mines." Their 
opinions as to the justifiability of their having shed the blood of 
their fellow-creatures was not taken. Curious to relate, the two 
murderers whose sentence had been commuted to life-long im- 
prisonment were strongly in favour of the death punishment, 
and unanimous as to the appropriateness of the gallo\vs as an 
engine of execution. Murderers, they held, should be hanged 
^' right away," and very high indeed. 



IX THE TOMBS — AND OUT OF THEM. 227 

The corridors of the Tombs are, to my thinking, somewhat 
overheated by stoves piled high with anthracite coal, a substance 
which gives out a dry heat, highly efficient in roasting malt in a 
kiln, but rather too powerful, I should say, when used for the 
slow baking of prisoners. It was a great relief to emerge into 
the fresh air again, and walk by the side of the benevolent Irish 
chief warder, who had plenty of stories to tell, and told them 
with much quiet humour. I declined to see the female side of 
the prison — surely there is no wretcheder sight in the world 
than a woman in a prison cell, and the women in the Tombs 
must be infinitely more appalling sights than the poor Colleen 
Bawn and Kathleen [Mavourneen gone wrong — but I was intro- 
duced to the prison matron, who had been in the service of the 
Tombs almost, if not quite, as long as the chief warder. She 
was a cheery old lady, and her attire was certainly more in 
harmony with the fashions of the year 183G than with those of 
the year 1879. I should have liked to bring away a photograph 
of her truly remarkable bonnet. She was a very good old soul, 
I was told, indefatigably kind and humane to her dreadful 
charges, and was universally beloved and esteemed. 

There was a bland old gentleman, too, with a wdiite beard, 
philanthropically trotting about in connection with the Prisons 
Mission or the Prisoners' Aid Society. Finally the chief warder 
took us to his garden, where there was a vine trained against the 
wall, with a pigeon-cote amply stocked, and a pretty little pond 
bordered by turf and flowers. The chief spoke in terms of 
humorous regret about the disappearance of " a grand old 
frog," erst the delight and ornament of the Tombs garden, but 
who, in the course of the last tall, had eloped to realms unknown. 
Where is that frog now? Croaks he in the Great Dismal 
Swamp in Virginia — which, by the way, is not by any means a 
dismal region — or is he going about the States, emulating the 
Prog Opera, and singing counter-tenor in the Pollyw^og Chorus ? 
I shook hands with the benevolent chief warder and bade him 
farewell. To my great joy I found that nothing had turned uj) 
!^gainst me while I had been in the Tombs. The authorities had 
no warrant for my detention ; and by two o'clock in the afternoon 
I was standing in Centre-street as free as that " grand old frog" 
who, for reasons unknown, had shown the Tombs a clean pair of 
heels. I do not mean to go there again if I can help it. 



q2 




BUYERS KXAMIXING SAMPLES OF COTTuX. 



XIX. 

Peosferous Augusta. 

Augusta, Georgia, Jannanj 17. 

There is a river in ]\Iaceclon and a river in Monmouth — we ^, 
have Captain Flnellen's authority for that geographical fact — and, 
according to Messrs. Appleton's very lucid and comprehensive 
" General Guide to the tjnited States and Canada," there is a 
city of Augusta in tlie State of Maine, another city by the same 
name in the State of Wisconsin, and yet a third bearing a similar 
designation in the State of Georgia. The Wisconsin Augusta, 
I am given to understand, is as yet only in the big-village 
stage of development. It is within a few miles of a spot called 
by some old voyageur settlers Eau Claire — a pretty appellation 
corrupted by subsequent settlers (presumably of Hibernian sym- 
pathies) into " O'Cleary." An analogous philological liberty has 



PROSPEROUS AUGUSTA. 229 

been taken elsewhere with Bois Brule, which has been anglicised 
as " Bob Billy." As for Augusta, the capital of the celebrated 
Liquor Law State, you in England must have heard a great 
deal about it during the last few weeks in connection with the 
Maine Election Troubles, ex-Governor Garcelon, Governor 
Lamson, General Chamberlain — and, for aught I can tell, the 
Capulets, the IMontagues, the Guelphs, and the GhibcUines ; 
since, as a stranger and a pilgrim, the local politics of the 

I State of ]\Laine concern me no more than the parish affairs of 
St. Paul, Covent Garden, concern the Supreme Court of the 

I United States. 

It is with Augusta, in the State of Georgia, that I have at 
j^resent to deal. Let it be premised that Augusta is the 
third city in the State, and that its population exceeds tliirty 
thousand ; that it is at the head of the navigation of the beauti- 
ful Savannah river ; that it is a ver}^ busy and prosperous place, 

I enriched by divers important manufactories using the fine water- 

*' power afforded by the Augusta Canal, nine miles long, which 
brings the upper waters of the Savannah to the city at an elevation 
of 60ft. It is almost unnecessary to state that Augusta like- 
svise possesses a handsome jMasonic Temple, a building devoted 
to the Young Men's Christian Association, a commodious 
" Grand Opera House," two spacious and well-provided 
markets, and a beautifully picturesque cemetery. AH, or 
nearly all, institutions are to be found in every town in the 
(Tnited States, even to the youngest. Stay; I should add a 
number of admirably-conducted free schools, an orphan asylum, 
lialf a dozen banks, and as many fairly comfortable hotels. 
They are just a little " countrified," to me a very dclightftd 
change. The guests at the table dlidte made no scruple of 
talking to you without being introduced ; whereas, in the 
gigantic caravanserais in the large cities rigid taciturnity among 
strangei's is the rule. Ere I had been twenty-four hours in 
Augusta I was on speaking terms with two Judges, a Notary 
rublic, a fire-proof safe " drummer," several Colonels, and a 
"Fire Adjuster."-" 

* A " Fire Adj ust'.n- " is a geutleiuau employed by an Insurance Company, 
wlio is continuallj^ g'ji'ig to and from one end of the United States to the other 
"adjusting" cLaims for losses by fire. The " adjustment " may possibly, in some 
few cases, take such a form as the following : " You claim fifty thousand dollars : 
supposing -vve say ten — which would you like best I Ten thousand dollars, or ten 
years iu the Penitentiary ? " The "adjuster" whose ac(|uaintance I had the pleasure 
to make at Augusta was one of the ple.isantest, most intelligent, and most com- 



230 



AMERICA llEVISITED. 



I am at the Planters', the general aspect of which bears out 
its name, for gentlemen in broad-brimmed, low-crowned hats 
almost rivalling the Mexican sombrero in amplitude of circum- 
ference, abound in the hotel ; and their conversation is mainly 
connected with cotton. Of course I have visited the principal 
cotton mills ; and have been, physically, in a state of fluff and 
flue ever since my arrival. At least half a dozen times a day, 
returning from expeditions in quest of cotton, I have been fain 
to deliver myself up to the tender mercies of the attendant who 
throughout the Union goes by the name of the " Brush Fiend/' 
He is the American cousin of the ragged " red jacket " who on 
English racecourses hastens, when you alight from your car- 
riages, to brush you down, which feat he accomplishes with an 
ordinary implement made of bristles, indulging himself mean- 
while with a cheerful hissing noise as though he were rubbing 
down a horse. The Transatlantic Brush Fiend does not brush 
3^ou " down." He brushes you "off;" and while he urticates 

panioiialjle gentlemen that I met ■\vitli during my tour. He liailed from PetersLuig 
in Vii'ginia, and Avas good enough to tell me that the citizens of that historic town 
of the Old Dominion thought it "right mean" that I had not come to see them. 
But I rememhered that the citizens of Vicksburg, in the state of Mississippi, had 
expressed an opinion that I had been " rough on them " l>y not ^^^^tting in an a]i- 
pearance among them ; and that it was impossible to accept inAitations from every- 
bodyi A "drummer"' is a commercial traveller; and of the (piality of the fhc- 
proof safe drummer the following stanzas will atford a grajihic illustration : — ■ 



THE RIVAL DRDM:\iKR?. 
A Ler/end of tlic Hoad. 

It was two rival draminers 

The merits that did lilow 
Of safes Avere in St. Louis made 

And safes from Chic-igo. 

They chanced upon a merchant 

Who fain a safe woukl buy, 
And in praise of their houses" m ares 

The drummers twain did vie, 
Eacli striving to see which could construct 

The most colossal lie. 

V]) spake the St. Louis drumnier, 

" Once a man a cat did take 
And locked the animal in a safe 

Of our superior make. 

" They made a bonfire round the safe 

With tar and kerosene, 
And for four-and-twenty hours it blazed 

With rairin<? heat, I ween. 



'• The fire went out, the safe was cooled, 

And I will forfeit five 
Hundred good dollars if that cat 

Did not come out alive." 

Tlien mild ui>si)ake and answered him 

The Chicago safe agent : 
"With our safe one day we did e^say 

The same experiment. 

" We placed the safe selected on 

Of coals a fiery bed, 
And pitch-pine we heaped in coal-oil steeped 

Till the iron glowed bright red ; 
And in forty-eight hours we oped the safe. 

And, alas ! the cat was dead ! " 

" Was dead .' Aha ! " his rival cried. 

With a triumphant breath ; 
But the Chicago man replied : 

" Yes, the cat ims froze to death ! " 

Xo word the St. Louis drummer spoke. 

But silent he stood and wan. 
While f'e Kansas merchant an order gave 

To the Chicago man. 



i 



PROSPEROUS AUGUSTA. 



331 







GATHEIUA'U COiTON IX UEUKUIA. 



you lie utters a low crooning rnurniur very mucli akin to tliat of 
tlie mosquito singing his song of triumph as he drinks your 
blood. The fiend uses, not a brush proper, but a kind of whisk 
or short broom made of some dried grass or another. He not 
only urticates, he hurts. He touches up the nape of your neck 
and the backs of your hands. The more you tell him to leave off 




COTTON GIX. 



232 



AMERICA REVISITED. 




the more furiouslj does lie continue liis virgal assaults ; and it is 
only when you assume a decided attitude and, looking- the Brush 
I'iend fixedly between the eyes, tell him that you will " go for," 
strangle him if he does not hold his hand^ that the unsworn 
tormentor desists. 

This demon haunts the entrance halls of hotels and restaurants, 
and especiall}^ barbers' shops. In the North, he is generally 
young, gaunt, and hungry-looking ; and it is rumoured that he 
and his brethren are secretly retained by the woollen manu- 
facturers of Massachusetts and New Jersey to do their best to 
destroy the nap on gentlemen's coats, and otherwise disintegrate 
the substance of their vests and pantaloons, so as to force them 
to purchase fresh supplies of store clothes, thus stimulating the 
sartorial craft, and encouraging native Industry In the production 
of textile fabrics. In the Cotton States the Brush Fiend is 
generally black. He Is a very lictor, and l)elabours you un- 
mercifully. AVhen he Is middle-aged I imagine him to have been 
a slave, and to be avenging himself on youi body for the potential 



PROSPEROUS AUGUSTA. 233 

cowliidings of his youth. You are for tlie nonce Legree; and he 
is Uncle Tom, manumitted and possessing equal rights. And 
tlien I flmcy a "carpet-bagger " in a corner, slily whispering to the 
sable imp that you owe him arrears of wages dating from President 
Lincoln's Abolition Proclamation, and counselling him to lay the 
brush well on, and to get meal if he cannot get malt. In reality the 
black Brush Fiend in the South is, apart from his somewhat too 
vigorous " brushing off" exercitations, a civil and willing fellow 
enough, and is effusively grateful for a gift of live cents. 

Augusta is some four hundred and seventy miles farther south 
tlian Richmond, but I made the journey from the old Confederate 
capital to the Cotton City purposely without " laying over " or 
stopping on the way. Under certain circumstances of travel it is 
more desirable that your career should resemble that of the 
phnnmet than the pendulum. I remained nearly a fortnight in 
Kichmond, and there I was treated with so much kindness, and I 
made so many friends, that I feel confident that I could have passed 
at least six of the very pleasantest of months in the State of Virginia 
alone. Please to remember that the Old Dominion is no " one- 
liorse" State. Its divisions of Tidewater, Middle, Piedmont, 
])lne Pidge valley, and Appalachia comprise an area of 40,000 
square miles. Its acreage is about twenty-seven millions, and the 
j^opulation so far back as 1870 was nearly a million and a quarter. 
It possesses all the requisites of a healthy region — an equable 
temperature, a rolling, well-drained, splendidly rivered country, 
abounding in natural products. Even the stories of the un- 
healthiness of the Great Dismal Swamp must be taken as mythic, 
since sea-going ships prefer to take in their water from Lake 
Drummond, which is in the very middle of the swamp libellously 
hight " Dismal." 

The Virginians are hardy, robust, ruddy, and long-lived. 
They are mighty sportsmen and fox-hunters. The soil yields 
gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, granite, limestone, marl, plumbago, 
manganese, brick, and lire clays, wheat, oats, buckwheat, Indian 
corn in profusion, fruits and vegetables in plenty ; and the 
Dominion is the native home of tobacco. Live stock of every 
kind is reared. The taxes on real and personal ])roperty are not 
one-eighth of the amount levied in and about New York City, 
and not above half the amount levied in newly-settled Nebraska; 
and farmers desirous of purchasing homesteads in Virginia can 
buy land there at a cheaper rate than they can purchase it out 
West ; and instead of bare prairie, can procure improved farms, 



231 



AMERICA EEVISITFl). 







FOX HUNTING IN VIRGINIA. 



with all tlic necessaries and comforts of life close at hand. This 
ancient State, to sum up, ofters the fairest possible inducements 
to emigration to the people of the Old World seeking new homes, 
and to the people of Northern and Middle States seeking a 
milder climate and a richer soil, than the}^ can find in their own 
parts. AVriting more than two hundred and fifty years ago 
Captain John Smith said of Virginia that " Heaven and earth 
never agreed better to frame a place for man's habitation." Why 
not abide six months in a country so enthusiastically lauded by 
the 'protcji' of Pocahontas ? I had a score of invitations to visit 
different districts in the State. I was promised fishing, duck 
shooting, fox and deer hunting — all kinds of rural delights. I 
was " wanted " at Staunton, at Norfolk, and at Farmville. The 
Richmond clubs vied with each other in showing me graceful and 
cordial hospitality. So [ thought that under these circumstances 
the best thing that I could do was to quit the State of Virginia 



PROSPEROUS AUGUSTA. 



235. 




A HITNTINU TARTY IX VIRGINIA. 



altogetlier, and to drop, plumiiiet-wise, lig-lit tlirougli Kortli and 
South Carolina into Georgia. Tims behold me in Augusta. 

Not lightly do T call her prosperous. The city is bustling, 
well-built, and well-organised. Its stores are amply stocked 
with the material comforts and luxuries of existence. It escaped 
direct occupation and devastation during the Civil War, and 
was neither raided, requisitioned, nor " burnt up." It is a great 
cotton mart. The railroads place it in direct communication 
with the adjoining South Carolina, and with the whole of Middle 
Georgia ; and the cotton collected from these districts is trans- 
ported by rail to Savannah for shipment. It is, moreover, an 
agricultural centre, like our own good and handsome old town of 
Maidstone in Kent ; and the farmers from all the country round 
ride or drive into Augusta to dispose of their produce, and to 
take back OTOceries and clothing from the well-stocked stores of 
the thriving place. 

The most noticeable feature in the railroad journey from 
Richmond was the gradual disappearance of winter, and the 
gentle induction of the traveller into a green and sunny land. 
It had been snowing pretty freely during one of the nights ot 
my stay in Richmond ; and, although the snow swiftly disap- 
peared from the side walks, there was plenty of it on the roofs 



236 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



and in the back-yards of tlie city when I left. So in the country. 
The soil round about Richmond is a rich loam, and the James 
River runs nearly as ruddily as the Stour does in autumn in 
our city of York. Thus the snow lingering in the ridges and 
declivities of the country side as surely suggested to the eye the 
icing of a plum cake as did the powdered head of Tim Linkin- 
water as portrayed by his affectionate spouse, nee La Creevy. 
But by the time we reached Danville, a town on the borders of 
North Carolina, the last vestiges of the mantle of winter had 
entirely disappeared. 

I can scared}^ say that I woke up the next morning, because, 
being in a sleeping car, I failed to go to sleep ; but when the 
darkness of the night gave way to a most glorious sunrise, I 
found, looking from the outside platform of the car, on which 
nobody is allowed to stand, and where everybody persists from 
time to time in standing, that the whole aspect of the landscape 
had been transformed, and that I was indeed in the South. 
AYherever the eye turned the horizon was closed by mantling 
forests of pine. The balsamic odour of the palm tree was 




A PALM TREE AVENUE, SOUTH CAUOLIXA. 



wafted to you as the train glided along ; some arboretic kindred 
beautiful feathery tree which has given to Soutli Carolina her 
proud sobriquet of the " Palmetto State " began to assert itself ; 




IN THE SOUTH. 



PllOHPEKOUS ArGU8TA. 237 

and water-oak and aspen, g'uni and cedar, black walnut and 
persimmon, hickory and maple, with a host more trees than my 
scant sylvan vocabulary can enumerate, made the land glorious. 
How you lament that your early rural education has been 
neglected when you are journeying in a strange land ! An 
English country boy, trained as AVilliam Cobbett was, in the 
fields and among the hedgerows, could have given a name to 
scores of trees and shrubs that were to me only vividly green, 
or delicately pink, or brightly yellow in their foliage. The little 
l)umpkin would have been wrong now and again in his guess- 
work — the kinsfolk of the palmettos, I apprehend, would have 
puzzled him — but in the main he would have construed correctly 
enough this glorious page from Nature's album ; for here, in 
almost every tree and shrub, wholly strange to Inm, he might 
have found some l^ritish analogue, lliere are the cries of 
strange birds, too. The English farmer's boy would have likened 
them to the songs of his own home-birds — birds the melody of 
not one in a dozen of which is familiar to one whose business it 
has been to journey from city to city and to mark the ways of men. 
There was not much to mark in that direction, scudding on 
a railroad track, through the Carolinas, North and South. 
Little villages with pretentiously wide streets bordered by little 
wooden shanties, little pepperbox cupolaed churches, oxen not 
much bigger than the Alderney breed, and here and there a 
contemplative pig desperately searching for something edible 
from a heap of fallen leaves, and slowly grunting, so it seemed, 
" root hog, or die " as he searched. So we came in the early 
morning to a station hard by Aiken, a sandy and normally 
barren place on a plateau some 700 feet above the sea level, 
but which American ingenuity and enterprise have converted 
into a charming health resort, which of late years has become 
very fashionable. Careful culture and the liberal use of 
fertilisers have studded the town with gardens well-nigh as 
delicious as those which surround the houses of the foreign 
merchants at Tangiers. Thickets of yellow jasmine, rose 
bushes, olive, fig, bamboo, and Spanish bayonet are everywhere 
visible at Aiken ; and low bush and siu'face fiowers make her 
pathways gay. The plateau on which the pretty place stands 
is encircled by a thick belt of dark pines — pines such as Turner 
loved to paint in his Italian pictures ; but between the trees and 
the garden-studded town there is a waste of sand as white as the 
sand of the seashore. 



238 AMERICA REVISITED. 

I confess tliat by this time I was possessed by a very 
imromantic feeling : that, indeed, of a most ferocious liunger. 
Leaving Richmond sliortly before noon on the previous day we 
had had no dinner. At about nine at niglit, and at a place 
■called Greensborough, there had been provided, at a charge of 
fifty cents, per head, a supper, which I have not the slightest 
iloubt ^vas very much relished by those who like South 
Carolinian suppers. To me it was, from the toughness of the 
meat and the badness of the cooking, simply uneatable ; but I 
managed to sup on some buckwheat cakes and maple syrup. 
There was nothing to drink but tea and coffee. At least I saw 
nothing stronger tlian those beverages, and some very bad 
water ; and I was ashamed to ask for a glass of beer or half a 
bottle of claret, lest I should be told that the supper room was 
not a "bar." Perhaps the "Local Option Law" — a law after 
Sir Wilfrid Lawson's own heart — prevails in this section of the 
Carolinas. In any case, I am rapidly arriving at the conclusion 
that the Americans have become a nation of total abstainers, or 
that they are the profoundest hypocrites that the sun ever 
shone upon. I hope that the former assumption is really the 
correct one ; and yet scarcely a day passes without my being 
desperately perplexed to decide whether Americans of the 
better classes really abstain, or only pretend to abstain from 
strong drink. When you go out to dinner you see hock, sherry, 
champagne, madeira, claret, and burgundy on the table ; and 
after dinner the servant brings round the liqueurs. Hosts pride 
themselves, with justice, on the choice vintages in their cellars ; 
and even " Thirty-four '*' and " Fifty-seven " ports are occa- 
sionally produced. But in the hotels, from the grandest to the 
lunnblest, iced water, and nothing but iced water, is the almost 
invariable rule at meal times. Now and again a guest may ask 
for a glass of milk ; but that is all. After a while the foreigner 
accustomed to drink a little wine, for the reasons mentioned by 
St. Paul, with his luncli or dinner, ceases for xary shame to ask 
for anything to drink of a fermented nature. 

Is the end of all this temperance or hypocrisy ? The exces- 
sive costliness of European wines may of course have something 
to do with this widely-spread abstemiousness ; but it has not 
everything to do with it. The beer of the country is good, and 
it should be cheap. Yet not one guest in twenty drinks so 
nmch as half a pint of lager beer with his dinner. I have some- 
times thought that this excessive temperance at meal times is 



PROSPEROUS AUGUSTA. 



239 



due to the wonderful courtesy shown by tlie Americans towards 
the fair sex. They very rarely even smoke in the presence of 
ladies ; and, as the ladies are really and nnmistakably, as a rule, 
total abstainers, and look on our drinking- customs with sheer 
liorror, it may be that an American gentleman thinks it un- 
gallant to drink anytliing stronger than water in a lady's com- 
])any. Of course I am not speaking of New York in this regard. 
New York is Cosmopolis ; and a gennine New Yorker with 
plenty of money would drink pearls dissolved in nectar or rubies 
boiled in ambrosia if ]\Ir. Delmonico kept those articles on hand. 
We did manage to obtain some breakfast at (iraniteville, 
about eleven miles from Augusta, and one of the prettiest little 
village towns that, in the course of many thousands of miles of 
varied travel, I have gazed upon. Graniteville is said to be a 
busy and prosperous place, containing a number of granite 
works and cotton mills, giving employment to several hundred 
workpeople, who constitute the bulk of the population ; but I 
prized it mainly for the exquisite prettiness of the surrounding 
scenery, and most of all for the circumstance that at a quiet little 
liotel, closely resembling an English wayside inn, we breakfasted 
simply but copiously on excellently grilled chicken, ham and eggs, 
mutton chops, and a pleasing variety of hot cakes and what we 
term " fancy " bread. There were unstinted supplies of new 
milk, and the butter was cajjital. There was plenty of hominy 
for those who liked that farinaceous food, and the charge — the 
usual one of fifty cents — was certainly not too much for an ample, 
well-cooked, and wholesome meal. Another half hour's ride 
brought us to Prosperous Augusta. 




^mmi. 




MONUMENT TO THE CONFEDERATE DEAD, BllOAD-STIlEET, AUGUSTA. 



XX. 

The City of many Cows. 



AiTgiista, Georgia, January 19. 

I WAS reading, the other day, of a traveller very far indeed out 
West, who arrived at a nascent city — say Ursaniinorville — and 
who was received in the most hospitable manner by the leading- 
authority of the place : its Judge, liquor dealer, or grocery-store 
keeper, possibly. This gentleman undertook to drive the 
traveller around to see the principal sites of Ursaniinorville. 
During a progress of many miles, as it seemed, the tourist beheld 
nothing but spacious avenues, plenteously " snagged," pierced 
through the heart of the primeval forest. At length they 



THE CITY OF MANY COWS. 241 

reached a kind of rond point, where several of the spacious 
avenues converged. At this conjuncture a huge wild cat sprung at 
the throat of one of the carriage horses ; while the flank of the 
other was fastened upon by a voracious wolf; and, in the dusky 
covert, several grizzly bears were visible and audible, huskily 
clamouring. The Judge rose in his waggon ; indicated with his 
whip, divers points of the compass ; particularised, " the Post 
Office, the Corn Exchange, the Board of Trade, the National 
Bank, Grand Opera House, Insane Asylum, the Young Men's 
Christian Association, Masonic Temple, Washington's monu- 
ment, and the City Prison ; " and concluded, with pardonable 
pride, " You are now, sir, in the very Centre of our City." Mind 
I read this in an American, and not in a British, and consequently 
calumnious newspaper. 

Now, Augusta, in the State of Georgia, has already obtained 
all that Ursaminorville probably will have in the course of the 
next twenty years or so — perhaps much sooner ; yet gazing on 
the astonishingly broad thoroughfares of this prosperous, cheerful, 
comely, cotton-growing town, I could not help wondering at 
and admiring the prescience of its founders, who foresaw that in 
America the most straggling of hamlets were bound to become, 
not in the due course of time, but in a phenomenally brief efflux 
thereof, great and important centres of population. Such 
prescience was denied the original settlers of New Amsterdam, 
of Boston and Philadelphia, who, timidly following European 
models, built their streets narrow and close together. 

The modern American does not precisely build for posterity, 
since he is quite content, in the first instance, to run up a humble 
wooden shanty for his habitation : leaving it to his descendants 
to erect six-storeyed mansions of marble, brick, or iron, with 
mansard roofs ; but he has thus much regard for the interests of 
posterity in ordaining that it shall not be crowded into those dark 
and tortuous courts and alleys which are the opprobrium of the 
Old World ; so he lays out the streets and avenues of the village 
which is to become a city on a scale of vastness which Sesostris, 
could he " unmummify " himself, might admire, and which Semira- 
mis might envy. The hanging gardens of Babylon were, no doubt, 
very fine things in their way ; but the apparently immeasurably 
broad, incalculably prolonged, and fliultlessly straight, well 
graded, well lit, and horse-car traversed thoroughfares of a youth- 
ful American city, which thoroughfares need only a decent pave- 
ment and a continuity of habitable residences to make them mag- 



242 AMERICA REVISITED. 

niticeiit, present to my mind a far more interesting feature of 
civilization than do any descriptions of the monuments of anti- 
quity that I have read. The structures of old Egypt and 
Nineveh, and Persepolis, seem to have been the work of a race of 
giants who came down from some unknown planet, their draw- 
ings and elevations and scantlings all prepared, their tools all 
ready : whereas an infant American city reminds me of some 
Kindergarten for juvenile Colossi. They are but babies just at 
present. So far as architecture goes they can only make mud- 
pies ; but in a very short space of time, growing gigantic them- 
selves, they will proceed to erect cities the like of which would 
rather have astonished the Titans. Augusta can scarcely be 
called a baby city : it is athletically adolescent ; but it is a very 
long way off from being middle-aged ; and, looking at its 
capacity for development, what it will be like in another 
fifty years simply baffles calculation, and puts conjecture to 
the rout. 

Destitute of a single structure which could by any elasticity 
of terminology be termed venerable or romantic, the chief 
thoroughfare of Augusta — Broad-street — is nevertheless one of 
the most picturesque streets that I have ever come across. To 
begin with, it is one hundred and sixty feet wide and two miles 
long. Think of that, you who are disposed to think the Avenue 
de rOpera in Paris grandly imposing or our own Regent-street 
a somewhat handsome thing in thoroughfares. The side-walks 
of Broad-street, Augusta, are flanked with splendid old trees ; 
and, moreover, nearly all the facades of the stores have projec- 
tions of timber or canvas, supported on posts, and serving as 
arcades. These are certainly not so architecturally pleasing as 
the Procuratie in St. Mark's Place, Venice ; but they supply 
plenty of shade, and that is the grand desideratum in the Sunny 
South, both in summer and in winter. Here, in mid-January, 
the weather is as warm and bright as it would be in a well- 
behaved English June, and as it should be, at this season, at 
Nice. But between the climate of this favoured region and that 
of the Riviera there is tlie important difference, that in Nice, in 
winter, however warm and even sultry it may be in the sun, it is 
generally bitterly cold in the shade ; and, again, you are con- 
tinually in ])eril of the lung-piercing and throat-cutting mistral^ 
At Augusta it is genially but not oppressively warm in the 
January sunshine ; but the shade is cool rather than bitter ; and 
there is no mistral. In the mid-watch of the night and at earlv 



THE CITY OF MANY COWS. 243 

morn It is decidedly chilly. It is prudent at all times to wear 
Woollen clothing. The same rule obtains in that abode of flowers 
and perpetual spring, the Valley of Mexico, where there are nine 
months of early June to one of April and two of September ; but 
at noon-tide in Augusta the sun is so powerful tiiat you will find 
most of the jalousies of the windows closed, while in the more 
shaded stories the windows are all open, and the clerks are at 
work in their shirt-sleeves. 

The foot-pavement — in American, " side-walk " — of Broad- 
street is as wide as that of the Boulevard des Itallens, and of the 
old Brighton material and pattern — that is to say, red tiles set 
herring-bone- wise : an excellent pavement in a place where 
streets seem to be seldom if ever cleaned. I have not yet visited 
Boston this journey, and consequently am unable to pronounce 
how the " Hub of the Universe " fares In the matter of street- 
cleansing ; but iu all the other American cities that I have yet 
explored, such cleansing appears to me to be rather of a potential 
tlian of a palpably existent nature. In the very fairest weather 
an American street rarely fails to wear an aspect of untidiness, 
extremely distressing to the rate-and-tax-paying eye. The mud 
may have dried up, and the merciless wind may have relented at 
last, and finally scattered the nauseous contents of the ash-barrels 
into the Infinities ; but the pavement is never wdiat we call 
"tidy." The side-walk is always littered with shavings, wisps 
of straw, bits of orange-peel, and especially with scraps of paper. 
What are those scraps ? Protested cheques, torn-up notes on 
"' wild-cat " banks, circulars announcing the proximate arrival of 
the "Original Midgets, General Mite and Major Atom;" or 
advertisements of Professor Dulcamara's Lever Regulator, or 
]Mrs, Dr. Quackenbosh's Non-Alcoholic Stomach Bitters ? Did 
you ever ramble (shuddering and pressing a handkerchief to your 
face) over a recently-fought field of battle ? The dead have been 
buried ; the underwood, set on fire, has been charred to ashes ; 
the neighbouring peasantry have pilfered all the broken arms 
and accoutrements lying about ; but there always remains an 
inconceivably voluminous litter of scraps of paper. Upland and 
lowland, hedge and dltcli, ridge and farrow are full of these 
scraps. What are they? Regimental "states" non-commis- 
sioned officers' memoranda ; letters to the dead from sweethearts 
and wives, mothers and sisters — letters full of infinite love and 
tenderness, but disdainfully flung away by those whose business 
it was to rifle the bodies of the slain, and to get over that little 

k2 



244 AMERICA REVISITED. 

Inisiness with promptitude and despatch. Less moving, per- 
chance, are the paper fragments so lavishly strewn over an 
American side-walk ; but still I cannot help thinking that it 
might be made part of the shopboy's duty to sweep up tlie pave- 
ment a little, after he has sanded the sugar and watered the rum, 
and before he joins the fomily at prayers. 

"Have some wine? — there ain't any," such averment, if I 
remember aright, is the hospitable invite of the Dormouse to the 
,Hatter, in "Alice in Wonderland." Of the pavement roadway 
in Broad-street, Augusta, it may be simply said that there "ain't 
anv." The hundred and fortv feet more or less of thoroughfare 
—allowing the balance for the side-walk — are merely a hundred 
feet of fine dust several inches deep, wdiich, from the fact of the 
road being traversed liere and there by narrow causeways of 
timber, I conjecture, must be converted during the rainy season 
into a hundred and forty feet in width, and two miles in length, 
of very rich mud. The depth of the mud I do not venture to 
calculate ; but I surmise that it would be Malebolgian. 

The dust does not trouble us much now, as the morning and 
afternoon breezes are of the very gentlest character ; and the 
horses and mules seem on the Avhole to prefer a soft track to a 
hard one. So is it with the pigs, which roam about in the freest 
and most independent manner imaginable. They are either the 
most idiotic or the hopefullest pigs ever farrowed ; for they are 
continually rioting in the dusty depths of Broad-street, as though 
they expected to iind provand there. " The actions of the just," 
the poet tells us, "smell sweet and blossom in the dust;" but 
hopefulness is enlarged to the verge of fatuity when a pig expects 
to iSnd nourishment in the powdery waste of the Augustan 
thoroughfares. 

The cows have a much better time of it. Scattered about 
this village-city are plenteous plots of greensward, real green 
turf, as verdant as that of IMecklenburgh-square, London, AV.C. 
• — I live there *— which is saying a great deal ; and wherever 
you find a piece of greenery in Augusta, there also do you find 

"'* Why sliould a man he asliaiuecl to say ■\vliere lie lives ? There is a story told 
of old Mr. Arnold, the oiiginal projirietor of the English Opera House or Lycenni 
Theatre, that once iijion a time he received notice tliat a newly married Royal Duke 
and Duchess pur2:)osed to visit his house. Mr. Arnold determined, in the first place, 
that the National Anthem should he sung hy the entire company ; and next that 
a new verse should be added esi)eeially in the Duke and Duchess's honour. But 
Avlio was to write the stanza reipired ? Tlie " stock autlior " was not to be found ; 



THE CITY OF MANY COWS. 



2t5 



a cow. I never saw so many cows in my life — at least in tlie 
streets of an inhabited town. The clean village of Brock, in 
Holland, is great in cows, but the patient animals are in the b3Te, 
they do not " loaf around promiscuously." There were formerly 
so many cows in the ruined Roman Forum, that it was known as 
the Campo A'^acano. There are cows enough in the market 
towns of Russian Poland. I remember being " sair owerhanded 
wi' coos," as a Scot might say, four years ago, at a place called 
Brets-Litovsk, but ever}^ street in Augusta is a cow-pasture ; and 
you are driven at last to look at the names over the shop-fronts, 
expecting that busi- 
ness must be wholly 
carried on by Messrs. 
Cuyp, Paul Potter, 
Vorbeckhoeven, T. 
S. Cooper, R.A., and 
other eminent artists 



in cows. A gentle- 
man was kind enough 
to take me over the 
great cotton-weaving 
mills here. Upon 
my word, there were 
a couple of cows 
tranquilly feeding in 
the compound or yard 
before the factor3\ 
They stand about the 
pavement, and look 
with mild eyes into 
the shop - windows. 
They are in the old 
graveyard; and how 
authority keeps the cows out of the cemetery I have-not the 
faintest idea. Fortunately, the arrivals and departures of railroad 

the leader of the orchestra did not see his Avay to composing rhymes ; and poetry 
was not in the master carpenter's line. Eventually old Mr. Arnold determined to 
write the rec^uired lines himself. They ran'thus — 

' ' Heav'n bless the Happy Pair, 
May they all blessings share, 
Twenty-Four Golden Square, 

God sava the King ! " 
Mr. Arnold lived there. 




ON THE COW-CATCHER. 



246 



AMERICA EEVISITED. 



trains during the clay are few and far between. Otherwise, con- 
sidering that the railway track, quite iinfenced and unguarded, 
crosses Broad-street at its busiest part, the collision of a steam 
engine with Augusta's Horned Pride would be certainly " bad 
for the coo," the locomotive cow-catcher notwithstanding. 

When the shades of evening are gathering around Augusta, 
and the sunset of crimson and gold is slowly yielding to the dun 
purple mantle of the night, discreet females, usually of mature 
age, and armed with switches of hickory, pervade the city in 
search, each dame, of her particular cow or cows. The animals 
have had leg bail during tlie sunny day ; and they with quiet 
docility obey the behests of the old ladies with the hickor}^ 
switches, and meekly trot rather than they are sternly driven 
home, there to yield their lacteal tribute and so to supper. An 
innocent life. Plenty of fodder. The consciousness that you 
have done your duty to society by giving it an ample supply of 
nice new niilk, and there an end. No log to roll, no axe to 
grind, no pipe to lay, no wire to pull, no party to " buUdose," 
no editorials to write, no editors to shoot, no place to hunt, no 
vote to cast. If there be a metempsychosis, I think tlnit I 
should like to be a Cow, at Augusta, in the State of Georgia. 

Goats, also, are plentiful in the streets of this Arcadian city, 
and of cocks and hens and turkeys — the latter confined, with 
plenty of elbow room, in coops — the name is legion. The 




bullocks in the drays are as a rule diminutive ; but the mules 
abound and are surprisingly strong and line. It is a curious fact 
that wherever mules are very plenteous and handsome the 



THE CITY OF MANY COWS. 



2i7 



donkey rarely appears in public. The donkeys here keep tlieni- 
selves very much to themselves. They are jealous, perhaps, of 
the mules. The horseflesh is abundant, and of an excellent 
type. All the Southerners are "horsey" in their tendencies; 
and I am right sorry to have missed the Augusta races, which 
took place a day or two before I came hither, and which were 
attended, I hear, by all the rank, fashion, and sportsmanship of 
the country-side. As a compensation, driving to the Sandhills 
and the beautiful suburb of Summerville — of course the demon 
di'iver brought us home by the inevitable cemetery — I saw some 
very remarkable trotting horses, one a lovely bright bay, which 
went, it may almost without exaggeration be said, like the wind. 
There is apparently no local law against furious driving ; and, 
besides, an American trotter 
does not require to be driven 
furiously. He is the most 
willing of four-footed crea- 
tures, and steps out gaily, 
of his own accord. The 
gentlemen of Augusta are 
also very fond of riding; 
but at the saddlers' shops I 
noticed scarcely any saddles 
of English make. Those 
most in use are first the 
"M'Clellan" saddle, which 
is a modification of the 
Mexican, and next the down- 
right old-fashioned Mexican 
saddle itself, with its slipper 
stirrups, high crupper, and 
projection from the pommel, round which to wind the lasso. The 
flaps of this saddle are curiously embroidered and the seat is of 
wood, covered with raw hide, and cleft in the middle, so as not 
to gall the backbone of the horse. This Mexican apparatus is 
only the old Andalusian saddle, plus the projection for the lasso, 
and the Spanish is only a survival of the old Moorish saddle. 

One more sight to be seen in Augusta the Prosperous, ere, 
plummet-like, I drop down another six or seven hundred miles 
South. In the very centre of Broad-street stands the recently- 
erected Monument to the Confederate Dead. It is an obeHsk 
supported on columns, of pure white marble, eighty feet in 




ROLLINa THE RACE-TRACK. 



248 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



height, surmounted by the statue of a Confederate Soldier, and 
with four portrait effigies, including those of Robert E. Lee and 
Stonewall Jackson, at the angles of the pedestal. The simple 
and touching inscription recites that this monument was erected 
by the Ladies of the Memorial Association, to those who fell far 
the Honour of Georgia, for the Rights of the States, for the 
Liberty of the People, and for the Principles of the Union, 
as handed down to his Children by the Father of a Common 
Country. Is there not a monument on our Drummossie Moor to 
the irallant Jacobites who fell at Culloden ? 




A NEGRO FLIRTATION. 




■ ^"«"'%vr 



XXT. 
PoEK AND Pantomime in the South. 

Augusta, January 20. 

Life in Augusta can scarce!}' be called deliriously gay. It Is 
not altogether dull ; for tlie humours of the negroes, their street- 
(•orner songs and dances, their whimsical squabbles — in which 
they freely interchange " dam black nigga" and "woolly headed 
cuss " as terms of disiparagement — and their occasional up-and- 
down fights, in Avhicli heads and feet play a mucli more con- 
spicuous part than do clenched fists, give a recurring fillip to the 
monotony of existence ; still, it must be frankly owned, the 
Augustan cuiTiculum lacks variety. You grow tired at last of 
the contemplation of the innumerable cows. There was a grand 
stampede of mules this morning, in Broad-street, wdiich for 
about half an hour caused some pleasurable excitement; but, 
when the fugitive animals, after a vast expenditure of shrieking, 
arms-waving, and whip-cracking, had been captured by the 
mounted negro stockdrivers — whose dexterity in the saddle 
might be envied alike by Mexican arrieros and Newmarket 



250 



. AMERICA. REVISITED. 







stable boys — Broad - street subsided into its usual conditio]). 
The tramway car pursued its placidly jingling course ; tlu^ 
country wains continued to discharge their loads of produce at 
the doors of the wholesale stores ; the sounds of clucking, 
hissing, and gobbling were audible from the coops full of fowls 
and geese and turkeys ; and things, on the whole, went on as usual. 

Some mild amusement might, perhaps, be derived from watch- 
ing the (so it seems) incessant delivery of pork at the provision 
stores. Whether the pigs have been killed and packed in the 
neighbourhood, or whether the meat has come by rail from 
Chicago or Cincinnati, I know not ; but Augusta is none the less 
a huge emporium for swine's flesh in a semi-cured state. 1 say 
semi-cured, for the meat appears neither in the guise of our 
pickled or " tubbed " pork, nor in that of well-cured ham or bacon. 
It looks as though it had been only roughly salted ; and, from 
the "thud" it makes when it is flung from the wain on to tlie 
pavement, it should be " as hard as nails." Pelions upon Ossas 
of sides and legs of swine rise on the pavement ; and, when you 
consider tliis prodigious mass of hog's flesh in conjunction with 
the granaries overflowing with corn, buckwheat, and a dozen 
varieties of cereals and pulse, the use of which is to us almost 
unknown, you begin to understand what important factors " hog 
and hominy " are in the economy of Southern life. 

Rice also plays an important part in the dietary of the 
labouring classes. The green vegetables — the cabbages ex- 
cepted — are very poor ; and I regret that I have not been able 



PORK AND PANTOMIME IN THE SOUTH 




A STAMPEDE OF MULES. 



to ask any medical man in Augusta what effect, deleterious or 
otherwise, a diet which seems to be composed mainly of salted 
meat and farinaceous food may have on the health of the people. 
Oysters are not nearly so plentiful as In the North — to be pure, 
we are a hundred and forty miles from the sea ; and the bill of 
fare at the Planters' Hotel does not always comprise fish. Very 
large and new oranges are five cents or twopence halfpenny 
apiece. There is a great wealth of less choice oranges, hard, 
lieavy, brown of skin as rlbstone pippins, full of juice, but not 
sweet, and without perfume. They tell me that even down in 
Florida — the State par excellence for oranges — I shall find the 
golden fruit comparatively scarce and costly — the^ Floridan 
Hesperides being systematically despoiled for exportation of the 
fruit to the North ; and in view of this 1 cannot help repeating 
that which I have said over and over again in print, but which 
my countrymen are apt to forget, that there is no country in the 



252 AMERICA HEVISITED. 

world, out of Spain and Cuba, where the wholesome and delicious 
fruit is so abundant and so cheap as in that England which, 
neither for love nor money, can grow an orange for herself in 
the open. We are not half grateful enough for our imported 
plenitude of oranges at home ; and that is the long and the short 
of the matter. 

I have been riding round about Augusta in the most ram- 
shackle of imaginable barouches, drawn by a pair of splendidly- 
matched horses, and driven by a negro coachman, amiable, 
talkative, well-informed, and in rags. His hat, previous to its 
having formed the headgear of a scarecrow, seems to have been !l 
built on the precise model of the memorable " tile " in which, 
more than forty years ago, at the Surrey Theatre, I beheld Mr. 
T. D. Ixice wheel about and turn about and jump Jim Crow. 
Pardon my iteration if I dwell, once and once again, on the 
tattered condition of the negro in the South. 1 remember, 
many years ago, freshly arriving at Naples, being asked by an 
English lady of great practical common sense what was tlie 
population of the Magna-Grsecian city. So many hundred 
thousand, I replied. " And not one perfect pair of pantaloons," 
thoughtfully observed the practical lady. The Via di Toledo 
and the Chiaja assuredly do not shine in the integrity of the 
nether garments of the Southern Italian people at large. But a 
Neapolitan lazzarone is a Poole-clad *' swell," a " Crutch and 
Toothpick " exquisite, in comparison with a Southern negro. Not 
onl}^ his pantaloons but his coat and his vest — if he have any 
vest — are phenomena of tatters. And let me in pure candour 
here remark that the negro's shreds and patches must not be 
taken as unerring proof of his poverty. Large numbers of black 
and coloured people hereabout, I am told, are doing extremely 
well : not only as porters, warehousemen, grooms, and stock- 
drivers, dealers in tin ware, and so forth, in the city, but as 
small farmers in the outlying country districts. They are 
gradually enriching themselves by spade husbandry, or by raising- 
small crops of cotton. 

It is true that in the great cotton mills in Augusta, where 
excellent sheetings and shirtings are woven for exportation to 
Airica and even to England, the sixteen hundred and fifty hands, 
male and female, employed, are all white. I was told that the 
negro, while excellent as a field hand, a market gardener, a 
horsetender, and even as a workman where nothing but '' pulley- 
hauling," fetching or carrying, or striking was required, as in 



PORK AND PANTOMIME IN THE SOUTH. 



25:3 




forges, smelting works, cooperages, tobacco factories, and the 
like, was next door to useless as a machinist. His intellect as 
yet does not seem to have risen to the capacity of taking care or 
"minding" the different portions of complex machinery; whereas 
"minding" is the first thing requisite in a Victory operative, and 
a white girl-child of thirteen is, as a rule, found more competent 
in " taking care " of the section of machinery at which she is 
posted than a negro man of forty. But, on the other hand, the 
coloured people, who devote themselves to such modes of 
industry as suit their existent intellectual calibre, thrive, and 
thrive wondrously, all things considered. 

Has the tariff anythhig to do with the wretchedness of their 
raiment ? I cannot help thinking so ; for it is by no means 
uncommon to find a negro, whose rags would be disdainfully 
rejected by the most destitute applicant at the door of an English 
casual ward, in possession of a substantial silver watch and chain. 
The coloured women and girls, too, rejoice in gold rings — two 
or three on each hand sometimes — and in gold, or ostensibly 
gold, earrings and brooches. In general they are far better 
dressed than the men ; as the North-Eastern factories turn out 
large quantities of gaudily-patterned and comparatively cheap 
articles of feminine wear. It is in good cheap woollen stuffs, 
moleskins, corduroys, velveteens, and other articles of apparel fit 
for mechanics and working men that the deficiency is most 



254 



AMERICA EEVISITED. 




lamentably apparent ; and sliabbiness in apparel is visible on 
this continent to a greater extent, and in a more liiglily ascend- 
ing scale, than in any other country in which I have travelled. 
Solomon in all his glory could scarcely be arrayed more gorge- 
ously than is a wealthy young 
American in one of the great 
cities. The ladies of fashion 
are so man 3^ Queens of Sheba 
in their raiment ; but the 
great mass of the American 
people, male and female, are 
very poorly clad. 

After this assertion you 
are quite at liberty to throw 
Seven Dials in my teeth, and 
to reproach me with the rags 
and dirt of Drury-lane. I 
grant the impeachment, " I 
acknowledge the coin ; " but 
I unhesitatingly nmintain 
that an English clerk, or shop 
assistant, or respectable me- 
chanic with thirty shillings a 
"week, dresses thrice as well as does an American with double that 
•amount of wages ; and that an English servant girl on her " day 
out" can afford to wear a dress, a bonnet, a jacket, boots, "fal- 
lals," and kid gloves, which an American young lady three grades 
■above our housemaids in social status cannot afford to wear. I 
repeat that which I may have said over and over again, that 
the home manufactured textile fabrics when made up into 
garments look "sleezy." If the tariff have anything to do with 
this, I say that a tariff which, under the pretext of encouraging 
native manufactures, keeps an intelligent and industrious people 
meanly and shabbil}^ clad, deliberately retards the progress of 
€ivilization ; and that, besides, such a tariff strikes directly at 
the root of those democratic institutions which are so highly and 
so deservedly prized by the Americans ; for how can there be 
thorough equality in a country where only the very rich are able 
to wear those handsome and comely garments which in a country 
of Free Trade can be worn by all but the idle, the improvident, 
and the profligate ? 

Having exhausted the drives about Augusta, the pleasant 



LOST IX ADMIRATION. 



POllK AND PANTOMIME IN THE SOUTH. 255 

excursions to Summerville and the Sandliills, and liaving paid a 
visit to some very handsome nursery gardens rich in avenues of 
the beauteous magnolia, and in the greenhouses of" which flourish 
the richest varieties of tropicial vegetation — bananas, palmettos, 
bamboo, Jerusalem clierries as large as tomatoes, and cacti 
innumerable — I thought that I might appropriately bring my 
visit to Augusta to a close by going to the play. The City of 
Many Cows boasts a Grand Opera House. So, it may be 
hinted, do most American " cities " or towns, where the popula- 
tion exceeds six or seven thousand. Whether the Americans 
have any decided taste for the legitimate drama, properly so 
called, is a question which, I heartily rejoice to say, I am not 
called upon to discuss in this place ; but a liking for theatrical 
amusements they indubitably have, and against indulgence in such 
amusements there does not appear to be any widely-spread 
prejudice, religious or otherwise. 

The Augusta Grand Opera House is a pretty little salle^ 
about as large as our Olympic, but not seating, I should say, as 
many spectators as does the time-honoured house in Wych- 
street. The pit or " parquet," of which the incline is very 
steep, is roomy, and filled with comfortable fauteuils with re- 
versible seats. There is a dress circle with plenty of elbow 
room, and where full dress is not required — a very sensible rule, 
and one that obtains in the majority of American theatres. The 
price of admission to the parquet and to the dress circle was the 
same, and, considering that the theatre was a country one, it 
was high — a dollar. Above was a spacious gallery, admission 
to which was fifty cents, or two shillings. This part of the 
auditorium was largely filled by ragged negroes, and the 
coloured folk are, I am given to understand, great playgoers. I 
am not aware whether the institution which by some people in 
England is denounced as a curse, and by others hailed as a 
boon to the poor — the Tally Trade — exists in the United States; 
but, granting the existence of an -honest tallyman in the State of 
Georgia, a negro might very easily purchase the fee simple of a 
decent coat and appendages to match by pa^^ing two shillings a 
week to the man with the tally. To be sure, he would have to 
forego his favourite amusement of going to the play. 

The decorations of the Grand Opera House of Augusta do 
not call for any detailed criticism on my part ; since scarcely 
any attempt had been made to decorate the interior at all. The 
act drop was a ludicrously vile daub, and the scenery, generally, 



256 AMERICA EEVISITED. 

was as bad, Tlie performance was that of " Tony Denier's 
Pantomime Troupe," and the pantomime itself was the " famous 
trick entertainment," known as "Humpty Dumpty." The story 
of the " opening," so far as I could make it out, had nothing 
whatever to do with the corpulent but infirm hero of nursery 
legend, who sat on a wall, and had so great a fall therefrom, 
that all the King's horses and all the King's men were inade- 
quate to set Humpty Dumpty up again. The hero of the Augusta 
pantomime seemed to be a kind of village pickle or scapegrace, 
perpetually indulging In mischievous horseplay with an ancient 
farmer, the father of a lovely daughter, in a yellow pinafore 
and cream-coloured silk tights, and wliose hand was sought by 
a sprightly youth in a broad-brimmed Jiat, and a tail coat so 
much too long and too large for his slim little figure that the 
garment seemed to have been borrowed from Mr. Jack Dawkins, 
the Artful Dodger, and then to have been dyed a pale pink. 

The "lines" of the old Italian pantomime, with its Arlecchino, 
Colombina, Gracioso, and Gerontio, appeared to have been 
closely followed, or in greater probability the entire scenario had 
been copied from some old piece of buffoonery erst the Parisian 
Funambules. There was a fairy — a pretty little maiden of 
some ten summers — who effected the transformation, when, of 
course, the village pickle became Clown, the old farmer Panta- 
loon, the slim little fellow in the Artful Dodger's coat dyed pink 
Harlequin, and the young lady hi the yellow pinafore and the 
cream-coloured tights Columbine. The clown, Mr. G. H. 
Adams, otherwise " Grimaldi," was an exceedingly funny one. 
He was a wondrous dancer on stilts ; and from certain peculi- 
arities in his gait — you know the " outside edge " walk, and the 
liabit of looking far up and wide around wliile walking — I am 
perhaps not altogether wrong In conjecturing that " Grimaldi " 
had smelt sawdust in early youth, that he had been acquainted 
Avitli the Ring, and that the sounds of "Houp! la!" and the aspect 
of fair equestriennes careering on barebacked steeds, or bound- 
ing through hoops covered with tissue paper, were not wholly 
unffimlllar to him. However, he made us all laugh, which was 
something; and he made the tiny Augusta children, who formed 
fully two-tlilrds of the audience, positively shriek with delight : 
which was a great deal more. He had merely smeared his 
entire head, face, and neck with white paint, wearing neither 
crimson half-moons on his cheek nor a cock's comb on his pate ; 
in fact, he was made up much more liko a French Pierrot than 



PORK AND PANTOMIME IN THE SOUTH. 



257 



an Englisli clown, and this gave liini somewhat of a gliastly 
appearance. 

There was scarcel}^ anything about the performance to 
remind one of an EngHsh pantomime, save in the intermittent 
appearance of the inevitable policeman, who never strode about 
the stage without smiting somebody with his truncheon : a joke 
which seemed to be highly relished by the audience. And stay, 
there was a British Grenadier in an amazingly dirty tunic, which 




bad once been crimson, garnished with faded gold lace, aod 
wearing a prodigious bearskin, whose principal business it was 
to run away in dire perturbation whenever he was pelted with 
pea nuts by a small Yankee boy. And, stay yet again. In the 
middle of the performance the Columbine, temporarily dispensing 
with her skirts, came on in trunk hose — a somewhat scanty 
allowance of trunks to a lavish quantity of hose — made up after 
the manner of the " Gold Girl," and danced the Skipping Rope 
dance. Horror ! Ah ! ]\Ir. James M'Neil Whistler, the mills of 
the gods grind slowly, but they grind exceeding small. There 
is a Nemesis in Art, even if you have to come so far as Augusta 
in Georgia to find her. 




VIEW OF ATLANTA. 



xxir. 

Arrogant Atlanta. 



Atlanta, Georgia, Jan. 21. 

Just prior to quitting tlie City of Many Cows, intent study 
of my " Appleton " convinced me that it was not precisely prac- 
ticable to drop " like a plummet " from Aufj^usta, southward. 
Such a course would have brought me out at Key AVest, among 
the Florida Reefs : — a place which I should very much like to 
visit for the sake of its manufactories of cigars, which in fineness 
of flavour are beginning to rival the famous puros of Havanna."' 
But there is no railroad to Key West, nor, indeed, to any locality 
in Florida further south than Cedar Keys ; so, abandoning the 
plummet course of progression, I was fain to swerve a night's 
journey westward and even slightly northward from Augusta the 
Prosperous to Atlanta the Arrogant. The distance is about one 
hundred and eighty miles ; and we were a trifle under twelve 
hours in accomplishing it. A gentleman, name unknown, who 
was one of our companions in the sleeping car, declared it to be 

* As respectable rivals to the Cuban cigars are the Mexican ones, of -vvliich some 
excellent samples ("Flor de Mejico") have recently been imported into this country 
by the ■well-known Mr. Carreras of Princes Street, Sono. 



AREOGANT ATLANTA. 259 

" the meanest railroad ride " he had ever taken ; and at six p.m. 
— we left Augusta at 5.30 — retired to bed in dudgeon, and with 
his boots on. He was, nevertheless, not indisposed to be com- 
municative ; and at intervals broke the stillness of the night by 
inquiries addressed to the passengers in general as to whether, 
in the whole course of their experience, they had ever had a 
" meaner " journey. 

So far as I was concerned I found little to complain of. The 
sleeping car was not a Pullman, and was therefore not " palatial," 
but it was comfortable enough ; and the " Cap'n" or conductor, 
was very chatty and companionable. I happened to tell him of 
the exceptionally good breakfast we had been favoured with at 
Graniteville before coming to Augusta ; whereupon he informed 
me that the wayside inn in question was celebrated for its excel- 
lent cookery, and tliat Mrs. Senn, the landlady of the establish- 
ment, was quite a noted character in that section of the State. 
He showed me a paragraph from an Augusta paper in which it 
was stated that Mrs. Senn had been in town on the previous 
day, to obtain fresh supplies of Worcestershire sauce, sardines, 
and Crosse and Blackwell's pickles, but had returned to Granite- 
ville in the evening, " at the call of duty," Mr. Joe Jefferson 
and his entire Rip Van Winkle Company having telegraphed 
from Columbia that they would all breakfast at Graniteville on 
the following morning. "That woman's shirred eggs and sugar- 
cured ham should immortalise her," the sleeping-car " Cap'n " 
gravely remarked, as he folded up the local journal. 

We obtained some supper at eight in the evening, at a place 
the name of which was not revealed to me, but which to my im- 
perfect vision and in the bright moonlight looked as though it 
were situated in the midst of a snow-clad plain. But the seem- 
ing snow was only lily white sand — as fine and as shining as that 
at Aiken. The little shanty which served as a summer-house was 
embosomed in a thicket of graceful trees ; and altogether it 
looked just such a place as Mr. Longfellow's Diana might have 
chosen in her dreams to drop her silver bow upon, and to wake 
Endymion with a kiss, " when. Sleeping in the Grove," he was 
quite unaware that the chaste goddess had fallen in love with 
him. The supper was not equal to the Graniteville breakfast ; 
but it was a pleasant repast to me, for at its conclusion the 
money — fifty cents a head — was taken by the prettiest little six- 
teen-year-old maiden that I have yet seen in the South. She 
< had hair of pale gold, and eyes of such a lustrous ultramarine 

I s 2 



260 



AMERICA REVISITED. 




blue that tliey might have been stolen from that great sphere of 
lapis-lazuli above the high altar in the Church of the Gesu, at 
Rome. She had the slimmest little figure that ever drove a 
scientific corset-maker to despair as to fitting it properly ; and it 
would have been an outrage to have placed any but five thou- 
sand dollar diamond rings on the rosy tipped fingers with which 
she took our fifty cents for supper. She was as timid as she 
was pretty and graceful ; and holding out her tiny hand and 
murmuring " thanks," ke])t with the other the door ajar of the 
private parlour of her family, which comprised, I think, an aunt 
with a shrill voice, and, I am sure, a baby that squealed. Good- 
bye, little sixteen-year-old maiden. I shall not see you any 
more in this world ; but one does not meet a Sylphide every 
day ; and, when found, she should be taken note of. The ladies 
in the sleeping car all agreed that the maiden was " passable," 



ARROGANT ATLANTA. 



261 



whicli confirms me in my opinion that she was enchantingly 
beautiful. 

I passed a sleepless night, roaming about the cars, listening 
to the snorers, conversing softly with the conductor, the bag- 
gage-master, and the negro boot-black, and ever and anon find- 




THE BAGGAGE MASTER S ARMOURY. 



ing solace in the Indian weed. It seemed to me that we 
stopped at least half a dozen times during the night between 
station and station, and that the duration of our stoppages varied 
between twenty minutes and three-quarters of an hour. They 
were strangely oppressive to the sense, — these long intervals of 
utter immobility and silence without ; but after a while would 
come a solemn clankinc^, as of the chains of doomed souls in 
torment, and then the hoarse thick pants of the locomotive. 



262 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



Passing from the door of the car you beheld a weird and, as it 
seemed, interminable train of open waggons and trucks and huge 
" box cars " passing you, dragged sometimes by two engines. 
These were freight trains ; the trucks heaped high with cotton 
bales ; the " box cars " laden with grain, on their way from the 
middle-south to Savannah and Charleston, for shipment to 
Europe. How many hundred tons of the raw material for 
English bread and English body-linen passed our sleeping car 
that night I cannot estimate ; but it strikes me that the freight 
traffic, either in the South or in the North, would not be quite 
so lively if a facetious British Chancellor of the Exchequer 
clapped a merry duty of a penny a pound on cotton, and a pro- 
portionately jocose import tax on every bushel of American 
wheat. How the advocates of the Morrill tariff would howl to 
be sure. But the thing is, of course, impossible. Mr. Mongredin 
and all the sages of the Cobden Club tell us so. We may not 
retract — we must not retract one iota of the dogma of Free 
Trade. We cannot obtain Reciprocity ; but we must not think 
of Retaliation. We must turn the other cheek to the fiscal 
smiter, and allow the British farmer, the British dairyman and 
cheesemonger, and the British manufacturer of preserved pro- 
visions to be half-ruined by dut^^-free imports from the States. 

As for the railway stoppages, they are due, I suppose, to the 
circumstance that the lines, save in the immediate neighbour- 



|^E: '-^^^^P?^^^^^^'v^> V ,1^.^ - _. 










A HOT AXLK-BOX. 



ARROGANT ATLANTA. 263 

hood of the Atlantic cities, are single ones ; and it is conse- 
quently necessary to shunt the passenger trains on to sidings to 
allow the freight trains to pass. Sometimes the shunting is not 
properly performed, and the " freighter " runs into the passenger 
and " telescopes " it into horrible havoc and collapse. 

They bundled us out of the train at Arrogant Atlanta at five 
o'clock in the morning, and in the middle of a white fog that 
would have done honour to Sheerness in October. No actual 
physical coercion, it must be admitted, was used in extruding us 
from the train, and the gentleman who had so frequently 
denounced the meanness of the journey publicly proclaimed from 
behind his curtains his resolution to have his dollar and a half's 
worth out of the " Sleeper," and to remain in bed until breakfast 
time ; but the negro shoeblack told us that it was " quite most 
de fashionable ting " to go to the hotel until w^e could " make 
connections " with the train for New Orleans, and, as a stranger 
in Atlanta, I did not like to be unfashionable. The railway 
depot is in the very centre of the Arrogant City, and right oppo- 
site a tall hotel called the Markhani House ; so thither we 
repaired, shivering. We were affably received, and the black 
waiter, who conducted us to a very elegantly furnished bed-room, 
forthwith brought us a jug of iced water to regale ourselves 
withal. Ice is the Alpha and Omega of social life in the United 
States of America. You begin and you end every repast with a 
glass of iced water ; and whenever you feel lonely in your bed- 
room you have only to touch the electric bell, and the waiter 
makes his appearance with an iced-water pitcher. I do not 
know whether they ice the babies to soothe them during the 
anguish of teethimi;; but I have already hinted that the first 
thing that an American undertaker does with the mortal coil oi 
our dear brother departed is to ice it. We concluded not to 
drink the glacial beverage, but to shiver until breakfast time. 
But why Avas it so cold ? I asked myself. Were we not yet in 
the State of Georgia ? Were we not still in the Sunny South ? 
We had left June weather at Augusta. Why this chilliness of 
temperature at Atlanta? I soon found out the reason w^hy. 
The Arrogant City is at the foot of a mountainous region, and is 
itself a thousand feet above the sea level. It was not a real fog 
which had half suffocated us ; it was a mountain mist. I half ex- 
pected, when I received this information, to find all Clan Alpine's 
warriors true in the breakfast hall, and to be told by the negro 
waiter — confound his iced water ! — that he was Roderick Dhu. 



264 AMERICA PvE VISITED. 

Between Augusta and Atlanta there is as much structural 
and social difference as there is between Birmingham and Strat- 
ford-on-Avon : tiiat is to say, the difference which exists between 
swart and grimy and anxious' industry and simple, peaceful, 
beautiful rurality. Augusta in its every blade of green prettiness 
is redolent of the South. Atlanta at once and emphatically 
reminds you of the stern strong Xorth, The Atlanta papers 
rally their sister city for being such a Campo Vaccino. " The 
Augusta cow," I read in one of the local journals, " is still at 
large." Why not ? A city cannot be very wicked when the 
cows roam undisturbedly about the streets. I would sooner 
meet a cow than a steam-engine ; and the locomotives are 
puffing and panting about the streets of Atlanta all day long. 
There is a very excellent reason for the go-ahead and sub- 
stantially Northern aspect of the capital of Georgia. The city is 
a creation, so to speak, of the day before yesterday. Next to 
Savannah, it is the largest city in the State, and the population 
they told me exceeds 50,000, although " Appleton " puts it 
down at only 38,000 in 1878 ; and its remarkable outgrowth 
has been ascribed to the fact that it is the centre of an extensive 
network of railways. But there is another reason. During the 
Civil War, Atlanta was the Richmond of the Central South ; 
and its position made it a place of vital importance to the 
Southern cause. The siege of Atlanta by General Sherman 
will be ever memorable in the history of the tremendous struggle ; 
and with its capture the doom of the Confederacy was virtually 
sealed. Before evacuating Atlanta to fall back on Macon, the 
Confederate commander. General Hood, set fire to all the 
machinery, stores, and munitions of war which he was unable to 
remove ; and in the terrible conflagration which ensued, on 
September 3, 18G4, the greater part of the city was reduced 
to ashes. 

Its resuscitation was swift and marvellous. Immense hotels 
arose. The Kemball and the Markham houses rival the cara- 
vanserais of Philadelphia in vastness and handsomeness ; there 
is a grand State House, and, of course, a grand Opera House ; 
there is a State Library, containing sixteen thousand volumes, 
and the Young Men of Atlanta have a library with five thousand 
volumes, while there are as many tomes in the library of the 
Oglethorpe College. Gigantic warehouses and dry goods stores 
rise on every side ; and the city is growing rapidly rich, owing 
to its being a vast emporium for the produce of the South, and 



ARROGANT ATLANTA. 21)5 

a distributing centre for sucli Northern commodities as the South 
lias need of. I should scarcely call it an agreeable city ; but it 
is in all respects a very remarkable one. Tlie negro population 
seemed to be numerous, and to be very hard at work as porters 
and packers ; and I saw very few street-corner loafers. Why I 
have called Atlanta Arrogant is not with the slightest intent of 
disparaging her, but because she seems to have altogether a 
certain swaggering mien and a high-handed manner of comport- 
ing herself, as though she was saying, " See what a burnt-up 
city can do ; look at my hotels and my banks, my colleges and 
libraries, my dry goods stores and my First Methodist churches, 
and then talk of the crippled and impoverished South, if 
you dare." 

The great marble entrance hall and clerks' office of the 
Markham House, where they treated us very politely, and 
charged us only three dollars for excellent accommodation and a 
capital breakfast, is slightly suggestive of a Moorish-built house 
in Andalusia, inasmuch as it has a ]?at{o, or inner court-yard, of 
marble, round which run galleries, supported by marble columns, 
and leading to the various corridors. But the ])atio of a ]\Iorocco- 
Andalusian house is open to the sky, whereas that of the 
jMarkham House is roofed in ; and the space beneath, whether 
the roof be of cupola shape or not, is always known as the 
"Rotunda." There, at the clerks' counter you register your 
name, and enquire for your letters. There, at a stand at one 
side of the hall, you buy your newspapers and your postage stamps. 
Elsewliere you find facilities for purchasing railway tickets to- 
every part of the Union, or for sending telegraphic messages ; 
and at a stall at the opposite extremity you find a place for the 
sale of cigars, which, as a rule, are expensive and not good. 

While travelling in America never cease to bear this cardinal 
fact in mind, that this is a wholesale and not a retail country. 
Everything is on an extensive scale. Nothing is petty. And if 
you want a good cigar at a reasonable rate you nuist get some 
friend to introduce you to a direct importer of the article and 
buy a couple of boxes. You may even procure good and com- 
paratively cheap claret if you buy it by the cask and bottle it 
yourself; only the "trouble" is that the transient and elderly 
traveller who has been accustomed from his youth upwards to 
drink a modest pint of St. Julien at his dinner does not see his 
way towards travelling up and down the enormous continent 
with a hogshead of Bordeaux in his baggage. Frenchmen, as a 



ii66 AMERICA REVISITED. 

oation, are not travellers. Were they such wanderers to and fro 
on the earth's surface as we are, I imagine that nine lively Gauls 
out of ten, journeying through the interior States of tlie American 
Union, would go mad or commit suicide for want of their 
accustomed vin ordinaire at breakfast and dinner. Yes ; I know 
very well that vin ordinaire at thirty cents a pint can be obtained 
at many of the New York restaurants ; but the great Republic 
is not all New York. From the point of view of cheap and 
good wine I have hitherto found it a great desert in which New 
York is the solitary oasis. But Jialte Id ! It is too early to 
generalise. I have not yet seen New Orleans. There should 
be some thousand lusty Creoles in the Crescent City, of Gallic 
descent, to whom cheap claret must be a necessary of life. And 
— much more — I have not yet seen Chicago the Marvellous. I 
have not yet seen San Francisco the Auriferous. There will be 
claret enough there, I have no doubt. 

I saw two strange specimens of American humanity at the 
Markham House, Atlanta — the very strangest, assuredly, that I 
have yet beheld in the course of my travels. I met them loafing 
in the hall. They occupied two rocking chairs. They were 
smoking very big cigars, and they were the observed of all 
observers. Strange man number one was over six feet high, 
and correspondingly athletic. He was very handsome and 
•exceedingly dirty. He wore his brown hair flowing in long 
ringlets over his shoulders and a good way down his back. He 
was full-bearded and moustached ; but a very long period 
«cemed to have elapsed since any barber had " fixed " him up 
with the emollient pomatum or the invigorating bay rum. His 
attire consisted of an old drab coat, vest, and continuations, high 
boots, as innocent of " the soot pots of Day and Martin" as were 
ithe boots of Frederick the Great, as pictured by Mr. Carlyle ; 
and a battered, greasy, old, low-crowned felt hat, with a 
anonstrous broad brim, which, with a tarnished gold cord and 
tassel encircling it, looked like the ghost of a Mexican sombrero 
■galonado. His revolvers and his bowie-knife — if his equipment 
comprised such trinkets — did not in sight appear ; his age might 
Iiave been about thirty-five. His companion was, perhaps, 
bordering on sixty ; but his grizzled hair fell over his shoulders, 
just as did the lovelocks of his companion. He was quite as 
unwashed and unbrushed ; his apparel was similar in cut to that 
of his fellow ; only there was no galon or tarnished gold cord 
round his sombrero. 



AREOGANT ATLANTA. 



207 



Who were these hirsute men ? At first I took them for 
"Moonshiners," or illicit Avhiskey distillers, who just now are 
abounding in the State of Georgia, and against whom the 
Federal Government has sent out a whole army of revenue 
officers, well mounted, and armed to the teeth with rifles and 
six-shooters. The " Moonshiners' " haunts are up in the 
mountains, and the revenue people find the task of raiding the 
stills to be both difficult and dangerous : since the smugglers 
are very apt to show fight, and derive much gratification from 
hiding behind projecting ledges of rock, and "potting" the 
Excise officers as the latter ride by. The state of things fiscal 
in Georgia is, in fine, closely similar to that which existed in 
Scotland in the days of a certain "riding officer" of the Excise 




named Robert Burns. But the hairy men whom I saw in the 
hall of the Markham House could scarcely have been " Moon- 
shiners." They were not under guard, nor were they hand- 
cuffed. " Bushwhackers " they might, have been, but could be so 
no longer, since the guerilla or " bushwhacking " profession faded 
out with the Civil War. Were they members of that darkly- 
famed and direly-dreaded Vehmcjerkht the " Ku-Klux-Klan " ? 



268 AMERICA REVISITED. 

No ! the niYsterloiis bretliren of the Ku-Kkix only sallied 
forth by night, and when engaged in their nocturnal raids they 
wore masks and black calico shrouds over their ordinary 
garments. Finally, I asked, were these ringleted strangers 
twin brothers of Mr. Joaquin Miller, Poet of the Sierras, in 
difficulties? People laughed when I interrogated them on these 
gravely moot points. I was told, jocularly, that one of the 
hairy strangers claimed to be " Buffalo Bill," and that the other 
was " Kit Carson." 

Who are Kit Carson and Buffalo Bill ? I could obtain no 
further explanation concerning them beyond a hint that I 
should see "plenty more of the same stripe" when I got out 
West. Be it as it may, the men with the ringlets and the 
sombreros afforded me food for cogitation until it was time to 
take the train for New Orleans ; and gradually I began to 
associate the hairy men in my mind with the heroes of a very 
droll story which was lately related to me by a distinguished 
Senator of the United States, whose fund of humorous anecdote 
is as inexhaustible as that of Mr. Secretary Evarts. Perhaps I 
shall mar the tale in the telling of it ; but so far as I can recol- 
lect, it ran thus : Say that the two heroes were named Damon 
and Pythias, or Orestes and Pylades, or, better still, Jim and 
]\Iose. At all events they were the fastest of friends. They 
were together one evening in some out-of-the-way rural town, 
no matter in what State ; when finding, " between drinks," the 
time hang somewhat heavy on their hands, they concluded to 
attend a lecture given at the local institute by, say, Professoi 
M'Hoshkosh. The lecture was on the identity of the author of 
the Letters of Junius, and the peroration seemed to have been a 
sublimely eloquent one. "Time," quoth Professor M'Hoshkosh, 
" has left but a very mean balance of mysteries to be toted up 
and unravelled. Time has rent the veil of the Semitic Isis, and 
turned Edison's electric light full blast on the Man Avith the 
Iron Mask. Time has deciphered the Rosetta inscription ; and 
there ain't much in it. Time has revealed the cause of the 
banishment of Ovid ; and in process of time we shall find out 
who stole the body of A. T. Stewart, and which of the Masonic? 
lodges it was that didn't murder Morgan. Time has replaced 
the lost nose of the Sphinx, and all her conundrums have been 
answered in the columns of the Philadelphia press. But, ladies 
and gentlemen, the Author of the Letters of Junius doesn't care 
five cents for Time, and defies the most persistent researches ol 



ARROGANT ATLANTA. 2G9 

'the New York detectives. AVlio wrote those letters? Was it 
Sir Philip Francis? Was it Edmund Burke? Was it Lord 
George Sackville ? Was it Lord Temple ? Was it John 
Wilkes Booth — I mean John Wilkes ? Was it Benjamin 
Franklin ? ' Echo answers P'raps.' Was it Dr. Johnson ? 
Was it Tom Paine, when he was a young man ? Who wrote 
those immortal editorials ? W^ho wrote them ? We ask again 
and again ; and Echo replies, in a derisively equivocating 
manner, that she possesses no reliable information on the 
subject." 

Thus Professor M'Hoshkosh. The two friends adjourned to 
the nearest bar, much edified by what they had heard. They 
partook of many drinks, still discoursing more or less coherently 
about the lecture ; and by the time they reached their hotel Jim 
and Mose were quite "tight." The attached friends "roomed" 
together ; and in the middle of the night, Jim, waking up 
thirsty, and stretching forth his hand for the iced water pitcher, 
became aware of JMose bewailing himself dolefully in his bed. 
" AVot's the matter?" asked Jim. "0, my wife and babes," 
sobbed the afflicted Mose. " Who writ them letters to Julius ? 
Why didn't he own up ? Why didn't he acknowledge the coin, 
and send in his checks? Why didn't he send it to the papers 
that he writ 'em?" And Mose continued to moan and sob, at 
intervals, for at least two hours. Unable to endure any longer 
the affliction of his friend, the sympathetic Jim sprang from his 
couch, and sitting by the side of Mose's bed, took his comrade's 
Iiand, and wrung it affectionately. " Don't cry, boss," he said, 
the tears running down his own brown cheeks. " Don't cr}^ I 
can't abear it. You shall know all about it. I lorit them Letters 
to Julius ; and he ansioered every darned one of 'evi ; and Fve 
left 'em downstairs in the office, locked u]} in The Silas Herring 
fireproof safe.'' There is a touch of tenderness in the absurdity. 
The poor ignorant fellow's falsehood was atoned for by noble 
friendship, sympathy, and compassion. 




THE MORNING TOILET IN A PULLMAN SLEEI'ING CAR. 



XXIII. 

The Crescent City. 

New Orleans, Louisiana, Jan. 26. 

I HAVE, since my arrival on tbis continent, made several 
discoveries, certainly Infinitely of less moment to humanity at 
large than the discoveries of that wonderful Mr. Edison, 
christened by the New York Herald "The Wizard of Menlu 
Park," who Is said to Invent something new every three-quarters 
of an hour throughout the week, save on Sundaj^, which tho 
Wizard devotes (In the Intervals between church hours) to the 
study of the writings of the Preacher who has warned us that all 
is Vanity under the Sun. Unimportant, however, as are my 
discoveries, they are none the less personally interesting to 
myself; and among them Is the consciousness of the peculiar 
condition of body and mind to which one Is brought after 
spending, say, four nights out of the seven In a railway sleeping- 
car. In the first place, you are apt to fall, mentally, into a fretful, 
fractious, nervous, and Irritable state, and you begin to question 
the wisdom and justice of the laws which decline to recognise as 



THE CRESCENT CITY. 271 

justifiable liomicide tlie assassination of the Sleeping Car Baby^ 

whose mission in life seems to be carried up and down the land 

i as a howling warning to parents that if they do not have imme- 

idiate recourse to Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup they and the 

strangers within the gates of the sleeping car will go raving mad. 

In the next place you get so accustomed to making your 
toilette piecemeal, and to performing your ablutions in a marble 
pie-dish with the aid of a towel no bigger than a pocket- 
, handkerchief, that you begin to wonder wliat manner of people 
those can be who indulge in baths and tubs and sucli things, and 
by whom a clean paper collar every other day is not always 
deemed a fully adequate sacrifice to the Graces. You also cease 
to think it startling if you find hairpins in your waistcoat pocket; 
and the presence of a "frisette" — I think that the reticulated 
black sausage in question is called a "frisette" — in one of your 
boots does not produce any marked effect on your jaded mind. 
There are no stay busks in these days, I am told ; but were a 
" Duchesse " corset to turn up among my railway rugs in a 
Pullman I should not be very much astonished. Again, you are 
continually having your boots cleaned ; and the Cerberus of the 
" sleeper " is always bringing you the wrong boots. You drift 
by degrees into a dubious and hazy state of incertitude as to 
whose boots are yours, or Avhether the little slippers with the 
high heels and the delicate black satin rosettes with the cut-steel 
buckles may not have belonged to you in a previous state of 
existence. 

Finally, after three or four days' Pullmanising, two absorbing 
impressions take possession of you. The first is that this 
excessive sleeping accommodation may provoke an attack of 
insomnia which will have to be combated by musk pills, hydrate 
of chloral, Battley's solution, the perusal of " Alison's History of 
Europe, " cannaMs indica^ or the hypodermic injection of morphia; 
and next that the Pullman car is either a gipsy's or a showman's 
caravan. At one moment your distraught imagination leads you 
to believe that you must belong to the Rommany Rye, that your 
business in life is to sell brooms and baskets, to tinker pots and. 
kettles, and to clip horses ; that you have one mortal and 
inveterate enemy, whose name is Mr. George Smith of Coalville ; 
and that the lady Avho is travelling with you is an adept at telling 
fortunes. The next moment your fleeting fancies induce the 
assumption that you have passed into the service of Mrs. Jarley, 
and that the people around you are waxworks — including an 



2/2 AMERICA REVISITED. 

ingenious clock-work baby ; and then you diverge at a mental 
tangent, now opining that you are Doctor Marigold, and that the 
little fiiir-haired girl in the corner is Uncle Dick's Darling ; now 
feeling that the spirit of Artemus Ward is coming over you, and 
that yours is the most IMoral AVild Beast Show on the American 
Continent ; and now that the Armadillo is your brother, the 
Pelican your uncle, the Spotted Girl your sister, and the Pig- 
faced Lady your mother-in-law. 

On the whole, I was very glad last Thursday, at about half- 
past seven in the morning, after journeying from Atlanta 
through West Point, Montgomery, and Mobile, to find myself 
in New Orleans, a city which the Abbe Prevost, Mrs. Harriet 
Beecher Stowe, the late Mrs. Trollope, and the yet extant 
General Benjamin Butler have done their best, from their 
several points of view, to immortalise ; but which, all things 
considered, may be, with tolerable safety, left to immortalise 
itself To me it is the most interesting city that I have yet set 
eyes upon in this vast continent — more interesting than Phila- 
delphia, more interesting than Quebec. American readers of 
these letters will smile when I state a few elementary facts in 
connection wdth the topography of New Orleans ; but, looking 
at the fact that it is not a place of habitual resort for English 
people whose avocations are neither commercial nor seafaring, I 
need not hesitate to remark that the capital of Louisiana is 
situated on both banks, but chiefly on the left, of the river 
Mississippi, the " Father of Waters," and about a hundred 
miles from its mouth. The older portion of the city is built 
along a great riparian bend, from which circumstance it derives 
Its lamlllar name of the " Crescent City." Almost every 
American town, by the way, has its distinctive sobriquet. 
That Arrogant Atlanta, for example, of which I lately spoke, is 
called the " Gate City." In the progress of Its growth up 
stream New Orleans has now so extended Itself as to follow 
long curves in opposite directions, so that the river front on the 
left bank presents an outline somewhat resembling that of the 
letter S. The statutory limits of New Orleans cover an area of 
nearly 150 square mile^ ; but the actual town, structurally con- 
sidered, is comprised wdthin a space of about forty-one square 
miles. Astonishingly progressive in its population and pros- 
perity as It is. New Orleans offers topographically the unusual 
spectacle of a city sinking downwards and backwards : since it 
is built on land gently sloping from the Mississippi to a great 



THE crescp:xt city. 



273 



nuarshy tract in the rear, called the Cypress Swamp, at the 
extremity of which is Lake Pontchartrain. 

The city is 162 years old. In 1718 Bienville, Governor of 
the Colony of Louisiana for the Mississippi Company, on whose 
managing director, John Law, extraordinary powers over the 
new settlement had been conferred by the Crown of Franco, 
became dissatisfied with 
Biloxi, the early capital 
of the dependency, and 
began to "prospect" 
for a more suitable lo- 
cality for the seat of 
government. Sailing 
along Lake Pontchar- 
train, just as night was 
overtaking his company 
Governor Bienville dis- 
covered a small stream 
leading inwards, and he 
proceeded up this stream 
until he reached a ridge 
suitable for a camp. 
Here he landed and 
bivouacked for the night. 
The boating-houses of a 
New Orleans rowing 
club are now at this 
ridge ; and the stream 
which Governor Bien- 
ville ascended received 

the name of the Bayou St. John. You have heard of the " dark 
bayou " ere now, have you not ? It is as frequent a term in the 
topography of the South as " canon " is in that of the Pocky 
Mountains, and "prairie " in the West; and "bayou" may recur 
more than once ere I have done with Louisiana and Florida. 
Bienville left a detachment of fifty Frenchmen to clear the ground 
for the infant city which he intended to found on the banks of 
the Mississippi, and which he named New Orleans as a compli- 
ment to the exemplary Regent of France, and bosom friend of 
the equally exemplary Cardinal Dubois. 

It was not quite a waste place which Bienville had chosen, 
part of the site of the present New Orleans having been the site 




27'i AMERICA REVISITED. 

of a large Indian village called Tclioutclionma. Governor Bien- 
ville was no doubt a most estimable man, and his memory is 
still revered as the Father of Louisiana ; but it is a pity that his 
education as an ingenieur des 2)onts et chaussees should have 
been, to all seeming, neglected. He built his new city at from 
two to four feet below the level of the River Mississippi at high- 
water mark. In 1719, only one year after the settlement had 
been planned, the river rose to an extraordinary height ; and, as 
the settlers were too poor to protect themselves b}^ means of 
dykes, the nascent New Orleans was for a while abandoned. 
The principal offices and warehouses of the Mississippi Com- 
pany were not removed from Biloxi until November, 1722, and 
in the following year the French traveller Charlevoix, who came 
from Canada by the way of the jMississippi, described New 
Orleans as consisting of about one hundred cabins irregularly 
placed, a few dwelling houses of the better class, and a wooden 
storehouse, which on Sundays was converted into a chapel. 

The present population of New Orleans is estimated at 
about 220,000 ; and the people tell you that but for the Great 
Civil War, from the effects of which they are only just recover- 
ing, the Crescent City would by this time have 350,000 
inhabitants. As it is, the wharves are crowded with shipping 
from every part of the globe; and not unfrequently from 1,000 
to 1,500 steamers and flat boats maybe seen lying at the Levee. 
This Levee is a prodigious embankment fifteen feet wide and 
fourteen feet high, constructed for a long distance along the 
river bank, and forming a delightful promenade. In a certain 
sense, then, we must consider New Orleans as the American 
Amsterdam. Pardon the audacity of the comparison between 
the Father of Waters and the modern Zuyder Zee ; but if you 
will look at the map of the Dutch capital you will find that 
Amsterdam is, after a manner, also somewhat a crescent city. 
To my mind Fate seems to have quite as much to do with the 
selection of a capital as questions of convenience have. A site 
on the sea coast, and provided with a natural harbour, of course, 
suggests itself at once and unanswerably as the place for a city. 
When Hendrik Hudson first set eyes on the bay of that which 
is now New York he turned to his chief mate and briefly re- 
marked, " See here ; " and when the famous skipper ascended 
the beauteous river which now bears his name, he observed, with 
equal brevity, to his second in command, "Stay here." The future 
of New York, the Empire City, was then and there settled. 



THE CRESCEXT CITY. 275 

Liverpool, Dublin, Plymouth, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Mar- 
seilles, Naples, Leghorn, Constantinople, all seem to have been 
equally designated by Nature as the places where great cities 
should be founded ; but where, may I respectfully ask, is the 
topographical raisoii d'etre of Rome? Anything else beyond 
the Seven Hills. One can understand the natural fitness of 
Barcelona and Cadiz ; but why Madrid. St. Petersburg, again, 
has not one natural feature that renders it appropriate as the 
site for a capital ; and lookhig at the periodical overflowing of 
South Lambeth by the Thames, and the Embankment which 
even the ancient Romans were constrained to construct along 
the riparian border of St. George's-fields, I am not at all certain 
that a modern surveyor, were London destroyed by an earth- 
quake, and it were not deemed advisable to build it up again in 
its present position, might not fix upon Gravesend or Ramsgate as 
the most eligible site for the new capital of the British Empire. 
Or suppose we say Sheerness ? 

Meanwhile New Orleans, although sorely tried during some 
seven or eight generations by inundations and hurricanes, has 
not the slightest intention of disestablishing herself Elle y est^ 
et elle y restera. She is the chief cotton mart of the world. In 
1874, one of the darkest years of her political and social depres- 
sion — for she, like all the cities of the South, has suffered fear- 
fully from the depredations of the " carpet-baggers," who have 
now, happily, become all but an extinct race — New Orleans 
sent abroad sugar, flour, rice, tobacco, pork, and other products 
to the value of $93,715,710. The imports in the same year, 
1874, amounted in value to $14,533,804. 

The approach to New Orleans at early morn is eminently 
striking and romantic. You remember the strange feeling 
which came over you on the first occasion of entering Venice 
by railway ; how, when the train had left the station at Mestre, 
it put out to sea, literally, so it seemed to you, but in reality 
traversing the broad lagoon on a solid causeway of stone, 
guarded in the midst by a fortress, which in my time was named 
after that famous lady-killer, Field-Marshal Haynau, but which 
has since, I should say, been rechristened by a more Italian and 
less ferocious name. So when you enter Cadiz by way of San 
Fernando, does the train pass through miles of desolate-looking 
salt-marshes, until at last the white walls of the "Ship of 
Stone" — the city where the deeds of Robert Devereux, Earl 
of Essex, are yet held in remembrance — appear in siglit. 

T 2 



276 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



But tlie causeways across the lagunes and the salt-marslies are 
liaudsome and imposing- viaducts, standing high and dry above the 

backwaters of 
tlie Adriatic 
and the Atlan- 
tic. Between 
]\Iobile and 
New Orleans, 
on the con- 
trary, the train 
seemed to be 
travelling not 
over but in the 
v/ater. I began 
to feel amphi- 
bious, and tried 
to recall the 
lines in Hudi- 
bras Butler's 
Miscellanies, in 
which he re- 
marks that in 
Holland a her- 
;• appears at table — "not as a fish, 
as a guest; " and that you do not 
in a Dutch town, but "go on 
board." Certainly I would not have 
been much astonished had our Pull- 
man been invaded by numerous contingents of widgeon, 
l)tarinigan, teal, bitterns, herons, and kingfishers ; for when 
we had left the open sheets ot watery waste, we plunged 
into the swamps. Such swam]:»s! Long ago I ventured to 
most of the stories told about the Great 
in Virginia Avere the merest of myths, and 

sensational name 




warn you that 
Dismal Swamp 

that the region of which the unfortunately 
furnished Mrs. Stowe with a title for a story which did not quite 
equal " Uncle Tom's Cabin " in popularity, was in reality a 
well-wooded and well-watered region, giving employment to 
hundreds of tree-fellers as vigorous and as healthy as Mr. Glad- 
stone ; but the swamps through which you splash as you enter 
New Orleans are dismal in reality as well as in name. 

For miles and miles your progress is by the side of stagnant. 



THE CEE.SCENT CITY. 



277 



looking creeks and great pools of purple-brown water, fringed 
by fantastic jungle wliicli might be pollard and alder grown into 
strange shapes, but which may be vegetation peculiar to the 
district. The frogs, I should say, must have a " high old time " 
of it in these very moist morasses. Anon the train is engulfed 
by the forests of the swamp. The clumps of pine and cypress 
cluster round you, threatening baleful embraces. Most uncanny 
are they to look upon. It is one of the caprices of landscape 
gardening in the South to cut trees and shrubs into quaint and 
grotesque shapes, just as we in England during the Georgian era 
used to snip and shave and pare the yews and box trees in our 
gardens into wdiimsical forms outrageous of all the canons of 
good taste. Between London and Epsom, passing through 
Sutton, you will notice many amusing though irritating examples 
of this perversion in arboriculture. But they are the forces of 
Nature, and not the disciples of Le Notre and "Capability" 
Brown, that have bestowed the strangest of embellishments on 
the trees in the swamps about New Orleans. I was told by an 
American gentleman at Atlanta to " look out for the morse "— 
so he pronounced it — as I neared the Crescent City. I was not 
quite certain as to what the "morse" might be — a bird or a 
beast, a variety of the mosquito, a political shibboleth, or some- 
thing to drink ; but at daybreak I discovered that the so-pro- 
nounced "morse" was, in reality, the moss. Some kind of 
lichen clothes the swamp-forests in mantles of uiiwhalesom? 




t7S 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



rlchiiess. It liangs in festoons and jDendents ; it droops, or 
forms itself into jagged projections ; it enlaces the tree-branches 
and hangs to them, and winds round the trunk, and at last, so 
they tell me, kills the tree. 

No painter, I take it, could imagine the effect produced 
against the pale silvery sun-rising sky by these dark trees 
tortured into a thousand phantasmagoric forms by this libertine 
lichen. Trees that are dragonish ; trees that are like bears and 
lions ; trees like great vultures with outspread wings ; trees like 
the Three Witches in "Macbeth" grown to colossal stature, 
and commanded to stand there, in the midst of the Louisianiaii 
wilderness, with their skinny arms outspread, and their mossy 
rags fluttering in the chill morning air, to breathe strange curses 
and prophesy horrible things, for ever. I confess that I did not 
feel comfortable as the train rattled throudi these funereal 




groves, the moss clinging to trunk and branch or flaunting in 3 
listless drooping way, like the ostrich plumes on a hearse which 
has been caught in a storm of rain. The cypress, the pine, and 
the moss combined induced a wretched depression of spirits, 
which the prevailing and clammy moisture did not tend to 
alleviate. Although the breeze was chilly, it seemed to be 
passing through the temperature of a tepid bath. You felt 
alternately unpleasantly cold and unpleasantly warm. *' Beshrew 
thee, swamp ! " you felt at last inclined to cry. Frogs ! toads ! 
newts ! for aught you knew, alligators might be lurking in 
some of thc^e dark pools of purple madder-coloured water ! But 
your journey through Swampland came to an end at half-past 
seven, when you found yourself at the railroad depot on the 
Levee in the Crescent City of New Orleans. 



zz_-^^%^,^H?F— -H. 




XXIV. 

On Canal-Steeet. 



New Orleans, Jan. 28, 



You enter New Orleans just as you begin tlie " Iliad," 
plunging at once in medias i^es ; only instead of 

Acliilles' wrath, to Greeks the direful spring 
Of woes iinnnmberecl — 

your ears are simply lialf-deafened by the shrieks of hackmen 
contending for your patronage and the shrill cantahile of small 
black boys chanting the popular ditty : 

When the Initcher went around to collect his hill, 
He took a Lrace of dogs and a doiible-harrelled gun. 

Ah, me ! When the butcher comes round to us in England 



280 AMEEICA REVISITED. 

with liis bill, it is not he, but we who should be provided witli 
the brace of dogs and the double-barrelled gun. To the noise 
made by the hackmen and the negro bo3's should be added the 
jingling of the mule-bells, the rattling of the horse cars, the 
w^arning grunt of the locomotive's steam horn, and the rumbling 
of innumerable drays bearing the rich products of Louisiana to 
the Levee for shipment to Europe and " the Golden South 
Americas." It is not such a very wide world after all. Take 
the first turning to your left to the mouths of the Mississippi, 
and you will find yourself in the Gulf of Mexico ; whence, by 
Cuba, Florida, and the Bahamas, it is plain sailing or steaming 
to New York, to Queenstown, to Liverpool, to Wapping — to 
wheresoever you may choose to go or to send your merchandise, 
and you have money enough to pay the necessary freight or 
passage-money. It cannot be more than four thousand miles 
from Euston-square terminus. What are four thousand miles in 
these days of ocean steamers and express trains ? There are no 
pirates; there is no "constraint of Princes" nowadays to delay 
or imperil your journeyings. Truly, there are the dangers of 
the sea ; but has the land no dangers ? To be drowned afloat, 
or to be run over by a railway-van in Cheapside, or flung out 
of a hansom cab, on your head, in Wellington-street North? 
There is not much difference, perhaps. 

At all events, when you are turned out of the train on the 
Levee at New Orleans, in the midst of a labyrinth of sugar 
hogsheads, cotton-bales, coffee-bags, and barrels of pork and 
flour, it occurs to you very strongly indeed that the London 
Docks, or the East River, New York, or the Port of Commerce, 
Constantinople, are only "just over the way." Sailors of every 
nationality, sailors' boarding-houses and groggeries — here the 
dram shops are called " exchanges " — slop-shops, or " one-piece 
stores," overflowing with guernseys, pea jackets, sou'- wester 
hats, and overalls of oilskin ; warehouses full of junk and jute, and 
sea-going tackle generally, and a pervading odour of pitch and 
tar, tobacco and garments saturated with salt — all bring to your 
mind the fact that Jack Alive in the Gulf of Mexico does not 
materially differ from Jack Alive at Galata, or at Cronstadt, or 
on the Quai de la Joliette at Marseilles, or the Common Hard at 
Portsmouth. In two circumstances only does the great seaport of 
Louisiana differ from the maritime cities of the Old World : first, 
in the abundance of black faces ; next, in tlie almost utter absence 
of any official uniforms, naval or military. Not an epaulette, not a 



ox CANAL-STREET. 



281 




sword, not a shako is ordinarily to be seen. In process of time and 
by dint of persistent observation you may descry a policeman ; 
but the New Orleans municipal has little in common either in 
stature or costume with his colossal brother in New York or 
Philadelphia. Still less does he resemble the stalwart "peeler" 
of London streets, or the well-brushed, well-girthed, trim- 
moustached sergent-de-ville of Paris. The New Orleans police- 
man is apt to be young and slim, and to be attired on the " go- 



283 



AMERICA REVISITED. 




as-you-please " principle. It is true tliat his clothes are blue 
and his buttons metallic, and that he wears a black " pot " hat 
with a slouched brim, somewhat similar to the head-gear affected 
by brigadier-generals during the Civil War. Still it is the 
business of a policeman to inspire awe ; and how can you 
expect to be awe- stricken by a personage who wears a turn- 
down collar and a Byron tie, who carries a gold watch and chain 
at his fob, and Avho smokes a cigar while on duty 1 

The New Orleans hack-drivers are a race who will listen 
to reason. For two-horsed barouches the fares are high — two 
dollars an hour — but there are one-horse shandrydans, a kind of 



ON CANAL-STBEET. 283 

' compromise between the Parisian victoria and the Cuban volante ; 
and I made a bargain with one of the " shay " drivers to conduct 
us to the St. Charles Hotel for the sum of one dollar. Four 
shillings and twopence for a five minutes' ride is perhaps a 
rather enormous tariff; but J. did not grumble, seeing that only 
the other day I paid five dollars, or a guinea, for a drive through 
the streets of Augusta the Prosperous. The St. Charles Hotel, 
at New Orleans, is in structure and decoration one of the 
handsomest on the American continent ; indeed, no Trans- 
atlantic hotel that I have yet seen can equal the architectural 
magnificence of the exterior of the St. Charles, with its clustered 
Corinthian columns and great open locjgia where you can sit and 
smoke and gaze upon the scene of almost incessant bustle and 
activity in St. Charles-street below you. The house is in the 
American quarter of the city, "up town, " to the left of Canal- 
street, as you follow the course of that spacious thoroughfare 
from the Levee in the direction of the Cypress Swamp and Lake 
Pontchartrain ; and it occupies about three-quarters of the 
immense square formed by St. Charles, Carondeletet, Common, 
and Gravier-streets. 

Touching these thoroughfares, let me digress for a moment to 
remark that the street nomenclature of New Orleans is the most 
miscellaneous and the most picturesque to be found in any 
American city. How weary you grow, in the practical and 
business-like North, of " West Ninety-fourth " and " East One 
Hundred and seventh " streets. How you long for a little 
variety, a little imagination, a little eccentricity or absurdity, 
even, in the designation of the thoroughfares ! In New Orleans 
you have almost an emharras de ricliesses in the Avay of variety 
and imaginativeness. Here are a score of street names culled at 
random from a map of the Crescent City. What do you think ot 
Mandana, Annunciation, Bacchus, Bagatelle, Bolivar, Dauphine, 
Morales, Lafayette, Izardi, Dryades, Duels — sanguinarily sug- 
gestive this — Napoleon, Morse, Mystery, Peace, Eampart, St 
Ferdinand, Tchoupitoulas, and Virtue streets ? I confess that I 
like them better tlian West Ninety-fourth and East One Hundred 
and seventh. 

Returning to St. Charles, or " our well-beloved San Carlos," 
as it is grandiloquently called in the proclamations of Eex, King 
of the Carnival, I shall have occasion anon to refer to the 
arrangements of the establishment as typical of a first-class hotel 
in the South. 



281 



AMERICA EEVISITED. 




So, after breakfast — 
a meal enlivened by 
the juiciest oranges and 
tlie most aromatic coffee 
that I have yet enjoyed 
in America, and the 
finest fish that I have 
tasted out of the Bay of 
New York — I travelled 
into Canal-street, which 
was, for the nonce, my 
chief objective point. 
" See Naples and then 
Die," says the proverb. 
]\Iy view of things is 
that you should see 
Canal-street, New Or- 
leans, and then try to 
Live as much longer as 
ever you can, striving, 
meanwhile, to discover 
how many points ot 
resemblance there exist 
between the chief tho- 
roughfare of the Louisi- 
anian city and that of 
the capital of Llagna 
Graecia. So far as I 
am concerned, I aver 
that Canal - street re- 
minded me very strongly 
and very pleasantly in- 
deed of that wondrous 
Neapolitan street called 
the Toledo. Why 1 you 
may ask. Have but a 
modicum of patience, 
and you shall know 
why. As a matter of 
plain, prosaic fact, Canal- 
street is the main busi- 
ness thoroughfiire of i 



ON CANAL-STREET. 2S5 

the bustling city, the most foshionable of its promenades, 
especially on Sunday after morning church, and containing 
many extensive stores and handsome private residences. The 
street is nearly two hundred feet wide — think of this, Augusta 
the Prosperous ; your Broad-street can only boast of one 
hundred and sixty-five feet of span — and is bordered by 
two rows of fine trees. It boasts a grass plot, too, running- 
through its entire length. If the grass were green and it were 
mowed it would be very pretty ; but the herbage is rather grey 
than green, and appears to be wholly unused to the contact of the 
lawn-mower. 

The foot-pavement is very broad and very commodious ; but 
the kerbs are fringed by deep gutters full of water, and bridged 
at intervals by large flagstones. I should say that New Orleans 
must be a very perilous city to be perambulated at night by a 
person who has partaken too freely of the particular kind of 
whiskey known as " tangle-leg." I should say that, if a drunken 
man missed one of the flagstone bridges and fell head foremost 
into one of the deep stone gutters he would fracture his skull to 
a certainty. But there is a Providence, we are told, which watches 
over benighted bacchanalians. The gondoliers and "long-shore" 
men of Venice get tipsy sometimes ; but they don't tumble into 
the canals, often. The roadway of Canal-street is flagged with 
huge boulders, somewhat after the manner of the old Spanish 
ckaussee which stretches fiom Vera Cruz to Mexico city. I am 
reminded of it, for I am but a day and a night's journey from what 
was once part of Mexico. The pavement of the roadway is 
simply abominable ; and, indeed, some of the finest streets in the 
city are not paved at all ; but that trifling fact does not affect 
the New Orleans people over much : almost every thorough- 
fare in the city being sected and intersected by lines for horse- 
cars. 

I should like to know the man — if he be yet extant — who 
invented tramway cars. I should like to present him with a 
mural crown and an address illuminated and engrossed on vellum 

■j in recognition of his merits as a Benefactor of Humanity. After 

' ' that I should very much like to lodge the contents of a six-shooter 
in his stomach, or to strangle him, or to administer to him an 

, , imperial pint of prussic acid, in vengeful remembrance of his 
I ruthless interference with the private comfort of people who do 
j not want to ride in tramway cars. In New Orleans you must. 

' There is no other way out of it. Gentlemen go out to dinner; ladies 

i 



2SG 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



go to balls per horse-car. It is the great leveller. It is the 
Temple of Equality on wheels — and be hanged to it, and its 
wheels, and its bells, and its plodding mule to boot ! 

In justice, however, I should mention that the horse-car 
system in New Orleans is perhaps more complete than any to 
be found throughout the length and breadth of the United 
States. Starting from the Central-avenue, Canal-street, the 
tracks radiate to all parts of the city and suburbs ; and 
passengers are carried to any point within the city limits for the 
ridiculously small charge of five cents, or twopence halfpenny — 
the very sum, by the way, which you have to pay for a box of 
matches, which in England costs j-ou one halfpenny. But in 
America each box of matches pays a tax — hear it, Right Hon. 
Lord Sherbrooke, author of the " Low Match Tax " a ditty which 
did not become popular — of one cent to the Government ; and I 
suppose that wax, and sulphur, and pasteboard, and emery- 
powder, and colours for the meretricious little " chromos" which 




THE CUSxOJI HOUSE, NEW ORLEA>;S. 



adorn the sides of the box, are all heavily handicapped by the 
''All Industry-Crippling Tariff." As for the New Orleans 
horse-cars, they are "down upon" you at any instant, almost, 
of your existence. An extended system of switches enables tlir 
vehicles to pirouette with a nimbleness which is positively 



ON CANAL-STREET. 287 

.distracting, and which perpetually exposes the foot passenger to 
the contingency of being run over. 

The New Orleans Custom House is in Canal-street, to which 
it presents a frontage of three hundred and thirty-four feet. Its 
" Long Room " is one hundred and sixteen feet in length, and 
is lighted by fifty windows. The Post-office occupies the base- 
ment of the Custom House, and is considered to be the most 
convenient in the country. The whole noble structure is built of 
Quincey granite, brought from the Massachusetts quarries, and 
next to the Capitol at Washington, is the largest public edifice 
in the United States. Round about the Custom House cluster 
the many-storeyed warehouses and stores devoted to the chief 
business industries of New Orleans. Coffee and rice, sugar and 
cocoa, nails and spikes, tin plates and copper tubes, wines, 
spirits, groceries, pickles and preserves, condiments, and 
"relishes" from Europe are piled high in huge repositories 
resembling far more the " fondaci " of the Levant and the 
bazaars of the East than our own cosy and well " dressed," but 
somewhat diminutive shops. Everything is en grande, every- 
thing is wholesale. That remark I know I have made 
before ; still it is one which will bear repetition. The side-walk 
is cumbered by huge bales and packing cases, and barrels of 
goods. Porters pass you and repass you at every step, back- 
burdened with fardels the magnitude and gravity of which 
might arouse the emulation of a Constantinopolitan Itammal. 

Yes, you may say, this is all very well ; the same features 

•are visible in a score of great commercial centres. Yes, and 

New Orleans is, without doubt, an extremely busy city; but in 

what manner, if any, does Canal-street resemble the Toledo at 

(Naples? I will tell you. Over almost every towering buildhig 

! there flaunts a great silken banner, a tricolour of green, white, 

and purple, in diagonal stripes. Li the centre of this gonfalon 

is a Royal crown, surmounted by a cross-" pattee " gules. 

; What is the meaning of this regal emblem? Can this be the 

[banner of Rex, King of the Carnival? Yes. He is approaching. 

[He is hnminent. Seven days since I saw his proclamation at 

[Atlanta, in which he announced the commencement of his reign, 

!ic and amicably, but sternly, bade all railway companies within his 

lis ijurisdiction provide transportation at reduced rates for his loyal 

st, jsubjects bent on enjoying the delirious festivities of Mardi Gras in 

lie !the Crescent City ; Rex's ukase was surmounted by an elaborate 

^Ij jachievement of his Royal arms, with effigies of Hercules and, I 



288 AMERICA REVISITED. 

tliink, Lycas, botli duly masked, as supporters ; and the 
document was countersigned by " Batliurst, Lord Higli 
Chamberlain." At the present moment Rex's banner is all- 
puissant hi New Orleans, and counterparts of his proclamation 
are on every hoarding. We are promised the very gayest of 
gay doings on Shrove Tuesday. Crowds of masquers will fill the 
streets from an early liour, and will be finally marshalled into 
the grand procession of his Majesty the King of the Carnival. 
But prose is insufficient to recount the glories of Mardi Gras in 
New Orleans, and I must have recourse for a moment to the 
lyre of a local poet. Thus sings the bard of the Carnival : 

" To portray Lalf of the cliaracters seen on tins day, 
Fantastic, grotesqne, classic, solemn, or gay, 
AVould be just such a hopeless and intricate task 
As to tell "who the persons are under the masks. 
Here are kings, queens, and princes in gorgeous attire. 
Knights, pages, and Cupids with hearts all afire ; 
And birds of the air, and fish of the deep, 
Proserpines, Plutos, Robin Hoods, and Bo-Peeps, 
Pompous Sambos and Dinahs Avithout stint or limit, 
Ugly imps Avith long tails Avliich they Avhisk every minute. 
Their tastes and conceptions are faultless and true ; 
And there's only one draAvback — betAveen me and you — ■ 
To their festiA'als, chaste as fire-Avorshipjiers' flames ; 
None knoAv Avhere they come from and none knoAv their names. 
And Avhither they go A\'e cannot eA'en guess ; 
But there is a sly rumour among the members of the press 
That they're not men at all, Imt AA-onderful sprites 
Who A'isit us yearly on Mardi Gras nights." 

If this is not poetry, Byron was a writer of doggerel and Tennyson 
is the merest of ballad-mongers. 

It is the real or assumed mystery surrounding the individuality 
of the chief masquers in the Saturnalia which lends half its zest 
to the Carnival of New Orleans. Its motto might be the old 
Spanish one, " Nobody knows anybody." The public believe — 
or make believe to believe — that the personality of the " Knights 
of Momus," the " Mistick Krewe of Comus," and Rex himself 
is an impenetrable secret. For example, I am just now the 
honoured recipient of two heart-shaped cards of invitation, gor- 
geously printed in silver and colours, and enclosed in hotpressed 
envelopes decorated with costly monograms, to the Sixth 
Representation of the Knights of Momus at the Grand Opera 
House on the 5tli of February next. The invitations are simply 
signed "Momus." I have not the slightsst idea who Momus is. 



ON CANAL-STREET. 



289 



I I 




AAikAFIPlPFFPFFFPrFFF 



CARD OF INVITATION TO THE REVELS OP THE MISTIJK KREWE OF COMUS. 

or to which of his knights I am indebted for this act of courtesy 
to a stranger, I expect to be in the neighbourhood of San 
Antonio, in the state of Texas, about the 5th of next month ; 
%ut I hope to be back in New Orleans in time for the grand 
processional entry of Rex on the 10th — a gala which will be 
followed by the midnight revelries of the "Mistick Krewe of 
domus." Who is Comus? Who is Rex? Once only, I have 
heard it whispered, the name of the Carnivalesque sovereign was 
revealed ; and the revelation took place under very melancholy 
oircumstances. The fatigue and excitement of the procession and 



290 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



the reception were too mucli for the poor IMonarch of Mummers, 
who suffered probably from predisposition to disease of his heart, 
and on the morning of Ash Wednesday he was found dead in liis 
bed. Then the veil of his incognito was rent asunder. Poor Rex ! 
The general consensus of opinion touching the promoters of 
the Shrovetide festivals amounts to tliis : That Rex, Momus, 
Comus, and the rest, are certain frolicsome gentlemen belonging 
to " the first families " and members of the leading clubs. New 
Orleans shines especially in clubs, and the Boston Club would 
do honour to Pall-mall, and that the " close " nature of some of 
the clubs — the Pickwick, for example, does not admit strangers 




IHL trllVM) J 11 li Ol 

IHL ^LW ORLE\.^S OPLRV IlOUbl 
J3LRI^G THL CARM\ AL. 



within its gates — is due maiidy to a desire to aftbrd time to the 
members to organise and prepare the pageants of the Carnival 
in undisputed privacy. The merry-making is a very cheerful, 
innocent, and humanising one. The 2:littering shows and 
parades throw the whole population of the city, Americans, 
Creoles, and coloured people, into ecstasies of delight ; and the 
grand masquerades at the two Operi Houses aftbrd intense 



ox CANAL-STREET. 



291 



pleasure to the ladies. 
It is, in sliort, a festival 
in which young and 
old, rich and poor, alike 
participate ; but it is 
Comus, Momus, and 
Rex, their knights and 
their Krewes, who 
supply the necessary 
dollars. The sports of 
Mardi Gras must cost 
a vast sum of money, 
but they are undoubt- 
edly " good for trade." 
Did you doubt the 
accuracy of my judg- 
ment in this respect I 
would that you were 
with me in Canal-street 
at this i)resent moment. 
I mentioned the Toledo 
at Naples. Imagine 
it to be made of india- 
rubber, and so stretched 
to about five times its 
normal length ; but 
retain all the premoni- 
tory signs of Carnival- 
esque gaiety which it 
should surely present 
towards the end of 
January. There is an 
eruption, a lava-flow, 
a scoria inundation of 
masks. Highly-colour- 
ed pasteboard will soon 
be the only facial wear. 
|Slawkenbergian noses 
idangle in the air. 
Bottom the Weaver in 
his transformed state, 
jReynard the Fox, the 




V 2 



•292 



AMERICA EEYISITED. 




\Yolf tliat ate up Little 
Kcd Iiidiijg Hood, the 
Good-natured Bear, con- 
front you — in pasteboard 
— at every turn. Num- 
bers of alligators seem to 
liave crawled in from the 
neighbouring Llississippi, 
to have washed the mud 
from their scaly sides, 
and to be weeping hypo- 
critical tears or o-rinninf;: 
equally untrustworthy 
grins in the shop win- 
dows. The display of 
Chinese lanterns in the 
iancy stores is tremen- 
dous. They are outnum- 
i)ered only' by the white 
satin boots and slippers. 
How they will dance 
merry Shrovetide out 
and dismal Lent in, to 
be sure ! 

Strangers by thou- 
sands will pour into tlie 
Crescent City — from 
Georgia and Alabama, 
from Charlestown and 
Savannah, and especially 
from the ancient city of 
Mobile, which claims, in- 
deed, to have been the 
prime mover of the Loui- 
sianian carnival and the 
nursing mother of Rex. 
The Mobile " Cowbel- 
lians," I am given to 
understand, are some 
years the seniors of the 
"JMistick Krewe;" but 
this is a moot pointwhich, 



ON CANAL-SlTtEET. 



293 



as a stranger in the land, I will not venture to discuss. In any 
case this section of the sunny South would seem to have been for 
a great many years past more or less under the dominion of a 
Monarch of Merrnnent — a compeer of our " Rigdum Funnidos," 
whose motto was, "In hoc est hoax." An esteemed legal gentle- 
man in this city lately showed me a printed proclamation dated 
so far back as the 28th of November, 179G, and emanating from 
. a potentate styling himself " Robert I., Lord Chief Joker and 
Grand Ilumbugger of all the Regions West of the Apalachian 
Mountains," greeting Iiis well-beloved son, W. C. Claiborne — a 
name illustrious in the history of Louisiana — and appointing him 
to be " Domine Fucari Generali," whatever that may be, of all 
the country west of the Apalachian and east of the Cumberland 
Mountains. The document is countersigned by J. M. Overton, 
Attorney-General to Robert I. This rehc of bygone badinage 
possesses some philological interest. " Humbug" was evidently a 
term current on the American continent as far back as 1796. 

So mirth and jollity are to remain triumphant in New Orleans 
until the lOth of February. But, what said the preacher, who 
wrote a sermon called "Vanity Fair?" "Who has not his 
ihobby, or, having it, is satisfied?" We have summer weather 
here ; and the gentlemen of New Orleans are positively 
complaining that if the warm weather holds, the masquers who 
wear chain armour during the Carnival will be put to much 
inconvenience. Think of this, you English Hyperboreans shiver- 
ing in your ulsters in the middle of February ! 




^^"^^'^^lif^S 



GIV US A SMALL COPPER, BOSS. 




JACKSON-SQUARE, NEW ORLEANS. 



XXV. 



In Jackson-Squake. 



New Orleans, Jan. .30. 



Gaul, according to General Julius Cassar, was divided into 
three parts. The capital of the whilom dependency of Louis 
XIV. of France, the development of which, his ]\Iajesty was 
assured by the Managing Director of the Mississippi Company, 
would make "Le Roi Soleil" the richest monarch in the world, 
but from the possession of which Ludovicus Magnus never de~ 
rived one sou's worth of profit, is divided into two parts — the 
Great Divide being Canal-street. The demarcation is not only 
topographical and municipal, but lingual, social, and ethnological. 
The two civilisations, England and France, are not more dis- 
tinctly separated by the Straits of Dover than are Anglo- 
Saxondom and Gaul by Canal-street, New Orleans. On one 
side is Young America, continually extending its dimensions 
" up town " — lively, enterprising, noisy, and somewhat feverish ; 
on the other side is Old France, "down town" staid, polite, 
undemonstrative, dignified and somewhat drowsily quiet. 

In this newest of new continents one has a passion for seeking 



IX JACKSON-SQUARE. 



295 



out tlie slightest vestige of what is old and time-worn ; and I had 
not been many hours in the Crescent City before I fled from 
bustling St. Charles and pushing Carondelet streets, and plunged 
headlong and haphazard into "La Bonne Vieille France." Of 
course, ere long, I lost my way ; and then I ventured to ask a 
passing gentleman, in a l3road-brimmed hat and with a sandy 
" goatee," in wliat part of the city I might be. He replied, in a 
strong Northern accent, that he guessed I was on Charters-street. 
This did not sound very Gallic, and I felt slightly discouraged. 
Proceeding a few paces forward, I again plucked up heart of 




grace, and addressed another gentleman, who certainly looked 
very French, for he was black-eyed and black-bearded. - He 
wore an embroidered velvet calotte, and a short blue linen blouse 
by way of vest; and he was sitting on a cane-bottom chair on 
the side-walk, attentively perfecting the heel of a lady's pink 
satin boot, and whistling melodiously the while an air Irom 



29G AMERICA REVLSITED. 

" Girofle-Girofla." " jNIais, IMoiisieur/' lie made answer to my ^ 
inquiry, " vous ctes en pleine Rue de Cliartres." I was overjoyed. 
Yes ; and I Avas likewise en 'pleine Regencc and en ijleine Dix- 
Imitihne Siccle. In the twinkling of an eye Young America 
disappeared ; and above the Stars and Stripes, the " glorious 
gridiron " of Orator Pop, loomed in my mind's eye a dim mirage 
of a white Hag, powdered with golden lilies. Succeeding streets 
recalled memories of Versailles and Marly, of the Cour de 
Marbre and the (Eil de Bcjeuf, of IMadame de Maintenon and the 
Demoiselles de St. Cyr. 

I must not run the risk of wearying you by enumerating 
in anything approaching regular succession the names of the 
thoroughfares in tlie French quarter, from Chartres to Royale, 
from Bourbon to Dauphine, from Rempart to Esplanade. This 
is not a guide book to New Orleans ; and, in all human proba- 
bility, the vast majority of my readers will never wander to the 
shores of the Gulf of Mexico. Besides, the municipality of the 
fair city of New Orleans have not — presumably for some wise 
but inscrutable reason — thought proper to affix the names of the 
streets to the corners thereof. At some remote period of time 
their titles may have been inscribed on the street lamps ; but 
these graffiti are not visible to the human eye, either naked or 
decently attired, now. Perhaps you are expected to make 
yourself thoroughly conversant with the street nomenclature^ 
of the city during the time which you pass at one of those 
admirable common schools which are among the cliief glories o! 
the American Union, North and South ; and if you have not been 
educated at a common school, why, tcmt pis 2>our vous. You 
will never be a Senator of the United States ; you will never 
be president of a bank or a railroad, nor ])astor of a Brooklyn 
Tabernacle. You are out of the pale. There is no hope lor you. 
You will never be anything; not even a member of the Pickled 
Clam Club of Commimipaw or the Church Oyster Stew Union of 
East Armageddon. 

Satisfied with beini>" nothincr but a wandering alien, I took 
the streets in old France as they came, and derived ineffiible 
delight from their contemplation. I should warn you that Young 
America is far too energetic and go-ahead to consent to be wholly 
excluded from the Creole section of New Orleans. Occasionally 
in the French quarter, you are forcii)ly reminded of the all- 
dominating influence of the Anglo-Saxon language, institutions, 
and character. The German element also makes itself very 



IN JACKSON-SQUARE. 297 

> conspicuously and very strongly felt from one end of the city to 
the other ; and every now and then Ireland asserts herself in 
that pleasantest of forms, the American Irishman, who works 
hard, behaves as a law-abiding citizen, and makes plenty of dollars. 
Still, square after square, block after block, and street after street 
are French, and Old French. Of course, remembering how and 
by whom Louisiana was settled, it is as absurd to feel astonished 
at finding so many reproductions in an American city of French 
life and manners as it was for the Englishman, who landed at 
Boulogne, to express his surprise at finding the little children 
prattling French so fluently ; yet I do not scruple to own that I 
grew to be lost in pleasant amazement when I surveyed a 
genuine French pliarmacie in the Rue de Chartres. It seemed 
to have been transported bodily from the Rue du Bac — stay, or 
from the Rue St. Louis au Marais. A delicious jjAarmac^'e. None of 
your new, fashionable impertinent chemists' shops, glai'ing with 
parti-coloured bottles as big as locomotive lamps, garish with 
carving, gilding, and plate-glass, and distracting you with adver- 
tisements and specimens of the newest adjuncts to the toilet and 
the most favourite quack nostrums. 

I detest fashionable chemists' shops in England, and for the 
matter of that, in the Atlantic Cities, as much as ladies seem to 
love those cash-absorbing establishments. I do not Avant to 
have my hair dyed pea-green, or my eyeballs rose-pink. I have 
no faith in Ninon de I'Enclos tooth paste ; and I do not care to 
have my face painted with Madame de Pompadour's Peri Enamel. 
I decline to believe in the Patent Bourbon Whiskey Cough 
Lozenges, or in Old Doctor Peter Funk's Liver Twister, or in the 
Nicaraguau 8et-you-up Stomach J3itters ; and I would rather not 
try the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky Consumption Plasters, the 
Bonanza Bowie-Knife Blood Purifiers, the Sea-Slug Pectoral 
Syrup, or the Big Bear of Arkansas Antibilious Pills. At 
English w^atering-places I fly from the chemists' shops. I am 
afraid of the gentlemanly assistants ; and in the United States 
the gentlemanly assistants at the drug-stores wear diamond pins 
in their scarves and cameos of 'pietra dura as sleeve buttons. 
They have all been educated at common schools ; and I am 
afraid lest they should find fault with my grammar when I ask 
for ten cents-worth of Epsom salts. But here in this old French 
pharmade^ all was subdued, composed, and serene. No doubt 
you could obtain sinapismes and vesicatoires and tisanes enow, it 
you asked for them ; but nothing was advertised in an obtrusively 



298 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



alluring manner. In the dim recesses of the store, you could 
discern rows of shelves laden with tall old white gallipots ; and 
about the whole place there was a gentle soporific odour of 
aromatic drugs — just such an odour as that which pervades the 
Egyptian drug market In the Bezesteen at Stamboul — a perfume 
of henna and haschlsh, of frankincense and myrrh, of benzoin and 
gum tragacanth, with just the shghtest suspicion of rhubarb. And 
yet there are people who shudder at the smell of rhubarb ! 







A grave and bald-headed gentleman sat in a rocking chair at the 
door oHlie j^i^iar made, reading the Aheille dc la Nouvelle Orleans. 
His equally grave spouse was enthroned, spectacled, behind the 
counter perusing the Projiagateur CatJiolique. I entered and 
made a trifling purchase of Spanish liquorice as a pretext for 
converse in a tongue well beloved by me. It was conso- 
latory to hear cents spoken of as "centimes" and to find a 
dollar called a "piastre." Surely I was very far Indeed from the 
land of "notions" and dry goods, of corn cakes and cock-tails. 



IN JACKSON-SQUARE. 299 

Next in interest to the pliarmacieyi was tlie cpicier. I need 
scarcely say that the " corner grocery " is a very notable institu- 
tion indeed in every American town, be it a rising village of five 
thousand inhabitants or an empire cit}^ of half a million souls. 
In its nascent state the corner grocery is often no more nor less 
than a corner groggery dispensing very bad liquors, the source 
of woes unnumbered to the brains and stomachs of the im- 
prudent ; but when the corner grocer grows prosperous, he 
generally becomes proportionately respectable ; and his store 
develops into a great emporium of " wet goods" rivalling our 
Fortnum and JMason's and Barto Valles in amplitude and variety 
of stock. At a first-rate grocer's in America you may purchase 
the most expensive Havana cigars, the most favourite brands of 
champagne, the most delicate French preserved fruits and con- 
serves^ and the costliest luiueurs^ together with all our bottled 
ales and stouts, our Scotch and Irish whiskeys, and so forth. 
At the New Orleans grocers', in the French quarter, I found 
also a plentiful supply of things alcoholic ; but the products of 
France la hien-aiime pleasantly predominated. Chartreuse, 
green, yellow, and white, absinthe and cassis, vermouth and 
parfait amour — all the alcoholic frivolities of the people who are 
continually sipping stimulants, and who never get tipsy. 

The denrees coloniales at a New Orleans epiciers were, of 
course, in full force ; although in France itself these denrees are 
apt to be somewhat delusive in their extraction. There is 
nothing very colonial in beetroot sugar, roasted chicory, and 
haricot beans, sardines a Vhidle^ and Huntley and Palmers 
biscuits. But here you are at once reminded that the tropics 
are over the way, or round the corner, so to speak. The coffee 
made in New Orleans is the most aromatic and the most 
grateful to the palate that I have ever tasted; and I am told 
that it comes from the tierra caliente about Cordova in j\Iexico. 
Still there is a large variety of other coffees — Java, Puerto Rico, 
Rio, Jamaica, and Hayti among the number — from which to 
choose. I may just mention for the benefit of English house- 
wives that the cheapest sugar that I have seen priced is seven 
and a half cents a pound. In England very good moist sugar 
can be sold retail for three pence a pound. Louisiana is, to a 
great extent, a sugar-producing State ; and as such, although, 
like all the Democratic States, averse to the Tariff as a whole, 
she acquiesces in an import duty on foreign sugar as protective 
to her own industry in that direction. From which I infer that 



300 AMERICA REVISITED. 

if political economy be a science at all — and that is very 
seriously questioned just now — the science is one essentially of 
selfishness. 

Modistes and conturieres — French to the backbone — I mean 
to the staylace and the back hair, abound in the French quarter. 
"Celine" hangs out her sign in connection with "robes." 
" Alphonsine" proclaims the Parisian elegance of her " dentelles 
et fleurs artificielles," " Pauline " announces that she has a 
"magasin de blanc;" and "Leopoldine" simply says, on a 
pretty ]pancarte^ " chapeaux." Chapeaux! Word of mystery 
and dread. Bonnets are bonnets in Ncav Orleans. I have 
been to the fountain head. I have obtained information from a 
leader of Hishion on this most momentous of points ; and I am 
sorrowfully enabled to state that nothing fashionably wearable 
in the shape of a bonnet can be purchased in the Crescent City 
for a smaller sum than thirty-seven dollars, say seven guineas 
sterling. A handsome "Gainsborough" hat, fully trimmed, will 
cost from forty to fifty dollars ; and in this eminently " dressy " 
city the ladies come down in Gainsborough hats and feathers to 
the late dinner at the hotels. On the whole, I am inclined to 
think that the most inexpensive female travelling companion 
that a tourist in the United States could positively take with 
him would be a Black Nun of one of the barefooted orders. 
Those black robes and veils are so very becoming. But then 
nuns, black or white, and barefooted or otherwise, do not marry. 
It is not, I apprehend, from the " little people of the skies " in 
the French quarter that the grand visiting bonnets are procured. 
In Canal-street, nearly opposite the Grand Opera House, where 
M. Maurice Grau's French Opera Troupe, with Capoul as pi-imo 
tenore^ have lately been performing, I have noticed a mofjasin of 
austerely splendid aspect. It has but two modestly-sized win- 
dows, in wliich are displayed, with studied carelessness, some 
parcels of rich tissues, some loosely floating lace, and a dainty 
fan and trailins; feather or two. In the background I see some 
lace curtains and wire gauze blinds, with the single word 
" Olympe," inscribed in golden letters. Is Olympe the High 
Priestess of the Temple of Visiting Bonnets? I know not; nor 
knowing, would I dare to say. Guarda c passa. I would as 
soon think of calling on the Sibyl, and asking her the price of 
one of her Books, as of paying a visit to the mysterious Olympe. 
Returning to Old France, deeper and deeper into the French 
quarter do I dive. The friendly pedicure, with the effigy of a 



IN JACKSON-SQUARE. ' 301 

human foot highly gilt, invites me to enter his establishment. 
I almost wish that I had corns in order to have them cut 
a la Fran^aise. In almost every " block " or " insula " of 
houses there is a French cafe or an estaimnet. The clicking of 
billiard balls is continuous. The cafes lack Parisian splendour; 
but they are trim and neat, and very different in their appear- 
ance to the groggeries. In many, alcoholic beverages do not 
seem much in request ; and the customers quench their thirst 
with orgeat^ havaroises, sirop de groseille^ and other non-intoxi- 
cants. Even eau sucree is in request among these primitive 
folks. There are numbers of little French stationers' shops and 
cabinets cle lecture^ all charmingly suggestive of the land beyond 
the " silver streak." The very pencils and pens are French ; 
the ink is the " encre de la Petite Vertu." Little cheap French 
chap-books and livres cVimages abound ; you renew your 
acquaintance w^itli " Rominagrobis " and the " Petit Chaperon 
Pv,ouge ; " with the "Chat Botte " and the "Belle au Bois 
Dormant." The terrible " Croquemitaine " and his frightful 
spouse flourish their virgal sceptres to the terror of insubordinate 
juveniles — French juveniles be it understood ; young America 
would laugh " Croquemitaine " and all his following to scorn. 
And so firndy have old French manners taken root in this old 
corner of a new continent that at the doors of some of the stores 
you may see hanging those little martinets^ or leathern cats-o- 
nine-tails, which still hang in terrorcni in French nurseries. Tlie 
shops for the sale of votive offerings — immortelles^ billets cTenterre- 
ment, lettres de fair e part — and " objets religieux " generally, 
are numerous. Gaily-painted plaster images of Madonnas, saints, 
and angels are intermingled with rosaries and scapularies, holy 
water fonts, electro-plated shrines, oratory lamps, and parois- 
siens ; and these at last became so plentiful that I fancied myself 
In the parvis or close of some old Continental cathedral. 

Nor, indeed, was I very far out in my reckoning. I was in 
the rear of a vast ecclesiastical edifice, which an obliging old 
negro lady who was selling oranges and bananas at a street 
corner told me in " gumbo " French was the Cathedral of St. Louis. 
I passed down a narrow flagged passage, full of the offices of 
"avocats" and " notaires," and found myself in presence of the 
Cathedral, the third erected on the same site. The first basilica 
of Louisiana — a structure of timber and sun-burned brick — was 
erected so far back as 1718 ; but in the very year of its erection 
a fearful hurricane swept over the infant settlement, and carried 



302 



AMERICA REVISITED. 




THE CATHEDRAL, ^'EW OKLEAKS. 



away the cathedral as completely as tlie first Eddy stone light- 
house was swept off. The second edifice was built of brick, 
about 1725 ; but this was also destroyed by fire on Good Friday, 
1788. In 1794 yet another cathedral was built by the pious 
care and at the cost and charges of Don Andreas Almonester y 
Eoxas, a Spanish noble, colonel of the provincial troops, and 
perpetual regiclor of the dominion. To this beneficent grandee 
New Orleans is also indebted for the St. Charles Hospital and 
that of the Lazarines, tlie Ursuline Convent, the Girls' School, 
and the Presbytery adjoining the cathedral. The good deeds of 
Don Andreas, Avith a requiescat in yace^ are recorded on a 
marble shib in the pavement of the edifice which he built, in 
front of the shrine of St. Francis. The ashes of the pious liidaJgo, 
Avho came from Mayrena, in the kingdom of Andalusia, moulder 
in a vault beneath. There is another memorial in front of the 
altar of Our Lady of Lourdes to three of the members of the 
Marigny de Mandeville family who lie buried here. 

Another notable personage lies at rest under the pavement of 
St. Louis — Don Antonio de Sedilla to wit — who, towards the 
close of the last century, was expelled from New Orleans by the 
enraged Spanish population for attempting to set up the abhorred 
Inquisition in their midst. This, I apprehend, is the only spot 



IN JACKSON-SQUAEE. 303 

on the existing territory of the American Union where the Holy 
Office has held even momentary sway. Yet we are told that 
Don Antonio came back to Louisiana after the province had 
become a State of the Great Republic, and died there in 1837, at 
the age of ninety, in the odour of sanctity, idolised by the women 
and worshipped by the children. Time assuages most things 
and heals most sores. Did I not read once in a London news- 
paper of the end of King William's or the beginning of Queen 
Anne's reign this necrological announcement : " At his lodgings 
in Jermyn-street, deeply lamented and highly respected, Lieu- 
ten ant- General Kirke, formerlv of the Tangier Regiment"? 
This deeply-lamented and highly-respectable gentleman had 
been the ferocious commander of"Kirke's lambs," and the 
principal butcher under Jefferies of the Bloody Assize. 

Virtually the Cathedral of St. Louis may be called the fourth 
of its race, since nothing of Don Andreas Almonester's fabric 
remains with the exception of the foundations. The old 1794 
edifice was " restored " in 1850, and the existing fane is a mass 
of pinnacles and turrets, columns and buttresses, in no particular 
style of architecture, and in brown stone, wdiich material gives 
the entire mass the appearance of a huge raised pie. This 
unsightly pile — we have a great many uglier churches in my own 
beloved country — is flanked by two of the most delightfully 
quaint and venerable looking edifices that I have seen out of 
France, and especially out of the peculiarly quaint and venerable 
city of Nancy, in Lorraine. These are the Court Houses, built 
under the regidorship of Don Andreas, with Corinthian attics on 
Doric basements, and crowned by high mansard roofs with 
dormer casements. The pediments are full of emblematic bas- 
reliefs in the late eighteenth-century style — casques and cuirasses, 
banners, drums, spears, cannon balls, and what not ; but in the 
centre you see a carved embellishment, evidently added at a 
much later period to the original design, and wholly undreamt 
of by the original sculptor. This is Mr. James Russell Lowell's 
"bird o' freedom soarin'," — the American eagle, with out-spread 
wings, prepared to " whip " all creation, and then, but not till 
then, to repair to his home, which is in the Setting Sun. 

But what was there graven there in old time, when the great 
Eagle was still a most diminutive chick — nay, before the porten- 
tous bird had chipped the shell at all ? Surely on that pediment 
must have appeared the semblance of the Lion of Castile or of the 
Pillars of Hercules, with the proud motto " Plus Ultra." The 



301 AMERICA REVISITED. 

Bourbon Lilies have never had a place there, for the French 
monarchy had fallen ere the Spanish domination had ceased. 
But, between 1801 and 1803, there may have glittered among 
the bas-reliefs a hastily-executed Cap of liberty, with the fasces, 
and the device " Liberie, ]j]galit4, Fraternite." Fate is an 
extremely ironical Power. Napoleon, First Consul of the French 
Republic, was forced, by the fear of Louisiana falling into the 
hands of the English, to sell the magnificent dependency to the 
United States for some sixty millions of francs. Had he been 
enabled to "hold on" he might have set up the Napoleonic 
eagle and the Napoleonic bees over Don Andreas's court houses ; 
he might have established a mighty branch of the French Empire 
in the New World ; he might have added Texas and California 
to his American Empire. But ironical Fate said No. Trafalgar, 
by annihilating the naval power of France, indirectly aided the 
American Union in establishing itself at the mouth of the Missis- 
sippi, acquiring Florida, and annexing as much Mexican territory 
as it suited its purpose to secure. 

At least, but for Trafalgar, and with a treaty offensive and 
defensive with America, New Orleans might have been French, 
and Imperially French, in 1815 — that year 1815 when England 
— the commanders of her troops being ignorant of the fact that 
peace between the United States and Great Britain had been 
signed in Europe — made a blundering attack on New Orleans, 
and met with a most inglorious repulse at the hands of a slender 
force of American riflemen and Baratarian smugglers. I often 
wonder whether the beaten and beggared Napoleon, brooding at 
the Elysee after Waterloo, ever despairingly murmured to himself, 
^' Why did I sell Louisiana?" The French Creoles were sorry 
that it was sold. They are loyal citizens of the Union now, of 
course holding by the Monroe doctrine, and proud of their 
affiliation to the greatest Republic in the world; but I flmcy 
that were diligent exploration made among them some love for 
the old Lilies, nay, some veneration for that old Napoleonic 
legend of which the last line was written in Zululand might be 
found extant among them. 

What have the Cathedral of St. Louis and Don Andreas 
Almonester's old Court Houses, with their brick shell peeping 
through the cracked and peeling-off stucco, like the knee of the 
beggar through his ragged pantaloon, to do with Jackson-square? 
Everything. The Cathedral and the Court Houses form one whole 
side of the square. North and south, at light angles, extend two 



IN JACKSON-SQUARE. 



305 



iofty rows of red brick mansions, called the Pontalba buildings, 
with broad verandahs, and the ground floors of which are 
occupied by stores and cat't^s. In their architecture and sur- 
roundings the Pontalba buildings indistinctly remind you now of 
the piazzas of Covent-garden, now of the Place Eoyal in the 
Marais, and now of the Plaza Mayor at Madrid. The houses 
look Spanish, the merchandise is American, the manners are 
French. The fourth side of the square is open to the railway, 
the old French market, and the river. A massive railing of iron 
encloses the square, in the centre of which, on a granite pedestal, 
is the equestrian statue of General Andrew Jackson, who beat 
our Peninsular veterans 
m soundly at the battle 
of New Orleans, who 
made such an honest and 
independent President of 
the United States, and 
on whom was bestowed 
the affectionately fami- 
liar sobriquet of " Old 
Hickory," from a stout 
walking-stick of that pe- 
culiar wood which he was 
wont to carry, and with 
which, when moved to 
wrath, he would smite, 
and that smartly. The 
hero of New Orleans is 
in full military uniform, 

with very large epaulettes and very high boots. With his right 
hand he waves his tremendous cocked hat in salute, and by his 
belt hangs his celebrated crooked sabre. On the pedestal is 
graven tlie famous utterance, " The Union must and shall be 
preserved. " 

Diverging from the statue in every direction are walks laid 
with pounded shells, and bordered with the choicest 
flowers of the South. There are vines and evergreens which at 
■every season of the year gladden the eye with their rich deep 
verdure. The wealth of oranges clustering in the trees seems 
inexhaustible; indeed, New Orleans, as a whole, may be 
summarily described as a Garden of the Hesperides, intersected 
by horse-car tramways, and guarded by a dragon hight Yellow 




306 



AMEKIOxV EEVISITED. 




Jack. I don't mean General Jackson. He continues to wave his 
cocked liat in the politest manner imaginable among the orange 
groves, the statel}' magnolias, and the clustering bananas. Are 
you acquainted with the banana ? My memory does not serve me 
as to whether it grows in that paradise of sub-tropical vegetation, 
the garden of the Casino at Monte Carlo, by Monaco. I think that 
the last time I visited Monte Carlo I was too much occupied 
with the cultivation of a plant called the Infallible Martingale — 
the colours of which are red and black — to seek after bananas. 
They might well flourish in the atmosphere of a gaming-house ; 
for they are the most profligate looking vegetables 1 ever came 
across. A banana-bush just shorn of its fruit, with its gigantic 
leaves all torn, hacked, and slashed — some of them gaping with 
yellow Avounds, and others stained to a hue of reddisli purple — 
conveys to your eye and mind the impression that the plant has 
been out all night "on the loose," and engaged in several free 
fights, in which bowie knives and revolvers have been freely used ; 
after that the dissipated bananas have been liberally clubbed by 
the police ; then they have been taken to the St. 



Charles 



IN JACKSON-SQUARE. 307 

Hospital to liavc tlieir wounds dressed ; but the iiicorriglbles, to 
all seeming, have torn off their bandages and rushed into 
Jackson-square, where they stagger in a tattered and unkempt 
condition, witli blackened eyes and sanguinolent noses, gasping 
for a "pick-me-up/' After a violent rainstorm the aspect of 
the banana is even more disreputable and deboshed ; and 
yet the fruit of this vicious looking vegetable is the softest, 
" sawniest, " mealiest-mouthed esculent possible to think of Fried 
it has a tolerable savour ; raw it suggests what the taste of 
very sweet shaving paste might be like. 

But those who would see Jackson-square aright should take 
pattern by the pilgrim to Melrose Abbey as advised by Sir 
Walter and visit it by the pale moonlight. Then, somehow or 
another, the valiant General Andrew Jackson, cocked hat, 
jack boots, crooked sabre, long-tailed charger and all, take 
unto themselves wings and flee away. Even the granite pedestal, 
with its stern monition as to the preservation of the Union, 
vanishes into thin air, and is replaced by a statue of Charles the 
Fourth, King of Spain and the Indies, with the Order of the 
Golden Fleece around his neck, the Star of Calatrava on his 
breast, and a pigtail. The oranges and the magnolias, the 
vines and the evergreens remain lovelier than ever ; the old 
Court Houses still flank the Cathedral, but it is the unrestored 
church of St. Louis — the church that Regidor Don Andreas 
Almonester built. See, gliding along the shell walks in the 
pale moonlight, the phantoms of the past — phantoms in em- 
broidered coats and monstrously flapped waistcoats, in silk 
stockhigs and buckled shoes ; phantoms in bag wigs and full- 
bottomed perukes elaborately powdered ; feminine ghosts with 
rouge and patches, in hoops and brocaded sacques. They 
wave phantom fans ; and the apparitions of bygone beaux 
bow over their hands and whisper airy nothings in ears long 
since overtaken by the surdity of death ! Come back, ye 
Dead ; Come back, doughty Hernan de Soto, first discoverer of 
the Mississippi. Come back. Fathers Marquet and Joliet, most 
pious of monks, most enterprising of merchants, come from far-off 
Quebec, down the St. Lawrence, through Lake Ontario, up 
Niagara, through Erie, by St. Clair, through Huron, by Mackinaw 
Straits, through the Fox river, to the Wisconsin river, to the 
Upper Mississippi. And the daring French soldier. La Selle, 
and the noble Canadian brothers, Herville and Bienville, have not 
_ their wraiths a right to mingle in the shadowy throng ? 

X 2 



308 AMERICA EEVLSITED. 

Ill fancy I seem to see tlie ghost of old Anthony Crozat, the 
Avealthy East Indian merchant, to wliom tlie Grand Monarque 
granted, doubtless for a" consideration," the exclusive right for 
fifteen years of trading to the country then known as Louisiana. 
Then comes the phantom of Governor Percer, then the jMarquis 
de Vaudreuil, hero of desperate Choctaw and Chickasaw wars ; 
here are the governors under the Spanish domination, Ulloa, and 
Unzaga, and the stern O'Reilly. There is a Calle O'Reilly in 
Havana, and there was a General Count O'Reilly, who took 
Algiers, and, according to Lord Byron in " Don Juan," 
used Dona Julia vilely. Are these all one and the same phantom ? 
How can I tell ? Jackson-square transformed under the pale 
moonlight, and full of ghosts, is really a very confusing place. 
That narrow passage, for instance, might be the RueQuincampoix, 
whither rich and poor are flocking to gamble in the shares 
in John Law's Mississippi bubble. And who come here? 
an old gentleman in clerical costume, a scapegrace in an 
embroidered coat, and a pretty but somewhat saucy young 
lady in a satin petticoat d la hercjere and laced lappets. Upon 
my word, it is the worthy Abbe Prevost doing the honours 
to Manon Lescaut and the CJhevalier Des Grieux. Jackson- 
tsquare ! There is no such name. This is the Place d' Amies 
of the French, the Plaza de las Armas of the Spanish 
domination. Idle fancies! The past is irrevocable. The 
Iiorse car comes jingling along the Chartres-street track, 
and I return to Young America, telegraphing, telephoning, 
and phonographing, and electric-lighting the world out of its mind, 
knitting up the ravelled sleeve of care with an Elias Howe's 
sewing machine, "cornering" all the grahi and all the pork in 
the Great West, and making dollars all day and all night long for 
ever and ever. 



'h^-^,^W£M R* 







WEIGHING BALES OF COTTON. 



XXVI. 
A Southern Parliament. 

New Orleans, Fch. 1. 

I KNOW few spectacles more melanclioly than that of a 
disestabHshed theatre. Naturally, you associate the place witii 
scenes of gaiety and annnation, with life and light and glitter, 
with the fanciful costumes of the players and the sparkling- 
dresses of the ladies in the boxes and stalls. The great 
chandelier is a continuous delight ; and the very fiddlers and 
pipers in the orchestra recall cheerful and soothing impressions 
not to be obliterated without sorrow. Yet theatres ofttimes fall 
into " the portion of weeds and outworn faces," if haply they 
escape becoming " habitations for bats and dragons." They 
may be turned to other uses, and become wine merchants' 
vaults, co-operative stores, post-offices, and what not ; or they 



810 AMERICA REVISITED. 

may altogether crumble away tlirougli neglect into decay like 
that wonderful old worm-eaten Opera House at Parma. During 
the Franco-German War of 1870, many French theatres, both 
in Paris and in the provinces, were utilised as hospitals for the 
wounded ; and the parts subsequently played in French 
legislative history by the Grand Theatre at Bordeaux, and the 
Salle de Spectacle at Versailles, are too recently notorious to 
need recalling here. But what do you say to an American Grand 
Hotel — one, indeed, of the grandest caravanserais ui the whole 
South — converted into a Parliament House? That is now the 
case at New Orleans. The legislative capital of the State ot 
Louisiana was formerly Baton Rouge, and to Baton Rouge the 
collective wisdom of the State will ere long return ; but its 
present habitat is in the French quarter of New Orleans, 
" down town," within the walls of what was once the St. 
Louis Hotel. 

This stately pile, although only built so recently as 1841, 
must in many respects be considered an historical edifice. At 
the St. Louis in 1842 the people of New Orleans entertained the 
famous statesman Henry Clay — whose prodigiously ill-modelled 
statue continues to affright the artistic eye in the centre of 
Canal-street — in a style commensurate with the wealth and 
refinement of the prosperous and hopeful Crescent City. In the 
ball-room of the St. Louis, in 1843, met the Convention for the 
framing of a new Constitution for the State — a convention 
numbering among its members the well-known Pierre Soult^, a 
Frenchman by birth, and sometime United States Minister at 
the Court of Madrid. The immense rotunda of the St. Louis 
was long used as a chamber of commerce, a board of brokers, a 
cotton exchange, and a place for political meetings of the 
Democratic and AVhig parties. But as an hotel pure and simple 
the St. Louis must be ever memorable in the fasti of New 
Orleans. The hotel was for years the resort of the wealthiest 
planters of the South. The statehest Creole belles liere 
condescended to join in the mazy dance with the young gentle- 
men of " the first families ; " splendid hospitality was dispensed 
at St. Louis dinner parties ; at night tlie dazzlingly-lit corridors 
were thronged by fair women and brave men ; and it may be 
that within the precincts of the elegant private parlours of 
the magnificent structure a few thousand dollars occasionally 
changed hands owing to indulgence in the merry games of poker, 
taro, euchre, and boston. Those days, they tell me, are for ever 



A SOUTHERN PARLIAMENT. 



311 



gone and past. Tlie once affluent Southerners are ruined liip 
and thigh ; and " first faniiUes," who once delighted to entertain 
tlieir guests on chicken gumbo, venison, turtle, canvas-back 
ducks, washed down by Chateau Lafitte and Heidsieck's extra dry, 
have now scarcely sufficient pork and hominy for themselves. 

These disconsolate assurances notwithstanding, it strikes 
rne that the New Orleans of February, 1880, is an extremely 
prosperous city, and that somebody must be making an immense 
deal of money. The New Orleans Cotton Exchange, for 
example, was opened in 1871 with a roll of one hundred mem- 
bers. It has now upwards of three hundred. And the associa- 
tion spend no less than ^'30,000 a year in obtaining and 
arranging information relative to the movement of the great 
staple and its collaterals, bullion and exchange, throughout the 



^^ ''i^H- 




PRESSING COTTON INTO BALES ON A SOUTHERN PLANTATION. 



world. The cotton presses of the city — that is, the mecha,nisni 
for compressing by steam power the raw cotton into bales — 
alone represent a capital of seven millions of dollars. Perhaps 
it is the planters in the interior who are steeped to the lips in 
poverty. That very many magnificent Southern fortunes have 
utterly collapsed owing to the Civil War, and to the confiscations, 
carpet-bagging, spoliations, and general misgovernment which 
came as sequeke to the great struggle, is indubitable ; yet it 
should not be forgotten — and I am indebted for my information 
to Southern gentlemen who have themselves been slaveowners, 
and who have fought bravely in the Confederate ranks — that 



312 AMERICA EP:VISITED. 

iniiltltiules of negroes wlio were once bonihnen are doing very 
well indeed as cotton farmers — proving, by the way, the most 
merciless niggerdrivers imaginable to their own children, so soon 
as ever they are old enongh to work in the field — and that the 
creation of an industrious and thrifty negro proprietary class has 
been of vital benefit to the poor white population of the South — 
formerly contumeliously stigmatised as " mean whites " and 
" poor white trash " — who were unable to compete with slave 
labour, but now find a new field opened to them as factory hands, 
while the women and girls obtain domestic employment. The 
only conclusion at which a traveller who sincerely desires to be 
impartial can with safety arrive is that the sum of individual 
suffering in the South since the Avar has been immense, but that 
such suffering has greatly diminished, and in all human probability 
will continue to diminish ; whereas, on the other hand, a great 
river of prosperity is rolling onwards, fed by a hundred sources, 
which were hitherto either arid or artificially dammed up. 

But, if the traveller wished to be partial, and desired to find 
an ad captanduin argument as to a prosperity that liad passed 
away and an affluence which existed no longer, he might meet with 
such outwardly striking, although inwardly fallacious evidence 
in the aspect of the New Orleans State House, erst the St. 
Louis Hotel. I have seen Venice in her worst days of dilapi- 
dation and desolation. I have seen the Chapter House at 
Westminster prior to its restoration, and when its beauteou.s 
Gothic proportions were marred and masked by hideous pigeon- 
holes bursting with musty parchments, the bygone processes of 
the law courts. I remember — who does not ? — the scandalous 
condition of Leicester-square ere Mr. Albert Grant swept and 
garnished it, and gave it away in frank-almoign to the public ; 
but these bygone abodes of melancholy were positively trim and 
coquettish in comparison with the forlorn appearance of the 
colossal pile which had once been the resort of the wealthy 
planters, their stately spouses, and their beautiful and accom- 
plished daughters. To enhance the dinginess of the view, these 
Balclutha-lilve walls were not by any means desolate. Every floor 
in the State House was crowded with people — earnest, eagei-, 
shrewddooking people — smoking desperately, and who, on 
occasion, would expectorate. A curious throng, but not cheerful, 
mainly attired in sad-coloured garments, and with "soft" hats, 
inordinate of brim but exiguous in crown. Tcliorni Narod — a 
Black People — the Bussians would term them. Wheresoever 



A SOUTHEEN rARLTAMENT. 313 

you turned there the Spirit of Dismahiess seemed to have laid 
his grimy hand. 

New Orleans, I have more than once remarked, offers, among- 
all American cities, pre-eminently a feast of picturesque form and 
l)right and varied colour to the European eye ; but within the 
walls of the State House a universal monochrome pitilessly 
reigns ; or rather, the negation of all colour — black and white. 
The great rotunda — supported by noble pillars, and the cupola 
of which is adorned by splendid medallions, the work of famous 
American sculptors — is spoiled, but, happily, not irremediably 
spoiled, by an abominable corkscrew staircase of wood, giving 
access to the various floors. Some seven or eight hundred guests 
at a time must have been entertained at the St. Louis in the days 
when it was a grand caravanserai. Now committees of judiciar}^ 
finance, commerce, and education meet in its guest chambers, 
and its once luxurious private parlours are converted into offices 
for the Governor and Lieutenant-Governor of the State of 
Louisiana and their secretaries, and for the officials of the 
different departments of the Legislature. I was so fortunate as 
to have as a guide and "open sesame" proclaimer the Hon. 
Ivandall Gibson, one of the members for the State of Louisiana 
in the House of Eepresentatives at Washington, and who had 
just been unanimously elected in joint session of the two 
Louisianian Chambers a Senator of the United States for the 
(.'Ongressional term commencing in 1883. To General Gibson 
and to his colleague in the House of Eepresentatives, General 
King, I am mainly indebted for a hundred acts of graceful 
kindness and courtesy extended to me during my stay in New 
Orleans ; nor shall I miss this o})portunity of tendering my 
grateful thanks to Senator Bayard, of the State of Delaware, 
who kindly enabled me to enjoy the privilege of "the floor" in 
the Senate of the United States in that Capitol at Washington 
which I hope yet to describe. 

The Senate Chamber at the disestablished hotel had adjourned, 
and all that my guide could do was to take me into the Chamber 
and introduce me to some of the Senators. But the House of 
Representatives, or Delegates — I am not quite certain as to which 
is the precise legislative designation of the Louisianian House of 
Commons — was in full session. The hall of debate was a 
capacious apartment which had once been either the ball-room 
or the dining-room of the defunct hotel Pale phantoms of 
once elegant frescoes loomed faintlv on the walls. I glanced 



.314 AMERICA EE VISITED. 

instinctively at the floor, as though expecting to find it littered ' 

with the champagne corks of Piper, Heidsieck or Veuve Clicquot— 

with faded bouquets, time-worn white satin slippers, cards of 

invitation to radiant belles long since widowed and childless, to 

gallant gentlemen whose bones have mouldered these seventeen 

years past in the graveyards of the Confederate Dead. But 1 

was aroused from my reverie by the voice of a gentleman who 

was addressing the House. It was somewhat of a variable and 

capricious voice — at one time hoarse and rasping, at another 

shrilly treble, and the orator ended his periods now with a sound 

resembling a chuckle, and now with one as closely akin to a 

grunt. So far — being rather hard of hearing — as I could make 

out, the Honourable Legislator was remarking " dat de gen'lm'n 

from de Parish of St. Quelquechose was developing assertions 

and expurgating ratiocinations clean agin de fuss principles of 

law and equity. What was law and equity ? Was dey verities 

or was dey frauds ? Kin yer go behind the records of law and 

equity? Kin de gen'l'm'n from St. Quelquechose lay his hand 

on his heart and the Constitooshun of de Yurnited States and 

say dat dese votes had been counted out rightfully ? An' if dese 

votes had not been counted out rightfully, where, he asked the 

gen'lm'n from St. Quelquechose, were de iuss principles of law 

and equity? Where was dey? From de lumberlands of Maine 

to de morse-clad banks of de Chefunetee Ecker answered dat de 

hull ting was contrairy to de standing order of dis House." Upon 

wliich the orator sat down. There were no cheers nor counter cheers 

— only a rippling murmur of voices such as you heai' at a public 

dinner between the port and sherry ceasing and the champagne 

beginning to go round. What was the precise mode of catchin< 

the Speaker's eye I could not exactly discern, but more than one 

honourable gentleman seemed to be on his legs at the same time. 

When the contingency appeared to be imminent of everybody' 

addressing the House at once, the dull, measured sounds of the 

Presidential hammer, or "gavel," as, in masonic parlance, the 

implement of order is called, was audible. It would be a vain 

task to strive textually to report what the legislators said ; but 

the debate, so far as I understood its purport, related to a ; 

contested election. 'i 

Ere the orator wlio had apostrophised the gentleman from the 1 

parish of St. Quelquechose resumed his seat, I had ample ( 

leisure to make a study of his facial outline, for there was ai 

window close behind him, against whicn his profile was defined | 

il 



A SOUTHERN PARLIAMENT. 315 

as sharply as in one of those old black silhouette portraits which 
they used to take for sixpence on the old Chain Pier at Brighton. 
The honourable legislator had a fully-developed Ethiopian 
physiognomy ; but when he sat down I found that in hue he 
Avas only a mulatto. There were more coloured members in the 
House : — some of them " bright" nmlattoes and quadroons, very 
handsome and distinguished looking individuals. As yet our 
dark brother as a legislator must to most intents and purposes 
be considered as in an infantile condition, and great allowances 
must in fairness be made for him. A Southern gentleman 
pointed out to me one of the coloured Representatives or Dele- 
gates who, prior to the war, had been his, the gentleman's, 
slave and body servant. He was a very useful member of the 
House, my informant said, especially on questions of finance. 
As regards Parliamentary procedure, the coloured members are 
very often not only on a par with, but superior to, their white 
colleagues. They set themselves with grim earnestness to study 
and learn by heart all the rules and regulations of the House, 
concerning which the white members are often careless ; and 
they are continually rising to that which they term " p'ints of 
order." When they address themselves to set speech making, 
they usually gabble a quantity of intolerable verbiage; but please 
to bear in mind that the majority of the coloured members in 
the Southern legislatures have either been slaves, or are the 
sons of men wdio once were slaves. 

What the coloured sons of freemen may do in the next 
generation is the grand problem. At present they are eagerly 
availing themselves of the educational advantages offered by the 
common schools ; and it remains in the future to be seen 
whether there be any truth in the assertion that it is possible 
only to educate the negro up to a certain point, but no further. 
He cannot be taught, so some say, to argue reasonably. This 
assertion applies of course to the full-blooded negro. As 
regards the coloured man with only a slight admixture of black 
blood in his veins, I see no reason why he should not — if he 
avail himself of the facilities for culture now open to him — 
become as intellectually distinguished as Alexandre Dumas. 
But the ranks of the " bright " mulattoes and quadroons will not 
be recruited. The abolition of slavery arrested the continuity of 
the offspring of the children of white fathers and coloured 
mothers ; and what is known or rather darkly whispered about 
as "miscegenation" is only a dream, and a very wild dream of 



316 AMERICA REVISITED. 

the coming era. For tiie present it is simply a social impossi- 
bility ; and the coloured man who is audacious enough to 
practise " miscegenation " by cohabiting with a white woman is 
immediately and ruthlessly lynched. Two such "misce- 
genators " have been hanged by the mob in A^irginia within the 
last month. 

The arrangement of the Lower House in one respect reminded 
me more closely of the French Chamber than of our own House 
of Commons. The members' seats were arranged in semi- 
circular rows, just as are the streets of the city of Amsterdam, 
the topography of which has been familiarly likened to the section 
of an onion. The arc of the semi-circle is occupied by the 
Speaker's desk, a kind of raised rostrum, canopied with some 
green drapery, and on either side of which is a raised platform. 
Below the Speaker sit the clerks and other officers of the House. 
That there is a Sergeant-at-Arms I am certain, since 1 had the 
honour to be introduced to the functionary in question ; but 1 
saw no symptom of a mace. With the exception of the 
coloured gentleman's animadversions on the contested election 
case in the parish of St. Quelquecliose, there Avas very little 
speechmaking, and not much of what could be properly termed 
debating. The business transacted seemed to be mainly of routine 
character, consisting in the reading of papers by the clerks, and 
the presentation of reports from various committees ; and, indeed, 
in the Federal Congress at AVashington, as well as in the State; 
Legislatures, nine-tenths of the business about which our Lords 
and Commons talk in open session, are discussed and settled by 
the permanent committees of the two Houses. There are, of 
course, grand field days, when exciting debates take place, when 
measures are advocated or opposed, clause by clause, and when 
brilliant displays of oratory are made ; but neither at AVashington, 
at Richmond, nor at New Orleans have I been fortunate enough 
to witness so important afuncion. 

In the Louisianian as in the Federal capital every member has 
a comfortable arm-chair and a desk before him, with lockers and 
drawers for his books and papers. One of the honourable 
gentlemen in the New Orleans Legislature was so obliginc: as to 
give me up his desk and arm-chair, which I occupied with great 
inward fear and trembling for some five-and-twenty minutes. 
Several divisions took place during that space of time, the House 
dividing on the "aye" and "no" principle; and lean only 
express a conscientious hope that I did not vote. The entire 



A SOUTHERN PARL1AMP:XT. 317 

proceeding's were, I have not the sHghtest doubt, quite tranquil 
and orderly ; but, to the eye of a stranger, the scene was one of 
curious confusion. The citizens of the State of Louisiana en 
masse, white and coloured, had standing-room at the back of the 
apartment, which was only separated Worn the House itself by a 
wooden barrier ; but on the floor of the House there seemed to 
be as many strangers as legislators, and there was a continual 
running to and fro of messengers and telegraph boys. 

I have said that to the general monochromous dinginess of 
the disestablished hotel there was a solitary exception. I 
found it in a vast upper chamber adjoining the office of the 
Lieutenant-Governor of the State, Mr. M'Ener}', to whom I ^vas 
duly presented. It was a bare, desolate room, with a raised 
wooden platform at one end, and on the wall behind this platform 
there hung a really splendid painting in oil. 1'he National Capitol 
does not, certainly, possess a finer work of art. The subject is one not 
altogether calculated to gratify the national pride of an English- 
man, representing, indeed, the, to us, disastrous engagement on 
the plain of Chalmette, on Jan. 8, 18Lj — an engagement in 
which between six and seven thousand troops, the flower of the 
British army, were repulsed by some thirty-six hundred Americans, 
of whom very few were regular troops, the rest being militiamen, 
Creole volunteers, and hastily-armed smugglers — the notorious 
*' Baratarians," commanded by the brothers Lafitte. I find it 
stated in Mr. John Dimitry's " Lessons in the History of 
Louisiana " that, a short time before the battle of New Orleans, 
John Lafitte, the elder of the two Baratarian brothers, was offered 
by Colonel Nichofls, the officer commanding the Forces of King 
George HL at Pensacola, the rank of Captain in the British 
army and a reward of 30,000 dollars if he would join our side. 
The patriotic contrabandist, who was somewhat of a pirate to 
boot, replied that he would take time to consider the offer, which 
meanwhile, he communicated to the American Governor Claiborne, 
who, with tlie advice of his council, declined to have anything to 
do with ]\L Jean Lafitte. But the patriotic desperado's services 
were afterwards gladly accepted by General Jackson. The 
Baratarian battalion highl}' distinguished themselves at Chalmette, 
and, in consideration of their bravery, at the conclusion of the 
war, the Lafittes and all their merry men received a full pardon 
from the Congress of the United States. Perhaps like Mr. 
Gilbert's " Pirates of Penzance " the Baratarians were only 
noblemen — or, rather, patriots — who " had gone wrong." 



318 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



To return to the picture in the State House, in which the 
death of the British General, Sir Edward Pakenham, is very 
dramatically depicted, and in another portion of which General 
Jackson stands, surrounded by his staff, I may observe that the 
painting bears the signature of Eugene Lamy, whom middle-aged 
persons may remember as the executant of a number of beautiful 
water-colour drawings, illustrating fashionable society in England 
some forty years ago. M. Eugene Lamy was much petted and 
caressed in English aristocratic circles ; and lo ! here he turns 
up at New Orleans as the pictorial recorder of one of our saddest 
reverses. This brief sketch of a Southern Parliament should not 
be concluded without note being taken of the fact that the great 
majority of the honourable members were vigorously smoking 
cigars or cigarettes throughout the debate. Why not? 




A NIGGER DISPUTE, NEW ORLEANS. 




XXVII. 

Sunday in New Orleans. 

Ne'.v Orleans, Feh. 3. 

On more tlian one occasion I have taken the Hberty to 
observe that the American Sunday, so far as I liad had the 
opportunity of observing it, was socially a day of tribulation. 
I am thoroughly well aware that foreigners from the continent 
of Europe are in the habit of making precisely the same remark 
with regard to our observance of the Seventh Day in England, 
and more especially in Scotland. At present, however, I am 
only concerned with things Transatlantic, and I have no need to 
mingle in the controversy between Sabbath fanaticism on the one 
hand and Sabbath Hcence on the other. In the Northern and 
Middle States, so it seems to me — but I am, of course, as in all 
things, open to conviction — the rigid Puritanical or Mosaic 
observance of Sunday is prescribed by the laws of the State. 
Those laws are in the highest degree acceptable to a class, who 
by right and custom, are socially by far the most influential in 
the United States — I mean the ladies. Women do not frequent 



320 AMERICA REVISITED. 

bars or barbers' sliops ; they are not given — in this country, at* 
least — to driving last-trotting horses ; they do not smoke 
cigars ; and they are extremely fond of going to church, of 
wearing their finest clothing thereat, and of listening to emo- 
tional music, and to preachers who are either emotional or comic 
and sometimes both. The sermons of the most popular of the 
New York clergymen are literally as good as a play ; and with 
plenty of stirring music, and pulpit oratory appealing either to 
the risible or lachrymose fjiculties, there is surely no reason, so 
far as feminine New York is concerned, why the theatres should 
be opened on Sunday. 

Thus, Lovely AVoman, both from a devotional and a 
recreative point of view, hails Sunday as a sweet boon. The 
innumerable churches are not only places of worship, but they 
also fulfil the functions of the very largest and most ornate forms 
of bonnet-boxes ; and the majority of the sermons preached are 
not only aids to Faith, guides to morality, and exhortations to 
repentance, but highly-spiced entertainments as well. Con- 
sequently, few seek to disturb the statutes which forbid people 
to enjoy themselves in a secular fashion on Sunday. All that 
that portion of the community care to do who are not church- ; 
goers, or who have no taste for the condimental prolusions of 
the Rev. Beecher and the facetious deliverances of the Re\. 
Talmage, is either to sit at home in dudgeon until the 
cheerless Sabbath be past, or s^'stematically but surreptitiously 
to evade the laws made and provided in every possible way 
lending itself to evasion : — and the initiated say that there are 
a hundred such ways, from slipping in at the back doors of 
"sly groggeries " to openly purchasing alcohol disguised as 
stomachics and cordials at the drug stores. On the whole 
the stringent enactments which in the Northern States forbid 
people to get shaved or to call for a tumbler of soda and sherry 
on a Sunday are probably found, practically, to work very well. 
It is by the will of the majority that these enactments have 
been made, and that they are retained in the statute-book 
The minority do not complain very bitterly, because their 
ingenuity supplies them with the means of procuring " on the 
sly " that which the law forbids them to consume in the open 
and, as for the travelling foreigner, he has clearly no right t 
grumble under any circumstances about anything. He is i 
Rome, and he is bound to do as the Romans do. 

In Pennsylvania and in Maryland I found Sunday kept wit 



SUNDAY IX NEW ORLEANS. 



321 



tlie strictness wlilcli, as in duty bound, I revered, but which I 
failed to admire, in New York. At Richmond I noticed a 
slight relaxation in the afflictive discipline of the Sabbath. The 
bars were all rigorously closed ; but you could purchase news- 
j)apers and cigars, fruit, pea nuts, and candies on the Sabbath. 
I spent one Sunday at Augusta, in Georgia, and found the same 
latitude as to the sale of light refreshments existing. In the 
State of North Carolina I was told that a system of what is 
termed " local option," in result somewhat resembling that 
which Sir Wilfrid Lawson hopes to obtain by means of his 
Permissive Prohibitory Bill, prevailed. There are North 
Carolinian districts where, by consent of the voting majorit}', the 
sale of strong drink, not only on the Sabbath but on week days, 
is altogether prohibited. I come now to Louisiana. On 
arriving in the Crescent City I had fully made up my mind to 
undergo another Sunday of the approved Northern and Middle 
State pattern. The best way to undergo such a day of penance 
is to shut yourself up in your room and sleep away as many of the 
hours as you can. I was prepared for a New Orleans Sunday of 
the bitterest kind. There are more than a hundred churches 
in the city. The bells of the Roman Catholic places of Avorship 
begin to jingle at six o'clock in the morning ; and I was informed 




ALMSGIVIKG ON THE WAY TO MASS. 



HOLX WATER FOUNT. 
Y 



322 AMERICA REVISITED. 

that the scene of female beauty and loveliness, and riclmess of 
costume, in Canal-street about one p.m., when the ladies were 
returning from church, w^as almost distracting in its brilliance. 

But I was also favoured with another item of courteous infor- 
mation. Markets abound in New Orleans, as, indeed, they do 
in most American cities. New Orleans may justly pride herself 
on her Poydras, her St. Mary's, her Magazine-street, her Keller, 
her Second and Ninth, her Claiborne, and her Carrollton 
markets ; but I was especially warned that I must not fail to 
visit the old French market, which is in its " fullest bloom " on 
Sunday mornings, and which has always been considered as one 
of the most characteristic sights of New Orleans. I could 
scarcely, it was added, be at the old French market too early. 
I remember the tolerant provision in our own Lord's Day Acts, 
which permitted the vendors of mackerel to cry those fish in the 
street early on Sunday morning : the perishable nature of this 
particular commodity warranting such an exceptional concession 
of public outcry. Now, the Gulf of Mexico abounds in fish of 
the most exquisite flavour, and similar motives of toleration had, 
I doubted not, prompted the permission to hold market overt for 
the benefit of benighted people of French extraction, for a brief 
period on Sunday inornmg. Good Protestants, of course, do not 
require fresh fish on the Sabbath. I learned that the old French 
market, the pioneer of all existing establishments of the kind, was 
"first located '' under the Spanish supremacy. Lucus a non 
lucendo. The original erection was destroyed in the hurricane 
of 1812. The ground plan of the present market is irregular; 
it havinir been constructed at different neriods, and structurally 
may be described in general terms as a very plain specimen of 
the Roman Doric order, supported by high pillars, plastered, 
and crowned by a slate roof. It is situated on the Levt^e, 
almost at the foot of Jackson-square, the beloved. 

Three distinct emporia are comprised in this one mart, namely, 
the ]\[eat market, the Vegetable market, and the Bazaar market. 
In the first, butchers' meat alone is exposed for sale ; in the 
second are sold vegetables, fish, fruit, flowers, and game ; while 
in the middle, or Bazaar market, almost every conceivable article 
in the dry-goods line may be procured. Each market is separated 
from its neighbours by a broad avenue ; and these thoroughfares 
are, during business hours, crowded with stalls and baskets oi 
itinerant vendors filled with commodities for domestic use, 
ornament, and edible and potable consumption. Thus this old 



SUNDAY IN NEW ORLEANS. 



333 



French market substantially represents a combination of Billin"-s- 
gate,_ Smithfield, Covent-garden, the Temple in Paris, tlie 
Gostinnoi Dvor at St. 
Petersburg-, and Leather- 
lane, Holborn, on a Sun- 
day morning minus the 
Sabbath - keeping action 
of the officials of the 
Local Board of Works 
who were in the habit of 
deluging the wicked Sab- 
bath - breaking coster- 
mongers with diluted 
carbolic acid. With what 
face can I gird at the 
Americans for making 
Sunday penally disagree- 
able to all but the Phari- 
sees, when we still retain 
on our statute book the 
Act of Charles II., and 
when the Sabbatarian 
pranks of the Rev. Jon. 
B. Wright are yet fresh in the English memory ? If the North- 
erners worry and exasperate strangers by their intolerant Sunday 
edicts, may they not fairly plead that they have learned intolerance 
from us ? But they manage things otherwise — I will not presume 
to say that they manage them better — in New Orleans. 

I contrived to oversleep myself a little on Saturday night ; and 
it was half-past seven on Sunday morning ere I found myself 
afoot. It is a good twenty minutes' walk from the St. Charles's 
Hotel to Jackson-square ; I paused for a few minutes in the 
Cathedral of St. Louis ; and eight o'clock had chimed before I 
reached the old French market. It was in full swing. With 
respect to the crowd, I had been counselled, in the outset, to 
" put my corns in my pocket ;" but I found circulation, although 
slow, to be easy enough ; and if anybody did happen to tread on 
your feet, or to dig the sharp angle of a market basket into your 
ribs, he or she was prompt to ask your pardon, and to hope that 
he or she had not disturbed you. It is not often that you hear, 
" Pardon, m'sieur," or " Bien fache de vous deranger," on the 
INorth American continent. As for the confusion 




A BOUQUET SELLER IN THE VEGETABLE MARKET. 



of tongues 

Y 2 



m 



324 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



the market, It was simply delicious. Frencli, Italian, Spanish, 
Portuguese, Dutch and " Gumbo " contended with each other for 
supremacy ; but French predominated. 

There are French and French, of course, among the Creole 
population of New Orleans ; and tlie GralHc tongue, as spoken in 
the market, is certainly not very pure either in its grammar or its 




IN THE FRENCH MEAT MARKET, NEW ORLEANS. 

accent. In this the French Creoles of Louisiana differ from their] 
congeners in Lower Canada, of whom a bishop from old France, whoj 
had visited the banks of the St. Lawrence, once publicly declared! 
that there was not a French-speaking country in the world wherej 
the lower classes spoke French so well and the upper classes soj 
ill as in Canada. Assuming Monseigneur to have been corr( 
in his dictum, there would seem to have been a reason for the 
discrepancy which he noticed. The upper classes of French| 
Canadians mingle freely in English society ; as a rule they all 
talk English fluently ; and it is possible that a certain proportior 



SUNDAY IN NEW ORLEANS. 325 

of Anglicisms or Anglo-Americanisins lias entered into their own 
speech. On the other hand, the working classes in Canada of 
French extraction keep themselves aloof both from the English 
and the Irish, and there is but a very feeble negro element to 
corrupt the speech of the whites. In New Orleans, although 
there are many Creole gentlemen who have taken and who 
continue to take a distinguished part in public affairs, and who 
speak the two languages with equal purity and fluency, and 
although most of the store-keepers in the French quarter are as 
voluble in Anglo-American as they are in French, there are, 
so they tell me, numbers of high-class Creole families wlio 
remain, in language and manners, resolutely and exclusively 
French, and who bring up their children in persistent ignorance 
of the Anglo-American tongue. They are all, of course, patriotic 
American citizens ; but there their sympathy with the institutions 
of the Great Republic ends. The industrial classes, on the other 
hand, although they live in the French quarter, and speak much 
more French than they do English, can scarcely help foiling into 
a loose and incorrect way of parlance. They are jostled at every 
turn by Spaniards, Italians, and Germans, and especially by the 
coloured people, who gabble a wondrous salmagundi of a patois, 
made up of French, Spanish, and indigenous African, which is 
known as "Gumbo." Whether " Gumbo" — wliich is also the 
generic name, by the way, for a very delicious class of soups — 
be an abbreviation of Mumbo Jumbo is a philological question 
too nice to be debated in this place. " Gumbo," however — and a 
most barbarous lingo it is — seems to be very prevalent among 
the peripatetic vendors, mostly negroes, in the avenues between 
the market blocks. The regular salesmen in the market itself 
speak French and English, for all connnercial purposes, fluently 
enough. 

The Meat market on the Sunday morning of my visit seemed 
to me very plentifully stocked ; and in the matter of beef the 
meat looked as of excellent quality. On the whole, I am 
inclined to think that America beats us in the tenderness and 
juiciness of what, in her excessive modesty, she terms beef, but 
which we more bluntly call rump steaks. With us a "beef" 
steak is not a first-class steak ; but under this title the Americans 
comprise all " tender-loin," " porter-house," under-cut, and 
fillet steaks. The Chateaubriand, likewise, emperor and king 
of steaks, can be obtained at New Orleans in greater perfection 
than I have found it in any other portion of this continent. 



326 AMERICA REVISITED. 

With respect to tlie fish and the game with which the French 
Market abounds, I am chary of entering into details, since I am 
ignorant of the names of fully three-fourths of the birds and of 
the finny creatures which are brought to market. I know that 
I have eaten blue-fish, trout, "pompanon," red-snapper, sheep's- 
head, and some congener — a magnificent one — of the Spanish 
mackerel ; bat there are at least half a score more fish from the 
Gulf, of ample size and exquisite flavour, of the appellations of 
which I have not the slightest inkling. 

So is it with the game, the nomenclature of which is, even 
when acquired, bewildering to the foreigner ; and the confusion 
of the two tongues makes confusion worse confounded. What 
at the French restaurant is called a " perdreau " looks like a 
large quail ; in fact, the Creole waiter will gravely tell you that 
the English for " perdreau " is quail ; of the bird termed in 
European French " caille," he does not seem to have any definite 
knowledge. The New York quail, again, is as large as a good- 
sized English partridge, with very plump white meat ; while the 
New York partridge is a pheasant. More than once I have been 
told here that the French for grouse is not coq de hniyere^ and 
at length, in despair, I have ceased to strive after accuracy, 
and have allowed the gargon to bring me what he would in the 
way of game. That is the wisest plan to adopt. The Creole 
restaurant waiter knows infinitely more about local matters 
edible than you do. He is generally a very good fellow ; and 
if you leave the selection to him he will bring you that which 
is in season and most toothsome. Still, for the sake of con- 
venience, it might be desirable for an independent system of 
nomenclature — say an Indian one — to be applied to game and 
fish. I v/ould not mind if a duck were called a " catahoula," a 
j)igeon an " oshibi," a pheasant a " caccassar," a partridge a 
" tangipahoa,'' a quail a " chefunctee," a snipe a " lanacoco," 
a woodcock a " tickfaw," or a snipe an " atchafalaya." 

Of fruit and vegetables there is not such an astonishing 
profusion as you might expect in this almost perennially sunny 
land. I mind well that we are only in the first week in Feb- 
ruary ; but it strikes me that the winter yield of fruit and 
market gardens in Louisiana does not excel — even if it equals — 
that of the Riviera and the Levant. There are some green peas and 
strawberries grown in the open, the latter small and somewhat 
wild-flavoured. I have not seen any asparagus. The oranges 
are innumerable ; and two or three thousand of the delicious 



SUNDAY IN NEW ORLEANS. 



.'527 




THE FRENCH VEGETABLE MARKET. 



fruit must be consumed every day, I should say, at the St. 
Charles alone. Among the green vegetables spmacli takes the 
lead. Lettuce and chicory are most conspicuous among the 
salads. But I have met with no huge cabbages and no prize 
cauliflowers. Bananas abound, plantain is plentiful enough, so 
are pine-apples ; but the last are brought from the Antilles. 
You see few of the tropical fruits — shaddocks, mangoes, guavas, 
and a host more with Spanish names which have slipped ray 
memory — which so tempt 3'ou, to your stomachic peril, in the 
markets of Havana and Vera Cruz. But the old French 
market is very great in onions, leeks, and eschalots, and espe- 
cially in that esculent inestimable in Provencal cookery, and 
which by a famous English essayist has been unjustly stigmatised 
as "the rank and guilty garlic." 

That essayist — all honor to his memory, but Homer nods 
sometimes — had evidently never tasted saucisse de Lyon nor 
gigot a Vail^ nor the imperial houillahaisse^ the last of which is 



328 



AMERICA EEVISITED. 



concocted in New Orleans in a style yielding nothing in the way 
of excellence to be surpassed at the Restaurant de la Reserve at 
Marseilles. It was the lot of William Makepeace Thackeray tO' 
draw the first inspiration for his " Ballad of Bouillabaisse," from 
an eating house in the Rue Neuve des Petits Champs, Paris. 

There lie quaffed the 
" chambertin with 
yellow seal"; there he 
conjured up the smil- 
ing and the sorrowful 
memories of the past. 
But Fate decreed 
that Mr. Thackeray 
should come after- 
wards to New Or- 
leans; and the Creoles 
yet proudly assert 
tliat tlie illustrious 
author of " Vanity 
Fair " hastened to 
avow that the houil- 
lahaisse which he 
had eaten at Miguel's 
restaurant was as 
good as any on which 
he had regaled in 
" the New Street of 
the Little Fields." 
And where would 
houillahaissG be, I should like to know, without your " rank 
and guilty garlic," quotha? ^"' 

When you are tired of watching the cooks and bonnes of the 
Creole households making their purchases of meat and game, 
fruit, and vegetables — not forgetting good store of pot herbs for 
soup and "okra" for "gumbo" — you will find no more 
interesting field for contemplation than the Bazaar market, which 
may be broadly qualified as a kind of Lowther Arcade on a large 
scale, with the stocks of all the cheap hosiers and haberdashers 
and fancy goods sellers of High-street, Whitechapel, turned loose 
into it. The goods are indifferently American and French. 
Whatever has to do with art usually proceeds from Gaul : tlius 
you see plenty of cheap lithographed portraits of the First. 




A SKETCH IK THE OLD FRENCH MARKET. 



SUNDAY IX NEW ORLEANS. 



329- 



Napoleon, of the poor Prince Imperial, of tlie Empress Eugenie, 
of Notre Dame cle Lourdes, of IMarshal McMalion, and of the 
late Pio Nono, Captive of the Vatican. Neither Victor 
Emmanuel nor Humbert, King of Italy, seems to be popular 
among the orthodox Creoles. 

Finally, when you have explored all the recesses of the 
Bazaar market, it may occur to you that you have not break- 
fasted, and that, although you are 
invited to a French dejeuner a la 
foiirehette at eleven a.m., you would 
like something in the way of a eafe 
cm lait as a desayuno. Your wishes- 
in this direction can be swiftly and 
cheaply gratified. The coffee stalls- 
of the old French Market are cele- 
brated throuo-hout the New World. 
Many and many 
a time, in days 
long since de- 
parted and 
when young 
men occasion- 
ally stayed out 
all night — the 
existing gene- 
ration, I am 
given to under- 
stand, invari- 
ably retire to 
rest after alight 
supper of cocoa- 
nibs and a boiled 
onion at eleven 
p.m. — have I breakfasted at one of the early coffee-stalls under 
the piazzas in Covent-garden market. I mind the coffee now ; 
if it did contain an uncertain proportion of chicory and burnt 
beans, it was very hot and very sweet. It was as wholesome as 
rum and milk — and more moral. Those prodigiously thick 
slices of bread and butter, too — never mind if the butter was 
" Dosset " and the bread made of " seconds " flour : I have tasted 
very much worse butter in very palatial hotels — then again those 
immense hot cakes, the grease from which ran down to the skirts 




SELLING GUMBO. 



330 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



of your garments and in particular those massive wedges of 
plumcake. They looked solid enough to pave King-street and 
Henrietta-street withal. And how many of the good fellows who 
gathered round the early breakfast-stalls under the piazzas, and 
ran the gauntlet of chaff from the market gardeners, are dead ! 
I remembered the old days, when I halted at a coffee stall in 

the old French market at 
New Orleans, and ordered 
cafe au lent The phantoms 
of Peter Cunningham, of 
Alfred Dickens, of James 
Hannay, of Robert Brough, 
of William M'Connell, of 
Charles Bennett rose around 
me. But the old familiar 
faces disappeared amidst a 
motley crew of sailors and 
fishermen, negro women 
with fantastic yellow tur- 
bans twisted round their 
heads, " Dagoes " and long- 
shore men, Creole ouvriers 
and Creole grisettes. They 
gave me deliciously aro- 
matic coffee, dark as " cas- 
sareepe," beautifully crys- 
tallised sugar, plenty of hot 
milk, the purest of bread, the freshest of butter ; but the 
luemories of the old Covent-garden piazzas had the best of 
it at last, and I left my desayuno all but untasted. 

80 I came back through the French quarter, thinking that, 
market hours being over. New Orleans would subside into the 
silence and the gloom of an orthodox American Sunday. Not a 
bit of it. They have ideas of their own as to the observance of 
the Sabbath on the banks of the Mississippi. The Roman 
Catholics go to mass ; the Anglo-Americans go to church or to 
meeting; and, after that, all who have a mind for enjoyment 
proceed to enjoy themselves to the very fullest extent allowed by 
custom, and, I suppose, warranted by law. Faij ce que voudras 
would appear to be the device acted upon here ; and, if you have 
read your Rabelais aright, you will remember that the Monks 
of the Abbey of Theleme, when they took advantage of the per- 




HOT COFFEE IN THE BAZAAR MARKET. 



SUNDAY IN NEW ORLEANS. 



331 



mission to do as they pleased, were careful only to do tilings 
which were right as well as pleasant. Fay ce que voudras. 
The ethics of a New Orleans Sunday are, just now, foreign to my 
province. I only know that the Louisianians do, in the matter of 




Sunday-keeping, that which has been done from time immemorial 
by the inhabitants of every capital in Europe with the exception 
of Great Britain and Ireland. All the cafes and liquor bars 
were open throughout the day and evening, precisely as they are 
in Paris and Brussels ; all the beer gardens were open precisely 
as they are in Vienna and Munich ; all the theatres and music- 



332 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



halls were open precisely as they are in Berlin and Copen- 
hagen — and please to remember that Berlin and Copenhagen 
are Protestant cities — and, in addition, people played at 
billiards and ten-pins, and otherwise diverted themselves in 
the manner most suited to their own individual inclinations. 
There was no law, so it appeared to me, to prevent people 
from going to church ; but on the other hand, there was nothing 
to hamper and shackle, to fetter, gag, and cripple people who did 
not want to go to church. Fay ce que voudras. I did not notice 
any drunkards staggering about New Orleans on Sunday ; nor, on 
the following morning, did I notice that 
the Picayune or the Times or the Democrat 
recorded an abnormal nund)er of shooting 
or stabbing cases. It strikes me that if a 
man wants to get drunk or to shoot or to 
stab his neighbours, he will indulge in these 
little diversions quite 
as freely on week days 
as on Sundays, and 
that even in the cities 
where Sunday closing- 
is most rigidly en- 
forced, and the law 
makes the most strin- 
gent provisions to 
prevent people from 
amusing themselves, 
the amusements of 
Sunday evening will 
not always bear the 
reflection of Monday 
morning. With re- 
spect to New Orleans 
I have merely re- 
corded that which I 
saw. 

A CORKER OF JACKSON-SQUARE. 





A CARNIVAL GROUP. 



XXVIII. 

The Carnival Booming. 



Xew Orleans, Feb. 6. 



"Decidement ca bourne. Pulsqii'on a bourne a Pliiladelpliie 
au mois de D(3cembre, y a-t-il une raison pourquoi nous iie 
boumassions pas a la Nouvelle Orleans au mois de Fevrier?" 
Were the verb "boumer" as an equivalent for to "boom," 
admitted into tlie vocabulary of " Gumbo " French,"-' I fancy 
that it might be in such terms as those quoted above that Jean- 
Marie Chicot, of the Ptue Peanut, might address Hippolyte 



* " Gumbo " English, or rather America.nero, is being largely imijorted into 
colloquial French. In a recent debate in the French Chambers, jM. Andrieux, ex- 
prefect of police, qualified certain statements, which he declared to l)e exaggerated, 
as "des bamums absurdes." Esteemed Phineas T. Barnum, you have much to 
answer for. 



334 AMERICA EEVISITED. 

Hardslielloss, of the Carrefoiir des Jambes-enclavees (Tangled- 
Legs-place), New Orleans. The thoroughfores mentioned are 
manifestly as imaginary as the personages and their conversation ; 
but It is booming, nevertheless. What? The Carnival. The 
Knights of Momus have made their appearance, by torch-light, 
in the flesh, or rather in armour of plate and armour of chain. 
I have seen ]\Iomus himself on a white horse, stately, magnificent, 
and strictly anonymous. Who is Momus? Sooner ask who 
killed the man in the claret-coloured coat, and ate the puppy-pie 
beneath Marlow bridge. Momus and Mystery are synonymous. 

I very much regret to add that the malicious spirit of 
Alliteration might have suggested, these two or three days 
past, the association with Momus of another proper name 
beginning w^ith the letter M. That name is Macintosh. The 
complaints of those who were going about murmuring that the 
wearing of chain armour during the Carnival would, owing to 
the sultriness of the season, be uncomfortable, have been listened 
to — and with a vengeance — by the Clerk of the Weather. It 
has been pouring what we in England vulgarly term cats and 
dogs, but which on the politer shores of the Mississippi might 
be called racoons and alligators, at intervals, since Sunday last. 
The temperature is cold and raw ; and in the hall of the 
enormous St. Charles, the loafers, whose name is legion, cluster 
around the two huge stoves, like small boys round an empty 
sugar cask, and toast the soles of their boots against the 
incandescent flue. The ladies come down to breakfast in ermine 
and sable and silver-fox-lined mantles ; and after breakfast they 
sit in the Avilderness-like drawing-room and shiver. I say they 
shiver, for the reason that in the palatial salon in question there 
is only one fireplace ; and round that fire four old ladies — 
presumably from the State of South Philauthia — persistently and 
closely sit, excluding the other ladies from the benefits of the 
cheerful blaze. We have an English equivalent for the state of 
South Philauthia, It is called Takecareofnumberoneshire. So 
inclement, indeed, has been the weather — it is true that we have 
had neither frost nor snow — that within the last eight-and-forty 
hours dark and distant rumours were current that the Knights 
of Momus would be reluctantly compelled to postpone, if not 
altogether to abandon, their torch-light procession through the 
principal thoroughfares of the city ; restricting their display to a 
representation of tableaux vivants and a ball at the Grand Opera 
House. 



THE CARNIVAL BOOMING. 335 

Happily, these gloomy forebodings were not realised. Mean- 
while, all the streets had been much embannered, and many of 
the houses were richly illuminated with Chinese lanterns and 
devices in gas and coloured lamps. On Canal-street tiers upon 
tiers of seats had been erected on those pillared verandahs which 
in fine weather form such delightful arcades for lounging in front 
of the stores ; and especially handsome accommodation was pro- 
vided at all the clubs for the friends of members. We were so 
lucky as to be able to secure a capital view of the entire parade 
from the window of our own apartment at the St. Charles — a 
chamber overlooking a side-street between Carondelet-street and 
St. Charles-street ; and down this side thoroughfare the procession 
debouched on its way to Canal-street, where is situated the Grand 
Opera House, which was to be the scene of the tableaux vivants 
and the ball. 

It was about ten minutes past nine when the Carnival began 
to boom in the form of a most tremendous clamour of brass 
bands. Shawm and pipe and psaltery and loud bassoon, and 
ophicleides blown louder than ever were trumpets in the New 
Moon ; cymbal and triangles, and especially that very old friend 
of mine — bless his heart ! — the Big Drummer. There he came 
along in the blazing light of the torches, drubbing away at the 
parchment as though for dear life. I know that big drummer 
well and of old. Last night he wore a splendid military uniform, 
and had on his shoulders epaulettes of red worsted, as bright 
and big as prize tomatoes ; but I was aware of him many years 
ago, when he wore a leopard skin mantle, and a brazen Roman 
helmet, with a white plume as portentous as the panacJie hlanc 
of Henry of Navarre. Then he was the attendant to Mengin, the 
lead pencil man. I was aware of him at the Feria at Seville, when 
he was in the service of a travelling dentist, and v/hen he always 
administered a thundering whack to the drum simultaneously 
with the extraction by his patron of a patient's double tooth. 
The whack drowned the patient's yell of agony. I have known 
him in the ranks of the British Volunteers ; I have met him at 
Foresters' and Odd Fellows' fetes ; he is associated in my 
juvenile reminiscences with Wombwell's menagerie, Richardson's 
show, and the Crown and Anchor booth at Greenwich Fair ; and 
only last year I renewed my acquaintance with this tambour des 
tambours at the Foire au Fai7i d'Epi'ce, in Paris. 

Ah, you democratic Republics ! You are all very grand and 
fine with your universal suffrage, your equal rights, your contempt 



33G 



AMERICA EEVISITED. 




of old-world rank and dignity, and the rest of it ; but you can't 
get on witliout the big drum. That and the blazing away of 
gunpowder in the form of salutes are the first clause in the 
Universal ]\Iagna Charta. Tliey are an everlasting Act of 
Parliament, secularly speaking, that cannot be revoked. The 
naked African savage bangs his tom-tom and fires off his 
Birmingham " trade " musket to show how glad he is. Can 
•we do much more, save in degree of noise and splendour, when 



THE CARNIVAL BOOMING. 337 

Csssar is to be acclaimed or a Carnival iisliered in ? Yonder 
drummer with the tomato epaulettes is but cousin-german to 
him whom I saw the other day making all Broad-street, 
Philadelphia, resound to his reverberations. Then he was 
drubbing in the interests of the Third Term ; and now he drubs 
in the cause of Mirth and Tomfoolery. To-day, in front of a 
balloting booth. To-morrow, in front of a Punch's show. But 
always the same drum, meaning neither more nor less than it 
always does : a self-assertive and congratulatory Noise. For 
my part, I think Punch much more entertaining and much more 
instructive than politics. 

I had never before seen a torchlight procession on the 
American continent, and had pictured to myself that illumination 
would be afforded by ruddily glowing brands of pitch-pine, or by 
those glaring links of old junk plentifully smeared with tar which 
the "running footmen " of the English aristocracy used to carry 
when their lords and ladies went out to nocturnal revelries — 
you may still see the link-extinguishers garnishing the railings 
which flank the hall doors in some old streets and squares in 
London — and which continue to make a fitful appearance, through 
some magic of which only street-boys and " odd-men " eager 
to earn a few pence have the secret, on foggy days and nights 
in the British metropolis. The Americans have vastly improved 
on these primitive flamheaux. Their so-called torches are 
capacious arrangements of lampions, set in rows, and carried 
on tall poles, fed, I should say, by petroleum, or some pre- 
paration of naphtha, and the illuminating power of which is 
increased by immense reflectors, resembling in form so many 
*' Original Little Dustpans" set on end. The result is that a 
light as broad as daylight is shed on the procession itself, while 
the great height at which the torches are carried pleasantly 
illumines the faces of the spectators in the balconies, and at the 
same time casts into the darkest and discreetest of shade 
the torch-bearers and the animals which draw the pageant- 
covered platforms. 

The former were, last night, I opine, chiefly negroes, whose 
costume would not have borne the strictest scrutiny. The 
latter were strong but humble mules, uncaparisoned save with 
the simplest harness. So is it — to paraphrase Douglas Jerrold's 
mot about Crockford's gaming-house in St. James's-street — with 
that remarkably stately bird, the swan. You admire its loftily- 
arched neck, its white and glossy plumage ; but you don't see 



3oS AMERICA REVISITED. 

the black legs Avliicli are propelling it tliroiigli the water. 
Better perhaps, as a rule, not to peer about too inquisitively for 
the dessous des cJioses. The jjhilosopher who was always 
seeking after Truth found her at last, at the bottom of a well. 
But he tumbled into the well and was drowned. So I riveted 
my gaze alternately at the moving platforms — cotton wains or 
brewers' drays their substructures niay have been in the day- 
time — and on the fair faces of the ladies at windoAvs opposite. 
The senior and junior pupils at I\liss Frump's Seminary for 
Young Ladies, Clapham-Rise, could not have been in rarer 
ecstasies at the sight of the calvacade to the Derby than the 
belles of New Orleans at the sight of Momus and his Knights. 
Poor Augustus ]\Iayhew used to say that the most delightful 
sound in the Avorld was that of the laughter of w'omen. How 
merrily did the Dianas of the Crescent City laugh last night — how 
they clapped their dainty palms and waved their pretty Parisian 
fans and their diaphanous cambric mouchoirs — duty five-and- 
thirty per cent, on imported goods — in response to the courteous 
salutations of Monms, splendidly mounted, carefully but not 
grotesquely masked ! What was he like ? Well, imagine 
Edward the Black Prince entering London after Crecy — stay, 
the Prince's captive, King John of France, was better mounted 
than the victor — imagine, rather, Harry the Fifth landing at 
Dover after Agincourt ; amalgamate with Charles V. riding into 
Antwerp ; add a touch of the Chevalier Bayard, the Admirable 
Crichton, Sir Bevis of Southampton, Guy Earl of Warwick^ 
Henry Lwing in Othello, and Masaniello at the close of the 
Market Scene, and you may form a faint — a very faint idea of 
Momus in all his glory. And to think that, next Tuesday, 
New Orleans Avill see a King of the Carnival even more glorious 
than he ! To think that, on Mardi Gras, Rex is coming ! 

I may be excused for indulging in rather a confused 
galimatias of historical comparisons; for, to tell truth, last 
night's torchlight procession was, historically and allegorically, 
" a little mixed. " In past years the parades of Momus and his 
Knights have successfully illustrated the Crusaders, the Coming 
Races of Mankind, Louisiana and her Seasons, the Dream 
of Hades, and the Panorama of the Divinities of Fairy-land. For 
the Carnival of 1880 a Tennysonian chord had been stricken, and 
the pageant symbolised a Dream of Fair Women, What do you 
think of Semiramis, Queen of Assyria, with Ninus, and Madame 
Alboni — I mean Arsace — and a wdiole host of subjugated Medes 



THE CARNIVAL BOOMING. 339 

and Persians, Libyans, and Etliiopians, " jog-gnlating and woggu- 
lating " on a peripatetic platform, on wliicli the art of scene- 
painting had exhausted itself in building up simulacra of temples, 
palaces, bridges, and hanging- gardens ? What do you think of 
Dido, Queen of Carthage, on another car, not sitting at her palace 
gate, as the profjme jester in "Bonibastes Furioso " has it, "darn- 
ing a liole in her stocking-, oh," but preparing in superb serenity 
to immolate herself on a funeral pyre in consequence of the 
conduct of the perfidious vEneas, who had eloped to Dakota with 
a female cashier from a Variety Saloon in the Bowery, New York ? 
What do you think of Dalihxh cutting off the shaggy locks of Sam- 
son at a moment when he was overcome by excessive cocktails, and 
delivering him over to be clubbed by Captain Williams of the 
New York police, and other Philistines ? AYhat do you say to 
Sappho enthroned in a Grecian chariot of burnished gold, drawn 
by fiery steeds of basket-work, and canvas well whitewashed ? 
W^hat do you think of that conceited Phaon, most supercilious 
of Hellenic " mashers " ogling the unhappy Lesbian poetess, 
whose too sensitive heart he had won at a Connecticut church 
oyster stew ? 

But hither comes Aspasia in a car all to herself, surrounded 
by the most eminent men in ancient Athens — congressmen, 
presidents of banks, collectors of ports, Pirates of Penzance, city 
editors, popular preachers, Brooklyn tabernaclers and presbyters 
— hotel landlords, Chicago pork-packers, Nebraska cattle kings, 
discoverers of electric lights, and prominent members of the New 
Orleans Cotton Exchange. Behold her alternating the per- 
formance of the newly fashionable " heel-and-toe " dance with the 
assistance of Pericles in the administration of public affairs. But 
room for Judith cutting off the head of Holofernes as ruthlessly 
as though he were a Government official at the beginning of a 
new Presidential term. The noble Cornelia follows — Cornelia, 
who preferred her children to all Mr. Tiffany's stock-in-trade. 
Behold Cleopatra, in the most gorgeous of gorgeous galleys, 
with her waiting-women like the Nereids, and Mark Antony 
lying, in a hopeless condition of " mash " — the " masher" is the 
superlative of a " spoon,'' and one of his most graceful attributes 
is to pour the maple-syrup over the buckwheat cakes which 
Beauty eats at breakfast — at the feet of the " Serpent of Old 
Nile." Stay, surely a serpent cannot, any more than a pickled 
eel, have feet. But let that pass. It is Carnival time. Behold 
Fair Rosamond in her Woodstock bower, with the infuriated 

z 2 



3iO AMERICA REVISITED. 

Eleanor, liokling a skein of Berlin wool In one hand, and in tlie 
other a bowl containing* equal portions of mix vomica, Schenck's 
Mandrake pills, prassic acid, ipecacuanha, " Moonshiners " 
whiskey, and the Rising Sun Stove Polish. Behold Joan of Arc 
in a full suit of armour, mounted on a prancing steed, to which 
the charger of General Jackson, on the ci-devant Place d'Armes, 
is very "small potatoes" indeed. Alas! here is Mary Queen of 
Scots, dressed in raven black (duty on imported textile fabrics 
Ibrty-five per cent.) and escorted by gloomy guards, descending 
the staircase of Fotheringay Castle on her way to execution. 
Observe the wicked Earl of Shrewsbury, the brutal Earl of Kent, 
and the bigoted Dean of Peterborough. Observe the Hon. Lewis 
Wingfield as he appeared in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. 

Strange to see this old-time scene revived In far-oif Louisiana! 
Only last summer, in a museum at Tunbrldge-wells, I was look- 
ing at a glass case containing, all ftided and tarnished, the 
veritable peer's robes worn by a Lord Abergavenny at the trial 
of Mary Queen of Scots. Little did I think then that the next 
time I was to be reminded of the sad tragedy at Fotheringay 
should be on the verge of the gulf of ]\[exico. Sait-oii oh Von 
va ') Where shall I be three weeks hence, I wonder ? But here 
is Maria Theresa of Austria "orating" to the Hungarian Diet, 
Avith her babe in her arms ; while the loyal and chivalrous 
Magyars draw their swords and shout " Moriamur pro Rege 
nostro." There is another car with the Empress Josephine, 
crowned and sceptred, and sitting on a throne, before which 
descends a veil of filmy gauze not unlike what in this section of 
the country is called a " mosquito bar." Josephine was a Creole 
Empress. There is a street named after her here ; and her 
sweet memory is yet revered. But I must apologise to Zenobia, 
Empress of Palmyra, who, on a prodigious elephant, preceded 
Fair Rosamond, and whom I have as yet cruelly left out in the 
cold ; and it strikes me also that the procession included a 
tableau of Queen Elizabeth and her Court, with Shakespeare 
reading " The Two Gentlemen of Verona," to the edification of 
Messrs. Robson and Crane, the delight of Lord Bacon, and the 
envy of Ben Jonson. 

I did not avail myself of the courteous invitations which 
Momus had sent me for his tableaux and his ball at the Opera 
House. I have had some difficulty in convincing kind friends, 
not only in New Orleans, but in other American cities, that a 
ball is a ball all the world over ; that my dancing days have 






THE CARJs^IVAL BOOMING. 



311 



' long since been over ; and that I did not come to tins country 
to look upon ladies and gentlemen arrayed in tlie ordinary 
toilettes and the ordinary je^Yellery of an advanced state of 
civilisation, and otherwise comporting themselves as they would 
in ball-rooms in Belgrave Square, in the Faubourg St. Germain, 
on the English Quay at St. Petersburg, or in the Ring Strasse 
at Vienna, but to observe the aspect of strange places and the 
manners of strange people. The alfresco aspect of J\Iomus and 
his rich and tastily apparelled cavalcade was quite enough for 
me ; and I went to bed with the comfortable consciousness of 
having acquired a new experience and the cheerful hope of gaiu- 
ino- another one on Mardi Gras. 








THE CARNIVAL PR0CK3SI0N TASSIKG THE STATUE OF HENRY CLAY. 



XXIX. 

The Carnival Booms. 



New Orleans, Asli WednesJay. 

It is all over. Momus and liis Kniglits have strutted and 
fretted tlieir hour on the stage, and v/ill not be seen any more 
until next Shrovetide. Comus and his JMistick Krewe have laid 
down their fantastic halits, and reverted to their normal states 
and conditions of life as cotton-brokers or bank-cashiers ; the 






I 



THE CARNIVAL BOOMS. 



343 



" Pliorty Phunny Fellows" are as defunct as those Forty Thieves 
upon whom Morgiana so cleverly got up a "corner" m petro- 
leum ; the German Liedertafel and Karnival-Verein, who have 
been permitted to co-operate with the haughty compeers of 







SHROVETIDE A>'D LEXT. 



344 



AMERICA EEVISITED. 



Mobile, are all "gonad afay mid de lager-beer — afliy in die 
ewigheit;'' and Rex himself, King of Tomfools and Lord of 
Misrule, Las, after a brief but glorious reign, been peacefully 
dethroned, or has as peacefully abdicated, and is reposing his 
discrowned head on some well-earned pillow. The Carnival of 
New Orleans has boomed, and is no more. This is Ash Wed- 
nesday ; there are to be no more cakes and ale, and ginger is 
not to be hot i' the mouth until Easter Day ; the dour rCgime of 
salt fish and pickled eggs has set in ; and devout Catholics will 
wear nought but sad-coloured garments : nor will they marry 
nor be given in marriage, for forty days. A perceptible despon- 
dency affects those who were yesterday among the merriest 
revellers. Not only Ash "Wednesday, but likewise le quart 
d'heure de Rabelais has come. Yon Paterfamilias, with the 

grey " goatee " and the double eye- 
glasses, has come all the way from 
Chicago to see the Carnival. With him 
came a commanding spouse and three 
sylph-like daughters, to say nothing of 
a niece from Cincinnati and two female 
cousins from Buffalo. A very thought- 
ful Paterfamilias he looks, this morning. 
I apprehend that his board-bill at the 
St. Charles Hotel for self and family 
will " foot up " to something consider- 
able. 

The hotel itself, which, when I arrived 
here, twenty days since, was a very 
comfortable and almost sleepily quiet 
place, has during the last four or five 
days been a chaos, and almost a pande- 
monium. The Roaring Bulls of Bashan 
have taken possession of the vast marble 
rotunda ; Stentor has it all his own way 
In the dining-hall as he bellows for more chicken gumbo ; and 
the shrieks of the ididantcs, in the shape of small children 
deliriously racing about the corridors, and affectionately " chivied " 
by coloured nurses, deafen the ears and distract the mind of him 
who is childless and loves peace. Such a one may love children, 
too, in their proper j^laces ; but close and frequent acquaintance 
with small juveniles in an American hotel is apt to induce the 
conviction that, all things considered, you would like the American 




THE CARNIVAL BOOMS. 345 

child best ill a pie. The rules of the hotel expressly prohibit 
the conversion of the corridors into playgrounds for the'children ; 
but where else are the poor little creatures to go ? Why do 
not their parents leave them at home ? you may ask. It is just 
possible that their papas and mammas have themselves no homes 
beyond the enormous caravanserais in which married couples, 
in this country, often abide by the half-dozen years together. 
Moreover, it is, or rather it has been, Carnival time, and we must 
take the rough with the smooth. 

I am myself a tolerably neat hand at grumbling, and there 
are several first-class hotels in mine own country and on the 
continent of Europe, in which I might hesitate to accept hospi- 
tality owing to a nervous remembrance of the verbal passages of 
arms wdiich, in days gone by, I have had w^ith landlords and head 
Avaiters ; but during the ten weeks and odd which I have passed 
on this continent I have systematically endeavoured to conceal 
my natural soreheadedness, to look at the bright side of things, 
and to bear all the petty discomforts of travelling with a patient 
shrug. For example, the water which they give you here for 
washing purposes is of the colour, and nearly of the consistency, 
of pea-soup. That is the kind of tap which the magnificent 
Mississippi provides for you. Where is the use of grumbling 
about the w^ater? Console yourself, rather, with the remem- 
brance that from the Maneanares at Madrid scarcely any 
water is procurable at all; and that the Mississippi is a river 
highly impregnated with alluvial matter, which fertilises the 
regions through wdiich the Father of Waters passes. Perhaps 
after a long course of bathing in liquid mud you will find your 
skin pleasantly fertilised. I know that the pea-soup water has 
turned the linen fronts of all my shirts to a deep yellow. Well, 
it is better to wear yellow shirts than to have the yellow fever. 
Why, again, should I complain because from day to day I have 
found it more and more difficult to obtain anything like an eatable 
dinner in an hotel where the charo-e for board is four dollars a 
day; so that, in despairing hunger, I have been fain to dine 
outside at Moreau's, in Canal-street ? " 



* A capital restaurant in every respect. Good to dine at : better to breakfast 
at. Fish and game abundant and delicious. A Chateaubriand e(]^ual to anything 
of the kind at Delmonico's or the Hotel Brunswick, N.Y. The claret sound and 
comparatively cheap. A dinner for two persons, including a pint of excellent drj 
champagne, should not cost more than five dollars or one pound sterling. There is 



316 AMERICA REVISITED. 

There have been many more guests in tlie hotel who have 
been worse off than I ; and they have borne their sufferings with 
angehc patience. The Americans^ so far as social grievances are 
^oncerned^ are the most 'patient people in the icorld. Tliey " put 
lip Avith " or endure nuisances and extortions of which we should 
furiously demand the immediate abrogation ; when the}^ grumble 
in print it is humorously and not viciously as we do ; and — good 
gracious ! what is that fearful noise overhead? The violent and 
continuous concussion of heavy bodies is followed by what seems 
to be the oversetting of furniture and the smashing of glass and 
crockery ware. What ca?^ the disturbance mean? Has anybody 
gone raving mad ? Did anybody come home very late from one of 
the Mardi Gras balls, and is he now, after swallowing the contents 
of many bottles of Congress-water and a course of cunningly con- 
cocted cocktails, makhig laborious attempts to rise ? But hark ! 
that heavy sound breaks in once more — nearer, clearer, deadlier 
than before. It can scarcely be the opening roar of cannon. Can 
it be somebody whom tlic long-pent injuries of years has suddenly 
rendered frantic, and who has "gone" for his mother-in-law. 

Who shall say? The American is, in liis domestic relations, 
ordinarily the most placable and longest-suffering of mankind. 
But there is a point at which the trampled worm will turn, and 
the overburdened Ihima kick. At all times, indeed, you may 
gather from printed and graphic sources evidence of the latent 
vindictiveness with which the Americans regard the mammas of 
their spouses. The sweet and self-sacrificing matron, who in 
England is universally held in such passionate love and such 
deep veneration, is, on this side of the Atlantic, made the subject 
of the wickedest satire and the cruellest of aspersions. Josh 
Billings has not spared her, nor Mark Twain held his hand from 
girding at her. She is gibed at in the "all sorts" and " brevities " 
items in innumerable newspapers ; she is the butt of all the 
comic illustrated journals ; she is the most conspicuous in the 
monstrous valentines which during the month of February make 
the stalls of the newsvendors hideous. Obviously there are 
valentines and valentines in the States ; and the little maiden 
above, who, furtively watched by her schoolfellows, is j^osting her 
^' First A^alentine," has probably purchased the very prettiest one 
that her pocket-money enabled her to acquire. The other day I 

another adinirable little Freixli restaurant koj^t liy a plump Creole lady in the Rue 
des Peleriiies, down by the old French market. 



THE CARNIVAL BOOMS. 



347 




^^^^fm^^ 



'-%m^^ 



POSTING HER FiaST VALENTINE. 



overheard this snatch of ribald minstrelsy from a small boy in 
Carondelet-street, who was cracking pea-nuts as he walked : — • 

Give me a liatcliet, or l(!nd me a 8aw, 

And I'll cut off tlie leg of my motlier-iu-law. 

My blood ran cold as I listened to the horrible aspiration. Thank 
the proprieties, in England, we never fail to love — don't we 
fondly love ? — our mothers-in-law. 

This is not a digression ; for during the Carnival there must 
have been at least a hundred heUes-meres with their daughters 
and their sons-in-law in this hotel alone. Please to remember 
that the St. Charles, albeit it is tlie largest and the handsomest, 
is not the only big caravanserai in New Orleans. There are the 
St. James, the City, the Perry, and a host of smaller houses. 
Here we have been lodging, they tell me, something like seven 
hundred guests ; and six hundred more have been turned away 
by the reluctant and urbane proprietors, for lack of space. 
New Orleans abounds in furnished lodgings ; and these, also, 
have been crammed to suffocation. Some of the gigantic Mis- 



348 



AMERICA EEVISITED. 







sisslppi steamboats moored at .tlie Levee have been turned 
into impromptu liotels, and hosts of otherwise homeless wanderers 
liave invaded their state-rooms. The resources of private 
hospitahty have been strained to tlieir utmost ; and it is 
computed that in the aggregate the Crescent City has harboured 
within lier gates full forty thousand strangers. Their mission has 
been sini])ly that which led the party of dethroned kings 
described by Voltaire in " Candide " to come to Venice. They 
wanted to see the Carnival ; but, unlike the dilapidated royalties 
in the wittiest, wickedest tale that ever was written, the visitors 
to the Carnival of New Orleans had plenty of money wherewith 
to pay for their suppers, and tlieir dinners, breakfasts, and 
luncheons to boot. They came provided with stupendous 
Saratoga trunks — as big as the coffers which the Spaniards term 
niundos, worlds — full to bursting with radiant toilettes. They 
came dowry to breakfast arrayed in diamond earrings, and in 
bracelets glowing with barbaric pearl and gold. Why did 
I not bring some imitation brilliants from the Kue de la Paix, or 
some electro from the Burlington Arcade, with me? It is 
so hard to tell the diiference between the real and the sham. They 
came from Mobile and Pensacola, from Biloxi and Tallahassee, 
from Jacksonville and Palatka, from Charleston and Savannah, 
from far-off Chicago and New York — ay, and from San Francisco 



THE CARNIVAL BOOMS. 



34-9 



and Denver City — with tlie sole object of seeing tlie Carnival. 
And, having seen it, I hope that they are satisfied. I know that 
I am. 

Paris, Brussels, Cologne, Milan, Venice, Rome, Turin, Nice, 
are all very well in their way ; but in the New Orleans saturnalia 
there has been to me a thoroughly new, original, and weirdly 
picturesque element which I have never seen before, and which, 
in all human likelihood, I shall never see au'ain. When I 
say that the picturesqueness had a " weird " aspect, I am writing 
deliberately. The aspect which I mean was lent to the show by 
the conspicuous part which the negro population took in it. With 
what infinite delight when 
we were boys did we not 
read of the masquerading 
junketings at Christmas- 
tide of tlie negroes in the 
West Indies, as described 
by Captain Marr3^at and 
the author of " Tom Crin- 
gle's Log"! Those were 
the saturnalia of slaves ; 
and emancipation has 
brought to the coloured 
people of the South, under 
ordinar}^ circumstances, a 
noticeable aspect of gloom 
and sadness. Where they 
were formerly jocund they 
are now often morose. In 
fiict, they are slowly 
awakening to a sense of 
individual responsibility. 
They have to solve that 
terrible problem, " How __ 

shall I provide for my- ""^ 

self?" And many of them have given up the conundrum in 
sheer despair, and " loaf around," staring at things in general as 
though they were guests at the great table of Nature, for whom 
a knife and fork and plate and a beautifully folded napkin had 
been provided — but nothing else. 

Still during the Carnival they have brightened up wonderfully. 
The festival has meant a plenitude of employment and an abund- 




350 AMERICA REVISITED. 

ance of dollars for the coloured race. The hackney carriage 
drivers of New Orleans are nearly all — and I know not why — 
white people, but the negroes have been the chief torcli- 
bearers in the nocturnal processions ; and it is they who, 
clothed in hizarre gaberdines of glazed calico of many hues, 
have led the interminable trains of mules which dragged 
the " floats " or wains on which the glittering pageants 
were displayed. In addition to the material services which the 
dark-skinned folks have rendered to Momus and his Knights, to 
the Phorty Phunny Fellows, to Comus and his Mistick Krewe 
and to the mighty Pex himself, the negroes have gone 
extensively into masquerading on their own private account. 
They have been capering about the streets arrayed in the 
most absurd dresses, and cutting the most ridiculous capers. 
Within the forty-eight hours I have met hundreds of Uncle 
Toms and Uncle Neds, Cuffees, Sambos, and Obis or Three- 
fingered Jacks, astounding in the ingenious ugliness of their 
travesties. Walking caricatures of the late Emperor Soulouque 
pervaded Canal-street ; and it would scarcely have surprised 
me had I met the ghosts of Toussaint I'Ouverture, Dessalines, 
and Salnave in that eminent rendezvous of apparitions, Jack- 
son-square. Be good enough to remember that Hayti is only 
*' round the corner. " 

All the more picturesque and more fantastic, because un- 
consciously so, were the negresses, who had assumed their 
Sunday best in honour of the Carnival. The poor things revel 
in the possession of a little bit of finery, even at the worst of 
times; and the rags, wdiicli in the case of the male blacks are 
unredeemed by the presence of one single vestige of taste or 
tidiness, are, with tlie women, frequently relieved by some scrap 
of vivid colour or some device in arrangement suggesting the 
artistic instinct. The wretchedest old flower-women who crouch 
on the doorsteps in the streets attract the attention of the 
European traveller by the Oriental-like turbans of gaudy hues 
which are twisted round their grizzled heads, or by the skilful 
draping of a shawl — all in tatters as it may be — of some stuif of 
a tartan of which the pattern is wholly unknown among the 
Highland clans, and which is probably the product of no Scottish 
loom. But it was not in turbans and plaid shawls that the 
coloured ladies of New Orleans commanded notice and extorted 
admiration during the Carnival. They appeared in the height of 
the fashion, as expounded by Le Follet^ the Gazette des Modes, 



THE CARNIVAL BOOMS. 



351 



and Mijras Journal — but read generally, as witches' prayers are 
said to be, backwards. " Magnolions " and " spanglorious " are, 
perhaps, the most suitable epithets which liyperbole can supply to 




A COLOURED LADY OF NEW ORLEANS. 



convey a notion of these astonishingly outre rigs-out. The much- 
bustled crinoline of twenty years ago was now and then employed 
to distend the " princess " robe of to-day, and the result was a 
liberal display of white cotton stocking. In some cases the hose 
had been " pinked," like unto the hose of an impecunious ballet- 
girl ; and these, with a pair of white taffety boots, with high 
heels, produced a very "pleasing" effect. Laced petticoats^ 
sometimes decorated with a fringe of quack advertisement bills, 
which during the whole of the Carnival w^ere sown broadcast on 
the pavement, were much noticed ; and sunshades of pink^ 
yellow, and sky-blue alpaca were much in demand. As a rule, 
the toilet of the coloured ladies did not run so far as gloves ; 
but they "took it out," as the saying is, in pocket-handker- 



353 



AMERICA EEVISITED. 




OXE OF THE SPECTATORS. 



chiefs edged with clieap lace and in enormous reticules. And, 
dear me, what a perfume of patchouli there was on the side-walk ! 

So the streets of the Crescent City 
were all as fine as fivepence on the morn- 
ing of Monday the 9th. I took care, in 
sorrowful remembrance of my mischances 
at Phihidelphia on the occasion of the Great 
Grant Boom, and in view of the constantly- 
increasing crowds gathered in Canal-street, 
to be back at the St. CJiarles by one 
o'clock p.m. ; for at two Rex and his 
militar}^ escort were expected to arrive at 
the hotel, which during the continuance 
of the Carnival his Majesty grandiloquently 
terms his " Royal Pahxce of San Carlos." 
Whenever the Americans make up their 
minds to play the fool they play it earnestly 
and in the most thoroughly business-like 
manner. There is no shame - facedness, 
no disposition for carping and satirical dis- 
paragement, as there is with us on our rare 
occasions of pageantry". Such mauvaise Itonte and such a dis- 
position to gibe have killed May Day games in England. If it 
occurred to the Americans to revive on their continent the 
Merry- Andrewisms of Jack-in-the-Green, ]\ly Lord and My 
Lady, they would make the sweeps' holiday a " big thing," and 
carry it through triumphantly, beginning with big drums and 
finishing with fireworks. 

The first essential in the successful conduct of the Southern 
Carnival is an entire and unswerving belief in the personality 
and supremacy of Rex. Crowds have been gathering, evening- 
after evening, before the window of a jewellery store in Canal- 
street, in which Rex's "Crown jewels " — his diadem, his sceptre, 
his orb, and his ring— have been displayed. A leading hard- 
w^areman gravely advertises that he has been appointed to con- 
struct a fireproof safe for the custody of the Royal jewels. 
*'Bathurst, Lord High Chamberlain," and "Warwick, Earl 
Marshal of the Empire," have continued to countersign regal 
edicts which are not onl}^ implicitly believed in, but as implicitly 
obeyed. These relate to the decoration of the city and of the 
ships and steamers in harbour, and to general measures of 
police. The committee list of the Royal Ball at Exposition 



THE CAIINIVAL BOOMS. 353 

Palace comprises a list of Peers, the enumeration of whom does 
not provoke merriment. It has been read with dignified earnest- 
ness and with justifiable pride. I find in the Louisianian 
Debrett such titles as E. F. Del Bondio, Duke of JMayence ; 
Bradish Johnson, Duke of Woodland ; J. A. Day, Duke of 
Wamphassock ; Charles T. Howard, Duke of Biloxi ; Wra. 
Hartwell, Duke of Tchoupitoulas ; Jacob Hassinger, Duke of 
the Palatinate; and Adolf Mayer, Duke of Concordia. Promi- 
nent business men, merchants, bankers, sugar and cotton 
planters, are content for the nonce to assume burlesque titles, 
and to play the fool for a few brief hours, as sedately and 
composedly as our grave judges and serjeants-at-law used to do 
on " gaudy days " in the Inns of Court. Imagine the Lords 
Justices of Appeal, the Masters in Chancery, and the leaders of 
the different circuits dancing round a seacoal fire in the middle 
of the Inner Temple Hall in the year of grace 1880 ! Yet they 
were not bad lawyers : — those who so danced in the days of 
Good Queen Bess and Bad King Charles. 

We had plenty of invitations to houses on the line of 
Rex's march to his Royal Palace of San Carlos ; but we proposed 
to remain within the walls of the palace itself, and in an 
apartment on the first floor thereof, the window of which was 
directly over the ladies' entrance to the hotel. This entrance as 
I have before remarked is in a side street, and we were 
thus enabled to Avatch the procession turning down St. Charles- 
street, and halting before the ladies' portal in question, where 
Rex and his courtiers were to alight for the purpose of holding 
a reception in the grand drawing-room of the hotel. The 
pageant was really a very handsome and imposing one. Rex's 
Lord High Chamberlain might perhaps have spared us a 
most tremendous out-screech of all the steam-whistles from the 
shipping along the entire river front. This appalling yell was 
understood to be of the nature of a fanfare^ announcing the 
landing of his ]\Iajesty from his flagship at the bottom of Canal- 
street ; and, combined with the thundering of the cannon, had 
rather an overpowering effect. The procession included a 
detachment of the Thirteenth Infantry ; the Louisiana State 
Cadets — a body of very well-looking youths, in tasteful grey 
uniforms ; the German regiment of militia, in red plumed 
helmets ; the Louisiana and Washington Field Artillery ; and 
lastly Rex himself in an open carriage drawn by six horses, and 
surrounded by a strong guard mounted and on foot. The 



854 AMERICA EEVISITED. 

cavaliers were in varied Carnival costume, very ricli in material 
and glittering in embroidery ; while the infantry escort, in 
their three-cornered cocked-hats, tie wigs, yellow breeches, 
and high gaiters, might have been General O'lleilly's Spanish 
body-guard come to life again. Half a score more carriages 
filled with splendidly attired masquers followed Rex's barouche ; 
and then came a huge wagon, heaped high with iron-bound coffers, 
labelled "The Royal Treasure." A detachment of the New Orleans 
Artillery, remarkably stalwart and well-set-up citizen soldiers, 
brought up the rear; and I need hardly say that the entire 
cortege was at intervals sumptuously seasoned with brass bands. 
Hans Sachs, Fritz Pfeiffer, and Diedrich Trommel must have had, 
I should say, good times during the Carnival ; but the wonder to 
me is that they have not blown their lungs out or drummed 
themselves deaf. 

I was gravely informed that, prior to his arrival at tlie Palace 
of San Carlos, the King of the Carnival had waited on the Mayor 
and the Administrators at the City Hall, and that his Honour, 
J. W. Patton, had addressed Rex in a set speech, presented him 
with the keys of the city on a velvet cushion, and subsequently 
reo-aled the monarch and his courtiers with chicken sandwiches 
and champagne in the Mayor's parlour, which was crowded with 
ladies. Even more thronged Avas the ladies' drawing-room 
at the St. Charles', where Rex was supposed to hold a reception 
of those whose social rank entitled them to presentation at Court. 
It amounted substantially however to nothing more than a crush^ 
approaching the suftbcating stage in its density. One was carried 
hither and thither by the serried mass of ladies and gentlemen 
anxious to pay their obeisances to the sovereign of the hour ; and 
if I chanced to tread on the toes of the Duke of Tchoupitoulas, 
or to damage the plumed helm of the Marquis of Dagdemona, I 
very humbly apologise for my inadvertent discourtesy. 

But far grander doings were those of Mardi Gras. Once 
more was my point of espial the window overlooking the ladies' 
entrance in the side street. Thence, about three in the afternoon,, 
did I witness the passage of Rex's grand pageant, which was 
headed by a cavalcade clad in Assyrian costumes. Rex appeared 
in glittering armour and in regal robes, as " Shalmaneser," King of 
Assyria, in a chariot drawn by ten fiery steeds, escorted by the 
Kings of Hamuth and the Hittites, and attended by his chief 
priests, astrologers, scribes, eunuchs, and musicians. Then 
came the four-legged King of the Carnival — the Boeuf Gras, a 



THE CARNIVAL BOOMS. ^55 

magnificent animal, milk-white, and weighing four thousand 
pounds avoirdupois, attended by a posse of Assyrian butchers, and 
so bedizened with decorative trappings as to recall Mr. Tennyson's 
"curled and oiled" Assyrian bull. I was glad to see that the 
poor beast was not compelled to walk. As it was, he must 
have suffered quite enough discomfort on the sledge in which 
he was slowly dragged along. Has he been converted into beef, 
I wonder, by this time, that corpulent Bceuf Gras ? He was so 
tall, so stout, so dignified in mien, that he might have been one 
of the stately creatures that Pierre Dupont sang of: 

" J'ai deux gramls bcciifs dans iiion etal)le, 
Deux beaux booufs lilancs tacbes de roux ; 
Le timon est eu Ijois d'erable, 
L'aiguillon eu brandie de boux." 

Stay ; the Boeuf Gras of the New Orleans Carnival was not 
" tache de roux," it was immaculate. 

Rex's Show followed on a number of " floats," or trucks drawn 
by mules, and was supposed to symbolise the four elements — 
earth, air, fire, and water. It was " a little mixed," and the mind 
got rather confused after gazing for a few minutes on a seemingly 
interminable catenation of baboons and ourans^ outano^s, bantams 
and Cochin-Chinas, crocodiles, horned frogs and frilled lizards, 
hooded owls, peacocks, flamingoes, emblems of gas, petroleum 
and dynamite, priests of Zoroaster. Thunder with a helmet and 
mace, locomotives with negro stokers, chariots of the sun, and 
Negative and Positive Electricity, "represented by two lovely 
females." Sheet Lightning likewise appeared in pink tights and 
a corset of tinfoil, and " lovely females," possibly not unknown to 
the corps de ballet of the Bijou Theatre, New Orleans, sustained, 
with the most brilliant eclat^ the difficult characters of the red- 
fish, the big-eyed flying-fish, the star-fish, the sapphire, the 
gurnard, the shark, the gem-pimple, the bonita, the purple-heart, 
the sea-urchin, the rosy feather-star, the opelet and the angel-fish. 

On the whole, the show was a very creditable one, presenting 
some remarkably able displays of scene painting and scenic con- 
struction. The German Karnival-Verein had also come to the 
front to swell the attractions of Rex's pageant, and were prompt 
in making a display of the ponderous humour of their country. 
The yet unanswered query of the Pfere Bonhours — whether it be 
possible for a German to possess wit — was once more propounded 
to the studious mind as a car swept by, containing the " European 
orchestra " from a Teutonic point of view — Prince Bismarck of 

A A 2 



356 AMERICA REVISITED. 

course leading, Russia playing second fiddle, France jingling the 
triangles, and Lord Beaconsfield humbly piping on a "toot-horn." 
" Vive nous autres ! A bas les autres ! " In a German van 
should not the German " musikant" have the mastery? If the 
carriage had been a Welsh one, would not Sir Watkin Williams 
Wynn have been justly predominant ? 

I confess that of all the shows of this exceptionally brilliant 
Carnival, the one which pleased me most was the torch-light 
procession of the Mistick Krewe of Comus, On the different 
" floats " drawn by mules most effectively draped from head to 
foot in some dark crimson stuff, figured various splendidly-attired 
groups, embodying the Romance of Ancient Mexican History ; 
Aztec sacrifices to Qualitzoawal and Huitchlipotchli ; an Aztec 
marriage; the gathering of agave and the making o{ pulque; 
the voyages and battles of Hernan Cortes, " El Conquistador ; " 
the foundation of Villa Rica de Vera Cruz ; the preaching of 
Alvarado ; the martyrdom of JMontezuma ; and the doleful 
episode of the Noche Triste — these were some of the scenes 
depicted with real dramatic force on the moving cars. On the 
last "float" was represented the great Plaza of Mexico, with 
the Portal and the Cathedral and the Palace that Cortes built. 
And to think that the real Mexico is at the very door, so to 
speak ! A few hours would take me to Galveston ; a few more 
to the whilom Mexican town of San Antonio. In four days I 
could be at Vera Cruz ; in five and a half in Mexico city itself. 
And then I remember that at home in London I have treasured 
up some leaves from the forest of Tchabultyree, and a piece of 
the bark of the " Arbol de la Noche Triste " — the very tree 
against which the Conquistador leaned during the whole of that 
Evil Night when his hold on Mexico was so nearly lost. And 
the glittering mummeries of the New Orleans Carnival fade 
aw^ay ; for I saw the Real Thing, the actual and " living " 
Mexico, seventeen years ago ; and the memories of the strange 
land and the stranger people stand up before me, visible, 
palpable, vascular. It is time, as the great novelist tells us, 
to put away the puppets, for we have been chiklren long 
enough, and the play of the Carnival of New Orleans is played 
out. Rex will expire to the music of many shuffling feet and the 
popping of champagne corks ; but in the distance, like a mirage 
in the midst of the lapis-lazuli heavens, I see the great Aztec 
city, and the giant mountains, Popocatepetl and Istaccihuatl, 
crowned with eternal snows. 




XXX. 



Going AYest. 



Chicago, Feb. 18. 



There seemed to be some difficulty, on tlie Wednesday and 
Thursday succeeding Mardi Gras, in convincing the good people 
of New Orleans that the Carnival was over, that Lent had begun, 
and that Fun was as dead as Queen Anne. On the French 
side of Canal-street the Creoles, being orthodox Romanists, 
meekly accepted the inevitable, furled their flags, laid by their 
masks, and made up their minds for forty days' abstinence from 
gaiety and conviviality : — to be alleviated perchance by a trifling 
"spurt" of music and dancing at the Mi-carcme. Otherwise 
salt fish and pickled eggs, and the clerical gentlemen with 
tonsures and in cassocks, would have things all their own way 
until Easter. It is equally true that so early as the morrow 
of Mardi Gras the process of depopulation was visible to a 
phenomenal extent at all the hotels. Throughout Ash Wednes- 
day huge mountains of luggage were piled up in the rotunda of 
the St. Charles, to be carried away by the stalwart negro porters 
and replaced by other Pelions upon Ossas of trunks and port- 
manteaus, to be borne off by the hotel omnibuses conveying suc- 
cessive detachments of departing guests to the various railway 
depots. The recent holiday-makers scampered away as though 



858 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



Yellow Jack were at their heels — a contmgency rendered all the 
more possible by the sudden and alarming sultriness of the 
weather. It was as warm as an average English July ; and the 
mosquitoes, which are timid and harmless when the tempera- 
ture is mild, came out in squadrons and platoons, buzzing 
their bourdons^ droning their war songs, and lapping the 
stranger's blood as though they were so many Germans at a 
Bier-halle. 

With all this, the Anglo-American element in the Crescent 
City seemed generally unaware of the propriety of fasting and 
mourning in sackcloth and ashes. The clicking of billiard balls 
and the rumbling of the tenpins at the saloons ceased not ; the 
bars continued crowded ; and in the night season, although 
Momus, Comus, and Rex, were all laid in the dark tomb of the 
Things which Once Have Been, there was much braying of 

brazen music and 
nmch"allongino;and 
marchonging" of a 
mercurial popula- 
tion. Perhaps they 
were burying the 
Carnival with mili- 
tary honours. Per- 
haps some military, 
or political, or Ma- 
sonic " boom '' had 
succeeded that of 
Mardi Gras. At all 
events, Anglo-Ame- 
rican New Orleans 
continued to enjoy 
itself as though its 
motto was " Let us 
eat, drink, and be 
merry, for to-morrow 
we may liave the 
Yellow Fever or 
the Carpet-Baggers 
back again." 

We packed our needments by easy stages, and waited until 
the first rush of the departing crowd was over. Time enough 
to think about paying your bill and going away. Time enough 




GOING WEST. 359 

to quit tlie cheerful, smillug city and its gentle, kindly people 
full of courteous hospitality and winning ways. You call upon 
them to bid good-bye ; and then they call upon you again to say 
good-bye once more. They embrace your woman-kind, and 
press little souvenirs upon 3^ou and make you promise to send 
them cartes de visite and Christmas cards when you get home ; 
and they will be sure to meet you again : for they all mean to 
come to England some day or another. One gentleman of my 
acquaintance in this pleasant city, a learned physician, was always 
breaking forth in praises of Burlington-gardens and Savile-row ; 
while another was never tired of praising Norfolk-street, Strand. 
As in bright New Orleans so in genial Richmond. The people 
seem as unfeignedly glad to welcome you as they are unfeiguedly 
sorry to part with you ; and you value the kindnesses shown to 
you all the more since they are entirely devoid of ostentation. 
I suppose that the Southerners have their faults. I suppose 
that most folks are faulty ; but assuredly I have met with no 
more affectionate, simple-minded, loveable people than those 
with whom I have been sojourning between the Potomac and 
the Mississippi. 

But to go away was at length the imperative mandate. You 
might fit the halter and traverse the cart — you might often take 
leave and be loth to depart ; but departure w^as the irrevocable 
doom. Farewell summer weather in February ; ftirewell oranges 
and strawberries, bananas and plantains ; farewell the nightly 
skies of blue velvet powdered with silver stars; farewell the 
glimmering ghosts in powder and brocade in dear old Jackson- 
square ! They are all too lovely for me, I murmured, recalling 
the beloved melody in the opera of the " Mountain Sylph ; " and 
then Time rudely took me to task, sternly reminding me that I 
had been loitering in New Orleans, waiting for Mardi Gras, when 
I ought to have sped to Galveston and San Antonio, in Texas, 
or to Cedar Keys and Jackson-ville, in Florida, " Are they not 
close by ? " asked the Old One with the Scythe and Hour-glass. 
" Yes," I sulkily and mentally made answer, " and so are Cuba, 
and Puerto Pvico, and Hayti " — all of which I should much love 
to revisit. They are all close by, they are all round the corner ; 
but a traveller cannot go everywhere. I am due in London, 
England, on the 15th of IMarch, and on the ord of that month 
the Cunard steamer Gallia leaves New York, from whicli I am 
now distant fifteen hundred miles, for Liverpool. And I have 
not yet seen the Great West. " Go West, young man," was 



300 AMERICA REVISITED. 

the advice of the late Horace Greeley to the youthful aspirant 
for fame and fortune. I am not young, and my aspirations do 
not go beyond daily bread and peace ; still I thought that, seeing 
that I should in all probability never again have another chance 
of going West, I might as well go there with all convenient 
•despatcli. So I resolved to make a railway plunge of a thousand 
miles right through to Chicago. 1 would have halted at St. 
Louis ; but that implacable Time said " Xo ! " 

There was something fascinating, too, and something perhaps 
that was perilous to health in the idea of " taking a header '' 
from sub-tropical Spring into Western Winter — from the orange 
and magnolia groves into the snow-drifts and the frost- 
bordered lakes. To accomplish this rapid art of vaulting with 
the greatest convenience and despatch I availed myself of the 
facilities offered by the " Great Jackson Route " — otherwise the 
New Orleans, St. Louis and Chicago Railroad, which I can 
confidently recommend to all travellers in the vast regions lying 
between Louisiana and the shores of Lake Michigan. This rail- 
way unites the land of cotton, sugar, and tobacco with the great 
orchards, granaries, and stock-raising plains of the West. The 
line is throughout in capital order ; it is laid mainly with new 
steel rails, and the trains are draAvn by new and powerful 
locomotives. Under ordinaiy circumstances you may travel 
from the Crescent City to Chicago without once changing your 
Pullman ; but I happened to start on a Friday, and on that jour 
nefaste the " through sleeper " does not run. The Pullman 
ticket agent in New Orleans could only book us as far as a station 
called l)u Quoin, in Rlinois, which station we reached at about 
eight o'clock on Saturday night. AVe made Chicago at 7.30 
on Sunday morning : thus accomplishing the thousand-mile 
trip- — we had left New Orleans at 2.30 on Friday afternoon — in 
about forty hours, a fact which says a good deal for the swiftness 
of locomotion on the Great Jackson route. 

It must finally be recorded, to the honour of the New 
Orleans, St. Louis and Chicago Railroad, that it is exceptionally 
a railroad with the heart that can feel for another. We know 
what Lord Eldon said about Corporate Boards — that they had 
neither souls to be saved nor bodies to be kicked ; and, at the 
first blush, it might seem the wildest Utopianism to expect any- 
thing approaching Samaritan compassion from an organisation 
made up of steel rails, sleepers, locomotives, and " box " cars, 
boards of directors, traffic managers, and ticket agents. I learn, 



GOING WEST. 3G1 

nevertheless, that diirin^^ the terrible yellow fever epidemic of 
1878 — an epidemic which more than decimated the unhappy city 
of Memphis, Temiessee, and will, in all probability, scourge her 
again this coming summer unless the town be " sanitated ; " 
and wretched Memphis, being bankrupt, is in the hands of a 
receiver, and there is no money available to sanitate her withal 
— the Great Jackson route behaved in a truly whole-souled 
manner. In addition to munificent donations for the relief of 
the plague-smitten people, the directors furnished carload after 
carload of lime to the authorities in New Orleans to aid in 
cleansing and disinfecting the city, and, Avithout any charge 
whatsoever, they transported from point to point, as occasion 
required, nurses, physicians, medicines, and provisions. 

I wish that this philanthropic railroad, while it was about it, 
had left a few hospital comforts at the refreshment houses down 
South. During a day-and-a-half and two nights we were 
more than half-starved. We were half poisoned by the abominable 
apologies for breakfast, dinner, and supper served to helpless 
passengers between New Orleans and the State of Illinois. The 
lands along the road, I read in the guide books, are adapted to the 
production of sugar, fruit, grapes, and vegetables. These products 
did not make any appearance in a palatable form at the Oaves of 
Trophonius,* humorously called refreshment houses. It was a 
case of Hobson's choice over again — the railway buffet fare, or 
nothing at all ; for we had been imprudent enough to leave New 
Orleans without providing ourselves with that absolute requisite 
in tlie uncivilized portion of the South, a pic-nic basket. I have 
no doubt that for a moderate outlay of dollars, the obliging 
waiter at Moreau's restaurant, in Canal-street, would have 
" fixed " us up a basket full of good things — cold chicken and 
liam, some cold^/^Ye/, hard boiled eggs, sardines, Lyons sausages, 
a crusty loaf, some Gruyere cheese, and a bottle or two of 
sound Bordeaux — but we had forgotten Moreau's. We started 
with a light heart, and no other provand beyond some " chocolate 
creams," a few oranges, and a bunch of bananas ; and the result 
was that, in Lancashire parlance, we " clennned." 

* Those wlio ventured into tbis cave always returned thence looking very jxale 
and dejected ; and the ancients used proverbially to say of a melancholy man that 
he had consulted the Oracle of Trophonius. I know that I never emerged from an 
American railway refreshment room — always excepting ]Mrs. Senn's and the great 
buffet of the Central Pacific Railway at Omaha— without minus a dollar and plus 
an attack of indigestion, Avithout feeling that I had been consulting the Trojihoniau 
oracle. 



3G:i AMERICA REVISITED. 

It was worse tlian Mexico; it was worse than Spain — tliere, if you 
arrive at the proper time, you will always find i^pitcliero filling; to 
all, and really appetising to those who do not object to fri'goles 
or black beans tried in oil, or to dried peas, bacon, and garlic. 
In the dreadful Southern dens they fed, or derisively pretended 
to feed us on the fleshless carcases of fowls fried in batter, or 
morsels of what seemed to be leather, and which made-believe 
to be beef steak, swimming in dirty grease, and on lumps of 
rancid pork fat. The so-called butter was pallid in hue, and of 
a soilly consistence. AVhether it was " oleomargerine," or some 
other form of " hoodlum" substitute for butter, 1 do not know. 
The milk was poor, the sugar was coarse and gritty, even the 
salt was unclean. The bread was stingily dispensed ; the coffee 
— served in cups without handles — was black and ill-flavoured ; 
and as for the tea, I only tried it once, — ne men imrlez ^ms. 
Taking the fact that nothing stronger to drink than tea and 
coffee was to be had, I look upon that circumstance as being 
rather a mercy than a deprivation. Imagine what the beer and 
the whiskey might have been like had there been any ! But I 
may mention that the water, from the amount of organic matter 
which it held in solution, was to non-residents simply undrinkable. 
The natives are quite proud of this water, and declare it to be 
extremely healthy. For my part, I should incline to the opinion 
that constant potations of bilge-water, combined with an extended 
system of open sewers, must conduce to a large extent to the 
propagation of yellow fever. 

I do not care to disguise — and I never have dis2:uised — the 
fact that I am very fond of the South, and of the Southern people. 
But my predilection for them does not shut my eyes to the 
sluggish inertia, to the apathetic listlessness which marks the 
management of the inns and refreshment houses on a line of 
railway which in forty hours can whisk the traveller from refined 
New Orleans to super-civilized Chicago. Were tliere no railway, 
not one word of complaint should pass my lips ; but there is an 
admirable raihvay ; every possible article of consumption can be 
readily obtained ; and the Southern land itself is one flowing 
with milk and honey. The fault lies in the sleepy and unin- 
telligent nature of the rural Southerners, who, to my mind, seem [ 
far less quick-witted than the negroes. In the way of over- 
charging, however, they are remarkably quick-witted. The 
usual charge for a " square meal " at a decently-appointed 
refreshment house is half a dollar. At one of the wretchedest 



GOING WEST. 363 

of the places where they pretended to feed us on the fleshless 
backbones of fowls, fried in batter, wliere there were no handles 
to the coffee cups, and where — it was supper time — the only 
light was aftbrded by a few sputtering kerosene lamps, we were 
made to pay seventy-five cents, or three shillings, for a foul and 
ill-cooked meal, which would have been dear at sixpence, 
English money. I hope that my good friends in the South 
will lay these strictures to heart, and set about putting their 
railway refreshment houses in order. 

Between New Orleans and Jackson City, Mississippi, the 
most noticeable feature in the scenery through which you pass 
is its amazing swampiness. I note that the guide-books state 
that between the two points named there are several populous 
towns, but that none of them call for special mention. For 
example, there is Pass Manchar, where there is a colossal iron 
drawbridge. JM'Comb City is remarkable for its railwa}- work- 
shops, giving employment to many hundreds of hands. There 
are Ponchatoula, Tickfaw, Tangipahoa, Osyka, Magnolia, Beau- 
regard, Crystal Springs, Madison, and Canton. And, especially, 
there is the swamp, through which we journeyed, so it seemed, 
at least a hundred and fifty miles. It may have been more, and 
•it may have been less, for in the United States, away from the 
Atlantic seaboard, so arbitrary and capricious is the rate of rail- 
way speed, that you are apt to lose count of distances. Some- 
times the train rattles along at a tremendous pace ; then it lags 
wearily for hours and hours together ; then it plucks up heart 
again, and professes to be a fast train ; and then it stops alto- 
gether in the middle of a wilderness : — but alwa^^s uiuxccountably. 
This mixed and unsettled condition of things is, I am inclined 
to think, very much dependent on the state of what should 
properly be the permanent way. If the track be in good 
order — a contingency which is closely affected by the condition 
of the finances of the company over whose line you are travelling 
— the train goes fast ; if the track be a " poor " one, the rate of 
locomotion will be wretched, and subsequently you will not 
improbably learn that that particular section of the road is 
owned by a company of which the finances leave much to be 
desired. 

As a rule, the traveller is best off when the distance which 
he has to cover is traversed by lines belonging to the fewest 
number of companies. The road I made my thousand miles 
upon is the property of only two companies, the Chicago, St. 



364. AMERICA REVISITED. 

Louis, and New Orleans, and the Illinois Central ; but in the 
course of my wanderings I have been fain to go over the lines 
of half-a-dozen companies in the course of a single day. Each 
change of proprietary involves a change of conductor, and each 
new conductor proceeds to demand your ticket. I have run 
over a whole gamut of these officials between morn and dewy 
eve. They vary considerably, both in a physical and charac- 
teristic aspect. There is the lean and long conductor, gaunt 
and full-bearded, and very often as crusty and ill-conditioned as 
an English toUtaker at a turnpike gate. There is the short and 
fat conductor, who can be civil and even affectionate ; but always 
in a slightly patronising manner. There is the youthful and 
beardless conductor on his promotion, who is in rather too much 
of a hurry to become President of the United States or Collector 
of the Port of New York — I would rather be Collector — and who 
on slight provocation is not indisposed to be insolent. In the 
main I have found these railway conductors to be very good 
fellows, and very often humorous and obliging fellows to boot. 
I have met, from time to time, with absolutely brutal and hoggish 
types of the species ; but they are few and far between in com- 
parison with the good-natured specimens who meet you half way 
in the direction of mutual conciliation and forbearance, and are 
prone to address you as "Colonel," "Judge," or "Doctor," 
just as their physiognomical acumen leads them to assign to you 
a grade in the social scale. 

Some of these gentlemen are clad in more or less handsome 
uniforms, but almost invariably their linen is immaculately white, 
and tliev wear gorgeous gold watches and chains. Large signet 
rings are not uncommon on their fingers ; and they are especially 
addicted to showy cameo breast-pins and sleeve-buttons. Their 
pay, so I casually learnt, averages some seventy-five dollars, say 
sixteen pounds a month, but they receive no " tips" from 
passengers. The only official on an American railway train who is 
"tipped" is the sleeping car porter, who acts as bootblack and 
bedmaker, and who is usually a negro. He will perform a score 
of kindly little offices for you, grinning all the while. He is 
quite a Chesterfield with the ladies, and is effiisively grateful 
for a gratuity of half a dollar. On the other hand, when the 
conductor makes his round of the cars at night in quest of 
tickets, he is generally accompanied by an attendant — a kind of 
subdued Caliban, who holds a huge lantern, by the light of which 
the "boss" inspects (and very narrowly does he inspect) the 



GOING WEST. 



3G5 



traveller's credentials. In tlie States you purchase your railway 
tickets anywhere but at the depot. I suppose that they 
do sell tickets there ; but I have never essayed the experiment of 
asking for any. There are railway ticket oftices at every hotel 
and at nearly every cigar store ; and tickets are not only 
the object of purchase and sale but of barter, " swop," and 
"trade" generally. There are tickets limited and tickets 
unlimited, varying in price according to the number of days 
for which they are available. There are "round trip" tickets 
which are a great deal more than return tickets ; and finally, 
there are " scalp " tickets, which you can deal in and discount, 
and do all manner of things with short of deceiving the wary 
and experienced conductor. 

I should add that his attendant Caliban exercises other 
functions besides that of holding the lantern while his " boss " 
scrutinises the tickets. At times Caliban is called upon to act 
as an assistant "chucker off" — not a " chucker out," mind. 
The services of the last-named athlete are only required 
in saloons and bar-rooms when a guest becomes disorderly, 
or manifests a desire to consume whiskey without paying for 
it. The strong arm and stronger foot of the "chucker oft'" 
are only called into requisition when, curled up behind the stove 
or crouching beneath a seat, is discovered some tramp — the 
miserable congener of the Atlantic "stowaway," who has crept 
on board the train, hoping to escape observation and to slink out 



([•i!'Jil^'l|i}4^!!^J'l.^ii^'iH!i^^ 




TRAMPS RIDING VXDER A RAILAVAY TRUCK. 



366 



AMEEICA REVISITED. 



of tlic car wlien lie lias reached his destination — if a tramp can 
have any destination at all. Tlie " pocas palabras " of Christopher 
Sly suffice the conductor and his servitor in dealing with the 
tramp. If the conductor be good-natured the miserable object 
is merely bidden to "git," and he is "bounced" out of the 
car without the employment of much physical force. But if 
the conductor be an austere person, and the tramp be detected 
as an old offender, or exhibit symptoms of becoming " sassy," he 
is "chucked off;" nor wrench of collar, nor spinal application of 
boot being spared in the process. I believe that the custom 
of violently ejecting tramps while the train is in motion has fallen 




CLEARING THE PLATFORM OF A RAILWAY CAR. 

into desuetude lately : several penniless wretches having been 
killed or sadly mutilated through being flung on to the track. 
The more humane practice at present adopted is to stop the train, 
and dismiss the stowaways with the usual manual and pedal 
formalities of " chucking off." There is no time to give the poor 
losels into custody, and prosecute them for obtaining railway 
transportation under false and fraudulent pretences. 




CLAUK STREET NORTH, CHICAGO. 



XXXL 



The Wonderful Peaieie City. 

Chicago, Illinois, Feb. 21. 

So many years have obviously elapsed since I studied Pinnock's 
" Catechisms," Mangnall's " Questions," Blair's " Preceptor,'^ 
and the "Child's Guide to Knowledge," that I feel neither shame 
nor hesitation in confessing my inability categorically to enu- 
merate what used to be considered the Seven Wonders of the 
World. The Pyramids of Egypt, the Colossus of Rhodes, the 
Falls of Niagara, the Grotto of Adelsberg, the Oracles of Dodona, 
the Crater of Mount Vesuvius, the Porcelain Tower of Nankin? 
— ah ! you will at once be able to discern from my eighth leap 
into the realms of conjecture that I am as helpless as Alice in 
Wonderland, when she first encountered the white rabbit pulling- 
on his gloves and fearing that he would be too late for the 
Duchess's tea-party. Was the Giant's Causeway considered a 
wonder of the world? Was Stonehenge? Was the British 



368 AMERICA REVISITED. 

Court of Chancery under the presidency of Jolm, Lord Eldon ? 
Were the Maelstrom, the Peak of Teneriffe, and the Colisenin at 
Rome among the septett of mundane marvels? I declare that I 
do not know ; and on reflection, I have come to the conclusion 
to bid the Wonders of the World, from the Pinnock's Catechism 
point of view, go hang. This modern earth is as full of wonders 
as it is of man and maid. Let my ancient enemy, " the merest 
schoolboy," sit at home among his dictionaries, his handy-books, 
and his "cribs," grinning superciliously at my scholastic igno- 
rance ; but I take the liberty of remarking, for the "merest school- 
boy's " editication, that a lew hours ago I telephoned to a friend 
to telegraph to another friend at New York, a distance of one 
thousand miles from here, to send me five hundred dollars ; that 
the money has just come to hand, not through the United States 
mail, but by means of the electric wire ; and if that transaction 
be not a new Wonder of the World quite sufficient to make the 
Colossus of Rhodes " feel mean," to incite the Pyramids of 
Egypt to "send in their checks/' and to stimulate the "merest 
school-boy" to throw away his dictionaries and "cribs," come 
out to Chicago, and take to the pork-packing or the grain- 
elevating line of business, why, all I can say is that in my case 
the decrepitude of age is asserting itself in an unmistakable 
manner, and the border land between mental vi2:our and 
imbecility is being traversed at express speed. 

I have beheld in my time most of the non-scholastic wonders 
of the world — from the Victoria Bridge at Montreal to the Mont 
Cenis Tunnel, from the Holborn Viaduct to the Magasins du 
Louvre ; from the Levee at New Orleans to the railway across 
the Semmering ; from the fortifications at Gibraltar to a British 
ironclad ; from the steam printing machine of a daily paper to 
Barclay and Perkins's Brewery ; from the digue at Cherbourg to 
the West India Docks ; from the machine shops of the South 
Eastern Railway to the glass and electro-plating works at 
Birmingham. Nor, since I have been in the States, have 
abundant materials been lacking to minister to an appetite for the 
wonderful, the which I own is growing somewhat alloyed and 
jaded. The development of the city of New York and the 
colossal luxury which wealth so colossal has begotten there, the 
"L" (or "Elevated") railroads, the blown-up and disestablished 
Hell Gate, the Central Park, the some-day-to-be-finished 
Brooklyn Bridge, the " Pinafore " madness, the Great Grant 
Boom, the magnificent donation of the New York Herald to the 



THE WONDERFUL PRAIRIE CITY. 309 

Irish Famine Relief Fund, tlie Assertions of Mr. Charles Stewart 
Parnell, M.P., the acquittal of the Rev. Mr. Hayden, the railway 
ferry over the Oliio river at Cairo, the swamps surrounding New 
Orleans, the Crescent City herself, the giant Mississippi steamer 
Robert E. Lee, the Carnival in Canal-street, the Cows in 
Augusta, and the villanous cooking at the refreshment-houses on 
the great Jackson Route, ]\Ir. Gilmore's National Anthem, the 
growth of Washington, the demeanour of the coloured members 
of the Southern Legislatures, the cotton gins, " attachments/' 
and presses of Louisiana, the tobacco and meat-juice factories of 
Richmond, the Tredegar Ironworks, the Haxall flouring mills, the 
resumption of specie payments, the extortions of American 
hackdrivers, the general absence of any disturbing elements 
in American politics, the millions of Mr. James Keene, the 
multitude of churches and the deficiency of the odium tlieologicum^ 
the lectures of Colonel Bob Ingersoll, and the faceticB of the 
Rev. De Witt Talmao^e — all these have been fertile sources of 
wonder and amazement to me these three months past. But I 
frankly admit that the wondrous Prairie City of the State 
of Illinois has been as Aaron's rod and has swallowed up all 
the other marvels. Stay ; was not the Temple of Diana at 
Ephesus — tell me, "merest of schoolboys" — one of the Old 
World's wonders? Astonishing, no doubt, was the fane that 
Erostratus burnt; but far more astonishing, to my mind, is 
the Grand Pacific Hotel which was burned down before it was 
finished and built up again grander than ever, possibly before the 
inhabitants of Ashby-de-la-Zouch or the Place Royale au Marais 
had heard that there had been a fire at Chicago at all. 

I mentioned in my last that, between Du Quoin and the 
Prairie City — say, during a space of some ten hours — we were 
bereft of the comfort of a Pullman sleeping car. We made the 
best of a bad job ; and what with rugs, wraps, and seal-skin caps, 
were not so desperately uncomfortable. There had been a great 
fall of snow at St. Louis, I heard ; and the snow gave us 
a " back-hander," so to speak, powdering all the country side as 
far as Effingham, about two hundred miles from Chicago. Then 
the fringe of winter's icy mantle faded away, but it was bitterly 
cold. That fact was patent every time one passed from ear 
to car, or when one opened the little framed and glazed trap- 
door, precisely like a Russian vasistas, cunningly contrived in the 
larger casement of the car, and through which " Judas " trap you 
were free to protrude your nose into the night and scent 



370 



AMERICA EEVISITED. 



the nipping air. An eager, himgi}^ biting niglit it was ; and 
towards the small hours the whid began to howl very wolfishly 
indeed. Oh my bayous and my bananas, my pahiiettoes and 
my open air growing japonicas, ni}^ magnolia groves, and my 
steaming swamps, what has become of you? 

I was much comforted, however, in the early stages of 
bereavement by the heroic conduct of a young gentleman with a 
double eye-glass, wdio sate opposite to us bolt upright throughout 
the livelong night, in an entire but complacent state of insomnia, 
smiling sweetly, and resolutely refusing to believe in the advent 
of Winter. This halcyon like young man had come man}^ hundreds 
of miles to see the Carnival of New Orleans. From remote 
St. Paul's, jMinnesota ; from the remote Owatma, in Wisconsin ; 
from the Ultima Thide of Bismarck, in Dakota, had he come 
perchance ; but I did not like to press him too closely. He had 
been to see the show in the gulf of Mexico. He did not enter 
into details. He was content to characterise it as " downrio;ht 




THE WOXDERFLTL PRAIRIE CITY. 371 

elegant." He had brought back vrith hitri from the siim^y 
South a big orauge branch, radiant with green leaves, and 
heavy laden with golden fruit. This fragrant trophy he had 
hung up on a hat-peg by his side, and contemplated it, smiling. 
Four times had we changed cars, but this happy young man was 
not to be divorced from the Golden Bough. One of the sleeping- 
car conductors was young, and rather inclined to be supercilious 
and " stuck-up." He objected to the Golden Bough, on the 
score that the swaying to and fro interfered with the comfort 
of the passengers. He ordered the negro porter to remove 
the bough, which was done ; but, so soon as we were transferred 
to another car, the auriferous branch was attached to a fresh hat- 
peg, amid the general applause of the company. The next 
conductor was a dry humourist who rather liked the bough, 
and expressed the opinion that the sight of it was a capital 
substitute for a stove ; so henceforth the Hesperidean trophy was 
undisturbed, and its possessor continued during the night to 
smile and to contemplate his souvenir of the sunny South. 
I very much admired this young man, who kept summer in 
his heart, and declined to recognise grim-visaged and ill- 
tempered winter. Possibly the young man was concerned 
in dry goods, or in the manufacture of axle grease, or 
patent fertilisers ; but he had about him something of the making 
of a Poet for all that. 

At Chicago. — A sunny, smiling Sunday morning. AVe 
checked our baggage for the Grand Pacific Hotel. Why, I 
really do not know. I have no remembrance of anybody having 
specially recommended the Grand Pacific. The Palmer House, 
the Sherman, tlie Tremont House, are all of them towering 
and palatial caravanserais ; still on long journeys you feel a 
kind of intuitive gravitation towards certain hotels, and 
your instinct — at least, such has been my experience — rarely 
misleads you. Let me see. How many blocks are there, 
structurally and topographically speaking, to a mile? Eight, 
I think. The Grand Pacific Hotel occupies half the block 
bounded by Jackson, Clark, Adams and La Salle streets. The 
•edifice is of stone, six storeys high, magnificently decorated and 
sumptuously furnished. 

Having no " mission " worth speaking of, we drove quietly in 
the omnibus to the ladies' entrance of the hotel. When 1 stepped 
from the reception-room to the office to register my name, I 
•confess that there was one thing which astonished and to a sliglit 



872 AMERICA llEVISITED. 

extent alarmed me more than tlie lofty Corintlilan columns, 
the frescoed roof, and the tesselated marble pavement of 
the vestibule. Never in my life before — no, never ; I disdain all 
qualifying- adverbs— had I beheld such gorgeous hotel clerks. 
Diamonds threaten to become " small potatoes " now, after 
the discoveries of the Scotch chemists, and the candid avowal of 
Mr. Maskelyne ; else I might expatiate on the brilliant breast- 
pins, studs, and sleeve buttons of the Grand Pacific clerks. 
Besides, technical accuracy should be the journalist's pride ; 
.ind I am not precisely prepared to make affidavit that the 
clerical gentlemen wore diamonds. It was their general Croesus- 
cum-Rothschild aspect of splendour and dignity which impressed 
and overawed me. German Grand Dukes travelling incognito, 
officers commandin<2: regiments of the Household Cavalrv, cashiers 
of the Bank of England, managing directors of fire insurance 
companies, captains of ironclads in mufti, — pshaw ! comparison 
fails me. Naught but themselves could be their parallels. To my 
amazement — my respectful amazement — these superior beings 
were most affable and condescending. They spake me fair. 
They even smiled upon me, shook me by the hand, and said that 
they were glad to see me ; and, in all seriousness, I wish to say 
that the clerical staff at the Grand Pacific showed themselves to 
us, during our week's sojourn, to be most courteous and obliging 
gentlemen, forestalling our wishes, and doing all they possibly 
could to render our stay pleasant and comfortable. 

I modestly confessed my unworthiness to occupy a private 
parlour, so we were presently installed in a spacious and handsome 
apartment on the first floor, of the excellent American pattern 
known as an "alcove" bedroom. I may very briefly describe it. 
Height at least fifteen feet; two immense plate-glass windows; 
beautifully frescoed ceiling ; couch, easy chairs, rocking chairs, 
foot stools in profusion, covered with crimson velvet ; large 
writing table for gentleman, pretty escritoire for lady ; two 
towering cheval glasses ; handsomely carved wardrobe and 
dressing table ; commanding pier-glass over marble mantelpiece ; 
adjoining bath-room beautifully fitted ; rich carpet ; and finally 
the bed, in a deep alcove, impenetrably screened from the visitor's 
gaze by elegant lace curtains. Now, I call that a bedroom, and 
no mistake.* The charges at the Grand Pacific Hotel vary, I am 

* There is related with reference to the clerk's office at the Grand Pacific Hotel 
a very droll story "which may have been in print before, but which is certainly 
"Worth re-telling. To understand its subtle humour you must recall the fact that 



THE WONDERFUL TRAIRIE CITY. 373 

told, from tliree dollars to live dollars a day, board included, 
according to tlie size of the room which you occupy. I certainly 
shall not grumlile if I am made to pay two guineas a day 
for our "alcove" and board at the Grand Pacific.* With the 
exception of the Midland Grand Hotel, St. Pancras, and the 
Continental in the Rue de Rivoli, I have seen no more splendid 
hotel in the world. And it is as comfortable as it is splendid. 

This I am fairly entitled, I hope, to set down as Wonder 
Number One among the marvels of Chicago — an hotel concerning 
which a constitutionally discontented and sore-headed English- 
man can find absolutely no ground of complaint. The service is 
perfect. You just touch an electric bell, and in an instant 
a smiling brother of African descent, clad in a handsome livery, 
appears to ask your behests. Downstairs other dark brethren, 
under the guidance of experienced white commanders, keep up 
a noiseless but most efficient service of domestic police, gently 
but firmly eliminating from the vestibules that loafing and 
" scallawag " element which is so dire a nuisance in many of the 
large hotels in the United States. The cuisine of the Grand 
Pacific is the very best that I have met with out of New 
York, always excepting the French restaurants of New Orleans, 
where Moreau's, Madame Venn, Fleche's, and Victor's certahily 
rival the Hotel Brunswick ; and in cookery, although not 
in decorative magnificence, equal Delmonico's. An immense 
quantity .of champagne is consumed in Chicago, and the very 
best brands are to be found at no very extortionate rates at the 
hotels ; but the claret leaves a great deal to be desired. 

The Second Wonder of Chicago is, to me, its newspaper press. 
I hope that during my brief sojourn on this continent I have not 

just Lefore tlie axe of tlie guillotine fell on tlie neck of tlie unfortunate Louis XVI., 
his confessor, the Ahb^ Edgworth, exclaimed " Fils de St. Louis, montez an Ciel." 
Now for the story. A traveller from St. Louis arrived at the Grand Pacific ; 
walked up to the clerk's desk, and Avith a certain haughtiness of mien and arrogance 
of pen flourishing entered his name in the book kept for the purpose. Now there 
is a traditional rivalry between St. Louis and Cliicago, and the Grand Pacific clerk 
feeling somewhat nettled at the " airs " put on by the St. Louisian thought he would 
take him dovm. a peg or two. So he walked to the key-board, reached down a key 
— say of room number One Hundred and Ninety-nine ; but at all events it was at 
the very top of the house — and with a low bow handed it to the haughty traveller, 
saying, " Son of St. Louis, ascend to Heaven." 

* If I remember aright they only charged us four dollars a-day each, and when 
returning to Chicago from California we paid a second visit to the Grand Pacific 
the proprietors, on our departure for New York, insisted that we should take away 
with us, to comfort us on our journey, a luncheon basket full of good things. 



374 AMEEICA EEVISITED. 

done intentional injustice to tlie American newspapers. The 
lamented Dean Stanley did not express any very great admiration 
for tliem ; but the accomplished Dean was not a veteran journalist. 
I venture to consider that 1 am one. I admire the newspapers of 
the United States for the wonderful diversity of their intelligence 
and for the versatile ingenuity with which the items of that 
intelligence are strung together. Since my arrival in this country 
1 have not set eyes upon a single English daily newspaper ; 
yet I venture to think that, thanks to tlie wonderfully developed 
system of telegraphic communication of which the conductors of 
the newspapers are enabled to avail themselves, and the equally 
wonderful skill displayed by the gentlemen who attend to the 
scissors and paste department, I am not so very far behindhand 
touching what has occurred in my native land and on the ; 
continent of Europe since I left Queenstown in the middle 
of November last. The astonishingly extensive salmagundi of 
odds and ends served up every day in the columns of the 
American papers, make them the most diverting reading in the 
world. Moreover, although personalities of a frivolous and 
grotesque character, abound in every Transatlantic journal, from 
the lordly dailies of New York to the Catcmampas County Free 
Bib-ticMei\ and the Gumho City Roorhach^ personality that is 
rude, slanderous, or offensive is at present very rarely to be met 
with ; and animadversion rarely goes beyond that good-humoured 
banter which Ave call " chaff. " The principal papers even have 
ceased to indulge in ]nutual abuse and calumny, and usually 
speak of each other as " Our E. C, " or esteemed contemporary. 
The drawback which to my darkened intelligence is most 
conspicuously manifest in the American press, is its persistent 
and seemingly incurable drollery. Nothing is taken au serieux. 
A comic or semi-comic heading is given to tragic and to 
humorous occurrences alike ; and the gentleman who indites 
the headings seems to be of the opinion that "there's nothing 
new and there's nothing true, and it don't much signify." * 

* Tliese lieadings are set out Avitli -woiulerful i]i!:,'enuity, and I Lave been told 
that one Chicago paper pays its '' Headings Editor" (he does nothing else) a salary 
of a thousand dollars a-year. There was a great polyhigamy case on while we 
■were in the Prairie City, and I very much regret that I did not cut out an extra- 
ordinary heading of which I only give now, from memory, a faint inkling — 

THE BIGAMIST 

LIES IN HIS CONCRETE CELL, 

THE WARDERS DECLARE 

THE MAN EATS AND DRINKS WELL. 



THE WONDERFLTL PRAIRIE CITY. 



375 



Now the Chicago Daihj Tribune, the Chicago Times, and the 
Interocean, the leading- organs of the Wonderful Prairie City, 
are, although entertaining enough in all conscience in the diver- 
sity of their news and the drollery of their anecdotes and their 
comments thereupon, certainly the most serious, substantial, and 
practical papers that I have met with in the States. Their pre- 
dominant tone is of a nature to suggest the inference that the 
editor occasionally pulls up in the middle of a fumiy "personal" 
or a humorous "item" and says to himself, "Come, come, too 
much of this sort of thin^- won't do. We must remember that 




CHICAGO GRAIN ELEVATOR. 



we are writing for Chicago, and that Chicago is the metropolis 
of the Great West. Nohlesse ohlige. AVe are bound to bear 
in mind the dignity of our Dry Goods Store, our Grain Elevators, 
our Stock-yards, and our pork-packing establishments." So 
the Chicago newspapers are, as aggregates, most admirably 
edited, and are as replete with valuable and accurate informa- 



HIS NUMEROUS WIVES 

WHEN THE TRIAL COMES ON 

THE MOST HORRIBLE TALES 

OF HIS GOINGS ON 

WILL REVEAL TO THE LAND 

ON THE WITNESS STAND. 



376 



AMEPJCA REVISITED. 




tion as tliey are well and clearly 
printed. To the energy of tlieir 
" interviewing " reporters I bear 
Avilling, but sorrowful, testimony. 
The Third Wonder of Chi- 
cago is undoubtedly Chicago 
herself. Just ponder a little. 
Forty years ago this city which 
now contains five hundred thou- 
sand inhabitants, and in another 
hfteen will probably contain a 
njillion, was a petty Indian 
trading post. The business por- 
tion of the city is now fourteen 
feet above the level of Lake 
Michigan. It was formerlv 
nnich lower, but in 185G the 
entire district was raised bodil}- 
to a height of nine feet by 
means of jack-screws inserted 
beneath the houses and worked 
niglit and day by half-turns and 
with an imperceptible motion. 
The city stands on the ridge 
dividing the basin of the Missis- 
sippi from that of the St. Law- 
rence, and is surrounded by a 
jirairie extending several hun- 
dreds of miles south and west. 
In 1870 the population was 
about three hundred thousand. 
Nov/ ponder yet again. In Oc- 
tober, '71, Chicago was "burnt 
up." The fire originated on a 
Sunda}^ evening in a small barn 
in De Hoven-street, in the south 
part of the western division of 
tlie city, the proximate cause of 
the conflagration being the up- 
setting of a kerosene lamp, by 
the light of which a cow was 
being milked. The kerosene was 



THE WONDERFUL PRAIRIE CITY. 



377 



Mantua and the cow Cremona. The houses in the first division 
were mostly of wood, and there were several large timber-yards 
along the bank of the adjacent Chicago river. Then and there the 
flames swept with irresistible fury, and were carried by a strong 
Avesterly wind into the south division, a district thickly covered 
with stores, warehouses, and public buildings of stone or brick, 
many of which were erroneously supposed to be fireproof The 
fire raged during the whole of Monday, crossing the main channel 
of the Chicago river, and carrying all before it in the northern 
district, chiefly occupied by dwelling houses. The last house 
which caught fire was destroyed on Sunday morning; but the 
ruins smouldered for months afterwards. 

The total area burnt up was close on three and a half square 

miles. Nearly 
18,000 houses 
were destroy- 
ed, 200 per- 
sons lost their 
lives, and fullv 
200,000 more 
were rendered 
destitute. Not 
including de- 
preciation of 
real estate and 
loss of busi- 
ness, the total 
loss occasioned 
by the fire was 
set down at 
190 millions of 
dollars, out of 
which tremen- 
dous aggregate some thirty millions 
were covered by insurance ; although one of the first results of 
the fire was to " bankrupt" half of tiie fire offices throughout the 
Union. Policies to a heavy amount were, however, held in Eng- 
lish offices, which paid promptly. Tlie Liverpool, London, and 
Globe, for example, is said to have disbursed many millions of 
dollars ; and the consequence is tliat English fire insurance com- 
panies have been doing an immense business in Chicago ever 
since : the Western business men havins: shown signs of a 




s^\I^&I^Gr bridges o^LR 

THE CHICAGO BH ER 



378 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



pardonable partiality to insure their property in offices wliich do 
not " bust" when fire risks fall in. Thus, on that fatal morrow of 
the fire, might the people of Chicago say, with Seneca, " One day 
betwixt a great city and none." And so many grievances come 
from outward accidents, and from ourselves, onr own indiscretion 
and inordinate appetites — -one day betwixt a man and no man. 

But the Prairie City saw not the end of her miseries in the 
giant blaze of '71. In July, '74, another great fire swept over 
Chicago, destroying eighteen blocks, or sixty acres of buildings, 
in the heart of the city, and destroying over four million dollars' 
worth of property. On the Saturday night preceding my arrival 
here a vast range of bonded warehouses went up, and one of 
the headings in the graphic account of the disaster in the 
Chicago press ran thus, " The Insurance Money Beginning not 
to Cover the Losses." A cheerful prognostication. But 
Chicago has proved herself equal to the occasion ; whether the 
city was to be screwed up or burned down she has preserved her 
high spirits and her untiring enterprise and go-aheadedness. 
On the day after the first fire there appeared in the midst of a 
mass of smouldering ruins, a pole surmounted by a board on 
which these words were writ large : " All lost except wife, 






, ^ > -* A- 



.5. i - -sr.-.^f.-Ee * 




THE LrJIBER TRADE OF THE WEST DOWN AT THE BOOM. 



THE WONDERFUL PRAIRIE CITY". 



370 



cliildren, and energy. Keal estate agency, carried on as usual in 
the next shanty." And the undismayed real estate agent is 
alive to tell the tale, a prosperous gentleman, Avho proudly ex- 
hibits the "wile, children, and energy" placard in his handsome 
office. He has reason to be proud. The wonderful Prairie City 
now ranks next in commercial importance to New York. 
Chicago is the largest grain market and emporium in the world. 
The pulse of Chicago's Board of Trade must be felt before Mark 
Lane and the Halle aux Bles can operate. Her lumber trade is 
tremendous.* She employs seventy thousand pairs of hands in 




A LOG LA>-DIXG. 



her iron and steel Avorks, her flour mills, her cotton factories, 
her boot and shoe manufactories, and her tanneries. And, in 
the year ending March, 1879, she slaughtered and packed 
5,000,000 hogs and G5,000 head of cattle, in addition to curing 
hmumerable hams. 

* Tlie entire lumber produce of the United States is estuuated to amount to 
ten tliousand millions of feet annually. Its price at the mills on the coast ranges 
from ten to twenty dollars per thousand feet. 




rHE ROCKY MOUNTAINS 



XXXII. 

To THE Home of the Setting Sun. 



On Board a Sleepiii|j; Car in tlie Rocky Mountains, Feh. 27. 

Many years ago — in mj " salad days, wlicn I was green in 
judgment " — I essayed to M'rite a letter while I was up in a balloon, 
at an altitude of about two miles from the earth, I think that 
it was a love-letter which, " with the Vanity of Youth untoward, 
ever Spleeny, ever Frowa^'d," I tried to scribble. But pride, in 
my case, had a very swift and humiliating fall. I had scarcely 
got beyond "Ever dearest," scrawled with a metallic pencil 
on one of the leaves of a betting book, when the balloon burst ; 
and w^e came down with a run — shocking, even at this distance 
of time, to remember. 



TO THE HOME OF THE SETTING SUN. 381 

Since tlie year 1851, wlieii my first and, I hope, last experi- 
ence in aeronautics was made, Fate has decreed that I shoukl try 
to write " copy " in a variety of strange places, and under a 
mmiber of more or less strange circumstances. The harder has 
been the stress of events against which I have had to battle in 
cultivating the art of caligraphy, the more desperately have I 
tried to ])luck up courage by recalling the epistolary disadvantages 
successfully surmounted by ]\Iirabeau in the donjon of Vinceunes 
and by Baron Trenck at Spandau ; by Latude in the Bastille, and 
by other historical prisoners and captives, when they endeavoured 
to correspond with the outside world. This one manufactured a 
kind of ink out of the soot from his chimney and the grease 
which he had skimmed from his soup. That one wrote with a 
toothpick for a pen and his own blood for ink on a scrap of hat 
lining for paper ; and it was on a silver dish, if I remember 
aright, that the Man with the Iron Mask scratched sundry revela- 
tions the publication of which niiglit have made Louis XIV. 
" feel bad," had not the dish, hung by the masked prisoner from 
his dungeon window on to the shore beneath, been picked up by 
a fisherman who was fortunately unable to read. 

We have been told that when Charles Dickens was a reporter 
on tlie Morning Chronicle he accomphshed the feat while travel- 
ling by night between Edinburgh and London in a postchaise, 
brilliantly lit up for the nonce with Avax candles, of transcribing 
from his shorthand notes one of Lord Brougham's longest speeches. 
I often think with admiring wonder of that achievement ; because 
my recollection of postchaises — they are extremely juvenile ones 
— are associated with the most terrible joltings and bumpings. 
The possibility, again, of writing legibly when you are at sea 
depends much more upon whether you are a good or a bad sailor 
than on the state of the weather. Very fair " copy " can be 
penned on a saloon table of a big steamship, even in the midst 
of her liveliest pitching and rolling ; but it is idle to think of 
writing even a dozen coherent words if you are troubled with 
the slightest qualms of sea-sickness. That fearfal experience of 
actual or premonition of coming nausea renders you utterly 
incapable of embodying intelhgent thought in comprehensible 
phraseology, and you had far better lock up your writing desk, go 
on deck, or ask the stewardfor a soda-and-something than continue 
your contest with the Inexpugnable. But did you ever try the 
production of manuscript for publication on a railway train ? I 
have been makinsr efforts in that direction for the last five-and- 



382 AMERICA REVISITED. 

twenty years ; but up to the present time of writing; my endeavours 
have been crowned only by miserable failure. Whether I have 
partially succeeded in this instance is a problem which can only 
be solved by the patient compositor, by the intelligent printer's 
readers — I wish them joy of my " copy " — and ultimately by 
the British public at large.* 

Mr. Anthony Trollope, I have been given to understand, is 
an adept in the difficult craft of writing on the rail. He stands 
upright in the centre of the carriage, so I have been told, with 
liis legs far apart, like those of the Colossus of Rhodes, and 
while the train is scudding along at a speed of from forty to 
sixty miles an hour, any number of sheets of " Framley 
Parsonages," " Orley Farms," and " Phineas Finns " foil from 
liis rapid hand. Gifted novelist and resolute man. How I 
envy him ! I write, under normal conditions, a tolerably legible 
hand ; but my autograph, when I have tried to trace it when 
travelling on the iron road, is not much easier to be deciphered 
than that of the first Napoleon when he was in a hurry — and 
lie was nearly always in a hurry — and bears an equal re- 
semblance to the tracks made on the sheet of Bath post by the 
traditional spider which had been dipped in ink, and the "fist" 
of the deceased judge who had three handwritings — one of 
which could be read by himself alone, while the second was one 
which he and his clerk could read, and the third was illegible to 
himself, his clerk, and everybody else. 

Some years since I heard of a machine which had been 
patented for writing on the railway, and even in tlie dark. I 
would have eagerly bought such a machine, even if to do so, I 
had been compelled to sell all my New River shares and 
hypothecate all my blue diamonds — "hock my sparks," " soak 
my gems," and " AValker my rainbows" — to use the American 
euphemisms for the act of pawning your jewellery. But the 
patent machine for writing per express train, and in the night, 
disappeared, like many other brand-new inventions which were 
to revolutionise the world, and give a new departure to 
civilisation, from my ken. I can only hope that Mr. Edison 
will find time to re-invent and re-patent the railway writing- 
machine when he has finally settled those little matters of the 
divisibility of the electric light, the Irish Land question, the 

* I found on my return tliat my railway car- written " copy," dug as it had 
been witli a liard pencil, into a paper block, lias been printed with, on the whole, 
wonderful accuracy in the columns of the Daily Telegrcqyh. 



TO THE HOME OF THE SETTING SUN. .'i83 

compatibility of bubble companies floating with financial integ- 
rity, and the j^revention of squalling on the part of the sleeping- 
car ba]3y. 

When I left Chicago, on my way to the Home of the 
Setting Sun, in quest of which I have journeyed through the 
State of Iowa, and am now traversing the State of Nebraska as 
fast as a blinding snowstorm and a howling gale will permit the 
express mail of the Union Pacific Railway to travel, my 
journalistic friends were good enough to opine, that, of course, I 
should write plenty of "copy" en route. I answered that, in 
view of the multitudinous efforts, attended by as many dismal 
failures, which I had made in that direction, I should as soon 
think of inditing sonnets to the moon or making sketches by 
means of a camera lucida of the scenery through which I passed. 
To this my journalistic friends answered "Psha!" Every 
American journalist, I was told, in accents of wild reproach, 
could write his two or three columns a day " on the cars." 
Still, I was reluctant to make a fresh attempt and be en- 
countered by a fresh collapse. I was a little emboldened, 
however, to try my caligraphic luck once more by reading the 
following from the Union Pacific experiences of that gi'aphic 
writer, Mr. Charles Nordhoff: "At forty or forty-five miles an 
hour the country you pass through is a blur. One hardly sees 
between the telegraph poles ; pleasure and ease are alike out of 
the question ; reading tries your eyes ; loriting is {mpossible ; 
conversation is impracticable, except at the auctioneer pitch ; 
and the motion is wearying and tiresome. But at twenty-two 
miles per hour travelling by rail is a different affair ; and having 
unpacked your books and unstrapped your wrap, in your 
Pullman car you may pursue all the sedentary avocations and 
amusements of a parlour at home ; and as your housekeeping is 
done — and admirably done — for you by alert and experienced 
servants ; as you may lie down at full length or sit up or sleep 
or wake at your choice ; as your dinner is sure to be abundant, 
very tolerably cooked, and not hurried ; as you are pretty 
certain to make acquaintances in the car, and as the country 
through which you pass is strange, and abounds in curious and 
interesting siglits, and the air is fresh and exhilarating — you 
soon fall into the way of the voyage ; and if you are a tired 
business man or a wearied housekeeper, your careless ease will 
certainly be such a rest as most busy and overworked Americans 
know how to enjoy.'" 



384 AMERICA llEVISITED. 

Thus far Mr. Cliarles Nordhoff, whose sensible hints to 
travellers goin^^ very iar West indeed I read and ineditated npon 
between Chicago and Omaha. At the last-named juvenile, but 
highly promising city, I was met at the depot by the obliging- 
proprietors of the Omalia Herald, and the Omalia RcjiuUican, 
wdio did everything they possibly could during tlie few hours of 
my stay to "put me through" and "post me up" in all matters 
pertaining to Nebraska. I am under equal obligations to 
Colonel Champion Chase, the Mayor of Omaha, for his cordial 
welcome, and for the mass of practical information relative to the 
resources of the "Garden State" which he placed at my dis- 
posal. But I must make an end, at this time and in this place at 
least, of returning thanks ; the catalogue of American ladies 
and gentlemen to whom my fellow traveller and myself owe a 
debt of the sincerest gratitude would else equal in magnitude 
the schedule of Don Giovanni's love allairs as enumerated by 
Leporello. From New York to Philadelphia and Washington, 
from Baltimore to Bichmond, from New Orleans to Chicago, 
and thence into the wonderful Western land, unvarying kindness 
and courtesy have been shown by all ranks of the American 
people to me and mine. And this kindness and courtesy come 
with all the greater force home to me, as I feel not one whit 
more inclined meanly to truckle to, or to fawn upon, or flatter 
them than I felt when I was in their midst and grumbled at 
most things American seventeen years ago. . 

]\Iy good newspaper friends in Omaha gave me some 
practical hints as to the possibility of writing "copy" on board a 
railway train. They furnished me with ten thick blocks of 
reporters' note paper. Then I procured a sheaf of rather 
hard lead pencils — Faber's No. 3 are about the requisite 
hardness — and the block note paper is thin enough to jDroducc 
an original manuscript, a thoroughly legible duplicate, and a- 
faintly decipherable triplicate ; only the paper being opaque, 
you must fain use a pencil instead of the agate stylus w^iich is 
employed in manifold writing on transparent "flimsy." Then 
you tell the porter in your sleeping car not to unship the little 
one-legged flap table which he has fixed to the wall of the car 
between the seats of your " section," and at which you take 
your meals. The little mahogany flap serves you as a writing- 
table, and on this narrow ledge I have been striving these four 
hours past to pencil some thoughts of mine which people may 
or may not read on the other side of the Atlantic, five thousand 



miles 



away 



TO 

from 



THE HOME OF THE .SETTING SUX, 



385 



cm- pretty little boudoir. Yes; it is a very 
pretty little boudoir, a most charming- one, 
althoiigli it is on wheels, and although 
through the windows on either side we 
have only been enabled to discover the il- 
limitable and tiach- 



e>s 
mo 



piaiiie, blind 
^^hlte ^^ith 




snow. We have travelled 

b-om the great Missouri through the 

Platte Valley, and are now ascending the 

slope of the Rocky Mountains. My present objective is the city 



386 AMERICA REVISITED. 

of Clieyennc, in Wyoming ; but ere I reach that station in my 
pilgrimage I may be permitted to discourse — at no great length 
I will promise you — of our journey from Chicago to Omaha, in 
the State of Nebraska, being my hrst Great Western objective 
after Chicago, although not my grandest one — the Grand Objec- 
tive I refrain from specifying yet awhile, lest I should fail in its 
accomplishment, in Avhich case my stor}^, like that of the Bear 
and the Fiddle, in " Hudibras," would be but " begun and broke 
off in the middle." 

I fixed on the Chicago and North-Western Eallroad as my 
line of route. There are no less than three lines of railway con- 
verging from the Prairie City on Omaha, or, rather on Council 
Bluffs, on the opposite shore of the Missouri ; but the North- 
AVestern is undeniably the best road of the three. It is the 
shortest, and the first which formed connections with the Union 
Pacific for Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, 
IMontana, Nevada, Oregon, and California. It has another line 
.westward, from Chicago to Madison, St, Paul's, Minnesota, 
]\Iinneapolis, and all points beyond. It is the only line from 
Chicago to Fond du Lac, Green Bay, Escanoba, IMarquette, and 
L'Anse, by which the tourist can reach the shores of Lake 
Superior by rail ; and, again, it is the only line running for some 
six hundred miles, by Sparta and AVinona, through the States of 
Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, and so to Lake Hampeska, 
Dakota. Please to look out these points on a map of the United 
States, you British young man ! You can never know what 
you may come to. Some of these days, perhaps, it may be your 
lot to abandon unproductive land tilling, or quill driving, or 
counter jumping, or whatever may be your present state of life in 
England. Some of these days you may cross the " Big Pond/' 
and, having the common sense to avoid loitering away your time 
and squandering your money in the Atlantic cities, go West, 
even to Nebraska, the " Garden State," even to fiir-off Montana 
and Dakota. They will not seem so very far off a dozen years 
hence. Be particular to remember that the great railway 
system organised by the Chicago and North-Western Railway is 
all younger than our Underground Pialhvay, younger than the 
Holborn Viaduct, younger than the Paris Avenue de I'Opera. 
The entire iron network is, comparatively speaking, only a 
creation of the day before yesterday. The railway locomotive 
is civilisation's great plough, after all. It strikes its five 
hundred and its thousand mile furrows, and the wilderness 



TO THE HOME OF THE SETTING SUN. 



387 



sprouts with smiling villages, swiftly to ripen into flourishing 
cities. 

So we took the North-AVestern from Chicago to Council 
Bluffs, a distance of nearly five hundred miles ; designedly 
delaying by one day our departure from the City of High 
Pressure iu order that we might secure a section in one of the 
newest and the handsomest of the Pullman Sleeping and Hotel 
Cars, the " International." The interior of the car was a marvel 
of decorative cabinet work ; but there is no need for me to 
describe its internal arrangements : seeing that they were in the 
main similar to those of the Pullman Picstaurant Cars which, 
when I left England, were beginning to run on the Great 
Northern Railway between King's-cross and Leeds. The 




THE KITCHEX OF A PULLMAX CAR. 



American bill of f\xre, however, comprised sundry dainties which 
might be looked for in vain in railway England. AYe were 
offered prairie-chicken, blue-winged teal, and golden plover, 
oysters cooked in half-a-dozen styles, stewed tomatoes, sweet 
potatoes, and a pleasing variety of omelettes. A lady and 
gentleman in the car (on their honeymoon trip, 1 suspect) 



3S8 



AMEEICA REVISITED. 



partook of an omelette au rlmm., to ^y]]icll tire was duly set. It 
was good to watch the cheerful blaze ; nor was the sight by 
any means sterile in suggestive elements. From the prairie fire 
of Leatherstocking, and the pioneer camping out in these regions 




not more than twenty years ago, to the fnandlses of the Cafe 
Anglais and the Maison Doree there has been seemingly but one 
step. Nothing preparatory, nothing intermediate. A misshapen 
billet of wood to-day, and the god Mercury covered all over with 
the finest-beaten gold-leaf to-morrow. Then a grisly bear on 
four legs, growling fiercely. Now the new Patent Philocomal 
Ursine Pomade at a dollar a pot. 

I have read in Burton's " Anatomy " that Democritus of 
Abdera, when he was Avearied with overmuch studying, com- 
pounding chemicals, dissecting swine to find the seat of the gall, 
inditing tractates upon the folly of mankind and the like, would, 
in the cool of the evening, trot down to the haven, and divert 
himself by listening to the babble of the bargees and the fish- 
wives. Such distractions we may enjoy, wholesomely, without 
being either Democrituses or dwellers among the Abderites. 
Thus, lest I should grow cloyed with golden plover and omelette 
au rlmmi^ and the other delicacies of the Pullman Hotel Gar, 
would I saunter through the train from car to car, until at last I 
reached the remote " smoker," or car devoted to the temporary 
accommodation of those who wished to enjoy the solace of a pipe 
or cisrar. More than once have I remarked that the deficient accom- 



TO THE HOME OF THE SETTING SUN. 3S9 

modation provided for smokers is tlie one f^reat drawback to the 
comfort of American railways. In Engkmdtlie riglits of the rail- 
way smoker are secured by Act of Padiament. In the United 
States he has no such rights; and his enjoyment of the few^ and fiir- 
between privileges which he furtively snatches is fiercely disputed 
by the fair sex. Thus the car known as the " smoker " is usually 
relegated to the least eligible part of the train, next to the baggage 
car ; and it generall}^, even on the best appointed lines, is the 
untidiest and least cleanl}^ compartment of the train. As misery 
is said to make a man acquainted with strange bedfellows, so the 
habit of smoking brings all sorts and conditions of people 
together ; and I have made the oddest of acquaintances, and 
listened to the drollest of conversations, amomr the omniuiii 
fjatheriun of humanit}'. 

As for the possible " rough," there is not much need for you 
to trouble yourself about him. If you refrain from adopting the 
asinine practice of carrying a revolver under peaceable conditions 
of travelling, it is with the extremest rarity that you will find a 
revolver drawn upon you. It is, as a rule, those who needlessly 
talk about shooting who run the greatest risk of getting shot.* 
It is again not by any means certain that you will get into a 
quarrel by refusing to drink with the first possible rough who 
accosts you, whereas I had been told over and over again that 
to accept a drink from a total stranger is a sine qud non in the 
West. It is a case of " inside or out " I was assured. Either 
you must swallow the dram or run tlie risk of ulterior conse- 
quences in the way of steel or lead. Frequent experience, how- 
ever, leads me to the conclusion that if you civilly tell your 
unknown friend that you have " sworn off," or that " you are 
not equal to anything else before supper," he will take your 
refusal in thoroughly good part. Of course, there are exceptions 
to the rule ; but of one thing be certain, that if by ill-luck you do 
fall across a rough American who is wholly or partially "tight," 
and proportionately fractious, or prone to exhibit tendencies of an 
*' ugly " or violent nature, the vast majority of your fellow- 
travellers will be peaceable and law-abiding persons, whose 
interest lies in the direction of the rough being " run out " or 
"chucked off" at the earliest possible opportunity. Be not 
afeard, then, to mingle with the many-headed in the " smoker." 

* I never carried a revolver in my life except in Turkey. And I have travelled 
quite unarmed through. Mexico when the country between Vera Cruz and Mexico 
City was swarming with brigands. 



390 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



Keep yourself to yourself as reasonable discrimination shall 
dictate ; but speak when you are spoken to briefly and court- 
eously, and you will get along very comfortably. 

You may or may not be somewhat of a physiognomist. 
Thus you must use your own discretion in the application of 
Juvenal's warning against trusting to facial appearance ; but 
I would entreat you not to judge travelling Americans in the 
West from the clothes they wear aboard the cars. For example, 
in the "smoker," between Chicago and the important manu- 
facturing city of Cedar Rapids, I was addressed as "partner," 
and offered a " plug of terbacker," by a gaunt youth, seemingly 




TO THE HOME OF THE SETTING SUN. 391 

of some nineteen summers, with lank, liay-colom'cd- hair, whose 
coarse home-spun coat and vest, red flannel undershirt — over- 
shirt he had none — missliapen felt hat and pantaloons, tucked 
into boots reaching knee-high and quite innocent of blacking, 
ostensibly bespoke him to be a rough of the roughs. He was 
nothing whatever of the kind. He was a graduate of the 
University of his State ; had taken high honours in the depart- 
ment of mineralogy ; and was now on his way Far West, with a 
view to "prospecting around" in the mining regions. He 
thought that he could "get ajob, " he told me; and from his 
subsequent conversation I was led to infer that he was ready to 
inspect and report upon any new metalliferous deposits which he 
might encounter, to form a new mining company, to speculate in 
mining stocks, or to become the conductor of a freight train. In 
fact, he was ready for anything in the conduct of which pluck, 
energy, and practical knowledge could be made available. 

He had an elder brother, he casually mentioned, who was 
doing very well as a portrait painter somewhere in Nebraska. 
His parents had, in tlie outset, strongly objected to this young 
man's following the arts, and had placed him in the office of a 
lawyer — wishing, as his brother tersely put it, to "bring him up 
to something respectable ;" but the " apprentice of the law " could 
not abide the profession chalked out for him ; so the old folks at 
home, making the best of a bad bargain, mortgaged some land, 
and with the proceeds, sent the artistic young hopeful to study 
for two or three years in France and Italy. Then he had gone 
West ; and was at present getting as much as seventy-five 
dollars for a half-length in oils. " It wasn't a very good trade," 
my informant added rather apologetically ; but some day perhaps 
his brother would be able to get up to 'Frisco and start in the 
photographic line and so "make his pile." I hope that he may 
make it with all my heart. 

Perhaps tlie most amusing travelling companion that I fell 
across was a little old fellow in a sealskin cap, who was a cripple 
and moved on crutches, but who will always be embalmed in my 
memory as the Happy ]\Ian. He said not a word to me nor I to 
him, but whenever in the course of our five hundred miles' 
journey it happened that I strolled into the "smoker," there 
was the little crippled man, sitting in the warmest corner, with 
the soles of his feet comfortably wedged against the wall of the 
stove, and singing softly but merrily to himself, as though he 
would never grow old, and there were no such things as sorrow, 



392 



AMERICA EE VISITED. 



or discord, or poverty in the world. He liad gotten, wliat is 
called a "Dime Songster" — "America's own Motto Songster," I 
think — with him, and, beginning at the beginning, was going 
right through the two hundred double-columned pages of that 
admired Little Warbler. " Our Star-spangled Flag of tlie Free," 
" Never go back on the Poor," "Kicking a Man wlien he's Down," 
" Prove 3'ourself the Poor Man's Friend," " The Patriot's Dream," 
" Brooklyn's Great Fire," " Custard Pie," " Give the Working 
Man a Chance," " Stoke's Verdict," and " Sunday Night, when 
the Parlour is Full " — these were amonsr the songs which he sang, 
or rather intoned. His rendering of a chorus was delicious, 
and there was somethuig inexpressibly pathetic in his " tol de 
rols " and "right tol de rol lay." In his tunes thei-e was not 
much more variety than in that eating house gravy which serves 
for beef and mutton, pork and veal alike ; but it was something 
of a hymnological melody with a comic flavour — say the " Old 
Hundredth " combined with " Jim Crow " in slow time. 




A ROCKY MOUNTAINS POSTMAN GOING HIS ROUNDS. 




AN INDIAN COURTSHIP. 



XXXIII. 
At Omaha. 



Still going AYest, Feb. 28. 



And so we sped on our Hotel Car to Missouri Valley 
Junction — a place virtually a creation of the railway, even as 
Crewe is in England. The Junction, having only a population 
of some two thousand souls, is as yet content with the un- 
pretending name of a " village ; " but it possesses several ex- 
cellent schools — one of which cost twelve thousand dollars to 
build — together with a town hall, a public hall fitted up with a 
stage and scenery for theatrical entertainments, a daily news- 
paper, two churches, and three hotels. You are here on the 
verge of the Highlands of Nebraska. Corn, swine, cattle, and 
wheat are despatched in large quantities eastward from this 



394 



AMEKICA REVISITED. 



centre. The surroiiiidiiig coiiiitiy is full of game. Geese, 
ducks, brant, ruffled grouse, prairie chickens, quail, snipe, and 
woodcock are so abundant hereabouts as to make the resrioii 

an earthly Paradise 
for the sport which 
Western men call 
" gunning," al- 
though, by an odd 
perversity of nomen- 
clature, the fowling- 
piece ceases to be 
called a gun by the 
sportsman, and is 
iamiliarly known as 
a " shooting iron." 
Example, the acci- 
dentally unarmed 
hunter who meets a 
bear, "I hadn't my 
shootin' iron with 
me," thus the hunter 
recounts ; " but I 
cussed the critter, 
and bemeaned him 
powerful ; and he 

_ _ was skeared and 

git " — 2*.e., the bear, 
thoroughly terrified at being "cussed" and " bemeaned power- 
ful," "git" (ran away). 

Beyond Missouri Junction are two small stations, Honey 
Creek and Crescent ; and })assing there about ten a.m. on the 
morrow of our quitting Chicago the train drew up at Council 
Bluffs, a place distant about four hundred and ninety miles from 
the Prairie City. This is the western terminus of the Chicago 
and North-Western line. I was interested to learn that Council 
Bluffs is the chief town of Potawotamic County, sa named from 
a tribe of Indians, of whom it is recorded that they once 
requested a missionary to pray for " less thunder and more 
beef" — a very practical orison — and which now contains about 
ten thousand inhabitants. It was one of the halting places 
of the Mormon pilgrims on their exodus from Nauvoo towards 
Utah ; and here they built a tabernacle, and hoped to found 




AT OMAHA. 395 

a city, calling it Hanesville. Thence tliey set out on their 
extraordinary journey to the thin, sterile, sage-brush-clad, and 
apparently inhospitable valley of the Great Salt Lake. After 
the departure of the Saints a new class of people came in, a new- 
town was built ; and, irom the circumstance that the site had 
been the scene of many Indian "pow-wows" the city Avas re- 
christened Council Bluffs. With constitutionally Anglo-Saxon 
proneness to abbreviation, the city is generally known to its 
denizens as "the Bluffs." It has six hotels, making up an 
aggregate of six hundred beds ; and the Blufdans declare with 
some bitterness that if the trains of the Union Pacific Railroad 
would only cross the great iron bridge which here spans the 
Missouri, and make Council Bluffs instead of Omaha their point 
of departure for the Pacific coast, the Bluffs would soon rejoice 
in a dozen grand hotels, and a population of fifty thousand. 

Owing to a variety of complicated circimistances, the Union 
Pacific is determined to make Omaha, on the opposite bank of 
the Missouri, their starting place. As the trains coming west- 
ward through the State of Iowa make Council Bluffs their 
western terminus, a general transfer of passengers and baggage 
takes place here. Travellers coming from the East debark at 
the Bluffs, crossing the bridge on a " transfer train," and again 
debarking on the Omaha side, where the AVest-bound trains of 
the Union Pacific are in waiting. The principal matter in dis- 
pute appears to be whether the bridge over the Missouri is an 
integral part of the Union Pacific Railway or not ; but a recent 
decision of the Supreme Court of the United States seems to 
have reduced the question to a very narrow issue, and the 
public are promised ere long a joint depot on the eastern bank 
of the river, by which means the inconvenient transfer will be 
avoided. This Missouri bridge is a wonderful specimen of 
railway construction. Previous to February, 1872, all passengers 
and merchandise were ferried across the treacherous and shifting- 
breadth of the Missouri in flat-keeled steamboats, and owing to 
the continually changing currents and sandbars a sale landing- 
could never be depended on. The present bridge is 2,750 
feet long, in eleven spans of 250 feet each. The elevation is 
fifty feet above high-water mark. The spans are supported by 
the stone masonry abutment and eleven piers, with twenty-two 
cast-iron columns, each pier being about eight feet in diameter. 
During the building of the bridge, from February, I8G9, when 
the work was commenced, until it was completed in 1872, about 



896 AMERICA REVISITED. 

five liimdred men were constantly employed ; ten steam engines 
being also in use. 

The early history of Omaha, as I find it very succinctly, yet 
graphically, narrated by Mr. Alfred Sorrenson, the present city 
editor of the Omaha RepuhUcan, might be very advantageously 
l)Ound up with an edition of the novels of Fenimore Cooper. 
The facts set forth by Mr. Sorrenson would, I apprehend, prove 
quite as interesting as the most startling of the lictions in " The 
Pioneers " or " The Pathfinder." In particular is the chapter 
bearing on the Omaha Indians worthy of curious note. It was 
in 1854 that JMajor Gatewood, Indian agent for the tribes in this 
district, called them together at a place named Bellevue, which 
had been for a long time an Indian mission, and there discussed 
the feasibility of making a treaty by which the red-skins were to 
yield their title to their lands. The old, old story. The treaties 
were signed in the month of April, 1854, and resulted in the 
passage by Congress of an "enabling" Act, b}' virtue of which 
the territory, now the State of Nebraska, was organised. 

The Indian signatories of the treaties were the chiefs of the 
Otoes, the Missouris, and the Omahas. The Sacliem of the last- 
named tribe, at the time mentioned, seems to have been in many 
respects a notable personage. This was Shon-ga-sha, otherwise 
Logan Fontenelle, a half-bred. His flither, Lucien Fontenelle, 
was a French Creole from New Orleans, who came to the Omaha 
country in 1824 in the employ of Major Pilcher. Lucien is de- 
scribed as a gentleman of good education, " presenting every 
indication of having been well raised." He married an Omaha 
squaw, and in 1835 engaged in the Indian trade, in co-partner- 
ship with one Dups, in the neighbourhood of Fort Laramie. He 
treated his Indian wife very kindly, and gave his four children, 
three boys and a girl, a first-rate education at St. Louis. He 
made a considerable fortune by the mountain trade, but was, 
imfortunately, too fond of whiskey ; so nmch so, indeed, that in 
1840 he died of delirium tremens. His son, Logan Fontenelle, 
otherwise Shon-ga-sha, inherited the rank, the abilities, and the 
failings of his father. He was killed in a fight with the Sioux. 
Albert Fontenelle, the next son, was Pawnee Government agent ; 
lie was thrown while drunk from a mule and killed on the spot. 
Tecumseh, the third son, was killed in a drunken frolic by his 
brother-in-law, Louis Neal. Lucien Fontenelle's two remaining 
children, Henry and Susan, were alive so recently as 1870. 

Madame Lucien Fontenelle, their mother, was also a remark- 



AT OMAHA. 



897 




AN IXDIAX CAMP. 



able lady, and on one occasion very conspicuously distinguished 
herself. Some time in 1834 a party of Iowa Indians came to pay 
a friendly visit to the Omahas. They were very well received 
and kindly treated ; and, on returning home, meeting a small party 
of Indians of the same tribe as their kindly hosts, they gratefully 
murdered them. Among the slain were four relatives of that 
Omaha squaw, who had become Madame Fontenelle. They 
also slaughtered, after killing his mother, a half-bred Omaha 
boy by the name of Karsmer. One of the Omaha Indians said, 
" Don't kill him ; he is a white boy ;" but the gallant Iowa butcher 
replied, " A white man's blood is the same to us as an Omaha's," 
and left the boy on the ground with a spear driven through his 
heart. 

From that time forward Madame Lucien Fontenelle soug-ht 
revenge, and made several attempts to slay the treacherous Iowa 
who had killed the young half-breed. At tlie Bellevue landing on 
the ]\Iissouri stood an old Indian trading post, at which were the 
buildings of the Otoi Omaha and Pawnee blacksmiths' shops. 
The murderous Iowa of Avliom the vengeful squaw was in quest, 
happened to look in at Bellevue, and stole a keg of whiskey from 
the shop of one Sbaw, an assistant smith. Shaw had got 
drunk on whiskey, and had gone to bed with the keg under his 
arm when the lowas arrived. Then the Indians beiran to 2:et 
drunk, until, for the sake of peace and quietness, Hannibal Doherty 
brother to the Indian agent, stove in the keg with an axe and 
spilled the whiskey. There was an old Frenchman by the name 



398 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



of Sliarlo ]Mallce, w]io got drank by lying on tlie ground, and 
Slicking up tlie alcohol-saturated dirt. The murderous Iowa 
Indian was already drunk and incapable in one of the buildings 
of the fort standing niidwise to the river, when Madame Lucien 
Fontenelle deliberately took an axe and dashed his brains out ; 
then she jumped ten feet out of a four-light window, slid down a 
bank, and ran home. That night war was expected between the 
tribes ; but the lowas showed no fight, and returned home in a 
very crestfallen manner after burying the " brave," on whom 
retribution had just made so signal a mark. In all likelihood, 
]\Iadaine Lucien Fontenelle had never read a line of Bacon ; yet 
lier grimly heroic act was certainly a very practical comment on 
the maxim that revenge is " a wild kind of justice." The husband of 
the heroine, when she had done her deed, was up at his fort in the 
mountains. Major Pilcher had her conveyed to an Omaha village 
at the foot of the Blackbird Hills. Some two months afterwards 
J\Ir. Fontenelle came to Bellevue, and sent an escort of Omahas 
for his Helen Macgregor-like wife, paying about a thousand 
dollars' worth in presents as recompense for bringing her down. 

The last incident at which I may be allowed to glance in 
connection with the Indian chronicles of Omaha may fairly be 
considered as a startling one. It was the actual skinning alive 
of a white man at the hands of the Pawnees, and occurred in 1852 
at a place on the military road about five miles beyond the Elk- 
horn. The victim of the Pawnees' wrath was one Rhines, a 
silversmith, who had formerly lived at Geneva, in the State ot 




AT OMAHA. 399 

Wisconsin, but wlio shortly before coming AVest, on his way to 
CaHfornia, took up his abode at Dehiran. It appears that this man 
Rhines, previous to starting* for the Pacific coast, had made the 
boast, equally foolish and wicked, that he would shoot the first 
Indian whom he met. In due time the party of whom he was one 
arrived in Nebraska, and camped out one evening on the baidv of 
a stream which at that time was nameless. The next mornino-, 
as the caravan were gettmg ready to start, a small party of 
3^oung Indians who had crossed the river from the Pawnee 
village on the opposite shore approached the encampment of the 
pale-faces. These were the first red-skins whom the Ameri- 
cans had seen ; and Rhines the silversmith was duly reminded 
of his bloodthirsty piece of braggadocio. The ruffian at once 
seized his rifle, took aim at a young squaw, and shot iier dead. 

The news of this cruel and cowardly murder was at once 
carried to the Pawnee village ; and the party of white men was 
soon surrounded by a band of exasperated "savages" (?) who 
demanded, and eventually obtained, the surrender of Rhines. 
After stripping him they tied him to a wagon-wheel, and at 
once began to skin him alive. The wretch in his agony called 
both on the Indians and on his own countrymen to shoot him ; 
but there was no mercy for him who had shown none. The 
pale-faces, who were considerably outnumbered by the Indians, 
were compelled by the "savages" (?) to stand b}^, and witness 
the scarification of their comrade without being able to render 
him any assistance, except at the risk of their own lives. And 
these they did not care to imperil. The process of skinning 
was carried out to the end, Rhines surviving the completion of 
the operation a few minutes, during which the squaws cheerfully 
chopped him to pieces with their mattocks. Yes ; my Lord of 
Verulam was right ; and revenge is a wild kind of justice. As 
a postscript to the Tragedy of Scarification, it may be mentioned 
that, ever since the day of Rhines's punishment, the river on the 
shore of which the deed was done has been known as Rawhide. 
A horrible name — fit memento of a deed as horrible. 

Omaha, as I beheld it, is a city just six-and-twenty years old 
— the bill organising and admitting Nebraska as a territory after 
the extinction of the Indian title having been passed by Congress 
in the spring of 1854. The Organic Act having been passed, 
the Missouri Ferry Company proceeded to lay out their con- 
templated town in three hundred and seventy " blocks," each two 
hundred and sixty-four feet square; the streets being one hundred 



400 AMEEICA EEVISITED. 

feet wide. These figures are wortli quoting ; and I give them 
designedly, as a pregnant illustration of the resolve characteristic 
of the Americans to make their towns, even in the inception 
thereof, "big things." The enormous width assigned to the 
thoroughfares of what may be termed " Cities of the Future," 
but whicli in population would rank only as large villages, or, at 
tlie most, as county towns in the old country, has only one 
drawback. The era of Promise is not always succeeded by the 
era of Performance so swiftly as Its projectors have imagined and 
hoped would be the case. Even Washington, in the district of 
Columbia, the Federal capital of the Pepubllc, is only slowly 
realising, structurally speaking, the magnlticent intentions of its 
founders; and Washington is close upon a hundred years old. 
In despite of this example, every town in the West is laid out 
on a plan as vast as though it were destined, at no distant date, 
to contahi a million of inhabitants. 

These remarks will apply to at least fifty promising 
American cities that I have seen within the last four months. 
Constructive disproportion strikes you at every step. The 
roadway is, as a rule, three times too broad. Its excessive 
breadth renders the task of paving it one of extreme difficulty ; 
and in the majority of cases the municipal authorities tide over 
the difficulty by not paving the roadway at all. So soon as 
ever the streets are "graded," tramways for horse-cars are laid 
down ; and, what more, it Is tacitly asked, can you w^ant ? 
Europeans may reply that a civilised city should be a place not 
only to ride about In horse-car-railway, but also to walk about in ; 
and they may further urge that comfortable pedestrlanism in the 
greater number of young American towns is next door to an im- 
possibility. The monstrous breadth of the streets again gives 
to the entire town an aspect of unslghtliness and untidiness. In 
summer time the road is a dusty desert ; In the rainy season it is- 
a Slough of Despond. 

The street architecture is a jumble of all styles, and of no 
style at all. The energetic dealer in dry goods, who has, within, 
two or three years or so, made a couple of hundred thousand 
dollars, or borrowed a couple of hundred thousand more, runs up 
a stupendous five-storeyed structure of brick or iron, painted 
white to resemble marble. But next door to him is a petty 
saloon-keeper, or a small grocer, or a humble dealer in oysters 
and dried shad, who has not made any money at all, who cannot 
borrow any, and who continues to carry on his business in a 



AT OMAHA. 



401 




A WESTERN FRONTIER TOWN. 



wretched little shanty, the successor of the log-cabin which 
may have been built by his pioneer father's own hands. Next 
to this poverty-stricken hovel — I am speaking generally of 
juvenile American towns, and not specially of Omaha — you may 
behold the colossal granite, or brownstone, or cast-iron premises 
of the Runnamucca Insurance Company, the Kickafaw Express 
Agency, or the Potawotamie Bank — superb in mansard roofs, 
Renaissance loggie^ and "Corinthian fixings." Then come a 
pitiful cluster of one-storeyed tinware shops, butchers', bakers', 
and lager-beer saloons. Then a First Presbyterian Church, in 
what may be qualified as the Bedlamite-Byzantine style, and 
then more ram-shackle shanties. Then a Masonic Temple, or an 
Odd Fellows' Hall, or a Hibernian Rotunda, or a Young Men's 
Christian Association — all structures rivalling Mr. Spurgeon's 
Tabernacle at Newington in architectural grandeur and 
picturesqueness. And then more huts and hovels — with this 
addendum — that wherever there occurs a few feet of intervening 
wall, planking, or fencing it will surely be scrawled over with 
stencillings of the most offensive advertisements of quack nostrums 
that it is possible to conceive. 

I shall not, I hope, be accused of rooted prejudice against 
American institutions if I renew — and renew unavailingly, I 
fear — my protest against the coarseness and indecency of the 
quack-salvers' announcements with which almost every available 
inch of wall or fence space in the United States is disfigured. 
Impudent pretensions to cure the most distressing and the most 
repulsive of human ailments, to deal with the darkest offspring 
of " the Painful Family of Death, more hideous than their 
Queen," alarm and disgust the eye at every turn ; and I 
challenge contradiction when I assert that the loveliest spots in 
the scenery of this vast continent are blighted with these loath- 
some stigmata — the portents of shameless imposture and 
rapacious greed for gold — and that Dr. Dulcamara and Professor 



403 AMERICA EEVISITED. 

Katterfelto are permitted to daub the proclamations of tlieir lying 
wonders alike on the exquisitely beautiful banks of the Hudson 
River and on the rocky coast of the Pacific. From New York 
to San Francisco j^ou are pursued by the quack and his revolting 
lotions, pills and plasters. From New York to San Francisco, 
do I say? Alas! things are nearly as bad in London and Paris. 
But I did not come to this countr}^ to grumble ; and we must 
take the rougli with the smooth, especially at Omaha. It is such 
a very young, such a very enterprising, such a very promising 
city. Look at its newspapers. From the well-informed press of 
the Nebraskan city I gather that the first white child born in 
Omaha was ]\Iiss ^largaret Ferry, who came into the world in 
tlie month of October, 1854 ; the first marria2:e was that of Mr. 
John Logan to JMiss Caroline Mosier ; and the first grave in 
Omaha was dug by Mr. W. P. Snowden, on the site of which is 
now a German Turnverein Hall, for the remains of an old Otoe 
squaw, who had been abandoned to die by the wayside. Very 
appropriately in this connection may be quoted the words of the 
poet Whittier : 

Behind tlie scared squaw's Lircli canoe 

The steamer smokes and raA^es ; 
And city lots are staked for sale 

Above old Indian graves. 

The first case of death from deliriam tremens in Omaha was that 
of old Mr. Todd, who erected the first frame shanty in the vicinity 
of St. Nicholas, and stocked it with groceries : whiskey being his 
principal article of trade. He was his own best customer ; and 
after his dissolution, owing to repeated attacks of "the shakes," 
was buried "near where the Union Pacific track crosses 
Thirteenth-street." " To old Mr. Todd," pathetically remarks his 
biographer, " belongs the honour of having been the first incurable 
drunkard in Omaha, as well as the first man who died here — and 
his memory is entitled to some respect, as he exhibited some 
decency in ceasing to exist under the circumstances." I suppress 
the name of the first physician who began practice in Omaha. I 
find it recorded that he arrived here from Syracuse, New York, 

in the fall of 1854. "Dr. 's first patient," writes the 

chronicler, "was an Omaha Indian papoose" — and, he some- 
what maliciously adds — " It is said that the child died." Perhaps 
the chronicler was a brother medico. 




BREAKING PRAIRIE LAND IN NEBRASKA. 



XXXIV. 

The Road to Eldorado. 

Very Far West, Fth. 26. 

I LINGERED, it may be, too long in Omaha. It may seem to 
you that I likewise tarried to excess in Eichmond and in New 
Orleans ; although, had I had my will, my stay in both the 
delightful cities named would have been prolonged to thrice its 
actual duration. But Omaha, for reasons difticult to define, 
fascinated me. I entered it with joy, and I quitted it with 
reluctance. It was not, I admit, the superiority of the Omaha 
hotels that invited me to linger. Formerly the city could boast 
a, very splendid hotel, the Grand Central, described as the 
finest between Chicago and San Francisco; but in 1878 this 
towering fiibric was burned down ; and only an ugly gap of 
blackened ground, with a cow or two ruminating among the 
■cinders, between a drug store and the office of the Omaha 
Mepuhlican, remains to recall the glories of the Grand Central. 
The hotel history of Omaha is, moreover, not devoid of curious 
interest. The old Douglas House — a "frame" structure still 

D D 2 



40Jj AMERICA REVISITED. 

standing at the corner of Harnay-street, tlie main business 
thoronglifare — was the first "regular" hotel opened in the city. 
The earlier and irregular establishments were mere log cabins, 
kept by pioneer landlords of the rough-and-ready sort, and 
where board and lodging were combined with a good deal of 
whiskey- drinking and gambling, and, upon occasion, a little 
pistol practice. But the old Douglas House, built early in 1855, 
was a " high-toned " caravanserai, where shooting the bar-tender, 
if he declined to give credit for drinks, was deemed a gross 
breach of etiquette. The manager was ]\Ir. Ignace Sclierb, 
under whose superintendence the national anniversary of the 4th 
of July, '55, was celebrated by a grand " barbecue." Another 
leading house of entertainment for man and beast was the 
City Hotel, but this has since been converted into a private 
residence. 

Then there was the Herndon House, so named after a 
Lieutenant Herndon, who, in 1857, was lost in a steamship 
while on her voyage from Panama to New York. The Herndon 
cost some sixty thousand dollars to build, was "run " for a while 
in magnificent style, and " claimed to be a mammoth under- 
taking; " but it proved to be too big for its average contingent 
of guests ; and after passing to a succession of landlords, it fell 
at last into the hands of the sheriff, who sold it. There had 
been previously a sharp contest for possession between two liti- 
gant lessees, named respectively Mr. Allen and Mrs. Bronson. 
Weeks were spent by the parties in legal strategy and skirmish- 
ing, during wdiich it was not unusual for Mr. Allen, on visiting 
the hotel kitchen in the morning, to find Mrs. Bronson's cooking 
stove installed in the place of his own, which had been " chucked " 
over the adjoining fence during the night ; and not unfrequently 
were the guests in the hotel arrested in the midst of their break- 
fasts, while waiting, perhaps, for more buckwheat cakes, by the 
receipt from the waiter of the alarming intelligence that the 
cooking apparatus belonging to Mrs. Bronson, stove, griddle, 
and all, had just been "bounced out" by the incensed Mr. Allen. 
Eventually Mrs. Bronson triumphed : as the ladies always should 
do in matters where cookery is concerned. The Herndon House 
is now occupied by the offices of that tremendous corporation, 
the Union Pacific Railroad. 

Finally, among the bygone hotels of Omaha must be cited 
the memorable Cozzens House, concerning which an old legend 
is current in the city. In the year 1867, Mr. George Francis 



THE ROAD TO ELDORADO. 405 

Train was sojourning at the now disestablished Herndon House. 
One day in the dining-room he sat at a table close to a broken 
window, through which the wind was blowing in an incon- 
veniently tempestuous manner. George Francis complained of 
the annoyance ; and after exhausting every expedient to abrogate 
it, except that of putting in a new pane of glass, he paid a negro 
waiter ten cents a minute to stand in front of the window until 
he had finished his dinner. The most rapid Train then registered 
a vow that he would build forthwith a new mammoth hotel in 
Omaha ; and that self-same afternoon he purchased ten town lots, 
and had men at work digging for the foundations of his projected 
structure. In sixty days the hotel was completed, at a cost of 
forty thousand dollars. Before it was finished ]\lr. Train let it 
to the Messrs. Cozzens, of West Point, New York, for an annual 
rental of ten thousand five hundred dollars. The Cozzens ran it 
for a year and then leased it to one Philo Rumsey at less than 
one half the original rental; but in 1871 Mr. Rumsey "closed 
it out " — the American equivalent for shutting up shop — and 
for the last nine years the Aladdin's Palace of George Francis 
Train, who at one period seemed about to become, by means of 
a Credit Foncier, the territorial Dictator of Omaha, has stood 
vacant. 

By this time you will have begun to perceive that Omaha 
w^as, in the outset, slightly too ambitious in the w^ay of hotels. 
She wanted to run before she could walk, or even toddle. But 
she will come to the stage of advancing "by leaps and bounds" 
in good time. The burnt-down Grand Central is to be built up 
again, I hear, so soon as somebody can borrow the money to 
build it ; and in a few years' time, when Omaha numbers eighty 
or a hundred thousand inhabitants, and mammoth hotels by the 
score can be counted within her confines, the history of her early 
caravanserais may be as interesting to her denizens as that of 
our old Tabards and Falcons is to us. The leading hotel at 
Omaha at present is the Withnell House. The proprietors, the 
Messrs. Kitchen, do the most they can for travellers ; but the 
most does not amount to nmch. They put us into a bed-room 
the ground plan of which resembled a cocked-hat. Then they 
moved us to another the form of which reminded one of the case 
of a "bull- fiddle" — which is Americanese for a violoncello. 
There was a notification in this apartment to the effect that you 
were to touch the electric bell once if you wished to summon the 
*' bell-boy," twice if you wished for iced water, and thrice if you 



406 AMERICA REVISITED. 

required the attendance of the chambermaid ; but as nobody 
came in response to repeated ringing, it did not much matter 
how often or how long you pressed the magic button. When I 
was at Constantinople, some three years ago, I began to learn 
liow to work the " type writer ; " and I renewed my apprentice- 
ship to that instrument half practically and half mentally by 
tapping the bell-button at the Withnell House. I hope that I did 
not do any damage to the instrument. The hotel, albeit small 
and "one horse" in accommodation, was scrupulously clean, and 
Messrs. Kitchen's clerk was very civil. 

I shall remember the Withnell House cliiefly on account of 
two of the most zealous newspaper reporters that I ever en- 
countered. They were both young men ; and, Talleyrand's 
admonition against zeal to the contrary notwithstanding, these 
gentlemen should surely attain eminence in the peculiar branch 
of the profession of journalism which they have adopted. They 
sprang upon me from a dark corner in the " sample room" of the 
hotel late at night ; and one after the other made me the captive 
of his bow and spear. That is to say, they "interviewed" me 
half out of ni}^ mind. They wanted to know not only where I 
had been, and whither I was going — as if any man could tell 
where he was going — ^but likewise Avhat I thought about Mr. 
Charles Stewart Parnell, M.P., and Mr. Dennis Kearney, of San 
Francisco ; what were my opinions touching General Ulysses S. 
Grant and the Third Term candidature ; what I had to say about 
the Inter-Oceanic Canal, the Monroe Doctrine, and Honest 
Money as against Greenbacks ; and in what manner I had been 
impressed by the aspect of Omaha, its manufactories, its stock- 
yards, and its smelting Avorks. They interviewed me so long and 
so loudly that I fancy the gentleman in the next room must have 
thought that we were having a heated political discussion which 
might haply eventuate in an appeal to the arbitrament of the 
six-shooter or the bowie-knife ; for he knocked querulously at 
the wall, as though to signify he had had enough of this kind of 
thing, and that he wanted to go to sleep. I know that I yearned 
to assume the horizontal position, and that sorely. 

The first interviewer went away rejoicing, having " short- 
handed me," as he put it, on several sheets of brown paper. The 
next gentleman had to apologise for his ignorance of the art of 
stenography; so he "longhanded" me to such length that the 
noise we both made incited the querulous gentleman next door 
to rap at the wall even more loudly than before. It seemed to 



THE llOAD TO ELDOEADO. 



407 



me tliat the second interviewer had brouglit Lis slippers with 
him, and was going to stop all night. Just as I was drifting 
into despair it fortuitously occurred to me that I could repeat by 




heart the first chapter of Dr. Johnson's famous philosophical 
romance. The " whispers of fancy " and the " phantoms of 
hope" "fetched" him, and he "gave out'' before 1 had got to 
" Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia." He gathered up his papers, 
and, in a hurried manner, bade me good night, pausing, however, 
on the threshold, to congratulate me, in a somewhat sarcastic 
tone, that " Mr. Rose water had not got hold of me." Now who 
was Mr. Rose water ? I learned subsequently that the gentleman 
with the odoriferous name was the editor of an evening Omaha 
paper, renowned for the truculence, the "staying" powers, and 
the imaginative faculties of its reporters. 

At the same time I might advise future travelling Britons, 
under dire stress of interviewing torture, to resort to the line 
of tactics which I adopted. If " Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia," 
fails, try Brougham's peroration in the case of Queen Carolin e, 
" Such, my lords, is the evidence now before you." Don't try 
Patrick Henry's " Give me Death or Liberty " speech, or Lord 
Chatham on the employment of savage Indians in civilized 



408 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



warfare, because every American knows these orations as well 
as he knows " The Isles of Greece," or " The boy stood on the 
burning deck," Seriously, I could not be angry with the two 
interviewing gentlemen. It was their vocation and they carried 
it out ; nor, when I read their accounts of my words, my facial 
appearance, and my wearing apparel, in the Omaha papers the 
next morning, was I able to find any special fault with that 
which they had written. I was the more inclined to submit to 
the Inevitable as I was under considerable obligations to the 
proprietors of the two journals by the reporters of which I had 
been " interview-ed." I shall not readily forget the two solemn 
gentlemen who received us at the depot, conducted us to the 
Withnell House, and returned with an open carriage and pair, 
in which we were driven through and round about the romantic 
environs of the city. They showed us everything that was to 
be seen, and sent us awa}^ deeply impressed with a sense of 
their spontaneous and considerate courtesy. 

Shall I tell 3^ou what fascinated me most in Omaha? It 
was not so much the spectacle of this baby city of twenty-five 




<^^i\ '"^ 



A FAIR-HAIRED YOUNG AMAZON. 



THE ROAD TO ELDORADO. 



409 



or thirty tliousaiid inliabitants cradled in armour big enough 
for Goliath of Gath, but with a head and limbs promising to 
fill ere long the casque and cuirass and greaves of the giant. 
It was not the ravishinii, albeit transient, view of a fair- 
haired young Amazon caracoling around on a sprightly steed, 
and arrayed in a black velvet riding habit, whom we met on a 
sand-hill — who was she, I wonder ? The spouse of a Nebraskan 
Cattle King, the daughter of a smelting works superintendent, 
or the sister of a Pullman Palace Car agent ? It was not, even, 
the weird and phantom-like vision of a waggon full of decrepit, 
dingy, copper-coloured men, women, and children shrouded in 
tattered blankets, of hues which had once been resplendent, 
and who, I was told, were Winnebago Indians. Deplorable 
Winnebagoes ! Creatures more abject and wretched-looking I 
have seldom seen ; and I suppose that there is not much to 
choose between them and the evanished Omahas and lowas, the 
Pawnees and the Sioux. Well, the doctrine of the " survival of 
the fittest" must be carried out, I suppose, and the Red Indian 
does not seem to be fit for much in the Great AYest. Away 
from his " reservations " the whilom " Lord of the Forest " does 




INDIAN WOMEN GATHERING WILD RICE. 



410 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



not appear to be much better than a vagrant, a beggar, or a petty 
pilferer. He is certainly not nearly so interesting as the gipsy, 
of whom he seems to be the cast-off and disreputable cousin. 




SOME CIVILIZED INDIANS ENCOUNTERED ON THE ROAD. 



At least the Rommany man can clip horses, tinker pots and 
kettles, and play the tambourine. At least the Rommany woman 
can make baskets and tell fortunes. The poor Indian is only 
tit to hunt buftaloes, which have mainly disappeared, or to take 
jscalps, the original proprietors of which entertain a natural 
objection to their scalps being taken. What the poor Indian 
may be like in the districts facetiously termed his " reser- 
vations" I do not know, not having visited him tlierein. Sympa- 
thisers with the Red Man declare that the white post-traders 
sell him poisonous whiskey, and cheat him in every conceivable 
manner, while the white squatter " crowds him out," by stealing 



THE ROAD TO ELDORADO. 411 

the land assigned for Indian occupancy by the United States 
Government. JMeanwliile, those who do not sympathise with 
the Indian, content themselves with asserting- that he has got 
" to move out of the way or take the consequences ; " and that, 
I believe, is the opinion of so high an authority as General 
Sherman. 

In the very infancy of the Western city which so fascinated 
me there was published a newspaper called the Oinalia ArrouK 
The first number of this remarkable publication is dated July 
18, 1854. It was a four-paged six-columned sheet, very widely 
printed ; and immediately under the heading appeared the 
information that this was a " femily newspaper, devoted to the 
arts, sciences, general literature, agriculture, and politics," — 
its political opinions being of " a diffusively Democratic Stripe." 
Messrs. Johnson and Pattison were the editors and proprietors 
of this sheet. Mr. Johnson was the business man of the 
concern. He was a Mormon, and had three or four wives. He 
lived at Council Bluff's, and was eno-a2:ed in several concurrent 
businesses. He practised law, ran a blacksmith's forge, was an 
insurance agent, carried on a "general merchandising store," 
and was altogether " a- lively man on general principles." He 
left the neighbourhood in 185G, and went to Salt Lake City, 
where he still resides. Mr. Pattison remained in Omaha and 
married a Miss Redner, the nuptial ceremony taking place in the 
midst of a violent rainstorm under a large tree on the Elkhorn : 
Rev. Silas J. Franklin tying the connubial knot. There were 
only twelve numbers of the Arrow published, covering the period 
from July 28 to November 10, seeing that the publication oc- 
casionally skipped a week, probably when the supply of paper 
ran short — a not unusual occurrence in a pioneer printing office. 
Mr. Pattison, who to his functions as a journalist united the 
attributes of a lawyer and a real estate agent, was a writer 
endowed with considerable powers of imagination. The 
exordium of his "inaugural editorial " is worth (juoting. 

" Well, strangers, friends, patrons, and good people gene- 
rally," he begins, " wherever in the wide w^orld your lot may be 
cast, and in whatever clime this Arrow may reach you, here we 
are upon Nebraska soil, seated upon the stump of an ancient oak, 
wdiich serves for our editorial chair, and, with the crown of our 
badly-abused beaver for a table, we purpose writing a hrst-class 
leader." Then he proceeds, surveying the sylvan scene around 
him : " An elevated table-land surroimds us. The majestic 



412 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



Mlssoini, just off on our left, goes sweeping its muddy course 
adown towards the IMexicau Gulf, while the background of the 
pleasnig picture is filled up with Iowa's loveliest, richest scenery. 
Away upon our left, stretching far away in the distance, lies one 
of the most beautiful sections of Nebraska. Yon rich-rolling, 
wide-spread, and glorious prairie looks lovely enough just now, 
as Heaven's tree sunlight touches off in beauty the lights and 
shades, to be literally certified the Eden land of the world, and 
inspires us with flights of fancy upon this antiquated beaver; hut 
it wont "pay. There sticks our axe in the trunk of an old oak, 
whose branches have for hundreds of years been fanned by the 
breezes that constantly sweep from over the ofttiraes flower- 




A LOG HUT IN THE WEST. 



dotted prairie lea, and lohicli ice intend immediately to convert 
into logs for our residential cabin" 

Another of Mr. Pattison's effusions, entitled " A Night in our 
Sanctum," claims for him a place among the Minor Prophets of 
the secular order. 



THE ROAD TO ELDORADO. 413 

" Last nlglit," lie wrote, " we slept in our sanctum — the 
starry-decked heaven for a ceiling, and Mother Earth for a floor- 
ing. It was a glorious night, and we were tired with the day's 
exertions. Far away on different portions of the prairies glim- 
mered the camp fires of our neighbours, the Pawnees, the 
Omahas, and that noble but often unappreciated class of our own 
people known as Squatters. . . . The new moon was just sinking 
beneath the distant prairie roll, but slightly dispelling the darkness 
which stole over our beloved and cherished Nebraska. We thought 
of distant friends and loved ones, stretched upon beds of downy 
ease. . . . Behind us was spread our buftalo robe, in an old Indian 
trail, which was to serve us as our bed and bedding. The night 
Avore on, and we crept between Art and Nature — between 
our blanket and our buffalo robe — to sleep, and perchance to 
dream of battles, sieges, fortunes, and bankruptcies in the immi- 
nent breach. To dreamland we went. The distant hum of 
business from factories and machine-shops from Omaha reached 
our ears. The incessant rattle of the innumerable drays over the 
paved streets, the incessant tramp of thousands of an animated 
and enterprising population, the hoarse orders that issued from 
the crowd of steamers upon the river, loading the rich products 
of the State of Nebraska, and unloading the fruits, liquors, and 
other merchandise of other cities and soils, greeted our ears. 
Far away, from towards the setting sun, came telegraphic des- 
patches of improvement, progress, and moral advancement upon 
the Pacific coast. Cars^ full freighted with teas, silks, &c., were 
arriving from thence, and passing across the stationary channel 
of the Missouri River with lightning speed, hurrying on to the 
Atlantic seaboard. The third express train of the Council Bluffs 
and Galveston Railroad came thundering close by us wi'th a 
shrill whistle that brought us to our feet, bowie-knife in hand. 
We rubbed our eyes, and looked into the darkness beyond, to see 
the flying train. It had vanished, and the shrill neighing of our 
' lassoed ' horses gave indication of the danger near. The hum 
of business in and around the city had also vanished ; and the 
same rude camp fires gleamed around us. We slept again ; and 
then daylight grew upon us and found us ready for another day's 
labour in negotiating for town lots and canvassing for advertise- 
ments." 

This, as a sample of fine writing, may not be so 
polished as the " Vision of Mirza ; " and to some readers Mr. 
Pattison's rhapsody may savour somewhat of the element called 



414 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



*' buncombe ; " but it lias certainly tliis advantage over the 
immortal essay of the Right Hon. Joseph Addison, inasmuch as 
the Pattisonian dream was one that came true, and more than 
true. The route which he had imagined from the Pacific to the 
Atlantic was evidently one through the South, by way of Gal- 
veston, Texas ; and the great Texan line is being actively pushed 
forward. In a couple of years, they tell me, California may be 
reached overland without crossing the Rocky Mountains and the 
Great Alkali Deserts. But Mr. Pattison's vision did not embrace 
that which has long since become a living and palpable actuality 
— to wit, the overland route from Omaha to San Francisco 
by means of the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific Rail- 
ways. 

This, then, was the thing that really fascinated me in the city 
of whose growth the pioneer editor of the Arrow so graphically 
dreamed. Omaha has become a very bustling, thriving place, 
with an immense trade in grain and several important manu- 
factures. The Omaha Smelting Works are said to be the largest 




in i\\Q States; there are several important breweries and dis- 
tilleries, extensive linseed oil-works, brick yards, stock yards, 
and pork-packing establishments, and the usual complement of 
churches, drinking saloons, restaurants, dry goods stores, 



THE ROAD TO ELDORADO. 



415 



Masonic Temples, and debating halls. But all of these sink 
into insignificance before the " installation " of the Union Pacific 
Railroad, the vast machine shops, carriage works, and foundries 
of which occupy at least thirty acres of bottom land, adjoining 
the Missouri shore ; wdiile the offices of the Company are 
"located" in the disestabhshed Herndon House. On one 
memorable February evening did I pay a visit to these offices — 
totally unlike the premises of any railway company that I had 
ever seen. The main bureau, an enormous apartment, had 
been, I conjecture, the diuing-hall of the old hotel. Now it was 
cut up into partitioned-oti" sections — dry 
docks, so to speak, of bureaucracy, where | 
scores of clerks, at desks and tables, were 
scribbling away for dear life. Well, such 




MAKING AN INSPECTION. 



EXPLORING OLD WORKINGS. 



a scene of clerkly activity you might behold at any London 
terminus — at Euston-square or at King's-cross, at London 
Bridge, or at Paddington. Precisely so ; but you would not see 
this in England, nor in the whole of Europe. From one huge 
plate-glass window you look down on the grimy buildings of the 
smelting works. These works are being constantly enlarged in 
order to keep pace with the rapid increase of business. In the 
year 1875, the works in Colorado alone reduced -SI, 650,000 
worth of ore and bullion. Li 1874 the Omaha works reduced 
$1,135,000. In 1875 $4,028,314. In 1877 $5,500,000. In 
the years 1875-6-7 their lead manufacture amounted to 35,262 
tons, or 70,354,000 pounds ; so that Omaha now produces 



416 



AMERICA EE VISITED. 




CORNIBHMEN DRIVING A TUNNEL. 



about one-sixth of all tlie lead used in tlie United States. What 
a terrific killin^^ power, to be sure, should another war — ahsit 
omen — ever break out ! As for the passage of gold and silver 
into and through Omaha I learn that last year it amounted to 
$64,000,000, or two-thirds of the entire precious metal product 

of the country. Heretofore the lead 
had all been shipped east ; but the 
new and extensive wdiitelead works 
in the city will use a large portion 
of the metal ; and, in the near 
future, there is no reason why 
Omaha should not become one ot" 
the greatest lead - manufacturing 
markets in the world. This con- 
tingency w^as omitted from the 
Pattisonian vision : but have you 
not often noticed, with respect to 
prophets, that while their smaller 
and more detailed vaticinations are 
rarely realised to the letter, a sur- 
prising number of much more im- 
portant events, wdiicli they never mentioned, come to pass? 
They err in particulars — humamim est errare—hui in general 
they are wonderfully borne out by facts. They predict the 
tumbling down of a cottage, and lo, an earthquake comes and 
swallows up a whole city. 

And then I withdrew my gaze from the smelting works, and 
looked back again into the office full of clerks. No, this could 
scarcely have been the dining hall of the old Herndon House, 
for, glancing at a guide book lying open on a table, I read that 
"the General Offices of the Union Pacific Railroad constitute a 
new and elegant building, which was completed in 1878, at a 
cost of $58,453." " The citizens of Omaha," it is added, " are 
very proud of this fine structure." Be it as it may, there are 
more things to be admired in the central bureau besides its 
architectural proportions and its army of diligent quill-drivers. 
There is something else here, in addition to ledgers and cash 
books, invoices, and bills of lading, blotting paper, pens and ink. 
Behold on every side specimens of the fauna and flora of 
Nebraska. This is not only the Cereal, but the Garden State of 
the Union. It boasts fifty-nine species of roses and eleven 
varieties of violets. There are four species of wild roses, one of 



THE ROAD TO ELDORADO. 



417 



which, the Rosa hlouda, is so abundant as to become a nuisance, 
its eradication being difficult from old formerly abandoned fields. 
There are twenty species of cactus ; and I grieve to say that the 
nightshade fiimily is represented by the Potato-l^eetle weed 
[Solanum rostratum), which was introduced from the mountains 
by " freighters " across the plains. This is the original plant on 
which the abhorred Colorado beetle was accustomed to feed 
before the more luscious potato came in its way. On the other 
hand, three beautiful species of lily grow wild, and the variety 




\\HLAr HAR\L&1 SCLNL, NEBRASKA. 

known as Solomon's Seal is 
almost universal throughout 
the State. One of the most 
peculiar of the vegetable 
species here is the so-called 
Soap Plant (Yucca angustifoUa). It contains in its tissues a 
large amount of alkaline matter, and hence its popular name, it 
having been largely used by the early pioneers, in the absence 
of soap, for washing purposes. 

As for ihafaima^ my eyes grow dazed as I gaze around at 
the stuffed specimens which convert the Central Pacific offices 
into a kind of Museum of Natural History. Huge heads and horns 
and hairy robes remind me that in Nebraska was once the empire 
of the buffalo. Of course, strictly scientifically speaking, the 



418 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



^M 




hos Americanus is a bison, and 
not a buffiilo. No true buffalo, 
I am warned by the learned Pro- 
fessor Augliey, of the University 
of Nebraska, has ever a hump 
on his back. But the immense 
herds of buffaloes wliicli once 
roamed at large over the State 
have all but entirely disappeared. 
What the Indian could not ac- 
complish has been completed by 
the remorseless war waged by the 
white man, who has slauglitered 
the animal, not for food but for 
sport. Professor Aughey is of 
opinion that if the race is to be 
perpetuated it must be by domes- 
ticating the buffalo, and that he de- 
serves to be domesticated. Already 
some tame bisons are to be found 
among the cattle lierds of Western 
Nebraska. Buffalo robes, in the 
dressing of which the Indian squaws 
are very expert, are an important 
article of commerce ; and buffalo's 
milk is considered a good substi- 
tute for that of the domestic cow. 
Buffalo flesh I have heard dispa- 
raged as " poor" meat, coarse 
and stringy ; but I purchased at 
Ogden, in the territory of Utah, 
a buffalo tongue, very tender 
in texture, and delicious in 
flavour. 




RAILWAY SNOW SHED NEAR CHEYENXE. 



XXXV. 



Still on the Road to Eldokado. 

Very Far West, Feh. 26. 

" Having rested, and visited the priucipal points of interest 
in Omaha," I read in Wilhams's " Pacific Tourist and Illustrated 
Guide across the Continent," " you will be ready to take a fresh 
start. Repairing to the new depot now finished at the corner of 
North-street, you will find one of the most magnificent trains of 



420 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



cars made up by any railroad In the United States. Everything 
connected with them is first-cLass. Pullman sleeping coaches 




are attached to all express trains ; and all travellers know how 
finely these cars are furnished, and how they tend to relieve the 
wearisome monotony of day after day on the journey from 
ocean to ocean. At this depot you will find the waiting-rooms, 



STILL OX THE ROAD TO ELDORADO. 4'Zl 

baggage-rooms, limcli stands, book and newspaper stalls, togetlier 
with one of the best kept eating-houses in the country. There 
are gentlemanly attendants at all these places, ready to give you 
all information. If you have a little time, step into the Union 
Pacific Land office, and see some of tlie productions of this 
prolific Western soil. If you have come from the East, it has 
been a slightly up-hill journey all the way ; and you are now 
at an elevation of 968 feet above the sea. If the weather be 
pleasant you may alread}^ begin to feel the exhilarating effect 
of Western breezes and a comparatively dry atmosphere. With 
books and papers to while away your leisure hours" — which ai'e 
the hours that are not leisure ones, Williams? — "you are 
finally ready for the start. The bell rings, the whistle shrieks, 
and off you go." 

These, in a general sense, are the words of truth ; but there 
are sundr}^ particulars to be attended to before beginning a 
trans-continental trip which may have escaped the lofty purview 
of Williams. I had found time to step into the Land office of 
the Union Pacific Company. I had seen all the "productions 
of the prolific Western soil," including several specimens of 
auriferous quartz, argentiferous ore, cinnabar ponderous wnth 
quicksilver, buffalo skulls, elk horns, and a gigantic eagle, witli 
outspread wings and menacing beak, stuffed, which Imperial 
bird I believe to have been the identical " bird o' freedom 
waurin " so frequently alluded to in the " Biglow Papers." The 
hour which I spent in the Union Pacific Land offices finally 
confirmed me in a long secretly nourished but wavering purpose. 
The time at my disposal in the States w^as wofully short. 
February was rapidly waning. Early in the Ides of March 1 
was due in New York, fifteen hundred miles away; and on the 
15th of the gusty month I was due, by arrangement long since 
made, in London. But here I was on the threshold of the 
Promised Land — at the Eastern terminus of the road to 
Eldorado. There was a Chance before me ; and in all human 
probability I should never have such a Chance again. I would 
steal three weeks, I thought, looking wistfully into my wallet 
to see how many fiifty dollar bills remained there. I would 
adventure on a journey two thousand miles further west. I 
would have a peep at California. Ten days on the rail, a week 
at 'Frisco, three days for divagations to Salt Lake and Denver 
City. The thing could be done in three weeks. So I wavered 
no more, but began to see about the provand. 



422 AMERICA REVISITED. 

And tliat " provaiul," so often and so affectionately dwelt 
upon by Mr. Ford in his hand-book of Spain, is, I assure yon, a 
matter of the deepest consideration when you undertake an over- 
land journey from Omaha to San Francisco. The Pullman hotel 
cars go no further than Council Bluffs ; and after that you are at 
the mercy of the wayside refreshment stations. The cuisine, 
I was told, is at some of these establishments tolerable. In 
the territory of AVyoming, for instance, the name of Kitchen is 
great as caterers. Union Pacific passengers going East stop for 
dinner at Evanston, Wyoming, where, so the advertisement 
assures you, " you may rely on getting mountain trout ; " but, 
adds the diplomatic announcement, "that you may not be 
disappointed about trout, inquire at the office as you go in," 
This seems to be conceived somewhat in the spiiit of that piece 
of advice about " first catching your hare," which j\Irs. Hannah 
Glasse did not proffer to her readers. Another Kitchen, hailing 
from the Desert House, Green River, Wyoming, issues an 
advertisement of a somewhat enigmatical nature. " Passenger 
trains," writes the Boniface of Green River, " going East stop 
here (breakfast). Trains going West ditto (supper). Chickens 
have not been known to cackle in hundreds of miles from this 
house since Eve plucked the apple ; nor a cow to bellow in this 
vicinity since Adam Avas a little boy. Did you ever get a square 
meal at an hotel where they offer to feed you with all the market 
affords '? Advertising is cheap, but good living costs money. — 
Truly yours, C. W. Kitchen." 1 can but regard this communi- 
cation as a disquieting one to hungry folks. The " Desert 
House " has an unpromising sound to begin with ; and if 
chickens do not cackle nor cows low in the vicinity of C. W. 
Kitchen's establislnnent, how do the travelling public stand in the 
matter of poultry, eggs, and milk ? 

In any case, I was warned to provide a commissariat of our 
own after leaving Omaha ; and it was strongly hinted that a 
well-furnished luncheon basket would be about the best friend 
that we could have during our four and a half days' journey to 
'Frisco. We took the warning, and profited by the hint ; only 
in lieu of a wicker-basket we bought a stout canvas valise, 
with strong leatlier straps ; this we bottomed with a half-a- 
dozen bottles of Extra Dry Verzenay, and over this, on the 
composition of a "sea-pie" principle, we carefully deposited 
successive layers of boned turkey and ham in tins, Huntley 
and Palmer's biscuits, sardines and anchovies, a pot of French 



STILL ON THE ROAD TO ELDORADO. 423 

mustard, a bottle of Crosse and Blackwell's " cliow-cliow," and 
a quart flask of Eau de Cologne. Never omit the Eau de 
Cologne; and never mind how much you have to pay for 
genuine Jean Marie Farina. Frequently during our journey 
the water in the toilet rooms on board the car was frozen, and 
washing was an impossibility. In such a conjuncture the out- 
ward application of Jean Marie Farina to your temples, your 
wrists, and behind your ears, is the sweetest of boons. We 
may be good and happy, 1 am aware, without Avashing — the 
saintly anchorites of the Thebaid taught us that long ago ; but 
that was in the days before Brown Windsor Soap and Bully's 
Vinaigre de Toilette. And there are other things besides water 
which you may use for lavatory purposes. Mohammedans 
praying in the desert are said to perform their ablutions with 
sand. I told you just now of the Soap Plant, which stood the 
pioneer laundresses in such good stead ; and every lady knows 
that when soap and water ai'e not procurable a gentle lubrication 
of the skin with cold cream and a skilful top-dressing of violet 
powder will result in a very presentable facial appearance. 
Did you ever wash your face and hands with a wax candle ? I 
did once, acting under the advice of an eminent diplomatist, in 
a railway carriage, in Spain. It was early one morning in the 
depth of winter, between Albania de Aragon and Zaragoza. 
Time pressed, the water was frozen, there was no soap, and I 
was invited to breakfast with a Great Personage. The wax- 
candle — it was a " short six ''—did wonders, and I emerged from 
my toilet spruce, ornate, but somewhat shiny, and perhaps to a 
certain extent ghastly in mien. 

Sardines, boned turkey, and other pretty little tiny kickshaws 
in the preserved provision line, are all very well in their way ; 
still, it is clear that for a two thousand miles' journey some- 
thing more substantial — something of the nature of a piece de 
resistance — is required. So, at the buffet at Omaha I bought 
half a cold roast turkey. This generous bird fed us for two 
whole days. At Ogden, which is virtually the half-way house 
on the overland route, I laid in the buffalo tongue of which I 
spoke anon ; and these, with the kickshaws in tins, enabled us 
to fare regally all the way to Sacramento. Save at that city, 
where there is a capital restaurant kept by a German, and 
where we breakfasted early in the morning of our last day's 
journeying, we never entered a refreshment house ; breakfasting, 
dining, and supping in plenty and comfort in our cosy drawing- 



424 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



room on board tlie car : thus avoiding; innumerable contlno^encies 
of bad cooking, colds in the head, and that general friction of 
discomfort which is so terribly trying to the temper. Apples, 
oranges, and chocolate lozenges, are always obtainable on board; 
so Ave never lacked dessert. AVe had had the foresight to 
provide ourselves with two jugs of white stoneware — I observe 




OGDEN AND THE 'WAHSATCH RANGE. 



that Mr. Richard Grant White, in a recent number of the 
" Atlantic Monthly," reproaches English people for miscalling 
" a pitcher," " a jug; " as though a pitcher were not one thing 
and a jug another, and as though EngHshmen were not perfectly 
able to discriminate between tJie two ; e.g., the water-pitcher 
goes to the well, the milk-jug remains on the breakfast table — 
and in these jugs our civil, patient, and smiling negro servant 
brought us, morning and evening, hot coffee and milk. 



STILL OX THE ROAD TO ELDORADO. 



425 




either was a 
"quarter," or 
twenty - five 
cents (a shil- 
lin^i^) a pint. 
AVlien our dark 
retainer was 
unable to ob- 
tain hot milk, 
the engine - 
driver was so obliging as to warm the 
fluid under the boiler of the locomotive. 
What more could you want ? Bread ? The African retainer 
was periodically " on hand" Avith loaves of the peculiarly light, 



436 AMERICA REVISITED. 

porous bread wliicli the Americans affect for domestic use, and 
which, to my taste, is extremely pahitable when new, but which 
becomes dry, crumby, and flavourless when it is more than a 
day old ; or, better still, with hot rolls made of exquisitely while 
and fine flour, rivalling in sweetness and purity the ftimous trigo 
of the Asturias. Butter ? Well ; we brought half-a-pound of 
the "best fresh" with us from Omaha; but this "giving 
out," or becoming exhausted, at Ogden, we were content with 
a replenishment of "Oleomargerine," or some other substitute for 
the genuine article. Perhaps it was a preparation of animal fat. 
What does that matter? The weather was excruciatingly cold, 
and Sir Henry Tliompson will tell you that it is good to eat 
adipose matter in high latitudes. As for tea, we had none of it, 
nor wanted any. Cold tea may be a highly-refreshing beverage 
to stockmen riding through the Australian bush, or "T. G.'s " 
hunting buffaloes — where there are any buffaloes left to hunt — 
on the prairies ; but tea on board a railway car is simply a 
mockery, a delusion, and a snare. To begin with, your nerves 
are in a continuous state of jarring tension from the jolting ot 
the train. Why aggravate nervous disturbance by uncalled-for 
potations of Flowery Pekoe or Young Hyson? 

This account of the "provand" — which is drawn up simply 
for the benefit of future travellers overland — would be incomplete 
without the mention that our Ethiopian valet de chamhre was 
always ready to lend us a couple of clean towels to serve as 
tablecloths ; that for thirty cents we purchased a " remnant " of 
checked muslin, which tore up very neatly to serve as table 
napkins ; that two plates — they were part of a " spoiled " batch 
of English crockery ware — only cost us seven cents ; that two 
fine cast-iron knives and two forks — the latter good old-fashioned 
"prongs" — only cost seventy-five cents; that at one wayside 
station we secured what the vendor called a " chunk " of salt for 
ten cents ; and that, finally, for the sum of four cents, or two 
pence, we became possessors of that which afterwards proved to 
be a priceless auxiliary, to wit, a tin pot, with a handle, and 
holding about three-quarters of a pint. We took some drinking- 
glasses with us ; but they soon got broken. The trusty tin pot 
defied wind, weather, and the concussions of locomotion ; it held 
coflee, champagne, shaving water, grog. It was ready for any 
emergency. The emigrant, the pioneer, the tourist, the soldier, 
the sailor, ay, even the convict's friend — what praise can be too 
high for the homely tin pot ? 




COALING AT AVINNEMUCCA. 



XXXVI. 

At Last. 

S;in Francisco, California, March 1. 

At last ! Yes ; at last tlie weary four and a half days' 
pilgrimage from Omaha has come to an end ; the Rockies, the 
Alkalis, the Sierras Nevadas have been crossed ; and I am in 
the City of the Golden Gate. Pardon my enthusiasm. I have 
just had a bath, and have assumed what Artemus Ward used to 
call " a clean biled rag." Under those circumstances a traveller 
has a right to feel exhilarated ; and there is perhaps only one 
stage in life's journey at Avliich you do not feel joyful and grate- 
ful for a bath and clean linen after long deprivation from both. 
That must be when you alight from the Black Maria, at the 
portals of a convict prison, and begin a term of penal servitude 
by being washed and reclothed all over. 



428 



AMERICA REVISITED 




THE PACIFIC EXPRESS ROUNDING CAPE HORN. 



A man can never tell to what lie may eventually come. His 
main business is to be grateful for present mercies, and humbly 
to hope for their continuance. For the present, I am located at 
the Palace Hotel, San Francisco. The chief clerk, Mr. George 
H. Smith, whom a quarter of an hour since I did not know from 
Adam, has received me like a brother, and assigned me a suite 
of apartments comprising four rooms, fourteen windows, and 



1 



AT LAST. 



4:29 



seventeen doors.* The lessee of tl e Palace, Mr. A. D. Sharon, 
proposes, tc-morrow, to take ns out for a drive to see the Cliff 




THE CLlFFt^, «AN I'KANCI.SCO. 

Rock, tlie Sea Lions, the Pillars of the Golden Gate, and the 
Pacific Ocean. Ex-Senator Eugene Cassidy has just called to 
offer me the courtesies of the Pacific Club. Similar politeness 
has been extended to me by the Union and the Bohemian Clubs. 
The two leading photographers, Messrs. Taber and Messrs. 
Bradley and Rulofson, have left their cards, and hope that I am 
coming soon ; and I have a box for the Bush-street Theatre 
to-night, where I hope to witness the six thousand and first 
performance of Mr. E. A. Sothern. 

I have seen my old friend the accomplished comedian in 
question, f and he showed me a telegram sent him this morning 
by Mr. John Hollingshead, of the Gaiety Theatre, London, only 
six thousand five hundred miles away. The world, you will dis- 
cover is not such a very large place, after all; if you will only 
have the nerve to buckle on your girdle, take up your scrip and 

* The lessee of tlie Palace Hotel positively refused to take any kind of payment 
from us when I ■svent away ; ami unless I had imitated the example of the good 
St. Nicholas, and liad flung a bag full of gold five dollar jiieces at the clerk's head 
(which would have been discourteous as well as foolish), I could not possibly have 
enriched the exchequer of the Palace Hotel, San Francisco. 

f Alas ! poor Edward Askew Sothern. The last time that I saw him was in a 
private box at the Princess's Theatre, London, on the occasion of Mr. Edwin Booth's 
first appearance in London as Hamlet. Thrtt night at the Princess's poor dear 
Sothern looked what the old hospital nurses used to call " marked for death." A 
few days afterwards he was dead. 



430 



AMERICA EEVISITED. 




AN EVENING AT THE BOHEMIAN CLUB. 



staff, and tramp to the nttennost mundane comers. I feel a call 
within me to travel to Honolulu, to Fiji, to Corea, to the Yang- 
tse-Kiang, or to the Straits of Malacca. Acapulco in Mexico ! 
British Columbia! Bah! they are only a few "blocks " distant. 
Pardon my enthusiasm, I repeat. The warm bath and the clean 
linen must be the cause of all this. A healthy hunger may have 
something* to do with it, too. It was only seven this morning 
wdien we breakfasted at Sacramento City, the capital of the State 
of California. Our appetite has sharpened since then. I have 
been introduced to M. Harder, the renowned cliefoi the Palace 
Hotel, a past master of Delmonico's and the defunct JMaison 
Doree at New York, and who receives, they tell me, a salary 
of $5,000 a year at 'Frisco. M. Harder promises a succulent 
dejeuner a lafourcliette. He speaks of fresh green peas and straw- 
berries and cream, spring lamb, asparagus, and quails on this the 
first of March. Bemarkable City of El Dorado ! Beneficent chef! 
No • the world is not so very large, after all. That is a verity 

or a seeming verity — forced upon you as you grow older. 

*' Comme on se rencontre ! " a vivacious French baron observed 
to me when I met him two or three years since, valorously 
backing the red at JMonte Carlo. I had met him at divers times 



AT LAST. 4-31 

during a quarter of a ceiitur>' at St. Petersburg-, in London, at 
Brighton, in Paris, at Madrid, at Algiers, at Hombourg, at 
Rome, at Vienna, at Constantinople ; now promoting a railway, 
now negotiating for a tobacco concession, now managing a 
hierlialle, now giving morning concerts, now "running" a 
laundry, and now backing the red — sometimes ablaze in gold 
and diamonds, and with the shiniest of boots ; sometimes closely 
buttoned np, and very white at the coat-seams, et i^ortant mi 
pantalon dont les cjenoux montraknt la corde, but always vi- 
vacious. " Comme on se rencontre ! " I should not be in the 

least surprised Avere I to meet that indomitable Baron B , 

this afternoon in Montgomery-street, San Francisco. I should 
not be in the least astonished were he to tell me tliat he had 
made half a million dollars by judicious speculations in the Great 
Hoodlum Gold Mining Stock, and that he was inlial)iting a 
palatial mansion on " Nob Hill," the popular name for the Bel- 
gravia of the Golden City ; nor, again, would it amaze me to 
learn that he had lost every cent by imprudent operation in the 
Great Bogus Bonanza Salted Diamond Field Enter})rise, and 
that he had become a "lame duck" hanging about " Paupers'- 
row" — the Californian equivalent for the purheus of our Capel- 
court. Are you old enough to remember the " stags " of the 
railway mania of 1845 ? Tliere are whole herds of them, harts 
of grease and stags of ten tyne, disconsolately shambling about 
the coverts of " Pauper s'-row." 

Comme on se rencontre ! In the year of revolutions 1848 I 
was editing in London a little weekly periodical published in the 
Strand. My esteemed proprietor had a craze about a flying- 
machine which he had invented, and in 1849 he set sail for 
California to seek his fortune and further the interests of aerial 
navigation, leaving me the little periodical as an ante-mortem 
legacy. Thirty-one years afterwards I find him in San Francisco 
a prosperous gentleman of seventy-five, the proprietor of a 
weekly paper which has somewhat of the semblance of the 
tiny sheet which I used to edit when I was a boy ; but a 
periodical grown fat and shin}^ and saving a balance at its 
banker's. We had never a balance at ours ; no, not a dime. 
My esteemed proprietor knows little about the United States 
usually so termed. He has only been once to New York. But 
he is "posted up" in the latest London politics and the latest 
London gossip, and he still believes in the practicability of the 
Hying-machine. I may add that during the three decades 



43:2 AMERICA REVISITED. 

whicli had elapsed since our last meeting, I had never corre- 
sponded with and had indeed rarely heard of him. I remembered 
him as a man of great mental resom'ces and presence of mind 
under difficulties : — at which times he would invariably recom- 
mend a glass of dry sherry. I walked into his office just now, 
and found him reading the last number of the "Nineteenth 
Century." "Ah!" he remarked, "you've come at last, have 
you? Everybody turns up here. They're bound to do it. 
And I'll tell you what ; just write me a ten line paragraph 
about Parnell's speech at Chicago, and then we'll have a 
comfortable glass of dry sherry." The sherry Avas very dry; 
but I think there w^as some moisture in our eyes when we 
touched glasses, and drank to Queen and Country.^ So long 
ago— so far away from the Strand, W.C. ; and yet it is not such 
a large w'orld after all. 

Not so large, you would agree with me, were you to turn 
over Messrs. Bradley and Eulofson's photographic album, and 
glance at the portraits of the celebrities who have passed through 
'^Frisco or who have made their fortunes here. Leland Stanford, 
Milton Latham, Jay Gould, Huntington, Sidney Dillon, James 
E. Keene, Sam Ward, Whitelaw Reid, Mackey, Fair, Flood, 
O'Brien : those are names more familiar to American than_ to 
English ears— names of power, names of purpose, representing 
untold millions of dollars; but after these the cosmopolitan 
traveller will turn with quickened interest to the effigies of Dom 
Pedro, Emperor of Brazil, Kalakua, King of Hawaii, Queen 
Emma of the Sandwich Islands, the Duke of Genoa, the Duke of 
Manchester, the Duke of Penthievre, the Earl and Countess of 
Dufferin, Ristori and the Marchese de Grillo, Lord Augustus 
Loftus, Sir Harry Parkes, Sir Joseph Hooker, Sir Julius Vogel, 
Lady Sykes, Professor Agassiz, Dion Boucicault, Cyrus Field, 
Bret Harte, Mark Twain, Joaquin Miller, Albert Bierstadt and 
AVilliam Bradford, the famous American landscape painters, 
Felix Regamey, the noted French artist ; poor Fechter, Barry 
Sullivan, Madame Anna Bishop, Madame Parepa-Rosa, and a 
whole host of musical and theatrical celebrities. 

It is precisely for the reason that so many of the notable 
people of the age have visited San Francisco that I have 
refrained from inflicting on you a detailed account of our over- 
land journey. I lingered purposely at Omaha, the threshold of 
my voyage, because I regarded it as the typical Western town — 
the keynote of a stupendous Song of Civilisation. But what 



AT LAST. 



433 




good could I lia^e 

1)\ dc^cupthch i2,oiii 

tlie gioiind whidi 

so oltenaud so exhaust 

gone o\ er by those guit 

book ^\litcls ^\liose 

is Ici^iuii ^ I huv 

of the guide-book 

from either paraphrasing or " cribbing " their 

contents. Who has not heard to satiety about 

the Echo and AVeber Canons, the Castle and 

Pulpit Eocks — where Brigham Young preached a sermon to 

the faithful when leading them into the promised land — the 



434 



AMERICA REVISITED. 




THE PULPIT EOCK, ECHO CANOX. 

Thousand Mile Tree, and the 
Devil's Slide ? Is there any- 
thing new to be indited re- 
specting the Divide and the Sierras Kevadas ? 
I am again all the more strongly deterred 
from wearying you with an attempt at de- 
scription of the scenery through which we passed, in con-^ 
sequence of a bitter personal attack made upon me by a fellow- 



AT LAST. 



435 




traveller 
wlioiu I 
met with in 
the smoking- 
caboose on the 
Central Pacific 
Iiailroad train. 
I had done no- 
thing, so far as 
I could remem- 
ber, to offend 
him, but he 
was certainly the most implacable of" 
tourists that I ever came across. He 



CROSSING THE SIERRAS. 



informed me that he came from Rhode Island, and he wore a 



436 



AMERICA EEVISITED. 



plaid Ulster 
and a Glen- 
garry bon- 
net. He 
was alto- 
gether an 
anibif2:uous 
man.'What 
I say I 
mean/' lie 
wonld re- 
mark, bend- 
ing, I knoAv 
not why, 
his beetling- 
brows on 
me. "There 
ain't no 
bottling up 
of things 
about me. 
This over- 
land jour- 
ney's a 
fraud, no- 
=ii, and you 
wnoA\ it Don't tell me. 
aud. This Pang must be 
busted up. AMicie are 3'our 
buffalers ? Perhaps you'll tell me 
that them cows is buffalers. They 
ain't. AVhere are your prairie 
dogs ? They ain't dogs, to begin 
with ; they're squirrels. Ain't you 
ashamed to call the mean little cusses dogs ? But where are 
they? There ain't none. Where are your grizzlies? You 
might have imported a few grizzlies to keep up the name of 
your railroad. AVhere are your herds of antelopes scudding 
before the advancing train ? Nary an antelope have you got fur 
to scud. Rocky Mountains, sir ! they ain't rocky at all. They're 
as flat as my hand. Where are your savage gorges ? I can't see 
none. W here are your wild Injuns ? Do you call them loafing 




AT LAST. 



4:3; 



tramps in dirty blankets Injuns ? 
My belief is that they're greasers 
looking out for an engagement as 
song and dance men. They're 
' beats,' sir, ' dead beats ; ' they're 
* pudcocks,' and you oughter be 
told so." I didn't know it : nor 
could I discern why I ought to 
be told so. But there was no 
pacifying the implacable man. 
Sometimes he would confront me 
with an open guide book, and, 
pointing sternly to a page, would 
say, " Where are your coyotes, sir ? 
I'll trouble you for a pack of wolves 
as makes the night hideous with 
their howling. Did an^^thing howl 
last night, sir, except the wind? 
AVhere are your pumas and your 
cougars? Show 'em to me. There's 
nothing in it. It's as easy as going 
from Jersey City to Philadelphia, 
and the whole thing's a fraud." 

I might, had I not been so terribly 
afraid of him, have pointed out to 
the irate man from Rhode Island 
that the chief object of the authori- 
ties of the Union Pacific and the 
Central Pacific Railroads is to make 
the two thousand miles journey 
from Omaha to San Francisco as 
easy as one from Jersey City to 
Philadelphia, and that they are 
seconded in their efforts by the 
Pullman Palace Car Company, 
which run as far as Ogden : from 
which point sleeping accommoda- 
tion is provided by the Central 
Pacific in their own Silver Palace 
cars. I might have pointed out to 
the angry man in the Ulster that 
there was a substantial guarantee 







~S^V 




i 1' 



"III 



138 AMERICA REVISITED. 

of comfort and safety in the words wliicli head the map of 
the overhand route: "Avoid the sickness, dangers, and delays 
of the Panama Route. Secure speed, comfort, and safety 
by taking the Union and Central Pacific lines, whicli run the 
Miller Platform and the Westinghouse patent' air-brake, which 
gives the engineer instant control of the train, and is the most 
perfect protection against accidents ever invented." This is ex- 
plicit enough, and the promise is borne out by the performance ; 
but had I submitted the statement to the infuriated remonstrant 
from Rhode Island he might have opined that I was an interested 
employe of one of the railway companies. As it was, I cannot 
avoid a lurking suspicion that I was taken for a professional 
writer of or canvasser for overland guide-books ; and thus he 
made me responsible for the somcAvhat glowing accounts of signs 
and wonders on the way with which the pages of those vade- 
mecums are embellished. I am bound to confess, for my own 
part, that in the course of our four and a half days' travel I did 
not see any buffaloes, nor any ground squirrels, misnamed 
" prairie dogs," nor any grizzly or cinnamon bears, any coyotes, 
nor any pumas, nor any bounding herds of antelopes. The Earl 
of Dunraven, no doubt, has beheld all these creatures, and many 
more ; but then his lordship goes far afield, and when he comes 
to the West plunges into regions remote from the railway track. 
AVhen we crossed the Great Divide I was happily asleep. 
So have I crossed, mainly in a slumbering condition, the Simp- 
Ion and the St. Gothard, the Semmering and the Spliigen, the 
Brenner and Mont Cenis, over and over again. My business is 
with men and cities, and I have a horror of snow-clad mountains, 
save in the pictures of JMr. William ]3everley. AVhen we 
wxre at Sherman, the highest point of the Rocky Mountains, 1 w^as 
told that we were 8240 feet above the level of the sea. That 
geographical fact struck me far less than the consciousness that 
such an immense altitude would be accompanied by a corre- 
sponding rarefaction of the atmosphere ; and, dreading congestion 
of the lungs, I hastily bade the negro servitor close the ventilator 
of our boudoir on wheels. My travelling friend, do not be too 
hasty in bragging about the height of the mountains which you 
may have climbed. AVhat was the reward of the illustrious 
traveller Alexander von Plumboldt? To be sneered at by Prince 
Bismarck as an old nuisance, pottering about the saloons of the 
Royal Palace at Berlin and wearying his Prussian Majesty's 
guests with the intolerable iteration that he had ascended Popo- 



AT LAST. 



439 




somanytliou- 
^aii'lb ot 111 I 

.il)o\e thii \l\q\ of tlie sea O, 
\anil} ot ihniiciise iLaiiiing, levc- 
iLiid a^e, liii^li LoinaL,^, uiisullu d 
viitaejiist iLiiowii, 'wliLii the biutal 
jest ot the cynical master of so 
many tlionsancls of stolid men Avitli 
needle-guns and incJcelJiauhes could 
turn all into mockery and contempt!" 

The siglits ^ve saw during our passage of the snov.'-clad 



440 AMERICA EEVISITED. 

" Rockies " were no doubt sublime. AVhat eloquent pages a Jolin 
Piuskin, a ]\Iattliew Arnold might liavc indited about tliem ! 
But there are irreverent as well as reverent, and unobservant 
as well as observant minds in the matter of mountainous 
scenery, as in everything else. The highest Hight of poetry 
which I heard attempted between Ogden and Sacramento was 
on the part of a commercial traveller for a drug firm, who was 
never tired of sin2:lnf>* : 

Beautiful Snow ! 

Beautiful Snow ! 

Be-e-e-e-autiful Sno-o-o-w ! 
How I'd like to have a revolver, and S''' 
For the Beast that wrote about '• Beautiful Snow ! " 

The most candid among the prose commentaries which readied 
my ears was from a young man hailing from Brattleborough, in 
the State of Vermont. He looked from the window on to the 
immeasurable expanse of snowy plain and snowy mountain, and 
ejaculated, " Well, this is a 11 — of a country^ amjway.'" IMy 
own opinion on the subject I shall reserve for some occasion 
when I do not run the risk of being classed with that most 
intolerable of nuisances, the Eocky Mountain bore. 

]\Ieanwhile, I have been puzzling myself in my many- 
windowed and many-doored rooms at the Palace Hotel to convey 
to Enghsli stay-at-home readers some dim idea of what San 
Francisco is structurally and socially like. In the merest cut- 
and-dried parlance I may tell you that the chief city of California 
and commercial metropolis of the Pacific Coast is situated at the 
northern extremity of a peninsula which is thirty miles long and 
eight miles broad, and which separates the Bay of San Francisco 
from the Pacific Ocean. The city stands on the eastern or inner 
slope of the peninsula, at the base of a range of high hills of the 
most romantic form. Thirty-five years ago these hills were 
steep and cut up into numerous gullies, and the low ground at 
their base was narrow, save in what is now the southern portion 
of the city, Avhere there was a succession of narrow ridges ot 
loose, barren sand, impassable for loaded waggons. The sand- 
ridges have been levelled, the gullies and hollows filled up, and 
the hills in part cut down ; and Avhere large ships rode at anchor 
in 1849 there are now handsome, populous and well-paved 
streets. The first house was built in 1833, when the village 
was named Yerba Bucna, meaning in Spanish "good herb," 
from some medicinal plant discovered in the vicinity of the 



AT LA8T. 



44.1 




THE COURTYARD OF THE PALACE HOTEL, SAX FRAXCISCO. 

missionaries. In 1847 the Ycrba Buena was changed to San 
Francisco, and in 1848, when gold was first discovered in 
Cahfornia, the popuhition had increased to one tlionsand souls. 
The influx from the East then commenced ; and in 1850 the 
population was computed at 20,000. In 1878 it exceeded 



442. AMERICA REVISITED. 

300,000. Take breatli a little. The commerce of San FrancIscO' 
is immense. The chief articles of export are the precious metals^ 
breailstuffs, wine, and wool ; and of import, lumber, coal, coffee, 
rice, tea, sugar, salts, and every conceivable article of European 
luxur}^ The manufactures are important, including woollen and 
silk mills, and manufactories of watches, carriages, boots, and 
shoes, furniture, candles, acids, wire-work, iron and brass 
castings, silver ware, colossal fortunes, illimitable speculations, 
and sand-lot agitators. A truly wonderful city. 

San Francisco is more regnlarly paved than Chicago, that 
last-named city resembling in one respect a Young Giant, 
splendidly attired, and wearing a very towering hat— that is the 
mansard roof with which he so much delights to crown his 
mansions — but avIio has not yet got his boots on, in the way of 
uniforndy flagged granite side-walks. The roadways of T^'risco 
are generally paved with Belgian blocks or cobble stones. There 
is the usual system of horse cars intersecting the city in every 
direction, and to some of these cars are appended curious 
canopied platforms on wheels, on Avhicli the surplus passengers 
•find acconnnodation, and which are known as " dummies." A. 
Chinaman, puzzled to discover the Avhereabouts of the motive 
power for these abnormal vehicles, thus described them : " No 
pusliee, no pullee, go like hellee." The leading thoroughfare 
and most fashionable promenade in the city is Alontgomery- 
strect, Avhich, at its northern extremity, extends to a hill so 
precipitous as to be inaccessible to wheeled carriages. There is 
a flight of steps, however, for pedestrians, and the summit 
affords a magnificent view of the city and bay. Market-street 
is the main business thoroughfare and the " Great Divide " of 
San Francisco ; and in Market-street are some of the leading- 
hotels and the linest retail stores, while Kearney-street is also a 
fashionable promenade. In California-street are situated the 
principal banks and insurance otiices, and the offices of the 
jobbers and importers are mostly in Front, Sansome, and Battery 
streets. In Dupont-street there is a " IJannnam," or Turkish 
bath, built by Senator Jones, at a cost of two hundred thousand 
dollars, and the luxurious appointments of which are fully in 
keening with this more tlian Oriental cit\'. 

The junction of Montgomery and California streets is the 
irreat resort of the stock ixamblers. All kinds and conditions of 
men, in all sorts of attire, from the zenith of splendour to the 
nadir of squalor, may be seen there betw-een nine in the morning 



AT LAST 




and six in the evening, hovering- about the " quotations " dis- 
played on the bulletin-boards of the brokers, and gabbling about 
mines and " speculation centres " in mining shares. So rapid 
are the transitions of life in California, so continual is the shifting 
of the social scenery, and so soon does that which was brand- 
new the day before yesterday become antiquated and obsolete, 
that a few brief excerpts from the terminology of the old 
" diggins " may not be uninteresting. What do you think of 
Jim Crow Canon, Red Dog, Jackass Gulch, Loafers' Hill, Rattle- 
snake Bar, Poverty Hill, Greaser's Camp, Lousy Ravine, 
Christian Flat, Rag Town, Dead Mule Canon, Petticoat Slide, 
Short-tail Canon, Bhiebelly Ravine, Swellhead Diggings, Poodle 
Town, Gospel Swamp, Turn-up Flat, Puppy Town, Happy 
Valley, Devil's Basin, Deadwood, Ladies' Valley, Nary Red, 
Chicken Thief Flat, Hog's Diggings, Plumpback Slide, Pancake 
Ravine, Nutcake Camp, and Paint-Pot Hill ? jMillions of dollars 
worth of gold may in the old times have been extracted from 
these gulches, and flats, and ravines ; but the days of the 



444 



AMERICA REVISITED. 




diggings are over ; mining is now a steady, serious, 
systematic operation ; and quartz-crusliing macliines and stamp- 
mills, for the "running" of Avhicli vast capital is required, have 
superseded the rough-and-ready tools of the old diggers. In 
twenty years' time philologers may be divided as to the precise 
meaning of the word " nugget ; " even American journalists will 
be uncertain as to the precise social status in early Argonautic 
times of a " Pioneer Lady ? " and the next generation may but 
darkly understand the metaphorical allusion conveyed in the term 
to "pan out" — a term borrowed from the technology of the 
early gold-washers. 

The only governmental building as yet completed in San 
Francisco is the United States Mint in Fifth-street, near 
Market-street. The machinery here is believed to be un- 



AT LAST. 415 

approacliecl in ingenuity and efficiency. The United States 
Treasury is in Montgomery-street, on the site of " the Hall of 
Eldorado," the famous gambling-hell of early 'Frisco. The 
Mercantile Library has a collection of 47,000, the Mechanics' 
Institute of 30,000, and the Odd Fellows' Hall of 25,000 
volum.es. Thus in these three libraries alone we find a})rovision 
of 102,000 volumes for 300,000 people, which assuming that 
one out of every three San Franciscans cares about reading, 
gives a book and a fraction a head to the studious population, 
" free, gratis, and for nothing." At the same time I may be 
suffered very gravely to express — not perhaps without exciting- 
horror and amazement in the minds of my readers — the heretical 
doubt as to whether free public libraries materially conduce to 
the real and healthy education of a people. The average 
American is certainly not very well read — in a scliolarlike way. 
He skims too many newspapers in his brief hours of leisure to be 
able to devote much time to systematic study. Puldic free 
libraries in the United States literally swarm ; and their multi- 
pKcity naturally excited the admiration of Dean Stanley. My 
own admiration for free libraries is qualified, when I remember 
that the massing of books together for gratuitous perusal 
materially injures the trade of the bookseller, and that works of 
real erudition are not the staple of the literature consulted by 
free library students. In England the chief demand in these 
libraries is for fiction, not always of the most wholesome kind. 

There is an immense Roman Catholic Cathedral, dedicated 
to St. Patrick, in Mission-street, with a spire two hundred and 
forty feet high, and four or five more edifices for Catholic worship. 
Among these the most interesting to me is the original Mission 
Church of San Francisco, a little old structure of sun-dried bricks, 
and of last century architecture. In aspect it is thoroughly 
Mexican. Over against it is a long disused graveyard, Avith half- 
effaced inscriptions in Spanish and Latin on the tombstones ; and 
adjoining the church, which has a most curious belfry, and a 
bell wliicli looks old enough to have been cast in IMexico in the 
time of Hernan Cortes, is the mission house, embossed in a 
groove of semi-tropical vegetation, of the good old Spanish 
padres. Are there any venerable wearers of shovel hats yet 
extant wdio can remember when 'Frisco was Yerba Buena, and 
when the Mexican governor had a house with a Plaza de Armas 
before it at the top of Montgomery-street ? The eftacement of 
the Spanish element in New Orleans is remarkable enough ; but 



416 AMERICA EEVISITED. 

its disappearance in California is even more complete. The 
'"'' nomhres de Espana" only remain ; the " cosas " thereof have 
entirely vanished. Thus, in the territories annexed from 
Mexico you lind such Castilian names as Pueblo Rosita, El 
Moro, Santa Fe, Los Angelos, Maricopol, Santa Barbara, San 
Jose, San Diego : and in California itself fSacrainento, Benicia, 
Puerto Costa, and Vallejo contending with such purely Anglo- 
Saxon sounding names as Emigrant Gap, Colfax, Auburn, 
Dixon, Gold Run, Newcastle, and Oakland. 

In the city itself the Spanish term of " vara" is yet preserved 
as a measure of distance ; while in the country districts a farm, 
notably a fruit-growing one, is styled a " ranch," a corruption of 
the Spanish rancJio. Thus the notorious " Texas Rangers,'' the 
chief element of disorder in that " horsey and revolverish " 
State, may have been originall}'' ranclieros. Tiie proper 
Spanish name for a farm, common throughout Mexico, is 
hacienda; but the American-Californians probably preferred 
*' ranch" for shortness sake. I observed with horror, in one 
railway time table, that " San Jose " had been curtailed to St. 
Joe. "^ Fancy St. Tom,_ St. Jack, or St. Sam ! Mark Twain's 
" He has no savey " is also partly derived from the Spanish 
"sabe" although " savvey " is an old term in Enghsh slang. 
In the "Luck of Roaring Camp" Bret Harte speaks of "peons." 
The Mexican peon was a farm-labourer, or worse, a kind of 
serf or villein, compelled to work out a debt by manual toil. 
The Spanish juez del campo has been Anglicised, or ratlier 
Americanised, into a "judge of the plain." The "filibuster" is 
the Spanish " filibustero," although some would derive him from 
the Dutch " vly-boot," a fast-sailing clipper, a favourite craft 
ivith pirates. "^ The arriero, or Mexican muleteer, has not 
•survived nominally ; he is in modern California only the " driver 
of a mule train." Nor is a string of horses any more called a 
cahallada, or one of the mules a midada. To the jackass the 
Mexican name oifarro is still occasionally applied. The cotton 
wood sometimes, but rarely, retains its Spanish designation of 
alamo^ but far more generally in use is the M-ord chapparal, 
from clLaimrra^ an evergreen dwarf oak, which name in its turn 
is said to be derived from the Basque. The Spanish derivation 
of " gulches " and " canons," pronounced " canyons,'"' is obvious, 
The Mexican word 'placer^ as a place where gold is found lying 
loose, is becoming as rare as the fortuitous finding of gold itself. 




STREET MARKET SCENE, SAN FRANCISCO. 



XXXVII. 



Aspects of Teisco. 

San Francisco, March 4. 

San Fkancisco lias its "over tlie water" suburb in tbe 
delightful quarter called Oakland, just as New York lias its 
Brooklyn, and New Orleans its Algiers and Gretna. Oakland is 
the chosen residence of a multitude of wealthy citizens, who 
transact their business and spend most of the day in 'Frisco 
itself. The site is highly picturesque, and the climate is much 
preferred by residents to that of the Golden City : the trade 
winds from the Pacific, which are fierce and rawly cold, and 
often heavy with fog, being much tempered in crossing the 
bay. This circumstance has attracted so many residents to Oak- 
land that it is estimated about ten thousand passengers daily 
travel on the steam ferry boats, which cross every half hour. 
These steamers differ in no particular from the vessels of their 



448 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



class plying' in tlic Bay of New York, save that tlie imagination 
of the local artists has been let loose in the saloons, the panels of 
which are adorned by highly-coloured views supposed to be taken 




THE GRIZZLY GIANT IN THE MARIPOSA GROVE, CALIFORNIA. 

in the Yosemite Valley and among the " l)ig trees " of Mariposa 
and Calaveras. Scaling the features of the scenery from the 
human figures and cattle occasionally introduced, the assumption 
is forced upon you that the altitude of " El Capitan " in the 
Yosemite is at least fifteen thousand feet, and that none of the 
" big trees " can be less than three hundred yards high ; while 



ASPECTS OF EIIISCO. 419 

Niagara itself looks poor and puny in comparison with the 
Vernal Falls. 

It may be hinted, indeed, that every patriotic Californian 
feels in duty bound to extol and magnify to the largest possible 
extent all and everything appertaining to the climate, scenery, 
progress, and resources of his beloved State and its renowned 
capital. "Eclipse iirst and the rest nowhere" is virtually his 
device. There were never, in his opinion, such strawberries, 
such cauliflowers, such green peas as are to be seen on the 
Pacific Slope. Chateau Lafite, Clos-Vougeot, and all the vine- 
yards of the Rhine and the Moselle into the bargain sink into 
insignificance in the presence of the wine-growing districts of 
California ; and the oranges of Los Angelos far surpass those of 
Louisiana and Florida in abundance of quantity and delicacy of 
flavour. As for the climate, it is, according to the Californians, 
perennial spring ; but eulogy in this direction reached its acme 
when an enthusiastic writer declared the climate of California to 
be " eminently favourable to the cure of gunshot wounds." All 
this is natural and as it should be. What is the use of having^ a 
country if you are not proud of it, and if you are not ready upon 
occasion to magnify its very defects into virtues ? " Look at 
our taxes," says Peter Pallmall, in the " Prisoner of War," 
proudly asserting the superiority of British institutions ; and 
"' Vvliat's your cold in the head to mine?" asked, with equally 
patriotic pertinence, one small boy of his rival. When I am a 
good number of thousands of miles from home I always main- 
tain that the parish of St. Pancras is the most populous, the 
richest, the handsomest, the most intelligent, the most moral and 
religious parish in the world. I live there, you see. But when 
I have got back to St. Pancras I am apt to grumble at the rates, 
to disparage the vestr}-, and to speak evil of the dilatoriness of 
the dust contractors. 

So with the Californian. If he " blows " a little, is some- 
what given to hyperbole in " cracking up " things Pacific, who 
shall blame him ? My belief is that the pardonable gasc6nading 
in which the Californians occasionally indulge is not altogether 
due to a desire to exalt their country in the eyes of foreigners. 
To the San Franciscan it is not only the European, the Asian, 
the African, and the Australian who are " foreigners." 
Frequently do you hear him speak in terms, now of gentle com- 
miseration, and now of biting sarcasm, of the "Eastern papers" 
and the "Eastern folks." Those Oriental iournals and these 



450 AMERICA REVISITED. 

folk liail neitber from India, from China, nor from Japan. They 
are the Orientals of Pennsylvania and New York and New 
England. The Californian is ambitious to take a wrinkle out of 
Philadelphia, to let New York down a peg or two, and to give 
Boston to understand that the universe may have two " Hubs," 
and that San Francisco is the biggest if not the only " Hub," 
vice Boston played out. Politically loyal to the Union, Cali- 
fornia is and always has been. She would not throughout the 
great Civil War hear a word in favour of Secession ; but with her 
staunch political fidelity to the Stars and Stripes her sympathy 
with the States which she calls Eastern and which the South- 
erners call Northern came and still comes practically to an end. 

California has her own local politics, wants, wishes, interests^ 
and aspirations, which are little understood, and less cared for, 
perhaps, on the other side of the Divide. She is an entirely new 
and self-made community ; she is tied to no traditions and ham- 
pered by no prejudices : — except against John Chinaman. She 
will have, of course, her due constitutional say and will exercise 
her legitimate influence in the great political campaign for which 
all parties in America — without, I am glad to say, much acrimony 
of feeling — are now preparing ; "■' but, beyond the necessity of 
the next Chief Magistrate being a sound Union man, I scarcely 
think that California troubles herself to any excessive degree 
about the eventualities of the next Presidential election. On the 
vexed question of currency her mind has been long and cheerfully 
but firmly made up. She is a gold and silver producing State ; 
and she has resolved that gold and silver shall be her only 
recognised circulating medium. Truly, she will take greenbacks 
when they are at par and immediately convertible ; but with 
greenbacks at a discount and inconvertible, as Avas the case 
throughout the weary years of the war, California would have 
no more to do than Canada Avould. Federal politics, when they 
form the subject of conversation in San Francisco, lack, in their 
discussion, the earnestness, the intensity, and the bitterness 
which characterise them in the older States. 

(Jn the other hand, all extraneous political considerations are 
swallowed up by the Aaron's rod of the Chinese question : sub- 
dividing itself as that question does into the equally vexed 
problems of unemployed wdiite labour demanding high wages, 
and fiercely resenting the competition of the cheap labour of the 

* This is an obvious reference to the strug,£;le Avliich. ended in the election of 
the late General Garfield to he President of the United States. 



ASPECTS OF FRISCO. 



451 




HARD TO PLEASE THE WHITE TRASH. 

Uncle Sam — "I hate the nigger 'cause he's a citizen, and I hate the 
' yellow clog ' 'cause he won't become one." 

immigrants from China ; from whicli question brandies off the 
dilemma of the immio-rants from China beinsr unwiHino; or incom- 
petent to become citizens, and of their importing into a free 
country a modified but higlil}^ offensive system of shivery. The 
difficulties of California in this respect are aggravated and 
embittered by the fact that the Chinese question is likewise 
integrally and inevitably an Irish question, and that the abroga- 
tion of all and any treaties with the Chinese Government would 
not settle the Irish question, which is one chronic in outcomes of 
discontent, bad blood, and turbulence. The existing relations of 
capital to labour, and vice versa, are scarcely more amicable in 
the New than they are in the Old World ; but in California at 
the present moment ihey are actually hostile and belligerent. 
Law-contemning and mutinous Labour has been threatening to 
burn Capital's house over its head and to massacre its Chinese 
cheaply-hired labour ; to which Capital has very sternly retorted 
that, if Labour does not behave itself. Capital has taken measures 
to shoot Labour down by the hands of State or of Federal troops, 
and, if need be, to hang Labour's " blatherumrskite " agitators, 



452 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



on the very sandlots where they have preached incendiarism and 
bloodshed, higher than Haman. But more of this anon. 

Hie we back, for the nonce, to smiling Oakland, the popula- 
tion of which last year was close upon fifty thousand. Two 




LAKE JIERRITT, OAKLAND. 



thousand new buildings were erected in Oakland in 1879 ; and 
I was proudly bidden to bear in mind, as a proof of the 
growing enterprise and prosperity of the town, that upwards 
of a quarter of a million dollars had been expended in 
building a new county gaol. On the principle, however, laid 



ASPECTS OF 'FRISCO. 453 

down by tlie traveller who hailed the first gallows which he saw 
as a sign of civilization, I suppose that the county gaol which 
cost two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, must be accepted 
as a test of " enterprise and prosperity." It is pleasanter to 
learn that Oakland possesses two national gold banks, three 
savings banks, four lines of horse cars, together with flouring 
and planing mills, iron and brass foundries, potteries, marble 
works, tanneries, and jute bag factories. Thirty years ago 
Oakland was simply an expanse of sandy hillocks, dotted here 
and there with clumps of cactus, Oakland spends six thousand 
dollars a month upon her public schools ; and on the Northern 
border of the city is the Berkley or State University, wdiich 
has a direct ferry to San Francisco. Many affluent families 
are planting themselves round about the university, attracted 
thither not only by the beauty of the site, but by the educa- 
tional and social facilities which it affords. The university is 
open to students of both sexes, of whom there are at present 
over two hundred, and — hear this, inhabitants of Harrow, Eton, 
and Dulwich — tuition is wholly free. By a special State law, 
the sale of intoxicating liquor within a two-mile limit of this 
university is prohibited under heavy penalties. 

Let me add that this pretty suburb of 'Frisco also boasts 
twenty churches of different denominations and seven news- 
papers, three daily and four weekly. The inhabitants hasten to 
inform you that the climate is " semi-tropical," and point trium- 
phantly to their " live " oaks, which, by their inclination to the 
East, show the strength and constancy of the summer trade 
winds. Geraniums, roses, fuchsias, callas, verbenas, and 
some tropical plants and flowers grow luxuriantly all the year 
round, never suffering from outdoor winter exposure. Fruit 
trees develop into bearing within a third or, at the most, half 
the time required on the Atlantic coast ; and, finally, the Fran- 
ciscans exultingly tell you that less time is required to get from 
Oakland to Montgomery-street, in the heart of the city proper, 
inclusive of the passage across the bay, than is required in New 
York to reach Wall-street from the Windsor Hotel ; and that 
when Oakland is attained by the home returning 'Friscan, the 
merchant weary with the cares of the busy day, may find a 
home with a tropical luxuriance of fruit and flowers, almost the 
same in summer and in winter, and scenery scarcely less pic- 
turesque, than that of the Hudson Ptiver. The distance from 
the end of the wharf, where you are transferred from the cars 



454 



AMERICA REVISITED. 




CENTRAL PACIFIC WHARF, SAN FRANCISCO. 



of tlie Central Pacific Railway, to the feriy station at the foot of 
Market-street, San Francisco, is about three miles and a quarter, 
and the trip is ordinarily made in fifteen minutes. When the 
wind is blowing you are cautioned that none save the most 
rugged persons should venture to stand outside the cabin ; but 
that, if it is practicable to enjoy the view, many points of great 
interest present themselves. The wind was not blowing with 
any excessive severity when we made the first trip from Oakland, 
yet I did not gain much by standing outside the saloon on the 
hurricane deck of the steamer, seeing that a dense sea fog was 
prevailing. The obliging " interviewer," however, who had 
boarded the train at Benicia — home of the valiant Heenan, I 
salute you — and who accompanied us to the ferry, cross- 
questioning me all the way, was so kind as to tell me that the 
Bay of San Francisco is big enough to hold all the navies of the 
world, and that it is beautified by a rare combination of island, 
mountain, cit}^, and plain. On the right, near the wharf, is Goat 
Island, a military reservation belonging to " Uncle Sam," and 
from the shore of which, on the morning of our passage, a fog 
whistle and bell were considerately and constantly sounding. 
The Golden Gate is north, or to the right of the city, being a 
water way about five miles long and a mile wide. The bay is 
strongly fortified at various points. Alcatraz is a naval station 
on an island at the end of the bay, at the entrance to the Golden 



ASPECTS OF FPJ.SCO. 



455 



Gate, and commands the whole passage from the ocean. Angel 
Island is another military reservation, well fortified. North- 
west of this is visible on clear days the towering peak of lilount 
Tamalpais, the highest near the city. 

There is one structural peculiarity of San Francisco which 
irritates the "Eastern folks" almost to the verge of exas- 
peration, while it pleases, or at least amuses, Europeans. I 
suppose that there is no country in the world in which so much 
money is being spent on public buildings, churclies, museums, 




CITY HALL, SAN FRAXCISCO. 



universities, gaols, city halls. State Capitols, and the like, as is 
expended in the United States ; and there is certaiuly no country 
w^ith which, in the course of thirty-five years' travel, I have 
been acquainted, in which the science of architecture, both 
religious and secular, is at so low an ebb as it is in America, 
chiefly I appreliend because there is no recognised standard of 
architectural fitness, not to say architectural taste, and because 
there is no central directing force of public opinion to control or 
to reprehend the vagaries of imperfectly educated architects. I 
think that Sir John Vanbrugh, could he come to life again, would 
do remarkably well in the States. The architect of Blenheim was 
nothing if he was not florid ; and excessive decoration of the most 
florid character is the keynote of modern American architects. If 
you criticise the ensemble or the details of a building in progress 
you are curtly told that the marble or brown stone was brought 
from some far distant State, and that the building itself cost a 
quarter, or a half, or a whole million of dollars, and is reckoned to 
be " one of the finest edifices on this Continent." After this you 
are expected to "dry up," or to take refuge in abashed silence. 



456 AMERICA REVISITED. 

Prior, however, to tlieir recent plunge into ultra-Byzantine, into 
exaggerated Italian-Gotliic, and into turgid Renaissance, the 
Americans were very fond of what I may call the Packing-case 
style of architecture. In particular the big hotel of some fifteen 
years since was of the Packing-case order — a huge quadrangular 
block of brick or stone, pierced with so many tiers of narrow 
windows, destitute of any feature of portico, loggia, balcony, or 
parapet, and correspondingly bereft of any presentment of 
superficial light and shade. 

Now San Francisco— delighted to be in most things non- 
political, independent, and un-Eastern, that is to say, un- 
American — takes seemingly infinite delight in embellishing its; 
mansions with windows of the form which for so long a period 
have found favour in the eyes of the members of our Pail-Mall 
clubs. Few private houses in 'Frisco are devoid of one or more 
bay windows, and the most recently erected and the most 
magnificent of the hotels — the Palace, the Grand, and the 
Baldwin — have their whole exterior surface corrugated with bay 
windows — in Eastern opinion, "to the great comfort of their 
guests and equal defacement of their external appearance.'' One 
Eastern critic, falling into a spasm of sarcastic indignation, 
remarks that " San Francisco has been called the Bay City, but 
that it might just as well be named the Bay-window City " ; while 
another censor, a little more tolerant, admits that " the mildness 
of the climate and the instinctive craving for sunshine are 
considerations which will always make bay windoAvs a desirable 
and a favourite feature here." The truth is that the bay-window- 
corrugated facades of the Palace, the Grand, and the Baldwin, 
are delightful reminiscences of Henry the Seventh's Chapel at 
Westminster, and of many of the old Elizabethan manor-houses, 
so graphically portrayed by the late Mr. Nash. I grant that 
ba3'-windowedness carried to excess is apt to impart a slightly 
"crinkly" appearance to the frontage of a building, especially 
when, as is the case at San Francisco, the bay windows rise to a 
height of four or five storeys. 

House tenure in San Francisco presents, like everything else 
in the city, features rare to meet with elsewhere. Furnished 
lodgings, so difticult to obtain in the majority of American towns, 
abound in 'Frisco to even a greater extent than they do in that 
Paradise of Transatlantic cliainbres meuhUes^ New Orleans. A 
vast number of the 'Friscans live in lodgings, and go out to 
restaurants for their meals. The tendency to a less nomadic 



ASPECT,-; OF FllISUO. 



457 



mode of existence is, however, on the increase ; and of late 
years a hxrge number of private dwellings have been erected 
by building associations, as well as by private persons. The 
Real Estate Association, I have been told, build or sell, on an 
average, a house a day, and have done so these three years past. 
They build chiefly houses of six and eight rooms, and sell them 
for one-fifth cash and seventy-two monthly instalments, with a 
basis of nine per cent, interest, to compensate for the deferred 
payment. The houses are, as a rule, detached, this being- 
considered safer should a fire break out. No great city can be 
exempt from the continued peril of widely-spread conflagrations; 
but San Francisco is said to be much more secure from the 
dangers of fire than the exceptionally modern nature of its out- 
skirts would seem to infer. Owing to the spring fogs and the 
Avintry rains, with the liability to earthquakes superadded, wood 
is considered to be the most desirable material for dwellings. 
The timber habitually employed is the sesquioa, or red-wood, so 
abundant in the Pacific Coast Range. This wood burns very 
slowly 'in comparison with timber from the East ; and on this, 
as well as on the admitted efticiency of their Fire Department, 
the San Franciscans justifiably pride themselves. 




TWO DIFFICULT PROBLEMS SOLVING THEMSELVES. 




murderers' alley, SAN FRANCISCO. CHINESE MARKET IN DUPONT STREET. 



XXXVIII. 



China Town. 



San Francisco, March 6. 



" Let it be fully luulerstood," thus I read the day after my 
arrival here, and in a monthly magazine called the " Californian," 
'' that there is a small but rapidly increasing province of the 
Chinese empire established on the Pacific coast, and that, in the 
very heart of the Californian metropolis, there is the city of 
Canton in miniature, with its hideous gods, its horrible opium 
dens, its slimy dungeons, and its concentrated nasthiess of every 
kind." Harsh but pregnant words, these. I pondered over 
them thoughtfully as I proceeded to make enquiries as to the 
extent and population of the Pacific province of China, con- 
cerning which the vaguest and most extravagant notions are 
current in the Eastern States. Nor are such preposterous ideas 
confined to the East. Ihey originated and still widely prevail 
on the Pacific Coast itself. In the address to Congress adopted 
at the famous anti-Chinese mass-meeting held in Union Hall, San 
Francisco, on April 5, 1876 — a meeting organised by the Mayor 
of the city, and presided over by the Governor of the State — 



CHINA TOWN. 



459 



it was boldly asserted that the number of Chinese west of the 
Sierra Nevadas amounted to 200,000, 75,000 of whom Avere 
settled in San Francisco. Reckoning from this basis, there 
would be about 400,000 " Heathen Chinees " in the whole 
United States — an assumption which by most sensible people is 
scouted as preposterous. 

On [.the other hand, it has been pointed out by calmly 
reasoning statists that the Chinese quarter of San Francisco is 




A STREET IN CHINA TOWN, SAN FRANCISCO. 

certainly densely crowded in proportion to its area, but that the 
pigtailed multitudes occasionally visible there are not all per- 
manent denizens of the district. China Town proper is six 
"blocks" in length (there are eight "blocks" to a mile, please 
to remember), running north and south on Dupont-street from 
California to Broadway streets, and two blocks wide from east to 
west on Sacramento, Clay, Commercial, AVashington, Jackson, 
and Pacific streets, from Kearney to Stockton, crossing Dupont, 
which is the main Chinese artery, at right angles. Now, if 
English readers will be so good as to picture to themselves New 



460 AMERICA REVISITED. 

Oxford-street, London, W.C, as Dupont-street, and St. Giles's 
and the Southern portion of Bloomsbury as hibyrinths of Chinese 
thoroughfares, some tangible idea may be gained of the topo- 
graphy and dimensions of the San Franciscan Canton ; and it 
will be feasible to realise the fact that this Canton in miniature 
is literally " in the heart " of the magnificent capital of California. 
China Town is, in fine, as close to the palatial hotels, theatres, 
club-houses, banks, counting houses, and stores of Market and 
Montgomery streets as our amiable Seven Dials is close to the 
Garrick Club and the Royal Italian Opera on the one hand, and 
to Messrs. Meux's Brewery and the Soho Bazaar on the other. 
We have, indeed, a good many China Towns, in the British 
metropolis : only our Celestial immigrants hail from Connemara 
and Cork rather than from Canton. 

The streets and alleys enclosed within the precincts which I 
have named are continually thronged with Chinese pedestrians ; 
and especially on Sundays do these throughfares positively 
swarm with xVli Sing and his brethren. Closer acquaintance 
Avith China Town will, however, considerably modify early and 
hasty impressions as to the number of its sedentary population. 
The majority of the labouring Chinamen have a holiday on the 
Sabbath, and as they have no domestic life or homes in the 
Anglo-Saxon sense, and the Christian Sunday is not their day 
for worship, they are apt to wander about the streets when they 
are released from toil, simply because they have nothing else to 
do and nowhere else to go. After all, they may find sauntering 
in the sun pleasanter than being mewed up in the stifiing bunks 
of their miserable sleeping rooms. On Sundays, likewise, 
crowds of Celestials come into China Town from Oakland, and 
other outlying suburbs for the purpose of seeing their Iriends, 
doing a little shopping, or patronising the Chinese gambling- 
houses and the theatres. Admitting that it is an extremely 
difficult task — verging, indeed, on the impossible — to calculate 
with exactitude the number of Chinese in the States, it is 
believed by the best informed American authorities — and the 
Chinese Consul-General, with the officials of the Six Companies, 
concur in the belief^ — that there are in San Francisco about 
30,000 Celestials ; and that, as the population of the city is 
about 225,000, every eighth man is a Chinaman. In other 
parts of California there may be some 30,000 more, making 
00,000 in the Golden State, of whose population about one- 
twelfth would thus be Chinese. In the remaining Pacific States 



CHINA TOWN. 



4(51 



and Territories — Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Oregon, 
there may be 60,000 or 70,000 more Chinese ; and yet a few 
more thousands are scattered about in States east of the Rocky 




"does not a meeting like this make amends/"' 
" Hello, Niggy man ! Yoiilee golee West — Melee golee East." 



Mountains — in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, 
Tennessee, and Louisiana — in New York City, Chicago, 
Cincinnati, and St. Louis. According to the statistical 
report of Professor Porter, prepared for the Bureau of Education 
at Washington, there were, in 1870, less than one hundred 
thousand Chinese in the United States. Since that time, 
according to the returns of the San Francisco Custom House, 
about eighty thousand more have landed on the Pacific coast, 
and, deducting a fair percentage for deaths and returns to China, 
the present aggregate of the Chinese population in America may 
be taken as not more than one hundred and fifty thousand." 

I was solemnly warned by American friends, when I 
announced my resolve to explore the penetralia of the Chinese 

* The official census, published since the above was written, gives the number 
as being much below this estimate, or 105,000 merely. 



462 AMERICA REVISITED. 

quarter, that I had best take a phial of aromatic vinegar or some 
other disinfectant with me, to counteract the effects of the 
horribly offensive odours with which my nose would be assailed. 
I cannot help fencying that the olfactory organs of the 
Americans are more sensitive than those of other people ; but, 
on the other hand, it may be that prejudice has something to do 
with this excessive keenness of smell. For example, in a very 
clever and observant little book, " The Chinese in America," 
written by tlie Rev. 0. Gibson, I hnd the following curious sum- 
mary of what may be called international odours : " The 
Frenchman smells of garlic ; the Irishman smells of whiskey 
and tobacco ; the German smells of sauerkraut and lager 
beer; the Englishman smells of roast beef and 'arf-and-'arf ; the 
American smells of corncake and pork and beans. The Chinese 
smell is a mixture and a puzzle, a marvel and a wonder, a 
mystery and a disgust, but nevertheless you shall find it a 
palpable fact. The smell of opium, raw and cooked, and in pro- 
cess of cooking, mixed w^itli the smell of cigars and tobacco 
leaves, wet and dry, dried fish and dried vegetables, and a thou- 
sand other indescribable ingredients, all these toned to a certain 
degree by what may be called a 'shippy' smell, produce a sen- 
sation upon the olfactory nerves of the average American, which, 
once experienced, will not soon be forgotten." The reverend 
gentleman's strictures should not, I venture to think, be taken 
without considerable qualification. So far as personal observa- 
tion entitles me to be a judge, the very worst parts of China 
Town do not smell worse than do the Rue Mouffetard and the 
Montague St. Genevieve in Paris, than the Ghetto at Rome or 
the " Coomb " in Dublin. The seventy distinct stenches of 
Cologne have become matters of history ; but pray what do you 
think of the odour of most of the back streets in " La Bella 
Venezia," and of some of the courts in the neighbourhood of our 
own Drury-lane 1 And, again, it should in common fairness be 
remarked, that it is only a small portion of China Town that can 
be charged with having any disagreeable odour at all. The San 
Francisco Board of Health has indeed condemned the entire 
district intersected by Dupont-street as a nulsan^^e, and declared 
that the very walls of the houses w^ere so saturated with mias- 
matic and malarious exhalations as to make the wholesale 
destruction of the houses inhabited by Chinamen a vital neces- 
sity. But the constitution of the Board of Health, wdiose 
members were elected on the notorious " working men's ticket," 



CHINA TOWN. 



403 



affords considerable ground for the suspicion that they ^Yere 
not altogether strangers to party prejudices and party influences, 
' and that the condemnation of China Town as a nuisance was 
only a plank in the great " Sand Lots " platform, of which 
the basis is, " The Chinese must go." 



POLITICAL ASSASS)KATi0^f 5. 




(from "harpek's weekly.") 

The Rev. Mr. Gibson, who was for several years a mis- 
sionary in the I'lowery Land, himself admits that, wliile in 
China the streets are narrow and without side walks for the use 



4C4 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



of pedestrians, thus forcing burden carriers and foot passengers 
of every grade to walk in one narrow thoroughfare, josthng and 
crowding each other in strange confusion, in China Town, San 
Francisco, the streets are wide and well paved, and liave com- 
modious side walks like unto those of the other parts of the 
city. And herein lies one of the strangest features of China 
Town. In the structural aspect of the quarter there is nothing 
whatever that is either picturesque or Oriental. The pagoda as 
.a building is wholly absent. A few old "frame" or timber 




^^^^ ^-j^4WI 



CHINESE HOUSES AT THE WATER SIDE, SAN FRANCISCO. 

houses are still standing ; but the majority of the buildings are 
of brick, two or three storeys high, and with cellars or base- 
ments, in which some kind of business is generally carried on. 
The architecture is thoroughly American in its tastelessness 
and monotony. A short-sighted person walking along Dupont- 
street in a hurry might imagine that he was traversing Clark- 
street, Chicago, or Chestnut-street, Philadelphia. It is only 
when his attention is attracted by the innumerable red and 
yellow sign-boards with quaintly painted and gilt inscriptions 
in mysterious hieroglyphics that he begins to realise the fact 
that he is in a section of the City of Canton, transported 
bodily to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. 

I had the inestimable advantage of exploring China Town 



CHINA TOWX. 



465 






in tlie company of a gentleman wlio knew China and the Chinese 
intimately, and he was good enough to translate many of the 
hieroglyphics just mentioned. He gave me, too, an introductory 
lesson in the intricate science of Chinese proper names. Of the 
variations in their personal nomen- 
clature some idea may be gained from 
the following list of Chinese letters 
advertised in a single w^eek as lying 
to be claimed at the San Francisco 
Post Office. Thus, there were com- 
munications for Ah Coon, Ah Chung 
Wo, Ah Kung, Ah La, Chang Sing, 
Ching Chung, Choy, Sam and Co., 
Chung Wo Lung, Chong, Ga, Tong, 
Do Foo, Eh Dare Loro, Tong Kee, 
Fung Lung, Gee Tang Hing, Gee 
Wo Sang, Hong Wo Hong, Hi Lo, 
Hong Faut, Hong Song, Lung, Jake 
Lung, Kee Hion, Kong Chong Ling, 
Quong Chong Lang, Quong On, Quon, 
Tong Song, Nat Loe, Lee Dao and 
Co., Lo Hing Kee, Sam Kiam Wo, 
Sing Cow Wo, Sing Quing On, Si 
Wo Lung, Soin Sing, Sang AVah, 
Sa Wo Lung, Sin Sing, Tun San, 
Way, Sion Gow, W^ong Ung, Yee 
Ching Lung, Yin Wah Hong, and 
Ye Wah Sung. It may be mentioned 
that " Ah Coon " is equivalent sim- 
ply to "Mr. Coon," "Ah" being 
merely a title of respect, and that 
Chinamen who have three names 

<ire usually of a higher rank than those who have only 
two. Some Anglo-Saxon nicknames, such as Tom, Sam, Jake, 
Nat, Abe, and so forth, are very common Chinese appellations. 
When, however, the American is uncertain as to the precise 
designation of the Heathen Chinee with whom he is conversing, 
he invariably addresses him as " John," and this practice is also 
«idopted by the few negroes in San Francisco when talking to 
the yellow-skinned strangers from the jMiddle Kingdom. 

On the second day of my stay in 'Frisco I assisted at a very 
curious and entertaining interview between a Mongol immigrant 




466 



AMERICA EEVLSITED. 



and an American dtoijenne of Afiican descent. A youtlifid 
Chinaman, with a yellow face, high cheek bones, dark crescent 
eyes, tea-tray smirk, hooked finger-nails, clean white blouse, 
neatly braided pigtail, baggy galligaskins of blue serge, shoes 
with paper soles, and all, presented himself at our door, with a 
large basket, very early in the morning — and intimated that he 
had come for "one piecey washing." I am but imperfectly 
acquainted with " pigeon " English, but, after floundering about 
for a while in a labyrinth of "piecey," " catchee," " havee," 
"belongee," "savvey," "masky," "chop-chop," and "topside 
gallow," I thought that I understood the youthful Chinaman to 
say that he was employed in the laundry of the Palace Hotel — I 




THE LAUNDRY OF THE PALACK HOTEL. 



knew as a foct that some forty Chinese were at work there — and 
that he had been sent by his superior officer for our linen. So a 
washing list was made out. It happened that a bottle of ink 
had been broken in one of our portmanteaus while crossing the 
Rocky Mountains, scattering sable ruin all around ; and the re- 
sources of my "pigeon English" were taxed to the utmost in 
endeavouring to explain to the Chinese laundryman that he must 



CHINA TOWN. 467 

procure some salts of lemon and do Lis best to efface the fearful 
ink-stains from the fronts of my best shirts. He was profuse in 
his ejaculations of " savvy " and " nnderstandey/' and I quite 
accepted him as a candid and npright young Chinaman. 

But, alas! how deceitful is the heart of man, whether it be a 
heart Mongolian or a heart Caucasian ! While the youthful 
laundryman was waiting, with his tea-tray smirk, all so childlike 
and bland, for the completion of the washing list, there entered 
the room one of the black chambermaids of the hotel. She was 
about sixty years of age, and wore a very large yellow turban 
and a pair of heavy gold earrings. Suppose we call her Aunt 
Sally. The first thing she did was to survey the smirking 
young laundryman with what is known as an " up-and-down " 
look. Apparently dissatisfied with the result of this scrutiny, 
she proceeded to ask him, in a tone in comparison with which 
vinegar would be dulcet and asafeetida delicious, " AVho gib him 
leaf to come dere?" The youthful Chinaman's yellow cheek 
now assumed a faint chocolate tint, which may have been the 
Celestial substitute for a blush. He murmured something about 
" piecey " and " catchee " and " belongee." " But do washin' no 
belongee you, John," retorted, with austere dignity. Aunt 
Sally. "An' you no belongee to de hotel, an' you keep de 
profits away from de hotel by coming here when nobody sent 
to you." 

The untruthful young laundryman wriggled about uneasily, 
shuffled his paper-shod feet, and folded his hands as though in 
deprecation of Aunt Sally's wrath. But that incorruptible em- 
ploijee of the Palace Hotel, San Francisco, was not to be con- 
ciliated, and she continued to reprove the guilty Heathen. " It 
was very wrong of you, John," she went on. " If I was to tell 
'em in de Holiice dounstars dey'd neber let you inter de hotel 
agin, John. It was right mean ob you, John," and at this con- 
juncture the stern and measured tone in which Aunt Sally had 
hitherto delivered her lecture rose to a shrill treble ; " it was like 
your dam imperence, you cuss, wid a face like a punkin, to come 
smouchin' around here looking after de white folks' washin'." 
With which, I am sorry to say, she fetched the unhappy, albeit 
untruthful. Chinaman a sounding box on the ear. Gathering up 
the basket in which he had hoped to carry off his spoils, he beat 
an ignominious retreat, and I saw him no more. Poor, smirking 
Mongoloid ! 

The corridors of the hotels, Aunt Sally hastened to explain to 

II u 2 



468 



AMERICA EEVISITED. 



n 1' 






laK^ 







us, are continually infested by outsiders — Free Lances of tlie 
wash-tub and Bashi-Bazouks of the mangle and box-iron — who 
furtively tout for custom, and surreptitiously strive to obtain 
possession of the washing which should be " done " in the hotel 
laundry. It is possible that "John" might have been a poor, 
but industrious, washerman, anxious to pick up a job and earn an 
lionest penny, and this was the most charitable hypothesis to 
adopt in his case ; but on the other hand, it was not by any 
means unlikely that the youthful Heathen was a " fraud," a 
swindler and impostor, and tliat had we trusted him with our 
linen we might never have beheld it again. 

China Town, nevertheless, contains large numbers of 
Chinese laundries, very respectably conducted, and where 



CHIXA TOWN. 



469 





^> '''-m\^A^ 






THE IRONING ROOM OF THE PALACE HOTEL LAUKDRY. 

washing is done at a mucli cheaper rate than is charged at 
the hotels. It is, in truth, very difficult to decide what 
industries are not cairied on by these indefatigably jDatient, 
laborious, and neat-handed immigrants from the Flowery Land. 
They will undertake the most toilsome and repulsive manual 
labour and the nicest arts and crafts. They will be^ railway 
navvies, waiters, mechanics, house servants — anything you 
please. They will be content to work for fifty or seventy-five 
cents a day, and will save money out of that slender stipend ; 
while the newly landed Irish day labourer will scorn to handle 
a pickaxe or carry a hod for a dollar a day. The number of 
Chinese laundrymen is estimated at 3,500 ; and in the cigar 
factories of San Francisco there are no less than 7,500 Chinese 
Avorkmen. More than 1,000 are sewing-machine makers. Then 
there are^ Chinese makers of soap and cigar boxes, of boots, 
shoes, and slippers, of saddles, whips, and harness. There are 
Chinese weavers and stonecutters, broom makers and coopers, 
watch and clock makers, tailors, milliners, and dressmakers. 
Add to these about 150 itinerant vendors of fruit and vegetables, 



470 



AMERICA REVISITED, 




CHIXESE RAILROAD LABOURERS BEING TOWED BY THE TRAIX. 

,5,000 iiicrchants, traders, and clerks, 4,500 cooks and domestic 
servants, 150 uives and daughters of respectable Chinese 
ianiilies, and, alack ! no less than 2,000 enslaved Chinese 
courtesans. Transient visitors from China, agents and officers 





S^:?^'S^^^fe*j>^:^t^^|ij:! 



CHINESE AT SAN TRANCISCO CRUSHING SHRIMPS FOR EXPORTATION. 



of various associations, with emigration agents, 'boarding - 
bouse keepers, crimps, smugglers, and general loafers, "hood- 
lums," cut-throats, and outlaws may " foot up " to about 3,000 
more. 



CHINA TOWN. 



471 



Wlietlier the presence of the Chinese in Cahtornia is a boon 
or a cnrse is perhaps tlie most vexed and the most "burning" 
of existing American (piestions ; and the wisest of American 
statesmen may well be puzzled how best to settle it. When 
the late Mr. Seward, in the course of his journey round the 
world, visited San Francisco, he was importuned l)y the anti- 
Chinese party to ins]3ect China Town that he might see for 
himself how unfit were its denizens to become citizens of the 
United States ; but, curious to relate, the ex-Secretary of State 
was pressingly invited by the Chinese themselves to visit their 
quarter, in order to satisfy himself how industrious, how harm- 
less, and how protitable to America was the character of 
Chinese colonisation. ^Ir. Seward cautiously declined both 
invitations ; but, although the Republican section in California, 
for party reasons alone, had acquiesced in the anti-Chinese 
policy of the Democrats— the Irish, I may observe, are all 
Democrats, and all furiously anti-Chinese — the ablest JMinister 




of Abraham Lincoln afterwards protested against the policy of 
exclusion, and stoutly maintained that immigration and expansion 
were the natural, inseparable, and inevitable elements of civilisa- 
tion on the American Continent, and nowhere more so than on 



472 AMERICA REVISITED. 

tlie Pacific Coast. It was the unqualified opinion of Mr. 
Seward that any attempt to stifle or to suppress the "in- 
vigorating forces " of foreign immigration would be a failure. 
Yet when the people of the State of California were recently 
polled to express their opinion on the Chinese question, 154,638 
votes were found to be against Chinese immigration, and only 
883 in favour of it. 

The Anti-Chinese feeling is forcibly expressed in a sjDeech 
made two years since by Mr. Sargeant in the Senate of the 
United States. " The Chinese," remarked the orator, " work 
for wages that will not support the family of a white labourer ; 
wdiile the Chinese themselves are more than well fed on a 
handful of rice, a little refuse pork and a desiccated fish, costing 
but a few cents a day, and, lodged in a pigstye, they become 
affluent according to their standard on wages that would beggar 
an American." And an able American essayist, Mr. J. Dee, 
discoursing on Chinese immigration in the " North American 
Eeview," remarks with caustic felicity, if with scant philanthropy, 
of poor John Chinaman, that it is precisely his " revolting- 
characteristics " which nuike him formidable in the contest for 
survival with other races of men. His miserable little figure, 
his pinched and wretched way of living, his slavish and untiring 
industry, his indifference to high and costly pleasures which our 
civilisation almost make necessities — his capacity to live in 
wretched dens in which the white man would rot if he did not 
suffocate " — these, according to the writer in the " North 
American Eeview," are among the " revolting characteristics " of 
the Heathen Chinee. From Mr. Dee's showing, it is possible — 
paradoxical as it may appear — for frugality, abstemiousness, 
patient industry and ingenuity, and a capacity for " roughing " 
it, to be positively crimes against modern Caucasian civilisation. 

From this point of view John Chinaman in California is 
assuredly a most atrocious criminal. It is a crime to be 
recorded against him that, in the long warfare of his race for the 
means of existence, his physical character has become adapted 
to the very smallest needs of human existence, and with a 
capacity for the severest toil. It is criminal in him to be a man 
of iron, whom neither heat nor cold seems to affect, and of that 
machine-like calibre which never wearies. * It is an additional 

* It is ill this tliat lie difters most diametrically and constitutionally from the 
noOTO. " Is he an idle man I " asked an examining' coimsel of a saljle witness as 



CHINA TOWN. 



47.3 



piece of ciiniinality on his part tliat " liis range of food is the 
widest known among animals — embracing, as it does, the whole 
vegetable kingdom, and inclnding every beast of the earth and 
creeping thing, and all creatures of the sea, from the tiny shrimp 
to the leviathan of the deep." Aliserably criminal, abandoned, 
and depraved John Chinaman, who can subsist on anything and 
almost on nothing ! He is clearly, in American opinion, out of 
place in a land overflowing with milk and honey, with tender- 
loin steak and Little Neck clams, with sweet potatoes and sugar- 
cured hams, with canvas-back ducks and gumbo soup, with 
scrambled eggs and buckwheat cakes, with hog, hominy, striped 
bass, turkey, tomatoes, and terrapin. 

to tlie cliaracter of i\ " clarkie " in troxiltle on a suspicion of spoons. " I Avunt 
'zactly say lie's idle," replied the trutliful witness on the stand ; " but I 'sped he was. 
born natwallij tired." 




UXCLE SAM'S hospitality. 

Keep off! Yo:i are so industrious and economical that our boys 
can't compete with you. 




THE ALL-XIGHT SUPrER IN THE DRESSING-ROOM OP A CHINESE THEATRE. 



XXXIX. 

The Deama in China Town. 

San Francisco, March 10. 

The Golden City abounds in theatres, in tlie ordinary accep- 
tation of the term — that is to say, roomy and comfortable 
establishments, well lit and well ventilated, elegant in their 
decorations, and not extortionate in their prices of admission, all 
these being features pleasantly characteristic of the great majority 
of theatres in the United States. I have already mentioned 
having had the advantage to witness at the Bush-street Theatre, 
San Francisco, the six thousandth performance of Mr. Sothern 
as Lord Dundreary ; but it was shortly afterwards my privilege 
to behold a spectacle far more curious and remarkable than that 
even of "Our American Cousin," a piece wliicli has been so 
repeatedly modified and modulated to suit the Dundrearyan 
idiosyncrasies that it may be said, in degree, to resemble those 
celebrated silk stockings of Sir John Cutler, which, according to 



THE DRAMA IN CHINA TOWN. 47.'> 

Pope, liad been so frequently darned with worsted that Httle, if 
anything, of the original fabric remained. The peculiar per- 
formance which I am about to describe struck me as being the 
most extraordinary that, in a somewhat lengthened career of play- 
going, I had yet gazed upon. A nigger minstrel entertainment 
in the Theatre of Bacchus at Athens might satisfy most amateurs 
of the abnormal in lyric art ; and three or four years ago, being 
at Constantinople, I was induced to think that I had rarely been 
present at an odder sight than that of " Les Deux Aveugles " at 
a music-hall at Galata, played before an audience composed of 
Franks, Greeks, Armenians, Turkish artillery officers from 
Tophane, and sailors of all nations. Between the acts those 
of the spectators who had any mcdjidics to spare adjourned to 
play roulette in a gambling den conveniently attached to the 
premises, and towards the close of the evening a cattle-dealer 
from Odessa was stabbed b}^ a iMaltese stevedore. A thoroughly 
cosmopolitan entertainment. But the merry memories of the 
Galata music-hall have been, in my mind, all but completely 
eclipsed by the humours of the Chinese theatres of San Francisco ; 
nor, I apprehend, shall I ever again be so fortunate to see any- 
thin ir more out of the wav in the dramatic or musical line ; unless, 
some of these days, I should have the good luck to assist at 
the performance of "Box and Cox" in a balloon, or to see the 
" Pirates of Penzance " at the bottom of a coal mine. 

M}^ polite pioneers to the penetralia of " Canton on the Pacific " 
had resolved that I should "do" China Town thoroughly, both 
in its diurnal and nocturnal aspects ; and one of the principal 
items in the programme arranged for me was a visit to the 
Chinese playhouses. There are two large establishments of the 
kind, both in Jackson-street, between Kearney and Dupont 
streets, on opposite sides of the road, and all but lacing each other. 
The baneful effects of theatrical entertainments — if they haye any 
baneful effects — on the morals of the people is in one respect 
counteracted here by the circumstance of there being next door to 
one of the Chinese theatres, and immediately over against the other, 
an unpretending brick building, of which the name in Chinese 
is "Poke Ham Tong," and in English the "Gospel Temple." 
In plainer English, it is a JMethodist chapel, where zealous 
American missionaries labour for the conversion of the heathen. 

The largest and most popular Chinese theatre is called the 
"Royal" — why, 1 know not. "Imperial" would have been a 
more appropriate name. The outside of the playhouse is in 



47 G AMERICA REVISITED. 

nowise remarkable, and, in fact, it is ngly, clingy, and Anglo- 
Saxon looking enough to be easily mistaken for one of those 
Nonconformist places of worship of the last generation — they 
are much more tastefully built nowadays — which, with scant 
politeness, Sydney Smith dubbed the "brick barns of Dissent." 
There w^as but a single door, so flxr as I could make out, for the 
ingress and egress of the public — a structural circumstance which 
might well have attracted the notice of the San Francisco 
Fire Department ; although, seeing that the entire district 
of China Town has been solemnly condemned as an incurable 
nuisance by the City Board of Health, its demolition is 
loudly demanded ; and it might be thus scarcely worth while to 
take the inadequate vomitoria of the Theatre lloyal, Jackson- 
street, into account. We ascended a short, narrow, and not over 
clean wooden staircase, until we found, ensconced behind a door 
and sitting at the receipt of custom, a personage of unmistakably 
Anglo-Saxon extraction, with a sandy "goatee," and w-earing the 
typical Anglo-American " soft " hat. This was the money-taker, 
and he w^as good enough to inform us, in a sonorous AVestern 
accent, that "the show" Avas "in full blast." The time, I 
should observe, was just four o'clock in the afternoon ; but there 
are nightly as well as daily performances at the Theatre Royal, 
Jackson-street, wdiicli is open all the year round, Sundays 
included. The English-speaking money-taker puzzled me some- 
what. Was the " show," I asked myself, "run" by an Anglo- 
American speculator? I w^as subsequently informed that such 
w^as not the case. The place is under exclusively Chinese 
ownership and management ; and it is possible that an American 
money -taker might have been appohited by the Chinese authorities 
to meet the convenience of the large numbers of English-speaking 
strangers who visit the theatres in Falcon-street as being among 
the most queerly interesting sights in San Francisco. A Chinese 
money-taker, you may say, would have answered the purpose quite 
as well ; but it is Avorth while noticing that the number of China- 
men in San Francisco who can talk even "pigeon" English is, 
considering the vastness of their aggregate, surprisingly small. 

Be that as it may, we paid our fifty cents as entrance 
money ; and, crawling up a few more steps, found ourselves in 
the body of the house, which was already three-parts lull. AVe 
had entered the house by the gallery, and looked down on an area, 
amphitheatrical in form, wdiich might accommodate from eight 
hundred to a thousand spectators. This, in American playhouse 



THE DRAMA IN CHINA TOWN. 477 

parlance, would be the parquette. With us it would be the pit. 
Casting your eyes downwards you looked upon a huge sea of 
black low-crowned hats. That is the all but universal headgear 
of the Heathen Chinee in San Francisco. When he does vary it 
he assumes a briniless coiffure of felt or silk, sable in hue, and in 
shape something between the hcrretta of a Roman Catliolic priest 
and the " pork-pie " of an Andalusian majo. The grandees of 
China Town, among whom are personages of dignity approach- 
ing mandarin rank, wear the traditional and picturesque 
Mantchee head-dresses ; but the Chinese mechanic, servant, 
or labourer abides almost invariably by the low black-crowned 
hat that I have noticed. I never saw " John " in a " stove- 
pipe " or a " soft " hat. In summer time it is his delight to 
array himself in a short jerkin and baggy trousers, scarcely 
reaching to the ankle, of spotless white jeans ; but tliis is 
very early spring, and a chilly spring to boot, and the 
occupants of the "parquette" wore, as a rule, a jerkin and 
galligaskins of dark bhie or black serge. Rarely does the 
Heathen Chinee wear boots. He affects his pecuUar national 
shoes, with thick substrata of whitey-brown paper between the 
soles and the upper leathers ; and it is with rage and envy that 
the white working men and women of San Francisco call to mind 
that the whole of the Chinaman's wardrobe — -jerkin, galligaskins, 
shoes, underlinen, and all — is made b}^ the Chinese themselves. 

Not content with thus injuring the Caucasian, the crafty 
Mongol has taught himself how to make — and to make very 
well, too — boots and shoes and garments suitable for Anglo- 
American use, and he makes them in immense numbers, and for 
wages far inferior to those which a white artificer would 
condescend to receive. Tliere is no end to the industrial turpi- 
tude of John Chinaman. He has even become a specialist in 
the cutting-out and confection of what the Americans discreetly 
term " ladies' fine under-wear" — dainty articles with frills and 
*' insertion," and tucks and what not. The ladies declare his 
^' underwear " to be exquisitely neat and of most durable 
workmanship, and his proficiency in this craft, of which he 
is rapidly acquiring a monopoly, is naturally and most bitterly 
resented by the white sempstresses, who would be glad to work 
their fingers to the bone for eighty or even for sixty cents a day, 
but who find to their anger and despair that " John " will work 
for fifty, and will save money even out of that wretched pittance. 
All these things add in an immeasurable degree to the exaspera- 



478 AMERICA REVISITED. 

tion af!:ainst the Clnnaman on the Pacific coast amoiio- those of 
the white race whose lot it is to labour. As for tlie employer of 
labour, he may theoretically dislike the incorrigibly indefatigable 
Mongol, but practically lie does not cease to avail himself of the 
cheap services of a steady and bandy craftsman. These aiv^ 
surely industrial facts, demanding serious and attentive con- 
sideration; and yet, I asked myself^ looking at the eiglit 
hundred w^earers of black hats — or, rather, the twelve hundred, 
for there were about four hundred more in the o-allerv — how came 
this great company of working people in a playhouse at four 
o'clock in the afternoon, and how could they, who are known to 
work for what the white man considers starvation wages, afford 
to pay fifty cents, or two shillings sterling, a head for admis- 
sion '? 

I could not hope to solve the problem then, so I took to con- 
sidering their pigtails. Those appendages, likewise, are, after a 
inanner, mysterious. How much of the neatly braided queue is 
real hair, and hoAv much silk? Are Chinese babies born with 
pigtails? Why do the men never wear whiskers? AVhy do 
only elderly men venture on a slight moustache, and what may 
be termed the phantom of a beard ? I am told that those 
American writers are in error, who have stated that the few 
Chinamen in California who have been converted to Christianity 
as a rule discard the queue, and adopt the American style of 
dress. The missionaries, however, admit that probably one half 
of the Chinese in America might be induced, with or without 
conversion to Christianity, to cut off their tails and assume 
Christian hats and Christian pantaloons if a general move 
could be made in that direction. But the same argument might 
be emplo3'ed in favour of the adoption by the ladies of America 
of the Bloomer costume. It is manifest that the dress reform 
proposed by Mrs. Amelia Bloomer — by the way, that estimable 
lady was lately living, if she be not still living, at Council Bluffs, 
over against Omaha — was a sensible reform tending to bring- 
about comfort, cheapness and the strictest of decorum in 
feminine dress; but, as it happened, there was no "general 
move " in the direction of ladies on either side of the Atlantic 
abandoning their trailing skirts for Turkish trousers ; and the 
Bloomer movement came to nothing. And even more strongly 
is the dilemma caused by the absence of a general move in a 
given direction illustrated by the story of the ambitious 
gentleman Down East, who, jealous of the virtual monopoly en- 



THE DRAMA IN CHINA TOWN. 470 

joyed by tlie States of Pennsylvania and I\raryland, in the produc- 
tion of canvas-back dncks, essayed to acclimatise those delicious 
■ birds in his own Down Eastern State. He laboured long ; he 
planted celery on the banks of a river ; he brought multitudes of 
live ducks to the spot ; but the result of his endeavour was 
lamentable flxilure. " There's the river," he was wont to say, 
gloomily; " there's the celery a-growin' wild ; tliere's the ducks ; 

but, them, they vnont eat it!' That's where it is. There 

was no " general move " on the part of the ducks, in the 
direction of feeding upon the celery artfully planted on tlie 
banks of the Down Eastern river. As with the ducks, so with 
the pigtails. It is, I suspect, obstinately traditional conservatism 
that makes the Chinaman cling to his queue. He himself 
tacitly owns that it is an encumbrance, for when he is at work, 
in order to get the oscillating tail out of his way, he twists it 
round and round at the back of his head, when it forms a 
chignon, remarkably offensive and hideous to view. 

The black-hatted occupants of the parquette wore their pig- 
tails down ; still that fact failed to make them look any the 
loveliei'. The uniformity and the sombre hue of the garb gave 
them a convict appearance, and instinctively you looked to see 
whether there were any emblems of the Broad Arrow branded 
on their jerkins and trousers. Physiognomically they might be 
divided into two classes. The young Chinaman, although 
altogether too mock-faced and girlish, is not a bad looking 
fellow. The effeminacy of his features is relieved by the 
brightness of his bead-like eyes, and his sempiternal simper has 
a good deal that is naturally candid and kindly. As he grows 
older that simper will degenerate into the sinister smirk of the 
hypocrite, the loathsome leer of the habitual profligate, or the 
vacant grin of the downright idiot. Take him for all and all, 
the adolescent John Chinaman is a smart, spruce, knowing, and 
good-natured youth. But just look at his senior, or his ap- 
parent senior, for few things are so difficult to determine with 
accuracy as a Chinaman's age. Survey that attenuated body, 
that bent spine, those bony inert hands listlessly planted on the 
knees. Contemplate that yellow, withered countenance, those 
deep sunken eyes, the balls of which are bleared and glossy. 
The unhappy creature looks boneless, bloodless, nerveless — a 
mere sack of parchment holding a feeble framework of gristle. 
He looks stupefied, "played out." Unless I am very much mis- 
taken his digestive organs are hopelessly impaired. Unless J am 



4S0 AMERICA REVISITED. 

very much more mistaken lie is a habitual opium-eater. And 
then I recall that American definition of the " Chinese smell " 
which I touched upon in my last letter from China Town. Yes ; 
there is a distinct, peculiar, and horrible Mongol odour — a per- 
fume which dominates that of the cigars and the tobacco leaves, 
wet and dry ; the fried lisli and the dry vegetables ; the tallow 
chandlery smell, the tan-pit smell, and the "shippy" smell. It 
is the combined odour of morphine, narcotine, thebaine and 
meconine. It is the Opiate Smell. 

The eight hundred Chinamen, more or less, in the parquette 
— there is not a woman among them — and the four hundred 
Chinamen in the gallery are as silent as though they were 
twelve hundred quakers, Kot the faintest sign of applause is 
audible as the play goes on. Once only, when the funny man is 
at the very apogee of his funniments, the faintest of titters 
ripples over the ocean of parchment-coloured faces. They are 
not all, however, wholly without motion. One-third at least, of 
the audience are smoking cigars or cigarettes, not impregnated 
with opium, as some travellers would make you believe, but 
made from very fair " domestic" tobacco; and these cigars and 
cigarettes they manufacture themselves, these incurably laborious 
heathens and aliens ! Another third of the audience are eating 
something — goodness knows what it is ; but it is something, no 
doubt, that the white man would consider nasty. During the 
performance slim Chinese boys, bearing napkin-covered baskets, 
elbow and shin their way between the benches, just as the old 
" cakes, apples, oranges, ginger-beer, and bill of the play," 
women used to elbow and shin their way through the several 
ranks of groundlings in the old times, Avhen the Haymarket 
Theatre had a pit. The boys with the baskets dispense occult 
delicacies to their customers ; and pray do not lose sight of 
this little fact. In this Golden City, in this superbly opulent and 
luxurious San Francisco, there is no coin of a recofrnised value 
less than a " nickel," or five cents. There are, unfortunately, a 
good many beggars just now in amazingly opulent 'Frisco : but 
you can't give a mendicant a penny as you might in London, if 
you had not been well schooled as to the sinfulness of indiscrimi- 
nate almsgiving, and if you had not the fear of the Charity 
Organization Society before your eyes. In San Francisco you 
must needs give the beggar a " nickel," which is twopence- 
halfpenny, or nothing. 

It follows then that not one of the delicacies vended by the 



THE DRAMA IN CHINA TOWN. 481 

boys witli the baskets Avas to be purcliased for less than five 
cents ; and as the eating portion of the spectators seemed to all 
appearance to be munching without intermission during the two 
hours that I remained in the theatre, each pig-tailed and low- 
crowned-hatted Celestial must have consumed to his own share 
" goodies" to the value of a considerable number of "nickels." 
How could they aftbrd these luxuries ? It may be that there are 
private importations of cowries and " cash " into China Town 
from Canton for exclusive circulation among the Ah Sings, Go 
Longs, and Rum Coons. Perhaps they have among themselves 
a paper currency of " chops " — ten to the cent possibly — with 
which they buy their own delicacies from tlieir own purveyors. 
The composition of those cates is quite beyond my ken ; but they 
may be much more inexpensive than, at the first blush, one 
might imagine. Dried slugs cannot cost much, pickled chest- 
nuts should be a drug in the market, and spiders candied in 
molasses may be cheaply manufectured, I should say. 

We were not entirely bereft of the society of the fliir sex. Of 
the unhappy Chinese women, more than 2,000 of whom are, as I 
have already mentioned, detained in shameful and cruel bondage 
in California, no sign was visible ; but, in a small side gallery to 
the left of the proscenium, there were between forty and fifty 
females and perhaps half as many children. Some ninety of the 
former, dumpy little dames, not by any means ill-favoured, with 
beautiful black hair and very richly-dressed, with a profusion of 
jewellery, chiefly consisting of pearls and garnets, were, so one of 
my obliging conductors informed me, real ladies — even "high- 
toned " ladies — being the wives of wealthy and respectable 
Chinese bankers, merchants, and traders settled in San Fran- 
cisco. These possessors of the Golden Lilies, or Small-feeted 
Ones, were in many cases accompanied by their female servants. 
In almost every case they were smoking, either cigarettes or 
small reed pipes, gaily ornamented. At intervals between their 
smoking they munched — preserved snails, baked wasps, pickled 
bilberries, candied frogs? — "que sais-je?"and now and again 
they relieved the lugubrious taciturnity of the auditory by a brief 
but shrill giggle. 

There were also three or four private boxes — literally 
" boxes," mere square bare wooden compartments, with a couple 
of uncovered and uncomfortable seats to sit upon — and to one of 
these boxes we were ceremoniously conducted. I thought at 
first that the Chinese management were showing us " the 



482 AMERICA REVISITED. 

courtesies of the house," which is the American euphemism for 
giving you an order for the phiy ; but I found out afterwards, 
quite accidentally, that one of my pioneers had paid four dollars 
for our additional accommodation. Assuredly the Theatre Royal, 
Jackson-street, must be a paying concern. AVe had a capital 
view of the stage. Such a stage! It had no "flies," no 
" wings," no "flats," "drops," or "set-pieces," no curtain, green 
or otherwise, and, in fact, no shifting or permanent scenery of 
any kind. It was merely an elevated platform at the back of the 
auditorium, with two doors of entrance and exit in the wall to 
the right and left of the musicians, who sat on three-legged 
stools, and were placed, not in what should have been the 
orchestra, but in the centre of the stage behind the actors. 

I think the appearance and performances of these Celestial 
" musicianers " w^ould have slightly astonished Sir Julius Bene- 
dict, and have afforded Mr. Arthur Sullivan some food for cogi- 
tation. There was a grotesque guitar, something between a 
banjo and a Russian halala'ika^ and there was an instrument 
resembling a hurdy-gurdy grafted on to a fiddle. There was an 
attenuated drum with a hole in the centre of the parchment, 
whether designedly or accidentally so made I am unable to state. 
I should say that the latter was the case, for I noticed that the 
yellow-faced gentleman at the drum attacked, not the top, but 
the sides of his instrument, using in lieu of drumsticks two 
articles which looked like elongated wooden spoons with the 
shanks straightened. It was the vocation of another to bang 
what seemed to be an Italian "gauffering" iron with a pair of 
tongs, while another threw himself heart and soul into the task 
of extracting out of a description of fife the most unearthly 
sounds I have ever heard since the old catcall and " scratcher" 
days of Bartholomew and Greenwich Fairs. One instrumentalist 
very much mystified me. He sate before a curious metallic 
"arrangement" on four legs, which bore the appearance of a 
miniature " kitchener," or cooking-stove. In the centre of the 
top of this w^eird machine there was a circular orifice with a 
metal cover, like a saucepan-lid, and at irregular intervals the 
instrumentalist lifted this saucepan-lid as if to see what was 
going on in the kitchener below. I fancied at first that he was 
the cook of the Theatre Royal, Jackson-street, and that he w^as 
busy preparing the company's supper ; but I noticed that when 
he replaced the saucepan-lid he brought it down with a clang, 
and that the seeming cooking-stove thereupon emitted a sepul- 



THE DRAMA IN CHINA TOWN. 483 

cliral and ear-piercing sliriek, such as, witli a lively fancy, you 
might imagine to have been uttered by the Oracle of Dodona 
with a toothache brought on by a continuity of easterly winds. 
The chief instrumentalist, however, was a man with a gong, who 
contrived to keep up a perfectly diabolical din. There seemed 
to be some standing feud between him and the man at the 
kitchener, for, immediately after the latter had made play with 
his saucepan-lid, the presiding genius at the gong would frantic- 
ally thump that instrument as though to drown the reverbera- 
tions of his rival's apparatus, and as though to say to the 
audience, " Hear how much louder and beautifuller my noise is 
than the clatter of yonder conceited donkey with his saucepan- 
lid." It was a sad thing to suspect that such a sentiment as 
jealousy existed between these two accomplished artists. Let us 
he thankful — proudly thankful, my brethren — that no such 
envious rivalries are to be found among artists in Europe. 

On either side of the performers on the stage there sat, stood, 
lounged, or loafed about a group of Chinamen, smoking and 
nmnching, even as their confreres in the parquette did. They 
would cross the stage from time to time in the most unconcerned 
manner, threading their w^ay through the ranks of actors, of 
whom there might be as many as thirty on the stage at a time, 
and who, on their part, took not the slightest notice of these 
interlopers, who must have been in some w^a}^ connected with the 
house, since every now and then they disappeared through the 
doors in the rearward wall, returning after a time to resume their 
loafing and lounging-places of vantage on the stage. Who were 
these hangers-on, cool as so many cucumbers, and yellow as so 
many bananas ? Were they gentlemen amateurs, privileged to 
stand there at their ease, and mingle with the actors and stroll 
into the green-rooms and dressing-rooms at their pleasure, even 
as it was the privilege so to do of the French noblesse of the 
old regime when they condescended to patronise the Opera or the 
Comedie Frangaise? No, they could scarcely be gentlemen 
amateurs, for they wore the same jerkins and trousers of dark 
serge, and the same low-crowned black hats, as did the twelve 
hundred silent Chinamen in the pit. 

I noticed also that at each side of the stage there was a short 
flight of steps by wdiich the mysterious hangers-on occasionally 
descended into a vacant area which should have been the 
orchestra. But no spectator from the body of the house — none 
that I saw, at least — ever presumed to ascend the steps leading 

I I 2 



484 AMERICA REVISITED. 

to the stage. Could these hangers-on at some period of the 
drama unwitnessed by me fLdfil the functions of chorus ? But I 
refrained from puzzhng myself any more about them, remember- 
ing that the play Avas the thing, after all, which I had come to 
see ; only, when it did begin I found myself more puzzled than 
ever. I frankly confess that of the drama enacted I could make 
neither head nor tail. Its outward aspect was somewhat as 
follows. You will understand that with the exception of a couple 
of very dingy striped curtains veiling the doors of entrance and 
exit the scene was absolutely barren of decoration. Stay, high 
up above, in the keystone of the arch of the proscenium, where 
in old theatrical times we should have hiscribed "Yeluti in 
speculum," there appeared a placard on wdiich, in gaily spangled 
Koman letters — for the edification, no doubt, of the Outer 
Barbarians — there was written up the words — if my remembrance 
serves me correctly, for I dare not carry a note-book with 
me, lest the faculty should fail me altogether — " Quai min 
Yuen." But the management had forgotten or disdained to tell 
the Outer Barbarians what "Quai min Yuen" meant. One 
of my companions told me that the words implied "pleasure, or 
amusement combined with instruction." A very good motto, 
indeed, for a playhouse. It was the same obliging companion 
who, wliile we were walking to the theatre, translated the 
hieroglyphic signboard over a Chinese apothecary's shop as 
signifying " The Golden Temple of Ten Thousand Heavenly 
Harmonies." A queer people. Are they so very queer? Are 
they the only queer people in the world? I w^onder, when a 
stray John Chinaman comes to England, what he thinks of the 
lions, unicorns, harps, and other strange emblematic devices over 
some of our shop doors — apothecaries', butchers', bakers', and 
candlestick makers', and what not, and to what extent he would 
be edified if any kind English guide, philosopher, and friend trans- 
lated " Honi soit qui mal y pense," or "Dieu et mon droit," into 
Chinese for him. 

But the play. The Chinese, I was told, are passionately 
fond of dramatic performances. The play generally represents 
some historical train of events extending through the entire 
dominion of a dynasty or an interesting national epoch. Little 
or nothing is left to the imagination of the spectator ; and the 
literal text of the play does not develop the p>lot with anything 
like the rapidity which characterises a European drama. The 
Chinese play is emphatically a physical delineation of events 



THE DRAMA IN CHINA TOWN. 485 

from their inception to their completion. Is there not a certain 
Greek trilogy, dealing with a certain Clytemnestra and one 
Orestes and an unfortunate gentleman by the name of Agamem- 
non, and sundry personages called the Eumenides, which, simi- 
larly pursues a train of events from their beginning even to their 
end? In a Chinese play the most trivial occurrences of life are 
]3ortrayed, and the tragic business is relieved from time to time, 
as in our own miracle and mystery plays, by ribaldry and buf- 
foonery, sometimes of a very coarse order. In these " comic 
scenes" almost as many varieties of devils as those who tempted 
St. Anthony are introduced. I think that in the play which I 
witnessed there were thirteen demons of as many hues and of 
astounding ugliness. In addition, there seemed to be an in- 
definite number of conspiracies, rebellions, battles, sieges, terrific 
combats of two, four, and six. 

I was told that on certain afternoons astounding feats of 
tumbling, jumping, turning "cart-wheels," throwing somersaults, 
jugghng, and knife-throwing were performed ; but the entertain- 
ment of which I was an absorbedly interested spectator was 
purely lyrical and dramatic. The lyrical portion consisted of 
sundry songs given in a most abominable falsetto ; yet, for aught 
I could tell, this hideous screeching may have been as delight- 
fully acceptable to the ears of the Chinese audience as the notes 
of a Patti or an Albani are to ours. You may remember that 
when the shrewd and kindly Michel Sieur de Montaigne was 
playing with his cat he was not entirely free from the misgiving 
that while he was laughing at the antics of pussy the inscrutable 
feline might be laughing at him. So may it be with Jolm China- 
man. The most mellitluous sounds — mellifluous, at least, to us 
— which the Messrs. Gye or Mr. Mapleson could provide to 
soothe his ears withal might seem to him so much barbarous 
cacophony provocative alike of his derision, his pity, and his dis- 
gust ; whereas he may derive the most exquisite pleasure from 
listening to what to us is so much discordant squeaking and 
yelling and Punch-like " rooty-tooing," combined with the chari- 
vari of pokers and tongs, tinpots and saucepan-lids. By the way, 
one of tlie attributes of the man with the saucepan-lid was to 
bring it down so as to mark the rhythm of the recitative in which 
the dialogue appeared to be declaimed. For example : 

Cliung Eviiig Long Fong, Chang Cliiiig, La Sing, Lang Com. 

Bang ! (with the saucepan-lid). 
Rum (bang) Ching, Ching Ling, Turn Sung, Tuni Ring, Turn Conn. Bang ! 



48G AMERICA REVISITED. 

I ftmciecl from time to time that I was listening to "To be 
or not to be" in Chinese. But that dreadful man with the 
gong persisted in slurring his rival's marking of a cadence, and 
all became a Chinese chaos again. The actors in the play 
seemed to me to be innumerable, bnt the majority evidently be- 
longed to the "super" class. There were several female 
characters, but they were in all cases sustained by men, who, 
with their faces shaved and plastered and rouged and pomatumed 
up, seemed to us inexpressibly revolting. Well, our earliest 
Desdemonas and Ophelias were the young gentlemen of her 
]\Iajesty Queen Bess's Chapel. I had been led to expect some 
very magnificent costumes at the Theatre Royal, Jackson-street, 
and I was told that the entire wardrobe of the company was in- 
sured for $30,000 ; but in a sumptuary sense I was wofully dis- 
appointed. Some of the leading actors wore robes of brocaded 
damask and velvet, embroidered with gold, which had once, no 
doubt, been liandsome, and had cost a great deal of money ; but 
the greater number of these dresses were faded, tarnished, and 
disgustingly dirty. Perhaps the splendid dresses are reserved for 
high days and holidays. I must come again in the evening, my 
companion said, to see the Chinese Theatre in its fullest bloom. 

Meanwhile I take note of two concluding items. I noticed 
that when an actor was supposed to be killed in one of the 
innumerable combats represented, a "super" at once stepped 
forward and placed under the head of the corpse a small block of 
wood to serve as a pillow. At the close of the scene the 
deceased Avould arise, and with his wooden pillow under his arm 
coolly walk off the stage in full view of the audience, irre- 
sistibly reminding me of the admirable and lamented Mr. 
Compton as Whiskeranderos in " The Critic." Finally, 1 should 
tell you that from four to six months are generally consumed 
before the acts of a Chinese play are finished. The particular 
drama of which I saw a small portion began, I was told, a fort- 
night before Christmas, so that about tlie nn'ddle of next May it 
may be expected to come to a close. Shade of mad Nat Lee, who 
wrote a tragedy in twenty-six acts, how puny were the efforts 
which your patron. Sir Car Scroop, Baronet, thought so colossal ; 
and in the presence of a Chinese drama six months long what 
French j^laywright will venture to boast of the amplitude of a 
"Monte Christo" or a "Reine Margot?" 




CHINESE JOSS-HOUSE AT SAN FRANCISCO. 



XL. 

Scenes in China Town. 

Sail Francisco, March II. 

Singular to relate, I had no sooner quitted the Theatre 
Royal, Jackson-street, than, right in the centre of the sidewalk, 
I met a Ghost. There is no absolute necessity, I conceive, that 
apparitions should be confined to those of the human species, 
such as the ghosts of Molly Brown, Mrs. Yeale, Admiral Hosier, 
Hamlet's Father, Ban quo, or " Old Booty." Macbeth saw the 
ghost of a dagger ; the Bad Lord Lyttelton that of a white 
dove, and crazy William Blake, picter ignotus, imagined that he 
had beheld the phantom of a Flea. Everybody who has read 
Captain Marryat, or seen Mr. Henry Irving as Vanderdecken, is 
bound to believe in the spectral craft known as the Flying 
Dutchman ; and if the ghost of a ship be feasible, why not the 
ghost of a house? The vision which rose up before me in 
Jackson-street was that of a theatre full six thousand miles away. 
All you who have travelled in Northern Italy will remember 
that peerless architectural inspiration, the Teatro Olimpico of 
Palladio, at Vicenza. I call it an inspiration, since, as has been 
cogently pointed out by Augustus von Schlegel in his lectures 
on the theatre of the Greeks, Herculaneum and Pompeii were 



488 AMERICA EEVISITED. 

still iindiscovered when Palladio raised his wondrous structure, 
and it is obviously extremely difficult to understand the ruins of 
an ancient theatre without having seen a complete one. 
Schlegel goes on to remark that although Vitruvius is, as 
regards accuracy of detail, the most valuable authority that could 
have been consulted by Palladio, the statements of the ancients 
have been twisted out of shape by architects unacquainted with 
the writings of the Greek and Roman dramatists ; while, on the 
other hand, the classical scholars and philologers have blundered 
quite as sadly through their ignorance of architecture. 

Even at the present day it is perplexing to determine the 
precise technical manner in which the strange fancies of Aris- 
tophanes were embodied before his audience ; the learned Abbe 
Barthelemy's description of the Greek stage is very confused, 
and his annexed ground plan materiall}" incorrect, while in at- 
tempting to describe the acting of a Greek tragedy such as the 
"Antigone" or the "Ajax," he goes hopelessly astray. Palladio 
worked more than two centuries before the days when Liibkc 
and Guhl and Kohner, to say nothing of our Anthony Puch and 
our Donaldson, were to throw a flood of light on the minutest 
matters connected with the antique stage ; and the illustrious 
Vicenzan architect seems to have evolved his idea of the Teatro 
Olimpico partly from his own consciousness of beauty and 
fitness, and partly from patient and loving study of the works of 
ancient authors. P)ut you must have seen that marvellous 
theatre at Vicenza — you who in duty bound have " done " your 
Venice and your Padua, your Rovigo and your Verona. I liavc 
not, unfortunately, such a thing as a Murray's Guide to 
Northern Italy by me, else I would technically describe the 
features of the phantom that I beheld in Jackson-street ; so, lest 
I should err in any points of detail touching the cavea and the 
prcecinctiones^ the orchestra and the tlajmele^ \\\q ]}roscenium and 
the pulpitum^ and confuse the attributes of the Odeon of Pericles 
at Athens with those of the theatre of Marcellus at Rome, I 
will merely remark that the seats in Palladio's theatre are 
amphitheatrically arranged, that there is a parquette and a 
gallery, that there is no curtain, that there are no shifting 
scenes, and that the permanent scene is merely the back wall of 
the stage, on which, in low relief and with wonderful power in 
deluding the eye, are represented a central building and two 
streets diminishing in perspective. In this wall there are three 
openings or portals. The central one is for the entrance and 



SCENES IN CHINA TOWN. 489 

exit of emperors, kings, liigli priests, and other grandees ; the 
doors flanking the middle one are for citizens, mechanics, skives, 
and others of the meaner sort. Such, broadly outlined, was the 
phantom that I saw ; but I lack both the space and the ca})acity 
lo picture in words the grandeur, the nobility, and the exquisite 
harmony in proportion of Palladio's masterpiece. 

When, in the sunny afternoon daylight, this vision appeared 
to me the theatre was quite empty — as empty as it was when, 
wandering in Italy fourteen years ago, I first peeped, with 
wonder and delight, into the dusty shadowy place ; but — would 
you believe it ? — the visionary amphitheatre became suddenly 
peopled with humankhid. There was a crowd in the cavea ; 
there were actors on the stage. But it was no audience in 
toga or stola, in peplum or chlamys ; the actors wore no masks, 
nor sock, nor buskin. Not the " Agamemnon " nor " The 
Seven before Thebes," not the " Adelphi '' nor the " Andria" 
were they performing. Upon my word, although the theatre 
was still Palladio's, every inch of it — that is to say, the exact 
counterpart of an ancient Tlicatrum Tectum — -the several masses 
of spectators were exclusively composed of Heathen Chinees ; 
John Chinaman and his compeers were loafing, lounging, and 
smoking in the pnecinctiones ; they were Chinese actors who 
were mouthing and squeaking on the stage ; and in front of the 
central entrance, reserved for kings and emperors and high 
priests, a Chinese orchestra were whacking and banging, 
hammering and clattering with their " Katzenmusik " of gongs 
and tongs, tin pots and saucepan lids. 

And then this unaccountable vision faded away, and another 
portent passed before me. The sky was very blue, but it was 
the sky of Greece, not of California. And I saw a great multi- 
tude of rustics sitting on a hill-side. It was in the month 
Poseidon, the vintage time. The feast of the " Country Bacchus " 
was in full celebration ; and the rustics were shrieking with 
laughter at the antics of a company of mummers, who, gro- 
tesquely disguised and their faces besmeared with wine lees, 
were disporting themselves under the leadership of one Thespis,* 
in a wagon. There was nmsic. Of what nature ? Woe is me ! 
I heard the bang of that infernal Chinese saucepan lid ; and 
Thespis and his merry men, the hillside and the laughing rustics 
all dissolved, leaving not a wreck behind beyond the profound 
and serious conviction that if the Chinese did not borrow their 

* GecTTnj : — a divinely-inspired Propliet or Talker. 



490 AMERICA REVISITED. 

first riule notions of tlie acted drama from the early Greeks, 
those Greeks borrowed their notions of the acted drama from the 
still earlier Cliinese. But whether the Argonauts voyaged to 
Canton or a Chinese jnnk visited the Pira3us many centuries 
before the l)irth of Theseus, I am unable — my name being 
Davus not ffidipus — to resolve. 

We had determined to " do " China Town by night, and 
there yet intervened a couple of hours between us and darkness. 
So we sent the lady of our party home to the Palace Hotel, our 
ultimate business being to explore dens which no lady could 
behold without shuddering. We did not, however, bid farewell 
to respectability until it was quite dark ; and there were more 
plays to be seen in China Town than were enacted in the 
Theatre Royal, Jackson-street. First, I paid a visit of ceremony 
to the Chinese Consul-General, to whom I was introduced by 
Colonel Bee, a most intelligent and courteous gentleman, who 
has long acted as Yice-Consul for China iu San Francisco. 
Colonel Bee's pro-Chinese sympathies, I heard it more than 
once hinted, are of too pronounced a type ; but this is scarcely 
to be wondered at, seeing that he has lived among the Chinese 
for years ; that he understands John Chinaman thoroughly — his 
language, his manners, his customs, and everything that is his — ■ 
and that he has been a witness of the wicked misrepresentations 
and the cruel persecutions to which this unfortunate people have 
been subjected almost ever since their first arrival on the Pacific 
shores. The Rev. Mr. Gibson, an enthusiastic American mis- 
sionary, wdio has long laboured for the spiritual benefit of this 
unhappy race, has graphically described their tribulations in 
California. Their first experience of man's inhumanity to 
man is when they land at San Francisco. They are jostled, 
pushed, and all but kicked from the gangway of the steamer 
into the Custom House. Then " John " is made to hold up his 
hands, while a Custom House officer manipulates him from head 
to foot, fumbling into every nook and corner of the ample 
sleeves and legs of his clothing. The Chinaman seems to consider 
this humiliating process as an integral part of the peculiar 
civilisation of America, and quietly submits to be searched. 
Sometimes a flash of the eye or a burning of the cheek tells that 
the indignity is distasteful even to a Chinaman, but not the 
slightest resistance is ever attempted. The Custom House 
authorities plead in extenuation of their rigour that the Chinese 
immigrants are the most persistent and the most cunning 




0.- I 



M 







SCENES IN CHINA TOWN. 191 

smufxii'lers ever heard of in the annals of contrabandism, and 
that in particuhir the quantity of opium which, notwithstanding 
a minute personal searcli, they contrive to smuggle into 
California is something enormous. John Chinaman might to this 
adduce the sur-rebutter that Americans as well as Englishmen 
smuggle every year immense quantities of opium into Clhna. 

The manipulation over, the newly arrived " John " gathers 
up his scanty eftects — which rarely go beyond a few rags and a 
pot or a pan or two — and, under the guidance of friends who 
have come to meet him, or of the agents of the six companies, 
begins his journey to China Town. They crowd pell-mell into 
the carts provided for them, or, filling the carts with their bag- 
gage, they run behind or by the sides of the vehicles, keeping up 
with the wagons as closely as possible, lest the drivers should 
prove to be rascals and run aAvay with their belongings, as the 
wicked young man did with poor little David Copperfield's half- 
sovereign, saying that he would " drive to the polls," but never 
coming back again. Sometimes they get through the city with- 
out much inconvenience ; but too frequently they are attacked 
and maltreated in the most savage manner by the " hoodlums " 
or roughs of San Francisco — a class of whom I shall have to say 
something by and by. The wretched Chinamen, with their 
shaven crowns, their braided queues, their flowing sleeves, their 
peculiar pantaloons, their discordant speech, their piteous mien, 
and their utter helplessness, seem to present a positive attraction 
for the practice of those peculiar amenities of life for which the 
San Francisco " hoodlum " — especially the youthful one — is 
notorious. These scamps follow the Chinese tlirough the streets 
howling and screeching, in order to terrify tliem. Then they 
pelt them with stones, mud, and brickbats, so that the unhappy 
heathen, coming by virtue of solemn treaty stipulations into a 
Christian land, arrive in the Chinese quarter of the Golden City 
covered with cuts and bruises. Sometimes the police have made 
a show of protecting the wretched aliens, but too often the show 
has been a sham, fully appreciated by the " hoodlums," who were 
in the joke, and enjoyed it immensely. 

A few years ago the ill-usage of the Chinaman had become 
so systematic and so disgraceful that a number of private citizens 
of San Francisco organised a " Chinese Protection Society,'' of 
which the object was to do what the regular police force either 
could or would not do, and to secure the arrest and punishment 
of those who wantonly and unlawfully assaulted the inoffensive 



492 



AMEPJCA EEVISITEI). 



"ti'^fii?^ 




strangers. This Society did actually succeed In bringing about 
the prosecution and conviction of a considerable number of 
villains of the hoodlum class ; but in process of time the Society 
languished to extinction through lack of funds. Strangely 
enough, the Chinese themselves did not seem to appreciate to 
any great extent the exertions made on their behalf Six thou- 
sand dollars were spent by the Society, and of this sum only COO 
dollars were subscribed by the Six Companies. They seemed to 
think that they were protected by the Burlingame Treaty, and 
that if any additional expense was incurred in defending them 
from outrage, the cost should fall not on the Chinese but on 
American shoulders. As for the newly-arrived immigrants, those 
deplorable objects, so soon as their wounds and bruises were 
healed, possibly thought no more about the matter. It is their 
lot to labour and be beaten, and between bamboo in their native 
land, and brickbats and bludgeons in California, they may have 



SCENES IN CHINA TOWN. 



49S 




IN THE CHINESE QUARTER, SAN TRANCISCO. 

discerned little if any difference. So tliey betook themselves to 
work, and at night slept the sleep of the weary in their crowded 
and filthy lodging-houses. To save rent tliey are packed closely 



494 AMERICA EEYISITED. 

into bunks, tier above tier, and scarcely have more house-room 
on shore than they had in the steerag-e of the steamer which 
brought them from Canton. In every hole and cranny, from 
cellar to garret, wherever a breath of air can be coaxed to fulfil 
its life- sustaining purposes, there you are sure to find lively and 
apparently healthy Mongolians. 

Sleeping where .Americans would be smothered for the want 
of fresh air, the Chinaman, to all appearance, thrives. It has 
come to be a matter of grave doubt whether any atmospheric 
conditions whatsoever exist Avhich the lungs of a Chinaman can- 
not readily convert into a vitalising air. So is it with his eating 
and drinking. He would relish and thrive on the poisonous pot- 
herbs grown in Proserpine's garden, " where naught but what 
was baleful grew." It is no uncommon thing to find in an apart- 
ment fifteen feet square three or four businesses, employing at 
least a dozen men, carried on. In rooms where the ceiling is 
liigh a sort of entresol is fitted up, and here a dozen or more 
Chinamen may be seen toiling at their various crafts, and eating 
and sleeping upon and beneath their benches and tables. Many 
of them sleep in underground holes, into which scarcely a ray of 
light or a mouthful of fresh air ever penetrates. Under these 
circumstances the maintenance of anything approaching domestic 
order and neatness is quite an impossibility ; and the tenement 
and lodging-houses are simply dens of unutterable nastiness. It 
is marvellous, looking at tliQ pigsties in which they wallow, that 
the Chinaman can come out of such a place looking so clean and 
tidy as he generally does. And, although able to exist in a kind 
of ]-]lack Hole at Calcutta by night, no people are more scrupu- 
lous than are the Chinese in California about enjoying pure, 
fresh air throughout the day. It will thus be seen that, even 
when the interesting hoodlum isn't hoodling, when the corner- 
loafer is quiescent, when the scallawag ceases to trouble, and the 
bummer refrains from casting brickbats, the life of the Chinaman 
in California is, on the whole, not a happy one. 

We found the Consul-General — I have not the slightest 
remembrance of his name, nor, had I noted it, would it have pre- 
sented any purport or s^'gnificance to English ears — a most 
polite, agreeable, and well-informed personage. I did not under- 
stand one word of what he was good enough to say, nor did he, 
I fear, comprehend much of what I took the liberty of saying ; 
but we " took it out," as the saying is, in mutual bowing and 
salaaming and smiling. He had, however, another Chinese 



SCENES IX CHINA TOWN. 495 

gentleman with lilni, a tliorouglily well-bred and distinguislied 
Celestial, who spoke capital English, and was well " posted-iip " 
about England, as well as about the United States. He made 
quite a little speech in praise of my " honourable nation," to 
which I attempted to make the best reply in my power ; and 
then we all bowed and salaamed and smiled all round. Both the 
Chinese gentlemen w^ere very handsomely attired in their 
national dress. What their precise rank in China might be I 
hesitated to ask of the Vice-Consul ; but, if urbanity and quiet 
dignitv of manner are factors in the making of a o-cntleman, the 
Consul-General and his friend must have been persons of conse- 
quence in their own country. And I am told that there are 
hundreds of Chinese bankers and merchants in San Francisco as 
fully entitled to be termed gentlemen as any native Americans, 
engaged in similar pursuits, can be. I just mention this for the 
reason that the more virulent section of the opponents of Chinese 
immigration are accustomed to assert that the Chinese in Cali- 
fornia are composed almost exclusively of the lowest dregs of the 
boat population of Canton, and that there are few, if any, respect- 
able persons among them. 

Having visited a Chinese theatre, my conductors deemed that 
a visit to a Chinese temple might not be inopportune, so having 
taken our leave of the urbane Consul-General, whose residence 
was a pretty villa on one of the " foot hills " surrounding the 
city, and iurnished partly in European and partly in Chinese 
style, we returned to Dupont-street, and made our way to the 
nearest joss-house. There are half a dozen temples of consider- 
able size — one of them a disused Protestant church — in China 
Town, besides a crowd of smaller joss-houses. Each of tlie 
fiimous Six Companies, with the exception of the Yan \Slo 
Company, owns or controls a temple. One of the principal joss- 
houses, called "The Eastern Glorious Pagoda," is owned and 
controlled by Dr. Lai Po Tai, a noted Chinese quack, who, it is 
said, has accumulated a large fortune by practising medicine, not 
among his own countrymen, but among native Americans of both 
sexes and of the credulous sort. In the central hall of this 
temple there is a trio of idols, the central one of which, known 
as " the Supreme Ruler of the Sombre Heavens," has control 
over all the northern gods. He is said to be " a whale at 
swamping fires," and is sometimes known as the " water god." 
He eats only vegetables. To his left is the god of war, called 
the " jMilitary Sage ; " and on his right is a calm-faced image 



496 



AMERICA EEVISITED. 



■' '' \\\n, 




OFFERING UP A PRAYER IN A CHINESE JOSS-HOUSE. 

who bears the title of tlie " Great King of the Southern Queen." 
This god is noted for liis charity and benevolence. For the rest, 
one joss-house is very much like another joss-house. The one 
we visited reminded me very much of the Crystal Palace Bazaar 
— amiable old Crystal Palace Bazaar — gone mad, with all the 
fancy articles from the stalls piled one upon the other in inextric- 
able confusion. There were " gods many and lords many," in 
wood, stone, ivory, ebony, jade, and terra-cotta, with a host of in- 
ferior goddesses and attendant divinities of the " one-horse " sort. 
There were incense burners and incense tongs, tablets with in- 
scriptions in every colour of the rainbow, grotesque carvings richly 
gilt, gongs, cymbals, and triangles — fortunately there was nobody 
to make a noise with them — a very wilderness of artificial flowers, 
and a number of mysterious looking tubes wdiich bore a suspicious 
resemblance to squibs and crackers of an ornate description. 

The Chinese, I was told, have no congregational worship. 
There are certain festival days and birthdays of their gods and 
goddesses when large crowds throng the temples; but single 
straggling worshippers may be found in the joss-houses at all 
hours of the day. When we left the joss-house, which had put 
me in mind of the Crystal Palace Bazaar in a state of insanity, 
the shades of evening were gathering over Dupont and Jackson- 
streets. We concluded to take tea in a Chinese restaurant and 
then to begin our exploration of China ToAvn by night. 




CHINESE OPIUM SMOKERS AT SAN FRANCISCO, 



XLT. 



China Town by Night. 

The restaurant to which our party proceeded Avas in tlie very 
heart of the Chinese quarter; but whether it was on Sacramento, 
or on Commercial, on Dupont, on Pacific or on Jackson-street, I am 
scarcely prepared, at this distance of time, to particularise. There 
were two large rooms on the first floor reserved for "high-toned" 
customers ; and these apartments were tolerably clean and gaily 
decorated in the way of wall painting, cretonne hangings — they did 
not '" run " to silk — coloured lanterns and carved bamboo furni- 
ture. We ordered tea; and when that refreshment was brought, 
tried very hard to "make believe" that we liked the tepid washy 
and pallid infusion of the herb which was poured by a simpering 
attendant into cups not much larger than those used for the 
reception of eggs. But we remembered the herculean efforts of the 
Marchioness in "The Old Curiosity Shop" to "make believe" 
that orangepeel and water were sherry wine ; and at length we 
succeeded in persuading ourselves that of whatever form of tea — 
Bohea, Souchong, Congou, Flowery Pekoe or young Hyson : it 



498 AMERICA REVISITED. 

was assuredly not gunpowder — tlic mild and mawkish beverage 
was composed, it was a cup which could not inebriate, however it 
might fail in imparting cheerfulness to the heart of man. That 
it needed some kind of a fillip or zest to give it a " high tone" 
seemed evident enough from the assiduity with which the waiters 
pressed us to partake of some kind of spirituous liquor which 
was served iu tiny porcelain cups. It was white, it is true, but more 
"milky white" than pellucid, and in consistency was shghtly 
viscid : that is to say "ropy" or glutinous to the palate. I just 
put my lips to it, and found it faintly^ — very faintly — suggestive 
equally of newly distilled arrack, very bad whiskey of the cele- 
brated " cocked hat " or " torch-light procession " kind : illicitly 
distilled Russian vodka, " gin wash " with a suspicion of the 
flavour of carraway seeds, Mexican pulque with the fine old 
original haut gout of addled eggs, and the very worst Turkish 
raki feebly impregnated with turpentine. In any case I thought 
this festive cup intolerably nasty. 

On the weakness and faintness both of the tea and the 
preparation of alcohol I dwell for the reason that such seem 
to be curiously conspicuous characteristics of a great many 
of the " Things of China " besides articles of food and drink. 
The flavouring of the Chinese cuisine is undeniably of the 
w^eakest. John Chinaman is fond of mincing up his viands 
into the tiniest of morsels, and mixing together ingredients 
which to us w^ould appear of the most discordant kind. The 
cooking, however, if there were only a little backbone or 
strength in it, would not be by any means bad ; and oddly 
enough, when the Chinaman emerges from his own quarter, and 
goes into service as chef in an American famil}'-, he does not in 
the slightest degree object to make use of the sauces and condi- 
ments employed in the Christian kitchen, and in a comparatively 
short space of time becomes what, from our point of view, would be 
considered a capital cook. Chez lui on the other hand, and in his 
restaurants, his predominant shortcomings of faintness and feeble- 
ness neutralise the other skilful preparation of his dishes. 

In the "high-toned" Chinese restaurants, knives, forks, plates, 
table-cloths and napkins d V Europeenne are kept ; and the pro- 
prietor will do his best, at a tariff of from two to three dollars a 
head, to provide a tolerable American dinner ; but a genuine 
Chinese dinner should be eaten with chopsticks — the manijDula- 
tion of which is to European and American exceedingly 
difficult — and man}' of the dishes are hideously distasteful 



CHINA TOWN BY NIGHT. 499 

to non-Celestial palates, owing to the rancid oil or the " bosh " 
butter with which they have been prepared. The guests, 
too, have a horrible habit, when they have stripped a bone 
■ — always with their teeth — of flinging the bone itself on the 
floor ; and this practice, in the " low-toned " cooks' shops in the 
Chinese quarter, gives them an indescribably filthy aspect. The 
Rev. 0. Gibson thus describes a dinner of v/hich he partook in 
<a restaurant on Jackson-street in company with the Rev. Dr. 
Newman, ]\Irs. Newman, the Rev. Dr. Sunderland of Washington 
City, and Dr. J. T. M'Lean of San Francisco. " ])r. Newman 
took hold and ate like a hungry man ; and when / tltoiKjld lie 
must he ahout filled he astonished me by saying that the meats 
were excellent, and that were it not that he had to deliver a lecture 
that evening, he would take hold again, and eat a good hearty 
dinner. Dr. Sunderland did not seem to relish things quite so 
well. But ]Mrs. Newman, relishing some of the meats, and failing 
to get the pieces to her mouth with the chopsticks, wisely threw 
aside all conventional notions ; used her fingers instead of chop- 
sticks, and, as the Californians would say, 'ate a square meal?'" * 
AVe did not partake of a " square meal " a /« Chinoise^ but 
were content to limit ourselves to tea and rusks — the last covered 
with finely-powdered sugar interspersed with some seeds of a 
species wholly unknown to me, but not unpleasant in flavour. 
In the next room a very " high-toned " wedding supper was in 
progress. There were folding doors between this scene of fes- 
tivity and the more modest apartment where we were sipping 
our tea ; but no steps Avere taken to insure the privacy of the 
wedding party ; nay, one of the simpering waiters very obligingly 
threw the folding doors even wider open than they had been 
before : doubtless with the view of the " Mellikans " being awe- 
stricken by the spectacle of a Celestial wedding feast. The 
gastronomic part of the entertainment appeared to have come to 
a close ; but there was a good deal of drinking and smoking — 
as yet only of cigarettes and cheroots — going on. I missed the 
vapid odour of opium ; and was informed that indulgence in that 
narcotic would not beghi until a much later period of the evening 
and when the bride and bridegroom had retired. Meanwhile we 
noticed that more than half of one side of the room in which we 
were taking tea was occupied by a raised wooden platform, 

* This Avas written in 1S77. At present the term " square meal," to express a 
dnly set ami proper dinner ah ovo usque ad vialum, is common throughout the 
American continent. 



500 AMERICA EEVISITED. 

railed in wltli a fjintastically carved balustrade, and surmounted 
by a canopy. This platform, or dais, was occupied by a long 
low divan, covered with dark-green serge, and provided with a 
couple of pillows. Here, I was told, the opium smokers came 
with their pipes and pill-boxes, and enjoyed the fumes of the 
drug until they had reduced themselves to the required condi- 
tion of idiotic beatitude. 

It has been cogently observed that opium is the curse of 
the Chinese, just as strong liquor is the curse of Europeans 
and Americans ; but an Englishman, I sliould say, can scarcely 
inveigh agahist the evils of opium-smoking among the 
Chinese without something like a burning blush of shame 
overspreading his manly cheek. How many thousand chests 
of opium do we annually export from India ? and how many 
millions of rupees do we annually make out of the poisonous, 
demoralising, and abominable opium traflic ? (3ne of the most 
impudent pleas advanced in extenuation of this accursed trade 
is, that if the Chinese did not buy opium from us, they would 
obtain it by some other means and from some other quarter. By 
a parity of reasoning, a rascal who dealt in loaded dice, marked 
cards, and biassed roulette-wheels, mio-ht urge that if he declined 
to sell such palpable implements of swindling, his rivals in trade, 
the scoundrel over the way and the rogue round the corner, 
Avould be ready to supply any quantity of cogged dice, fraudulent 
cards, and unjustly biassed roulette-wheels, 

We left the wedding party in the next room chattering, 
gambling, smoking, and drinking to the sounds of minstrelsy 
similar to that which we had heard in the orchestra of the 
theatre, and then we went downstairs into the cheaper department 
of the restaurant : — a huge room on the ground-floor, flaring' 
with gas, and set out with long tables of plain deal in parallel 
rows. An aisle ran at right angles between the rows of tables, 
just as it does between the rows of seats in a railway car ; and 
up and down this gangway the Chinese waiters were hurrying and 
scurrying bearing aloft towering piles of small plates, and uttering 
responsive yells to the shrieks of the customers, who were ex- 
clusively of the pig-tailed or male sex. A s I have already remarked, 
a considerable portion of the wealthy merchants and well-to-do 
Chhiese shop-keepers in San Francisco bring their wives and ; 
families with them from the Flowery Land ; and many of these ; 
Celestial females are, to all intents and purposes, ladies ; but ; 
Chinese women of the lower class are never seen in any place of 



CHINA TOWN BY NIGHT. 501 

public resort. Tlie poor creatures are imported by Iiuudrctis 
ever}^ year into San Francisco ; but they are sold into a life of 
sliame, and are the most miserable slaves imaginable. 

Wiiat the customers in the lower hall of the restaurant 
were eating I could not well make o*it. Everything edible 
seemed to be minced and shredded and chopped up into 
" snips and snails and puppy-dogs' tails," so to speak. Of 
course the " hoodlum " class of Chinaman-haters declare that 
the Yellow ]\Ian eats not only dogs and cats, but also "rats and 
mice, and such small deer." It is certain that in the Chinese 
meat stores you see a number of scraps of meat of the "block 
ornament " order, the dubious hue of which — usually a dmgy 
greyish purple, with streaks of drab fat — and fantastic shape of 
which are replete with all kinds of embarrassing suggestions ; 
while in the grocery stores you are cheerfully shown an amazing 
variet}'- of dried vegetables, pulse, and preserved poultry, fish, 
and fruit, which have been brought from the Middle Kingdom for 
the use of the Chinese denizens of 'Frisco. You never set eyes 
on these strange-looking esculents in the American quarter ; but if 
John Chinaman chooses to patronise the products of his own 
Crosse and Blackwell, his own Elizabeth Lazenby (without 
whose signature none is genuine), and his own Huntley and 
Palmer, who is to gainsay him ? Many of the extremely nasty- 
looking viands and vegetables in which the Yellow Man seems 
to take so much delight may have been popular in China thou- 
sands of years before Worcestershire Sauce, Anchovy Paste, the 
Yorkshire Ptelish, or Captain ^McPeppery's Real Nabob's Curry 
Powder were ever heard of; and, indeed, if Englishmen were to 
rally a Chinaman on the bizarre aspect and the curious odour of 
his cuisine, the Celestial — if he had lived in London and studied 
our manners — might retort that among all nations calluig them- 
selves civilised, the English were the only ones who ate venison 
and game in an absolutely putrid condition, and who concluded 
a grand banquet by swallowing scraps of red herring or of caviare 
mstead of eating those appetisers as liors cVamvres at the com- 
mencement of the repas^= 

The lower hall of the restaurant was indescribably dirty. 
Not so dirty, nor so reeking with complicated stenches as one or 
two low cookshop cellars into which we subsequently looked, 
and which, although it was now past ten o'clock, were all 
densely crowded. Here chopsticks were in universal use, and 
the culinary operations were carried on by means of an 



50: 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



American " kitclieiier," in a corner of tlie cellar itself. Into any 
of the gaming houses which abound in the Chinese quarter we 
did not penetrate : our guide dissuading us from such an expedition 
on the grounds, first, that it was not quite safe ; the lowest and 




GAMBLING DEN AT SAX FEANX'ISCO. 



most ruftianly of the Ciiinese being among the frequenters of 
these 2)laces ; and when they are excited with something stronger 
than samshu, that is to say with the Aery worst Californian 
brandy, being apt to use their knives ; and next because a very 
severe municipal ordinance against the Chinese gambling houses 
had just been issued, which would compel the police, for a season 
at least, to use diligence in the suppression of these dens, so. as 
to render it far from unlikely that while we were watching the 
gamblers at their devices a posse of police might swoop down on 
the tripot and carry off the whole company, croupiers, gamesters, 
and spectators, pigeons as well as rooks, to gaol. 

We concluded our investigation of China Town by night by 
a visit to some three or four of the common lodging houses 
occupied by Chinese artificers and labourers. There was 
certainly nothing picturesque about them. You have only to 
think of a combination of Flower and Dean-streets, Spitalfields, 
Tiger Bay, George-street and Church-lane, St. Giles's, the 
" Coomb " in Dublin, the Rue IMouffetard in Paris, and as much 
as is left of the Five Points at New York, and perfume the whole 



CHINA TOWN BY NICxHT. 



)(J5 



strongly with the reek of opuiiii, and a legion of otlier equally 
malignant but even more offensive stenclies, to be able to form a 
tolerably palpable idea of a Chinese lodging-house in the Golden 
City. There were scores of Chinamen in their narrow cribs 
extended on the filthy mats and filthier straw mattresses which 
served them as bedding, and who appeared to be in various 
stages of epilepsy, catalepsy, tetanus, and ddlrium tremens. 
They were only smoking opium ; and that they did not set the 
rotten tenement in wliich they dwelt in a blaze, with the candles 
and paraffin lamps which they took to bed with them to kindle 
their pipes withal, was to me little short of a miracle. The 
spectacle was, on the whole, an eminently disgusting one ; and I 
was glad to get away from it, and return to the Palace Hotel 
to bed. My dreams, I fancy, were of Aladdin and the 
Wonderful Lamp; but there was a "transformation scene" of 
St. Giles's smelling very " loudly " of opium. 





BLACK ROCK, GREAT SAI.T LAKE. 



XLII. 

Fkom 'Frisco to Salt Lake City. 

I HEAD ill Captain Ricliard F. Burton's excellent book of 
Western travel, the " City of the Saints," published just twenty 
years ago, these justifiably self-conscious words: — " I need hardly 
say that this elaborate account of the Holy City of the West and 
its denizens would not have seen the light so soon after the appear- 
ance of ' a Journey to Great Salt Lake City by M. Jules licniy ' 
had there been not much left to say. The French naturalist 
passed through the Mormon settlements in 1855 ; and five years 
in the Far West are equal to fifty in less (more ?), Conservative 
lands." Thus wrote Captain Burton in 18C2 ; and although in the 
way of increase of population and growth of material prosperity, 
the progress of the Territory of Utah in general and of Salt Lake 
City (not Great Salt Lake — the augmentative belongs to the 
Lake not the City) in particular may in the course of twenty 
years have been equal to a hundred years' progress in civilisation 



FROM 'fRISCO to SALT LAKE CITY. 505 

ill tlic Old A^\)lkl, tliere is not luilf so much to be said concern- 
ing Life among the Mormons at the present da}', as tliere was 
at the periods when Jules Remy and Burton explored what was 
tlien a mysterious, and to a certain extent a picturesque region. 
Since the completion of the Central and the Union Pacific rail- 
roads, and the development, almost to perfection, of the Pullman 
Palace Car system, the journey across the American continent 
from east to west has been made so swift and so devoid of dis- 
comfort that almost every tourist from Europe — who can con- 
venientl}'' contrive to extend his trip to the States three or four 
weeks beyond the time he had originally fixed for the durtition of 
his outimr — makes the " run" from New York or Boston to San 
Francisco, and "looks in" at Salt Lake City either on his way 
to, or on his return from El Dorado. 

I scarcely think that many mere pleasure travellers leave 
England with a definite intent of visiting Utah. The poet tells 
us that the name still is of account, and that the river still hath 
charms of " Sir David Lindsay of tlie ]Mount, Lord Lyon King of 
Arms." Analogously it may be said that over the minds of un- 
travelled or of moderately travelled Englishmen the bare name of 
the Rocky Mountains still exercises a potent spell. Charles 
Dickens used to say that of all the wearisome people to be 
met Mdth in society the Rocky IMouutains bore — the man 
wdio had seen the Devil's Slide, passed " Summit," scaled the 
Sierras Nevadas and descended the Pacific Slope — was the 
most intolerable. The great novelist possibly thought such 
a traveller a fdcJteux because he himself had never crossed 
the "Rockies." Similarly Prince Bismarck has, — in terms of 
almost brutal coarseness, stigmatised the illustrious Alexander 
von Humboldt as a bore of the first magnitude because the great 
traveller used frequently to talk about Mexico, and the two 
famous mountains, Popocatepetl and Istclasiwatl. According 
to the impatient German chancellor Humboldt was continually 
drawing the shadow of a cypress tree of ennui over \\\q tea-table 
conversation at the Royal palaces of Berlin and Potsdam by 
shrill references to " Popocatepetl, seven thousand seven hundred 
and twenty feet above the level of the sea." If Prince Bismarck 
had been sent as Minister Plenipotentiary to Mexico instead of 
St. Petersburg, and had seen the snow-clad Popocatepetl and its 
sister peak Istclasiwatl " the Virgin in White Reclining " he 
would, probably, not have thought Alexander A^on Humboldt such 
a very desperate bore, after all. I remember once, at Brighton, 



)06 



AMERICA EEVISITED. 



listening- to a monologue lasting full twenty minutes delivered by 
General Ulysses S. Grant exclusively on the subject of Mexico 
and having chiefly reference to Popocatepetl, of which giant 
volcano the general had made a partial ascent. General Grant 
is usually accounted the most taciturn of mankind ; but he 
talked fluently and even eloquently about matters with which he 
was intimatel}^ acquainted ; and, not for a moment, did he bore 
me ; seeing that I had been to Mexico, and preserved in my 
mind's eye a vivid picture of that strange country. 

Utah, to my thinking, is no longer a " strange" country. The 
Great Salt Lake valley is certainly as picturesque as any valley in 
Switzerland, which is saying a great deal ; but tourists and land- 
scape painters from Europe have not yet devoted themselves, 
alpenstock or sketch book in hand, to climbing the peaks of the 
Wahsatch Kange, or exploring the passes of the Oquirrh moun- 
tains. The most prosaic of railway lines conveys you from 

Ogden, the junction of the 
Central and Union Paciflc 
lines, to Salt Lake City, 
which in its external aspect 
at least, is as plain-sail- 
ing, downright, straight- 
forward, unpoetical and 
ugly a place as any other 
" Gentile " American town 
of from twenty-live thou- 
sand to thirty thousand 
inhabitants. As I have 
said, English tourists when 
drawing their cheque in 
payment for a return ticket 
per Cunard line, do not 
often contemplate a journey to California, and a "branching ofl'" 
from Ogden into Mormondom. About the name of the " Piockies " 
there yet lingers a dim suggestion of grisly bears, savage Indians, 
and not much less savage "Jims" and "Moses" and "Outlaws 
of Poker Hats," " Booters of Shanghae Canon," " Moonshiners 
of Blood Boult Gulch," and the like. Before I undertook my 
second journey to the States, I liad read all about the " bhoys " 
and the bar rooms of the Great West, the " hoodlums" and the 
" heathen Chinee " of San Francisco in the books of Mr. Bret 
Harte and Mr. Mark Twain. Of course I tliou2:ht that I should 




FROM 'fEISCO to SALT LAKE CITY, 507 

very miicli like to go to California before reaeliing the rapidly 
approacliing stage when I shonkl not go anywhere save to 
Kensal Green ; but I did not, on leaving England, harbour any 
hope of being able to penetrate further west than Chicago, or^ 
at tlie very utmost, St. Paul's, Minnesota. Besides, I had a dear 
companion whose views as to traversing the American continent, 
from the Atlantic to the Pacific, might not accord with mine \ 
and finally there was the question of expense (by no means an 
unimportant one) to be borne in mind.* 

It is when the tourist reaches Chicago that the temptation (as- 
I have more than once hinted) to cross the " Kockies " first takes 
a tangible shape and becomes at last irresistible. So far as I 
am concerned I found travelling in California and Utali so 
ridiculously easy that I felt (and still feel) to some extent 
ashamed of having done so little. I remember standhig in the 
balcony of the Chiton House at the Golden Gate, San Francisco, 
and peering far beyond the Seal Rock, far over the blue Pacific 
and murmuring to myself, " Why not be bold — why not go to 
Honululu, to Hakodadi, to Hong Kong, to Sydney?" Having 
got so far, why halt ? I had got the ship — an ocean steamer 
was to start on the morrow — I had got the money, too. But I 
remembered, ruefully, that to lighten our wi'jjedimenta we had 
left trunks, portmanteaus, dressing bags, despatch boxes, rugs^ 
and furs at divers hotels along the line of route ; and that it 
would only be in accordance with the commonest dictates of 
prudence to pick up these articles on our way back. So I 
"concluded" not to come home by the way, either of Japan or 
of the antipodes ; but to content myself with remembering that 
" Faith never rides single, but ever has Hope on a pillion," and 
indulging in the (perhaps fond) hope and belief that I should see 
Japan and the antipodes before I died. 

So, bidding a long, but, I hope, not a last farewell to friendly 
San Francisco, in due time a Silver Palace Sleeping Car on the 
Union Pacific Railway, returning from Eldorado, deposited 

* Our journey covered four months and a lialf. I earned l)y letter writing 
(paying my own expenses) nine hundred and twenty j^oimds ; and I spent between 
the end of Novemlier and the middle of April just one thousand and thirty-llvo 
jjounds. I may add, first, that we lived as economically as we could, and that our 
consumption of wine at dinner (for two) never exceeded a jjint of claret or of 
champagne ; and next that we travelled twenty thousand miles, of ^\•hich aljout 
nine thousand were, through the courtesy of. the railway companies, " gratuitous 
transportation." But in the article of Pullman cars I must have spent at least two 
hundred jiounds. 



508 AMERICA REVISITED. 

lis at Ogdeii in the territory of Utah, wlieiice the Utah Central 
Railway, coiiiiectiiiir with the Union and Pacific lines, makes 
the detour to Salt Lake Cit3\ The distance from Ogden to the 
City of the Saints is only thirty-seven miles. You will thus 
perceive that the question of reaching the heart of jMormondom 
is mainly a matter of mileage, and that — abating a good deal 
of dust in summer, and in winter a few " cold snaps," which, the 
elaborately lieating appliances of the cars notwithstanding, 
occasionally freeze the apparatus for washing, and renders 
congestion of the lungs a far from remote contingency if you 
open too frequently the ventilators in your state-room — the run 
from New York, on the one hand, and from San Francisco, on 
the other, to the Mormon Mecca, is " as easy as a glove," and 
as "plain as a pike-staff." Not the slightest honour or glory 
for endurance or resolution on the part of the traveller attaches 
to the successful accomplishment of the enterprise. In degree, 
you have no more trouble in getting to Salt Lake City than you 
have in getting to Tunbridge Wells. Li the last-named case, a 
branch of the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway lands 
you on the Pantiles. In the first case, 3"0U branch off at Ogden, 
a,nd, an hour and a half afterwards you may be eating buck- 
wheat cakes with maple syrup at the " Walker House" in Main- 
street, Salt Lake City. 

You approach Ogden through scenery really magnificent and 
nearly approaching the sublime ; but the landscape is, on the 
whole, perhaps finer on the eastward than on the westward side. 
Nearing Ogden by the AVeber and Ogden canons you pass 
along a route winding through tortuous turns, reminding the 
European traveller of that famous railway over the Semmering, 
between Vienna and Trieste — the line which has been indifferently 
termed the "zigzag" and the "corkscrew" railway, and of 
which a tourist, somewhat given to the abuse of hyperbole, 
once observed that " it twisted and turned so that, more than 
once, he had been able to see the nape of his own neck." As 
you reach Ogden the rock-ribbed mountains, bare of all foliage 
save a few stunted pines, and snow-capped, rise in awe-striking 
grandeur on either side. I say awe-striking for the reason that I 
am fain to admit — not, perhaps, for the first time in print — that 
mountains terrify me, and that I hate them. I have travelled less 
in Switzerland (in which, to my mind, Basle and Geneva are the 
only tolerable towns) than the ordinary run of tourists, with their 
detestable " Regular Swiss Round," simply because I wholly 



PROM 'fPJSCO to salt LAKE CITY. 509 

lack tlic faculties of appreciation and admiration for mountainous 
scenery. I never could o-et up any admiration for Mont J>lanc. 
There is not a stone in Pompeii that has not a sermon in it, for 
me ; but T have beheld Vesuvius unmoved, and the only interest 
awakened in my mind by the first sight of Stromboli was in 
connection with the fine old crusted ghost-story of " Old Booty," 
who, you will remember, was seen by several trustworthy 
mariners, running stark naked out of the frowning cavities of 
Stromboli at the precise moment of time wlien, as it afterwards 
appeared, he was giving up the ghost at his own house in 
Wajjping. 

Ogden itself is a flourishing " village " — I am not at all sure 
that it may not call Itself a city — of some six thousand inhabi- 
tants. The town is situated on a lofty mountain plateau, and 
like all the new towns of the AVest is built with strict regularity 
of plan. The streets arc very broad, with running streams of 
Avater in nearly all of them. There is an ugly l)ut commodious 
brick court house, three churches, and a Mormon tabernacle, 
a sprinkling of handsome private residences, and two hotels, 
besides anotlier and excellent one at the railway depot. Here 
also are the machine and repair shops of both Pacific railroads. 
Of course Ogden has its daily newspapers. There were at least 
two in my time (March, 1880), one of them the Daihj Junction, 
described as " a small seven by nine sheet," and edited by a 
Mormon Bishop, who is assisted in his journalistic duties by a 
Mormon poet. The Ogden Freeman was, and probably is, an 
Opposition or Gentile print. There is an immense quantity of 
fruit grown about Ogden, and, indeed, the Utah apples, peaches, 
and pears are said to be finer in size, colour, and flavour than 
any grown in the Eastern or Middle States. 

As regards the hotel at the railroad depot, I may hint that it 
boasts a refreshment buflet which, next to the one at Omaha, I 
hold to be the very best to be found in the whole United States. 
We had fortunately been, thanks to the kindness of our friends, 
at the Palace Hotel, San Francisco, so bountifully and tooth- 
somely provided in the way of " provand," that on returning to 
Chicago we had little need to trouble the railway refreshment 
buflet at all, save for hot bread, milk, hard boiled eggs, and coffee 
(all good save the last, which was execrable) for breakfast. I pre- 
serve, nevertheless, a vivid remembrance of the refreshment buffet 
at Ogden, not only on account of a most savoury buftalo tongue 
which I there purchased, but also in connection with the fact 



510 AMERICA REVISITED. 

that on tlie depot platform there was a stall — the " installation " 
of which might slightly have astonished Messrs. W. H. Smith 
mid Son — at which I bought first " Punch's Almanack " for 
1879, secondly a quantity of Indian "curios" worked in fine 
straw on cloth and embellished with wampum, and finally a 
cop3^, the first I had ever seen, of " The Book of Mormon," an 
account, as the title page sets forth, "Written by the Hand of 
Mormon upon Plates taken from the Plates of Nephi, Trans- 
lated by Joseph Smith, Junior, and divided into Chapters and 
Verses, with references by Orson Pratt, Sen." 

As the business of Mormon proselytism is systematic and 
continuous in London, and probabl}" also in Liverpool, there are 
I should say, in England, more than a sufficiency of places at 
wdnch the Lying Evangel, founded by Mr. Joe Smith, on the 
lines of a quasi-religious romance, written by one Sidney 
Eigdon, may be bought. There is thus no reason for giving 
any detailed account of the farrago of trash of which the Book 
of Mormon is com}X)sed, and which, even as a travesty of 
Biblical phraseology, is infinitely inferior to Archbishop 
Whately's " Historic Doubts on the Existence of Napoleon 
Buonaparte," (a parody written Avith the most pious of motives) 
and is not nearly up to the standard of the curiously humorous 
albeit irreverent political satire in scriptural language, called 
" The New Gospel of Peace," which was published during the 
American Civil War. I will, however, just remark, that while 
travelling from Ogdcn to Salt Lake City, and turning over the 
bundle of blasphemous rubbish, called " The Book of ]\Iormon/' 
I came, at Chap. Iv. verse G of " The Book of Jacob," on the 
following : " Behold the Lamanites, 3'our brethren, whom ye hate 
because of their filthiness and the cursings which have come 
upon their skins, are more righteous than you, for they have not 
forgotten the commandment of the Lord, which was given to 
their fathers, that they should have, save it were one toife, and 
concubines tliat they should have none." To this passage there 
is a reference to Chap. ii. verse 24 of the same book, whereat I 
find, " Behold, David and Solomon had many wives and concu- 
bines, tchiclt tiling icas abominable before me^ saltli the Lord." 

The ]\Iormon casuists have been able, no doubt, to explain 
away, to the entire satisfaction of their dupes, if not of them- 
selves, this direct prohibition of polygamy. I suppose too that 
modern doctors of Mormon theology (save the mark ! ) have long 
since accounted for another little inconsistency on the part of 



FROM 'FRISCO TO SALT LAKE CITY. 511 

Joe Smith. On the twelftli of July, 18J:3, the "Prophet" received 
what he professed to be a new revelation. When it was first 
mentioned it caused great commotion among the Saints, and 
many rebelled against the newly revealed ordinances. A few 
Elders attempted to promulgate the "revelation ; " but, so fierce 
was the opposition, that, at last, for the sake of peace, Joe Smith 
issued in his Church paper an ofhcial proclamation against his 
own decree. The edifying document ran as follows : — 

" Notice. — "Whereas we liave lately been credibly informed that an Elder of the 
Church of Latter Day Saints, by the name of Hiram Brown, has been preaching 
polygamy, and otiier false and corrupt doctrines, in the county of Lapeer and State 
of Michigan, This is to notify him, and the Church in general, that he has been 
cut off from the Church for his ini([uity ; and he is further notified to appear at the 
Special Conference, to be held on the Gtli of April next, to answer to these charges. 

" Joseph Smith, ) „ . , , r ,t rn ? »> 
,, „ „ \- Presidents of tlie Lhurch. 

" Hyrum Smith, ) ■' 

In less than three years after the publication of this sancti- 
monious ukase, the Mormon leaders were living in flagrant and 
undisguised polygamy. It has been cogently asked whether a 
Prophet who had received a True Pevelation w^ould afterwards 
repudiate it, denounce and punish his followers for observing it, and 
then practise its pseudo-commands for his own private use and 
benefit. But the Mormon system of ethics is, like Mormon 
theology, peculiar. Among the hymns used in their Church 
services are to be found such verses as the following : — 

" The God that others worship is not the God for nie, 
A church without a Prophet is not the church for me, 
The hope that Gentiles cherish is not the hope for me ; 
It has no faith nor knowledge, far from it I Avould l)e. 
The Heaven of sectarians is not the Heaven for me." 

As an a2:reeable alterative to such stuff as the above mio-ht 
be preferred the last verse of a prayer supposed to be uttered 
by a dying Israelite. Who wrote the poem, or where I first 
lighted upon it (it was many years ago), I have not the faintest 
notion ; but here it is — 

" I know not if the Christian's Hea^•ell 
May be the same as mine ; 
I only ask to be forgiven, 
And taken home to Thine." 

I learned from a fellow-traveller on the cars that the Ogden 
central railroad is the " Pioneer railway" of Utah proper. Early 
in May, 1869, the Union Pacific and Central Pacific lines were 



512 AMERICA REVISITED. 

completed, tlie junction by wliicli tlie two extremities of tlie 
continent were brouglit in connection, being made at a point 
named Promontory, some fifty miles "west of O^xlen. One week 
afterwards work on the Utah Central began. A company had 
been organised in the March of the same year, with Brigham Young 
as President. An immense quantity of building materials had 
been left on hand at " Promontory " station Ayhen the Union 
Pacific was finished, and this was purchased by the Utah Central 
Company. Brigham Young had preyiously entered into a contract 
for " grading " the former road from the head of Echo Canon to 
Ogden, and successfully accomplished the work. Brigham sub- 
let his contract to John Sharp and Joseph A. Young, the 
latter a son of Brigham. The work was " crowded on " with 
all possible speed, and, I haye heard it said, not without a 
yehement suspicion of task-mastership, of the fine old Egyptian 
Pyramid building pattern, being exercised by the sub-Prophet's 
overseers. At all eyents, in less than eight months from the 
first breaking of the ground for the new line, the last rail was 
laid; and on the tenth day of January, 1870, the first through 
train from Ogden arrived in Salt Lake City. 

The guide-books state that the cars on the Utah Central 
Line are " elegantly furnished." The one in which we be- 
stowed ourselyes was not "up to much" in the way of elegance ; 
and the weather, although brilliantly sunny, being piercingly 
cold, the stoye-heated atmosphere was slightly oppressiye ; but 
the carriage was scrupulously clean, which is not always the 
case in trains where there are no first-class cars. It chanced 
that our only fellow-tray eller in addition to a commercial gentle- 
man "doing" Utah for a Chicago firm, was a small girl-child, 
seemingly about ten years of age, who had come by herself all 
the way from St. Louis, whence she had trayelled chiefly by "emi- 
grant " trains (the cheapest mode of land conveyance) to Chicago, 
and so by Omaha across the Pockies to Ogden. She had an 
extraordinary assortment of chattels and other " needments " 
with her — bags and bundles and baskets, an old tin kettle, a 
three-legged stool, and a very shabby looking-glass, with 
half the quicksilyer rul)bed off the back. We spoke her fair ; 
and she answered us with that entire self-possession and aiolomh 
not at all uncommon among small children in the States.* She 

* At tlie Eallard House, Eiclimond, Virginia, Ave met two little girls, one about 
thirteen, the other certainly not more than nine, Avho had travelled from very fai- 
doAvn Soiith, and Avere hound according to their shoAving to Washington to join their 



FROM 'FPJSCO to SALT LAKE CITY. 1313 

vs\as going to join her " people " in Salt Lake City. Her 
parents ? No ; she was an orphan. She was only going 
"cousining." Expect she didn't know where she should settle 

-' mammy." The coloured liead waiter at the Ballard House smilingly described 
iliem as '' Wonders of de World." For my part tliey struck me as being two of the 
r-auciest little minxes that I had ever seen. The elder girl jdayed the pianoforte very 
cleverly, and the younger one had a clear fresh voice and sang hymns most patheti- 
cally ; and for a few tlays thej-^ were the cynosure of admiration among the frequenters 
of tlie ladies' drawing room ; but after a while it was more of a suspicious than of an 
allectionate interest that the ladies of the Ballard House began to take in these 
Infant Phenomena. They had arrived with very little luggage ; the account which 
they gave of themselves was extremely vague ; and altogether it appeared to be 
snmewhat doubtful whether their "mammy" in Washington was a A'eritable 
maternal parent or a myth. It was delightful nevertheless to hear the youngest 
-ister, who was always the first to come down in the morning (the elder occupied 
;in inordinate time in "fixing herself before meals"), order her breakfast from the 
<il isequious but grinning coloured waiter. " I would like some pork steak, scrambled 
eggs and fried sausages." " Yas, missy." " The hominy yesterday was burnt, and 
right mean. Let it be better." " Yas, missy." " I should like to have some milk 
toaat ; and mind you don't forget that I A\'ant English lireakfast tea." "Xo, missy," 
ad so on. 

During the day they would play about like ordinary school-girls, on the covered 
u-ooden bridge connecting the Ballard House with its sister hotel, the Exchange 
House ; and the eldest was a remarkably skilful adept in slcipping ; but between 
three and five o'clock in the afternoon they were wont mysteriously to disappear, 
and it Avas afterwards discovered that they used to make the rounds of the principal 
stores of the toAvni, soliciting subscriptions for some newspaper, to be started at some 
period not named, by somebody, someAvhere. The ahonnements to this phantom 
Journal were payable strictly in advance ; and I was assured that they contrived 
to extract a considerable numl^er of dollars from the merchants and store-keepers 
of Richmond. I have never concealed my opinion that the Americans are at once 
the shrewdest and the most simple-minded people to be found on the face of the earth. 
The Phenomena were even seen hanging about the State Capitol, button-holing the 
«enators and representatives as they entered the halls of the legislature, and seeking 
subscriptions to the shadoAvy paper which was to be published some day, somewhere, 
by somebody. At length the bubble burst. They had run up a very long bill at 
rthe Ballard House; no letters ever arrived for them; and the chief clerk per- 
emptorily requested them to " settle." The eldest girl made a tender, (piite coolly, 
of about a third of the amoimt due, adding that beyond the sum which she oflered 
they had just eno\igh money to pay their railway fare to Washington. The chief 
«lerk was highly iiulignant at this financial statement which, as he put it, " didn't 
mean business, no how;" but Colonel Carrington, the generous and courteous pro- 
prietor of the Ballard and Exchange House, good-naturedly let the children off the 
Temainder of their indebtedness, observing, with a laugh, that "he was glad they 
had had such a good time." So they departed quite calmly and cheerfullj-. A 
orowning act of impudence marked their disappearance. At the depot the elder 
girl took tickets, not for Washington Init for Petersburg, saying that she had heard 
that at AVashington the small pox was raging. But could she have had the heart to 
.abandon her " mammy I " I wonder whence those children had come originally, and 
whither tkey were going : — possibly to the Penitentiary. 

L L 



514 AMERICA REVISITED. 

down for good. But there were no traces of grief, no expression oi 
loneliness in the girl's face. Had there been, I should have fancied 
that she was a very recently made orphan indeed ; and that the ■ 
tin pot and the kettle, the three-legged stool, and the look- 
ing-glass, with the rest of her poor little rattletraps, were the 
last remaining vestiges of a broken-iip home. She told us 
that she had got through her journey without much trouble ; | 
only that at some station the Rockies, a gang of "road agents" 
— Western for roughs wdio are closely akin to highway- 
men — had boarded the cars and plundered the passengers right 
and left. From the little girl who was going " cousining " the 
rascals had stolen a couple of blankets. The conductor of 
the train between Ogden and Salt Lake City was very kind to 
this little "maiden all forlorn" and despoiled into the bargahi, 
and had lent her a very ragged and mangy old buffalo robe, 
wrapped up in which, and looking at you with her blue wistful 
eyes (she was almost as pretty as the child in Mr. Millais' picture 
of " Cherry Ripe "), she presented a highly comical aspect, — so 
comical, indeed, that it behoved you to begin to laugh as soon as 
3^ou possibly could lest you should feel yourself inclined to cry. 
I noted, too, that the commercial gentleman from time to time 
furtively supplied her with apples and molasses candy ; I think 
that, had I known tlie article in wliich the commercial gentleman 
travelled, I would liave given him an order on the spot, cash 
down. 

It is just after crossing a short distance from Ogden by a 
light and graceful iron suspension bridge, the Weber river, that 
you first catch sight, to your right, of that which has been called 
the Dead Sea of America — the Great Salt Lake. Then the train 
rattles away due south, following the base of the " foot hills " or 
lowermost acclivities, which form the first line of the Wahsatch 
Range. These " foot hills " are always associated, in my mind, 
with an absurd Californian story of a mythical animal, called the 
" prox " which is said {pour rire) to possess the faculty of 
drawing up both legs on the near side, so as by the means of its 
fore and hinder off legs to be able to " spin it over the foothills" 
all the faster. As far as Kaysville the country seemed to me a 
very close imitation of the Great American Desert, wliich, not 
long since, we had traversed ; but there was a good deal of snow 
about : not only on the distant mountain peaks, but on the 
ground ; and that circumstance may have partially accounted for 
the desolate aspect of the locality. Desolation is indeed a con- 



FROM FRISCO TO SALT LAKE CITY. 515 

spiciious cliaracteiistic of all American scenery out of California, 
some parts of Pennsylvania, and one or two of the New England 
States. The generally unswept, nngarnished, and slatternly 
look of the land may be due first to tlie substitution of wooden 
palings and fences (usually thickly besmeared with advertise- 
ments) for our own green and trimly kept hedges, next to the 
absence of any appreciable number of gentlemen's estates and 
parks, and finally to the huge extent of the terrain. For all her 
fifty millions of inhabitants who, in the course of another quarter 
of a centur}^ will number, I suppose, a hundred millions, the most 
cursory glance at the map will be sufficient to show that the 
United States are yet, happily, a very thinly populated country. 
I say "happily," because if ever the two dreadful problems of 
how to extinguish pauperism in England, and how to pacify 
Ireland are to be solved, the blessed solution can only come by 
means of some vast International scheme of Emigration of the 
rural and labouring classes of the United Kingdom to the in- 
exhaustibly fertile regions of the Great West. 

A few farming settlements of the roughest and rudest kinds, 
gladden the eye about Kaysville, which is sixteen miles from 
Ogden. Kaysville is becoming " quite a place." It has a 
telegraph station, whence I wired to my dear friend W. H. 
Hurlbert, Editor in chief of the Neio York World, to tell him 
that thus far into the bowels of the Mormon Land of Goshen 
we had advanced, and were getting on very nicely ; and I was 
told that Kaysville also possessed three blacksmiths' forges 
and a " Zion's Co-Op." store. The next station was Farm- 
ington, which is the " county seat " of Davis County, and 
boasts, not only smithies and stores, but also a court-house 
for the administration of justice and the transaction of general 
county business. The country round Farmington seemed to be 
very well cultivated. The land slopes gently down towards the 
Great Salt Lake ; and the soil is said to be warm and rich, 
producing, when properly irrigated, luxuriant crops of grain, 
fruit, and vegetables of abnormal size. The Farmington water 
melons are in particular reputed to be " powerful sized." After 
leaving Farmington the road draws close to the Lake shore ; 
and you reach Centerville, twenty-five miles from Ogden and 
situated in the midst of very pretty orchards. Wood's Cross is 
in a most fertile district, although here and there towards 
the shore are patches of " sand drift," that is to say desert, 
spotted with the wearisome sage brush. It is not so intolerably 

L L 2 



51G 



AMERICA EEVISITED. 



wearisome, however, as tlie eternal cactus and prickly pear, the 
" maguey " and the " nopal " of the Mexican desert. There are 
plenty of cosy farmhouses in the neighbourhood of Wood's 
Cross; the landscape in summer must verge upon loveliness, 
and the farm-buildings and ricks speak of a thrifty and thriving 
community. In a few minutes after leaving Wood's Cross the 
southern terminus of the road, thirty six miles from Ogden, was 
reached, and the train drew up at the platform of the depot of 
Salt Lake City. 



/ 




A TARTY OF MORMONS AT OGDEN CANON. 




MORMON EMIGRANTS AT CASTLE GARDEN, NEW YORK. 



XLIII. 



Down Among the Mormons. 

It Wcas on tlie twenty-second day of July, 1847, I believe, 
that Orson Pratt having gone on ahead to " spy out the hind " 
in the interest of the advancing liost of Mormon emigrants, rode 
with a few followers over the Salt Lake Valley, and returning 
to the main body, gave an account of his " prospecting." On 
the morning of the twenty-fourth, the IMormons arrived at the 
summit of the hill, overlooking the site of the present City, and 
the valley beyond, and were enchanted by the scene. They gave 



518 



AMERICA EEVISITED. 



vent to their feelings in ejaculations of joyful praise and thanks- 
giving, firmly believing that they had found the Land of Promise, 
which for them would soon flow with milk and honey, and the 
" Zion of the Mountains " predicted by the ancient prophets. It 
is certain that the view of the Salt Lake Valley, as we subse- 
quently saw it from the heights of Camp Douglas, is a very 
enchanting one. The Great Salt Lake glitters like an immense 
sheet of silver in the sun ; and the towering peaks of the moun- 
tain ranges would satisfy, in their steepness and their snowiness. 




VIEW OF THE GllEAT SALT LAKE. 



the most aspiring member of the Alpine Club. It happened, 
nevertheless, that on the forenoon of our entering the City of the 
Saints, the weather, for all its sunniness, was so bitterly cold ; and 
I was so exceedingly hungry, that the towering peaks, snow-caps, 
and all towered in vain, so far as making any impression on my 
imagination was concerned. So we made the best of our way to 
the principal hotel of the place, the Walker House, Main Street. 
The Walker (a name to which I shall hereafter have occa- 
sion to recur, in connection with the Saints), is a four-storeyed 
structure of brick with over a hundred and thirty bed-rooms. 
It is, I believe, a Mormon house. Another first-class hotel is 
the Townsend House, at the corner of West Temple and South 
Second-street, and its facade is embellished with a com- 
fortable shady piazza. The Townsend is, I am given to under- 
stand, a Gentile establishment. I went, by preference, to the 
Walker, because 1 was told that it belonged to a Mormon pro- 
prietor ; but I failed to discover any copies of the Book of 



DOWI^ AMONG THE MORMONS. 519 

Mormon lying about the ladies' drawing-room, or tlie bed-rooms, 
or the bar. Perhaps, after all, I went to the wrong house ; but, 
be that as it may, 1 found the Walker House a very comfortable 
caravanserai indeed. Abating the circumstance that, the house 
being full to repletion, they were compelled (with many apologies) 
to put us into a bed-room resembling nothing so much as a 
violoncello case of exaggerated proportions, I can remember but 
few hotels out of the great American cities where so much com- 
fort, not unattended by elegance, could be enjoyed by the 
traveller. I don't think the tariff for board and lodg;ing ex- 
ceeded two dollars a day ; and for a small sitting-room which 
was placed at our disposal as an annexe to tlie exaggerated vio- 
loncello no additional charge whatever was made. The whole 
house was handsomely furnished and the restaurant luxuriously 
so. Immaculate cleanliness reigned througliout the establish- 
ment ; and the bar was altogether free from " loafers," " shysters," 
and " beats." Indeed Salt Lake City as a wliole seems singularly 
and happily destitute of the " hoodlum " element. The Mormons 
are apt proudly to boast that no such curse as the Social Evil 
exists among them. Bar-rooms and drinking-saloons are also 
very rare in the city ; and an ahnost prohibitive tax is levied in 
the shape of onerous licence duties on these places. 

That there were people in the city who know something about 
the Mammon of Unrighteousness was only faintly suggested to me 
on one occasion when, in a quest after some really enjoyable cigar 
• — the cheap cigars vended throughout the States as " domestics," 
are terrible weeds — I came upon a store in one of the main 
thoroughfares, the proprietor of which emporium asseverated in 
several staring chromo-lithographic placards that he vended the 
very finest brands of Cabana, Guttierez, Muria, Villar y Villar, 
and Alvarez, to say nothing of the " Figaro," the " Opera," and 
the " Henry Clay " brands. As it turned out, the tobacconist, 
who was as genial a German Jew as you would wish to meet any 
day at Frankfort or Hamburg, sold me for twenty cents apiece 
— rather a stiff price — some fairly smokable "planters." He 
was very proud of his chromo-lithographic display, whicli com- 
prised an eftigy of Pocahontas, Princess of Virginia, smoking the 
calumet of peace ; and a portrait of Miss Ada Cavendish of " the 
Royal Theatre, England," displaying with energy suggestive of 
the patriotic enthusiasm of Joan of Arc, a snow-wliite bainier em- 
blazoned with an advertisement of Somebody's short-cut chewing 
Tobacco. One polychromatic placard, however, the genial 



5-20 AMERICA EEVISITED. 

tobacconist did not show me. I ''saw it for myself," as the 
saying goes, and inspected it nninvited. It Avas merely the 
framed and glazed announcement in highly ornate tinselled 
letters that "cards, dice, faro-decks, croupes, roulette Avheels 
and all kinds of sporting tools," were always on sale Avithin. 
But of course it is the wicked Gentiles, and not_ the pure- 
minded Mormons of Salt Lake City, who buy the_ dice and the 
faro-decks, the roulette Avlieels, and the other sporting tools. _ 

The Far Western cuisinG (at the hotels, I mean), is sometimes 
rather rough, but, as a rule, it is fully equal and very often 
superior to the cooking in the Northern and Middle States, while 
it is infinitely preferable to the detestable culinary outrages of 
which the traveller is the victim everywhere in the South, save 
at two or three restaurants in New Orleans.* The general 
goodness of Western cookery is perhaps to be attributed to the 
preponderance of Germans among the cooks. In the Eastern 
States nine-tenths of tlie cooks are raw young Irishwomen, who 
can boil a potato, make tolerable oyster soup, and perhaps con- 
coct a tolerable clam chowder ; but Avho roast badly and fry 
abominably. A model of a beef-steak fried (she rarely attempts 
broiling) by Biddy, with its black iat end^ellished with cinders 
by way of gravy, ought to be a permanent exhibit in a Museum 
of Wretched Cookery. I suppose the poor dear soul is too much 
absorbed in her duties of going to mass and confession, subscri- 
bing to the Ladies' Land League, and bedizening herself in 
cheap finery, to bestow much time on the study of the culi- 
nary art. 

One had an opportunity of criticising the German style of 
cookery, side by side Avith that of France, at the Walker House, 
Salt Lake City ; and the culinary mode of many other nations^ 
to boot. I have rarely seen a more cosmopolitan carte ; nor, for 
the matter of that, a more cosmopolitan hotel. The baker in the 
basement Avas German ; the bar-keeper Avas a Scandinavian — 
whether a Swede, a Norwegian, a Dane, or an Icelander, I 
could not Avell make out. The head Avaiter Avas a Dutchman, 
and the " baggage-smasher," or luggage-porter, an Italian. Only, 
in the entrance hall, the clerks behind the counters looked the 
very keenest of Down East Yankees, or the hardest of Western 

* The Creole cookery in private liouses is, on the other hand, ex(|ixi.site. The 
question whether Life be worth Living for can Ije inunediately answered in the 
affirmative after you have jjartaken of Avhite mulligatawny i)ej)per-j)ot and turkey 
with plantain .sauce ; and the New Orleans " drip " coflee is the most aromatic and 
most succiilent preparation of the beverage that 1 know. 



DOWN AMONG THE MORMONS. 521 

men. Tlie nationality of the cliambermaids I did not ascertain ; 
but I was given to understand on good authority that the young- 
lady in a printed calico frock, and with a most monstrous 
chignon, and amber-coloured hair— or jute — who made our bed, 
was a Welshwoman. The confusion of nations in Utah gives by 
no means an imperfect suggestion of the manner in which the 
^Mormon Theocracy is worked. The great body of the com- 
munity are a "scratch lot" of various nationalities: people 
from Scandinavia, from Wales, from Lancashire and the 
Midlands, and from suburban London (principally South-Eastern 
London) predominating among them. The bulk of these 
people are poor and ignorant, and they work cheerfully and 
unremittingly. On the other hand the Theocrats who " boss " 
them — the Elders and Bishops and what not — are, with scarcely 
an exception, native born Americans. It is the poor and ignorant 
Cosmopolitans who have converted the valley of the Great 
Salt Lake into a land of milk and honey. It is the Mormon 
BisJiops and Elders who "boss" the Mormon rank and file and 
who live on the milk and honey, and flourish thereon, exceedingly. 
The architectural lions of Salt Lake City are not numerous ; 
nor, architecturally, are they very interesting. On the south side 
of South Temple-street is the Museum, the curator of which is 
Professor Barfoot ; and here are arranged specimens of ore from 
the mines of Utah ; precious stones from the desert ; pottery 
ware, wampum and obsidian from the ruins of ancient Indian 
villages ; the first boat ever launched by white men on the Great 
Salt Lake ; home-spun cloths and silks, indigenous birds (so 
called) of the territory ; a scalp from the head of an Indian 
brave ; Indian blankets, hatchets, and mocassins. There are 
some odds and ends, too, from the Sandwich Islands. Formerly 
there was a menagerie of living animals ; but some anonymous 
scoundrel (possibly a too zealous Gentile, or else an unscrupulous 
man of business connected Avith the wild beast show interest) 
poisoned most of the specimens. At present the only living- 
occupants of the menagerie are a prairie dog (which is not by 
any means a dog) and sume small owls which burrow with him ; 
a large horned owl, and a few other birds and reptiles.* 

* The so-called " Frame clogs " are conspicuous among tlie " little goaks," as 
Artemus Ward niiglit liave called them, of the Great West, Their " villages " 
may often he seen l)y the side of the raihvaV tracks : and ladies clap their hands, 
■while children shf)ut -with glee at the sight of the antics of these merry and cunning 
little creatures. Tlie ostensible Prairie dog is a pretty little animal, graceful in 



533 DOWN AMOXG THE MORMONS. 

On the other side of Temple-street, behind a high wall, is the 
far-fiimed Tabernacle. It is a monstrous structure built of timber, 
with the exception of the twelve huge ugly pillars of sandstone 
which support the immense dish-cover-shaped roof In form it is 
a long oval, inside and out ; and the interior will seat, the janitor 
told us, fifteen thousand persons. It was used, he added, for 
worship, sermons, and debates. In the church service, I was 
informed, no one knows until the speaker of the day arrives, 
who is to preach from the pulpit, or what may be the subject 
of the discourse. The texts for the sermons, exhortations, and 
homilies, are of an astonishingly miscellaneous character. Some- 
times the sermons are on bee-culture, or on the manufacture of 
" sorghani " molasses ; then will come addresses on infant 
baptism, and on the best manure for cabbages ; upon the pious 
perseverance of the Saints ; upon the wickedness of skimming 
milk before bringing it to market ; upon the best metliod of 
•cleansing water ditches ; upon the prices of town lots ; upon 
the bathing of children ; upon the most efficacious poison for 
" chintzes " or bed-bugs ; upon the martyrdoms and persecution 
of the Mormon Church ; upon olive oil as a remedy for the 
measles ; upon the ordination of the priesthood, and the 
character of Melchisedek ; upon worms in dried peaches ; upon 
abstinence from tobacco ; upon chignons, twenty-five yard 
dresses, and plural marriages : all these being mingled with 
fierce denunciations, connninations, and invocations of wrath on 

•cliape, generally very plump, and about sixteen inches in length. The colour of the 
creature is a greyish red. It has a short, sharp, yelping cry, someAvhat resemhling 
the Lark of a fractious puppy. The mounds or burrows in which the animals dwell 
ivce dug in a sloping direction at an angle of forty-five degrees to the ground surface, 
In the same hole with the Prairie dog is frecpiently found the burrowing o"\\'l. In 
.some of the holes rattlesnakes have been i'ound. Some authorities hold that these 
■oddly dissimilar creatures dwell together in perfect liarmony — what a "Society" 
Journal they might get np between them could they only Avrite I — while others 
maintain that the owls and the serpents are nninvitt'd guests, and repay the 
hospitality reluctantly extended to them by devouring the young of their hosts. As 
for the adult Prairie dog, he seems to be (piite able to liold his own, and is remark- 
jiiUy tenacious of life. He gives the liunters gieat trouble, and, unless shot through 
the head, generally succeeds in scampering away into his hole. Attempts have been 
made to tame the "dogs," when caught into pits ; but they rarely live long in captivity, 
and have a troublesome penchant for biting people's fingers : their teeth being very 
sharp. They are strict vegetarians, and live only on the roots of grasses. The 
Indians call the Prairie dog the " Wish-ton- wish ; " and they and the trappers eat 
the flesh, and declare it to be very good eating. Of course, he is not canine at all, 
but a kind of marmot. In addition to the owls and tlie rattlesnakes, tortoise* 
/md horned fro"S are sometimes found in the burrows. 



DOWN AMONG THE MORMONS. 523 

tlie heads of Gentile enemies of tlie Mormons. As a matter of 
fact every subject is sacerdotally discussed which the president 
deems it expedient to dilate upon for the material, as well as the 
spiritual benefit of his flock. Here is the " Pulpit in the House- 
hold," with a vengeance. The jMormon preachers had need, as 
will presently be hinted, to have something cogent to say touching 
" chignons," and " twenty-five yard dresses," for the " fashions," 
with all their pomps and vanities, their follies and frivolities, 
seem to be making steady way in Salt Lake City, and threaten, 
€re long, to undermine feminine Mormonism altogether. 

The organ of the Tabernacle is one of the largest in America. 
Some kind of musical box may be reckoned upon with tolerable 
certainty as an accompaniment to sectarianism of the holloaing 
and shouting kind ; and the huge musical box of Salt Lake City 
plays, I have no doubt, an important part in the devotional exer- 
cises of the Saints. At the Sunday school celebrations which 
periodically take place within the Tabernacle walls, " volun- 
taries " on the organ, I was told, are sometimes varied by 
spirited recitations of " Marco Bozzaris," and the singing of 
" Home, Sweet Home ! " On these festive occasions the gallery 
fronts are decorated with gay mottoes, among which the follow- 
ing is conspicuous : " Utah's best Crop : — Children." The organ 
itself is, like the majority of things structural among tlie Mor- 
mons, intensely ugly — indeed, if anything of an artistic or 
sesthetic nature entered into their religious culture, Mormonism, 
I take it, would very soon become as harmlessly effete as 
Johanna Southcotianism or Walker-separatism has become in 
London. For a couple of thousand dollars or so, the organ pipes 
might have been placed in a tasteful case ; but the tasteless 
designer has reared at the angles of his instrument monstrous 
fasces of pipes surmounted by squat cupolas : so that they 
resemble nothing half so much as hundred ton guns " sot on 
eend," as a Down-Easter would say. 

At the opposite extremity of the Tabernacle there is a suc- 
cession of wooden benches and enclosed stalls, disposed in senii- 
amphitheatrical fashion, reminding me of a very big Dissenting 
chapel, somewhere in Moorfields, which I remember to have visited 
nearly forty years ago, on the occasion of a public meeting being 
held to protest against the Maynooth Grant. How the speakers 
thundered against the Pope of Ptome, to be sure ! On the whole I 
think a platform with benches upon it is a better place to thunder 
from than a pulpit. If you stamp your foot, or, suiting the 



521 AMERICA EEVISITED. 

action to tlie word, trample down tlie Pope, or the College of 
Cardinals, or the Scarlet Woman, in a pulpit, nobody can see the 
action of your lower limbs ; and action in oratory is everything. 
But of all rhetorical points of vantage, the Tub, I should say, must 
be the finest. In fact, unless I am mistaken, the original theo- 
logical rostrum in Wesley and Whitefield's Moorfields days was a 
tub. 

The acoustic properties of the Tabernacle are remarkable. 
If, when in the organ loft, you utter a few words in the lowest 
of tones, but very slowly, they will be distinctly audible to a 
person standing in the graded amphitheatre at the other end of 
the building. It is in this amphitheatre that sit, higher or 
lower, according to their hierarchical degree, the President, 
the Bishops, and the Elders of the Church. These acoustic 
properties are not however more extraordinary than those 
possessed by the amphitheatre at Pompeii, and by the whisper- 
ing gallery at St. Paul's, and which were possessed by the alcoves 
of old Westminster Bridge, of which it has been remarked : " So 
just were their proportions, and so complete and uniform their 
symmetry, that if a person whispers against the wall of the 
alcove on one side of the bridge he would be plainly heard on the 
other side ; and parties might thus converse (fancy the wrath of 
lovers and the redintegration of love being carried on in 
opposite alcoves), without being prevented by the interruption 
of the street or the noise of carriages." From the roof of the 
Tabernacle hang a multitude of ingeniously interlaced festoons, 
whether of natural dried flowers or of imitation paper ones I am 
unable to say ; but the effect was certainly curious and almost 
pretty. Of other attempts at decoration nothing was visible ; and 
these faded, dusty festoons make the one oasis in a Desert of 
Ugliness more appalling than the Soge Bush Desert, and the 
Dried Mud Desert, and the Desert of Deliquescent Salt, with 
which I had lately been made familiar. 

A little to the east of the immense and intolerably unsightly 
Tabernacle, and within the same high boundary wall of stone, 
you see the still unfinished (the American Gentiles confidently 
predict that it never will be finished) Temple, by which the 
Mormons, with equal confidence, intend to replace the timber 
tabernacle : if all things go well, and Mormonism, lock, stock, 
and barrel, be not, ere long, happily "bust up" by the joint 
action of the government and legislature of the United States. 
So much as can be seen to have risen from the foundations of 



DOWN AMONG THE MORMONS. 52o 

the new Temple is of grey granite, brouglit, I was told, from far off 
New England ; and the cost of the completed edifice is estimated 
at not less than ten millions of dollars. I bonght an engraving 
■of the architect's design. Its colossal proportions and the 
solemn and Titanic-looking material of which it was composed — • 
marble fascinates, but granite positively awes you — would of 
necessity, were the Temple brought to consummation, be, to a 
certain extent, imposing ; but the outline of the building, with 
its gawky turrets surmounted by spiky pinnacles, is simply 
hideous. 

It is sham Gothic " perpendicular " run, not mad, but 
mean, squalid, and bare ; and, indeed, in all my wanderings in 
this vast continent I have seen but very few examples of really 
grandiose and tasteful architecture. The mansions of Fifth 
Avenue at New York, of " Thieves' Row " at Philadelphia (the 
■epithet is not mine : it is a local and graceful reference to 
certain " financeering " operations, by means of which some of 
the capitalists in the Quaker City made their fortunes), of the 
Lake Shore at Chicago, and of " Nob Hill" at San Francisco, 
are large enough and grand enough, in all conscience. In every 
American city there are " First Methodist," Presbyterian and 
Baptist Churches — the Americans utterly scorn our modest 
word "chapel" — which put our poor "brick barns of dissent" 
to shame ; they beat us, on the whole, in the bigness and 
redundant Corinthian or renaissance "fixings" of their hotels, 
their banks, their dry-goods stores, their militia armouries, their 
masonic halls, and their Young Men's Christian Association 
buildings. They have a plenitude of marble, of granite, of sand- 
stone, and of brown stone. Their stonemasons are excellent 
carvers ; and the business of an architect is, I should say, a 
highly prosperous and profitable one in the States. With all 
this I am unable to see that elegance, harmony, and good taste 
— to say nothing of absolute beauty — are at all characteristic of 
architecture, either civil or ecclesiastic, in America. 

Likewise within the wall which circumscribes the Tabernacle 
that is and the Temple that is to be — or m.ay be — is the 
mysterious Endowment House into which no Gentile is permitted 
to set foot ; where the chief business of the Mormon theocracy is 
transacted, and where the marriages, either monogamous or poly- 
gamous, of the community are celebrated. I have heard a great 
many more or less extravagant stories about these nuptial rites, 
but seeing that there is a lady living who is intimately acquainted 



536 



AMERICA EEVISITED. 



with all the mysteries of the Mormon Mecca and this Latter Day 
Saints' Mosque of Eyonb I had much better refer my readers to 
Mrs. Stenhouse's book* if they wish to attain any trustworthy- 
information concerning the inner secrets of the EndoAvment House. 
The structure itself is a lowering, forbidding-looking building of 
"adobe" or sun-dried brick. On South Temple- street, east of 
Temple Block, is what the old Roman builders would have 
termed an " insula," but dubbed by the practical Saints 
"Brigham's -Block." A high stone wall surrounds it. Here is 
first the Tithing House, into the yard of which we were permitted 
to drive, and in which I discerned several barns full, I was told, 
of corn, and potatoes, and apples, and nuts and molasses, and 
beans and salt. The enclosure of Brigham's Block also contains the 
Beehive House, and the Lion House, and the offices of the Deseref 

News. Brigham himself 
lived in the Beehive and the 
Lion House ; for, notwith- 
standing Sir Boyle Roche s 
dictum in the matter of the 
bird, it is practically possi- 
ble for a polygamous Mor- 
mon to be, matrimonially 
at least, in two places at 
once. At the sign of the 
Lion, and at the sign of 
the Beehive resided a good 
many of Brigham's wives ; 
some people say twenty ; 
but, according to the 
" Englishwoman in Utah " 
the Prophet never had, at 
one time, more than nineteen duly Endowment House married 
spouses. Nearly opposite the block — the peaked gable-ends 
of the wives' houses peep curiously above the stone wall — 
is a spacious and highly ornate stone edifice surrounded by an 
iron railing. It is three storeys high, with a stately portico 
and verandah and a high-pitched mansard roof. You may see 
plenty of such expensive-looking villa residences on the largest 
scale above the Central Park at New York, and especially along 
the Lake Shore at Chicago ; but to the simple-minded Mormons 

* An Englishwoman in Utah : T]ie story of a life experience in Momionism. 
An autobiography by Mrs. T. B. H. Stenhouse. 




BRIGHAM YOUXG. 



DOWN AMONG THE MORMONS. 



527 











RESIDENCE OF BRIGHAII YOUNG, SALT LAKE CITY. 



the liiglily ornate pile wliicli is perhaps the least hideous 
among the architectural features of Salt Lake City is a great 
deal more than a villa. It is popularly known as "Amelia 
Palace," as having been the residence of Brigham's favourite wife, 
Mrs. Amelia Folsom Young, who stands number Thirteen in the 
Prophet's list of wives. 

Once for all it may be noted that there is no certain test by 
which a stranger can ascertain tlie extent to which polygamy 
actually prevails in Salt Lake City. Mrs. Stenhouse's book (I 
met her husband at San Francisco) is regarded by the opponents 
of the IMormons as a work of unimpeachable authority, and as 
absolutely damning to any claims which the Saints might put 
forth to be considered a community given to the practice of 
morality and virtue ; but it is not unlikely that were Mr. George 
Q. Cannon, the Delegate for Utah in the United States Con- 
gress, " interviewed," * he might (did he choose to enter into 
detailed explanations) give a very different account of Mormon 

* Mr. George Q. Cannon .^f Salt Lake City is an Englishman from Liverpool, 
and is alxnit fifty-five years old. At an early age lie emigrated witli Lis parents to 
tlie United States ; received a good conimon-scliool education ; learned the art of 
printing, and subsefpently adopted the profession of journalism. He was one of 
the earliest settlers in Utah, and in 1862 was a leader in the movement the aim of 
which was to bring about the admission of Utah into the LTnion as the State of 
Deseret. Mr. Cannon has been frerpiently a member of the Legislative Council of 
Utah, and is Chancellor of the Deseret University. He is, I am told, a very accom- 
plished and intelligent gentleman. 



528 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



institutions from tliat furnished by Mrs. Stenliouse. Even as 
regards tlie precise number of the recent Brigham's wives, it 
seems difficult to arrive at an exact conckision ; for while 
the " Enghsliwoman in Utah " repeatedly states that the 
aggregate was nineteen, at least half-a-dozen ostensibly credible 
persons in Salt Lake City told me that the real total of 
the Prophet's wives, inclusive of JMrs. Eliza-Ann-Webb Dee 
Young, (number Fifteen) and generally known as " the 
Runaway," was twenty-nine. A catchpenny pamphlet circu- 
lated some twenty years ago used to credit the Prophet 
with ninety wives ; and really, a la lonque, I don't think that 
it matters much whether, what with " spiritual " waives, wives 
"sealed" to him "for eternity" (the old rascal!), and "proxy" 
wives, the man had nine or ninety, or as many wives, in fine, as 
King Solomon. 

For the rest, I was told in Salt Lake City that it was 
always feasible to estimate the numerical strength of the 
seraglio of a Mormon Elder by the number of front doors, with 




A MORMON FAMILY OF THE POORER CLASS. 

windows to correspond, of his house. The largest number of 
doors with w^indows to match which I counted on the facade of 
a single dwelling was thirteen ; but it would be of course impru- 
dent to accept this as a sure test. In some cases there may 
not be a wife for every front door : in others there may not be 
a front door for every wife. Llany of the J\Iormon harems are 



DOWN AMONG THE MORMONS. 529 

associated ones, and the inmates are said to live in tolerable 
peace and liavmony together. When the poorer class of Mor- 
mons are polygamists (which is not very often), they keep their 
two or three wives under one roof. But the great pluralists in 
the way of spouses are the Mormon Bishops and Elders, many of 
whom are very wealthy. I do not think that I am wandering- 
very far from the truth in making the general statement that 
the rank and file of the Mormons are a most laborious, peace- 
able, law-abiding, and deservedly thriving community, and that 
they are kept in a state of spiritual subjection by a select ring- 
of " nasty '' old men who, by the aid of a cunningly-devised 
theocracy and a preposterous theological humbug, are enabled to 
fill their purses, and to gratify with impunity their libidinous pro- 
pensities. The Elders who molested Susanna live again in the 
governing Saints of Salt Lake City. 

Captain Burton, in his description of Salt Lake City in 18G2, 
remarks of Main-street that "it is the centre of population and 
business, where the houses of the principal Mormon dignitaries, 
and the stores of the Gentile merchants combine to form the city's 
only street which can be properly so-called. It is, indeed," he 
adds, " both street and market ; for, curious to say. New Zion has 
not yet built for herself a bazaar or market-place." This deficiency 
has long since been made good. Main-street and Temple-street 
at present abound with lofty and showy-looking edifices, either 
of sandstone or brick. There is a City Hall, which cost sixty 
thousand dollars, and in the rear of this structure is the city 
gaol. Another big and highly decorative building is the Deseret 
National Bank at the corner of East Temple and South First- 
streets ; and in East Temple-street itself stands an immense dry- 
goods store of an essentially theocratic character. Throughout 
the territory of Utah the traveller is enabled to discriminate 
between the Mormon and the Gentile stores by the presence 
over the doorways of the former of an offiche or signboard, 
bearing the counterfeit presentment of a Human Eye from 
which radiate beams of light, and with the inscription above 
"Holiness to the Lord." Li Salt Lake City the inscription is 
made very manifest indeed ; and beneath the eye is written 
" Zion's Co-operative Listitution." All good and true Mormons 
are expected to deal at this establishment ; and in insisting 
that the followers of the church shall traffic only with church 
store-keepers, the Mormon hierarchs are doing only what has 
been done in England by the Rochdale Pioneers, and by other 



530 



AMERICA REVISITED. 




tiadiiii; ()rgalll'^a- 
tioiis ^^llo have 
adopted tlie co- 
operative prinLi])]e, 
not as a bliain but 
as a reality. Com- 
bined with the co-operative principle, when 
it is rigidly carried out, there must always 
be, EO it would seem, an amount, greater 
or smaller, of " Boycotting ; " and although, 
when I visited Salt Lake City, the name of 
Captain Boycott was wholly unfamiliar to the English-speaking- 
public, the scope and purport of the extremely ancient practice, 
to which the new-fangled name of Boycotting has been given ^ 



DOWN AMONG THE MORMONS. 531 

were perfectly iniderstood by tliose wlio ruled the roast in 
Mormondom. The Gentiles dealing at Gentile stores are not 
molested ; nor, I suppose, would their money be refused if they 
tendered it in exchange for merchandise at a Mormon establish- 
ment ; but woe betide the Saints who give their custom to an 
imsanctified trader, or who, especially, dare to deal with apostate 
Mormons. For example, a very wealthy firm of dealers in dry 
goods, the Messrs. ^Valker, who for man}^ years had been 
shining lights of the Mormon Church, had, for reasons best 
known to themselves, seceded from conmumion with the Saints; 
and for this they were severely " Boycotted." The ostracism to 
which they were doomed was amusingly illustrated by a rhymed 
dialogue, in which two young ladies were supposed to be asking 
their mamma for permission to indulge in the " business of 
pleasure" or "pleasure of business," call it which you please, 
which is the delight of ladies, young, middle-aged, and old the 
whole world over. I only remember the lirst few lines of this 
dialogue which had been set to a lively tune, equall}^ suggestive 
of old " Rosin the Beau," and "What will Your Majesty please 
to wear ? " from " Bombastes Furioso." * 

They. Oli, please, mamma, may we go to s^liop 1 
She. Yes, you may go, my daughters ; 

But be sure you go to Zion's Co-op., 

And not to the irichcd JFalhcr's. 

" AValker's," as a rhyme to " daughters," is risky ; but, after 
the acceptance of " if he knows it," as a rhyme for " not for 
Joseph," to object to the want of precision in Mormon poetry 
would be hyper-criticism. 

* Tlie fonduess of the ]\Iormons for lively airs was noticed by the late Mr. E. 
P. Kingston, " the Genial Showman " who has left on record a graphic account of 
Tiis setting forth one morning in the stage-coach in the company of three Moimon 
ibishops, Avho made the rocky caiions re-echo with the vivacious strains of " Eip, 
Slap, Here we are again ! " "VVe have corrupted " Eij), Slap ! " into " Slaji, 
Bang ! " Just as it is the case in English music halls, so in the public assemblages 
of the Mormons it is not considered necessary that the smallest amount of sense 
should be contained in the words of a popular refrain. The most imbecile balder- 
dash will do. Thus, a visitor in 1869 to the theatre in Salt Lake City noticed 
that the most striking event of tlie evening was when one of tlie male performers 
.sang 

If Jim Fish's raf-and-tan shoaki liave a bull-dog pup, 
Do you think Louis Napoleon would try to bring him up ? 

These choice " sentiments" elicited tremendous applause ; and the performers, much 
•to their own astonishment, had to repeat the senseless jingle. 

M >t 2 



532 AMERICA EEVISITED. 

"ZIon's Co-op.," is in full bloom about three o'clock in tlie 
afternoon, at wliicb hour, indeed both Main-street and Temple- 
street present a very animated appearance. There are "first 
famihes," Gentile as well as Mormon, in this out-of-the-way 
place, as, indeed, everywhere else in the States ; and the^ rank 
and fashion of Salt Lake City were pleasantly conspicuous in the 
o-uise of troops of well-dressed ladies in the spacious side walks. 
There was not much crossing the street, save at stated points, 
where a kind of "corduroy" causeway of logs had been laid 
from trottoir to trottoir ; for the roadway, properly so called, was 
little better than a sea of thick mud. We were just, we were 
told, at the " extreme tail end " of the winter, and the thawing 
snow had reduced the thoroughfares to a condition of " pretty 
powerful muss;" yet were we bidden to observe that our lot was 
infinitely better than it would be if we visited New Zion during 
the summer, when the dust in the streets Avould be all but 
blinding. For the rest, the sun shone throughout the day so 
very brightly that even while driving on the heights above the 
city we needed no furred garments.* 

I had been repeatedly told by IMormon-haters in the west 
out of Salt Lake City, that I should be immediately able to tell 
the Mormon from the Gentile women from the excessive ugliness 
of the former. I am not so ungallant, I hope, as to repeat in 
detail, the result of my ocular experiences, beyond just hinting 
that among the middle-aged members of the gentler sex, who 
were clustering about the portals of " Zion's Co-op.," "homely" 
types of femininity were not uncommon. The young ladies, both 
Mormon and Gentile, struck me as being sturdier in build and 
ruddier of complexion — more like English or Canadian girls in 
fact— than the slender and sylphlike damsels of the Eastern 
States, and the languid, vaporous beauties of the Sunny South. 
As regards California, the type of female beauty on the Pacific 
Slope 'is, as it is in London, entirely cosmopolitan. A purely 
English type is no more predominant in the British metropolis 

* Throughout the entire winter of 1879 — SO, when we were traversing the con- 
tinent—journeying from the Atlantic to the Gulf of Mexico, and thence to Chicago and 
across the Kockies to the Pacific, and thence, taking Salt Lake City by the way, to 
New York again — I never once felt the want of a fur coat ; and the only additional 
precaution taken (under skilled feminine advice) by my companion before crossing 
the Eockies was to anoint her face very thickly with cold cream, and keep her veil 
down. Yet, for the want of a fur coat, during the first three days of my sojourn in 
St, Petersburg in March, 1881, I was crippled by an atrocious attack of lumbago. 



DOWN AMONG THE MORMONS. 533 

than a purely transatlantic type is predominant in San 
Francisco. 

Since I liave returned home and have read Mrs. Stenhouse's 
book, I have often wondered whether it is at " Zion's Co-operative 
Institution," that the Mormon sisterhood purchase the curious 
garments which appear to be known as "Temple Clothes," and 
which they don during the celebration of the mysteries in the 
Endowment House. " I was then given,'' writes Mrs. Stenhouse 
in describing certain rites, the details of which (respecting as 1 
do an author's personal copyright) I have no desire textually to 
borrow from her, " a certain garment to put on." The lady goes 
on to tell us that this garment is one peculiar to the IMormon 
people, that it is made to envelop the whole body, and that it 
is worn night and day. Elsewhere Mrs. Stenhouse remarks 
that the male Mormons are all dressed in the same kind of 
undermost garment as that worn b}^ the women — drawers and 
shirt all in one — and over that an ordinary white shirt such as 
men always wear. 

I am not given to prying into the mysteries of the feminine 
toilette ; but since ]\Irs, Stenhouse has so candidly entered into 
particulars touching the underclothing of the Saints of New 
Zion, I may perhaps be permitted to ask a question, and to 
make a brief comment thereupon. Is the " certain garment," 
of which she speaks, really " peculiar to the Mormon people ? " It 
so happens that for artistic and sociological reasons I procure once 
a month from m}^ newsvendor all the magazines and periodicals 
devoted to the fashions: — " Myra," "Sylvia," the "Journal des 
Modes," "L'Art de la Mode," " Le Follet," "La Saison," "The 
Ladies' Gazette of Fashion," " Le Monde Elegant," the " Revue 
de la Mode," — " tittta la haraccar Does my memory play me 
false when I say that during the past year or two I have 
frequently noticed in the periodicals in question, elaborate wood 
engravings of a " certain garment " called the " Combined," which 
appears to be fashioned on precisely the same lines, and to serve 
precisely the same purposes as those of " the arrangement " in 
linen which the excellent Mrs. Stenhouse thinks to be " peculiar 
to the Mormon people ? " 

But there is nothing new under the sun. If you will look 
through the plates to Henry Siddons' " Rhetorical Illustrations 
of Gesture and Action," a work published so long since as 1822, 
you will find a plate representing a young lady of the ballet 
dancing a j.>as seul in an unmistakeable "Combined;" while if 



534 AMERICA EEYISITED. 

you will take tlie trouble to go so far back as tlie twelfth century, 
and study the correspondence of Abelard and Heloise, you will find 
that the devout abbess, first of the monastery of Argenteuil, and 
afterwards of the Paraclete, was much exercised in her mind 
touching the garments of a "combined" nature which her 
refractory nuns persisted in wearing. 

" Zion's Co-op.:" would appear to be the chief gossiping 
centre of Salt Lake City. For the rest, the extraordinary 
theological tenets of the people, and their more extraordinary 
system of polygamy liaA'e not apparently had any tendency to 
render them gloomily or sourly sectarian. Indeed, there is 
good evidence to show that one of their implied, if not their 
avowed doctrines is that it is a capital thh^g to make the best of 
both worlds. The city Mormons are fond both of theatrical 
entertainments and of dancing. The theatre, a huge ugly 
building, was closed at the time of my visit ; but poor dear 
Edward Sothern, whom I met at San Francisco, told me that 
he had played to crowded houses at Salt Lake City, and that he 
had rarely known the humours of Lord Dundreary to be so enthu- 
siastically appreciated as they were among the Saints. He added 
characteristically that " a loose box " was reserved in the middle 
of the house for Brigham Young and his multitudinous wives and 
children. There were excellent reasons why the Prophet should 
patronise the theatre : for he was the owner of the premises. 

Dancing j^arties are also common during the winter months ; 
and in justification of their indulging in such amusements, a high 
Mormon authority has laid down the following dicta, certainly not 
deficient in common sense. " Dancing is a diversion for which all 
men and women have a natural fondness. . . As all people have a 
fondness for dramatic representations, it is well so to regulate 
and govern such exhibitions that they may be instructive and 
purifying in their tendencies. If the best people absent them- 
selves, the worst will dictate the character of the exercises." 

Before I close this hasty and imperfect account of Salt 
Lake City, I cannot help alluding to one feature of its internal 
economy, in which it has a curious resemblance both to the 
extinct city of Tezcuco, the ancient capital of Mexico,* and the 

* Tezcuco stood on the lake of that name ; but the waters have receded to a 
great distance from the site of the ancient city, in consequence of the Spaniards 
having diverted the course of some of the streams which supi>lied it. The Lake of 
Tezcuco is salt^ and contains both the muriate of soda (common salt) and carbonate 



DOWN AMONG THE MORMONS. 535 

city of Mexico itself as it existed in tlie time of Cortes. When 
the Conquistador entered the capital of Montezuma, he found it 
seated on a lake approached by spacious causeways and inter- 
sected in every direction by shallow canals, which were of ines- 
timable value in irrif>;ating the innumerable gardens and orchards 
of " Tenostitlan/' "•' Very possibly Cortes may have been reminded 
of the somewhat similar system of irrigation introduced by the 
Moors into the Kingdom of Valencia, in old Spain. With regard 
to Salt Lake City, it was originally laid out in square lots and 
blocks, which in process of time were subdivided into house-lots ; 
and as the spaces surrounding these have been liberally planted 
with fruit trees, the city (like old "Tenostitlan") has become one 




A STREKT IN SALT LAKE C'lTl. 



vast orchard and flower garden. Through all the streets run 
the little irrigating streams or " water-ditches " (on the proper 
means for keeping which in order, sermons, as I have already 
hinted, are sometimes preached in the Tabernacle) ; and every part 
of the city has the opportunity, once or twice a week, of obtain- 
ing an ample supply of pure water both for household purposes 
and for moistening the soil and quickening the vegetation. The 
city is divided into wards, each presided over by a Bishop, who, 

of soda (kelp), but not any siilpliate ; altliougli sulphuretted liydrogen gas is con- 
stantly emitted from its surface. 

* The Aztec name for the City of Mexico. 



)86 



AMERICA REVISITED. 



in this case, may be considered as a kind of Episcopal Alder- 
man. Tlie inliabitants of each ward are, as occasion requires, 
called upon to turn out and labour on public improvements. No 
fcliirking is permitted ; and every one is bound to take liis share 
in the common responsibility. This rule is most strictly enforced 
with respect to the " water-ditches" ; and the ditferent wards of 
Salt Lake City are consequently models of neatness and 
prosperity. 

The mud in early spring and the dust in summer the citizens, 
of course, cannot help ; but a good deal has been done as a 
palliative to the ardour of the summer heats, by promoting a pro- 
fuse and luxuriant m'owth of shade-trees in all the thoroughfares. 




A SHADY THOROUGHFARE IN SALT LAKE CITY. 

These trees, it has been found, grow with amazing rapidity. 
The locust-tree seems to l»e the favourite tree for planting, and 
after it come the maple and the box-elder. One curious peculi- 
arity in the hue of the foliage is noticeable, I was told, in early 
summer. In many cases the roots of the trees have struck alkaline 
soils containing an excess of soda and potash ; and the result has 
been that the leaves have turned from bright or dark green to a 

. Till ^ ^ 

Sickly yellow. In many cases trees may be noticed of a "half- 
and-half" tint, that is to say, partially green and partially yellow. 
It is satisfactory, however, for the sake of the landscape-painting 
interest, to learn that the alkali is being gradually washed out of 
the soil by irrigation, and that " piebaldism" in the trees grows 



DOWN a:\ioxg the mormon(<. 



537 



less positive every year. On the other hand, the soda in the 
soil does not seem to liave affected the tints of the apples, pears, 
plums, and apricots, whicli are described as ])eing as Lhishing 
in colour as they are splendid in quality. Apricots, which in 
the Eastern States are comparatively unknown, have been so 
abundant in Salt Lake City as to warrant tlieir sale at a dollar a 
bushel, and they have been seen as large as the biggest Eastern 
peaches, that is to say, from four to six and even eight inches 
round. Elowers and vegetables are also wonderfully prolific — 
(are not the hugest cauliflowers and tomatoes in Europe still 
grown about well-irrigated Valencia ?). Vast quantities of Black 
Hambro, Golden Chasselas and Mission grapes — -varieties which 
are only raised in hot-houses east of the Rockies — grow plente- 
ously on trellises out of doors in New Zion ; and of raspberries, 
gooseberries and currants there is, at the proper season, like to 
the making of books, no end. 

I wonder what will be the aspect and the condition of this 
curious city not fifty but say five-and-twenty years hence. By 
that time San Francisco may contain three-quarters of a million 
of inhabitants, Sacramento a hundred thousand, and Ogden fifty 
thousand. It is, in the nature of things, next to the impossible 




Oi'F TO THE SlLVEIt MIXES. 



that the population of Salt Lake City will remain stationary; 
and bearing in mind the wealth which the community are rapidly 
accumulating, and the continued influx of Gentiles_ drawn hither 
by the vast mining operations of which the city is the centre, 
there cannot be any very extreme optimism in anticipating that 



538 



AMERICA EEVISITED. 



by the year 1000 Salt Lake City will have a population of from 
seventy to eighty thousand souls. The extension of the Utah 
Southern Railway to the Pacific coast must tend to add largely 
to the wealth, power, and influence of the City of the Saints ; 
and, indeed, in the opinion of the most experienced and unpre- 
judiced students of the phenomena of Mormonism the future of 
Salt Lake City depends almost entirely on the mines and the 




UTAH MIXERS "n'ORKIXCT 'WITH A HYDRAULIC JET. 

railroads. If the mines are energetically developed and capital 
is correspondingly enlarged there will be an immense increase 
of building operations in the city, which ■will become the resi- 
dence of large numbers of Gentile merchants, traders, mining- 
engineers, geologists, chemists, machine-tool makers, bank 
managers, cashiers and clerks, brokers and "operators" of all 
kinds, many of whom will brhig their wives and families with 
them, and whose presence can scarcely fail to do something to- 
wards negativing the influence of Mormonism. And in process 
of time the Gentile vote may become strong enough to oust the 
Mormon officials, and to give practical effect to the Federal laws 



DOWN AMONG THE MORMON.S. 



i3D 



against polygamy. How tilings may Le going on in Utali, at 
present, I do not know ; but when I was in Salt Lake City in 
March, 1880, legislation from AYashington had had no more sub- 




A PARTY OF " PROiiPECTORs/' STARTING FOR THE HILLS. 

stantial results among the Saints tlian had tlie "Pope's Bull 
against the Comet" quoted on a memorable occasion by the late 
Abraham Lincoln.* 

* I gcatlier from the Report of tlie Utali Board of Trade for 1880 that at the 
most recent conference of the Mormons they claimed to have 108,907 souls belong- 
ing to their churcli, including infimts ; leaving about 20,000 souls to be divided 
among other sects and " non-professors " of religion. The Saints Avere thus, it will 
be seen, in a tremendous majority two years ago. The Mormons had 167 building* 
for public worship, one in each ecclesiastical ward. They have comi)leted temples 
at Salt Lake City, St. George, IManti, and Logan. On the other hand, about ten 
years ago tlio prominent Christian sects in the Territoiy of ITtah began to construct 
chru'ches ; and the Gentiles have at jiresent twenty-two church edifices in the Ten-i- 
tory, and twenty-eight regular pastors, maintaining as a part of their work twenty- 
five mission schools in twenty towns. In Salt Lake City the Eoman Catholics, 
Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and Congregationalists have places of wor- 
ship, Avhich' have cost on the average (including the sites) some 125,000 dollars. 
There are about eight thousand Indians in Utah, Shoshones, Goship Shoshones, 



MO AMEKICA REVISITED. 

There was one individual indeed, attaclied to a livery stable at 
Salt Lake City and who was so good as to drive ns (at the 
moderate charge of three dollars or twelve shillings an hour) to 
the heights of Camp Douglas, who appeared to regard the proxi- 
mate decay of polygamous Mormonism as a far from improbable 
contingency. He was an Englishman, he told us, and had been 
coachman to a physician at Camberwcll or Denmark Hill, I 
forget which ; and it was quite refreshing to listen to his 
mialloyed Cockney parlance. He was a Mormon, but was 
blessed with only one wife. He had come out in the old Pioneer 
days when the journey across the Plains and the Rockies had to 
be performed in waggons. His deliverances (from the box of an 
open barouche) were terse and fragmentary ; but they were full 
of pith. " I thought," he remarked, jerking his head downwards 
towards us, " that this city was a moral place until I druv a 
'ack." This was a somewhat mysterious generalisation, but he 
subsequently vouchsafed some kind of explanation. "There's 
a deal of drivin' out and carryin' on by moonlight here," he ob- 
served. He was then silent for about twenty minutes, when he 
favoured us with the opinion that " wiolet powder u'd do it." 
^' Why violet powder T' I asked. "They slaps it on, sir," he 
explained, " they do, the gals ; they powders and paints their- 
selves, and they don't mind what their pa's and their ma's say, 
and they aint whacked 'arf enough ; and then they camels up, 
just as the gals from 'Frisco does, and goes to 'ops and finishes 
hup by heloping with the Gentiles." But what was "camelling 
up " ? I subsequently discovered, by the aid of a comic illustrated 
paper, that a "camel " was the popular name for that addendum 
to the feminine toilette which in England is known as a " dress 
improver," and which in the days of the Hottentot Venus used 
to be called a "bustle." Whether "camels" and cosmetics are 
destined to be prominent factors in the ultimate overthrow of 
Mormonism time will show. 

Pah-Vents, Piedes, Pi-Utes:, Sebezetches, Red Lake and Elk Moi;nt