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X. Life and Work in England . . i 

XI. Return to Philadelphia ... 62 
XII. In Philadelphia : the Industrial Art 

School 98 

XIII. The Romany Rye . 124 

XIV. The Romany Rye {Cmtinuei) . •159 
XV. Tinkers and Red Indians . 214 

XVI. In England Again . . . .251 

XVII. " In an Atmosphere of Witchcraft " 293 

XVIII. In Florence 332 

XIX. The End . . ' . . 380 

Bibliography 429 

Index 435 


Charles G. Leland, from a portrait taken 
IN Florence, not long before his death 

"The Dutch have taken Harvard" . .120 

Matty Cooper 132 

Sylvester Boswell, a well-known old gypsy 134 
Letter from George Borrow ... 142 
Letter from Professor £. H. Palmer . .172 
Letter from Tennyson, referring to ''Eng- 
lish Gypsy Songs" . . . 176 
Page from dukkerin lil, a fortune-telling 

BOOK 184 

Page from dukkerin lil, a fortune-telling 

BOOK 185 

An old Dye 196 

Sketch from original made by Indian . 244 

Sketch from original made by Indian . . 245 

Maddalena, a Florentine witch . . 310 
Page of letter from Mr. Leland to Miss 

M. A. Owen 362 

Page of letter from Mr, Leland . . 400 




When I turn to the correspondence with the 
new friends the Rye made in England, my pile 
of letters becomes a sort of cinematograph in 
writing of the literary life of London during the 
seventies, — of the few men and women whose 
greatness has grown with the years, of the many 
who already in their work appear to us as old- 
fashioned as the tiny sheets of paper, fit for a 
doll's house, upon which they wrote, and the 
elaborate crossing of their pages. The picture, 
to my regret, is imperfect; whole sections of it 
have disappeared. I find hardly a reference to 
the Saturday receptions in Park Square; a re- 
gret for one special Saturday from John Payne, 
translator of Villon and " Your Brother in Rabe- 
lais," as he signs himself, is the chief trace as yet 
discovered of evenings memorable to all London 
old enough to have enjoyed them. 


But, if there is nothing of the people who 
came to the Rye, there is much of those who 
wanted him to go to them, and they were almost 
everybody then worth going to. Asked who was 
the centre of the literary world that entertained 
in those days, most Londoners would answer 
promptly Lord Houghton. I must own to some 
satisfaction in chancing upon an invitation from 
him to one of the breakfasts which were for a 
while so renowned, though their model was sup- 
plied by Rogers and their glory has been ecUpsed 
by Whistler. The note is in the handwriting that 
made Lord Houghton the despair of his friends 
and the terror of the compositor. Delighted as 
I am, for the sake of appropriateness, that the 
Rye should have received this invitation so char- 
acteristic of the period, I cannot read it and not 
feel relieved that I was never exposed to the hon- 
our. Breakfast as imderstood in England — it 
is another matter in France — is the most bar- 
barous form of entertainment ever devised by 
man. I do not marvel that Sydney Smith ob- 
jected because it "deranged" him for the day. 
But Lord Houghton managed to add to its ter- 
rors, if I can judge by the note before me, with- 
out a date but from Atkinson's Hotel, Clifford 
Street, Bond Street, where in 1877 he was hav- 


ing "some good Saturday breakfasts." "Will 
you," the note says, "do me the pleasure of 
breakfasting with me here at 10 o'clock this 
morning?" At what unearthly hour then, I ask 
with compassion, did Lord Houghton rout his 
unfortunate guests out of their beds to summon 
them to the morning feast ? And what gain, in 
the form of bacon and eggs, or talk, however 
good, would make up for the loss of the last pre- 
cious minutes to the man with a talent for sleep- 
ing ? However, the Rye always kept up the good 
American habit of breakfasting early, and prob- 
ably to him the drawback was that bacon and 
eggs had long ago been disposed of, when his 
summons came, and work was already too well 
started to be interrupted by any talk. As for 
"all London," had it, with Carlyle, looked upon 
Lord Houghton as a mere Robin Redbreast of 
a man, it would still have thought no inconve- 
nience too heavy a price for being seen at one 
of his breakfasts. 

Social success in those days might have the 
ofl&cial seal put upon it at Lord Houghton's 
breakfast table, but to be received by Mrs. 
Norton was, even in the seventies, a privilege 
more, certain to be its own reward. Hers is the 
more picturesque figure, and from her there 


are two notes — in delicate, slanting, very femi- 
nine writing, one on violet-bordered paper, in 
the style of both something of old "Keepsake" 
affectations and elegance — signed "Caroline 
Norton." Old as she was when the notes were 
written, her attraction must have been distinctly 
more than the mere reflection of a romantic past. 
It was two or three years later on that she mar- 
ried Sir William Stirling-Maxwell. As "the 
most charming woman I ever met," the Rye 
recalls her in his "Memoirs," and again in the 
"Memoranda." I have an idea it was because 
this "Beauty with wit" could not help seeming 
charming to everybody, that she got so on the 
nerves of Harriet Martineau, especially as Miss 
Martineau, with the advantage of not being 
charming in the least, did not accomplish any 
more, if as much, for the legal welfare of her 
own sex. The notes are slight. Perhaps the 
signature, the writing, and the many under- 
scored and doubly underscored words, have 
helped me to find in them more of old " Keep- 
sake" sentiment than there really is. 


Dear Mr. Leland, — I called at Langham 
Hotel to know if Mrs. Leland was "at home" 


— ^and understood that you were, but she was 
NOT. Will you — if ever you have a spare half- 
hour — remember that I always remain at 
home from 4 to 7 on Tuesdays ? 

I should be so pleased to see you and to thank 
you personally for your kind remembrance of 
me in sending me your poems. 

No oae can admire them more than I do, — 
except perhaps my Brother Brinsley Sheridan, 
who is very eager about them. He is not in town 
just now, but I hope by and bye to make him 
acquainted with you. 

The other, written a fortnight later (June 
19), is to Mrs. Leland, and begins: — 

"Card leaving is a very barren cultivation 
of acquaintance. Do you think you are sufl&- 
ciently free from engagements to be able to dine 
here on Monday, July ist? 

"I,et me know soon, for it is very, very sel- 
dom I venture on such an ambitious mode of 
secviring the company of friends." 

Safely put away with this invitation was a lit- 
tle card "just to remind," but from Mrs. Norton 
could a reminder have been needed? Of the 
dinner I know but one fact. "To-day it is 
only the reception of the Hon. Mrs. Norton, the 


poetess," a letter from the Rye to Mrs. Harri- 
son says. "We dined with her lately, where we 
met the belle des belles of London, Lady Polti- 
more — tall, stately, dignified, and magnificently 

The interest of the innumerable other invi- 
tations, apart from the rare opportunity they 
oflEer to the autograph-hunter, is in showing by 
how many and what different people the Rye 
in London was appreciated for his work and 
liked for himself. It was the demand he was in, 
I do not doubt, that sent him on many long visits 
to Brighton and Oatlands Park. It is amusing, 
for the sake of contrast, to take the notes in 
the order — or disorder — in which they come. 
For on the top of the pile lie some invitations 
from Mr. John Morley to his country house 
near Guildford — as hermitage, it figures in the 
first (1871), the visit suggested for the 4th or 
5th of July, and if the Fourth, is a dinner of 
spread eagle to be prepared ? — this tribute to 
the Rye's country followed by a tribute to the 
Rye's countrjrman, for (Jeorge Boker, though 
their acquaintance was short, was also counted 
among Mr. Morley's best friends. Inmaedi- 
ately after Mr. Morley's invitation, I open one 
to afternoon tea, from Mrs. Lynn Linton, in 


"ladylike" writing on pale green note-paper, 
in itself a reproach and an example to the Girl 
of the Period. Next, in an all but illegible scrawl, 
comes one from Tom Taylor, to luncheon at 
Lavender Sweep and a talk over the afiEairs of 
the Road, for he too, he sa3rs, is an aficianado^ 
— and I can only hope the Gypsies treated him 
more tenderly than the Butterfly did, though if 
it had not been for the Butterfly's stings, Tom 
Taylor, perhaps because "too clever'' as Fitz- 
(ierald thought, would be a name forgotten. 
Then follow many letters in the neat writing 
of George Augustus Sala, also, for some un- 
known reason, a power in journalism during 
the seventies, the letters as full of quotations 
and references as if destined for his column of 
G. A. S. — surely none but an Englishman could 
have used such a signature in all seriousness ! 

After Sala, it is Jean Ingelow, asking the 
Rye to every possible meal, her friendliness 
coloured by gratitude because, as she writes 
in one letter, scarcely a day passes that she has 
not to thank an American for some kindness. 
The marvel to me is how she ever summoned 
up courage to invite any one to anything. For 
I remember too well, being then new to London 
ways and the Londoner's gift of silence, how 


at the only garden party at her Kensington 
house to which I went, she was so shy that her 
sh3niiess seemed to communicate itself to every- 
body there : a memorable occasion, however, as 
the one party of any kind at which I ever saw 
Charles Keene, morose enough at the time, 
recent honours lavished upon artists, he grum- 
bled, having made even a retired person like 
himself live in homrly dread of the postman's 
knock. A reference to one of these entertain- 
ments at Miss Ingelow's is in a letter to Mrs. 
Harrison: "We were at Jean Ingelow's on Sat- 
urday, and as usual met some very nice people 

— she has the nicest in London. Mrs. Procter, 
the wife of old Mr. Procter (Barry Cornwall), 
renewed her acquaintance and we called on 
her the next day. Her husband is over 95 — 
so Belle says — at any rate he is entirely gone 
except his mind, and they nurse him like a baby. 
But he can read just as well as ever. Mrs. Proc- 
ter converses wonderfully well and has the kind- 
est manners. They live very near us. Jean 
Ingelow has gone to Italy for a month. Mrs. 
Procter asked me about Nanny Lea (and her 
picture), of whom she had heard from Brown- 
ing." Miss Ingelow is followed by Lady Wilde, 

— "Eq)eranza," a name as redolent of "An- 


nual" days and "Keepsakes" as Mrs. Norton's 
phrases, — she also oppressed with gratitude, 
since she also numbered among her friends 
"many gifted Americans, some of the noblest 
specimens of Humanity we could meet." And 
next it is her son, Oscar Wilde, in the first flush 
of notoriety — his "Bunthome" long since as 
old-fashioned as her "Esperanza" — wanting 
to talk "on many subjects," and so proposing 
a dinner. And next, W. W. Story, expanding in 
the afterglow of his London triumph, suggest- 
ing a visit to Cumberland, where " we will smoke 
and talk and eat and sleep and set the world 
right." And next. Professor Palmer, the nearest 
and dearest of all the new friends made, insepa- 
rable from the other, or Gypsy, side of the Rye's 
life, but leading enough of a dual existence him- 
self to write not only news of Egypt, but invi- 
tations to Cambridge; and Walter Besant, the 
great person then of the Savile Club and an- 
other of the more intimate of the new friends; 
and Ralston, the reading of his "Russian Folk- 
Tales," his bait; and old George Cruikshank, 
celebrating his Golden Wedding; and the Triib- 
ners, if that could be invitation to a house where 
the Rye was entirely at home; and fellow 
Americans passing through, or established, in 


London, — Mrs. Julia Ward Howe longing to 
see an old friend again, Kate Field about to 
lecture on Dickens, Dr. Moncure Conway ex- 
pecting "a few gentlemen" to dinner. 

A letter from Dr. Conway, in it no invitation 
at all, is typical of the reverential attitude to- 
wards Carlyle to which the literary world had 
been brought in the seventies, and the diplo- 
macy with which he had to be approached by 
the admiring stranger, however distinguished. 
There is no date, but it was probably in 1871, 
when the Rye sa3rs in his "Memoirs" that he 
met Carlyle. "It was necessary to find out one 
or two matters before sending you to Carlyle," 
Dr. Conway, who managed the meeting, writes. 
"I now have much pleasure in writing to say 
that if you will call upon him between 2 and 3. 
to-morrow, or the day after, or the day after 
that, he will be glad to see you. His residence 
(as you probably know) is 5 Great Cheyne Row, 
Chelsea — a substantial distance from you. It 
is probable that Carlyle takes his afternoon 
walk about three, and you will know by tact 
whether he wishes to have company — as is 
sometimes the case — or would walk alone. 
He will be glad to hear all you can tell him 
about Germany and Germans^" and then as 


postscript: "Caxlyle will be prepared — send up 
enclosed card." A visit to royalty could not 
have called for more diplomatic handling. But 
my uncle, who was the most impatient of men 
with anything that he thought savoured of sham 
or pretension, was deference itself before genius, 
and he made no objection in this case to pla)dng 
the courtier. His compliance had its reward. 
According to the "Memoirs," the visit was a 
success, and the difficult Carlyle of the seven- 
ties happening to be in a gracious mood, a walk 
in the Park together was its conclusion. 

Tennyson was as difficult of approach — but 
then, though even those who know him best 
had a way of forgetting it, he was as easy when 
he wanted to see any one. There is a letter to 
the Rye from Frederick Locker that reads very 
much as if Tennyson's friends were less sure 
of themselves in their capacity as special am- 
bassador, than Carlyle's. Locker writes with 
an effect of light and easy confidence, but winds 
up his suggestion of how the meeting can be 
arranged with a "Mind you do this" that makes 
me suspect a private tremor of apprehension. 
However, the Rye did meet Tennyson, and the 
meeting was friendly, for if the worship of the 
crowd could become an insupportable tax on 


the time and patience of a popular poet laureate, 
Hans Breitmann, the Romany Rye, was not 
one of the crowd — which made all the diflFer- 
ence. The sequel to the visit is in the entry in 
Lady, then Mrs., Tennyson's Journal for March 
17th, 1874: "Sir Samuel and Lady Baker, Dr. 
Quain and Mr. Leland (the American author of 
the Breitmann Ballads, very humorous) came to 

Another of the older men of the seventies 
who ranked high in the Rye's esteem was Bul- 
wer. It is hard for our generation to share his 
enthusiasm. I admit frankly that I cannot now 
read the novels, though I did once go through 
them all, beginning with the "Last Days of 
Pompeii," which in my school-days was thought 
especially adapted to improve the mind and do 
no harm in the process. But to open any one 
of them of late years means to be bored to ex- 
tinction. The fault, no doubt, is mine. I know 
that Mr. Birrell, for one, revels in the very 
"eloquence" which I am in all haste to skip. 
But I can understand my uncle's admiration, 
for Bulwer dealt with the subjects he loved. 
Whoever was interested in the occult, the mys- 
terious, the unknown, was sure of the sympathy 
of the student of Gypsy Sorcery, Florentine 


Legends, and Etruscan Remains. It is very 
touching to me, in a volume of the "Memo- 
randa" as recent as 1893, to come upon passages 
carefully copied from the "Last of the Barons," 
"Zanoni," "No Name," "Kenehn ChiUingly," 
showing that Bulwer remained with the Rye a 
sort of fetich to the last. He got to know Bulwer 
better than either Carlyle or Tennyson, he 
stayed at Knebworth, and was on fairly friendly 
terms as these things go in London : would, in- 
deed, have been called intimate by the English- 
man who looks upon every one he does not cut 
— or " 'eave 'arf a brick at" — as a friend. But 
of the correspondence, only two letters have 
been preserved, on the tiny sheets of paper, with 
the violet coronet in the comer, that make them 
seem as remote from us as if they had been 
written hundreds instead of thirty years ago. 
I quote the longer of the two because there is 
more of Bulwer in it, and because it is a tribute 
I am glad the Rye received from the man whose 
opinion he so keenly valued. 


Argyll Hall, Torquay, Feb. 22, 1872. 

My dear Mr. Leland, — Many thanks for 
"Meister Karl," to whom you are very unjust. 


I am delighted with him. There is, I think, no 
greater sign of promise in a yomig writer than 
abundant vigour of animal spirits — and this 
book overflows with that healthful strength. 
Of course there are traces of imitation in the 
style and mannerisms — but in that kind of 
humour it would be impossible to sweep Rabe- 
lais and Sterne out of one's recollection. To 
me, and I think to most men, it is like breathing 
fresh mountain air — after a languid season in 
town — to get at a work of fiction which lifts 
itself high from the dull level of the conventional 
Novel, and awakens thought and fancy in one- 
self while it interests and amuses in the play of 
its own fancy and the course of its own thought. 
I shall lend the book to some lovers of (Jerman 
literature here and guess how much it will charm 
them. I ought, of course, to have acknowledged 
the receipt of the little volume of poems, last 
sent, but the plain truth is that I am keeping it 
in reserve for a more holiday time than I have at 
present. I find that I can never judge fairly of 
poetry when my mind is not attuned to it — 
and it never is attimed to it when I am hard at 
work upon prosy things, which I have been for 
several weeks, to say nothing of causes of great 
domestic anxiety which have been occasioned 


first by a prolonged illness of my son at Vienna 
(he is convalescent) and second by an alarming 
attack of bronchitis which has laid up my bro- 
ther on the banks of the Upper Nile, 200 miles 
from a doctor. 
With repeated thanks for all your courtesies, 
Faithfully yours, Lytton. 

If Bulwer's sun was setting in the seventies, 
Browning's was still high in the heavens, and 
from Browning one letter at least has survived ; 
the reason for it an exchange of books. Prob- 
ably "Meister Karl" and the "Music Lesson 
of Confucius" are the two the Rye had sent to 
him, but what Browning's book was, it is less 
easy now to decide. 

robert browning to charles godfrey leland 

Warwick Crescent. 

I was on the point of writing to thank you 
heartily for your first book, the letter that ac- 
companied it, and the pleasure given to me 
by both, when a second gift made me your 
debtor, and now, before I can discharge any 
part of what I owe, your letter from Brighton 
comes to add to the burthen of my obligations, 
if what is so pleasant could be justly called 


burthensome. This is, however, the least plea- 
sant and most burthensome part of the busi- 
ness, that your kind words about my own book 
do really obstruct the very sincere congratula- 
tions I was about to oflfer you on your book, 
and other books beside, which I have long ago 
delighted in. For liiyself , if I know mj^elf at all, 
such appreciation as you assure me of is quite 
reward enough, and a "third reading" from 
you is the best honour you can pay me. Believe 
in the grateful acknowledgments and true re- 
gards of Yours, 

Robert Browning. 

Another letter that I quote, not only for the 
name signed to it, but as a smggestive comment 
on the value of lion-hunting, — to the lion, — 
is from Bret Harte. The date is February i8, 
1876. The Rye had been six years in England, 
— time enough for the people who ran after 
him to know who he was and what he had 
done. The "Heathen Chinee" and the "Luck 
of Roaring Camp" had made Bret Harte 
already as famous. But the eagerness of lion- 
hunters outruns their knowledge. Hans Breit- 
mann and Bret Harte were perpetually being 
confused when both were together in London. 


"Mr. Hart Bretmann" was a combination for 
which lion-hunters roared in vain. As the "au- 
thor of Bret Harte," Hans Breitmann was 
criticised. And so, I suppose, it was only ac- 
cording to the law of compensation that the 
photograph of the Rye should have been seen 
about town with the name of Bret Harte at- 
tached to it, and that one of the Rye's stories 
should have been entirely credited to him. It 
was about this that Bret Harte, in New York, 
at the moment, wrote. 


My dear Mr. Leland, — I confess I was a 
little astonished yesterday in reading in the 
"Tribune" a statement — made with all that 
precision of detail which distinguishes the av- 
erage newspaper error — that I had written a 
story for "Temple Bar" entitled "The Dan- 
cing God." But the next day I received my 
regular copy of the magazine and find your 
name properly aflSxed to the story. The error 
was copied from the English journals evidently 
before the correction had been made. 

Nevertheless, let me thank you, my dear sir, 
for your thoughtful courtesy in writing to me 
about it. You are a poet yourself, and know 


his "irritability" — to use the word the critics 
apply to that calm conceit which makes us all 
shy from the apparitions of a praise we know 
belongs to another. But I am glad of this 
excuse to shake hands with an admirable and 
admired fellow-countr3niian across the water, 
and I beg you to beUeve, dear Mr. Leland, that 
I would not pluck one leaf from that laurel 
which our appreciative cousins have so worthily 
placed on your brow. 
Always your admiring compatriot and friend, 

Bret Harte. 

One document, not a letter, which is of in- 
terest in itself and also as a reminder of another 
house he used to visit, is a pencil sketch of 
George Eliot. It is the work of the amateur, 
for the Rye never drew the face or figure with 
the ease he developed in designing a decora- 
tive border. But he found the sketch a good 
likeness, and so did others who saw it at the 
time. There is a reference to it in the "Memo- 
randa" for 1894. He had been reading "Gossip 
of the Century," and the gossip naturally took 
him back to the days when he saw much of 
many of the people gossiped about. He noted 
down, for his own amusement, some of their 


names as he read, — Rossetti and Christina 
Rossetti, remembered less for words spoken 
than "as sympathetic personalities;" Calver- 
ley, "a young and very genial man;" Lockyer, 
"at Triibner's," where, "standing behind the 
Christmas tree, he told me all his marvellous 
discoveries by means of the spectrum analysis;" 
Max Miiller, who "tried to persuade me to give 
up G3rpsies, and devote myself to Red Indian 
languages, or lore;" Lady Franklin, to whose 
house m Kensmgton Gore I have numbers of 
notes inviting him; "a daughter of W. M. 
Praed," who had given him a copy of Praed's 
Life; the daughters of Horace Smith in their 
delightful house at Brighton ; the Duflfus Hardys 
— Sir Thomas Duflfus Hardy, remembered as 
"very amiable, clever and refined — very good 
whiskey — I think he gave me a bottle;" but, 
"above all, George Eliot and George Lewes." 
The author of "Gossip of the Century," he 
writes, "declares that both George Eliot and 
George Lewes were * singularly unencumbered 
with personal attractions,' which may be true 
from a barber wax bust ideal point of view, but 
not from that of culture, which finds personal 
attraction in expression and loveliness in living 
action. In the solemn welcome of the wondrous 


eyes of George Eliot, as in the uncanny fire and 
keen fancies of Lewes, there was something 
never to be forgotten. If this is not personal 
attraction, I know not what it can be. When 
I close my eyes, I can recall the two as if pic- 
tured. How many 'belles and swells' have I 
known since their death — who have passed 
away comme Us neiges d^antan. The best like- 
ness I ever saw of George Eliot (all agreeing 
with me sit verbo venial) was a sketch that I 
made from memory years after I had last* seen 
her. It is, I fear, now lost. [There, fortunately, 
he was wrong.] By the way, G. H. Lewes had 
an extraordinary resemblance to Dr. Rufus Gris- 
wold, as the latter had been when younger." 

If I keep to my scheme of taking the letters 
as they come, stranger contrasts follow. For 
from Tom Hughes, at Trinity College, writing 
with something of the "sunshine" Lowell loved 
in him, to recall "the pleasant hours your visit 
to Cambridge gave to me and my friends" 
(1875), I *^^^ 3,t once to Agnes and Dion Bou- 
cicault sending just a few sad words on black- 
edged paper, to acknowledge the S5mipathy 
oflFered them on the death of their son (1876). 
Letters from William AUingham, at the very 
end of his working life — the letters short and 


perfunctory enough, but the signature bringing 
with it memories of Rossetti and his own "Mu- 
sic Master," the book that inaugurated the 
great days of English iUustration — are immedi- 
ately succeeded by letters from Edmimd Gosse, 
on the very threshold of his career. And Mr. 
Gosse gives place to Miss CJenevieve Ward,- 
begging the Rye to come that they may "Ro- 
manize together;" and Fanny Janauschek, who 
to him was the greatest of tragic actresses, but 
to me just missed greatness, probably owing to 
the same lack of humour, or sense of propor- 
tion, that prevented her seeing the absurdity 
of a woman of her massive presence answering 
to the name of "Fanny;" and Herman Meri- 
vale, urging a visit to his house at Eastbourne; 
and Frances Elliot, whom the Rye, in his usual 
fashion, was helping, the particular work then 
in question being her Byron; and Max Adder, 
thanking him for his trouble in finding an Eng- 
lish publisher for a book that is to be called 
"Out of the Hurly Burly; or. Life in an Odd 
Comer;" and Sir Edwin Arnold, the "Sir," 
in parenthesis, prefixed to the signature, and a 
happy little note below to explain that "Her 
Majesty has lately been pleased to make me 
K. C. I. E.!" I am not sufficiently familiar 


with Sir Edwin's affairs to be sure as to the 
period to which the letter belongs, and it is not 
dated. ^'I examined his hand," the Rye, writing 
of him in the "Memoranda," recalls, "and 
foimd it very characteristic and well lined. Un- 
fortunately, all hands which are well lined by 
fate are not equally so by fortune." But Sir 
Edwin Arnold, surely, was ♦one of the excep- 
tions for whom Fortune justified the signs. 

I do not know what lines the Rye may have 
found in the hand of another of his correspond- 
ents, Edwin Edwards, but I do know that 
whatever they were, Fortime ignored them in 
his case. For Edwards, an excellent artist, was 
never recognised during his lifetime as he should 
have been, and he is now, except by a few, best 
remembered as the friend of Charles Keene — 
"the Master," C. K. called him — and Fitz- 
Gerald, who coimted Edwards "among his 
pleasures." One of Edwards's letters has for 
me a particularly personal interest. "I^e citoyen 
Bracquemond,^^ he writes, "has just finished 
a very fine portrait of my friend C. Keene and 
now wants you to come and sit. Don't dis- 
appoint us — he thinks of doing only that large 
head, and that of course will include the beard 
and just a tip of shoulder — now this won't 


take long — do write or come at once." Bracque- 
mond was not disappointed, for I have the 
etching as proof that the proposed sitting was 
given. He was hardly the artist, however, to do 
full justice to the beauty and impressiveness of 
"that large head." There is another etching 
by Legros,^ also made probably at the sugges- 
tion of Edwards, — the friend of both these 
artists, as of Fantin and Whistler and all the 
distinguished group who began life together 
in Paris, and were, in M. Duret's phrase, 
Vavant garde of ever3^hing that is most vital 
and original in modem art. I have alwa5rs re- 
gretted that there are so few portraits of my 
xmcle. Besides these two, I know of none, ex- 
cept a very early painting by Mrs. Merritt, and 
a drawing by Mr. Alexander, done for the " Cen- 
tury Magazine." It is a pity. He was an un- 
usually handsome man, even in his old age, 
when he looked the prophet, a model for Michel- 
angelo or Rembrandt. 

The letters the Rye wrote to Edwards ex- 
plain the relations between the two men, and 

^ " Bracequemond and Legros both etched my portrait on 
copper," the Rye wrote in his " Memoirs," my authority for 
the above statement But on referring the matter to Profes- 
sor Legros, he tells me, to my regret, that he has no recollec- 
tion or record of having made the portrait. 


the reason why Edwards felt the charm which 
in the Rye was great for those who cared for 
him, why the Rye felt what there was in Ed- 
wards that had already won the friendship of 
Keene and FitzGerald. I regret that I have 
space only for one, the first, written from Lon- 
don in 1870, as I learn from the postmark on 
the little old envelope. The etching to which 
it refers is one made in the course of a river 
excursion with Edwards. I have found some 
proofs among my papers. It is not a remarkable 
performance as a work of art, but amusing as 
the first and only etching by Hans Breitmahn. 


Saturday, July i6th. 

My dear Edwards, — ^^Take my hatT^ 
This means in American, that you've got me. 
... I really think that making a man an 
Etchist in spite of himself is something unpre- 
cessdentified in "^Esthetic History." And this 
word His Story puts me in mind of my friend 
W. W. Story, who said to me yesterday, "Scratch 
a Russian and you'll find a Tartar Emetic." 
Etching and scratching are allied. You simply 
peel off a piece of paper (the original says. Peel 
a Russian) and you find an etching. 


Don't you think you could make a Raflf — 
I mean a Raphael of me? I'm open to con- 
viction. Byron woke one morning and found 
himself famous. / came down ce matin and 
found mein selbst a regular topsawyer in art. 
For willingly as I would be blind to my own 
merits, I must cordially avow that my etching 
is a very fine production. There are. touches 
in it which anybody ought to give a gumea for. 
In the words of Pompey Smash (one of my 
great American contemporaries), "Not to praise 
myself, I'm a damn smart nigger." (Smart 
means intelligent and genius-full in America.) 
No man knows what he can do till he tries. 

Seriously, my dear artist, you have over- 
whelmed me. In looking over those etchings 
you gave me, I feel as my sister once said when 
I gave her a prettily framed copy of "The Light 
of the World:" ^^What have I done to deserve 
all this?" For our day on the river and for 
everything, you and Dame Edwards — that 
blessed good soul — must receive additional 
gratitude. I suppose it is art which refines the 
soul and makes folk genial — for verily no one 
in England has gone so far out of the way, 
and tried so hard to smooth the path of the 
pilgrim, as you. And since VappStit vient en 


mangeanty and you write me — I would like two 
or three more proofs of that strangely obtained 
"And your Petitioner will ever pray" — 

For further details of this period, I go back 
to the more intimate letters to Mr. and Mrs. 
John Harrison, giving as many and as long 
extracts as I can. 

charles godfrey leland to mr. john harrison 

London, Brighton, England, 
Oct 20, 1870. 

Dear John, — ... Our plan of living here 
is as follows. So much for rooms, gas, washing, 
bed linen, napkins and towels, fire, Ughts and 
kitchen fire — which last means cooking, and 
no extra charge for service. At the hotel they 
charged us 4 shillings a day for service, and we 
had to give about 2 poimds more when we left. 
Belle does the marketing. You can get very 
good brandy here for 4 or 5 shillings a bottle, 
and wines are cheap. But it is about as dear 
living here as at home. A man is really not of 
any account in society on less than 5,000 or 
6,000 pounds a year. Position requires 4 or 5 
man-servants in Uvery and one constant stream 


of expensive hospitality. Men and women too 
drink all the time like topers at home, and the 
average of young ladies top oiff six glasses of 
mixed wines at dinner. I learn this from a young 
lady who has unlimited opportunities of judging. 
As for the wen, the one who does not show the 
eflPects of heavy drinking is a great exception. 
There is a very pretty young married lady lives 
close by us, and the other day at dinner she took 
six glasses of wine before the fish had arrived. 
I was at the dinner. The amount of drinking 
everywhere is awful. I had to tell a lady the 
other day that it was easier to get a quart of 
wine than a drop of water in her house. And 
it was true. Whenever I wanted water, the ser- 
vants had to be called up and all hell set loose 
before the aqua jontana could be produced. 
Well, I made her a present of an American ice 
pitcher, but it was so handsome they stowed it 
away. Then I kicked up another row — and 
finally they quite fell in love with it, and I got 
my water. I am considered a miracle of total 
abstinence on my 11 o'clock brandy and my 
little quart of strong ale at dinner. 

By the way, look in the last "British Quar- 
terly Review" for an article on American Hu- 
mourists, which says I am the biggest frog in 


the pond. That magazine has a tremendous 
literary influence, and many a far greater writer 
than I has considered himself as built up by 
such praise from such a quarter. Well, they are 
selling my photographs in London, and if I could 
write I could get plenty to do here. But I can't 
stand it as yet. I can do a little work but I have n't 
the work in me I used to have, and precious 
sorry I am for it. I am behindhand with my 
new edition of "Breitmann." I hear that poor 
old stupid Philadelphia is in despair over me 
and can't conceive what there is in my loWj 
vulgar, illiterate Dutch English to induce the 
English to set me up so. I had a little row with 
the London "Standard" the other day for pub- 
lishing an imitation of Breitmann ridiculing 
King William. I got my refutation in, and then 
gave them rats in Triibner's "Record." I un- 
thinkingly dated it from our hotel here, and the 
landlady came and thanked Belle for giving 
them such an advertisement. 

The English are a very queer people and do 
ever)rthing by line and angles. The men are all 
swells and wear gold ornaments and bouquets 
and look as if they felt awfully dressed up. They 
can't conceal it; from the lord to the shop-boy, 
they seem to say, "I have got a new coat on; 


God knows I have got a new coat on." They 
dress a great deal and feel it immensely. But 
their average of good manners is below ours, 
though they are very kind and very hospitable. 
Some are very nice. There is among the lords 
and such, a certain kind of arrogant impudence 
which yields at once to a severe hit back, or else 
to extreme politeness. But among the best of 
them who have seen a great deal of the world, 
there are the finest men I have ever met. Such 
a man is Sir Charles Dilke, and Sir Henry Bul- 
wer, with whom I dined not long ago. 


Brighton, Dec. 17, 1871. 

Dear Emily, — You must not think because 
I do not write very often that I as seldom think 
of you, for the truth is I recall every day your 
goodness and kindness and know perfectly well 
that of all those I left behind me, not one cares 
a tenth part about me as much as you do, or 
wishes to see me a tenth part as much. As for 
your kind care of our house, I really cannot 
thank you as I ought, for thanks are most warmly 
bestowed on strangers, while I feel that if I could 
do as much for you I should not like to be 
thanked for it — it is an eccentricity of mine 


to be very impatient of thanks when I know 
that people feel grateful, just as I am deeply 
contemptuous of ingratitude. The English have 
a very short cut to gratitude. They estimate 
the most loving favours, the kindest acts, at 
just so much money, and promptly send a pre- 
sent of the value. And if they are rich, they are 
very impatient of receiving any kindness from 
poorer people and always pay up. Well, dear, 
I have very little to tell you, for time in Brighton 
passes more monotonously than in London. I 
have told you about ever3rthing. Nanny Lea 
has told you, I suppose, about my coming out 
as a riding character. I go very often now on 
the hunt and yesterday I went out with the har- 
riers and leaped a fence in grand style, and had 
a good race, and was in at the death, having a 
superb horse worth a hundred guineas. I had 
on corduroy breeches, long boots, spurs and a 
velveteen coat — very light yellow breeches — 
imagine me in such a rig, and yet everybody 
says I never looked so well. 

. . . You can conceive nothing more roman- 
tic and singular than our hunts. The whole 
country here is destitute of trees save around 
the widely scattered farm-houses, and it con- 
sists of gently sweeping roimd-topped hills. 


All is covered with very short velvety grass and 
the whole is one lump of coarse chalk. Villages 
lie a mile or so apart, and these are generally 
picturesque, with a little time-worn old Gothic 
church, sometimes Norman, and here and there 
a curious old farm-house. The chief huntsman 
and the dogs find a hare, and then we ride after, 
and the country sweeps by like a panoramap 
Sometimes one has the sea not far oflE in the dis- 
tance, and perhaps Brighton. I hire my horse 
here, it costs a guinea to hunt the hare and 2 
guineas for a fox hunt, and 5 shillings to the 
hunt. It seems dear, but a day's hunting wearies 
a horse for 3 or 4 days, so that it is really cheap, 
and of course I do not ride every day or even 
every week. I am f oUowing up my Gypsies with 
great success and have one regular Romany 
Chal who passes Saturdays with me. I am really 
getting to talk the language quite well and could 
write you a letter in it. Nobody ever yet, ex- 
cept Borrow, got into their good graces so, and 
they tell me their tricks and secrets without 

. . . My book of poems is printed but not 
published. There is a little literary coterie here, 
which gathers around Miss Horace Smith, 
daughter of Horace Smith of the "Rejected Ad- 


dresses." She is a jolly old maid, and gives fre- 
quent small parties, and she has the best society 
here. I am always invited there. One meets 
Maitland the novelist. Sir John and Lady Har- 
rington, and another jolly old Baronet Sir Lionel 
Darrell, once a clergyman, and Lady Darrell, 
and indeed quite a number of nice people. I 
was there yesterday to a little dramatic enter- 
tainment. This party read my new book with 
great interest, — in fact I am the poet of the 
Brighton literary circle! Miss Smith is very 
learned and witty, and she has known aU the 
great men of England for fifty years, — known 
them very wdl indeed. If you see or hear of any 
American reviews of my books please send them 
to me. Please tell T. B. Peterson to give you a 
copy of my book "M. Karl" and put to my ac- 
count, and " Breitmann " if you want it. The 
winter has been mild thus far, but we have all 
suffered with colds. My hunting is doing me a 
great deal of good, and although I have suffered 
a great deal from dulness and depression of 
spirits, my health has been remarkable and my 
complexion, weight, &c., go beyond anything for 
years. I have a good appetite and drink a great 
deal of Bass's ale in bottles. I have a touch of 
rheumatism sometimes. 


. . . Greorge Boker will soon be in London. 
He has been very kind in preparing my " Meister 
Karl" for the press, when he had his hands full. 
I do a litde wood carving, but American walnut 
is dear here and oak is hard on the tools. I have 
got in London a beautiful old Grothic chest which 
I picked up there. 


Melrose, Scotland, Sept. 7th, 1872. 

Dear Sister Emily, — I was so much de- 
lighted to hear from you, and to get my birth- 
day present, which I received in Edinburgh this 
day week. Bless your dear little loving heart! 
We had been travelling in the distant foreign 
realms of Tipperary, Limerick & Co. and then 
in Scotland — and got no letters from Aug. 8 
till Sep. I St, and so I shall keep my present till 
I get to London, where I can buy a helmet — 
but really I never had an idea I was giving you 
a hint. Well, we went to Salisbury and Chester, 
and so crossed over to Holyhead and Dublin 
and saw the great Irish Exhibition, which was 
reaUy wonderful, and thin, by me sowl, we wint 
to the Rock of Cashel jist where the owld kings 
of Ireland are buried — it 's mighty few thravel- 
lers iver gits to that blissid little town I belave ! 


An' there we saw the deloitful ruins and mit 
wid a praste from Ameriky. An ye should have 
seen the bits of bys runnin af ther us — sure we 
had a rigimint av them — the gossoons — beg- 
gin for pinnies. An sez I, as I set on top of the 
lofthy owld castle, "Bys, go to the divil wid 
yees, an' don't be afther disturbin me." "An' 
troth we won't, yer honor, " sez they. "We'll jist 
go and wait for ye down below, an' yer can be 
givin us the pinnies whin ye go out ! " So I made 
an iligant sketch av the owld round tower that 
was bilt by the Turks an haythens long before 
King Cormac (the Heavens be his bed!) bilt 
the iligant chapel — sure I copied his coat of 
arms off the wall, and here it is jist. [A drawing 
follows.] Ye can thrace the iligant style av the 
early Celtic-Norman-Irish in ivery line av this 
beautiful sculpthure — sure the style bates ivery- 
thing. (Its meself that's full of feelin for the 
anthiquities) an the guide was drunk as a piper 
and sung us a song in Owld Irish, an indid by 
lockin us up in the ruin an going away — bad 
cess to the blaggard ! And he lift three nice Irish 
young ladies imprisioned wid us — an I im- 
proved the occasion to prache thim a beautiful 
lecthure on anthicquities — and they towld 
me aftherwards that that divil av a guide had 


whispered to thim that I was a Frinch gentle- 
man of exthraordinary intilligince such as sildim 
inspecthed the arrikiteckture of the cathaydril. 
And sure they had been in France thimselves, 
and whin I found they were CathoUcs I towld 
thim that Saint Pathrick and Bridget were owld 
heathen gods av the early Irishers, and that the 
crosses* on the graves av the owld abbots would 
make iligant pathrons for crochet wurrek an 
imbroidery — an wan av thim said she should n't 
think it right to apply thim to sitch a pur'rpose. 
By and by the guide let us out, an' I saw the 
young lady drive herself oflf in a jaunting car — 
and the horse was a divil intoirely — but she 
managed him as if she was a young divil her- 

And thin we wint to Killamey, and sure we 
had a great time, and saw the place where St. 
Patrick drowndhed the snakes in a bit of a lake, 
an' it was mysilf — praise the Lord ! — that dis- 
kivired an owld Irish Ogham inscripthion in 
the ruins of Agadoe, which I copied and sint 
to me friend Dochthor Caulfield, the principal 
of the Royal Cork Insthitution — it 's he that 's 
a gintleman! Sure at Killamey we got the bist 
av atin and dhrinkin, and sailed in a boat on 
the Lakes — And thin we wint to Correckan, 


thin to Blarney, where I kissed the Blarney stone 
(Belle didn't go up); and thin thro' siviral 
places to Galway, and the Giant's Causeway. 
An' there I got two owld Irish axe heads of stone 
an two any hids an a bade from an owld tomb. 
And we had a beautiful fine day and saw the 
sanery and an owld ruin, an' firin wid a rifle I 
hit the bulls eye at 55 yards — the saints be 
good to me! 

Crossing from Belfast to Glasgow — 12 hours 
— we had a lovely smooth passage. But with the 
exception of one fine day's sail around the isle 
of Mull, when we saw Fingal's Cave and Staffa, 
and went into the great cave, our whole Scotch 
tour has been one wretched rain. We staid a 
week in Edinburgh waiting for clear weather, 
and then went through the Trossachs in heavy 
rain. Fortunately there is a fine Museum of 
antiquities in Edinburgh. . . . Then yesterday 
we returned to Edinburgh and this morning 
came here, and have to-day visited Abbotsford, 
Dryburgh, and Melrose Cathedral. To-morrow, 
if possible, I am going to a little town beyond 
Kelso, called Yetholm, where there is an old 
settlement of Scotch Gypsies. 

And so, dear, dear Emily, I must conclude. 
I thank you with deeper feeling than you can 


believe for so kindly remembering brother 
Charley with your dear gift. DonH forget to 
thank John for his kind care of my affairs. I 
think of it every day of my life, and, dear, I 
thank you so much for looking after my house. 
Give my love to everybody. Belle sends her 
love and will write very soon. I wish I could 
write more, but cannot at present. So believe 
me truly your own dear brother, 


If the record in letters of the Rye's manner 
of life during these ten years is large, it is nothing 
to the record in letters of his work. The packets 
from publishers are the bulkiest. The corre- 
spondence with Tnibner alone would make a 
volume. For the English period pelded a long 
list of book after book, and the greater number 
were issued by Triibner, who was quick to take 
advantage .of the success of Breitmann. Almost 
at once he produced the second edition — the 
first in England — of "Meister Karl's Sketch 
Book," to which I have referred. He also pub- 
lished in fairly rapid succession the translation 
of Scheffel's "Gaudeamus" and "The Music 
Lesson of Confucius" (1872), a collection of 
poems, not very successful, — the public never 


recognising nor admitting the possibility of seri- 
ousness in a man who has first become known 
as a humourist; "The English Gypsies" and 
"The Egyptian Sketch Book," both in 1873; 
"Fusang, or The Discovery of America by 
Chinese Buddhist Priests in the Fifth Century, " 
— that translation made so many years before 
at Munich of Professor Neumann's treatise; 
and also "The English-Gypsy Songs," in 1875; 
"Pidgin-English Sing-Song," in 1876. Nor did 
these end the list. The Rye wrote the "Life of 
Lincoln" for the "New Plutarch Series," edited 
by Walter Besant and published by Marcus 
Ward & Co., in 1879. His "Johnnykin" (1876), 
a story for children, and his "Minor Arts" 
(1880), a volume in the "Arts at Home Series," 
edited by Mr. W. J. Loftie, were published by 
Macmillan. He was also contributing a weekly 
letter to Colonel Forney's "Progress" and con- 
stant articles to the magazines, — most notable 
of all the story of "Ebenezer," published in 
"Temple Bar" in 1879. 

All these books and articles would seem more 
than sufficient to fill the time of a man who was 
being lionised, and who was travelling contin- 
ually from place to place. But they were light 
compared to the chief task of his years in Eng- 


land. In 1874 he was asked to contribute to, 
and then to act as English editor for, Johnson's 
"Cyclopaedia." He was to contribute as many 
articles as he could and to order those he could 
not write from the proper authorities. He threw 
himself into this rather ponderous task as other 
adventurers might into a new quest for hidden 
treasure. During the next year or so, he was 
one of the most conspicuous figures in the read- 
ing room of the British Museum. Day after 
day found him at his post. The correspond- 
ence alone which his editorship entailed was 
by no means a light labour. There are reams 
of letters from the editor-in-chief, Mr. F. A. P. 
Barnard, then president of Columbia College. 
There are bundles upon bundles from the con- 
tributors, — a mine for the autograph-hunter. 
Most of the distinguished literary and scientific 
men of the time were his collaborators. From 
their letters it might be imagined that all Eng- 
land had caught the fever of his enthusiasm 
for the "Cyclopaedia." And yet his editorship 
ended in unpleasantness. There were business 
complications, and though he had not under- 
taken to look after the business end of the en- 
terprise, though the editor-in-chief approved of 
everything he had done, he could not rid him- 


self of a quite unnecessary feeling of responsi- 
bility. It was a bitter return for the energy and 
devotion he had squandered wholesale upon 
the work. The affair would have damped the 
ardour of any other man. He, fortimately, was 
not any other man, but himself; perhaps over 
sensitive — he could never refer to the matter 
without wincing from the old wound — but too 
buoyant to be killed by discouragement or dis- 

Busy as he was, as he loved to be, he had, 
like all busy people, always time to do more, 
and, unlike most people, busy or otherwise, he 
was as ready to do this little more for somebody 
else as for himself. A bundle apart could be 
made of the letters from friends and strangers 
whom he helped by advice or by throwing work 
in their way. And as astonishing to me — who, 
when my day's work is done, like to put pen and 
ink well out of sight — he never, at his busiest, 
spared himself any pains in writing to anybody 
to whom he thought his letters might be useful. 
A letter, to him, then as always, was a letter to 
be written carefully and with thought, usually 
with illustrations, and not a note to be scrib- 
bled off anyhow ; I do not know what he would 
have said to the present fashion of doing all 


one's correspondence by telegraph. And he ex- 
pected the same care and thought from his cor- 
respondents, as they knew to their cost, for his 
standard was high. But if he required a great 
deal of them, it was for their good, it was to help 
them to acquire facility and to develop a style 
in writing. 

" I was very much pleased with your last 
letter," is a fragment of one of his to a cor- 
respondent of the seventies, of whom he hoped 
to make a writer. "It evinces much greater 
care than the preceding in every respect and 
shows, as I expected, that you are really capable 
of writing well if you try. Do not be offended 
if I urge it on you never to write heedless idle 
letters in the school-girl style, without any pre- 
paration, or any care beyond a chattering filling- 
up! — such flimsy pitces de manufacture are 
never carried oflE successfully by giggles and 
flippancy and protestations that there is nothing 
to write about — and, worst of all, a final fear 
that you will find this a very dull letter — and 
I will not injlict any more upon you, and et 
cetera — und weiter. People who accuse them- 
selves of folly and dulness in their letters gen- 
erally deserve to be condenmed for it, for no 
one has any business to be so impolite as to 


act stupidly and foolishly before folk — and 
writing is even more deliberate than acting." 
He did not want people to write him priggish 
essays. The merrier they could be on paper the 
better. That is why he usually illustrated his 
letters, and urged everybody to do the same 
by him. "It makes letters so jolly," he wrote 
to one correspondent. Of his own at this period, 
or of as many of them as have come into my pos- 
session, I find none more characteristic — that 
is, none more helpful and friendly and stimu- 
lating — than his letters to Miss Lily Doering. 
With her mother and sister, she had been at 
Oatlands Park Hotel in the autumn of 1873, 
which he and Mrs. Leland spent there, and a 
strong friendship had sprung up between the 
two families. Miss Doering was very young 
and was just beginning to paint. That she was 
beginning to do anything in the shape of work 
was enough. His every letter to her after she 
left Oatlands Park, and for many years, was a 
goad to further effort. I wish I could find room 
for them all. One of the first, with no date, but 
evidently from Oatlands Park shortly after her 
departure, is decorated at the beginning with 
a big capital D, upon which a little cherub is 




. . . Don't you admire my initial ? I recom- 
mend you to try this way of getting up beautiful 
original designs out of newspapers! Do try it. 
Your last letter is perfectly charming, and you 
are rapidly improving as a writer. My dear 
little friend, nothing under the sun improves 
one in every conceivable mental way so much 
as writing well. It teaches you to think more 
accurately and vigorously, it induces you to 
make greater eflFort to express yourself well in 
conversation and to be entertaining — and, 
finally, it greatly raises the standard of your 
thought. I cannot too highly commend your 
habit of translating from such a brilliant writer 
as Heine. It will inevitably improve your mind 
and style, and the more you do, the better it will 
be. You know what a deep interest I take in 
you and how firmly I believe that your mind 
only requires vigorous eflFort and perseverance 
to lift it out of the commonplace and Little 
Girlish to become decidedly superior and pos- 
sibly creative. Now, don't "chafif" and make 
feeble-funny remonstrances. I was really de- 
lighted when you told me in this letter that you 


were reading Lewes and Heine and translating 
bits. The more you do, the better, and don't 
be afraid of anything. I wish you lived here, for 
then perhaps I could keep you up to work. And 
as I said, your style is improving wonderfully. 
. . . When one goes beyond petty amateurism 
into a regular occupation^ then and not till then 
does real happiness begin for any person of 
mind. I consider every life as thrown away 
and wasted which has never achieved the doing 
some one thing in a masterly or at least able 
manner. I don't think you will ever make a 
painter — at least, not imtil intellectual vigour 
and development shall have given you more 
energy, though I make no doubt that that will 
come. I wish you could feel how much in earnest 
I am and how interested in you — if you were 
only half so much interested in yourself as I am 
to help you, you would never rest. 

For you have it in you and it must come out. 
If it costs any labour, any pains, any familiaris- 
ing yourself with unwonted or startling ideas 
— no matter what — make it come. Why, it 
may be that those souls become immortal which 
are developed into something — and though 
the mark you leave in the world may be no 
larger than a pin's prick, it is a great thing to 


leave one. And remember that any one who 
can understand great or deep writers, and write 
good English, and be lively and piquant (and 
you excel in this, for you are very lively in your 
writing now) can write something that the world 
will be glad to get, sooner or later. This merits 
being considered as hopefully and answered as 
seriously as I mean it and hope that you will 
study yourself carefully and cheerfully and be- 
lieve in me as I believe in you. . . . 

Your family picture is very good. Always 
draw the lines around the edges with a ruler 
and finish your commonest scribbles more, so 
as to look like engravings. You may make the 
drawing rude — but finish it so as to give it the 
air of being really cut out and pasted on — not 
as if it were painted on the paper. Always do 
your best at ever3^hing. I don^t mean always to 
make great and finished pictures — but do the 
least thing artistically. 

And, by the way, could n't you write a letter 
in Romani ? You will wonder why I should care 
to have you learn the useless jargon. My dear 
Lily, everything quaint, marked, unusual brings 
you to new forms and phases of reflection. Think 
how much more you know now of that vagabond 
curious class — the Romanies — than most peo- 


pie. You have a great and natural aptitude 
for the Grotesque, and all this improves it — 
and as I must now conclude, so with much 
regards and "no more the diwus^^ [no more 
to-day] I remain 

Tutes tacheni pal [Your true friend], 

Charles G. Leland. 

One other letter to Miss Doering, written 
from London, November i, 1879, I want to 
quote, because, though pages are missing, 
enough remains to indicate, as nothing I have 
hitherto quoted could, the drift of his most se- 
rious thoughts during these years of work and 
play. I have said nothing whatever of his re- 
ligion hitherto, for the simple reason that accord- 
mg to the usual standard of church-going as a 
test of religion, he had none. Since the days 
when he went to hear Dr. Fumess preach in 
the Unitarian church at Philadelphia, and, to 
escape the prevailing Presbyterianism, attended 
the Episcopal church at Princeton, no church 
of any kind had often seen him. But he had 
the religious temperament. He could not dis- 
pense with some sort of religion, and he felt the 
need, — the more as he grew older. Through 
science and mysticism, he had gradually evolved 


a creed for himself. He had written it out, as 
he wrote out an)rthing that occupied his thoughts, 
but the MS. was never published. I remember 
reading it, after he was back in Philadelphia in 
the early eighties, and being struck with its earr 
nestness and honesty. But it has now vanished, 
not a trace of it left. The only record is in the 
portion of a letter to Miss Doering. I am glad it 
has survived, for without it — the MS. being 
lost — this English period would be incomplete. 


. . . Everybody seems to take it so much 
for granted that I have "no fixed principles 
in religion," when in fact there is not a man 
living with such a clearly defined, soul-inspir- 
ing faith as mine. A year ago — finding that 
the belief which had been slowly growing for 
20 years was beginning to assume definite pro- 
portions — I wrote it down in a MS. of per- 
haps 200 pages. I was determined to know 
exactly what I did believe. It is a higher, clearer, 
more definite and more humane form of the 
Religion of Humanity than any one has yet set 
forth. Swinburne's hymn and Comte's form 
are confused and mystical. It has done me much 
good, the writing out of this. But I want a few 


readers — and believers. The object and aim 
and end of religion should be to make people 
better — to induce them to work and develop 
all their powers and never to rest in seeking and 
realising the ideals of all things, and the road to 
this is by Love — by mutual aid and worship. 
What is Jehovah? An inj&nite Jew. What is 
the Virgin? The ideal of maternity. What was 
Ol3m[ipus? The Greek Areopagus realised. 
What has every God been ? Man's innate sense 
of reliance put in a national form. Greek gods 
were of marble, severely S3rmmetrical like all 
Greek thought. The Middle Age coloured its 
gods — but they were still motionless — like 
the Church which in Egypt, India, or Europe 
has always sought — immobility. Now since 
Man has always created God in his own image, 
why does he not go to the archetype and real- 
ise and worship himself in others? The Infi- 
nite source is, and always will be — Unknown. 
No one has ever proved or disproved theism or 
atheism. Only that there are Ideals of Every- 
thing — this we know — and that our best in 
all things consists in seeking and developing in 
every way these Ideals. Think it over and it 
will be clear. In Man are more excellencies 
of every kind than are combined in any other 


being. He or she is the most complete, the 
most beautiful, the most intelligent — the high- 
est form created. Therefore, if the effort to 
become better and higher and to rise to the 
Superior be religion, its true form exists in 
Humanity. Two or three are the Church, — 
people who try constantly to perfect themselves 
in each other's eyes, in every way, are rising to 
the Unknown. Source and are worshipful. . . . 

It certainly seems absurd to a vulgar mind 
to think of worshipping any human being. To 
me who hear God, the Unknown, in yonder 
surf billows roaring in sunshine as if wild with 
joy, I am worthy of worship, for it is / who 
conceive God moving in glorious beauty, and 
it is God in Me who inspires the thought. Now 
nothing is tiU it is formed^ and the Infinite Glory 
and the Fearful Beauty and Tremendous Splen- 
dour of God the Unknown are first put into 
form in man's mind. Now are not we, who 
form such thoughts, forms of God, the Infinite 
Unknown WiU which is always bursting into 
life and reality in m)n:iad-million forms — in 
every motion of matter? We are. 

Now when I think of all this, when I write 
it, I am Gott-trunkene. I know how they felt 
of old who went forth into all lands to preach 


new faiths. This will one day swallow up all 
religions, for it is the Beginning and the End 
of tiiem all. The Son of Man and the Son of 
God and God's Messenger all mean Man who 
has attained a sincere seeking for Ideals. There- 
fore this Theo-anthropism is Christian. . . . 

I cannot believe that any human being ever 
believed in an)rthing so earnestly, and also so 
clearly — so without mysticism — as I believe 
in this. With the new coming weeks comes 
forth fresh faith and clearer intelligence. I have 
found it — I have learned it — I shall live in 
it, and in it I will die, and with it I shall live as 
I trust eternally — I know not how, and pro- 
gress — whither ? I do not know. For as the 
Will which bursts into life from the eternal Be- 
ginning in every creature always was, so we in 
it always were. 

A little exaggerated this might seem in any 
one save the man whose every thought, whose 
every emotion steered straight for the marvel- 
lous. " If I were in solitary confinement I should 
have adventures, for my dreams would make 
them," is the comment in the "Memoranda" 
on a review of his "Memoirs," that described 
him as a man who was always either under- 


going strange experiences or in search of them. 
Religion, friendship, everything with him must 
lead above and beyond to something stranger, 
higher still, even if that something could not 
always be defined as clearly to himself as his 
wonderful new Religion of Humanity. No mat- 
ter upon what enterprise he might be embarked, 
he strove instinctively to make it a stepping-stone 
to stranger and greater things. 

The period in England was brought to a close, 
was rounded out as it should have been, with 
a very characteristic example of this tendency 
in his nature, — the founding of the Rabelais 
Club, one of the events which, in looking back 
over his past life, gave him most satisfaction. 

Literary men have always had a fancy — a 
passion really — for joining together in Clubs, 
with eating and drinking in some fashion as 
the immediate object, and a closer social union, 
and consequent intellectual stimulus, as the ul- 
timate hope. Did not Dr. Johnson take The 
Club as solemnly as he was taken by it and all 
its members? Was not Dr. Holmes, from the 
beginning to the end, as eager for the monthly 
dinner of the Saturday Club as a child for its 
first party ? Would not voluntary absence from 
the "Diner Magny" have seemed a mortal, 


if not the unparddhable, sin to the De Gon- 
courts? But of all literary Clubs, the Rabelais 
was to be the most wonderful, with infinite pos- 
sibilities that not even those who share Mr. 
Henry James's opinion of Clubs as "a high 
expression of the civilisation of our time," can 
value at their full worth, as they expanded in 
the Rye's imagination. He already belonged, 
as I have said, to the Savile. He was one of the 
little group who always lunched there on Satur- 
days, when there was "generally very good 
talk . . . sometimes clever talk, sometimes 
amusing talk; one always came away pleased, 
and often with new light on different subjects 
and new thoughts," Besant says in his "Au- 
tobiography; " and then, going on to explain 
why there was such good talk: "Among the 
men one met on Saturdays were Palmer, al- 
ways bubbling over with irrepressible mirth 
— a schoolboy to the end ; Charles Leland 
(Hans Breitmann), full of experiences; Walter 
Herries Pollock, then the assistant editor of 
the * Saturday Review;' Gordon Wigan, always 
ready to personatfe some one else; Charles 
Brookfield, as fine a raconteur as his father; 
Edmund Gosse, fast becoming one of the bright- 
est of living talkers; Saintsbury, solid and full 


of knowledge, a critic to the finger tips, whether 
of a bottle of port, of a mutton chop, or a poet; 
H. E. Watts, formerly editor of the * Melbourne 
Argus,' and translator of 'Don Quixote;' 
Duffield of the broken nose, who also translated 
'Don Quixote;' Robert Louis Stevenson, then 
young, and as singularly handsome as he was 
clever and attractive." 

It was such good company, and the talk was 
so pleasant, that most of the little group were 
content with things as they were. But things 
had only to be good for the Rye, to awaken in 
him more ambitious ideals. His pleasure in 
the Savile set him longing for the perfect Club 
that was to accomplish the marvels the Savile 
could not, — the marvels that were to be so 
stupendous, so surpassing the aims and per- 
formance of any other Club that I fancy they 
remained, even with him, a little nebulous to 
the end. But his correspondence on the subject 
with Walter Besant has in it the conviction and 
zeal that would convert the most cynical. The 
idea — the "Golden Find," he called it — was 
originally his, as no one could doubt who knew 
how for him, as for "the wisest and soundest 
minds" before him, the whole philosophy of 
life was contained in Rabelais. But there is 


further evidence. For while I have not the first 
letter in which he actually made the suggestion, 
I have Besant's, almost as zealous, in answer. 
The date is the fourth of November, 1878. 

My dear Leland, — Your idea is a most 
captivating one. Let us by all means talk it 
over. I am going to meet Pollock at the Savile 
on Saturday to discuss his Richelieu. Come 
round then at 1.15 and talk about the Rabe- 
lais Club, which we will instantly found. 

I wish I could give the entire correspondence. 
But I do believe there is something, if not every- 
thing, about the Club in almost all the Rye's 
letters to Besant at this period. I must, how- 
ever, find place for at least one, or the greater 
part of it, to show how much more than dining 
he expected to come of the enterprise. It was 
written after the two friends had pushed the 
"Golden Find" a good deal further. 


. . . Now this Rabelais is and must be in 
your hands and mine. We ought to manage 
it, without doubt. It is a grand idea. We in- 
vented it. Carry it out as it should be car- 


ried out, and we shall make a great power of 
it. Let us go step by step and only admit 
strong men of European or world fame. Just 
now we are (beyond ourselves) Lord Hough- 
ton, Sir Patrick Colquhoun, Bret Harte, Pol- 
lock, Palmer, James, Collier. 

Now while I admit that , , and 's 

other nominee (whose name I forget) are all 
good men and true, I object to them, entre notcSj 
for the present. Just now we need Names. Of 
course names with genius. It is all very pleasant 
for us to have jolly and clever boys, but we 
must not peld to personal friendship. I want 
these smaller men to apply to us. 

My dear friend, if to these names we should 
add Lowell and the great French and German 
guns — we shall make at once a world-name. 
B. and D. are not known outside of the Sa- 
vile. Let us settle these points at once. James 
is unobjectionable, but he was proposed and 
elected, I may say, without my knowing any- 
thing about it. 

We have an able man in Sir Patrick Col- 
quhoun. Knowing nothing of your plan, he 
has sent me written in pure French, with a 
delicious oldtime smack, a modest suggestion or 
basis to work on, for our rules. . . . 


Collier, Palmer, and I revised your programme 
on Sunday, but Sir Patrick had given such an 
original and excellent plan that I must revise 
it with you. Entends-tu? He is an old stager, 
a wise head of great experience and an incar- 
nate Pantagruelist. God has been very good 
to us, my dear Besant, in our little work. 

I do not know or remember whether Sir P. 
heard your rules read. Did he? 

It will require only a little resolution and 
understanding between you and me to make a 
great thing of this. But frankly, I see that we 
must manage it to make of it a power. There 
has been no neglect, no slowness, but a great 
deal too much haste and democracy in it. We 
are to meet at Sir Patrick's on the 13th March, 
Thursday, at 8 p. m., and will then and there 
settle details. Don't forget. 

From this it is clear that the Club, to him, 
meant not only a friendly association of writers 
and artists, but a tremendous force, a wide in- 
fluence: "We must make it very great to begin 
with and make it real at the same time. We, 
its founders, must be earnest and true." Only 
get the right elements into it in the right way, 
and "we shall make a power of it." "We may 


make it the very first in London if we are wise 
and careful." This " Rabelais — this Savile — 
we ought to make the Circle of the Cyclus of 

the Decade somehow. Why, even M has 

ambition to make the Savile beat the Athe- 
naeum. When I hear him-talk so, / blush. It 
could be done. Build up the Savile and draw 
its best into the Rabelais," — so he keeps on 
repeating in letter after letter. As for the right 
elements, the name of the Club expresses what 
should be the definition of rightness. For "to 
understand and feel Rabelais is per se a proof 
of belonging to the higher order — the very 
aristocracy of intellect. As etching is an art for 
artists only, as a love of etching reveals the true 
art-sense, so Rabelais is a writer for writers 
only." Love of Rabelais, too, may be a pro- 
test against a younger generation that, however 
clever, "is very rotten with sentiment, pessi- 
mism, and a sort of putrid Byronism, and sees 
in Rabelais howling, rowdy, blackguard trash, 
just as Voltaire did." But this love or under- 
standing of "the Master" was not suflBicient 
of itself. No one was to be elected who had not 
done great or good work, who had not " dis- 
tinctly made a name in letters or art." "Let 
rejection be encouraged." While, to secure the 


right people, no eflFort could be thought too 
troublesome. Lord Houghton must be treated 
as un pere noble — not "a gilded bait," but it 
was still best that no further appointments be 
made till "his cordial cooperation be secured." 
"Great names are our great game." "Admit 
foreign members by all means; for one, About, 
through whom Victor Hugo may be reached 
and captured — About can persuade Victor 
Hugo, etc." " For others Lowell, Longfellow, 
Holmes, in America; and Tennyson will hardly 
decline when invited," by these three, which will 
"punish" Browning, who did decline imme- 
diately, as if he "thought himself too good for 
the Rabelais," who might be a "great poet," 
but — well, that is all over and past, why re- 
vive it ? It is pleasant, however, in the light of 
after events, to note that Besant proposed, as 
contributor to one volume of the "Recreations 
of the Rabelais Club," "Young Stevenson," 
whom both the founders of the Club, so much 
his seniors, were to outlive. 

The Rye returned to America at the end of 
1879, but the Rabelais was still dear to him. 
"L^t us rejoice!" a letter in February, 1880, 
begins, "for Dr. O. W. Holmes has joined the 
Rabelais. I had a long, very jolly interview with 


him in his house in Boston. Before he appeared I 
heard him singing for joy that he was to see me 
again, and his greetmg was effusive." And Dr. 
Holmes suggested Mr. Howells, then editing 
the "Atlantic," — and what with the Autocrat, 
James, Howells, Bret Harte, Greorge Boker, 
and Hans Breitmann himself, Lowell cannot 
decline, and here is a fine American contingent 
anyway. "Great names draw great names and 
make us a great Club — small or mediocre 
names detract from every advantage. . . . Now 
the Rabelais has enough men to be jolly at its 
dinners — but not enough great men. When 
it is so strong that nobody can afford to decline, 
when it is distinctly a proof of the very high- 
est literary-social position to be in it, — when 
we shall be all known men, then I shall be sat- 
isfied to admit the mute Miltons. I have never 
got over Browning's declining. I want him to 
regret it. He will regret it if we progress as we 
are doing. We might have got Browning had 

not undertaken to scoop him in. Poor 

boy, he. wrote a regular wooden schoolboy letter, 
and this kind of thing requires infinite finesse.^^ 
And from another letter, also from America: 
"I want the Rabelais to corruscate — whizz, 
blaze and sparkle, fulminate and bang. It must 


be great and wise and good, ripstavering, bland, 
dynamitic, gentle, awful, tender, and tremu- 

It may be because he was in America, things 
did not go as he wanted with the Rabelais. 
"Messenger of Evil," a letter in April of 1881 
begins, "did ever man unfold such a budget 
of damnable news as you anent the Rabelais ? " 
It was not, however, until 1889 that, as Besant 
puts it, the Club "fell to pieces." 

But Besant 's account of it in his "Autobi- 
ography" is the proof of the great gulf between 
the Club as it was and the Club as its founders 
meant it to be. "We dined together about six 
times a year, " Besant says; "we had no speeches 
and but one toast — *The Master.' We mus- 
tered some seventy or eighty members, and we 
used to lay on the table leaflets, verses, and all 
kinds of literary triflings. These were after- 
wards collected and formed three volumes called 
* Recreations of the Rabelais Club,' only a hun- 
dred copies of each being printed." The eighty 
members included enough great names to please 
the Rye, — Thomas Hardy, John Hay, besides 
those already mentioned. The three volumes 
remain as curiosities for the collector interested 
in limited editions. But how far short this 


achievement falls of all the Rye had dreamed 
for it! He thought it was made too democratic, 
and democracy, whatever it may be to political 
and social life, is fatal to art and letters. On 
the other hand, some people thought the Club 
too eager to be "correct," in outward forms 
anyway. "When the Rabelais Club dine to- 
f gether, it is, I understand, de rigueur to wear 
evening clothes, though I doubt whether the 
'Master* would have quite approved of it," 
James Pa)m wrote in reproach. Besant was 
more practical. "Perhaps," he concludes, "we 
had gone on long enough; perhaps we spoiled 
the Club by admitting visitors. However, the 
Club languished and died." 



In December, 1879, the Rye suddenly broke 
up the house in Park Square, left England, 
and, after an absence of ten years, returned 
to Philadelphia. 

This brings me nearly to the period when I 
can speak of him from my own knowledge as 
his daily companion: a period to which I owe 
so much — as I might as well admit candidly 
at the start — that I write of it with a prejudice 
I could not forgive myself if I did not feel. My 
misfortune was to lose the first four months of 
his return. The very day before or after his 
arrival, I remember, I went to Richmond, Vir- 
ginia, for the winter. The ten years of his ab- 
sence had been no more eventful for him than 
for Philadelphia and, indeed, all the United 
States; many things had h^^ppened, among 
others the Centennial Exposition, the impetus 
to American art that Philadelphians like to 
think it. "The houses and the roads were old- 
new to me," he writes in "The Gypsies, " "there 


was something familiar-foreign to me in the 
voices and ways of those who had been my 
earliest friends ; the very air, as it blew, hummed 
tunes which had lost tones in them that made 
me marvel." I must always regret that I did not 
have the benefit of his first impressions in their 

These impressions, however, fill his letters 
at the time, especially . to Besant, and in them 
I can follow him, step by step, until the moment 
when I need no letters to guide me. To an 
Englishman, who could not have understood, 
it was useless to dwell on the changes and differ- 
ences, or to enter into the comparison, inevitable 
after the prolonged visit to England, that to us 
to-day would be so suggestive. But it is easy to 
gather from the tone of his letters that these 
changes and diflferences were great enough to 
make him seem in the beginning almost a 
stranger in his native land, and that he, taking 
small comfort in the fact, could not decide 
whether or no to remain. Some of the more 
obvious contrasts the letters do note, and it is 
amusing to find how a ten years' course of the 
bacon and eggs, the joints and tarts of England 
made the civilised food at home a perpetual 
miracle in his eyes — though, to be sure, Phila- 


delphia always has had a way of astonishing 
the unaccustomed by its genius for eating and 
drinking. These passages are the more amusing 
because few men could be more abstemious 
than he. It was another of the instances where 
his deUght was not so much in the thing itself 
as in the idea of it. The letters have more to say 
about his new schemes and occupations; they 
touch lightly on the many honours paid him, 
for the return of so distinguished an American 
could not pass unnoticed; they enter deeply 
into the "educational experiment" and the two 
books, "The Gypsies" and "The Algonquin 
Legends," that were the chief works of his four 
years in America. 

The first weeks were saddened by the death 
of his wife's mother, Mrs. Rodney Fisher, who 
had returned with him and Mrs. Leland. She 
had been very ill on the voyage over, and she 
died almost immediately after landing. The 
Rye had always been devoted since the day of 
his meeting her and mistaking her for one of 
her own daughters, many years before. When 
there was no longer the chance for such a mis- 
take, when she was old and her beauty had 
faded, and he was a successful man of letters in 
London, she had come to live with him and his 


wife, and his home had henceforward been hers. 
He felt her death as a genuine loss, and this 
was the reason why he began the year (1880) 
very quietly, going hardly anywhere, socially as 
retired as he had been gay in London. I think 
it also added to his uncertainty as to his future 
plans and movements, an imcertainty that kept 
him from establishing himself in his own Locust- 
Street house. He stayed awhile with his sister, 
Mrs. John Harrison. Then he took rooms at 
No. 220 South Broad Street, where the Art Club 
is now, and there, as it turned out, he lived until 
he left Philadelphia again for England. Quiet 
as he was, however, one form of entertainment 
could not be refused, and in his first letter to 
Besant, dated from his sister's house, he is en- 
jo3dng not only the sunshine and food of Phila- 
delphia, but the welcome home oflEered him in 
other towns. 


1628 Locust St., Jan. 23d, 1880. 

Dear Besant, — The weather so far here 
has been like Naples. One snow — but almost 
every day deliciously sunshiny and just October 
cold. I go out mostly without an overcoat. I 
have a far better study than I had in Park Square, 


about as much bric-Ji-brac in the same style, 
and have discovered among my old books lots 
of Gautier-Garguilles, Bruscambilles, Tabarins, 
Bigamires, etc. 

Oysters are wonderful here. He must be 
hungry who can eat twelve. I had twelve yester- 
day, every one four inches long — sweet, well- 
flavoured, tender as any native — and two glasses 
of good bitter — all for fourteenpence. And 
at the evening entertainments! ! Fancy what 
I saw Saturday night. A great block of ice neatly 
cut out into a dish holding a gallon of raw oysters 
— just from the shell. And I stood on the mar- 
gin of this, and shovelled out one plateful arter 
another! And the darkeys kept on a-bringing 
'em — roasted and in every way, and imploring 
me politely to have hock — champagne is twice 
as dear here, but I never saw such lots destroyed 
in all my life. Yesterday at dinner in our board- 
ing house, I had chicken, lamb, and scolloped 
oysters — ad libitum. There is better mutton 
and lamb, however, in England. 

You are extremely well known in America 
and greatly admired. We are all greatly ad- 
mired. The whole Rabelais is greatly admired 
and has been in every newspaper. . . . You 
need not be afraid that I shall wish to live here. 


The vittles is good and the life generally, but 
I have found nothing to keep me here. There 
is nothing to engage my ambitions — such as 
they are. I am in some hope of making a very 
good newspaper connection and of writing from 
Europe, but it is all as yet uncertain. I am 
invited to go on a grand railway excursion to 
Kansas in September. This would be very jolly 
and give me piles of material to write about. 
The Lotos Club are to give me a dinner on 
Saturday week. It is a tip top honour to get. I 
was to have had it on the loth, but Mrs. Fisher's 
death prevented it. 

I wish that you could come here in ten min- 
utes. I should like to have you and the rest — 
just to grub occasionally— and to consult with. 
I have lots to write about, but cannot write 
any more at present. ... I have just seen the 
last four " Punches." Du Manner's "Little 
Bo-peep" and the "Cimabue Browns" are di- 

Ever sincerely, 

Charles G. Leland. 

The next letter in the packet is clearly not 
to Besant, though preserved with his, but to 
another friend and member of the Rabelais. 


The Lotos Club dinner had now been eaten. 
The account of it is preceded by an opening 
paragraph too typical to be omitted. The news- 
paper letters referred to are the weekly articles 
he had written from abroad for Colonel Fomey^s 


220 South Broad St., Feb. 4th, 1880. 

My dear Walter, — Many deep thanks for 
your long letter. Firstly, my dear boy, let us 
so covenant and agree and manage that no 
bothered or bothering publisher or publishing 
shall come between us. For you are bothering 
yourself with these d — d letters and I am sorry 
for it. Forney is really poor and he has been 
spoiled with my awfuUy long letters for a pound. 
To be sure, I scissored by the yard to pad, and 
you either won't do it or have n't got the art 
of cribbing other men's paragraphs. To think 
I should find you my moral superior in any- 
thing, oh naughty little Walter ! Now if you are 
bothered with this correspondence, drop it. We 
could either of us do far better as regards writing 
for money — the sum is ridiculous. But I have 
been in the past under great obligation to Col. 
Forney and I still am. But if you are quite in 


earnest as to not caring for this confounded 
quarter-paid correspondence, why, drop it, my 
dear little boy. I did, I do, I always will per- 
fectly appreciate your kindness m carrying it on 
for me and to oblige me. Depend upon it, I will 
find you something better. I think I shall ere 
long be able to do it. 

You have received the newspaper with an 
account of the stupendous dinner given to me 
by the Lotos Club. There were over a hundred 
present and the whole thing was superb. Three 
great halls with three or four tables — lights — 
flowers! As I got a glimpse of the splendoiu-, 
I thought, "Great Glory, is all this for me?^^ 
For one day I was the lion of New York. It will 
always remain a legend of New York — this 
dinner! There never was such an assembly 
of New York cleverness and wit before at such 
a dinner. I thought of you and of Besant and of 
the Rabelais, and wished they were all there 
from my very soul. If you were here now, you 
could do well lecturing, but it would not do for 
you to pull up stakes to come. I had a jolly long 
call on Ada Cavendish on Sunday. She was 
the first one from England I have seen since I 
have been here, and I kept her laughing for an 
hour and a half. How we did review all our 


dear London hauiie Botiemet I saw Dana — he 
is making a fortune annually. . . . 

Now I must tell you that my speech before 
the Lotos was praised as being well delivered, 
and I felt as cool as a cucumber, and my voice 
was distinctly caught. Therefore I mean to 
speak again the first chance I get and perhaps 
I will lecture. There is an art school of girls 
here and I have been told I could lecture them. 
I should n't feel afraid or shamefaced at all be- 
fore them, and it would get me accustomed. . . . 

And now I must come to an end. The sun 
shines, the white snow unmelting glitters on 
roof and walk — the weather changes, but I, 
oh Walter! remain unchanged in gravity and 
virtue and in truth and things. Do thou, oh 
Walter, like the early Chanticlere, ever constant 
in well doing, up early, gathering the grains of 
righteousness, and making yourself generally 
charming, as you were in the beginning and 
ever will be. 

About the same time, he was writing much 
less gaily to Besant. I can see that, though 
pleased with everything done for him, he was 
still so unsettled, so unoccupied — and occu- 
pation was his chief condition of happiness — 


that he almost succeeded in convincing himself 
America was no place for him. 


Philadelphia, February, 1880. 

Dear Besant, — I was glad to get your let- 
ter. All goes well. I shall be glad, however, 
to return. Very glad. It is all very nice to have 
so much sunshine, and in this respect the weather 
is miraculous — and the fare is good. I have 
made a second visit to New York as the guest of 
a Dr. Hammond — who has the largest practice 
of any doctor in N. Y. His house is wonderful 
in bric-a-brac and the Bayeux tapestry copy for 
a frieze in his drawing-room, and four bath- 
rooms on the first floor, and all that. Entre nous, 
and a close secret — if I chose to edit a daily 
in New York I have found men who volunteer 
to raise the money — but I don't see my way to 
so much hard work and such responsibilities. I 
^am really sorry that Pollock was so grieved over 
that puff. It was kindly meant — nobody here 
would be vexed at such a trifle. I gave my 
cousin, Gus. Kissel, a note to you. He is very 
nice and a scholar. You appear often in the Amer- 
ican papers. Even a notice of your additional 
chapter to Rabelais has gone the rounds. . . . 


There is a Papyrus Club in Boston — a grand 
Culture Club. It gives me a dinner on the 19th 
inst. . . . 

I almost think I have the original Ebenezer, 
not in Clarence, but in Eugene, one of our two 
waiters in this house. He carves wood, does 
everything, yearns to learn drawing, and al- 
ways gets me the chicken breast and saves the 
oysters for me. All the servants are dark in 
every house I visit. 

I shall add some Gypsy sketches to the " Rus- 
sian Gypsies " and make a little book of "Ro- 
many Rambles." 

A letter with an account of the Papyrus Club 
dinner follows almost at once. 


Philadelphia, February, 1880. 

Dear Besant, — I have just returned from 
Boston, where I went to be the honoured guest 
of the Papyrus Club. There were about 75 . 
gentlemen and as many ladies. After dinner 
during the speeching, there came to me a note 

from Miss L B , whom I used to know 

at the Langham. Miss L — is a very pretty 
brunette — and she told me she had read your 
last novel through four times, and picked this 


rosebud from her bouquet, and bade me send 
it to you. 

I staid almost a week with Dr. Hanmiond 
in New York. Also an admirer of yours. I 
think there ought to be an illustrated edition 
of the "Golden Butterfly.'' It would sell well 
as a gift book. . . . Tell Pollock that I saw 
Miss Maud Howe, who retains lively and agree- 
able memories of him. There is a sugar-plum 
for each of you. . . . 

Do you know that I find I can lecture ! I can 
fill the largest hall very easily with my voice 

and I don't scare worth a . I am entirely 

self-possessed, and they say I have an easy con- 
versational manner. Eureka! 

It began to look as if his ambitions would 
be "engaged" at home. With the discovery of 
his ease in lecturing, the tide turned in favour 
of America. Upon the fact of his being asked 
to lecture in other places, and the subject he 
chose for the purpose, much was to depend, as 
begins to be evident in the next letters. 


220 South Broad St., April i6th, 1880. 

... I have a great deal to do. I find I can 
lecture, and I am told my voice is good, etc. 


There are two or three women's schools of art 
here, and they very much need lecturing to. 

missed it like a fool when he declined my 

"Minor Arts." There is a great universal anxi- 
ety in America to know how to create a general 
taste for Art among the multitude, with a strong 
feeling that drawing schools will not do it. My 
coming out with the "Small Arts" just hits the 

I think that Ward's rival Prang will do the 
"Minor Arts" in numbers. . . . 

Yesterday evening at my sister's — shad, 
strawberries, terrapin, light hot biscuit, choco- 
late, etc. In Baltimore, on Saturday, strawber- 
ries were selling on the street in a snowstorm. 
They are cheap and abundant now. I bought 
them ten days ago at two shillings a quart. 

In Baltimore, where strawberries were cheap, 
he was further to test his powers as lecturer and 
to become more confirmed in his new ambition, 
as he is quick to tell Besant. 


220 South Broad St., April, 1880. 

... I have been to Baltimore, by invita- 
tion, to lecture on Decorative Arts. Was kindly 


treated — made a sensation — had a reception 
given me with imlimited broiled oysters and 
champagne. They are charming people — re- 
fined, easy of manner, naive, hospitable. My 
idea of teaching the Minor Arts delighted them- 

There is a Ladies' Circle, or Society, devoted 
to the Decorative Arts in Baltimore. Let us 
start one in London, and bring all the Rabelais 
and other influences to help it. We and our 
friends, ladies and all, would thus study Art 
for nothing. Don't you see ? We could sell the 
things and pay all expenses out of the conmiis- 
sion, and hire teachers, etc. This is what the 
Club does in Baltimore, and surely we could 
do it in London. 

I improve with every lecture, don't know 
what timidity is, can fill a hall as easily as I can 
empty a pint, and long to be called to an Eng- 
lish rostrum. There is a great moral reform for 

They are only about half civilised here. Two 
or three days ago, two young swells of the first 
Club fought a duel, over the line in Dela- 
ware, and yesterday there was an Hite wedding 
and one of these young blackguards was chief 
usher. Nobody was hit — only one shot apiece 
— a miserable affair. I would have had a sec- 


ond shot, by Jove, if I had had to shoot the 

. Shortly after he wrote this, I came back from 
Richmond. I remembered him, of course, but 
above all for the fear he had inspired in the 
shy child I was when I had last seen him. 
From the vague memories of my childhood, he 
emerged a distinct figure; his unusual height, 
his fine head, his long flowing beard were not 
easily to be forgotten; but his commanding 
presence might have been less real to me in 
memory if before it I had not so often trem- 
bled. One experience in particular coloured all 
my recollections of him. I had come home from 
the Convent for the holidays, with no better 
defence against the world I had been taught 
to dread than my own very un-American and 
much-to-be-deplored shyness, and he had asked 
— with a kindly gaiety I can now realise — 
what I was learning from the Nuns, and could 
I tell him who discovered America? "Christo- 
pher Columbus," I had answered glibly, with 
infinite relief, unconscious of such pitfalls as the- 
ories of Chinese in Mexico or Scandinavians in 
New England. He had laughed : Was that all they 
knew at the Convent? And the laugh rang in 


my ears, for years afterwards, whenever I heard 
his name. They seemed still to tingle with its 
reecho on the warm April evening when I turned 
into Broad Street to make my first call upon 
my aunt and himself. 

That was the end of my fears. They left me 
forever at the door of the parlour in the spacious 
old-fashioned house. I found the same command- 
ing presence I remembered: the beard not so 
brown, perhaps, the hair grown thin ; there was no 
other difference. But then I found, too, the great 
kindness the absurdly shy child had missed. 
And I found it at once, — in the grasp of the 
hand, in the light in the strange blue eyes. The 
eyes, I think, were always what struck people 
most on meeting him. He was conventional 
in his dress, would have avoided the old devices 
of astonishing the Philistine as scrupulously 
as he shunned the company of men who de- 
lighted in them. I can still recall his formal 
frock coat and black tie that April evening. 
But there was nothing conventional about the 
eyes, — the eyes of the seer, the mystic, — as 
unlike those of the rest of the world as the deco- 
ration of his walls — the musical instruments, 
the Gothic grotesques — differed from fashion- 
able ornament. 


The once alarming unde now asked no dis- 
turbing questions. He sat down and talked to 
me as I had never been talked to before, of his 
life in England, of his work, of his interests, 
— of things I had hitherto believed immeasur- 
ably beyond my reach. I had read a great deal 
in a desultory fashion; most of my friends were 
people who did read. But I knew no one who 
actually wrote books. It was not such a com- 
mon accomplishment twenty-five years ago. 
What impressed me most in his talk was its 
great range and his great seriousness. He had 
no small talk. He talked of everything except 
every-day topics. He was discussing the Phi- 
losophy of the Will, or the Religion of Agnosti- 
cism, at the point where conversation usually 
dallies with the weather. Darwin, Huxley, Car- 
penter were names oftener in his mouth than 
those of the heroes and heroines of the newest 
scandal. His was gossip that led to metaphys- 
ical depths before you knew where you were, 
and the amulet drawn from his pocket was of 
more importance than the latest despatch in 
the latest edition of the afternoon paper. And 
there was no resisting his seriousness. All his 
thought, all his energy was concentrated upon 
what he was saying: it was matter of life and 


death to him; and his manner was as fascinating 
as the deep blue eyes that held you as he car- 
ried on his argument or elaborated his descrip- 
tion. His voice was low and slightly monotonous. 
But every now and then there was a pause, 
imconsciously dramatic, as if the thought was 
too great for utterance, and then, at last, as the 
word was spoken, both hands were stretched 
out open, the palms toward you, as if to force 
the truth into your very soul. What he had to 
say, he said with all his might. And it was the 
same when he laughed. It was usually silent 
laughter. "I really never laughed once in my 
life," he wrote in a letter to Miss Owen, — 
^'sometimes I utter an Indian huh. I had a 
brother — now gone — who was a great hu- 
mourist. Nor did he ever laugh. Nor my father. 
We are a very grave family." But, silent as 
his laugh may have been, it had the quality 
of sincerity that struck one so in his talk. I 
remember that first evening I said little in re- 
turn — what could I say ? — but I listened with 
an attention, an absorption, I think he felt and 
liked. Anyway, from that evening, we were 

This was the beginning of my close associ- 
ation with him. Because of the relationship, I 


would probably have seen much of him in any 
case, though too often a relation means a per- 
son to be avoided. But it was a question of work 
that brought, or rather held, us together. True, 
up to that time, I had never done a stroke of 
work myself, but my curiosity about his, in the 
first wonder of it all, was boimdless, and I could 
not stay idle if I wanted to see anything more of 
him. For I quickly discovered that if he must 
always be doing something himself, he was as 
determined not to let any one in whom he was 
interested continue doing nothing. 

"Doing something," with him, meant do- 
ing it for a certain purpose. He did n't whit- 
tle his sticks just to pass the time. If he had 
five odd minutes to dispose of — before dinner 
or between engagements — there was always 
a piece of carving to pick up, or a design to 
carry on, or a letter to write. To sit with hands 
folded was out of the question, and his reading 
was usually reserved for the evening. His own 
accoimt of his amusements in his "Memo- 
randa" is, "When I have anything to write 
about, I prefer it to reading, and I like small 
art work so much more than either that I some- 
times think I might have been an artist." For 
the serious tasks of his working hours, he was 


just then putting his second series of Gypsy 
papers into shape for publication in book form, 
and elaborating his theories of Industrial Art 
training which he had first expressed in his 
"Manual of the Minor Arts." One of these 
theories was that every man, woman, and child 
who willed it, could learn to draw sufficiently 
well to make designs and execute them in wood 
or metal or other material, and so earn a de- 
cent Uving, and I am even to-day often worried 
by the idea that he looked to me to prove it. For 
he set me to drawing at once. "The poor Rye! 
How he preached. Never say canHT^ an old 
friend of his wrote to me recently. He never 
said canHj and I was never allowed to say it as 
long as he was trying to make a draughtsman 
of me — an experiment that I could have told 
him from the start was hopeless. But I noticed 
that, gradually, I was asked for fewer straight 
lines and spirals, and, swallowing his disap- 
pointment as best he could, he set to work to 
teach me Romany and to try and make a writer 
of me. 

I say this, at the risk of seeming to say too 
much about myself, because I cannot speak of 
him during this period and not say something 
of all I owe to him, and because I do not know 


how, better than by sa)dng it, to show the kind- 
liness most people did not suspect in him. For 
most people did and could not see the side I 
saw intimately. He was so impatient of shams, 
so outspoken in his hatred of affectation and 
pretence and petty social conventions, that those 
who met him casually carried away a very 
difiFerent impression. Like all men, or women, 
of strong character, he was sometimes disliked 
as cordially as at others he was liked. But for 
any one who was in earnest, there was nothing 
he would not do. I remember now with amaze- 
ment the trouble he took over me, his patience 
with my first attempts in authorship or jour- 
nalism, his constant endeavour to help me by 
telling me of so much I had never heard, by 
explaining so much that I had never under- 
stood. Within a month, my whole scheme of life 
was revolutionised, and the world in general, 
and Philadelphia in particular, seemed a much 
pleasanter place than I had ever yet fancied. 
Of all my memories of that spring, as of that 
first evening in the Broad Street rooms, the 
most vivid are of his extraordinary talk and the 
revelation there was in it for me. The back- 
ground, as time went on, was more often the 
open street, — the red brick street of Philadel- 


phia, brilliant in May and June sunshine. For 
he would let me go with him on the long walk 
that not a day passed without his taking. I can 
see him now, in his loose light tweeds and his 
wide-brinuned felt hat reserved for these tramps, 
as he talked his way out Broad Street or to the 
Park or through Camden or sometimes — it 
was an imusually hot spring — to Mrs. Bums's 
in Fifteenth Street for a plate of the ice-cream 
that was as marvellous to him as the oysters 
and the shad: Mrs. Bums, alas! vanished with 
so many friendly old features of the Philadel- 
phia I loved. I can see the vigorous hands out- 
stretched in emphasis. And I can see, too, the 
great form stooping over, as he picked up the 
chance bit of red string at his feet. Once, when 
his talent for adventure was commented upon, 
"This means that I observe," he wrote in the 
"Memoranda" (1894). "Life is a romance to 
everybody who observes it." And so, not even 
the bit of red string on the pavement escaped 
him, and he was so serious in his superstition 
that I used to think he prized it as a S5mibol of 
the Strange, the spiritual things always lurking 
somewhere in his thoughts and his conversa- 
tion — the things he cared for most. He was 
never happier, nor his talk more eloquent, than 


when he was lost in speculation where I could 
but dimly follow. I doubt if such a true mystic 
had walked and talked in the streets of Phila- 
delphia since Penn, and Pastorius, and the early 
seekers after the Inner Light. It often struck 
me that, could they have come back, they would 
have imderstood him, as I am afraid his con- 
temporaries did not. 

Mysticism, however, never interfered with 
his practical interests. And the work to which 
he was then devoting most of his time and en- 
ergy was preeminently practical in its aims and 
intentions. To it he attached so much impor- 
tance, and it monopolised so greatly the four 
years in Philadelphia, from 1880 to 1884, that 
I must explain what it was he wanted, why he 
wanted it, and his own attitude or position 

All his life — from the early days at Ded- 
ham when he had found sport in carving spoons 
and serpents out of wood — he had amused 
himself drawing, and practising what he called 
the little or Minor Arts. He had never had any 
technical training or art training of any kind 
except what was to be derived from the lectures, 
first of Dodd at Princeton, and then of Thiersch 
at Munich. And he never pretended to be more 


than an amateur. But his love of art, especially 
decorative art, had always been strong; he says 
in the "Memoranda" he began to study these 
arts very seriously from about 1870 — that is, 
as soon as he had time to give them. He realised 
the degradation to which decoration had simk 
during the early Victorian period. Already in 
England, South Kensington Museum, with its 
schools, had been established, probably the most 
costly means of reform ever devised. The Rye, 
while in London, must have learned what it 
was doing or attempting to do. But had South 
Kensington been as practical and influential an 
educational institution as it was intended to 
be, and was not, it would not have covered the 
groimd for him and his theories. The schools 
there, however inefficient, presupposed the 
craftsman devoted solely and wholly to the study 
and practice of art. The Rye looked to quite 
another class to achieve the reform he desired. 
It was not from schools that the boy jewellers 
he had watched in the bazaars of Cairo had 
been developed ; it was not from schools, so he 
believed, the mediaeval carver of the rude chests 
and chairs we now pay fabulous prices for, had 
come. With them decoration, according to his 
theory, was instinctive, and to make it so again 


with the people it was necessary, he argued, to 
go back to the people, — to train every child, 
every labourer, every peasant. Besides, there 
was for him the "singular fascination in all such 
small fancy work," noted in the journal of 1869, 
and he did not see why it should not be as great 
a resource as reading for idle women, or even 
busy men in their leisure moments. 

It was in these beliefs he wrote his "Minor 
Arts" and, in the Preface, suggested that classes 
of men, and women, and children should be 
formed in every village and in every district 
of large towns for the study of decorative work. 
The book was published before he left England. 
He returned to America to find educational au- 
thorities struggling with a problem that, at first 
sight, might seem to have little, if any, connec- 
tion with art of any kind. It was beginning to 
be felt keenly that, whatever the Public Schools 
had accomplished, in one respect their influ- 
ence had been disastrous. The scheme of pub- 
lic education had as yet made no allowance 
for manual work, though every youth from the 
grammar, or even the high schools could not 
hope to become a clerk or teacher. The worst 
of it was, the school not only failed to teach 
the pupil how to use his hands, but confirmed 


him in his objection to use them for his liv- 
ing. The evil was recognised, but no remedy 
had been hit upon. It was not easy to teach a 
trade in the course of a school education; be- 
sides, to attempt it was to rouse every trade- 
imion in the countiy. This was the problem to 
which, it struck the Rye, the Minor Arts were 
the one possible solution. He did not imagine, 
as some of his critics were eager to conclude, 
that he was going to make an artist of every 
child in the public schools. "I would begin," 
I remember his saying at the time, "with draw- 
ing, modelling, and aesthetic culture, to end 
by making a good shoemaker or carpenter;" 
neither, as others insinuated, had he no ambi- 
tion beyond helping them to waste their time, 
messing with clay and pla)dng with paint. His 
suggestion, promptly oflFered once it occurred 
to him, was that the Minor Arts could be taught 
in the public schools, that they would quicken 
the intelligence of pupils and accustom them 
to work with their hands, in the end opening 
their eyes to the beauty there could be in this 
work. He kept to himself the dream he, the 
dreamer, had of a great future when the people 
of the United States, after three or four genera- 
tions had been thus trained in decorative art. 



Newport, R. I., Aug. 20, 1880. 

My dear Besant, — . • • This is a charm- 
ing place, peopled by the Hite and highly cul- 
tured — a sort of Sybaritic Boston-ling. • . . I 
am to lecture this evening m a drawing-room. 
George Bancroft and a lot of swells to be there. 

Oh, my son — peaches at ten cents a quart, 
and great water-melons, and all kinds of nice 
things! I never knew what good living was 
except in this country. 

I was two weeks at Niagara — just opposite 
the Falls, — and for ten days had the gout! 

Also Montreal and Quebec, etc. 

Here's to you in a Monongahela whiskey 
cocktail ! 

I hear that all the town is talking about my 
lecture. I have just got a letter from Francis 
Galton about it. He says he is going to cite me 
in his lecture on the same subject — Eye-Mem- 

Thank God I am, if not an orator, at least 
cool. I don't know stage fright. 

Such a lot of good stories as I hear every 
day! Decidedly the Americans are the only 


By September, he was at his post again in 
Philadelphia. Affairs had come to a point where 
England was indefinitely postponed. There 
were ambitions now to hold him to the spot. 
But they made him only the gayer, and, for 
Besant's edification, he still revelled in the won- 
derftd food of his native land, the wonder grow- 
ing with the seasons. 

charles godfrey leland to walter besant 

Phh^aoelphia, 1628 Locust St., 
Sept. i8th, 1880. 

Dear Besant, — At last I am again in Phila- 
delphia, in my nephew's study — he goes to 
Harvard in a few days — all the pipes and books 
of my olden days around me. This town is 
a sensual Paradise when the cool days begin. 
Peaches of the best from a penny down to four 
a penny, and such incredible luxury of great 
watermelons — pears ! ! Yesterday morning we 
had grilled chicken and ortolans (reed birds, 
rather nicer than ortolans) and cantaloupes, each 
half filled with broken ice, for breakfast ; at 
dinner (the family being away) I had at the 
hotel 05rsters, oyster soup, ortolans again, and 
a soft shell crab — water ice, melon, peaches, 
grapes. I send you the menus of this hotel. I 


have been feeding there for $io a week, and for 
the money can eat from 6 A. m. till midnight, 
and order what I please, tout comprisl 

My Minor Arts has grown into a grand edu- 
cational reform! ! For many years the prac- 
tical Americans have been longing, yearning 
for somebody to introduce hand work into the 
Public Schools. The Governor has every year 
recommended it, but nobody knew how to do 
it! For teaching trades ^ such as shoemaking, 
baking, etc., required all the time, interfered 
with studies, and injured the boys' health. 
There are hundreds of boys in the House of 
Refuge (a sort of prison-reformatory), and they 
need work, but many are not there long enough 
to learn trades. Well — there is here a Social 
Reform Association composed of our gravest 
judges, professors, etc., and the educational 
committee held a special meeting last week to 
listen to me. There was no counter-argument 
and no dissent. Everybody saw it. They knew 
that a popular demand is springing up for 
mosaic laying, stencilling, etc., and especially 
for hand-made work, and that all these crafts 
are to be learned in a few days. The leading 
architect and decorator here says that there 
would be an illimitable demand for such arti- 


des if they were cheap, and that children could 
do the work. In the Girard College here are 
1000 boys, and it has long been a question 
what kind of hand work could be taught them. 
The Minor Arts are fully admitted to be the 
thing. They have invited me to set forth my 
views in a lecture in October, when the principal 
city magnates will be present. (Jod help me — 
I reaUy think that there is great Future in all 
this. For it means not only training young Ifin- 
gers and eyes to work, but the making hand- 
made Art at home in every house, — a mosaic 
floor in every cottage, stencilled walls, carved 
oak dadoes, all for a trifling cost. It is this 
that made Greece artistic — that decorative art 
was hand-made and cheap. This same reform 
will be called for in England. I now under- 
stand why it was that Mr. Mundella caught at 
it, — he saw more in it than I did. . . . 

I don't think I shaU return to England for 
some time. OA, ks affairesi If you hear of any 
reviews of my new book on the "Minor Arts," 
let me know. 

This "great educational reform" occupied 
him all the autumn of 1880, spent, after he had 
left Mrs. Harrison's, first at the St. George's 


Hotel, and then in the more comfortable Broad 
Street rooms. But his next letter to Besant is 
the best account of his work and its progress 
during the autumn months. 


220 South Broad St., Jan. i8th, 1881. 

My dear Besant, — I have been very busy 
and very much fought against by Fate, for I 
have at last, after months of weary swimming 
against the tide, and in darkness, seen day- 
light, and while struggling towards the Morn- 
ing Rednesse (as Jacob Bohme calls the first 
gleam of illumination) have been seized with 
a cramp. Id est, I have at last really got my 
project of making Hand-work a branch in every 
school fairly into life, but have, while I most 
required freedom to work, been laid up with 
gout. Since Christmas day, I have been con- 
fined every day, save three, to the house, and 
not long before that I had an attack. To-day 
I am very much better, and it may be on cards 
for me to go out to-morrow. The thermometer 
has been about zero for weeks, but the weather 
is the finest I ever felt in my life. I really think 
that cold winter weather here is the finest in the 
world. It is much preferred by everybody to 


summer. There is no sense of cold, no unpleas- 
antness. The sidewalks axe dean and dry, 
while the street is a hard bed of snow-ice like 
stone, over which the sleighs go like lightning, 
with myriad bells. Every horse has a girdle of 
bells. The thermometer between Philadelphia 
and the West ranges from 10 degrees below 
zero to 56! 

I received your letter yesterday and sat down 
in the evening to read Christie's "Etienne 
Dolet." I finished it at one sitting without miss- 
ing a word, and was so mtensely mterested that 
I could stand a very good examination on it. 
It is a book of a decade. The unaflFected purity 
of the English is miraculous, the impartiality 
and clear sound judgment as to Dolet is not 
less. I never met with better criticism as to 
character or morale. When the author is — 
alas! too rarely! — humorous, he is more dryly 
droll than any living wit I know of. All of 
Bumand's fun put together is not equal to 
either of two passages in "Etienne Dolet." . . . 

I have discovered the edition of "Don 
Quixote" of which Duffield doubted the exist- 
ence. It was printed in an obscure New Eng- 
land village in 1827, in four volumes. I read 
recently that to have discovered an unknown 


edition is to have made a reputation. I have 
discovered one of "Don Quixote," one of Lu- 
ther's "Catechism," and that the most impor- 
tant, the only known fragment of Sir Gray 
Steele, and the 13th known copy of Sir William 

I have received a letter from in which 

she tells me how good and kind you have been 
to her, and that you have sent her some work. 
I feel very grateful myself and would add my 
thanks to hers. Nothing has occurred for a long 
time which has pleased me so much as your 
doing this. . . . 

After much trouble I have got the Industrial 
Committee of the school board of Philadelphia 
to take up my project of introducing hand- 
work into schools. I have a room or rooms 
given me; I am to have money for materials 
and to pay an assistant teacher. There is a 
large class of teachers in the public schools who 
are coming to my classes, and I am to have as 
many scholars and children as I can manage. 
A number of ladies interested in education will 
take a hand. We shall go at wood-carving, 
leather, brass, mosaic, etc., etc. When this is 
started it will go of itself. All the pupils will 
have their work sold and share the profits. A 


house in New York will take all the plaques I 
can supply. . . . 

Remember me very badly to Walter Pollock 
and Palmer. Palmer is no correspondent. I 
am becoming quite proficient in Schmussen, 
or the low-German Hebrew dialect. One does 
not, as with Gypsies, have to go far and wide 
to find the talkers of it. 

We were at a hotel, but have returned to our 
old quarters in Broad Street. We have two 
very large rooms on the ground floor and, what 
with some of our own furniture, are very com- 




Early in 1881 the Industrial Art School was 
established, or rather, the school board consented 
to make the experiment. In a very fragmen- 
tary journal of this period a few entries refer to 

Saturday, April i6th. Afternoon, 4 P. M. 
Meeting at G. Harrison's, 1620 Locust Street, 
with Miss Pendleton, Mrs. Harrison, Mrs. Les- 
lie, Dr. Cadwalader, Mr. Whitney, etc., to form 
an Association for Public Education. I was ap- 
pointed one of the three to make constitution, 
etc. A very interesting meeting, with large views, 
and well planned. Evening, my School, Locust 
Street. Very few in attendance, but all getting on 
nicely and hopefully. 

Sunday, 17th. G. H. Boker called. He very 
much approved of my School. 

Wednesday, 20th. Meeting of the Educational 
Society at Miss Pendleton's. In the evening my 
Industrial Art School. A great many visitors, and 


some who could have been spared, as they be- 
haved in a vulgar, patronising manner — talked 
about and criticised the scholars, and offended 
them. The wood-carving class under my teach- 
ing getting on very well. 

Saturday, 23d. Evening School. Very good 
and attentive class. 

After a few more entries as brief, the Journal 
ends almost altogether. His days were too 
crowded for journalising. A letter to Besant, 
however, goes into detail. 


220 South Broad Street, 
Apr. i8th, 1881. 

. . . There is a very great, deep, and general 
spirit of reforming education here, and it is 
principally due to my introducing industrial 
and decorative work into the public schools as 
a regular branch. I have at present a primary 
or normal school of my own, with sixty female 
teachers in the schools as pupils. There are 
105,000 scholars in our public schools, and I am 
preparing to have them all industrially educated. 
I am also making inquiries as to having a higher 
standard introduced into our prisons, reforma- 


tory schools, and all similar institutions. The 
representatives of the Girard College for Or- 
phans, the House of Refuge, etc., etc., all want 
me to set 'em up in this lay. I am really doing a 
great work here. They were all ready for it, and 
had been talking for years about it, but nobody 
knew exactly what to teach. Now I did know — 
and could even show them how with my own 

I teach so far china painting, wood carving, 
and modelling. We have volunteer assistant 
teachers and classes twice a week. 

You want me to establish a society in London. 
I have already a much larger one in operation 
in the Lake country. Mrs. Jebb of Ellesmere, 
Shropshire, taking the hint from my book, has 
established a circle or congeries or association of 
village schools which is largely increasing, in 
which the Minor Arts are taught. ... If you 
know any ladies willing to establish little local 
schools or decorative art associations to teach the 
poor or young Something to Do, pray get them 
to write to Mrs. Jebb. . . . [This was the begin- 
ning of the Home Arts in England.] 

There are just now two large Gypsy camps on 
either side of the city. My niece has learned 
Romany quite "flick," and we have had a great 


deal of fun visiting the tents. The Romany Rye 
is an unknown being as yet in America. . . . 

I expect to go to Moimt Desert, Maine, in 
July. Injuns live there who take you out in their 

I miss Alsopp ! 
How is Pig? 

I have a nice collection of Gypsy sketches or 
Romany Rambles written. 

And a book on Education going about seeking 
a publisher. ... 

I have read the negro stories. If I had time I 
could get up a fine coloured volume here. My 
particular servant Eugene is as good as Ebenezer 
and capable of everything. I have met with a 
coloured woman (quad) cleverer than any white 
lady in Philadelphia. Such a stunning public 
speaker as she is! 

Now, if you were here, we could be in a few 
hours among deer and bears. 

To his story in his letters, I can add a few 
facts, as I worked with him, fired by his enthu- 
siasm — it was irresistible — and believing many 
things I have not the heart to believe any longer. 
Mr. MacAlister was then the Superintendent of 
the Public Schools, and members of the Board I 


remember as specially active and sympathetic 
were Mr. Edward T. Steel, then the President, 
and Mr. William Gulagher. As the school, in the 
beginning, was but an experiment, it was neces- 
sary to limit the number of pupils and the cost of 
the classes. The plan was to start in a central 
school-house, where there were vacant rooms that 
could be used for the purpose, and to select the 
children from the schools all over Philadelphia. 
The teachers interested enough to want to come 
were to have a special class in the evening. The 
school-house chosen was the Hollingsworth, in 
Locust Street above Broad, but a step, fortunately, 
from the Rye's home. To have a school, but no 
instructors, would have daunted anybody less 
brave. The one assistant paid was a man with 
the ideas of the schoolmaster, who could not 
understand the Rye's larger, more far-seeing am- 
bitions. A few volunteered their services. After 
the disastrous results of my short apprenticeship, 
nothing was to be hoped for from me as instructor. 
But I could keep books in order, and manage the 
clerical business. Miss Lucy Moss, well known 
in Philadelphia, oflFered to take charge of a 
needlework class. After the school had got go- 
ing, Mr. J. Liberty Tadd interested himself and 
suggested that he could manage the classes in 


painting and modelling. But the brunt of it fell 
on the Rye, and he, who had never taught in all 
his life, who made no pretension to professional 
proficiency and was all modesty before the 
artist, who would not have accepted a cent, if it 
had been ofiEered, — and I cannot remember that 
it ever was ofiFered, — found himself chief in- 
structor of drawing, carving in wood, working in 
metal and leather. Really, in his life of adven- 
ture, nothing seems to me more adventurous 
than the brave way in which he met this diffi- 
culty, — the unselfish way, I ought to add. His 
own work and innumerable interests more per- 
sonal might be clamouring for him. Spring 
IBight be in the air and Gypsies on the road. But, 
with nothing to gain, he shut himself up deliber- 
ately in the stuffy schoolroom, going regularly 
from boy to boy, from girl to girl, setting copies, 
presiding, directing, encouraging. And I might 
as well say here that he never failed when he was 
wanted, — that from the first class, held in 188 1, 
until he left Philadelphia, in 1884, he always did 
teach and never was paid for it, and that, from 
beginning to end, he missed not more than half 
a dozen lessons, if that many. 

I may as well also, for the sake of continuity, 
finish at once the story of the school, which he 


ranked as the greatest achievement of his life. 
By the autumn of 1881, the School Board was 
sufficiently satisfied with the experiment to place 
the school on a firmer basis. A more generous 
grant was made, and salaries were now possi- 
ble. Miss Moss and Mr. Tadd were retained. 
Mr. Uhle was engaged to teach wood-carving; 
Eugene, who continued to seem as good as 
Ebenezer, was given a class in carpentering. 
My clerical services were also considered worth 
being paid for. In fact, we all profited, save the 
one man who gave everything, — ideas, methods, 
time, advice, hard work. For he continued to 
teach. His was the largest class, the class upon 
which the others depended, the class of draw- 
ing and design. I have no intention to go into 
technical details ; this would not be the place for 
them. But it should, in justice, be recorded that 
to the Rye was due not only the idea of intro- 
ducing the Minor Arts into the Public Schools, 
but the method by which they were to be taught. 
Of this method he^has left the explanation in 
various pamphlets and manuals in which it can 
be read at length. It will be enough here to 
borrow from the "Memoranda" a short, simple 
statement of the fundamental theory of his sys- 
tem and some of the maxims by which he sup- 


ported it. ^^The leading idea is that designing 
original patterns can be taught from the first 
lesson with drawing, that such exercise of inven- 
tion stimulates and pleases the youthful mind, 
and causes great and rapid progress." "The 
Minor Arts are really only drawing in different 
materials with different implements." "The 
decorative artist who can design is a Dives, the 
one who cannot is a Lazarus who lives on the 
crumbs and scraps from the rich man's table." 
"Decorative art without design is a flower cut 
from the root. Design is the root which sends 
forth endless flowers." " The artistic designer 
can do everything well; the specialist, without 
drawing, can do only one thing as a mere work- 
man." And he believed, further, that the feeling 
for decoration "does wonders in refining people 
and elevating their intelligence;" that interest 
in the Minor Arts develops general intelligence 
and love of literature; that "a knowledge of 
art, or how to make one or more things, is of 
immense value in stimulating in every mind a 
love of industry." The logical conclusion of this 
belief was that all the children, before being 
put to an)rthing else, should be taught drawing. 
To be taught practically, he insisted that they 
should be made to draw " freely from the shoul- 


der," and that they should begin to design by 
mastering the simple spiral, from which the most 
complicated patterns could be evolved. 

It was not only to the school he sacrificed 
himself, in order to prove his theory by teaching 
his method. By far the greater part of the time 
that followed the opening of the school was 
devoted to expounding his system and endeav- 
ouring to promulgate it throughout the country. 
He wrote for the U. S. Bureau of Education a 
pamphlet on the Minor Arts as a branch of 
public education ("Industrial Art in Schools:'' 
Circular No. 4, 1882), a pamphlet distributed 
in the fashion in which the Government at 
Washington manages such matters, and bringing 
him, in consequence, such a mass of correspon- 
dence from North, South, East, and West, that 
it was a constant marvel to me how he got 
through with it. He edited a series of "Art Work 
Manuals" for Toumure in New York, supplying 
most of the text and designs himself. (Published 
by the Art Interchange Co., 1881-82.) He wrote 
constantly to Mrs. Jebb, helping her in forming 
classes that were to lead to the Cottage Arts 
Association, and so, eventually, to the Home 
Arts, as directly the outcome of his teaching as 
the school in Locust Street: his suggestion in 


the "Minor Arts," that classes should be formed 
in every village, having been Mrs. Jebb's inspi- 
ration. He started a Decorative Art Club, for I 
think it was more than he could stand to consider 
all the idle wojnen in Philadelphia, and, as an 
active President, he spared himself neither time 
nor labour. He lectured, here, there, and every- 
where. He saw innumerable people who came 
to consult him, and seldom failed to talk them 
into enthusiasm. 

Until both club and school were firmly 
enough established to run themselves, the Rye 
never thought of going back to England. The 
club survived only a few years after he had gone 
— Philadelphia women not being suflSciently 
lured from idleness to ensure for it, by work, a 
longer lease of life, and the end being brought 
on precipitately by an imfortunate lawsuit. But 
the school did not depend upon amateurs, 
and it developed into the Public Industrial 
Art School, Broad and Spring Garden Streets. 
After the Rye left Philadelphia, there was a long 
interval when it seemed as if Philadelphia, with 
its usual distrust of its prophets, was bent upon 
ignoring the founder, the creator of the school 
and even of its method. There was an attempt to 
pass the credit on where credit did not belong, 


and to let others enjoy the fruits of his disinter- 
estedness, as all who cared for him at home saw 
to their grief and indignation. Word came to 
him in England that old Dr. Fumess was wish- 
ing for his return, that he might vindicate his 
claim to the credit of introducing^' all these artis- 
tic manual training schools," for it seemed as if 
"there were others who would take the whole of 
it." George Boker wrote indignantly of the way 
the Rye's ideas and methods were being used 
and no credit given to him: "I do not fail to 
express my wrath on all occasions," Boker adds. 
This was in 1887. Only three or four years ago, 
I went to hear a lecturer in London describe 
the methods of the Philadelphia school, and 
he failed to mention once the name of Charles 
Godfrey Leland, without whom it never would 
have been. It seemed as if everybody save him- 
self was to continue to prol&t by his ideas and his 
labours in the cause of industrial education. It 
is a grief to me now to remember the grief all 
this meant to him. But, as I write, I believe 
the interval of forgetfulness is at an end. At a 
meeting held to do honour to his memory, not 
long after his death, he was duly acclaimed, as 
he should always have been, as the founder of 
school and system both. And the two "Charles 


Godfrey Leland Scholarships," presented by 
Mrs. John Harrison, will make generations of 
students in the future venerate his name and 
appreciate the work he did for them. 

If the school, with its many oflF-shoots, was the 
chief outcome of his short visit to Philadelphia, 
it did not exhaust his time and energies. That 
would have been a degree of self-sacrifice more 
than useless. He allowed himself a few amuse- 
ments, though, to the average man, they might 
have seemed anything but amusements. For, 
from the social standpoint, he lived almost a 
hermit's life. London had made him forget a 
little the distaste for social pleasures he began to 
feel when he left home in 1869. But, back in 
Philadelphia, it seized upon him with renewed 
force, chiefly, I think, because he could not do 
everjrthing, and the innumerable other things he 
had to do amused him far more than what is 
called society. I do not mean that he did not see 
any one. His sister's house was always open to 
him. As in the old days, his Sunday afternoons 
were spent with George Boker, only now Boker 
came to him with "Young George," as the Rye 
always called the son. And he met, more or 
less occasionally, men like Walt Whitman, Dr. 
Fumess, Mr. Talcott Williams, and old news- 


paper friends. That sadly fragmentary journal 
notes, too, a few special functions he attended, 
a few meetings with distinguished strangers. 
There are loose cards, that somehow have suc- 
ceeded in never dropping out from the much 
travelled book, inviting him to a dinner given 
by Irving to the Clover Club at the Bellevue, to 
a reception to Irving by the Journalists' Club, 
to the Penn Club to meet Principal J. W. Daw- 
son of McGni University, Montreal — what 
characteristic Philadelphia functions those are! 
In the Journal itself I read : — 

Saturday y April 23d (1881). Called with Eliza- 
beth on P. T. Bamum. Anecdotes of elephants, 
etc. He was very amusing, and noted down 
my suggestion to bring out a Hungarian Gypsy 
orchestra. [How P. T. B. did talk!] 

Saturday y April 30th (1881). Went with 
Elizabeth out to Kirkbride's Lunatic Asylum, 
saw the lady patients sawing fretwork. I pro- 
mised to go there some time and lecture. Re- 
turning home, we met old Walt Whitman in the 
car. He was quite charming and asked us to 
come and see him when in Camden. He had 
been roaming in the country, and had enjoyed 
himself very much, and said the day had not cost 
a dollar. He had recently returned from Boston, 


where he said they had ffited and dined him so 
much that he retreated home. He said that he 
had never met Dr. Hohnes, and I expressed great 
astonishment at it. He had on a dark broad felt 
— I have always seen him in a white one which 
some poet in a newspaper lately compared to a 
lily! He remarked that the Boston newspaper 
had said so much of his clothes. And truly they 
and all have had more to say of his hat than his 
head, and of his shirt collar than of his soul. He 
told me that his best photograph had been made 
by Wenderoth — this in answer to my question. 
Once, he told me, that — in the darkest years of 
his life, when he almost despaired, he had been 
kept up to hope by two letters — one from my 
brother Henry, who, then in Italy, had seen some 
of his j&rst scattered poems, and, not knowing 
him, had written to him very encouragingly, or 
well, — or however it was. Therefore, he is so 
much interested in me. E. is better informed as 
to what the reviewers say of him than I am, and 
I wondered that she did not tell him of an Eng- 
lish review, in a just published work, that calls 
him the greatest living poet, for I think he may 
not have seen it. 

May loth (1882). While Mr. Augustus Hop- 
pin, the artist, was calling, a messenger came 


from Oscax Wilde, who appeared himself before 
long. [I remember well. Wilde came, got up 
as a far-away imitation of a cowboy, whom he 
thought the most picturesque product of Amer- 
ica, and he was fresh from Camden, and an hour 
at the feet of Walt Whitman.] He went to see 
the work at the schoolroom, and told me he had 
often described my education in his lectures, 
and answered many letters inquiring as to it. I 
gave him some specimens of work, — a vase, two 
brass placques, a wood carved panel, and an 
India ink design. He went oflE to lecture, and in 
two hours' time there came in eight or ten yoimg 
lady artists who had been to the lecture and said 
that he had praised my school as constituting a 
new era, and exhibited the plates, etc., praising 
them highly. We held a meeting of the Executive 
Committee of the Ladies' Art Club, and resolved 
to call a general meeting. 

December 27th (1883). Invited and went to 
dinner given to Matthew Arnold. Introduced to 
him. He is strikingly like the portrait caricature 
of Talmage, the sensational preacher. I said 
so, and was told it was a libel. I asked on whom, 
Arnold or Talmage ? Arnold abuses Philistines. 
A runaway monk never praises his convent. He 
is zealous against them. " One renegade is a 


fiercer Mahometan than the Turks." In reply 
to Wayne MacVeagh's speech, he made a very 
shambling, awkward, feeble reply, which was 
charmingly cooked and sauced up by the report- 
ers. He is a sad contrast to Henry Irving — or 
any other man. He seems to be the prince of 

The next entry is dated from London, six 
months later. Whatever his social amusement 
may have been from time to time, I think his 
real relaxation was in his afternoon tramps. 
Sometimes we went Gypsying, but our adven- 
tures, when we did, belong to the story of him in 
his G5^sy incarnation; though I must at least 
mention here how I used to find myself holding 
my breath, in fear almost, when I looked at him, 
the centre of the group of vagabonds for whom 
Philadelphia had but disdain, and then sud- 
denly considered what the members of the school 
board and the pupils of the school would think, 
could they see him. The chances are, the same 
comparison suggested itself to him, and half 
his pleasure was in it. Sometimes we merely 
rambled about the streets. But he loved the 
streets and the shops in Philadelphia, no less 
than Charles Lamb in London. He would stand 


entranced before the shop windows, and, in 
memory, I see him again putting on his glasses 
carefully the better to study the display. And 
he loved to buy things, — old things by prefer- 
ence. Philadelphia was not like Florence, where, 
the last years of his life, he could gratify this 
passion in the old shops and at the old barrows, 
until he had made the collection of books which 
Mrs. Harrison has since presented to the Penn- 
sylvania Museum. Antiquity shops in Phila- 
delphia then were few. Fryer's was only for the 
millionaire, while the German whose name I 
have forgotten — now, I am told, a very important 
person — was in my day just starting in life. 
Often, all the Rye brought home from his ram- 
bles was some ingenious little Yankee contri- 
vance for his writing table; at others, it was a 
huge pear for me, and this pleased him the more, 
for it was bought from "a Dago," and five cents 
was cheap for the talk in Italian, by which the 
bargain was clinched, — how many pears, colos- 
sal Bartlett pears, have I eaten in the cause of 
philology ! Or else, it was a bit of cheap blue 
and white china from an Eighth Street Jew, the 
greeting in Schmussen thrown in for nothing; 
and I cannot look at the pieces that remain of 
the collection he thus made for me, without 


hearing again his laugh of exultation after his 
Sholem Alaicham^ and the Jew's stare of aston- 
ishment. "What jolly walks about town!" he 
wrote to me, recalling them ten years afterwards, 
— " Bu5dng Japanese china ! — Henrietta ! — 
Gypsies! — George Boker — Walt Whitman — 
Mercantile Library — Campobello 1 " And again, 
"I was never as happy as in those days. How 
fast life flies ! Those days are beginning to min- 
gle with old time reminiscences and take a little 
of the colour of fairyland." 

The reference to Campobello is, for me, an 
eloquent reminder of the part his simmiers 
should have in any account of his amusements 
at the time. The first at home he spent in New- 
port. The second (1881), from which fresh inter- 
ests and much work were to come, he went to 
Mt. Desert. On the way, he stopped at Boston 
and Cambridge. He had been asked to read the 
Phi Beta Kappa poem at Harvard, an honour 
that gave him genuine pleasure. He wrote it 
with even more than the usual care and enthu- 
siasm he lavished upon whatever he might have 
to do. As I was seeing him daily at that period, 
he would read me in the afternoon the lines he 
had written in the morning. It meant much to 
him — he made it almost a profession of faith. 


It was never published, and, after this long inter- 
val, I should not venture to explain its subject in 
detail. But I know it touched upon the modern 
materialism that he believed was leading to the 
noblest, the most perfect spiritualism ever yet 
evolved. Therefore what he thought the indif- 
ference of his audience when he read the poem 
at Harvard was a deep disappointment, and he 
felt it enough to say so frankly to Dr. Holmes. 
I do not know which pleases me better, his own 
frankness or the equal frankness with which the 
Doctor met it. 



Beverly Farms, July i8th, 1881. 

My dear Leland, — I was sorry for the cir- 
cumstance you mention so quietly — very sorry. 
Now I will tell you one or two things about the 
Phi Beta Poem. Over and over again I wanted 
to get up and tell you that the last portion of 
many lines could not, I felt sure, be heard. But 
it is so awkward to interrupt — and to be in- 
terrupted — that I refrained from doing it. I 
was confident that many of the best points were 
not taken, simply because they were not clearly 
heard. It is the commonest fault of those who 


read their own verse to let their voices drop at 
the end and toward the end of a line. My wife 
has so often reproved me for it that I have 
learned pretty well to avoid it. . . . You must 
remember also that Boston was almost liter- 
ally empty of its proper world when you were 
there, and that "everybody" scattered oflE from 
Cambridge in every direction in the afternoon 

Jn delivering your poem, you were at such a 
disadvantage as perhaps no other Phi Beta poet 
ever was before. Wendell Phillips at Harvard 
was an event — I don't doubt some of the other 
alumni went into convulsions about it. He had 
utterly exhausted the sensibilities of his audi- 
ence before you had a chance at them. I saw at 
once, before you opened your lips, that you had 
an impossible task — to address an audience 
which was exhausted by two hours of electric 
shocks. It is always a diflScult matter to interest 
an audience tired with a long piece of declama- 
tion. I do not think that your predecessors of 
late years have succeeded in doing it. I have 
myself on one occasion delivered a poem after 
an eloquent and taking address, and experienced 
a wretched sense of depression after it in con- 
sequence. Your poem will read well, I have no 


the summer of 1881, as also of 1882 and 1883, 1 
wait to write in comiection with the book he 
made out of them, "The Algonquin Legends." 
The hours in their tents by the sea helped to 
give him courage for the routine of work in 
Philadelphia. The quiet, industrious, civilised 
Passamaquoddies danced no war dances with 
him, —led hhn on no wUd chase across the 
plains. As I saw. them, they were tranquillity 
itself. But the old fire, the old wildness, the old 
magic was in their legends, and in each, as he 
forced it from them by his own spell of sympathy, 
he drew a fresh breath of life. I remember what 
splendid form he was always in when he got 
back to Philadelphia and to work in the fall, 
his note-book full of Indian words and phrases 
and stories, his trunk full of birch-bark boxes. 
The procession of savages, armed with toma- 
hawks, grasping each other's long hair, that 
encircled some of the boxes, proved to me how 
well the Indians had been initiated into the 
mystery of spirals. 

The summer of 1882 was spent partly at Rye 
Beach, partly at Campobellp, then just begin- 
ning to be heard of as a rival to Bar Harbor. A 
letter from the Rye recalls to me now many 
things, a^id is characteristic of him. 











8 .I 






Rye, N. H., June 25th, 1882. 

My dear Mr. Pennell, — If you want my 
picture, you must go to Gutekunst and get that 
one with the broad-brimmed hat. Tell him it 
is to be engraved to his honour and glory and 

We are all well, and yesterday went to Ports- 
mouth and saw some marvellous old houses. 

Yours truly, 

Charles G. Leland. 

P. S. I write in great haste. I am quite full 
of the idea of writing a book to be called the 
"Vagabonds," you to do the pictures. Run it 
first through "ScribneK" Miss Robins is all 
right, and anticipating doing a jolly lot of work. 
This is a very nice place. 

In the summer of 1883, 1 joined him at Cam- 
pobello for a few weeks, and there he took me 
to spend long afternoons with Tomah and the 
others under the pines near the Tyn-e-Coed 
House, and to ramble long mornings in the 
woods, almost primeval in their wildness. In 
his rough flannels and wide-brimmed straw hat, 
he looked like the pioneer seeking a trail or blaz- 


ing a new one, as he literally hacked his way 
through. For he carried a' great knife, and, as he 
went, he cut down here a branch, gnarled and 
twisted, that with two or three touches of the 
knife he could make into a grotesque as strange 
as the grinning gargoyle of some old cathedral; 
or there a great fungus, bracket-like in form, in 
which he divined decorative possibilities. And 
so we would come home to lunch, laden with 
trophies that himg for the rest of the summer 
on the walls of his room. He 'could not live in a 
room with bare walls, and the more barbarous 
the ornament, the more it pleased him. And 
at Campobello, too, the idle were set to work. 
Spirals were made with as great assiduity on the 
Bay of Fundy as on the banks of the Delaware. 
But if half the time he was the stem school- 
master to the young women in the hotel, whose 
talent heretofore had been for idleness, he was 
also, the other half, the magician who could tell 
fortunes and cast spells. On how many a windy 
evening, before the great wood fire in the hall, 
have I seen a small hand stretched out that he 
might read the lines, how many times have I seen 
" that fine head " bending over it with the gravity 
and intensity he gave to his every action ! 
It was this curious contrast in his interests — 


a contrast incomprehensible to some people — 
which made him the extraordinary man he was, 
and gave his life its zest. After knowing him, 
I have understood better that once inscrutable 
figure of Borrow, Romany Rye and agent in 
Spain and Russia for the Bible Society. The Rye 
was the happier gossiping in the garden with a 
tinker because, the moment before, he had been 
interviewing a school director in his study. He 
was the gayer in the Gypsy tent because of the 
hours in the schoolroom. I saw both sides during 
the four years in Philadelphia. I have shown 
one; now I want to show the other, — the more 
picturesque, and, I am half tempted to believe, 
to him the better side. 



To the many who do not understand, it is not 
easy to explain the charm of the Gypsy. But 
what it means to the few who feel it, Borrow, 
long ago, left no chance of doubt. I have come 
under the spell. There was a time when I found 
my hand's breadth of romance, " 'mid the blank 
miles round about," on the road and in the 
tents. But when I look back to the camps by the 
wayside where I was at home, the centre of the 
group round the fire or under the trees was not 
the Gypsy, but a tall, fair man, with flowing 
beard, more like a Viking, — the Rye, without 
whom I would never have found my way there. 
When he took me to see the Gypsies, after his 
return to Philadelphia in the winter of 1880, he 
had already written his first books about them, 

1 One word of explanation : I am not responsible for the 
vagaries in the Romany spelling of the Romany Ryes. A 
moment came when they strove for uniformity. But at first 
they were as independent in the matter as the Gypsy is in 
life, with infinite confusion for the student as result. 


was akeady honoured as a Romany scholar 
throughout the learned world, and welcomed as 
a friend in every green lane where Gypsies wan- 
der. I like best to remember him as he was on 
these tramps, gay and at ease in his velveteen 
coat and soft wide-brimmed hat, alert for dis- 
covery of the Romany in the Philadelphia lots, 
and like a child in his enjoyment of it all, from 
the first glimpse of the smoke curling through the 
trees and the first sound of the soft Sarishan of 
greeting. Of his love for the G3^sies, I can 
therefore speak from my memory of the old days. 
And as, since his death, all his Gypsy papers 
and collections have been placed in my hands, I 
now know no less well — perhaps better than 
anybody — just how hard he worked over their 
history and their language. For, if " G3^S3mig'* 
was, as he said, the best sport he knew, it was also 
his most serious pursuit. There are notebooks, 
elaborate vocabularies, stories, proverbs, songs, 
diaries, lists of names, memoranda of all sorts; 
there are great bundles of letters, a few from 
Gypsies, the greater number from Romany 
Ryes; for nothing, I do believe, ever united men 
as closely as love of the Gypsy, — when it did not 
estrange them completely, — and it happened 
that never was there a group of scholars so ready 


to be drawn together by this bond, Borrow their 
inspiration, as they would have been the first to 

If a Romany Rye is, as Groome explained, 
one, not a Gypsy, who loves the race and has 
mastered the tongue. Borrow did not invent him. 
Already students had busied themselves with the 
language; already Gypsy scholars, like Glan- 
vill's — or Matthew Arnold's? — "had roam'd 
the world with that wild brotherhood." But 
they had been scattered through the many cen- 
turies since the first Gypsy had appeared in 
Europe. It was Borrow who, hearing the music 
of the wind on the heath, and feeling the charm 
of the G3rpsy's life, made others hear and feel 
with him, till, where there had been but one 
Romany Rye, there were now a score, learning 
more of Romany in a few years than earlier 
scholars had in hundreds, and, less fearful than 
GlanvilPs youth, giving the world their know- 
ledge of the language and the people who spoke 
it. A very craze for the Gypsy spread through 
the land. I know of nothing like it, save the 
ardour with which the F^librige took root in 
Provence. Language in both cases — with the 
F61ibres iheir own, with the Romany Ryes that of 
the stranger — led to meetings, and friendships, 


and rivalries, and collaboration, and exaltation 
even; only, the sober men of the North were 
less intoxicated with the noise of their own voices, 
less theatrical in proclaiming their Brotherhood, 
less eager to make of a common study a new 
religion — and more self-conscious. They would 
have been ashamed to blow their trumpets in 
public, to advertise them^lves with joyous self- 
abandonment The F^libres were proud to be 
Provengal; the Romany Ryes loved to play at 
Gyps3ring. And so, while the history of the 
F61ibrige — probably with years of life before it 
— has been written again and again, the move- 
ment Borrow started still waits its historian, 
though, if the child has been bom who will see 
the last Gypsy, the race of Gypsy scholars must 
now be dying out. It is a pity. The story of their 
studies and their friendships and their fights, as 
I read it in these yeUowing letters and note- 
books, is worth immortalising. 

Of all the little group, not one got to know the 
Gypsies better, loved them more honestly, and 
wrote about them more learnedly, yet delight- 
fully, than the Rye, — the name by which they, 
as well as I, knew him best. If his study of the 
Romanies began only when he came to settle in 
England in 1870, it was simply because, until 


then, he had found no Romanies to study. Love 
of them must always have been in his blood. His 
passion for the mysterious predestined him to 
dealings of the "deepest" with the Gypsies — 
ever3rthing connected with whom is a mystery, as 
Lavengro told the Armenian — once the Gyp- 
sies came his way. The Rye did not make Sor- 
row's pretence to secret power; he did not pose 
as the Sapengro, their master. Nor was there 
anything of the vagabond about him. I cannot 
imagine him in the dingle with the Flaming Tin- 
man and Isopel Bemers. He would have been 
supremely uncomfortable journeying through 
Norway, or through life, with Esmeralda. He 
could not have wandered as the Gypsy with 
Wlislocki or Herrmann in the mountains of 
Transylvania, or Sampson on Welsh roads. It 
was not his way of caring for the Gypsies; that 
was the only difiFerence; he cared for them no 
less. For him the fascination was in the message 
their dark faces brought from the East, the 
"fatherland of divination and enchantment;" 
in tiie shreds and tatters of m3rths and magics 
that clung to them ; in their black language — 
the kalo jib — with the something mysterious 
in it that drew Borrow to the Irish tongue. 
Besides, his love of Nature, though it would 


no more have driven him into the wilderness with 
Thoreau than love for the Gypsy could have led 
him to pitch his tent in Borrow's dingle, was very 
real, and opened his heart to the people whom 
he thought the human types of this love which is 
vanishing. In his ears, theirs was "the cheerful 
voice of the public road;" to its "sentiment," 
their presence gave the clue; and he believed 
that Borrow felt this with him. I am not so sure. 
For all the now famous picture of the Gypsy as 
the human cuckoo adding charm to the green 
lanes in spring and summer, it is a question 
whether Nature ever really appealed to Borrow, 
save as a background for his own dramatic self. 
With the Rye, however, I have wandered often 
and far enough to know that he loved the wood, 
the sea, the road, none the less when all human- 
ity had been left behind. And out of this love of 
Nature and the people nearest to her, came the 
gift of which he boasted once in a letter to Bor- 
row; he had always, he said, been able to win 
the confidence of Indians and Negroes. It was 
natural then that he and the Gypsies, as soon as 
they met, should understand each other. 

I do not mean that he did not enjoy the dra- 
matic moment when it came. He did. He liked 
to astonish the G5^sies by talking to them in 


their own language. He liked to be able, no 
matter where he chanced upon them — in Eng- 
land or America, Hungary or Italy, Egypt or 
Russia — to stroll up, to all appearance the 
complete Gorgio, or Gentile; to be greeted as 
one; and then, of a sudden, to break fluently 
into Romany, "to descend upon them by a way 
that was dark and a trick that was vain, in the 
path of mystery," and then to watch their won- 
der. That was "a game, a jolly game, and no 
mistake," — a game worth all the philological 
discoveries in the world, which, I must say, he 
pla)red uncommonly well. Everything about him 
helped, — his imposing presence ; his fine head, 
with the long flowing beard, always towering 
above the Romanies; his gestures — that im- 
pressive way, all his own, of throwing out his 
large hands as he spoke the magic words; his 
earnestness, for he was tremendously in earnest 
in everything he did, and no Romany Rye ever 
"looked fixedly for a minute" into the Gypsy's 
eye — the first move in the game — with more 
telling effect. To have an audience, especially 
a disinterested audience, added to the effect and 
the pleasure. "Wait, and you will see some- 
thing queer," the Rye told the friend who was 
with him at the Paris Exhibition of 1878, when 


he spoke to the Hungarian G3^sies. There you 
have it. And the "queer thing" did not end with 
the first breathless second of astonishment. For 
he could tell the Romanies their own stories and 
fortunes, sing them their own songs, put them up 
to their own tricks, every bit as well as they could 
themselves, if not better, and look the Gorgio all 
the time. "How do you do it up to such a high 
peg?" one of them asked him once. "It's the 
air and the style!" To become a m)rstery to the 
people of mystery was a situation to which the 
study of no other language could lead. And to 
have somebody, even a chance passer-by, see 
him do it — to force an involuntary "Do you 
know, sir, I think you're the most mysterious 
gentleman I ever met ! " — but made his triumph 

If at home, up to 1869, he had never fallen 
among Gypsies, Fate so willed it that in England 
he should spend much of his time in the town 
of all others where to escape them was impos- 
sible for the few who did not want to escape, 
though most people there would not have known 
a G5^sy had they seen one. This was Brighton, 
middle-class and snobbish, stiU too dazzled by 
the royalty that once patronised it to have eyes 
for the Romanies who, however, were always to 


be found at the Devil's Dyke, but a few mfles ofif. 
It was another piece of luck that chief among 
these Romanies should be old Matty Cooper, in 
his way as remarkable a personage as the Re- 
gent had been before him. Matty is effectively 
described in a letter to Mrs. John Harrison from 
Brighton (October 28, 1871): "There is a very 
romantic and extraordinary place, six miles from 
here, called the Devil's Dyke. It is a very large 
old Roman encampment a mile long, aroimd 
a very high hiU from which one can see sixty 
steeples and several interesting places. I walked 
over there one Sunday, and while there, asked 
for Old Gentilla, the Gipsy who tells fortunes, 
whom I had not seen for a 3^ar. I found a Gipsy 
man in Romany rig, i. e., with red and yellow 
neckerchief, knee breeches, and cut-away coat 
— her brother. So I accosted him with Sarishan I 
(Greeting), to which he replied, Cushto dwvus — 
(Good day). And I, How ^ve you been beshen 
sore acovar tattoben? (How have you been all 
summer?) And he said he had been picking 
hops and earned shiar chindis, or four shillings, 
a day. For I am getting quite fluent in G3^sy, 
which is very queer, for they always refuse to 
talk it or teach it — but I verily believe that I 
have some magic power over them, for they 


each accompanied by its definition, its possible 
derivation, its variations suggested by different 
G)^sies and G)^sy scholars, and its practical 
application. There is no question that the lessons 
were not all "beer and baccy" for Matty. 

But there are other entries that explain how 
he managed to bear the strain. Sometimes, the 
pupil records, "I went with my professor to visit 
the Gypsies camped about Brighton fax and 
near," and by the time he left Brighton for 
Oatlands Park, the open road had become the 
usual class-room. At first, I fancy, the Rye 
hoped to continue his studies by correspondence. 
Otherwise, I can hardly explain a couple of let- 
ters which I have found among his papers. One, 
still in its envelope, is ingeniously directed "To 
the Gentleman at 123 Marine Parade, Brighton." 
Both are undated, but both, internal evidence 
proves, come from Gypsies at the Dyke. Here is 
the first, of which the second is practically but 
the repetition, even to the entire absence of punc- 
tuation : — 

My dear Sir,— I received your kind letter 
and happy to hear you was quite well, also your 
friend Sir i have sorry to tell you that my poor 
sister is very ill i do not think she will be here 


long i cannot tell you an)1;hing about Romni 
Chib in the letter but if you will come down to see 
me i have a little more to say to you as you know 
where i live and if i have not at home i ham 
aways up on the Dike i must thank you for tell- 
ing me about my niphews so no more from your 
well wisher. 

However, the Romany University is all out- 
doors, and Matty was as much at home along the 
shores of the Thames as at the Devil's Dyke. 
Indeed, he was best known as "The Windsor 
Froggie," and Windsor is not far from Oatlands 
Park, which, in its turn, is not far from Walton 
Bridge and the old willow tree through which, 
some thirty years ago, — alas, I cannot say how 
it is now, — the blue smoke was always curling, 
as sure a sign of the presence of Gypsies as the 
flag floating from Windsor tower is of royalty. 
And in all the coimtry round about — the coun- 
try of the old church towers the Rye loved, rising 
over fringes of forest, of ancient castles with the 
village at their feet, of the river and bridge in the 
foreground — Gypsies were forever coming and 
going. By the cool banks of the Thames, by the 
"turf -edged way," they pitched their smoked 
tents, and in the little ale-house, at the country 


fair, on every near racecourse the pupil was sure 
of finding his Romany professor or one or more 
of his tutors. The note-books now are full of the 
sound of running water and rustling leaves; the 
sun shines in them, the rain pours. Borrow, 
teaching Isopel Bemers Armenian, was not freer 
of academic traditions than the Rye taking his 
frequent lesson from Matty Cooper. Certainly, 
nothing could be farther from the methods of 
Harvard or of Oxford than the session on Sun- 
day, November i6, 1873: — 

"Went to the Bridge, but no Matty. Went 
to Joshua Cooper's tent — not there. Finally 
found Joshua out of breath, who, having just 
been chased by a gav-mush [policeman], escaped 
by throwing away the wood he was carrying 

Convey, the wise it call. 

So we had a long session and a very stormy one 
— ^ the children squalling, the G)^sies chingering 
[quarrelling], and old Matty as Head Dictionary 
shutting them all up. Finally, young Smith, 
Sally Buckland's grandson, and another came to 
visit, and, after praising my great generosity, got 
a tringrushi [shilling], and departed in a boat 
with a jug, returning joyfully, singing cheerful, 
with three quarts, which made the Sabbath sweet 


unto them. During all the confusion, I extracted 
the following. " 

And the following means several pages of 
Romany words. Or here is another entry two 
days later : — 

" Matty was waiting at the gate and took me a 
long walk, perhaps 25 miles — visiting on the 
way Ripley and Woking. . . . We got luncheon 
in Woking, Matty feasting on cold pork, and I 
on beefsteak, hot baked 'taturs, bread and but- 
ter and ale." And this was the day when, "as 
we got on, Matty became more excited, and 
when, after dusk, we got near the Park, he began 
to sing jollily," with a gay "Diddle dumpty dum 
Hurrah ! " a song all about the hunger of his chil- 
dren and the cold in his tent, a subject which 
would hardly strike any one save a Gypsy as 
something to be particularly jolly about. But, the 
Rye adds, "I got the following words from him," 
and there are ten pages of them. 

"I ran after the beagles, Matty of course was 
on the ground;" "out with the beagles, meeting 
Gypsies;" "another cold, frosty, bright morning, 
we started for Cobham," are examples of some 
of the further entries that follow each other in 
rapid succession. 

English Gypsies have not outgrown the prime- 


val fashion, which they brought with them from 
the East, of expressing gratitude through gifts. 
Jasper Petulengro was as ready to lend Borrow 
the money to buy a horse, as the wild Gitano 
in Badajoz was to throw down before him the 
bursting pomegranate, his one possession. And 
the Rye's friends were as eager to give him 
somethmg as to take from him, and words being 
about all they had worth giving and what he 
most wanted, words were lavished upon him: 
in the daily lesson, at every chance meeting, even 
by trusty messenger. It is amusmg in the note- 
books to come across such an entry as: "Chris- 
topher Jones, a half-breed Gypsy, but whose 
mother was a full blood (a Lee), and said to be 
deeply learned in old Gypsy, told Cooper to ask 
me if I knew that water was called the boro 
Duvel. C. Jones had much intercourse with old 
Gypsies." The scholar, of course, would prize 
the facts in the note-books, however acquired. 
But it is the entries like this that please me, 
and the little memoranda, scribbled in pencil, 
meant to be rubbed out later, but left as witnesses 
to the friendly relations between the Rye in the 
boro ketchema (big hotel) and the Gypsies in their 
tan (tent) by the roadside: "Write to G. Coo- 
per," one of these entries says, "ask if she has 


seen Louisa Lee — tell her her mother is dead. 
Oliver ill. Send your love." 

The Rye gradually came to be looked upon as 
a sort of general news-agent and letter-writer 
for all the Romanies in the South, a trust he 
accepted with good-nature, or an "ever loving 
friend" would not have written from the tents, 
to charge him, in one breathless outburst, " if you 
should see my boy again you might ask him 
where his sister is as i should like to hear from 
her as well as i should from him if you see Valen- 
tine Stanley you might give my love to him and 
tell him i should be glad to hear from him or his 
Brother at Any time and you might give my kind 
love and best wishes to Anybody that ask About 
me give my kind love and best Respects to your 
wife and niece sir if you should see any of the 
Smalls again plase to tell them there is some 
money left them By the death of their Aunt Eliza 
What Was in Australia the house is to be sold in 
taunton and the money is to be divided among 
her Brothers Children." 

In the midst of this hard work — or pleasant 
play — or, rather, when he first embarked upon 
it, the Rye's thoughts naturally turned to Bor- 
row. No one could then, or can ever again, see or 
hear of Romanies without thinking of Borrow. 


And Borrow was still living; not the magnificent, 
young, heroic Borrow, inviting wonder wherever 
he went, whatever he did, whether fighting the 
Horrors or the Tinman, talking to an old apple- 
woman on London Bridge or drinking beer at a 
wayside inn, translating the Bible into Mant-chu 
or distributing it to the heathen in Spain (by 
the way, only a few years ago, I saw the sign " G. 
Borrow, Agent of the British and Foreign Bible 
Society " high up on a house in the Plaza de la 
Constitucion, in Seville); but it was now the 
old Borrow, ill-natured, grumpy, living like any 
city man in a respectable Brompton Square, 
passing his afternoons at the Savile Club, still 
ready, however, to pose, if we can believe 
Groome, who saw him in the winter of 1873. 
"He posed even to me, a mere lad," Groome 
says, as he had to old Esther Faa in Yetholm 
or to Colonel Napier in Seville. But of this tal- 
ent for grumpiness and for posing, the Rye was 
agreeably ignorant. All he knew was that he 
owed to George Borrow the sport he cared more 
for than any other in the world. "For twenty 
years it [Borrow's work] has had an incredible 
influence over me," he wrote in his first letter, 
asking for an interview. Gypsy scholars who 
came after Borrow might point out flaws and 


blunders in his work, and find fault with his want 
of exactness, and the meagreness of his know- 
ledge of Romany, I tremble when I think of 
his rage, could he read some of the letters now 
l)dng before me. " Borrow will never make much 
of his book," writes Professor Palmer on the 
first appearance of the "Lavo-lil; " "he is essen- 
tially priggish and makes such display of his 
smattering of various tongues that he constantly 
comes to grief." "Sorrow's work I should like 
very much to review," Groome says in a letter. 
"On my return home, I found Bright's 'Hun- 
gary' come from the library for me, and do you 
know I have discovered a fact which seems to 
have escaped your notice, viz: that Borrow has 
quietly appropriated Bright's Spanish Gypsy 
words for his own work, mistakes and aU, with- 
out one word of recognition. I think one has the 
ancient impostor there. Bright is the origin of 
all." Dr. Bath Smart was another who was dis- 
appointed in the "Lavo-lil;" his own collection 
of words was larger. And yet I do not think 
there was one of them all who would not have 
agreed with Groome in ranking " George Borrow 
above every other writer on the Gypsies." Inex- 
actness and shallowness matter just nothing in 
the man who could write " The Bible in Spain" 


and "Lavengro." The entire human race of 
"mere philologists " could be spared, rather than 
this one great artist-tramp, " the horse-coper with 
a twang of Hamlet and a habit of Monte Cristo. " 
"To mystify" was Sorrow's game in life: a 
game which the Rye could also play, when he 
held a leading hand, and it is characteristic that, 
between them, they should have made their short 
acquaintance a problem as baffling as the Rom- 
any was, before they gave the world the solution. 
The letter to which I have referred, published 
by. Mr. Knapp in his Life of Borrow, is dated 
October i8, 1870. There is a second from the 
Rye, dated January, 1871,—^ both were written 
from Brighton, — and Mr. Knapp finds in it 
proof that during the interval the desired meeting 
had taken place. And yet, the only letter from 
Borrow which I have found among the Rye's 
papers, written as if no meetmg had taken place, 
is dated November 2, 1871. It is from 22 Here- 
ford Square, Brompton, and, though not en- 
thusiastic, is at least not discouraging from the 
Borrow of those days. 

Sir, — I have received your letter and am 
gratified by the desire you express to make my 




iV J 







Whenever you please to come, I shall be happy 
to see you. 

Truly yours, 

George Borrow. 

This might settle matters, did not the Rye state 
in his "Memoirs" and again in "The Gypsies" 
— without date of course, but 1870 is the year of 
which he is speaking in the "Memoirs" — that 
he was introduced by chance to Borrow in the 
British Museum, where, afterwards, he again 
met and talked several times with the "Nestor of 
Gypsyism." Perhaps the most accurate account, 
because written at the time, is in a letter to 
Mrs. John Harrison (London, July g, 187a). "I 
have become quite at home in the great library 
of the British Museum," he tells her. "There is 
a queer old lady, an American, Mrs. Lewis, 
*Estelle,' who always writes a letter to some 
American newspaper about everything that 
comes into her head ; I believe if I asked her to 
look at the clock she would write a clock letter at 
once. She inhabits the Reading Room and is 
very useful to me in pointing out celebrities, and 
the other day she rejoiced greatly in telling me 
that it had got about that I was there, and in 
proving incontestably that this or that novelist 


or editor had stopped to look at me ! She intro- 
duced me to old (Jeorge Borrow, with whom I 
talked Gipsy. I hear he expressed himself as 
greatly pleased with me." However, it does not 
matter just when they met; the mam thing is 
that the younger Gypsy scholar did once see 
Borrow plain, — cannot you fancy them look- 
ing at each other "fixedly for a few moments'' 
in the approved Romany Rye fashion ? — that 
several meetings followed, and that the Rye, so 
far from being disillusioned, offered the "Dedi- 
cation of his * English Gypsies,' " when the book 
was written, to the man he looked up to as mas- 
ter. The letter carrying the offer was directed to 
the care of Murray, the publisher, who assured 
the Rye it must have reached Borrow, and this 
assurance is also in my pile of letters, the letters 
that tell me the whole story of those full years 
of G5rpsy scholarship. But Borrow's only answer 
was the public announcement, a few days later, 
of his "Lavo-lil." When it came to interest in 
the Gypsy, Lavengro drew the line at himself. 

But hurry as Borrow might to throw together 
anyhow the words, stories, and names col- 
lected during long years, the Rye's book came 
out first. (Trubner, 1873.) I am not sure if 
"The English Gypsies" is remembered by a 


public dazzled by the melodramatic Romany of 
fiction, and incapable of appreciating the Rye's 
study of the origin of the Romany and his lan- 
guage. Since Borrow, there had been no such 
contribution to Gypsy-lore. But the book has 
something more than learning. It sings the joys 
of the road and of the things that make life 
sweet to the wanderer, it has the indefinable 
charm of the Gypsy himself. What the public in 
the seventies thought of it is shown by the fact 
that it went quickly into a second and a third 
edition. What the Romany Ryes thought, they 
immediately wrote and told its author. It must 
have been a surprise to find how many there 
were, when he had fancied himself alone with 
Borrow. They all wrote, — Groome, from Got- 
tingen: bed impossible, he said, until he had 
finished reading the book to the last page ; Cauld- 
well, from CardiflE: "I was so enchanted with 
the book that I read every line, word, and sylla- 
ble in it at a night's sitting;" Professor Palmer, 
from Cambridge, his letter the beginning of their 
warm friendship; Bath Smart, from Manches- 
ter, the photograph of old Mrs. Petulengro sent 
as a guarantee of his genuineness, and also his 
collaborator, Crofton; Mr. Hubert Smith, just 
launching his book about the journey through 


Norway with Esmeralda and her brothers, — 
they all wrote, and not only to the Rye, but to 
each other. There was a frenzy of correspon- 
dence. And visits were made, photographs were 
exchanged: one of Groome is in the bundle be- 
fore me, young, gay, the world still to conquer; 
another of Palmer, long-bearded like a prophet ; 
a third of Hubert Smith, in Highland dress; a 
fourth of Esmeralda, delicately tinted, out of 
compliment to her sex. When I look at the let- 
ters received by my uncle alone, I cannot help 
asking how the men who wrote them had time 
to do axiyihing else. It strikes me as one of the 
little ironies of life, that the Gypsy, smoking and 
dreaming the years away, should have excited 
his lovers to such a delirium of industry. . 

Groome was the first to write, which was only 
in keeping, he being the youngest of them all, 
and his enthusiasm in the first freshness of youth. 
As the son of FitzGerald's old friend and neigh- 
bour at Monk Soham Rectory, Francis Hindes 
Groome would be remembered in any case. But 
it happens, and no Gypsy scholar would deny it, 
that he holds the highest rank as an authority on 
Romany. Years after, in 1899, the Rye wrote to 
him, "I am indeed the doyen as regards age, but 
I believe that you know more than anybody." 



Perhaps Groome knew too much, was too over- 
laden with facts. But his books seem to me 
to express far less of his joy m Gypsying than 
these early letters. I wish I could publish them 
all. They are young, fresh, frank, enthusiastic, 
but they are enormously long, — twelve, sixteen, 
eighteen, closely written pages long. The first 
five are from Gottingen. They are not dated ; I 
am growing used to the Gypsy scholar's vague- 
ness in such a mere detail. But as "The English 
Gypsies" came out in the autumn of 1873, the 
dates can be guessed withm a few days. 



My dear Sir, — I suppose I should by rights 
apologise for the somewhat irregular proceeding 
of writing to a perfect stranger, but my motive 
for so domg must be my excuse, and strangers to 
one another we are not exactly. At any rate, I 
think I can establish "a Mutual Friend" in 
Matty Cooper, "the old Windsor Frog," from 
whom I have heard of an American gentleman 
who can hardly be other than you. I have n't set 
eyes on Matty for some time now, but it was im- 
possible to mistake the white hat, red waistcoat, 
and yellow handkerchief. If you see him soon, 


remember me to him. Whether he knows me I 
doubt. But he'll remember me quick enough, 
as having seen him last at Ascot, the race week, 
a year back. I got your book late last evening, 
and I sat up until I had ended the last page, so 
you may imagine that I read it with interest : but 
if I read it with interest, I read it with ten tunes 
more regret. I have known Romani a long time 
now, ever since I was quite a small child, at first 
in the Eastern coimties, latterly in almost every 
part of England, as well also as in Germany and 
Hungary. ... I am very sorry that this book 
has appeared. I had seen it long announced in 
the papers, as also one by Borrow, which I have 
not yet seen. Of the latter I had little fear, as 
Borrow has such a wonderful way of mixing up 
English, Spanish, and Hungarian Romani, that 
there is little to be learnt out of his works, except 
by one who knows a good deal of the language. 
Of your book, too, I will own, I had also little 
fear. All I knew of your powers of Romani was 
from a song you published some time ago in a 
volume of the H. B. Ballads, and which, as you 
would probably own now, is not the ordinary 
English Romani. But I am disappointed, for 
your book contains some deep, very deep Rom- 
ani. Well, the result, I take it, will be the hasten- 


ing of that rapid vanishing of the language of 
which you speak in your preface, and with the 
language of the people as a people. True, you 
say the book is written only for philologists, and 
that only philologists will read it. But that 
will hardly be the case, to judge from Borrow's 
books, which are accountable for most of the 
Gipsy gentlemen, who are, I take it, accoimtable 
for the loss of the language and the race. I wish 
I could put the case better, but the fact stands 
that 99 of 100 Romanis would be against pub- 
lishing a book of their words. How often have 
I heard them — Angelina Lovell, if you know 
her — speak of and against Borrow ! . . . Your 
book has brought back a lot of pleasant recol- 
lections to me, sorry though I am that it has 
appeared, and for these I thank you. If I could 
do it, I would be back in England to-morrow 
and follow the old Romani life from now on. 
For I have tried it in England, and I know some- 
thing of what it is in Hungary, and with all its 
disadvantages, which are not a few, there is 
yet none like it. Unfortunately there is an "if" 
in the case which will probably ever remain 
there. . . . 

On one point Groome was mistaken. The 


Gypsies, as a rule (there were exceptions), did 
not. resent being written about. When he got 
over his scruples and published "In G)rpsy 
Tents," it made no difference in his relations 
with the Romanies, except that some of them 
wondered why he demeaned himself by writing 
a book that was "nothing but low language and 
povertmess, and not a word of grammar or high- 
lamed talk in it from beginning to end." Mr. 
Sampson tells how old Lias Robinson used gaily 
to improvise songs about his coming to see the 
Gypsies to learn words and put them in his 
books. And as for the Rye, he did not lose a 
G3^sy friend, and in one case this first Gypsy 
book only strengthened the friendship, to judge 
from the letter of an old Romany, to whom the 
Rye had sent a copy. The letter is characterised 
by the usual Gypsy ingenuity in the matter of 
spelling and the usual Gypsy contempt in the 
matter of punctuation : — 

"I now take my pen in hand to answer your 
kind and welcome Letter and book wich I 
receved yesterday and ham verry much please 
with it I had some of the book read I ham verry 
proud with it Dear Friend I have sent you my 
Daughter Likness I hav had A Letter from my 
son in Chinia and his Likness as soon as I cane 


get the chanc of one to be coppey I will send you 
one if you should see any of my parents you cane 
tell them I ham well and harty Dear Friend I 
should like to have your likness in full Statue so 
as I could have it frame and keep it for your 

I am told that Groome destroyed many letters 
in his later years. Only two from the Rye to him 
have come into my hands, and they were written 
as recently as 1899. But that the Rye answered 
Groome, not only promptly but S3niipathetically, 
I know from Groome's second letter. It is im- 
possible to give it all, but even in a short extract 
his great love of the people can be read between 
the lines. 



... To leave the language a bit and come to 
the people. You have done them ample justice, 
I believe, though possibly not so much as they 
would do themselves or as I might have done 
them, barring the word "justice." They have 
one merit, that Romani vices are at least often 
more amusing than gorgiko virtues. But they 
have their virtues, though not always after the 
gorgiko standard. I have always found that they 


FitzGerald would have given him. "I had 
such a droll, nice, handsome young fellow here 
lately," the Rye wrote to Miss Doering from 
Oatlands Park on the 9th of December, 1873 ; 
"did I tell you about him — the Oxford scholar 
in Gottingen, 23 years old — who spoke Rom- 
mani so weU? AU the Gipsies round here made 
up their minds he was my son, and as I said 
No, they were sure of it. I would like to have 
such a son, for he was very nice, and as he was 
very nice, I considered him like myself." The 
event also was chronicled in the note-books. 
"Mr. Groome came to the O. P. Hotel" is the 
entry for Wednesday, December 10, 1873, and 
whoever has read "The G)rpsies" knows how 
much the next few days went to the making of it. 
"Thursday morning we went out and met Sam 
Smith's wife selling baskets. Walked over to 
Horsham, called on Hamilton, the Hawker, etc. 
He was sick in bed, but was very entertaining 
and talked Rommany, and went deeply into 
Gipsy family gossip with Mr. Groome. There 
was a picture of Milton and his daughters over 
the chimney-piece which H. said was of Middle- 
ton — a poet he believed — anyhow he was a writ- 
ing man. ... In the evening we went down to 
the river and talked with Sam Smith's wife. . . . 


Then we went to the Lambs' tent. They were 
civil and did not beg, but spoke very little Rom. 
Going home we met three men, one of whom 
knew Groome, and the two discussed with glee 
some old Gipsy reminiscences. They told us 
there would be a fair next day at Cobham." 

The entry for the next day, as might be ex- 
pected, is an account of the fair: "Mr. Groome 
abounds in Gipsy souvenirs and we were busy 
in discussing words. At Cobham Sam Smith 
appeared, looking very neat — also Bowers and 
other diddikais [half breeds]. Sam invited us to 
drink — and I then invited them all. As we all 
spoke Rommany pretty freely, the result was 
that the two or more policemen eyed Mr. Groome 
and myself very earnestly and appeared to be 
looking after us during the day. . . . We walked 
along the road and met a Gipsy woman who 
knew me, Mrs. Matthews, peddling. She was 
much nicer than most of them. She thought 
that Mr. Groome must be my son. We asked her 
to come to an ale-house and drink, but she de- 
murred to being a cause of disgrace to two such 
gentlemen. So I told her to foUow us in, and we 
went into a queer little old tavern. . . . An- 
other Gipsy woman was seen approaching. We 
opened the door and Mrs. Matthews in great 


glee called her in, as did I and Mr. Groome, all 
speaking Rommany. I never saw astonishment 
so vividly portrayed on a human face. As she 
slowly entered she stared at me and at her friend 

— as if in a dream. There was Mrs. Matthews 

— en famUle with two gentlemen — in gloves 
with lorgnons — but they were talking fluently 

— especially the younger — in the language of 
the roads. Then there came yet another named 
Lee — a black-eyed, hawk-nosed, fierce, and 
rather handsome young woman — and she was 
even more dumbfounded, and went and wedged 
herself in the extreme comer, and was almost 
afraid to drink her ale. . . . Mr. Groome was 
very lively, talking Romany so fluently that we 
all burst out laughing again and again. Mrs. 
Matthews conversed with more intelligence than 
is usual among Gipsies. Once she said, *As if 
we were n't all alike to God — does n't his sun 
shine the same on a Rommany as on my Lord 
Duke ? ' She apologised for not standing treat 
in turn. So after much fim we broke up the 

Groome, back at Monk Soham Rectory, had 
his own future career to consider, and he wrote 
less to teU of adventure with the G3^sies than 
to ask advice for himself. It is a pleasure to me 


to read the letters of the next months, so much 
can be gathered from them of the Rye's kindli- 
ness and unselfishness when he could be of use 
to others. "I think with you," Groome wrote, in 
his despair, "that if I once got oflf, I might come 
in somewhere in the race. 'T is such a wonder to 
me to find some one taking an interest in me 
beyond the fact that I am my father's son, oder 
so etwaSy that it cannot but seem to me unfair 
to be bothering you with all my troubles and 
aflfairs." And again in another, "I have thought 
Qver all you have ever said to me and am fully 
convinced that your suggestion as to the course I 
had better adopt is as good as can be, but to 
begin with, that suggestion carried great weight 
with me as coming from you. For you are my 
friend, and I am not a little proud of ever having 
found that friendship." And so I might go on 
quoting, were not the Romanies for the moment 
my special concern. 

The Rye's answers, as I have said, do not 
exist. But, by some odd chance, one, begun and 
never finished, was put away in the packet with 
Groome's, and to read it, fragment as it is, is to 
know why advice from him was not distasteful. 
"My dear chavo^^ Q^v) is the friendly opening, 
and, after a preamble in Romany, the letter goes 


on, "I congratulate you on having settled the 
last Oxford bills. Poverty may be a shirt of fire 
— but debt is hell fire. And don't do it again — 
not if to live on a crust." In these few lines, 
certainly, is no trace of the preacher. Any- 
how, Groome's letters are an eloquent tribute 
to the sympathy of his older friend. 



It was after Groome was back at Monk So- 
ham, facing the bitter fact that life is not all a 
saunter along the open road, that is, it was late 
in January of 1874, — the letter, characteristi- 
cally enough, the subject being what it is, dated 
1875 — that Professor Palnier wrote to the Rye. 
Palmer was not only an extraordinary man, but 
must have been the best company in the world. 
I have been told that he was no great scholar, 
really, like most Orientalists of his generation, 
no scholar at all. If by this is meant that his 
knowledge, his method, was not academic, there 
is a grain of truth in it. For he learned languages 
because he could not help himself, because it was 
in him to learn them, because they meant to him 
something real and vital, something that existed 
not merely as dead symbols in books, but as a 
means of expression between men. He had no- 
thing in common with the Greek pedant who 
knows so much that he would not know how to 
ask his way, were he suddenly to find himself in 


modem Greece. Palmer studied languages to 
talk them, — he loved them for the adventures of 
speech, of human intercourse. "I do not care 
much for philology pure et simple,^^ he explains 
in one of his letters now open before me; "I like 
to read and above all to talk in the language I 
know, but I seldom trouble my head about the 
comparative philology." Persian, Arabic, Hin- 
dustani, Romany were so many introductions to 
people who interested him, so many clues to the 
mystery of the East that fascinated him. When 
he read "The English Gypsies," he discovered 
the same feeling in it, the same personal enthusi- 
asm. To write to the author was as natural as to 
pounce upon the stray Oriental whom he met in 
the streets of London, and so from Cambridge, 
on the 25th of January, he sent the first of a series 
of letters that reveal a talent for good fellowship, 
of which Besant's big biography gives only a hint. 


CAMBRmGE, Jan. 25th, 1875. 

My dear Sir, — I have just read with very 
much pleasure your work upon the English 
Gypsies, and have been endeavouring to recall 
by its help the slight knowledge of Rommany 
which I picked up when a boy. I thought it 


might interest you to know that I have seen and 
conversed with G)^sies in Palestine, and can 
vouch for their speaking pure Romani. I met a 
party of them in Jericho on my return from a 
long absence in Moab and the mountains south 
of it, and on putting the question to one of them 
the whole camp became at once communicative 
and talked freely with each other in Gipsy, using 
scarcely a single Arabic word. I was only a short 
time with them, but I was told enough to con- 
vince me that the language they spoke was sub- 
stantially the same as that spoken by our English 
chals. . . . 

I notice with much pleasure that you propose 
to publish a Gipsy-English dictionary — if I can 
be of any service to you in revising the etymologi- 
cal part, I shall be most happy to do so. . . . 

Yours faithfully, 

E. H. Palmer. 

In this case also, I have not the Rye's answers 
— more 's the pity — but they are not needed for 
a proof of his pleasure in the correspondence. 
Palmer wrote almost as frequently as Groome, 
though less diflfusely, being already a man of so 
many occupations that the crumbs from his table 
would have seemed a profession to Groome, 


down in the Suffolk rectory, chafing against 
Fate that kept him idle. But if Palmer's letters 
were short, they were enthusiastic, as they could 
not have continued to be, had they met with a 
reception a shade less enthusiastic. They bristle 
with propositions and projects for work together. 
To be doing something was essential to his hap- 
piness, but to be doing it in genial collaboration 
made a long holiday of the heaviest task. Before 
the end of February, the original idea of a Gypsy- 
English Dictionary suddenly expanded into a 
broader scheme, that would unite in closer bonds 
aU the Romany Ryes, — now in the first glow 
of correspondence, — and that anticipated the 
"Gypsy-Lore Journal." And Palmer accepted 
and furthered it, with an energy that helps me 
to understand why the Rye remembered his 
industry as "something appalling." 


1 8 Brookside, CAMBRmGE, Feb. 25th, 1874. 

My dear Sir, — I have delayed answering 
your last because I have cut my thumb and am 
only just able to write. I think we certainly 
should ask Borrow to collaborate, — if he does 
his help will be valuable, if he snubs us we shall 
have "done the civil" and eased our conscience. 


Dr. Smart would be a great acquisition, too, and 
I should be very glad to see his name associated 
with the work. I think that the tone of our 
periodical should be certainly "lively," but our 
prospectus must hit a happy mean — we shall 
have to rely on philologues, I fancy, for a good 
many of our subscriptions, but then there are 
also a great many people of position and educa- 
tion who are Bohemians in heart and taste, to 
whom a journal of the roads should be a joy for 

Your own book is an admirable illustration of 
the tone required, — the general public there lies 
down with the philologue and the ethnologist 
puts his hand upon the Bohemian's den. Could 
not you draw up a circular? 

And, hereupon, Palmer himself sets forth to 
show how easy it is to begin as Bohemian and end 
as philologue. His next letter, dated five days 
later, is evidence of the Rye's loyalty to Borrow. 


March 2d, 1874. 

My dear Sir, — I am surprised at the un- 
courteous treatment you have received from Mr. 
Borrow. I should not at all imagine that your 


book would be any the less welcome for the 
appearance of his, for you seem to have worked 
out the subject in the spirit of a scholar and 
an amateur — in its original and better sense — 
whereas Mr. Borrow, from what I have seen of 
his works, has not the least fraction of scholarlike 
spirit in him. He is of course a good adopted- 
Rommany , and as such it is well that his store of 
words should be emptied into a dictionary, but 
that is not all we want. Could not you at any 
rate — if you have really determined to postpone 
your dictionary — publish all your phrases and 
tales ? 

By the 8th of March, the proposed journal 
had somehow been transformed into a society — 
the forerunner of the Gypsy-Lore Society. By 
March 2 2d, the society, in its turn, had been 
forgotten for still another scheme, this time 
one that did materialise: the "Book of English 
Gypsy Songs," a collection of Romany Ballads, 
with English translations, written by the Rye, 
Palmer, and Miss Janet Tuckey. I make this 
explanation because I am afraid, although the vol- 
ume was published, that it has long since passed 
into a curiosity of literature to be unearthed by 
some future D'Israeli. At the time, it did not 


create too much excitement. "Somehow, I did 
not augur well of the Gipsy Prospectus you sent 
me," FitzGerald wrote to Cowell on February 
II, 187s, when the book was announced; "it 
was rather gushing, I thought; and some Lady 
in it who did not seem to me likely to be a good 
Gipsy Interpreter," — this last as characteris- 
tic a FitzGerald touch as you could have. But 
whatever it was to the public then and is now, 
whatever it may be in the future, at the time it 
was to the three collaborators the one thing of 
supreme importance in all the wide universe. 
That there was, for a moment, some thought 
of Mr. Hubert Smith working with them as a 
fourth collaborator appears from the following 


Langham Hotel, April 24, 1874. 

Dear Sir, — I am very much obliged to you 
for the insertion of the notice in the "B. M. N.'* 
I have never taken any pains hitherto to proner 
a book of my own, but having associated my 
friends with me I feel like making every efifort to 
help this. And I do most honestly believe it will 
be a very pleasant book-full of quaint stories in 
rhyme, droll songs, and jolly Gypsy fancies. I 


wish I could show it to you. I have made one of 
my best out of the " Cow Comer." Your descrip- 
tion of the party was to the life, and I had very 
little to do but rhyme it. 

I shall be very glad to do anything to please 
you, or to set forth things as they are as regards 
the Romany Songs which you contribute. I 
suppose the right thing to do is to say that all the 
ballads contributed by Mr. H. S. owe much to 
his correction, and have generally been put in 
shape and " tune " by him — that the reader may 
not be aware that most real Gipsy songs are 
"without form and void," consisting of strag- 
gling prose with an occasional lucky rhyme 
which is greatly admired as a triumph of lyric 
art. At the same time it will not do to say too 
much about your share in them, since they are 
not uniformly rhymed and the irregularities are 
not according to Horace or Boileau, or even the 
old English ballad standard. They are a little too 
smooth for Romanys and not quite good enough 
for a scholar. However, they are very good bal- 
lads and I am very much obliged for them. I 
don't expect the book to pay anything, but I am 
well assured that it will go into high quarters and 
be widely reviewed. If you can give me any more 
tips in the way of Gipsy anecdote I shall be 


very grateful. Please let me know exactly how 
I shall "put it" about your ballads — without 

We ought to have it well known as to the inter- 
esting character of this collection. The ballads 
are many, or mostly, very droll and quaint, and 
as good in English as in Gipsy. Every phase of 
Gipsy life has a story in rhyme, and my two col- 
leagues really excel in humorous ballads. And 
all are true to life and free from dillettantism or 
affectation. Every study has been made from 
life. I shall of course credit the incident of 
Gourinaver ( ?) to you. Who was Mr. Foote, who 
ran himself into the ground so strangely ? That 
"buttons" was very Gipsy. I send you the rough 
draft of my poem. You need not return it. The 
English version is better. I hope that you will 
be able to make it out. Our Rommany here 
is a little different from yours — no better cer- 

And so with best wishes I remain, 
Yours very truly, 

Charles G. Leland. 

Palmer's letters, from now on, overflow with 
the Ballads. He sends instalment after instal- 
ment. Of one poem, " Preaching Charlie," there 


are six versions before he is done with it. And the 
^floating" of the book is as all-engrossing as the 
writing of it; without pulling wires, how is a dull, 
Gorgio public to awaken to the importance of 
a Romany enterprise ? The collaborators live in 
an atmosphere of plot, in a whirl of conspiracy. 
By April 28th, Palmer is writing a letter typical 
of the ensuing months of correspondence. 


My dear Mr. Leland, — Your letter came 
like rain to the arid soil or beer to the thirsty 
throat — for I have been and still am very busy 
. . . so that my normal condition is one of fatigue 
and my only feat of imagination one gigantic 
oath. I have not under these circumstances tried 
to do much with the Potty because I feel that one 
cannot produce anything worth a rap without 
feeling fresh — but I shall be able, I hope, to pay 
a few visits to old mother Ratimescro (Heme) 
and at least get some materials. . . . 

I have had the same notion as yourself that it 
would be a good thing to let one or two tit-bits 
get. out in print. The "Athenaeum" likes that 
sort of thing and would put them in at once. . . . 

is a humbug, and I would n't take my oath 

that he is n't a liar too. I think, though, that you 


have made him feel like the cat in your ballad 
of childhood's days, substituting for saucer the 
variant pantaloons. ... I shall try in the course 
of the week to get an article, in the " Daily News " 
through W. Besant, in which our forthcoming 
book shall be insinuated to be a formidable rival 
to Shakespeare, the Bible, Joe Miller, and Ma- 
caulay's "History of England." I am so glad 
you do think it 's going to be a success. / quite 
share your enthusiasm, and I should much like 
to see it as far as it has gone, and hope to 
do so by the begmning of next week. I shall 
not have much more of this over-work, and then 
I will come back with redoubled energy to the 

As I read these old letters, I wonder that the 
rest of the world could keep on plodding at 
its accustomed tasks, — that everybody was not 
writing Gypsy ballads. Between Cambridge 
and London, those that were written were sent 
backwards and forwards like a shuttlecock, and 
were criticised and corrected and revised with a 
zeal scarcely short of fanaticism. More papers 
were "nobbled," — didn't "young Fred Pol- 
lock" write for the "Saturday," and did n't he 
know well "Leslie Stephen of the 'Pall Mall' ?" 


"I, like you, will do my damnedest to make the 
book go," Palmer writes with one of his reports 
of tried and suggested intrigue! "I am more on 
for it than even for my Arabic Grammar, which 
is just out and which has absorbed almost all 
my thought for these two years past." Occasion- 
ally, other matters call for a passing word, but 
they speedily make way for the only thing that 


Cambridge, June loth, 1874. 

Dear Leland, — I will talk about your forth- 
coming Chinaman discoverer to-night at Trinity, 
where I dine with the Chancellor and Honorary 
degree men — Sir James Wolsey and Co. and a 
distinguished countryman of yours, J. R. Lowell 
— and on every other occasion that I can. It 
ought to be a success. My lectures are at an end, 
thank my dearie duvel [dear God], so that as 
soon as I can clear off a few reviews I shall be free 
to go ahead with the Rommany Pomes. I am 
very glad Miss Tuckey is also likely to be free to 
finish off her lot. As soon as you let me have a 
printed slip of the Royal poem, I will get the 
Dean to present it. In the meantime please let us 
have the specimens for the "Athenaeum," etc. — 


and then we will follow them up with a leader 
from W. Besant in the "Daily News." 

Log-rolling, you may say. Yes: but log-rolling 
done with a gaiety, a disinterestedness, a sense 
of the fun of it, unknown to the modem weakling 
with no ambition higher than the commercial 
traveller's. The publisher, Triibner, intimate 
friend though he was of the Rye's, it seems would 
not think of the book until a certain number of 
subscribers were assured. 

*'I don't much like having to do publisher's 
work as well as our own," Palmer says in one 
of his gayest letters, "nor do I like having to 
appeal ad misericordiam for subscribers, but I 
suppose we must submit. 

" ' You are earnestly requested to subscribe to 
the above work; it is the composition of a blind 
orphan who is deaf and dumb and has no use of 
his limbs. Unless 50,000 copies at a penny each 
are taken by a Christian and sympathising pub- 
lic, the book will remain unpublished, and the 
writer will have no resource but the workhouse 
or dishonesty.' However, as soon as I have fin- 
ished the glossary — which I am getting on with 
fast — I will draw up as you suggest a circular, 
and when you have approved and touched it up 


we will scatter it broadcast and I will ask every 
one I know to subscribe. We will make it go 
somehow. I think we had better come out with a 
burst, get if we can Royalty's opinion, then get 
out our prospectus, then a leader on it in the 
'Daily News,' then specimens in the ^Athenaeum,' 
and say a sandwich man with a prospectus on 
his hat up and down Regent St." 

Palmer bubbles over with "lovely ideas, " — a 
copy must go to the Lord High Almoner, who 
will show it to the Queen, — and then "all will 
be gas and gaiters;" an Hition de luxe must be 
subscribed for in Belgravia; circulars scattered 
right and left ; her Majesty approached through 
still other channels. There was one dreadful 
moment of anxiety. Miss Tuckey, who supplied 
the sentiment, was responsible for a long poem 
about the birth of a Gypsy baby in Windsor 
Park at Christmas time, and the benevolence of 
the Queen, who lavished royal and useful gifts, 
— among^ other things, stockings knitted by her 
own royal hands, upon mother and child. A 
printed copy of the poem, before the book was 
out, was sent to the Queen, and somewhere, 
somehow, it was suggested that the stockings 
were an indiscretion. "First about stockings," 
Palmer writes, "I've never heard a word or sneer 








at H. M. about them. But I have got Lady Ely's 
bosom friend (Lady E. being H. M's. bosom 
friend) to take the matter up and convey to 
the Royal mind that the incident is true, and 
the song loyal^ grateftd, devoted, humble, pious, 
magnificent, sublime, so that'll be all right.'* 
It may be owing to the intervention of "bosom 
friends" that the trouble was disposed of, 
but on the 31st of the same month, he writes, 
"From the enclosed, you will see how the * stock- 
ing' business may be got over." The enclosed 
was a letter from the Dean of Windsor, explain- 
ing that stockings and all may have been pre- 
sented by some benevolent person of the House- 
hold, without her Majesty's knowing anything 
about it. But there was another "lady," to 
whom the poems were read, whose criticisms 
meant even more to them, as an amusing letter 
that Palmer wrote on February 17 sets forth. 

"Why do you make me no sign, and make 
the world black in the face of your servant," the 
letter begins. . . . "While writing this, Morella 
Knightley, nee Shaw, came here — I made her 
besh alay [sit down] on the hearthrug and read 
to her all the ballads I had — she wept at the 
Kairengri [house-dweUers], not recognising or 
remembering that she was the authoress. ' Why 


the R. C. left ofiE drinking beer/ she pronounced 
to my wife, who was present, to be ' our people's 
trace of life and their discourse and language as 
true as ever Rommany knowed it.' The Rom- 
many giUy [song] she pronounced ^real deep 
Rommany jiwyben [life].'" 

It is impossible to read Palmer's letters without 
sharing his excitement, so that it is a regret to 
me when, in them, I reach the moment of the 
book's appearance. Not that the excitement is 
at an end ; there is still the agitation of sending a 
copy to the Queen, this time through her Equerry 
Colonel Ponsonby, and receiving in due course 
the usual formal "I am desired to acknowledge 
the receipt of the volume on English Gipsy 
Songs, forwarded by you to the Queen, and to 
announce Her Majesty's acceptance of it with 
thanks." Did this sort of thing ever do any good 
to any book ? There is still the redoubled agita- 
tion of intrigue, now for reviews. From some un- 
known channel, news arrives that "Crofton is to 
be civil;" more encouraging, the "Athenaeum " 
really is amiable. Palmer, in between a consulta- 
tion with the oculist and a visit to the Sultan of 
Zanzibar — who, it might be recorded, talked 
all the time " about Hell and Purgatory" — stops 
to write, "Hooray! dordi [behold] the 'Athe- 


naeum ' — have n't they mukked us tale mishtol 
[done us well]." Walter Pollock is to write for 
the "Saturday." A dinner with the proprietor 
of the "Spectator" may lead to things there, by 
gentle insinuation — who knows ? I may as well 
state at once that all this did lead to results 
more practical than the mere kudos, with which 
usually the philologist must be content, for the 
first edition was sold out by August. 

One thing I cannot understand : why Palmer, 
keen about every detail, never refers to the 
Dedication, for which whatever credit there is 
lies with him. The one exception to the original 
Romany ballads in the book is his translation 
of Tennyson's "Home they brought her Warrior 
Dead." Before publishing it, Tennyson's per-^ 
mission had to be asked, and his granting it led 
to the further request that the book might be 
dedicated to him. And yet, of this episode, 
nothing survives but Tennyson's short letters 
>to the Rye. The first is the acceptance of the 


March 20th, 1874. 

Dear Mr. Leland, — I thank you for your 
re-translation, and trust that if you publish your 


volume of Rommany verse you will either adopt 
some such system, or add a copious Glossary; 
otherwise the whole thing except to the very few 
li€fiin)iJb€voi will be but a dead letter. 

As to the Dedication, why of course I should 
feel honoured by it — only — since I am utterly 
innocent of Gipsy-tongue, would not such a pro- 
ceeding seem as if an Ornithologist should dedi- 
cate his book to one who knew nothing of birds, 
or an Ichthyologist to him who could not distin- 
guish between a trout and an eel? 

Yours very truly, 

A. Tennyson. 

The second, the acceptance of a copy of the 
book, is as non-committal as such a letter well 
could be. Appropriately, the subject being what 
it is, it has no date. 

alfred tennyson to charles godfrey leland 

Aldworth, Haslemere. 

My dear Sir, — I am much obliged to you 
for your handsome volume. I have as yet had no 
time to study the contents, though, as you know, 
I feel much interested in Gipsies and Gipsydom. 

Yours very truly, 

A. Tennyson. 

^7 0yvtj/-^V 




After the launching of the book, Palmer^s let- 
ters became few, partly because the two men 
were now more often together, meeting in the 
summer, and, eventually. Palmer coming to 
London to live ; partly because the Rye returned 
to Philadelphia in 1879, and whatever letters 
Palmer wrote to that place, before his tragic 
death, are gone no one knows where.^ 

But, during the seventies, it seemed as if not 
only Groome, and Palmer, and Bath Smart, and 
Hubert Smith, but everybody who sent the Rye 
a letter, could write of nothing but Gypsies. One 
day, it was George Boker, then United States 
Mmister to Russia, supplying him with informa- 
tion as to the Gypsies in that country; the next, 
it was Miss Doering giving him news of the 
Gypsies near Weybridge and Oatlands Park; or 
else it was Dr. Gamett writing from the British 
Museum to enclose a song in the dialect of the 
Transylvanian Gypsies; or Miss Janet Tuckey, 
consulting him about her ballads, envying Palmer 
his facility, — "Why, he'd soon make a book 
all by himself;" or Mr. Horace E. Scudder, with 

^ Among the letters entrusted to me after my book was 
finished, are a few more from Palmer. But they are the hur- 
ried lines of a man to whom his own studies, life in London, 
and the daily tasks of the journalist left small leisure for let- 
ters, gay or otherwise. 


a message from army ofl&cers in the West, puz- 
zled by a suggested relation between Romany 
and Red Indian — and it is curious that the same 
relation, or rather comparison, should have sug- 
gested itself to "old Frank Cooper," who one 
day at the Walton Races, according to the Note- 
books, told the Rye he "had been often puzzled 
by Indians in America and their great resem- 
blance to Gypsies; " or Miss Genevieve Ward, 
anxious for Gypsy songs, which, for her coming 
r61e of Gypsy, will be more effective, she thinks, 
simg "in the true lingo;" or it was any and 
every one in a list far too long to quote. 

And it was another part of the charm the Ro- 
manies had for the Rye that, thanks to them, he 
could travel nowhere and not find friends waiting 
for him. All his journeys during these years 
meant so many chapters for his Gypsy books. 
He went to Russia for the winter, and the record 
is in his papers on the Russian Gypsies who sang 
to him in St. Petersburg and Moscow. He at- 
tended the Oriental Congress in Paris in 1878, 
and he might have forgotten it himself, but for 
his meetings with the Hungarian Gypsies who 
played to him at the Exposition. He wandered 
over England, here, there, and I, for one, could 
not say where, were it not for the Gypsies, who. 


in each new place, gave him fresh material for 
his books. He spent a summer in Wales, Palmer 
with him, that would be a blank in the story of his 
life, but for the discovery of Shelta, the encoun- 
ters with some of the deep, wfld Welsh Gypsies, 
and the strange legend that grew up among them 
of his passing. Of this legend Mr. John Samp- 
son, of University College, Liverpool, wrote to 
him more than twenty years later, in a letter that 
I quote now, because it refers more especially to 
this period. It is one of the most delightful let- 
ters in all the bundle, — delightful to write, de- 
lightful to receive. 

mr. john sampson to charles godfrey leland 

University College, Liverpool, 
18 April, 1899. 

My dear Mr. Leland, — I can scarcely tell 
you with what pleasure I again hear from you, 
one of the few remaining tacho-bieno Romano 
Rais. Though it is long since I wrote to you, you 
have been so often in my thoughts that I feel as if 
I knew you better than perhaps I do. . . . Well, 
Romani, which you somewhere rightly compare 
to the longing for the plains (Kipling's *'East 
a-calling"), is as much a passion with me as 
ever, and since the cessation of our Journal I 


have done more work at it than ever, especially 
at the very perfect Welsh dialect. Five years ago, 
travelling through Wales in Gypsy fashion with 
van and tent, in company with Kuno Meyer, 
Walter Raleigh, and two other friends (one a 
Gypsy) I struck one of the Woods — Edward 
Wood, a harper — and began from him my 
study of the Welsh dialect. Since then I have 
practically spent all my spare time in Wales with 
the Welsh Gypsies, and believe I now know 
every member of the f amfly and every word and 
inflexion. At times I have spent weeks without 
hearing English spoken, for the natives speak 
Welsh, and the Gypsies invariably Romani, not, 
as with most English Gypsies, only on rare 

Now let me tell you something that I think will 
interest you. Do you know that you have become 
a m3rthical personage among the Welsh Gypsies, 
just as the Arch-Duke has among some Conti- 
nental Gypsy tribes? (I forget which, but I 
remember reading about it in Herrmann's "Eth- 
nologische Mittheilungen," and I daresay I 
could rake out the reference if you want it.) I 
first heard vague allusions to it from several 
Gypsies without of course connecting it with you. 
Then meeting "Taw," that deepest of witches, 


at Menai, I heaxd the story more definitely. It 
was told me as a great secret. Her story was of a 
great kinsman of the Woods who lived across the 
water, of great height and fabulous wealth which 
he held in trust for the family and with which he 
would eventually endow them, who spoke deep 
Romani as they did, who knew everything, who 
travelled everywhere. " You met him at Abe- 
rystwyth," I said. ^^AiMuuiChavoy ^' In the year 
187-." ^^ Bichadds tut yew more fokengi?^^ I did 
not deny it, for it is a rule of mine neither to deny 
or affirm an)rthing, neither to promise or refuse 
anything to the Gypsies. Since then from differ- 
ent parts of Wales I have had repeated invita- 
tions to turn up the money at once or take the 
consequences. Only last year I received a letter 
from a Wrexham firm of solicitors saying that 
from information received, they now positively 
knew that certain sums of money mtended for 
their client Mrs. Wood had been withheld by me, 
and that, the matter having been placed in their 
hands, they would stand no nonsense, or words 
to that effect. I replied sajdng that if they would 
read the enclosed letter to their client she would 
gather something of my intentions. The enclosed 
letter was in Romani. 


If, when the Rye came home in 1879, Phila- 
delphia in many ways had been transformed 
almost out of recognition, there were Gypsies to 
keep him from feeling a stranger in his native 
land. Most people in those days — as I believe 
they do still — looked upon respectability as 
Philadelphia's only product. Its straight streets 
and regular vistas of house fronts seemed to oflFer 
no escape from the commonplace, no chance to 
stumble upon the Unknown. And yet, for the 
Philadelphian, as for Borrow, "strange things" 
may every day occur, America being as full as 
the British Isles of the people who bring adven- 
ture to one's very doorstep. I was young then, 
the convent not so many years behind me, and 
I was carried off my feet by this new excitement 
the Rye brought into my life. A quarter of a 
century older as I am now, when I look back to 
those days I still see in North Broad Street, not 
the chief thoroughfare "up town," where no cor- 
rect Philadelphian would be "found dead," but 
the path to the freedom of Oakdale Park, where 
the Costellos camped in the early spring; the 
dreariest West Philadelphia suburb becomes 
transfigured into the highway to Bohemia and its 
Seven Castles, though to my blind fellow-citizens 
it was only an open lot where the Lovells pitched 


their dirty little brown tents; the old thrill comes 
with the thought of the ferry where we embarked 
for Camden, the ineffable, and the Reservoir, 
and, under its shadow, Davy Wharton, the 
truest Gypsy of them all, who slept through the 
short crisp October days, while Sheva, his wife, 
begged and told fortunes in the town. There 
was no going anywhere, on any matter-of-fact 
errand, without the happy risk of adventure. If 
I stepped into a street car, might I not, as some- 
times happened, be greeted with the mysterious 
sarishan, from Gypsy women, carrying their 
day's plunder home, while all the Gorgios stared ? 
In my own back yard — good Philadelphian for 
garden — or at my own front door, might I not 
run into a tinker, part if ijot all Gypsy, sharp- 
ening the family knives and scissors? And on 
decorous Chestnut Street, were there not rare, 
but unforgettable, visions of strange, wild crea- 
tures, with flashing eyes and long black hair, 
wearing strange garments decorated with big 
silver buttons, striding along on a First Day 
morning past the quiet groups of Friends in 
plain coats and plain bonnets, — beautiful beings, 
such as I had never seen before, but have since 
on the remote roads of Transylvania? "Do you 
remember," the Rye wrote me from Florence 


(in 1892), referring to these old days, "do you 
remember Rosanna Lovell, and how we took her 
a dukkerin lil [fortune-telling book] and brought 
a thousand people out to see her; and how Val 
Stanley sent out every ten minutes for beer which 
we drank out of a moustache-cup — and the 
great tent with the Arab brass lamp, where the 
beer was carried round in a watering pot! — and 
the old Rom who apologised for the want of a 
view or scenery, and who offered a piece of 
tobacco for hospitality ? " — Why, Philadelphia 
was all adventure, a town of "strange things." 

But I remember, too, what an indefatigable 
student the Rye was. He was always studying, 
always learning. Note-books and sketch-books 
were always in the pockets of his old velveteen 
coat, and though there was no sign of the student 
so long as he was with the Gypsies, though he 
was the gayest of them all, getting off a good 
Romany joke or singing a real Romany song 
with the best of them, he was busy adding to 
the chapters for his second Romany book, "The 
Gypsies" (1882). Groome, when his "Gypsy 
Folk Tales" was published (1889), regretted 
that no careful study of the Gypsies in America 
had yet been made. But the American Gypsy is 
simply the English Gypsy, with a new touch of 


(in 1892), referring to these old days, "do you 
remember Rosanna Lovell, and how we took her 
a dukkerin lU [fortune-telling book] and brought 
a thousand people out to see her; and how Val 
Stanley sent out every ten minutes for beer which 
we drank out of a moustache-cup — and the 
great tent with the Arab brass lamp, where the 
beer was carried round in a watering pot! — and 
the old Rom who apologised for the want of a 
view or scenery, and who offered a piece of 
tobacco for hospitality ? " — Why, Philadelphia 
was all adventure, a town of "strange things." 

But I remember, too, what an indefatigable 
student the Rye was. He was alwa)^ studpng, 
always learning. Note-books and sketch-books 
were always in the pockets of his old velveteen 
coat, and though there was no sign of the student 
so long as he was with the Gypsies, though he 
was the gayest of them all, getting off a good 
Romany joke or singing a real Romany song 
with the best of them, he was busy adding to 
the chapters for his second Romany book, "The 
Gypsies" (1882). Groome, when his "Gypsy 
Folk Tales" was published (1889), regretted 
that no careful study of the Gypsies in America 
had yet been made. But the American Gypsy is 
simply the English Gypsy, with a new touch of 


(in 1892), referring to these old days, "do you 
remember Rosanna Lovell, and how we took her 
a dukkerin lU [fortune-telling book] and brought 
a thousand people out to see her; and how Val 
Stanley sent out every ten minutes for beer which 
we drank out of a moustache-cup — and the 
great tent with the Arab brass lamp, where the 
beer was carried round in a watering pot! — and 
the old Rom who apologised for the want of a 
view or scenery, and who offered a piece of 
tobacco for hospitality ? " — Why, Philadelphia 
was all adventure, a town of "strange things." 
But I remember, too, what an indefatigable 
student the Rye was. He was always studpng, 
always learning. Note-books and sketch-books 
were always in the pockets of his old velveteen 
coat, and though there was no sign of the student 
so long as he was with the Gypsies, though he 
was the gayest of them all, getting off a good 
Romany joke or singing a real Romany song 
with the best of them, he was busy adding to 
the chapters for his second Romany book, "The 
Gypsies" (1882). Groome, when his "Gypsy 
Folk Tales" was published (1889), regretted 
that no careful study of the Gypsies in America 
had yet been made. But the American Gypsy is 
simply the English Gypsy, with a new touch of 



American independence, and a degree of Ameri- 
can prosperity and American capacity to do 
without alcohol that would astound his brothers 
of British roads. And if the Rye only left "stray 
jottings," as Groome says, it was because he 
found nothing important to add to what he had 
already written of the English Gypsies ; though I 
think he did regret, when he got back to Eng- 
land, that he had not noted down changes in 
minor details. "I want very much," he wrote 
to Mr. MacRitchie in 1888, "to collect what I 
neglected in America — the Amefican-Romany 
names for places — towns — etc., and any Rom- 
any words peculiar to the United States. Thus 
lily which means one pound sterling in Eng- 
land, means a dollar in America, and horra a 
cent, etc." 

During these years also I first met the Hun- 
garian Gypsies. They were brought over to play 
in an up-town beer gardwi. To have real, live, 
Czardas-playing Tziganes descend upon Phila- 
delphia was, in truth, to have romance dangled 
before one's eyes. But I write no more of them 
here, because the Rye, throughout that sum- 
mer, was oflf on the coast of Maine seeking and 
finding new adventures among the Indians. 
This gave me my little chance. Had he been 



there first, my Romany would have been over- 
shadowed, and the Gypsies would not have 
played "in my ear," as they did on those hot, 
burning nights of a Philadelphia July and 
August. As it was, I had my little day, and 
when he went to Budapest in 1888, he wrote from 
that town to tell me of the Gypsy he had met in 
the slums, who also remembered those burning 
nights, and who asked him if he had ever heard 
of me. That was my hour of triumph. 

I am content to give merely one letter relating 
to this episode. It is enough. The fact that the 
Rye kept it as a record is all I need say of what 
is left unsaid in its enthusiastic pages. 

joseph pennell to charles godfrey lelanl) 
Fisher's Lane, Germantown, 7. 30. 1882. 

My dear Mr. Leland, — I received your 
letter with the page of the dukkerin lil in it all 
right, some time ago — and never answered the 
letter for the simple reason that I had n't any- 
thing to write about. Though I believe I did ask 
Miss Robins to tell you I got the lil. 

But now I have some things to tell you. You 
know all about the Hungarian Romanies being 
in town, and have probably heard all (?) our 
experiences from Miss Robins. I saw a notice of 


their concerts whUe I was in Washington and 
instantly skipped out, intending to inform Miss 
Robins about it, and see if she would visit such a 
"den of iniquity" as the Mannerchor Garden — 
and she probably has told you how we met there 
and she was received as a sister — and of the 
scene of " Rudy Radish " and the " breeks. " But 
probably she did n't tell you how I went the next 
day to sketch them, having crammed many 
Romany words and learned to count; for she 
said that seemed to be the principal test in the 
catechism through which she was put. So having 
made my drawings, one of which is the he^d 
of a young violinist, who has the most glorious 
head I ever saw, and who could stand for Young 
Italjr, St. John, or a wolf in sheep's clothing, 
as I afterwards found out, — so having made 
my drawings, the catechism commenced. Some 
vowing I was a shoii-car Romany, and others 
that I was "no Romeneskas," all went on suc- 
cessfully, especially my invention of new and 
more words in the unknown tongue — alleged to 
be "Anglo-Romany" — till finally one brigand- 
ish individual said something about "miss," and 
began to count on his fingers, and I imagined, 
here is my chance. So I pitched in: " Yek, duty 
triny stor^^ — I got no further — withtwe, their 



eyes opened ; at InvOy every man gasped ; when 
I said trin^ they jumped up ; and with fouTy 
they hurst into a frantic yell. I saw, to say the 
least, that I was n't on the right track, and as 
one or two of them speak French, innocently 
asked what was wrong. Finally, the one who 
counts French in along with his dozen and a half 
of other languages and dialects managed to in- 
form me that the brigand wanted to know ij Miss 
Lizzie was married, and I had told him four times, 
and, as she now wears mourning, it was for the 
last poor man. Whether they imagined her a sort 
of female Blue Beard I never found out. But so 
endeth that experience. All the rest, saving the 
brigand, still call me prala [brother] — and we pi 
levinor [drink beer] and say heng [devil] in the 
greatest harmony. (Both of these expressions 
they understand without difficulty,) I said to one 
the other night, ^^Was ist beng?^^ ^^Beng,^ says 
he, ^^bengll O ya-a-a-a-s, 6eng — der teufellllP^ 
This gentleman, named "Radish Rudy" also 
"spiks Inglish," and, on being presented to 
an "Imlish madchen," immediately fired this 
wonderful combination at her : "I lof you very 
goot very fine very nice I spik Inglish ha-de dooo." 
The effect was all he could have desired. I now 
manage, by a judicious combination of French, 


German, Romany, Himgarian, and English to 
get along with the greatest of ease. 

All you say of their music is true. In fact, you 
can't describe the feeling they put into it — you 
should hear them play the Storm in the Tell 
Overture, and some 6f their Czardas and their 
National airs. I can't keep still while they play 
some of their fantasies, and I ask them what they 
are. "Oh nothing, just a little bit — but now 
we will play you something — play for one," and 
the Rakoczy starts up, played with more life and 
go and vim than I have ever heard put into music 
—and when it is finished, the leader says, "Shou 
car?" and smiles — why, that man puts his 
whole soul into his violin — 

♦ Uva tu o hegedive 

Tu sal mindfk pash mange. 

Did Miss Robins tell you how I found a camp 
of English Romanies — and that / am one? I 
went to see the Costellos last Sunday and the 
"old mon" says, "I say, sorr, did ye know that 
there were a camp on the Railroad with more 'n 
twenty families, the Lovells, and the Smiths, 
and the Scamps. Now just you go over there 
and rakker till 'em and they '11 take ye fur a 
Rye;" and I went, and I looked aroimd in a 
mooning sort of way and talked to the Gorgios, 


and finally I goes up to a miish [man]. I says, 
"Pa/ sarshan,^^ and he says, "What's thut fur- 
rin tongue ye har' a talkin' of, sir?" and I says, 
"Ain'tytwaRominy?" "Hi be," says he. "Well, 
then, />a/," says I, "won't ttUe come and pi some 
Levinor?^^ He opened his mouth, and his eyes, 
and said, "Not to-day. Rye, but come into the 
tan — and see the fokV^ — and I comed — and 
then he says, "Ah, Rye, but ye coomed hit ower 
me thot toime, ye did indeed." "I thought you 
did n't know anything about Romany," said I 
— and many, many things could I tell you — 
but will only inflict one more upon you, that the 
drawings for the articles are aU finished and in 
New York — and we must do the book. 

Yours sincerely, 

Joseph Pennell. 
P. S. I hope you may not die in the endeavour 
to wade through this. 

The Rye did not lose in America his extraor- 
dinary faculty of inspiring others with his own 
enthusiasm, and the Gypsy fever spread, as in 
England, even to people he did not know. Be- 
fore long, on our expeditions, we were joined by 
my husband, — not then my husband, as the 
above letter explains ; many articles, for the 


" Century " principally, coming of those days 
when we were fellow explorers, and, also, I some- 
times think, our life for the last twenty years 
together. And, almost as soon, Gypsy bulletins 
were despatched from Boston, where Miss Abby 
Alger watched for the passing Romany, with the 
keenness of Groome in Gottingen or Palmer m 
Cambridge. And, as promptly, we were hearing 
from our Gypsy friends of two tani ranis (young 
ladies) down in Delaware, beautiful, rich, and 
real Romanies — one a Lee — talking deep 
Romanis, though house-dwellers. We thought 
them m5rths for a while. But they, at the right 
moment, materialised, at first in a voluminous 
correspondence, eventually in person, when the 
tani rani who was a Lee to the Romanies, and 
Katherine Bayard to all the world beside, was 
crossing the ferry with us to that Lotus Land 
under the shadow of the Reservoir. But what 
now strikes me as the most curious evidence of 
the hold the Gypsy had taken of people's imagi- 
nation, is the ease with which Planchette wrote 
Romany for a girl I knew, who, without its help, 
could not, or thought she could not, speak a 
word of the language. 

It adds to the picturesqueness of these mem- 
ories that Walt Whitman should have a promi- 


nent place in them. We seldom could get to 
Camden and home again without meeting and 
talking with him. Sometimes, we found him sit- 
ting in a big chair by the fruit stall at the foot of 
Market Street, gossiping with the Italian who 
kept it, eating peanuts, shaking hands with 
the horse-car drivers, whose stopping-place was 
just in front. .Sometimes, he was leaving the 
ferry boat as we started, or stepping on it as we 
landed in Camden. Sometimes, we paid him a 
visit in his brother's house, where he lived ; some- 
times we rode up together in the Market Street 
car. He always wanted to hear about the Gyp- 
sies, though I fancied he was not quite in sym- 
pathy with our way of seeing them. It would not 
have been his way. He would rather have come 
across them by chance, not by design. In the 
"Memoranda" there are stray notes of these 
meetings, and I only wish I could make others 
realise all that they recall and suggest as I read 
them. "It seems so strange to me now (1893)," 
the Rye wrote, " to think that I used to walk with 
him [Walt Whitman], and take drinks with 
him in small publics, and talk of poetry and 
people, and visit him in his home with Elizabeth 
Robins — long ago. There were Blways g3^sies 
camped about a mile from his house, and Eliza- 


beth and I, going and coming, . . . used to meet 
him and tell him all that we had seen, which 
greatly interested the old Bohemian. I have some 
recollection of telling him his fortune or of exam- 
ining his palm. We had no idea in those da)rs 
that we were making print for the future. But 
we were really all three very congenial and 
G)^syish. \\Tiitman's manner was deliberate 
and grave, he always considered or *took* an 
idea 'well in' before replying. He was, I think, 
rather proud of the portrait of an ancestor which 
hung in the parlour of his home. . . . 

" One day, when I found him seated on a chair 
at the foot of Market Street in Philadelphia, by 
the ferry, a favourite haunt of his, he was admir- 
ing a wooden statue of an Indian, a tobacconist's 
sign. He called my attention to it -^ not as a 
work of art, but as something characteristic and 
indicative of national taste. I quite understood 
and agreed with him, for it had, as he saw it, an 
art value. It was a bit of true folk-lore. . . . 

" Once, when I had first made his iicquaint- 
ance, we met at the comer of Sansom and Sev- 
enth Streets. He took me into a very common 
little bar-room where there was a table, and 
introduced me to several rather shabby common- 
looking men, — not workmen, but looking like 


Bohemians and bummers. I drank ale and 
talked, and all easily and naturally enough — I 
had in my time been bon compagnon with Gyp- 
sies, tinkers, and all kinds of loose fish, and 
thought nothing of it all. But when we came 
forth Whitman complimented me very earnestly 
on having been so companionable and said he 
had formed a very different idea of me, in short 
he did not know the breadth of my capacity. I 
had evidently risen greatly in his opinion. 

"When my book on the Gypsies appeared, I, 
knowing that it would interest him, gave him a 
copy, in which I had written a short compli- 
mentary poem, and mindful of the great and 
warm gratitude which he had declared regarding 
my brother Henry, I asked him if he would not 
write for me a few original verses, though it were 
only a couplet, in the copy of 'Leaves of Grass' 
which he had sent to my brother. His reply was a 
refusal, at which I should not have felt hurt, had 
it been gently worded or civilly evasive, but his 
reply was to the eflfect that he never did anything 
of the kind except for money. His exact words 
then were, * Sometimes when a fellow says to me, 
"Walt, here's ten or five dollars — write me a 
poem for it," I do so.' And then seeing a look of 
disappointment or astonishment in my face, he 


added : ' But I will give you my photograph and 
autograph/ which he did." 

After I came to England, in 1884, the same 
year the Rye returned, I went on some expedi- 
tions with him to see the English Gypsies, but 
not many. I was seldom in London in the sum- 
mer during the few years he remained in Eng- 
land, and the fog and wet of a London winter 
never exactly made me long to see "the road 
before me." But, of these few expeditions, two 
stand out with startling vividness in my memory, 
and are very characteristic of him as Romany 

One was to the Derby. My only experience of 
the "popular revel " taught me little of the Eng- 
lish people, most of my day being spent with the 
wanderers who could teach me more of the East. 
What horses ran, I do not think I knew; I am 
sure I did not look on at one race; it is doubtful 
if I had a gUmpse of the course. My confused 
memory is of innumerable Gypsy tents; of more 
Romanies than I had ever seen together at any 
one moment in any one place; of endless beer 
and chaflF, of which I am afraid I did not con- 
sume or contribute my share; of gay bouts in 
the cocoanut shies; of the Rye, for the rest of 
the afternoon, with a cocoanut under each arm, 


beaming with pride over his skill in winning 
them; and of the day's wonders culminating in 
what, to me, was the great event of that year's 
Derby. I don't know quite how it happened. 
We were passing late in the afternoon a tent 
which, somehow, we had missed in the morning, 
and we stopped to speak to the Dye and the chil- 
dren playing round it. Almost at once, out of the 
tent came a young woman. It was in the days 
of "water-waves" and never had I beheld such 
an amazing arrangement of them on any one 
head. They and her face shone with soap and 
water. A bright new silk handkerchief was tied 
coquettishly about her neck. She smiled, and 
tripped on to greet a friend. In less time than I 
can write it, with hair streaming, handkerchief 
flying, face flowing with blood, she was strug- 
gling in the arms of the other woman, — both 
swearing like troopers. 
"Hold hard," cried the Rye, "this won't do!" 
And down fell the cocoanuts, and he was be- 
tween the two women, his great head and beard 
towering above them, blows, and kicks falling 
upon him from either side like rain, for so 
quickly was it done that it took them a good 
minute to realise they were not pommelling each 
other. That ended the fight. But since then 


I have understood Jasper Petulengro better: 
"Rum animals. . . . Did you ever feel their 
teeth and nails, brother?" 

The other expedition was to the Hampton 
Races, where I had my one memorable meeting 
with Matty Cooper, who was then very old, and 
very drunk, too, I regret to say, but very charm- 
ing, and where I wore the carnations he pre- 
sented me, with a bow worthy of a prince, as, 
at other tournaments, maidens wore the colours 
of their knights. 

Within four years of the Rye's return to Eng- 
land, the G3rpsy-Lore Society was established. 
Again, there was a perpetual interchange of let- 
ters, an agitation, a fever, an absorption. Old 
enthusiasms were revived, old disputes forgotten, 
the Romany Ryes were united more closely than 
ever. The credit for founding this Society has 
been given to W. J. Ibbetson, who, in answer 
to Colonel Prideaux's question, in "Notes and 
Queries " (October 8, 1887), as to whether any 
systematic attempt had been made to collect the 
songs and ballads of English Gypsies, suggested 
(November 1 7) that a club of Romany Ryes be 
formed to collect and publish by subscription as 
complete vocabularies and collections of ballads 
in the Anglo-Romany dialect as might be pos- 


sible at that date. The matter was taken up by 
Mr. David MacRitchie, to whom fell the work of 
starting the Society. At first, the Rye did not 
respond over cordially. He had proposed just 
such a society eighteen years before, and the 
little band of Gypsy scholars then, instead of 
supporting him, "were very much annoyed (as 
George Borrow also was) at the appearance of a 
new intruder in their field." His first letter on 
the subject to Mr. MacRitchie from Brighton 
— February 26, 1888 — was, for him, decidedly 
indifferent. He agreed that there "should be a 
Romany Society to collect what is left of this fast 
vanishing people," and he was quite willing to 
join and pay his guinea a year, but there must be 
no further responsMity; while he urged for a 
greater exclusiveness than Mr. MacRitchie, with 
a necessary eye to the bank account, thought 
possible: "I do not insist on an3rthing, but I 
have possibly had a little more experience than 
most men in founding or watching such clubs, 
and I will therefore give reasons for admitting 
only men who speak Romany. If such men only 
join, it will give the Society a marked character. 
The members will be able to do something and to 
work. A man who don't know Romany may pay 
his guinea, but of what use will he be? And of 


what earthly use will his guinea be ? To publish 
our works ! Why, if our works are worth printing 
at all I can find a publisher who will do it all at 
his own expense. Now this is a fact. Half the 
works issued by societies are rubbish which the 
writers could not get printed, except by influ- 
ence. ... I should prefer a small and poor 
society, but a red one even with G)rpsies in it, 
to an amateur theatrical company. Pardon me 
for speaking so earnestly, but I have been so 
sickened by my experience of clubs in which 
men were taken in for their money, that I would 
like to be in one which was real." 

His indifl^erence was not quite conquered, even 
when Mr. MacRitchie, early in May, wrote to 
offer him the highest tribute it was possible for 
the Romany Ryes to offer. 


4 Archibald Place, 1888. 

My dear Mr. Leland, — Your two letters 
have been duly received by me, and I am glad 
to know that vou will be an active member of 
the Society. In addition to this, Crofton and 
Groome and myself hope that you will also 
become our President. Before we send a pro- 
spectus to others, we must have two or three 


ofl5ce-bearers named, and there is no one so well 
fitted for the Presidentship as yourself. So I hope 
soon to hear that you have accepted. We propose 
that Mr. Crofton be Vice-President, and that I 
be Secretary and Treasurer. Groome has kindly 
agreed to divide my labours (such as they are), 
but he firmly declines to appear as Secretary — 
or in any prominent position. . . . [Later, how- 
ever, Groome's name did appear as Editor of 
the Journal, with Mr. MacRitchie's.] 

"Unless you can get along with my name 
alone, there will be very little use in proclaiming 
me as President," is the Rye's answer on 
May 4th. " I am out of London and England — 
or expect to be — most of the time. ... If my 
name will help I am willing to let it be used." 

Of course his name would help, and so Mr. 
MacRitchie assured him promptly, and I can see 
that his indiflference began to be shaken, by the 
interest he took when it came to the question of 
Romany spelling, which I wish, for my comfort 
and my readers', had been settled years before. 
"Let the word be henceforward written G)rpsies 
with a y," the Rye writes to Mr. MacRitchie on 
May 9th. "You caused me to write it so. If 
it comes from Egypt, Gjrpsies is right. Seriously, 


let us come to some agreement as to orthography. 
Groome writes Ri — I write Rye after Borrow, 
because he made Rye known. But I don't like 
the Kooshty of Smart, nor the forcing Romany 
words into strict English form. So far as we 
can make Romany agree with Continental, and 
especially with Indian, pronunciation we really 
ought to do so. We had better arrange all this 
en famUle. We can * rehabilitate ' Gypsy without 
manufacturing, if we will only be unselfish and 

Just four days after the Rye had written to this 
effect from Brighton, as indeed Palmer had 
written to him from Cambridge fourteen years 
earUer, Sir Richard Burton was writmg to the 
same purpose, from Trieste, where he was then 
British consul, to Mr. MacRitchie. "I have 
received yours of May 4th and return my best 
thanks. Very glad to see that you write * G3^sy.' 
I would not subscribe to * Gipsy.' Please put my 
name down as subscriber for two copies. . . . 
When the looi Nights are finished, say Sep- 
tember next, I hope to attack the G3rpsies." 

The Rye's next letter announced that the 
Austrian Archduke Josef had consented to 
become an Honorary Member, "so that now 
there are five of us — and a rum lot they are, as 


the Devil said when he looked over the ten Com- 
mandments." The Archduke Josef had made a 
careful study of the G)^sies of Hungary and 
Transylvania, and had pubUshed a book on the 
subject. This book he sent to the Rye, as a fel- 
low-student, and, at the same time, the following 
letter, written on paper with "Josef" in silver 
letters intertwined on a red ground, in a mono- 
gram of a kind that I thought had gone out of 
fashion with the sixties. 


Budapest : 8. 5. 88. 

Sir, — From your amiable letter of the 25th 
April I see with pleasure that your collection of 
Gypsy words will now appear m print, and I am 
very thankful to you for your amiability and 
friendliness in wishing to dedicate this work to 
me. I should feel in the same degree flattered if 
I could belong to your most interesting Gypsy 
Folk-Lore Society as an honorary member. 

At the same time I can inform you that my 
Grammar of the Romany Language is now 
being translated into French and German for the 
purpose of its dissemination in wider circles, as 
our own Hungarian tongue is too little known. 

I have for some time past received many let- 


ters in Romany from genuine Romany people 
which are very interesting from the point of 
view of dialect, the more so as it has seldom hap- 
pened hitherto that these nomads could write 
their mother tongue as well as speak it. 

I am also sending my Grammar to Boston to 
Mr. Sinclair. Musicians here who have been 
over there told me that he speaks their language. 

I am, dear Colleague, 

Yours very sincerely. 

S)rmpathy now coming from every side, at 
home and abroad both, the Rye's keenness of 
the English "Gypsy Songs" period at last re- 
turned to him, and he was again busy suggest- 
ing, scheming for success, striving after ever 
greater perfection. On the 17th of May he was 
writing in his most characteristic vein: "I have 
sent notices of our Society to the 'Saturday 
Review' and to the Xentury' of New York. 
Now get every member to do the same, to every 
weekly or daily which will take them, without 
loss of time." On May 27th, he was urging 
branches everywhere, a great international social 
union as it were, a new freemasonry, an asso- 
ciation ensuring that its members, "on their 
travels, shall find friends wherever they go." 


On May 30th, he was full of a great scheme, 
"to have the works of George Borrow, yours, 
Groome's, Crofton's, and mine, all uniform, 
issued, and sold as ^The Gypsy Library.' " 

For the man who held the purse-strings, this 
was travelling a bit fast. There are moments 
when I feel sorry for Mr. MacRitchie, and per- 
haps he felt sorry for himself, forced to face the 
unpleasant task of keeping the eagerness of his 
President, as well as his own, in check. And he 
was eager, though obliged to write as if he were 

mr. david macritchie to charles godfrey leland 

4 Archibald Place, 1888. 

. . . With regard to your suggested extension 
of our programme, I at present do not feel dis- 
posed to go so far forward. To some extent I, 
personally, have regarded Romani-brotherhood 
as constituting a claim to social fellowship. It 
was with that feelmg that, two years ago, I 
trysted Mr. Crofton at Liverpool, when those 
Greek Gypsies were there, — and afterwards 
accepted his hospitality for a night. And the 
same idea induced me this year to make myself 
known to M. Bataillard and yourself, without 
having been invited to do so (though I don't 


think I was regaxded as an intruder, in either 
case). But, as regards the Society, my ambition 
does not at present urge me to do more than get 
the Society itself, and the Journal, once fairly set 
agoing, in a good healthy fashion. Once that is 
done, I believe the social result you speak of will 
come about in a natural manner. . . . 

But the President was fairly roused, and, from 
this time on, was inexhaustible in suggestion. 
"Why not a Notes and Queries Comer?" Why 
not an "article on the people who persist in 
believing that conmion slang or canting is 
Gypsy ? . . . The conceited rot which is sent in 
to the Slang Dictionary [which he was just then 
editing] is absurd beyond belief. . . . We ought 
to issue a proclamation to the seekers for the 
Lost Tribes, assuring them that Gypsies are not 
Jews any more than Fleas are Lobsters." Why 
not an American corresponding Society of 
G)rpsies, started with the help of Miss Alger ? 
"The whole success of the Romany Society 
depends on pushing." Why not an exchange of 
advertisemehts with a London publisher "who 
does a large business in occult, magic, and curious 
literature?" Why not — but a stream of sug- 
gestions flowed from him, many adopted, many 


allowed to drop by his more cautious fellow- 

The "Journal" appeared on the first of July 
(1888). "I think the first number looks remark- 
ably well," the President assured the Secretary. 
With the second, which reached him in Vienna 
on his way to Budapest, he expressed himself de- 
lighted. Of this visit to Budapest, he wrote to 
Mr. MacRitchie, from Florence, November 17, 
that it had been "a very good thing for us all," 
and that Gypsy lore there was "all the rage." 
Then Mr. MacRitchie, a month later (Decem- 
ber 26), could answer with the equally consoling 
assurance that "we have made friends with the 
Real Academia de la Histaria, Madrid, and with 
the Folk-Lore Society. We are booming." 

The Society, it is true, lasted only a short 
time, but while it did last it kept on, to use Mr. 
MacRitchie's phrase, "booming." In the sum- 
mer of 1889 came the Folk-Lore Congress in 
Paris, and the Oriental Congress in Stockholm, 
and, with them, the occasion to flaunt the schol- 
arship of the Romany Ryes in the face of the 
world. To the general public, learned congresses 
of learned men may seem dull things, but never 
in the letters of the Romany Ryes. In Paris, the 
President figured as ^^Directeur de la Gypsy-lore- 


Society ;^^ he read a paper to prove that the 
Gypsies have been "the great colporteurs" of 
folk-lore, — a phrase Groome later applauded, 
expanding the theory; and he reported to Mr. 
MacRitchie : — 


50 Rue Boissiere, Paris, Aug. 1, 1889. 

. . . Yesterday was a grand day for us. As 
I said, it has fallen on the Gypsy-Lore Society 
to come to the front, and take all the honour of 
representing England, as the English Folk-Lore 
Society has not appeared at all in it! ... In 
the evening Prince Roland Bonaparte gave an 
awful swell dinner (Roumanian G3rpsy musi- 
cians and pre-historic menu, etched for the oc- 
casion) and, as President of the G. L. S., I was 
seated at the Prince's right hand. ... At any 
rate, we have had a stupendous lift, and, with 
energy, may do much more. Lord knows that 
I have tried my little utmost, not without some 

In Stockholm, he pushed the Society no less 
vigorously but — I leave it to his letter to explain 
the "but," and to throw an unexpected sidelight 
on the ways and woes of Orientalists assembled 
in solemn Congress. 


cwabi.ks oadfrky lxuknd to mr. david macritchie 

Brighton, 1889. 

. . . The Swedish Oriental Congress was 100 
times fuDer of incident than the Paris one. It 
was a¥rfiilly cfver done and turned into a great 
Oriental Circus — to its very great detriment as 
a kamed body. We ¥^re rushed about, and 
fitted, and made a great show of — imtil I now 
loathe the very name of "banquet," "recep- 
tion," the sight of banners or hurrahing thou- 
sands, fireworks, and processions. We all got 
tired or fell ill — half of the Orientalists became 
"queer" or irritable, — and then they quar- 
relled ! My God, how they did quarrel ! ! I kept 
out of it all — but I am awful glad to get home 

Despite congresses, despite "booming," de- 
spite the tremendous interest of every member of 
the Society, despite the really important work 
done by the " Journal," by February of 189 1 the 
impossibility of a much longer life was realised. 


Paoli's Hotel, Florence, Feb. 5th, 1891. 

Deak Mr. MacRitchie, — I was not very 
much astonished to get your letter of the 3rd. 


I have long felt that the "Journal" held by a 
thread and that you were unduly taxed in many 
ways by its care. Of course it must suspend, and 
I sincerely hope that it may be done without loss. 

I hope, however, that the Society will continue 
if only in name and pro jormaj for a very good 
reason. The "Journal" was simply admirable, 
and did a greai work. In years to come, and 
always^ there will be great scholars who will refer 
to it. But "movements " of very great value often 
interest very few people. . . . 

I think that a society might be made on 
broader lines which would succeed well. You 
did admirably by introducing Shelta. We ought 
to have included all British slangs and jargons 
on bold principle, such as Yiddish, Whitechapel, 
Italian, etc., all that is allied to the Romany, 
— in short a reflection of the floating Vagabond 
nomadic population of Great Britain. There is 
no such publication, and it would have many 
subscribers. Properly edited, a serial giving all 
that could be collected as to the strange, out- 
of-the-way, little understood people — strange 
sects in towns, wizards, and criminals — would 
sell very well. 

What the trouble is in all Folk-Lore Journals 
is that those who contribute are, as a rule, timid 


and yet very critical old gentlemen who generally 
write, in the style of "a letter to the Times," 
small paragraphs in "an otter seen in the 
Thames " kind of foozles. It was such writing 
which kept the "Gentleman's Magazine " in a 
dead-alive condition for about a century — a 
Sylvanus Urban-pottering scholarship. Our 
Journal is above that, but I still think that a 
rather wider range is necessary to pay. The 
Shelta proves that, and it is a pity that, just as we 
have made our best hit by a departure, we must 

But, after all, we all four of us were rather like 
architects kept at sawing boards. You and 
Groome ought to be at something more than 
Gypsy. I don't mean to neglect it, but I really 
think it takes too much otU of you both. Your 
"Testimony of Tradition" is far beyond Rom- 
any, which is getting to be pretty well threshed 
out in Great Britain. ... 

The "Journal" actually stopped in 1892, and, 
with it, all reasons for the existence of the Soci- 
ety disappeared. "But the Gypsy question is 
not played out," Mr. MacRitchie wrote during 
the last months. " It has no end of things to say 
for itself yet. I intend pegging away at the 


Gypsies for a long time to come, though of 
course avoiding G)^somania." The Rye, when 
he was enthusiastic about an)rthing, was never to 
be outdone in enthusiasm by any one. Before the 
work of the Society was over, he had published 
his "G)rpsy Sorcery," a book full of curious in- 
formation, but concerned less with the Gypsy 
himself than with Gypsy superstitions. He now 
promptly undertook a " Gypsy Decameron," and 
finished it too, with the name changed to "Ro- 
many Wit and Wisdom," but he never got so far 
as to publish it; the MS. lies with all his other 
Gypsy papers, a marvellous collection. He 
planned a record of the Romany Ryes of Great 
Britain and their work, — "especially to please 
them," he wrote to me at the time. But they all 
shrunk back, afraid of the critic, and he had to 
give up the idea. In 1898, he wrote the Corona- 
tion speech for the King of the G)rpsies, who was 
crowned at Yetholm. And Gypsy affairs still 
filled his letters. He kept on writing to Mr. 
MacRitchie, though at longer intervals. He re- 
newed the long interrupted correspondence with 
Groome. He found a new correspondent in Mr. 
Sampson, who when he was not writing of his 
wanderings with the Gypsies on Welsh roads, 
and his study of Shelta, was sending his Romany 


translations of Heine and Omar Kliayyam, and 
once of GavdeamuSy the Rye having long before 
made an English version of ScheflFel: "We used 
to sing it around our camp fire in the evening," 
Mr. Sampson adds. Nor could the Rye keep 
the Gypsy out of his letters to me; the almost 
inevitable ending of them all is ^^Tiro Kamlo 
Koko^^ (Your affectionate Uncle), and, wherever 
he went, he had Gypsy adventures to report to 
me, sure of my sympathy. Now, it was at the 
Bagni di Lucca, where "down in the valley I met 
with a band of Piedmontese G5^sies. They 
denied being Gypsy and did n't know a word of 
Romany. Indignantly pomting to the horse, I 
said, ' How do you call that ? ' And the answer 
was ' Grai. ' ^ Yes, ' quoth I, ' and thou art manusch 
[man], te adovo se a chavo, te me shorn o bora 
Romani Rai^ [and that is a boy, and I am a great 
Gypsy gentleman]. Then we got on very well." 
Now, it was at Geneva, where a French Gypsy 
woman told him his fortune, and he gave in 
return "a small shell tied up in leather which 
was received with boundless gratitude. I also 
described eloquently the value of the shell as a 
bringer of hachV^ [luck]. Now, it was at Inns- 
bruck, where he was lonely, without the com- 
panionship he always craved, and so, when he 


met "a charming van full of Romanys," he 
almost, he said, "cried for joy." Now, it was at 
Homburg, the last place to suggest that sort of 
society, but he wrote, "I met with a real G)^sy 
family in a beer garden, day before yesterday, and 
had a gay time." And so it went on to the very 
last year of his life — the last quotation I give 
is as recent as 1899. 

I have said enough, however, to show what the 
Gypsies meant to him all his life long, once he 
got to know them, and how much more his inter- 
est was than the passing "fad" he never forgave 
any one for calling it. He loved them as a friend, 
he studied them as a scholar, and to such good 
purpose that, when they have vanished forever 
from the roads, they will still live and wander in 
the pages of his books. Even if Borrow had never 
written, the Romany would be immortalised in 
"The English Gypsies" and "The Gypsies." 



Of the many things Romany made sweet to the 
Rye, few were sweeter than the whizzmg of the 
tmker's wheel and the tap-tap of the tmker's 
hammer in his ears, and of his love for them 
much was to come. For it was in talking with 
tinkers that he discovered Shelta, or the " tink- 
er's talk." To the discovery of Romany he could 
make no pretence, though, with Borrow, he added 
more to the world's pleasure in it than any other 
G)rpsy scholar. But Shelta was his own con- 
tribution to philology; that is why I speak of it 
apart. " Shelta was a great discovery and all the 
credit is Leland's!" Mr. John Sampson wrote 
to me after the Rye's death. And from Mr. 
MacRitchie came the charge, "I hope you will 
emphasize Mr. Leland's discovery of Shelta to 
educated people — a real and important dis- 

Of how he chanced upon it he has written in 
"The Gypsies." One summer day, in 1876, on 
the road near Bath, he met a tramp, but a tramp 


in whom he read the "signs," and who, after 
the first interchange, confided, "We are givin* 
Romanes up very fast — all on us is. It is a-get- 
tin' to be too blown. Everybody knows some 
Romanes now. But there is a jib that ain't 
blown." He further confided that this jib is 
"most all old Irish, and they calls it Shelter, ^^ 
though confidence stopped here. If "Shelter" 
too was ever to be "blown," he, an)rway, was 
not the man to blow it. 

Another year (1877), and the Rye was in 
Aberystwith with Professor Palmer. No Rom- 
any Rye ever yet went to Wales who did not 
return the richer for many strange adventures, 
from Borrow and Groome to Mr. John Sampson, 
the latest of the company. And the Rye and Pal- 
mer were not the men to prove exceptions. They 
could not go out together, in the streets of 
the little town, or by the sea, or in the beautiful 
wild country all around, and not meet with the 
Romany. Sometimes the Romany was a tinker 
less troubled by scruples than the tramp near 
Bath, and ready to reveal how much more there 
was in Shelta worth "blowing" than the name. 
All this is in "The Gypsies." But the story in its 
first freshness is told in a letter written at the 
time to Miss Doering. As the discovery is of so 


great importance, this letter — the first record of 
it — also has its value. It has besides the charm 
the Rye gave to everything he wrote of his 
adventures on the road. The beginning of the 
letter is missing. 


... We have had, Prof. Palmer and I, some 
odd gipsy meetings. There came along a very 
good-looking, very dark gipsy woman the other 
day, but she would n't rakker [talk]. By and by 
we met a tinker. He said he could n't, and he 
did n't know any gipsies and had n't seen one 
for a month, and then, finding we had seen a 
gipsy woman named Bosville that morning and 
were a good lot, remarked it was his wife, and 
that he was here by appointment with a gipsy 
lot of her folks, and so on. After a day or two 
we drank with him and he described his wife as 
subject to a disorder which is evidently soften- 
ing of the brain. Palmer bought him half a 
crown's worth of "Brain food, " a powerful form 
of phosphates, etc., and he was very grateful, in 
fact he demurred at taking money for grinding 
our knives, scissors, etc. He goes away but leaves 
another gipsy in his place. Yesterday as we 
were talking with him and a friend of his who 


keeps a tramps' lodging-house, there came along 
a regular bad lot of a woman who held out a 
sovereign and wanted me to change it, and of- 
fered to treat if I would. I asked her if she knew 
Lord John Russell, which is Rhyming Slang 
for bustle, which is thief slang for gladHherin^ 
which is tinker's jib for passing bad money for 
good. She cleared out and the tinker looked ex- 
ceedingly disgusted at her. He evidently thinks 
that we are deep in all dodges and iniquities, 
and as Palmer is a most accomplished slang- 
faker, or juggler, and as we are so very low that 
we can talk Italian ! there is small chance of 
doing us. The lodging-house keeper knew some 
Italian — from hand-organ men. . 

The other day we saw a very humble-looking 
wretch, cowering under a rock to protect him- 
self from a blast about to be fired. Said Palmer, 
^^Dick adovo mush a gaverin lesters kokeroJ^ 
{Look at that man, hiding himself.] "I can 
understand that," said the man. "It 's Rom- 
any." On examination he proved a character. 
He had "Helen's Babies" and was picking ferns. 
He knew tinker^ s language. I had heard of this 
slang in Bath as very hard and as being Old 
Irish. This man said it was based on Gaelic. 
In it, picking ferns is shelkin gallopas. The 


language is Shelter, and "Can you thare Shelter, 
subri?^^ is "Can you talk tinker's slang, pal?" 
I took down quite a vocabulary of it. We find 
it is universally understood on the "road," and 
amazes the travellers much more than Rom- 
any. To silmni the bewr is "to see the girl." 
The poor fellow who taught it to me said to 
write is scriv. " But that is all the same as ecrire 
in French." "Do you know French?" I asked, 
and he replied that he could conjugate all the 
verb ^tre. And also that he was so low he had 
been turned out of the lowest lodging kairs 
[houses] in Whitechapel, and was such a black- 
guard that there was not one in the town which 
would take him in. 

Palmer models very well in clay, and is doing 
my bust and about a qtiart of it in size. . . . 

Tiro Pal. 

Three years later the Rye was in Philadel- 
phia. One of the great changes to strike him 
in his native town, after his ten years' absence, 
was the large increase in the number of vaga- 
bonds and foreigners of every kind. "Italians 
of the most Bohemian type, who once had been 
like angels, — and truly only in this, that their 
visits of old were few and far between, — now 


swarmed as fruit dealers and boot-blacks in 
every lane; Germans were of course at home; 
Czecks or Slavs — supposed to be Germans — 
gave unlimited facilities for Slavonian practice; 
while tinkers, almost unknown in i860, had 
in 1880 become marvellously common, and 
strange to say were nearly all Austrians of dif- 
ferent kinds.'' I remember now, with a return 
of the old thrill, our excitement when we would 
meet in our wanderings a httle Slavonian, of 
tender years, with a great load of rat-traps on 
his back. But it was nothing to the rapture 
when a tinker happened to. come within sight 
or sound. There was one among many who, 
fortunately, was not an Austrian of any kind. 
"One morning" — I tell it in the Rye's words 
— "as I went into the large garden which lies 
around the house wherein I wone, I heard by 
the honeysuckle and grape-vine a familiar sound, 
suggestive of the road and Romanys and Lon- 
don, and all that is most traveler-esque. It was 
the tap, tap, tap, of a hammer and the clang 
of tin, and I knew, by the smoke that so grace- 
fully curled at the end of the garden, a tinker 
was near. And I advanced to him, and as he 
glanced up and greeted I read in his Irish fcice 
long rambles on the roads." 


This tinker, at work in the pretty old Phila- 
delphia "back-yard," was Owen, to whom the 
world owes by far the larger part of the vocab- 
ulary published in "The Gypsies" (1882). 

"There you are, readers!" is the Rye's sum- 
ming up, at the end: "Make good cheer of it, 
as Panurge said of what was beyond him. For 
what this language really is, passeth me and 
mine." "The talk of the ould Picts — thim 
that build the stone houses like bee-hives," was 
Owen's conjecture. To this, the Rye added 
in comment, "I have no doubt that when the 
Picts were suppressed thousands of them must 
have become wandering outlaws like the Rom- 
any, and that their language in time became 
a secret tongue of vagabonds on the roads. 
This is the history of many such lingoes; but 
unfortimately Owen's opinion, even if it be 
legendary, will not prove that the Painted Peo- 
ple spoke the Shelta tongue." 

At first the discovery, with his account of it, 
did not attract half the attention it deserved. 
"I am more amazed than a little to think that 
I actually discovered it," he wrote once to Mr. 
MacRitchie, "and that so very little attention 
has been drawn to it. If it had been some re- 
mote African dialect it would have been duly 


hunted up long ago — but a curious British 
one at our own doors — nterci I " But there was 
another reason. The Rye's was never the way 
of the professional philologist. It was like "a 
magic power" in him, he had written to his 
sister, Mrs, Harrison, when he first began to 
make the Gypsies know and love him. There 
was something that always led the people of 
the road to take him into their confidence, 
and to tell him things they would have kept 
from the student who angled with a philologi- 
cal bait. And he wrote as the student never 
writes, — with gaiety and fun, as if he cared 
for, was really amused with, what he wrote: 
to find amusement in study, apparently, is one 
of the deadly sins against scholarship. Be- 
sides, as he was quick to confess, being " even 
less of one of the Celts than a Chinaman," he 
did not at once recognise that some of the 
words supplied by Owen were simply Gaelic, 
but their presence in the vocabulary shocked 
the learned critic into a virtuous suspicion of 
all the others. However, the Rye knew he had 
made a valuable discovery, — he felt sure not 
only that he had hit upon the "Mumpers' 
Talk" of which he had heard from the Ro- 
manies, and the Tinkers' Talk of which he 


had read in Shakespeare, but that he had un- 
earthed a genuine philological curiosity, and 
his interest never slackened. At the Oriental 
Congress in Vienna (1886) he declared it doubt- 
ful if he ever walked in London, especially in 
the slums, without meeting men and women 
who spoke Shelta, and he recalled with joy — 
for the edification of those less jo)rful philolo- 
gists who make their discoveries at their own 
desks — two promising little boys he had found 
seUing groundsel at the Marlborough Road 
Station and chattering all the time in Shelta. 

It is my misfortune that I never could mas- 
ter the tinkers' talk, and, being less of one of 
the Celts even than the Rye, with his duk for 
languages, I might as well explain at this point 
that my further information on the subject I 
owe to Mr. MacRitchie, who wrote an article 
on "Shelta: The Cairds' Language," printed 
in the "Transactions of the Gaelic Society of 
Inverness" (volume xxiv, 1899-1901) and after- 
wards in pamphlet form ; and to Mr. John Samp- 
son, who contributed the article on "Shelta" 
to "Chambers's Encyclopaedia" and who also 
in a letter to my uncle, that has come to me 
with all the other papers, sketched the progress 
made in the knowledge of the language from the 


day of the Rye's meeting with the tramp near 
Bath until December, 1893, the date of his letter. 
The paper read in Vienna roused more interest 
than the chapter in "The Gypsies." An ani- 
mated discussion followed not long after in the 
"Academy," and other men were found to have 
collected Shelta for themselves. Then came the 
" Gypsy-Lore Journal," in which it could not be 
ignored, Shelta and Romany being linked to- 
gether in some way not yet explained, though that 
two of the secret languages of the road should 
be thus linked seems so natural it hardly needs 
explanation. Mr. Wilson and Mr. Ffrench sent 
to the Journal the only specimens, collected in 
the Scotch Highlands, theretofore published. 

Mr. Sampson next went into the matter. "It 
is a tribute to the secrecy with which Shelta has 
been kept," he says in the letter which contains 
his abstract, "that though I knew Romani well, 
and at least five or six of the various cants of 
the road, I had never met with a word of Shelta 
except in the printed specimens given by you 
in *The Gypsies.' I often enquired about it 
in vain, and finally gave it up in semi-disbelief. 
Then, incited to hunt it up by MacRitchie, 
who had taken up the subject with his usual 
enthusiasm, I collected a. few words from some 


nedhers kyena nidyas, whom I met in the streets 
of Liverpool. Those first specimens did not 
raise my opinion of the jargon. They were cor- 
rupt in the extreme and mixed with all sorts 
of other cants which I already knew, nor could 
I trace any connection with Irish in them. 
However, becoming interested in the thing, I 
tracked Shelta from one squalid model lodging- 
house and thieves' kitchen to another, xmtil 
at last (directed by a friendly grinder who is 
now serving time for acting as a fence) I hap- 
pened upon old Barlow (Gisson Nyikair)^ a 
veritable tinker of the old order. From him 
I collected a complete vocabulary, and from 
him, too, I obtained the words in their purest 
form and learned to distinguish Shelta from 
the other jargons mixed with it by the lower 
orders of grinders and hawkers. From him too 
I learned to believe in the antiquity of the lan- 
guage, and took down many little stories. . . . 
I find it very common indeed on the roads," 
Mr. Sampson goes on, "though ordinarily in 
a corrupt form and mixed with other cants. 
All knife-grinders speak it, more or less purely, 
but few of them know it by the name of Shelta. 
. . . Irish horse-dealers speak it well. Borrow 
did not know it." 


Mr. Sampson's enthusiasm, it is clear, was 
not less than the Rye's or Mr. MacRitchie's. 
The immediate result of his studies was to show 
Shelta "to be a back-slang and rhyming cant 
based on old or pre-aspirated Irish Gaelic." 
Mr. MacRitchie identified the tinker name 
*'Creenie" with the Irish " Cruithneach " and 
Groome's "crink." Dr. Kuno Meyer's special 
addition to these facts was the detection of sev- 
eral Shelta words in the "D'uil Laithne," that 
curious old glossary dating back to the remote 
period of Ireland's learned past, and the iden- 
tification of Shelta with Ogham. "Kuno Meyer 
will probably be severely attacked by some- 
body," was the Rye's comment in a letter to 
Mr. MacRitchie, "but he is, I think, 'presum- 
ably right.' The Irish had a perfect passion 
for ever3rthing eccentric, peculiar, grotesque, or 
odd in art and letters, and such people are 
given to mysterious languages and secrets. I 
think my idea as to the bronze- workers is sound. 
They were the chief artists of a very artistic and 
imaginative race and were supposed to pos- 
sess magical arts. Here your Finns and other 
metal-workers come in. I wish that you your- 
self would write a paper on this, because you 
are best qualified of any mortal to do it." 


And so it came about that the jib that was 
HOt "blown" in 1876, is now blown to all the 
world in learned publications and encyclopaedias 
of general information, as — in Mr. Sampson's 
words — "a secret jargon of great antiquity- 
spoken by Irish tmkers, beggars, and pipers, 
the descendants of the ancient ceards and bards." 
The world so far, I am afraid, has not evinced 
greater excitement than it usually does over 
knowledge of the kind. However, it was not the 
world's recognition the Rye was particularly 
concerned about. I quote a letter on the sub- 
ject to Mr. MacRitchie. 

charles godfrey leland to mr. davm macritchie 

Langham Hotel, Portland Place, 
London, W., Oct. 30th, 1891. 

Dear Mr. MacRitchie, — ... What a pity 
it was that J. Sampson or Professor Meyer did 
not read a paper on Shelta, or send one to be 
read. Suppose you suggest to Mr. Sampson 
to send a paper to the Folk-Lore Journal on 
Shelta Folk-Lore. The world — even the learned 
— does not know as yet that a quite new (or 
ancient) language has been discovered in Great 
Britain, with tales and songs. If it had been 
some infinitesimally trifling and worthless Hi- 


maxitic or Himalayan up-country nigger dialect, 
every scholar in England would have heard of 
it long ago. But the old language of the bards 
— or at worst, an old Celtic tongue — is of no 
interest to anybody! However, it will bloom 
out some day. I hope that when the book on it 
appears it will contain all of Mr. Sampan's 
collections — and (modestly be it spoken entre 
rums) not omit the admission that I discov- 
ered it and first announced it — for we are all 
human. In great haste. 

Yours sincerely, 

Charles G. Leland. 

There was talk later on of his writing this 
book in collaboration with Mr. Sampson and 
Dr. Meyer. A scheme for it, even to the title- 
page, was drawn up. But it was one of the Rye's 
schemes that fell through. However, every 
credit for having discovered Shelta has been 
given to him. Consult "Chambers," and you 
will learn that "the earliest specimens of this 
idiom" were "collected (1877-80) by Mr. C. 
G. Leland from an English vagrant in North 
Wales and an Irish tinker in Philadelphia." 
Read Mr. MacRitchie's pamphlet on "The 
Cairds' Language," and you will find that "its 


discoverer, and the one who first proclaimed 
his discdvery to the public, was an American 
man of letters, Mr. Charles Godfrey Leland, 
who throughout his life took a keen interest in 
all kinds of out-of-the-way forms of speech." 

And this is the history of that discovery of 
Shelta, which I have no doubt philologists prize 
as the great work of the Rye's life, though many 
who are not philologists will prize still more his 
writing about it. At all events, it is a satisfaction 
to me that he was honoured as the discoverer 
before it was too late for him to know it. In any 
case, his pleasure in the people who talk Shelta 
would never have grown less. His ' ' Memoranda ' ' 
are full of tinkers. I have space but for one of 
many notes of meetings: "I met with a tinker 
on the road (June i6th, 1893) by Bagni di Lucca. 
And, having talked with him some time, deeply 
and sympathetically till I suspect he half deemed 
I was of his order, I oflFered him money. He 
shook his head and said : * No, Signore, not from 
Ymi.^ But he yielded to my request to drink his 
health. No tinker can resist that. And a few 
days after, at a little village on the top of an 
exceeding high mountain, I found him again 
blowing away with the bellows. He spoke 
French well. I asked him to show me the way to 


No, he had work to do. But I led 
{, and, in the public, ordered the best 
he astonishment of the assembled, who 
p to me, a Signore, and down on the 
he was a tinker, for he worked only in 
: wine was very good. I paid half a 
five glasses of it." 

ver of Romanies and tinkers, and as an 
L into the bargain, it would have been 
oaa u me Rye's path and the Indian's had never 
crossed.' For, though the Indians of whom he 
was destined to see most have degenerated into 
commonplace house-dwellers during the winter, 
and are civilised to the point of sending repre- 
sentatives to the State Legislature, in the sum- 
mer, when they pitch their tents under the pines 
along the coast of New England, they grow very 
Gypsy-like, while over them always is the mys- 
tery of their race and their legends. He had met 
with other Indians besides the peaceful Passa- 
maquoddies. What to us m^ht seem a matter- 

> I have left the Indian names spelled as I found tbem in 
the books, manuscripts, and letters quoted. I am no authoriljr. 
Scholars differ among themselves, and often, like the Rye, 
change their own spelling of a word as their knowledge 
of the language increases. This explains why Algongum 
becomes Algmkin, vihy KuUskap is at times Glisgabeta 


of-fact journalist's trip in the interests of his 
paper along a new railroad line, had been for 
him a journey into the heart of Wonderland. He 
had brought back the copy required of him — he 
was extremely conscientious in any work under- 
taken for editors or publishers. But the great 
event remembered in his "Memoirs" was not 
the newspaper's mission, but his initiation into 
the tribe of the Kaws, probably the merest side- 
issue to every one else. This was in the sixties, 
and his description of it is written in the same 
strain of exultation as that of so many encounters 
with the Gypsies in England and Russia and 
Hungary. It took place at Fort Riley, then the 
extreme far West and still, in the sixties, as sav- 
age as could be wished. The Rye had bought a 
whip from an old Kaw — but it would spoil the 
story not to quote it as he told it : — 

^ ^ I went to the camp, and there the whole party, 
seeing my curious whip, went at the Kaws to 
buy theirs. Bank-bills were our only currency 
then, and the Indians knew there were such 
things as counterfeits. They consulted together, 
eyed us carefully, and then every man, as he re- 
ceived his dollar, brought it to me for approval. 
By chance I knew the Pawnee word for 'good' 
(Washitaw), and they also knew it. Then came 


a strange, wild scene. I spoke to the chief, and 
pointing to my whip said, ^ B^meergashee,^ and 
indicating a woman and a pony, repeated 
^Shimmy'Shindy, shoonga-hin,^ intimating that 
its use was to chastise women and ponies by 
hitting them on the nose. Great was the amaze- 
ment and delight of the Kaws, who roared with 
laughter, and their chief curiously inquired, 
^ You Kaw ? ' To which I replied, ' O nitchee, me 
Kaw, washitd good Injun me.' He at once 
embraced me with frantic joy, as did the others, 
to the great amazement of my friends. A wild 
circular dance was at once improvised to cele- 
brate my reception into the tribe; at which our 
driver Brigham dryly remarked that he did n't 
wonder they were glad to get me, for I was the 
first Injun ever seen in that tribe with a whole 
shirt on him. This was the order of proceedings : 
I stood in the centre and sang wildly the fol- 
lowing song, which was a great favourite with 
our party, and all joining in the chorus : — 

I slew the chief of the Muscolgee; 
I burnt his squaw at the blasted tree ! 
By the hind-legs I tied up the cur, 
He had no time to fondle on her. 

Chorus. Hoo ! hoo ! hoo ! the Muscolgee ! 
Wah, wah, wah ! the blasted tree ! 


A faggot from the blasted tree 
Fired the lodge of the Muscolgee ; 
His sinews served to string my bow 
When bent to lay his brethren low. 

Chorus. Hoo ! hoo ! hoo ! the Muscolgee ! 
Wah, wah, wah ! the blasted tree ! 

I stripped his skull all naked and bare, 
And here 's his skull with a tuft of hair ! 
His heart is in the eagle's maw, 
His bloody bones the wolf doth gnaw. 

Chorus, Hoo ! hoo ! hoo ! the Muscolgee ! 
Wah, wah, wah ! the blasted tree ! 

"The Indians yelled and drammed at the 
Reception Dance. *Now you good Kaw — 
Good Injun you be — all same me,' said the 
chief. Hassard and Lambom cracked time with 
their whips, and in short we made a grand cir- 
cular row; traly it was a wondrous striking 
scene! From that day I was called the Kaw 
chief, even by Hassard in his letters to the 
* Tribune,' in which he mentioned that in scenes 
of excitement I rode and whooped like a sav- 

Little came of the initiation, except the ro- 
mance of it in memory, though he met with 
Apaches on that same trip, and Chippeways on 
another to Duluth, and occasionally a stray 


Indian turned up at the "Press" oflSce in Phila- 
delphia. The chronicle of these experiences is 
in "Three Thousand Miles in a Railway Car" 
(1867), and some articles, with the title "Red 
Indiana," in "Temple Bar" for 1875 and 1876. 
Europe, and the ten years it kept him, put a 
long stop to all relationships between himself 
and his own or any other tribe. But Europe gave 
him the Romany, and the Romany gave him a 
deeper intimacy with the life of the roads than 
had ever been his before, and when he got back 
to America in 1879 he was far worthier to be 
greeted as brother by the Kaws or their kindred, 
— a fact, however, that does not seem to have 
occurred to him at first. At Niagara and New- 
port in 1880, he must have seen Indians; for 
long I could have shown proofs of it in various 
odds and ends of bead work sent to me before 
the summer was over. At Bar Harbor, in 1881, 
there were "Injuns," as he wrote to Besant, but 
just how much he saw of them, or just how much 
they interested him, I cannot say. In the preface 
to his "Algonquin Legends," he states distinctly 
that it was in the summer of 1882, at Campo- 
bello, that he began to collect the traditions and 
folk-lore of the Passamaquoddy Indians of New 


Some of the Indian villages are not very far 
from Campobello, and when that island was 
turned into a fashionable summer place and a 
couple of big hotels were built, the Indians, with 
their instinct for business, saw their chance for 
adding to the extremely few distractions it then 
provided for visitors. As I remember — it is 
many years now since I was there — the pine 
wood where Tomah and old Noel Josephs and 
their families camped was just off the road, 
about half way between the two hotels. There 
the Rye found them; there he spent many a 
long morning or afternoon in the cool, fragrant 
shade ; there the Indians forgot they were 
Catholics and civilised, and told him, as their 
fathers had told each other, the stories of Kul6- 
skap and Malsum the Wolf, of Lox the Mischief- 
maker, of Mahtigwess the Rabbit, and Atosis 
the Serpent; and I do not know whether to see 
more of civilisation or "old Indian" in the "By 
Jolly" of Tomahy when the drama grew too 
intense even for the traditional stolidity of the 
race. Miss Abby Alger was at Campobello in 
1882, and she was the Rye's usual companion on 
these visits, aiding him in many ways, which he 
acknowledged by dedicating his book to her. 
She was there again in 1883, but had gone before 


I arrived, to be made welcome, in my turn, to 
the tents in the little wood. With their dark 
faces, their love of bright colours, their courteous 
manner, their outdoor life, the Indians were 
enough like the Gypsies for me quickly to feel 
at home amongst them. I could not learn their 
language, — my philological excursions never 
did carry me further than Romany. But I was 
allowed to sit there while Tomah told his 
stories, and the Rye made his notes, mterrupting 
every now and then, with that emphatic out- 
stretched hand of his, to settle some difficulty 
or get the uttermost meaning of the last "By 
Jolly!" Beautiful days they were, so beautiful 
that I still regret having gone with Tomah, in 
his canoe, to the nearest Indian village, treeless, 
desolate, tragic, where I could see for myself 
what dreary days were to come when he and his 
people moved from under the pines. 

The Rye took back with him to PhUadelphia 
amazing treasures of tradition, — vast stories 
of the myths, legends, and folk-lore of the Wa- 
banaki, or those Algonquins whose home lies 
nearest to the rising sun, — and he set to work to 
put them in order. He had been further helped 
by the Rev. Silas T. Rand, missionary among 
the Micmacs of Hantsport (Nova Scotia), who 


lent him a large manuscript collection of Mic- 
mac tales, and by Mrs. W. Wallace Brown of 
Calais (Maine), whose husband is agent in 
charge of the Passamaquoddies, and who has 
had therefore unusual opportunities of collect- 
ing and verifying Indian lore, as well as the 
talent to take advantage of them. Another col- 
laborator, or contributor, was Louis Mitchell, 
who had been Indian member of the Legislature 
of Maine, and who wrote out for him many fairy- 
tales in Indian and English, — a strange substi- 
tute for wampum, I cannot but think, as I turn 
over the well-filled pages of the manuscript. So 
well did the Rye make use of all the material he 
had got together from many sources, that before 
the end of the winter of 1884 "The Algonquin 
Legends" was in the hands of Messrs. Hough- 
ton, Mifflin and Co. 

Now with the legends of the Indians, as with 
the Shelta of the Tinkers, it was the duk that led 
him straight to his discovery. For it was a dis- 
covery, these legends never having hitherto been 
collected, sifted, and published. And he wrote 
about them, as he had written about Shelta, 
with joy and with a sense of literary form in their 
presentation to the public. He did not leave out 
a few legends that were not Indian, any more 


than he had omitted from his vocabulary a few 
words that were not Shelta. In addition, he 
allowed himself the luxury of a theory. He 
attributed the Algonkin sagas to a Norse origin, 
— he compared them to the Eddas, and their 
heroes to Odin and Thor and Loki, to the 
Jotuns and Trolls. But unconventionality in 
treatment and independence in theory are 
anathema to the folk-lorist and comparative 
mythologist. York Powell, in an obituary notice 
of the Rye, pointed to the reason of some of the 
criticism he received: "He could and did make 
careful and exact notes [this of his folk-lore re- 
searches in general], but when he put the results 
before the public, he liked to give them the seal 
of his own persong^lity and to allow his fancy to 
play about the stories and poems he was pub- 
lishing, so that those who were not able quickly 
to distinguish what was folk-lore and what was 
Leland were shocked and grumbled (much to 
his astonishment and even disgust), and belittled 
his real achievement. He thought clearly, and 
many of his ^guesses' have been or are being 

It was inevitable, really, that, as in the case 
of Shelta, the importance of his discovery of In- 
dian lore was for a while overlooked. Indeed, 


"The Algonquin Legends" fared worse, for the 
book was in many quarters violently criticised 
and condemned. And again, as in the case of 
Shelta, the Rye knew well enough what he had 
done, and his interest did not slacken. It was 
never his fortune to see the Passamaquoddies or 
any other Indians after the summer of 1883. For 
the remainder of his days he lived nearer still to 
the rising sun than they. But not even the witches 
of Florence could make him forget them, not even 
Etruscan incantations could silence their voices 
in his memory. One reason of his love for the 
Children of Light of his own country was that 
they, with their myths, had given "a fairy, an elf, 
a naiad, or a hero, to every rock and river and 
ancient hill in New England," and that he, by 
collecting these myths, could repeople his native 
land with the fairies of yore, and walk in spirit- 
trodden paths, and find goblins in the woods, 
and transform every foolish "Diana's Bath" into 
the "Home of the Elves" it really was. And as 
he recalled the legends, the words seemed to fall 
into rhythmical order, as when the Indians had 
chanted or crooned them to him. He regretted 
he had not written them in the original rh)i:hm 
almost without knowing, he did rewrite them in 
verse. And then, by one of those " strange coinci- 


dences" with which his life abounded, "it so 
' befell," he writes, "that I, per jortuna, became 
correspondent with Professor J. Dyneley Prince, 
who had come some time after, but got far 
before me in a knowledge of Algonkin, as was 
shown in various papers containing the original 
text and translations of Algonkin legends in 
diflFerent dialects." The result of that corre- 
spondence was "Kul6skap the Master," — the 
Epic of Kuloskap, — written in coll?iboration 
with Professor Prince and published in 1902, 
but three or four months before the Rye's death, 
and eighteen years after his first Indian book. 
The world had been slower in honouring him 
for his work among the Wabanaki than for his 
work among the Tinkers. "Mr. Leland was 
indeed the pioneer in examining the oral litera- 
ture of the northeastern Algonkin tribes, a fact 
which few scholars seem to recognise," Professor 
Prince says in his introduction to "Kul6skap," 
as if in surprise, for he admits that his own first 
inspiration as student of Indian languages was 
"The Algonquin Legends." But I do not think 
the day of recognition is now far oflF, and when 
it comes I can fancy the interest one of his 
followers will have in gathering together the 
material he has left, with whatever letters on the 


subject his correspondents may have preserved. 
For myself, it would not be possible here to 
cover this vast field, except in the most frag- 
mentary fashion. And so I am content to give 
a few of his letters to Professor Prince, for as 
"Kul6skap " was the last and, the Rye hoped, 
the perfect flower of his Indian studies, so these 
letters are the last and fullest expression of his 
interest in them. He was a very old man when 
he wrote them, but as young as ever in his 
love for the people and the legends of his own 


Hotel Victorla, Florence, Jan. 8, 1902. 

Dear Mr. Prince, — I have sent you by 
mail — and you will possibly be astonished at 
receiving — a considerable addition to the Al- 
gonkin Indian Poems. I always had a great 
desire to make out of the Glusgabe or Glooskap 
legends, which are really songs, a real Indian 
epic — not a piece de manufacture like Hiawatha. 
So I have measured the principal legends and 
really made a small epic. To this I have added 
others not referring to him. . . . 

As there is a legend that Glooskap split the 
Hill of Boston into three (old town, Penobscot), 


therefore it follows that some Indian can re- 
peat it — and you translate it, and I sing it, 
which would greatly interest Boston. It is very 
curious that I not only discovered this legend, 
but also one to the effect that Virgil split the 
hill of Rome into three. 

The more I think of it, the more convinced 
am I that our illustrations ought to be often 
birch-bark pictures. I can hold my own with 
any Indian at the work (in fact I am the author 
of one or two in my book), but for honesty's sake 
we must get them from an aborigine. 

It is very queer that I had a great g. grand- 
father who was so far gone in Algonkin and 
French that he served as interpreter during 
the Old French War. Atavism! I wish that 
I knew as much as he did. I wish that I could 
trade off one or two languages for Indian. I 
made a great mistake in not appl3dng m)rself 
resolutely to it, years ago, when I had oppor- 
tunities. . . . 

Pray let me know at once when you receive 
the manuscript, for I have no copy of it. 
Yours ever truly, 

Charles Godfrey Leland. 



Hotel Victoria, 6, Florence, Jan. 27, 1902. 

Dear Mr. Prince, — I congratulate you 
on your appointment as Semitic Professor. 
MozeltorffI May you maUschen tover massu- 
tnatten as baalbas in der Shooll My own know- 
ledge of the Semitic tongues is confined to Yid- 
dish, in others I am a gedanler Chamorl But 
yesterday, meeting an Arab, a Constantinople 
Jew, peddling carpets, I asked him bt-kdm di ? 
and brought down such a flood of (no doubt 
very) vulgar Arabic on my head that I was fain 
to shut up shop! 

Now as regards our book. Since I have be- 
gun to think it over I find that Vappetit vient 
en mangeant — and new vistas of glory open 
on my vision, the more I realise what a really 
clever colleague I have had the luck to secure, 
and, secondly, how much grander the Subject 
is than we at first realised. 

My idea is this. The complete series of the 
Gliisgabe or Glooskap legends or sagas will 
combine into an Epic, the only real one from 
the Indian in existence. I thought of this 20 
years ago. I am busy completing the series; it 
will not enlarge the book too much; you will 


very soon receive the rest. Now what I hope 
for is, that you will make one great effort, — it 
may involve a little hard work, — and that is 
to satisfy yourself (which can be easily done) 
that my versions are fairly accurate, which they 
indeed are, and assert as much in a note or 
Introduction after my Preface. And I would 
be immensely gratified if you could give a line, 
or a few lines, of the original Indian at the head 
of every chapter or tale, e. g.. 

When Gldsgabe the Master 
Came into this world of ours. 

This can be got from any Indian, even , 

drunk or sober. And it would give great pres- 
tige to the book. What with the whole "Wam- 
pum Record" ( I have a copy of it in America) 
and your other contributions, and the whole 
epic of Glooskap, Gltisgabe or Kuldskap — we 
shall make a grand work. 

... I think I had better do the birch-bark 
drawings, having had much practice therein 
under first-class Injun teachers. In fact, I 
have helped Tomaquah with his work when 
he could not get through — though I wish I 
had a few birch pictures here to inspire me. 
It requires something different from ^^artistic^^ 
skill to do such work. 


I am very busy in these da)^, but I am more 
interested in our work, our big Injun monu- 
ment, than anything else. 

. . . This book, if well prepared, will be a 
two-foot feather on top of your scalp-lock and 
mine. . . . 

Yours truly, 

Charles Godfrey Leland. 


Hotel Victoria, 6^ Florence, Feb. lo, 1902. 

Dear Mr. Prince, — ... Firstly, you will 
receive, with this letter or before long, the re- 
mainder of the Gliisgabe poems. These form, 
with what you have, the complete Epic, and I 
am rather exalted over it, for to really publish 
the first and only real Indian epic entire is 
to have gone far beyond Longfellow's piice de 
manufacture Hiawatha — the borrowing from 
a borrowing, because Schoolcraft had his best 
legends and most from a land surveyor named 
Wadsworth whom I knew intimately. 

Now pray note that the Gliisgabe legends 
are mixed up, and I beg you, firstly, to arrange 
them in due order, according to the course 
followed in my Algonkin legends. Also to re- 
vise and correct, especially any faults of metre 








.1 ■ 


as they strike you, for, as I said, I see that you 
are more than commonly expert in verse. This 
epic, long as it is, will only help the rest. 

... I must draw a title page, I don't know 
whether I can do it now. And a cover and 
back ? Depends on publisher. . . . 

Yours sincerely, 

Charles G. Leland. 


Hotel Victoria, 6, Florence, Feb. 16, 1902. 

Dear Prof. Prince, — ... I almost shud- 
der to think that LappUatwan b^c. nearly per- 
ished, and that we have been just in time to 
get the few lost fairy gold pieces of the leaves. 
Of course you know the story how a fairy gave 
a branch to a man and told him to take it 
home, but he, thinking he was mocked, switched 
away the leaves till when he got home only 
three remained — and these turned to gold 
pieces. Even so, learned New England has 
neglected or switched away the Algonkin po- 
etry. We shall have great credit, mon Prince^ 
in years to come for this work of ours. If it 
were possible at great exertion (were I at home), 
old and weak as I am — and at considerable 
expense — to get more of such songs, / wotdd he 


glad to do so. And I dare say that Mitchell, if 
he really tried, cotdd get more. I pray you to 
think this over. 

Just as the learned worid is amazed that, 
with the exception of the Emperor Claudius, 
no Roman scholar ever tried to collect or pre- 
serve any Etruscan record or any trace of the 
language, though it was in full bloom so late 
as the rV century — so will the world in days 
to come marvel that no scholar (save you and 
I) ever took pains to preserve the Algonkin 

r* • • • 


Hotel Victoria, Florence, Feb. i6, 1902. 

Dear Prof. Peonce, — I had received your 
letter of Febr. 4, and answered it — which an- 
swer I inclose — when lo! in came the type- 
written MS! I am charmed with it, especially 
with your portion. And all my own work looks 
far better than I anticipated, and I am now 
sure that we have made a very attractive, curi- 
ous, and deeply interesting work. But I wish 
that you had put some more or all of yours into 
measure. . . . 

... I thank you very much for the charm- 
ing compliment which you pay me as being 


"indeed the pioneer in examining," &c. This is 
to me extremely grateful, because I am proud 
to be a first pointer-out — just as I am of having 
been acknowledged to be the first discoverer 
of Shelta, which is now yielding such a crop 
of songs and stories — also of Italian-Latin 
witch lore and m)rthology, which latter has not 
as yet been credited to me, but will be some 
day. However, as regards "Algonkian" poetry, 
it shall and will be said that we unquestionably 
and certainly 

Were the first who ever burst 
Into that silent sea. 

This is why I am so anxious to see the whole 
GlUsgabe Epic. You will, by the way, have to 
arrange the order of the chapters . . . 


Hotel Victoria, 6, Florence, March 22d, 1902. 

Dear Mr. Prince, — Great joy did fill my 
heart as I did read what thou didst write on the 
eleventh day — of March, in answer truly unto 
me ! I am much cheered by your liking the Epic, 
though in truth I think it would have been better 
in a more Edda-like metre. However, it is better 
than the sing-song, wheel-and-bucket Kalevala- 


Bulgarian metre of Hiawatha. By all means 
write for Dr. Hayes Ward the article and give 
him the Woisis story. 

. . . When you reflect that the Father Vetro- 
mile, who spoke their language and lived among 
them, never could get one story, my early work 
in collecting may be understood, for when I went 
at it the Copper-coloured, one and all, were as 
averse to telling tales out of school as their 
ancestors per contra had been given to taking 
tails, i. e., pigtails or scalps from us. However, 
the spirit of my ancestor who once lived a whole 
winter as prisoner among their ancestors (they 
were so fond of him) helped me through. This 
was like my discovery of the Shelta tongue, 
which also took years, and I am very proud that 
I have two such discoveries credited to me, 
for' the Shelta also has 3delded a large crop of 
legends and poems, and is rapidly being recog- 
nised as the comer-stone of British Celtic litera- 
ture. In both Shelta and Wabanaki there was 
only a few years ago extraordinary secrecy and 
reticence, just as there was 20 years ago among 
the Gypsies, as regarded letting anybody learn 
Rommany. But as I had gone through and 
through the Gyps with success, I was to a degree 
qualified for Injuns. I wonder how many drinks 


I took first and last in the pursuit of Rommany 
and Indian philology and traditions! I wish I 
could take them and all the fun I had, over 
again. I solemnly believe that those among the 
learned who despaired of getting at Ronunany 
and Passamaquoddy did not go to their tents 
with a bottle of beer in either pocket and a half- 
pound of tobacco, and sit over the fire in the real 
loafer attitude by the hour! 

I am very glad that you like my pictures. I 
could have done better had I taken more time, 
but a kind of devil possessed me to "hurry, 
hurry" with all the copy I sent you. It is a fact 
that in aU my "long and excellent life" I never 
did so much work of the kind in the same time. 
It was like the concert in Philada. at which a 
jug of beer was awarded to the performer who 
should get done -first. . . . 
Yours very truly, 

Charles Godfrey Leland. 

In his love for the Indian, so strong to the 
very end, there was a quality that could not en- 
ter into his love for the Gypsy. The Indian 
belonged to his native land, to " home." As can 
be seen in the preface to " Kul6skap," these last 
studies carried him back in fancy to the days 


when he was a boy in Massachusetts; and to 
him the true value of the Indian's myths and 
legends was in the new beauty they gave to the 
country he knew best and cared for most, though 
so long away from it. 



In June, 1884, the Rye went back to London. 
There were many reasons why he should. His 
work — the work of the organiser — was done 
in the Philadelphia school; Mrs. Jebb and Sir 
Walter Besant were urging him to help them in 
the movement his "Minor Arts" had started in 
England; he had left his affairs in London in 
some disorder, owing to the suddenness of the 
journey home four years earlier. 

He sailed from Philadelphia, and arrived in 
London on the 26th of June. I learn from an 
entry in the often-interrupted Journal, scribbled 
there by my aunt, that within a week he had 
seen his old friends at the Savile, been welcomed 
to the familiar rooms in the Temple by Sir 
Patrick Colquhoun, and was sta5dng at Mrs. 
Triibner's, where my husband and I, having 
sailed a few weeks later, found him on our arri- 
val. It was the house in Hamilton Terrace he 
knew so well, but Mr. Triibner had died since 
last he had been there, and the return was full 


of saxiness. And there had been other changes. 
Palmer * had met with his tragic death, and his 
loss loosened one of the bonds that held together 
the little group at the Savile. The Rye went 
there as of old, but I do not think it ever was 
quite the same to him, and after a while he 
dropped away from the Saturday meetings. The 
Rabelais Club survived and was to survive for a 
few years; among the waifs and strays preserved 
in the "Journal" is a notice to members of the 
dinner given by the club to Lowell and Holmes 
one Sunday evening in May, 1886; at which 
Holmes "was lively from 8 to 11 and never failed 

* In the Memoranda (1894), there is a reference to Palmer's 
death that shows not only how deeply the Rye felt it, but 
something of the quality of his friendship for Palmer: 
" Among the thousands of subordinates who could do the 
same quite as well, the Government could actually find no 
other person save a Cambridge professor, poet, scholar be- 
yond all common scholars, artist, and genius — to send to 
buy camels ! That Palmer was willing or anxious to go, is 
absolutely no reason at all. Every one of Palmer's friends 
disapproved of it — especially Triibner. Even the alarming 
state of his health at this time was not considered. He was 
in some respects a mere boy, while in others he was a pro- 
ficient man of the world. That he was to the highest degree 
courageous, reclcless, and adventurous, though small and 
weak, is very true, as I have often observed from experience. 
He was quite like his intimate friend, R. Burton, of whom 
I have heard him narrate many a strange anecdote. Yet his 
death was strangely befitting hi3 whole life and character." 


to say something well worth hearing every five 
minutes." But the club never rose to the heights 
the Rye had dreamed for it, and, though he 
attended the dinners when in town, his interest 
slowly weakened. He fell partly back into his 
old social life, but having no home of his own, 
he gave no Saturday evening recepti(rns. When 
he and Mrs. Leland finished theiryVisit to Mrs. 
Triibner's they went to the Langham Hotel, and 
it was there they lived for the next six years 
whenever they were in town. This made all the 
difference. In London, hold out-something as a 
bait, if only a cup of tea or the national whisky- 
and-soda, and your house is crowded; offer 
nothing, and your existence is forgotten. His 
few real friends were as cordial as ever; but 
the cordiality of the many once supposed to 
be friends vanished with the withdrawal of the 
old bait. He must have felt it, though I never 
heard a word from him to make me think so, 
and though friendship no deeper than an invi- 
tation to Saturday evenings was not worth a 

But there was one disappointment more seri- 
ous, upon which he could not keep silence. He 
had come prepared to take up the work of the 
society then developing into the Home Arts 


Association ; Mrs. Jebb had wanted him, so had 
Besant — both still did want him as urgently. 
But there were others, apparently, who did not. 
He attended the meetings of the committees to 
which he belonged, he gave the benefit of his 
experience in the Philadelphia school, he wrote 
many of the leaflets published for distribution 
among the different branches, he lectured for 
them in London and the Provinces, he taught 
when classes for volunteer teachers were started 
in rooms near the Langham — that is, he worked 
as he always did for others, without sparing him- 
self. But to venture to give enthusiasm as well as 
time on a committee is apt to mean friction. 
Worse still, people, presumably working with 
him, went out of their way to discredit his ser- 
vices in the public press. And many seemed 
anxious to ignore the fact that it was he who 
originated the movement. This cut him to the 
quick; the more so because it came just about 
the time he was finding that, in Philadelphia, to 
be out of sight was to be out of mind. At first 
the reports from home were pleasant enough, 
Mr. Liberty Tadd writing that things were going 
well, that the school was known among princi- 
pals and children as the "Leland Art School," 
that he was doing his best to keep up the methods 


and the system as if Mr. Leland were there in 
person, — grateful for the start given him in the 
Decorative Arts, — and so on. And yet, almost 
from the beginning, there was the little rift in 
the dismissal of Eugene, "as good as Ebenezer," 
the coloured man the Rye had appointed teacher 
of carpentering; and the rift widenmg rapidly, 
friends began to write him that the school was 
no longer known familiarly as the Leland, — 
that credit was being given to others. Then 
came the news of the downfall of the club. 
These bad times, as I have written, were out- 
lived, but they were bitter while they lasted, and 
the bitterness added to the annoyance the Home 
Arts Association was causing him. The details 
are too petty to be recalled. But that there 
should have been annoyance explains why, as 
time went on, his connection with the association 
became less active. Personally, I believe it was 
no loss to himself, whatever it may have been to 
the Home Arts. Others could do the work still 
to be done for that organisation. But none could 
go adventuring so gaily along the new paths 
that opened out before him. And despite the 
dissensions and the slights of a moment, it is 
now established beyond doubt that he was the 
chief founder of the movement, and that the 


idea came originally from the suggestion in the 
preface of his "Minor Arts." Besant acknow- 
ledges this generously in his "Autobiography:" 

"Another form of practical philanthropy 
which was laid upon me, so to speak, was caused 
not by an)rthing I had written, but by the action 
of a friend. In the year 1879, my old friend 
Charles G. Leland (Hans Breitmann), who had 
been long resident in England and on the Conti- 
nent, returned to Philadelphia, his native town ; 
and there proceeded to realise a much-cherished 
project of establishing an evening school for the 
teaching and practice of the minor arts. . . . The 
attempt proved to be a very great success; very 
shortly he found himself with classes containing 
in the aggregate four hundred pupils. He then 
proposed to me that we should start a similar 
school here in England. As he was coming back, 
I suggested that we should wait until his arrival. 
We did so, and on his return we started the 
Society called the Home Arts Association. . . . 
Let it be understood that the movement is due 
entirely to the clear foresight of Charles Leland." 

Besant omits to say that the Home Arts grew 
out of the Cottage Arts Society. But this does 
not affect his tribute to the Rye, for it was the 
preface to the "Minor Arts" that suggested the 


Cottage Arts to Mrs. Jebb, and the methods were 
based largely on the advice and help he sent her 
by letter from Philadelphia. The greater part 
of her share of the correspondence remains, — 
a bulky packet that proves how deeply she appre-- 
ciated what was owing to him, if others did not. 
Indeed, there were always the few who knew 
and acknowledged all that was owing to him. 
"There would be no work of this sort going on 
at all, if you had not waked us and set us to 
work," I read in one letter, written to him at this 
period. And, in another, that, humanly speaking, 
without him the Home Arts Association never 
would have existed. In the report for 1902, 
printed in the spring of 1903, after the Rye's 
death, the association was wiUing to recognise 
in him, at least, "one of the most active of 
the original founders," and attribute part of the 
original idea to "a sentence in the preface to his 
book, 'The Minor Arts';" and to admit the 
practical value as a guide of the pamphlet he 
wrote for the Bureau of Education in Washing- 

Unfortunately, the climate of London aggra- 
vated his gout. For several years after his return, 
he struggled to believe it had nothing to do with 
his constant illness. He kept coming back from 


the Continent for a few months' or a few weeks' 
stay until 1891, when he gave up the struggle and 
never got further north again than Homburg. 
On leaving America in 1884, he had undertaken 
to write a weekly letter for the "New Orleans 
Times-Democrat" and the "Chicago Tribune." 
But his long absences from London made any 
regular articles of the kind impossible. This only 
meant, however, that he worked harder than 
ever at the tasks he set himself. And they were 
such congenial tasks! They began with the 
editing of the Slang Dictionary and the writing 
of the book on G)^sy Sorcery. They led him 
into the society of witches and on the track of the 
high priests of Voodooism. They turned him 
adrift into speculations on the mystery of the 
Will and the psychology of Sex. His home 
might be the conventional hotel or pension, but 
it was always a background for extraordinary 
experiences. His travels might be over the usual 
routes and in the usual train or boat, but they 
carried him straight to adventure. For him it 
was strange people and strange coincidences 
all the way, — G)^sies, tinkers, witches, magic 
working of his Voodoo Stone. " Such adventures 
as I shall have to tell you when we meet," was 
the refrain of his letters to the very end. 


Much of the correspondence of his later years, 
luckily, has been preserved, and, with the occa- 
sional help of the "Memoranda," forms a more 
complete story of the final period of his life than 
could be written for him. I have given therefore 
just this brief outline of his movements and his 
work at the time, and now turn to his letters to 
fill in the detail. If I use many addressed to my- 
self, it is because he talked to me on paper as 
freely as he had on our long tramps through the 
streets of Philadelphia, and it was as natural to 
him to tell me what he was doing as to ask me 
to laugh with him in his lighter moments. He 
was a boy to the very last, not only in his enthu- 
siasms, but in the love of a good story or a bad 
pun which had been his chief recommendation to 
Bamum at the outset of his career. Many pas- 
sages in his letters will help a puzzled public 
to understand how the man who taught in the 
Hollingsworth School, and who published serious 
art manuals and a book on Practical Education, 
could also be the author of the " Breitmann " and 
" Brand-New Ballads " and the " Egyptian Sketch 
Book." The first letter is from Whitby, where 
he had gone after leaving Mrs. Triibner's in the 
summer of 1884. The book referred to is " The 
Algonquin Legends." 



Whitby, Aug. 1884. 

My dear Pen, — I was very glad to get your 
letter and I thank you very Diuch indeed for the 
slip from the "American." I have heard from 
one or two dear friends at home that they had 
seen such interesting notices of me and of my 
book, but none of ihem sent me any. I have had 
the pleasure too of reading a notice of my article 
in the "Atlantic," but have not seen it as yeL 
Mrs. Brown writes me that she has sent me by 
mail $4.00 of Indian songs collected by Lewey 
Mitchell. I had written to her from the Hotel in 
London, so she wrote to me there, although she 
had the Barings' address. I wrote to the Hotel 
and got the letter, but not the songs. She says 
Lewey has a story how Glooskap talked with a 
dead witch. It must be Odin's discourse with the 
Vala. This is a beastly mean hotel. For break- 
fast herrings, which cost here only id. for 6 or 8, 
bacon, cold meat, bad butter and decayed eggs — 
nothing more — the same every day, one small 
room, and prices twice what we paid at Campo- 
bello. Population — pigs ! But it is very pic- 
turesque, though not up to Scarboro'. It was 
very dear there too. I bathe every morning in 


the sea and that is nice. . . . This is an inex- 
haustible country for queer old houses, streets 
going up, up, up, curious stairs, sudden comers, 
etc. I have made about 2 dozen sketches, but 
only one decent one — oh ! if I only could draw. 
But it is n't in me, and it never will be — and yet 
I know so perfectly what I want and what ought 
to be done. The truth is I was never really 
taught an5rthing, and teaching is necessary in 
youth. . . . 

I wish that Pennell were here to sketch the 
Luggerhead Inn. There is an indescribable 
antiquity about this inn — and withm it goes 
back — way back to about the loth century. 
And the company! There were four of them — 
one a radical mason, covered with lime, who 
abused the Queen, cussed the Prince of Wales, 
blasphemed the Bishops, and chaflfed the 
Church — I stood four pints of ale and got the 
ancient legend of The Luggerhead. "Ees, sir, 
it be cawd t ' Looger Head. Hoondreds o' years 
by gone when t' caught a smoogler, ta' boomed 
t' vessel and t* cargoo. And wan whiles tay 
caught a Logger foo' of smoogled goods, and 
tay boomed it an' kept ta head, and tat day 
was t ' f oorst pooblic opened in Whitby, and tay 
poot t' head here and ca'ed it ta Looger hid, and 


then ta Looger Head. For ta smooglers was 
always at logger heads wit' ta Coostoom Hoose 
people, and thot woord Logger Head coomed fra 
tis very hoose." 

The Lugger Head is a very, very ancient 
figure-head. It may have figured on a Norse 
dragon. It may represent Rolf or Ulf or Scrym 
Helbrander murdering somebody. But it is very 
charming. But I must run to lunch. Kindest 
regards to Pennell. 

Tiro Kamlo Koko. 

[Your loving Uncle.] 

I give another letter from Whitby for the 
sake of the gay mood in which it left him, — 
the practical mood, too, for the paragraph of 
prescriptions was due to the fact that cholera 
was very bad that year in Italy, for which coun- 
try my husband and I were bound on our tri- 


Whitby, Aug. 28, 1884. 

Kandi Pen, — You say you have not received 
a letter from Ned, so I send you one at once. 
Always come to me when you want anything in a 
hurry. I went out on the beach yesterday with 


two young ladies and two hammers to get fossils. 
Before we went, a Gypsy woman said, "Z^ trad 
& yer Kokero.^^ [Take care of yourselves.] This 
was the "Gypsy's Warning." And we were 
caught by the tide and had to take off our shoes 
and stockings and wade for our lives. The Gypsy 
is a Gray. I always find them — this one was 
in a regular slum. We found seven nice little 
street boys and put them in a row and gave each 
of them a chocolate drop. 

Going home, we, the dui tani ranis [two young 
ladies] and I, met a very good-looking Italian 
selling ice creams. He had a pink hat on his 
head just like his ice cream. We had a fluent 
conversation and his rapture was immense at 
finding I was from Philadelphia and had been 
in Newcastle, Delaware. He was there as a 
sailor 3 J years ago. We may have seen him ! . . . 
We leave on Saturday for York, thence for Lon- 
don and Brighton. If you go on the Continent, 
take with you some doses of tannin and opium 
powder, which, it is generally agreed, is best for 
preliminary s)miptoms, and be sure and have 
Collis Brown's Chlorodjme for the same; very 
strong black coffee and good brandy are very 
effective — smaU doses of both at intervals. Use 
quinine (bark in wine best) ever3where in Italy, 


don't neglect this. Don't drink much white wine 
— good red you can drink freely. I will write 
anon, to-day I am busy. If it be only a line, write 
to me oftener, as I want to know how you two 
are getting on. . . . 

He did an incredible amount of work the fol- 
lowing winter, — his two weekly letters; arti- 
cles and reviews for the "Saturday;" preparing 
a new edition of "Breitmann;" arranging the 
new Indian stories and songs sent from Maine; 
writing, for relaj^ation, his serio-comic book of 
"Snooping" and various ballads for "Fun" and 
for "Hood's Comic Annual," to which he was a 
regular contributor for years. Early in 1885 he 
was once more in London, where, in addition 
to everything else, he was teaching for the Home 
Arts as he had taught for the Philadelphia 
School Board. The Home Arts Association, he 
wrote me from the Langham, "have taken nice 
rooms for a Ladies' Art School directly opposite 
the Langham. ... I was the only person in the 
whole blessed crowd who knew what benches, 
chairs, closets for the girls were needed, how to 
arrange classes, etc. The situation for the School 
is admirable. A cab stand, a lunch room, a cake 
shop with cherry brandy (fancy Sauter's with 


cherry brandy!) [Sauter's in Philadelphia, fa- 
mous for its ice cream], a telegraph office, a 
post office, a newspaper stand, Mudie's Library, 
and a railway station, all at the head of Regent 
Street, and within a few 3rards ! ! Also a church I " 
And he lectured on the subject of Industrial Art 
in Schools, at the Society of Arts in London, and 
in Bradford and Manchester. "I will tell you 
all my varied Manchester adventures when you 
come to London," he wrote, though one might 
have thought even so inveterate an adventurer 
as he would i^ot have had the courage to seek, 
much less the genius to find, adventure either in 
Manchester or the lecture hall. 

In the summer he went for his sea baths to 
Etretat. I think he was alwa)rs pleased to be 
in France, it gave him such a chance for the 
humours of grumbling. I am sure he would 
have disUked the country more, could he have 
found less excuse for liking it so little, and I 
am as sure he enjoyed grumbling to me because 
he knew I could not agree with him ! 


Etretat, Aug. 21, 1885. 

... I went the other morning to bathe. 
They charged me 30 sous (damn them!) to 


begin with. They gave me a little sentry box 
to undress in (cuss 'em!). Then they bestowed 
on me a single small soft napkin for a towel 
(blast 'em !), but this was made up for by a great, 
long linen dressing-gown or shroud (bust 'em!). 
I asked what this was for, and they told me to 
put on in coming out of the water to prevent 
a chiU ! ! ! !— and for la decmce !!!!!!!! Quite 
aghast (I was clad from head to foot already 
in a long bathing dress), I asked if it was de 
rigtieur, and if the Law exacted such Tom- 
foolery. A crowd all screamed out, "Yes, yes, 
yes!" A little brute about 5 feet high declared 
that he was going to take me into the water! I 
told him he had better try it, and quoted what 
Hans Breitmann said to the assistant bathers at 
Ostend : — 

Gottsdonner, if ve doomple down 

Among de vaters plue, 
I kess you '11 need more help from me, 

Dan I shall need from you. 

He asked me if I could swim ! I told him to go 

to , etc. He sat on the beach waiting to see 

me perish. When I came out, I did not know 
what to do with the d — d old shroud. I pitched 
it on anyhow and ran into my box, pursued by 
the laughter and huees of the attendants. I did 


not go there again. Since then, I have been 
to a place a mile oflE, where I have to clamber 
up and down an awful ravine 300 feet high — 
Campobello was a trifle to it. But the shingle 
is terrible, and I cut my ankle so badly with 
it that I have not bathed for 4 days. I don't 
like breakfasting early on bread and butter 
and then having 2 dinners. English and Ameri- 
cans are very unpopular indeed here, and no- 
body speaks to them. The French Democratic 
party has just published its Platform or Tripod 
of 3 planks. One is that all foreigners living 
in France shall be obliged to pay a heavy tax. 
This little country hotel is not had — prices 
just the same as at the Langham — rather more 
than at the Fifth Avenue or St. George. Over 
a hundred Americans. With two American 
artist dames, who are pretty and just barely 
respectable, I am moderately intimate — the 
rest are mostly Philistine trash. This is about 
all the news. A great many artists, all doing 
the same thing over 'n' over again. 

But France had some compensations. From 
St. Malo, he wrote not many days later 



St. Malo (no date.) 

. . . We went to-day to Dinan — 2 hours 
by rail, saw Cathedral, etc., and fine ancient 
houses. There was a fair and Breton peasant 
women in quaint caps of many patterns. Just 
under the ramparts, on a grassy bank, I found 
a group eating on the grass, 4 or 5 men and a 
girl. I saw they were gypsies, and asked, ^'Etes 
vous tziganis?^^ They replied politely, ^^Oui, 
Monsieur,^^ but when I spoke Romany, there 
was a sensation, and they got up. They were 
every one singularly handsome, and such eyes ! 
We were immensely delighted with one another, 
which was increased when one asked me if I 
could talk German, for they were all German 
G)^sies. Every one was a subject for a picture, 
and the whole scene was remarkable — a pig 
market going on just by us ! So I bade good-bye. 
They were the most real Gypsies I ever met, 
they quite understood all I said, their language 
is just like very deep old English Romany. 

The autumn months were passed in Brigh- 
ton; his special tasks now, a new manual of 
design, a new edition of " Breitmann," his " Prac- 


tical Education," and the endeavour to interest 
the people of Brighton in the minor arts. "I 
am getting up a class in Brighton,'^ he wrote 
on November nth. "They seem to be nice 
people. I hold the first stance to-day." He 
succeeded so well that, when he was obliged 
soon after to leave his class, it was with regret. 


Brighton, Dec. 5th, 1885. 

Kandi Pen, — We expect to be in London on 
Monday and return to the Langham. I don't 
know whether to be glad or sorry. I have fairly 
begun a Ladies' Club and induced a wealthy 
old cove to get them a room and give them 
;i^2o. I lectured yesterday to a small and very 
select audience. My class are heart-broken to 
leave me. There were two nice girls in it, but 
all were nice as regards work and being thank- 
ful. Altogether I have not lost my time here, 
and I have, as usual, earned my pocket money 
by writing. Some amazement was expressed 

that I got so much out of who is regarded 

as being rather a cantankerous crank, but Lord 
bless you — the man is a rich, very rich brewer. 
I did not know this, and when I lunched with 
him and took no wine, he asked me what I 


drank. I replied, "Nothing but ale." "What!" 
he exclaimed, "Ale! Would you drink ale 
now?^^ "Only t^ me," was my reply. Never 
did I see such admiring delight. "Will you 
have," he said, "mild or strong? I can give 
you ale a year old — two years — up to four- 
teen. Can you drink that ? I have ale of which 
I cannot drink more than half a glass without 
getting drunk." "I" — I replied — "have 
drunk a quart of Trinity Audit and was all the 
more sober for it. It was done once before me, 
however, by a man 200 years ago." So he 
brought out his Fourteen year old, which bums 
in the fire like rum. And I drank 3 half pints 
of it. When he introduced me to his partner, 
he said I was the only man he ever knew who 
could drink a quart of 14 year old ale. Last 
Sunday he took me through his Vaults and I 
drank and drank till he said I must not drink 
any more. It made him and his Brauknecht 
laugh to see me go back to finish oflE my tumbler 
of the strongest. Of course, I got the ;^2o. It 
was awful to see how, as soon as I merely tasted 
a glass, the rest was thrown away. 

Brynge in goode ale, brynge us in no wine, 

For if thou do that, thou shalt have Grist's curse and mine ! 

He sent me to the house 3 bottles of his best. 


I wish I could earn £20 a day by drinking 
enough to floor a navvy. 

The rani sends her love, and would kam to 
dikk tute [love to see you] Monday evening, if 
it be perfectly convenient. Packing to-day — 
got through it very soon — I wish I were going 
to my own house in London. Keeping house on 
a very small scale and cheaply is, I think, within 
my intellectual capacity. I shall be awful glad 
to dikk ttUe apopli [see you again]. Love to 

Tiro koko, 

Charles G. Leland. 

The winter of 1886, spent in London, brought 
him one illness after another. But it brought 
him also duties for which he managed to gather 
the strength. There is only one page of entries 
in the " Journal'* for the winter months of 1886. 
But in it is no suggestion of feeble health or 
responsibilities shirked. 

Monday, March 8, 1886. Went to Birm- 
ingham, stayed with Mr. Matthews, lectured 
before the Midland Institute on Algonkin Le- 

Tuesday. Went to Wolverhampton. Guest 


of Mr. Mander. Lectured before Art School 
on Industrial Art in Schools, etc. 

Wednesday. Returned to Birmingham. Staid 

with Rev. Macarthy. Lectured before 

Teachers' Institute on Industrial Art in Schools, 

Thursday. Returned to London. 

Monday, March i$th. Dikked B. se sar tacho 
[saw B. and all is right]. Attended meeting of 
Society of Authors, of which I am one of the 
many vice-presidents. Mr. Mundella greeted 
me very cordially and quoted from my " Brand- 
New Ballads." Talked with Besant and Hake, 
who is soon to edit "The State." Asked me to 
write for the firet number. 

The notes were fuller when summer came, — 
notes of that dinner to Lowell and Holmes at 
the Rabelais Club, when "Had much conver- 
sation with the Doctor on Paganini and Rachel," 
of all unexpected subjects; of the Hampton 
Races, where I went with him; of dinners at 
Miss Ingelow's and Mrs. Triibner's, and visits 
to Sir Patrick Colquhoun — and how I wish 
the note of one of these visits, on June 22, had 
been amplified: "He told me when he first met 
Triibner, then a young clerk in Campe's book- 


store in Hamburg. Anecdote of the Syndicus 
who called to inform Campe that he should send 
the police half an hour later to search for Heine's 
works." Notes there are, too, of the Exhibi- 
tion of the Home Arts in Bethnal Green, and 
of lecturing before the Royal Literary Society 
on the Algonkin Legends, all in the course of 
a day; of visits to the British Museum and 
talks there with Mr. Fumivall, "the Shelley 
man. He gave me some good references as to 
Mediaeval Goblins;" of dinners at Pagani's, 
and evenings devoted to Boisgobey's novels; of 
Fourth of July receptions at the American 
Minister's, — "saw J. R. Lowell, Dan Bixby, 
Hyde Clarke, the beautiful Miss Chamberlain, 
Miss Grant, Cyrus Field, H. Lamboum, G. 
W. Smalley, and a number of the * prominent' 
citizens of America;" and, for contrast, notes 
of meetings with G)^sies in Tottenham Court 
Road: "Met a Cooper canying a roll of split 
canes. Took him into a bar and gave him at 
first a pint of very good pale ale. Then I or- 
dered him a pot-quart, which he begged might 
be two-penny, as he did not like any other kind 
as well. I told him he might have wine if he 
preferred it, but no. Then he asked leave to 
bring in a pal to share his quart, and returned 


with an appalling rough who had prize-fighter 
of the lowest stamp in every feature. This 
new acquaintance was named Stanley. Both 
Gypsies were, however, well behaved. I learned 
how to split the cane, which was what I was 

All this was in June and July. By the end of 
July, he was on his way to Budapest, stopping 
first at Heidelberg for the "Great Anniversary.'* 


Heidelberg, Aug. 6th, 1886. 

I have almost got through a week of Festivi- 
ties, and I really think the Fest is awful and the 
Ivities are wuss. I had rather have one week of 
the gout in bed. . . . 

There is a stupendous time here in Heidelberg, 
a sort of Dutch version of the Bicentennial [Phil- 
adelphia, 1882] — and really not quite so agree- 
able. One evening's dinner in a hall containing 
7 or 8 thousand people, half of them or four 
fifths smoking such — oh, such ultra-extra, sLwiul, 

infernal, d d bad cigars, with a big band and 

a great chorus ! The next evening it was prettier, 
but harder to endure ; it was the Illumination of 
the Castle — thousands of people in the great 
court and free wine and cakes for Everybody! 


Such a spree ! It was beautiful to see, but oh, 
how I suflFered, standing in that crowd, and all to 
see the Crown Prince of Prassia and the Grand 
Duke of Baden — who were to be seen every 
half-hour driving about town. I once in my 
youth had a talk with the present Grand Duke. 
But I have really enjoyed myself taking lonely 
walks in the country. Yesterday I walked 16 
miles, and 8 of them going up and down an ex- 
ceeding high mountain. On the summit of it the 
Germans have rebuilt, with great care and with 
new stone, a little old ruin which stood there 
in my youth. It is a great shame, for the old 
ruin was all that was left of a very famous ab- 
bey in the early Middle Ages. There is the 
same destructive, snobbish, silly spirit here as 
in Philadelphia. 

I am determined to learn the new leather work 
if I have to go to Vienna, but I hear that there 
is a man in Munich who understands it. There 
was a Torchlight procession here last night — it 

was very fine, equal to a on fire (fill in that 

blank with an)rthing nasty you can think of!). 
As the darkey preacher said of hell, "And de 
smells, my brudder — youM gib yer whole soul, 
if you 'd got one, to git jis one sniff of a rotten 
egg!" They are not up to American Kerosene 


torches or processions. I do so wish that you 
and Joe were here. I think I should really en- 
joy Everything if you were. By the way, there 
is some superb work just in his line for him at 
Coblentz — 2 or 3 of the best street views I ever 
saw. The best place in all Germany, I hear, 
is Rothenburg, near Nuremberg. I hope to visit 
it soon. With best love to your husband, in 
which Madame joins, I remain, 

Tiro Kamlo Koko. 

It was a wonderful sunmier for Gypsies. H« 
found them first in Nuremberg, and then in 
greater numbers in Vienna, where he took part 
in the Congress of Orientalists and read a paper 
on their origin. It was at this Congress that, I 
. am afraid, he rather offended some of the dele- 
gates by a ''word" that delighted others. A din- 
ner was given by the Municipality to the Con- 
gress, and as the doors and windows were all 
closed in the banqueting hall, it became naturally 
hot and stuffy. "I believe," he said to Captain 
Temple and Major Grierson, the English dele- 
gates, "that if a German were sent to Hell, the 
first thing he would do would be to close the 
windows." Which is not unlike another saying 
of his, to a man selling what he called "brim- 


stone allumettes," much about the same time. 
The Rye had tried a dozen and all had refused 
to bum, — one knows the species cultivated in 
some parts of the Continent. "I hope/' he told 
the man who had sold them, " I hope for the sake 
of the poor souls in hell, that the sulphur which 
they use there is as scant and bad as it is on your 
matches." Of other things that amused him 
more in Vienna, he wrote to me: "I need only 
add in explanation that my 'young Rudi' was 
one of the Hungarian Gypsies I had seen so 
much of in Philadelphia, in the summer of 1883." 


Vienna, Oct. 25th, 18S6. 

Dear Pen, — ... I walked out to the Prato 
day before yesterday ; it is about 2 miles from 
here. Arrived at the Czardas Caf6, it was empty. 
I made an essay on the waiter in Hungarian. 
— Hungarian must be the language of the dev- 
ils, being devilish and scratchy, and, O Lord — 
stick a syntax ! ... In a few minutes came in my 
orchestra of 5 Gypsies, all very nice, very shabby, 
and poor fellows, and as polite as men can be. 
For an hour I had them all to mjrself , and in that 
time they drank 30 glasses of beer (my treat). 
By and by the leader said, Sing us any tune and 


we will play it. So I warbled several gypsy songs 
and they at once played them perfectly on once 
hearing,— 3 violins, bass violin, and cimbal. 

There came in a man, very well dressed — 
better than I — a quiet swell of 60 with a bold, 
energetic, rather bad face. The waiter whispered 
to me that he was a great Gypsy musician who 
had taken orchestras to every foreign country. He 
talked Hungarian to the band, told them what 
to play, played the bass viol himself, and then a 
violin (very swell indeed), and then explained to 
me, like a snob, that he only did it to amuse 
himself — as if I could not see that he was not 
one of this poor humble, thank-you-for-a-penny 
set. He at first aflfected not to hear me when I 
addressed him! By and by he told me he had 
been in America and showed me the photograph 
of your young Rudi. He had an American $20 
and $1 gold piece on his watch guard. Then 
he went and I had my poor boys again. They 
played me an air called the Gorgio tune or the 
Song of Misfortune. But it was a very jolly 
tune. I went quite $2 on that spree, but it was 
worth the money. The leader is a jolly little 
fellow, and all of them when they drank waved 
their glass at me and cried "5a5to" or ^^Sastipe^^ 


Budapest, the next town in his travels, was 
better still: more Gypsies, more adventures. His 
letters are like the letters of a boy off on his first 
holiday, rather than those of a man of sixty-two, 
whose life had abounded in variety and move- 
ment. The Gypsy, whose remembrance was a 
great satisfaction to me, was one of the same 
Gypsy band who had played in Philadelphia. 


BuDA Pest, Nov. i6th, 1886. 

Dear Pen, — It would take a time to tell you 
all I have seen here. Gypsies!! I have been 
by moonlight amid Roman ruins with a whole 
camp of wild Gypsies, who danced and sang — 
yea, and begged — like lunatics. I have heard 
Gypsy bands every other night in our hotel for 
two weeks, and I am known here, also, as the 
Romany baro rye — quite a new idea to these 
Romanys. I visited some in their houses the 
other day, and there I found one who had been 
in Philadelphia and who inquired earnestly after 
you and Joseph ! Me, he did not remember. . . . 
I have had a long private audience with the 
Arch-Duke, who sent me a superbly bound book 
and a long friendly letter; I have seen and 
been called on by the principal literary men, — 


V&mb6ry, Pulszky, Hunfalvy, and Budenz, — 
and I have had remarkable adventures to be 
narrated when we mieet, for which I have not 
time now. Pest is a beautiful city — everybody 
almost can talk German. One fifth of the pop- 
ulation are Jews, and I should say that two 
fifths were Slavonian — a very low, degraded lot 
indeed. Wine is very cheap, cheaper than in 
Italy, — even superior sorts in the hotel are only 
from Qd. to a shilling a large bottle. The shops 
are very fine, like those in Vienna — one can get 
everything one wants, and the people all dress 
well. It is not like Germany here in Austria; 
the women are very pretty and graceful and 
dress neatly. One sees such numbers of beau- 
tiful brunettes with American-like faces and 
expressions. I think you would enjoy being here 
and gypsying about with me. We have seen 
Eugene Schuyler several times, the first person 
with whom your aunt has really talked for two 
weeks ! She is picking up a great deal of German. 
Hungarian is horrible. SzaUoda az Angolkiraly 
nohoz — Hotel of the Queen of England ! Kiraly, 
King, is like the Romany Kxallis. * It has the 
same root as my name — Kiral-Karol-Karolus. 
No letters received since two weeks. 

Tiro Kamlo Koko. 


Venice came next, and Venice delighted him 
as if he had never been there before. 


Venice, Dec. 25th, i886. 

Dear Pen, — Yestereen I was two hours 
in San Marco listening to the music and was 
charmed every minute. The guide-book says 
that on Christmas eve the church looks as it 
did 800 years ago. Returning, I foimd a Christ- 
mas card from Mary Reath, pretty silver pre- 
sents from Mrs. Bronson, who has a casa three 
doors off, a letter from a dear friend in London, 
etc., so that it was n't as bad, even for people 
living on the Grand Canal over a traghetto where 
the John Doleers holler all day long. God only 
knows what they row about — I mean make a 
row — that looks a pun but H was n't intended. 
As for anybody's learning Venetian, 't is all hum- 
bug. I don't believe there is any Venetian, it is 
only squalling and howling. The rani is dress- 
iiigj to go to Lady Layard's Christmas night. 

December 26th. Went to the Layards. It is a 
fftagnifkentississime house. He owns the great 
picture of Sultan Somebody painted by Gian 
Bellini, and has such superb plate and bric-h-brac. 
It 's quite like a royal palace, one grand room 


after another, flunkeys in livery, etc. We went 
into San Marco yesterday and were just in time 
to see all the great relic treasures on the grand 
altar, while the immense gold screen, which is 
only shown twice a year, was still uncovered. 
To my great amazement and joy, they let me 
in to examine it closely, and I did so. It is won- 
danderftiU. I wish I could see it often and long. 
The sun was shining in on the gold mosaics — 
such a chiaroscuro I and the chiurch ftill of peo- 
ple in their holiday garb. 

There was a very nice New Yorker here the 
other day — he is also a practising lawyer in 
P^uis. I foimd him very clever. I showed him 
some of my designs, and he at once said that they 
were exactly in the style of some he had seen in 
the "Art Journal" in an article on brass work, 
very singular and Byzantine-looking. That is, 
he had seen some of mine already. ... Do you 
know I find that people nowadays don't look 
at pictures, as they used to do — i. e. as chil- 
dren look into them. 

Nowadays, they only see them. They only 
see everything, — pictures, books, life itself. 
Decorative art is esteemed for the general im- 
pression or feeling which it gives, a man or 
woman for the collective result of looks and 


character — the modem American realists are 
really writing novels to suit this heedless, hur- 
ried, popular, vulgar, half-educated taste. It en- 
courages correctness, because no fault must strike 
the eye and offend it, but it utterly kills original- 
ity and inspiration and all that Nature indulges 
in as to caprice. To it, a tin pan, perfectly 
finished by machinery and giving the general 
impression of being well made and polished, is 
far more attractive than an Etruscan or neo- 
Celtic bronze. I meet very few people who are 
not really under its influence. 

We have nice weather here — more than 
half the days are sunshine — to-day is so, and 
so was yesterday. I have been translating some 
Gypsy stories for the " St. Nicholas." They are 
like the Grimm tales, but milder, and some- 
times like the Indian. Mrs. Brown is as piquante 
as ever in her letters. 

I have not space for all the letters from 
Venice during January and February. But I 
pick out a passage here and there. "Brown" 
is Horatio Brown, author of "Life on the La- 
goons." The "marvellous coincidence" refers 
to the fact that I was just writing — or had 
really finished, if I remember, so that I could 


not use his suggestions — an article on the 
vulgarisation of "Faust" in London, begun at 
the Lyceum, and carried to the lowest depths, 
just then, in the Penny Gaffs of the New Cut 
and the side shows of the Country Fair. 

Venice, Jan. 9th, 1887: I am much obliged 
for the notice in the "American," it is n't really 
the pride of seeing oneself in print, or of con- 
ceiting that one is somebody print-worthy, that 
pleases me so much, as the feeling that I am 
remembered at homey that there will be a lot 
of people who will have me called to mind by 
the Paragraph, eniin that one has a home-city. 
Your joys are my joys, — O figlia mia, your 
successes my successes, your glories in type 
are my glories. You never saw the time when 
I would n't esteem it a pleasure to give you 
my best ideas — and I am glad that the "Con- 
temporary" accepts you as of course — so mote 
it be forever. . . . 

I dined with the rOni, night before last, at Sir 
Henry Layard's, and Brown was there. He is 
one of the most agreeable, refined, sympathetic, 
well-read, earnest young men I ever met, and I 
took a great liking to him, even before he praised 
your book. I know that he is modest because 


he seemed so unaffectedly surprised and pleased 
when I asked him to call on me. 

Another marvellous coincidence. Last night 
we were in the Fenice by the invitation of the 
Duke and Duchess of Cafaro, our fellow board- 
ers. The opera was Mefistofele, and I made 
observations on the extraordinary manner in 
which Faust is bemg vulgarised. I thought that 
Gounod had squeezed every drop of refine- 
ment, meaning, or sense out of Faust, but the 
Itahan Bo'ito has shown that there are sev- 
eral rows of depths below depths — like the 
prisms in the Doge's Palace — of common- 
place idiocy. When I say the rani, who takes 
most things easily, was scandalised at the ap- 
paUing flatness and silliness of the affaur, I 
have said enough. For God's sake add this 
instance in your proofs. And the acting was 
so perfectly in keeping - a giggling, grinning 
Margaret in very high heels — and oh, "to 
sidMction,^^ as the Duchess called it, in which 
Faust woos like a brisk young country shop- 
man, and Margaret behaves like a fast shop- 
girl of the lowest type. I don't mean "im- 
morality," but vulgarity of conception of the 
part. You may quote from my remarks if you 
like. It would be well to say that the using 


cheap librettos and bad texts by opera, etc. 
managers goes far to ruin public taste. ... I 
am vexed to hear about a new translation of 
the " Reisebilder," because, if I had offered to 
revise mine for Bohn, he would have taken it. 
As the men came into the box last night, and 
were introduced to us, it seemed quite like read- 
ing a page from the "Libro d'Oro" or the 
Italian chapter of the "Almanach de Gotha:" 
all titles, except one artist, and I daresay he had 
a Countship or a Marquisate somewhere in 
his pockets. The Duchess, as usual, came out 
in all the glory of fresh solitaires ; this time her 
ear-rings were diamonds as big as hickory nuts. 
She is a bride and appears to have been trous- 
seaued with about a peck of the finest stones in 
Europe. Anything she wears would have bought 
a whole county in Virginia within my recollection. 

Venice, Feb, 6th, 1887. It seems to me that 
to be an artist in Venice is to be as utterly de- 
void of inventiveness and originality as to sub- 
ject as a human being can well be. We went 

the other day to Mr. 's; of course the R. A. 

had on his canvas the old thing, a young Ve- 
netian of the lower class talking to two girls, 
one of whom looks arch. Such a lot of the most 


commonplace rural Americans as we have here 
now! What do they travel for? What I most 
marvel at is that not one in twenty takes the 
pains to learn a single word of Italian before 
coming, and very few can so much as ask Qtumto. 
They all go for the guide-book; pictures — 
pictures — pictures. Because other people have 
established it as the thing to do. The older I 
grow, the less I care for pictures made by man, 
and the more I live in those painted and formed 
by Nature. The second stage of this freedom 
is to admire views which are like pictures — the 
highest of all is to get all pictures entirely out 
of your head. Ruskin has not as yet achieved 
the last — but there is an age coming when the 
best Raphaels will be only historical curiosities. 
Of this I am sure. I feel it in me. I don't care 
for endless repetitions of the Holy Wet Nurse 
Maternal idea, or of saints who represent a very 
disagreeable phase of mere idle superstition, 
now obsolete, and as little do I care that this 
or that man attained to a greater or less degree 
of skill or inspiration. It is worth something 
to see and know it, but it is not worth a thou- 
sandth part of what Ruskin and the aesthetics 
think it is. Suppose Raphael did paint a Vir- 
gin — very well. Well — he did it and there- 


with basta I One can see many women as beau- 
tiful, or rather with the far greater beauty of 
life and soul, every day, and I had rather see 
one of them than all the pictures in Italy. 
Truly, I am getting tired of galleries. I see from 
afar, yet coming rapidly, a great new age when 
Humanity will be, so to speak, the subject of Art 
— yea, Art itself, when the tuz3nnuzy and rap- 
tures and inefiFability, etc., will be given to life 
and not to its weak imitations. Just imagine 
all the money and time and thought now given 
to Art directed to Education and Himianity! 
As I wrote, we hope to get away in a few days 
to Florence. I want to go to some place where 
there is more than one walk in the open air. 

Venice, Feb. i6th, 1887. The want I feel 
here is company. There are people and peo- 
ple, but not the people — no pals, no nobody 
(I call there — there are plenty of Nobodies). 
The police have tried to find me Gypsies, but 
they cannot discover any — 't is n't in them, I 
suspect, to know how to do it. Altogether I 
think that Florence may be livelier. . . . 

Florence, however, had its own drawbacks, 
chiefly tourists. But the references to bric-a- 


hrac shops show one way in which Florence was, 
eventually, to make life there not only possible, 
but enchanting. 

charles godfrey leland to e. r. pennell 

Paoli's Private Hotel, 
Lung Arno, Florence, Feb. 24th, 1887. 

Dear Pen, — We have been here at this 
house 90 francs worth, i. e. four days at 20 
francs a day for both, and 10 francs extras. That 
is, we have a large fine room with a good-sized 
dressing-room, very fine furniture, board, wine 
included, and a very nice reading-room with 
the "Times," "Telegraph," etc., all for 10 
francs a day each. The house is on the Amo, 
leather away from the Ponte Vecchio centre, 
near Santa Croce. Company nearly all English 
ladies, about 20 to i or 2 men, very respectful, 
indeed. Food, very good — we had a dish yes- 
terday all of truffles and mushrooms, and good 
roast beef and turkey. Very little fish. We have 
an open wood fire ; it costs about 2 francs a day. 
To-day is sunshiny and lovely. I am afraid 
myself that Italy will keep me a great deal away 
from England, firstly, because another winter 
there would probably break me down utterly 
for life. Secondly, because we can live here so 


much cheaper. But I miss London sadly. I 
have just received an invitation to attend the 
Conference of the Society of Authors and hear 
Besant speak, and I have many things to do 
which must be done there. 

Wood costs here 2.50 (francs) a basket. I 
bought a beautiful carved wood Pietd — Virgin 
and dead Christ — in Venice last week, i6th 
century — for 12 fcs. So I said, at the price, 
it would be about as cheap to burn Virgins as 
firewood. . . . Bric-h-brac is cheap here, but 
principally because the great swarm of tour- 
ists are so utterly ignorant of everything except 
photographs (how I hate the whole d — d lot of 
'em), lavas, corals, brass lamps, and gondola 
horses. But I know where to buy a stamped- 
leather fifteenth-century Virgin for 40 francs, for 
which I would have given $40 in America — and 
so forth. Oh that I were rich ! We all say so — 
but everybody don't want bric-d-brac, and parch- 
ment-bound books on palmistry, and old amber, 
and little old silver crucifixes as badly as I do. 
If you were here, you and Giusepe (it is spelt 
with one p on a pearl shell portrait of St. J. in 
my possession), I would be quite contented. 

I am greatly tempted to publish my work on 
Education at my own expense. It is a deep, 


serious grief to me that such a work, worth a 
thousand times over all I ever wrote, caimot 
find a publisher. I am quite willing to guarantee 
a publisher against Ipss, but I cannot find one 
who will do it on such terms. 

Well, there are spots in the sun, and of our 
spots there are 40 — English tourist boarders. 
Heine says of the Tyrolese that they are of 
inscrutable narrowness of mind — these people 
are of fathomless and boundless Anglo-Philis- 
tinism. Across the sandy desert of their brains, 
there never yet wandered the ghost of a joke or 
the camel of an idea. Oh for Buda Pest and its 
Gypsies, and literati, and Slavonians, and Hun- 
garian good fellows! This is not my first visit 
to Italy; therefore divine Florence is not what 
it was once, though I get a decent glass of beer 
every afternoon. At first I always had it very 
bad because I went to decent places, but I have 
found an unutterably low and vulgar slum where 
it is very good and costs a penny less. So it goes 
in life, advantages and disadvantages counter- 
balancing and balancing. This morning I was 
awakened at 4 o'clock by a lot of dirty little 
blackbirds and thrushes and things warbling 
in the trees, and here I have been wishing for 


Spring to come! It is bad enough to have the 
bells of Santa Croce at six o'clock, and yet there 
are people who would like to hear them ! 

In Santa Croce's darned old towers ring 

Bells which do make them damder, then I wake 

In wrath and darn myself to sleep again. 

It is amusing to observe how all these rum- 
fustifoozles of tourists, who never had an idea 
in their lives about a picture or an)rthing except 
their clothes and victuals, go wild about Raphael 
and Perugino, and see every picture and criti- 
cise it — as if they had been fed on paint all 
their lives. I must get out of this country. I 
want to meet with some people to learn some- 
thmg from — this doing all the preaching and 
teaching makes a prig of a man. There is a 
Captain Ward here, a handsome man of 30 who 
knows all about minor arts, and I should except 
him from the others. He has a furnace in his 
house to bake pottery. I wonder that any man 
can ever become an artist in Italy — there is 
such a want of thought here. And nobody does 
that I can see, — it is the same old painting of 
models as two peasants and a dog, a gondolier 
and two girls, a "bit," or some such rubbish 
as N's ghostly green gray girls and withered 
salad scenery, with green baize meadows. 



The summer of 1887 saw the Rye back again 
in England. And what a year followed! His 
"Practical Education" was published, the book 
in which he elaborated his method of develop- 
ing quickness of perception and memory. The 
G)^sy Lore Society was launched. His "Gypsy 
Sorcery" was written. The "Dictionary of 
Slang " was in full swing, and no work could 
have been more congenial. The untouched 
b)rways of language, as of belief, were "his 
favourite paths," and he loved strange words 
as truly as strange people. What this last alone 
cost him in time and work, the pile of letters 
from the men whose collaboration he secured, 
or tried to secure, would tell me if I did not 
know. He was in active correspondence with 
Maudsley and Francis Galton, — the two men, 
he felt, who had done most to influence him in 
developing his educational theories, — with old 
friends like Dr. Holmes and Walter Pollock, 
with Horace Howard Fumess, Cable, Horatio 


Hale, Colonel Higginson, Lowell, Lafcadio 
Heam, Max Miiller, De Cosson, Egerton Castle 
— with every distinguished man, I . might al- 
most say, who was an authority on any one 
special subject. The contributors to "Johnson's 
Cyclopaedia" did not present a more impres- 
sive or a longer list of names. With Mr. Bar- 
rfere, his fellow-editor, he was, at times, in al- 
most daily conununication. For months this 
was the most engrossing subject of his letters 
to me, from London, from Brighton, from Hom- 
burg. I give one or two in full and extracts 
from others which — I think — follow the pro- 
gress of his various tasks, of his first serious 
trouble in connection with the Dictionary, of his 
movements, his recreations, and of the drift of 
his thoughts, without any further word from me. 

charles godfrey leland to e. r. pennell 

Portland Place, London, W., 
June 28th, 1887. 

Dear Pen, — I write with my friend the 
King, to my right. Yes — a royal personage, 
albeit he is black, and not a very great mon- 
arch, for he is the King of Yoruba in Africa. 
As we found we had a friend in common — 
ELing George of Bonney — we got acquainted. 


There is another much more magnificent po- 
tentate here — Holkar the Maharajah — the 
many millionaire — who gives himself a million 
airs too — he is really no end of a swell in his 
high colours and Cashmere shawl and kin- 
cobs. H. M. of Yoruba tells me that a great 
many of his people are Mahometans and know 

I am much obliged for the "Critic." Jubilee 
time was awful, but the multitude enjoyed it. 
I had a call yesterday from Francis Galton, 
and a note from Maudsley saying that he could 
not be able to attend my lecture before the 
Royal British Society of Literature. I am busy 
helping the Whittakers with a Slang Diction- 
ary. It is to be on a grand scale. . . . Lord 
Kerr has done the pictures for my book, and 
I think Whittakers will take it. I have got 
three books to review for the "Saturday," and 
I am finishing up a collection of Gypsy sto- 
ries. . . . 

I have such a lot of adventures to narrate of 

my last year's experiences ! I have not seen 
Annie Dymes, she was done up with work and 
went to France before I arrived. The Home 
Arts has received ;^65o from some unknown 
benefactor. , addressing the Duchess of 


Teck before my face, said that some people got 
together and started it among them. A nice 
reward that for absolutely inaugurating it ! I 
suppose he thought I was magnificently rewarded 
by being called up to make a bow to the Duchess. 
This was at the opening of the Exhibition. . . 

Brighton, i6, Oriental Place, ^ 
Dec. 12, 1887. 

Dear Pen, — ... Ain't I busy? The Great 
Slang Die. 2dly A Great Die. of Americanisms. 
3. A Die. of Yiddish, Gypsy, Pidgin, etc. 4thly, 
Proofs of "Practical Education." 5. A new 
series of Art Manuals — involving an awful lot 
of drawing. 6. " Gypsy Tales," which my pub- 
lisher hopes to get another man to take. And 
when all these are done, I have promised to 
translate a German novel! 

I met Herman Merivale yesterday; he wants 
me to work with him to get up a G)^sy play. 
I hear of you more in the newspapers all the 
time. Why don't you write a velocipeding 
novel ? The tips are all in that book by the fel- 
low who went round the world and in your own 
— you could bring in all the sights in the world. 
Pursued by Brigands ; Escaping a Prairie Fire ; 
Running Away from a Lion, — of course the 


hero first invents a marvellous tricycle. The 
sooner you make it up the better. . . 

Brighton, Dec. 23d, 1887. 

• . . And my "Practical Education" is ^inferf. 
All I ever wrote in all my life is a grain of 
dust to it. It may not be understood now — 
but when I am no more, it will live in some 
form. Vedretat . . . [Others thought so too. 
I quote again from York Powell's obituary 
notice: "His views on education I have not 
to do with here, but I may spend a line in re- 
cording my belief in the soimdness of their 
tendency, and to notice that the opinion of 
experts, both here and on the Continent, is in 
their favour."] 

Brighton, May 12th, 1888. 

We are getting ahead with the Slang Dic- 
tionary. I wrote to Dr. Holmes, offering him 
£20 to write something in the Yankee dialect, 
and hope to get a lot of contributions. 

If you can think of anything American which 
could go into the work pray tell me. I intend 
to have at the end a collection of American 
recipes for pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, and 
a few other national dishes. Suggest some. I 


want Creole-French contributions — Canadian 
ditto — ever3^hing of the kind. I am putting 
in the old nigger songs — the "Star-Spangled 
Banner," etc. 

What kinds of folk-lore can you think of ? 

In the main, it will be a dictionary like Bart- 
lett's — but there will be a wider range, more 
anecdotes and poems — and a great deal more 
etymology — Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Dutch. 
It will be a deeper and a broader book. 

Langham Hotel, London, June 9th, 1888. 

Enclosed, please find a letter to Cable (not 
by wire). I have oflFered him $50. Read the 
letter. I think it fair, but I would give him 
something more rather than lose him. If you 
think that $50 will fetch him, well and good. 
If he has only at hand any vocabulary of Creole 
French, or any collection of stories or poems in 
it, he can make the contribution up out of hand. 
Or he can get any friend to do it all and revise 
• it, and see that it is all right. Pray write to him 
and try to interest him. 

Langham Hotel, LaNDON, June 24, 1888. 

The cycling defs. are first rate. You and 
J could save yourself trouble and time 


and make copy faster by increasing the size and 
number of your quotations. . . . Sling in a 
great deal of poetry. 

I was at Mrs. Triibner's to dine yesterday. 
There was 

Sinnett, the Theosophist, 

Mrs. H. W. Burnett, 

Genevieve Ward, 

Mrs. L. C. Moulton, 

The man who wrote that queer novel about 
Venus [Anstey], 

Pretty Miss Hall, 

And several more — every one a book-maker. 
And being all shop, we got on very well. I had 
a long talk on Theosophy with Sinnett, who 
talks very well and clearly. 

Whenever you can contrive to tell why a word 
is so-called, do so. E. g. Bicycle, from bis, notice 
as shown in such words as bi-normal, bi-ennial, 
and cycle. Mark all your quotations 1. c. to 
show that they are to be set in smaller type. 

Don't let all this bother you. 

Freyberg*s Hotel, Homburg v. d. Hohe, 

Aug. 13th, 1888. 

I have just received your letter, and an hour 
before it the awful news that my publisher, 


May, was probably drowned about ten days 
ago. He went, with a friend in the Isle of Wight, 
out in a small boat, and stood 5 miles out to 
sea. Night and storm came, and nothing has 
since been heard from them. This is bad enough. 
He had only just about a month since become 
the proprietor and head of the Whittaker firm. 
Now everything is in confusion, for nobody knows 
who is his legal successor. Mr. Bell of Bohn's 
was always supposed to back him, and he writes 
to me the news. I am awfully shocked by it. 
May was very ambitious, and he had great faith 
in me. And we had such a number of books 
projected. I do not know how long we may 
remain here. Your Aunt is getting better but 
slowly — the place is pleasant. 

I can't write any more. This news is too much 
forme. I received Col. Higginson's articles. They 
were of immense value and interest to me. I at 
once wrote, imploring him to contribute, or 
to touch them over for the Dictionary. 

HoMBURG, Sept. I, 1888. 

Dear Pen, — When I 'm in trouble, you 
are always there, and your letter was a great 
comfort to me. However the clouds are break- 
ing and things look better. I think that Mr. Bell, 


the publisher, will carry the Dictionary through 

— he only wants a few months to square ac- 
counts. I am glad to leam that the Thames 
was a success. . . . Deutsch is getting to be 
second nature with me here. I can talk with the 
peasants as easily as with anybody. I have 
twice walked 6 J Stunde in one day (a Stunde is 
4§ miles — vide the glossary to " Hans Breit- 
mann "). So I have talked much with the Pheas- 
ants. You would be amazed to hear your Aunt 
talk. It is Pidgin, but she has access to a shilling 
vocabulary and really talks! Dot ist de most 
woondervoU ding as nefer was. I am preparing 
a new edition of Breitmann with additions, to 
be dedicated to the late N. Triibner — also at 
work on a collection of Gypsy sorcery, spells, 
charms, and fortune-telling. It will be full of 
folk-lore. Your Aunt is much better as regards 
walking, but still suflFers a great deal with gout 

— sometimes her hands are swelled up. No- 
thing the matter with me but a complete loss 
of appetite. I don't care to eat anything except 
breakfast. I can't understand it. I have bought 
3 oz. of (![uinine tinct., with bitter orange bark. 
They keep it here for the English. The Ger- 
mans use it so little that it is not in their phar- 
macopoeia. . . . 


Such a lovely book just from America — 
"Les Chansons Populaires de Canada," with 
the airs. Another on the popular names of 
birds, and a third on Indian dialects. I shall 
give several Canadian French songs in my Dic- 
tionary. They are simply chaxmmg. 

C'^tait un vieux sauvage, 
Tout noir, tout barbouill^, 

Ouich-ka ! 
Avec sa vielle couverte, 
£t son sac h tabac, 

Ouich-ka ! 
Ah ah — tenaouich — tenaga 
Tenaouich, tenaga ouich-ka ! 

Is n't that too sweet ! 

We see the Prince of Wales very often and 
all kind of swells, and are getting to be "so d — d 
genteel," as the archbishop's wife said to the 
Queen, that I expect we shall soon expire alto- 
gether of sheer dignity. 

The next letter is from Vienna, where his 
old friends, the Gypsies, need no new intro- 
duction. But the few words about "Werner" 
do not altogether express the pleasure the Rye 
had in meeting him, and the reason for it. He 
was Dr. Carl Werner, the authority on edu- 
cation, who had taken a keen interest in the 


Philadelphia school, in the Washington pam- 
phlet, in the lecture on Eye-Memory, the book 
on "Practical Education," and who was so 
frequent a correspondent — so welcome a cor- 
respondent, I might add — that his letters, of 
themselves, make a good-sized packet. 


18 Landesgerichtstrasse, Vienna, 
Oct. I St, 1888. 

Dear Pen, — Here we are again in our old 
quarters, quite at home. Your poor Aunt Belle 
still sufiEers very much with gout, especially in 
her hands. Homburg did her very little good. 
We had sauerkraut and sausages for lunch 
to-day, especially on my account. My appetite 
is better than it has been for months and I get 
enough to gratify it. I wish you were here to loaf 
with us, for Vienna is a city of cafes and beer 
houses — and I can every day find a band of 
Gypsies who would worship you. I went out to 
my old haunt, the Czardas cafe in the Prater. 
And when the dark Bohemian-faced head waiter 
saw me, he cried in amazement Pane Leland I 
(which proved him to be a Bohemian), and a 
Gypsy by his side ejaculated Baro devlis ! And 
in ten minutes I had the whole set round me 


at a table, every one with a double glass of beer, 
talking. By and by they began to play, and oh! 
my Pen — hew they played the bird song for 
me ! I never in my life was so charmed with mu- 
sic. It was a regular spree and cost me $2. To 
be sure, my friend the head-waiter cheated me 
inunensely as usual — but I had the money's 
worth. One man, as soon as he spoke, hummed 
two tunes which he had heard me hum once two 
years ago ! 

I h^ve written a long article in German on 
Folk-lore for the " Ethnologische Mittheilungen " 
and have just sent off a poem to the "Fliegende 
Blatter." Elizabeth, I am very much afraid that 
your uncle is coming out as a distinguished 
German poet and essayist. I send you a copy of 
the poem and beg you to note the lines, — 

£r sang wie die grausame Liebe, 
Personlich das Hcrz zerbricht. 

I have half finished a book on Gypsy Sorcery, 
etc., and am promised a mine of material in 
Budapest, where I hope to be in a month. My 
friend Prof. Herrmann is overjoyed at expecting 
to see me. 

I have had a regular stunning 2 column almost 
article in the "N. Y. Tribune," review of my 
"Practical Education." Such out and out praise 


— and it was wonderfully well written. Also the 
"School Journal" praised me as I never was 
praised before — I have given kreutzers to 
beggars ever since. 

It is funny to feel so much at home as I do 
here in this far distant town. Vienna seems half 
way to the East, and there is an oflSce here for 
Constantinople. I met a solemn, stupid, old 
Turk going along a day or two ago in full Orien- 
tal dress. I am doing a little at the Bohemian 
language. Pepchra means "it is beginning to 
rain" (which it is). One of my Gypsies speaks 
six languages, such as Croat, Slovak, Czech, 
Bulgarian, Serb, Magyar. What an awful invest- 
ment of Sprach'talent I I dare say you would 
find out in five minutes that he aiid you had 
friends in common. 

We were in Salzburg, where I saw Werner. 
He has a pleasant face and a good kind heart, 
and a nice innocent old German wife — as naive 
and kind as can be. You would like the family 
very much. The town is very picturesque and 
has a fine Museum. There was also open a very 
large loan collection of antiquities. Li the arch- 
bishop's old palace there were two chambers 
of torture. We saw in Munich an awful collec- 
tion of instruments for torture. Also the Exhibi- 


tion of Art work and of Pictures. In Salzburg, 
I saw seven iron monuments — over the seven 
wives of one man — and he had tickled them 
all to death. The peasants all round Salzburg 
wear the Tyrolese dress. There is no end to the 
beauty of the coimtry, which is very mountain- 
ous. . . . There goes a horse htmg all over with 
brass ornaments like coarse Oriental jewellery. 
You could run a dime museum with him in 
Philadelphia. . . . 

The account of the visit to Budapest came 
from Paoli's Hotel, Florence, where he had set- 
tled down for the winter. He was far too deep 
in adventure to write from Budapest itself. I 
doubt if any people, in reading this account, 
would imagine, from the zest with which he 
enjoyed everything, that it was written by a man 
of sixty-four. He may have lost his appetite for 
food, but never for "adventure." 

charles godfrey leland to e. r. pennell 

Paoli's Hotel — Florence, 1888. 

An English lady told me a day or two ago 
that she believed I was the Wandering Jew — 
ever going on — always in new adventure. Yes 
— 't is even so : ohne Rast, ohne Ruh. And I have 


such a budget to unfold ! I pass over the Gypsies 
in Vienna and the meeting of old friends, etc. 
But at Budapest I had a grand campaign. On 
the second day, I was taken to the Roman ruined 
city of Acquaquintum by the Danube to see a 
reaUy wonderful mosaic representing wrestlers. 
"That thing to the left," said the custoSj "repre- 
sents an ampuUa. But what that is to the right, 
neither Pulszky, nor Hampel, nor the devil him- 
self can tell." Then I spoke and said, "I am not 
the devil — but I say they are strigUes — ^or 
implements used in baths to scrape the skm." 
There were three archaeologists present, and the 
next day it was in the newspapers that a great 
American archaeologist, "a man of imposing 
stature with a long grey waving beard," had 
solved the great question! 

Then the greatest Folk-Lore Society in the 
world, with 14 subdivisions, was founded (Him- 
garian, Armenian, Yiddish, G3rpsy, Wallach, 
Croat, Serb, Spanish, etc.), and I was the first 
member nominated. 

Then the Ethnological Society gave me a 
reception, wherein Prof. Herrmann delivered an 
address all about me and my works and glori- 
fied me as the President of the British Gypsy- 
Lore Society — ^^I did not (fortunately) under- 


stand a word of it, as it was in Hungarian, but 
it must have been very touching, to judge from 
the admiration of your uncle which was ex- 

Finally, I found my system of the Minor Arts 
in 50 public schools in Himgary, and it is usually 
recognised there now as mine. And I succeeded 
in inducing a few very intelligent and able men 
who had already read my " Practical Education " 
to study it and form a body with a view of test- 
ing the whole system. 

Now there is a Miss Carruthers in Pisa who 
has an Evangelical School of 175 Italian children. 
And she has made some efforts to bring industrial 
art into it. So she wrote to me in America for 
hints and the letter returned to me in Vienna. 
Then I wrote to her that I meant to be for a long 
time in Florence hard by, and I would work 
myself with her. There is an immense field here. 
... I wonder where all our wandering will end. 
I could almost live in Florence. I felt that my 
last 6 months in Italy were almost wasted — 
but now I have a prospect to do good in the 
schools. . . . 

He did live, not almost, but altogether in 
Florence, as it turned out, and he accomplished 


there much good, though not exactly of the kind 
expected. It was this winter he was initiated 
into the Witch-Lore of the Romagna, an initi- 
ation that was to bear fruit in a whole series of 
books, — "Etruscan Roman Remains" (1892), 
published by Mr. Fisher Unwin, "The Legends 
of Florence" and "Aradia," published by Mr. 
Nutt (1895-1896), "The Legends of Vu-gfl" 
(1901), published by Mr. Eliot Stock. In his 
prowls about Florence he had met, by chance, a 
woman whom he always called Maddalena when 
he wrote of her, so that I hesitate to give her real 
name, and Maddalena she will remain. I say 
the meeting was by chance, but I should be more 
exact if I said it could not be helped, the Rye, 
as was once written of him, really having " some- 
thing of Burton in his delight in natural human 
beings other than the ordinary frock-coated, tall- 
hatted, high-heeled European types." 

Among his manuscript notes I find a descrip- 
tion of Maddalena as "a young woman who 
would have been taken for a Gypsy in England, 
but in whose face, in Italy, I soon learned to 
know the antique Etruscan, with its strange mys- 
teries, to which was added the indefinable glance 
of the Witch. She was from the Romagna Tos- 
cana, bom in the heart of its unsurpassingly 


wild and romantic scenery, amid cliflEs, headlong 
torrents, forests, and old legendary castles. I did 
not gather all the facts for a long time, but gradu- 
ally found that she was of a witch family, or 
one whose members had, from time immemorial, 
told fortunes, repeated ancient legends, gathered 
incantations and learned how to intone them, 
prepared enchanted medicines, philtres, or spells. 
As a girl, her witch grandmother, aunt, and espe- 
cially her stepmother brought her up to believe in 
her destiny as a sorceress, and taught her in the 
forests, afar from human ear, to chant in strange 
prescribed tones, incantations or evocations to 
the ancient gods of Italy, under names but little 
changed, who are now known as jolletti, spirUiy 
fatCy or lari — the Lares or household goblins of 
the ancient Etruscans." When Maddalena was 
in Florence, the Rye saw her constantly. When 
she left Florence on her mysterious errands, she 
wrote often, sending him legends and incanta- 
tions and odd news of the witches her friends; 
her letters and manuscripts rival in bulk the 
letters and manuscripts, with news of the Red 
Indian, from Louis Mitchell. She introduced the 
Rye to other witches and women endowed with 
strange power, — for one, that Marietta, often 
quoted, who improvised as only an Italian can. 


The little handbills of many a Florentine palm- 
ist, or fortune-teller, make crude green or red 
splotches on the pages of the "Memoranda," 
where they are preserved as documents of im- 
portance. He lived in witchcraft, as he had lived 
in Romany years before. "I love occulta, with- 
out faith in the supernatural, because they are 
curious or romantic," he confided to the pages of 
the " Memoranda ; " and in another place : "19 
parts of 20 of the pleasure in the study of Witch- 
craft is the pure sense of mystery and strangeness 
— the delight of listening to an old fairy-tale, or 
of being in fairy-land. And Humour is blended 
with it — the vivid sense of contrast, contradic- 
tion, and, — dear delight ! — of being taken out 
of this neat-handed five-o'clock tea Philistia of a 
common comm^ondit world." After the Gypsy, 
I do not think an3rthing in his life absorbed, 
enthralled him as did the witches of Florence, 
— a fact which his letters from now onwards 
reveal with eloquence. It is easy to realise, 
therefore, his despair when, on the eve of such 
strange things as had never hitherto befallen 
him, he fell ill. The rest is best told in his own 



Paoli's Hotel, Florence, 
March 26th, 1889. 

Dear Pen, — I was taken ill on Jan. 7th, 
and since then I have only been able to go out for 
2 weeks. I had at first 2 weeks in bed with very 
great pain and suffering, gout and throat. But 
three weeks ago I was attacked with gout in my 
left wrist, and this time my suflFerings have been 
very great, in all my life nothing so bad. My left 
wrist pains me all the time as I write, but at 
night it becomes very bad. But I 'm better than 
I was. It is just now not possible to write with 
ink in bed, with only one hand, so I must use a 
pencil. It is very hard, as I have a great deal of 
work pressing on me. When I am well, I collect 
Witch lore here in Florence, and just now I am 
losing a great deal. It is quite an unexplored 
field, and stranger than g3^sying. A little while 
ago, I had given me, as a great Witch secret, a 
paper, " How to make the Tree of Diana." It is a 
mixture of chemicals to make a kind of foliage 
appear in a bottle. I had known it ever since I 
was a small boy, and so asked where the witch- 
craft came in ? when I was told that Diana was 
the grand Magia or Queen of the Witches ! Sure 


enough, in an Italian book 300 years old, she 
appears as the Queen of the Witches. Hecate is 
the same as Diana, the Queen of the Moon and 
Night. One could make no end of articles out of 
my witch friends. 

What made illness harder to endure in patience 
was that proofs of the "Slang Dictionary" were 
mounting up; promised articles for the Gypsy 
and the American Folk-Lore Journals were wait- 
ing to be written ; a " Manual of Wood-Carving " 
was being clamoured for by the publisher; only 
the last chapters of the " Gypsy Sorcery" needed 
revision and the book would be finished. " Tlu'ee 
months really lost is hard to bear," he wrote to 
me at the end of April. But for one great gain 
these months were also responsible, — the begin- 
ning of a correspondence that was to be one of 
the most voluminous of his later years. Miss 
Mary Alicia Owen of St. Joseph, Missouri, then 
unknown to him, but since known to everybody 
as authoress of "Old Rabbit the Voodoo," had 
sent him an Indian tale, impelled thereto, he 
must have thought, by his "Angel of the Odd." It 
was the best sort of introduction to a man of his 
tastes, and also the best sort of tonic. Despite 
his feebleness, he acknowledged it at once. 



Paoli*s Hotel, Florence, 
April 21, 1889. 

Dear Miss Owen, — I have been for six 
weeks so ill as to have been even looking in at 
the door of death, and can now only write with 
incredible difficulty in a forced hand, I am so 
weak. But I have been so pleased with your 
kindness in sending me that charming little 
Indian story (it is quite Indian), and so much 
delighted with it, that I "exercise my first 
eflFort" almost in thanking you. 

If you can get any more stories, sayings, 
pecuUar remedies, rh3rmes, etc., Indian or ne- 
gro or even white, I would be very grateful in- 
deed. I am writing a great American Dictionary 
(a 2 guinea book) and am tr5dng hard to collect 
queer words, phrases, rhymes, charms, in short, 
folk-lore of all kinds — country people's usages, 
jokes, etc., and I beg all my friends to help me. 

I have just received with your letter another 
asking me for my autograph. I replied that it 
was out of my power — I could only send a 
curious variation on it. So I remain, what there 
is left of me. Yours truly, 

Charles G. Leland. 


By June, he had got so far toward recovery 
that he was working as hard as ever, or harder, 
and his next letter to Miss Owen was written 
from the deepest depths of witchcraft — though 
not so deep that he could forget to offer the help 
of his advice and experience, always ready for 
those in whom he saw possibilities. 


Florence, June 7th, 1889. 

Dear Miss Owen, — I have received with 
very great pleasure your charming and valuable 
MS. of Indian folk-lore, — I enjoyed it more 
than you perhaps imagine. When you say that 
you could really collect hundreds of pages of 
stones — charms, etc., "my heart leaped up 
with anxious joy." I have been living here in 
Florence in an atmosphere of witchcraft and 
sorcery, engaged in collecting songs, spells, and 
stories of sorcery, so that I was amused to hear 
the other day that an eminent scholar said that 
I could do well at folk-lore, but that I had too 
many other irons in the fire. 

Never neglect to write down any story what- 
ever, however feeble or uninteresting or petty 
or repeated it may seem. Some detail which 
may not strike you may be the missing link to 


a stupendous chain of discovery. . . . But I 
must tell you that while these stories which you 
so kindly send me, delight me beyond measure, 
and will be used by me with gratitude some 
time — you are doing yourself a great wrong 
by not sending them to the " Folk-Lore Journal,' ' 
which would gratefully receive them, or not 
making a book, which you are quite able to do 
very well indeed. If you care to do the former, 
I will give you a note of introduction to the 
editor, if the latter, I will write you an intro- 
duction or aid you in any way I can. .You can't 
make much money by it — but such a book 
gives a name now that folk-lore is all the fash- 
ion. • . • 

I am more pleased with these gifts [stories] 
than you imagine. If I thought less of them I 
would try to get them for myself, but you must 
not lose in this way the credit which such a 
work will bring. Make for yourself a list of 
subjects such as — 

Stories, jests, anecdotes. 

Odd expressions. 


Charms, including words uttered, customs, 
as spitting on money, etc. 

Songs, proverbs. 


Recipes of all kinds. 


There is a list published by Folk-Lore So- 
cieties, and I dare say Mr. Newell will send it to 
you. I shall go ere long to the Folk-Lore con- 
vention to be held in Paris. Then, from Sep. 
ist to Sep. 15th, to Copenhagen and Chris- 
tiania, Norway, to the Congress of Oriental 
Scholars. . • . 

These two congresses were the chief events 
of the summer of 1889, and they have had their 
place in the story of his adventures as Romany 
Rye. Two letters will bridge over the distance, 
of place and time, between Florence and Paris. 


Aix-les-Bains, June 28th, 1889. 

Dear Pen, — Here I am in what is to me 
a bengh [devilish] dull place, and worse than 
dull, as it is swell, fashionable, silly, and noisy. 
However, your Aunt is being benefited by mas- 
sage and sulphurous baths, douching. She 
wanted me to try it, but I could not be in- 
douched to try it, or sedouched. 

While it is as dull here as dish-water, I get 
a letter from my fortune-teller in Florence, in- 


dosing several MS. poems and tales of witch- 
craft — and telling me, among other piquant 
things, that there has come to Florence an old 
Gypsy witch, whose intimacy she has culti^ 
vated, and promises me an Italian witch ballad. 
I dare say it will be improvised between them, 
but I don't care. One thing is very amusing — 
my collector of folk-lore can't for her life un- 
derstand why there should be any difference 
between witch songs and stories, etc., and any- 
thing "literary," if the latter contains allusions 
to sorcery. Hence the MS. collection which she 
has made contains several pages from Dante — 
God only knows where she got them! — and the 
entire story of "Blue Beard." I could not make 
her understand why it was not what I wanted 
— she had taken it all down from an old witch 
and the pair probably believed it implicitly — 
aU mixed up with unearthly and precious folk- 
lore. We expect to go to Geneva in about a 
week, and so on to Paris, then to Copenhagen, 
etc., etc. Goethe says that what we desire in 
youth, we get in excess when old — as far as 
travel goes, I agree with him. 

Perhaps I should preface the next letter by 
the information that "your Voodoo" is King 


Alexander, a high-priest of Voodooism who 
figures in much of the correspondence with 
Miss Owen. 


Geneva, July 22(1, 1889. 

. . . Tell your Voodoo that this letter is 
from a great conj'ror who was intimate in 
Africa with the black Takroori Voodoos who 
conjure with Arabic books. Tell him that I 
know how to use ivory rod and cresses and 
have the forty-nine poisons of Obeah, and have 
touched the green serpent, and know more 
charms than any man living. Tell him that 
you can keep the great secret of life and death 
and making people madj and that / recom- 
mend you to him. Tell him I have a king's 
stool from Dahomey and get the root from Don- 
gola, and that he must teach you Voodoo and 
tie you a chicken's breast bone with red wool, 
and I will send him a Voodoo stone from Africa 
and the black book of Wisdom. 

If you read this solemnly you will probably 
extract some valuable information. Tell him 
that I am a Master and that he must teach you 
all the secrets, till I come, and that you must be 
given the Great Oath. 


You are in a rich field and must cultivate it. 
I have recently made acquisition of a Turkish 
conjuror's tambourine full of strange charac- 
ters, also of two mystical magical wooden im- 
ages of the 14th century, about 14 inches high. 
There is a great field in Voodoo, if you don't 
stick at trifles and show yourself too good to 
poison people or break all the commandments 
— for it is an extremely illuminated faith and 
admits great freedom. Cherish your old negro 
as you would a grandfather, and say I will send 
him secrets and gifts worth having if he obeys 
the Master and teaches you well. . . . 

What the Rye got out of Romany in his jour- 
ney to Sweden, I have written; what he got 
out of Voodooism, he wrote to Miss Owen after 
he had returned to his old quarters at Brighton, 
laden with early editions of the Sagas, over 
which he was hard at work. "Since I returned 
from Scandinavia," he told Mr. MacRitchie, 
"I have rarely missed reading Icelandic Sagas 
of an evening. I have them in Icelandic with old 
Swedish or Latin versions, and I find a great 
deal to make me take a great interest in your 
very remarkable articles. But who were the 
real little men? The Danes and Lowland 


Scotch, who are more Danish than Celtic, are 
short, broad-shouldered and very strong." I 
have a great pile of these books brought back 
as spoils from Scandinavia. But the philological 
exercises they ofiFered him could not over- 
shadow the more powerful claims of witch- 
craft. I should preface the letter to Miss Owen 
by the explanation that she was already en- 
riching him with various Voodoo charms, of ' 
which none was ever to be more prized by him 
than the famous Black Stone. 


Brighton, Oct 22(1, 1889. 

... I must tell you that King Alexander's 
fetich has been working the most delightful 
miracles. Firstly: To go from Stockholm to 
Copenhagen, we had 400 Orientalists, a night's 
railway journey, and only about 30 places in the 
sleeping cars. And I had hardly ever spoken to 
the Secretary, who was a hard, grim, dour man. 
However, I invoked the little spirit and put him 
in my pocket. Mrs. Leland went with me and 
asked for our tickets — only expecting, of course, 
common seats, as the sleeping cars were reserved 
for the magnates. What was our jointing amaze- 
ment when Count Landberg volunteered us a 


compartment in a sleeping car. The Spirit had 
spoken t 

From Christiania to Gottenburg — the same 
thing, but more marvellous. I again invoked 
the spirit, and this time Coimt Landberg said he 
had only one ticket, but calling a stately Oriental 
in turban, etc., made him disgorge his ticket! 
We were absolutely awed at such good fortune. 

Und noch weiter, on the steamboat to England 
Mrs. Leland found that a diamond worth per- 
haps $40 or $50 had fallen from her ring, prob- 
ably while asleep in her berth. The whole state- 
room was overhauled in vain. I invoked the 
spirit and I predicted its recovery. A few days 
after, here in Brighton, she found it loose at the 
bottom of her travelling bag. And I had another 
invocation to find a friend who I was confiden- 
tially assured had left Brighton. One day I 
invoked the spirit, and he bade me follow two 
girls on the other side of the way. I did so for 
some distance, when I met my friend, who had 
just returned to Brighton; I might have been 
here a year without doing so. . . . 

As for my little spirit, I can only say. Blessings 
on him and on her who sent him to me. 

With regards to King Alexander — and love 
to all around. . . . 


Other wonders the fetich accomplished in the 
course of the year, as he wrote to me from time 
to time. But two charms it could not work. In 
the autumn of 1889 and the early winter of 1890, 
the "Dictionary of Slang" was threatened with a 
greater disaster than the drowning of Mr. May, 
and an American who had proposed to adopt 
and spread the Rye's S3rstem of education failed 
to fulfil his agreement. Both affairs were the 
cause of real sorrow and distress to the Rye, both 
were so regrettable that, were it not for their 
effect upon him at the time, I should try to 
forget them altogether. For a moment, it looked 
as if the "Dictionary of Slang," upon which he 
had expended so much thought and care and 
labour, would drag him into the law courts. 
There had been unavoidable confusion after 
the death of Mr. May, and when the first vol- 
ume was published it happened that, by some 
misimderstanding for which the Rye was not 
responsible, much was left in that was to have 
been left out. Timid collaborators, who did not 
know what might be the result if their names 
appeared in connection with the publication 
under these conditions, shifted all responsibility 
upon him and Mr. Barrfere. It was the more 
of a shock to him because the first intimation, 


made with no great friendliness, came from a 
man whom he had hitherto thought a good 
friend. The excitement proved unnecessary. 
There was no difficulty, no dragging of anybody 
into law courts. The dictionary was published, 
privately, in 1889, and, in a revised edition, in 
1897. Timidity had exaggerated a harmless 
mistake into an alarming offence. But it was 
terribly impleasant while it lasted. The Ameri- 
can affair hurt him more acutely, — a tragedy it 
seems, as I look over the mass of correspondence 
on the subject. That is why I say about it no 
more than is necessary to make clear the allu- 
sions in the following letters: — 


Brighton, Jan. 23d, 1890. 

. . . I have just discovered within a few hours 
the manifest origin of the word sockdolager. It 
is plainly the Icelandic Sauk dolger, which, while 
it means a bad business, is also translated a duel 

or attack — i. e., a bad lick. would at once 

hem and haw and deny it. He made an ass in 
folio (ist edition) of himself once. I had declared 
that the Babylonian-Ninevite sorcery was Acca- 

dian — i. e. Altaic. But Mr. assured me 

that that theory was all exploded because he had 


heard that somebody had said so. Now Sayce 
and Oppert are the greatest Uving Assyriologists, 
and when I asked Oppert in his room at Stock- 
holm if this was true, he really danced with rage 
and said that only a mere madman or fool could 
have imagined such a thing. Then, converting in 
his mind's eyes the two panels of the door into 
two Assyrian tablets, he proceeded to paint on 
one an Accadian inscription and on the other an 
Assyrian, and I was so overwhelmed with his 
elan that I really thought I saw [here follows a 
row of hieroglyphics] of every description. And 
Sayce, who is a gentleman, used exactly the same 
words. Logical deduction 

= lunatic -f fool. 

This is a little severe, but a muskito should n't 
buck against elephants. . . . 

Do you write your book just as you write to 
me. DonH let, however y your Skepticism he too 
manifest, though I counsel you to be as droll as 
you can. People can always do their own doubt- 
ing now-a-days. ... I am inclined to write my 
book on Italian Sorcery from the standpoint of 
a true believer. But all magic is only the marvel- 
lous and inexplicable — and a growing cabbage 
— or flirtation and its consequences — or why 
a glass of wine exhilarates is as hard to under- 


stand as congerin'. Thank you for the rabbit's 
foot much. 


Brighton, March 17th, 1890. 

... I return very sincere thanks for the rab- 
bit's foot. That you put your foot in it when 
you sent this last letter is to me a great source of 
delight. My Museum is becoming worthy of a 
professional Voodoo. By the way, I have just 

received a letter from , in which he says 

he has a communication from you and is glad 

to have my opinion — I suppose of you. 

says he don't believe in an organised body of 
Voodoos! Well, this is a fact, anyhow, that 
they have an agent in Liverpool^ who has one in 
Alexandria, Egypt, and he obtains for them 
from the interior of Africa ivory-root, cresses 
(a kind of drug) and other poisons. . . . 

One finds on the seashore — within 100 yards 
of where I sit, a great many stones with holes in 
them. "Odin stones." Hang one up at your 
bed's head and you can never have the night- 
mare, and they keep oflf evil influences. I picked 
up a few and gilded them, and find they are very 
acceptable presents. They look just like gold 



Brighton, May loth, 1890. 

Dear Pen, — We shall be in London in a few 
days. I anticipate great joy and benefit from 
the change. I have suffered lately, mentally and 
nervously, as I perhaps never did before in my 
life, owing to the conduct of the man in America 
who has my Education Scheme in hand. The . 
constant worrying on one thing produced sleep- ' 
lessness, vertigo, and spinal pains -aggra- 
vated by last year's illness. . . . But I feel bet- 
ter, and hope that when we come, you will, even 
at some trouble, try to give me as much company 
as you can for a while, for this lonely life here is 

Fortunately I was in London that spring, and 
so able to be much with him. In July, he went to 
Homburg, and two of the letters he wrote from 
there to Miss Owen are so many more proofs of 
how he could forget himself for others. In her 
trouble, he was eager to point the way to the one 
source of comfort he had found in his darkest 
hours ; to help her in her literary venture, he 
could lay aside his own. 



Homburg-les-Bains, July 23d, 1890. 

Dear Mis§ Owen, — It is truly with grief I 
learn that a great loss has befallen you. As 
regards terrible bereavements there is but one 
thing to do wisely — to draw nearer to those who 
remain or whatever is near and dear to us in life, 
and love them the more, and become gentler and 
better ourselves, making more of what is left. 
There are people who wail and grieve incessantly 
and neglect the living to extravagance. It seems 
always as if they attracted further losses and 
deeper miseries. Weak and simple minds grieve 
most, — melancholy becomes a kind of painful 
indulgence, and finally a deadly habit. Work is 
the great remedy. I think a 'great deal of the old 
Northern belief that if we lament too much for 
the dead, they cannot rest in their graves and are 
tormented by our tears. It is a pity that the 
number of our years is not written on our fore- 
heads when we are bom. . . . 

Keep up your heart, work hard, live in hope, 
write books, make a name, study — there is a 
great deal in you. As in China — we ennoble the 
dead by ennobling ourselves. 



HOMBURG V. D. HOHE, Aug. ISt, 1890. 

Dear Miss Owen, — I have received, read, 
and been enraptured with the beginning of your 
Missouri Volk (Folk, I mean, but I'm in Ger- 
many now) Lore. If I had all the book and you 
desired it, I would write an introduction for you. 
As it is, I set down a few points to use in case 
you write your own. 

The first book ever written on its plan is the 
"Evangile des Convilles" (Quenouilles), the 
Evangel of the Distaffs, a very rare little black- 
letter French book of the 15th century, in which 
a number of old women assembled, discuss pop- 
ular superstitions and tell stories — all just as 
your old women do. Both are alike in their 
genial humour and natural, easy style. 

Call earnest attention to the fact that your 
work differs much from the Brer Rabbit stories, 
in being a carefully made collection of Folk-Lore, 
and that it is not intended to be merely a story 
book. It is a great pity that your story in the 
^* Journal" will suggest to so many people a 
simple imitation of Brer Rabbit and Remus. 

I could have wished that your old women 
had been white Missouri folk, peasants in fact. 


although we don't call our people such even 
when they are far more illiterate, etc., than the 
average German Bauer. 

Point out the many points of identity between 
these tales and those of the Indians. E. g.y 
Indians will not tell stories in summer because 
they are then always himting, fishing, or work- 
ing and it either interferes with emplo)mient or 
sleep which is then so needful. . . . 

The 15th August will be my birthday. Do 
send me a charm for a present. My medicine 
bag which hangs up by me contains a choice 
variety now. . . . Remember that your Mis- 
souri negro-English is difficult for many Ameri- 
cans to imderstand, and almost a foreign tongue 
to English readers. Be liberal with transla- 
tions. . . . 

I must give at least a paragraph of a letter, 
virtually a postscript to the above, written to 
Miss Owen a few days afterwards, so much in 
it is there of that side of the Rye which few but 
his friends knew. 

"Firstly, this morning I received and read 
your MSS. concerning a Goose, etc. I did not 
think you could do better than — 

** (I had got so far when Mme. Leland came in 


with the news that there was a Hungarian Gypsy 
band playing over in the Kursaal Gardens oppo- 
site. So I went and listened and interviewed 
them, and return to say) — That this 2nd chap- 
ter is better than the first, and worthy of admi- 
ration in every bar of the whole composition. 
And verily I say unto you, Mary — that even if 
this work could not be published (Dii avertice 
omen /) it would be a great triumph to have 
written it. It is replete with shrewd observations 
of folk-lore, it is inspired with real humour, it is 
concise and strong. So God bless it and you, and 
may you both *Go It'! " 



When the Rye left Homburg that autumn 
(1890), it was again to journey southward. 
Florence, without his realising it, had become 
his home. Something more than the climate 
drew him back there year after year. He had 
got to love the town where there was not an old 
street or an old house, an old church or an old 
tower, without its legend for him. His was not 
the Florence of the artist or the historian, much 
less of the tourist. Stories of the spirits that 
haunted it were more to him than the traditions 
of men who had made its fortunes or artists 
who had made its fame. He prized the old 
barrows about the Signoria far above the gal- 
leries which were cheapened for him by the 
correct raptures of the tourist. His chief friends 
were among the witches. His chief amusement 
was bargaining with the second-hand dealers 
for old vellum-covered books, and then patch- 
ing and repairing and decorating them once he 
got them home; or in pottering about the old 


curiosity shops, where, as he wrote to Miss 
Owen, "I buy 14th century Madonnas on gold 
grounds for a franc — and then have such a 
lovely time restoring them;" and, in the 
"Memoranda," "I like to pick up battered old 
mediaeval relics for a trifle, because I enjoy 
mending them up, which is not strange, for the 
author of 'Mending and Repairing.' In fact, 
it is a passion." The "Memoranda," through- 
out the nineties, refer continually to the rare 
old volumes picked up for a song. One day it 
is, "Bought the 'Sei Giomate' of M. Sebastian 
Frizzo [?], Venice, 1567, for 4 sous;" another, 
*' Bought of late from the hand cart of a peram- 
bulating bookseller many old works, some for 
2 soldi but most of them for 4 sous- Among 
them is Dante's Xonvito,' a small quarto;" 
and, a few days after, "Found out all about 
my Dante's 'Convito.' It is the rare first edi- 
tion of 1490 and was printed in Florence by 
Francesco Buonaccorsi, Sep. 22. A good copy 
has sold for 150 francs." And then, it is a 
"beautifully written MS. 'History of Florence,* 
of about 1650, parchment bound, for 4 sous, 
but found to belong to the Liceo Da^te and 
honestly returned;" or again, "a curious and 
extremely rare book, 'La Science Curieuse ou 


Traits de la Chyromanie,' Paris, i6g%^rarissimOy^^ 
and a Boccaccio de Mulieribus for 2 francs, 
complete; "saw the same work yesterday at 
Franchi's, several first pages and last page gone, 
for 20 francs." But I cannot name them all. 
After his death, the most curious and valuable 
were collected together and presented by Mrs. 
Harrison to the Pennsylvania Museum of In- 
dustrial Art. 

Every book on his shelves, every Madonna 
on his walls, was a new rivet in the chain that 
held him to Florence. "Glad indeed was I to 
see the old faces, and our rooms, and the brie- 
a-hrdct^^ was his note, in the "Memoranda'' 
of his home-coming one September. "Con- 
cerning the comfort and companionability of 
which latter, I could write a book. These old 
books, and bits of carving, etc., are unto me 
of importance far beyond their artistic or pecu- 
niary value. If I were a stranger in a strange 
city — and rich — I would just buy out the 
first bric-a-brac shop — omitting the Rococo — 
Louis XIV, XV, XVI trash — and furnish 
my sitting-room with it. Then I would be at 
home. I get on very well with cheap things — 
if valuable in ideas or really ' curious ' — and 
I hate antiques valued by money, such as 


compose the great Jew pawnbroker collection 
in Frankfurt." There is another passage as 
eloquent, in a letter to Miss Owen, referring 
to a silver cross he felt he could not aflEord: 
"I suffer as much from want of that cross as 
a poor man suffers from want of bread. What 
children we all are with our toys !" 

The little room he loved, with the Madonnas 
on their gold ground covering the walls, and 
the vellum-covered volumes piled high on every 
shelf, seemed so a part of himself that no one 
who saw him in it can easily forget the picture 
he made as he sat there. The years had only 
added a new dignity to the great frame, and 
marked the face with finer and more expres- 
sive lines; the beard was almost white; the 
mystery had deepened in the brooding blue 
eyes. I used to think he looked like some 
old prophet, at work among the pictures and 
books of long ago. 

At first in Florence, he went out a little. In 
the "Memoranda," for a while, such notes as 
the following are frequent: "Went to 5 o'clock 
tea at the Peruzzi's and Story's. Talked a long 
time with W. W. Story. He himself spoke of 
Walt Whitman not admiringly. He did not 
like his broken, rugged form of verse." "Dined 


at Mrs. Grigg's and met W. W. Story, who, in 
a long conversation, told me many interesting 
anecdotes of W. Savage Landor, Browning, 
Pope Pius IX, and several Boston celebrities, — 
Emerson, Holmes, Ticknor, etc. He was very 
gay, but I fear is scmiewhat broken of late.'* 
Or else the entries are of dinners with Profes- 
sor Fiske up at the Villa Landor, and breakfasts 
with Mr. Frank Macaulay, an old Philadelphia 
friend. He saw many of the innumerable Amer- 
icans and English who were always coming 
and going. "Dudley Warner," he says on one 
page, "is passing the winter with Fiske. He 
has been twice to see me;" on another, "Mr. 
White, Ex-President of Cornell University, 
then Minister to Russia, has been here in the 
Hotel Victoria for several weeks." Mark Twain, 
R. W. Gilder, Bishop Doane, Harry Wilson, 
Sir John Elgar, Oscar Browning, G. A. Sala, 
are some of the other familiar names figuring 
in the "Memoranda." But notes of the kind 
were fewer as time went on. He reserved his 
strength for his work, and his work was his 
chief amusement. "Are there any men with 
average brains who are not always at work?" 
he asks in the "Memoranda." "I really cannot 
enter into or understand the nature of a man 


who can idle away time. I know that there are 
such beings, but I cannot grasp their minds. 
When I am not reading or writing — and I 
always read with a view to turning it to literary 
— i. e. mental — account in some way, or work- 
ing it up, I am designing, or carving wood, or 
making art work, and in doing all this I am 
experimenting on subjects to write about. There 
is some amusement in art work, but I should 
never touch it if the amusement were all." The 
only time he read for relaxation was in the even- 
ing after dinner, when he went through, I do 
believe, every book published on scientific sub- 
jects, which always fascinated him, as weU as all 
the new novels, which amazed him, for he never 
got used to the modem novel. 

He made his home in a hotel — Paoli's, the 
Bellini, and, for the nine last years, the Victo- 
ria — because it left him freer to move from 
Florence if, and when, he chose, and because 
it relieved himself and his wife from smaller 
anxieties and household cares. But hotel life 
is not the most conducive to social pleasures, 
and I can see in the "Memoranda" how there 
grew upon him the feeling that "he who can- 
not give dinners should not accept them, and 
the man who pays with his presence, his com- 


pBny and wit, for esfpetiustve entertaioment ia 
00 better than a pxostttute. Youi^ men, ^As^ 
belfeve ihdre is real frieiidahip in the case — or 
who do not xeaadn at aS in their wild piumut 
of i^ribasiue--- are dfit to fi^^ this. But wiser 
and didter aien liave no e Iskanywon^ 

der that rk^ cads^ pdfPt mobs, lat-headed 
^lt&aehsi; t^ ^ Hke tUlnk tiirassdves tiie 
eqiiJBis of, car superior to, poets, men of fettars, 
or geniuses, vAkea tbey seeil^ latter so very 
wilHng to iaccept treats which they cannot re- 
turn? If there were more social resarve and 
proper pride among n^n of genius^ tl^y woukl 
not make theinselves so cheap as they do, and. 
the result would be more respect for them and 
a far hi^ier sodal positkm.'' Thb may be 
fliou^t a morfoki view, but it was his view, 
and he was consistent. As the years went on, 
he paid fewer visits, accepted fewer invitations, 
and, as he could not stand small talk or '^ chat- 
ter," saw only the friends he cared to see and 
talk to: friends like the Rev. J. Wood Brown, 
Mrs. Arbuthnot, Miss Lister, who shared many 
of his tastes and interests. Mr. Brown was per- 
haps the most sympathetic companion of these 
last years, and his account of the beginning of 
the friendship is characteristic: '^I like to think 


of the day when I first met Mr. Leland," Mr. 
Brown wrote to me. "The excuse for my call 
— as a complete stranger — was a vellum MS. 
I had, and have, of Michael Scot the Wizard. 
I sent in my card 'to show a magical manu- 
script,' and in a moment stood in the room I 
afterwards came to know so well. I shall never 
forget the hearty greeting and the words 'You 
have come to the right shop : ' it was the happy 
beginning of so much to me." 

The Rye's time being devoted wholly to his 
work, he accomplished in his last ten years 
an amount that should be a reproach to many 
a youth who thinks himself industrious. Of 
what his work was, and of the joy he had in it, 
above all in the "Etruscan Roman Remains," 
"a marvellous curiosity," he calls it, his letters 
continue to be the most faithful chronicle. 


Paoli's Hotel, November, 1890. 

Kamli Pen, — I am very glad to get your 
letter, having no end of small gossip to impart. I 
am very busy. Firstly, I am translating aU of 
Heine, a very congenial and easiest of easy tasks. 
2d, I have 2 reviews to write for "Nature." 
3rd, I have, to please and amuse myself, begun a 


book on strange Beings, such as Ni^tmares, 
Stone M», Headless Men, Tree Men, Smoke 
Men, etCf but a bods: ti^ a purpose, to show 
die world how Iktle difference there is between 
all religion of our time and old scmrery, etc. lam 
taking great pains to omibine in it a serious 
{Mosophy of Folk-Lore wi& nice stories, new 
to all readers and all kinds of quaint and merry 
][^ys of my most peculiar st]^. Theproofehave 
been coming of my "Gypsy Sorcery." — And I 
saw my fortune-teller yesterday, and got a witch 
ballad and some sorcery charms. I sent a trans- 
lation of a kn^ witch poem to the annual Conr 
gress of tiie American Folk-Lore Society to be 
hekl on Nov. 26th. . . • I am trying to g^t up a 
Folk-Lore sodety for Italy, and if they ever have 
one, don't you forget that I was the first to set it 
going, as I was in Himgary, where I was in- 
scribed the very first member. . . . 


Paoh's Hotel, Florence, Jan., 1891. 

Cara Pen, — Cosa stupenda I I have made 
such a discovery ! It came all at once, and actu- 
ally for a quarter of an hour I was dazed — 
flummuxed at it. 

For I have found all the principal deities of 


the Etruscans still existing as spirits or foUetti in 
the Romagna. Thus Fufluns, Bacchus, is called 
Fafion. He is the spirit who dwells in vines and 
wine cellars. Two beautiful stories I have and 
an invocation or h)rmn to him. 

Tinia. Jupiter. Exists as Tinia. He is the 
spirit of lightning. Also a fine hymn to him. 

Mania. Exists as the nightmare. 

Feronia. A malignant spirit. 

Lares. In old Etruscan, lases. Spirits of 
ancestors. In Romagnola, Lasii. 

In all these cases the informer did not know 
the Latin name — only the Old Etruscan. And 
much more, I have got spells identical with those 
in Marcellus. 4th Century. (Etruscan Roman) 
almost one a day. 

I believe I am the first to find out this! To 
think of finding hymns to Jupiter and Bacchus 
— the last real ones on earth, and probably the 
first!.*- still sung. 

It turns out that Maddalena was regularly 
trained as a witch. She said the other day, you 
can never get to the end of all this Stregheria — 
witchcraft. Her memory seems to be inexhaust- 
ible, and when anything is wanting she consults 
some other witch and always gets it. It is part 
of the education of a witch to learn endless 


incantations, and these I am sure were originally 
Etruscan. I can't prove it, but I believe I have 
more old Etruscan poetry than is to be found ia 
all the remains. Maddalena has written me her- 
self about 200 pages of this folk-lore — incanta- 
tions and stories. It is a good thing that she likes 
to collect and write. 

DanH give this away. I wish you were here 
fohelp. Finding Shdta was a trifle to this. 

Tiro noko koko^ 

Chasles G. Leland. 


Florence^ March ^f^ 1S91. 

Casa Pen, — I write with a milliner's maid 
and a porter sitting by me awaiting la Signara 
(Viene). I have a great deal to say. I have about 
concluded my great work on the Etruscan 
m)rthology and witchcraft, and I feel that I 
ought to offer it to Unwin first. It is a great work, 
as you know. And I don't like to write to him. 
This "Gypsy Sorcery" has been a hard pull for 
him, as I know. I want you to find out from 
him if he will try it. It can be illustrated in an 
entirely different style, Etruscan Roman, but it 
need not be illustrated at all, or it may be done in 
smaller form for less money. But it will be a far 


better work than the G. S. To have found the 
whole Etrascan mythology alive w startling. . . • 
There was a great mob and riot in Milan day 
before yesterday caused by the popolo trying to 
kill a witch! 

I never worked harder in my life than now — 
at finishing this book — translating Heine, read- 
ing proofs of Heine, etc. And the house is full 
of idle tourists who canH understand that a man 
is here who works, and that they can't drop in 
and talk rubbish for half an hour. 

Love to Joseph and try to answer soon. 

Tiro kamlo koko^ 

Charles G. Leland. 


Paoli's Hotel, Florence, March, 1891. 

Dear Pen, — ... I have accomplished this 
so far eating peanuts and a mandarin orange 
whose pungent perfume is like a pomological 
epigram. Which sounds like Heine. Apropos of 
whom — here I light a cigar and feel very con- 
versationable — I am writing by a wood fire — 
Mr. Heinemann, whom I should like you to 
know, has in hand the "Pictures of Travel," 
"Book of Songs," and another volume (proofs 
read), and I am working hard now on Heine's 


gjttst work, ^'Gerinany/' and putting lEto it a 
tihioroughness of work far bqrcmd what I put tnto 
the translation of the ''Pictures of Travel.'' I 
translate every line from the German and ami- 
pare it with Heine's French version — which I ' 
would have been ashamed to make. And it i3 a 
feet, fniri Pm, that I am younger and bett^ at 
this klikl of work than I was 30 years ago. Itk 
ftur, far eai^r to me, for I have msrasihiy <rf late 
yean been becoming so familiar with Frendi, 
German, and Italian that I can jumfyat tiracte^ 
ings of phrases as I never could bef(»e. I am 
sometimes rather astonished when I am running 
on in them to jEmd Aiw I find apt phrases for my 
ideas. Is it not strange that Italian is really Ae 
hardest of the three? But it is ; Mils. Pmtzzi, 
daughter of W. Story, grew up from a child in 
Italy, yet her Italian is declared to be far from 
periect* ... 


Paoli's Hotel, Florence, April 8, 1891. 

Dear Mr. MacRitchie, — I never desired 
more to take a run than I now wish to go to 
Budapest and meet you, but it cannot abso- 
lutely be done, because Heinemann is pushing 
on at a great pace with the Heine books, and I 


get proofs every day (yesterday twice), and the 
least delay would cause great trouble and wait- 
ing to the printers, &c. And as Heinemann has 
always been very kind and obliging, I must do 
all I can to help him. This translating aU of 
Heine's works is a tremendous undertaking, and 
I thank God that it is extremely easy and con- 
genial work. 

I hope you will enjoy Budapest and see no 
end of Romanies, and Turkish Baths, and visit 
Aquascutum or whatever the old Roman town is 
called. Don't neglect to make Herrmann take 
you to see my old friend Pal, i. e. Paul Sumrack 
— pronounce shoomrack — and convey to him 
regards from my wife and from me. He is a 
charming man. Also a thousand greetings to 
Herrmann, Pulszky, Hampel, Therisch, Hun- 
falvy, and all who remember me. 

I have in my excessive work neglected Herr- 
mann of late. Pray pump him quietly and ascer- 
tain if there is anything which he would like to 
have me do for him in any way. 

I am greatly delighted at what you tell me of 
the gentleman who went to the F. L. S. on account 
of having read my G. Sorcery, and of Mrs. Ivor 
Herbert. I have been convinced that the work, 
owing probably to its size and handsome appear- 



fmce, has attracted mofe goc^ral BJUeaikm ibam 
I a&tidpated. Whidi is a great <ieli^ to me» 

But ten &xies more lemaxkalde is my MS. 
on the Tuscan TraditicDS and Fk^entbe Fdk 
Lore. I have actually not only found 00 of the 
old Ebuacan gods still known to the peasantiy 
of the Tuscan Roinagna, but, what is moiie, have 
mcceeded in proving thorou^y that they a» 
still known. A clever young caiUadmo and hb 
father (of witch ^Mi0y)/haviog a list of aH lie 
Etruscan gods, went on marlcet days toall |hfe 
old people from different parts of the country^ 
and not only took tlmir testimony, but made 
them write certificates that the Etruacan Jui»- 
ter, Bacchus, etc, were known to them< Wtik 
these I have a number of Roman minor rani 
deities, &c* 

I am sorry that I cannot come. I hope that you 
will take Florence in on your way round. And 
pray write to me as soon as you can and tell me 
what you see. Truly your friend, 

Chasles G. Leland. 


Paoli's Hotel, Florence, May 6th, 1891. 

... I have been finishing my Etruscan book, 
but I get new things all the time. Such a tre- 


mendous mass of stories, incantations, etc. ! ! But 
my steady work is on the translation of Heine. 
I have read the proof of his "Shakespeare's 
' Women" and "Fragments," and have half fin- 
ished "Germany," a work of nearly 800 pages, 
every page of 300 words, which is a heavy under- 
taking, for I have to compare every word of the 
CJerman with the French which Heine wrote in 
part first. And on every page, there are passages 
or words in one not in the other, and these are 
all put into footnotes; in short, it is dotible 
work. . . . 

' The result of this was that when, toward the 
end of May, he had another severe attack of 
gout, he wrote to me, " And now every night, 
all night long, I dream I am translating — but 
without the original. The passages come into 
my mind — they are not Heine, but perfectly in 
his style and quite as good — at least I remem- 
ber admiring some, but I don't remember any. 
Also — I never refer to a dictionary, nor pause 
for synonymes, nor do I ever write foot-notes — 
hence this dream work wearies me more than the 
real labour itself. This has gone on steadily all 
night ever since I was laid up, nearly 2 weeks ago. 
'*I had the same trouble 2 years ago, much 


worse. I had been very anxious about the illus- 
trations to my wood-carving, and the result 
was that I designed all night long. Though in 
great agony I dreaded the relief of sleep, for then 
I should have nothing but a succeeding torment 
of crotchets and fiirials. And what was worst was 
that the designs were all fade and commonplace ! ' ' 

The same trouble was to return a few years 
later on, when the greatest sorrow of his life had 
driven him to overwork. 

He got well over the gout in the spring and 
sunmier of 1 891, as he travelled by easy stages 
— several weeks at Via Reggio, Geneva, Hom- 
burg — to London for his last visit there. He 
went on with his Heine wherever he stopped; he 
wrote a long poem in blank verse, "Magonia," 
never published; he began the editing of the 
"Life of Beckwourth" for Mr. Unwin's "Adven- 
ture Series." And, all the while, letters were 
flying between him and Miss Owen and myself. 
For the reason of his going to London was, first 
the Oriental Congress, and then the Folk-Lore 
Congress, which Miss Owen also was to attend, 
and he was eager to make her first experience of 
England as free of anxiety and bother as possible, 
and to settle all question of lodgings, chaperon- 
age, and so on, beforehand. My husband and I 


were in Hungary that autumn, and I now regret 
our absence the less, because the consequence 
is the gay report of the Congresses sent to me by 
the Rye. The Oriental Congress, which Pro- 
fessor Cowell, its President, who was not given 
to such functions, pronounced a great success, 
opened on September ist. 


Langham Hotel, Sept nth, 1891. 

... I read a paper before the Oriental on 
the Salagrawa Stone, worshipped in India, and 
the Salagmwa stone of Tuscany, exhibiting one 
which Maddalena gave me, and another which I 
found and which she consecrated with incanta- 
tions and put in a red bag. ... I was referred 
to in the Congress as being "beyond question 
at the very head of Pidgin English learning and 
literature." There 's a proud position for a man! 
Yes — I am the Shakespeare and Milton and 
Grimm and Heine and Everybody Else of that 
language. When Pidgin English shall become 
— as Sir R. Burton predicted it would — the 
common language of the world, then I shall be 
a great man! . . . 

The Folk-Lore Congress followed immedi- 



atefy. Before it, he read a paper on his Etrus^ 
can discoveries; Miss Owen read one on Voo-« 


Laxoham Hotel, Oct xxtli, 1891. 

There were a hundred In the Congress, and 
Mary Owen, and Nevill, and Prof. Haddon, 
and I were really all the people in it who knew 
anything about Folk-Lore at first hand among 

niters, Romanys, Dutch Uncles, hand-organ 
men, Injuns, bar-maids, tinkers, etc. It was 
fuimy to see how naturally we four understood 
one another and got together. But Mary takea 
the rag of all, for she was bom to it in wild 

There are altogether in all America only 5 
or 6 conjxirin' stones, small black pebbles, which 
come from Africa. Whoever owns one becomes 
thereby a chief Voodoo — all the years of fast- 
ing, ceremonies, etc., can be dispensed with. 
Miss Owen found one out and promised it. The 
one who had it would not sell it, so she — stole 
it! As it had always been, when owned by 
blacks. And then gave it to me. I exhibited it 
to the Congress. MacRitchie says I am also 
King of the Gypsies. 


Day before yesterday in Congress, there was 
a very long, very able, and very slow paper by 
Lady Welby, and then dull comments. I felt 
that I must either bust, vamos, or let myself 
out. Finally, Prof. Rhys said that no civilised 
man could understand a savage or superstitious 
peasant^ — that there was a line never to be 
crossed between them, etc., etc. Also some- 
thing by somebody about souls in animals. 

Then I riz and said: — 

"Mr. Chairman (this was my foe Lang), 
Prof. Rhys says that there is no understanding 
between superstitious people and us. Now the 
trouble I always have is not to understand them 
and be just like them. (Here Lang laughed). 
I have been on the other side of that line all last 
winter, and I had to come back to England 
because Mrs. Leland said I was becoming as 
superstitious as an old nigger. As for souls in 
animals — last night at the dinner our chair- 
man, with his usual sagacity and perception, 
observed that we had in the room a block cat 
with white paws, which is a sign of luck. (By 
the way, I myself saw her catch a mouse in be- 
hind the curtain.) Now to be serious and drop 
trifling. In America every association, be it 
a fire company or a Folk-Lore, has a mascot. 


X^adies and gaitlemen, I pn^ioae that that puss 
be elected a member of ova: Society. If we can^ 
not have a Mas-cot^ at least we idiall possess 
a Tho-fnas-catP* 

Roar^ of laughter, I felt better for 24 hours 

We all contributed fdk-lcxte articles to our 
Exhibition. I had only to pick out (rf one tray 
in one trunk to get 31 artides, which filled two 
large glass cases. As Bdle says, she can't turn 
over a shirt without having a fetii^ roll out. 
And I could n't distinguish between those of 
my own make and those of others. For I am 
so used to picking up stooes with hdes in them, 
and drif twoody and tying red rags rouikl chieken- 
bones for luck etc., etc., that I consider my own 
just as powerful as anybodjr's. 

I think that our good Unwin will take Mary 
Owen's book. She has been a great success. . . . 

He could laugh at himself, but he was as 
entirely in earnest in his folk-lore studies as 
in any of his other work. It is perfectly true 
that he believed, as he wrote to Miss Owen, 
"real folk-lorists like us live in a separate 
occult, hidden, wonderful fairy-land, — we see 
elves and listen to music in dropping water- 


falls, and hear voices in the wind." To the 
"good Unwin" — and this was at a period 
when Besant was impressing it on authors that 
any other adjective was more appropriate for 
pubKshers — he wrote in much the same strain, 
and one of the letters is a proof, besides, of the 
trouble he was ready to go to for the literary 


Langham Hotel, Portland Place, 
London, W., Oct 7th, 1891. 

Dear Mr. Unwin, — I wish you could have 
heard me read my paper, for it caused amaze- 
ment and admiration. I suppose you saw what 
the "Times" said of it in a leader — also of 
Miss Owen's "Voodoo." They have certainly 
been the two most sensational papers of the 
Congress. But you could not have been there 
— in fact, I almost missed hearing myself read, 
because the time was changed. As soon as this 
Congress shall be fairly over, I shall make my 
appearance chez votes bearing the agreement 
and Miss Owen's nigger book. It is full of 
darkey talk in such a rum dialect that English 
readers would be puzzled with it; therefore, 
she is engaged in making said nigger English 


ifilD sometfamg xnmc diret^y iiitelligible^ We 
li» ix>t aU Miasoiinm 

Bnrf. JSajrce is Teiy mwh int^ieflti^ m my 
Eitniscftii (Macovwes.aiidiSavs tliev ai€ of iair 
itts&fle imDortaiioe and of a moist nit^Mhyiw 

jIfi.aciiolaKs: wbo cttnaid me: m the illu^iatk»i8.v 

Yours truly, 

riTApT.Tgg G. Lelaiq>. 

It may have bem the reactkm, after Orfentai 
and Folk-Loie gaieti^, that macfe the wioiter 
in, Florence of 189^-92 so^n less iesidti|]g,;at 
all events in his Goneqxnidence. He v^m M 
busv as evef with Heine and his Etruscan 
booky and, toward spring, he b^an, to write 
his /^Memoirs/' But I fanded an underlying 
sadness in his letters to me: suppressed gout, 
he said, when I spoke of it. By spring, however, 
it had gone: no trace of it now when he wrote 
to me, or to anybody else. 


Paoli's Hotel, Florence, April 14, 1892. 

Dear Pen, — I am actually amazed to learn 
that it is so long since I wrote to you. Fisher 
Unwin and his wife are here in the house, and 


Aunt Belle has taken a great liking to her. 
Unwin is a curious man: what an interest he 
takes in all his publications! I worked the bet- 
ter part of 6 months at the illustrations for my 
book on "Etruscan Roman Remains." It will 
be very handsome. I can hardly reaUse that it 
is really j&nished. 

I am very glad that you are really settled in 
a nice home. If I were in London, I should 
paint you panels and tambourines to help fur- 
nish. I do hope you will be happy in it. I met 
Johnson of the "Century" night before last, 
at a very nice little "recep" which the Unwins 

I have been for 2 or 3 weeks writing remi- 
niscences of my life. I have got to about 1867 
and have an enormous MS. already. I read 
once of a man who could not write his biogra- 
phy because he had kept no diaries. I have 
not referred to anything, having nothing, but 
I find I remember everything worth noting. 
The trouble will be after 1869, when I get to 
Europe the second time. But here Aunt Belle 
will help me. It will be a very curious and 
varied book. It is a great pity that I lost last 
year a memorandum book full of data for 3 
years before. 


I found a charming old witch the other day 
here — in a room full of herbs and bottles* She 
had a great cat who sat on a chair opp)osite to 
me, and, after I mewed to him once, never took 
his eyes oflF me. I said, "Ah, you know me!" 
But the old lady only knew the common sor* 
ceries, and, when I left, said, "You come to me 
to learn, but I more need a lesson from you." 
Then she asked me earnestly for the Wzard's 
blessing, which I gave. It was really a scene for 
an artist, for she looked the witch, and as for 
Tom — he was actually splendid. K I had a 
house, I would give any money for him — I 
almost expected to hear him talk. 

I wrote recently a little book, "The Hun- 
dred Riddles of the Fairy Bellaria." Unwin 
will do it. Mrs. Unwin liked it very much. . . . 

Sad news from America! Mary Owen writes 
me that Alexander, the Kjng of the Voodoos, 
died recently. 

It really was, as far as he was concerned, 
sad news. He had delighted in this King of the 
Voodoos, and afterwards remembered him so 
well that, when he wrote a book about the 
cultivation of the will, he told Miss Owen in 
a letter that King Alexander had gone a long 


way to making him write it, adding, "I wonder 
... if he did not get his magnificent idea of 
cultivating the will as the true Secret of Sor- 
cery from his Red Indian Mother?" 

The "Book of Riddles," when published, 
was dedicated to Mrs. Unwin and a special 
verse written for her copy. I quote it as typical 
of the little rhymes of the kind he delighted to 
make for his friends, to whom he thought they 
would give pleasure. 

This book was only made for you, 
The riddles and the pictures too. 
Full many better things there be 
To keep your name in memory: 
Yet, if 't is true, as many say,] 
No book can e'er quite pass away, 
My pride in it and only aim 
Is that it bears your honoured name, 
And that while it exists — as fit — 
Your name will ever be in it 

Charles Godfrey Leland. 

Florence, November 14th, 1892. 

Glimpses of his occupations and movements 
during the summer and following winter are to 
be had in extracts from his letters to Miss Owen 
and myself. These letters are more of a diary 
than the diary he kept, and I give them more 
or less in diary form. 



MayBiht.iSga. Isee,bytlie"F. 
Uiat ]nou were at iikt Congress, m rat 
in Philadelphia.- 1 insh you had m 
Un.< Jdm Hazrism.. Yov will see b 
nd " diat fdie made a fine present to 
o£ guards against the evil eye. Af 
in an cU bode sht^ here, urtieFe U 
stacked up by diousands and the oi 
go over tlffim <Hie by one, I found a v 
300 years old (1695), on Amulets. 
large pages and is the completest ' 
subject I ever heard of. It takes t 
disuse, one by one, and teHs wha 
to carry to cure it 

From Geneva, June 23d, his letters express a 
regret that, "It is a pretty but a prosaic Presby- 
terian town," and "there is no witch aura about 
it, like Florence." 

From Hombuig, "September something," word 
comes to show him waiting anxiously for proofs 
of her book from Mr. Unwin, in the meantime 
ready to throw out a suggestion, "Would it not 
be a good idea to start a Nigger Review or 


By October the 2d, he is busy with the proofs, 
and writing an introduction for her. 


Jan. 28th, 1893. Groome and I have got to- 
gether a lot of Gypsy Tales and I propose to write 
a Gypsy Decameron — that is, I will describe 
several narrators in quaint, old-fashioned style. 
I hope to get a few from Herrmann — won't you 
manufacture one ? — there will be no money in 
it, but I will bring you in and all the others. 

. . . Just to think that I received a day or 
two ago £\6 18/ for receipts on "Breitmann," 
"Fusang," and one other book during the past 

year. During 's life I never got a penny 

after one first payment, on any of my books. . . 

I am very busy with a book on Metal Work 
i. e., coldy such as bent iron, repouss^e, etc. . . 

I was out on a bust yesterday and spent money 
I bought a bottle of port and one of brandy for 
my sister (Mrs. Thorp) who leaves in a day or 
two. I invested twopence halfpenny in 5 old 
Roman coins, invisible in rust, but which look 
very nice cleaned; one is a marvellously ancient 
Roman coin with a head of Janus. Then I 
bought an eagle's claw set in gold for 3 francs — 
a great charm or amulet — and a pretty 14th 



century Ykgm aod Chik}, gold ground, on an 
old panel in a good frame, for 7 francs. Tlien a 
franc for 3 amulets of coral and a stone. 

Returamg borne, I had a long and very jolly 
call £rom Mark Twain. You know that your 
unde can tdl stories asd make jokes and — just 
fancy two such as we having a regular spacee and 
conviviumof funi Well, we did have me and no 
mistake. I set him to writing autographs — his 
first was ^^None gamine without this s^isUwe 
on the bottle, Mark Twain." Another, "A true 
copy — artist Clemens." Just as he rose I said 
gravely, "You are an Amcdcan, I believe." He 
retried, "I am, from Missouri." "Thai," I 
replied, "I venture to ask a favour of you wlm^ 
I would not dare to ask an Er^ishman — wanH 
you take a glass of whisky?" Which he dkl — 
you bet. 

I have a great mind to write reminiscences of 
Humourists I have seen in my life. Seba Smith, 
Davis the original Jack Downing, Neal, David 
Crockett, Yankee Hill, David Locke, John 
Saxe, W. Irving, Artemus Ward, Mark Twain, 
J. R. Lowell, Saphir. Don't you think that 
sketches of them with portraits by me and 
accounts of them and extracts from their works 
would sell? 


[He gave a description of this visit from 
Mark Twain to Miss Owen also. " He was very 
jolly," he told her, — "as for me, I haven't 
talked American since I saw you — and for 
an hour, we had sitch a gittin' up sta'rs — 
swapping lies. ... It fairly made me home- 
sick to see him take that drink. Visions of 
days long gone by — the call on a friend — 
the usual hour — days of my youth — tempi 

March i6th, 1893. ... I have begun and 
hc^ to be able to continue a book of queer odd 
chapters, called "Leaves from the Life of an 
Immortal." The Immortal is the wise and 
learned Flaxius, who has existed in aU ages— 
a kind of humorous Wandering Jew — an eter- 
nal droll grave observer. I am awaiting new 
inspiration for the book. . . . 

The more modem literature develops itself — 
the more the New Humour or cheap and feeble 
Irony (dear to weak-minded, would-be-witty 
Philistines) comes forth — the more Ibsenry 
and Langry and Marie Baschkirtseflfery and 
Oscar Wildery is exhibited — the better do I 
realise that the more we refine and cultivate 
humanity, the more does it degrade into senti- 
ment and rot. What is queer is that Russia, 


Scandinavia, and Holland — which ought to 
give us good hard vigorous life, the objective 

— are taking the lead in nervelessness, pessi- 
mism, weakness — mal-odorousness — refine- 
ment without genius — taste without savour — 
existence without a sense of vitality. However, 
as the Nibelungen and the Sagas and the Greek 
drama and Shakespeare and the Ealevala and 
witch incantations and Algonkin legends are 
dearer to my heart than aught beside in litera- 
ture, and as I feel strong in me the Revolution- 
ary soldier blood, as well as that of my great- 
grandfather who was so dear to the Indians in 
Canada that they kept him a prisoner a whole 
winter (he appears in the colonial history as 
having been interpreter in French and Algon- 
kin!), in fine, with such blood and tastes, it is 
sadly evident that I shall not fall in with the 
New Sentiment or — New Humour. A good 
rousmg War would be a good thing for England 

— all the Horrors of War are less disgusting 
than the Horrors of Namby-Pamb)dsm and 
feeble Despair — So I run on. 

April, no day of the rnonth, 1893. • • • Now 
for a stunner! Heinemann asked me lately for 
my " Memoirs'' ! Now, my dear, you must knowr 
that I wrote more than a year ago my life up to 


1871, and had the idea that, in case I died, you 
might use the MS. to write my life. There are 
800 pp. of writing, 150 words to a page - Heine- 
mann wants two large vols. This would just do. 
I revised it and was much struck by its curious 
and varied experience, and resolved to publish it 
just as it is. The MS. now lies before me done 
up for Heinemann. I don't know whether it is 
well for it, or no, that I had no one to whom to 
submit it. The temptations to be egotistical in 
an autobiography are tremendous, and reviewers 
are unmerciful except to "autobiographing" aU 
about other people, especially about the Royal 
Family and all kinds of great people, — such as 
"Gossip of the Century." Now I have tried to 
show in every way how my mind and character 
were formed, and what influences of descent, 
early association, illness, schools, reading, and 
scenes made me what I am. I have not overdone 
this, but I have done, it thoroughly. As I say, I 
am not like a Punch-showman in his box only 
exhibiting and speaking for other people — 
puppets. I write an "Autobiography" and show 
myself — not too much, but honestly. . . . 
G. W. Childs has died, aged 50! Had he only 
lived to 70, he would have been over a hun- 
dred! It was demonstrated a generation ago 


that he was an enterprising publisher and 
public character at the age of teny by his own 

May 2d^ 1893. Is n't it funny that, after so 
much zeal'in writing my ^^Memoirs^' and so 
much joy at getting ih&n printed, Aere has 
come over me, after reading die first procrf, a 
kind of pudeufy indignation as oi being exposed 
publicly — in short, an indescribable malaise — 
or r^!et — and yet thace is nothing in this proof 
that is not creditable — indeed it is mostly about 
old I^Sadelphia. And then I never hesitated 
to describe my perscmal advatituies in print as to 
travel — or Gypsies. I am at wcark on a bode; 
no great news. This work is on t&e subject of 
— or is — "A Manud of Mending, « How to 
Rq>air" and Restore Diunaged Porcelain and 
Crockery, Woodwork, Books, MSS., Leather, 
Wood, Ivory, clothing, etc. 


Feb. 19, 1893. I began lately a sort of book, 
"Leaves from the Life of an Immortal" — or 
the wise Flaxius. In one chapter he preaches a 
sermon on Drunkenness to 3 sparrows, a jay, an 
old Hen, and a peasant girl. It includes an 
account of all the different heresies and a list of 


American fancy drinks — a poem of 20 pages ! 
in this style : — 

Pink of Beauty — let her rip — Boorbon-bon and jolly, 
Old Monongahelio — trope with a maiden's Folly, 
Rich New Year's Eggnography, with headache for the mor- 
Evening Lullaby and Fifty per cent o£E your sorrow ! 

This is what the French call marivaudagey or 
spinning a joke out too long. But if you can get 
me a real list of American fancy drinks, I would 
be much thankful to you. Then comes a prose 
rhapsody of all that thrills the soul — not funny 
— an eagle on the wing in a storm — an actor in 
the instant of a first great imexpected success — 
and many more — all drunkenness. 'T will be 
a queer book if it keeps up to the 4 chapters now 
written. The hero lives in all ages. 

Mi manca Pappetito — I have no appetite of 
late — I long for ham and eggs and red herrings 
and a good beefsteak and apple-pie. I hate the 
cooking here and the red wine. I dined with 
George Sala lately — he is good company — 
also again with Mark Twain — but Bishop 
Doane was present and he was slightly a wet 
blanket — however, Mark Twain and Breit- 
mann got oflE several stories. After Clemens had 
given us a long, strange, serious monologue on 


the changing the name of New York to Man- 
hattan, I said that, considering what Manhattan 
means in Indian, it would not be inappropriate. 
For, according to Irving, it means The Place of 
the Jolly Topers (another authority say^s it means 
"Where we all got drunk," the Indians having 
there first tasted fire water given by the Dutch). 
And Chicago means the Place of Skunks ! Talk- 
ing of skimks, Grenl. Schenck was the greatest 
story-teller I ever heard — 't is only in the sound 
of the name, my cousin, for there was nothing 
skimkly in him. 

Bagnidi Lucca. /w»e i6th, 1893. . . . a pretty, 
very healthy place, with a nice little old-fash- 
ioned public library, where they take the "Lon- 
don Times" and "Standard" and some week- 
lies — and I hear there is a witch 2 miles from 
here who divines by the aid of the spirits. . . . 

And now, I have a great thing to relate — 
whereof the glory shall yet ring all over the 
earth and New Jersey ! The Gypsy-Lore Society 
has been transferred to Budapest. Archduke 
Josef is the head — while I remain president. 
Now I propose to add to the Gypsy element, or 
Romany Ryes, all those who cultivate Voodoos, 
fortune-tellers, tinkers, tramps, travellers, fakirs, 
card-slingers, pitch and tossers, in short all who 


irm the outside class of creation — the ntHange 

I be called The Gypsy and Wanderer's So- 

ety. . . . 

I am very busy on a truly great work — on the 

rt of Mending all broken things, which I find 
Immense — and — Mrs. Leland, as I write, 
had brought me a shoe with a hole in the sole, 
which I shall repair with gum and an old glove. 
If I only had some india-rubber I could make 
it as good as ever. It will be invaluable for 
Housekeepers, Owners of Furniture or Books, 
Toys, Leather, Tom Garments, etc. 

It does not seem from what I read that the 
Great Show at Chicago will be quite a success. 
They aimed at too much. — The entire World 
is not as 3fet " manageable " & /o Bamum — nor 
is Enterprise all Genius. San Francisco and not 
Chicago will be the Rome of the Future. There 
will be in time a great Exposition. 

Write soon — write ever — write often. Do 
study French and German. There is a future for 
you when you will need them. 

Aug. 1S93. Four years ago I tried hard to get 
the learned Count de Gubematis to establish an 
Italian Folk-Lore Society. I have just received 
from him a letter in which he says that he has at 
last effected what originated with me, and we 


now have one of 500 members — at 12 francs or 
$2.40 pr annum. In order that this immense 
sum shall not fall too heavily on the members, 
they can make quarterly payments of 60 cents. 
For this, they will get a monthly review. There 
is to be an Italian Folk-Lore Congress at Rome 
in November. It is odd that in precisely the same 
manner, I originated the Folk-Lore Society of 
Himgary, and was accordingly the very first 
member entered. And I may be said to have 
been, in fact I was, the very first member and 
beginner of the London Folk-Lore. 

After Bagni di Lucca there was a quiet in- 
terval at Vallombrosa. "W. W. Story and family 
live here at the old Medicean villa, now Villa 
Peruzzi," he wrote me. "He is very jolly, and 
the youngest man for his years I ever saw. I 
have persuaded him to write his own Life;" 
which Story did not live to do. In the late 
autumn, came the last Folk-Lore Congress the 
Rye was strong enough to take part in. For 
some time beforehand he was busy preparing 
the paper he was to read, and keeping up a 
most animated correspondence with Count de 
Gubematis, if I can judge from the numerous 
letters he had to answer from De Gubematis, 


who offered every hospitality in Rome, where the 
Congress was to be held, and urged him to per- 
suade Miss Roma Lister to come. What a great 
thing to have a lady member ! and a lady mem- 
ber with a paper to read ! You have to live in 
the world of Folk-Lore to know what excitement 
there may be in it, even for a man who, after an 
adventurous life, has reached his seventieth year. 
The best account is in a letter to Miss Owen. 

charles godfrey leland to miss biary a. owen 

Hotel Victoria, 44, Lung Arno Vespucci, 
Florence, Nov. 27th, 1893. 

Cara Amiga, — 

And did you think me still alive, 
Or did you deem me dead ; 
And did you dream if here I thrive, 
Or did you hear I 'd fled ? 

However, here I am, and just returned from 
4 or 5 days in Rome. The occasion whereof 
was that Count de Gubematis, having (as he 
informed a great audience in the Eternal City, 
I being present) — having, at my instance and 
gentle insistence, founded an Italian Folk-Lore 
Society, I went there and was made first fid- 
dler, De Gubematis being the leader. Now as 
the Queen of Italy is an ardent On^ of Us — or 
a Folk-Lorista — she had announced that she 

.' "P*? 


would be present. But there came a great po- 
litical crisis and thr»ts to mob her — poor 
lady ! — so die did not come. De G. read his 
address — th^i I mi^ in Italian — you will 
see it in the '^Rivista," and then Roma Lister, 
my piipily hers. De G. announced that her name 
was Roma and she was bom in Rome, which 
mduced chea:s — I was cheered too, unmensely. 
As the Queen was expected, we had a full 
house — with all the fashion and learning of 
all Rome — it was next to being crowned in 
the Capital — and the next day I was cSltbre 
and iUustrissimo in the newspapers. There 
were only us three, and Roma foimd herself 
just as you did at the Congress, the great fem* 
inine gun of the day — the Italians being of 
course charmed with us. . . . 

Rome is lovely, but it rained all the time. 
However, we saw the Vatican and had sunshine 
for the Forum and Coliseum and Pincian Hill, 
and a few more old friends — and I found a 
marvellous old panel picture, A. d. 1300 Holy 
Family, which I might have had, a tremen- 
dous bargain, for $20 — but I feared I could 
not afford it. It was worth $150. So I bought 
two Roman lamps for 15 cents each, and one 
I have gilt and shaded into beauty. 


I bought a very old violin lately for sixty 
cents, and have adorned it so that it adorns 
the whole room. If you were here, I would over- 
stock you with my fancy work. We left Roma 
in Rome. The first cake baker in the city is 
very badly bewitched, and Roma was "called" 
in to cure him. She borrowed an amulet of me 
and took her own collection. I have not yet 
heard the results. I advised a strong dose of 
Latin, after two Italian incantations. Mrs. 
Leland called us a couple of infamous hum- 
bugs. How cruel and unjust ! 


Florence, Feb. 25th, 1894. 

... I have, been making some very quaint 
book covers. You have a mould cut in wood, 
if rudely done, no matter. Then press a wet 
sheet of paper into it, and with flour paste, put 
on the back six more sheets. When dry, colour 
lightly with Naples yellow and burnt umber, 
and it looks just like old ivory or parchment. 
I find great amusement in making picture frames 
and restoring old pictures. 

Yesterday, I went with Roma Lister to visit 
Maddalena, the witch. ... 

I don't dislike my "Breitmann Ballads" — 


indeed I love many of them — but I am some- 
times highly pained when I find that pec^le 
know nothing eke abbiit me, have never heard 
of my ^^ Practical Education/' or what I have 
done in Industrial Art, Language, Tradition, 
etc. So that whoi anybody b^ins by ^4oading 
up" on the Breitmann, I cannot he^ a mild 
i€spise. The ^^ Memoirs "have somewhat helped 
itne as to this (^ late, and raised me above merely 
Hans Brdtmann. I am sorry that the Voodoo 
business is interrupted, but a strasxg will, ii^e- 
nious trickery and belkf in you, will set k all 
right. Have n't you a familiar demon who brings 
you news, etc.? Are you never heard talking 
to him, and laughing, and do you never alarm 
the negroes by telling them their secmts? A 
^urewd servant-friend spy can aid. But you 
must rehabilitate yourself. 

The Rye was working now at "getting up 
songs of the Sea," and at "a very entertaining 
and lively book on Florentine Legends and Folk- 
lore, far droller than my others. Nutt has 
promised to publish it. Maddalena is employed, 
on a regular salary of 5 francs a week, to collect 
and write out traditions. She is marvellous at it, 
and as mysterious as marvellous. I sometimes 


think she must invoke the ghosts of old Florence 
and Rome." 

In the summer of 1894, despite the gout, 
despite "the thermometer in the Nineties and 
flies in the Hundreds," the "Legends" were fin- 
ished at Siena, where I was able to spend some 
few weeks with him. In the fall, at Innsbruck, 
despite "beautiful walks," and *' perfect" beer, 
and "abundant" peaches, and "occasional" 
Gypsies, he began his " Breitmann in the Tyrol." 
"I am working away, alternately at * Flaxius, or 
Leaves from the Life of an Immortal,' and Hans 
Breitmann's ^Reisebilder,'" he reported to me 
late in October, just after starting homewards to 
Florence. There — though Florence was "lovely 
now, such sunshiny pleasant days, the leaves 
only just beginning to turn a little, figs and 
peaches still in" — he had to include in his 
report, almost immediately, another book: "a 
really nice book of Mottoes for Decoration of 
all kinds — Libraries, facades, fountains, bed- 
rooms, perfumers' shops, restaurants, black- 
smiths, jewellers, gardens, chairs, music and 
ball-rooms, vestibules, kitchens, et cetera,^^ a 
book published in part in "The Architectural 
Review." But the new Breitmann was the more 
important task. He offered it to Mr. Unwin. 


ciuJiLis ooDnunr lblanb to mr. t. fisher unwut 

HoTBL Victoria, 44, Lung Arko Vespucci, 
Fix>RBNCB» Italy, Oct aotii, 18^. 

Dear Mr. Unwik, — The klea of a new 
Breitmann book took strong hold of me in Inns- 
biick, where all the surroundings were favour- 
&bie to its development, and having b^un, I 
found that it ran off the reel as it did of yore — 
i. e., very rapidly — and I now have ready what 
would make a little shilling work. 

My idea is that it should be called ^^Bbns 
Breitmann's Book of Travel in Song and Prose." 
It is all about T^rol and its Legends, and is 
half prose, half poetry. I will socm send you 
the MS. 

There is one thing which will be really needed 
and which must be considered. There are a great 
many German words, etc., in the work, and how- 
ever carefully I correct here abroad, there will be 
blotching and blundering in it. Mr. Triibner 
himself saw to all this in the "Ballads." There 
are no end of Germans in London who would be 
very glad to revise such a book or read the proof 
sheets without charge, if it were just asked as a 
favour, but just now I cannot think of any one, 
all my German friends having dropped out of 


sight. If you can think of, or hear of, anybody, 
so much the better. I would recommend getting 
the work up to match in size the Lotos form 
of Kegan Paul's edition, for many who have 
the "Ballads" would like to have this book to 

Should this work on the Tyrol prove a success, 
I will follow it up with Breitmann in Italy, or 
Germany, or Sweden, or Egypt. 

Pray send me an acknowledgment as soon as 
you get the MS. 

With kindest regards to Mrs. Unwin, in which 
Mrs* Leland cordially joins, I remain 

Yours very truly, 

Chakles G. Leland. 

The winter of 1894--95, and its work, may 
be sunmied up in the two letters that follow. 


Hotel Victoria, Florence, Feb. 3d, 1895. 

. . . Many thanks for the letter, which is 
indeed a letter worth reading, which few are 
in these days when so few people write anything 
but notes or rubbish. Be sure of one thing, that 
yours are always read with a relish. For it is 


marvellously trae that as tools aze never wanting 
to an artist, there is always abundance to make 
a letter with to those who know how to write. 
Theze is always something to ^'li^t about" — 
OTiotinnioundtoandiee! Daj^^mo, I thank 
you for the jokes from the newspapers. They 
are vary good, but J observe that sbce I was 
in Amcdca, the real okl extravaganza, die wild 
eccentric outburst, is disappearing fiom country 
papers. No editor bursts now on his readers all 
at once with the awful question, ^'Ifio^ stands 
wl^ does n't k walk?" Ncxr have I heard lor 
years of the dd-f ashioncKl sequau^es, whi^ one 
man began with a verse irf poetry and every 
small newspi^r reprinted it, adding a parody. 
Thus they began with Ann Tiquity and then 
added Ann Gelic and Ann O'Dyne — : till i^y 
had finished the Anns. Emerson's " Brahma " 
elicited hundreds of parodies, till he actually 
suppressed it. 

Then there were the wild outbursts of poems 
sucfi as — 

I seen her out arwalking 
In her haM de la rue. 
And 't aint no use a-talking — 
But she 's pumpkins and a few. 

There was something Indian-like, aboriginal, 


and wild in the American fun of 40 years ago 
(vide Albert Pike's "Arkansas Gentleman" and 
the "Harp of a Thousand Strings") which has 
no parallel now. My own "beautiful poem" on 
a girl who had her underskirt made out of a 
coflPee bag was republished a thousand times, — 
we were wilder in those days, and more eccen- 
tric. All of these which you send are very good, 
but they might all have been made in England. 
They are mild. Ere long, there will be no 

I have often thought of collecting and publish- 
ing all the eccentric poems I could get — such as 
"Uncle Sam," "By the bank of a murmuring 
stream," etc., but — nobody would care for 
them now. Other times, other tastes. . . . 

My forthcoming "Florentine Legends" will 
be nice, but I have got far better ones since I 
made it. The "Breitmann" I really think is 
fairly good — perhaps it will sell well. I have 
not much hope for "Songs of the Sea" and 
"Lays of the Land" by Sea G. Lay-Land — yet 
there are three or four good ballads in it. But 
what I await, with gasping hope, is "Flaxius," 
which is in Watt's hands. I have not yet heard 
that he has found a publisher. It is my great 
work and as mad as a hatter. . . . 



Hotel VxcT0Ri4f Florence, April 6th» 1S95. 

Dear Fmi^^l am always glad to write to 
3IOU) for it is tl^ nejct be^ .thing to talking, and 
you have of late yms not known what it is never 
to have a talk! But I pass whole weeks without 
it. I caimot, as Everybody dse does, ^^chat" and 
fed idieved. I hate diat — it wearies me. It is 
hard woik^ and after the best of it I fed ashamed 
and bored. 

Mv '^Soi^ of the Sea" has aj^onished me. 
A. Lang m the '^ Daily News" praised it so that 
tears nearly rose to my eyes! 

I learned to-day by letter that Emfly Harri- 
son is to come to Italy this summer -r^ which 
thing Maddalena, imquestioned^predicted^th 
the utmost confidence 6 days ago. M. does not 
make any pretence, but she has thus far shown 
herself as far ahead of Mme. Blavatsky as Sun 
to Moon. She casts the cards and then explains 
them carefully in detail. And it always comes 
true. I don't reason over it, but it is so. It is not 
like Gypsy or Ruskin inspiration — it is drawn 
from a kind of mathematical inference — and 
M. often asks me to learn the art so as to do it 
for myself. This is living in a bygone age. M. 


never omits the incantations, and the more in 
earnest she is, the more zealously she repeats 
them in full faith. She has the deepest belief in 
magic as a cure for disorders. All illness is a 
md'occhio, a spell cast by an enemy or gathered 
from an evil influence. There is a great differ- 
ence between collecting folk-lore as a curiosity 
and living in it in truth. I do not believe that in 
all the Folk-Lore Societies there is one person 
who lives in it in reality as I do. I cannot describe 
it — what it once was is lost to the world. You 
cannot understand it at second hand. ... I am 
hopeful about the "Florentine Legends." There 
was a great deal of work put into it, and it is 
really a very curious book, in which Maddalena 
and Marietta appear to strange advantage. 
Marietta's poems are really beautiftd, and she 
never had a gleam of an idea that she had a tal- 
ent. However, the more I know such people, the 
more bewildered I am, and the more lost in a 
kind of elfin-land of mystery. It is curious how 
I find such characters — it is like miracle — I 
don't seek them, they come to me as in dreams. 



It wm m the s^omier of 1895 that the Rye first 
beigaii to kd the burdea of yeaiS; to be con- 
sdoiis (rf what Ruskin called ^^ the sea of troubles 
tibat overwhehspi old age.'' From Innsbriick, 
on his birthday, tibe 15th of Ai^u^, he wrote me, 
'^I do not feel dififerent, that I am aware, from 
what I was twenty or thirty y^us ago." But most 
of his letters did not let me forget that he had 
reached, and gone beyond, die limit of three- 
score and ten. '^I Icmg. to be in Florence !" was 
tl^' sad strain. ^^It is not much of a home, but 
it is singular that when one is in worry and 
uneasiness — especially when old — that one 
yearns, as animals do, for some place to feel 
more at home in, just as a child wants to be 
with 'Mother,' altho' the mother may be cruel 
and wicked." 

He had much, besides age, to worry him: his 
affairs in Philadelphia, his gout, the want of new 
literary schemes, the cold and loneliness of the 

THE END 381 

summer. He was without friends in Innsbruck, 
even the Gypsies failed him. "I've nothing to 
write about," a letter dated October 19 begins, 
*^ so I 'U talk. If you ever write a memoir of your 
imcle, say that he could write more easily than 
he could talk. G. A. Sala told the world in print 
that I was ponderous and dull personally — 
because when he was present, I let him, out of 
compliment, do all the Oratory. That was my 

In Florence, at his own writing-table, with 
the madonnas looking down from their gold 
ground upon him, he was more himself. And 
there came with the winter a request for work, 
always, for him, the best stimulus. The request 
was from Mr. Unwin, and the Rye's answer suf- 
ficiently explains it. But before this answer, I 
insert another letter to Mr. Unwin, as a plea- 
sant instance of the friendly relations between 
author and publisher which, we have been asked 
to believe, belong entirely to the fable of the 


Hotel Victoria, Florence, Dec. 2d, 1895. 

Dear Mr. Unwin, — I was sincerely grieved 
a few days ago at hearing that you had experi- 


enced a great loss by fire, and truly it never once 
came into my head that I myself could have a 
part therein. Then I heard it was not you, but 
your brother, who had been burnt out, and that 
you had published a statement that you had not 
suflEered. However, a circular just received in- 
forms me that a portion of my books has been 
lost, and that is no good news surely. I suppose 
that you are terribly busy now, but hope that 
when things clear away you will kindly let me 
know the extent of the loss. 

I need not say that you have my s)niipathy, 
— not only because a fellow feeling makes us 
wondrous kind, but because I have always 
wished you well with all my heart, and I shall 
never forget how, when I was so grieved that you 
had done so badly with my books, it was you 
who did the consoling, with very great kindness, 
unlike most publishers at such times, but most 
like a friend, as I really believe you to be. And 
so with kind regards to Mrs. Unwin, in which 
Mrs. Leland joins, including Dame Sickert, I 
remain, with sincerest hopes that all may go well 
with you, however I may fare, 

Very sincerely your friend, 

Charles G. Leland. 

THE END 383 


Hotel Victoria, Florence, Dec. 20th, 1895. 

Dear Mr. Unwin, — I am sincerely gratified 
at being invited to contribute to " Cosmopolis," 
and more than usually anxious to do the very 
best I can for it, because I am very desirous that 
you shall succeed. It is a great risk, but it 
promises well. Therefore I have written to Mr. 
Ortmans, stating what I have written, begging 
him to give me some idea of what subject I had 
better choose. I believe that it is inme to con- 
tribute something valuable, but I have had too 
much experience as an editor myself not to know 
that a writer, whatever his ability may be, is 
always better for advice as regards the scope of 
the publication for which he contributes. The 
cleverest elephant needs a good driver — the 
most active monkey must be taught how to pick 
cocoanuts and bring them in, — yea, as I once 
heard a very honest gypsy say of his dog: "He is 
very clever, but he'd never a-been worth seven 
pounds if I had n't teached him how to steal 
rabbits," which is actually true, and it was said 
to me on the edge of the Thames by Moulsey — 
and it was the most infernally ugly lurcher I ever 
saw in my life. [Here follows a drawing of the 


dc^.] If you run short of contributions, you may 
publish my tetters. They are not amusing, — 
but they are so ediQr&^l ... 

Now I have B(M&bk^ strange to tell you. I 
had no ttiou^t of ^'CoiOtiopolis'^ — had not 
hs&td <3i it-^yi^hestk last ni^t, just brfore I fell 
adeep, reftetthig that iSm fmd been the hardeirt: 
ftat for me I ever knew, '^specuniarily speak- 
w^,^* 1 resolved to write to you and ask you, if 
it evcar came in your way, to get me some job ti 
Work, laige or small, in the writing or des^- 
ing way. And with this deep design, I went to 
sleep, and awoke — meaning to write to you 
when handbehM I I was anticipated by your 
frigidly letter ! And to think there ai^ people 
who do not believe in spec&l providences or 
ghosts! I may be wrong, but it seems to me that 
you ought, now and then, or generally, to enliven 
■ the bill of fare a little. There are a great many 
genial good fellows, gentlemen, and scholars 
in England and the Colonies for whom a refined 
and yet jolly monthly would be a godsend. And 
there is really no stich publication in Great 
Britain. I do not mean a comic affair U la 
Bumand. One sees more cheerful humour in the 
provincial press than in the London prints. 
Did you ever hear of the old "Knickerbocker 

THE END 38s 

Magazine" in New York? It was a good-na- 
tured, refined, go-as-you-please concern, with a 
very large and broad editor's table, wherein a 
jolly company of contributors, guided by the edi- 
tor, gossiped, jested, and sang, as they pleased. 
The columns were filled up anyhow, but it was 
very popular in its prime. 

Well — and good success to " Cosmopolis " ! 

With Christmas greetings from me and mine 
to thee and thine, I remain 
Ever your friend, 

Charles Godfrey Leland. 

Through the winter and spring, however, he 
grew weaker physically, until, by June, he could 
not muster strength enough for the daily walk 
back from the Signoria, even after the daily glass 
of beer, now his one dissipation. And my aunt 
was ill, feebler than he. And to make matters 
worse, at Homburg, reached only after the 
effort of packing had brought on serious palpita- 
tions of the heart, it rained almost all through the 
simmier. "It is raining now," was his dreary 
account of it early in September, "it has rained 
all day — it rained all yesterday. As I have 
hardly met a soul with whom I could talk, 
except during the two weeks when my sister 



[Mrs. Harrison] in^is here, I can declare that it 
b&i been not only the dullest summer of my^ 
life, but the dtdlest 4 months I ever experienced 
AnywMfii^. Great God, how stupid it was ! I 
have riol: done much in the way of work beyond 
addiQg a f ew ch^teis to my ^Memoirs' and 
writing a bdd curious, article on Miracles and 
Evolii^on. Mrs. Maxwell, Miss Braddon, was 
hare one day and I had a talk vrith her, which I 
ought to have excepted. A Gypsy or an Italian 
witch would be a godsend" 

Aagiieater pleasure of which he did not write, 
though I know how much it meant to him, was a 
letter, recdved in September, from Bume- Jones, 
in praise of the "Legends of Florence," which 
had been published in 1895 and 1896. It is a 
charming letter. But here it is to speak for it^ 

£dward burne-jones to charles godfrey leland 

The Grange, 49 North End Road, 
West Kensington, W., September, 1896. 

My dear Sir, — This summer I have been 
reading your two books of "Florentine Le- 
gends," and stud3dng — or, to be more accurate, 
reading twice, which is a very poor substitute 
for studying — your book of "Etruscan Roman 

THE END 387 

Remains," all new and inexpressibly delightful 
to me, and this must be my excuse for so out- 
rageously writing to you. 

If you hate answering letters as much as I do, 
you will be justified in taking no notice of this, 
but it ends with a humble sort of supplica- 
tion, that if you are ever in London, you will 
give me the great pleasure of letting me meet 

Besides, you have attacked so much that I 
love, especially in the Etruscan book, that if I 
owe you gratitude, as I do, I think you owe me 
a little reparation. 

Believe me 

Always yours truly, 

Edward Burne- Jones. 

Things were better in Florence; they always 
were. But whatever improvement there may 
have been in his health was not apparent to 
my husband and myself, when we joined him 
at Baveno, on Lago Maggiore, in the summer 
of 1897. He had gone there because he dreaded 
the longer journey to Homburg, and feared a 
repetition of the last season's rains. We had 
seen him only three years before at Siena, but 
we were shocked at the change. Not in his 


fadtti^: he was finlsiliii]^ his ^^Htindied Arts/' 
ocMnpOh^ a volume en ^^Muskal Instruments/' 
writmg and iUustratii^ his ^^Legends ot Yir- 
gii." But fhe shcnteri: ivalk tired him. Theeasy 
e:i^)editio]is to the neai^ towns ob the Lake 
^dbausted Mm, Chou^ he would retum ladai 
with madonnas to repair, and odds and ends 
of tibe brk-h-brae ind^pensable to his hapf4- 
ness. I thought it extraordinary that he ^bottld 
aeeom^diiA evai this little, wl^ I foufid that, 
eaocept at tmakfiast, he ate pmctkally nothii^. 
He had the ai^jstite <d a child and the frame 
oi a giant. Nothing but his interei^ in work 
kept him alive. It seemed to me that if &is 
continued, he could not Kve many miore months. 
But when he could no longer walk in search 
of the ''strange things," as indispensable to 
him as bric-h-braCy and was forced to seek them 
within himself, he met with an adventure that 
was to be as a new lease of life, and that was in 
truth a "great marvel," when his seventy-three 
years and his extreme physical feebleness at 
the time are remembered. But I leave it to him 
to. describe this new adventure. Its beginning 
dated back to the summer months in Baveno, 
as I learn from the pages it fills in the "Mem- 

THE END 389 


Hotel Victoria, Florence, Dec. nth, 1897. 

... I never knew nor heard of any human 
being who lives so secluded as I do. I am in 
love with — absorbed and buried in work. I am, 
if anything, rather better or stronger than I 
was a year ago, and keep perfectly well. I at- 
tribute this to cultivating the Will^ or main- 
tained mental resolution, which has opened to 
me during the past year a new life. Thus it is 
really true that, in all my life, I never could 
write or work so many hours in succession — 
in fact I never tire, though I work all my waking 
minutes — as now. This is absolutely due to the 
habit formed of every night resolving and re- 
peating, with all my WUl, that I will work con 
amore all day long to-morrow. I have also found 
that if we resolve to be vigorous of body and 
of mind, calm, collected, cheerful, etc., that we 
can effect marvels, for it is certainly true that 
after a while the Spirit or will does haunt us 
unconsciously and marvellously. I have, I be- 
lieve, half changed my nature under this dis- 
cipline. I will continually to be free from folly, 
envy, irritability, and vanity, to forgive and for- 
get — and I have found, by witting and often 


reairring to it, that, while I am far from being 
exempt from fault, I have eliminated a vast 
mass of it from my mind. Such things do not 
involuntarily occur now without prompt cor- 
rection, — when they come and I think of old 
wrongs, troubles, etc., I at once say, "Ah, there 
you are — begone!" If I had begun this by 
hypnotising myself long ago, I should, to judge 
from recent experience, have attained to the 
miraculous. I begin to realise in very fact that 
there are tremendous powers, quite unknown 
to us, in the mind, and that we can perhaps 
by long continued steady will awake abilities 
of which we never dreamed. Thus you can by 
repetition will yourself to notice hundreds of 
things which used to escape you, and this soon 
begins to appear to be miraculous. You must 
will and think the things over and over as if 
learning a lesson, saying or rather thinking to 
yourself intently, "I will that all day to-mor- 
row I shall notice every little thing." And 
though you forget all about it, it will not forget 
itself, and it will haunt you, and you will no- 
tice all kinds of things. After doing this a dozen 
times, you will have a new faculty awakened. 
It is certainly true that, as Kant wrote to Hufe- 
land, many diseases can be cured by resolving 

THE END 391 

them away — he thought the gout could be. 
But it cannot be done all at once — it needs 
long and continued eflfort to bring this to pass 
with confident faith. I certainly think that I 
have improved my health by it. 

He was so in love with work, so convinced 
of the eflScacy of Will, that only three months 
later (March 28, 1898), he wrote to me, "I have 
finished a book of which I daresay I have spoken 
before. It is entitled 'Have You a Strong Will? * 
and shows how the mind may be trained by 
making a resolve and thinking it over as we go 
to sleep, to feel the next day, and all day, peace- 
ful, industrious, etc." The book (published by 
Redway, 1899) niust also have been some help 
to others, for it has gone into three editions, 
and I have come upon letter after letter on the 
subject from men and women who were stran- 
gers to him, but who wrote in gratitude or sym- 

It was too late for the new practice, or pre- 
scription, to restore his strength, but it made 
his next two or three years more peaceful. 
Certainly new life animated his letters. The 
few that follow will give some idea of how wide 
and varied his interests still were, how keen 


his faculties, and how ardently the old patriot- 
ism was aroused by the first appeal. 


Hotel Victoria, Florence, March 25th, 1898. 

My dear Friend, — It was with great plea- 
sure that I read your last letter. There are very 
few people left of the last generation, like me, 
who practise the lost art of letter-writing. Dr. 
Holmes was one of them. He never wrote a 
letter, however short, into which he did not 
put at least one witty or clever point. This was 
so invariable that I at last made sure that it 
was a principle with him. . . . My life is now 
very quiet and uneventful. I have grown phys- 
ically much weaker, but preserve good average 
health. . . . 

The Cuban troubles trouble me, for I have 
all my life long pitied the Cubans. Every na- 
tion in Europe, except England, is really against 
America. The English really understand our 
situation, and it is much like their own. The 
French hate us worst of all. They wanted once 
to occupy Mexico and perhaps had an eye to 
Cuba. But to see John Bull in Egypt and us 
in Cuba is maddening. Once the French had 
India, Egypt, Canada, all the West of America, 

THE END 393 

and the Suez Canal. And they lost them all to 
England or to us. And this sense of being a 
cat's paw to the English (we are all the same) 
is humiliating. Now, all their hope is in Russia. 
France, Spain and Germany cannot colonise, 
because they all three oppress their colonies — 
tax and govern them too much, even cruelly. 
A German in a German colony has to endure 
more bullying than at home. The French all 
hope to return to France some day. The Eng- 
lish, even in India, are just, even when severe. 
It is amusing to see how every day they are 
bu)dng up Egypt and getting to own it as pro- 
prietors. If the French had Eg5^t, they could 
not buy out the English companies who own 
banks, public works, etc. It is like the English 
island of Campobello, which belongs to Ameri- 
cans. ... 

So a Mr. Scespanik (pronounce Sh6-panik 
and think of a mob of frightened women) has 
invented the art of seeing anybody far away! 
Next the fl3dng-machine. Then fuel from air — 
I wonder that this was not perfected long ago. 
Then pure glass, infinite lenses, and we shall 
see what people are doing in Mars. And so 
on! . . . 


The next letter refers to the Life of Franklkt 
by my brother, who had just sent a copy of it 
to the Rye, 


Hotel Victoria, Florence, May 22, 1898. 

My bear Ned, — I have received and read 
your "FrankUn." I need not say it was with 
pleasure, for I very nearly finished it at one 
sitting, and should have done so in feet, had I 
b^un to read 20 minutes sooner. And for its 
inerits, you have, evidaitly enough, read the 
subject up thoroughly and judiciously — it is 
a great art to know how to read up anything^ 
requiring a natural talait of perc^tion and 
selection. Secondly, you have chosen well wlmt 
to give according to the limits of your bodk. 
There are a few small items which I would have 
included, however. In the allusion to Ralph 
and Pope, you might just as well have quoted : — 

Silence, ye wolves, while 
Ralph to Cynthia howls ! etc. 

And you certainly should have said that Thomas 
Godfrey (a collateral relative of mine by the 
mother's side) invented the Quadrant. I, as a 
boy, subscribed a dollar to raise a monument to 

THE END 395 

Mrs. Kinsman, an own niece of Franklin's, 
told me that of all the many portraits of Franklin 
which she had ever seen, the statue over the 
Library was the most perfect, having just his 
expression ; I forget whether it was Mrs. Kins- 
man or another niece, Mrs. McCaw, who gave 
me the cotton quilt which was over Franklin 
when he died. I treasured it for many years, but 
fear it is lost now. 

Your style is admirable, clear and simple, often 
delicately humorous. You have made it clearer 
to me than any one else did before, that Franklin 
was a many-sided and universal Genius, as the 
really first class man always or generally is, e. g., 
Goethe, Napoleon, Peter the Great. . . . 

There is a quaint little old engraving, in some 
juvenile book, of Miss Read laughing at Frank- 
lin at their first interview. You might reproduce 
it in some future edition. 

There is a very good sketch of Franklin as 
a boy, given in one of Miss Leslie's stories. It 
might also be reproduced. 

Capt. Thos. Hutchins was Geographer Gen- 
eral to the United States during the Rev. War. 
He was some time in England, where he served as 
spy. Then he went over to France, and at Passy 
took the oath of allegiance to the United States. 


Franklin delivered the oath and gave and signed 
a certificate of it. This I have put away in Phila- 
delphia. If you can, or the quilt, you may 
have it. Or if it ever comes to light, it is yours. 
Hutchins and the oath are mentioned in a bio- 
graphy of him. 

I send you a little life of Franklin translated 
into Italian from the German. It is like yours in 
some details, but far inferior. 

I wish you would write a book on distin- 
guished Philadelphians. John Fitch and Fulton 
really belong to us, for it was in Philadelphia that 
the steamboat was imagined and perfected. And 
there is a great want in our national literature of 
works which really .reproduce the spirit or ro- 
mance or picturesqueness of the past, or of the 
old Colonial time. The few touches (only a few 
paragraphs) in my "Memoirs" devoted to old 
Philadelphia did more to awake interest in the 
book than all the rest put together. There must 
be the same old Swedish and Dutch literature 
about Philadelphia extant. — And there is a 
great deal which is curious and merry in the old 
newspapers in the Historical Soc. Library. . . . 

He wrote to me so constantly through the 
summer of 1898 — except for the few days when 

THE END 397 

my husband and I, cycling down to the Austrian 
Tyrol, stopped at Homburg — that I again give 
extracts from his letters in the form of the 
journal they really were. 


Hamburg, June i6th, 1898. I was, for more 
than a week before leaving Florence, very ill 
indeed with gout in the throat; it came in an 
hour, just as the last things were packed up, 
and my sufferings were fearful. Then I was 
cured by cocaine, which made me so nervous 
that I saw spectres, etc. One day I was in my 
sick bed, on the next we got into the train, and 
in 30 hours were over Switzerland and here. I 
bore the journey perfectly well, and as soon as 
we were over the Gothard, I was renewed. We 
arrived here a week ago. Poor Aunt Belle is very 
much reduced and worn, but we have had per- 
fect weather — have our old rooms, and black- 
birds sing near our windows, while the Cur- 
garten with musik is over the way. Everybody 
remembers us, — the maid brought up several 
tools and a Dalmatian knife which I had forgot- 
ten and left here two years ago ! Be^r is very 
good and costs about a third of what it does 
in Florence, but sundry other pleasing extrava- 



ganoes peculiar to a great city are wanting hone 
— old books and bric-h-brac — it is sometfaiii^ 
to see the Perseus of Cellini every day, and the 

Hamburg^ June 29th, 1898. ... By far the 
best work I ever wrote has just been declined, 
"Have you a Strong Will?" ... By means of 
the very easy process described, I have actually 
achieved marvellous results, beycmd all belief. 
I believe, for instance, that my late coming from 
Florence in such good condition was due to it. 
• • . I take a great interest in the war. Germany, 
to get a foothold in the Philippines, is risking 
tremendous danger, — firstly war with us, and 
secondly the internal dissension which would 
arise from exciting 7,000,000 Germans in Amer- 
ica, who are all pro-American and Socialists. 
Germany would lose, I say, because England 
would back us up, and a general war ensue. If the 
Germans and French had had the sense of idiots, 
they could have got as much of the Philippines 
as they wanted. We could have shared with 
them willingly. But no — they must needs let 
all the Press loose on us, and threaten us through 
their diplomatists. It is funny to see France and 
Germany about to unite against us. So much 
for greed and envy. "The Dutch are hogs." 


Memoirs, 2 vols. London : William Heinemann, 1893. 

Etruscan-Roman Remains in Popular Tradition. Lon- 
don: T. Fisher Unwin, 1893. 

Hans Breitmann in Germany, Tyrol. London : T. Fisher 
Unwin, 1894. 

Elementary Metal Work. London : Whittaker & Co., 

Songs of the Sea and Lays of the Land. London : Adam 
and Charles Black, 1895. 

Legends of Florence. 2 vols. London : David Nutt, 

A Manual of Mending and Repairing. London : Chatto 
& Windus, 1896. 

Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches. London : David 
Nutt, 1899. 

Have You a Strong Will ? London : George Redway, 

Legends of Virgil. London : Eliot Stock, 1901. 

Flaxius. Leaves from the Life of an Immortal. Lon- 
don : Philip Wellby, 1902. 

Kuldskap the Master. In collaboration with Profes- 
sor J. D3meley Prince. New York and London : 
Funk & Wagnalls Co., 1902. 

The Alternate Sex. London: Philip Wellby, 1902. 


About, Edmond, 11: 58. 
Abraham a Santa Clara, 1 : 198. 
Acquaquintum, Hungary, II : 

345; mosaic at, II: 307. 
Adeler, Max, pseud. See 

Clark, Charles Heber. 
^Esthetics, Leland's study of, 

I*. 9Si i7o» 174- 
Agassiz, Jean Louis Rodolphe, 

1:248, 299, 311, 407. 
Albert Edward, Prince of 

Wales, afterward Edward 

VII, 11:302. 
Albertus Magnus, Legend of, 

Alcott, A. Bionson, I: 28, 29, 

33; II: 119. 
Aldrich, Thomas Bailey, 1 : 245, 

Alexander, King of the Voo- 
doos, II: 319, 320, 321; death 

. o^» 356, 357. 
Alexander, James, I: 61. 

Alexander, John White, II : 23. 

Alger, Abby, II : 191, 205, 234. • 

Algonkin Indians, Leland's 
great - grandfather prisoner 
among the, 1 : 20, 21 ; 11 : 241, 
248, 362; poetry of the, II: 
245, 246, 247; lectures on 
legends of the, 271, 273. 

Allingham, William, II: 20. 

Almanach des Grisettes, 1 : 168. 

America, feeling toward in 

Europe, II: 392. 
American Cyclopaedia, I: 245, 

American Party, I: $2. 

Americans, character of many 
travelling in Europe, I: 93, 
105, 152; 11: 287; meeting of 
those in Paris, in regard to 
the Revolution (1848), I : 

Americanisms, Leland's plan 
for a dictionary of, II: 314. 

Amulets, an old book on, 11: 

Angel of the Odd, Leland's, I: 

78, 131; 11: 313. 
Anstey, F., pseud. 5e0 Guthrie. 
Arago, Etienne, I: 311. 
Arbuthnot, Mrs., II : 338, 424. 
Arnold, Sir Edwin, 11: 21, 22. 
Arnold, Matthew, II: 112, 113, 

Art, effort to create general 

taste for, in America, II : 74. 

Babylonian-Ninevite sorcery, 

Baedeker, Karl, 1 : 329. 
Bagni di Lucca, Piedmontese 

Gypsies at, II: 212. 
Baker, Florence, Lady, wife of 

Sir Samuel, II: 12. 

THE END 401 

yesterday and had a gay time. They called me 
KokOy which seemed so much like you! 

Hofnburgy Oct. 4th, 1898. . . . Hutchinson's 
little tobacco poetry book is, of course, lovely 
imto me. However, I thought so before I came 
across the compliments which he pays me. . . . 
I shall be delighted to return to Florence. I have 
absolutely no human being to speak to here. 
And I am anxious to get to work for the "Archi- 
tectural Review." 

Florence, Nov. i6th. I have been very ill in 
bed — 2 weeks, in the house nearly 4. I had 
gout in the foot, inflammation of the lungs, and 
a bad influenza, all at once. Dr. B. says, and 
has said thrice, it was a very bad attack. Now 
note that I never once complained, or swore, or 
fretted, but bore it like a brass statue and never 
heeded it. I knew the pain was there, but wotd^ 
not think of it. B. says that this shortened the 
attack and greatly helped to cure me. 

Florence, Dec. 3d, 1898. ... I am still con- 
fined to my room, the gout is a little better every 
day — no more pain to speak of, except when I 
walk. I have just now really nothing literary to 
do, so am occupied with restoring a high relief 
image of the Madonna and child. ... It took 
two entire days to restore it. The Christ's head is 


gone. I only gave 5 francs for it — it was so 
awfully dilapidated^ but It will look worth 1000 
when ckHie. XV. century^ rather late. * * « 

Jan. yisli^ 1899. . . .:£liot Stock is willing 
to printavdiunieof my "Virgil Legends." . •, . 

I insert a l^ter, written before the end of the 
ypar^ to Miss Annie Dymes, Secretary of the 
Home Arts Association, as one of many exam- 
ples of the thought he ever gave to old friends 
and old interests. 


Hotel Victoria,. 44, Limo Arxo Vbspvcci* t 
FxxnisNCB, No?. 21, 189S. 

P^SAR Annie, 

Earnestly I (miyed leuit i4ght 
To my gaardian angel sprite, 

that I might hear good news this day, and it came 
in the form of a card from Miss Mabel de Grey, 
informing me that you have been reappointed — 
from which I conclude that there is some justice 
left in the world. That there could have been 
any opposition to it is so monstrous that I, 
though fairly familiar with meanness and self- 
ishness and ingratitude, was *' choked" at the 
idea. Ebbene — I congratulate you, and assure 

THE END 403 

you that I shall in future have a better opinion 
of human nature. 

And I send the kindest greeting which heart 
can conceive, with "the benediction of the wiz- 
ard" (I am supposed in certain humble circles 
here to possess it) to Miss Mabel de Grey, who 
greatly touched me by her solicitude in your be- 
half. God bless you both in every way. 

May Diana the queen of the moon, 
The Sun and the Stars, 
Earth and sky, 
Send you for-tune ! 

I was reminded of you yesterday. I have written 
a book entitled "Have You a Strong Will?" or 
how to develop it and other states of mind by 
an easy process of self-hypnotism. 

Yesterday, I sent back the revise of the proofs. 
In it, I cited a remark which I once heard you 
make, that there ou^t to be Temples raised 
to the Will. I give your name, adding that 
I would, instead, raise school-houses where the 
young should be taught how to form the Will. 

When the book shall appear, pray send a note 
to G. Redway, 9 Hart St., Bloomsbury, and say 
that I request him to send you a copy. I put you 
to this trouble because I may forget it and I want 
you to read it. 



fs^ IM' a visk' fix^a a very ctenniiig Miss 
-*— r-. She was attacked by bri^uids^a short tkne 

A|^, atid^ fiMi|^ 1Q» a wlUkat, tackling a man 
w^ 4' {Hirtoi --^ &uifl]p fhe coachman saved 
ft^. A^^^iNttifl: Itftika cttntieman wtth her save 
t^alt^ had— 1^50 finilics^*^ and then wanted 
l^r to marry Mm! I%e &t i^meiiean — I always 
believed her Ei^eAi. 
Write soon ta your old friendi 

Ckasles Ooderey Leland. 

The gout and influenza left him very weak all 
throilgh tile winter of 1899; ^^^^^ "Mfik I knew 
when he Wrote me, "I have two op tihiee cook 
books for you, very liice cmes, mud absolutely 
lack the energy to hunt up wraf^ng paper and 
do ih^tn up and mail ihem" — and this, after 
he had been visiting the barrows of the Signoria 
in behalf of my collectioh for the last three or 
four years. He could not risk going out in damp 
or stormy weather. But he got through an enor- 
mous amount of work. Another book, " Aradia, 
or the Gospel of the Witches," was in the press 
(Nutt). He wrote a novel to amuse himself, 
and finished a collection of studies of Vagabonds. 
He began a series of Gypsy stories and sketches, 
and planned a book in Shelta with Mr. Sampson. 

THE END 40s 

He sold his "Hundred Arts." He could forget 
his increasing feebleness in writing and in the 
practice of the "little arts," — he was always 
restoring madonnas, binding books, carving 
panels, making frames in gesso, or decorating 
the innumerable trifles he loved to give to his 
friends. But he was glad when spring came. 

charles godfrey leland to miss mary a. owen 

Hotel Victoria, 44, Lung Arno Vespucci, 
Florence, May nth, 1899. 

... I am beginning to feel like a bear at the 
end of winter, as if I had lived long enough by 
sucking my own paws. I am drawing on my old 
experiences and not making or gathering new 
ones. That is a bad sign when an old man goes 
on ever telling the same old stories. However, 
the Strong Will was a new idea, and I may get 
another ! I do so love new work, — 

To change our occupation 
Is evei^recreation. 

I am astonished that there is so little in the 
American newspapers about our doings in Cuba 
and Porto Rico. I suppose that we are pushing 
on there all the time, but I see no signs of it. As 
for Manila, I am too disgusted with Boston 
Babyishness to express myself. We must and 


ought to be like England in the world and doing 
our work everywhere, and not subside into a 
Yankee China, as we were doing before the war. 
However, your West will take care of all that, 
and, since I have felt it, my heart has gone 

What I would like to see, albeit it is impossible, 
would be a joint protectorate of all the West 
Indies and Philippines equally shared between 
England and America. ... I fear a time may 
come when it will require England, America, 
and Russia to keep John Chinaman from over- 
running the whole world, our share of it in- 
cluded. When he gets ships, we shall see trouble ; 
perhaps we had all better subdue him now, and 
divide his land ! A coalition between Chinese and 
Hindoos is possible, and an Exodus of 20,000,000 
or more would not be missed. Even 50 millions 
could be spared from 600,000,000, and 50 mil- 
lions armed could conquer Europe and trouble 
Us I All of which becomes^possible if China 
should take to steam-engines and science — 
which it is beginning to do. 

A paragraph in another letter to Miss Owen, 
written from Homburg a few months later, I 
quote to show how his thoughts were ever carry- 

THE END 407 

ing him back, in every, even the smallest, way to 
his own country. "Homburg is supposed to be 
the gaiest summer resort in Europe — but oh, 
how flat and fade it is compared to what Cape 
May used to be in the old times, with the bathing 
in the surf, the tenpin alleys, the walks on the 
beach, the sea breezes! How flat and poor is 
German wine and the best amber Pilsener beer 
compared to a mint- julep or a sherry-cobbler!" 

In the autumn, the Oriental Congress was 
held in Rome. He could not go, but he sent a 
paper. "I received two telegrams yesterday 
from Rome," he wrote me on October 12th 
(1899), and I have found the two telegrams 
among his papers. "The Oriental Congress is 
being held there, and I sent a very curious paper 
in Italian, on the identity of Virgil with Buddha 
as a magician. Thus the mother of both was 
named Maia, they were both identified with a 
mysterious tree of life. Buddha in his first in- 
carnation was a physician, Virgil was identical 
with Esculapius, etc., etc. The telegrams an- 
nounce it was applauditissinta or applaudest — 
and the Countess Evelyn di Martinengo, that it 
was stupendamente gran successo — which means 
at least that it was not a failure." 

The book on the Will introduced new friends 



mi mdma&i old ones, and he saw soiQething, 
BOW9 of Dr. Franz Hartmaimy Colcmd OkxAtf 
add a Iktte gi^piq) of llieosophiste living at 
BeUo^uaido. P€ilia{» h was thanks to thrai 
^t he set out on a new adventurei adapted to 
lainy weather, ^^OTstalgaaai^. The intei^t he 
tidck m it is revealed m a series of letters he wrote 
to Mr. Harry W3aon, Omx editor of llie ^'Archi- 
tectural Revfew," ior whom he i»epared an 
aitide on die sml^ect. 



Hotel Victoria, Florbncb; March 16, 1900. 

I^BAE Mr. W11SON9 — Aslhavethe^^artide," 
a m<Hiograt^ on Magic Mirrors, aH rea%, I serd 
it to you. As it lay befexie me, in catne CHcott 
&e Hieoaofdiisti who gave me the bit of infcmna- 
tion on the subject which I have added. 

There was once published somewhere, I now 
forget in what, a picture of Earl Stanhope's 
famous crystal ball. If you can find it and add 
it to the Chinese and Etruscan mirrors it would 
be an improvement. 

It lately occurred to me to make casts with 
tin-foil. Instead of oiliQg the relief to be cast, lay 
tin-foil on it and squeeze it well in, — oil would 
spoil many objects. After I had invented this I 

THE END 409 

found it in Cennini, 1490. I have made a paper 
on it. . . . 
In haste, 

Yours truly, 

Charles G. Leland. 
P. S. Perhaps by a little inquiry you may add 
to the illustrations of magic mirrors, etc. 

Hotel Victoria, Florence, March 18, 19CX). 

Dear Mr. Wdlson, — I send 4 designs which 
should have accompanied the article on Magic 
Mirrors. It may be that some ingenious folk 
will like to make frames. I ought to be inspired 
for occult work since both Olcott — per ana- 
gramma Qcoltt — and Franz Hartmann are 
among my visitors. In haste, 
Yours truly, 

Charles Godfrey Leland. 

Hotel Victoria, Florence, March 25, 1900. 

Dear Mr. Wilson, — I send herewith a 
small MS. not containing, as you suggested, 
folk-lore on the subject of occult crystals and 
mirrors (of which, however, I could give a great 
deal), but what will be, I think, far more interest- 
ing, viz., an account of the things which I my- 
self have seen in conjuring stones, with careful 


copies, showing how any pasdn may master tibe 

art even to seeing pictures as accurate ascolouied 
miniatures. It will make altogether a Id^artide^ 
but most assuredly a very g^ierally inta^esdn^ 

I have never read anything which eiqilained 
the phenomena and showed what a ptactical mad 
useful art it might be to designers and suggestive 
of Quick Perception to childron. 
Yours truly, 

Chakies Godfrey Ijblahd. 

Hotel Victoria, Florence, March 27, 1900^ 

Dear Mr. Wilson, — Ecce itemmi — yon 
will think that the magic mirrors will nevoromie 
to an end. But since I sent you the sea>x3Kl siq[i^ 
plement I discovered in an old book, three addi- 
tional kinds of magic mirrors, so curious and 
easily made that 't would be a pity to leave them 
out, so I send them. I think that the whole will 
be interesting to most readers. 
Yours very truly, 

Charles Godfrey Leland. 

Hotel Victoria, Florence, March 31, 1900. 

Dear Mr. Wu.son, — This is becoming pre- 
posterous, but a picture of an Egyptian magic 

THE END 411 

mirror which I found in an Italian work, " L' Arte 
del Vetro," and a very curious passage in Pliny 
on mirrors of black stone which gave shadows 
instead of reflections, will cause you to reflect 
that this is a marvellous support to what I have 

Yours truly, 

Charles Godfrey Leland. 

Save for this new pastime, and the writing and 
researches it involved, the winter of 1900 was 
largely a repetition of the winter of 1899. And 
the summer was rainy, and in Homburg he was a 
prisoner, as in Florence. But when the sun did 
shine, there was the chance of meeting strange 
people, and one adventure of the kind I like to 
think he had, for it was to be his last, could 
he have known it, in Homburg or anywhere 
else on this earth. The story is in a letter to 
Miss Owen. 


Homburg, June 27th, 1900. 

I have not had a talk with more than one 
person since we have been here, for I don't count 
a few wearisome exchanges of commonplace 
with two or three matrons as conversation. That 


talk was a few da]^ ago in an Qkl-fiushknied shop, 
where I found a Rutfaenian Slovak fircnn the 
Turkish border, a pedlar stuck aD round with 
pipe-stems, arms, — yea, bristling with real or 
sham Orientalisms, with a fez or tarboosh on his 
head, and in g^eral array Slavonian theatrical^ 
a good-looking, youngish man, who could not 
speak German. So we plunged, to his ineflEable 
amazement and joy, into a conversation com- 
posed of Bohemian-Czech, with bits of Russian, 
Gypsfy, and Italian, — in fact, an^kmg at all. 
He had a dagger whkh I fended ('twas for 
75 cents), and when I asked him Sholko lum- 
jari? (How much the dagger?) he cried aloud 
with admiration, for hanjar is the r^ular Turic 
word and not yataghan. So I bought it and 
had great fun, to the immense amusement of 
the shopman and his family, etc., who are old 
acquaintances of mine. The man could not talk 
Romany, but he greatly admired me for having 
it. He thought I was a Pole — then it occurred 
to me that most Poles talk Bohemian, which, 
next to English, will take a man further in the 
world, perhaps, than any other language, for it 
is intelligible to all Russians, Poles, etc. . . . 
Though I eat and sleep well here, I get no 
stronger. We have a very good, yes, a famous 



head of Gypsy-Lore Society, 
Journalism, pecuniary re- 
wards of, I: 323. 

Kant, Immanuel, II: 390. 
Kaw Indians, Leland's initia- 
tion into the tribe of, I: 

21, 288; II: 230-232. 
Keene, Charles Samuel, II: 8, 

22, 24. 

Kellogg, Clara Louise, I: 373. 
Kemble, Frances Anne, 1 : 65, 

66, 147, 204, 239, 315; her 

readings, 316. 
Kentucky Giant, tomb of the, 

I: 282. 
Kemer, Justinus, I: 82. 
Kerr, Lord, II : 295. 
Killamey, Ireland, II: 35. 
Kimball, Richard B., I: 210, 

218, 219, 221, 230, 297; urges 

Leland to settle in New York, 

228, 229. 
Kinsman, Mrs., II: 395. 
Kipling, Rudyard, II: 179. 
Kirchweihe, I: 88, 122. 
Kissel, Gus, II: 71. 
Knapp, William Ireland, II: 

Knickerbocker Magazine, I ; 

57, 210, 222, 232, 242, 327; 

II: 384, 385; changes in 

policy of, I: 246, 247. 
Knightley, Morella (Shaw), 

II: 173. 
Know -Nothing Party. See 

American Party. 

Koch, Miss, 1 : 387. 
Kock, Paul de, 1: 165. 
Kossuth, Lajos, I: 213, 214. 

Lablache, Luigi, 1: 158, 203. 

Lafayette, in Philadelphia, I: 

Lager beer, Leland's introduc- 
tion of, into Philadelphia, 
I: 208. 

Lamb, Charles, I: 31. 

Lamborn, Robert, II: 232. 

Lamboum, H., I: 273. 

Lancaster, Sir Charles, 1 : 400. 

Landberg, Coimt, II: 321, 322. 

Landis, Capt., I: 265. 

Landor, Walter Savage, II: 

Lang, Andrew, II: 351, 361, 

La Rochefoucauld, Francois, 

I: 161, 166. 
Laurence, Mary, 1 : 92. 
Layard, Lady, II: 281. 
Layard, Sir Henry, II : 284. 
Lea, Joseph, 1: 282. 
Lea, Anna M. See Merritt, 

Anna M. (Lea). 
Lea, Nanny. See Merritt, 

Anna M. (Lea). 
Leather-work, Leland's desire 

to learn, II: 295. 
Leconte, John Lawrence, I: 

Lee, Robert Edward, I: 265, 


Legends, importation and 

adaptation of, II: 294. 


collaboration with the Rev. Wood Brown. And 
then the blow fell, from which he never entirely 
rallied* On the 29th of December (1900), Mrs. 
Leland had a severe paralytic stroke, the third, 
though the first two had been so slight that I do 
not think she, or he either, knew their gravity at 
the time. Now, her left side was paralysed, her 
^)eech for a while was affected, for weeks ^e 
hmig between life and death. 

No year bron^t me a packet of letters from 
the Rye so large as 1901, though I was with him 
in Florence for a short time in the winter, and 
again during August at the Villa Maigherita, 
near San MarceUo, in the moimtains above 
Pistoia; and my husband was in Italy, and saw 
jhim constantly throughout that spring and sum- 
mer. The letters are too intimate to print. All the 
tragedy of his wife's illness is in them. He had 
been married over forty years and had rarely been 
separated from her. His affection was a part of 
his life ; she had always relieved him from every 
petty care and discomfort; and now he had to 
watch her suffer from one of the most cruel of all 
diseases. And he had to face new duties, trifling 
in themselves, but of a kind he had never faced 
before, and his own age and feebleness magni- 
fied them in his eyes. I can still see him strug- 

THE END 415 

gling with his accounts, as hopelessly as he had 
struggled with the multiplication table in the 
old Philadelphia school-days long years before. 
Friends came to his aid. Mrs. Boker, the daugh- 
ter-in-law of the man who had been as a bro- 
ther to him, journeyed up from Rome at once 
when news of Mrs. Leland's illness reached her, 
and Mr. and Mrs. Harrison, as fast as steamer 
and train could bring them, hurried to Florence 
from Philadelphia. The days and weeks dragged 
on. My aunt got better, but was too weak for the 
journey home that Mr. and Mrs. Harrison had 
hoped possible. In the spring the Rye was alone 
with her again. And news reached him of the 
death of his sister, Mrs. Thorp. I hardly know 
how he lived through the weary months. 

And yet, he made the arrangements for the 
summer at the Villa Margherita, and he was no 
sooner up there than he started to teach the 
minor arts to the young people in the hotel. 
When I joined him in August, the peace of the 
mountains seemed to have fallen upon him. He 
was doing little writing, though stirred out of his 
apathy by letters both from Bombay and Phila- 
delphia, asking his advice for classes in the minor 
arts according to his method. His talk was more 
extraordinary than ever, as if all the old energy 


for wofk had gone into it* leu never fccgetliiniy 
iw li f Mtt at thg htud of tli p loing twM^i friH**g cm^ 
American atorjr after anodier with a joj that 
made me understand all the moie the repotaticm 
Judge Fisher had ffv&k hhn. But I reaxmb&r 
him brtter on ^ aft e rno o n walk, now no far- 
ther than across the stream bdund the hous^ 
and up tiie little hiUside to the dearii]^ under die 
He was mostty sitent theie. Whcsihe 

Ml ;':'jii 

talk, it was of the past, as if he hxdoed to no 
future in this world. I carried away with me a 
picture of him, — his life woik compMed, at rest 
in the cool of the late aftemocm, under the diest- 

I might have known the fires had not biHitt 
out, but only smouldered. He had hardly 
returned to Eiorraice in October before he was 
arranging for a second edition of "Have You a 
Strong Will?" for the publication of "Flaxius," 
and for a new and abridged edition of "Breit- 
mann." By January (1902), he was carrying 
on the vigorous correspondence I have quoted, 
with Prof. Dyneley Prince, and writing to me 
about it in the old jubilant vein. "I have been 
having a regular spree of work ; few enjoy it as I 
do," was the way he put it in a letter written on 
Jan. loth, 1902. On April 6th, he reported, "My 

THE END 417 

book on *The Alternate Sex' is now ready for 
Wellby if he wants it." And he was prepar- 
ing still another work, "Mind in Nature, or 
Materialism the Only Basis for a Belief in God 
and the Immortality of the Soul." But he also 
reported: "I had indeed an attack a few days 
ago which I feared would be a paralysis. I saw 
things double and felt my brain and sight af- 
fected, and could hardly walk at all." The last 
real "spree of work" was over. Though my 
husband, again in Italy, sent me reassuring 
news, in June for a week the Rye was so ill he . 
thought death a question of hours. Nor was Mrs. 
Leland any better. They went to the Villa 
Margherita in July. It seemed the only chance 
for both. But the journey was more than my 
aunt could stand. The end — the release — 
came almost immediately. She died on the 9th 
of July. "It is a rest after such long suflFering," 
his letter said, "but, oh! how I miss the wife 
of more than forty years ! I miss even the cares 
and anxiety and troubles. I must be alone for a 
long time." "I have^wept very little," he wrote 
again, "and my grief is promptly met by the 
memory of the immediate relief from suffering 
which your poor aunt found in death." 
He was stunned. He tried turning to work, 


with a sudden flaring up of the old fire of energy. 
But I had no more hope after the next letter — 
the last — he wrote to me. 

charles godfrey leland to e. r. penneli* 

Villa Margherita, Limestre Pistoiesk, 

Sept. 22, 1902. 

Dear Pen, — I have not been inclined to 
write, and am in arrears to many people. Of 
late, I have been ill, though not confined to bed. 
When Belle died, I took to drawing all day and 
often in the evening, so that, by excess of labour^ 
I lately brought on frightful nervous suflFering. 
The doctor here did me a little good and I am 
mending. When I go to bed, I fall asleep and 
am tormented with images of designs, or a state 
like delirium of confused ideas sets in. This is 
getting better. To-morrow I shall return to 
Florence. I am perfectly well and very sound of 
mind when awake, but sadly weak. . . . 

I should be doing scant justice to my uncle's 
memory, if I did not leave, a record not only of 
his growing weakness, but of his unfailing inter- 
est in others that old age and illness could not 
destroy. One incident of it I have from Mr. 
Brown. Others are in letters to Miss Owen. In 

THE END 419 

writing to me, Mr. Brown has recalled the time, 
near the last days, "when hearing of Mrs. 
Leland's death I drove in a July morning up the 
thirty miles of the Lima Valley and found him 
at San Marcello. Some memories of that day are 
too sacred for words, but, passing these, there 
was the moment after lunch when he introduced 
me to an Irish friend, with whom we both took 
coffee in the garden. As we drew up chairs to 
our particular table, Mr. Leland said, 'Now 
we shall shut out all the Sassenach y^ and there 
followed half an hour of the old delightful, in- 
comparable talk in which he led, as always, 
sinking his own deep sorrow under the inimitable 
tact which the moment called for, and which 
developed all that was best and raciest in his 
companions, to crown it at last with the inevit- 
able touch which he knew so well how to supply. 
It was the last time I saw him in what could be 
called his health and strength." 


Villa Margherita, Limestre Pistoiese, 
Italy, Aug. 13, 1902. 

My dear friend, — I was glad to get your 
letter of July 30th. I am all alone, but not suffer- 
ing from it, except that I miss her who was my 



^ 53* 5^ 59* 118, 170, 973t 
994; Ids new Bi^^ow Ptf- 
piBiB, I: 948^ 949; Ldand's 
ftdmintkjii fovy 950* fetten to 
leland from, 351, 252, 389- 
39fl> 995-396; his '^0om 

Papen, 547* 349* 354f 357; 
Mb HatBOEMnt legsvdfog tlie 
difficulties of Ameiicsii dip- 
kmats absoad, 4x3; dinner 
iOi hf Rabelais Onb^ 11: 
3$3, 379. 

LtuUow, Ffta-Hni^, I: 955, 

Ludwig^ King of Bavaiia, I: 

Luth^, i^^ft^t fa, Leland's dis- 
covery of an edition of his 
Catechism, 11: 96. 

Lyly, Jdm, Leland finds a 
Uack4etter copy of bis Eu- 
phues, 1: 69. 

Macakster, Chaxies, I: 30. 
MacAlister, James, II: loi. 
Macaronic poetry, Delapierre*s 

definition of, 1 : 346. 
Macaulay, Frank, II: 336. 
McCaw, Mrs., II: 395. 
McClellan, George Brinton, I: 


Mcllvaine, , I: 91. 

Maclean, John, I: 52. 
MacRitchle, David, II: 185, 

198, 211, 214, 220, 320, 350; 
his letters to Leland regard- 
ing the G)rpsy-Lore Society, 

199, 200, 201, 204, 205, 206; 

lettexs from Leland to, 907, 
908^x0, 996, 995t, 344-346; 
bis coDtribiitiQiis to the study 
of Sheha, 999, 993, 995. 

MftcVeai^ Wayne, II: XX3. 

Maddalena, a soreness, Ilr 
309* 3^^ 34Z> 343, 349> 37^' 

37a. 378* 379- 
Msgic, nature of, 11: 395. See 

aisaSotoaj, Witdicmlt 

Magpie miixon, 11: 408, 409, 


I4'ii"bf^ tta", meaning of ^tnn 
name, II: 366. 

Maitlaiid, Edward, 11: 39. 

Manual txainini^ in ^ pul^c 
scbools, n: 86, 93> 93> 94; 
introduced into Philadelphia 
schools, 9<6, 98; introduced 
ix^ schods of Hm^gaxy, 308. 

Mars^iexita, Qmaa. of Italy, II: 

Marietta, a sorceress, H: 379. 
Martin, Benjamin EBis, 1: 998. 

Martineau, Harriet, II: 4. 

Martinengo, Countess Evelyn 
di, II: 407. 

Masefield, John, I: 353. 

Mason, Lydia, I: 311. 

Mathematics, Leland's inap- 
titude for, I: 28, 41, 52, 62, 
79; II: 421, 422. 

Mather, Rev. Increase, 1 : 38. 

Matthews, Mrs., a Gypsy, II: 

i55» 156. 
Maudsley, Henry, II: 293, 295. 
Maxwell, Mary Elizabeth 

(Braddon), 11:386. 

THE END 421 


Hotel Victoria, Florence, October, 1902. 

My dear Friend, — To read a letter like 
yours makes me realise how charming it would 
be to be able to talk to you. I am suflFering more 
than I ever supposed it would be possible from 
the want of some one in my life to turn to, to 
consult, to talk with. Almost every human being 
has somebody; even a prisoner knows that his 
jailor is a kind of a guardian, but I am brought 
up standing again and again by the reflection 
that I have no one to condition or modify my 
life. . . . My health has been getting worse of 
late, so that all I am hoping for now is that my 
sister, Mrs. Harrison, will come out ere long and 
take me home, where, in truth, I do not expect 
to live long, inasmuch as the doctor does not 
think I could endure the voyage. But I can no 
longer endure this life of utter loneliness. ... I 
S3mipathise with your niece. I never could learn 
the multiplication table, nor anything like 
mathematics, and suflEered accordingly. Now 
that I look back oh it all, I can understand that 
it was my teacher's fault as much as mine. They 
were paid to teach me — not merely to make me 
teach myself. If a capable person had taken me 


(or your niece) — and by a judicious and grad- 
ual system of easy steps, rewards, etc., induced 
the mind to go step by step (very gradually at 
first) into easy mental arithmetic (many chil- 
dren's games are equivalent to this), I, or she, 
could most certainly have been made ''good at 
figures." Every ckUd can be made, as I know, 
proficient at drawing, etc Yet how many scores 
dl people I have met who, knowing nothing at all 
about it, deny this because they cannot draw 1 
I pity your niece, who has never been shown the 
r^ht way — nor was I. I used to pass in my 
childhood as a half fool in all regular studies, 
and was the last in my class at college in mathe- 
matics. However, I got the poem which was 
the second honour. But I believe that the vast 
majority of all my American friends died under 
the impression that I have been a failure in life, 
not having made a fortune or gained any public 
office, notwithstanding my '* magnificent edu- 

I am very glad to know that you have begun 
to collect songs from the Sacs. Pray take all the 
pains you can to get all you can, for it is a far 
more important thing than anybody now deems. 
. . . Do try and learn as much of the Sac lan- 
guages as to authorise you to claim some posi- 

THE END 423 

tion as a translator. Never mind the work — it 
will well repay you. Get all and any kinds of 
songs, and remember that in Indian all the most 
ordinary narratives are songs, i. e., can be or are 
narrated in a sing-song manner. If you go to 
work with a will, you will surely collect a great 
many songs or poems of some kind. If I can 
help you in any way, I will with all my heart. 
The time will come when those who collected 
Indian songs wiU have undying names. 

Instead of getting used to my bereavement, I 
suffer more and more from it. For, indeed, after 
living for half a century with any one, separation 
is half a loss of life. I do not care for An)^hing 
now in reality, light seems to be d3mig out of the 
sun — all things which tasted once have lost 
their savour. And all kind of work has lost its 
zest for me. 

This is a sad letter, but I am in peculiar condi- 
tions of sadness. Hoping that all is going for 
better with you, and that you may never know 
what it is to be alone in life, I remain 
Ever truly your friend, 

Charles G. Leland. 

So far as friends were concerned, he was not 
alone. The Rev. Wood Brown was with him 


abaoBt eve^ daj. Mrs. Tassinari, the dau^ 
ter (rf his old friend Mrs. Branson, and Mrs. 
AibuUmot came often to spend an hour with him. 
The visits oi Dr. Pf^ were those of a weloHiie 
friend as well as a devoted phsrndan. And the 
lister he so deaily loved rejoined htm asquicklj 
as she could, and she and her husband, the friend 
<rf 3«ars, were with Idm ior the few months that 
lemained. Ifegrewbetto'after their return; it 
seemed almost as if, with the qnittg, he would be 
aUe to make the journey home. And there were 
still scHue [Measures not without zest. His last 
manuscript, "Tlie Alternate Sex," was in die 
hands of a publisher. He Hved to see his "Flax- 
ius" in book form, asad the "Kul6skap," too. 
And there was a winter day when as nmrvellous 
a thing happened in tbat little working-room as 
the madonnas, looking down from their gold 
ground, had ever yet beheld. In October, a box 
contaming money had been stolen from him. He 
could have borne the loss with equanimity, had 
not a greater treasure still been locked up with 
the money, — the Black Stone of the Voodoos. 
In February, the Italian police, somehow, found 
it. "He had a great joy the other day of which 
I must tell you," the Rev. Wood Brown wrote 
me. "When I went in on Saturday, I found a 

THE END 425 

detective in the room, and in Mr. Leland's hands 
was the lost Voodoo stone, over which he was 
laughing and crying with pleasure. It had been 
found on an old woman here, probably a witch, 
and presently the detective turned out from a 
bag the whole crude contents of the woman's 
pocket on a paper, which Mr. Leland held, to see 
if an)rthing else of his was there. There was such 
a quantity of loose snuff that we all laughed 
and sneezed by turns, and then saw, to our 
astonishment, that beside the Voodoo stone, the 
woman had been canying no less than six small 
toy-magnets — no doubt a part of the stock-in- 
trade of her witchcraft." 

The Black Stone had worked its last spell for 
him, completing with a marvel the career that 
had begun with one, almost eighty years before. 

The end was a few weeks afterwards. He had 
been seriously ill more than once during the 
autumn and winter, each iUness bringing him 
face to face with death, each leaving him with his 
heart weaker. And so he had no strength to 
struggle when he fell ill again late in March, his 
heart and other troubles made the more grave 
by pneumonia. Dr. Paggi, who had already 
done much to lighten the sufferings of the last 
year, could not now save him. On the 20th of the 


month (1903), with a pmyer <m his lq)6, his sisfcei 
and her husband and the Rev. Wood Blown at 
his side^ he passed on to the greatest adventune 
of all — the Adventure into the Unknown. 

ISs ashes made the journey ^^home/' for 
which he longed at the last, and they Ik at 
laurel Hill with those of the wife he missed so 
sorely that he could live without her but a few 
short months. 




Salagnuna ttooe, wonhipped 

in India, n: 549. 
Salagiana itooe, ol Tvaany, 

Salsbmg, Gtmrnnj, II: 505, 


Samuel, John, his deaciiptioD 
ol John Cadwalader's office, 
1: 307, ao8. 

Sampiicm, John, 11: azi, 2x4, 
315; letter to Leland fiDom, 
179^181; his translations of 
Hdbe and Omar Khayytfm, 
212; hb contributions to the 
study of Sheha, aaa, aa3, aa4, 
aa5, aa6, aa7; book in Shelta 
planned by Leland and, 404. 

Sandgren, Mrs., I: 344. 

Sartain, John, I* azi, az4; low 
tezms offered by, aao. 

Sartain's Magazine, I: az9. 

Savoir faize, conditions of ac- 
quiring, I: z6o. 

Saxe, John Godfrey, I: 333, 

Sayce, Archibald Henry, II: 

325, 354- 

Scandinavia, modem litera- 
ture of, II: 362. 

Scattergood, David, engraver, 
I: 342. 

Scespanik, , II: 393. 

Schaumberg, Emily, 1 : 299, 311. 

Scheffel, Joseph Victor von, I : 
80, 81; Leland's translation 
of his Gaudeamus, II: 37; 
J. Sampson's translation of 
the $ame, 212. 

Scfaenck, Robert Commiiig^ I: 

545; H: 3^4x3* 
Sdiifler, Johann CbdttMSfph 

Fziedrich iFon, I: zo8. 
Schmitt, M^ I: zip, ia7, Z2& 

brewdialecty II197, ZZ4. ^ 
Schoolczalk, Ebnzy Rove, JI: 

Scfaott, Aznold,* I: 300» 303, 

304, 3ZZ, 3za. 
Schubert, Gottiiilf Qeinzicb 

▼on, I: Z04. 
Schuyler, Eugene, n : a8o. 
Scot, Midiael, the Wlsazti, £: 

Scott, Sir Walter, I: Z73. 

Scudder, Hozaoe Elbha, I}: 

Seabury, Rev. Samud (z8o^ 

z87a), I:sz. 
Senakerim, an Armenian . at 

Pzinoeton, I: 53. / 

Seward, William Henzy, 1*^076. 
Shea, Judge, of New Yorl, 11: 

Shelley, Percy Bysshe, I 81. 

Shelta, tl: 209, 210, 21c, 225; 
Leland's discovery •f, 179, 
214-218, 220-222, 227, 228, 
236, 237, 247, 245 contri- 
butions to the stuty of: by 
MacRitchie, 222, 223, 225; 
by Sampson, 222, 223, 224, 
225, 226, 227; identified by 
Meyer with Ogiam, 225; 
book in, planned by Leland 
and Sampson, 404. 




Sheridan, Richard Brinsley (d. 
1888), n:5. 

Sherman, Roger, autograph 
letter of, I: 38. 

Sherwood, Mary Elizabeth Wil- 
son, I: 276. 

Shinn, Mrs., I: 13. 

Sinclair, , II : 203. 

Sinnett, Alfred Percy, II : 299. 

Smalley, George Washington, 
II: 273. 

Smart, Bath, II: 141, 145, 163, 
177, 201. 

Smith, Harry, I: 177. 

Smith, Horace, daughters of, 

i9» 3i» 32. 
Smith, Hubert, U: 145, 146, 

177; letter from Leland to, 

Smith, Lloyd, I: 309, 311. 
Smith, Sydney, H: 2.. 
Smugglers, Leland in a den of, 

I: 67. 
Sodal debts, Leland's theory 

of, H: 337, 338. 
Sockdolager, origin of the 

word, II: 324. 
Sontag, Henriette, I: 212. 
Sorcery, Babylonian-Ninevite, 

H: 324; relation between re- 
ligion and, 340. 
Souvestre, Emile, his Foyer 

Breton, I: 294. 
Spa, Belgium, I: 377, 378, 379, 

Spanish-American War, Le- 

land's interest in, II: 398, 

399, 400, 405, 406. 

Stael, Madame de, I: 92. 
Stanhope, Earl, his famous 

crystal ball, II: 408. 
Stanley, Valentine, a Gypsy, 

II: 184. 
Stanton, Edwin McMasters, 

1:263,304, 313. 
States, Agatha, I: 317. 
Steel, Edward T., II: 102. 
Stephen, Sir Leslie, H : 169. 
Sterne, Laurence, I: 109. 
Stevens, Simon, I: 209, 237, 

Stevenson, Robert Louis, H: 

53» 58- 
Stewart, Mrs., 1 : 92. 

Stiles, William Henry, 1: 142. 

Stills, Charles Janeway, 1 : 309. 

Stockton, Capt., 1 : 48. 

Stoddard, Richard Henry, I: 
218, 245, 255, 256, 262, 263, 
264, 297. 

Stonington, Connecticut, Ice- 
land's Notes of an excur- 
sion to, I: 35-39. 

Storks, in Germany, I: 183. 

Story, Edith, I: 345. See also 
Peruzzi, Edith (Story). 

Story, William Wetmore, I: 77; 
H: 9, 24, 335, 336, 344, 368. 

Strakosch, Maurice, 1 : 373. 

Strakosch, Max, I: 373. 

Strasburg cathedral, 1: 183. 

Strauss, David, 1 : 82. 

Strauss, Johann (1804-1849), 
I: 129, 140. 

Strigiles, II: 307. 

Student life, in Germany, I: 



86-90, 93f 9^» 97» 98; in 
Paxis, z^, z6x, x6a, i8z. 

Sumner, Chulei^ I: 406, 407, 

Sumrack, P£l, 11: 345. 

Supematuial, LelMid^ intexest 
in the, stimukted la Fliila- 
4elplila9 Ii zd, ty. 

SwiniMime, Aigeraon Ouoles, 
I: 3x4; n: 47; ills SoagB 
befoze Snnxiae, I: x3x; lifo 
Doloxes, 307, 308; his poem 
to Baudelaixe, 3x0. 

Switzexland, Saaoon, 1: 39X. 

Sj^vester, J., I: 37. 

Tadd, J- liberty, 11: zoa, Z04, 

TagUoni, Maxia, I: 96, 1x4, 

XX5, 204. 
TaiUandieiv Saint-R«i4 I: 68. 
TaUeyrand-P^gord, Chades 

Maoxioe de, I: X3. 
Tahnage, Thomas De Witt, 

II: 112. 
Tappan, Arthiir, I: 37. 
Tassinari, Mrs., II: 424. 
Taylor, Bayard, I: 221, 256, 

202, 333. 
Taylor, Marie Hansen, wife of 

Bayard, I: 261. 
Taylor, Tom, II: 7. 
Teck, Duchess of, II: 296. 
Temple, R. C, II: 276. 
Tennessee, Leland prospects 

for oil in, I: 277-281. 
Tenn3rson, Alfred, Baron Ten- 
nyson, I: 131, 310, 400, 401; 

H: 13, 5% Lelaad'k meelliig 

with, U: xx; Book ei ^sg- 

UA Gypsy Songs dedicated 

to, X7S, X76. 
Tdm^^sob, &i9y (S^wood)» 

Lady, wile of S^ Alfred, n: 

xs. . 
Te8tl^ NalaH, 1: 303, 303. 
Tliadc^zay, Wiffiom Itfalce- 

peaoe^ I: 4x5, d44» 3«6, 333- 
Thalbexg, Sigismimd, I: 944. 
Theotogy, Ldatei {ao|x»e8 to 

study, I: X94. 
Th6rapia, T^irlcey, 1: 4x5. 

Thoisch, -^ i H: 345. 

Thiersch, Friedzich, I: 95, 

3x4; n: 84. 
Tbomaom, — — ^ — , 1: 392. 
Thorp, Mazy (LeUnd), II: 

359; death (^> 4x5* 
Tidmor, GteiOEge, I: 330; II: 

TifiEany, lltmiiam, 1: 79, 91; let- 
f ters from Leland to, 73, S5. 
Tin-foil, casts made with, II: 

Tinkers* talk. See Shelta. 
Tips, custom regarding, in 

some French cafes, I: 153, 

Tomah (Tomaquah), a Pas- 
samaquoddy Indian, II : 234, 

235> 243- 
Transcendentalism, 1 : 1 10 ; 

Leland*s study of, 33, 34. 
Travel, advantage of, I: 180. 
Trelawney, Edward John, I: 




Triibner, Nicholas I: 257, 259, 
331; II: 9, 171, 251, 252 »., 
272, 301, 374; his publica- 
tion of Leland's works, II: 

Triibner, Mrs., II: 251, 253, 

259, 272, 299. 

Tuckey, Janet, II: 164, 170, 
172, 177. 

Turkey, I: 132. 

Turks, linguistic accomplish- 
ments of, I: 414, 415. 

Twain, Mark, pseud. See 

Tweedie, Ethel (Harley), Le- 
land's ballad to, I: 365. 

Tyler, Zachary, his visit to 
Princeton, 1843, ^' 47> 4S* 

Tyrol, 1:366. 

Uhle, Albrecht Bemhard, II: 

United States, unsatisfactory 

country to travel in, I: 225. 
— — Bureau of Education, 

pamphlet prepared by Le- 

land for, II: 106, 257. 
Unwin, T. Fisher, I: 358, 359, 

366; II: 342, 352, 355, 356; 

letters from Leland to, 353, 

354, 374, 375» 381-385- 
Unwin, Mrs., II: 354, 355, 356, 

375, 382; Leland's Himdred 

Riddles dedicated to, 357. 

Vagabonds, Leland's collec- 
tion of studies of, II : 404. 
Vtobdry, Arminius, II: 280. 

Vanderbilt, Captain, 1 : 39. 

Vanity Fair, 1 : 245, 246, 255. 

Vaux, Richard, I: 240. 

Venice, Italy, I: 183, 184, 396, 
397; II: 281, 282; lack of 
originality among artists in, 

Verona, Italy, I: 396. 

Vetromile, Father, II: 248. 

Victoria, Queen of England, 
II: 172, 173. 

Vienna, Austria, I: 129, 140- 
142, 143, 178; gaiety of, 
141, 157; cheapness of living 
in, 141, 142; Gypsies at, 11: 

277» 278, 302, 303, 304. 

Villon, Francois, I: 33. 

Vinci, Leonardo da, 1 : 306, 307. 

Virgil, legend concerning, II: 
241; Leland's paper on the 
identity of Buddha with, 407. 

Voil, de, I: 53. 

Voltaire, Franjois Marie Arouet 
de, II: 57. 

Voodooism, II: 319, 320, 350. 

Voodoos, Black stone of the, 
I: 6; II: 258,424; organised 
body of, II : 326; charms, 
321; charms worked by the 
stone, 321, 322. 

Waagen, Gustav Friedrich, I: 

166, 167. 
Wabanaki Indians, Leland's 

study of, II: 235, 239, 248. 

Wadsworth, , 11: 244. 

Wainwright, Rev. Jonathan 

Mayhew, I: 51. 



Wnlker, Robert John, I: 054. 
Walker, Seaxs C, I: aS. 
WaDaoe, Sir WOliam, xjth 

known copy of BHnd Sumy's 

Metrical Hiatofy of, 11: 96. 
War poein% I: 306. 
Ward, Captain, II: 299.. 
Ward, ArtBknni. 5m Broivne, 

Chariea Farrar. 
Ward, Elinbeth Stuart Hidpa, 

Ward, Genevieire, II: ax, 178^ 

Ward, George, I: 155, X67, 


Ward, Hayes, II: 248. 

Ward, Marcus, H: 74. 

Warner, Charles Dudley, 11: 

Warner, Susan, 1: 232. 

Watts, Henry Edward, 11: 53. 
Weapons, lor the Revolution of 

1848, in Paris, I: X89. 
Webbk CoL, I: 37. 
Weik, Jesse William, I: 257. 
Welby, Lady, II: 351. 
Welcker, Friedrich Gottlieb, I: 

Wemer, Carl, II: 302, 305. 

West Virginia, Leland visits 

coal regions of, I: 282-285. 
Wharton, Davy and Sheva, 

Gjrpsies, II: 183. 
Whipple, Gen. Amiel Weeks, 

I: 280. 
Whipple, Jerry, I: 408. 
Whistler, James Abbott 

McNeiU, 11:2, 23, 88. 

Whitby, Eng^ 11: 960; Xag- 

gerlKBad Inn at, a6x, 26a. 
White, Andrew TAckmm^ 11: 

White, Bishop ^fi^Uiam, 1: 13. 
Whitdkld, George, I: X51. 
Whitman, Walt, I: 410; II: 

X09, xxp, zxx, XX2, Z9X-195V 

Whiltier, John Gxeenka^ I: 


Wigan, Gordon, H: 52. 

Wilbur, Bishop^ 1: 243. 

Wilde, Jane Eranoesca Spe- 
ranza. Lady, H: 8» 9. 

\^de, Oscar, H: 9, Z12, 361. 

Will, Leland's theory of the 
cultivation of the, H: 389- 
391, 400, 403. 

William I, Emperor ci Ger- 
many, n: 28. 

Williams, Takott, H: X09. 

WiUis, Nathaniel Parker, I: 
XX, X77, 203, 232, 233, 261, 
262, 323; death of, 292. 

Willis, Richard Storrs, I: 263. 

Wilson, G. Alick, II: 223. 

Wilson, Harry, II: 336; letters 
from Leland to, 408-411. 

Winckelmann, Johann Joa- 
chim, 1: 198. 

Windsor, Dean of, II: 173. 

Witchcraft, Leland's interest in, 
I: 6, 15; II: 311, 321; Flor- 
entine, 309, 310, 311, 312, 
314, 318, 341, 356. 

Wlislocki, Heinrich von, II: 



Wolsey, Sir James, II: 170. 

Wolverhampton, Eng., II: 271, 

Women, beauty of American, 
I: 224; work done by Ger- 
man, 389. 

Wood, Edward, a Gypsy har- 
per, II: 180. 

Woodbridgje, , I: 38. 

Wood carving, Leland's ef- 
forts at, II: 33. 

Work, necessity of, to Leland, 
II: 80. 

Worrell, , I: 272. 

Wimderhom, Leland's pro- 
posed translation of, 1 : 291. 

Yetholm, Scotland, II: 36. 
Yoniba, Eling of, 11: 294, 295. 
Young, William, I: 305. 

Zanzibar, Sultan of, II: 174.