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Title: The Innocents Abroad

Author: Mark Twain

Release Date: April, 2002  [Etext #3176]
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[The actual date this file first posted = 01/31/01]

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The Innocents Abroad

by Mark Twain




                                CONTENTS:


                                CHAPTER I.
Popular Talk of the Excursion--Programme of the Trip--Duly Ticketed for
the Excursion--Defection of the Celebrities

                               CHAPTER II.
Grand Preparations--An Imposing Dignitary--The European Exodus--
Mr. Blucher's Opinion--Stateroom No. 10--The Assembling of the Clans--
At Sea at Last

                               CHAPTER III.
"Averaging" the Passengers--Far, far at Sea.--Tribulation among the
Patriarchs--Seeking Amusement under Difficulties--Five Captains in the
Ship

                               CHAPTER IV.
The Pilgrims Becoming Domesticated--Pilgrim Life at Sea--"Horse-
Billiards"--The "Synagogue"--The Writing School--Jack's "Journal"--
The "Q. C. Club"--The Magic Lantern--State Ball on Deck--Mock Trials--
Charades--Pilgrim Solemnity--Slow Music--The Executive Officer Delivers
an Opinion

                                CHAPTER V.
Summer in Mid-Atlantic--An Eccentric Moon--Mr. Blucher Loses Confidence
--The Mystery of "Ship Time"--The Denizens of the Deep--"Land Hoh"--
The First Landing on a Foreign Shore--Sensation among the Natives--
Something about the Azores Islands--Blucher's Disastrous Dinner--
The Happy Result

                               CHAPTER VI.
Solid Information--A Fossil Community--Curious Ways and Customs--Jesuit
Humbuggery--Fantastic Pilgrimizing--Origin of the Russ Pavement--
Squaring Accounts with the Fossils--At Sea Again

                               CHAPTER VII.
A Tempest at Night--Spain and Africa on Exhibition--Greeting a Majestic
Stranger--The Pillars of Hercules--The Rock of Gibraltar--Tiresome
Repetition--"The Queen's Chair"--Serenity Conquered--Curiosities of
the Secret Caverns--Personnel of Gibraltar--Some Odd Characters--A
Private Frolic in Africa--Bearding a Moorish Garrison (without loss of
life)--Vanity Rebuked--Disembarking in the Empire of Morocco

                              CHAPTER VIII.
The Ancient City of Tangier, Morocco--Strange Sights--A Cradle of
Antiquity--We become Wealthy--How they Rob the Mail in Africa--The Danger
of being Opulent in Morocco

                               CHAPTER IX.
A Pilgrim --in Deadly Peril--How they Mended the Clock--Moorish
Punishments for Crime--Marriage Customs--Looking Several ways for Sunday
--Shrewd, Practice of Mohammedan Pilgrims--Reverence for Cats--Bliss of
being a Consul-General

                                CHAPTER X.
Fourth of July at Sea--Mediterranean Sunset--The "Oracle " is Delivered
of an Opinion--Celebration Ceremonies--The Captain's Speech--France in
Sight--The Ignorant Native--In Marseilles--Another Blunder--Lost in
the Great City--Found Again--A Frenchy Scene

                               CHAPTER XI.
Getting used to it--No Soap--Bill of Fare, Table d'hote--"An American
Sir"--A Curious Discovery--The "Pilgrim" Bird--Strange Companionship--
A Grave of the Living--A Long Captivity--Some of Dumas' Heroes--Dungeon
of the Famous "Iron Mask."

                               CHAPTXR XII.
A Holiday Flight through France--Summer Garb of the Landscape--Abroad
on the Great Plains--Peculiarities of French Cars--French Politeness
American Railway Officials--"Twenty Mnutes to Dinner!"--Why there
are no Accidents--The "Old Travellers"--Still on the Wing--Paris at
Last----French Order and Quiet--Place of the Bastile--Seeing the Sights--
A Barbarous Atrocity--Absurd Billiards

                              CHAPTER XIII.
More Trouble--Monsieur Billfinger--Re-Christening the Frenchman--In the
Clutches of a Paris Guide--The International Exposition--Fine Military
Review--Glimpse of the Emperor Napoleon and the Sultan of Turkey

                               CHAPTER XIV.
The Venerable Cathedral of Notre-Dame--Jean Sanspeur's Addition--
Treasures and Sacred Relics--The Legend of the Cross--The Morgue--The
Outrageious 'Can-Can'--Blondin Aflame--The Louvre Palace--The Great Park
--Showy Pageantry--Preservation of Noted Things

                               CHAPTER XV.
French National Burying--Ground--Among the Great Dead--The Shrine of
Disappointed Love--The Story of Abelard and Heloise--"English Spoken
Here"--"American Drinks Compounded Here"--Imperial Honors to an
American--The Over-estimated Grisette--Departure from Paris--A Deliberate
Opinion Concerning the Comeliness of American Women

                               CHAPTER XVI.
Versailles--Paradise Regained--A Wonderful Park--Paradise Lost--
Napoleonic Strategy

                              CHAPTER XVII.
War--The American Forces Victorious--" Home Again"--Italy in Sight
The "City of Palaces"--Beauty of the Genoese Women--The "Stub-Hunters"--
Among the Palaces--Gifted Guide--Church Magnificence--"Women not
Admitted"--How the Genoese Live--Massive Architecture--A Scrap of Ancient
History--Graves for 60,000

                              CHAPTER XVIII.
Flying Through Italy--Marengo--First Glimpse of the Famous Cathedral--
Description of some of its Wonders--A Horror Carved in Stone----An
Unpleasant Adventure--A Good Man--A Sermon from the Tomb--Tons of Gold
and Silver--Some More Holy Relics--Solomon's Temple

                               CHAPTER XIX
"Do You Wiz zo Haut can be?"--La Scala--Petrarch and Laura--Lucrezia
Borgia--Ingenious Frescoes--Ancient Roman Amphitheatre--A Clever
Delusion--Distressing Billiards--The Chief Charm of European Life--An
Italian Bath--Wanted: Soap--Crippled French--Mutilated English--The Most
Celebrated Painting in the World--Amateur Raptures--Uninspired Critics--
Anecdote--A Wonderful Echo--A Kiss for a Franc

                                CHAPTER XX
Rural Italy by Rail--Fumigated, According to Law--The Sorrowing
Englishman--Night by the Lake of Como--The Famous Lake--Its Scenery--
Como compared with Tahoe--Meeting a Shipmate

                               CHAPTER XXI.
The Pretty Lago di Lecco--A Carriage Drive in the Country--Astonishing
Sociability in a Coachman--Sleepy Land--Bloody Shrines--The Heart and
Home of Priestcraft--A Thrilling Mediaeval Romance--The Birthplace of
Harlequin--Approaching Venice

                              CHAPTER XXII.
Night in Venice--The "Gay Gondolier"--The Grand Fete by Moonlight--
The Notable Sights of Venice--The Mother of the Republics Desolate

                              CHANTER XXIII.
The Famous Gondola--The Gondola in an Unromantic Aspect--The Great Square
of St. Mark and the Winged Lion--Snobs, at Home and Abroad--Sepulchres of
the Great Dead--A Tilt at the "Old Masters"--A Contraband Guide--
The Conspiracy--Moving Again

                              CHAPTER XXIV.
Down Through Italy by Rail--Idling in Florence--Dante and Galileo--An
Ungrateful City--Dazzling Generosity--Wonderful Mosaics--The Historical
Arno--Lost Again--Found Again, but no Fatted Calf Ready--The Leaning
Tower of Pisa--The Ancient Duomo--The Old Original First Pendulum that
Ever Swung--An Enchanting Echo--A New Holy Sepulchre--A Relic of
Antiquity--A Fallen Republic--At Leghorn--At Home Again, and Satisfied,
on Board the Ship--Our Vessel an Object of Grave Suspicion--Garibaldi
Visited--Threats of Quarantine

                               CHAPTER XXV.
The Works of Bankruptcy--Railway Grandeur--How to Fill an Empty
Treasury--The Sumptuousness of Mother Church--Ecclesiastical Splendor--
Magnificence and Misery--General Execration--More Magnificence
A Good Word for the Priests--Civita Vecchia the Dismal--Off for Rome

                              CHAPTER XXVI.
The Modern Roman on His Travels--The Grandeur of St. Peter's--Holy Relics
--Grand View from the Dome--The Holy Inquisition--Interesting Old Monkish
Frauds--The Ruined Coliseum--The Coliseum in the Days of its Prime--
Ancient P1aybill of a Coliseum Performance--A Roman Newspaper Criticism
1700 Years Old

                              CHAPTER XXVII.
"Butchered to Make a Roman Holiday"--The Man who Never Complained--
An Exasperating Subject--Asinine Guides--The Roman Catacombs
The Saint Whose Fervor Burst his Ribs--The Miracle of the Bleeding Heart
--The Legend of Ara Coeli

                             CHAPTER XXVIII.
Picturesque Horrors--The Legend of Brother Thomas--Sorrow Scientifically
Analyzed--A Festive Company of the Dead--The Great Vatican Museum
Artist Sins of Omission--The Rape of the Sabines--Papal Protection of
Art--High Price of "Old Masters"--Improved Scripture--Scale of Rank
of the Holy Personages in Rome--Scale of Honors Accorded Them---
Fossilizing--Away for Naples

                              CHAPTER XXIX.
Naples--In Quarantine at Last--Annunciation--Ascent of Mount Vesuvius-- A
Two Cent Community--The Black Side of Neapolitan Character--Monkish
Miracles--Ascent of Mount Vesuvius Continued--The Stranger and the
Hackman--Night View of Naples from the Mountain-side---Ascent of Mount
Vesuvius Continued

                               CHAPTER XXX.
Ascent of Mount Vesuvius Continued--Beautiful View at Dawn--Less
Beautiful in the Back Streets--Ascent of Vesuvius Continued--Dwellings a
Hundred Feet High--A Motley Procession--Bill of Fare for a Peddler's
Breakfast--Princely Salaries--Ascent of Vesuvius Continued--An Average of
Prices--The wonderful "Blue Grotto"--Visit to Celebrated Localities in
the Bay of Naples--The Poisoned "Grotto of the Dog"--A Petrified Sea of
Lava--Ascent of Mount Vesuvius Continued--The Summit Reached--Description
of the Crater--Descent of Vesuvius

                              CHAPTER XXXI.
The Buried City of Pompeii--How Dwellings Appear that have been
Unoccupied for Eighteen hundred years--The Judgment Seat--Desolation--The
Footprints of the Departed--"No Women Admitted"--Theatres, Bakeshops,
Schools--Skeletons preserved by the Ashes and Cinders--The Brave Martyr
to Duty--Rip Van Winkle--The Perishable Nature of Fame

                              CHAPTER XXXII.
At Sea Once More--The Pilgrims all Well--Superb Stromboli--Sicily by
Moonlight--Scylla and Charybdis--The "Oracle" at Fault--Skirting the
Isles of Greece Ancient Athens--Blockaded by Quarantine and Refused
Permission to Enter--Running the Blockade--A Bloodless Midnight
Adventure--Turning Robbers from Necessity--Attempt to Carry the Acropolis
by Storm--We Fail--Among the Glories of the Past--A World of Ruined
Sculpture--A Fairy Vision--Famous Localities--Retreating in Good Order
--Captured by the Guards--Travelling in Military State--Safe on Board
Again

                             CHAPTER XXXIII.
Modern Greece - Fallen Greatness--Sailing Through the Archipelago and the
Dardanelles--Footprints of History--The First Shoddy Contractor of whom
History gives any Account--Anchored Before Constantinople--Fantastic
Fashions--The Ingenious Goose-Rancher--Marvelous Cripples--The Great
Mosque--The Thousand and One Columns--The Grand Bazaar of Stamboul

                              CHAPTER XXXIV.
Scarcity of Morals and Whiskey--Slave-Girl Market Report--Commercial
Morality at a Discount--The Slandered Dogs of Constantinople--
Questionable Delights of Newspaperdom in Turkey--Ingenious Italian
Journalism--No More Turkish Lunches Desired--The Turkish Bath Fraud--
The Narghileh Fraud--Jackplaned by a Native--The Turkish Coffee Fraud

                              CHAPTER XXXV.
Sailing Through the Bosporus and the Black Sea--"Far-Away Moses"--
Melancholy Sebastopol--Hospitably Received in Russia--Pleasant English
People--Desperate Fighting--Relic Hunting--How Travellers Form "Cabinets"

                              CHAPTER XXXVI.
Nine Thousand Miles East--Imitation American Town in Russia--Gratitude
that Came Too Late--To Visit the Autocrat of All the Russias

                             CHAPTER XXXVII.
Summer Home of Royalty--Practising for the Dread Ordeal--Committee on
Imperial Address--Reception by the Emperor and Family--Dresses of the
Imperial Party--Concentrated Power--Counting the Spoons--At the Grand
Duke's--A Charming Villa--A Knightly Figure--The Grand Duchess--A Grand
Ducal Breakfast--Baker's Boy, the Famine-Breeder--Theatrical Monarchs a
Fraud--Saved as by Fire--The Governor--General's Visit to the Ship--
Official "Style"--Aristocratic Visitors--"Munchausenizing" with Them--
Closing Ceremonies

                             CHAPTER XXXVIII.
Return to Constantinople--We Sail for Asia--The Sailors Burlesque the
Imperial Visitors--Ancient Smyrna--The "Oriental Splendor" Fraud--
The "Biblical Crown of Life"--Pilgrim Prophecy-Savans--Sociable
Armenian Girls--A Sweet Reminiscence--"The Camels are Coming, Ha-ha!"

                              CHAPTER XXXIX.
Smyrna's Lions--The Martyr Polycarp--The "Seven Churches"--Remains of the
Six Smyrnas--Mysterious Oyster Mine Oysters--Seeking Scenery--A Millerite
Tradition--A Railroad Out of its Sphere

                               CHAPTER XL.
Journeying Toward Ancient Ephesus--Ancient Ayassalook--The Villanous
Donkey--A Fantastic Procession--Bygone Magnificence--Fragments of
History--The Legend of the Seven Sleepers

                               CHAPTER XLI.
Vandalism Prohibited--Angry Pilgrims--Approaching Holy Land!--The "Shrill
Note of Preparation"--Distress About Dragomans and Transportation--
The "Long Route" Adopted--In Syria--Something about Beirout--A Choice
Specimen of a Greek "Ferguson"--Outfits--Hideous Horseflesh--Pilgrim
"Style"--What of Aladdin's Lamp?

                              CHAPTER XLII.
"Jacksonville," in the Mountains of Lebanon--Breakfasting above a Grand
Panorama--The Vanished City--The Peculiar Steed, "Jericho"--The Pilgrims
Progress--Bible Scenes--Mount Hermon, Joshua's Battle Fields, etc.--
The Tomb of Noah--A Most Unfortunate People

                              CHAPTER XLIII.
Patriarchal Customs--Magnificent Baalbec--Description of the Ruins--
Scribbling Smiths and Joneses--Pilgrim Fidelity to the Letter of the Law
--The Revered Fountain of Baalam's Ass

                              CHAPTER XLIV.
Extracts from Note-Book--Mahomet's Paradise and the Bible's--Beautiful
Damascus the Oldest City on Earth--Oriental Scenes within the Curious Old
City--Damascus Street Car--The Story of St. Paul--The "Street called
Straight"--Mahomet's Tomb and St. George's--The Christian Massacre--
Mohammedan Dread of Pollution--The House of Naaman--
The Horrors of Leprosy

                               CHAPTER XLV.
The Cholera by way of Variety--Hot--Another Outlandish Procession--Pen
and-Ink Photograph of "Jonesborough," Syria--Tomb of Nimrod, the Mighty
Hunter--The Stateliest Ruin of All--Stepping over the Borders of Holy-
Land--Bathing in the Sources of Jordan--More "Specimen"Hunting--Ruins of
Cesarea--Philippi--"On This Rock Will I Build my Church"--The People the
Disciples Knew--The Noble Steed "Baalbec"--Sentimental Horse Idolatry of
the Arabs

                              CHAPTER XLVI.
Dan--Bashan--Genessaret--A Notable Panorama--Smallness of Palestine--
Scraps of History--Character of the Country--Bedouin Shepherds--Glimpses
of the Hoary Past--Mr. Grimes's Bedouins--A Battle--Ground of Joshua--
That Soldier's Manner of Fighting--Barak's Battle--The Necessity of
Unlearning Some Things--Desolation

                              CHAPTER XLVII.
"Jack's Adventure--Joseph's Pit--The Story of Joseph--Joseph's
Magnanimity and Esau's--The Sacred Lake of Genessaret--Enthusiasm of the
Pilgrims--Why We d:d not Sail on Galilee--About Capernaum--Concerning the
Saviour's Brothers and Sisters--Journeying toward Magdela

                             CHAPTER XLVIII.
Curious Specimens of Art and Architecture--Public Reception of the
Pilgrims--Mary Magdalen's House--Tiberias and its Queer Inhabitants--
The Sacred Sea of Galilee--Galilee by Night

                              CHAPTER XLIX.
The Ancient Baths--Ye Apparition--A Distinguished Panorama--The Last
Battle of the Crusades--The Story of the Lord of Kerak--Mount Tabor--
What one Sees from its Top--Memory of a Wonderful Garden--The House of
Deborah the Prophetess

                                CHAPTER L.
Toward Nazareth--Bitten By a Camel--Grotto of the Annunciation, Nazareth
--Noted Grottoes in General--Joseph's Workshop--A Sacred Bowlder--
The Fountain of the Virgin--Questionable Female Beauty--
Literary Curiosities

                               CHAPTER LI.
Boyhood of the Saviour--Unseemly Antics of Sober Pilgrims--Home of the
Witch of Endor--Nain--Profanation--A Popular Oriental Picture--Biblical
Metaphors Becoming steadily More Intelligible--The Shuuem Miracle--
The "Free Son of The Desert"--Ancient Jezrael--Jehu's Achievements--
Samaria and its Famous Siege

                               CHAPTER LII
Curious Remnant of the Past--Shechem--The Oldest "First Family" on Earth
--The Oldest Manuscript Extant--The Genuine Tomb of Joseph--Jacob's Well
--Shiloh--Camping with the Arabs--Jacob's Ladder--More Desolation--
Ramah, Beroth, the Tomb of Samuel, The Fountain of Beira --Impatience--
Approaching Jerusalem--The Holy City in Sight--Noting Its Prominent
Features--Domiciled Within the Sacred Walls

                              CHAPTER LIII.
"The Joy of the Whole Earth"--Description of Jerusalem--Church of the
Holy Sepulchre--The Stone of Unction--The Grave of Jesus--Graves of
Nicodemus and Joseph of Armattea--Places of the Apparition--The Finding
of the There Crosses----The Legend--Monkish Impostures--The Pillar of
Flagellation--The Place of a Relic--Godfrey's Sword--"The Bonds of
Christ"--"The Center of the Earth"--Place whence the Dust was taken of
which Adam was Made--Grave of Adam--The Martyred Soldier--The Copper
Plate that was on the Cross--The Good St. Helena--Place of the Division
of the Garments--St. Dimas, the Penitent Thief--The Late Emperor
Maximilian's Contribution--Grotto wherein the Crosses were Found, and the
Nails, and the Crown of Thorns--Chapel of the Mocking--Tomb of
Melchizedek--Graves of Two Renowned Crusaders--The Place of the
Crucifixion

                               CHAPTER LIV.
The "Sorrowful Way"--The Legend of St. Veronica's Handkerchief--
An Illustrious Stone--House of the Wandering Jew--The Tradition of the
Wanderer--Solomon's Temple--Mosque of Omar--Moslem Traditions--"Women not
Admitted"--The Fate of a Gossip--Turkish Sacred Relics--Judgment Seat of
David and Saul--Genuine Precious Remains of Solomon's Temple--Surfeited
with Sights--The Pool of Siloam--The Garden of Gethsemane and Other
Sacred Localities

                               CHAPTER LV.
Rebellion in the Camp--Charms of Nomadic Life--Dismal Rumors--En Route
for Jericho and The Dead Sea--Pilgrim Strategy--Bethany and the Dwelling
of Lazarus--"Bedouins!"--Ancient Jericho--Misery--The Night March--
The Dead Sea--An Idea of What a "Wilderness" in Palestine is--The Holy
hermits of Mars Saba--Good St. Saba--Women not Admitted--Buried from the
World for all Time--Unselfish Catholic Benevolence--Gazelles--The Plain
of the Shepherds--Birthplace of the Saviour, Bethlehem--Church of the
Nativity--Its Hundred Holy Places--The Famous "Milk" Grotto--Tradition--
Return to Jerusalem--Exhausted

                               CHAPTER LVI.
Departure from Jerusalem--Samson--The Plain of Sharon--Arrival at Joppa--
Horse of Simon the Tanner--The Long Pilgrimage Ended--Character of
Palestine Scenery--The Curse

                              CHAPTER LVII.
The Happiness of being at Sea once more--"Home" as it is in a Pleasure
Ship--"Shaking Hands" with the Vessel--Jack in Costume--His Father's
Parting Advice--Approaching Egypt--Ashore in Alexandria--A Deserved
Compliment for the Donkeys--Invasion of the Lost Tribes of America--End
of the Celebrated "Jaffa Colony"--Scenes in Grand Cairo--Shepheard's
Hotel Contrasted with a Certain American Hotel--Preparing for the
Pyramids

                              CHAPTER LVIII.
"Recherche" Donkeys--A Wild Ride--Specimens of Egyptian Modesty--Moses in
the Bulrushes--Place where the Holy Family Sojourned--Distant view of the
Pyramids--A Nearer View--The Ascent--Superb View from the top of the
Pyramid--"Backsheesh! Backsheesh!"--An Arab Exploit--In the Bowels of the
Pyramid--Strategy--Reminiscence of "Holiday's Hill"--Boyish Exploit--The
Majestic Sphynx--Things the Author will not Tell--Grand Old Egypt

                               CHAPTER LIX.
Going Home--A Demoralized Note-Book--A Boy's Diary--Mere Mention of Old
Spain--Departure from Cadiz--A Deserved Rebuke--The Beautiful Madeiras
--Tabooed--In the Delightful Bermudas--An English Welcome--Good-by to
"Our Friends the Bermudians"--Packing Trunks for Home--Our First
Accident--The Long Cruise Drawing to a Close--At Home--Amen

                               CHAPTER LX.
Thankless Devotion--A Newspaper Valedictory--Conclusion






                                 PREFACE

This book is a record of a pleasure trip.  If it were a record of a
solemn scientific expedition, it would have about it that gravity, that
profundity, and that impressive incomprehensibility which are so proper
to works of that kind, and withal so attractive.  Yet notwithstanding it
is only a record of a pic-nic, it has a purpose, which is to suggest to
the reader how he would be likely to see Europe and the East if he looked
at them with his own eyes instead of the eyes of those who traveled in
those countries before him.  I make small pretense of showing anyone how
he ought to look at objects of interest beyond the sea--other books do
that, and therefore, even if I were competent to do it, there is no need.

I offer no apologies for any departures from the usual style of travel-
writing that may be charged against me--for I think I have seen with
impartial eyes, and I am sure I have written at least honestly, whether
wisely or not.

In this volume I have used portions of letters which I wrote for the
Daily Alta California, of San Francisco, the proprietors of that journal
having waived their rights and given me the necessary permission.  I have
also inserted portions of several letters written for the New York
Tribune and the New York Herald.

THE AUTHOR.
SAN FRANCISCO.





CHAPTER I.

For months the great pleasure excursion to Europe and the Holy Land was
chatted about in the newspapers everywhere in America and discussed at
countless firesides.  It was a novelty in the way of excursions--its like
had not been thought of before, and it compelled that interest which
attractive novelties always command.  It was to be a picnic on a gigantic
scale.  The participants in it, instead of freighting an ungainly steam
ferry--boat with youth and beauty and pies and doughnuts, and paddling up
some obscure creek to disembark upon a grassy lawn and wear themselves
out with a long summer day's laborious frolicking under the impression
that it was fun, were to sail away in a great steamship with flags flying
and cannon pealing, and take a royal holiday beyond the broad ocean in
many a strange clime and in many a land renowned in history! They were to
sail for months over the breezy Atlantic and the sunny Mediterranean;
they were to scamper about the decks by day, filling the ship with shouts
and laughter--or read novels and poetry in the shade of the smokestacks,
or watch for the jelly-fish and the nautilus over the side, and the
shark, the whale, and other strange monsters of the deep; and at night
they were to dance in the open air, on the upper deck, in the midst of a
ballroom that stretched from horizon to horizon, and was domed by the
bending heavens and lighted by no meaner lamps than the stars and the
magnificent moon--dance, and promenade, and smoke, and sing, and make
love, and search the skies for constellations that never associate with
the "Big Dipper" they were so tired of; and they were to see the ships of
twenty navies--the customs and costumes of twenty curious peoples--the
great cities of half a world--they were to hob-nob with nobility and hold
friendly converse with kings and princes, grand moguls, and the anointed
lords of mighty empires! It was a brave conception; it was the offspring
of a most ingenious brain.  It was well advertised, but it hardly needed
it: the bold originality, the extraordinary character, the seductive
nature, and the vastness of the enterprise provoked comment everywhere
and advertised it in every household in the land.  Who could read the
program of the excursion without longing to make one of the party? I will
insert it here.  It is almost as good as a map.  As a text for this book,
nothing could be better:

                   EXCURSION TO THE HOLY LAND, EGYPT,
      THE CRIMEA, GREECE, AND INTERMEDIATE POINTS OF INTEREST.
                     BROOKLYN, February 1st, 1867

       The undersigned will make an excursion as above during the coming
     season, and begs to submit to you the following programme:

       A first-class steamer, to be under his own command, and capable of
     accommodating at least one hundred and fifty cabin passengers, will
     be selected, in which will be taken a select company, numbering not
     more than   three-fourths of the ship's capacity.  There is good
     reason to believe that this company can be easily made up in this
     immediate vicinity, of mutual friends and acquaintances.

       The steamer will be provided with every necessary comfort,
     including library and musical instruments.

       An experienced physician will be on board.

       Leaving New York about June 1st, a middle and pleasant route will
     be taken across the Atlantic, and passing through the group of
     Azores, St. Michael will be reached in about ten days.  A day or two
     will be spent here, enjoying the fruit and wild scenery of these
     islands, and the voyage continued, and Gibraltar reached in three or
     four days.

       A day or two will be spent here in looking over the wonderful
     subterraneous fortifications, permission to visit these galleries
     being readily obtained.

       From Gibraltar, running along the coasts of Spain and France,
     Marseilles will be reached in three days.  Here ample time will be
     given not only to look over the city, which was founded six hundred
     years before the Christian era, and its artificial port, the finest
     of the kind in the Mediterranean, but to visit Paris during the
     Great Exhibition; and the beautiful city of Lyons, lying
     intermediate, from the heights of which, on a clear day, Mont Blanc
     and the Alps can be distinctly seen.  Passengers who may wish to
     extend the time at Paris can do so, and, passing down through
     Switzerland, rejoin the steamer at Genoa.

       From Marseilles to Genoa is a run of one night.  The excursionists
     will have an opportunity to look over this, the "magnificent city of
     palaces," and visit the birthplace of Columbus, twelve miles off,
     over a beautiful road built by Napoleon I.  From this point,
     excursions may be made to Milan, Lakes Como and Maggiore, or to
     Milan, Verona (famous for its extraordinary fortifications), Padua,
     and Venice.  Or, if passengers desire to visit Parma (famous for
     Correggio's frescoes) and Bologna, they can by rail go on to
     Florence, and rejoin the steamer at Leghorn, thus spending about
     three weeks amid the cities most famous for art in Italy.

       From Genoa the run to Leghorn will be made along the coast in one
     night, and time appropriated to this point in which to visit
     Florence, its palaces and galleries; Pisa, its cathedral and
     "Leaning Tower," and Lucca and its baths, and Roman amphitheater;
     Florence, the most remote, being distant by rail about sixty miles.

       From Leghorn to Naples (calling at Civita Vecchia to land any who
     may prefer to go to Rome from that point), the distance will be made
     in about thirty-six hours; the route will lay along the coast of
     Italy, close by Caprera, Elba, and Corsica.  Arrangements have been
     made to take on board at Leghorn a pilot for Caprera, and, if
     practicable, a call will be made there to visit the home of
     Garibaldi.

       Rome [by rail], Herculaneum, Pompeii, Vesuvius, Vergil's tomb, and
     possibly the ruins of Paestum can be visited, as well as the
     beautiful surroundings of Naples and its charming bay.

       The next point of interest will be Palermo, the most beautiful
     city of Sicily, which will be reached in one night from Naples.  A
     day will be spent here, and leaving in the evening, the course will
     be taken towards Athens.

       Skirting along the north coast of Sicily, passing through the
     group of Aeolian Isles, in sight of Stromboli and Vulcania, both
     active volcanoes, through the Straits of Messina, with "Scylla" on
     the one hand and "Charybdis" on the other, along the east coast of
     Sicily, and in sight of Mount Etna, along the south coast of Italy,
     the west and south coast of Greece, in sight of ancient Crete, up
     Athens Gulf, and into the Piraeus, Athens will be reached in two and
     a half or three days.  After tarrying here awhile, the Bay of
     Salamis will be crossed, and a day given to Corinth, whence the
     voyage will be continued to Constantinople, passing on the way
     through the Grecian Archipelago, the Dardanelles, the Sea of
     Marmora, and the mouth of the Golden Horn, and arriving in about
     forty-eight hours from Athens.

       After leaving Constantinople, the way will be taken out through
     the beautiful Bosphorus, across the Black Sea to Sebastopol and
     Balaklava, a run of about twenty-four hours.  Here it is proposed to
     remain two days, visiting the harbors, fortifications, and
     battlefields of the Crimea; thence back through the Bosphorus,
     touching at Constantinople to take in any who may have preferred to
     remain there; down through the Sea of Marmora and the Dardanelles,
     along the coasts of ancient Troy and Lydia in Asia, to Smyrna, which
     will be reached in two or two and a half days from Constantinople.
     A sufficient stay will be made here to give opportunity of visiting
     Ephesus, fifty miles distant by rail.

       From Smyrna towards the Holy Land the course will lay through the
     Grecian  Archipelago, close by the Isle of Patmos, along the coast
     of Asia, ancient Pamphylia, and the Isle of Cyprus.  Beirut will be
     reached in three days.  At Beirut time will be given to visit
     Damascus; after which the steamer will proceed to Joppa.

       From Joppa, Jerusalem, the River Jordan, the Sea of Tiberias,
     Nazareth, Bethany, Bethlehem, and other points of interest in the
     Holy Land can be visited, and here those who may have preferred to
     make the journey from Beirut through the country, passing through
     Damascus, Galilee, Capernaum, Samaria, and by the River Jordan and
     Sea of Tiberias, can rejoin the steamer.

       Leaving Joppa, the next point of interest to visit will be
     Alexandria, which will be reached in twenty-four hours.  The ruins
     of Caesar's Palace, Pompey's Pillar, Cleopatra's Needle, the
     Catacombs, and ruins of ancient Alexandria will be found worth the
     visit.  The journey to Cairo, one hundred and thirty miles by rail,
     can be made in a few hours, and from which can be visited the site
     of ancient Memphis, Joseph's Granaries, and the Pyramids.

       From Alexandria the route will be taken homeward, calling at
     Malta, Cagliari (in Sardinia), and Palma (in Majorca), all
     magnificent harbors, with charming scenery, and abounding in fruits.

       A day or two will be spent at each place, and leaving Parma in the
     evening, Valencia in Spain will be reached the next morning.  A few
     days will be spent in this, the finest city of Spain.

       From Valencia, the homeward course will be continued, skirting
     along the coast of Spain.  Alicant, Carthagena, Palos, and Malaga
     will be passed but a mile or two distant, and Gibraltar reached in
     about twenty-four hours.

       A stay of one day will be made here, and the voyage continued to
     Madeira, which will be reached in about three days.  Captain
     Marryatt writes: "I do not know a spot on the globe which so much
     astonishes and delights upon first arrival as Madeira." A stay of
     one or two days will be made here, which, if time permits, may be
     extended, and passing on through the islands, and probably in sight
     of the Peak of Teneriffe, a southern track will be taken, and the
     Atlantic crossed within the latitudes of the northeast trade winds,
     where mild and pleasant weather, and a smooth sea, can always be
     expected.

       A call will be made at Bermuda, which lies directly in this route
     homeward, and will be reached in about ten days from Madeira, and
     after spending a short time with our friends the Bermudians, the
     final departure will be made for home, which will be reached in
     about three days.

       Already, applications have been received from parties in Europe
     wishing to join the Excursion there.

       The ship will at all times be a home, where the excursionists, if
     sick, will be surrounded by kind friends, and have all possible
     comfort and sympathy.

       Should contagious sickness exist in any of the ports named in the
     program, such ports will be passed, and others of interest
     substituted.

       The price of passage is fixed at $1,250, currency, for each adult
     passenger.  Choice of rooms and of seats at the tables apportioned
     in the order in which passages are engaged; and no passage
     considered engaged until ten percent of the passage money is
     deposited with the treasurer.

       Passengers can remain on board of the steamer, at all ports, if
     they desire, without additional expense, and all boating at the
     expense of the ship.

       All passages must be paid for when taken, in order that the most
     perfect arrangements be made for starting at the appointed time.

       Applications for passage must be approved by the committee before
     tickets are issued, and can be made to the undersigned.

       Articles of interest or curiosity, procured by the passengers
     during the voyage, may be brought home in the steamer free of
     charge.

       Five dollars per day, in gold, it is believed, will be a fair
     calculation to make for all traveling expenses onshore and at the
     various points where passengers may wish to leave the steamer for
     days at a time.

       The trip can be extended, and the route changed, by unanimous vote
     of the passengers.

      CHAS.  C.  DUNCAN,  117 WALL STREET, NEW YORK  R.  R.  G******,
     Treasurer

      Committee on Applications  J.  T.  H*****, ESQ.  R.  R.  G*****,
     ESQ.  C.  C.  Duncan

      Committee on Selecting Steamer  CAPT.  W.  W.  S* * * *, Surveyor
     for Board of Underwriters

       C.  W.  C******, Consulting Engineer for U.S.  and Canada  J.  T.
     H*****, Esq. C.  C.  DUNCAN

       P.S. --The very beautiful and substantial side-wheel steamship
     "Quaker City" has been chartered for the occasion, and will leave
     New York June 8th.  Letters have been issued by the government
     commending the party to courtesies abroad.

What was there lacking about that program to make it perfectly
irresistible? Nothing that any finite mind could discover.  Paris,
England, Scotland, Switzerland, Italy--Garibaldi! The Grecian
Archipelago! Vesuvius! Constantinople! Smyrna! The Holy Land! Egypt and
"our friends the Bermudians"! People in Europe desiring to join the
excursion--contagious sickness to be avoided--boating at the expense of
the ship--physician on board--the circuit of the globe to be made if the
passengers unanimously desired it--the company to be rigidly selected by
a pitiless "Committee on Applications"--the vessel to be as rigidly
selected by as pitiless a "Committee on Selecting Steamer." Human nature
could not withstand these bewildering temptations.  I hurried to the
treasurer's office and deposited my ten percent.  I rejoiced to know that
a few vacant staterooms were still left.  I did avoid a critical personal
examination into my character by that bowelless committee, but I referred
to all the people of high standing I could think of in the community who
would be least likely to know anything about me.

Shortly a supplementary program was issued which set forth that the
Plymouth Collection of Hymns would be used on board the ship.  I then
paid the balance of my passage money.

I was provided with a receipt and duly and officially accepted as an
excursionist.  There was happiness in that but it was tame compared to
the novelty of being "select."

This supplementary program also instructed the excursionists to provide
themselves with light musical instruments for amusement in the ship, with
saddles for Syrian travel, green spectacles and umbrellas, veils for
Egypt, and substantial clothing to use in rough pilgrimizing in the Holy
Land.  Furthermore, it was suggested that although the ship's library
would afford a fair amount of reading matter, it would still be well if
each passenger would provide himself with a few guidebooks, a Bible, and
some standard works of travel.  A list was appended, which consisted
chiefly of books relating to the Holy Land, since the Holy Land was part
of the excursion and seemed to be its main feature.

Reverend Henry Ward Beecher was to have accompanied the expedition, but
urgent duties obliged him to give up the idea.  There were other
passengers who could have been spared better and would have been spared
more willingly.  Lieutenant General Sherman was to have been of the party
also, but the Indian war compelled his presence on the plains.  A popular
actress had entered her name on the ship's books, but something
interfered and she couldn't go.  The "Drummer Boy of the Potomac"
deserted, and lo, we had never a celebrity left!

However, we were to have a "battery of guns" from the Navy Department (as
per advertisement) to be used in answering royal salutes; and the
document furnished by the Secretary of the Navy, which was to make
"General Sherman and party" welcome guests in the courts and camps of the
old world, was still left to us, though both document and battery, I
think, were shorn of somewhat of their original august proportions.
However, had not we the seductive program still, with its Paris, its
Constantinople, Smyrna, Jerusalem, Jericho, and "our friends the
Bermudians?" What did we care?




CHAPTER II.

Occasionally, during the following month, I dropped in at 117 Wall Street
to inquire how the repairing and refurnishing of the vessel was coming
on, how additions to the passenger list were averaging, how many people
the committee were decreeing not "select" every day and banishing in
sorrow and tribulation.  I was glad to know that we were to have a little
printing press on board and issue a daily newspaper of our own.  I was
glad to learn that our piano, our parlor organ, and our melodeon were to
be the best instruments of the kind that could be had in the market.  I
was proud to observe that among our excursionists were three ministers of
the gospel, eight doctors, sixteen or eighteen ladies, several military
and naval chieftains with sounding titles, an ample crop of "Professors"
of various kinds, and a gentleman who had "COMMISSIONER OF THE UNITED
STATES OF AMERICA TO EUROPE, ASIA, AND AFRICA" thundering after his name
in one awful blast!  I had carefully prepared myself to take rather a
back seat in that ship because of the uncommonly select material that
would alone be permitted to pass through the camel's eye of that
committee on credentials; I had schooled myself to expect an imposing
array of military and naval heroes and to have to set that back seat
still further back in consequence of it maybe; but I state frankly that I
was all unprepared for this crusher.

I fell under that titular avalanche a torn and blighted thing.  I said
that if that potentate must go over in our ship, why, I supposed he must
--but that to my thinking, when the United States considered it necessary
to send a dignitary of that tonnage across the ocean, it would be in
better taste, and safer, to take him apart and cart him over in sections
in several ships.

Ah, if I had only known then that he was only a common mortal, and that
his mission had nothing more overpowering about it than the collecting of
seeds and uncommon yams and extraordinary cabbages and peculiar bullfrogs
for that poor, useless, innocent, mildewed old fossil the Smithsonian
Institute, I would have felt so much relieved.

During that memorable month I basked in the happiness of being for once
in my life drifting with the tide of a great popular movement.  Everybody
was going to Europe--I, too, was going to Europe.  Everybody was going to
the famous Paris Exposition--I, too, was going to the Paris Exposition.
The steamship lines were carrying Americans out of the various ports of
the country at the rate of four or five thousand a week in the aggregate.
If I met a dozen individuals during that month who were not going to
Europe shortly, I have no distinct remembrance of it now.  I walked about
the city a good deal with a young Mr.  Blucher, who was booked for the
excursion.  He was confiding, good-natured, unsophisticated,
companionable; but he was not a man to set the river on fire.  He had the
most extraordinary notions about this European exodus and came at last to
consider the whole nation as packing up for emigration to France.  We
stepped into a store on Broadway one day, where he bought a handkerchief,
and when the man could not make change, Mr. B. said:

"Never mind, I'll hand it to you in Paris."

"But I am not going to Paris."

"How is--what did I understand you to say?"

"I said I am not going to Paris."

"Not going to Paris!  Not g---- well, then, where in the nation are you
going to?"

"Nowhere at all."

"Not anywhere whatsoever?--not any place on earth but this?"

"Not any place at all but just this--stay here all summer."

My comrade took his purchase and walked out of the store without a word--
walked out with an injured look upon his countenance.  Up the street
apiece he broke silence and said impressively: "It was a lie--that is my
opinion of it!"

In the fullness of time the ship was ready to receive her passengers.
I was introduced to the young gentleman who was to be my roommate, and
found him to be intelligent, cheerful of spirit, unselfish, full of
generous impulses, patient, considerate, and wonderfully good-natured.
Not any passenger that sailed in the Quaker City will withhold his
endorsement of what I have just said.  We selected a stateroom forward of
the wheel, on the starboard side, "below decks."  It bad two berths in
it, a dismal dead-light, a sink with a washbowl in it, and a long,
sumptuously cushioned locker, which was to do service as a sofa--partly--
and partly as a hiding place for our things.  Notwithstanding all this
furniture, there was still room to turn around in, but not to swing a cat
in, at least with entire security to the cat.  However, the room was
large, for a ship's stateroom, and was in every way satisfactory.

The vessel was appointed to sail on a certain Saturday early in June.

A little after noon on that distinguished Saturday I reached the ship and
went on board.  All was bustle and confusion.  [I have seen that remark
before somewhere.]  The pier was crowded with carriages and men;
passengers were arriving and hurrying on board; the vessel's decks were
encumbered with trunks and valises; groups of excursionists, arrayed in
unattractive traveling costumes, were moping about in a drizzling rain
and looking as droopy and woebegone as so many molting chickens.  The
gallant flag was up, but it was under the spell, too, and hung limp and
disheartened by the mast.  Altogether, it was the bluest, bluest
spectacle!  It was a pleasure excursion--there was no gainsaying that,
because the program said so--it was so nominated in the bond--but it
surely hadn't the general aspect of one.

Finally, above the banging, and rumbling, and shouting, and hissing of
steam rang the order to "cast off!"--a sudden rush to the gangways--a
scampering ashore of visitors-a revolution of the wheels, and we were
off--the pic-nic was begun!  Two very mild cheers went up from the
dripping crowd on the pier; we answered them gently from the slippery
decks; the flag made an effort to wave, and failed; the "battery of guns"
spake not--the ammunition was out.

We steamed down to the foot of the harbor and came to anchor.  It was
still raining.  And not only raining, but storming.  "Outside" we could
see, ourselves, that there was a tremendous sea on.  We must lie still,
in the calm harbor, till the storm should abate.  Our passengers hailed
from fifteen states; only a few of them had ever been to sea before;
manifestly it would not do to pit them against a full-blown tempest until
they had got their sea-legs on.  Toward evening the two steam tugs that
had accompanied us with a rollicking champagne-party of young New Yorkers
on board who wished to bid farewell to one of our number in due and
ancient form departed, and we were alone on the deep.  On deep five
fathoms, and anchored fast to the bottom.  And out in the solemn rain, at
that.  This was pleasuring with a vengeance.

It was an appropriate relief when the gong sounded for prayer meeting.
The first Saturday night of any other pleasure excursion might have been
devoted to whist and dancing; but I submit it to the unprejudiced mind if
it would have been in good taste for us to engage in such frivolities,
considering what we had gone through and the frame of mind we were in.
We would have shone at a wake, but not at anything more festive.

However, there is always a cheering influence about the sea; and in my
berth that night, rocked by the measured swell of the waves and lulled by
the murmur of the distant surf, I soon passed tranquilly out of all
consciousness of the dreary experiences of the day and damaging
premonitions of the future.




CHAPTER III.

All day Sunday at anchor.  The storm had gone down a great deal, but the
sea had not.  It was still piling its frothy hills high in air "outside,"
as we could plainly see with the glasses.  We could not properly begin a
pleasure excursion on Sunday; we could not offer untried stomachs to so
pitiless a sea as that.  We must lie still till Monday.  And we did.  But
we had repetitions of church and prayer-meetings; and so, of course, we
were just as eligibly situated as we could have been any where.

I was up early that Sabbath morning and was early to breakfast.  I felt a
perfectly natural desire to have a good, long, unprejudiced look at the
passengers at a time when they should be free from self-consciousness--
which is at breakfast, when such a moment occurs in the lives of human
beings at all.

I was greatly surprised to see so many elderly people--I might almost
say, so many venerable people.  A glance at the long lines of heads was
apt to make one think it was all gray.  But it was not.  There was a
tolerably fair sprinkling of young folks, and another fair sprinkling of
gentlemen and ladies who were non-committal as to age, being neither
actually old or absolutely young.

The next morning we weighed anchor and went to sea.  It was a great
happiness to get away after this dragging, dispiriting delay.  I thought
there never was such gladness in the air before, such brightness in the
sun, such beauty in the sea.  I was satisfied with the picnic then and
with all its belongings.  All my malicious instincts were dead within me;
and as America faded out of sight, I think a spirit of charity rose up in
their place that was as boundless, for the time being, as the broad ocean
that was heaving its billows about us.  I wished to express my feelings--
I wished to lift up my voice and sing; but I did not know anything to
sing, and so I was obliged to give up the idea.  It was no loss to the
ship, though, perhaps.

It was breezy and pleasant, but the sea was still very rough.  One could
not promenade without risking his neck; at one moment the bowsprit was
taking a deadly aim at the sun in midheaven, and at the next it was
trying to harpoon a shark in the bottom of the ocean.  What a weird
sensation it is to feel the stem of a ship sinking swiftly from under you
and see the bow climbing high away among the clouds!  One's safest course
that day was to clasp a railing and hang on; walking was too precarious a
pastime.

By some happy fortune I was not seasick. --That was a thing to be proud
of.  I had not always escaped before.  If there is one thing in the world
that will make a man peculiarly and insufferably self-conceited, it is to
have his stomach behave itself, the first day it sea, when nearly all his
comrades are seasick.  Soon a venerable fossil, shawled to the chin and
bandaged like a mummy, appeared at the door of the after deck-house, and
the next lurch of the ship shot him into my arms.  I said:

"Good-morning, Sir.  It is a fine day."

He put his hand on his stomach and said, "Oh, my!" and then staggered
away and fell over the coop of a skylight.

Presently another old gentleman was projected from the same door with
great violence.  I said:

"Calm yourself, Sir--There is no hurry.  It is a fine day, Sir."

He, also, put his hand on his stomach and said "Oh, my!" and reeled away.

In a little while another veteran was discharged abruptly from the same
door, clawing at the air for a saving support.  I said:

"Good morning, Sir.  It is a fine day for pleasuring.  You were about to
say--"

"Oh, my!"

I thought so.  I anticipated him, anyhow.  I stayed there and was
bombarded with old gentlemen for an hour, perhaps; and all I got out of
any of them was "Oh, my!"

I went away then in a thoughtful mood.  I said, this is a good pleasure
excursion.  I like it.  The passengers are not garrulous, but still they
are sociable.  I like those old people, but somehow they all seem to have
the "Oh, my" rather bad.

I knew what was the matter with them.  They were seasick.  And I was glad
of it.  We all like to see people seasick when we are not, ourselves.
Playing whist by the cabin lamps when it is storming outside is pleasant;
walking the quarterdeck in the moonlight is pleasant; smoking in the
breezy foretop is pleasant when one is not afraid to go up there; but
these are all feeble and commonplace compared with the joy of seeing
people suffering the miseries of seasickness.

I picked up a good deal of information during the afternoon.  At one time
I was climbing up the quarterdeck when the vessel's stem was in the sky;
I was smoking a cigar and feeling passably comfortable.  Somebody
ejaculated:

"Come, now, that won't answer.  Read the sign up there--NO SMOKING ABAFT
THE WHEEL!"

It was Captain Duncan, chief of the expedition.  I went forward, of
course.  I saw a long spyglass lying on a desk in one of the upper-deck
state-rooms back of the pilot-house and reached after it--there was a
ship in the distance.

"Ah, ah--hands off!  Come out of that!"

I came out of that.  I said to a deck-sweep--but in a low voice:

"Who is that overgrown pirate with the whiskers and the discordant
voice?"

"It's Captain Bursley--executive officer--sailing master."

I loitered about awhile, and then, for want of something better to do,
fell to carving a railing with my knife.  Somebody said, in an
insinuating, admonitory voice:

"Now, say--my friend--don't you know any better than to be whittling the
ship all to pieces that way? You ought to know better than that."

I went back and found the deck sweep.

"Who is that smooth-faced, animated outrage yonder in the fine clothes?"

"That's Captain L****, the owner of the ship--he's one of the main
bosses."

In the course of time I brought up on the starboard side of the
pilot-house and found a sextant lying on a bench.  Now, I said, they
"take the sun" through this thing; I should think I might see that vessel
through it.  I had hardly got it to my eye when someone touched me on the
shoulder and said deprecatingly:

"I'll have to get you to give that to me, Sir.  If there's anything you'd
like to know about taking the sun, I'd as soon tell you as not--but I
don't like to trust anybody with that instrument.  If you want any
figuring done--Aye, aye, sir!"

He was gone to answer a call from the other side.  I sought the
deck-sweep.

"Who is that spider-legged gorilla yonder with the sanctimonious
countenance?"

"It's Captain Jones, sir--the chief mate."

"Well.  This goes clear away ahead of anything I ever heard of before.
Do you--now I ask you as a man and a brother--do you think I could
venture to throw a rock here in any given direction without hitting a
captain of this ship?"

"Well, sir, I don't know--I think likely you'd fetch the captain of the
watch may be, because he's a-standing right yonder in the way."

I went below--meditating and a little downhearted.  I thought, if five
cooks can spoil a broth, what may not five captains do with a pleasure
excursion.




CHAPTER IV.

We plowed along bravely for a week or more, and without any conflict of
jurisdiction among the captains worth mentioning.  The passengers soon
learned to accommodate themselves to their new circumstances, and life in
the ship became nearly as systematically monotonous as the routine of a
barrack.  I do not mean that it was dull, for it was not entirely so by
any means--but there was a good deal of sameness about it.  As is always
the fashion at sea, the passengers shortly began to pick up sailor terms
--a sign that they were beginning to feel at home.  Half-past six was no
longer half-past six to these pilgrims from New England, the South, and
the Mississippi Valley, it was "seven bells"; eight, twelve, and four
o'clock were "eight bells"; the captain did not take the longitude at
nine o'clock, but at "two bells."  They spoke glibly of the "after
cabin," the "for'rard cabin," "port and starboard" and the "fo'castle."

At seven bells the first gong rang; at eight there was breakfast, for
such as were not too seasick to eat it.  After that all the well people
walked arm-in-arm up and down the long promenade deck, enjoying the fine
summer mornings, and the seasick ones crawled out and propped themselves
up in the lee of the paddle-boxes and ate their dismal tea and toast, and
looked wretched.  From eleven o'clock until luncheon, and from luncheon
until dinner at six in the evening, the employments and amusements were
various.  Some reading was done, and much smoking and sewing, though not
by the same parties; there were the monsters of the deep to be looked
after and wondered at; strange ships had to be scrutinized through
opera-glasses, and sage decisions arrived at concerning them; and more
than that, everybody took a personal interest in seeing that the flag was
run up and politely dipped three times in response to the salutes of
those strangers; in the smoking room there were always parties of
gentlemen playing euchre, draughts and dominoes, especially dominoes,
that delightfully harmless game; and down on the main deck, "for'rard"--
for'rard of the chicken-coops and the cattle--we had what was called
"horse billiards."  Horse billiards is a fine game.  It affords good,
active exercise, hilarity, and consuming excitement.  It is a mixture of
"hop-scotch" and shuffleboard played with a crutch.  A large hop-scotch
diagram is marked out on the deck with chalk, and each compartment
numbered.  You stand off three or four steps, with some broad wooden
disks before you on the deck, and these you send forward with a vigorous
thrust of a long crutch.  If a disk stops on a chalk line, it does not
count anything.  If it stops in division No. 7, it counts 7; in 5, it
counts 5, and so on.  The game is 100, and four can play at a time.  That
game would be very simple played on a stationary floor, but with us, to
play it well required science.  We had to allow for the reeling of the
ship to the right or the left.  Very often one made calculations for a
heel to the right and the ship did not go that way.  The consequence was
that that disk missed the whole hopscotch plan a yard or two, and then
there was humiliation on one side and laughter on the other.

When it rained the passengers had to stay in the house, of course--or at
least the cabins--and amuse themselves with games, reading, looking out
of the windows at the very familiar billows, and talking gossip.

By 7 o'clock in the evening, dinner was about over; an hour's promenade
on the upper deck followed; then the gong sounded and a large majority of
the party repaired to the after cabin (upper), a handsome saloon fifty or
sixty feet long, for prayers.  The unregenerated called this saloon the
"Synagogue."  The devotions consisted only of two hymns from the Plymouth
Collection and a short prayer, and seldom occupied more than fifteen
minutes.  The hymns were accompanied by parlor-organ music when the sea
was smooth enough to allow a performer to sit at the instrument without
being lashed to his chair.

After prayers the Synagogue shortly took the semblance of a writing
school.  The like of that picture was never seen in a ship before.
Behind the long dining tables on either side of the saloon, and scattered
from one end to the other of the latter, some twenty or thirty gentlemen
and ladies sat them down under the swaying lamps and for two or three
hours wrote diligently in their journals.  Alas!  that journals so
voluminously begun should come to so lame and impotent a conclusion as
most of them did!  I doubt if there is a single pilgrim of all that host
but can show a hundred fair pages of journal concerning the first twenty
days' voyaging in the Quaker City, and I am morally certain that not ten
of the party can show twenty pages of journal for the succeeding twenty
thousand miles of voyaging!  At certain periods it becomes the dearest
ambition of a man to keep a faithful record of his performances in a
book; and he dashes at this work with an enthusiasm that imposes on him
the notion that keeping a journal is the veriest pastime in the world,
and the pleasantest.  But if he only lives twenty-one days, he will find
out that only those rare natures that are made up of pluck, endurance,
devotion to duty for duty's sake, and invincible determination may hope
to venture upon so tremendous an enterprise as the keeping of a journal
and not sustain a shameful defeat.

One of our favorite youths, Jack, a splendid young fellow with a head
full of good sense, and a pair of legs that were a wonder to look upon in
the way of length and straightness and slimness, used to report progress
every morning in the most glowing and spirited way, and say:

"Oh, I'm coming along bully!" (he was a little given to slang in his
happier moods.)  "I wrote ten pages in my journal last night--and you
know I wrote nine the night before and twelve the night before that.
Why, it's only fun!"

"What do you find to put in it, Jack?"

"Oh, everything.  Latitude and longitude, noon every day; and how many
miles we made last twenty-four hours; and all the domino games I beat and
horse billiards; and whales and sharks and porpoises; and the text of the
sermon Sundays (because that'll tell at home, you know); and the ships we
saluted and what nation they were; and which way the wind was, and
whether there was a heavy sea, and what sail we carried, though we don't
ever carry any, principally, going against a head wind always--wonder
what is the reason of that?--and how many lies Moult has told--Oh, every
thing!  I've got everything down.  My father told me to keep that
journal.  Father wouldn't take a thousand dollars for it when I get it
done."

"No, Jack; it will be worth more than a thousand dollars--when you get it
done."

"Do you?--no, but do you think it will, though?

"Yes, it will be worth at least as much as a thousand dollars--when you
get it done.  May be more."

"Well, I about half think so, myself.  It ain't no slouch of a journal."

But it shortly became a most lamentable "slouch of a journal."  One night
in Paris, after a hard day's toil in sightseeing, I said:

"Now I'll go and stroll around the cafes awhile, Jack, and give you a
chance to write up your journal, old fellow."

His countenance lost its fire.  He said:

"Well, no, you needn't mind.  I think I won't run that journal anymore.
It is awful tedious.  Do you know--I reckon I'm as much as four thousand
pages behind hand.  I haven't got any France in it at all.  First I
thought I'd leave France out and start fresh.  But that wouldn't do,
would it? The governor would say, 'Hello, here--didn't see anything in
France? That cat wouldn't fight, you know.  First I thought I'd copy
France out of the guide-book, like old Badger in the for'rard cabin,
who's writing a book, but there's more than three hundred pages of it.
Oh, I don't think a journal's any use--do you? They're only a bother,
ain't they?"

"Yes, a journal that is incomplete isn't of much use, but a journal
properly kept is worth a thousand dollars--when you've got it done."

"A thousand!--well, I should think so.  I wouldn't finish it for a
million."

His experience was only the experience of the majority of that
industrious night school in the cabin.  If you wish to inflict a
heartless and malignant punishment upon a young person, pledge him to
keep a journal a year.

A good many expedients were resorted to to keep the excursionists amused
and satisfied.  A club was formed, of all the passengers, which met in
the writing school after prayers and read aloud about the countries we
were approaching and discussed the information so obtained.

Several times the photographer of the expedition brought out his
transparent pictures and gave us a handsome magic-lantern exhibition.
His views were nearly all of foreign scenes, but there were one or two
home pictures among them.  He advertised that he would "open his
performance in the after cabin at 'two bells' (nine P.M.) and show the
passengers where they shall eventually arrive"--which was all very well,
but by a funny accident the first picture that flamed out upon the canvas
was a view of Greenwood Cemetery!

On several starlight nights we danced on the upper deck, under the
awnings, and made something of a ball-room display of brilliancy by
hanging a number of ship's lanterns to the stanchions.  Our music
consisted of the well-mixed strains of a melodeon which was a little
asthmatic and apt to catch its breath where it ought to come out strong,
a clarinet which was a little unreliable on the high keys and rather
melancholy on the low ones, and a disreputable accordion that had a leak
somewhere and breathed louder than it squawked--a more elegant term does
not occur to me just now.  However, the dancing was infinitely worse than
the music.  When the ship rolled to starboard the whole platoon of
dancers came charging down to starboard with it, and brought up in mass
at the rail; and when it rolled to port they went floundering down to
port with the same unanimity of sentiment.  Waltzers spun around
precariously for a matter of fifteen seconds and then went scurrying down
to the rail as if they meant to go overboard.  The Virginia reel, as
performed on board the Quaker City, had more genuine reel about it than
any reel I ever saw before, and was as full of interest to the spectator
as it was full of desperate chances and hairbreadth escapes to the
participant.  We gave up dancing, finally.

We celebrated a lady's birthday anniversary with toasts, speeches, a
poem, and so forth.  We also had a mock trial.  No ship ever went to sea
that hadn't a mock trial on board.  The purser was accused of stealing an
overcoat from stateroom No. 10.  A judge was appointed; also clerks, a
crier of the court, constables, sheriffs; counsel for the State and for
the defendant; witnesses were subpoenaed, and a jury empaneled after much
challenging.  The witnesses were stupid and unreliable and contradictory,
as witnesses always are.  The counsel were eloquent, argumentative, and
vindictively abusive of each other, as was characteristic and proper.
The case was at last submitted and duly finished by the judge with an
absurd decision and a ridiculous sentence.

The acting of charades was tried on several evenings by the young
gentlemen and ladies, in the cabins, and proved the most distinguished
success of all the amusement experiments.

An attempt was made to organize a debating club, but it was a failure.
There was no oratorical talent in the ship.

We all enjoyed ourselves--I think I can safely say that, but it was in a
rather quiet way.  We very, very seldom played the piano; we played the
flute and the clarinet together, and made good music, too, what there was
of it, but we always played the same old tune; it was a very pretty tune
--how well I remember it--I wonder when I shall ever get rid of it.  We
never played either the melodeon or the organ except at devotions--but I
am too fast: young Albert did know part of a tune something about
"O Something-Or-Other How Sweet It Is to Know That He's His What's-his-
Name" (I do not remember the exact title of it, but it was very plaintive
and full of sentiment); Albert played that pretty much all the time until
we contracted with him to restrain himself.  But nobody ever sang by
moonlight on the upper deck, and the congregational singing at church and
prayers was not of a superior order of architecture.  I put up with it as
long as I could and then joined in and tried to improve it, but this
encouraged young George to join in too, and that made a failure of it;
because George's voice was just "turning," and when he was singing a
dismal sort of bass it was apt to fly off the handle and startle
everybody with a most discordant cackle on the upper notes.  George
didn't know the tunes, either, which was also a drawback to his
performances.  I said:

"Come, now, George, don't improvise.  It looks too egotistical.  It will
provoke remark.  Just stick to 'Coronation,' like the others.  It is a
good tune--you can't improve it any, just off-hand, in this way."

"Why, I'm not trying to improve it--and I am singing like the others--
just as it is in the notes."

And he honestly thought he was, too; and so he had no one to blame but
himself when his voice caught on the center occasionally and gave him the
lockjaw.

There were those among the unregenerated who attributed the unceasing
head-winds to our distressing choir-music.  There were those who said
openly that it was taking chances enough to have such ghastly music going
on, even when it was at its best; and that to exaggerate the crime by
letting George help was simply flying in the face of Providence.  These
said that the choir would keep up their lacerating attempts at melody
until they would bring down a storm some day that would sink the ship.

There were even grumblers at the prayers.  The executive officer said the
pilgrims had no charity:

"There they are, down there every night at eight bells, praying for fair
winds--when they know as well as I do that this is the only ship going
east this time of the year, but there's a thousand coming west--what's a
fair wind for us is a head wind to them--the Almighty's blowing a fair
wind for a thousand vessels, and this tribe wants him to turn it clear
around so as to accommodate one--and she a steamship at that!  It ain't
good sense, it ain't good reason, it ain't good Christianity, it ain't
common human charity.  Avast with such nonsense!"




CHAPTER V.

Taking it "by and large," as the sailors say, we had a pleasant ten days'
run from New York to the Azores islands--not a fast run, for the distance
is only twenty-four hundred miles, but a right pleasant one in the main.
True, we had head winds all the time, and several stormy experiences
which sent fifty percent of the passengers to bed sick and made the ship
look dismal and deserted--stormy experiences that all will remember who
weathered them on the tumbling deck and caught the vast sheets of spray
that every now and then sprang high in air from the weather bow and swept
the ship like a thunder-shower; but for the most part we had balmy summer
weather and nights that were even finer than the days.  We had the
phenomenon of a full moon located just in the same spot in the heavens at
the same hour every night.  The reason of this singular conduct on the
part of the moon did not occur to us at first, but it did afterward when
we reflected that we were gaining about twenty minutes every day because
we were going east so fast--we gained just about enough every day to keep
along with the moon.  It was becoming an old moon to the friends we had
left behind us, but to us Joshuas it stood still in the same place and
remained always the same.

Young Mr. Blucher, who is from the Far West and is on his first voyage,
was a good deal worried by the constantly changing "ship time."  He was
proud of his new watch at first and used to drag it out promptly when
eight bells struck at noon, but he came to look after a while as if he
were losing confidence in it.  Seven days out from New York he came on
deck and said with great decision:

"This thing's a swindle!"

"What's a swindle?"

"Why, this watch.  I bought her out in Illinois--gave $150 for her--and I
thought she was good.  And, by George, she is good onshore, but somehow
she don't keep up her lick here on the water--gets seasick may be.  She
skips; she runs along regular enough till half-past eleven, and then, all
of a sudden, she lets down.  I've set that old regulator up faster and
faster, till I've shoved it clear around, but it don't do any good; she
just distances every watch in the ship, and clatters along in a way
that's astonishing till it is noon, but them eight bells always gets in
about ten minutes ahead of her anyway.  I don't know what to do with her
now.  She's doing all she can--she's going her best gait, but it won't
save her.  Now, don't you know, there ain't a watch in the ship that's
making better time than she is, but what does it signify?  When you hear
them eight bells you'll find her just about ten minutes short of her
score sure."

The ship was gaining a full hour every three days, and this fellow was
trying to make his watch go fast enough to keep up to her.  But, as he
had said, he had pushed the regulator up as far as it would go, and the
watch was "on its best gait," and so nothing was left him but to fold his
hands and see the ship beat the race.  We sent him to the captain, and he
explained to him the mystery of "ship time" and set his troubled mind at
rest.  This young man asked a great many questions about seasickness
before we left, and wanted to know what its characteristics were and how
he was to tell when he had it.  He found out.

We saw the usual sharks, blackfish, porpoises, &c., of course, and by and
by large schools of Portuguese men-of-war were added to the regular list
of sea wonders.  Some of them were white and some of a brilliant carmine
color.  The nautilus is nothing but a transparent web of jelly that
spreads itself to catch the wind, and has fleshy-looking strings a foot
or two long dangling from it to keep it steady in the water.  It is an
accomplished sailor and has good sailor judgment.  It reefs its sail when
a storm threatens or the wind blows pretty hard, and furls it entirely
and goes down when a gale blows.  Ordinarily it keeps its sail wet and in
good sailing order by turning over and dipping it in the water for a
moment.  Seamen say the nautilus is only found in these waters between
the 35th and 45th parallels of latitude.

At three o'clock on the morning of the twenty-first of June, we were
awakened and notified that the Azores islands were in sight.  I said I
did not take any interest in islands at three o'clock in the morning.
But another persecutor came, and then another and another, and finally
believing that the general enthusiasm would permit no one to slumber in
peace, I got up and went sleepily on deck.  It was five and a half
o'clock now, and a raw, blustering morning.  The passengers were huddled
about the smoke-stacks and fortified behind ventilators, and all were
wrapped in wintry costumes and looking sleepy and unhappy in the pitiless
gale and the drenching spray.

The island in sight was Flores.  It seemed only a mountain of mud
standing up out of the dull mists of the sea.  But as we bore down upon
it the sun came out and made it a beautiful picture--a mass of green
farms and meadows that swelled up to a height of fifteen hundred feet and
mingled its upper outlines with the clouds.  It was ribbed with sharp,
steep ridges and cloven with narrow canyons, and here and there on the
heights, rocky upheavals shaped themselves into mimic battlements and
castles; and out of rifted clouds came broad shafts of sunlight, that
painted summit, and slope and glen, with bands of fire, and left belts of
somber shade between.  It was the aurora borealis of the frozen pole
exiled to a summer land!

We skirted around two-thirds of the island, four miles from shore, and
all the opera glasses in the ship were called into requisition to settle
disputes as to whether mossy spots on the uplands were groves of trees or
groves of weeds, or whether the white villages down by the sea were
really villages or only the clustering tombstones of cemeteries.  Finally
we stood to sea and bore away for San Miguel, and Flores shortly became a
dome of mud again and sank down among the mists, and disappeared.  But to
many a seasick passenger it was good to see the green hills again, and
all were more cheerful after this episode than anybody could have
expected them to be, considering how sinfully early they had gotten up.

But we had to change our purpose about San Miguel, for a storm came up
about noon that so tossed and pitched the vessel that common sense
dictated a run for shelter.  Therefore we steered for the nearest island
of the group--Fayal (the people there pronounce it Fy-all, and put the
accent on the first syllable).  We anchored in the open roadstead of
Horta, half a mile from the shore.  The town has eight thousand to ten
thousand inhabitants.  Its snow-white houses nestle cosily in a sea of
fresh green vegetation, and no village could look prettier or more
attractive.  It sits in the lap of an amphitheater of hills which are
three hundred to seven hundred feet high, and carefully cultivated clear
to their summits--not a foot of soil left idle.  Every farm and every
acre is cut up into little square inclosures by stone walls, whose duty
it is to protect the growing products from the destructive gales that
blow there.  These hundreds of green squares, marked by their black lava
walls, make the hills look like vast checkerboards.

The islands belong to Portugal, and everything in Fayal has Portuguese
characteristics about it.  But more of that anon.  A swarm of swarthy,
noisy, lying, shoulder-shrugging, gesticulating Portuguese boatmen, with
brass rings in their ears and fraud in their hearts, climbed the ship's
sides, and various parties of us contracted with them to take us ashore
at so much a head, silver coin of any country.  We landed under the walls
of a little fort, armed with batteries of twelve-and-thirty-two-pounders,
which Horta considered a most formidable institution, but if we were ever
to get after it with one of our turreted monitors, they would have to
move it out in the country if they wanted it where they could go and find
it again when they needed it.  The group on the pier was a rusty one--men
and women, and boys and girls, all ragged and barefoot, uncombed and
unclean, and by instinct, education, and profession beggars.  They
trooped after us, and never more while we tarried in Fayal did we get rid
of them.  We walked up the middle of the principal street, and these
vermin surrounded us on all sides and glared upon us; and every moment
excited couples shot ahead of the procession to get a good look back,
just as village boys do when they accompany the elephant on his
advertising trip from street to street.  It was very flattering to me to
be part of the material for such a sensation.  Here and there in the
doorways we saw women with fashionable Portuguese hoods on.  This hood is
of thick blue cloth, attached to a cloak of the same stuff, and is a
marvel of ugliness.  It stands up high and spreads far abroad, and is
unfathomably deep.  It fits like a circus tent, and a woman's head is
hidden away in it like the man's who prompts the singers from his tin
shed in the stage of an opera.  There is no particle of trimming about
this monstrous capote, as they call it--it is just a plain, ugly dead-
blue mass of sail, and a woman can't go within eight points of the wind
with one of them on; she has to go before the wind or not at all.  The
general style of the capote is the same in all the islands, and will
remain so for the next ten thousand years, but each island shapes its
capotes just enough differently from the others to enable an observer to
tell at a glance what particular island a lady hails from.

The Portuguese pennies, or reis (pronounced rays), are prodigious.  It
takes one thousand reis to make a dollar, and all financial estimates are
made in reis.  We did not know this until after we had found it out
through Blucher.  Blucher said he was so happy and so grateful to be on
solid land once more that he wanted to give a feast--said he had heard it
was a cheap land, and he was bound to have a grand banquet.  He invited
nine of us, and we ate an excellent dinner at the principal hotel.  In
the midst of the jollity produced by good cigars, good wine, and passable
anecdotes, the landlord presented his bill.  Blucher glanced at it and
his countenance fell.  He took another look to assure himself that his
senses had not deceived him and then read the items aloud, in a faltering
voice, while the roses in his cheeks turned to ashes:

"'Ten dinners, at 600 reis, 6,000 reis!'  Ruin and desolation!

"'Twenty-five cigars, at 100 reis, 2,500 reis!'  Oh, my sainted mother!

"'Eleven bottles of wine, at 1,200 reis, 13,200 reis!'  Be with us all!

"'TOTAL, TWENTY-ONE THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED REIS!'  The suffering Moses!
There ain't money enough in the ship to pay that bill!  Go--leave me to
my misery, boys, I am a ruined community."

I think it was the blankest-looking party I ever saw.  Nobody could say a
word.  It was as if every soul had been stricken dumb.  Wine glasses
descended slowly to the table, their contents untasted.  Cigars dropped
unnoticed from nerveless fingers.  Each man sought his neighbor's eye,
but found in it no ray of hope, no encouragement.  At last the fearful
silence was broken.  The shadow of a desperate resolve settled upon
Blucher's countenance like a cloud, and he rose up and said:

"Landlord, this is a low, mean swindle, and I'll never, never stand it.
Here's a hundred and fifty dollars, Sir, and it's all you'll get--I'll
swim in blood before I'll pay a cent more."

Our spirits rose and the landlord's fell--at least we thought so; he was
confused, at any rate, notwithstanding he had not understood a word that
had been said.  He glanced from the little pile of gold pieces to Blucher
several times and then went out.  He must have visited an American, for
when he returned, he brought back his bill translated into a language
that a Christian could understand--thus:

10 dinners, 6,000 reis, or .  .  .$6.00

25 cigars, 2,500 reis, or .  .  .  2.50

11 bottles wine, 13,200 reis, or  13.20

Total 21,700 reis, or .  .  .  . $21.70

Happiness reigned once more in Blucher's dinner party.  More refreshments
were ordered.




CHAPTER VI.

I think the Azores must be very little known in America.  Out of our
whole ship's company there was not a solitary individual who knew
anything whatever about them.  Some of the party, well read concerning
most other lands, had no other information about the Azores than that
they were a group of nine or ten small islands far out in the Atlantic,
something more than halfway between New York and Gibraltar.  That was
all.  These considerations move me to put in a paragraph of dry facts
just here.

The community is eminently Portuguese--that is to say, it is slow, poor,
shiftless, sleepy, and lazy.  There is a civil governor, appointed by the
King of Portugal, and also a military governor, who can assume supreme
control and suspend the civil government at his pleasure.  The islands
contain a population of about 200,000, almost entirely Portuguese.
Everything is staid and settled, for the country was one hundred years
old when Columbus discovered America.  The principal crop is corn, and
they raise it and grind it just as their great-great-great-grandfathers
did.  They plow with a board slightly shod with iron; their trifling
little harrows are drawn by men and women; small windmills grind the
corn, ten bushels a day, and there is one assistant superintendent to
feed the mill and a general superintendent to stand by and keep him from
going to sleep.  When the wind changes they hitch on some donkeys and
actually turn the whole upper half of the mill around until the sails are
in proper position, instead of fixing the concern so that the sails could
be moved instead of the mill.  Oxen tread the wheat from the ear, after
the fashion prevalent in the time of Methuselah.  There is not a
wheelbarrow in the land--they carry everything on their heads, or on
donkeys, or in a wicker-bodied cart, whose wheels are solid blocks of
wood and whose axles turn with the wheel.  There is not a modern plow in
the islands or a threshing machine.  All attempts to introduce them have
failed.  The good Catholic Portuguese crossed himself and prayed God to
shield him from all blasphemous desire to know more than his father did
before him.  The climate is mild; they never have snow or ice, and I saw
no chimneys in the town.  The donkeys and the men, women, and children of
a family all eat and sleep in the same room, and are unclean, are ravaged
by vermin, and are truly happy.  The people lie, and cheat the stranger,
and are desperately ignorant, and have hardly any reverence for their
dead.  The latter trait shows how little better they are than the donkeys
they eat and sleep with.  The only well-dressed Portuguese in the camp
are the half a dozen well-to-do families, the Jesuit priests, and the
soldiers of the little garrison.  The wages of a laborer are twenty to
twenty-four cents a day, and those of a good mechanic about twice as
much.  They count it in reis at a thousand to the dollar, and this makes
them rich and contented.  Fine grapes used to grow in the islands, and an
excellent wine was made and exported.  But a disease killed all the vines
fifteen years ago, and since that time no wine has been made.  The
islands being wholly of volcanic origin, the soil is necessarily very
rich.  Nearly every foot of ground is under cultivation, and two or three
crops a year of each article are produced, but nothing is exported save a
few oranges--chiefly to England.  Nobody comes here, and nobody goes
away.  News is a thing unknown in Fayal.  A thirst for it is a passion
equally unknown.  A Portuguese of average intelligence inquired if our
civil war was over.  Because, he said, somebody had told him it was--or
at least it ran in his mind that somebody had told him something like
that!  And when a passenger gave an officer of the garrison copies of the
Tribune, the Herald, and Times, he was surprised to find later news in
them from Lisbon than he had just received by the little monthly steamer.
He was told that it came by cable.  He said he knew they had tried to lay
a cable ten years ago, but it had been in his mind somehow that they
hadn't succeeded!

It is in communities like this that Jesuit humbuggery flourishes.  We
visited a Jesuit cathedral nearly two hundred years old and found in it a
piece of the veritable cross upon which our Saviour was crucified.  It
was polished and hard, and in as excellent a state of preservation as if
the dread tragedy on Calvary had occurred yesterday instead of eighteen
centuries ago.  But these confiding people believe in that piece of wood
unhesitatingly.

In a chapel of the cathedral is an altar with facings of solid silver--at
least they call it so, and I think myself it would go a couple of hundred
to the ton (to speak after the fashion of the silver miners)--and before
it is kept forever burning a small lamp.  A devout lady who died, left
money and contracted for unlimited masses for the repose of her soul, and
also stipulated that this lamp should be kept lighted always, day and
night.  She did all this before she died, you understand.  It is a very
small lamp and a very dim one, and it could not work her much damage, I
think, if it went out altogether.

The great altar of the cathedral and also three or four minor ones are a
perfect mass of gilt gimcracks and gingerbread.  And they have a swarm of
rusty, dusty, battered apostles standing around the filagree work, some
on one leg and some with one eye out but a gamey look in the other, and
some with two or three fingers gone, and some with not enough nose left
to blow--all of them crippled and discouraged, and fitter subjects for
the hospital than the cathedral.

The walls of the chancel are of porcelain, all pictured over with figures
of almost life size, very elegantly wrought and dressed in the fanciful
costumes of two centuries ago.  The design was a history of something or
somebody, but none of us were learned enough to read the story.  The old
father, reposing under a stone close by, dated 1686, might have told us
if he could have risen.  But he didn't.

As we came down through the town we encountered a squad of little donkeys
ready saddled for use.  The saddles were peculiar, to say the least.
They consisted of a sort of saw-buck with a small mattress on it, and
this furniture covered about half the donkey.  There were no stirrups,
but really such supports were not needed--to use such a saddle was the
next thing to riding a dinner table--there was ample support clear out to
one's knee joints.  A pack of ragged Portuguese muleteers crowded around
us, offering their beasts at half a dollar an hour--more rascality to the
stranger, for the market price is sixteen cents.  Half a dozen of us
mounted the ungainly affairs and submitted to the indignity of making a
ridiculous spectacle of ourselves through the principal streets of a town
of 10,000 inhabitants.

We started.  It was not a trot, a gallop, or a canter, but a stampede,
and made up of all possible or conceivable gaits.  No spurs were
necessary.  There was a muleteer to every donkey and a dozen volunteers
beside, and they banged the donkeys with their goad sticks, and pricked
them with their spikes, and shouted something that sounded like "Sekki-
yah!" and kept up a din and a racket that was worse than Bedlam itself.
These rascals were all on foot, but no matter, they were always up to
time--they can outrun and outlast a donkey.  Altogether, ours was a
lively and a picturesque procession, and drew crowded audiences to the
balconies wherever we went.

Blucher could do nothing at all with his donkey.  The beast scampered
zigzag across the road and the others ran into him; he scraped Blucher
against carts and the corners of houses; the road was fenced in with high
stone walls, and the donkey gave him a polishing first on one side and
then on the other, but never once took the middle; he finally came to the
house he was born in and darted into the parlor, scraping Blucher off at
the doorway.  After remounting, Blucher said to the muleteer, "Now,
that's enough, you know; you go slow hereafter."

But the fellow knew no English and did not understand, so he simply said,
"Sekki-yah!" and the donkey was off again like a shot.  He turned a comer
suddenly, and Blucher went over his head.  And, to speak truly, every
mule stumbled over the two, and the whole cavalcade was piled up in a
heap.  No harm done.  A fall from one of those donkeys is of little more
consequence than rolling off a sofa.  The donkeys all stood still after
the catastrophe and waited for their dismembered saddles to be patched up
and put on by the noisy muleteers.  Blucher was pretty angry and wanted
to swear, but every time he opened his mouth his animal did so also and
let off a series of brays that drowned all other sounds.

It was fun, scurrying around the breezy hills and through the beautiful
canyons.  There was that rare thing, novelty, about it; it was a fresh,
new, exhilarating sensation, this donkey riding, and worth a hundred worn
and threadbare home pleasures.

The roads were a wonder, and well they might be.  Here was an island with
only a handful of people in it--25,000--and yet such fine roads do not
exist in the United States outside of Central Park.  Everywhere you go,
in any direction, you find either a hard, smooth, level thoroughfare,
just sprinkled with black lava sand, and bordered with little gutters
neatly paved with small smooth pebbles, or compactly paved ones like
Broadway.  They talk much of the Russ pavement in New York, and call it a
new invention--yet here they have been using it in this remote little
isle of the sea for two hundred years!  Every street in Horta is
handsomely paved with the heavy Russ blocks, and the surface is neat and
true as a floor--not marred by holes like Broadway.  And every road is
fenced in by tall, solid lava walls, which will last a thousand years in
this land where frost is unknown.  They are very thick, and are often
plastered and whitewashed and capped with projecting slabs of cut stone.
Trees from gardens above hang their swaying tendrils down, and contrast
their bright green with the whitewash or the black lava of the walls and
make them beautiful.  The trees and vines stretch across these narrow
roadways sometimes and so shut out the sun that you seem to be riding
through a tunnel.  The pavements, the roads, and the bridges are all
government work.

The bridges are of a single span--a single arch--of cut stone, without a
support, and paved on top with flags of lava and ornamental pebblework.
Everywhere are walls, walls, walls, and all of them tasteful and
handsome--and eternally substantial; and everywhere are those marvelous
pavements, so neat, so smooth, and so indestructible.  And if ever roads
and streets and the outsides of houses were perfectly free from any sign
or semblance of dirt, or dust, or mud, or uncleanliness of any kind, it
is Horta, it is Fayal.  The lower classes of the people, in their persons
and their domiciles, are not clean--but there it stops--the town and the
island are miracles of cleanliness.

We arrived home again finally, after a ten-mile excursion, and the
irrepressible muleteers scampered at our heels through the main street,
goading the donkeys, shouting the everlasting "Sekki-yah," and singing
"John Brown's Body" in ruinous English.

When we were dismounted and it came to settling, the shouting and jawing
and swearing and quarreling among the muleteers and with us was nearly
deafening.  One fellow would demand a dollar an hour for the use of his
donkey; another claimed half a dollar for pricking him up, another a
quarter for helping in that service, and about fourteen guides presented
bills for showing us the way through the town and its environs; and every
vagrant of them was more vociferous, and more vehement and more frantic
in gesture than his neighbor.  We paid one guide and paid for one
muleteer to each donkey.

The mountains on some of the islands are very high.  We sailed along the
shore of the island of Pico, under a stately green pyramid that rose up
with one unbroken sweep from our very feet to an altitude of 7,613 feet,
and thrust its summit above the white clouds like an island adrift in a
fog!

We got plenty of fresh oranges, lemons, figs, apricots, etc., in these
Azores, of course.  But I will desist.  I am not here to write Patent
Office reports.

We are on our way to Gibraltar, and shall reach there five or six days
out from the Azores.




CHAPTER VII.

A week of buffeting a tempestuous and relentless sea; a week of
seasickness and deserted cabins; of lonely quarterdecks drenched with
spray--spray so ambitious that it even coated the smokestacks thick with
a white crust of salt to their very tops; a week of shivering in the
shelter of the lifeboats and deckhouses by day and blowing suffocating
"clouds" and boisterously performing at dominoes in the smoking room at
night.

And the last night of the seven was the stormiest of all.  There was no
thunder, no noise but the pounding bows of the ship, the keen whistling
of the gale through the cordage, and the rush of the seething waters.
But the vessel climbed aloft as if she would climb to heaven--then paused
an instant that seemed a century and plunged headlong down again, as from
a precipice.  The sheeted sprays drenched the decks like rain.  The
blackness of darkness was everywhere.  At long intervals a flash of
lightning clove it with a quivering line of fire that revealed a heaving
world of water where was nothing before, kindled the dusky cordage to
glittering silver, and lit up the faces of the men with a ghastly luster!

Fear drove many on deck that were used to avoiding the night winds and
the spray.  Some thought the vessel could not live through the night, and
it seemed less dreadful to stand out in the midst of the wild tempest and
see the peril that threatened than to be shut up in the sepulchral
cabins, under the dim lamps, and imagine the horrors that were abroad on
the ocean.  And once out--once where they could see the ship struggling
in the strong grasp of the storm--once where they could hear the shriek
of the winds and face the driving spray and look out upon the majestic
picture the lightnings disclosed, they were prisoners to a fierce
fascination they could not resist, and so remained.  It was a wild night
--and a very, very long one.

Everybody was sent scampering to the deck at seven o'clock this lovely
morning of the thirtieth of June with the glad news that land was in
sight!  It was a rare thing and a joyful, to see all the ship's family
abroad once more, albeit the happiness that sat upon every countenance
could only partly conceal the ravages which that long siege of storms had
wrought there.  But dull eyes soon sparkled with pleasure, pallid cheeks
flushed again, and frames weakened by sickness gathered new life from the
quickening influences of the bright, fresh morning.  Yea, and from a
still more potent influence: the worn castaways were to see the blessed
land again!--and to see it was to bring back that motherland that was in
all their thoughts.

Within the hour we were fairly within the Straits of Gibraltar, the tall
yellow-splotched hills of Africa on our right, with their bases veiled in
a blue haze and their summits swathed in clouds--the same being according
to Scripture, which says that "clouds and darkness are over the land."
The words were spoken of this particular portion of Africa, I believe.
On our left were the granite-ribbed domes of old Spain.  The strait is
only thirteen miles wide in its narrowest part.

At short intervals along the Spanish shore were quaint-looking old stone
towers--Moorish, we thought--but learned better afterwards.  In former
times the Morocco rascals used to coast along the Spanish Main in their
boats till a safe opportunity seemed to present itself, and then dart in
and capture a Spanish village and carry off all the pretty women they
could find.  It was a pleasant business, and was very popular.  The
Spaniards built these watchtowers on the hills to enable them to keep a
sharper lookout on the Moroccan speculators.

The picture on the other hand was very beautiful to eyes weary of the
changeless sea, and by and by the ship's company grew wonderfully
cheerful.  But while we stood admiring the cloud-capped peaks and the
lowlands robed in misty gloom a finer picture burst upon us and chained
every eye like a magnet--a stately ship, with canvas piled on canvas till
she was one towering mass of bellying sail!  She came speeding over the
sea like a great bird.  Africa and Spain were forgotten.  All homage was
for the beautiful stranger.  While everybody gazed she swept superbly by
and flung the Stars and Stripes to the breeze!  Quicker than thought,
hats and handkerchiefs flashed in the air, and a cheer went up!  She was
beautiful before--she was radiant now.  Many a one on our decks knew then
for the first time how tame a sight his country's flag is at home
compared to what it is in a foreign land.  To see it is to see a vision
of home itself and all its idols, and feel a thrill that would stir a
very river of sluggish blood!

We were approaching the famed Pillars of Hercules, and already the
African one, "Ape's Hill," a grand old mountain with summit streaked with
granite ledges, was in sight.  The other, the great Rock of Gibraltar,
was yet to come.  The ancients considered the Pillars of Hercules the
head of navigation and the end of the world.  The information the
ancients didn't have was very voluminous.  Even the prophets wrote book
after book and epistle after epistle, yet never once hinted at the
existence of a great continent on our side of the water; yet they must
have known it was there, I should think.

In a few moments a lonely and enormous mass of rock, standing seemingly
in the center of the wide strait and apparently washed on all sides by
the sea, swung magnificently into view, and we needed no tedious traveled
parrot to tell us it was Gibraltar.  There could not be two rocks like
that in one kingdom.

The Rock of Gibraltar is about a mile and a half long, I should say, by
1,400 to 1,500 feet high, and a quarter of a mile wide at its base.  One
side and one end of it come about as straight up out of the sea as the
side of a house, the other end is irregular and the other side is a steep
slant which an army would find very difficult to climb.  At the foot of
this slant is the walled town of Gibraltar--or rather the town occupies
part of the slant.  Everywhere--on hillside, in the precipice, by the
sea, on the heights--everywhere you choose to look, Gibraltar is clad
with masonry and bristling with guns.  It makes a striking and lively
picture from whatsoever point you contemplate it.  It is pushed out into
the sea on the end of a flat, narrow strip of land, and is suggestive of
a "gob" of mud on the end of a shingle.  A few hundred yards of this flat
ground at its base belongs to the English, and then, extending across the
strip from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, a distance of a quarter of
a mile, comes the "Neutral Ground," a space two or three hundred yards
wide, which is free to both parties.

"Are you going through Spain to Paris?"  That question was bandied about
the ship day and night from Fayal to Gibraltar, and I thought I never
could get so tired of hearing any one combination of words again or more
tired of answering, "I don't know."  At the last moment six or seven had
sufficient decision of character to make up their minds to go, and did
go, and I felt a sense of relief at once--it was forever too late now and
I could make up my mind at my leisure not to go.  I must have a
prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week sometimes to
make it up.

But behold how annoyances repeat themselves.  We had no sooner gotten rid
of the Spain distress than the Gibraltar guides started another--a
tiresome repetition of a legend that had nothing very astonishing about
it, even in the first place: "That high hill yonder is called the Queen's
Chair; it is because one of the queens of Spain placed her chair there
when the French and Spanish troops were besieging Gibraltar, and said she
would never move from the spot till the English flag was lowered from the
fortresses.  If the English hadn't been gallant enough to lower the flag
for a few hours one day, she'd have had to break her oath or die up
there."

We rode on asses and mules up the steep, narrow streets and entered the
subterranean galleries the English have blasted out in the rock.  These
galleries are like spacious railway tunnels, and at short intervals in
them great guns frown out upon sea and town through portholes five or six
hundred feet above the ocean.  There is a mile or so of this subterranean
work, and it must have cost a vast deal of money and labor.  The gallery
guns command the peninsula and the harbors of both oceans, but they might
as well not be there, I should think, for an army could hardly climb the
perpendicular wall of the rock anyhow.  Those lofty portholes afford
superb views of the sea, though.  At one place, where a jutting crag was
hollowed out into a great chamber whose furniture was huge cannon and
whose windows were portholes, a glimpse was caught of a hill not far
away, and a soldier said:

"That high hill yonder is called the Queen's Chair; it is because a queen
of Spain placed her chair there once when the French and Spanish troops
were besieging Gibraltar, and said she would never move from the spot
till the English flag was lowered from the fortresses.  If the English
hadn't been gallant enough to lower the flag for a few hours one day,
she'd have had to break her oath or die up there."

On the topmost pinnacle of Gibraltar we halted a good while, and no doubt
the mules were tired.  They had a right to be.  The military road was
good, but rather steep, and there was a good deal of it.  The view from
the narrow ledge was magnificent; from it vessels seeming like the
tiniest little toy boats were turned into noble ships by the telescopes,
and other vessels that were fifty miles away and even sixty, they said,
and invisible to the naked eye, could be clearly distinguished through
those same telescopes.  Below, on one side, we looked down upon an
endless mass of batteries and on the other straight down to the sea.

While I was resting ever so comfortably on a rampart, and cooling my
baking head in the delicious breeze, an officious guide belonging to
another party came up and said:

"Señor, that high hill yonder is called the Queen's Chair--"

"Sir, I am a helpless orphan in a foreign land.  Have pity on me.  Don't
--now don't inflict that most in-FERNAL old legend on me anymore today!"

There--I had used strong language after promising I would never do so
again; but the provocation was more than human nature could bear.  If you
had been bored so, when you had the noble panorama of Spain and Africa
and the blue Mediterranean spread abroad at your feet, and wanted to gaze
and enjoy and surfeit yourself in its beauty in silence, you might have
even burst into stronger language than I did.

Gibraltar has stood several protracted sieges, one of them of nearly four
years' duration (it failed), and the English only captured it by
stratagem.  The wonder is that anybody should ever dream of trying so
impossible a project as the taking it by assault--and yet it has been
tried more than once.

The Moors held the place twelve hundred years ago, and a staunch old
castle of theirs of that date still frowns from the middle of the town,
with moss-grown battlements and sides well scarred by shots fired in
battles and sieges that are forgotten now.  A secret chamber in the rock
behind it was discovered some time ago, which contained a sword of
exquisite workmanship, and some quaint old armor of a fashion that
antiquaries are not acquainted with, though it is supposed to be Roman.
Roman armor and Roman relics of various kinds have been found in a cave
in the sea extremity of Gibraltar; history says Rome held this part of
the country about the Christian era, and these things seem to confirm the
statement.

In that cave also are found human bones, crusted with a very thick, stony
coating, and wise men have ventured to say that those men not only lived
before the flood, but as much as ten thousand years before it.  It may be
true--it looks reasonable enough--but as long as those parties can't vote
anymore, the matter can be of no great public interest.  In this cave
likewise are found skeletons and fossils of animals that exist in every
part of Africa, yet within memory and tradition have never existed in any
portion of Spain save this lone peak of Gibraltar!  So the theory is that
the channel between Gibraltar and Africa was once dry land, and that the
low, neutral neck between Gibraltar and the Spanish hills behind it was
once ocean, and of course that these African animals, being over at
Gibraltar (after rock, perhaps--there is plenty there), got closed out
when the great change occurred.  The hills in Africa, across the channel,
are full of apes, and there are now and always have been apes on the rock
of Gibraltar--but not elsewhere in Spain!  The subject is an interesting
one.

There is an English garrison at Gibraltar of 6,000 or 7,000 men, and so
uniforms of flaming red are plenty; and red and blue, and undress
costumes of snowy white, and also the queer uniform of the bare-kneed
Highlander; and one sees soft-eyed Spanish girls from San Roque, and
veiled Moorish beauties (I suppose they are beauties) from Tarifa, and
turbaned, sashed, and trousered Moorish merchants from Fez, and long-
robed, bare-legged, ragged Muhammadan vagabonds from Tetuan and Tangier,
some brown, some yellow and some as black as virgin ink--and Jews from
all around, in gabardine, skullcap, and slippers, just as they are in
pictures and theaters, and just as they were three thousand years ago, no
doubt.  You can easily understand that a tribe (somehow our pilgrims
suggest that expression, because they march in a straggling procession
through these foreign places with such an Indian-like air of complacency
and independence about them) like ours, made up from fifteen or sixteen
states of the Union, found enough to stare at in this shifting panorama
of fashion today.

Speaking of our pilgrims reminds me that we have one or two people among
us who are sometimes an annoyance.  However, I do not count the Oracle in
that list.  I will explain that the Oracle is an innocent old ass who
eats for four and looks wiser than the whole Academy of France would have
any right to look, and never uses a one-syllable word when he can think
of a longer one, and never by any possible chance knows the meaning of
any long word he uses or ever gets it in the right place; yet he will
serenely venture an opinion on the most abstruse subject and back it up
complacently with quotations from authors who never existed, and finally
when cornered will slide to the other side of the question, say he has
been there all the time, and come back at you with your own spoken
arguments, only with the big words all tangled, and play them in your
very teeth as original with himself.  He reads a chapter in the
guidebooks, mixes the facts all up, with his bad memory, and then goes
off to inflict the whole mess on somebody as wisdom which has been
festering in his brain for years and which he gathered in college from
erudite authors who are dead now and out of print.  This morning at
breakfast he pointed out of the window and said:

"Do you see that there hill out there on that African coast?  It's one of
them Pillows of Herkewls, I should say--and there's the ultimate one
alongside of it."

"The ultimate one--that is a good word--but the pillars are not both on
the same side of the strait."  (I saw he had been deceived by a
carelessly written sentence in the guidebook.)

"Well, it ain't for you to say, nor for me.  Some authors states it that
way, and some states it different.  Old Gibbons don't say nothing about
it--just shirks it complete--Gibbons always done that when he got stuck--
but there is Rolampton, what does he say?  Why, be says that they was
both on the same side, and Trinculian, and Sobaster, and Syraccus, and
Langomarganbl----"

"Oh, that will do--that's enough.  If you have got your hand in for
inventing authors and testimony, I have nothing more to say--let them be
on the same side."

We don't mind the Oracle.  We rather like him.  We can tolerate the
Oracle very easily, but we have a poet and a good-natured enterprising
idiot on board, and they do distress the company.  The one gives copies
of his verses to consuls, commanders, hotel keepers, Arabs, Dutch--to
anybody, in fact, who will submit to a grievous infliction most kindly
meant.  His poetry is all very well on shipboard, notwithstanding when he
wrote an "Ode to the Ocean in a Storm" in one half hour, and an
"Apostrophe to the Rooster in the Waist of the Ship" in the next, the
transition was considered to be rather abrupt; but when he sends an
invoice of rhymes to the Governor of Fayal and another to the commander
in chief and other dignitaries in Gibraltar with the compliments of the
Laureate of the Ship, it is not popular with the passengers.

The other personage I have mentioned is young and green, and not bright,
not learned, and not wise.  He will be, though, someday if he recollects
the answers to all his questions.  He is known about the ship as the
"Interrogation Point," and this by constant use has become shortened to
"Interrogation."  He has distinguished himself twice already.  In Fayal
they pointed out a hill and told him it was 800 feet high and 1,100 feet
long.  And they told him there was a tunnel 2,000 feet long and 1,000
feet high running through the hill, from end to end.  He believed it.  He
repeated it to everybody, discussed it, and read it from his notes.
Finally, he took a useful hint from this remark, which a thoughtful old
pilgrim made:

"Well, yes, it is a little remarkable--singular tunnel altogether--stands
up out of the top of the hill about two hundred feet, and one end of it
sticks out of the hill about nine hundred!"

Here in Gibraltar he corners these educated British officers and badgers
them with braggadocio about America and the wonders she can perform!  He
told one of them a couple of our gunboats could come here and knock
Gibraltar into the Mediterranean Sea!

At this present moment half a dozen of us are taking a private pleasure
excursion of our own devising.  We form rather more than half the list of
white passengers on board a small steamer bound for the venerable Moorish
town of Tangier, Africa.  Nothing could be more absolutely certain than
that we are enjoying ourselves.  One can not do otherwise who speeds over
these sparkling waters and breathes the soft atmosphere of this sunny
land.  Care cannot assail us here.  We are out of its jurisdiction.

We even steamed recklessly by the frowning fortress of Malabat
(a stronghold of the Emperor of Morocco) without a twinge of fear.
The whole garrison turned out under arms and assumed a threatening
attitude--yet still we did not fear.  The entire garrison marched and
counter-marched within the rampart, in full view--yet notwithstanding
even this, we never flinched.

I suppose we really do not know what fear is.  I inquired the name of the
garrison of the fortress of Malabat, and they said it was Mehemet Ali Ben
Sancom.  I said it would be a good idea to get some more garrisons to
help him; but they said no, he had nothing to do but hold the place, and
he was competent to do that, had done it two years already.  That was
evidence which one could not well refute.  There is nothing like
reputation.

Every now and then my glove purchase in Gibraltar last night intrudes
itself upon me.  Dan and the ship's surgeon and I had been up to the
great square, listening to the music of the fine military bands and
contemplating English and Spanish female loveliness and fashion, and at
nine o'clock were on our way to the theater, when we met the General, the
Judge, the Commodore, the Colonel, and the Commissioner of the United
States of America to Europe, Asia, and Africa, who had been to the Club
House to register their several titles and impoverish the bill of fare;
and they told us to go over to the little variety store near the Hall of
Justice and buy some kid gloves.  They said they were elegant and very
moderate in price.  It seemed a stylish thing to go to the theater in kid
gloves, and we acted upon the hint.  A very handsome young lady in the
store offered me a pair of blue gloves.  I did not want blue, but she
said they would look very pretty on a hand like mine.  The remark touched
me tenderly.  I glanced furtively at my hand, and somehow it did seem
rather a comely member.  I tried a glove on my left and blushed a little.
Manifestly the size was too small for me.  But I felt gratified when she
said:

"Oh, it is just right!"  Yet I knew it was no such thing.

I tugged at it diligently, but it was discouraging work.  She said:

"Ah!  I see you are accustomed to wearing kid gloves--but some gentlemen
are so awkward about putting them on."

It was the last compliment I had expected.  I only understand putting on
the buckskin article perfectly.  I made another effort and tore the glove
from the base of the thumb into the palm of the hand--and tried to hide
the rent.  She kept up her compliments, and I kept up my determination to
deserve them or die:

"Ah, you have had experience!  [A rip down the back of the hand.] They
are just right for you--your hand is very small--if they tear you need
not pay for them.  [A rent across the middle.]  I can always tell when a
gentleman understands putting on kid gloves.  There is a grace about it
that only comes with long practice."  The whole after-guard of the glove
"fetched away," as the sailors say, the fabric parted across the
knuckles, and nothing was left but a melancholy ruin.

I was too much flattered to make an exposure and throw the merchandise on
the angel's hands.  I was hot, vexed, confused, but still happy; but I
hated the other boys for taking such an absorbing interest in the
proceedings.  I wished they were in Jericho.  I felt exquisitely mean
when I said cheerfully:

"This one does very well; it fits elegantly.  I like a glove that fits.
No, never mind, ma'am, never mind; I'll put the other on in the street.
It is warm here."

It was warm.  It was the warmest place I ever was in.  I paid the bill,
and as I passed out with a fascinating bow I thought I detected a light
in the woman's eye that was gently ironical; and when I looked back from
the street, and she was laughing all to herself about something or other,
I said to myself with withering sarcasm, "Oh, certainly; you know how to
put on kid gloves, don't you?  A self-complacent ass, ready to be
flattered out of your senses by every petticoat that chooses to take the
trouble to do it!"

The silence of the boys annoyed me.  Finally Dan said musingly:

"Some gentlemen don't know how to put on kid gloves at all, but some do."

And the doctor said (to the moon, I thought):

"But it is always easy to tell when a gentleman is used to putting on kid
gloves."

Dan soliloquized after a pause:

"Ah, yes; there is a grace about it that only comes with long, very long
practice."

"Yes, indeed, I've noticed that when a man hauls on a kid glove like he
was dragging a cat out of an ash hole by the tail, he understands putting
on kid gloves; he's had ex--"

"Boys, enough of a thing's enough!  You think you are very smart, I
suppose, but I don't.  And if you go and tell any of those old gossips in
the ship about this thing, I'll never forgive you for it; that's all."

They let me alone then for the time being.  We always let each other
alone in time to prevent ill feeling from spoiling a joke.  But they had
bought gloves, too, as I did.  We threw all the purchases away together
this morning.  They were coarse, unsubstantial, freckled all over with
broad yellow splotches, and could neither stand wear nor public
exhibition.  We had entertained an angel unawares, but we did not take
her in.  She did that for us.

Tangier!  A tribe of stalwart Moors are wading into the sea to carry us
ashore on their backs from the small boats.




CHAPTER VIII.

This is royal!  Let those who went up through Spain make the best of it--
these dominions of the Emperor of Morocco suit our little party well
enough.  We have had enough of Spain at Gibraltar for the present.
Tangier is the spot we have been longing for all the time.  Elsewhere we
have found foreign-looking things and foreign-looking people, but always
with things and people intermixed that we were familiar with before, and
so the novelty of the situation lost a deal of its force.  We wanted
something thoroughly and uncompromisingly foreign--foreign from top to
bottom--foreign from center to circumference--foreign inside and outside
and all around--nothing anywhere about it to dilute its foreignness--
nothing to remind us of any other people or any other land under the sun.
And lo!  In Tangier we have found it.  Here is not the slightest thing
that ever we have seen save in pictures--and we always mistrusted the
pictures before.  We cannot anymore.  The pictures used to seem
exaggerations--they seemed too weird and fanciful for reality.  But
behold, they were not wild enough--they were not fanciful enough--they
have not told half the story.  Tangier is a foreign land if ever there
was one, and the true spirit of it can never be found in any book save
The Arabian Nights.  Here are no white men visible, yet swarms of
humanity are all about us.  Here is a packed and jammed city enclosed in
a massive stone wall which is more than a thousand years old.  All the
houses nearly are one-and two-story, made of thick walls of stone,
plastered outside, square as a dry-goods box, flat as a floor on top, no
cornices, whitewashed all over--a crowded city of snowy tombs!  And the
doors are arched with the peculiar arch we see in Moorish pictures; the
floors are laid in varicolored diamond flags; in tesselated, many-colored
porcelain squares wrought in the furnaces of Fez; in red tiles and broad
bricks that time cannot wear; there is no furniture in the rooms (of
Jewish dwellings) save divans--what there is in Moorish ones no man may
know; within their sacred walls no Christian dog can enter.  And the
streets are oriental--some of them three feet wide, some six, but only
two that are over a dozen; a man can blockade the most of them by
extending his body across them.  Isn't it an oriental picture?

There are stalwart Bedouins of the desert here, and stately Moors proud
of a history that goes back to the night of time; and Jews whose fathers
fled hither centuries upon centuries ago; and swarthy Riffians from the
mountains--born cut-throats--and original, genuine Negroes as black as
Moses; and howling dervishes and a hundred breeds of Arabs--all sorts and
descriptions of people that are foreign and curious to look upon.

And their dresses are strange beyond all description.  Here is a bronzed
Moor in a prodigious white turban, curiously embroidered jacket, gold and
crimson sash, of many folds, wrapped round and round his waist, trousers
that only come a little below his knee and yet have twenty yards of stuff
in them, ornamented scimitar, bare shins, stockingless feet, yellow
slippers, and gun of preposterous length--a mere soldier!--I thought he
was the Emperor at least.  And here are aged Moors with flowing white
beards and long white robes with vast cowls; and Bedouins with long,
cowled, striped cloaks; and Negroes and Riffians with heads clean-shaven
except a kinky scalp lock back of the ear or, rather, upon the after
corner of the skull; and all sorts of barbarians in all sorts of weird
costumes, and all more or less ragged.  And here are Moorish women who
are enveloped from head to foot in coarse white robes, and whose sex can
only be determined by the fact that they only leave one eye visible and
never look at men of their own race, or are looked at by them in public.
Here are five thousand Jews in blue gabardines, sashes about their
waists, slippers upon their feet, little skullcaps upon the backs of
their heads, hair combed down on the forehead, and cut straight across
the middle of it from side to side--the selfsame fashion their Tangier
ancestors have worn for I don't know how many bewildering centuries.
Their feet and ankles are bare.  Their noses are all hooked, and hooked
alike.  They all resemble each other so much that one could almost
believe they were of one family.  Their women are plump and pretty, and
do smile upon a Christian in a way which is in the last degree
comforting.

What a funny old town it is!  It seems like profanation to laugh and jest
and bandy the frivolous chat of our day amid its hoary relics.  Only the
stately phraseology and the measured speech of the sons of the Prophet
are suited to a venerable antiquity like this.  Here is a crumbling wall
that was old when Columbus discovered America; was old when Peter the
Hermit roused the knightly men of the Middle Ages to arm for the first
Crusade; was old when Charlemagne and his paladins beleaguered enchanted
castles and battled with giants and genii in the fabled days of the olden
time; was old when Christ and his disciples walked the earth; stood where
it stands today when the lips of Memnon were vocal and men bought and
sold in the streets of ancient Thebes!

The Phoenicians, the Carthagenians, the English, Moors, Romans, all have
battled for Tangier--all have won it and lost it.  Here is a ragged,
oriental-looking Negro from some desert place in interior Africa, filling
his goatskin with water from a stained and battered fountain built by the
Romans twelve hundred years ago.  Yonder is a ruined arch of a bridge
built by Julius Caesar nineteen hundred years ago.  Men who had seen the
infant Saviour in the Virgin's arms have stood upon it, maybe.

Near it are the ruins of a dockyard where Caesar repaired his ships and
loaded them with grain when he invaded Britain, fifty years before the
Christian era.

Here, under the quiet stars, these old streets seem thronged with the
phantoms of forgotten ages.  My eyes are resting upon a spot where stood
a monument which was seen and described by Roman historians less than two
thousand years ago, whereon was inscribed:

               "WE ARE THE CANAANITES.  WE ARE THEY THAT
               HAVE BEEN DRIVEN OUT OF THE LAND OF CANAAN
               BY THE JEWISH ROBBER, JOSHUA."

Joshua drove them out, and they came here.  Not many leagues from here is
a tribe of Jews whose ancestors fled thither after an unsuccessful revolt
against King David, and these their descendants are still under a ban and
keep to themselves.

Tangier has been mentioned in history for three thousand years.  And it
was a town, though a queer one, when Hercules, clad in his lion skin,
landed here, four thousand years ago.  In these streets he met Anitus,
the king of the country, and brained him with his club, which was the
fashion among gentlemen in those days.  The people of Tangier (called
Tingis then) lived in the rudest possible huts and dressed in skins and
carried clubs, and were as savage as the wild beasts they were constantly
obliged to war with.  But they were a gentlemanly race and did no work.
They lived on the natural products of the land.  Their king's country
residence was at the famous Garden of Hesperides, seventy miles down the
coast from here.  The garden, with its golden apples (oranges), is gone
now--no vestige of it remains.  Antiquarians concede that such a
personage as Hercules did exist in ancient times and agree that he was an
enterprising and energetic man, but decline to believe him a good, bona-
fide god, because that would be unconstitutional.

Down here at Cape Spartel is the celebrated cave of Hercules, where that
hero took refuge when he was vanquished and driven out of the Tangier
country.  It is full of inscriptions in the dead languages, which fact
makes me think Hercules could not have traveled much, else he would not
have kept a journal.

Five days' journey from here--say two hundred miles--are the ruins of an
ancient city, of whose history there is neither record nor tradition.
And yet its arches, its columns, and its statues proclaim it to have been
built by an enlightened race.

The general size of a store in Tangier is about that of an ordinary
shower bath in a civilized land.  The Muhammadan merchant, tinman,
shoemaker, or vendor of trifles sits cross-legged on the floor and
reaches after any article you may want to buy.  You can rent a whole
block of these pigeonholes for fifty dollars a month.  The market people
crowd the marketplace with their baskets of figs, dates, melons,
apricots, etc., and among them file trains of laden asses, not much
larger, if any, than a Newfoundland dog.  The scene is lively, is
picturesque, and smells like a police court.  The Jewish money-changers
have their dens close at hand, and all day long are counting bronze coins
and transferring them from one bushel basket to another.  They don't coin
much money nowadays, I think.  I saw none but what was dated four or five
hundred years back, and was badly worn and battered.  These coins are not
very valuable.  Jack went out to get a napoleon changed, so as to have
money suited to the general cheapness of things, and came back and said
he bad "swamped the bank, had bought eleven quarts of coin, and the head
of the firm had gone on the street to negotiate for the balance of the
change."  I bought nearly half a pint of their money for a shilling
myself.  I am not proud on account of having so much money, though.  I
care nothing for wealth.

The Moors have some small silver coins and also some silver slugs worth a
dollar each.  The latter are exceedingly scarce--so much so that when
poor ragged Arabs see one they beg to be allowed to kiss it.

They have also a small gold coin worth two dollars.  And that reminds me
of something.  When Morocco is in a state of war, Arab couriers carry
letters through the country and charge a liberal postage.  Every now and
then they fall into the hands of marauding bands and get robbed.
Therefore, warned by experience, as soon as they have collected two
dollars' worth of money they exchange it for one of those little gold
pieces, and when robbers come upon them, swallow it.  The stratagem was
good while it was unsuspected, but after that the marauders simply gave
the sagacious United States mail an emetic and sat down to wait.

The Emperor of Morocco is a soulless despot, and the great officers under
him are despots on a smaller scale.  There is no regular system of
taxation, but when the Emperor or the Bashaw want money, they levy on
some rich man, and he has to furnish the cash or go to prison.
Therefore, few men in Morocco dare to be rich.  It is too dangerous a
luxury.  Vanity occasionally leads a man to display wealth, but sooner or
later the Emperor trumps up a charge against him--any sort of one will
do--and confiscates his property.  Of course, there are many rich men in
the empire, but their money is buried, and they dress in rags and
counterfeit poverty.  Every now and then the Emperor imprisons a man who
is suspected of the crime of being rich, and makes things so
uncomfortable for him that he is forced to discover where he has hidden
his money.

Moors and Jews sometimes place themselves under the protection of the
foreign consuls, and then they can flout their riches in the Emperor's
face with impunity.




CHAPTER IX.

About the first adventure we had yesterday afternoon, after landing here,
came near finishing that heedless Blucher.  We had just mounted some
mules and asses and started out under the guardianship of the stately,
the princely, the magnificent Hadji Muhammad Lamarty (may his tribe
increase!) when we came upon a fine Moorish mosque, with tall tower, rich
with checker-work of many-colored porcelain, and every part and portion
of the edifice adorned with the quaint architecture of the Alhambra, and
Blucher started to ride into the open doorway.  A startling "Hi-hi!" from
our camp followers and a loud "Halt!" from an English gentleman in the
party checked the adventurer, and then we were informed that so dire a
profanation is it for a Christian dog to set foot upon the sacred
threshold of a Moorish mosque that no amount of purification can ever
make it fit for the faithful to pray in again.  Had Blucher succeeded in
entering the place, he would no doubt have been chased through the town
and stoned; and the time has been, and not many years ago, either, when a
Christian would have been most ruthlessly slaughtered if captured in a
mosque.  We caught a glimpse of the handsome tessellated pavements within
and of the devotees performing their ablutions at the fountains, but even
that we took that glimpse was a thing not relished by the Moorish
bystanders.

Some years ago the clock in the tower of the mosque got out of order.
The Moors of Tangier have so degenerated that it has been long since
there was an artificer among them capable of curing so delicate a patient
as a debilitated clock.  The great men of the city met in solemn conclave
to consider how the difficulty was to be met.  They discussed the matter
thoroughly but arrived at no solution.  Finally, a patriarch arose and
said:

"Oh, children of the Prophet, it is known unto you that a Portuguee dog
of a Christian clock mender pollutes the city of Tangier with his
presence.  Ye know, also, that when mosques are builded, asses bear the
stones and the cement, and cross the sacred threshold.  Now, therefore,
send the Christian dog on all fours, and barefoot, into the holy place to
mend the clock, and let him go as an ass!"

And in that way it was done.  Therefore, if Blucher ever sees the inside
of a mosque, he will have to cast aside his humanity and go in his
natural character.  We visited the jail and found Moorish prisoners
making mats and baskets.  (This thing of utilizing crime savors of
civilization.)  Murder is punished with death.  A short time ago three
murderers were taken beyond the city walls and shot.  Moorish guns are
not good, and neither are Moorish marksmen.  In this instance they set up
the poor criminals at long range, like so many targets, and practiced on
them--kept them hopping about and dodging bullets for half an hour before
they managed to drive the center.

When a man steals cattle, they cut off his right hand and left leg and
nail them up in the marketplace as a warning to everybody.  Their surgery
is not artistic.  They slice around the bone a little, then break off the
limb.  Sometimes the patient gets well; but, as a general thing, he
don't.  However, the Moorish heart is stout.  The Moors were always
brave.  These criminals undergo the fearful operation without a wince,
without a tremor of any kind, without a groan!  No amount of suffering
can bring down the pride of a Moor or make him shame his dignity with a
cry.

Here, marriage is contracted by the parents of the parties to it.  There
are no valentines, no stolen interviews, no riding out, no courting in
dim parlors, no lovers' quarrels and reconciliations--no nothing that is
proper to approaching matrimony.  The young man takes the girl his father
selects for him, marries her, and after that she is unveiled, and he sees
her for the first time.  If after due acquaintance she suits him, he
retains her; but if he suspects her purity, he bundles her back to her
father; if he finds her diseased, the same; or if, after just and
reasonable time is allowed her, she neglects to bear children, back she
goes to the home of her childhood.

Muhammadans here who can afford it keep a good many wives on hand.  They
are called wives, though I believe the Koran only allows four genuine
wives--the rest are concubines.  The Emperor of Morocco don't know how
many wives he has, but thinks he has five hundred.  However, that is near
enough--a dozen or so, one way or the other, don't matter.

Even the Jews in the interior have a plurality of wives.

I have caught a glimpse of the faces of several Moorish women (for they
are only human, and will expose their faces for the admiration of a
Christian dog when no male Moor is by), and I am full of veneration for
the wisdom that leads them to cover up such atrocious ugliness.

They carry their children at their backs, in a sack, like other savages
the world over.

Many of the Negroes are held in slavery by the Moors.  But the moment a
female slave becomes her master's concubine her bonds are broken, and as
soon as a male slave can read the first chapter of the Koran (which
contains the creed) he can no longer be held in bondage.

They have three Sundays a week in Tangier.  The Muhammadans' comes on
Friday, the Jews' on Saturday, and that of the Christian Consuls on
Sunday.  The Jews are the most radical.  The Moor goes to his mosque
about noon on his Sabbath, as on any other day, removes his shoes at the
door, performs his ablutions, makes his salaams, pressing his forehead to
the pavement time and again, says his prayers, and goes back to his work.

But the Jew shuts up shop; will not touch copper or bronze money at all;
soils his fingers with nothing meaner than silver and gold; attends the
synagogue devoutly; will not cook or have anything to do with fire; and
religiously refrains from embarking in any enterprise.

The Moor who has made a pilgrimage to Mecca is entitled to high
distinction.  Men call him Hadji, and he is thenceforward a great
personage.  Hundreds of Moors come to Tangier every year and embark for
Mecca.  They go part of the way in English steamers, and the ten or
twelve dollars they pay for passage is about all the trip costs.  They
take with them a quantity of food, and when the commissary department
fails they "skirmish," as Jack terms it in his sinful, slangy way.  From
the time they leave till they get home again, they never wash, either on
land or sea.  They are usually gone from five to seven months, and as
they do not change their clothes during all that time, they are totally
unfit for the drawing room when they get back.

Many of them have to rake and scrape a long time to gather together the
ten dollars their steamer passage costs, and when one of them gets back
he is a bankrupt forever after.  Few Moors can ever build up their
fortunes again in one short lifetime after so reckless an outlay.  In
order to confine the dignity of Hadji to gentlemen of patrician blood and
possessions, the Emperor decreed that no man should make the pilgrimage
save bloated aristocrats who were worth a hundred dollars in specie.  But
behold how iniquity can circumvent the law!  For a consideration, the
Jewish money-changer lends the pilgrim one hundred dollars long enough
for him to swear himself through, and then receives it back before the
ship sails out of the harbor!

Spain is the only nation the Moors fear.  The reason is that Spain sends
her heaviest ships of war and her loudest guns to astonish these Muslims,
while America and other nations send only a little contemptible tub of a
gunboat occasionally.  The Moors, like other savages, learn by what they
see, not what they hear or read.  We have great fleets in the
Mediterranean, but they seldom touch at African ports.  The Moors have a
small opinion of England, France, and America, and put their
representatives to a deal of red-tape circumlocution before they grant
them their common rights, let alone a favor.  But the moment the Spanish
minister makes a demand, it is acceded to at once, whether it be just or
not.

Spain chastised the Moors five or six years ago, about a disputed piece
of property opposite Gibraltar, and captured the city of Tetouan.  She
compromised on an augmentation of her territory, twenty million dollars'
indemnity in money, and peace.  And then she gave up the city.  But she
never gave it up until the Spanish soldiers had eaten up all the cats.
They would not compromise as long as the cats held out.  Spaniards are
very fond of cats.  On the contrary, the Moors reverence cats as
something sacred.  So the Spaniards touched them on a tender point that
time.  Their unfeline conduct in eating up all the Tetouan cats aroused a
hatred toward them in the breasts of the Moors, to which even the driving
them out of Spain was tame and passionless.  Moors and Spaniards are foes
forever now.  France had a minister here once who embittered the nation
against him in the most innocent way.  He killed a couple of battalions
of cats (Tangier is full of them) and made a parlor carpet out of their
hides.  He made his carpet in circles--first a circle of old gray
tomcats, with their tails all pointing toward the center; then a circle
of yellow cats; next a circle of black cats and a circle of white ones;
then a circle of all sorts of cats; and, finally, a centerpiece of
assorted kittens.  It was very beautiful, but the Moors curse his memory
to this day.

When we went to call on our American Consul General today I noticed that
all possible games for parlor amusement seemed to be represented on his
center tables.  I thought that hinted at lonesomeness.  The idea was
correct.  His is the only American family in Tangier.  There are many
foreign consuls in this place, but much visiting is not indulged in.
Tangier is clear out of the world, and what is the use of visiting when
people have nothing on earth to talk about?  There is none.  So each
consul's family stays at home chiefly and amuses itself as best it can.
Tangier is full of interest for one day, but after that it is a weary
prison.  The Consul General has been here five years, and has got enough
of it to do him for a century, and is going home shortly.  His family
seize upon their letters and papers when the mail arrives, read them over
and over again for two days or three, talk them over and over again for
two or three more till they wear them out, and after that for days
together they eat and drink and sleep, and ride out over the same old
road, and see the same old tiresome things that even decades of centuries
have scarcely changed, and say never a single word!  They have literally
nothing whatever to talk about.  The arrival of an American man-of-war is
a godsend to them.  "O Solitude, where are the charms which sages have
seen in thy face?"  It is the completest exile that I can conceive of.
I would seriously recommend to the government of the United States that
when a man commits a crime so heinous that the law provides no adequate
punishment for it, they make him Consul General to Tangier.

I am glad to have seen Tangier--the second-oldest town in the world.  But
I am ready to bid it good-bye, I believe.

We shall go hence to Gibraltar this evening or in the morning, and
doubtless the Quaker City will sail from that port within the next forty-
eight hours.




CHAPTER X.

We passed the Fourth of July on board the Quaker City, in mid-ocean.  It
was in all respects a characteristic Mediterranean day--faultlessly
beautiful.  A cloudless sky; a refreshing summer wind; a radiant sunshine
that glinted cheerily from dancing wavelets instead of crested mountains
of water; a sea beneath us that was so wonderfully blue, so richly,
brilliantly blue, that it overcame the dullest sensibilities with the
spell of its fascination.

They even have fine sunsets on the Mediterranean--a thing that is
certainly rare in most quarters of the globe.  The evening we sailed away
from Gibraltar, that hard-featured rock was swimming in a creamy mist so
rich, so soft, so enchantingly vague and dreamy, that even the Oracle,
that serene, that inspired, that overpowering humbug, scorned the dinner
gong and tarried to worship!

He said: "Well, that's gorgis, ain't it!  They don't have none of them
things in our parts, do they?  I consider that them effects is on account
of the superior refragability, as you may say, of the sun's diramic
combination with the lymphatic forces of the perihelion of Jubiter.  What
should you think?"

"Oh, go to bed!" Dan said that, and went away.

"Oh, yes, it's all very well to say go to bed when a man makes an
argument which another man can't answer.  Dan don't never stand any
chance in an argument with me.  And he knows it, too.  What should you
say, Jack?"

"Now, Doctor, don't you come bothering around me with that dictionary
bosh.  I don't do you any harm, do I?  Then you let me alone."

"He's gone, too.  Well, them fellows have all tackled the old Oracle, as
they say, but the old man's most too many for 'em.  Maybe the Poet Lariat
ain't satisfied with them deductions?"

The poet replied with a barbarous rhyme and went below.

"'Pears that he can't qualify, neither.  Well, I didn't expect nothing
out of him.  I never see one of them poets yet that knowed anything.
He'll go down now and grind out about four reams of the awfullest slush
about that old rock and give it to a consul, or a pilot, or a nigger, or
anybody he comes across first which he can impose on.  Pity but
somebody'd take that poor old lunatic and dig all that poetry rubbage out
of him.  Why can't a man put his intellect onto things that's some value?
Gibbons, and Hippocratus, and Sarcophagus, and all them old ancient
philosophers was down on poets--"

"Doctor," I said, "you are going to invent authorities now and I'll leave
you, too.  I always enjoy your conversation, notwithstanding the
luxuriance of your syllables, when the philosophy you offer rests on your
own responsibility; but when you begin to soar--when you begin to support
it with the evidence of authorities who are the creations of your own
fancy--I lose confidence."

That was the way to flatter the doctor.  He considered it a sort of
acknowledgment on my part of a fear to argue with him.  He was always
persecuting the passengers with abstruse propositions framed in language
that no man could understand, and they endured the exquisite torture a
minute or two and then abandoned the field.  A triumph like this, over
half a dozen antagonists was sufficient for one day; from that time
forward he would patrol the decks beaming blandly upon all comers, and so
tranquilly, blissfully happy!

But I digress.  The thunder of our two brave cannon announced the Fourth
of July, at daylight, to all who were awake.  But many of us got our
information at a later hour, from the almanac.  All the flags were sent
aloft except half a dozen that were needed to decorate portions of the
ship below, and in a short time the vessel assumed a holiday appearance.
During the morning, meetings were held and all manner of committees set
to work on the celebration ceremonies.  In the afternoon the ship's
company assembled aft, on deck, under the awnings; the flute, the
asthmatic melodeon, and the consumptive clarinet crippled "The Star-
Spangled Banner," the choir chased it to cover, and George came in with a
peculiarly lacerating screech on the final note and slaughtered it.
Nobody mourned.

We carried out the corpse on three cheers (that joke was not intentional
and I do not endorse it), and then the President, throned behind a cable
locker with a national flag spread over it, announced the "Reader," who
rose up and read that same old Declaration of Independence which we have
all listened to so often without paying any attention to what it said;
and after that the President piped the Orator of the Day to quarters and
he made that same old speech about our national greatness which we so
religiously believe and so fervently applaud.  Now came the choir into
court again, with the complaining instruments, and assaulted "Hail
Columbia"; and when victory hung wavering in the scale, George returned
with his dreadful wild-goose stop turned on and the choir won, of course.
A minister pronounced the benediction, and the patriotic little gathering
disbanded.  The Fourth of July was safe, as far as the Mediterranean was
concerned.

At dinner in the evening, a well-written original poem was recited with
spirit by one of the ship's captains, and thirteen regular toasts were
washed down with several baskets of champagne.  The speeches were bad--
execrable almost without exception.  In fact, without any exception but
one.  Captain Duncan made a good speech; he made the only good speech of
the evening.  He said:

"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:--May we all live to a green old age and be
prosperous and happy.  Steward, bring up another basket of champagne."

It was regarded as a very able effort.

The festivities, so to speak, closed with another of those miraculous
balls on the promenade deck.  We were not used to dancing on an even
keel, though, and it was only a questionable success.  But take it all
together, it was a bright, cheerful, pleasant Fourth.

Toward nightfall the next evening, we steamed into the great artificial
harbor of this noble city of Marseilles, and saw the dying sunlight gild
its clustering spires and ramparts, and flood its leagues of environing
verdure with a mellow radiance that touched with an added charm the white
villas that flecked the landscape far and near.  [Copyright secured
according to law.]

There were no stages out, and we could not get on the pier from the ship.
It was annoying.  We were full of enthusiasm--we wanted to see France!
Just at nightfall our party of three contracted with a waterman for the
privilege of using his boat as a bridge--its stern was at our companion
ladder and its bow touched the pier.  We got in and the fellow backed out
into the harbor.  I told him in French that all we wanted was to walk
over his thwarts and step ashore, and asked him what he went away out
there for.  He said he could not understand me.  I repeated.  Still he
could not understand.  He appeared to be very ignorant of French.  The
doctor tried him, but he could not understand the doctor.  I asked this
boatman to explain his conduct, which he did; and then I couldn't
understand him.  Dan said:

"Oh, go to the pier, you old fool--that's where we want to go!"

We reasoned calmly with Dan that it was useless to speak to this
foreigner in English--that he had better let us conduct this business in
the French language and not let the stranger see how uncultivated he was.

"Well, go on, go on," he said, "don't mind me.  I don't wish to
interfere.  Only, if you go on telling him in your kind of French, he
never will find out where we want to go to.  That is what I think about
it."

We rebuked him severely for this remark and said we never knew an
ignorant person yet but was prejudiced.  The Frenchman spoke again, and
the doctor said:

"There now, Dan, he says he is going to allez to the douain.  Means he is
going to the hotel.  Oh, certainly--we don't know the French language."

This was a crusher, as Jack would say.  It silenced further criticism
from the disaffected member.  We coasted past the sharp bows of a navy of
great steamships and stopped at last at a government building on a stone
pier.  It was easy to remember then that the douain was the customhouse
and not the hotel.  We did not mention it, however.  With winning French
politeness the officers merely opened and closed our satchels, declined
to examine our passports, and sent us on our way.  We stopped at the
first caf‚ we came to and entered.  An old woman seated us at a table and
waited for orders.  The doctor said:

"Avez-vous du vin?"

The dame looked perplexed.  The doctor said again, with elaborate
distinctness of articulation:

"Avez-vous du--vin!"

The dame looked more perplexed than before.  I said:

"Doctor, there is a flaw in your pronunciation somewhere.  Let me try
her.  Madame, avez-vous du vin?  It isn't any use, Doctor--take the
witness."

"Madame, avez-vous du vin--du fromage--pain--pickled pigs' feet--beurre--
des oeufs--du boeuf--horseradish, sauerkraut, hog and hominy--anything,
anything in the world that can stay a Christian stomach!"

She said:

"Bless you, why didn't you speak English before?  I don't know anything
about your plagued French!"

The humiliating taunts of the disaffected member spoiled the supper, and
we dispatched it in angry silence and got away as soon as we could.  Here
we were in beautiful France--in a vast stone house of quaint
architecture--surrounded by all manner of curiously worded French signs--
stared at by strangely habited, bearded French people--everything
gradually and surely forcing upon us the coveted consciousness that at
last, and beyond all question, we were in beautiful France and absorbing
its nature to the forgetfulness of everything else, and coming to feel
the happy romance of the thing in all its enchanting delightfulness--and
to think of this skinny veteran intruding with her vile English, at such
a moment, to blow the fair vision to the winds!  It was exasperating.

We set out to find the centre of the city, inquiring the direction every
now and then.  We never did succeed in making anybody understand just
exactly what we wanted, and neither did we ever succeed in comprehending
just exactly what they said in reply, but then they always pointed--they
always did that--and we bowed politely and said, "Merci, monsieur," and
so it was a blighting triumph over the disaffected member anyway.  He was
restive under these victories and often asked:

"What did that pirate say?"

"Why, he told us which way to go to find the Grand Casino."

"Yes, but what did he say?"

"Oh, it don't matter what he said--we understood him.  These are educated
people--not like that absurd boatman."

"Well, I wish they were educated enough to tell a man a direction that
goes some where--for we've been going around in a circle for an hour.
I've passed this same old drugstore seven times."

We said it was a low, disreputable falsehood (but we knew it was not).
It was plain that it would not do to pass that drugstore again, though--
we might go on asking directions, but we must cease from following
finger-pointings if we hoped to check the suspicions of the disaffected
member.

A long walk through smooth, asphaltum-paved streets bordered by blocks of
vast new mercantile houses of cream-colored stone every house and every
block precisely like all the other houses and all the other blocks for a
mile, and all brilliantly lighted--brought us at last to the principal
thoroughfare.  On every hand were bright colors, flashing constellations
of gas burners, gaily dressed men and women thronging the sidewalks--
hurry, life, activity, cheerfulness, conversation, and laughter
everywhere!  We found the Grand Hotel du Louvre et de la Paix, and wrote
down who we were, where we were born, what our occupations were, the
place we came from last, whether we were married or single, how we liked
it, how old we were, where we were bound for and when we expected to get
there, and a great deal of information of similar importance--all for the
benefit of the landlord and the secret police.  We hired a guide and
began the business of sightseeing immediately.  That first night on
French soil was a stirring one.  I cannot think of half the places we
went to or what we particularly saw; we had no disposition to examine
carefully into anything at all--we only wanted to glance and go--to move,
keep moving!  The spirit of the country was upon us.  We sat down,
finally, at a late hour, in the great Casino, and called for unstinted
champagne.  It is so easy to be bloated aristocrats where it costs
nothing of consequence!  There were about five hundred people in that
dazzling place, I suppose, though the walls being papered entirely with
mirrors, so to speak, one could not really tell but that there were a
hundred thousand.  Young, daintily dressed exquisites and young,
stylishly dressed women, and also old gentlemen and old ladies, sat in
couples and groups about innumerable marble-topped tables and ate fancy
suppers, drank wine, and kept up a chattering din of conversation that
was dazing to the senses.  There was a stage at the far end and a large
orchestra; and every now and then actors and actresses in preposterous
comic dresses came out and sang the most extravagantly funny songs, to
judge by their absurd actions; but that audience merely suspended its
chatter, stared cynically, and never once smiled, never once applauded!
I had always thought that Frenchmen were ready to laugh at any thing.




CHAPTER XI.

We are getting foreignized rapidly and with facility.  We are getting
reconciled to halls and bedchambers with unhomelike stone floors and no
carpets--floors that ring to the tread of one's heels with a sharpness
that is death to sentimental musing.  We are getting used to tidy,
noiseless waiters, who glide hither and thither, and hover about your
back and your elbows like butterflies, quick to comprehend orders, quick
to fill them; thankful for a gratuity without regard to the amount; and
always polite--never otherwise than polite.  That is the strangest
curiosity yet--a really polite hotel waiter who isn't an idiot.  We are
getting used to driving right into the central court of the hotel, in the
midst of a fragrant circle of vines and flowers, and in the midst also of
parties of gentlemen sitting quietly reading the paper and smoking.  We
are getting used to ice frozen by artificial process in ordinary bottles
--the only kind of ice they have here.  We are getting used to all these
things, but we are not getting used to carrying our own soap.  We are
sufficiently civilized to carry our own combs and toothbrushes, but this
thing of having to ring for soap every time we wash is new to us and not
pleasant at all.  We think of it just after we get our heads and faces
thoroughly wet or just when we think we have been in the bathtub long
enough, and then, of course, an annoying delay follows.  These
Marseillaises make Marseillaise hymns and Marseilles vests and Marseilles
soap for all the world, but they never sing their hymns or wear their
vests or wash with their soap themselves.

We have learned to go through the lingering routine of the table d'hote
with patience, with serenity, with satisfaction.  We take soup, then wait
a few minutes for the fish; a few minutes more and the plates are
changed, and the roast beef comes; another change and we take peas;
change again and take lentils; change and take snail patties (I prefer
grasshoppers); change and take roast chicken and salad; then strawberry
pie and ice cream; then green figs, pears, oranges, green almonds, etc.;
finally coffee.  Wine with every course, of course, being in France.
With such a cargo on board, digestion is a slow process, and we must sit
long in the cool chambers and smoke--and read French newspapers, which
have a strange fashion of telling a perfectly straight story till you get
to the "nub" of it, and then a word drops in that no man can translate,
and that story is ruined.  An embankment fell on some Frenchmen
yesterday, and the papers are full of it today--but whether those
sufferers were killed, or crippled, or bruised, or only scared is more
than I can possibly make out, and yet I would just give anything to know.

We were troubled a little at dinner today by the conduct of an American,
who talked very loudly and coarsely and laughed boisterously where all
others were so quiet and well behaved.  He ordered wine with a royal
flourish and said:

"I never dine without wine, sir" (which was a pitiful falsehood), and
looked around upon the company to bask in the admiration he expected to
find in their faces.  All these airs in a land where they would as soon
expect to leave the soup out of the bill of fare as the wine!--in a land
where wine is nearly as common among all ranks as water!  This fellow
said: "I am a free-born sovereign, sir, an American, sir, and I want
everybody to know it!"  He did not mention that he was a lineal
descendant of Balaam's ass, but everybody knew that without his telling
it.

We have driven in the Prado--that superb avenue bordered with patrician
mansions and noble shade trees--and have visited the chateau Boarely and
its curious museum.  They showed us a miniature cemetery there--a copy of
the first graveyard that was ever in Marseilles, no doubt.  The delicate
little skeletons were lying in broken vaults and had their household gods
and kitchen utensils with them.  The original of this cemetery was dug up
in the principal street of the city a few years ago.  It had remained
there, only twelve feet underground, for a matter of twenty-five hundred
years or thereabouts.  Romulus was here before he built Rome, and thought
something of founding a city on this spot, but gave up the idea.  He may
have been personally acquainted with some of these Phoenicians whose
skeletons we have been examining.

In the great Zoological Gardens we found specimens of all the animals the
world produces, I think, including a dromedary, a monkey ornamented with
tufts of brilliant blue and carmine hair--a very gorgeous monkey he was--
a hippopotamus from the Nile, and a sort of tall, long-legged bird with a
beak like a powder horn and close-fitting wings like the tails of a dress
coat.  This fellow stood up with his eyes shut and his shoulders stooped
forward a little, and looked as if he had his hands under his coat tails.
Such tranquil stupidity, such supernatural gravity, such self-
righteousness, and such ineffable self-complacency as were in the
countenance and attitude of that gray-bodied, dark-winged, bald-headed,
and preposterously uncomely bird!  He was so ungainly, so pimply about
the head, so scaly about the legs, yet so serene, so unspeakably
satisfied!  He was the most comical-looking creature that can be
imagined.  It was good to hear Dan and the doctor laugh--such natural and
such enjoyable laughter had not been heard among our excursionists since
our ship sailed away from America.  This bird was a godsend to us, and I
should be an ingrate if I forgot to make honorable mention of him in
these pages.  Ours was a pleasure excursion; therefore we stayed with
that bird an hour and made the most of him.  We stirred him up
occasionally, but he only unclosed an eye and slowly closed it again,
abating no jot of his stately piety of demeanor or his tremendous
seriousness.  He only seemed to say, "Defile not Heaven's anointed with
unsanctified hands."  We did not know his name, and so we called him "The
Pilgrim."  Dan said:

"All he wants now is a Plymouth Collection."

The boon companion of the colossal elephant was a common cat!  This cat
had a fashion of climbing up the elephant's hind legs and roosting on his
back.  She would sit up there, with her paws curved under her breast, and
sleep in the sun half the afternoon.  It used to annoy the elephant at
first, and he would reach up and take her down, but she would go aft and
climb up again.  She persisted until she finally conquered the elephant's
prejudices, and now they are inseparable friends.  The cat plays about
her comrade's forefeet or his trunk often, until dogs approach, and then
she goes aloft out of danger.  The elephant has annihilated several dogs
lately that pressed his companion too closely.

We hired a sailboat and a guide and made an excursion to one of the small
islands in the harbor to visit the Castle d'If.  This ancient fortress
has a melancholy history.  It has been used as a prison for political
offenders for two or three hundred years, and its dungeon walls are
scarred with the rudely carved names of many and many a captive who
fretted his life away here and left no record of himself but these sad
epitaphs wrought with his own hands.  How thick the names were!  And
their long-departed owners seemed to throng the gloomy cells and
corridors with their phantom shapes.  We loitered through dungeon after
dungeon, away down into the living rock below the level of the sea, it
seemed.  Names everywhere!--some plebeian, some noble, some even
princely.  Plebeian, prince, and noble had one solicitude in common--they
would not be forgotten!  They could suffer solitude, inactivity, and the
horrors of a silence that no sound ever disturbed, but they could not
bear the thought of being utterly forgotten by the world.  Hence the
carved names.  In one cell, where a little light penetrated, a man had
lived twenty-seven years without seeing the face of a human being--lived
in filth and wretchedness, with no companionship but his own thoughts,
and they were sorrowful enough and hopeless enough, no doubt.  Whatever
his jailers considered that he needed was conveyed to his cell by night
through a wicket.

This man carved the walls of his prison house from floor to roof with all
manner of figures of men and animals grouped in intricate designs.  He
had toiled there year after year, at his self-appointed task, while
infants grew to boyhood--to vigorous youth--idled through school and
college--acquired a profession--claimed man's mature estate--married and
looked back to infancy as to a thing of some vague, ancient time, almost.
But who shall tell how many ages it seemed to this prisoner?  With the
one, time flew sometimes; with the other, never--it crawled always.  To
the one, nights spent in dancing had seemed made of minutes instead of
hours; to the other, those selfsame nights had been like all other nights
of dungeon life and seemed made of slow, dragging weeks instead of hours
and minutes.

One prisoner of fifteen years had scratched verses upon his walls, and
brief prose sentences--brief, but full of pathos.  These spoke not of
himself and his hard estate, but only of the shrine where his spirit fled
the prison to worship--of home and the idols that were templed there.
He never lived to see them.

The walls of these dungeons are as thick as some bed-chambers at home are
wide--fifteen feet.  We saw the damp, dismal cells in which two of Dumas'
heroes passed their confinement--heroes of "Monte Cristo."  It was here
that the brave Abbe wrote a book with his own blood, with a pen made of a
piece of iron hoop, and by the light of a lamp made out of shreds of
cloth soaked in grease obtained from his food; and then dug through the
thick wall with some trifling instrument which he wrought himself out of
a stray piece of iron or table cutlery and freed Dantes from his chains.
It was a pity that so many weeks of dreary labor should have come to
naught at last.

They showed us the noisome cell where the celebrated "Iron Mask"--that
ill-starred brother of a hardhearted king of France--was confined for a
season before he was sent to hide the strange mystery of his life from
the curious in the dungeons of Ste. Marguerite.  The place had a far
greater interest for us than it could have had if we had known beyond all
question who the Iron Mask was, and what his history had been, and why
this most unusual punishment had been meted out to him.  Mystery!  That
was the charm.  That speechless tongue, those prisoned features, that
heart so freighted with unspoken troubles, and that breast so oppressed
with its piteous secret had been here.  These dank walls had known the
man whose dolorous story is a sealed book forever!  There was fascination
in the spot.




CHAPTER XII.

We have come five hundred miles by rail through the heart of France.
What a bewitching land it is!  What a garden!  Surely the leagues of
bright green lawns are swept and brushed and watered every day and their
grasses trimmed by the barber.  Surely the hedges are shaped and measured
and their symmetry preserved by the most architectural of gardeners.
Surely the long straight rows of stately poplars that divide the
beautiful landscape like the squares of a checker-board are set with line
and plummet, and their uniform height determined with a spirit level.
Surely the straight, smooth, pure white turnpikes are jack-planed and
sandpapered every day.  How else are these marvels of symmetry,
cleanliness, and order attained?  It is wonderful.  There are no
unsightly stone walls and never a fence of any kind.  There is no dirt,
no decay, no rubbish anywhere--nothing that even hints at untidiness--
nothing that ever suggests neglect.  All is orderly and beautiful--every
thing is charming to the eye.

We had such glimpses of the Rhone gliding along between its grassy banks;
of cosy cottages buried in flowers and shrubbery; of quaint old red-tiled
villages with mossy medieval cathedrals looming out of their midst; of
wooded hills with ivy-grown towers and turrets of feudal castles
projecting above the foliage; such glimpses of Paradise, it seemed to us,
such visions of fabled fairyland!

We knew then what the poet meant when he sang of:  "--thy cornfields
green, and sunny vines,  O pleasant land of France!"

And it is a pleasant land.  No word describes it so felicitously as that
one.  They say there is no word for "home" in the French language.  Well,
considering that they have the article itself in such an attractive
aspect, they ought to manage to get along without the word.  Let us not
waste too much pity on "homeless" France.  I have observed that Frenchmen
abroad seldom wholly give up the idea of going back to France some time
or other.  I am not surprised at it now.

We are not infatuated with these French railway cars, though.  We took
first-class passage, not because we wished to attract attention by doing
a thing which is uncommon in Europe but because we could make our journey
quicker by so doing.  It is hard to make railroading pleasant in any
country.  It is too tedious.  Stagecoaching is infinitely more
delightful.  Once I crossed the plains and deserts and mountains of the
West in a stagecoach, from the Missouri line to California, and since
then all my pleasure trips must be measured to that rare holiday frolic.
Two thousand miles of ceaseless rush and rattle and clatter, by night and
by day, and never a weary moment, never a lapse of interest!  The first
seven hundred miles a level continent, its grassy carpet greener and
softer and smoother than any sea and figured with designs fitted to its
magnitude--the shadows of the clouds.  Here were no scenes but summer
scenes, and no disposition inspired by them but to lie at full length on
the mail sacks in the grateful breeze and dreamily smoke the pipe of
peace--what other, where all was repose and contentment?  In cool
mornings, before the sun was fairly up, it was worth a lifetime of city
toiling and moiling to perch in the foretop with the driver and see the
six mustangs scamper under the sharp snapping of the whip that never
touched them; to scan the blue distances of a world that knew no lords
but us; to cleave the wind with uncovered head and feel the sluggish
pulses rousing to the spirit of a speed that pretended to the resistless
rush of a typhoon!  Then thirteen hundred miles of desert solitudes; of
limitless panoramas of bewildering perspective; of mimic cities, of
pinnacled cathedrals, of massive fortresses, counterfeited in the eternal
rocks and splendid with the crimson and gold of the setting sun; of dizzy
altitudes among fog-wreathed peaks and never-melting snows, where
thunders and lightnings and tempests warred magnificently at our feet and
the storm clouds above swung their shredded banners in our very faces!
But I forgot.  I am in elegant France now, and not scurrying through the
great South Pass and the Wind River Mountains, among antelopes and
buffaloes and painted Indians on the warpath.  It is not meet that I
should make too disparaging comparisons between humdrum travel on a
railway and that royal summer flight across a continent in a stagecoach.
I meant in the beginning to say that railway journeying is tedious and
tiresome, and so it is--though at the time I was thinking particularly of
a dismal fifty-hour pilgrimage between New York and St. Louis.  Of course
our trip through France was not really tedious because all its scenes and
experiences were new and strange; but as Dan says, it had its
"discrepancies."

The cars are built in compartments that hold eight persons each.  Each
compartment is partially subdivided, and so there are two tolerably
distinct parties of four in it.  Four face the other four.  The seats and
backs are thickly padded and cushioned and are very comfortable; you can
smoke if you wish; there are no bothersome peddlers; you are saved the
infliction of a multitude of disagreeable fellow passengers.  So far, so
well.  But then the conductor locks you in when the train starts; there
is no water to drink in the car; there is no heating apparatus for night
travel; if a drunken rowdy should get in, you could not remove a matter
of twenty seats from him or enter another car; but above all, if you are
worn out and must sleep, you must sit up and do it in naps, with cramped
legs and in a torturing misery that leaves you withered and lifeless the
next day--for behold they have not that culmination of all charity and
human kindness, a sleeping car, in all France.  I prefer the American
system.  It has not so many grievous "discrepancies."

In France, all is clockwork, all is order.  They make no mistakes.  Every
third man wears a uniform, and whether he be a marshal of the empire or a
brakeman, he is ready and perfectly willing to answer all your questions
with tireless politeness, ready to tell you which car to take, yea, and
ready to go and put you into it to make sure that you shall not go
astray.  You cannot pass into the waiting room of the depot till you have
secured your ticket, and you cannot pass from its only exit till the
train is at its threshold to receive you.  Once on board, the train will
not start till your ticket has been examined--till every passenger's
ticket has been inspected.  This is chiefly for your own good.  If by any
possibility you have managed to take the wrong train, you will be handed
over to a polite official who will take you whither you belong and bestow
you with many an affable bow.  Your ticket will be inspected every now
and then along the route, and when it is time to change cars you will
know it.  You are in the hands of officials who zealously study your
welfare and your interest, instead of turning their talents to the
invention of new methods of discommoding and snubbing you, as is very
often the main employment of that exceedingly self-satisfied monarch, the
railroad conductor of America.

But the happiest regulation in French railway government is--thirty
minutes to dinner!  No five-minute boltings of flabby rolls, muddy
coffee, questionable eggs, gutta-percha beef, and pies whose conception
and execution are a dark and bloody mystery to all save the cook that
created them!  No, we sat calmly down--it was in old Dijon, which is so
easy to spell and so impossible to pronounce except when you civilize it
and call it Demijohn--and poured out rich Burgundian wines and munched
calmly through a long table d'hote bill of fare, snail patties, delicious
fruits and all, then paid the trifle it cost and stepped happily aboard
the train again, without once cursing the railroad company.  A rare
experience and one to be treasured forever.

They say they do not have accidents on these French roads, and I think it
must be true.  If I remember rightly, we passed high above wagon roads or
through tunnels under them, but never crossed them on their own level.
About every quarter of a mile, it seemed to me, a man came out and held
up a club till the train went by, to signify that everything was safe
ahead.  Switches were changed a mile in advance by pulling a wire rope
that passed along the ground by the rail, from station to station.
Signals for the day and signals for the night gave constant and timely
notice of the position of switches.

No, they have no railroad accidents to speak of in France.  But why?
Because when one occurs, somebody has to hang for it!  Not hang, maybe,
but be punished at least with such vigor of emphasis as to make
negligence a thing to be shuddered at by railroad officials for many a
day thereafter.  "No blame attached to the officers"--that lying and
disaster-breeding verdict so common to our softhearted juries is seldom
rendered in France.  If the trouble occurred in the conductor's
department, that officer must suffer if his subordinate cannot be proven
guilty; if in the engineer's department and the case be similar, the
engineer must answer.

The Old Travelers--those delightful parrots who have "been here before"
and know more about the country than Louis Napoleon knows now or ever
will know--tell us these things, and we believe them because they are
pleasant things to believe and because they are plausible and savor of
the rigid subjection to law and order which we behold about us
everywhere.

But we love the Old Travelers.  We love to hear them prate and drivel and
lie.  We can tell them the moment we see them.  They always throw out a
few feelers; they never cast themselves adrift till they have sounded
every individual and know that he has not traveled.  Then they open their
throttle valves, and how they do brag, and sneer, and swell, and soar,
and blaspheme the sacred name of Truth!  Their central idea, their grand
aim, is to subjugate you, keep you down, make you feel insignificant and
humble in the blaze of their cosmopolitan glory!  They will not let you
know anything.  They sneer at your most inoffensive suggestions; they
laugh unfeelingly at your treasured dreams of foreign lands; they brand
the statements of your traveled aunts and uncles as the stupidest
absurdities; they deride your most trusted authors and demolish the fair
images they have set up for your willing worship with the pitiless
ferocity of the fanatic iconoclast!  But still I love the Old Travelers.
I love them for their witless platitudes, for their supernatural ability
to bore, for their delightful asinine vanity, for their luxuriant
fertility of imagination, for their startling, their brilliant, their
overwhelming mendacity!

By Lyons and the Saone (where we saw the lady of Lyons and thought little
of her comeliness), by Villa Franca, Tonnere, venerable Sens, Melun,
Fontainebleau, and scores of other beautiful cities, we swept, always
noting the absence of hog-wallows, broken fences, cow lots, unpainted
houses, and mud, and always noting, as well, the presence of cleanliness,
grace, taste in adorning and beautifying, even to the disposition of a
tree or the turning of a hedge, the marvel of roads in perfect repair,
void of ruts and guiltless of even an inequality of surface--we bowled
along, hour after hour, that brilliant summer day, and as nightfall
approached we entered a wilderness of odorous flowers and shrubbery, sped
through it, and then, excited, delighted, and half persuaded that we were
only the sport of a beautiful dream, lo, we stood in magnificent Paris!

What excellent order they kept about that vast depot!  There was no
frantic crowding and jostling, no shouting and swearing, and no
swaggering intrusion of services by rowdy hackmen.  These latter gentry
stood outside--stood quietly by their long line of vehicles and said
never a word.  A kind of hackman general seemed to have the whole matter
of transportation in his hands.  He politely received the passengers and
ushered them to the kind of conveyance they wanted, and told the driver
where to deliver them.  There was no "talking back," no dissatisfaction
about overcharging, no grumbling about anything.  In a little while we
were speeding through the streets of Paris and delightfully recognizing
certain names and places with which books had long ago made us familiar.
It was like meeting an old friend when we read Rue de Rivoli on the
street corner; we knew the genuine vast palace of the Louvre as well as
we knew its picture; when we passed by the Column of July we needed no
one to tell us what it was or to remind us that on its site once stood
the grim Bastille, that grave of human hopes and happiness, that dismal
prison house within whose dungeons so many young faces put on the
wrinkles of age, so many proud spirits grew humble, so many brave hearts
broke.

We secured rooms at the hotel, or rather, we had three beds put into one
room, so that we might be together, and then we went out to a restaurant,
just after lamplighting, and ate a comfortable, satisfactory, lingering
dinner.  It was a pleasure to eat where everything was so tidy, the food
so well cooked, the waiters so polite, and the coming and departing
company so moustached, so frisky, so affable, so fearfully and
wonderfully Frenchy!  All the surroundings were gay and enlivening.  Two
hundred people sat at little tables on the sidewalk, sipping wine and
coffee; the streets were thronged with light vehicles and with joyous
pleasure-seekers; there was music in the air, life and action all about
us, and a conflagration of gaslight everywhere!

After dinner we felt like seeing such Parisian specialties as we might
see without distressing exertion, and so we sauntered through the
brilliant streets and looked at the dainty trifles in variety stores and
jewelry shops.  Occasionally, merely for the pleasure of being cruel, we
put unoffending Frenchmen on the rack with questions framed in the
incomprehensible jargon of their native language, and while they writhed
we impaled them, we peppered them, we scarified them, with their own vile
verbs and participles.

We noticed that in the jewelry stores they had some of the articles
marked "gold" and some labeled "imitation."  We wondered at this
extravagance of honesty and inquired into the matter.  We were informed
that inasmuch as most people are not able to tell false gold from the
genuine article, the government compels jewelers to have their gold work
assayed and stamped officially according to its fineness and their
imitation work duly labeled with the sign of its falsity.  They told us
the jewelers would not dare to violate this law, and that whatever a
stranger bought in one of their stores might be depended upon as being
strictly what it was represented to be.  Verily, a wonderful land is
France!

Then we hunted for a barber-shop.  From earliest infancy it had been a
cherished ambition of mine to be shaved some day in a palatial barber-
shop in Paris.  I wished to recline at full length in a cushioned invalid
chair, with pictures about me and sumptuous furniture; with frescoed
walls and gilded arches above me and vistas of Corinthian columns
stretching far before me; with perfumes of Araby to intoxicate my senses
and the slumbrous drone of distant noises to soothe me to sleep.  At the
end of an hour I would wake up regretfully and find my face as smooth and
as soft as an infant's.  Departing, I would lift my hands above that
barber's head and say, "Heaven bless you, my son!"

So we searched high and low, for a matter of two hours, but never a
barber-shop could we see.  We saw only wig-making establishments, with
shocks of dead and repulsive hair bound upon the heads of painted waxen
brigands who stared out from glass boxes upon the passer-by with their
stony eyes and scared him with the ghostly white of their countenances.
We shunned these signs for a time, but finally we concluded that the wig-
makers must of necessity be the barbers as well, since we could find no
single legitimate representative of the fraternity.  We entered and
asked, and found that it was even so.

I said I wanted to be shaved.  The barber inquired where my room was.  I
said never mind where my room was, I wanted to be shaved--there, on the
spot.  The doctor said he would be shaved also.  Then there was an
excitement among those two barbers!  There was a wild consultation, and
afterwards a hurrying to and fro and a feverish gathering up of razors
from obscure places and a ransacking for soap.  Next they took us into a
little mean, shabby back room; they got two ordinary sitting-room chairs
and placed us in them with our coats on.  My old, old dream of bliss
vanished into thin air!

I sat bolt upright, silent, sad, and solemn.  One of the wig-making
villains lathered my face for ten terrible minutes and finished by
plastering a mass of suds into my mouth.  I expelled the nasty stuff with
a strong English expletive and said, "Foreigner, beware!"  Then this
outlaw strapped his razor on his boot, hovered over me ominously for six
fearful seconds, and then swooped down upon me like the genius of
destruction.  The first rake of his razor loosened the very hide from my
face and lifted me out of the chair.  I stormed and raved, and the other
boys enjoyed it.  Their beards are not strong and thick.  Let us draw the
curtain over this harrowing scene.

Suffice it that I submitted and went through with the cruel infliction of
a shave by a French barber; tears of exquisite agony coursed down my
cheeks now and then, but I survived.  Then the incipient assassin held a
basin of water under my chin and slopped its contents over my face, and
into my bosom, and down the back of my neck, with a mean pretense of
washing away the soap and blood.  He dried my features with a towel and
was going to comb my hair, but I asked to be excused.  I said, with
withering irony, that it was sufficient to be skinned--I declined to be
scalped.

I went away from there with my handkerchief about my face, and never,
never, never desired to dream of palatial Parisian barber-shops anymore.
The truth is, as I believe I have since found out, that they have no
barber shops worthy of the name in Paris--and no barbers, either, for
that matter.  The impostor who does duty as a barber brings his pans and
napkins and implements of torture to your residence and deliberately
skins you in your private apartments.  Ah, I have suffered, suffered,
suffered, here in Paris, but never mind--the time is coming when I shall
have a dark and bloody revenge.  Someday a Parisian barber will come to
my room to skin me, and from that day forth that barber will never be
heard of more.

At eleven o'clock we alighted upon a sign which manifestly referred to
billiards.  Joy!  We had played billiards in the Azores with balls that
were not round and on an ancient table that was very little smoother than
a brick pavement--one of those wretched old things with dead cushions,
and with patches in the faded cloth and invisible obstructions that made
the balls describe the most astonishing and unsuspected angles and
perform feats in the way of unlooked-for and almost impossible
"scratches" that were perfectly bewildering.  We had played at Gibraltar
with balls the size of a walnut, on a table like a public square--and in
both instances we achieved far more aggravation than amusement.  We
expected to fare better here, but we were mistaken.  The cushions were a
good deal higher than the balls, and as the balls had a fashion of always
stopping under the cushions, we accomplished very little in the way of
caroms.  The cushions were hard and unelastic, and the cues were so
crooked that in making a shot you had to allow for the curve or you would
infallibly put the "English" on the wrong side of the hall.  Dan was to
mark while the doctor and I played.  At the end of an hour neither of us
had made a count, and so Dan was tired of keeping tally with nothing to
tally, and we were heated and angry and disgusted.  We paid the heavy
bill--about six cents--and said we would call around sometime when we had
a week to spend, and finish the game.

We adjourned to one of those pretty cafes and took supper and tested the
wines of the country, as we had been instructed to do, and found them
harmless and unexciting.  They might have been exciting, however, if we
had chosen to drink a sufficiency of them.

To close our first day in Paris cheerfully and pleasantly, we now sought
our grand room in the Grand Hotel du Louvre and climbed into our
sumptuous bed to read and smoke--but alas!

          It was pitiful,
          In a whole city-full,
          Gas we had none.

No gas to read by--nothing but dismal candles.  It was a shame.  We tried
to map out excursions for the morrow; we puzzled over French "guides to
Paris"; we talked disjointedly in a vain endeavor to make head or tail of
the wild chaos of the day's sights and experiences; we subsided to
indolent smoking; we gaped and yawned and stretched--then feebly wondered
if we were really and truly in renowned Paris, and drifted drowsily away
into that vast mysterious void which men call sleep.




CHAPTER XIII.

The next morning we were up and dressed at ten o'clock.  We went to the
'commissionaire' of the hotel--I don't know what a 'commissionaire' is,
but that is the man we went to--and told him we wanted a guide.  He said
the national Exposition had drawn such multitudes of Englishmen and
Americans to Paris that it would be next to impossible to find a good
guide unemployed.  He said he usually kept a dozen or two on hand, but he
only had three now.  He called them.  One looked so like a very pirate
that we let him go at once.  The next one spoke with a simpering
precision of pronunciation that was irritating and said:

"If ze zhentlemans will to me make ze grande honneur to me rattain in
hees serveece, I shall show to him every sing zat is magnifique to look
upon in ze beautiful Parree.  I speaky ze Angleesh pairfaitemaw."

He would have done well to have stopped there, because he had that much
by heart and said it right off without making a mistake.  But his self-
complacency seduced him into attempting a flight into regions of
unexplored English, and the reckless experiment was his ruin.  Within ten
seconds he was so tangled up in a maze of mutilated verbs and torn and
bleeding forms of speech that no human ingenuity could ever have gotten
him out of it with credit.  It was plain enough that he could not
"speaky" the English quite as "pairfaitemaw" as he had pretended he
could.

The third man captured us.  He was plainly dressed, but he had a
noticeable air of neatness about him.  He wore a high silk hat which was
a little old, but had been carefully brushed.  He wore second-hand kid
gloves, in good repair, and carried a small rattan cane with a curved
handle--a female leg--of ivory.  He stepped as gently and as daintily as
a cat crossing a muddy street; and oh, he was urbanity; he was quiet,
unobtrusive self-possession; he was deference itself!  He spoke softly
and guardedly; and when he was about to make a statement on his sole
responsibility or offer a suggestion, he weighed it by drachms and
scruples first, with the crook of his little stick placed meditatively to
his teeth.  His opening speech was perfect.  It was perfect in
construction, in phraseology, in grammar, in emphasis, in pronunciation--
everything.  He spoke little and guardedly after that.  We were charmed.
We were more than charmed--we were overjoyed.  We hired him at once.  We
never even asked him his price.  This man--our lackey, our servant, our
unquestioning slave though he was--was still a gentleman--we could see
that--while of the other two one was coarse and awkward and the other was
a born pirate.  We asked our man Friday's name.  He drew from his
pocketbook a snowy little card and passed it to us with a profound bow:

                             A. BILLFINGER,
                    Guide to Paris, France, Germany,
                            Spain, &c., &c.
                       Grande Hotel du Louvre.

"Billfinger!  Oh, carry me home to die!"

That was an "aside" from Dan.  The atrocious name grated harshly on my
ear, too.  The most of us can learn to forgive, and even to like, a
countenance that strikes us unpleasantly at first, but few of us, I
fancy, become reconciled to a jarring name so easily.  I was almost sorry
we had hired this man, his name was so unbearable.  However, no matter.
We were impatient to start.  Billfinger stepped to the door to call a
carriage, and then the doctor said:

"Well, the guide goes with the barbershop, with the billiard-table, with
the gasless room, and may be with many another pretty romance of Paris.
I expected to have a guide named Henri de Montmorency, or Armand de la
Chartreuse, or something that would sound grand in letters to the
villagers at home, but to think of a Frenchman by the name of Billfinger!
Oh!  This is absurd, you know.  This will never do.  We can't say
Billfinger; it is nauseating.  Name him over again; what had we better
call him?  Alexis du Caulaincourt?"

"Alphonse Henri Gustave de Hauteville," I suggested.

"Call him Ferguson," said Dan.

That was practical, unromantic good sense.  Without debate, we expunged
Billfinger as Billfinger, and called him Ferguson.

The carriage--an open barouche--was ready.  Ferguson mounted beside the
driver, and we whirled away to breakfast.  As was proper, Mr. Ferguson
stood by to transmit our orders and answer questions.  By and by, he
mentioned casually--the artful adventurer--that he would go and get his
breakfast as soon as we had finished ours.  He knew we could not get
along without him and that we would not want to loiter about and wait for
him.  We asked him to sit down and eat with us.  He begged, with many a
bow, to be excused.  It was not proper, he said; he would sit at another
table.  We ordered him peremptorily to sit down with us.

Here endeth the first lesson.  It was a mistake.

As long as we had that fellow after that, he was always hungry; he was
always thirsty.  He came early; he stayed late; he could not pass a
restaurant; he looked with a lecherous eye upon every wine shop.
Suggestions to stop, excuses to eat and to drink, were forever on his
lips.  We tried all we could to fill him so full that he would have no
room to spare for a fortnight, but it was a failure.  He did not hold
enough to smother the cravings of his superhuman appetite.

He had another "discrepancy" about him.  He was always wanting us to buy
things.  On the shallowest pretenses he would inveigle us into shirt
stores, boot stores, tailor shops, glove shops--anywhere under the broad
sweep of the heavens that there seemed a chance of our buying anything.
Anyone could have guessed that the shopkeepers paid him a percentage on
the sales, but in our blessed innocence we didn't until this feature of
his conduct grew unbearably prominent.  One day Dan happened to mention
that he thought of buying three or four silk dress patterns for presents.
Ferguson's hungry eye was upon him in an instant.  In the course of
twenty minutes the carriage stopped.

"What's this?"

"Zis is ze finest silk magazin in Paris--ze most celebrate."

"What did you come here for?  We told you to take us to the palace of the
Louvre."

"I suppose ze gentleman say he wish to buy some silk."

"You are not required to 'suppose' things for the party, Ferguson.  We do
not wish to tax your energies too much.  We will bear some of the burden
and heat of the day ourselves.  We will endeavor to do such 'supposing'
as is really necessary to be done.  Drive on."  So spake the doctor.

Within fifteen minutes the carriage halted again, and before another silk
store.  The doctor said:

"Ah, the palace of the Louvre--beautiful, beautiful edifice!  Does the
Emperor Napoleon live here now, Ferguson?"

"Ah, Doctor!  You do jest; zis is not ze palace; we come there directly.
But since we pass right by zis store, where is such beautiful silk--"

"Ah!  I see, I see.  I meant to have told you that we did not wish to
purchase any silks to-day, but in my absent-mindedness I forgot it.  I
also meant to tell you we wished to go directly to the Louvre, but I
forgot that also.  However, we will go there now.  Pardon my seeming
carelessness, Ferguson.  Drive on."

Within the half hour we stopped again--in front of another silk store.
We were angry; but the doctor was always serene, always smooth-voiced.
He said:

"At last!  How imposing the Louvre is, and yet how small!  How
exquisitely fashioned!  How charmingly situated!--Venerable, venerable
pile--"

"Pairdon, Doctor, zis is not ze Louvre--it is--"

"What is it?"

"I have ze idea--it come to me in a moment--zat ze silk in zis magazin--"

"Ferguson, how heedless I am.  I fully intended to tell you that we did
not wish to buy any silks to-day, and I also intended to tell you that we
yearned to go immediately to the palace of the Louvre, but enjoying the
happiness of seeing you devour four breakfasts this morning has so filled
me with pleasurable emotions that I neglect the commonest interests of
the time.  However, we will proceed now to the Louvre, Ferguson."

"But, doctor," (excitedly,) "it will take not a minute--not but one small
minute!  Ze gentleman need not to buy if he not wish to--but only look at
ze silk--look at ze beautiful fabric.  [Then pleadingly.] Sair--just only
one leetle moment!"

Dan said, "Confound the idiot!  I don't want to see any silks today, and
I won't look at them.  Drive on."

And the doctor: "We need no silks now, Ferguson.  Our hearts yearn for
the Louvre.  Let us journey on--let us journey on."

"But doctor!  It is only one moment--one leetle moment.  And ze time will
be save--entirely save!  Because zere is nothing to see now--it is too
late.  It want ten minute to four and ze Louvre close at four--only one
leetle moment, Doctor!"

The treacherous miscreant!  After four breakfasts and a gallon of
champagne, to serve us such a scurvy trick.  We got no sight of the
countless treasures of art in the Louvre galleries that day, and our only
poor little satisfaction was in the reflection that Ferguson sold not a
solitary silk dress pattern.

I am writing this chapter partly for the satisfaction of abusing that
accomplished knave Billfinger, and partly to show whosoever shall read
this how Americans fare at the hands of the Paris guides and what sort of
people Paris guides are.  It need not be supposed that we were a stupider
or an easier prey than our countrymen generally are, for we were not.
The guides deceive and defraud every American who goes to Paris for the
first time and sees its sights alone or in company with others as little
experienced as himself.  I shall visit Paris again someday, and then let
the guides beware!  I shall go in my war paint--I shall carry my tomahawk
along.

I think we have lost but little time in Paris.  We have gone to bed every
night tired out.  Of course we visited the renowned International
Exposition.  All the world did that.  We went there on our third day in
Paris--and we stayed there nearly two hours.  That was our first and last
visit.  To tell the truth, we saw at a glance that one would have to
spend weeks--yea, even months--in that monstrous establishment to get an
intelligible idea of it.  It was a wonderful show, but the moving masses
of people of all nations we saw there were a still more wonderful show.
I discovered that if I were to stay there a month, I should still find
myself looking at the people instead of the inanimate objects on
exhibition.  I got a little interested in some curious old tapestries of
the thirteenth century, but a party of Arabs came by, and their dusky
faces and quaint costumes called my attention away at once.  I watched a
silver swan, which had a living grace about his movements and a living
intelligence in his eyes--watched him swimming about as comfortably and
as unconcernedly as if he had been born in a morass instead of a
jeweler's shop--watched him seize a silver fish from under the water and
hold up his head and go through all the customary and elaborate motions
of swallowing it--but the moment it disappeared down his throat some
tattooed South Sea Islanders approached and I yielded to their
attractions.

Presently I found a revolving pistol several hundred years old which
looked strangely like a modern Colt, but just then I heard that the
Empress of the French was in another part of the building, and hastened
away to see what she might look like.  We heard martial music--we saw an
unusual number of soldiers walking hurriedly about--there was a general
movement among the people.  We inquired what it was all about and learned
that the Emperor of the French and the Sultan of Turkey were about to
review twenty-five thousand troops at the Arc de l'Etoile.  We
immediately departed.  I had a greater anxiety to see these men than I
could have had to see twenty expositions.

We drove away and took up a position in an open space opposite the
American minister's house.  A speculator bridged a couple of barrels with
a board and we hired standing places on it.  Presently there was a sound
of distant music; in another minute a pillar of dust came moving slowly
toward us; a moment more and then, with colors flying and a grand crash
of military music, a gallant array of cavalrymen emerged from the dust
and came down the street on a gentle trot.  After them came a long line
of artillery; then more cavalry, in splendid uniforms; and then their
imperial majesties Napoleon III and Abdul Aziz.  The vast concourse of
people swung their hats and shouted--the windows and housetops in the
wide vicinity burst into a snowstorm of waving handkerchiefs, and the
wavers of the same mingled their cheers with those of the masses below.
It was a stirring spectacle.

But the two central figures claimed all my attention.  Was ever such a
contrast set up before a multitude till then?  Napoleon in military
uniform--a long-bodied, short-legged man, fiercely moustached, old,
wrinkled, with eyes half closed, and such a deep, crafty, scheming
expression about them!--Napoleon, bowing ever so gently to the loud
plaudits, and watching everything and everybody with his cat eyes from
under his depressed hat brim, as if to discover any sign that those
cheers were not heartfelt and cordial.

Abdul Aziz, absolute lord of the Ottoman empire--clad in dark green
European clothes, almost without ornament or insignia of rank; a red
Turkish fez on his head; a short, stout, dark man, black-bearded, black-
eyed, stupid, unprepossessing--a man whose whole appearance somehow
suggested that if he only had a cleaver in his hand and a white apron on,
one would not be at all surprised to hear him say: "A mutton roast today,
or will you have a nice porterhouse steak?"

Napoleon III, the representative of the highest modern civilization,
progress, and refinement; Abdul-Aziz, the representative of a people by
nature and training filthy, brutish, ignorant, unprogressive,
superstitious--and a government whose Three Graces are Tyranny, Rapacity,
Blood.  Here in brilliant Paris, under this majestic Arch of Triumph, the
First Century greets the Nineteenth!

NAPOLEON III., Emperor of France!  Surrounded by shouting thousands, by
military pomp, by the splendors of his capital city, and companioned by
kings and princes--this is the man who was sneered at and reviled and
called Bastard--yet who was dreaming of a crown and an empire all the
while; who was driven into exile--but carried his dreams with him; who
associated with the common herd in America and ran foot races for a
wager--but still sat upon a throne in fancy; who braved every danger to
go to his dying mother--and grieved that she could not be spared to see
him cast aside his plebeian vestments for the purple of royalty; who kept
his faithful watch and walked his weary beat a common policeman of
London--but dreamed the while of a coming night when he should tread the
long-drawn corridors of the Tuileries; who made the miserable fiasco of
Strasbourg; saw his poor, shabby eagle, forgetful of its lesson, refuse
to perch upon his shoulder; delivered his carefully prepared, sententious
burst of eloquence upon unsympathetic ears; found himself a prisoner, the
butt of small wits, a mark for the pitiless ridicule of all the world--
yet went on dreaming of coronations and splendid pageants as before; who
lay a forgotten captive in the dungeons of Ham--and still schemed and
planned and pondered over future glory and future power; President of
France at last! a coup d'etat, and surrounded by applauding armies,
welcomed by the thunders of cannon, he mounts a throne and waves before
an astounded world the sceptre of a mighty empire!  Who talks of the
marvels of fiction?  Who speaks of the wonders of romance?  Who prates of
the tame achievements of Aladdin and the Magii of Arabia?

ABDUL-AZIZ, Sultan of Turkey, Lord of the Ottoman Empire!  Born to a
throne; weak, stupid, ignorant, almost, as his meanest slave; chief of a
vast royalty, yet the puppet of his Premier and the obedient child of a
tyrannical mother; a man who sits upon a throne--the beck of whose finger
moves navies and armies--who holds in his hands the power of life and
death over millions--yet who sleeps, sleeps, eats, eats, idles with his
eight hundred concubines, and when he is surfeited with eating and
sleeping and idling, and would rouse up and take the reins of government
and threaten to be a sultan, is charmed from his purpose by wary Fuad
Pacha with a pretty plan for a new palace or a new ship--charmed away
with a new toy, like any other restless child; a man who sees his people
robbed and oppressed by soulless tax-gatherers, but speaks no word to
save them; who believes in gnomes and genii and the wild fables of The
Arabian Nights, but has small regard for the mighty magicians of to-day,
and is nervous in the presence of their mysterious railroads and
steamboats and telegraphs; who would see undone in Egypt all that great
Mehemet Ali achieved, and would prefer rather to forget than emulate him;
a man who found his great empire a blot upon the earth--a degraded,
poverty-stricken, miserable, infamous agglomeration of ignorance, crime,
and brutality--and will idle away the allotted days of his trivial life
and then pass to the dust and the worms and leave it so!

Napoleon has augmented the commercial prosperity of France in ten years
to such a degree that figures can hardly compute it.  He has rebuilt
Paris and has partly rebuilt every city in the state.  He condemns a
whole street at a time, assesses the damages, pays them, and rebuilds
superbly.  Then speculators buy up the ground and sell, but the original
owner is given the first choice by the government at a stated price
before the speculator is permitted to purchase.  But above all things, he
has taken the sole control of the empire of France into his hands and
made it a tolerably free land--for people who will not attempt to go too
far in meddling with government affairs.  No country offers greater
security to life and property than France, and one has all the freedom he
wants, but no license--no license to interfere with anybody or make
anyone uncomfortable.

As for the Sultan, one could set a trap any where and catch a dozen abler
men in a night.

The bands struck up, and the brilliant adventurer, Napoleon III., the
genius of Energy, Persistence, Enterprise; and the feeble Abdul-Aziz, the
genius of Ignorance, Bigotry, and Indolence, prepared for the Forward--
March!

We saw the splendid review, we saw the white-moustached old Crimean
soldier, Canrobert, Marshal of France, we saw--well, we saw every thing,
and then we went home satisfied.




CHAPTER XIV.

We went to see the Cathedral of Notre Dame.  We had heard of it before.
It surprises me sometimes to think how much we do know and how
intelligent we are.  We recognized the brown old Gothic pile in a moment;
it was like the pictures.  We stood at a little distance and changed from
one point of observation to another and gazed long at its lofty square
towers and its rich front, clustered thick with stony, mutilated saints
who had been looking calmly down from their perches for ages.  The
Patriarch of Jerusalem stood under them in the old days of chivalry and
romance, and preached the third Crusade, more than six hundred years ago;
and since that day they have stood there and looked quietly down upon the
most thrilling scenes, the grandest pageants, the most extraordinary
spectacles that have grieved or delighted Paris.  These battered and
broken-nosed old fellows saw many and many a cavalcade of mail-clad
knights come marching home from Holy Land; they heard the bells above
them toll the signal for the St. Bartholomew's Massacre, and they saw the
slaughter that followed; later they saw the Reign of Terror, the carnage
of the Revolution, the overthrow of a king, the coronation of two
Napoleons, the christening of the young prince that lords it over a
regiment of servants in the Tuileries to-day--and they may possibly
continue to stand there until they see the Napoleon dynasty swept away
and the banners of a great republic floating above its ruins.  I wish
these old parties could speak.  They could tell a tale worth the
listening to.

They say that a pagan temple stood where Notre Dame now stands, in the
old Roman days, eighteen or twenty centuries ago--remains of it are still
preserved in Paris; and that a Christian church took its place about A.D.
300; another took the place of that in A.D. 500; and that the foundations
of the present cathedral were laid about A.D. 1100.  The ground ought to
be measurably sacred by this time, one would think.  One portion of this
noble old edifice is suggestive of the quaint fashions of ancient times.
It was built by Jean Sans-Peur, Duke of Burgundy, to set his conscience
at rest--he had assassinated the Duke of Orleans.  Alas!  Those good old
times are gone when a murderer could wipe the stain from his name and
soothe his troubles to sleep simply by getting out his bricks and mortar
and building an addition to a church.

The portals of the great western front are bisected by square pillars.
They took the central one away in 1852, on the occasion of thanksgivings
for the reinstitution of the presidential power--but precious soon they
had occasion to reconsider that motion and put it back again!  And they
did.

We loitered through the grand aisles for an hour or two, staring up at
the rich stained-glass windows embellished with blue and yellow and
crimson saints and martyrs, and trying to admire the numberless great
pictures in the chapels, and then we were admitted to the sacristy and
shown the magnificent robes which the Pope wore when he crowned Napoleon
I; a wagon-load of solid gold and silver utensils used in the great
public processions and ceremonies of the church; some nails of the true
cross, a fragment of the cross itself, a part of the crown of thorns.
We had already seen a large piece of the true cross in a church in the
Azores, but no nails.  They showed us likewise the bloody robe which that
archbishop of Paris wore who exposed his sacred person and braved the
wrath of the insurgents of 1848, to mount the barricades and hold aloft
the olive branch of peace in the hope of stopping the slaughter.  His
noble effort cost him his life.  He was shot dead.  They showed us a cast
of his face taken after death, the bullet that killed him, and the two
vertebrae in which it lodged.  These people have a somewhat singular
taste in the matter of relics.  Ferguson told us that the silver cross
which the good archbishop wore at his girdle was seized and thrown into
the Seine, where it lay embedded in the mud for fifteen years, and then
an angel appeared to a priest and told him where to dive for it; he did
dive for it and got it, and now it is there on exhibition at Notre Dame,
to be inspected by anybody who feels an interest in inanimate objects of
miraculous intervention.

Next we went to visit the Morgue, that horrible receptacle for the dead
who die mysteriously and leave the manner of their taking off a dismal
secret.  We stood before a grating and looked through into a room which
was hung all about with the clothing of dead men; coarse blouses, water-
soaked; the delicate garments of women and children; patrician vestments,
hacked and stabbed and stained with red; a hat that was crushed and
bloody.  On a slanting stone lay a drowned man, naked, swollen, purple;
clasping the fragment of a broken bush with a grip which death had so
petrified that human strength could not unloose it--mute witness of the
last despairing effort to save the life that was doomed beyond all help.
A stream of water trickled ceaselessly over the hideous face.  We knew
that the body and the clothing were there for identification by friends,
but still we wondered if anybody could love that repulsive object or
grieve for its loss.  We grew meditative and wondered if, some forty
years ago, when the mother of that ghastly thing was dandling it upon her
knee, and kissing it and petting it and displaying it with satisfied
pride to the passers-by, a prophetic vision of this dread ending ever
flitted through her brain.  I half feared that the mother, or the wife or
a brother of the dead man might come while we stood there, but nothing of
the kind occurred.  Men and women came, and some looked eagerly in and
pressed their faces against the bars; others glanced carelessly at the
body and turned away with a disappointed look--people, I thought, who
live upon strong excitements and who attend the exhibitions of the Morgue
regularly, just as other people go to see theatrical spectacles every
night.  When one of these looked in and passed on, I could not help
thinking--

"Now this don't afford you any satisfaction--a party with his head shot
off is what you need."

One night we went to the celebrated Jardin Mabille, but only staid a
little while.  We wanted to see some of this kind of Paris life, however,
and therefore the next night we went to a similar place of entertainment
in a great garden in the suburb of Asnieres.  We went to the railroad
depot, toward evening, and Ferguson got tickets for a second-class
carriage.  Such a perfect jam of people I have not often seen--but there
was no noise, no disorder, no rowdyism.  Some of the women and young
girls that entered the train we knew to be of the demi-monde, but others
we were not at all sure about.

The girls and women in our carriage behaved themselves modestly and
becomingly all the way out, except that they smoked.  When we arrived at
the garden in Asnieres, we paid a franc or two admission and entered a
place which had flower beds in it, and grass plots, and long, curving
rows of ornamental shrubbery, with here and there a secluded bower
convenient for eating ice cream in.  We moved along the sinuous gravel
walks, with the great concourse of girls and young men, and suddenly a
domed and filigreed white temple, starred over and over and over again
with brilliant gas jets, burst upon us like a fallen sun.  Nearby was a
large, handsome house with its ample front illuminated in the same way,
and above its roof floated the Star-Spangled Banner of America.

"Well!" I said.  "How is this?"  It nearly took my breath away.

Ferguson said an American--a New Yorker--kept the place, and was carrying
on quite a stirring opposition to the Jardin Mabille.

Crowds composed of both sexes and nearly all ages were frisking about the
garden or sitting in the open air in front of the flagstaff and the
temple, drinking wine and coffee or smoking.  The dancing had not begun
yet.  Ferguson said there was to be an exhibition.  The famous Blondin
was going to perform on a tightrope in another part of the garden.  We
went thither.  Here the light was dim, and the masses of people were
pretty closely packed together.  And now I made a mistake which any
donkey might make, but a sensible man never.  I committed an error which
I find myself repeating every day of my life.  Standing right before a
young lady, I said:

"Dan, just look at this girl, how beautiful she is!"

"I thank you more for the evident sincerity of the compliment, sir, than
for the extraordinary publicity you have given to it!"  This in good,
pure English.

We took a walk, but my spirits were very, very sadly dampened.  I did not
feel right comfortable for some time afterward.  Why will people be so
stupid as to suppose themselves the only foreigners among a crowd of ten
thousand persons?

But Blondin came out shortly.  He appeared on a stretched cable, far away
above the sea of tossing hats and handkerchiefs, and in the glare of the
hundreds of rockets that whizzed heavenward by him he looked like a wee
insect.  He balanced his pole and walked the length of his rope--two or
three hundred feet; he came back and got a man and carried him across; he
returned to the center and danced a jig; next he performed some gymnastic
and balancing feats too perilous to afford a pleasant spectacle; and he
finished by fastening to his person a thousand Roman candies, Catherine
wheels, serpents and rockets of all manner of brilliant colors, setting
them on fire all at once and walking and waltzing across his rope again
in a blinding blaze of glory that lit up the garden and the people's
faces like a great conflagration at midnight.

The dance had begun, and we adjourned to the temple.  Within it was a
drinking saloon, and all around it was a broad circular platform for the
dancers.  I backed up against the wall of the temple, and waited.  Twenty
sets formed, the music struck up, and then--I placed my hands before my
face for very shame.  But I looked through my fingers.  They were dancing
the renowned "Can-can."  A handsome girl in the set before me tripped
forward lightly to meet the opposite gentleman, tripped back again,
grasped her dresses vigorously on both sides with her hands, raised them
pretty high, danced an extraordinary jig that had more activity and
exposure about it than any jig I ever saw before, and then, drawing her
clothes still higher, she advanced gaily to the center and launched a
vicious kick full at her vis-a-vis that must infallibly have removed his
nose if he had been seven feet high.  It was a mercy he was only six.

That is the can-can.  The idea of it is to dance as wildly, as noisily,
as furiously as you can; expose yourself as much as possible if you are a
woman; and kick as high as you can, no matter which sex you belong to.
There is no word of exaggeration in this.  Any of the staid, respectable,
aged people who were there that night can testify to the truth of that
statement.  There were a good many such people present.  I suppose French
morality is not of that straight-laced description which is shocked at
trifles.

I moved aside and took a general view of the can-can.  Shouts, laughter,
furious music, a bewildering chaos of darting and intermingling forms,
stormy jerking and snatching of gay dresses, bobbing beads, flying arms,
lightning flashes of white-stockinged calves and dainty slippers in the
air, and then a grand final rush, riot, a terrific hubbub, and a wild
stampede!  Heavens!  Nothing like it has been seen on earth since
trembling Tam O'Shanter saw the devil and the witches at their orgies
that stormy night in "Alloway's auld haunted kirk."

We visited the Louvre, at a time when we had no silk purchases in view,
and looked at its miles of paintings by the old masters.  Some of them
were beautiful, but at the same time they carried such evidences about
them of the cringing spirit of those great men that we found small
pleasure in examining them.  Their nauseous adulation of princely patrons
was more prominent to me and chained my attention more surely than the
charms of color and expression which are claimed to be in the pictures.
Gratitude for kindnesses is well, but it seems to me that some of those
artists carried it so far that it ceased to be gratitude and became
worship.  If there is a plausible excuse for the worship of men, then by
all means let us forgive Rubens and his brethren.

But I will drop the subject, lest I say something about the old masters
that might as well be left unsaid.

Of course we drove in the Bois de Boulogne, that limitless park, with its
forests, its lakes, its cascades, and its broad avenues.  There were
thousands upon thousands of vehicles abroad, and the scene was full of
life and gaiety.  There were very common hacks, with father and mother
and all the children in them; conspicuous little open carriages with
celebrated ladies of questionable reputation in them; there were Dukes
and Duchesses abroad, with gorgeous footmen perched behind, and equally
gorgeous outriders perched on each of the six horses; there were blue and
silver, and green and gold, and pink and black, and all sorts and
descriptions of stunning and startling liveries out, and I almost yearned
to be a flunkey myself, for the sake of the fine clothes.

But presently the Emperor came along and he outshone them all.  He was
preceded by a bodyguard of gentlemen on horseback in showy uniforms, his
carriage-horses (there appeared to be somewhere in the remote
neighborhood of a thousand of them,) were bestridden by gallant-looking
fellows, also in stylish uniforms, and after the carriage followed
another detachment of bodyguards.  Everybody got out of the way;
everybody bowed to the Emperor and his friend the Sultan; and they went
by on a swinging trot and disappeared.

I will not describe the Bois de Boulogne.  I can not do it.  It is simply
a beautiful, cultivated, endless, wonderful wilderness.  It is an
enchanting place.  It is in Paris now, one may say, but a crumbling old
cross in one portion of it reminds one that it was not always so.  The
cross marks the spot where a celebrated troubadour was waylaid and
murdered in the fourteenth century.  It was in this park that that fellow
with an unpronounceable name made the attempt upon the Russian Czar's
life last spring with a pistol.  The bullet struck a tree.  Ferguson
showed us the place.  Now in America that interesting tree would be
chopped down or forgotten within the next five years, but it will be
treasured here.  The guides will point it out to visitors for the next
eight hundred years, and when it decays and falls down they will put up
another there and go on with the same old story just the same.




CHAPTER XV.

One of our pleasantest visits was to Pere la Chaise, the national
burying-ground of France, the honored resting-place of some of her
greatest and best children, the last home of scores of illustrious men
and women who were born to no titles, but achieved fame by their own
energy and their own genius.  It is a solemn city of winding streets and
of miniature marble temples and mansions of the dead gleaming white from
out a wilderness of foliage and fresh flowers.  Not every city is so well
peopled as this, or has so ample an area within its walls.  Few palaces
exist in any city that are so exquisite in design, so rich in art, so
costly in material, so graceful, so beautiful.

We had stood in the ancient church of St. Denis, where the marble
effigies of thirty generations of kings and queens lay stretched at
length upon the tombs, and the sensations invoked were startling and
novel; the curious armor, the obsolete costumes, the placid faces, the
hands placed palm to palm in eloquent supplication--it was a vision of
gray antiquity.  It seemed curious enough to be standing face to face, as
it were, with old Dagobert I., and Clovis and Charlemagne, those vague,
colossal heroes, those shadows, those myths of a thousand years ago!  I
touched their dust-covered faces with my finger, but Dagobert was deader
than the sixteen centuries that have passed over him, Clovis slept well
after his labor for Christ, and old Charlemagne went on dreaming of his
paladins, of bloody Roncesvalles, and gave no heed to me.

The great names of Pere la Chaise impress one, too, but differently.
There the suggestion brought constantly to his mind is, that this place
is sacred to a nobler royalty--the royalty of heart and brain.  Every
faculty of mind, every noble trait of human nature, every high occupation
which men engage in, seems represented by a famous name.  The effect is a
curious medley.  Davoust and Massena, who wrought in many a battle
tragedy, are here, and so also is Rachel, of equal renown in mimic
tragedy on the stage.  The Abbe Sicard sleeps here--the first great
teacher of the deaf and dumb--a man whose heart went out to every
unfortunate, and whose life was given to kindly offices in their service;
and not far off, in repose and peace at last, lies Marshal Ney, whose
stormy spirit knew no music like the bugle call to arms.  The man who
originated public gas-lighting, and that other benefactor who introduced
the cultivation of the potato and thus blessed millions of his starving
countrymen, lie with the Prince of Masserano, and with exiled queens and
princes of Further India.  Gay-Lussac the chemist, Laplace the
astronomer, Larrey the surgeon, de Suze the advocate, are here, and with
them are Talma, Bellini, Rubini; de Balzac, Beaumarchais, Beranger;
Moliere and Lafontaine, and scores of other men whose names and whose
worthy labors are as familiar in the remote by-places of civilization as
are the historic deeds of the kings and princes that sleep in the marble
vaults of St. Denis.

But among the thousands and thousands of tombs in Pere la Chaise, there
is one that no man, no woman, no youth of either sex, ever passes by
without stopping to examine.  Every visitor has a sort of indistinct idea
of the history of its dead and comprehends that homage is due there, but
not one in twenty thousand clearly remembers the story of that tomb and
its romantic occupants.  This is the grave of Abelard and Heloise--a
grave which has been more revered, more widely known, more written and
sung about and wept over, for seven hundred years, than any other in
Christendom save only that of the Saviour.  All visitors linger pensively
about it; all young people capture and carry away keepsakes and mementoes
of it; all Parisian youths and maidens who are disappointed in love come
there to bail out when they are full of tears; yea, many stricken lovers
make pilgrimages to this shrine from distant provinces to weep and wail
and "grit" their teeth over their heavy sorrows, and to purchase the
sympathies of the chastened spirits of that tomb with offerings of
immortelles and budding flowers.

Go when you will, you find somebody snuffling over that tomb.  Go when
you will, you find it furnished with those bouquets and immortelles.  Go
when you will, you find a gravel-train from Marseilles arriving to supply
the deficiencies caused by memento-cabbaging vandals whose affections
have miscarried.

Yet who really knows the story of Abelard and Heloise?  Precious few
people.  The names are perfectly familiar to every body, and that is
about all.  With infinite pains I have acquired a knowledge of that
history, and I propose to narrate it here, partly for the honest
information of the public and partly to show that public that they have
been wasting a good deal of marketable sentiment very unnecessarily.


                       STORY OF ABELARD AND HELOISE

Heloise was born seven hundred and sixty-six years ago.  She may have had
parents.  There is no telling.  She lived with her uncle Fulbert, a canon
of the cathedral of Paris.  I do not know what a canon of a cathedral is,
but that is what he was.  He was nothing more than a sort of a mountain
howitzer, likely, because they had no heavy artillery in those days.
Suffice it, then, that Heloise lived with her uncle the howitzer and was
happy.  She spent the most of her childhood in the convent of Argenteuil
--never heard of Argenteuil before, but suppose there was really such a
place.  She then returned to her uncle, the old gun, or son of a gun, as
the case may be, and he taught her to write and speak Latin, which was
the language of literature and polite society at that period.

Just at this time, Pierre Abelard, who had already made himself widely
famous as a rhetorician, came to found a school of rhetoric in Paris.
The originality of his principles, his eloquence, and his great physical
strength and beauty created a profound sensation.  He saw Heloise, and
was captivated by her blooming youth, her beauty, and her charming
disposition.  He wrote to her; she answered.  He wrote again; she
answered again.  He was now in love.  He longed to know her--to speak to
her face to face.

His school was near Fulbert's house.  He asked Fulbert to allow him to
call.  The good old swivel saw here a rare opportunity: his niece, whom
he so much loved, would absorb knowledge from this man, and it would not
cost him a cent.  Such was Fulbert--penurious.

Fulbert's first name is not mentioned by any author, which is
unfortunate.  However, George W. Fulbert will answer for him as well as
any other.  We will let him go at that.  He asked Abelard to teach her.

Abelard was glad enough of the opportunity.  He came often and staid
long.  A letter of his shows in its very first sentence that he came
under that friendly roof like a cold-hearted villain as he was, with the
deliberate intention of debauching a confiding, innocent girl.  This is
the letter:

          "I cannot cease to be astonished at the simplicity of Fulbert;
          I was as much surprised as if he had placed a lamb in the power
          of a hungry wolf.  Heloise and I, under pretext of study, gave
          ourselves up wholly to love, and the solitude that love seeks
          our studies procured for us.  Books were open before us, but we
          spoke oftener of love than philosophy, and kisses came more
          readily from our lips than words."

And so, exulting over an honorable confidence which to his degraded
instinct was a ludicrous "simplicity," this unmanly Abelard seduced the
niece of the man whose guest he was.  Paris found it out.  Fulbert was
told of it--told often--but refused to believe it.  He could not
comprehend how a man could be so depraved as to use the sacred protection
and security of hospitality as a means for the commission of such a crime
as that.  But when he heard the rowdies in the streets singing the love-
songs of Abelard to Heloise, the case was too plain--love-songs come not
properly within the teachings of rhetoric and philosophy.

He drove Abelard from his house.  Abelard returned secretly and carried
Heloise away to Palais, in Brittany, his native country.  Here, shortly
afterward, she bore a son, who, from his rare beauty, was surnamed
Astrolabe--William G.  The girl's flight enraged Fulbert, and he longed
for vengeance, but feared to strike lest retaliation visit Heloise--for
he still loved her tenderly.  At length Abelard offered to marry Heloise
--but on a shameful condition: that the marriage should be kept secret
from the world, to the end that (while her good name remained a wreck, as
before,) his priestly reputation might be kept untarnished.  It was like
that miscreant.  Fulbert saw his opportunity and consented.  He would see
the parties married, and then violate the confidence of the man who had
taught him that trick; he would divulge the secret and so remove somewhat
of the obloquy that attached to his niece's fame.  But the niece
suspected his scheme.  She refused the marriage at first; she said
Fulbert would betray the secret to save her, and besides, she did not
wish to drag down a lover who was so gifted, so honored by the world, and
who had such a splendid career before him.  It was noble, self-
sacrificing love, and characteristic of the pure-souled Heloise, but it
was not good sense.

But she was overruled, and the private marriage took place.  Now for
Fulbert!  The heart so wounded should be healed at last; the proud spirit
so tortured should find rest again; the humbled head should be lifted up
once more.  He proclaimed the marriage in the high places of the city and
rejoiced that dishonor had departed from his house.  But lo!  Abelard
denied the marriage!  Heloise denied it!  The people, knowing the former
circumstances, might have believed Fulbert had only Abelard denied it,
but when the person chiefly interested--the girl herself--denied it, they
laughed, despairing Fulbert to scorn.

The poor canon of the cathedral of Paris was spiked again.  The last hope
of repairing the wrong that had been done his house was gone.  What next?
Human nature suggested revenge.  He compassed it.  The historian says:

          "Ruffians, hired by Fulbert, fell upon Abelard by night, and
          inflicted upon him a terrible and nameless mutilation."

I am seeking the last resting place of those "ruffians."  When I find it
I shall shed some tears on it, and stack up some bouquets and
immortelles, and cart away from it some gravel whereby to remember that
howsoever blotted by crime their lives may have been, these ruffians did
one just deed, at any rate, albeit it was not warranted by the strict
letter of the law.

Heloise entered a convent and gave good-bye to the world and its
pleasures for all time.  For twelve years she never heard of Abelard--
never even heard his name mentioned.  She had become prioress of
Argenteuil and led a life of complete seclusion.  She happened one day to
see a letter written by him, in which he narrated his own history.  She
cried over it and wrote him.  He answered, addressing her as his "sister
in Christ."  They continued to correspond, she in the unweighed language
of unwavering affection, he in the chilly phraseology of the polished
rhetorician.  She poured out her heart in passionate, disjointed
sentences; he replied with finished essays, divided deliberately into
heads and sub-heads, premises and argument.  She showered upon him the
tenderest epithets that love could devise, he addressed her from the
North Pole of his frozen heart as the "Spouse of Christ!"  The abandoned
villain!

On account of her too easy government of her nuns, some disreputable
irregularities were discovered among them, and the Abbot of St. Denis
broke up her establishment.  Abelard was the official head of the
monastery of St. Gildas de Ruys, at that time, and when he heard of her
homeless condition a sentiment of pity was aroused in his breast (it is a
wonder the unfamiliar emotion did not blow his head off,) and he placed
her and her troop in the little oratory of the Paraclete, a religious
establishment which he had founded.  She had many privations and
sufferings to undergo at first, but her worth and her gentle disposition
won influential friends for her, and she built up a wealthy and
flourishing nunnery.  She became a great favorite with the heads of the
church, and also the people, though she seldom appeared in public.  She
rapidly advanced in esteem, in good report, and in usefulness, and
Abelard as rapidly lost ground.  The Pope so honored her that he made her
the head of her order.  Abelard, a man of splendid talents, and ranking
as the first debater of his time, became timid, irresolute, and
distrustful of his powers.  He only needed a great misfortune to topple
him from the high position he held in the world of intellectual
excellence, and it came.  Urged by kings and princes to meet the subtle
St. Bernard in debate and crush him, he stood up in the presence of a
royal and illustrious assemblage, and when his antagonist had finished he
looked about him and stammered a commencement; but his courage failed
him, the cunning of his tongue was gone: with his speech unspoken, he
trembled and sat down, a disgraced and vanquished champion.

He died a nobody, and was buried at Cluny, A.D., 1144.  They removed his
body to the Paraclete afterward, and when Heloise died, twenty years
later, they buried her with him, in accordance with her last wish.  He
died at the ripe age of 64, and she at 63.  After the bodies had remained
entombed three hundred years, they were removed once more.  They were
removed again in 1800, and finally, seventeen years afterward, they were
taken up and transferred to Pere la Chaise, where they will remain in
peace and quiet until it comes time for them to get up and move again.

History is silent concerning the last acts of the mountain howitzer.  Let
the world say what it will about him, I, at least, shall always respect
the memory and sorrow for the abused trust and the broken heart and the
troubled spirit of the old smooth-bore.  Rest and repose be his!

Such is the story of Abelard and Heloise.  Such is the history that
Lamartine has shed such cataracts of tears over.  But that man never
could come within the influence of a subject in the least pathetic
without overflowing his banks.  He ought to be dammed--or leveed, I
should more properly say.  Such is the history--not as it is usually
told, but as it is when stripped of the nauseous sentimentality that
would enshrine for our loving worship a dastardly seducer like Pierre
Abelard.  I have not a word to say against the misused, faithful girl,
and would not withhold from her grave a single one of those simple
tributes which blighted youths and maidens offer to her memory, but I am
sorry enough that I have not time and opportunity to write four or five
volumes of my opinion of her friend the founder of the Parachute, or the
Paraclete, or whatever it was.

The tons of sentiment I have wasted on that unprincipled humbug in my
ignorance!  I shall throttle down my emotions hereafter, about this sort
of people, until I have read them up and know whether they are entitled
to any tearful attentions or not.  I wish I had my immortelles back, now,
and that bunch of radishes.

In Paris we often saw in shop windows the sign "English Spoken Here,"
just as one sees in the windows at home the sign "Ici on parle
francaise."  We always invaded these places at once--and invariably
received the information, framed in faultless French, that the clerk who
did the English for the establishment had just gone to dinner and would
be back in an hour--would Monsieur buy something?  We wondered why those
parties happened to take their dinners at such erratic and extraordinary
hours, for we never called at a time when an exemplary Christian would be
in the least likely to be abroad on such an errand.  The truth was, it
was a base fraud--a snare to trap the unwary--chaff to catch fledglings
with.  They had no English-murdering clerk.  They trusted to the sign to
inveigle foreigners into their lairs, and trusted to their own
blandishments to keep them there till they bought something.

We ferreted out another French imposition--a frequent sign to this
effect: "ALL MANNER OF AMERICAN DRINKS ARTISTICALLY PREPARED HERE."  We
procured the services of a gentleman experienced in the nomenclature of
the American bar, and moved upon the works of one of these impostors.  A
bowing, aproned Frenchman skipped forward and said:

"Que voulez les messieurs?"  I do not know what "Que voulez les
messieurs?"  means, but such was his remark.

Our general said, "We will take a whiskey straight."

[A stare from the Frenchman.]

"Well, if you don't know what that is, give us a champagne cock-tail."

[A stare and a shrug.]

"Well, then, give us a sherry cobbler."

The Frenchman was checkmated.  This was all Greek to him.

"Give us a brandy smash!"

The Frenchman began to back away, suspicious of the ominous vigor of the
last order--began to back away, shrugging his shoulders and spreading his
hands apologetically.

The General followed him up and gained a complete victory.  The
uneducated foreigner could not even furnish a Santa Cruz Punch, an Eye-
Opener, a Stone-Fence, or an Earthquake.  It was plain that he was a
wicked impostor.

An acquaintance of mine said the other day that he was doubtless the only
American visitor to the Exposition who had had the high honor of being
escorted by the Emperor's bodyguard.  I said with unobtrusive frankness
that I was astonished that such a long-legged, lantern-jawed,
unprepossessing-looking specter as he should be singled out for a
distinction like that, and asked how it came about.  He said he had
attended a great military review in the Champ de Mars some time ago, and
while the multitude about him was growing thicker and thicker every
moment he observed an open space inside the railing.  He left his
carriage and went into it.  He was the only person there, and so he had
plenty of room, and the situation being central, he could see all the
preparations going on about the field.  By and by there was a sound of
music, and soon the Emperor of the French and the Emperor of Austria,
escorted by the famous Cent Gardes, entered the enclosure.  They seemed
not to observe him, but directly, in response to a sign from the
commander of the guard, a young lieutenant came toward him with a file of
his men following, halted, raised his hand, and gave the military salute,
and then said in a low voice that he was sorry to have to disturb a
stranger and a gentleman, but the place was sacred to royalty.  Then this
New Jersey phantom rose up and bowed and begged pardon, then with the
officer beside him, the file of men marching behind him, and with every
mark of respect, he was escorted to his carriage by the imperial Cent
Gardes!  The officer saluted again and fell back, the New Jersey sprite
bowed in return and had presence of mind enough to pretend that he had
simply called on a matter of private business with those emperors, and so
waved them an adieu and drove from the field!

Imagine a poor Frenchman ignorantly intruding upon a public rostrum
sacred to some six-penny dignitary in America.  The police would scare
him to death first with a storm of their elegant blasphemy, and then pull
him to pieces getting him away from there.  We are measurably superior to
the French in some things, but they are immeasurably our betters in
others.

Enough of Paris for the present.  We have done our whole duty by it.  We
have seen the Tuileries, the Napoleon Column, the Madeleine, that wonder
of wonders the tomb of Napoleon, all the great churches and museums,
libraries, imperial palaces, and sculpture and picture galleries, the
Pantheon, Jardin des Plantes, the opera, the circus, the legislative
body, the billiard rooms, the barbers, the grisettes--

Ah, the grisettes!  I had almost forgotten.  They are another romantic
fraud.  They were (if you let the books of travel tell it) always so
beautiful--so neat and trim, so graceful--so naive and trusting--so
gentle, so winning--so faithful to their shop duties, so irresistible to
buyers in their prattling importunity--so devoted to their poverty-
stricken students of the Latin Quarter--so lighthearted and happy on
their Sunday picnics in the suburbs--and oh, so charmingly, so
delightfully immoral!

Stuff!  For three or four days I was constantly saying:

"Quick, Ferguson!  Is that a grisette?"

And he always said, "No."

He comprehended at last that I wanted to see a grisette.  Then he showed
me dozens of them.  They were like nearly all the Frenchwomen I ever saw
--homely.  They had large hands, large feet, large mouths; they had pug
noses as a general thing, and moustaches that not even good breeding
could overlook; they combed their hair straight back without parting;
they were ill-shaped, they were not winning, they were not graceful; I
knew by their looks that they ate garlic and onions; and lastly and
finally, to my thinking it would be base flattery to call them immoral.

Aroint thee, wench!  I sorrow for the vagabond student of the Latin
Quarter now, even more than formerly I envied him.  Thus topples to earth
another idol of my infancy.

We have seen every thing, and tomorrow we go to Versailles.  We shall see
Paris only for a little while as we come back to take up our line of
march for the ship, and so I may as well bid the beautiful city a
regretful farewell.  We shall travel many thousands of miles after we
leave here and visit many great cities, but we shall find none so
enchanting as this.

Some of our party have gone to England, intending to take a roundabout
course and rejoin the vessel at Leghorn or Naples several weeks hence.
We came near going to Geneva, but have concluded to return to Marseilles
and go up through Italy from Genoa.

I will conclude this chapter with a remark that I am sincerely proud to
be able to make--and glad, as well, that my comrades cordially endorse
it, to wit: by far the handsomest women we have seen in France were born
and reared in America.

I feel now like a man who has redeemed a failing reputation and shed
luster upon a dimmed escutcheon, by a single just deed done at the
eleventh hour.

Let the curtain fall, to slow music.




CHAPTER XVI.

VERSAILLES!  It is wonderfully beautiful!  You gaze and stare and try to
understand that it is real, that it is on the earth, that it is not the
Garden of Eden--but your brain grows giddy, stupefied by the world of
beauty around you, and you half believe you are the dupe of an exquisite
dream.  The scene thrills one like military music!  A noble palace,
stretching its ornamented front, block upon block away, till it seemed
that it would never end; a grand promenade before it, whereon the armies
of an empire might parade; all about it rainbows of flowers, and colossal
statues that were almost numberless and yet seemed only scattered over
the ample space; broad flights of stone steps leading down from the
promenade to lower grounds of the park--stairways that whole regiments
might stand to arms upon and have room to spare; vast fountains whose
great bronze effigies discharged rivers of sparkling water into the air
and mingled a hundred curving jets together in forms of matchless beauty;
wide grass-carpeted avenues that branched hither and thither in every
direction and wandered to seemingly interminable distances, walled all
the way on either side with compact ranks of leafy trees whose branches
met above and formed arches as faultless and as symmetrical as ever were
carved in stone; and here and there were glimpses of sylvan lakes with
miniature ships glassed in their surfaces.  And every where--on the
palace steps, and the great promenade, around the fountains, among the
trees, and far under the arches of the endless avenues--hundreds and
hundreds of people in gay costumes walked or ran or danced, and gave to
the fairy picture the life and animation which was all of perfection it
could have lacked.

It was worth a pilgrimage to see.  Everything is on so gigantic a scale.
Nothing is small--nothing is cheap.  The statues are all large; the
palace is grand; the park covers a fair-sized county; the avenues are
interminable.  All the distances and all the dimensions about Versailles
are vast.  I used to think the pictures exaggerated these distances and
these dimensions beyond all reason, and that they made Versailles more
beautiful than it was possible for any place in the world to be.  I know
now that the pictures never came up to the subject in any respect, and
that no painter could represent Versailles on canvas as beautiful as it
is in reality.  I used to abuse Louis XIV for spending two hundred
millions of dollars in creating this marvelous park, when bread was so
scarce with some of his subjects; but I have forgiven him now.  He took a
tract of land sixty miles in circumference and set to work to make this
park and build this palace and a road to it from Paris.  He kept 36,000
men employed daily on it, and the labor was so unhealthy that they used
to die and be hauled off by cartloads every night.  The wife of a
nobleman of the time speaks of this as an "inconvenience," but naively
remarks that "it does not seem worthy of attention in the happy state of
tranquillity we now enjoy."

I always thought ill of people at home who trimmed their shrubbery into
pyramids and squares and spires and all manner of unnatural shapes, and
when I saw the same thing being practiced in this great park I began to
feel dissatisfied.  But I soon saw the idea of the thing and the wisdom
of it.  They seek the general effect.  We distort a dozen sickly trees
into unaccustomed shapes in a little yard no bigger than a dining room,
and then surely they look absurd enough.  But here they take two hundred
thousand tall forest trees and set them in a double row; allow no sign of
leaf or branch to grow on the trunk lower down than six feet above the
ground; from that point the boughs begin to project, and very gradually
they extend outward further and further till they meet overhead, and a
faultless tunnel of foliage is formed.  The arch is mathematically
precise.  The effect is then very fine.  They make trees take fifty
different shapes, and so these quaint effects are infinitely varied and
picturesque.  The trees in no two avenues are shaped alike, and
consequently the eye is not fatigued with anything in the nature of
monotonous uniformity.  I will drop this subject now, leaving it to
others to determine how these people manage to make endless ranks of
lofty forest trees grow to just a certain thickness of trunk (say a foot
and two-thirds); how they make them spring to precisely the same height
for miles; how they make them grow so close together; how they compel one
huge limb to spring from the same identical spot on each tree and form
the main sweep of the arch; and how all these things are kept exactly in
the same condition and in the same exquisite shapeliness and symmetry
month after month and year after year--for I have tried to reason out the
problem and have failed.

We walked through the great hall of sculpture and the one hundred and
fifty galleries of paintings in the palace of Versailles, and felt that
to be in such a place was useless unless one had a whole year at his
disposal.  These pictures are all battle scenes, and only one solitary
little canvas among them all treats of anything but great French
victories.  We wandered, also, through the Grand Trianon and the Petit
Trianon, those monuments of royal prodigality, and with histories so
mournful--filled, as it is, with souvenirs of Napoleon the First, and
three dead kings and as many queens.  In one sumptuous bed they had all
slept in succession, but no one occupies it now.  In a large dining room
stood the table at which Louis XIV and his mistress Madame Maintenon, and
after them Louis XV, and Pompadour, had sat at their meals naked and
unattended--for the table stood upon a trapdoor, which descended with it
to regions below when it was necessary to replenish its dishes.  In a
room of the Petit Trianon stood the furniture, just as poor Marie
Antoinette left it when the mob came and dragged her and the King to
Paris, never to return.  Near at hand, in the stables, were prodigious
carriages that showed no color but gold--carriages used by former kings
of France on state occasions, and never used now save when a kingly head
is to be crowned or an imperial infant christened.  And with them were
some curious sleighs, whose bodies were shaped like lions, swans, tigers,
etc. --vehicles that had once been handsome with pictured designs and
fine workmanship, but were dusty and decaying now.  They had their
history.  When Louis XIV had finished the Grand Trianon, he told
Maintenon he had created a Paradise for her, and asked if she could think
of anything now to wish for.  He said he wished the Trianon to be
perfection--nothing less.  She said she could think of but one thing--it
was summer, and it was balmy France--yet she would like well to sleigh
ride in the leafy avenues of Versailles!  The next morning found miles
and miles of grassy avenues spread thick with snowy salt and sugar, and a
procession of those quaint sleighs waiting to receive the chief concubine
of the gaiest and most unprincipled court that France has ever seen!

From sumptuous Versailles, with its palaces, its statues, its gardens,
and its fountains, we journeyed back to Paris and sought its antipodes--
the Faubourg St. Antoine.  Little, narrow streets; dirty children
blockading them; greasy, slovenly women capturing and spanking them;
filthy dens on first floors, with rag stores in them (the heaviest
business in the Faubourg is the chiffonier's); other filthy dens where
whole suits of second and third-hand clothing are sold at prices that
would ruin any proprietor who did not steal his stock; still other filthy
dens where they sold groceries--sold them by the half-pennyworth--five
dollars would buy the man out, goodwill and all.  Up these little crooked
streets they will murder a man for seven dollars and dump the body in the
Seine.  And up some other of these streets--most of them, I should say--
live lorettes.

All through this Faubourg St. Antoine, misery, poverty, vice, and crime
go hand in hand, and the evidences of it stare one in the face from every
side.  Here the people live who begin the revolutions.  Whenever there is
anything of that kind to be done, they are always ready.  They take as
much genuine pleasure in building a barricade as they do in cutting a
throat or shoving a friend into the Seine.  It is these savage-looking
ruffians who storm the splendid halls of the Tuileries occasionally, and
swarm into Versailles when a king is to be called to account.

But they will build no more barricades, they will break no more soldiers'
heads with paving-stones.  Louis Napoleon has taken care of all that.  He
is annihilating the crooked streets and building in their stead noble
boulevards as straight as an arrow--avenues which a cannon ball could
traverse from end to end without meeting an obstruction more irresistible
than the flesh and bones of men--boulevards whose stately edifices will
never afford refuges and plotting places for starving, discontented
revolution breeders.  Five of these great thoroughfares radiate from one
ample centre--a centre which is exceedingly well adapted to the
accommodation of heavy artillery.  The mobs used to riot there, but they
must seek another rallying-place in future.  And this ingenious Napoleon
paves the streets of his great cities with a smooth, compact composition
of asphaltum and sand.  No more barricades of flagstones--no more
assaulting his Majesty's troops with cobbles.  I cannot feel friendly
toward my quondam fellow-American, Napoleon III., especially at this
time,--[July, 1867.]-- when in fancy I see his credulous victim,
Maximilian, lying stark and stiff in Mexico, and his maniac widow
watching eagerly from her French asylum for the form that will never
come--but I do admire his nerve, his calm self-reliance, his shrewd good
sense.




CHAPTER XVII.

We had a pleasant journey of it seaward again.  We found that for the
three past nights our ship had been in a state of war.  The first night
the sailors of a British ship, being happy with grog, came down on the
pier and challenged our sailors to a free fight.  They accepted with
alacrity, repaired to the pier, and gained--their share of a drawn
battle.  Several bruised and bloody members of both parties were carried
off by the police and imprisoned until the following morning.  The next
night the British boys came again to renew the fight, but our men had had
strict orders to remain on board and out of sight.  They did so, and the
besieging party grew noisy and more and more abusive as the fact became
apparent (to them) that our men were afraid to come out.  They went away
finally with a closing burst of ridicule and offensive epithets.  The
third night they came again and were more obstreperous than ever.  They
swaggered up and down the almost deserted pier, and hurled curses,
obscenity, and stinging sarcasms at our crew.  It was more than human
nature could bear.  The executive officer ordered our men ashore--with
instructions not to fight.  They charged the British and gained a
brilliant victory.  I probably would not have mentioned this war had it
ended differently.  But I travel to learn, and I still remember that they
picture no French defeats in the battle-galleries of Versailles.

It was like home to us to step on board the comfortable ship again and
smoke and lounge about her breezy decks.  And yet it was not altogether
like home, either, because so many members of the family were away.  We
missed some pleasant faces which we would rather have found at dinner,
and at night there were gaps in the euchre-parties which could not be
satisfactorily filled.  "Moult"  was in England, Jack in Switzerland,
Charley in Spain.  Blucher was gone, none could tell where.  But we were
at sea again, and we had the stars and the ocean to look at, and plenty
of room to meditate in.

In due time the shores of Italy were sighted, and as we stood gazing from
the decks, early in the bright summer morning, the stately city of Genoa
rose up out of the sea and flung back the sunlight from her hundred
palaces.

Here we rest for the present--or rather, here we have been trying to
rest, for some little time, but we run about too much to accomplish a
great deal in that line.

I would like to remain here.  I had rather not go any further.  There may
be prettier women in Europe, but I doubt it.  The population of Genoa is
120,000; two-thirds of these are women, I think, and at least two-thirds
of the women are beautiful.  They are as dressy and as tasteful and as
graceful as they could possibly be without being angels.  However, angels
are not very dressy, I believe.  At least the angels in pictures are not
--they wear nothing but wings.  But these Genoese women do look so
charming.  Most of the young demoiselles are robed in a cloud of white
from head to foot, though many trick themselves out more elaborately.
Nine-tenths of them wear nothing on their heads but a filmy sort of veil,
which falls down their backs like a white mist.  They are very fair, and
many of them have blue eyes, but black and dreamy dark brown ones are met
with oftenest.

The ladies and gentlemen of Genoa have a pleasant fashion of promenading
in a large park on the top of a hill in the center of the city, from six
till nine in the evening, and then eating ices in a neighboring garden an
hour or two longer.  We went to the park on Sunday evening.  Two thousand
persons were present, chiefly young ladies and gentlemen.  The gentlemen
were dressed in the very latest Paris fashions, and the robes of the
ladies glinted among the trees like so many snowflakes.  The multitude
moved round and round the park in a great procession.  The bands played,
and so did the fountains; the moon and the gas lamps lit up the scene,
and altogether it was a brilliant and an animated picture.  I scanned
every female face that passed, and it seemed to me that all were
handsome.  I never saw such a freshet of loveliness before.  I did not
see how a man of only ordinary decision of character could marry here,
because before he could get his mind made up he would fall in love with
somebody else.

Never smoke any Italian tobacco.  Never do it on any account.  It makes
me shudder to think what it must be made of.  You cannot throw an old
cigar "stub" down anywhere, but some vagabond will pounce upon it on the
instant.  I like to smoke a good deal, but it wounds my sensibilities to
see one of these stub-hunters watching me out of the corners of his
hungry eyes and calculating how long my cigar will be likely to last.
It reminded me too painfully of that San Francisco undertaker who used to
go to sick-beds with his watch in his hand and time the corpse.  One of
these stub-hunters followed us all over the park last night, and we never
had a smoke that was worth anything.  We were always moved to appease him
with the stub before the cigar was half gone, because he looked so
viciously anxious.  He regarded us as his own legitimate prey, by right
of discovery, I think, because he drove off several other professionals
who wanted to take stock in us.

Now, they surely must chew up those old stubs, and dry and sell them for
smoking-tobacco.  Therefore, give your custom to other than Italian
brands of the article.

"The Superb" and the "City of Palaces" are names which Genoa has held for
centuries.  She is full of palaces, certainly, and the palaces are
sumptuous inside, but they are very rusty without and make no pretensions
to architectural magnificence.  "Genoa the Superb" would be a felicitous
title if it referred to the women.

We have visited several of the palaces--immense thick-walled piles, with
great stone staircases, tesselated marble pavements on the floors,
(sometimes they make a mosaic work, of intricate designs, wrought in
pebbles or little fragments of marble laid in cement,) and grand salons
hung with pictures by Rubens, Guido, Titian, Paul Veronese, and so on,
and portraits of heads of the family, in plumed helmets and gallant coats
of mail, and patrician ladies in stunning costumes of centuries ago.
But, of course, the folks were all out in the country for the summer, and
might not have known enough to ask us to dinner if they had been at home,
and so all the grand empty salons, with their resounding pavements, their
grim pictures of dead ancestors, and tattered banners with the dust of
bygone centuries upon them, seemed to brood solemnly of death and the
grave, and our spirits ebbed away, and our cheerfulness passed from us.
We never went up to the eleventh story.  We always began to suspect
ghosts.  There was always an undertaker-looking servant along, too, who
handed us a program, pointed to the picture that began the list of the
salon he was in, and then stood stiff and stark and unsmiling in his
petrified livery till we were ready to move on to the next chamber,
whereupon he marched sadly ahead and took up another malignantly
respectful position as before.  I wasted so much time praying that the
roof would fall in on these dispiriting flunkies that I had but little
left to bestow upon palace and pictures.

And besides, as in Paris, we had a guide.  Perdition catch all the
guides.  This one said he was the most gifted linguist in Genoa, as far
as English was concerned, and that only two persons in the city beside
himself could talk the language at all.  He showed us the birthplace of
Christopher Columbus, and after we had reflected in silent awe before it
for fifteen minutes, he said it was not the birthplace of Columbus, but
of Columbus' grandmother!  When we demanded an explanation of his conduct
he only shrugged his shoulders and answered in barbarous Italian.  I
shall speak further of this guide in a future chapter.  All the
information we got out of him we shall be able to carry along with us, I
think.

I have not been to church so often in a long time as I have in the last
few weeks.  The people in these old lands seem to make churches their
specialty.  Especially does this seem to be the case with the citizens of
Genoa.  I think there is a church every three or four hundred yards all
over town.  The streets are sprinkled from end to end with shovel-hatted,
long-robed, well-fed priests, and the church bells by dozens are pealing
all the day long, nearly.  Every now and then one comes across a friar of
orders gray, with shaven head, long, coarse robe, rope girdle and beads,
and with feet cased in sandals or entirely bare.  These worthies suffer
in the flesh and do penance all their lives, I suppose, but they look
like consummate famine-breeders.  They are all fat and serene.

The old Cathedral of San Lorenzo is about as notable a building as we
have found in Genoa.  It is vast, and has colonnades of noble pillars,
and a great organ, and the customary pomp of gilded moldings, pictures,
frescoed ceilings, and so forth.  I cannot describe it, of course--it
would require a good many pages to do that.  But it is a curious place.
They said that half of it--from the front door halfway down to the altar
--was a Jewish synagogue before the Saviour was born, and that no
alteration had been made in it since that time.  We doubted the
statement, but did it reluctantly.  We would much rather have believed
it.  The place looked in too perfect repair to be so ancient.

The main point of interest about the cathedral is the little Chapel of
St. John the Baptist.  They only allow women to enter it on one day in
the year, on account of the animosity they still cherish against the sex
because of the murder of the Saint to gratify a caprice of Herodias.  In
this Chapel is a marble chest, in which, they told us, were the ashes of
St. John; and around it was wound a chain, which, they said, had confined
him when he was in prison.  We did not desire to disbelieve these
statements, and yet we could not feel certain that they were correct--
partly because we could have broken that chain, and so could St. John,
and partly because we had seen St. John's ashes before, in another
church.  We could not bring ourselves to think St. John had two sets of
ashes.

They also showed us a portrait of the Madonna which was painted by St.
Luke, and it did not look half as old and smoky as some of the pictures
by Rubens.  We could not help admiring the Apostle's modesty in never
once mentioning in his writings that he could paint.

But isn't this relic matter a little overdone?  We find a piece of the
true cross in every old church we go into, and some of the nails that
held it together.  I would not like to be positive, but I think we have
seen as much as a keg of these nails.  Then there is the crown of thorns;
they have part of one in Sainte Chapelle, in Paris, and part of one also
in Notre Dame.  And as for bones of St. Denis, I feel certain we have
seen enough of them to duplicate him if necessary.

I only meant to write about the churches, but I keep wandering from the
subject.  I could say that the Church of the Annunciation is a wilderness
of beautiful columns, of statues, gilded moldings, and pictures almost
countless, but that would give no one an entirely perfect idea of the
thing, and so where is the use?  One family built the whole edifice, and
have got money left.  There is where the mystery lies.  We had an idea at
first that only a mint could have survived the expense.

These people here live in the heaviest, highest, broadest, darkest,
solidest houses one can imagine.  Each one might "laugh a siege to
scorn."  A hundred feet front and a hundred high is about the style, and
you go up three flights of stairs before you begin to come upon signs of
occupancy.  Everything is stone, and stone of the heaviest--floors,
stairways, mantels, benches--everything.  The walls are four to five feet
thick.  The streets generally are four or five to eight feet wide and as
crooked as a corkscrew.  You go along one of these gloomy cracks, and
look up and behold the sky like a mere ribbon of light, far above your
head, where the tops of the tall houses on either side of the street bend
almost together.  You feel as if you were at the bottom of some
tremendous abyss, with all the world far above you.  You wind in and out
and here and there, in the most mysterious way, and have no more idea of
the points of the compass than if you were a blind man.  You can never
persuade yourself that these are actually streets, and the frowning,
dingy, monstrous houses dwellings, till you see one of these beautiful,
prettily dressed women emerge from them--see her emerge from a dark,
dreary-looking den that looks dungeon all over, from the ground away
halfway up to heaven.  And then you wonder that such a charming moth
could come from such a forbidding shell as that.  The streets are wisely
made narrow and the houses heavy and thick and stony, in order that the
people may be cool in this roasting climate.  And they are cool, and stay
so.  And while I think of it--the men wear hats and have very dark
complexions, but the women wear no headgear but a flimsy veil like a
gossamer's web, and yet are exceedingly fair as a general thing.
Singular, isn't it?

The huge palaces of Genoa are each supposed to be occupied by one family,
but they could accommodate a hundred, I should think.  They are relics of
the grandeur of Genoa's palmy days--the days when she was a great
commercial and maritime power several centuries ago.  These houses, solid
marble palaces though they be, are in many cases of a dull pinkish color,
outside, and from pavement to eaves are pictured with Genoese battle
scenes, with monstrous Jupiters and Cupids, and with familiar
illustrations from Grecian mythology.  Where the paint has yielded to age
and exposure and is peeling off in flakes and patches, the effect is not
happy.  A noseless Cupid or a Jupiter with an eye out or a Venus with a
fly-blister on her breast, are not attractive features in a picture.
Some of these painted walls reminded me somewhat of the tall van,
plastered with fanciful bills and posters, that follows the bandwagon of
a circus about a country village.  I have not read or heard that the
outsides of the houses of any other European city are frescoed in this
way.

I can not conceive of such a thing as Genoa in ruins.  Such massive
arches, such ponderous substructions as support these towering broad-
winged edifices, we have seldom seen before; and surely the great blocks
of stone of which these edifices are built can never decay; walls that
are as thick as an ordinary American doorway is high cannot crumble.

The republics of Genoa and Pisa were very powerful in the Middle Ages.
Their ships filled the Mediterranean, and they carried on an extensive
commerce with Constantinople and Syria.  Their warehouses were the great
distributing depots from whence the costly merchandise of the East was
sent abroad over Europe.  They were warlike little nations and defied, in
those days, governments that overshadow them now as mountains overshadow
molehills.  The Saracens captured and pillaged Genoa nine hundred years
ago, but during the following century Genoa and Pisa entered into an
offensive and defensive alliance and besieged the Saracen colonies in
Sardinia and the Balearic Isles with an obstinacy that maintained its
pristine vigor and held to its purpose for forty long years.  They were
victorious at last and divided their conquests equably among their great
patrician families.  Descendants of some of those proud families still
inhabit the palaces of Genoa, and trace in their own features a
resemblance to the grim knights whose portraits hang in their stately
halls, and to pictured beauties with pouting lips and merry eyes whose
originals have been dust and ashes for many a dead and forgotten century.

The hotel we live in belonged to one of those great orders of knights of
the Cross in the times of the Crusades, and its mailed sentinels once
kept watch and ward in its massive turrets and woke the echoes of these
halls and corridors with their iron heels.

But Genoa's greatness has degenerated into an unostentatious commerce in
velvets and silver filagree-work.  They say that each European town has
its specialty.  These filagree things are Genoa's specialty.  Her smiths
take silver ingots and work them up into all manner of graceful and
beautiful forms.  They make bunches of flowers, from flakes and wires of
silver, that counterfeit the delicate creations the frost weaves upon a
windowpane; and we were shown a miniature silver temple whose fluted
columns, whose Corinthian capitals and rich entablatures, whose spire,
statues, bells, and ornate lavishness of sculpture were wrought in
polished silver, and with such matchless art that every detail was a
fascinating study and the finished edifice a wonder of beauty.

We are ready to move again, though we are not really tired yet of the
narrow passages of this old marble cave.  Cave is a good word--when
speaking of Genoa under the stars.  When we have been prowling at
midnight through the gloomy crevices they call streets, where no
footfalls but ours were echoing, where only ourselves were abroad, and
lights appeared only at long intervals and at a distance, and
mysteriously disappeared again, and the houses at our elbows seemed to
stretch upward farther than ever toward the heavens, the memory of a cave
I used to know at home was always in my mind, with its lofty passages,
its silence and solitude, its shrouding gloom, its sepulchral echoes, its
flitting lights, and more than all, its sudden revelations of branching
crevices and corridors where we least expected them.

We are not tired of the endless processions of cheerful, chattering
gossipers that throng these courts and streets all day long, either; nor
of the coarse-robed monks; nor of the "Asti" wines, which that old doctor
(whom we call the Oracle,) with customary felicity in the matter of
getting everything wrong, misterms "nasty."  But we must go,
nevertheless.

Our last sight was the cemetery (a burial place intended to accommodate
60,000 bodies,) and we shall continue to remember it after we shall have
forgotten the palaces.  It is a vast marble collonaded corridor extending
around a great unoccupied square of ground; its broad floor is marble,
and on every slab is an inscription--for every slab covers a corpse.  On
either side, as one walks down the middle of the passage, are monuments,
tombs, and sculptured figures that are exquisitely wrought and are full
of grace and beauty.  They are new and snowy; every outline is perfect,
every feature guiltless of mutilation, flaw, or blemish; and therefore,
to us these far-reaching ranks of bewitching forms are a hundred fold
more lovely than the damaged and dingy statuary they have saved from the
wreck of ancient art and set up in the galleries of Paris for the worship
of the world.

Well provided with cigars and other necessaries of life, we are now ready
to take the cars for Milan.




CHAPTER XVIII.

All day long we sped through a mountainous country whose peaks were
bright with sunshine, whose hillsides were dotted with pretty villas
sitting in the midst of gardens and shrubbery, and whose deep ravines
were cool and shady and looked ever so inviting from where we and the
birds were winging our flight through the sultry upper air.

We had plenty of chilly tunnels wherein to check our perspiration,
though.  We timed one of them.  We were twenty minutes passing through
it, going at the rate of thirty to thirty-five miles an hour.

Beyond Alessandria we passed the battle-field of Marengo.

Toward dusk we drew near Milan and caught glimpses of the city and the
blue mountain peaks beyond.  But we were not caring for these things--
they did not interest us in the least.  We were in a fever of impatience;
we were dying to see the renowned cathedral!  We watched--in this
direction and that--all around--everywhere.  We needed no one to point it
out--we did not wish any one to point it out--we would recognize it even
in the desert of the great Sahara.

At last, a forest of graceful needles, shimmering in the amber sunlight,
rose slowly above the pygmy housetops, as one sometimes sees, in the far
horizon, a gilded and pinnacled mass of cloud lift itself above the waste
of waves, at sea,--the Cathedral!  We knew it in a moment.

Half of that night, and all of the next day, this architectural autocrat
was our sole object of interest.

What a wonder it is!  So grand, so solemn, so vast!  And yet so delicate,
so airy, so graceful!  A very world of solid weight, and yet it seems in
the soft moonlight only a fairy delusion of frost-work that might vanish
with a breath!  How sharply its pinnacled angles and its wilderness of
spires were cut against the sky, and how richly their shadows fell upon
its snowy roof!  It was a vision!--a miracle!--an anthem sung in stone, a
poem wrought in marble!

Howsoever you look at the great cathedral, it is noble, it is beautiful!
Wherever you stand in Milan or within seven miles of Milan, it is visible
and when it is visible, no other object can chain your whole attention.
Leave your eyes unfettered by your will but a single instant and they
will surely turn to seek it.  It is the first thing you look for when you
rise in the morning, and the last your lingering gaze rests upon at
night.  Surely it must be the princeliest creation that ever brain of man
conceived.

At nine o'clock in the morning we went and stood before this marble
colossus.  The central one of its five great doors is bordered with a
bas-relief of birds and fruits and beasts and insects, which have been so
ingeniously carved out of the marble that they seem like living
creatures--and the figures are so numerous and the design so complex that
one might study it a week without exhausting its interest.  On the great
steeple--surmounting the myriad of spires--inside of the spires--over the
doors, the windows--in nooks and corners--every where that a niche or a
perch can be found about the enormous building, from summit to base,
there is a marble statue, and every statue is a study in itself!
Raphael, Angelo, Canova--giants like these gave birth to the designs, and
their own pupils carved them.  Every face is eloquent with expression,
and every attitude is full of grace.  Away above, on the lofty roof, rank
on rank of carved and fretted spires spring high in the air, and through
their rich tracery one sees the sky beyond.  In their midst the central
steeple towers proudly up like the mainmast of some great Indiaman among
a fleet of coasters.

We wished to go aloft.  The sacristan showed us a marble stairway (of
course it was marble, and of the purest and whitest--there is no other
stone, no brick, no wood, among its building materials) and told us to go
up one hundred and eighty-two steps and stop till he came.  It was not
necessary to say stop--we should have done that any how.  We were tired
by the time we got there.  This was the roof.  Here, springing from its
broad marble flagstones, were the long files of spires, looking very tall
close at hand, but diminishing in the distance like the pipes of an
organ.  We could see now that the statue on the top of each was the size
of a large man, though they all looked like dolls from the street.  We
could see, also, that from the inside of each and every one of these
hollow spires, from sixteen to thirty-one beautiful marble statues looked
out upon the world below.

From the eaves to the comb of the roof stretched in endless succession
great curved marble beams, like the fore-and-aft braces of a steamboat,
and along each beam from end to end stood up a row of richly carved
flowers and fruits--each separate and distinct in kind, and over 15,000
species represented.  At a little distance these rows seem to close
together like the ties of a railroad track, and then the mingling
together of the buds and blossoms of this marble garden forms a picture
that is very charming to the eye.

We descended and entered.  Within the church, long rows of fluted
columns, like huge monuments, divided the building into broad aisles, and
on the figured pavement fell many a soft blush from the painted windows
above.  I knew the church was very large, but I could not fully
appreciate its great size until I noticed that the men standing far down
by the altar looked like boys, and seemed to glide, rather than walk.  We
loitered about gazing aloft at the monster windows all aglow with
brilliantly colored scenes in the lives of the Saviour and his followers.
Some of these pictures are mosaics, and so artistically are their
thousand particles of tinted glass or stone put together that the work
has all the smoothness and finish of a painting.  We counted sixty panes
of glass in one window, and each pane was adorned with one of these
master achievements of genius and patience.

The guide showed us a coffee-colored piece of sculpture which he said was
considered to have come from the hand of Phidias, since it was not
possible that any other artist, of any epoch, could have copied nature
with such faultless accuracy.  The figure was that of a man without a
skin; with every vein, artery, muscle, every fiber and tendon and tissue
of the human frame represented in minute detail.  It looked natural,
because somehow it looked as if it were in pain.  A skinned man would be
likely to look that way unless his attention were occupied with some
other matter.  It was a hideous thing, and yet there was a fascination
about it some where.  I am very sorry I saw it, because I shall always
see it now.  I shall dream of it sometimes.  I shall dream that it is
resting its corded arms on the bed's head and looking down on me with its
dead eyes; I shall dream that it is stretched between the sheets with me
and touching me with its exposed muscles and its stringy cold legs.

It is hard to forget repulsive things.  I remember yet how I ran off from
school once, when I was a boy, and then, pretty late at night, concluded
to climb into the window of my father's office and sleep on a lounge,
because I had a delicacy about going home and getting thrashed.  As I lay
on the lounge and my eyes grew accustomed to the darkness, I fancied I
could see a long, dusky, shapeless thing stretched upon the floor.  A
cold shiver went through me.  I turned my face to the wall.  That did not
answer.  I was afraid that that thing would creep over and seize me in
the dark.  I turned back and stared at it for minutes and minutes--they
seemed hours.  It appeared to me that the lagging moonlight never, never
would get to it.  I turned to the wall and counted twenty, to pass the
feverish time away.  I looked--the pale square was nearer.  I turned
again and counted fifty--it was almost touching it.  With desperate will
I turned again and counted one hundred, and faced about, all in a
tremble.  A white human hand lay in the moonlight!  Such an awful sinking
at the heart--such a sudden gasp for breath!  I felt--I cannot tell what
I felt.  When I recovered strength enough, I faced the wall again.  But
no boy could have remained so with that mysterious hand behind him.  I
counted again and looked--the most of a naked arm was exposed.  I put my
hands over my eyes and counted till I could stand it no longer, and then
--the pallid face of a man was there, with the corners of the mouth drawn
down, and the eyes fixed and glassy in death!  I raised to a sitting
posture and glowered on that corpse till the light crept down the bare
breastline by line--inch by inch--past the nipple--and then it disclosed
a ghastly stab!

I went away from there.  I do not say that I went away in any sort of a
hurry, but I simply went--that is sufficient.  I went out at the window,
and I carried the sash along with me.  I did not need the sash, but it
was handier to take it than it was to leave it, and so I took it. --I was
not scared, but I was considerably agitated.

When I reached home, they whipped me, but I enjoyed it.  It seemed
perfectly delightful.  That man had been stabbed near the office that
afternoon, and they carried him in there to doctor him, but he only lived
an hour.  I have slept in the same room with him often since then--in my
dreams.

Now we will descend into the crypt, under the grand altar of Milan
Cathedral, and receive an impressive sermon from lips that have been
silent and hands that have been gestureless for three hundred years.

The priest stopped in a small dungeon and held up his candle.  This was
the last resting-place of a good man, a warm-hearted, unselfish man; a
man whose whole life was given to succoring the poor, encouraging the
faint-hearted, visiting the sick; in relieving distress, whenever and
wherever he found it.  His heart, his hand, and his purse were always
open.  With his story in one's mind he can almost see his benignant
countenance moving calmly among the haggard faces of Milan in the days
when the plague swept the city, brave where all others were cowards, full
of compassion where pity had been crushed out of all other breasts by the
instinct of self-preservation gone mad with terror, cheering all, praying
with all, helping all, with hand and brain and purse, at a time when
parents forsook their children, the friend deserted the friend, and the
brother turned away from the sister while her pleadings were still
wailing in his ears.

This was good St. Charles Borromeo, Bishop of Milan.  The people idolized
him; princes lavished uncounted treasures upon him.  We stood in his
tomb.  Near by was the sarcophagus, lighted by the dripping candles.  The
walls were faced with bas-reliefs representing scenes in his life done in
massive silver.  The priest put on a short white lace garment over his
black robe, crossed himself, bowed reverently, and began to turn a
windlass slowly.  The sarcophagus separated in two parts, lengthwise, and
the lower part sank down and disclosed a coffin of rock crystal as clear
as the atmosphere.  Within lay the body, robed in costly habiliments
covered with gold embroidery and starred with scintillating gems.  The
decaying head was black with age, the dry skin was drawn tight to the
bones, the eyes were gone, there was a hole in the temple and another in
the cheek, and the skinny lips were parted as in a ghastly smile!  Over
this dreadful face, its dust and decay and its mocking grin, hung a crown
sown thick with flashing brilliants; and upon the breast lay crosses and
croziers of solid gold that were splendid with emeralds and diamonds.

How poor, and cheap, and trivial these gew-gaws seemed in presence of the
solemnity, the grandeur, the awful majesty of Death!  Think of Milton,
Shakespeare, Washington, standing before a reverent world tricked out in
the glass beads, the brass ear-rings and tin trumpery of the savages of
the plains!

Dead Bartolomeo preached his pregnant sermon, and its burden was: You
that worship the vanities of earth--you that long for worldly honor,
worldly wealth, worldly fame--behold their worth!

To us it seemed that so good a man, so kind a heart, so simple a nature,
deserved rest and peace in a grave sacred from the intrusion of prying
eyes, and believed that he himself would have preferred to have it so,
but peradventure our wisdom was at fault in this regard.

As we came out upon the floor of the church again, another priest
volunteered to show us the treasures of the church.

What, more?  The furniture of the narrow chamber of death we had just
visited weighed six millions of francs in ounces and carats alone,
without a penny thrown into the account for the costly workmanship
bestowed upon them!  But we followed into a large room filled with tall
wooden presses like wardrobes.  He threw them open, and behold, the
cargoes of "crude bullion" of the assay offices of Nevada faded out of my
memory.  There were Virgins and bishops there, above their natural size,
made of solid silver, each worth, by weight, from eight hundred thousand
to two millions of francs, and bearing gemmed books in their hands worth
eighty thousand; there were bas-reliefs that weighed six hundred pounds,
carved in solid silver; croziers and crosses, and candlesticks six and
eight feet high, all of virgin gold, and brilliant with precious stones;
and beside these were all manner of cups and vases, and such things, rich
in proportion.  It was an Aladdin's palace.  The treasures here, by
simple weight, without counting workmanship, were valued at fifty
millions of francs!  If I could get the custody of them for a while, I
fear me the market price of silver bishops would advance shortly, on
account of their exceeding scarcity in the Cathedral of Milan.

The priests showed us two of St. Paul's fingers, and one of St. Peter's;
a bone of Judas Iscariot, (it was black,) and also bones of all the other
disciples; a handkerchief in which the Saviour had left the impression of
his face.  Among the most precious of the relics were a stone from the
Holy Sepulchre, part of the crown of thorns, (they have a whole one at
Notre Dame,) a fragment of the purple robe worn by the Saviour, a nail
from the Cross, and a picture of the Virgin and Child painted by the
veritable hand of St. Luke.  This is the second of St. Luke's Virgins we
have seen.  Once a year all these holy relics are carried in procession
through the streets of Milan.

I like to revel in the dryest details of the great cathedral.  The
building is five hundred feet long by one hundred and eighty wide, and
the principal steeple is in the neighborhood of four hundred feet high.
It has 7,148 marble statues, and will have upwards of three thousand more
when it is finished.  In addition it has one thousand five hundred bas-
reliefs.  It has one hundred and thirty-six spires--twenty-one more are
to be added.  Each spire is surmounted by a statue six and a half feet
high.  Every thing about the church is marble, and all from the same
quarry; it was bequeathed to the Archbishopric for this purpose centuries
ago.  So nothing but the mere workmanship costs; still that is expensive
--the bill foots up six hundred and eighty-four millions of francs thus
far (considerably over a hundred millions of dollars,) and it is
estimated that it will take a hundred and twenty years yet to finish the
cathedral.  It looks complete, but is far from being so.  We saw a new
statue put in its niche yesterday, alongside of one which had been
standing these four hundred years, they said.  There are four staircases
leading up to the main steeple, each of which cost a hundred thousand
dollars, with the four hundred and eight statues which adorn them.  Marco
Compioni was the architect who designed the wonderful structure more than
five hundred years ago, and it took him forty-six years to work out the
plan and get it ready to hand over to the builders.  He is dead now.  The
building was begun a little less than five hundred years ago, and the
third generation hence will not see it completed.

The building looks best by moonlight, because the older portions of it,
being stained with age, contrast unpleasantly with the newer and whiter
portions.  It seems somewhat too broad for its height, but may be
familiarity with it might dissipate this impression.

They say that the Cathedral of Milan is second only to St. Peter's at
Rome.  I cannot understand how it can be second to anything made by human
hands.

We bid it good-bye, now--possibly for all time.  How surely, in some
future day, when the memory of it shall have lost its vividness, shall we
half believe we have seen it in a wonderful dream, but never with waking
eyes!




CHAPTER XIX.

"Do you wis zo haut can be?"

That was what the guide asked when we were looking up at the bronze
horses on the Arch of Peace.  It meant, do you wish to go up there?
I give it as a specimen of guide-English.  These are the people that make
life a burthen to the tourist.  Their tongues are never still.  They talk
forever and forever, and that is the kind of billingsgate they use.
Inspiration itself could hardly comprehend them.  If they would only show
you a masterpiece of art, or a venerable tomb, or a prison-house, or a
battle-field, hallowed by touching memories or historical reminiscences,
or grand traditions, and then step aside and hold still for ten minutes
and let you think, it would not be so bad.  But they interrupt every
dream, every pleasant train of thought, with their tiresome cackling.
Sometimes when I have been standing before some cherished old idol of
mine that I remembered years and years ago in pictures in the geography
at school, I have thought I would give a whole world if the human parrot
at my side would suddenly perish where he stood and leave me to gaze, and
ponder, and worship.

No, we did not "wis zo haut can be."  We wished to go to La Scala, the
largest theater in the world, I think they call it.  We did so.  It was a
large place.  Seven separate and distinct masses of humanity--six great
circles and a monster parquette.

We wished to go to the Ambrosian Library, and we did that also.  We saw a
manuscript of Virgil, with annotations in the handwriting of Petrarch,
the gentleman who loved another man's Laura, and lavished upon her all
through life a love which was a clear waste of the raw material.  It was
sound sentiment, but bad judgment.  It brought both parties fame, and
created a fountain of commiseration for them in sentimental breasts that
is running yet.  But who says a word in behalf of poor Mr. Laura?  (I do
not know his other name.)  Who glorifies him?  Who bedews him with tears?
Who writes poetry about him?  Nobody.  How do you suppose he liked the
state of things that has given the world so much pleasure?  How did he
enjoy having another man following his wife every where and making her
name a familiar word in every garlic-exterminating mouth in Italy with
his sonnets to her pre-empted eyebrows?  They got fame and sympathy--he
got neither.  This is a peculiarly felicitous instance of what is called
poetical justice.  It is all very fine; but it does not chime with my
notions of right.  It is too one-sided--too ungenerous.

Let the world go on fretting about Laura and Petrarch if it will; but as
for me, my tears and my lamentations shall be lavished upon the unsung
defendant.

We saw also an autograph letter of Lucrezia Borgia, a lady for whom I
have always entertained the highest respect, on account of her rare
histrionic capabilities, her opulence in solid gold goblets made of
gilded wood, her high distinction as an operatic screamer, and the
facility with which she could order a sextuple funeral and get the
corpses ready for it.  We saw one single coarse yellow hair from
Lucrezia's head, likewise.  It awoke emotions, but we still live.  In
this same library we saw some drawings by Michael Angelo (these Italians
call him Mickel Angelo,) and Leonardo da Vinci.  (They spell it Vinci and
pronounce it Vinchy; foreigners always spell better than they pronounce.)
We reserve our opinion of these sketches.

In another building they showed us a fresco representing some lions and
other beasts drawing chariots; and they seemed to project so far from the
wall that we took them to be sculptures.  The artist had shrewdly
heightened the delusion by painting dust on the creatures' backs, as if
it had fallen there naturally and properly.  Smart fellow--if it be smart
to deceive strangers.

Elsewhere we saw a huge Roman amphitheatre, with its stone seats still in
good preservation.  Modernized, it is now the scene of more peaceful
recreations than the exhibition of a party of wild beasts with Christians
for dinner.  Part of the time, the Milanese use it for a race track, and
at other seasons they flood it with water and have spirited yachting
regattas there.  The guide told us these things, and he would hardly try
so hazardous an experiment as the telling of a falsehood, when it is all
he can do to speak the truth in English without getting the lock-jaw.

In another place we were shown a sort of summer arbor, with a fence
before it.  We said that was nothing.  We looked again, and saw, through
the arbor, an endless stretch of garden, and shrubbery, and grassy lawn.
We were perfectly willing to go in there and rest, but it could not be
done.  It was only another delusion--a painting by some ingenious artist
with little charity in his heart for tired folk.  The deception was
perfect.  No one could have imagined the park was not real.  We even
thought we smelled the flowers at first.

We got a carriage at twilight and drove in the shaded avenues with the
other nobility, and after dinner we took wine and ices in a fine garden
with the great public.  The music was excellent, the flowers and
shrubbery were pleasant to the eye, the scene was vivacious, everybody
was genteel and well-behaved, and the ladies were slightly moustached,
and handsomely dressed, but very homely.

We adjourned to a caf‚ and played billiards an hour, and I made six or
seven points by the doctor pocketing his ball, and he made as many by my
pocketing my ball.  We came near making a carom sometimes, but not the
one we were trying to make.  The table was of the usual European style--
cushions dead and twice as high as the balls; the cues in bad repair.
The natives play only a sort of pool on them.  We have never seen any
body playing the French three-ball game yet, and I doubt if there is any
such game known in France, or that there lives any man mad enough to try
to play it on one of these European tables.  We had to stop playing
finally because Dan got to sleeping fifteen minutes between the counts
and paying no attention to his marking.

Afterward we walked up and down one of the most popular streets for some
time, enjoying other people's comfort and wishing we could export some of
it to our restless, driving, vitality-consuming marts at home.  Just in
this one matter lies the main charm of life in Europe--comfort.  In
America, we hurry--which is well; but when the day's work is done, we go
on thinking of losses and gains, we plan for the morrow, we even carry
our business cares to bed with us, and toss and worry over them when we
ought to be restoring our racked bodies and brains with sleep.  We burn
up our energies with these excitements, and either die early or drop into
a lean and mean old age at a time of life which they call a man's prime
in Europe.  When an acre of ground has produced long and well, we let it
lie fallow and rest for a season; we take no man clear across the
continent in the same coach he started in--the coach is stabled somewhere
on the plains and its heated machinery allowed to cool for a few days;
when a razor has seen long service and refuses to hold an edge, the
barber lays it away for a few weeks, and the edge comes back of its own
accord.  We bestow thoughtful care upon inanimate objects, but none upon
ourselves.  What a robust people, what a nation of thinkers we might be,
if we would only lay ourselves on the shelf occasionally and renew our
edges!

I do envy these Europeans the comfort they take.  When the work of the
day is done, they forget it.  Some of them go, with wife and children, to
a beer hall and sit quietly and genteelly drinking a mug or two of ale
and listening to music; others walk the streets, others drive in the
avenues; others assemble in the great ornamental squares in the early
evening to enjoy the sight and the fragrance of flowers and to hear the
military bands play--no European city being without its fine military
music at eventide; and yet others of the populace sit in the open air in
front of the refreshment houses and eat ices and drink mild beverages
that could not harm a child.  They go to bed moderately early, and sleep
well.  They are always quiet, always orderly, always cheerful,
comfortable, and appreciative of life and its manifold blessings.  One
never sees a drunken man among them.  The change that has come over our
little party is surprising.  Day by day we lose some of our restlessness
and absorb some of the spirit of quietude and ease that is in the
tranquil atmosphere about us and in the demeanor of the people.  We grow
wise apace.  We begin to comprehend what life is for.

We have had a bath in Milan, in a public bath-house.  They were going to
put all three of us in one bath-tub, but we objected.  Each of us had an
Italian farm on his back.  We could have felt affluent if we had been
officially surveyed and fenced in.  We chose to have three bathtubs, and
large ones--tubs suited to the dignity of aristocrats who had real
estate, and brought it with them.  After we were stripped and had taken
the first chilly dash, we discovered that haunting atrocity that has
embittered our lives in so many cities and villages of Italy and France--
there was no soap.  I called.  A woman answered, and I barely had time to
throw myself against the door--she would have been in, in another second.
I said:

"Beware, woman!  Go away from here--go away, now, or it will be the worse
for you.  I am an unprotected male, but I will preserve my honor at the
peril of my life!"

These words must have frightened her, for she skurried away very fast.

Dan's voice rose on the air:

"Oh, bring some soap, why don't you!"

The reply was Italian.  Dan resumed:

"Soap, you know--soap.  That is what I want--soap.  S-o-a-p, soap; s-o-p-
e, soap; s-o-u-p, soap.  Hurry up!  I don't know how you Irish spell it,
but I want it.  Spell it to suit yourself, but fetch it.  I'm freezing."

I heard the doctor say impressively:

"Dan, how often have we told you that these foreigners cannot understand
English?  Why will you not depend upon us?  Why will you not tell us what
you want, and let us ask for it in the language of the country?  It would
save us a great deal of the humiliation your reprehensible ignorance
causes us.  I will address this person in his mother tongue: 'Here,
cospetto!  corpo di Bacco!  Sacramento!  Solferino!--Soap, you son of a
gun!'  Dan, if you would let us talk for you, you would never expose your
ignorant vulgarity."

Even this fluent discharge of Italian did not bring the soap at once, but
there was a good reason for it.  There was not such an article about the
establishment.  It is my belief that there never had been.  They had to
send far up town, and to several different places before they finally got
it, so they said.  We had to wait twenty or thirty minutes.  The same
thing had occurred the evening before, at the hotel.  I think I have
divined the reason for this state of things at last.  The English know
how to travel comfortably, and they carry soap with them; other
foreigners do not use the article.

At every hotel we stop at we always have to send out for soap, at the
last moment, when we are grooming ourselves for dinner, and they put it
in the bill along with the candles and other nonsense.  In Marseilles
they make half the fancy toilet soap we consume in America, but the
Marseillaise only have a vague theoretical idea of its use, which they
have obtained from books of travel, just as they have acquired an
uncertain notion of clean shirts, and the peculiarities of the gorilla,
and other curious matters.  This reminds me of poor Blucher's note to the
landlord in Paris:

     PARIS, le 7 Juillet.  Monsieur le Landlord--Sir: Pourquoi don't you
     mettez some savon in your bed-chambers?  Est-ce que vous pensez I
     will steal it?  La nuit passee you charged me pour deux chandelles
     when I only had one; hier vous avez charged me avec glace when I had
     none at all; tout les jours you are coming some fresh game or other
     on me, mais vous ne pouvez pas play this savon dodge on me twice.
     Savon is a necessary de la vie to any body but a Frenchman, et je
     l'aurai hors de cet hotel or make trouble.  You hear me.  Allons.
     BLUCHER.

I remonstrated against the sending of this note, because it was so mixed
up that the landlord would never be able to make head or tail of it; but
Blucher said he guessed the old man could read the French of it and
average the rest.

Blucher's French is bad enough, but it is not much worse than the English
one finds in advertisements all over Italy every day.  For instance,
observe the printed card of the hotel we shall probably stop at on the
shores of Lake Como:

     "NOTISH."

     "This hotel which the best it is in Italy and most superb, is
     handsome locate on the best situation of the lake, with the most
     splendid view near the Villas Melzy, to the King of Belgian, and
     Serbelloni.  This hotel have recently enlarge, do offer all
     commodities on moderate price, at the strangers gentlemen who whish
     spend the seasons on the Lake Come."

How is that, for a specimen?  In the hotel is a handsome little chapel
where an English clergyman is employed to preach to such of the guests of
the house as hail from England and America, and this fact is also set
forth in barbarous English in the same advertisement.  Wouldn't you have
supposed that the adventurous linguist who framed the card would have
known enough to submit it to that clergyman before he sent it to the
printer?

Here in Milan, in an ancient tumble-down ruin of a church, is the
mournful wreck of the most celebrated painting in the world--"The Last
Supper," by Leonardo da Vinci.  We are not infallible judges of pictures,
but of course we went there to see this wonderful painting, once so
beautiful, always so worshipped by masters in art, and forever to be
famous in song and story.  And the first thing that occurred was the
infliction on us of a placard fairly reeking with wretched English.  Take
a morsel of it: "Bartholomew (that is the first figure on the left hand
side at the spectator,) uncertain and doubtful about what he thinks to
have heard, and upon which he wants to be assured by himself at Christ
and by no others."

Good, isn't it?  And then Peter is described as "argumenting in a
threatening and angrily condition at Judas Iscariot."

This paragraph recalls the picture.  "The Last Supper" is painted on the
dilapidated wall of what was a little chapel attached to the main church
in ancient times, I suppose.  It is battered and scarred in every
direction, and stained and discolored by time, and Napoleon's horses
kicked the legs off most the disciples when they (the horses, not the
disciples,) were stabled there more than half a century ago.

I recognized the old picture in a moment--the Saviour with bowed head
seated at the centre of a long, rough table with scattering fruits and
dishes upon it, and six disciples on either side in their long robes,
talking to each other--the picture from which all engravings and all
copies have been made for three centuries.  Perhaps no living man has
ever known an attempt to paint the Lord's Supper differently.  The world
seems to have become settled in the belief, long ago, that it is not
possible for human genius to outdo this creation of da Vinci's.  I
suppose painters will go on copying it as long as any of the original is
left visible to the eye.  There were a dozen easels in the room, and as
many artists transferring the great picture to their canvases.  Fifty
proofs of steel engravings and lithographs were scattered around, too.
And as usual, I could not help noticing how superior the copies were to
the original, that is, to my inexperienced eye.  Wherever you find a
Raphael, a Rubens, a Michelangelo, a Carracci, or a da Vinci (and we see
them every day,) you find artists copying them, and the copies are always
the handsomest.  Maybe the originals were handsome when they were new,
but they are not now.

This picture is about thirty feet long, and ten or twelve high, I should
think, and the figures are at least life size.  It is one of the largest
paintings in Europe.

The colors are dimmed with age; the countenances are scaled and marred,
and nearly all expression is gone from them; the hair is a dead blur upon
the wall, and there is no life in the eyes.  Only the attitudes are
certain.

People come here from all parts of the world, and glorify this
masterpiece.  They stand entranced before it with bated breath and parted
lips, and when they speak, it is only in the catchy ejaculations of
rapture:

"Oh, wonderful!"

"Such expression!"

"Such grace of attitude!"

"Such dignity!"

"Such faultless drawing!"

"Such matchless coloring!"

"Such feeling!"

"What delicacy of touch!"

"What sublimity of conception!"

"A vision!  A vision!"

I only envy these people; I envy them their honest admiration, if it be
honest--their delight, if they feel delight.  I harbor no animosity
toward any of them.  But at the same time the thought will intrude itself
upon me, How can they see what is not visible?  What would you think of a
man who looked at some decayed, blind, toothless, pock-marked Cleopatra,
and said: "What matchless beauty!  What soul!  What expression!"  What
would you think of a man who gazed upon a dingy, foggy sunset, and said:
"What sublimity!  What feeling!  What richness of coloring!"  What would
you think of a man who stared in ecstasy upon a desert of stumps and
said: "Oh, my soul, my beating heart, what a noble forest is here!"

You would think that those men had an astonishing talent for seeing
things that had already passed away.  It was what I thought when I stood
before "The Last Supper" and heard men apostrophizing wonders, and
beauties and perfections which had faded out of the picture and gone, a
hundred years before they were born.  We can imagine the beauty that was
once in an aged face; we can imagine the forest if we see the stumps; but
we can not absolutely see these things when they are not there.  I am
willing to believe that the eye of the practiced artist can rest upon the
Last Supper and renew a lustre where only a hint of it is left, supply a
tint that has faded away, restore an expression that is gone; patch, and
color, and add, to the dull canvas until at last its figures shall stand
before him aglow with the life, the feeling, the freshness, yea, with all
the noble beauty that was theirs when first they came from the hand of
the master.  But I can not work this miracle.  Can those other uninspired
visitors do it, or do they only happily imagine they do?

After reading so much about it, I am satisfied that the Last Supper was a
very miracle of art once.  But it was three hundred years ago.

It vexes me to hear people talk so glibly of "feeling," "expression,"
"tone," and those other easily acquired and inexpensive technicalities of
art that make such a fine show in conversations concerning pictures.
There is not one man in seventy-five hundred that can tell what a
pictured face is intended to express.  There is not one man in five
hundred that can go into a court-room and be sure that he will not
mistake some harmless innocent of a juryman for the black-hearted
assassin on trial.  Yet such people talk of "character" and presume to
interpret "expression" in pictures.  There is an old story that Matthews,
the actor, was once lauding the ability of the human face to express the
passions and emotions hidden in the breast.  He said the countenance
could disclose what was passing in the heart plainer than the tongue
could.

"Now," he said, "observe my face--what does it express?"

"Despair!"

"Bah, it expresses peaceful resignation!  What does this express?"

"Rage!"

"Stuff!  It means terror!  This!"

"Imbecility!"

"Fool!  It is smothered ferocity!  Now this!"

"Joy!"

"Oh, perdition!  Any ass can see it means insanity!"

Expression!  People coolly pretend to read it who would think themselves
presumptuous if they pretended to interpret the hieroglyphics on the
obelisks of Luxor--yet they are fully as competent to do the one thing as
the other.  I have heard two very intelligent critics speak of Murillo's
Immaculate Conception (now in the museum at Seville,) within the past few
days.  One said:

"Oh, the Virgin's face is full of the ecstasy of a joy that is complete--
that leaves nothing more to be desired on earth!"

The other said:

"Ah, that wonderful face is so humble, so pleading--it says as plainly as
words could say it: 'I fear; I tremble; I am unworthy.  But Thy will be
done; sustain Thou Thy servant!'"

The reader can see the picture in any drawing-room; it can be easily
recognized: the Virgin (the only young and really beautiful Virgin that
was ever painted by one of the old masters, some of us think,) stands in
the crescent of the new moon, with a multitude of cherubs hovering about
her, and more coming; her hands are crossed upon her breast, and upon her
uplifted countenance falls a glory out of the heavens.  The reader may
amuse himself, if he chooses, in trying to determine which of these
gentlemen read the Virgin's "expression" aright, or if either of them did
it.

Any one who is acquainted with the old masters will comprehend how much
"The Last Supper" is damaged when I say that the spectator can not really
tell, now, whether the disciples are Hebrews or Italians.  These ancient
painters never succeeded in denationalizing themselves.  The Italian
artists painted Italian Virgins, the Dutch painted Dutch Virgins, the
Virgins of the French painters were Frenchwomen--none of them ever put
into the face of the Madonna that indescribable something which proclaims
the Jewess, whether you find her in New York, in Constantinople, in
Paris, Jerusalem, or in the empire of Morocco.  I saw in the Sandwich
Islands, once, a picture copied by a talented German artist from an
engraving in one of the American illustrated papers.  It was an allegory,
representing Mr. Davis in the act of signing a secession act or some such
document.  Over him hovered the ghost of Washington in warning attitude,
and in the background a troop of shadowy soldiers in Continental uniform
were limping with shoeless, bandaged feet through a driving snow-storm.
Valley Forge was suggested, of course.  The copy seemed accurate, and yet
there was a discrepancy somewhere.  After a long examination I discovered
what it was--the shadowy soldiers were all Germans!  Jeff Davis was a
German!  even the hovering ghost was a German ghost!  The artist had
unconsciously worked his nationality into the picture.  To tell the
truth, I am getting a little perplexed about John the Baptist and his
portraits.  In France I finally grew reconciled to him as a Frenchman;
here he is unquestionably an Italian.  What next?  Can it be possible
that the painters make John the Baptist a Spaniard in Madrid and an
Irishman in Dublin?

We took an open barouche and drove two miles out of Milan to "see ze
echo," as the guide expressed it.  The road was smooth, it was bordered
by trees, fields, and grassy meadows, and the soft air was filled with
the odor of flowers.  Troops of picturesque peasant girls, coming from
work, hooted at us, shouted at us, made all manner of game of us, and
entirely delighted me.  My long-cherished judgment was confirmed.  I
always did think those frowsy, romantic, unwashed peasant girls I had
read so much about in poetry were a glaring fraud.

We enjoyed our jaunt.  It was an exhilarating relief from tiresome sight-
seeing.

We distressed ourselves very little about the astonishing echo the guide
talked so much about.  We were growing accustomed to encomiums on wonders
that too often proved no wonders at all.  And so we were most happily
disappointed to find in the sequel that the guide had even failed to rise
to the magnitude of his subject.

We arrived at a tumble-down old rookery called the Palazzo Simonetti--a
massive hewn-stone affair occupied by a family of ragged Italians.
A good-looking young girl conducted us to a window on the second floor
which looked out on a court walled on three sides by tall buildings.  She
put her head out at the window and shouted.  The echo answered more times
than we could count.  She took a speaking trumpet and through it she
shouted, sharp and quick, a single "Ha!"  The echo answered:

"Ha!--ha!----ha!--ha!--ha!-ha!  ha!  h-a-a-a-a-a!" and finally went off
into a rollicking convulsion of the jolliest laughter that could be
imagined.  It was so joyful--so long continued--so perfectly cordial and
hearty, that every body was forced to join in.  There was no resisting
it.

Then the girl took a gun and fired it.  We stood ready to count the
astonishing clatter of reverberations.  We could not say one, two, three,
fast enough, but we could dot our notebooks with our pencil points almost
rapidly enough to take down a sort of short-hand report of the result.
My page revealed the following account.  I could not keep up, but I did
as well as I could.

I set down fifty-two distinct repetitions, and then the echo got the
advantage of me.  The doctor set down sixty-four, and thenceforth the
echo moved too fast for him, also.  After the separate concussions could
no longer be noted, the reverberations dwindled to a wild, long-sustained
clatter of sounds such as a watchman's rattle produces.  It is likely
that this is the most remarkable echo in the world.

The doctor, in jest, offered to kiss the young girl, and was taken a
little aback when she said he might for a franc!  The commonest gallantry
compelled him to stand by his offer, and so he paid the franc and took
the kiss.  She was a philosopher.  She said a franc was a good thing to
have, and she did not care any thing for one paltry kiss, because she had
a million left.  Then our comrade, always a shrewd businessman, offered
to take the whole cargo at thirty days, but that little financial scheme
was a failure.




CHAPTER XX.

We left Milan by rail.  The Cathedral six or seven miles behind us; vast,
dreamy, bluish, snow-clad mountains twenty miles in front of us,--these
were the accented points in the scenery.  The more immediate scenery
consisted of fields and farm-houses outside the car and a monster-headed
dwarf and a moustached woman inside it.  These latter were not show-
people.  Alas, deformity and female beards are too common in Italy to
attract attention.

We passed through a range of wild, picturesque hills, steep, wooded,
cone-shaped, with rugged crags projecting here and there, and with
dwellings and ruinous castles perched away up toward the drifting clouds.
We lunched at the curious old town of Como, at the foot of the lake, and
then took the small steamer and had an afternoon's pleasure excursion to
this place,--Bellaggio.

When we walked ashore, a party of policemen (people whose cocked hats and
showy uniforms would shame the finest uniform in the military service of
the United States,) put us into a little stone cell and locked us in.  We
had the whole passenger list for company, but their room would have been
preferable, for there was no light, there were no windows, no
ventilation.  It was close and hot.  We were much crowded.  It was the
Black Hole of Calcutta on a small scale.  Presently a smoke rose about
our feet--a smoke that smelled of all the dead things of earth, of all
the putrefaction and corruption imaginable.

We were there five minutes, and when we got out it was hard to tell which
of us carried the vilest fragrance.

These miserable outcasts called that "fumigating" us, and the term was a
tame one indeed.  They fumigated us to guard themselves against the
cholera, though we hailed from no infected port.  We had left the cholera
far behind us all the time.  However, they must keep epidemics away
somehow or other, and fumigation is cheaper than soap.  They must either
wash themselves or fumigate other people.  Some of the lower classes had
rather die than wash, but the fumigation of strangers causes them no
pangs.  They need no fumigation themselves.  Their habits make it
unnecessary.  They carry their preventive with them; they sweat and
fumigate all the day long.  I trust I am a humble and a consistent
Christian.  I try to do what is right.  I know it is my duty to "pray for
them that despitefully use me;" and therefore, hard as it is, I shall
still try to pray for these fumigating, maccaroni-stuffing organ-
grinders.

Our hotel sits at the water's edge--at least its front garden does--and
we walk among the shrubbery and smoke at twilight; we look afar off at
Switzerland and the Alps, and feel an indolent willingness to look no
closer; we go down the steps and swim in the lake; we take a shapely
little boat and sail abroad among the reflections of the stars; lie on
the thwarts and listen to the distant laughter, the singing, the soft
melody of flutes and guitars that comes floating across the water from
pleasuring gondolas; we close the evening with exasperating billiards on
one of those same old execrable tables.  A midnight luncheon in our ample
bed-chamber; a final smoke in its contracted veranda facing the water,
the gardens, and the mountains; a summing up of the day's events.  Then
to bed, with drowsy brains harassed with a mad panorama that mixes up
pictures of France, of Italy, of the ship, of the ocean, of home, in
grotesque and bewildering disorder.  Then a melting away of familiar
faces, of cities, and of tossing waves, into a great calm of
forgetfulness and peace.

After which, the nightmare.

Breakfast in the morning, and then the lake.

I did not like it yesterday.  I thought Lake Tahoe was much finer.
I have to confess now, however, that my judgment erred somewhat, though
not extravagantly.  I always had an idea that Como was a vast basin of
water, like Tahoe, shut in by great mountains.  Well, the border of huge
mountains is here, but the lake itself is not a basin.  It is as crooked
as any brook, and only from one-quarter to two-thirds as wide as the
Mississippi.  There is not a yard of low ground on either side of it--
nothing but endless chains of mountains that spring abruptly from the
water's edge and tower to altitudes varying from a thousand to two
thousand feet.  Their craggy sides are clothed with vegetation, and white
specks of houses peep out from the luxuriant foliage everywhere; they are
even perched upon jutting and picturesque pinnacles a thousand feet above
your head.

Again, for miles along the shores, handsome country seats, surrounded by
gardens and groves, sit fairly in the water, sometimes in nooks carved by
Nature out of the vine-hung precipices, and with no ingress or egress
save by boats.  Some have great broad stone staircases leading down to
the water, with heavy stone balustrades ornamented with statuary and
fancifully adorned with creeping vines and bright-colored flowers--for
all the world like a drop curtain in a theatre, and lacking nothing but
long-waisted, high-heeled women and plumed gallants in silken tights
coming down to go serenading in the splendid gondola in waiting.

A great feature of Como's attractiveness is the multitude of pretty
houses and gardens that cluster upon its shores and on its mountain
sides.  They look so snug and so homelike, and at eventide when every
thing seems to slumber, and the music of the vesper bells comes stealing
over the water, one almost believes that nowhere else than on the lake of
Como can there be found such a paradise of tranquil repose.

From my window here in Bellaggio, I have a view of the other side of the
lake now, which is as beautiful as a picture.  A scarred and wrinkled
precipice rises to a height of eighteen hundred feet; on a tiny bench
half way up its vast wall, sits a little snowflake of a church, no bigger
than a martin-box, apparently; skirting the base of the cliff are a
hundred orange groves and gardens, flecked with glimpses of the white
dwellings that are buried in them; in front, three or four gondolas lie
idle upon the water--and in the burnished mirror of the lake, mountain,
chapel, houses, groves and boats are counterfeited so brightly and so
clearly that one scarce knows where the reality leaves off and the
reflection begins!

The surroundings of this picture are fine.  A mile away, a grove-plumed
promontory juts far into the lake and glasses its palace in the blue
depths; in midstream a boat is cutting the shining surface and leaving a
long track behind, like a ray of light; the mountains beyond are veiled
in a dreamy purple haze; far in the opposite direction a tumbled mass of
domes and verdant slopes and valleys bars the lake, and here indeed does
distance lend enchantment to the view--for on this broad canvas, sun and
clouds and the richest of atmospheres have blended a thousand tints
together, and over its surface the filmy lights and shadows drift, hour
after hour, and glorify it with a beauty that seems reflected out of
Heaven itself.  Beyond all question, this is the most voluptuous scene we
have yet looked upon.

Last night the scenery was striking and picturesque.  On the other side
crags and trees and snowy houses were reflected in the lake with a
wonderful distinctness, and streams of light from many a distant window
shot far abroad over the still waters.  On this side, near at hand, great
mansions, white with moonlight, glared out from the midst of masses of
foliage that lay black and shapeless in the shadows that fell from the
cliff above--and down in the margin of the lake every feature of the
weird vision was faithfully repeated.

Today we have idled through a wonder of a garden attached to a ducal
estate--but enough of description is enough, I judge.

I suspect that this was the same place the gardener's son deceived the
Lady of Lyons with, but I do not know.  You may have heard of the passage
somewhere:

          "A deep vale,
          Shut out by Alpine hills from the rude world,
          Near a clear lake margined by fruits of gold
          And whispering myrtles:
          Glassing softest skies, cloudless,
          Save with rare and roseate shadows;
          A palace, lifting to eternal heaven its marbled walls,
          From out a glossy bower of coolest foliage musical with birds."

That is all very well, except the "clear" part of the lake.  It certainly
is clearer than a great many lakes, but how dull its waters are compared
with the wonderful transparence of Lake Tahoe!  I speak of the north
shore of Tahoe, where one can count the scales on a trout at a depth of a
hundred and eighty feet.  I have tried to get this statement off at par
here, but with no success; so I have been obliged to negotiate it at
fifty percent discount.  At this rate I find some takers; perhaps the
reader will receive it on the same terms--ninety feet instead of one
hundred and eighty.  But let it be remembered that those are forced
terms--Sheriff's sale prices.  As far as I am privately concerned, I
abate not a jot of the original assertion that in those strangely
magnifying waters one may count the scales on a trout (a trout of the
large kind,) at a depth of a hundred and eighty feet--may see every
pebble on the bottom--might even count a paper of dray-pins.  People talk
of the transparent waters of the Mexican Bay of Acapulco, but in my own
experience I know they cannot compare with those I am speaking of.  I
have fished for trout, in Tahoe, and at a measured depth of eighty-four
feet I have seen them put their noses to the bait and I could see their
gills open and shut.  I could hardly have seen the trout themselves at
that distance in the open air.

As I go back in spirit and recall that noble sea, reposing among the
snow-peaks six thousand feet above the ocean, the conviction comes strong
upon me again that Como would only seem a bedizened little courtier in
that august presence.

Sorrow and misfortune overtake the legislature that still from year to
year permits Tahoe to retain its unmusical cognomen!  Tahoe!  It suggests
no crystal waters, no picturesque shores, no sublimity.  Tahoe for a sea
in the clouds: a sea that has character and asserts it in solemn calms at
times, at times in savage storms; a sea whose royal seclusion is guarded
by a cordon of sentinel peaks that lift their frosty fronts nine thousand
feet above the level world; a sea whose every aspect is impressive, whose
belongings are all beautiful, whose lonely majesty types the Deity!

Tahoe means grasshoppers.  It means grasshopper soup.  It is Indian, and
suggestive of Indians.  They say it is Pi-ute--possibly it is Digger.
I am satisfied it was named by the Diggers--those degraded savages who
roast their dead relatives, then mix the human grease and ashes of bones
with tar, and "gaum" it thick all over their heads and foreheads and
ears, and go caterwauling about the hills and call it mourning.  These
are the gentry that named the Lake.

People say that Tahoe means "Silver Lake"--"Limpid Water"--"Falling
Leaf."  Bosh.  It means grasshopper soup, the favorite dish of the Digger
tribe,--and of the Pi-utes as well.  It isn't worth while, in these
practical times, for people to talk about Indian poetry--there never was
any in them--except in the Fenimore Cooper Indians.  But they are an
extinct tribe that never existed.  I know the Noble Red Man.  I have
camped with the Indians; I have been on the warpath with them, taken part
in the chase with them--for grasshoppers; helped them steal cattle; I
have roamed with them, scalped them, had them for breakfast.  I would
gladly eat the whole race if I had a chance.

But I am growing unreliable.  I will return to my comparison of the
lakes.  Como is a little deeper than Tahoe, if people here tell the
truth.  They say it is eighteen hundred feet deep at this point, but it
does not look a dead enough blue for that.  Tahoe is one thousand five
hundred and twenty-five feet deep in the centre, by the state geologist's
measurement.  They say the great peak opposite this town is five thousand
feet high: but I feel sure that three thousand feet of that statement is
a good honest lie.  The lake is a mile wide, here, and maintains about
that width from this point to its northern extremity--which is distant
sixteen miles: from here to its southern extremity--say fifteen miles--it
is not over half a mile wide in any place, I should think.  Its snow-clad
mountains one hears so much about are only seen occasionally, and then in
the distance, the Alps.  Tahoe is from ten to eighteen miles wide, and
its mountains shut it in like a wall.  Their summits are never free from
snow the year round.  One thing about it is very strange: it never has
even a skim of ice upon its surface, although lakes in the same range of
mountains, lying in a lower and warmer temperature, freeze over in
winter.

It is cheerful to meet a shipmate in these out-of-the-way places and
compare notes with him.  We have found one of ours here--an old soldier
of the war, who is seeking bloodless adventures and rest from his
campaigns in these sunny lands.--[Colonel J.  HERON FOSTER, editor of a
Pittsburgh journal, and a most estimable gentleman.  As these sheets are
being prepared for the press I am pained to learn of his decease shortly
after his return home--M.T.]--




CHAPTER XXI.

We voyaged by steamer down the Lago di Lecco, through wild mountain
scenery, and by hamlets and villas, and disembarked at the town of Lecco.
They said it was two hours, by carriage to the ancient city of Bergamo,
and that we would arrive there in good season for the railway train.  We
got an open barouche and a wild, boisterous driver, and set out.  It was
delightful.  We had a fast team and a perfectly smooth road.  There were
towering cliffs on our left, and the pretty Lago di Lecco on our right,
and every now and then it rained on us.  Just before starting, the driver
picked up, in the street, a stump of a cigar an inch long, and put it in
his mouth.  When he had carried it thus about an hour, I thought it would
be only Christian charity to give him a light.  I handed him my cigar,
which I had just lit, and he put it in his mouth and returned his stump
to his pocket!  I never saw a more sociable man.  At least I never saw a
man who was more sociable on a short acquaintance.

We saw interior Italy, now.  The houses were of solid stone, and not
often in good repair.  The peasants and their children were idle, as a
general thing, and the donkeys and chickens made themselves at home in
drawing-room and bed-chamber and were not molested.  The drivers of each
and every one of the slow-moving market-carts we met were stretched in
the sun upon their merchandise, sound a sleep.  Every three or four
hundred yards, it seemed to me, we came upon the shrine of some saint or
other--a rude picture of him built into a huge cross or a stone pillar by
the road-side. --Some of the pictures of the Saviour were curiosities in
their way.  They represented him stretched upon the cross, his
countenance distorted with agony.  From the wounds of the crown of
thorns; from the pierced side; from the mutilated hands and feet; from
the scourged body--from every hand-breadth of his person streams of blood
were flowing!  Such a gory, ghastly spectacle would frighten the children
out of their senses, I should think.  There were some unique auxiliaries
to the painting which added to its spirited effect.  These were genuine
wooden and iron implements, and were prominently disposed round about the
figure: a bundle of nails; the hammer to drive them; the sponge; the reed
that supported it; the cup of vinegar; the ladder for the ascent of the
cross; the spear that pierced the Saviour's side.  The crown of thorns
was made of real thorns, and was nailed to the sacred head.  In some
Italian church-paintings, even by the old masters, the Saviour and the
Virgin wear silver or gilded crowns that are fastened to the pictured
head with nails.  The effect is as grotesque as it is incongruous.

Here and there, on the fronts of roadside inns, we found huge, coarse
frescoes of suffering martyrs like those in the shrines.  It could not
have diminished their sufferings any to be so uncouthly represented.
We were in the heart and home of priest craft--of a happy, cheerful,
contented ignorance, superstition, degradation, poverty, indolence, and
everlasting unaspiring worthlessness.  And we said fervently: it suits
these people precisely; let them enjoy it, along with the other animals,
and Heaven forbid that they be molested.  We feel no malice toward these
fumigators.

We passed through the strangest, funniest, undreampt-of old towns, wedded
to the customs and steeped in the dreams of the elder ages, and perfectly
unaware that the world turns round!  And perfectly indifferent, too, as
to whether it turns around or stands still.  They have nothing to do but
eat and sleep and sleep and eat, and toil a little when they can get a
friend to stand by and keep them awake.  They are not paid for thinking--
they are not paid to fret about the world's concerns.  They were not
respectable people--they were not worthy people--they were not learned
and wise and brilliant people--but in their breasts, all their stupid
lives long, resteth a peace that passeth understanding!  How can men,
calling themselves men, consent to be so degraded and happy.

We whisked by many a gray old medieval castle, clad thick with ivy that
swung its green banners down from towers and turrets where once some old
Crusader's flag had floated.  The driver pointed to one of these ancient
fortresses, and said, (I translate):

"Do you see that great iron hook that projects from the wall just under
the highest window in the ruined tower?"

We said we could not see it at such a distance, but had no doubt it was
there.

"Well," he said; "there is a legend connected with that iron hook.
Nearly seven hundred years ago, that castle was the property of the noble
Count Luigi Gennaro Guido Alphonso di Genova----"

"What was his other name?"  said Dan.

"He had no other name.  The name I have spoken was all the name he had.
He was the son of----"

"Poor but honest parents--that is all right--never mind the particulars--
go on with the legend."

                               THE LEGEND.

Well, then, all the world, at that time, was in a wild excitement about
the Holy Sepulchre.  All the great feudal lords in Europe were pledging
their lands and pawning their plate to fit out men-at-arms so that they
might join the grand armies of Christendom and win renown in the Holy
Wars.  The Count Luigi raised money, like the rest, and one mild
September morning, armed with battle-ax, portcullis and thundering
culverin, he rode through the greaves and bucklers of his donjon-keep
with as gallant a troop of Christian bandits as ever stepped in Italy.
He had his sword, Excalibur, with him.  His beautiful countess and her
young daughter waved him a tearful adieu from the battering-rams and
buttresses of the fortress, and he galloped away with a happy heart.

He made a raid on a neighboring baron and completed his outfit with the
booty secured.  He then razed the castle to the ground, massacred the
family and moved on.  They were hardy fellows in the grand old days of
chivalry.  Alas!  Those days will never come again.

Count Luigi grew high in fame in Holy Land.  He plunged into the carnage
of a hundred battles, but his good Excalibur always brought him out
alive, albeit often sorely wounded.  His face became browned by exposure
to the Syrian sun in long marches; he suffered hunger and thirst; he
pined in prisons, he languished in loathsome plague-hospitals.  And many
and many a time he thought of his loved ones at home, and wondered if all
was well with them.  But his heart said, Peace, is not thy brother
watching over thy household?

                              * * * * * * *

Forty-two years waxed and waned; the good fight was won; Godfrey reigned
in Jerusalem--the Christian hosts reared the banner of the cross above
the Holy Sepulchre!

Twilight was approaching.  Fifty harlequins, in flowing robes, approached
this castle wearily, for they were on foot, and the dust upon their
garments betokened that they had traveled far.  They overtook a peasant,
and asked him if it were likely they could get food and a hospitable bed
there, for love of Christian charity, and if perchance, a moral parlor
entertainment might meet with generous countenance--"for," said they,
"this exhibition hath no feature that could offend the most fastidious
taste."

"Marry," quoth the peasant, "an' it please your worships, ye had better
journey many a good rood hence with your juggling circus than trust your
bones in yonder castle."

"How now, sirrah!"  exclaimed the chief monk, "explain thy ribald speech,
or by'r Lady it shall go hard with thee."

"Peace, good mountebank, I did but utter the truth that was in my heart.
San Paolo be my witness that did ye but find the stout Count Leonardo in
his cups, sheer from the castle's topmost battlements would he hurl ye
all!  Alack-a-day, the good Lord Luigi reigns not here in these sad
times."

"The good Lord Luigi?"

"Aye, none other, please your worship.  In his day, the poor rejoiced in
plenty and the rich he did oppress; taxes were not known, the fathers of
the church waxed fat upon his bounty; travelers went and came, with none
to interfere; and whosoever would, might tarry in his halls in cordial
welcome, and eat his bread and drink his wine, withal.  But woe is me!
some two and forty years agone the good count rode hence to fight for
Holy Cross, and many a year hath flown since word or token have we had of
him.  Men say his bones lie bleaching in the fields of Palestine."

"And now?"

"Now!  God 'a mercy, the cruel Leonardo lords it in the castle.  He
wrings taxes from the poor; he robs all travelers that journey by his
gates; he spends his days in feuds and murders, and his nights in revel
and debauch; he roasts the fathers of the church upon his kitchen spits,
and enjoyeth the same, calling it pastime.  These thirty years Luigi's
countess hath not been seen by any [he] in all this land, and many
whisper that she pines in the dungeons of the castle for that she will
not wed with Leonardo, saying her dear lord still liveth and that she
will die ere she prove false to him.  They whisper likewise that her
daughter is a prisoner as well.  Nay, good jugglers, seek ye refreshment
other wheres.  'Twere better that ye perished in a Christian way than
that ye plunged from off yon dizzy tower.  Give ye good-day."

"God keep ye, gentle knave--farewell."

But heedless of the peasant's warning, the players moved straightway
toward the castle.

Word was brought to Count Leonardo that a company of mountebanks besought
his hospitality.

"'Tis well.  Dispose of them in the customary manner.  Yet stay!  I have
need of them.  Let them come hither.  Later, cast them from the
battlements--or--how many priests have ye on hand?"

"The day's results are meagre, good my lord.  An abbot and a dozen
beggarly friars is all we have."

"Hell and furies!  Is the estate going to seed?  Send hither the
mountebanks.  Afterward, broil them with the priests."

The robed and close-cowled harlequins entered.  The grim Leonardo sate in
state at the head of his council board.  Ranged up and down the hall on
either hand stood near a hundred men-at-arms.

"Ha, villains!"  quoth the count, "What can ye do to earn the hospitality
ye crave."

"Dread lord and mighty, crowded audiences have greeted our humble efforts
with rapturous applause.  Among our body count we the versatile and
talented Ugolino; the justly celebrated Rodolpho; the gifted and
accomplished Roderigo; the management have spared neither pains nor
expense--"

"S'death!  What can ye do?  Curb thy prating tongue."

"Good my lord, in acrobatic feats, in practice with the dumb-bells, in
balancing and ground and lofty tumbling are we versed--and sith your
highness asketh me, I venture here to publish that in the truly marvelous
and entertaining Zampillaerostation--"

"Gag him!  throttle him!  Body of Bacchus!  am I a dog that I am to be
assailed with polysyllabled blasphemy like to this?  But hold!  Lucretia,
Isabel, stand forth!  Sirrah, behold this dame, this weeping wench.  The
first I marry, within the hour; the other shall dry her tears or feed the
vultures.  Thou and thy vagabonds shall crown the wedding with thy merry-
makings.  Fetch hither the priest!"

The dame sprang toward the chief player.

"O, save me!"  she cried; "save me from a fate far worse than death!
Behold these sad eyes, these sunken cheeks, this withered frame!  See
thou the wreck this fiend hath made, and let thy heart be moved with
pity!  Look upon this damosel; note her wasted form, her halting step,
her bloomless cheeks where youth should blush and happiness exult in
smiles!  Hear us and have compassion.  This monster was my husband's
brother.  He who should have been our shield against all harm, hath kept
us shut within the noisome caverns of his donjon-keep for lo these thirty
years.  And for what crime?  None other than that I would not belie my
troth, root out my strong love for him who marches with the legions of
the cross in Holy Land, (for O, he is not dead!) and wed with him!  Save
us, O, save thy persecuted suppliants!"

She flung herself at his feet and clasped his knees.

"Ha!-ha!-ha!"  shouted the brutal Leonardo.  "Priest, to thy work!"  and
he dragged the weeping dame from her refuge.  "Say, once for all, will
you be mine?--for by my halidome, that breath that uttereth thy refusal
shall be thy last on earth!"

"NE-VER?"

"Then die!" and the sword leaped from its scabbard.

Quicker than thought, quicker than the lightning's flash, fifty monkish
habits disappeared, and fifty knights in splendid armor stood revealed!
fifty falchions gleamed in air above the men-at-arms, and brighter,
fiercer than them all, flamed Excalibur aloft, and cleaving downward
struck the brutal Leonardo's weapon from his grasp!

"A Luigi to the rescue!  Whoop!"

"A Leonardo!  'tare an ouns!'"

"Oh, God, Oh, God, my husband!"

"Oh, God, Oh, God, my wife!"

"My father!"

"My precious!"  [Tableau.]

Count Luigi bound his usurping brother hand and foot.  The practiced
knights from Palestine made holyday sport of carving the awkward men-at-
arms into chops and steaks.  The victory was complete.  Happiness
reigned.  The knights all married the daughter.  Joy!  wassail!  finis!

"But what did they do with the wicked brother?"

"Oh nothing--only hanged him on that iron hook I was speaking of.  By the
chin."

"As how?"

"Passed it up through his gills into his mouth."

"Leave him there?"

"Couple of years."

"Ah--is--is he dead?"

"Six hundred and fifty years ago, or such a matter."

"Splendid legend--splendid lie--drive on."

We reached the quaint old fortified city of Bergamo, the renowned in
history, some three-quarters of an hour before the train was ready to
start.  The place has thirty or forty thousand inhabitants and is
remarkable for being the birthplace of harlequin.  When we discovered
that, that legend of our driver took to itself a new interest in our
eyes.

Rested and refreshed, we took the rail happy and contented.  I shall not
tarry to speak of the handsome Lago di Gardi; its stately castle that
holds in its stony bosom the secrets of an age so remote that even
tradition goeth not back to it; the imposing mountain scenery that
ennobles the landscape thereabouts; nor yet of ancient Padua or haughty
Verona; nor of their Montagues and Capulets, their famous balconies and
tombs of Juliet and Romeo et al., but hurry straight to the ancient city
of the sea, the widowed bride of the Adriatic.  It was a long, long ride.
But toward evening, as we sat silent and hardly conscious of where we
were--subdued into that meditative calm that comes so surely after a
conversational storm--some one shouted--

"VENICE!"

And sure enough, afloat on the placid sea a league away, lay a great
city, with its towers and domes and steeples drowsing in a golden mist of
sunset.




CHAPTER XXII.

This Venice, which was a haughty, invincible, magnificent Republic for
nearly fourteen hundred years; whose armies compelled the world's
applause whenever and wherever they battled; whose navies well nigh held
dominion of the seas, and whose merchant fleets whitened the remotest
oceans with their sails and loaded these piers with the products of every
clime, is fallen a prey to poverty, neglect and melancholy decay.  Six
hundred years ago, Venice was the Autocrat of Commerce; her mart was the
great commercial centre, the distributing-house from whence the enormous
trade of the Orient was spread abroad over the Western world.  To-day her
piers are deserted, her warehouses are empty, her merchant fleets are
vanished, her armies and her navies are but memories.  Her glory is
departed, and with her crumbling grandeur of wharves and palaces about
her she sits among her stagnant lagoons, forlorn and beggared, forgotten
of the world.  She that in her palmy days commanded the commerce of a
hemisphere and made the weal or woe of nations with a beck of her
puissant finger, is become the humblest among the peoples of the earth,--
a peddler of glass beads for women, and trifling toys and trinkets for
school-girls and children.

The venerable Mother of the Republics is scarce a fit subject for
flippant speech or the idle gossipping of tourists.  It seems a sort of
sacrilege to disturb the glamour of old romance that pictures her to us
softly from afar off as through a tinted mist, and curtains her ruin and
her desolation from our view.  One ought, indeed, to turn away from her
rags, her poverty and her humiliation, and think of her only as she was
when she sunk the fleets of Charlemagne; when she humbled Frederick
Barbarossa or waved her victorious banners above the battlements of
Constantinople.

We reached Venice at eight in the evening, and entered a hearse belonging
to the Grand Hotel d'Europe.  At any rate, it was more like a hearse than
any thing else, though to speak by the card, it was a gondola.  And this
was the storied gondola of Venice!--the fairy boat in which the princely
cavaliers of the olden time were wont to cleave the waters of the moonlit
canals and look the eloquence of love into the soft eyes of patrician
beauties, while the gay gondolier in silken doublet touched his guitar
and sang as only gondoliers can sing!  This the famed gondola and this
the gorgeous gondolier!--the one an inky, rusty old canoe with a sable
hearse-body clapped on to the middle of it, and the other a mangy,
barefooted guttersnipe with a portion of his raiment on exhibition which
should have been sacred from public scrutiny.  Presently, as he turned a
corner and shot his hearse into a dismal ditch between two long rows of
towering, untenanted buildings, the gay gondolier began to sing, true to
the traditions of his race.  I stood it a little while.  Then I said:

"Now, here, Roderigo Gonzales Michael Angelo, I'm a pilgrim, and I'm a
stranger, but I am not going to have my feelings lacerated by any such
caterwauling as that.  If that goes on, one of us has got to take water.
It is enough that my cherished dreams of Venice have been blighted
forever as to the romantic gondola and the gorgeous gondolier; this
system of destruction shall go no farther; I will accept the hearse,
under protest, and you may fly your flag of truce in peace, but here I
register a dark and bloody oath that you shan't sing.  Another yelp, and
overboard you go."

I began to feel that the old Venice of song and story had departed
forever.  But I was too hasty.  In a few minutes we swept gracefully out
into the Grand Canal, and under the mellow moonlight the Venice of poetry
and romance stood revealed.  Right from the water's edge rose long lines
of stately palaces of marble; gondolas were gliding swiftly hither and
thither and disappearing suddenly through unsuspected gates and alleys;
ponderous stone bridges threw their shadows athwart the glittering waves.
There was life and motion everywhere, and yet everywhere there was a
hush, a stealthy sort of stillness, that was suggestive of secret
enterprises of bravoes and of lovers; and clad half in moonbeams and half
in mysterious shadows, the grim old mansions of the Republic seemed to
have an expression about them of having an eye out for just such
enterprises as these at that same moment.  Music came floating over the
waters--Venice was complete.

It was a beautiful picture--very soft and dreamy and beautiful.  But what
was this Venice to compare with the Venice of midnight?  Nothing.  There
was a fete--a grand fete in honor of some saint who had been instrumental
in checking the cholera three hundred years ago, and all Venice was
abroad on the water.  It was no common affair, for the Venetians did not
know how soon they might need the saint's services again, now that the
cholera was spreading every where.  So in one vast space--say a third of
a mile wide and two miles long--were collected two thousand gondolas, and
every one of them had from two to ten, twenty and even thirty colored
lanterns suspended about it, and from four to a dozen occupants.  Just as
far as the eye could reach, these painted lights were massed together--
like a vast garden of many-colored flowers, except that these blossoms
were never still; they were ceaselessly gliding in and out, and mingling
together, and seducing you into bewildering attempts to follow their mazy
evolutions.  Here and there a strong red, green, or blue glare from a
rocket that was struggling to get away, splendidly illuminated all the
boats around it.  Every gondola that swam by us, with its crescents and
pyramids and circles of colored lamps hung aloft, and lighting up the
faces of the young and the sweet-scented and lovely below, was a picture;
and the reflections of those lights, so long, so slender, so numberless,
so many-colored and so distorted and wrinkled by the waves, was a picture
likewise, and one that was enchantingly beautiful.  Many and many a party
of young ladies and gentlemen had their state gondolas handsomely
decorated, and ate supper on board, bringing their swallow-tailed, white-
cravatted varlets to wait upon them, and having their tables tricked out
as if for a bridal supper.  They had brought along the costly globe lamps
from their drawing-rooms, and the lace and silken curtains from the same
places, I suppose.  And they had also brought pianos and guitars, and
they played and sang operas, while the plebeian paper-lanterned gondolas
from the suburbs and the back alleys crowded around to stare and listen.

There was music every where--choruses, string bands, brass bands, flutes,
every thing.  I was so surrounded, walled in, with music, magnificence
and loveliness, that I became inspired with the spirit of the scene, and
sang one tune myself.  However, when I observed that the other gondolas
had sailed away, and my gondolier was preparing to go overboard, I
stopped.

The fete was magnificent.  They kept it up the whole night long, and I
never enjoyed myself better than I did while it lasted.

What a funny old city this Queen of the Adriatic is!  Narrow streets,
vast, gloomy marble palaces, black with the corroding damps of centuries,
and all partly submerged; no dry land visible any where, and no sidewalks
worth mentioning; if you want to go to church, to the theatre, or to the
restaurant, you must call a gondola.  It must be a paradise for cripples,
for verily a man has no use for legs here.

For a day or two the place looked so like an overflowed Arkansas town,
because of its currentless waters laving the very doorsteps of all the
houses, and the cluster of boats made fast under the windows, or skimming
in and out of the alleys and by-ways, that I could not get rid of the
impression that there was nothing the matter here but a spring freshet,
and that the river would fall in a few weeks and leave a dirty high-water
mark on the houses, and the streets full of mud and rubbish.

In the glare of day, there is little poetry about Venice, but under the
charitable moon her stained palaces are white again, their battered
sculptures are hidden in shadows, and the old city seems crowned once
more with the grandeur that was hers five hundred years ago.  It is easy,
then, in fancy, to people these silent canals with plumed gallants and
fair ladies--with Shylocks in gaberdine and sandals, venturing loans upon
the rich argosies of Venetian commerce--with Othellos and Desdemonas,
with Iagos and Roderigos--with noble fleets and victorious legions
returning from the wars.  In the treacherous sunlight we see Venice
decayed, forlorn, poverty-stricken, and commerceless--forgotten and
utterly insignificant.  But in the moonlight, her fourteen centuries of
greatness fling their glories about her, and once more is she the
princeliest among the nations of the earth.

          "There is a glorious city in the sea;
          The sea is in the broad, the narrow streets,
          Ebbing and flowing; and the salt-sea weed
          Clings to the marble of her palaces.
          No track of men, no footsteps to and fro,
          Lead to her gates!  The path lies o'er the sea,
          Invisible: and from the land we went,
          As to a floating city--steering in,
          And gliding up her streets, as in a dream,
          So smoothly, silently--by many a dome,
          Mosque-like, and many a stately portico,
          The statues ranged along an azure sky;
          By many a pile, in more than Eastern pride,
          Of old the residence of merchant kings;
          The fronts of some, tho' time had shatter'd them,
          Still glowing with the richest hues of art,
          As tho' the wealth within them had run o'er."

What would one naturally wish to see first in Venice?  The Bridge of
Sighs, of course--and next the Church and the Great Square of St. Mark,
the Bronze Horses, and the famous Lion of St. Mark.

We intended to go to the Bridge of Sighs, but happened into the Ducal
Palace first--a building which necessarily figures largely in Venetian
poetry and tradition.  In the Senate Chamber of the ancient Republic we
wearied our eyes with staring at acres of historical paintings by
Tintoretto and Paul Veronese, but nothing struck us forcibly except the
one thing that strikes all strangers forcibly--a black square in the
midst of a gallery of portraits.  In one long row, around the great hall,
were painted the portraits of the Doges of Venice (venerable fellows,
with flowing white beards, for of the three hundred Senators eligible to
the office, the oldest was usually chosen Doge,) and each had its
complimentary inscription attached--till you came to the place that
should have had Marino Faliero's picture in it, and that was blank and
black--blank, except that it bore a terse inscription, saying that the
conspirator had died for his crime.  It seemed cruel to keep that
pitiless inscription still staring from the walls after the unhappy
wretch had been in his grave five hundred years.

At the head of the Giant's Staircase, where Marino Faliero was beheaded,
and where the Doges were crowned in ancient times, two small slits in the
stone wall were pointed out--two harmless, insignificant orifices that
would never attract a stranger's attention--yet these were the terrible
Lions' Mouths!  The heads were gone (knocked off by the French during
their occupation of Venice,) but these were the throats, down which went
the anonymous accusation, thrust in secretly at dead of night by an
enemy, that doomed many an innocent man to walk the Bridge of Sighs and
descend into the dungeon which none entered and hoped to see the sun
again.  This was in the old days when the Patricians alone governed
Venice--the common herd had no vote and no voice.  There were one
thousand five hundred Patricians; from these, three hundred Senators were
chosen; from the Senators a Doge and a Council of Ten were selected, and
by secret ballot the Ten chose from their own number a Council of Three.
All these were Government spies, then, and every spy was under
surveillance himself--men spoke in whispers in Venice, and no man trusted
his neighbor--not always his own brother.  No man knew who the Council of
Three were--not even the Senate, not even the Doge; the members of that
dread tribunal met at night in a chamber to themselves, masked, and robed
from head to foot in scarlet cloaks, and did not even know each other,
unless by voice.  It was their duty to judge heinous political crimes,
and from their sentence there was no appeal.  A nod to the executioner
was sufficient.  The doomed man was marched down a hall and out at a
door-way into the covered Bridge of Sighs, through it and into the
dungeon and unto his death.  At no time in his transit was he visible to
any save his conductor.  If a man had an enemy in those old days, the
cleverest thing he could do was to slip a note for the Council of Three
into the Lion's mouth, saying "This man is plotting against the
Government."  If the awful Three found no proof, ten to one they would
drown him anyhow, because he was a deep rascal, since his plots were
unsolvable.  Masked judges and masked executioners, with unlimited power,
and no appeal from their judgements, in that hard, cruel age, were not
likely to be lenient with men they suspected yet could not convict.

We walked through the hall of the Council of Ten, and presently entered
the infernal den of the Council of Three.

The table around which they had sat was there still, and likewise the
stations where the masked inquisitors and executioners formerly stood,
frozen, upright and silent, till they received a bloody order, and then,
without a word, moved off like the inexorable machines they were, to
carry it out.  The frescoes on the walls were startlingly suited to the
place.  In all the other saloons, the halls, the great state chambers of
the palace, the walls and ceilings were bright with gilding, rich with
elaborate carving, and resplendent with gallant pictures of Venetian
victories in war, and Venetian display in foreign courts, and hallowed
with portraits of the Virgin, the Saviour of men, and the holy saints
that preached the Gospel of Peace upon earth--but here, in dismal
contrast, were none but pictures of death and dreadful suffering!--not a
living figure but was writhing in torture, not a dead one but was smeared
with blood, gashed with wounds, and distorted with the agonies that had
taken away its life!

From the palace to the gloomy prison is but a step--one might almost jump
across the narrow canal that intervenes.  The ponderous stone Bridge of
Sighs crosses it at the second story--a bridge that is a covered tunnel--
you can not be seen when you walk in it.  It is partitioned lengthwise,
and through one compartment walked such as bore light sentences in
ancient times, and through the other marched sadly the wretches whom the
Three had doomed to lingering misery and utter oblivion in the dungeons,
or to sudden and mysterious death.  Down below the level of the water, by
the light of smoking torches, we were shown the damp, thick-walled cells
where many a proud patrician's life was eaten away by the long-drawn
miseries of solitary imprisonment--without light, air, books; naked,
unshaven, uncombed, covered with vermin; his useless tongue forgetting
its office, with none to speak to; the days and nights of his life no
longer marked, but merged into one eternal eventless night; far away from
all cheerful sounds, buried in the silence of a tomb; forgotten by his
helpless friends, and his fate a dark mystery to them forever; losing his
own memory at last, and knowing no more who he was or how he came there;
devouring the loaf of bread and drinking the water that were thrust into
the cell by unseen hands, and troubling his worn spirit no more with
hopes and fears and doubts and longings to be free; ceasing to scratch
vain prayers and complainings on walls where none, not even himself,
could see them, and resigning himself to hopeless apathy, driveling
childishness, lunacy!  Many and many a sorrowful story like this these
stony walls could tell if they could but speak.

In a little narrow corridor, near by, they showed us where many a
prisoner, after lying in the dungeons until he was forgotten by all save
his persecutors, was brought by masked executioners and garroted, or
sewed up in a sack, passed through a little window to a boat, at dead of
night, and taken to some remote spot and drowned.

They used to show to visitors the implements of torture wherewith the
Three were wont to worm secrets out of the accused--villainous machines
for crushing thumbs; the stocks where a prisoner sat immovable while
water fell drop by drop upon his head till the torture was more than
humanity could bear; and a devilish contrivance of steel, which inclosed
a prisoner's head like a shell, and crushed it slowly by means of a
screw.  It bore the stains of blood that had trickled through its joints
long ago, and on one side it had a projection whereon the torturer rested
his elbow comfortably and bent down his ear to catch the moanings of the
sufferer perishing within.

Of course we went to see the venerable relic of the ancient glory of
Venice, with its pavements worn and broken by the passing feet of a
thousand years of plebeians and patricians--The Cathedral of St. Mark.
It is built entirely of precious marbles, brought from the Orient--
nothing in its composition is domestic.  Its hoary traditions make it an
object of absorbing interest to even the most careless stranger, and thus
far it had interest for me; but no further.  I could not go into
ecstasies over its coarse mosaics, its unlovely Byzantine architecture,
or its five hundred curious interior columns from as many distant
quarries.  Every thing was worn out--every block of stone was smooth and
almost shapeless with the polishing hands and shoulders of loungers who
devoutly idled here in by-gone centuries and have died and gone to the
dev--no, simply died, I mean.

Under the altar repose the ashes of St. Mark--and Matthew, Luke and John,
too, for all I know.  Venice reveres those relics above all things
earthly.  For fourteen hundred years St. Mark has been her patron saint.
Every thing about the city seems to be named after him or so named as to
refer to him in some way--so named, or some purchase rigged in some way
to scrape a sort of hurrahing acquaintance with him.  That seems to be
the idea.  To be on good terms with St. Mark, seems to be the very summit
of Venetian ambition.  They say St. Mark had a tame lion, and used to
travel with him--and every where that St. Mark went, the lion was sure to
go.  It was his protector, his friend, his librarian.  And so the Winged
Lion of St. Mark, with the open Bible under his paw, is a favorite emblem
in the grand old city.  It casts its shadow from the most ancient pillar
in Venice, in the Grand Square of St. Mark, upon the throngs of free
citizens below, and has so done for many a long century.  The winged lion
is found every where--and doubtless here, where the winged lion is, no
harm can come.

St. Mark died at Alexandria, in Egypt.  He was martyred, I think.
However, that has nothing to do with my legend.  About the founding of
the city of Venice--say four hundred and fifty years after Christ--(for
Venice is much younger than any other Italian city,) a priest dreamed
that an angel told him that until the remains of St. Mark were brought to
Venice, the city could never rise to high distinction among the nations;
that the body must be captured, brought to the city, and a magnificent
church built over it; and that if ever the Venetians allowed the Saint to
be removed from his new resting-place, in that day Venice would perish
from off the face of the earth.  The priest proclaimed his dream, and
forthwith Venice set about procuring the corpse of St. Mark.  One
expedition after another tried and failed, but the project was never
abandoned during four hundred years.  At last it was secured by
stratagem, in the year eight hundred and something.  The commander of a
Venetian expedition disguised himself, stole the bones, separated them,
and packed them in vessels filled with lard.  The religion of Mahomet
causes its devotees to abhor anything that is in the nature of pork, and
so when the Christian was stopped by the officers at the gates of the
city, they only glanced once into his precious baskets, then turned up
their noses at the unholy lard, and let him go.  The bones were buried in
the vaults of the grand cathedral, which had been waiting long years to
receive them, and thus the safety and the greatness of Venice were
secured.  And to this day there be those in Venice who believe that if
those holy ashes were stolen away, the ancient city would vanish like a
dream, and its foundations be buried forever in the unremembering sea.




CHAPTER XXIII.

The Venetian gondola is as free and graceful, in its gliding movement, as
a serpent.  It is twenty or thirty feet long, and is narrow and deep,
like a canoe; its sharp bow and stern sweep upward from the water like
the horns of a crescent with the abruptness of the curve slightly
modified.

The bow is ornamented with a steel comb with a battle-ax attachment which
threatens to cut passing boats in two occasionally, but never does.  The
gondola is painted black because in the zenith of Venetian magnificence
the gondolas became too gorgeous altogether, and the Senate decreed that
all such display must cease, and a solemn, unembellished black be
substituted.  If the truth were known, it would doubtless appear that
rich plebeians grew too prominent in their affectation of patrician show
on the Grand Canal, and required a wholesome snubbing.  Reverence for the
hallowed Past and its traditions keeps the dismal fashion in force now
that the compulsion exists no longer.  So let it remain.  It is the color
of mourning.  Venice mourns.  The stern of the boat is decked over and
the gondolier stands there.  He uses a single oar--a long blade, of
course, for he stands nearly erect.  A wooden peg, a foot and a half
high, with two slight crooks or curves in one side of it and one in the
other, projects above the starboard gunwale.  Against that peg the
gondolier takes a purchase with his oar, changing it at intervals to the
other side of the peg or dropping it into another of the crooks, as the
steering of the craft may demand--and how in the world he can back and
fill, shoot straight ahead, or flirt suddenly around a corner, and make
the oar stay in those insignificant notches, is a problem to me and a
never diminishing matter of interest.  I am afraid I study the
gondolier's marvelous skill more than I do the sculptured palaces we
glide among.  He cuts a corner so closely, now and then, or misses
another gondola by such an imperceptible hair-breadth that I feel myself
"scrooching," as the children say, just as one does when a buggy wheel
grazes his elbow.  But he makes all his calculations with the nicest
precision, and goes darting in and out among a Broadway confusion of busy
craft with the easy confidence of the educated hackman.  He never makes a
mistake.

Sometimes we go flying down the great canals at such a gait that we can
get only the merest glimpses into front doors, and again, in obscure
alleys in the suburbs, we put on a solemnity suited to the silence, the
mildew, the stagnant waters, the clinging weeds, the deserted houses and
the general lifelessness of the place, and move to the spirit of grave
meditation.

The gondolier is a picturesque rascal for all he wears no satin harness,
no plumed bonnet, no silken tights.  His attitude is stately; he is lithe
and supple; all his movements are full of grace.  When his long canoe,
and his fine figure, towering from its high perch on the stern, are cut
against the evening sky, they make a picture that is very novel and
striking to a foreign eye.

We sit in the cushioned carriage-body of a cabin, with the curtains
drawn, and smoke, or read, or look out upon the passing boats, the
houses, the bridges, the people, and enjoy ourselves much more than we
could in a buggy jolting over our cobble-stone pavements at home.  This
is the gentlest, pleasantest locomotion we have ever known.

But it seems queer--ever so queer--to see a boat doing duty as a private
carriage.  We see business men come to the front door, step into a
gondola, instead of a street car, and go off down town to the counting-
room.

We see visiting young ladies stand on the stoop, and laugh, and kiss
good-bye, and flirt their fans and say "Come soon--now do--you've been
just as mean as ever you can be--mother's dying to see you--and we've
moved into the new house, O such a love of a place!--so convenient to the
post office and the church, and the Young Men's Christian Association;
and we do have such fishing, and such carrying on, and such swimming-
matches in the back yard--Oh, you must come--no distance at all, and if
you go down through by St. Mark's and the Bridge of Sighs, and cut
through the alley and come up by the church of Santa Maria dei Frari, and
into the Grand Canal, there isn't a bit of current--now do come, Sally
Maria--by-bye!" and then the little humbug trips down the steps, jumps
into the gondola, says, under her breath, "Disagreeable old thing, I hope
she won't!" goes skimming away, round the corner; and the other girl
slams the street door and says, "Well, that infliction's over, any way,--
but I suppose I've got to go and see her--tiresome stuck-up thing!"
Human nature appears to be just the same, all over the world.  We see the
diffident young man, mild of moustache, affluent of hair, indigent of
brain, elegant of costume, drive up to her father's mansion, tell his
hackman to bail out and wait, start fearfully up the steps and meet "the
old gentleman" right on the threshold!--hear him ask what street the new
British Bank is in--as if that were what he came for--and then bounce
into his boat and skurry away with his coward heart in his boots!--see
him come sneaking around the corner again, directly, with a crack of the
curtain open toward the old gentleman's disappearing gondola, and out
scampers his Susan with a flock of little Italian endearments fluttering
from her lips, and goes to drive with him in the watery avenues down
toward the Rialto.

We see the ladies go out shopping, in the most natural way, and flit from
street to street and from store to store, just in the good old fashion,
except that they leave the gondola, instead of a private carriage,
waiting at the curbstone a couple of hours for them,--waiting while they
make the nice young clerks pull down tons and tons of silks and velvets
and moire antiques and those things; and then they buy a paper of pins
and go paddling away to confer the rest of their disastrous patronage on
some other firm.  And they always have their purchases sent home just in
the good old way.  Human nature is very much the same all over the world;
and it is so like my dear native home to see a Venetian lady go into a
store and buy ten cents' worth of blue ribbon and have it sent home in a
scow.  Ah, it is these little touches of nature that move one to tears in
these far-off foreign lands.

We see little girls and boys go out in gondolas with their nurses, for an
airing.  We see staid families, with prayer-book and beads, enter the
gondola dressed in their Sunday best, and float away to church.  And at
midnight we see the theatre break up and discharge its swarm of hilarious
youth and beauty; we hear the cries of the hackman-gondoliers, and behold
the struggling crowd jump aboard, and the black multitude of boats go
skimming down the moonlit avenues; we see them separate here and there,
and disappear up divergent streets; we hear the faint sounds of laughter
and of shouted farewells floating up out of the distance; and then, the
strange pageant being gone, we have lonely stretches of glittering water
--of stately buildings--of blotting shadows--of weird stone faces
creeping into the moonlight--of deserted bridges--of motionless boats at
anchor.  And over all broods that mysterious stillness, that stealthy
quiet, that befits so well this old dreaming Venice.

We have been pretty much every where in our gondola.  We have bought
beads and photographs in the stores, and wax matches in the Great Square
of St. Mark.  The last remark suggests a digression.  Every body goes to
this vast square in the evening.  The military bands play in the centre
of it and countless couples of ladies and gentlemen promenade up and down
on either side, and platoons of them are constantly drifting away toward
the old Cathedral, and by the venerable column with the Winged Lion of
St. Mark on its top, and out to where the boats lie moored; and other
platoons are as constantly arriving from the gondolas and joining the
great throng.  Between the promenaders and the side-walks are seated
hundreds and hundreds of people at small tables, smoking and taking
granita, (a first cousin to ice-cream;) on the side-walks are more
employing themselves in the same way.  The shops in the first floor of
the tall rows of buildings that wall in three sides of the square are
brilliantly lighted, the air is filled with music and merry voices, and
altogether the scene is as bright and spirited and full of cheerfulness
as any man could desire.  We enjoy it thoroughly.  Very many of the young
women are exceedingly pretty and dress with rare good taste.  We are
gradually and laboriously learning the ill-manners of staring them
unflinchingly in the face--not because such conduct is agreeable to us,
but because it is the custom of the country and they say the girls like
it.  We wish to learn all the curious, outlandish ways of all the
different countries, so that we can "show off" and astonish people when
we get home.  We wish to excite the envy of our untraveled friends with
our strange foreign fashions which we can't shake off.  All our
passengers are paying strict attention to this thing, with the end in
view which I have mentioned.  The gentle reader will never, never know
what a consummate ass he can become, until he goes abroad.  I speak now,
of course, in the supposition that the gentle reader has not been abroad,
and therefore is not already a consummate ass.  If the case be otherwise,
I beg his pardon and extend to him the cordial hand of fellowship and
call him brother.  I shall always delight to meet an ass after my own
heart when I shall have finished my travels.

On this subject let me remark that there are Americans abroad in Italy
who have actually forgotten their mother tongue in three months--forgot
it in France.  They can not even write their address in English in a
hotel register.  I append these evidences, which I copied verbatim from
the register of a hotel in a certain Italian city:

     "John P. Whitcomb, Etats Unis.  "Wm. L. Ainsworth, travailleur (he
     meant traveler, I suppose,) Etats Unis.  "George P. Morton et fils,
     d'Amerique.  "Lloyd B.  Williams, et trois amis, ville de Boston,
     Amerique.  "J. Ellsworth Baker, tout de suite de France, place de
     naissance Amerique, destination la Grand Bretagne."

I love this sort of people.  A lady passenger of ours tells of a fellow-
citizen of hers who spent eight weeks in Paris and then returned home and
addressed his dearest old bosom friend Herbert as Mr. "Er-bare!"  He
apologized, though, and said, "'Pon my soul it is aggravating, but I
cahn't help it--I have got so used to speaking nothing but French, my
dear Erbare--damme there it goes again!--got so used to French
pronunciation that I cahn't get rid of it--it is positively annoying, I
assure you."  This entertaining idiot, whose name was Gordon, allowed
himself to be hailed three times in the street before he paid any
attention, and then begged a thousand pardons and said he had grown so
accustomed to hearing himself addressed as M'sieu Gor-r-dong," with a
roll to the r, that he had forgotten the legitimate sound of his name!
He wore a rose in his button-hole; he gave the French salutation--two
flips of the hand in front of the face; he called Paris Pairree in
ordinary English conversation; he carried envelopes bearing foreign
postmarks protruding from his breast-pocket; he cultivated a moustache
and imperial, and did what else he could to suggest to the beholder his
pet fancy that he resembled Louis Napoleon--and in a spirit of
thankfulness which is entirely unaccountable, considering the slim
foundation there was for it, he praised his Maker that he was as he was,
and went on enjoying his little life just the same as if he really had
been deliberately designed and erected by the great Architect of the
Universe.

Think of our Whitcombs, and our Ainsworths and our Williamses writing
themselves down in dilapidated French in foreign hotel registers!  We
laugh at Englishmen, when we are at home, for sticking so sturdily to
their national ways and customs, but we look back upon it from abroad
very forgivingly.  It is not pleasant to see an American thrusting his
nationality forward obtrusively in a foreign land, but Oh, it is pitiable
to see him making of himself a thing that is neither male nor female,
neither fish, flesh, nor fowl--a poor, miserable, hermaphrodite
Frenchman!

Among a long list of churches, art galleries, and such things, visited by
us in Venice, I shall mention only one--the church of Santa Maria dei
Frari.  It is about five hundred years old, I believe, and stands on
twelve hundred thousand piles.  In it lie the body of Canova and the
heart of Titian, under magnificent monuments.  Titian died at the age of
almost one hundred years.  A plague which swept away fifty thousand lives
was raging at the time, and there is notable evidence of the reverence in
which the great painter was held, in the fact that to him alone the state
permitted a public funeral in all that season of terror and death.

In this church, also, is a monument to the doge Foscari, whose name a
once resident of Venice, Lord Byron, has made permanently famous.

The monument to the doge Giovanni Pesaro, in this church, is a curiosity
in the way of mortuary adornment.  It is eighty feet high and is fronted
like some fantastic pagan temple.  Against it stand four colossal
Nubians, as black as night, dressed in white marble garments.  The black
legs are bare, and through rents in sleeves and breeches, the skin, of
shiny black marble, shows.  The artist was as ingenious as his funeral
designs were absurd.  There are two bronze skeletons bearing scrolls, and
two great dragons uphold the sarcophagus.  On high, amid all this
grotesqueness, sits the departed doge.

In the conventual buildings attached to this church are the state
archives of Venice.  We did not see them, but they are said to number
millions of documents.  "They are the records of centuries of the most
watchful, observant and suspicious government that ever existed--in which
every thing was written down and nothing spoken out."  They fill nearly
three hundred rooms.  Among them are manuscripts from the archives of
nearly two thousand families, monasteries and convents.  The secret
history of Venice for a thousand years is here--its plots, its hidden
trials, its assassinations, its commissions of hireling spies and masked
bravoes--food, ready to hand, for a world of dark and mysterious
romances.

Yes, I think we have seen all of Venice.  We have seen, in these old
churches, a profusion of costly and elaborate sepulchre ornamentation
such as we never dreampt of before.  We have stood in the dim religious
light of these hoary sanctuaries, in the midst of long ranks of dusty
monuments and effigies of the great dead of Venice, until we seemed
drifting back, back, back, into the solemn past, and looking upon the
scenes and mingling with the peoples of a remote antiquity.  We have been
in a half-waking sort of dream all the time.  I do not know how else to
describe the feeling.  A part of our being has remained still in the
nineteenth century, while another part of it has seemed in some
unaccountable way walking among the phantoms of the tenth.

We have seen famous pictures until our eyes are weary with looking at
them and refuse to find interest in them any longer.  And what wonder,
when there are twelve hundred pictures by Palma the Younger in Venice and
fifteen hundred by Tintoretto?  And behold there are Titians and the
works of other artists in proportion.  We have seen Titian's celebrated
Cain and Abel, his David and Goliah, his Abraham's Sacrifice.  We have
seen Tintoretto's monster picture, which is seventy-four feet long and I
do not know how many feet high, and thought it a very commodious picture.
We have seen pictures of martyrs enough, and saints enough, to regenerate
the world.  I ought not to confess it, but still, since one has no
opportunity in America to acquire a critical judgment in art, and since I
could not hope to become educated in it in Europe in a few short weeks, I
may therefore as well acknowledge with such apologies as may be due, that
to me it seemed that when I had seen one of these martyrs I had seen them
all.  They all have a marked family resemblance to each other, they dress
alike, in coarse monkish robes and sandals, they are all bald headed,
they all stand in about the same attitude, and without exception they are
gazing heavenward with countenances which the Ainsworths, the Mortons and
the Williamses, et fils, inform me are full of "expression."  To me there
is nothing tangible about these imaginary portraits, nothing that I can
grasp and take a living interest in.  If great Titian had only been
gifted with prophecy, and had skipped a martyr, and gone over to England
and painted a portrait of Shakspeare, even as a youth, which we could all
have confidence in now, the world down to the latest generations would
have forgiven him the lost martyr in the rescued seer.  I think posterity
could have spared one more martyr for the sake of a great historical
picture of Titian's time and painted by his brush--such as Columbus
returning in chains from the discovery of a world, for instance.  The old
masters did paint some Venetian historical pictures, and these we did not
tire of looking at, notwithstanding representations of the formal
introduction of defunct doges to the Virgin Mary in regions beyond the
clouds clashed rather harshly with the proprieties, it seemed to us.

But humble as we are, and unpretending, in the matter of art, our
researches among the painted monks and martyrs have not been wholly in
vain.  We have striven hard to learn.  We have had some success.  We have
mastered some things, possibly of trifling import in the eyes of the
learned, but to us they give pleasure, and we take as much pride in our
little acquirements as do others who have learned far more, and we love
to display them full as well.  When we see a monk going about with a lion
and looking tranquilly up to heaven, we know that that is St. Mark.  When
we see a monk with a book and a pen, looking tranquilly up to heaven,
trying to think of a word, we know that that is St. Matthew.  When we see
a monk sitting on a rock, looking tranquilly up to heaven, with a human
skull beside him, and without other baggage, we know that that is St.
Jerome.  Because we know that he always went flying light in the matter
of baggage.  When we see a party looking tranquilly up to heaven,
unconscious that his body is shot through and through with arrows, we
know that that is St. Sebastian.  When we see other monks looking
tranquilly up to heaven, but having no trade-mark, we always ask who
those parties are.  We do this because we humbly wish to learn.  We have
seen thirteen thousand St. Jeromes, and twenty-two thousand St. Marks,
and sixteen thousand St. Matthews, and sixty thousand St. Sebastians, and
four millions of assorted monks, undesignated, and we feel encouraged to
believe that when we have seen some more of these various pictures, and
had a larger experience, we shall begin to take an absorbing interest in
them like our cultivated countrymen from Amerique.

Now it does give me real pain to speak in this almost unappreciative way
of the old masters and their martyrs, because good friends of mine in the
ship--friends who do thoroughly and conscientiously appreciate them and
are in every way competent to discriminate between good pictures and
inferior ones--have urged me for my own sake not to make public the fact
that I lack this appreciation and this critical discrimination myself.  I
believe that what I have written and may still write about pictures will
give them pain, and I am honestly sorry for it.  I even promised that I
would hide my uncouth sentiments in my own breast.  But alas!  I never
could keep a promise.  I do not blame myself for this weakness, because
the fault must lie in my physical organization.  It is likely that such a
very liberal amount of space was given to the organ which enables me to
make promises, that the organ which should enable me to keep them was
crowded out.  But I grieve not.  I like no half-way things.  I had rather
have one faculty nobly developed than two faculties of mere ordinary
capacity.  I certainly meant to keep that promise, but I find I can not
do it.  It is impossible to travel through Italy without speaking of
pictures, and can I see them through others' eyes?

If I did not so delight in the grand pictures that are spread before me
every day of my life by that monarch of all the old masters, Nature, I
should come to believe, sometimes, that I had in me no appreciation of
the beautiful, whatsoever.

It seems to me that whenever I glory to think that for once I have
discovered an ancient painting that is beautiful and worthy of all
praise, the pleasure it gives me is an infallible proof that it is not a
beautiful picture and not in any wise worthy of commendation.  This very
thing has occurred more times than I can mention, in Venice.  In every
single instance the guide has crushed out my swelling enthusiasm with the
remark:

"It is nothing--it is of the Renaissance."

I did not know what in the mischief the Renaissance was, and so always I
had to simply say,

"Ah!  so it is--I had not observed it before."

I could not bear to be ignorant before a cultivated negro, the offspring
of a South Carolina slave.  But it occurred too often for even my self-
complacency, did that exasperating "It is nothing--it is of the
Renaissance."  I said at last:

"Who is this Renaissance?  Where did he come from?  Who gave him
permission to cram the Republic with his execrable daubs?"

We learned, then, that Renaissance was not a man; that renaissance was a
term used to signify what was at best but an imperfect rejuvenation of
art.  The guide said that after Titian's time and the time of the other
great names we had grown so familiar with, high art declined; then it
partially rose again--an inferior sort of painters sprang up, and these
shabby pictures were the work of their hands.  Then I said, in my heat,
that I "wished to goodness high art had declined five hundred years
sooner."  The Renaissance pictures suit me very well, though sooth to say
its school were too much given to painting real men and did not indulge
enough in martyrs.

The guide I have spoken of is the only one we have had yet who knew any
thing.  He was born in South Carolina, of slave parents.  They came to
Venice while he was an infant.  He has grown up here.  He is well
educated.  He reads, writes, and speaks English, Italian, Spanish, and
French, with perfect facility; is a worshipper of art and thoroughly
conversant with it; knows the history of Venice by heart and never tires
of talking of her illustrious career.  He dresses better than any of us,
I think, and is daintily polite.  Negroes are deemed as good as white
people, in Venice, and so this man feels no desire to go back to his
native land.  His judgment is correct.

I have had another shave.  I was writing in our front room this afternoon
and trying hard to keep my attention on my work and refrain from looking
out upon the canal.  I was resisting the soft influences of the climate
as well as I could, and endeavoring to overcome the desire to be indolent
and happy.  The boys sent for a barber.  They asked me if I would be
shaved.  I reminded them of my tortures in Genoa, Milan, Como; of my
declaration that I would suffer no more on Italian soil.  I said "Not any
for me, if you please."

I wrote on.  The barber began on the doctor.  I heard him say:

"Dan, this is the easiest shave I have had since we left the ship."

He said again, presently:

"Why Dan, a man could go to sleep with this man shaving him."

Dan took the chair.  Then he said:

"Why this is Titian.  This is one of the old masters."

I wrote on.  Directly Dan said:

"Doctor, it is perfect luxury.  The ship's barber isn't any thing to
him."

My rough beard wee distressing me beyond measure.  The barber was rolling
up his apparatus.  The temptation was too strong.  I said:

"Hold on, please.  Shave me also."

I sat down in the chair and closed my eyes.  The barber soaped my face,
and then took his razor and gave me a rake that well nigh threw me into
convulsions.  I jumped out of the chair: Dan and the doctor were both
wiping blood off their faces and laughing.

I said it was a mean, disgraceful fraud.

They said that the misery of this shave had gone so far beyond any thing
they had ever experienced before, that they could not bear the idea of
losing such a chance of hearing a cordial opinion from me on the subject.

It was shameful.  But there was no help for it.  The skinning was begun
and had to be finished.  The tears flowed with every rake, and so did the
fervent execrations.  The barber grew confused, and brought blood every
time.  I think the boys enjoyed it better than any thing they have seen
or heard since they left home.

We have seen the Campanile, and Byron's house and Balbi's the geographer,
and the palaces of all the ancient dukes and doges of Venice, and we have
seen their effeminate descendants airing their nobility in fashionable
French attire in the Grand Square of St. Mark, and eating ices and
drinking cheap wines, instead of wearing gallant coats of mail and
destroying fleets and armies as their great ancestors did in the days of
Venetian glory.  We have seen no bravoes with poisoned stilettos, no
masks, no wild carnival; but we have seen the ancient pride of Venice,
the grim Bronze Horses that figure in a thousand legends.  Venice may
well cherish them, for they are the only horses she ever had.  It is said
there are hundreds of people in this curious city who never have seen a
living horse in their lives.  It is entirely true, no doubt.

And so, having satisfied ourselves, we depart to-morrow, and leave the
venerable Queen of the Republics to summon her vanished ships, and
marshal her shadowy armies, and know again in dreams the pride of her old
renown.




CHAPTER XXIV.

Some of the Quaker City's passengers had arrived in Venice from
Switzerland and other lands before we left there, and others were
expected every day.  We heard of no casualties among them, and no
sickness.

We were a little fatigued with sight seeing, and so we rattled through a
good deal of country by rail without caring to stop.  I took few notes.
I find no mention of Bologna in my memorandum book, except that we
arrived there in good season, but saw none of the sausages for which the
place is so justly celebrated.

Pistoia awoke but a passing interest.

Florence pleased us for a while.  I think we appreciated the great figure
of David in the grand square, and the sculptured group they call the Rape
of the Sabines.  We wandered through the endless collections of paintings
and statues of the Pitti and Ufizzi galleries, of course.  I make that
statement in self-defense; there let it stop.  I could not rest under the
imputation that I visited Florence and did not traverse its weary miles
of picture galleries.  We tried indolently to recollect something about
the Guelphs and Ghibelines and the other historical cut-throats whose
quarrels and assassinations make up so large a share of Florentine
history, but the subject was not attractive.  We had been robbed of all
the fine mountain scenery on our little journey by a system of
railroading that had three miles of tunnel to a hundred yards of
daylight, and we were not inclined to be sociable with Florence.  We had
seen the spot, outside the city somewhere, where these people had allowed
the bones of Galileo to rest in unconsecrated ground for an age because
his great discovery that the world turned around was regarded as a
damning heresy by the church; and we know that long after the world had
accepted his theory and raised his name high in the list of its great
men, they had still let him rot there.  That we had lived to see his dust
in honored sepulture in the church of Santa Croce we owed to a society of
literati, and not to Florence or her rulers.  We saw Dante's tomb in that
church, also, but we were glad to know that his body was not in it; that
the ungrateful city that had exiled him and persecuted him would give
much to have it there, but need not hope to ever secure that high honor
to herself.  Medicis are good enough for Florence.  Let her plant Medicis
and build grand monuments over them to testify how gratefully she was
wont to lick the hand that scourged her.

Magnanimous Florence!  Her jewelry marts are filled with artists in
mosaic.  Florentine mosaics are the choicest in all the world.  Florence
loves to have that said.  Florence is proud of it.  Florence would foster
this specialty of hers.  She is grateful to the artists that bring to her
this high credit and fill her coffers with foreign money, and so she
encourages them with pensions.  With pensions!  Think of the lavishness
of it.  She knows that people who piece together the beautiful trifles
die early, because the labor is so confining, and so exhausting to hand
and brain, and so she has decreed that all these people who reach the age
of sixty shall have a pension after that!  I have not heard that any of
them have called for their dividends yet.  One man did fight along till
he was sixty, and started after his pension, but it appeared that there
had been a mistake of a year in his family record, and so he gave it up
and died.

These artists will take particles of stone or glass no larger than a
mustard seed, and piece them together on a sleeve button or a shirt stud,
so smoothly and with such nice adjustment of the delicate shades of color
the pieces bear, as to form a pigmy rose with stem, thorn, leaves, petals
complete, and all as softly and as truthfully tinted as though Nature had
builded it herself.  They will counterfeit a fly, or a high-toned bug, or
the ruined Coliseum, within the cramped circle of a breastpin, and do it
so deftly and so neatly that any man might think a master painted it.

I saw a little table in the great mosaic school in Florence--a little
trifle of a centre table--whose top was made of some sort of precious
polished stone, and in the stone was inlaid the figure of a flute, with
bell-mouth and a mazy complication of keys.  No painting in the world
could have been softer or richer; no shading out of one tint into another
could have been more perfect; no work of art of any kind could have been
more faultless than this flute, and yet to count the multitude of little
fragments of stone of which they swore it was formed would bankrupt any
man's arithmetic!  I do not think one could have seen where two particles
joined each other with eyes of ordinary shrewdness.  Certainly we could
detect no such blemish.  This table-top cost the labor of one man for ten
long years, so they said, and it was for sale for thirty-five thousand
dollars.

We went to the Church of Santa Croce, from time to time, in Florence, to
weep over the tombs of Michael Angelo, Raphael and Machiavelli,
(I suppose they are buried there, but it may be that they reside
elsewhere and rent their tombs to other parties--such being the fashion
in Italy,) and between times we used to go and stand on the bridges and
admire the Arno.  It is popular to admire the Arno.  It is a great
historical creek with four feet in the channel and some scows floating
around.  It would be a very plausible river if they would pump some water
into it.  They all call it a river, and they honestly think it is a
river, do these dark and bloody Florentines.  They even help out the
delusion by building bridges over it.  I do not see why they are too good
to wade.

How the fatigues and annoyances of travel fill one with bitter prejudices
sometimes!  I might enter Florence under happier auspices a month hence
and find it all beautiful, all attractive.  But I do not care to think of
it now, at all, nor of its roomy shops filled to the ceiling with snowy
marble and alabaster copies of all the celebrated sculptures in Europe--
copies so enchanting to the eye that I wonder how they can really be
shaped like the dingy petrified nightmares they are the portraits of.  I
got lost in Florence at nine o'clock, one night, and staid lost in that
labyrinth of narrow streets and long rows of vast buildings that look all
alike, until toward three o'clock in the morning.  It was a pleasant
night and at first there were a good many people abroad, and there were
cheerful lights about.  Later, I grew accustomed to prowling about
mysterious drifts and tunnels and astonishing and interesting myself with
coming around corners expecting to find the hotel staring me in the face,
and not finding it doing any thing of the kind.  Later still, I felt
tired.  I soon felt remarkably tired.  But there was no one abroad, now--
not even a policeman.  I walked till I was out of all patience, and very
hot and thirsty.  At last, somewhere after one o'clock, I came
unexpectedly to one of the city gates.  I knew then that I was very far
from the hotel.  The soldiers thought I wanted to leave the city, and
they sprang up and barred the way with their muskets.  I said:

"Hotel d'Europe!"

It was all the Italian I knew, and I was not certain whether that was
Italian or French.  The soldiers looked stupidly at each other and at me,
and shook their heads and took me into custody.  I said I wanted to go
home.  They did not understand me.  They took me into the guard-house and
searched me, but they found no sedition on me.  They found a small piece
of soap (we carry soap with us, now,) and I made them a present of it,
seeing that they regarded it as a curiosity.  I continued to say Hotel
d'Europe, and they continued to shake their heads, until at last a young
soldier nodding in the corner roused up and said something.  He said he
knew where the hotel was, I suppose, for the officer of the guard sent
him away with me.  We walked a hundred or a hundred and fifty miles, it
appeared to me, and then he got lost.  He turned this way and that, and
finally gave it up and signified that he was going to spend the remainder
of the morning trying to find the city gate again.  At that moment it
struck me that there was something familiar about the house over the way.
It was the hotel!

It was a happy thing for me that there happened to be a soldier there
that knew even as much as he did; for they say that the policy of the
government is to change the soldiery from one place to another constantly
and from country to city, so that they can not become acquainted with the
people and grow lax in their duties and enter into plots and conspiracies
with friends.  My experiences of Florence were chiefly unpleasant.  I
will change the subject.

At Pisa we climbed up to the top of the strangest structure the world has
any knowledge of--the Leaning Tower.  As every one knows, it is in the
neighborhood of one hundred and eighty feet high--and I beg to observe
that one hundred and eighty feet reach to about the hight of four
ordinary three-story buildings piled one on top of the other, and is a
very considerable altitude for a tower of uniform thickness to aspire to,
even when it stands upright--yet this one leans more than thirteen feet
out of the perpendicular.  It is seven hundred years old, but neither
history or tradition say whether it was built as it is, purposely, or
whether one of its sides has settled.  There is no record that it ever
stood straight up.  It is built of marble.  It is an airy and a beautiful
structure, and each of its eight stories is encircled by fluted columns,
some of marble and some of granite, with Corinthian capitals that were
handsome when they were new.  It is a bell tower, and in its top hangs a
chime of ancient bells.  The winding staircase within is dark, but one
always knows which side of the tower he is on because of his naturally
gravitating from one side to the other of the staircase with the rise or
dip of the tower.  Some of the stone steps are foot-worn only on one end;
others only on the other end; others only in the middle.  To look down
into the tower from the top is like looking down into a tilted well.  A
rope that hangs from the centre of the top touches the wall before it
reaches the bottom.  Standing on the summit, one does not feel altogether
comfortable when he looks down from the high side; but to crawl on your
breast to the verge on the lower side and try to stretch your neck out
far enough to see the base of the tower, makes your flesh creep, and
convinces you for a single moment in spite of all your philosophy, that
the building is falling.  You handle yourself very carefully, all the
time, under the silly impression that if it is not falling, your trifling
weight will start it unless you are particular not to "bear down" on it.

The Duomo, close at hand, is one of the finest cathedrals in Europe.  It
is eight hundred years old.  Its grandeur has outlived the high
commercial prosperity and the political importance that made it a
necessity, or rather a possibility.  Surrounded by poverty, decay and
ruin, it conveys to us a more tangible impression of the former greatness
of Pisa than books could give us.

The Baptistery, which is a few years older than the Leaning Tower, is a
stately rotunda, of huge dimensions, and was a costly structure.  In it
hangs the lamp whose measured swing suggested to Galileo the pendulum.
It looked an insignificant thing to have conferred upon the world of
science and mechanics such a mighty extension of their dominions as it
has.  Pondering, in its suggestive presence, I seemed to see a crazy
universe of swinging disks, the toiling children of this sedate parent.
He appeared to have an intelligent expression about him of knowing that
he was not a lamp at all; that he was a Pendulum; a pendulum disguised,
for prodigious and inscrutable purposes of his own deep devising, and not
a common pendulum either, but the old original patriarchal Pendulum--the
Abraham Pendulum of the world.

This Baptistery is endowed with the most pleasing echo of all the echoes
we have read of.  The guide sounded two sonorous notes, about half an
octave apart; the echo answered with the most enchanting, the most
melodious, the richest blending of sweet sounds that one can imagine.  It
was like a long-drawn chord of a church organ, infinitely softened by
distance.  I may be extravagant in this matter, but if this be the case
my ear is to blame--not my pen.  I am describing a memory--and one that
will remain long with me.

The peculiar devotional spirit of the olden time, which placed a higher
confidence in outward forms of worship than in the watchful guarding of
the heart against sinful thoughts and the hands against sinful deeds, and
which believed in the protecting virtues of inanimate objects made holy
by contact with holy things, is illustrated in a striking manner in one
of the cemeteries of Pisa.  The tombs are set in soil brought in ships
from the Holy Land ages ago.  To be buried in such ground was regarded by
the ancient Pisans as being more potent for salvation than many masses
purchased of the church and the vowing of many candles to the Virgin.

Pisa is believed to be about three thousand years old.  It was one of the
twelve great cities of ancient Etruria, that commonwealth which has left
so many monuments in testimony of its extraordinary advancement, and so
little history of itself that is tangible and comprehensible.  A Pisan
antiquarian gave me an ancient tear-jug which he averred was full four
thousand years old.  It was found among the ruins of one of the oldest of
the Etruscan cities.  He said it came from a tomb, and was used by some
bereaved family in that remote age when even the Pyramids of Egypt were
young, Damascus a village, Abraham a prattling infant and ancient Troy
not yet [dreampt] of, to receive the tears wept for some lost idol of a
household.  It spoke to us in a language of its own; and with a pathos
more tender than any words might bring, its mute eloquence swept down the
long roll of the centuries with its tale of a vacant chair, a familiar
footstep missed from the threshold, a pleasant voice gone from the
chorus, a vanished form!--a tale which is always so new to us, so
startling, so terrible, so benumbing to the senses, and behold how
threadbare and old it is!  No shrewdly-worded history could have brought
the myths and shadows of that old dreamy age before us clothed with human
flesh and warmed with human sympathies so vividly as did this poor little
unsentient vessel of pottery.

Pisa was a republic in the middle ages, with a government of her own,
armies and navies of her own and a great commerce.  She was a warlike
power, and inscribed upon her banners many a brilliant fight with Genoese
and Turks.  It is said that the city once numbered a population of four
hundred thousand; but her sceptre has passed from her grasp, now, her
ships and her armies are gone, her commerce is dead.  Her battle-flags
bear the mold and the dust of centuries, her marts are deserted, she has
shrunken far within her crumbling walls, and her great population has
diminished to twenty thousand souls.  She has but one thing left to boast
of, and that is not much, viz: she is the second city of Tuscany.

We reached Leghorn in time to see all we wished to see of it long before
the city gates were closed for the evening, and then came on board the
ship.

We felt as though we had been away from home an age.  We never entirely
appreciated, before, what a very pleasant den our state-room is; nor how
jolly it is to sit at dinner in one's own seat in one's own cabin, and
hold familiar conversation with friends in one's own language.  Oh, the
rare happiness of comprehending every single word that is said, and
knowing that every word one says in return will be understood as well!
We would talk ourselves to death, now, only there are only about ten
passengers out of the sixty-five to talk to.  The others are wandering,
we hardly know where.  We shall not go ashore in Leghorn.  We are
surfeited with Italian cities for the present, and much prefer to walk
the familiar quarterdeck and view this one from a distance.

The stupid magnates of this Leghorn government can not understand that so
large a steamer as ours could cross the broad Atlantic with no other
purpose than to indulge a party of ladies and gentlemen in a pleasure
excursion.  It looks too improbable.  It is suspicious, they think.
Something more important must be hidden behind it all.  They can not
understand it, and they scorn the evidence of the ship's papers.  They
have decided at last that we are a battalion of incendiary, blood-thirsty
Garibaldians in disguise!  And in all seriousness they have set a gun-
boat to watch the vessel night and day, with orders to close down on any
revolutionary movement in a twinkling!  Police boats are on patrol duty
about us all the time, and it is as much as a sailor's liberty is worth
to show himself in a red shirt.  These policemen follow the executive
officer's boat from shore to ship and from ship to shore and watch his
dark maneuvres with a vigilant eye.  They will arrest him yet unless he
assumes an expression of countenance that shall have less of carnage,
insurrection and sedition in it.  A visit paid in a friendly way to
General Garibaldi yesterday (by cordial invitation,) by some of our
passengers, has gone far to confirm the dread suspicions the government
harbors toward us.  It is thought the friendly visit was only the cloak
of a bloody conspiracy.  These people draw near and watch us when we
bathe in the sea from the ship's side.  Do they think we are communing
with a reserve force of rascals at the bottom?

It is said that we shall probably be quarantined at Naples.  Two or three
of us prefer not to run this risk.  Therefore, when we are rested, we
propose to go in a French steamer to Civita and from thence to Rome, and
by rail to Naples.  They do not quarantine the cars, no matter where they
got their passengers from.




CHAPTER XXV.

There are a good many things about this Italy which I do not understand--
and more especially I can not understand how a bankrupt Government can
have such palatial railroad depots and such marvels of turnpikes.  Why,
these latter are as hard as adamant, as straight as a line, as smooth as
a floor, and as white as snow.  When it is too dark to see any other
object, one can still see the white turnpikes of France and Italy; and
they are clean enough to eat from, without a table-cloth.  And yet no
tolls are charged.

As for the railways--we have none like them.  The cars slide as smoothly
along as if they were on runners.  The depots are vast palaces of cut
marble, with stately colonnades of the same royal stone traversing them
from end to end, and with ample walls and ceilings richly decorated with
frescoes.  The lofty gateways are graced with statues, and the broad
floors are all laid in polished flags of marble.

These things win me more than Italy's hundred galleries of priceless art
treasures, because I can understand the one and am not competent to
appreciate the other.  In the turnpikes, the railways, the depots, and
the new boulevards of uniform houses in Florence and other cities here, I
see the genius of Louis Napoleon, or rather, I see the works of that
statesman imitated.  But Louis has taken care that in France there shall
be a foundation for these improvements--money.  He has always the
wherewithal to back up his projects; they strengthen France and never
weaken her.  Her material prosperity is genuine.  But here the case is
different.  This country is bankrupt.  There is no real foundation for
these great works.  The prosperity they would seem to indicate is a
pretence.  There is no money in the treasury, and so they enfeeble her
instead of strengthening.  Italy has achieved the dearest wish of her
heart and become an independent State--and in so doing she has drawn an
elephant in the political lottery.  She has nothing to feed it on.
Inexperienced in government, she plunged into all manner of useless
expenditure, and swamped her treasury almost in a day.  She squandered
millions of francs on a navy which she did not need, and the first time
she took her new toy into action she got it knocked higher than
Gilderoy's kite--to use the language of the Pilgrims.

But it is an ill-wind that blows nobody good.  A year ago, when Italy saw
utter ruin staring her in the face and her greenbacks hardly worth the
paper they were printed on, her Parliament ventured upon a 'coup de main'
that would have appalled the stoutest of her statesmen under less
desperate circumstances.  They, in a manner, confiscated the domains of
the Church!  This in priest-ridden Italy!  This in a land which has
groped in the midnight of priestly superstition for sixteen hundred
years!  It was a rare good fortune for Italy, the stress of weather that
drove her to break from this prison-house.

They do not call it confiscating the church property.  That would sound
too harshly yet.  But it amounts to that.  There are thousands of
churches in Italy, each with untold millions of treasures stored away in
its closets, and each with its battalion of priests to be supported.
And then there are the estates of the Church--league on league of the
richest lands and the noblest forests in all Italy--all yielding immense
revenues to the Church, and none paying a cent in taxes to the State.
In some great districts the Church owns all the property--lands,
watercourses, woods, mills and factories.  They buy, they sell, they
manufacture, and since they pay no taxes, who can hope to compete with
them?

Well, the Government has seized all this in effect, and will yet seize it
in rigid and unpoetical reality, no doubt.  Something must be done to
feed a starving treasury, and there is no other resource in all Italy--
none but the riches of the Church.  So the Government intends to take to
itself a great portion of the revenues arising from priestly farms,
factories, etc., and also intends to take possession of the churches and
carry them on, after its own fashion and upon its own responsibility.
In a few instances it will leave the establishments of great pet churches
undisturbed, but in all others only a handful of priests will be retained
to preach and pray, a few will be pensioned, and the balance turned
adrift.

Pray glance at some of these churches and their embellishments, and see
whether the Government is doing a righteous thing or not.  In Venice,
today, a city of a hundred thousand inhabitants, there are twelve hundred
priests.  Heaven only knows how many there were before the Parliament
reduced their numbers.  There was the great Jesuit Church.  Under the old
regime it required sixty priests to engineer it--the Government does it
with five, now, and the others are discharged from service.  All about
that church wretchedness and poverty abound.  At its door a dozen hats
and bonnets were doffed to us, as many heads were humbly bowed, and as
many hands extended, appealing for pennies--appealing with foreign words
we could not understand, but appealing mutely, with sad eyes, and sunken
cheeks, and ragged raiment, that no words were needed to translate.  Then
we passed within the great doors, and it seemed that the riches of the
world were before us!  Huge columns carved out of single masses of
marble, and inlaid from top to bottom with a hundred intricate figures
wrought in costly verde antique; pulpits of the same rich materials,
whose draperies hung down in many a pictured fold, the stony fabric
counterfeiting the delicate work of the loom; the grand altar brilliant
with polished facings and balustrades of oriental agate, jasper, verde
antique, and other precious stones, whose names, even, we seldom hear--
and slabs of priceless lapis lazuli lavished every where as recklessly as
if the church had owned a quarry of it.  In the midst of all this
magnificence, the solid gold and silver furniture of the altar seemed
cheap and trivial.  Even the floors and ceilings cost a princely fortune.

Now, where is the use of allowing all those riches to lie idle, while
half of that community hardly know, from day to day, how they are going
to keep body and soul together?  And, where is the wisdom in permitting
hundreds upon hundreds of millions of francs to be locked up in the
useless trumpery of churches all over Italy, and the people ground to
death with taxation to uphold a perishing Government?

As far as I can see, Italy, for fifteen hundred years, has turned all her
energies, all her finances, and all her industry to the building up of a
vast array of wonderful church edifices, and starving half her citizens
to accomplish it.  She is to-day one vast museum of magnificence and
misery.  All the churches in an ordinary American city put together could
hardly buy the jeweled frippery in one of her hundred cathedrals.  And
for every beggar in America, Italy can show a hundred--and rags and
vermin to match.  It is the wretchedest, princeliest land on earth.

Look at the grand Duomo of Florence--a vast pile that has been sapping
the purses of her citizens for five hundred years, and is not nearly
finished yet.  Like all other men, I fell down and worshipped it, but
when the filthy beggars swarmed around me the contrast was too striking,
too suggestive, and I said, "O, sons of classic Italy, is the spirit of
enterprise, of self-reliance, of noble endeavor, utterly dead within ye?
Curse your indolent worthlessness, why don't you rob your church?"

Three hundred happy, comfortable priests are employed in that Cathedral.

And now that my temper is up, I may as well go on and abuse every body I
can think of.  They have a grand mausoleum in Florence, which they built
to bury our Lord and Saviour and the Medici family in.  It sounds
blasphemous, but it is true, and here they act blasphemy.  The dead and
damned Medicis who cruelly tyrannized over Florence and were her curse
for over two hundred years, are salted away in a circle of costly vaults,
and in their midst the Holy Sepulchre was to have been set up.  The
expedition sent to Jerusalem to seize it got into trouble and could not
accomplish the burglary, and so the centre of the mausoleum is vacant
now.  They say the entire mausoleum was intended for the Holy Sepulchre,
and was only turned into a family burying place after the Jerusalem
expedition failed--but you will excuse me.  Some of those Medicis would
have smuggled themselves in sure. --What they had not the effrontery to
do, was not worth doing.  Why, they had their trivial, forgotten exploits
on land and sea pictured out in grand frescoes (as did also the ancient
Doges of Venice) with the Saviour and the Virgin throwing bouquets to
them out of the clouds, and the Deity himself applauding from his throne
in Heaven!  And who painted these things?  Why, Titian, Tintoretto, Paul
Veronese, Raphael--none other than the world's idols, the "old masters."

Andrea del Sarto glorified his princes in pictures that must save them
for ever from the oblivion they merited, and they let him starve.  Served
him right.  Raphael pictured such infernal villains as Catherine and
Marie de Medicis seated in heaven and conversing familiarly with the
Virgin Mary and the angels, (to say nothing of higher personages,) and
yet my friends abuse me because I am a little prejudiced against the old
masters--because I fail sometimes to see the beauty that is in their
productions.  I can not help but see it, now and then, but I keep on
protesting against the groveling spirit that could persuade those masters
to prostitute their noble talents to the adulation of such monsters as
the French, Venetian and Florentine Princes of two and three hundred
years ago, all the same.

I am told that the old masters had to do these shameful things for bread,
the princes and potentates being the only patrons of art.  If a grandly
gifted man may drag his pride and his manhood in the dirt for bread
rather than starve with the nobility that is in him untainted, the excuse
is a valid one.  It would excuse theft in Washingtons and Wellingtons,
and unchastity in women as well.

But somehow, I can not keep that Medici mausoleum out of my memory.  It
is as large as a church; its pavement is rich enough for the pavement of
a King's palace; its great dome is gorgeous with frescoes; its walls are
made of--what?  Marble?--plaster?--wood?--paper?  No.  Red porphyry--
verde antique--jasper--oriental agate--alabaster--mother-of-pearl--
chalcedony--red coral--lapis lazuli!  All the vast walls are made wholly
of these precious stones, worked in, and in and in together in elaborate
pattern s and figures, and polished till they glow like great mirrors
with the pictured splendors reflected from the dome overhead.  And before
a statue of one of those dead Medicis reposes a crown that blazes with
diamonds and emeralds enough to buy a ship-of-the-line, almost.  These
are the things the Government has its evil eye upon, and a happy thing it
will be for Italy when they melt away in the public treasury.

And now----.  However, another beggar approaches.  I will go out and
destroy him, and then come back and write another chapter of
vituperation.

Having eaten the friendless orphan--having driven away his comrades--
having grown calm and reflective at length--I now feel in a kindlier
mood.  I feel that after talking so freely about the priests and the
churches, justice demands that if I know any thing good about either I
ought to say it.  I have heard of many things that redound to the credit
of the priesthood, but the most notable matter that occurs to me now is
the devotion one of the mendicant orders showed during the prevalence of
the cholera last year.  I speak of the Dominican friars--men who wear a
coarse, heavy brown robe and a cowl, in this hot climate, and go
barefoot.  They live on alms altogether, I believe.  They must
unquestionably love their religion, to suffer so much for it.  When the
cholera was raging in Naples; when the people were dying by hundreds and
hundreds every day; when every concern for the public welfare was
swallowed up in selfish private interest, and every citizen made the
taking care of himself his sole object, these men banded themselves
together and went about nursing the sick and burying the dead.  Their
noble efforts cost many of them their lives.  They laid them down
cheerfully, and well they might.  Creeds mathematically precise, and
hair-splitting niceties of doctrine, are absolutely necessary for the
salvation of some kinds of souls, but surely the charity, the purity, the
unselfishness that are in the hearts of men like these would save their
souls though they were bankrupt in the true religion--which is ours.

One of these fat bare-footed rascals came here to Civita Vecchia with us
in the little French steamer.  There were only half a dozen of us in the
cabin.  He belonged in the steerage.  He was the life of the ship, the
bloody-minded son of the Inquisition!  He and the leader of the marine
band of a French man-of-war played on the piano and sang opera turn
about; they sang duets together; they rigged impromptu theatrical
costumes and gave us extravagant farces and pantomimes.  We got along
first-rate with the friar, and were excessively conversational, albeit he
could not understand what we said, and certainly he never uttered a word
that we could guess the meaning of.

This Civita Vecchia is the finest nest of dirt, vermin and ignorance we
have found yet, except that African perdition they call Tangier, which is
just like it.  The people here live in alleys two yards wide, which have
a smell about them which is peculiar but not entertaining.  It is well
the alleys are not wider, because they hold as much smell now as a person
can stand, and of course, if they were wider they would hold more, and
then the people would die.  These alleys are paved with stone, and
carpeted with deceased cats, and decayed rags, and decomposed vegetable-
tops, and remnants of old boots, all soaked with dish-water, and the
people sit around on stools and enjoy it.  They are indolent, as a
general thing, and yet have few pastimes.  They work two or three hours
at a time, but not hard, and then they knock off and catch flies.  This
does not require any talent, because they only have to grab--if they do
not get the one they are after, they get another.  It is all the same to
them.  They have no partialities.  Whichever one they get is the one they
want.

They have other kinds of insects, but it does not make them arrogant.
They are very quiet, unpretending people.  They have more of these kind
of things than other communities, but they do not boast.

They are very uncleanly--these people--in face, in person and dress.
When they see any body with a clean shirt on, it arouses their scorn.
The women wash clothes, half the day, at the public tanks in the streets,
but they are probably somebody else's.  Or may be they keep one set to
wear and another to wash; because they never put on any that have ever
been washed.  When they get done washing, they sit in the alleys and
nurse their cubs.  They nurse one ash-cat at a time, and the others
scratch their backs against the door-post and are happy.

All this country belongs to the Papal States.  They do not appear to have
any schools here, and only one billiard table.  Their education is at a
very low stage.  One portion of the men go into the military, another
into the priesthood, and the rest into the shoe-making business.

They keep up the passport system here, but so they do in Turkey.  This
shows that the Papal States are as far advanced as Turkey.  This fact
will be alone sufficient to silence the tongues of malignant
calumniators.  I had to get my passport vised for Rome in Florence, and
then they would not let me come ashore here until a policeman had
examined it on the wharf and sent me a permit.  They did not even dare to
let me take my passport in my hands for twelve hours, I looked so
formidable.  They judged it best to let me cool down.  They thought I
wanted to take the town, likely.  Little did they know me.  I wouldn't
have it.  They examined my baggage at the depot.  They took one of my
ablest jokes and read it over carefully twice and then read it backwards.
But it was too deep for them.  They passed it around, and every body
speculated on it awhile, but it mastered them all.

It was no common joke.  At length a veteran officer spelled it over
deliberately and shook his head three or four times and said that in his
opinion it was seditious.  That was the first time I felt alarmed.  I
immediately said I would explain the document, and they crowded around.
And so I explained and explained and explained, and they took notes of
all I said, but the more I explained the more they could not understand
it, and when they desisted at last, I could not even understand it
myself.  They said they believed it was an incendiary document, leveled
at the government.  I declared solemnly that it was not, but they only
shook their heads and would not be satisfied.  Then they consulted a good
while; and finally they confiscated it.  I was very sorry for this,
because I had worked a long time on that joke, and took a good deal of
pride in it, and now I suppose I shall never see it any more.  I suppose
it will be sent up and filed away among the criminal archives of Rome,
and will always be regarded as a mysterious infernal machine which would
have blown up like a mine and scattered the good Pope all around, but for
a miraculous providential interference.  And I suppose that all the time
I am in Rome the police will dog me about from place to place because
they think I am a dangerous character.

It is fearfully hot in Civita Vecchia.  The streets are made very narrow
and the houses built very solid and heavy and high, as a protection
against the heat.  This is the first Italian town I have seen which does
not appear to have a patron saint.  I suppose no saint but the one that
went up in the chariot of fire could stand the climate.

There is nothing here to see.  They have not even a cathedral, with
eleven tons of solid silver archbishops in the back room; and they do not
show you any moldy buildings that are seven thousand years old; nor any
smoke-dried old fire-screens which are chef d'oeuvres of Reubens or
Simpson, or Titian or Ferguson, or any of those parties; and they haven't
any bottled fragments of saints, and not even a nail from the true cross.
We are going to Rome.  There is nothing to see here.




CHAPTER XXVI.

What is it that confers the noblest delight?  What is that which swells a
man's breast with pride above that which any other experience can bring
to him?  Discovery!  To know that you are walking where none others have
walked; that you are beholding what human eye has not seen before; that
you are breathing a virgin atmosphere.  To give birth to an idea--to
discover a great thought--an intellectual nugget, right under the dust of
a field that many a brain--plow had gone over before.  To find a new
planet, to invent a new hinge, to find the way to make the lightnings
carry your messages.  To be the first--that is the idea.  To do
something, say something, see something, before any body else--these are
the things that confer a pleasure compared with which other pleasures are
tame and commonplace, other ecstasies cheap and trivial.  Morse, with his
first message, brought by his servant, the lightning; Fulton, in that
long-drawn century of suspense, when he placed his hand upon the
throttle-valve and lo, the steamboat moved; Jenner, when his patient with
the cow's virus in his blood, walked through the smallpox hospitals
unscathed; Howe, when the idea shot through his brain that for a hundred
and twenty generations the eye had been bored through the wrong end of
the needle; the nameless lord of art who laid down his chisel in some old
age that is forgotten, now, and gloated upon the finished Laocoon;
Daguerre, when he commanded the sun, riding in the zenith, to print the
landscape upon his insignificant silvered plate, and he obeyed; Columbus,
in the Pinta's shrouds, when he swung his hat above a fabled sea and
gazed abroad upon an unknown world!  These are the men who have really
lived--who have actually comprehended what pleasure is--who have crowded
long lifetimes of ecstasy into a single moment.

What is there in Rome for me to see that others have not seen before me?
What is there for me to touch that others have not touched?  What is
there for me to feel, to learn, to hear, to know, that shall thrill me
before it pass to others?  What can I discover?--Nothing.  Nothing
whatsoever.  One charm of travel dies here.  But if I were only a Roman!
--If, added to my own I could be gifted with modern Roman sloth, modern
Roman superstition, and modern Roman boundlessness of ignorance, what
bewildering worlds of unsuspected wonders I would discover!  Ah, if I
were only a habitant of the Campagna five and twenty miles from Rome!
Then I would travel.

I would go to America, and see, and learn, and return to the Campagna and
stand before my countrymen an illustrious discoverer.  I would say:

"I saw there a country which has no overshadowing Mother Church, and yet
the people survive.  I saw a government which never was protected by
foreign soldiers at a cost greater than that required to carry on the
government itself.  I saw common men and common women who could read;
I even saw small children of common country people reading from books;
if I dared think you would believe it, I would say they could write,
also.

In the cities I saw people drinking a delicious beverage made of chalk
and water, but never once saw goats driven through their Broadway or
their Pennsylvania Avenue or their Montgomery street and milked at the
doors of the houses.  I saw real glass windows in the houses of even the
commonest people.  Some of the houses are not of stone, nor yet of
bricks; I solemnly swear they are made of wood.  Houses there will take
fire and burn, sometimes--actually burn entirely down, and not leave a
single vestige behind.  I could state that for a truth, upon my death-
bed.  And as a proof that the circumstance is not rare, I aver that they
have a thing which they call a fire-engine, which vomits forth great
streams of water, and is kept always in readiness, by night and by day,
to rush to houses that are burning.  You would think one engine would be
sufficient, but some great cities have a hundred; they keep men hired,
and pay them by the month to do nothing but put out fires.  For a certain
sum of money other men will insure that your house shall not burn down;
and if it burns they will pay you for it.  There are hundreds and
thousands of schools, and any body may go and learn to be wise, like a
priest.  In that singular country if a rich man dies a sinner, he is
damned; he can not buy salvation with money for masses.  There is really
not much use in being rich, there.  Not much use as far as the other
world is concerned, but much, very much use, as concerns this; because
there, if a man be rich, he is very greatly honored, and can become a
legislator, a governor, a general, a senator, no matter how ignorant an
ass he is--just as in our beloved Italy the nobles hold all the great
places, even though sometimes they are born noble idiots.  There, if a
man be rich, they give him costly presents, they ask him to feasts, they
invite him to drink complicated beverages; but if he be poor and in debt,
they require him to do that which they term to "settle."  The women put
on a different dress almost every day; the dress is usually fine, but
absurd in shape; the very shape and fashion of it changes twice in a
hundred years; and did I but covet to be called an extravagant falsifier,
I would say it changed even oftener.  Hair does not grow upon the
American women's heads; it is made for them by cunning workmen in the
shops, and is curled and frizzled into scandalous and ungodly forms.
Some persons wear eyes of glass which they see through with facility
perhaps, else they would not use them; and in the mouths of some are
teeth made by the sacrilegious hand of man.  The dress of the men is
laughably grotesque.  They carry no musket in ordinary life, nor no long-
pointed pole; they wear no wide green-lined cloak; they wear no peaked
black felt hat, no leathern gaiters reaching to the knee, no goat-skin
breeches with the hair side out, no hob-nailed shoes, no prodigious
spurs.  They wear a conical hat termed a "nail-kag;" a coat of saddest
black; a shirt which shows dirt so easily that it has to be changed every
month, and is very troublesome; things called pantaloons, which are held
up by shoulder straps, and on their feet they wear boots which are
ridiculous in pattern and can stand no wear.  Yet dressed in this
fantastic garb, these people laughed at my costume.  In that country,
books are so common that it is really no curiosity to see one.
Newspapers also.  They have a great machine which prints such things by
thousands every hour.

"I saw common men, there--men who were neither priests nor princes--who
yet absolutely owned the land they tilled.  It was not rented from the
church, nor from the nobles.  I am ready to take my oath of this.  In
that country you might fall from a third story window three several
times, and not mash either a soldier or a priest. --The scarcity of such
people is astonishing.  In the cities you will see a dozen civilians for
every soldier, and as many for every priest or preacher.  Jews, there,
are treated just like human beings, instead of dogs.  They can work at
any business they please; they can sell brand new goods if they want to;
they can keep drug-stores; they can practice medicine among Christians;
they can even shake hands with Christians if they choose; they can
associate with them, just the same as one human being does with another
human being; they don't have to stay shut up in one corner of the towns;
they can live in any part of a town they like best; it is said they even
have the privilege of buying land and houses, and owning them themselves,
though I doubt that, myself; they never have had to run races naked
through the public streets, against jackasses, to please the people in
carnival time; there they never have been driven by the soldiers into a
church every Sunday for hundreds of years to hear themselves and their
religion especially and particularly cursed; at this very day, in that
curious country, a Jew is allowed to vote, hold office, yea, get up on a
rostrum in the public street and express his opinion of the government if
the government don't suit him!  Ah, it is wonderful.  The common people
there know a great deal; they even have the effrontery to complain if
they are not properly governed, and to take hold and help conduct the
government themselves; if they had laws like ours, which give one dollar
of every three a crop produces to the government for taxes, they would
have that law altered: instead of paying thirty-three dollars in taxes,
out of every one hundred they receive, they complain if they have to pay
seven.  They are curious people.  They do not know when they are well
off.  Mendicant priests do not prowl among them with baskets begging for
the church and eating up their substance.  One hardly ever sees a
minister of the gospel going around there in his bare feet, with a
basket, begging for subsistence.  In that country the preachers are not
like our mendicant orders of friars--they have two or three suits of
clothing, and they wash sometimes.  In that land are mountains far higher
than the Alban mountains; the vast Roman Campagna, a hundred miles long
and full forty broad, is really small compared to the United States of
America; the Tiber, that celebrated river of ours, which stretches its
mighty course almost two hundred miles, and which a lad can scarcely
throw a stone across at Rome, is not so long, nor yet so wide, as the
American Mississippi--nor yet the Ohio, nor even the Hudson.  In America
the people are absolutely wiser and know much more than their
grandfathers did.  They do not plow with a sharpened stick, nor yet with
a three-cornered block of wood that merely scratches the top of the
ground.  We do that because our fathers did, three thousand years ago, I
suppose.  But those people have no holy reverence for their ancestors.
They plow with a plow that is a sharp, curved blade of iron, and it cuts
into the earth full five inches.  And this is not all.  They cut their
grain with a horrid machine that mows down whole fields in a day.  If I
dared, I would say that sometimes they use a blasphemous plow that works
by fire and vapor and tears up an acre of ground in a single hour--but--
but--I see by your looks that you do not believe the things I am telling
you.  Alas, my character is ruined, and I am a branded speaker of
untruths!"

Of course we have been to the monster Church of St. Peter, frequently.
I knew its dimensions.  I knew it was a prodigious structure.  I knew it
was just about the length of the capitol at Washington--say seven hundred
and thirty feet.  I knew it was three hundred and sixty-four feet wide,
and consequently wider than the capitol.  I knew that the cross on the
top of the dome of the church was four hundred and thirty-eight feet
above the ground, and therefore about a hundred or may be a hundred and
twenty-five feet higher than the dome of the capitol. --Thus I had one
gauge.  I wished to come as near forming a correct idea of how it was
going to look, as possible; I had a curiosity to see how much I would
err.  I erred considerably.  St. Peter's did not look nearly so large as
the capitol, and certainly not a twentieth part as beautiful, from the
outside.

When we reached the door, and stood fairly within the church, it was
impossible to comprehend that it was a very large building.  I had to
cipher a comprehension of it.  I had to ransack my memory for some more
similes.  St. Peter's is bulky.  Its height and size would represent two
of the Washington capitol set one on top of the other--if the capitol
were wider; or two blocks or two blocks and a half of ordinary buildings
set one on top of the other.  St. Peter's was that large, but it could
and would not look so.  The trouble was that every thing in it and about
it was on such a scale of uniform vastness that there were no contrasts
to judge by--none but the people, and I had not noticed them.  They were
insects.  The statues of children holding vases of holy water were
immense, according to the tables of figures, but so was every thing else
around them.  The mosaic pictures in the dome were huge, and were made of
thousands and thousands of cubes of glass as large as the end of my
little finger, but those pictures looked smooth, and gaudy of color, and
in good proportion to the dome.  Evidently they would not answer to
measure by.  Away down toward the far end of the church (I thought it was
really clear at the far end, but discovered afterward that it was in the
centre, under the dome,) stood the thing they call the baldacchino--a
great bronze pyramidal frame-work like that which upholds a mosquito bar.
It only looked like a considerably magnified bedstead--nothing more.  Yet
I knew it was a good deal more than half as high as Niagara Falls.  It
was overshadowed by a dome so mighty that its own height was snubbed.
The four great square piers or pillars that stand equidistant from each
other in the church, and support the roof, I could not work up to their
real dimensions by any method of comparison.  I knew that the faces of
each were about the width of a very large dwelling-house front, (fifty or
sixty feet,) and that they were twice as high as an ordinary three-story
dwelling, but still they looked small.  I tried all the different ways I
could think of to compel myself to understand how large St. Peter's was,
but with small success.  The mosaic portrait of an Apostle who was
writing with a pen six feet long seemed only an ordinary Apostle.

But the people attracted my attention after a while.  To stand in the
door of St. Peter's and look at men down toward its further extremity,
two blocks away, has a diminishing effect on them; surrounded by the
prodigious pictures and statues, and lost in the vast spaces, they look
very much smaller than they would if they stood two blocks away in the
open air.  I "averaged" a man as he passed me and watched him as he
drifted far down by the baldacchino and beyond--watched him dwindle to an
insignificant school-boy, and then, in the midst of the silent throng of
human pigmies gliding about him, I lost him.  The church had lately been
decorated, on the occasion of a great ceremony in honor of St. Peter, and
men were engaged, now, in removing the flowers and gilt paper from the
walls and pillars.  As no ladders could reach the great heights, the men
swung themselves down from balustrades and the capitals of pilasters by
ropes, to do this work.  The upper gallery which encircles the inner
sweep of the dome is two hundred and forty feet above the floor of the
church--very few steeples in America could reach up to it.  Visitors
always go up there to look down into the church because one gets the best
idea of some of the heights and distances from that point.  While we
stood on the floor one of the workmen swung loose from that gallery at
the end of a long rope.  I had not supposed, before, that a man could
look so much like a spider.  He was insignificant in size, and his rope
seemed only a thread.  Seeing that he took up so little space, I could
believe the story, then, that ten thousand troops went to St. Peter's,
once, to hear mass, and their commanding officer came afterward, and not
finding them, supposed they had not yet arrived.  But they were in the
church, nevertheless--they were in one of the transepts.  Nearly fifty
thousand persons assembled in St. Peter's to hear the publishing of the
dogma of the Immaculate Conception.  It is estimated that the floor of
the church affords standing room for--for a large number of people; I
have forgotten the exact figures.  But it is no matter--it is near
enough.

They have twelve small pillars, in St. Peter's, which came from Solomon's
Temple.  They have, also--which was far more interesting to me--a piece
of the true cross, and some nails, and a part of the crown of thorns.

Of course we ascended to the summit of the dome, and of course we also
went up into the gilt copper ball which is above it. --There was room
there for a dozen persons, with a little crowding, and it was as close
and hot as an oven.  Some of those people who are so fond of writing
their names in prominent places had been there before us--a million or
two, I should think.  From the dome of St. Peter's one can see every
notable object in Rome, from the Castle of St. Angelo to the Coliseum.
He can discern the seven hills upon which Rome is built.  He can see the
Tiber, and the locality of the bridge which Horatius kept "in the brave
days of old" when Lars Porsena attempted to cross it with his invading
host.  He can see the spot where the Horatii and the Curatii fought their
famous battle.  He can see the broad green Campagna, stretching away
toward the mountains, with its scattered arches and broken aqueducts of
the olden time, so picturesque in their gray ruin, and so daintily
festooned with vines.  He can see the Alban Mountains, the Appenines, the
Sabine Hills, and the blue Mediterranean.  He can see a panorama that is
varied, extensive, beautiful to the eye, and more illustrious in history
than any other in Europe. --About his feet is spread the remnant of a
city that once had a population of four million souls; and among its
massed edifices stand the ruins of temples, columns, and triumphal arches
that knew the Caesars, and the noonday of Roman splendor; and close by
them, in unimpaired strength, is a drain of arched and heavy masonry that
belonged to that older city which stood here before Romulus and Remus
were born or Rome thought of.  The Appian Way is here yet, and looking
much as it did, perhaps, when the triumphal processions of the Emperors
moved over it in other days bringing fettered princes from the confines
of the earth.  We can not see the long array of chariots and mail-clad
men laden with the spoils of conquest, but we can imagine the pageant,
after a fashion.  We look out upon many objects of interest from the dome
of St. Peter's; and last of all, almost at our feet, our eyes rest upon
the building which was once the Inquisition.  How times changed, between
the older ages and the new!  Some seventeen or eighteen centuries ago,
the ignorant men of Rome were wont to put Christians in the arena of the
Coliseum yonder, and turn the wild beasts in upon them for a show.  It
was for a lesson as well.  It was to teach the people to abhor and fear
the new doctrine the followers of Christ were teaching.  The beasts tore
the victims limb from limb and made poor mangled corpses of them in the
twinkling of an eye.  But when the Christians came into power, when the
holy Mother Church became mistress of the barbarians, she taught them the
error of their ways by no such means.  No, she put them in this pleasant
Inquisition and pointed to the Blessed Redeemer, who was so gentle and so
merciful toward all men, and they urged the barbarians to love him; and
they did all they could to persuade them to love and honor him--first by
twisting their thumbs out of joint with a screw; then by nipping their
flesh with pincers--red-hot ones, because they are the most comfortable
in cold weather; then by skinning them alive a little, and finally by
roasting them in public.  They always convinced those barbarians.  The
true religion, properly administered, as the good Mother Church used to
administer it, is very, very soothing.  It is wonderfully persuasive,
also.  There is a great difference between feeding parties to wild beasts
and stirring up their finer feelings in an Inquisition.  One is the
system of degraded barbarians, the other of enlightened, civilized
people.  It is a great pity the playful Inquisition is no more.

I prefer not to describe St. Peter's.  It has been done before.  The
ashes of Peter, the disciple of the Saviour, repose in a crypt under the
baldacchino.  We stood reverently in that place; so did we also in the
Mamertine Prison, where he was confined, where he converted the soldiers,
and where tradition says he caused a spring of water to flow in order
that he might baptize them.  But when they showed us the print of Peter's
face in the hard stone of the prison wall and said he made that by
falling up against it, we doubted.  And when, also, the monk at the
church of San Sebastian showed us a paving-stone with two great
footprints in it and said that Peter's feet made those, we lacked
confidence again.  Such things do not impress one.  The monk said that
angels came and liberated Peter from prison by night, and he started away
from Rome by the Appian Way.  The Saviour met him and told him to go
back, which he did.  Peter left those footprints in the stone upon which
he stood at the time.  It was not stated how it was ever discovered whose
footprints they were, seeing the interview occurred secretly and at
night.  The print of the face in the prison was that of a man of common
size; the footprints were those of a man ten or twelve feet high.  The
discrepancy confirmed our unbelief.

We necessarily visited the Forum, where Caesar was assassinated, and also
the Tarpeian Rock.  We saw the Dying Gladiator at the Capitol, and I
think that even we appreciated that wonder of art; as much, perhaps, as
we did that fearful story wrought in marble, in the Vatican--the Laocoon.
And then the Coliseum.

Every body knows the picture of the Coliseum; every body recognizes at
once that "looped and windowed" band-box with a side bitten out.  Being
rather isolated, it shows to better advantage than any other of the
monuments of ancient Rome.  Even the beautiful Pantheon, whose pagan
altars uphold the cross, now, and whose Venus, tricked out in consecrated
gimcracks, does reluctant duty as a Virgin Mary to-day, is built about
with shabby houses and its stateliness sadly marred.  But the monarch of
all European ruins, the Coliseum, maintains that reserve and that royal
seclusion which is proper to majesty.  Weeds and flowers spring from its
massy arches and its circling seats, and vines hang their fringes from
its lofty walls.  An impressive silence broods over the monstrous
structure where such multitudes of men and women were wont to assemble in
other days.  The butterflies have taken the places of the queens of
fashion and beauty of eighteen centuries ago, and the lizards sun
themselves in the sacred seat of the Emperor.  More vividly than all the
written histories, the Coliseum tells the story of Rome's grandeur and
Rome's decay.  It is the worthiest type of both that exists.  Moving
about the Rome of to-day, we might find it hard to believe in her old
magnificence and her millions of population; but with this stubborn
evidence before us that she was obliged to have a theatre with sitting
room for eighty thousand persons and standing room for twenty thousand
more, to accommodate such of her citizens as required amusement, we find
belief less difficult.  The Coliseum is over one thousand six hundred
feet long, seven hundred and fifty wide, and one hundred and sixty-five
high.  Its shape is oval.

In America we make convicts useful at the same time that we punish them
for their crimes.  We farm them out and compel them to earn money for the
State by making barrels and building roads.  Thus we combine business
with retribution, and all things are lovely.  But in ancient Rome they
combined religious duty with pleasure.  Since it was necessary that the
new sect called Christians should be exterminated, the people judged it
wise to make this work profitable to the State at the same time, and
entertaining to the public.  In addition to the gladiatorial combats and
other shows, they sometimes threw members of the hated sect into the
arena of the Coliseum and turned wild beasts in upon them.  It is
estimated that seventy thousand Christians suffered martyrdom in this
place.  This has made the Coliseum holy ground, in the eyes of the
followers of the Saviour.  And well it might; for if the chain that bound
a saint, and the footprints a saint has left upon a stone he chanced to
stand upon, be holy, surely the spot where a man gave up his life for his
faith is holy.

Seventeen or eighteen centuries ago this Coliseum was the theatre of
Rome, and Rome was mistress of the world.  Splendid pageants were
exhibited here, in presence of the Emperor, the great ministers of State,
the nobles, and vast audiences of citizens of smaller consequence.
Gladiators fought with gladiators and at times with warrior prisoners
from many a distant land.  It was the theatre of Rome--of the world--and
the man of fashion who could not let fall in a casual and unintentional
manner something about "my private box at the Coliseum" could not move in
the first circles.  When the clothing-store merchant wished to consume
the corner grocery man with envy, he bought secured seats in the front
row and let the thing be known.  When the irresistible dry goods clerk
wished to blight and destroy, according to his native instinct, he got
himself up regardless of expense and took some other fellow's young lady
to the Coliseum, and then accented the affront by cramming her with ice
cream between the acts, or by approaching the cage and stirring up the
martyrs with his whalebone cane for her edification.  The Roman swell was
in his true element only when he stood up against a pillar and fingered
his moustache unconscious of the ladies; when he viewed the bloody
combats through an opera-glass two inches long; when he excited the envy
of provincials by criticisms which showed that he had been to the
Coliseum many and many a time and was long ago over the novelty of it;
when he turned away with a yawn at last and said,

"He a star! handles his sword like an apprentice brigand!  he'll do for
the country, may be, but he don't answer for the metropolis!"

Glad was the contraband that had a seat in the pit at the Saturday
matinee, and happy the Roman street-boy who ate his peanuts and guyed the
gladiators from the dizzy gallery.

For me was reserved the high honor of discovering among the rubbish of
the ruined Coliseum the only playbill of that establishment now extant.
There was a suggestive smell of mint-drops about it still, a corner of it
had evidently been chewed, and on the margin, in choice Latin, these
words were written in a delicate female hand:

     "Meet me on the Tarpeian Rock tomorrow evening, dear, at sharp
     seven.  Mother will be absent on a visit to her friends in the
     Sabine Hills.        CLAUDIA."

Ah, where is that lucky youth to-day, and where the little hand that
wrote those dainty lines?  Dust and ashes these seventeen hundred years!

Thus reads the bill:


                            ROMAN COLISEUM.
                        UNPARALLELED ATTRACTION!
               NEW PROPERTIES!  NEW LIONS!  NEW GLADIATORS!
                       Engagement of the renowned
                        MARCUS MARCELLUS VALERIAN!
                           FOR SIX NIGHTS ONLY!

The management beg leave to offer to the public an entertainment
surpassing in magnificence any thing that has heretofore been attempted
on any stage.  No expense has been spared to make the opening season one
which shall be worthy the generous patronage which the management feel
sure will crown their efforts.  The management beg leave to state that
they have succeeded in securing the services of a

                            GALAXY OF TALENT!
such as has not been beheld in Rome before.

The performance will commence this evening with a

                         GRAND BROADSWORD COMBAT!
between two young and promising amateurs and a celebrated Parthian
gladiator who has just arrived a prisoner from the Camp of Verus.

This will be followed by a grand moral

                          BATTLE-AX ENGAGEMENT!
between the renowned Valerian (with one hand tied behind him,) and two
gigantic savages from Britain.

After which the renowned Valerian (if he survive,) will fight with the
broad-sword,

                               LEFT HANDED!
against six Sophomores and a Freshman from the Gladiatorial College!

A long series of brilliant engagements will follow, in which the finest
talent of the Empire will take part

After which the celebrated Infant Prodigy known as

                          "THE YOUNG ACHILLES,"
will engage four tiger whelps in combat, armed with no other weapon than
his little spear!

The whole to conclude with a chaste and elegant

                            GENERAL SLAUGHTER!
In which thirteen African Lions and twenty-two Barbarian Prisoners will
war with each other until all are exterminated.

                           BOX OFFICE NOW OPEN.

Dress Circle One Dollar; Children and Servants half price.

An efficient police force will be on hand to preserve order and keep the
wild beasts from leaping the railings and discommoding the audience.

Doors open at 7; performance begins at 8.

POSITIVELY NO FREE LIST.

                          Diodorus Job Press.


It was as singular as it was gratifying that I was also so fortunate as
to find among the rubbish of the arena, a stained and mutilated copy of
the Roman Daily Battle-Ax, containing a critique upon this very
performance.  It comes to hand too late by many centuries to rank as
news, and therefore I translate and publish it simply to show how very
little the general style and phraseology of dramatic criticism has
altered in the ages that have dragged their slow length along since the
carriers laid this one damp and fresh before their Roman patrons:

     "THE OPENING SEASON. --COLISEUM. --Notwithstanding the inclemency of
     the weather, quite a respectable number of the rank and fashion of
     the city assembled last night to witness the debut upon metropolitan
     boards of the young tragedian who has of late been winning such
     golden opinions in the amphitheatres of the provinces.  Some sixty
     thousand persons were present, and but for the fact that the streets
     were almost impassable, it is fair to presume that the house would
     have been full.  His august Majesty, the Emperor Aurelius, occupied
     the imperial box, and was the cynosure of all eyes.  Many
     illustrious nobles and generals of the Empire graced the occasion
     with their presence, and not the least among them was the young
     patrician lieutenant whose laurels, won in the ranks of the
     "Thundering Legion," are still so green upon his brow.  The cheer
     which greeted his entrance was heard beyond the Tiber!

     "The late repairs and decorations add both to the comeliness and the
     comfort of the Coliseum.  The new cushions are a great improvement
     upon the hard marble seats we have been so long accustomed to.  The
     present management deserve well of the public.  They have restored
     to the Coliseum the gilding, the rich upholstery and the uniform
     magnificence which old Coliseum frequenters tell us Rome was so
     proud of fifty years ago.

     "The opening scene last night--the broadsword combat between two
     young amateurs and a famous Parthian gladiator who was sent here a
     prisoner--was very fine.  The elder of the two young gentlemen
     handled his weapon with a grace that marked the possession of
     extraordinary talent.  His feint of thrusting, followed instantly by
     a happily delivered blow which unhelmeted the Parthian, was received
     with hearty applause.  He was not thoroughly up in the backhanded
     stroke, but it was very gratifying to his numerous friends to know
     that, in time, practice would have overcome this defect.  However,
     he was killed.  His sisters, who were present, expressed
     considerable regret.  His mother left the Coliseum.  The other youth
     maintained the contest with such spirit as to call forth
     enthusiastic bursts of applause.  When at last he fell a corpse, his
     aged mother ran screaming, with hair disheveled and tears streaming
     from her eyes, and swooned away just as her hands were clutching at
     the railings of the arena.  She was promptly removed by the police.
     Under the circumstances the woman's conduct was pardonable, perhaps,
     but we suggest that such exhibitions interfere with the decorum
     which should be preserved during the performances, and are highly
     improper in the presence of the Emperor.  The Parthian prisoner
     fought bravely and well; and well he might, for he was fighting for
     both life and liberty.  His wife and children were there to nerve
     his arm with their love, and to remind him of the old home he should
     see again if he conquered.  When his second assailant fell, the
     woman clasped her children to her breast and wept for joy.  But it
     was only a transient happiness.  The captive staggered toward her
     and she saw that the liberty he had earned was earned too late.  He
     was wounded unto death.  Thus the first act closed in a manner which
     was entirely satisfactory.  The manager was called before the
     curtain and returned his thanks for the honor done him, in a speech
     which was replete with wit and humor, and closed by hoping that his
     humble efforts to afford cheerful and instructive entertainment
     would continue to meet with the approbation of the Roman public

     "The star now appeared, and was received with vociferous applause
     and the simultaneous waving of sixty thousand handkerchiefs.  Marcus
     Marcellus Valerian (stage name--his real name is Smith,) is a
     splendid specimen of physical development, and an artist of rare
     merit.  His management of the battle-ax is wonderful.  His gayety
     and his playfulness are irresistible, in his comic parts, and yet
     they are inferior to his sublime conceptions in the grave realm of
     tragedy.  When his ax was describing fiery circles about the heads
     of the bewildered barbarians, in exact time with his springing body
     and his prancing legs, the audience gave way to uncontrollable
     bursts of laughter; but when the back of his weapon broke the skull
     of one and almost in the same instant its edge clove the other's
     body in twain, the howl of enthusiastic applause that shook the
     building, was the acknowledgment of a critical assemblage that he
     was a master of the noblest department of his profession.  If he has
     a fault, (and we are sorry to even intimate that he has,) it is that
     of glancing at the audience, in the midst of the most exciting
     moments of the performance, as if seeking admiration.  The pausing
     in a fight to bow when bouquets are thrown to him is also in bad
     taste.  In the great left-handed combat he appeared to be looking at
     the audience half the time, instead of carving his adversaries; and
     when he had slain all the sophomores and was dallying with the
     freshman, he stooped and snatched a bouquet as it fell, and offered
     it to his adversary at a time when a blow was descending which
     promised favorably to be his death-warrant.  Such levity is proper
     enough in the provinces, we make no doubt, but it ill suits the
     dignity of the metropolis.  We trust our young friend will take
     these remarks in good part, for we mean them solely for his benefit.
     All who know us are aware that although we are at times justly
     severe upon tigers and martyrs, we never intentionally offend
     gladiators.

     "The Infant Prodigy performed wonders.  He overcame his four tiger
     whelps with ease, and with no other hurt than the loss of a portion
     of his scalp.  The General Slaughter was rendered with a
     faithfulness to details which reflects the highest credit upon the
     late participants in it.

     "Upon the whole, last night's performances shed honor not only upon
     the management but upon the city that encourages and sustains such
     wholesome and instructive entertainments.  We would simply suggest
     that the practice of vulgar young boys in the gallery of shying
     peanuts and paper pellets at the tigers, and saying "Hi-yi!" and
     manifesting approbation or dissatisfaction by such observations as
     "Bully for the lion!"  "Go it, Gladdy!"  "Boots!"  "Speech!"  "Take
     a walk round the block!"  and so on, are extremely reprehensible,
     when the Emperor is present, and ought to be stopped by the police.
     Several times last night, when the supernumeraries entered the arena
     to drag out the bodies, the young ruffians in the gallery shouted,
     "Supe!  supe!"  and also, "Oh, what a coat!"  and "Why don't you pad
     them shanks?"  and made use of various other remarks expressive of
     derision.  These things are very annoying to the audience.

     "A matinee for the little folks is promised for this afternoon, on
     which occasion several martyrs will be eaten by the tigers.  The
     regular performance will continue every night till further notice.
     Material change of programme every evening.  Benefit of Valerian,
     Tuesday, 29th, if he lives."


I have been a dramatic critic myself, in my time, and I was often
surprised to notice how much more I knew about Hamlet than Forrest did;
and it gratifies me to observe, now, how much better my brethren of
ancient times knew how a broad sword battle ought to be fought than the
gladiators.




CHAPTER XXVII.

So far, good.  If any man has a right to feel proud of himself, and
satisfied, surely it is I.  For I have written about the Coliseum, and
the gladiators, the martyrs, and the lions, and yet have never once used
the phrase "butchered to make a Roman holiday."  I am the only free white
man of mature age, who has accomplished this since Byron originated the
expression.

Butchered to make a Roman holiday sounds well for the first seventeen or
eighteen hundred thousand times one sees it in print, but after that it
begins to grow tiresome.  I find it in all the books concerning Rome--and
here latterly it reminds me of Judge Oliver.  Oliver was a young lawyer,
fresh from the schools, who had gone out to the deserts of Nevada to
begin life.  He found that country, and our ways of life, there, in those
early days, different from life in New England or Paris.  But he put on a
woollen shirt and strapped a navy revolver to his person, took to the
bacon and beans of the country, and determined to do in Nevada as Nevada
did.  Oliver accepted the situation so completely that although he must
have sorrowed over many of his trials, he never complained--that is, he
never complained but once.  He, two others, and myself, started to the
new silver mines in the Humboldt mountains--he to be Probate Judge of
Humboldt county, and we to mine.  The distance was two hundred miles.  It
was dead of winter.  We bought a two-horse wagon and put eighteen hundred
pounds of bacon, flour, beans, blasting-powder, picks and shovels in it;
we bought two sorry-looking Mexican "plugs," with the hair turned the
wrong way and more corners on their bodies than there are on the mosque
of Omar; we hitched up and started.  It was a dreadful trip.  But Oliver
did not complain.  The horses dragged the wagon two miles from town and
then gave out.  Then we three pushed the wagon seven miles, and Oliver
moved ahead and pulled the horses after him by the bits.  We complained,
but Oliver did not.  The ground was frozen, and it froze our backs while
we slept; the wind swept across our faces and froze our noses.  Oliver
did not complain.  Five days of pushing the wagon by day and freezing by
night brought us to the bad part of the journey--the Forty Mile Desert,
or the Great American Desert, if you please.  Still, this mildest-
mannered man that ever was, had not complained.  We started across at
eight in the morning, pushing through sand that had no bottom; toiling
all day long by the wrecks of a thousand wagons, the skeletons of ten
thousand oxen; by wagon-tires enough to hoop the Washington Monument to
the top, and ox-chains enough to girdle Long Island; by human graves;
with our throats parched always, with thirst; lips bleeding from the
alkali dust; hungry, perspiring, and very, very weary--so weary that when
we dropped in the sand every fifty yards to rest the horses, we could
hardly keep from going to sleep--no complaints from Oliver: none the next
morning at three o'clock, when we got across, tired to death.

Awakened two or three nights afterward at midnight, in a narrow canon, by
the snow falling on our faces, and appalled at the imminent danger of
being "snowed in," we harnessed up and pushed on till eight in the
morning, passed the "Divide" and knew we were saved.  No complaints.
Fifteen days of hardship and fatigue brought us to the end of the two
hundred miles, and the Judge had not complained.  We wondered if any
thing could exasperate him.  We built a Humboldt house.  It is done in
this way.  You dig a square in the steep base of the mountain, and set up
two uprights and top them with two joists.  Then you stretch a great
sheet of "cotton domestic" from the point where the joists join the hill-
side down over the joists to the ground; this makes the roof and the
front of the mansion; the sides and back are the dirt walls your digging
has left.  A chimney is easily made by turning up one corner of the roof.
Oliver was sitting alone in this dismal den, one night, by a sage-brush
fire, writing poetry; he was very fond of digging poetry out of himself--
or blasting it out when it came hard.  He heard an animal's footsteps
close to the roof; a stone or two and some dirt came through and fell by
him.  He grew uneasy and said "Hi!--clear out from there, can't you!"--
from time to time.  But by and by he fell asleep where he sat, and pretty
soon a mule fell down the chimney!  The fire flew in every direction, and
Oliver went over backwards.  About ten nights after that, he recovered
confidence enough to go to writing poetry again.  Again he dozed off to
sleep, and again a mule fell down the chimney.  This time, about half of
that side of the house came in with the mule.  Struggling to get up, the
mule kicked the candle out and smashed most of the kitchen furniture, and
raised considerable dust.  These violent awakenings must have been
annoying to Oliver, but he never complained.  He moved to a mansion on
the opposite side of the canon, because he had noticed the mules did not
go there.  One night about eight o'clock he was endeavoring to finish his
poem, when a stone rolled in--then a hoof appeared below the canvas--then
part of a cow--the after part.  He leaned back in dread, and shouted
"Hooy!  hooy!  get out of this!"  and the cow struggled manfully--lost
ground steadily--dirt and dust streamed down, and before Oliver could get
well away, the entire cow crashed through on to the table and made a
shapeless wreck of every thing!

Then, for the first time in his life, I think, Oliver complained.  He
said,

"This thing is growing monotonous!"

Then he resigned his judgeship and left Humboldt county.  "Butchered to
make a Roman holyday" has grown monotonous to me.

In this connection I wish to say one word about Michael Angelo
Buonarotti.  I used to worship the mighty genius of Michael Angelo--that
man who was great in poetry, painting, sculpture, architecture--great in
every thing he undertook.  But I do not want Michael Angelo for
breakfast--for luncheon--for dinner--for tea--for supper--for between
meals.  I like a change, occasionally.  In Genoa, he designed every
thing; in Milan he or his pupils designed every thing; he designed the
Lake of Como; in Padua, Verona, Venice, Bologna, who did we ever hear of,
from guides, but Michael Angelo?  In Florence, he painted every thing,
designed every thing, nearly, and what he did not design he used to sit
on a favorite stone and look at, and they showed us the stone.  In Pisa
he designed every thing but the old shot-tower, and they would have
attributed that to him if it had not been so awfully out of the
perpendicular.  He designed the piers of Leghorn and the custom house
regulations of Civita Vecchia.  But, here--here it is frightful.  He
designed St. Peter's; he designed the Pope; he designed the Pantheon, the
uniform of the Pope's soldiers, the Tiber, the Vatican, the Coliseum, the
Capitol, the Tarpeian Rock, the Barberini Palace, St. John Lateran, the
Campagna, the Appian Way, the Seven Hills, the Baths of Caracalla, the
Claudian Aqueduct, the Cloaca Maxima--the eternal bore designed the
Eternal City, and unless all men and books do lie, he painted every thing
in it!  Dan said the other day to the guide, "Enough, enough, enough!
Say no more!  Lump the whole thing!  say that the Creator made Italy from
designs by Michael Angelo!"

I never felt so fervently thankful, so soothed, so tranquil, so filled
with a blessed peace, as I did yesterday when I learned that Michael
Angelo was dead.

But we have taken it out of this guide.  He has marched us through miles
of pictures and sculpture in the vast corridors of the Vatican; and
through miles of pictures and sculpture in twenty other palaces; he has
shown us the great picture in the Sistine Chapel, and frescoes enough to
frescoe the heavens--pretty much all done by Michael Angelo.  So with him
we have played that game which has vanquished so many guides for us--
imbecility and idiotic questions.  These creatures never suspect--they
have no idea of a sarcasm.

He shows us a figure and says: "Statoo brunzo."  (Bronze statue.)

We look at it indifferently and the doctor asks: "By Michael Angelo?"

"No--not know who."

Then he shows us the ancient Roman Forum.  The doctor asks: "Michael
Angelo?"

A stare from the guide.  "No--thousan' year before he is born."

Then an Egyptian obelisk.  Again: "Michael Angelo?"

"Oh, mon dieu, genteelmen!  Zis is two thousan' year before he is born!"

He grows so tired of that unceasing question sometimes, that he dreads to
show us any thing at all.  The wretch has tried all the ways he can think
of to make us comprehend that Michael Angelo is only responsible for the
creation of a part of the world, but somehow he has not succeeded yet.
Relief for overtasked eyes and brain from study and sightseeing is
necessary, or we shall become idiotic sure enough.  Therefore this guide
must continue to suffer.  If he does not enjoy it, so much the worse for
him.  We do.

In this place I may as well jot down a chapter concerning those necessary
nuisances, European guides.  Many a man has wished in his heart he could
do without his guide; but knowing he could not, has wished he could get
some amusement out of him as a remuneration for the affliction of his
society.  We accomplished this latter matter, and if our experience can
be made useful to others they are welcome to it.

Guides know about enough English to tangle every thing up so that a man
can make neither head or tail of it.  They know their story by heart--the
history of every statue, painting, cathedral or other wonder they show
you.  They know it and tell it as a parrot would--and if you interrupt,
and throw them off the track, they have to go back and begin over again.
All their lives long, they are employed in showing strange things to
foreigners and listening to their bursts of admiration.  It is human
nature to take delight in exciting admiration.  It is what prompts
children to say "smart" things, and do absurd ones, and in other ways
"show off" when company is present.  It is what makes gossips turn out in
rain and storm to go and be the first to tell a startling bit of news.
Think, then, what a passion it becomes with a guide, whose privilege it
is, every day, to show to strangers wonders that throw them into perfect
ecstasies of admiration!  He gets so that he could not by any possibility
live in a soberer atmosphere.  After we discovered this, we never went
into ecstasies any more--we never admired any thing--we never showed any
but impassible faces and stupid indifference in the presence of the
sublimest wonders a guide had to display.  We had found their weak point.
We have made good use of it ever since.  We have made some of those
people savage, at times, but we have never lost our own serenity.

The doctor asks the questions, generally, because he can keep his
countenance, and look more like an inspired idiot, and throw more
imbecility into the tone of his voice than any man that lives.  It comes
natural to him.

The guides in Genoa are delighted to secure an American party, because
Americans so much wonder, and deal so much in sentiment and emotion
before any relic of Columbus.  Our guide there fidgeted about as if he
had swallowed a spring mattress.  He was full of animation--full of
impatience.  He said:

"Come wis me, genteelmen!--come!  I show you ze letter writing by
Christopher Colombo!--write it himself!--write it wis his own hand!--
come!"

He took us to the municipal palace.  After much impressive fumbling of
keys and opening of locks, the stained and aged document was spread
before us.  The guide's eyes sparkled.  He danced about us and tapped the
parchment with his finger:

"What I tell you, genteelmen!  Is it not so?  See!  handwriting
Christopher Colombo!--write it himself!"

We looked indifferent--unconcerned.  The doctor examined the document
very deliberately, during a painful pause. --Then he said, without any
show of interest:

"Ah--Ferguson--what--what did you say was the name of the party who wrote
this?"

"Christopher Colombo! ze great Christopher Colombo!"

Another deliberate examination.

"Ah--did he write it himself; or--or how?"

"He write it himself!--Christopher Colombo!  He's own hand-writing, write
by himself!"

Then the doctor laid the document down and said:

"Why, I have seen boys in America only fourteen years old that could
write better than that."

"But zis is ze great Christo--"

"I don't care who it is!  It's the worst writing I ever saw.  Now you
musn't think you can impose on us because we are strangers.  We are not
fools, by a good deal.  If you have got any specimens of penmanship of
real merit, trot them out!--and if you haven't, drive on!"

We drove on.  The guide was considerably shaken up, but he made one more
venture.  He had something which he thought would overcome us.  He said:

"Ah, genteelmen, you come wis me!  I show you beautiful, O, magnificent
bust Christopher Colombo!--splendid, grand, magnificent!"

He brought us before the beautiful bust--for it was beautiful--and sprang
back and struck an attitude:

"Ah, look, genteelmen!--beautiful, grand,--bust Christopher Colombo!--
beautiful bust, beautiful pedestal!"

The doctor put up his eye-glass--procured for such occasions:

"Ah--what did you say this gentleman's name was?"

"Christopher Colombo!--ze great Christopher Colombo!"

"Christopher Colombo--the great Christopher Colombo.  Well, what did he
do?"

"Discover America!--discover America, Oh, ze devil!"

"Discover America.  No--that statement will hardly wash.  We are just
from America ourselves.  We heard nothing about it.  Christopher Colombo
--pleasant name--is--is he dead?"

"Oh, corpo di Baccho!--three hundred year!"

"What did he die of?"

"I do not know!--I can not tell."

"Small-pox, think?"

"I do not know, genteelmen!--I do not know what he die of!"

"Measles, likely?"

"May be--may be--I do not know--I think he die of somethings."

"Parents living?"

"Im-poseeeble!"

"Ah--which is the bust and which is the pedestal?"

"Santa Maria!--zis ze bust!--zis ze pedestal!"

"Ah, I see, I see--happy combination--very happy combination, indeed.
Is--is this the first time this gentleman was ever on a bust?"

That joke was lost on the foreigner--guides can not master the subtleties
of the American joke.

We have made it interesting for this Roman guide.  Yesterday we spent
three or four hours in the Vatican, again, that wonderful world of
curiosities.  We came very near expressing interest, sometimes--even
admiration--it was very hard to keep from it.  We succeeded though.
Nobody else ever did, in the Vatican museums.  The guide was bewildered--
non-plussed.  He walked his legs off, nearly, hunting up extraordinary
things, and exhausted all his ingenuity on us, but it was a failure; we
never showed any interest in any thing.  He had reserved what he
considered to be his greatest wonder till the last--a royal Egyptian
mummy, the best preserved in the world, perhaps.  He took us there.  He
felt so sure, this time, that some of his old enthusiasm came back to
him:

"See, genteelmen!--Mummy!  Mummy!"

The eye-glass came up as calmly, as deliberately as ever.

"Ah,--Ferguson--what did I understand you to say the gentleman's name
was?"

"Name?--he got no name!--Mummy!--'Gyptian mummy!"

"Yes, yes.  Born here?"

"No!  'Gyptian mummy!"

"Ah, just so.  Frenchman, I presume?"

"No!--not Frenchman, not Roman!--born in Egypta!"

"Born in Egypta.  Never heard of Egypta before.  Foreign locality,
likely.  Mummy--mummy.  How calm he is--how self-possessed.  Is, ah--is
he dead?"

"Oh, sacre bleu, been dead three thousan' year!"

The doctor turned on him savagely:

"Here, now, what do you mean by such conduct as this!  Playing us for
Chinamen because we are strangers and trying to learn!  Trying to impose
your vile second-hand carcasses on us!--thunder and lightning, I've a
notion to--to--if you've got a nice fresh corpse, fetch him out!--or by
George we'll brain you!"

We make it exceedingly interesting for this Frenchman.  However, he has
paid us back, partly, without knowing it.  He came to the hotel this
morning to ask if we were up, and he endeavored as well as he could to
describe us, so that the landlord would know which persons he meant.  He
finished with the casual remark that we were lunatics.  The observation
was so innocent and so honest that it amounted to a very good thing for a
guide to say.

There is one remark (already mentioned,) which never yet has failed to
disgust these guides.  We use it always, when we can think of nothing
else to say.  After they have exhausted their enthusiasm pointing out to
us and praising the beauties of some ancient bronze image or broken-
legged statue, we look at it stupidly and in silence for five, ten,
fifteen minutes--as long as we can hold out, in fact--and then ask:

"Is--is he dead?"

That conquers the serenest of them.  It is not what they are looking for
--especially a new guide.  Our Roman Ferguson is the most patient,
unsuspecting, long-suffering subject we have had yet.  We shall be sorry
to part with him.  We have enjoyed his society very much.  We trust he
has enjoyed ours, but we are harassed with doubts.

We have been in the catacombs.  It was like going down into a very deep
cellar, only it was a cellar which had no end to it.  The narrow passages
are roughly hewn in the rock, and on each hand as you pass along, the
hollowed shelves are carved out, from three to fourteen deep; each held a
corpse once.  There are names, and Christian symbols, and prayers, or
sentences expressive of Christian hopes, carved upon nearly every
sarcophagus.  The dates belong away back in the dawn of the Christian
era, of course.  Here, in these holes in the ground, the first Christians
sometimes burrowed to escape persecution.  They crawled out at night to
get food, but remained under cover in the day time.  The priest told us
that St. Sebastian lived under ground for some time while he was being
hunted; he went out one day, and the soldiery discovered and shot him to
death with arrows.  Five or six of the early Popes--those who reigned
about sixteen hundred years ago--held their papal courts and advised with
their clergy in the bowels of the earth.  During seventeen years--from
A.D. 235 to A.D. 252--the Popes did not appear above ground.  Four were
raised to the great office during that period.  Four years apiece, or
thereabouts.  It is very suggestive of the unhealthiness of underground
graveyards as places of residence.  One Pope afterward spent his entire
pontificate in the catacombs--eight years.  Another was discovered in
them and murdered in the episcopal chair.  There was no satisfaction in
being a Pope in those days.  There were too many annoyances.  There are
one hundred and sixty catacombs under Rome, each with its maze of narrow
passages crossing and recrossing each other and each passage walled to
the top with scooped graves its entire length.  A careful estimate makes
the length of the passages of all the catacombs combined foot up nine
hundred miles, and their graves number seven millions.  We did not go
through all the passages of all the catacombs.  We were very anxious to
do it, and made the necessary arrangements, but our too limited time
obliged us to give up the idea.  So we only groped through the dismal
labyrinth of St. Callixtus, under the Church of St. Sebastian.  In the
various catacombs are small chapels rudely hewn in the stones, and here
the early Christians often held their religious services by dim, ghostly
lights.  Think of mass and a sermon away down in those tangled caverns
under ground!

In the catacombs were buried St. Cecilia, St. Agnes, and several other of
the most celebrated of the saints.  In the catacomb of St. Callixtus, St.
Bridget used to remain long hours in holy contemplation, and St. Charles
Borromeo was wont to spend whole nights in prayer there.  It was also the
scene of a very marvelous thing.

     "Here the heart of St. Philip Neri was so inflamed with divine love
     as to burst his ribs."

I find that grave statement in a book published in New York in 1808, and
written by "Rev. William H. Neligan, LL.D., M. A., Trinity College,
Dublin; Member of the Archaeological Society of Great Britain."
Therefore, I believe it.  Otherwise, I could not.  Under other
circumstances I should have felt a curiosity to know what Philip had for
dinner.

This author puts my credulity on its mettle every now and then.  He tells
of one St. Joseph Calasanctius whose house in Rome he visited; he visited
only the house--the priest has been dead two hundred years.  He says the
Virgin Mary appeared to this saint.  Then he continues:

     "His tongue and his heart, which were found after nearly a century
     to be whole, when the body was disinterred before his canonization,
     are still preserved in a glass case, and after two centuries the
     heart is still whole.  When the French troops came to Rome, and when
     Pius VII. was carried away prisoner, blood dropped from it."

To read that in a book written by a monk far back in the Middle Ages,
would surprise no one; it would sound natural and proper; but when it is
seriously stated in the middle of the nineteenth century, by a man of
finished education, an LL.D., M. A., and an Archaeological magnate, it
sounds strangely enough.  Still, I would gladly change my unbelief for
Neligan's faith, and let him make the conditions as hard as he pleased.

The old gentleman's undoubting, unquestioning simplicity has a rare
freshness about it in these matter-of-fact railroading and telegraphing
days.  Hear him, concerning the church of Ara Coeli:

     "In the roof of the church, directly above the high altar, is
     engraved, 'Regina Coeli laetare Alleluia."  In the sixth century
     Rome was visited by a fearful pestilence.  Gregory the Great urged
     the people to do penance, and a general procession was formed.  It
     was to proceed from Ara Coeli to St. Peter's.  As it passed before
     the mole of Adrian, now the Castle of St. Angelo, the sound of
     heavenly voices was heard singing (it was Easter morn,) Regina
     Coeli, laetare!  alleluia!  quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia!
     resurrexit sicut dixit; alleluia!"  The Pontiff, carrying in his
     hands the portrait of the Virgin, (which is over the high altar and
     is said to have been painted by St. Luke,) answered, with the
     astonished people, 'Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia!'  At the same time
     an angel was seen to put up a sword in a scabbard, and the
     pestilence ceased on the same day.  There are four circumstances
     which 'CONFIRM'--[The italics are mine--M. T.]-- this miracle: the
     annual procession which takes place in the western church on the
     feast of St Mark; the statue of St. Michael, placed on the mole of
     Adrian, which has since that time been called the Castle of St.
     Angelo; the antiphon Regina Coeli which the Catholic church sings
     during paschal time; and the inscription in the church."




CHAPTER XXVIII.

From the sanguinary sports of the Holy Inquisition; the slaughter of the
Coliseum; and the dismal tombs of the Catacombs, I naturally pass to the
picturesque horrors of the Capuchin Convent.  We stopped a moment in a
small chapel in the church to admire a picture of St. Michael vanquishing
Satan--a picture which is so beautiful that I can not but think it
belongs to the reviled "Renaissance," notwithstanding I believe they told
us one of the ancient old masters painted it--and then we descended into
the vast vault underneath.

Here was a spectacle for sensitive nerves!  Evidently the old masters had
been at work in this place.  There were six divisions in the apartment,
and each division was ornamented with a style of decoration peculiar to
itself--and these decorations were in every instance formed of human
bones!  There were shapely arches, built wholly of thigh bones; there
were startling pyramids, built wholly of grinning skulls; there were
quaint architectural structures of various kinds, built of shin bones and
the bones of the arm; on the wall were elaborate frescoes, whose curving
vines were made of knotted human vertebrae; whose delicate tendrils were
made of sinews and tendons; whose flowers were formed of knee-caps and
toe-nails.  Every lasting portion of the human frame was represented in
these intricate designs (they were by Michael Angelo, I think,) and there
was a careful finish about the work, and an attention to details that
betrayed the artist's love of his labors as well as his schooled ability.
I asked the good-natured monk who accompanied us, who did this?  And he
said, "We did it"--meaning himself and his brethren up stairs.  I could
see that the old friar took a high pride in his curious show.  We made
him talkative by exhibiting an interest we never betrayed to guides.

"Who were these people?"

"We--up stairs--Monks of the Capuchin order--my brethren."

"How many departed monks were required to upholster these six parlors?"

"These are the bones of four thousand."

"It took a long time to get enough?"

"Many, many centuries."

"Their different parts are well separated--skulls in one room, legs in
another, ribs in another--there would be stirring times here for a while
if the last trump should blow.  Some of the brethren might get hold of
the wrong leg, in the confusion, and the wrong skull, and find themselves
limping, and looking through eyes that were wider apart or closer
together than they were used to.  You can not tell any of these parties
apart, I suppose?"

"Oh, yes, I know many of them."

He put his finger on a skull.  "This was Brother Anselmo--dead three
hundred years--a good man."

He touched another.  "This was Brother Alexander--dead two hundred and
eighty years.  This was Brother Carlo--dead about as long."

Then he took a skull and held it in his hand, and looked reflectively
upon it, after the manner of the grave-digger when he discourses of
Yorick.

"This," he said, "was Brother Thomas.  He was a young prince, the scion
of a proud house that traced its lineage back to the grand old days of
Rome well nigh two thousand years ago.  He loved beneath his estate.  His
family persecuted him; persecuted the girl, as well.  They drove her from
Rome; he followed; he sought her far and wide; he found no trace of her.
He came back and offered his broken heart at our altar and his weary life
to the service of God.  But look you.  Shortly his father died, and
likewise his mother.  The girl returned, rejoicing.  She sought every
where for him whose eyes had used to look tenderly into hers out of this
poor skull, but she could not find him.  At last, in this coarse garb we
wear, she recognized him in the street.  He knew her.  It was too late.
He fell where he stood.  They took him up and brought him here.  He never
spoke afterward.  Within the week he died.  You can see the color of his
hair--faded, somewhat--by this thin shred that clings still to the
temple.  "This," [taking up a thigh bone,] "was his.  The veins of this
leaf in the decorations over your head, were his finger-joints, a hundred
and fifty years ago."

This business-like way of illustrating a touching story of the heart by
laying the several fragments of the lover before us and naming them, was
as grotesque a performance, and as ghastly, as any I ever witnessed.  I
hardly knew whether to smile or shudder.  There are nerves and muscles in
our frames whose functions and whose methods of working it seems a sort
of sacrilege to describe by cold physiological names and surgical
technicalities, and the monk's talk suggested to me something of this
kind.  Fancy a surgeon, with his nippers lifting tendons, muscles and
such things into view, out of the complex machinery of a corpse, and
observing, "Now this little nerve quivers--the vibration is imparted to
this muscle--from here it is passed to this fibrous substance; here its
ingredients are separated by the chemical action of the blood--one part
goes to the heart and thrills it with what is popularly termed emotion,
another part follows this nerve to the brain and communicates
intelligence of a startling character--the third part glides along this
passage and touches the spring connected with the fluid receptacles that
lie in the rear of the eye.  Thus, by this simple and beautiful process,
the party is informed that his mother is dead, and he weeps."  Horrible!

I asked the monk if all the brethren up stairs expected to be put in this
place when they died.  He answered quietly:

"We must all lie here at last."

See what one can accustom himself to. --The reflection that he must some
day be taken apart like an engine or a clock, or like a house whose owner
is gone, and worked up into arches and pyramids and hideous frescoes, did
not distress this monk in the least.  I thought he even looked as if he
were thinking, with complacent vanity, that his own skull would look well
on top of the heap and his own ribs add a charm to the frescoes which
possibly they lacked at present.

Here and there, in ornamental alcoves, stretched upon beds of bones, lay
dead and dried-up monks, with lank frames dressed in the black robes one
sees ordinarily upon priests.  We examined one closely.  The skinny hands
were clasped upon the breast; two lustreless tufts of hair stuck to the
skull; the skin was brown and sunken; it stretched tightly over the cheek
bones and made them stand out sharply; the crisp dead eyes were deep in
the sockets; the nostrils were painfully prominent, the end of the nose
being gone; the lips had shriveled away from the yellow teeth: and
brought down to us through the circling years, and petrified there, was a
weird laugh a full century old!

It was the jolliest laugh, but yet the most dreadful, that one can
imagine.  Surely, I thought, it must have been a most extraordinary joke
this veteran produced with his latest breath, that he has not got done
laughing at it yet.  At this moment I saw that the old instinct was
strong upon the boys, and I said we had better hurry to St. Peter's.
They were trying to keep from asking, "Is--is he dead?"

It makes me dizzy, to think of the Vatican--of its wilderness of statues,
paintings, and curiosities of every description and every age.  The "old
masters" (especially in sculpture,) fairly swarm, there.  I can not write
about the Vatican.  I think I shall never remember any thing I saw there
distinctly but the mummies, and the Transfiguration, by Raphael, and some
other things it is not necessary to mention now.  I shall remember the
Transfiguration partly because it was placed in a room almost by itself;
partly because it is acknowledged by all to be the first oil painting in
the world; and partly because it was wonderfully beautiful.  The colors
are fresh and rich, the "expression," I am told, is fine, the "feeling"
is lively, the "tone" is good, the "depth" is profound, and the width is
about four and a half feet, I should judge.  It is a picture that really
holds one's attention; its beauty is fascinating.  It is fine enough to
be a Renaissance.  A remark I made a while ago suggests a thought--and a
hope.  Is it not possible that the reason I find such charms in this
picture is because it is out of the crazy chaos of the galleries?  If
some of the others were set apart, might not they be beautiful?  If this
were set in the midst of the tempest of pictures one finds in the vast
galleries of the Roman palaces, would I think it so handsome?  If, up to
this time, I had seen only one "old master" in each palace, instead of
acres and acres of walls and ceilings fairly papered with them, might I
not have a more civilized opinion of the old masters than I have now?  I
think so.  When I was a school-boy and was to have a new knife, I could
not make up my mind as to which was the prettiest in the show-case, and I
did not think any of them were particularly pretty; and so I chose with a
heavy heart.  But when I looked at my purchase, at home, where no
glittering blades came into competition with it, I was astonished to see
how handsome it was.  To this day my new hats look better out of the shop
than they did in it with other new hats.  It begins to dawn upon me, now,
that possibly, what I have been taking for uniform ugliness in the
galleries may be uniform beauty after all.  I honestly hope it is, to
others, but certainly it is not to me.  Perhaps the reason I used to
enjoy going to the Academy of Fine Arts in New York was because there
were but a few hundred paintings in it, and it did not surfeit me to go
through the list.  I suppose the Academy was bacon and beans in the
Forty-Mile Desert, and a European gallery is a state dinner of thirteen
courses.  One leaves no sign after him of the one dish, but the thirteen
frighten away his appetite and give him no satisfaction.

There is one thing I am certain of, though.  With all the Michael
Angelos, the Raphaels, the Guidos and the other old masters, the sublime
history of Rome remains unpainted!  They painted Virgins enough, and
popes enough and saintly scarecrows enough, to people Paradise, almost,
and these things are all they did paint.  "Nero fiddling o'er burning
Rome," the assassination of Caesar, the stirring spectacle of a hundred
thousand people bending forward with rapt interest, in the coliseum, to
see two skillful gladiators hacking away each others' lives, a tiger
springing upon a kneeling martyr--these and a thousand other matters
which we read of with a living interest, must be sought for only in
books--not among the rubbish left by the old masters--who are no more, I
have the satisfaction of informing the public.

They did paint, and they did carve in marble, one historical scene, and
one only, (of any great historical consequence.) And what was it and why
did they choose it, particularly?  It was the Rape of the Sabines, and
they chose it for the legs and busts.

I like to look at statues, however, and I like to look at pictures, also
--even of monks looking up in sacred ecstacy, and monks looking down in
meditation, and monks skirmishing for something to eat--and therefore I
drop ill nature to thank the papal government for so jealously guarding
and so industriously gathering up these things; and for permitting me, a
stranger and not an entirely friendly one, to roam at will and unmolested
among them, charging me nothing, and only requiring that I shall behave
myself simply as well as I ought to behave in any other man's house.  I
thank the Holy Father right heartily, and I wish him long life and plenty
of happiness.

The Popes have long been the patrons and preservers of art, just as our
new, practical Republic is the encourager and upholder of mechanics.  In
their Vatican is stored up all that is curious and beautiful in art; in
our Patent Office is hoarded all that is curious or useful in mechanics.
When a man invents a new style of horse-collar or discovers a new and
superior method of telegraphing, our government issues a patent to him
that is worth a fortune; when a man digs up an ancient statue in the
Campagna, the Pope gives him a fortune in gold coin.  We can make
something of a guess at a man's character by the style of nose he carries
on his face.  The Vatican and the Patent Office are governmental noses,
and they bear a deal of character about them.

The guide showed us a colossal statue of Jupiter, in the Vatican, which
he said looked so damaged and rusty--so like the God of the Vagabonds--
because it had but recently been dug up in the Campagna.  He asked how
much we supposed this Jupiter was worth?  I replied, with intelligent
promptness, that he was probably worth about four dollars--may be four
and a half.  "A hundred thousand dollars!"  Ferguson said.  Ferguson
said, further, that the Pope permits no ancient work of this kind to
leave his dominions.  He appoints a commission to examine discoveries
like this and report upon the value; then the Pope pays the discoverer
one-half of that assessed value and takes the statue.  He said this
Jupiter was dug from a field which had just been bought for thirty-six
thousand dollars, so the first crop was a good one for the new farmer.
I do not know whether Ferguson always tells the truth or not, but I
suppose he does.  I know that an exorbitant export duty is exacted upon
all pictures painted by the old masters, in order to discourage the sale
of those in the private collections.  I am satisfied, also, that genuine
old masters hardly exist at all, in America, because the cheapest and
most insignificant of them are valued at the price of a fine farm.  I
proposed to buy a small trifle of a Raphael, myself, but the price of it
was eighty thousand dollars, the export duty would have made it
considerably over a hundred, and so I studied on it awhile and concluded
not to take it.

I wish here to mention an inscription I have seen, before I forget it:

"Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth TO MEN OF GOOD WILL!"  It is
not good scripture, but it is sound Catholic and human nature.

This is in letters of gold around the apsis of a mosaic group at the side
of the 'scala santa', church of St. John Lateran, the Mother and Mistress
of all the Catholic churches of the world.  The group represents the
Saviour, St. Peter, Pope Leo, St. Silvester, Constantine and Charlemagne.
Peter is giving the pallium to the Pope, and a standard to Charlemagne.
The Saviour is giving the keys to St. Silvester, and a standard to
Constantine.  No prayer is offered to the Saviour, who seems to be of
little importance any where in Rome; but an inscription below says,
"Blessed Peter, give life to Pope Leo and victory to king Charles."  It
does not say, "Intercede for us, through the Saviour, with the Father,
for this boon," but "Blessed Peter, give it us."

In all seriousness--without meaning to be frivolous--without meaning to
be irreverent, and more than all, without meaning to be blasphemous,--I
state as my simple deduction from the things I have seen and the things I
have heard, that the Holy Personages rank thus in Rome:

First--"The Mother of God"--otherwise the Virgin Mary.

Second--The Deity.

Third--Peter.

Fourth--Some twelve or fifteen canonized Popes and martyrs.

Fifth--Jesus Christ the Saviour--(but always as an infant in arms.)

I may be wrong in this--my judgment errs often, just as is the case with
other men's--but it is my judgment, be it good or bad.

Just here I will mention something that seems curious to me.  There are
no "Christ's Churches" in Rome, and no "Churches of the Holy Ghost," that
I can discover.  There are some four hundred churches, but about a fourth
of them seem to be named for the Madonna and St. Peter.  There are so
many named for Mary that they have to be distinguished by all sorts of
affixes, if I understand the matter rightly.  Then we have churches of
St. Louis; St. Augustine; St. Agnes; St. Calixtus; St. Lorenzo in Lucina;
St. Lorenzo in Damaso; St. Cecilia; St. Athanasius; St. Philip Neri; St.
Catherine, St. Dominico, and a multitude of lesser saints whose names are
not familiar in the world--and away down, clear out of the list of the
churches, comes a couple of hospitals: one of them is named for the
Saviour and the other for the Holy Ghost!

Day after day and night after night we have wandered among the crumbling
wonders of Rome; day after day and night after night we have fed upon the
dust and decay of five-and-twenty centuries--have brooded over them by
day and dreampt of them by night till sometimes we seemed moldering away
ourselves, and growing defaced and cornerless, and liable at any moment
to fall a prey to some antiquary and be patched in the legs, and
"restored" with an unseemly nose, and labeled wrong and dated wrong, and
set up in the Vatican for poets to drivel about and vandals to scribble
their names on forever and forevermore.

But the surest way to stop writing about Rome is to stop.  I wished to
write a real "guide-book" chapter on this fascinating city, but I could
not do it, because I have felt all the time like a boy in a candy-shop--
there was every thing to choose from, and yet no choice.  I have drifted
along hopelessly for a hundred pages of manuscript without knowing where
to commence.  I will not commence at all.  Our passports have been
examined.  We will go to Naples.




CHAPTER XXIX.

The ship is lying here in the harbor of Naples--quarantined.  She has
been here several days and will remain several more.  We that came by
rail from Rome have escaped this misfortune.  Of course no one is allowed
to go on board the ship, or come ashore from her.  She is a prison, now.
The passengers probably spend the long, blazing days looking out from
under the awnings at Vesuvius and the beautiful city--and in swearing.
Think of ten days of this sort of pastime!--We go out every day in a boat
and request them to come ashore.  It soothes them.  We lie ten steps from
the ship and tell them how splendid the city is; and how much better the
hotel fare is here than any where else in Europe; and how cool it is; and
what frozen continents of ice cream there are; and what a time we are
having cavorting about the country and sailing to the islands in the Bay.
This tranquilizes them.

                           ASCENT OF VESUVIUS.

I shall remember our trip to Vesuvius for many a day--partly because of
its sight-seeing experiences, but chiefly on account of the fatigue of
the journey.  Two or three of us had been resting ourselves among the
tranquil and beautiful scenery of the island of Ischia, eighteen miles
out in the harbor, for two days; we called it "resting," but I do not
remember now what the resting consisted of, for when we got back to
Naples we had not slept for forty-eight hours.  We were just about to go
to bed early in the evening, and catch up on some of the sleep we had
lost, when we heard of this Vesuvius expedition.  There was to be eight
of us in the party, and we were to leave Naples at midnight.  We laid in
some provisions for the trip, engaged carriages to take us to
Annunciation, and then moved about the city, to keep awake, till twelve.
We got away punctually, and in the course of an hour and a half arrived
at the town of Annunciation.  Annunciation is the very last place under
the sun.  In other towns in Italy the people lie around quietly and wait
for you to ask them a question or do some overt act that can be charged
for--but in Annunciation they have lost even that fragment of delicacy;
they seize a lady's shawl from a chair and hand it to her and charge a
penny; they open a carriage door, and charge for it--shut it when you get
out, and charge for it; they help you to take off a duster--two cents;
brush your clothes and make them worse than they were before--two cents;
smile upon you--two cents; bow, with a lick-spittle smirk, hat in hand--
two cents; they volunteer all information, such as that the mules will
arrive presently--two cents--warm day, sir--two cents--take you four
hours to make the ascent--two cents.  And so they go.  They crowd you--
infest you--swarm about you, and sweat and smell offensively, and look
sneaking and mean, and obsequious.  There is no office too degrading for
them to perform, for money.  I have had no opportunity to find out any
thing about the upper classes by my own observation, but from what I hear
said about them I judge that what they lack in one or two of the bad
traits the canaille have, they make up in one or two others that are
worse.  How the people beg!--many of them very well dressed, too.

I said I knew nothing against the upper classes by personal observation.
I must recall it!  I had forgotten.  What I saw their bravest and their
fairest do last night, the lowest multitude that could be scraped up out
of the purlieus of Christendom would blush to do, I think.  They
assembled by hundreds, and even thousands, in the great Theatre of San
Carlo, to do--what?  Why, simply, to make fun of an old woman--to deride,
to hiss, to jeer at an actress they once worshipped, but whose beauty is
faded now and whose voice has lost its former richness.  Every body spoke
of the rare sport there was to be.  They said the theatre would be
crammed, because Frezzolini was going to sing.  It was said she could not
sing well, now, but then the people liked to see her, anyhow.  And so we
went.  And every time the woman sang they hissed and laughed--the whole
magnificent house--and as soon as she left the stage they called her on
again with applause.  Once or twice she was encored five and six times in
succession, and received with hisses when she appeared, and discharged
with hisses and laughter when she had finished--then instantly encored
and insulted again!  And how the high-born knaves enjoyed it!  White-
kidded gentlemen and ladies laughed till the tears came, and clapped
their hands in very ecstacy when that unhappy old woman would come meekly
out for the sixth time, with uncomplaining patience, to meet a storm of
hisses!  It was the cruelest exhibition--the most wanton, the most
unfeeling.  The singer would have conquered an audience of American
rowdies by her brave, unflinching tranquillity (for she answered encore
after encore, and smiled and bowed pleasantly, and sang the best she
possibly could, and went bowing off, through all the jeers and hisses,
without ever losing countenance or temper:) and surely in any other land
than Italy her sex and her helplessness must have been an ample
protection to her--she could have needed no other.  Think what a
multitude of small souls were crowded into that theatre last night.  If
the manager could have filled his theatre with Neapolitan souls alone,
without the bodies, he could not have cleared less than ninety millions
of dollars.  What traits of character must a man have to enable him to
help three thousand miscreants to hiss, and jeer, and laugh at one
friendless old woman, and shamefully humiliate her?  He must have all the
vile, mean traits there are.  My observation persuades me (I do not like
to venture beyond my own personal observation,) that the upper classes of
Naples possess those traits of character.  Otherwise they may be very
good people; I can not say.


                     ASCENT OF VESUVIUS--CONTINUED.

In this city of Naples, they believe in and support one of the
wretchedest of all the religious impostures one can find in Italy--the
miraculous liquefaction of the blood of St. Januarius.  Twice a year the
priests assemble all the people at the Cathedral, and get out this vial
of clotted blood and let them see it slowly dissolve and become liquid--
and every day for eight days, this dismal farce is repeated, while the
priests go among the crowd and collect money for the exhibition.  The
first day, the blood liquefies in forty-seven minutes--the church is
crammed, then, and time must be allowed the collectors to get around:
after that it liquefies a little quicker and a little quicker, every day,
as the houses grow smaller, till on the eighth day, with only a few
dozens present to see the miracle, it liquefies in four minutes.

And here, also, they used to have a grand procession, of priests,
citizens, soldiers, sailors, and the high dignitaries of the City
Government, once a year, to shave the head of a made-up Madonna--a
stuffed and painted image, like a milliner's dummy--whose hair
miraculously grew and restored itself every twelve months.  They still
kept up this shaving procession as late as four or five years ago.  It
was a source of great profit to the church that possessed the remarkable
effigy, and the ceremony of the public barbering of her was always
carried out with the greatest possible eclat and display--the more the
better, because the more excitement there was about it the larger the
crowds it drew and the heavier the revenues it produced--but at last a
day came when the Pope and his servants were unpopular in Naples, and the
City Government stopped the Madonna's annual show.

There we have two specimens of these Neapolitans--two of the silliest
possible frauds, which half the population religiously and faithfully
believed, and the other half either believed also or else said nothing
about, and thus lent themselves to the support of the imposture.  I am
very well satisfied to think the whole population believed in those poor,
cheap miracles--a people who want two cents every time they bow to you,
and who abuse a woman, are capable of it, I think.


                     ASCENT OF VESUVIUS--CONTINUED.

These Neapolitans always ask four times as much money as they intend to
take, but if you give them what they first demand, they feel ashamed of
themselves for aiming so low, and immediately ask more.  When money is to
be paid and received, there is always some vehement jawing and
gesticulating about it.  One can not buy and pay for two cents' worth of
clams without trouble and a quarrel.  One "course," in a two-horse
carriage, costs a franc--that is law--but the hackman always demands
more, on some pretence or other, and if he gets it he makes a new demand.
It is said that a stranger took a one-horse carriage for a course--
tariff, half a franc.  He gave the man five francs, by way of experiment.
He demanded more, and received another franc.  Again he demanded more,
and got a franc--demanded more, and it was refused.  He grew vehement--
was again refused, and became noisy.  The stranger said, "Well, give me
the seven francs again, and I will see what I can do"--and when he got
them, he handed the hackman half a franc, and he immediately asked for
two cents to buy a drink with.  It may be thought that I am prejudiced.

Perhaps I am.  I would be ashamed of myself if I were not.


                     ASCENT OF VESUVIUS--CONTINUED.

Well, as I was saying, we got our mules and horses, after an hour and a
half of bargaining with the population of Annunciation, and started
sleepily up the mountain, with a vagrant at each mule's tail who
pretended to be driving the brute along, but was really holding on and
getting himself dragged up instead.  I made slow headway at first, but I
began to get dissatisfied at the idea of paying my minion five francs to
hold my mule back by the tail and keep him from going up the hill, and so
I discharged him.  I got along faster then.

We had one magnificent picture of Naples from a high point on the
mountain side.  We saw nothing but the gas lamps, of course--two-thirds
of a circle, skirting the great Bay--a necklace of diamonds glinting up
through the darkness from the remote distance--less brilliant than the
stars overhead, but more softly, richly beautiful--and over all the great
city the lights crossed and recrossed each other in many and many a
sparkling line and curve.  And back of the town, far around and abroad
over the miles of level campagna, were scattered rows, and circles, and
clusters of lights, all glowing like so many gems, and marking where a
score of villages were sleeping.  About this time, the fellow who was
hanging on to the tail of the horse in front of me and practicing all
sorts of unnecessary cruelty upon the animal, got kicked some fourteen
rods, and this incident, together with the fairy spectacle of the lights
far in the distance, made me serenely happy, and I was glad I started to
Vesuvius.


                  ASCENT OF MOUNT VESUVIUS--CONTINUED.

This subject will be excellent matter for a chapter, and tomorrow or next
day I will write it.




CHAPTER XXX.

                     ASCENT OF VESUVIUS--CONTINUED.

"See Naples and die."  Well, I do not know that one would necessarily die
after merely seeing it, but to attempt to live there might turn out a
little differently.  To see Naples as we saw it in the early dawn from
far up on the side of Vesuvius, is to see a picture of wonderful beauty.
At that distance its dingy buildings looked white--and so, rank on rank
of balconies, windows and roofs, they piled themselves up from the blue
ocean till the colossal castle of St. Elmo topped the grand white pyramid
and gave the picture symmetry, emphasis and completeness.  And when its
lilies turned to roses--when it blushed under the sun's first kiss--it
was beautiful beyond all description.  One might well say, then, "See
Naples and die."  The frame of the picture was charming, itself.  In
front, the smooth sea--a vast mosaic of many colors; the lofty islands
swimming in a dreamy haze in the distance; at our end of the city the
stately double peak of Vesuvius, and its strong black ribs and seams of
lava stretching down to the limitless level campagna--a green carpet that
enchants the eye and leads it on and on, past clusters of trees, and
isolated houses, and snowy villages, until it shreds out in a fringe of
mist and general vagueness far away.  It is from the Hermitage, there on
the side of Vesuvius, that one should "see Naples and die."

But do not go within the walls and look at it in detail.  That takes away
some of the romance of the thing.  The people are filthy in their habits,
and this makes filthy streets and breeds disagreeable sights and smells.
There never was a community so prejudiced against the cholera as these
Neapolitans are.  But they have good reason to be.  The cholera generally
vanquishes a Neapolitan when it seizes him, because, you understand,
before the doctor can dig through the dirt and get at the disease the man
dies.  The upper classes take a sea-bath every day, and are pretty
decent.

The streets are generally about wide enough for one wagon, and how they
do swarm with people!  It is Broadway repeated in every street, in every
court, in every alley!  Such masses, such throngs, such multitudes of
hurrying, bustling, struggling humanity!  We never saw the like of it,
hardly even in New York, I think.  There are seldom any sidewalks, and
when there are, they are not often wide enough to pass a man on without
caroming on him.  So everybody walks in the street--and where the street
is wide enough, carriages are forever dashing along.  Why a thousand
people are not run over and crippled every day is a mystery that no man
can solve.  But if there is an eighth wonder in the world, it must be the
dwelling-houses of Naples.  I honestly believe a good majority of them
are a hundred feet high!  And the solid brick walls are seven feet
through.  You go up nine flights of stairs before you get to the "first"
floor.  No, not nine, but there or thereabouts.  There is a little bird-
cage of an iron railing in front of every window clear away up, up, up,
among the eternal clouds, where the roof is, and there is always somebody
looking out of every window--people of ordinary size looking out from the
first floor, people a shade smaller from the second, people that look a
little smaller yet from the third--and from thence upward they grow
smaller and smaller by a regularly graduated diminution, till the folks
in the topmost windows seem more like birds in an uncommonly tall martin-
box than any thing else.  The perspective of one of these narrow cracks
of streets, with its rows of tall houses stretching away till they come
together in the distance like railway tracks; its clothes-lines crossing
over at all altitudes and waving their bannered raggedness over the
swarms of people below; and the white-dressed women perched in balcony
railings all the way from the pavement up to the heavens--a perspective
like that is really worth going into Neapolitan details to see.


                     ASCENT OF VESUVIUS--CONTINUED.

Naples, with its immediate suburbs, contains six hundred and twenty-five
thousand inhabitants, but I am satisfied it covers no more ground than an
American city of one hundred and fifty thousand.  It reaches up into the
air infinitely higher than three American cities, though, and there is
where the secret of it lies.  I will observe here, in passing, that the
contrasts between opulence and poverty, and magnificence and misery, are
more frequent and more striking in Naples than in Paris even.  One must
go to the Bois de Boulogne to see fashionable dressing, splendid
equipages and stunning liveries, and to the Faubourg St. Antoine to see
vice, misery, hunger, rags, dirt--but in the thoroughfares of Naples
these things are all mixed together.  Naked boys of nine years and the
fancy-dressed children of luxury; shreds and tatters, and brilliant
uniforms; jackass-carts and state-carriages; beggars, Princes and
Bishops, jostle each other in every street.  At six o'clock every
evening, all Naples turns out to drive on the 'Riviere di Chiaja',
(whatever that may mean;) and for two hours one may stand there and see
the motliest and the worst mixed procession go by that ever eyes beheld.
Princes (there are more Princes than policemen in Naples--the city is
infested with them)--Princes who live up seven flights of stairs and
don't own any principalities, will keep a carriage and go hungry; and
clerks, mechanics, milliners and strumpets will go without their dinners
and squander the money on a hack-ride in the Chiaja; the rag-tag and
rubbish of the city stack themselves up, to the number of twenty or
thirty, on a rickety little go-cart hauled by a donkey not much bigger
than a cat, and they drive in the Chiaja; Dukes and bankers, in sumptuous
carriages and with gorgeous drivers and footmen, turn out, also, and so
the furious procession goes.  For two hours rank and wealth, and
obscurity and poverty clatter along side by side in the wild procession,
and then go home serene, happy, covered with glory!

I was looking at a magnificent marble staircase in the King's palace, the
other day, which, it was said, cost five million francs, and I suppose it
did cost half a million, may be.  I felt as if it must be a fine thing to
live in a country where there was such comfort and such luxury as this.
And then I stepped out musing, and almost walked over a vagabond who was
eating his dinner on the curbstone--a piece of bread and a bunch of
grapes.  When I found that this mustang was clerking in a fruit
establishment (he had the establishment along with him in a basket,) at
two cents a day, and that he had no palace at home where he lived, I lost
some of my enthusiasm concerning the happiness of living in Italy.

This naturally suggests to me a thought about wages here.  Lieutenants in
the army get about a dollar a day, and common soldiers a couple of cents.
I only know one clerk--he gets four dollars a month.  Printers get six
dollars and a half a month, but I have heard of a foreman who gets
thirteen.

To be growing suddenly and violently rich, as this man is, naturally
makes him a bloated aristocrat.  The airs he puts on are insufferable.

And, speaking of wages, reminds me of prices of merchandise.  In Paris
you pay twelve dollars a dozen for Jouvin's best kid gloves; gloves of
about as good quality sell here at three or four dollars a dozen.  You
pay five and six dollars apiece for fine linen shirts in Paris; here and
in Leghorn you pay two and a half.  In Marseilles you pay forty dollars
for a first-class dress coat made by a good tailor, but in Leghorn you
can get a full dress suit for the same money.  Here you get handsome
business suits at from ten to twenty dollars, and in Leghorn you can get
an overcoat for fifteen dollars that would cost you seventy in New York.
Fine kid boots are worth eight dollars in Marseilles and four dollars
here.  Lyons velvets rank higher in America than those of Genoa.  Yet the
bulk of Lyons velvets you buy in the States are made in Genoa and
imported into Lyons, where they receive the Lyons stamp and are then
exported to America.  You can buy enough velvet in Genoa for twenty-five
dollars to make a five hundred dollar cloak in New York--so the ladies
tell me.  Of course these things bring me back, by a natural and easy
transition, to the

                     ASCENT OF VESUVIUS--CONTINUED.

And thus the wonderful Blue Grotto is suggested to me.  It is situated on
the Island of Capri, twenty-two miles from Naples.  We chartered a little
steamer and went out there.  Of course, the police boarded us and put us
through a health examination, and inquired into our politics, before they
would let us land.  The airs these little insect Governments put on are
in the last degree ridiculous.  They even put a policeman on board of our
boat to keep an eye on us as long as we were in the Capri dominions.
They thought we wanted to steal the grotto, I suppose.  It was worth
stealing.  The entrance to the cave is four feet high and four feet wide,
and is in the face of a lofty perpendicular cliff--the sea-wall.  You
enter in small boats--and a tight squeeze it is, too.  You can not go in
at all when the tide is up.  Once within, you find yourself in an arched
cavern about one hundred and sixty feet long, one hundred and twenty
wide, and about seventy high.  How deep it is no man knows.  It goes down
to the bottom of the ocean.  The waters of this placid subterranean lake
are the brightest, loveliest blue that can be imagined.  They are as
transparent as plate glass, and their coloring would shame the richest
sky that ever bent over Italy.  No tint could be more ravishing, no
lustre more superb.  Throw a stone into the water, and the myriad of tiny
bubbles that are created flash out a brilliant glare like blue theatrical
fires.  Dip an oar, and its blade turns to splendid frosted silver,
tinted with blue.  Let a man jump in, and instantly he is cased in an
armor more gorgeous than ever kingly Crusader wore.

Then we went to Ischia, but I had already been to that island and tired
myself to death "resting" a couple of days and studying human villainy,
with the landlord of the Grande Sentinelle for a model.  So we went to
Procida, and from thence to Pozzuoli, where St. Paul landed after he
sailed from Samos.  I landed at precisely the same spot where St. Paul
landed, and so did Dan and the others.  It was a remarkable coincidence.
St. Paul preached to these people seven days before he started to Rome.

Nero's Baths, the ruins of Baiae, the Temple of Serapis; Cumae, where the
Cumaen Sybil interpreted the oracles, the Lake Agnano, with its ancient
submerged city still visible far down in its depths--these and a hundred
other points of interest we examined with critical imbecility, but the
Grotto of the Dog claimed our chief attention, because we had heard and
read so much about it.  Every body has written about the Grotto del Cane
and its poisonous vapors, from Pliny down to Smith, and every tourist has
held a dog over its floor by the legs to test the capabilities of the
place.  The dog dies in a minute and a half--a chicken instantly.  As a
general thing, strangers who crawl in there to sleep do not get up until
they are called.  And then they don't either.  The stranger that ventures
to sleep there takes a permanent contract.  I longed to see this grotto.
I resolved to take a dog and hold him myself; suffocate him a little, and
time him; suffocate him some more and then finish him.  We reached the
grotto at about three in the afternoon, and proceeded at once to make the
experiments.  But now, an important difficulty presented itself.  We had
no dog.

                     ASCENT OF VESUVIUS--CONTINUED.

At the Hermitage we were about fifteen or eighteen hundred feet above the
sea, and thus far a portion of the ascent had been pretty abrupt.  For
the next two miles the road was a mixture--sometimes the ascent was
abrupt and sometimes it was not: but one characteristic it possessed all
the time, without failure--without modification--it was all
uncompromisingly and unspeakably infamous.  It was a rough, narrow trail,
and led over an old lava flow--a black ocean which was tumbled into a
thousand fantastic shapes--a wild chaos of ruin, desolation, and
barrenness--a wilderness of billowy upheavals, of furious whirlpools, of
miniature mountains rent asunder--of gnarled and knotted, wrinkled and
twisted masses of blackness that mimicked branching roots, great vines,
trunks of trees, all interlaced and mingled together: and all these weird
shapes, all this turbulent panorama, all this stormy, far-stretching
waste of blackness, with its thrilling suggestiveness of life, of action,
of boiling, surging, furious motion, was petrified!--all stricken dead
and cold in the instant of its maddest rioting!--fettered, paralyzed, and
left to glower at heaven in impotent rage for evermore!

Finally we stood in a level, narrow valley (a valley that had been
created by the terrific march of some old time irruption) and on either
hand towered the two steep peaks of Vesuvius.  The one we had to climb--
the one that contains the active volcano--seemed about eight hundred or
one thousand feet high, and looked almost too straight-up-and-down for
any man to climb, and certainly no mule could climb it with a man on his
back.  Four of these native pirates will carry you to the top in a sedan
chair, if you wish it, but suppose they were to slip and let you fall,--
is it likely that you would ever stop rolling?  Not this side of
eternity, perhaps.  We left the mules, sharpened our finger-nails, and
began the ascent I have been writing about so long, at twenty minutes to
six in the morning.  The path led straight up a rugged sweep of loose
chunks of pumice-stone, and for about every two steps forward we took, we
slid back one.  It was so excessively steep that we had to stop, every
fifty or sixty steps, and rest a moment.  To see our comrades, we had to
look very nearly straight up at those above us, and very nearly straight
down at those below.  We stood on the summit at last--it had taken an
hour and fifteen minutes to make the trip.

What we saw there was simply a circular crater--a circular ditch, if you
please--about two hundred feet deep, and four or five hundred feet wide,
whose inner wall was about half a mile in circumference.  In the centre
of the great circus ring thus formed, was a torn and ragged upheaval a
hundred feet high, all snowed over with a sulphur crust of many and many
a brilliant and beautiful color, and the ditch inclosed this like the
moat of a castle, or surrounded it as a little river does a little
island, if the simile is better.  The sulphur coating of that island was
gaudy in the extreme--all mingled together in the richest confusion were
red, blue, brown, black, yellow, white--I do not know that there was a
color, or shade of a color, or combination of colors, unrepresented--and
when the sun burst through the morning mists and fired this tinted
magnificence, it topped imperial Vesuvius like a jeweled crown!

The crater itself--the ditch--was not so variegated in coloring, but yet,
in its softness, richness, and unpretentious elegance, it was more
charming, more fascinating to the eye.  There was nothing "loud" about
its well-bred and well-creased look.  Beautiful?  One could stand and
look down upon it for a week without getting tired of it.  It had the
semblance of a pleasant meadow, whose slender grasses and whose velvety
mosses were frosted with a shining dust, and tinted with palest green
that deepened gradually to the darkest hue of the orange leaf, and
deepened yet again into gravest brown, then faded into orange, then into
brightest gold, and culminated in the delicate pink of a new-blown rose.
Where portions of the meadow had sunk, and where other portions had been
broken up like an ice-floe, the cavernous openings of the one, and the
ragged upturned edges exposed by the other, were hung with a lace-work of
soft-tinted crystals of sulphur that changed their deformities into
quaint shapes and figures that were full of grace and beauty.

The walls of the ditch were brilliant with yellow banks of sulphur and
with lava and pumice-stone of many colors.  No fire was visible any
where, but gusts of sulphurous steam issued silently and invisibly from a
thousand little cracks and fissures in the crater, and were wafted to our
noses with every breeze.  But so long as we kept our nostrils buried in
our handkerchiefs, there was small danger of suffocation.

Some of the boys thrust long slips of paper down into holes and set them
on fire, and so achieved the glory of lighting their cigars by the flames
of Vesuvius, and others cooked eggs over fissures in the rocks and were
happy.

The view from the summit would have been superb but for the fact that the
sun could only pierce the mists at long intervals.  Thus the glimpses we
had of the grand panorama below were only fitful and unsatisfactory.

                               THE DESCENT.

The descent of the mountain was a labor of only four minutes.  Instead of
stalking down the rugged path we ascended, we chose one which was bedded
knee-deep in loose ashes, and ploughed our way with prodigious strides
that would almost have shamed the performance of him of the seven-league
boots.

The Vesuvius of today is a very poor affair compared to the mighty
volcano of Kilauea, in the Sandwich Islands, but I am glad I visited it.
It was well worth it.

It is said that during one of the grand eruptions of Vesuvius it
discharged massy rocks weighing many tons a thousand feet into the air,
its vast jets of smoke and steam ascended thirty miles toward the
firmament, and clouds of its ashes were wafted abroad and fell upon the
decks of ships seven hundred and fifty miles at sea!  I will take the
ashes at a moderate discount, if any one will take the thirty miles of
smoke, but I do not feel able to take a commanding interest in the whole
story by myself.




CHAPTER XXXI.

                        THE BURIED CITY OF POMPEII

They pronounce it Pom-pay-e.  I always had an idea that you went down
into Pompeii with torches, by the way of damp, dark stairways, just as
you do in silver mines, and traversed gloomy tunnels with lava overhead
and something on either hand like dilapidated prisons gouged out of the
solid earth, that faintly resembled houses.  But you do nothing the kind.
Fully one-half of the buried city, perhaps, is completely exhumed and
thrown open freely to the light of day; and there stand the long rows of
solidly-built brick houses (roofless) just as they stood eighteen hundred
years ago, hot with the flaming sun; and there lie their floors, clean-
swept, and not a bright fragment tarnished or waiting of the labored
mosaics that pictured them with the beasts, and birds, and flowers which
we copy in perishable carpets to-day; and here are the Venuses, and
Bacchuses, and Adonises, making love and getting drunk in many-hued
frescoes on the walls of saloon and bed-chamber; and there are the narrow
streets and narrower sidewalks, paved with flags of good hard lava, the
one deeply rutted with the chariot-wheels, and the other with the passing
feet of the Pompeiians of by-gone centuries; and there are the bake-
shops, the temples, the halls of justice, the baths, the theatres--all
clean-scraped and neat, and suggesting nothing of the nature of a silver
mine away down in the bowels of the earth.  The broken pillars lying
about, the doorless doorways and the crumbled tops of the wilderness of
walls, were wonderfully suggestive of the "burnt district" in one of our
cities, and if there had been any charred timbers, shattered windows,
heaps of debris, and general blackness and smokiness about the place, the
resemblance would have been perfect.  But no--the sun shines as brightly
down on old Pompeii to-day as it did when Christ was born in Bethlehem,
and its streets are cleaner a hundred times than ever Pompeiian saw them
in her prime.  I know whereof I speak--for in the great, chief
thoroughfares (Merchant street and the Street of Fortune) have I not seen
with my own eyes how for two hundred years at least the pavements were
not repaired!--how ruts five and even ten inches deep were worn into the
thick flagstones by the chariot-wheels of generations of swindled tax-
payers?  And do I not know by these signs that Street Commissioners of
Pompeii never attended to their business, and that if they never mended
the pavements they never cleaned them?  And, besides, is it not the
inborn nature of Street Commissioners to avoid their duty whenever they
get a chance?  I wish I knew the name of the last one that held office in
Pompeii so that I could give him a blast.  I speak with feeling on this
subject, because I caught my foot in one of those ruts, and the sadness
that came over me when I saw the first poor skeleton, with ashes and lava
sticking to it, was tempered by the reflection that may be that party was
the Street Commissioner.

No--Pompeii is no longer a buried city.  It is a city of hundreds and
hundreds of roofless houses, and a tangled maze of streets where one
could easily get lost, without a guide, and have to sleep in some ghostly
palace that had known no living tenant since that awful November night of
eighteen centuries ago.

We passed through the gate which faces the Mediterranean, (called the
"Marine Gate,") and by the rusty, broken image of Minerva, still keeping
tireless watch and ward over the possessions it was powerless to save,
and went up a long street and stood in the broad court of the Forum of
Justice.  The floor was level and clean, and up and down either side was
a noble colonnade of broken pillars, with their beautiful Ionic and
Corinthian columns scattered about them.  At the upper end were the
vacant seats of the Judges, and behind them we descended into a dungeon
where the ashes and cinders had found two prisoners chained on that
memorable November night, and tortured them to death.  How they must have
tugged at the pitiless fetters as the fierce fires surged around them!

Then we lounged through many and many a sumptuous private mansion which
we could not have entered without a formal invitation in incomprehensible
Latin, in the olden time, when the owners lived there--and we probably
wouldn't have got it.  These people built their houses a good deal alike.
The floors were laid in fanciful figures wrought in mosaics of many-
colored marbles.  At the threshold your eyes fall upon a Latin sentence
of welcome, sometimes, or a picture of a dog, with the legend "Beware of
the Dog," and sometimes a picture of a bear or a faun with no inscription
at all.  Then you enter a sort of vestibule, where they used to keep the
hat-rack, I suppose; next a room with a large marble basin in the midst
and the pipes of a fountain; on either side are bedrooms; beyond the
fountain is a reception-room, then a little garden, dining-room, and so
forth and so on.  The floors were all mosaic, the walls were stuccoed, or
frescoed, or ornamented with bas-reliefs, and here and there were
statues, large and small, and little fish-pools, and cascades of
sparkling water that sprang from secret places in the colonnade of
handsome pillars that surrounded the court, and kept the flower-beds
fresh and the air cool.  Those Pompeiians were very luxurious in their
tastes and habits.  The most exquisite bronzes we have seen in Europe,
came from the exhumed cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii, and also the
finest cameos and the most delicate engravings on precious stones; their
pictures, eighteen or nineteen centuries old, are often much more
pleasing than the celebrated rubbish of the old masters of three
centuries ago.  They were well up in art.  From the creation of these
works of the first, clear up to the eleventh century, art seems hardly to
have existed at all--at least no remnants of it are left--and it was
curious to see how far (in some things, at any rate,) these old time
pagans excelled the remote generations of masters that came after them.
The pride of the world in sculptures seem to be the Laocoon and the Dying
Gladiator, in Rome.  They are as old as Pompeii, were dug from the earth
like Pompeii; but their exact age or who made them can only be
conjectured.  But worn, and cracked, without a history, and with the
blemishing stains of numberless centuries upon them, they still mutely
mock at all efforts to rival their perfections.

It was a quaint and curious pastime, wandering through this old silent
city of the dead--lounging through utterly deserted streets where
thousands and thousands of human beings once bought and sold, and walked
and rode, and made the place resound with the noise and confusion of
traffic and pleasure.  They were not lazy.  They hurried in those days.
We had evidence of that.  There was a temple on one corner, and it was a
shorter cut to go between the columns of that temple from one street to
the other than to go around--and behold that pathway had been worn deep
into the heavy flagstone floor of the building by generations of time-
saving feet!  They would not go around when it was quicker to go through.
We do that way in our cities.

Every where, you see things that make you wonder how old these old houses
were before the night of destruction came--things, too, which bring back
those long dead inhabitants and place the living before your eyes.  For
instance: The steps (two feet thick--lava blocks) that lead up out of the
school, and the same kind of steps that lead up into the dress circle of
the principal theatre, are almost worn through!  For ages the boys
hurried out of that school, and for ages their parents hurried into that
theatre, and the nervous feet that have been dust and ashes for eighteen
centuries have left their record for us to read to-day.  I imagined I
could see crowds of gentlemen and ladies thronging into the theatre, with
tickets for secured seats in their hands, and on the wall, I read the
imaginary placard, in infamous grammar, "POSITIVELY NO FREE LIST, EXCEPT
MEMBERS OF THE PRESS!"  Hanging about the doorway (I fancied,) were
slouchy Pompeiian street-boys uttering slang and profanity, and keeping a
wary eye out for checks.  I entered the theatre, and sat down in one of
the long rows of stone benches in the dress circle, and looked at the
place for the orchestra, and the ruined stage, and around at the wide
sweep of empty boxes, and thought to myself, "This house won't pay."  I
tried to imagine the music in full blast, the leader of the orchestra
beating time, and the "versatile" So-and-So (who had "just returned from
a most successful tour in the provinces to play his last and farewell
engagement of positively six nights only, in Pompeii, previous to his
departure for Herculaneum,") charging around the stage and piling the
agony mountains high--but I could not do it with such a "house" as that;
those empty benches tied my fancy down to dull reality.  I said, these
people that ought to be here have been dead, and still, and moldering to
dust for ages and ages, and will never care for the trifles and follies
of life any more for ever--"Owing to circumstances, etc., etc., there
will not be any performance to-night."  Close down the curtain.  Put out
the lights.

And so I turned away and went through shop after shop and store after
store, far down the long street of the merchants, and called for the
wares of Rome and the East, but the tradesmen were gone, the marts were
silent, and nothing was left but the broken jars all set in cement of
cinders and ashes: the wine and the oil that once had filled them were
gone with their owners.

In a bake-shop was a mill for grinding the grain, and the furnaces for
baking the bread: and they say that here, in the same furnaces, the
exhumers of Pompeii found nice, well baked loaves which the baker had not
found time to remove from the ovens the last time he left his shop,
because circumstances compelled him to leave in such a hurry.

In one house (the only building in Pompeii which no woman is now allowed
to enter,) were the small rooms and short beds of solid masonry, just as
they were in the old times, and on the walls were pictures which looked
almost as fresh as if they were painted yesterday, but which no pen could
have the hardihood to describe; and here and there were Latin
inscriptions--obscene scintillations of wit, scratched by hands that
possibly were uplifted to Heaven for succor in the midst of a driving
storm of fire before the night was done.

In one of the principal streets was a ponderous stone tank, and a water-
spout that supplied it, and where the tired, heated toilers from the
Campagna used to rest their right hands when they bent over to put their
lips to the spout, the thick stone was worn down to a broad groove an
inch or two deep.  Think of the countless thousands of hands that had
pressed that spot in the ages that are gone, to so reduce a stone that is
as hard as iron!

They had a great public bulletin board in Pompeii--a place where
announcements for gladiatorial combats, elections, and such things, were
posted--not on perishable paper, but carved in enduring stone.  One lady,
who, I take it, was rich and well brought up, advertised a dwelling or so
to rent, with baths and all the modern improvements, and several hundred
shops, stipulating that the dwellings should not be put to immoral
purposes.  You can find out who lived in many a house in Pompeii by the
carved stone door-plates affixed to them: and in the same way you can
tell who they were that occupy the tombs.  Every where around are things
that reveal to you something of the customs and history of this forgotten
people.  But what would a volcano leave of an American city, if it once
rained its cinders on it?  Hardly a sign or a symbol to tell its story.

In one of these long Pompeiian halls the skeleton of a man was found,
with ten pieces of gold in one hand and a large key in the other.  He had
seized his money and started toward the door, but the fiery tempest
caught him at the very threshold, and he sank down and died.  One more
minute of precious time would have saved him.  I saw the skeletons of a
man, a woman, and two young girls.  The woman had her hands spread wide
apart, as if in mortal terror, and I imagined I could still trace upon
her shapeless face something of the expression of wild despair that
distorted it when the heavens rained fire in these streets, so many ages
ago.  The girls and the man lay with their faces upon their arms, as if
they had tried to shield them from the enveloping cinders.  In one
apartment eighteen skeletons were found, all in sitting postures, and
blackened places on the walls still mark their shapes and show their
attitudes, like shadows.  One of them, a woman, still wore upon her
skeleton throat a necklace, with her name engraved upon it--JULIE DI
DIOMEDE.

But perhaps the most poetical thing Pompeii has yielded to modern
research, was that grand figure of a Roman soldier, clad in complete
armor; who, true to his duty, true to his proud name of a soldier of
Rome, and full of the stern courage which had given to that name its
glory, stood to his post by the city gate, erect and unflinching, till
the hell that raged around him burned out the dauntless spirit it could
not conquer.

We never read of Pompeii but we think of that soldier; we can not write
of Pompeii without the natural impulse to grant to him the mention he so
well deserves.  Let us remember that he was a soldier--not a policeman--
and so, praise him.  Being a soldier, he staid,--because the warrior
instinct forbade him to fly.  Had he been a policeman he would have
staid, also--because he would have been asleep.

There are not half a dozen flights of stairs in Pompeii, and no other
evidences that the houses were more than one story high.  The people did
not live in the clouds, as do the Venetians, the Genoese and Neapolitans
of to-day.

We came out from under the solemn mysteries of this city of the Venerable
Past--this city which perished, with all its old ways and its quaint old
fashions about it, remote centuries ago, when the Disciples were
preaching the new religion, which is as old as the hills to us now--and
went dreaming among the trees that grow over acres and acres of its still
buried streets and squares, till a shrill whistle and the cry of "All
aboard--last train for Naples!"  woke me up and reminded me that I
belonged in the nineteenth century, and was not a dusty mummy, caked with
ashes and cinders, eighteen hundred years old.  The transition was
startling.  The idea of a railroad train actually running to old dead
Pompeii, and whistling irreverently, and calling for passengers in the
most bustling and business-like way, was as strange a thing as one could
imagine, and as unpoetical and disagreeable as it was strange.

Compare the cheerful life and the sunshine of this day with the horrors
the younger Pliny saw here, the 9th of November, A.D. 79, when he was so
bravely striving to remove his mother out of reach of harm, while she
begged him, with all a mother's unselfishness, to leave her to perish and
save himself.

     'By this time the murky darkness had so increased that one might
     have believed himself abroad in a black and moonless night, or in a
     chamber where all the lights had been extinguished.  On every hand
     was heard the complaints of women, the wailing of children, and the
     cries of men.  One called his father, another his son, and another
     his wife, and only by their voices could they know each other.  Many
     in their despair begged that death would come and end their
     distress.

     "Some implored the gods to succor them, and some believed that this
     night was the last, the eternal night which should engulf the
     universe!

     "Even so it seemed to me--and I consoled myself for the coming death
     with the reflection: BEHOLD, THE WORLD IS PASSING AWAY!"

                              * * * * * * * *

After browsing among the stately ruins of Rome, of Baiae, of Pompeii, and
after glancing down the long marble ranks of battered and nameless
imperial heads that stretch down the corridors of the Vatican, one thing
strikes me with a force it never had before: the unsubstantial, unlasting
character of fame.  Men lived long lives, in the olden time, and
struggled feverishly through them, toiling like slaves, in oratory, in
generalship, or in literature, and then laid them down and died, happy in
the possession of an enduring history and a deathless name.  Well, twenty
little centuries flutter away, and what is left of these things?  A crazy
inscription on a block of stone, which snuffy antiquaries bother over and
tangle up and make nothing out of but a bare name (which they spell
wrong)--no history, no tradition, no poetry--nothing that can give it
even a passing interest.  What may be left of General Grant's great name
forty centuries hence?  This--in the Encyclopedia for A. D. 5868,
possibly:

     "URIAH S. (or Z.) GRAUNT--popular poet of ancient times in the Aztec
     provinces of the United States of British America.  Some authors say
     flourished about A. D. 742; but the learned Ah-ah Foo-foo states
     that he was a cotemporary of Scharkspyre, the English poet, and
     flourished about A. D. 1328, some three centuries after the Trojan
     war instead of before it.  He wrote 'Rock me to Sleep, Mother.'"

These thoughts sadden me.  I will to bed.




CHAPTER XXXII.

Home, again!  For the first time, in many weeks, the ship's entire family
met and shook hands on the quarter-deck.  They had gathered from many
points of the compass and from many lands, but not one was missing; there
was no tale of sickness or death among the flock to dampen the pleasure
of the reunion.  Once more there was a full audience on deck to listen to
the sailors' chorus as they got the anchor up, and to wave an adieu to
the land as we sped away from Naples.  The seats were full at dinner
again, the domino parties were complete, and the life and bustle on the
upper deck in the fine moonlight at night was like old times--old times
that had been gone weeks only, but yet they were weeks so crowded with
incident, adventure and excitement, that they seemed almost like years.
There was no lack of cheerfulness on board the Quaker City.  For once,
her title was a misnomer.

At seven in the evening, with the western horizon all golden from the
sunken sun, and specked with distant ships, the full moon sailing high
over head, the dark blue of the sea under foot, and a strange sort of
twilight affected by all these different lights and colors around us and
about us, we sighted superb Stromboli.  With what majesty the monarch
held his lonely state above the level sea!  Distance clothed him in a
purple gloom, and added a veil of shimmering mist that so softened his
rugged features that we seemed to see him through a web of silver gauze.
His torch was out; his fires were smoldering; a tall column of smoke that
rose up and lost itself in the growing moonlight was all the sign he gave
that he was a living Autocrat of the Sea and not the spectre of a dead
one.

At two in the morning we swept through the Straits of Messina, and so
bright was the moonlight that Italy on the one hand and Sicily on the
other seemed almost as distinctly visible as though we looked at them
from the middle of a street we were traversing.  The city of Messina,
milk-white, and starred and spangled all over with gaslights, was a fairy
spectacle.  A great party of us were on deck smoking and making a noise,
and waiting to see famous Scylla and Charybdis.  And presently the Oracle
stepped out with his eternal spy-glass and squared himself on the deck
like another Colossus of Rhodes.  It was a surprise to see him abroad at
such an hour.  Nobody supposed he cared anything about an old fable like
that of Scylla and Charybdis.  One of the boys said:

"Hello, doctor, what are you doing up here at this time of night?--What
do you want to see this place for?"

"What do I want to see this place for?  Young man, little do you know me,
or you wouldn't ask such a question.  I wish to see all the places that's
mentioned in the Bible."

"Stuff--this place isn't mentioned in the Bible."

"It ain't mentioned in the Bible!--this place ain't--well now, what place
is this, since you know so much about it?"

"Why it's Scylla and Charybdis."

"Scylla and Cha--confound it, I thought it was Sodom and Gomorrah!"

And he closed up his glass and went below.  The above is the ship story.
Its plausibility is marred a little by the fact that the Oracle was not a
biblical student, and did not spend much of his time instructing himself
about Scriptural localities. --They say the Oracle complains, in this hot
weather, lately, that the only beverage in the ship that is passable, is
the butter.  He did not mean butter, of course, but inasmuch as that
article remains in a melted state now since we are out of ice, it is fair
to give him the credit of getting one long word in the right place,
anyhow, for once in his life.  He said, in Rome, that the Pope was a
noble-looking old man, but he never did think much of his Iliad.

We spent one pleasant day skirting along the Isles of Greece.  They are
very mountainous.  Their prevailing tints are gray and brown, approaching
to red.  Little white villages surrounded by trees, nestle in the valleys
or roost upon the lofty perpendicular sea-walls.

We had one fine sunset--a rich carmine flush that suffused the western
sky and cast a ruddy glow far over the sea. --Fine sunsets seem to be
rare in this part of the world--or at least, striking ones.  They are
soft, sensuous, lovely--they are exquisite refined, effeminate, but we
have seen no sunsets here yet like the gorgeous conflagrations that flame
in the track of the sinking sun in our high northern latitudes.

But what were sunsets to us, with the wild excitement upon us of
approaching the most renowned of cities!  What cared we for outward
visions, when Agamemnon, Achilles, and a thousand other heroes of the
great Past were marching in ghostly procession through our fancies?  What
were sunsets to us, who were about to live and breathe and walk in actual
Athens; yea, and go far down into the dead centuries and bid in person
for the slaves, Diogenes and Plato, in the public market-place, or gossip
with the neighbors about the siege of Troy or the splendid deeds of
Marathon?  We scorned to consider sunsets.

We arrived, and entered the ancient harbor of the Piraeus at last.  We
dropped anchor within half a mile of the village.  Away off, across the
undulating Plain of Attica, could be seen a little square-topped hill
with a something on it, which our glasses soon discovered to be the
ruined edifices of the citadel of the Athenians, and most prominent among
them loomed the venerable Parthenon.  So exquisitely clear and pure is
this wonderful atmosphere that every column of the noble structure was
discernible through the telescope, and even the smaller ruins about it
assumed some semblance of shape.  This at a distance of five or six
miles.  In the valley, near the Acropolis, (the square-topped hill before
spoken of,) Athens itself could be vaguely made out with an ordinary
lorgnette.  Every body was anxious to get ashore and visit these classic
localities as quickly as possible.  No land we had yet seen had aroused
such universal interest among the passengers.

But bad news came.  The commandant of the Piraeus came in his boat, and
said we must either depart or else get outside the harbor and remain
imprisoned in our ship, under rigid quarantine, for eleven days!  So we
took up the anchor and moved outside, to lie a dozen hours or so, taking
in supplies, and then sail for Constantinople.  It was the bitterest
disappointment we had yet experienced.  To lie a whole day in sight of
the Acropolis, and yet be obliged to go away without visiting Athens!
Disappointment was hardly a strong enough word to describe the
circumstances.

All hands were on deck, all the afternoon, with books and maps and
glasses, trying to determine which "narrow rocky ridge" was the
Areopagus, which sloping hill the Pnyx, which elevation the Museum Hill,
and so on.  And we got things confused.  Discussion became heated, and
party spirit ran high.  Church members were gazing with emotion upon a
hill which they said was the one St. Paul preached from, and another
faction claimed that that hill was Hymettus, and another that it was
Pentelicon!  After all the trouble, we could be certain of only one
thing--the square-topped hill was the Acropolis, and the grand ruin that
crowned it was the Parthenon, whose picture we knew in infancy in the
school books.

We inquired of every body who came near the ship, whether there were
guards in the Piraeus, whether they were strict, what the chances were of
capture should any of us slip ashore, and in case any of us made the
venture and were caught, what would be probably done to us?  The answers
were discouraging: There was a strong guard or police force; the Piraeus
was a small town, and any stranger seen in it would surely attract
attention--capture would be certain.  The commandant said the punishment
would be "heavy;" when asked "how heavy?" he said it would be "very
severe"--that was all we could get out of him.

At eleven o'clock at night, when most of the ship's company were abed,
four of us stole softly ashore in a small boat, a clouded moon favoring
the enterprise, and started two and two, and far apart, over a low hill,
intending to go clear around the Piraeus, out of the range of its police.
Picking our way so stealthily over that rocky, nettle-grown eminence,
made me feel a good deal as if I were on my way somewhere to steal
something.  My immediate comrade and I talked in an undertone about
quarantine laws and their penalties, but we found nothing cheering in the
subject.  I was posted.  Only a few days before, I was talking with our
captain, and he mentioned the case of a man who swam ashore from a
quarantined ship somewhere, and got imprisoned six months for it; and
when he was in Genoa a few years ago, a captain of a quarantined ship
went in his boat to a departing ship, which was already outside of the
harbor, and put a letter on board to be taken to his family, and the
authorities imprisoned him three months for it, and then conducted him
and his ship fairly to sea, and warned him never to show himself in that
port again while he lived.  This kind of conversation did no good,
further than to give a sort of dismal interest to our quarantine-breaking
expedition, and so we dropped it.  We made the entire circuit of the town
without seeing any body but one man, who stared at us curiously, but said
nothing, and a dozen persons asleep on the ground before their doors,
whom we walked among and never woke--but we woke up dogs enough, in all
conscience--we always had one or two barking at our heels, and several
times we had as many as ten and twelve at once.  They made such a
preposterous din that persons aboard our ship said they could tell how we
were progressing for a long time, and where we were, by the barking of
the dogs.  The clouded moon still favored us.  When we had made the whole
circuit, and were passing among the houses on the further side of the
town, the moon came out splendidly, but we no longer feared the light.
As we approached a well, near a house, to get a drink, the owner merely
glanced at us and went within.  He left the quiet, slumbering town at our
mercy.  I record it here proudly, that we didn't do any thing to it.

Seeing no road, we took a tall hill to the left of the distant Acropolis
for a mark, and steered straight for it over all obstructions, and over a
little rougher piece of country than exists any where else outside of the
State of Nevada, perhaps.  Part of the way it was covered with small,
loose stones--we trod on six at a time, and they all rolled.  Another
part of it was dry, loose, newly-ploughed ground.  Still another part of
it was a long stretch of low grape-vines, which were tanglesome and
troublesome, and which we took to be brambles.  The Attic Plain, barring
the grape-vines, was a barren, desolate, unpoetical waste--I wonder what
it was in Greece's Age of Glory, five hundred years before Christ?

In the neighborhood of one o'clock in the morning, when we were heated
with fast walking and parched with thirst, Denny exclaimed, "Why, these
weeds are grape-vines!"  and in five minutes we had a score of bunches of
large, white, delicious grapes, and were reaching down for more when a
dark shape rose mysteriously up out of the shadows beside us and said
"Ho!"  And so we left.

In ten minutes more we struck into a beautiful road, and unlike some
others we had stumbled upon at intervals, it led in the right direction.
We followed it.  It was broad, and smooth, and white--handsome and in
perfect repair, and shaded on both sides for a mile or so with single
ranks of trees, and also with luxuriant vineyards.  Twice we entered and
stole grapes, and the second time somebody shouted at us from some
invisible place.  Whereupon we left again.  We speculated in grapes no
more on that side of Athens.

Shortly we came upon an ancient stone aqueduct, built upon arches, and
from that time forth we had ruins all about us--we were approaching our
journey's end.  We could not see the Acropolis now or the high hill,
either, and I wanted to follow the road till we were abreast of them, but
the others overruled me, and we toiled laboriously up the stony hill
immediately in our front--and from its summit saw another--climbed it and
saw another!  It was an hour of exhausting work.  Soon we came upon a row
of open graves, cut in the solid rock--(for a while one of them served
Socrates for a prison)--we passed around the shoulder of the hill, and
the citadel, in all its ruined magnificence, burst upon us!  We hurried
across the ravine and up a winding road, and stood on the old Acropolis,
with the prodigious walls of the citadel towering above our heads.  We
did not stop to inspect their massive blocks of marble, or measure their
height, or guess at their extraordinary thickness, but passed at once
through a great arched passage like a railway tunnel, and went straight
to the gate that leads to the ancient temples.  It was locked!  So, after
all, it seemed that we were not to see the great Parthenon face to face.
We sat down and held a council of war.  Result: the gate was only a
flimsy structure of wood--we would break it down.  It seemed like
desecration, but then we had traveled far, and our necessities were
urgent.  We could not hunt up guides and keepers--we must be on the ship
before daylight.  So we argued.  This was all very fine, but when we came
to break the gate, we could not do it.  We moved around an angle of the
wall and found a low bastion--eight feet high without--ten or twelve
within.  Denny prepared to scale it, and we got ready to follow.  By dint
of hard scrambling he finally straddled the top, but some loose stones
crumbled away and fell with a crash into the court within.  There was
instantly a banging of doors and a shout.  Denny dropped from the wall in
a twinkling, and we retreated in disorder to the gate.  Xerxes took that
mighty citadel four hundred and eighty years before Christ, when his five
millions of soldiers and camp-followers followed him to Greece, and if we
four Americans could have remained unmolested five minutes longer, we
would have taken it too.

The garrison had turned out--four Greeks.  We clamored at the gate, and
they admitted us.  [Bribery and corruption.]

We crossed a large court, entered a great door, and stood upon a pavement
of purest white marble, deeply worn by footprints.  Before us, in the
flooding moonlight, rose the noblest ruins we had ever looked upon--the
Propylae; a small Temple of Minerva; the Temple of Hercules, and the
grand Parthenon.  [We got these names from the Greek guide, who didn't
seem to know more than seven men ought to know.] These edifices were all
built of the whitest Pentelic marble, but have a pinkish stain upon them
now.  Where any part is broken, however, the fracture looks like fine
loaf sugar.  Six caryatides, or marble women, clad in flowing robes,
support the portico of the Temple of Hercules, but the porticos and
colonnades of the other structures are formed of massive Doric and Ionic
pillars, whose flutings and capitals are still measurably perfect,
notwithstanding the centuries that have gone over them and the sieges
they have suffered.  The Parthenon, originally, was two hundred and
twenty-six feet long, one hundred wide, and seventy high, and had two
rows of great columns, eight in each, at either end, and single rows of
seventeen each down the sides, and was one of the most graceful and
beautiful edifices ever erected.

Most of the Parthenon's imposing columns are still standing, but the roof
is gone.  It was a perfect building two hundred and fifty years ago, when
a shell dropped into the Venetian magazine stored here, and the explosion
which followed wrecked and unroofed it.  I remember but little about the
Parthenon, and I have put in one or two facts and figures for the use of
other people with short memories.  Got them from the guide-book.

As we wandered thoughtfully down the marble-paved length of this stately
temple, the scene about us was strangely impressive.  Here and there, in
lavish profusion, were gleaming white statues of men and women, propped
against blocks of marble, some of them armless, some without legs, others
headless--but all looking mournful in the moonlight, and startlingly
human!  They rose up and confronted the midnight intruder on every side--
they stared at him with stony eyes from unlooked-for nooks and recesses;
they peered at him over fragmentary heaps far down the desolate
corridors; they barred his way in the midst of the broad forum, and
solemnly pointed with handless arms the way from the sacred fane; and
through the roofless temple the moon looked down, and banded the floor
and darkened the scattered fragments and broken statues with the slanting
shadows of the columns.

What a world of ruined sculpture was about us!  Set up in rows--stacked
up in piles--scattered broadcast over the wide area of the Acropolis--
were hundreds of crippled statues of all sizes and of the most exquisite
workmanship; and vast fragments of marble that once belonged to the
entablatures, covered with bas-reliefs representing battles and sieges,
ships of war with three and four tiers of oars, pageants and processions
--every thing one could think of.  History says that the temples of the
Acropolis were filled with the noblest works of Praxiteles and Phidias,
and of many a great master in sculpture besides--and surely these elegant
fragments attest it.

We walked out into the grass-grown, fragment-strewn court beyond the
Parthenon.  It startled us, every now and then, to see a stony white face
stare suddenly up at us out of the grass with its dead eyes.  The place
seemed alive with ghosts.  I half expected to see the Athenian heroes of
twenty centuries ago glide out of the shadows and steal into the old
temple they knew so well and regarded with such boundless pride.

The full moon was riding high in the cloudless heavens, now.  We
sauntered carelessly and unthinkingly to the edge of the lofty
battlements of the citadel, and looked down--a vision!  And such a
vision!  Athens by moonlight!  The prophet that thought the splendors of
the New Jerusalem were revealed to him, surely saw this instead!  It lay
in the level plain right under our feet--all spread abroad like a
picture--and we looked down upon it as we might have looked from a
balloon.  We saw no semblance of a street, but every house, every window,
every clinging vine, every projection was as distinct and sharply marked
as if the time were noon-day; and yet there was no glare, no glitter,
nothing harsh or repulsive--the noiseless city was flooded with the
mellowest light that ever streamed from the moon, and seemed like some
living creature wrapped in peaceful slumber.  On its further side was a
little temple, whose delicate pillars and ornate front glowed with a rich
lustre that chained the eye like a spell; and nearer by, the palace of
the king reared its creamy walls out of the midst of a great garden of
shrubbery that was flecked all over with a random shower of amber lights
--a spray of golden sparks that lost their brightness in the glory of the
moon, and glinted softly upon the sea of dark foliage like the pallid
stars of the milky-way.  Overhead the stately columns, majestic still in
their ruin--under foot the dreaming city--in the distance the silver sea
--not on the broad earth is there an other picture half so beautiful!

As we turned and moved again through the temple, I wished that the
illustrious men who had sat in it in the remote ages could visit it again
and reveal themselves to our curious eyes--Plato, Aristotle, Demosthenes,
Socrates, Phocion, Pythagoras, Euclid, Pindar, Xenophon, Herodotus,
Praxiteles and Phidias, Zeuxis the painter.  What a constellation of
celebrated names!  But more than all, I wished that old Diogenes, groping
so patiently with his lantern, searching so zealously for one solitary
honest man in all the world, might meander along and stumble on our
party.  I ought not to say it, may be, but still I suppose he would have
put out his light.

We left the Parthenon to keep its watch over old Athens, as it had kept
it for twenty-three hundred years, and went and stood outside the walls
of the citadel.  In the distance was the ancient, but still almost
perfect Temple of Theseus, and close by, looking to the west, was the
Bema, from whence Demosthenes thundered his philippics and fired the
wavering patriotism of his countrymen.  To the right was Mars Hill, where
the Areopagus sat in ancient times and where St. Paul defined his
position, and below was the market-place where he "disputed daily" with
the gossip-loving Athenians.  We climbed the stone steps St. Paul
ascended, and stood in the square-cut place he stood in, and tried to
recollect the Bible account of the matter--but for certain reasons, I
could not recall the words.  I have found them since:

     "Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in
     him, when he saw the city wholly given up to idolatry.  "Therefore
     disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout
     persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.
                         * * * * * * * * *
     "And they took him and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we
     know what this new doctrine whereof thou speakest is?
                         * * * * * * * * *
     "Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars hill, and said, Ye men of
     Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious; "For
     as I passed by and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this
     inscription: To THE UNKNOWN GOD.  Whom, therefore, ye ignorantly
     worship, him declare I unto you."--Acts, ch. xvii."

It occurred to us, after a while, that if we wanted to get home before
daylight betrayed us, we had better be moving.  So we hurried away.  When
far on our road, we had a parting view of the Parthenon, with the
moonlight streaming through its open colonnades and touching its capitals
with silver.  As it looked then, solemn, grand, and beautiful it will
always remain in our memories.

As we marched along, we began to get over our fears, and ceased to care
much about quarantine scouts or any body else.  We grew bold and
reckless; and once, in a sudden burst of courage, I even threw a stone at
a dog.  It was a pleasant reflection, though, that I did not hit him,
because his master might just possibly have been a policeman.  Inspired
by this happy failure, my valor became utterly uncontrollable, and at
intervals I absolutely whistled, though on a moderate key.  But boldness
breeds boldness, and shortly I plunged into a Vineyard, in the full light
of the moon, and captured a gallon of superb grapes, not even minding the
presence of a peasant who rode by on a mule.  Denny and Birch followed my
example.

Now I had grapes enough for a dozen, but then Jackson was all swollen up
with courage, too, and he was obliged to enter a vineyard presently.  The
first bunch he seized brought trouble.  A frowsy, bearded brigand sprang
into the road with a shout, and flourished a musket in the light of the
moon!  We sidled toward the Piraeus--not running you understand, but only
advancing with celerity.  The brigand shouted again, but still we
advanced.  It was getting late, and we had no time to fool away on every
ass that wanted to drivel Greek platitudes to us.  We would just as soon
have talked with him as not if we had not been in a hurry.  Presently
Denny said, "Those fellows are following us!"

We turned, and, sure enough, there they were--three fantastic pirates
armed with guns.  We slackened our pace to let them come up, and in the
meantime I got out my cargo of grapes and dropped them firmly but
reluctantly into the shadows by the wayside.  But I was not afraid.  I
only felt that it was not right to steal grapes.  And all the more so
when the owner was around--and not only around, but with his friends
around also.  The villains came up and searched a bundle Dr. Birch had in
his hand, and scowled upon him when they found it had nothing in it but
some holy rocks from Mars Hill, and these were not contraband.  They
evidently suspected him of playing some wretched fraud upon them, and
seemed half inclined to scalp the party.  But finally they dismissed us
with a warning, couched in excellent Greek, I suppose, and dropped
tranquilly in our wake.  When they had gone three hundred yards they
stopped, and we went on rejoiced.  But behold, another armed rascal came
out of the shadows and took their place, and followed us two hundred
yards.  Then he delivered us over to another miscreant, who emerged from
some mysterious place, and he in turn to another!  For a mile and a half
our rear was guarded all the while by armed men.  I never traveled in so
much state before in all my life.

It was a good while after that before we ventured to steal any more
grapes, and when we did we stirred up another troublesome brigand, and
then we ceased all further speculation in that line.  I suppose that
fellow that rode by on the mule posted all the sentinels, from Athens to
the Piraeus, about us.

Every field on that long route was watched by an armed sentinel, some of
whom had fallen asleep, no doubt, but were on hand, nevertheless.  This
shows what sort of a country modern Attica is--a community of
questionable characters.  These men were not there to guard their
possessions against strangers, but against each other; for strangers
seldom visit Athens and the Piraeus, and when they do, they go in
daylight, and can buy all the grapes they want for a trifle.  The modern
inhabitants are confiscators and falsifiers of high repute, if gossip
speaks truly concerning them, and I freely believe it does.

Just as the earliest tinges of the dawn flushed the eastern sky and
turned the pillared Parthenon to a broken harp hung in the pearly
horizon, we closed our thirteenth mile of weary, round-about marching,
and emerged upon the sea-shore abreast the ships, with our usual escort
of fifteen hundred Piraean dogs howling at our heels.  We hailed a boat
that was two or three hundred yards from shore, and discovered in a
moment that it was a police-boat on the lookout for any quarantine-
breakers that might chance to be abroad.  So we dodged--we were used to
that by this time--and when the scouts reached the spot we had so lately
occupied, we were absent.  They cruised along the shore, but in the wrong
direction, and shortly our own boat issued from the gloom and took us
aboard.  They had heard our signal on the ship.  We rowed noiselessly
away, and before the police-boat came in sight again, we were safe at
home once more.

Four more of our passengers were anxious to visit Athens, and started
half an hour after we returned; but they had not been ashore five minutes
till the police discovered and chased them so hotly that they barely
escaped to their boat again, and that was all.  They pursued the
enterprise no further.

We set sail for Constantinople to-day, but some of us little care for
that.  We have seen all there was to see in the old city that had its
birth sixteen hundred years before Christ was born, and was an old town
before the foundations of Troy were laid--and saw it in its most
attractive aspect.  Wherefore, why should we worry?

Two other passengers ran the blockade successfully last night.  So we
learned this morning.  They slipped away so quietly that they were not
missed from the ship for several hours.  They had the hardihood to march
into the Piraeus in the early dusk and hire a carriage.  They ran some
danger of adding two or three months' imprisonment to the other novelties
of their Holy Land Pleasure Excursion.  I admire "cheek."--[Quotation
from the Pilgrims.]-- But they went and came safely, and never walked a
step.




CHAPTER XXXIII.

From Athens all through the islands of the Grecian Archipelago, we saw
little but forbidding sea-walls and barren hills, sometimes surmounted by
three or four graceful columns of some ancient temple, lonely and
deserted--a fitting symbol of the desolation that has come upon all
Greece in these latter ages.  We saw no ploughed fields, very few
villages, no trees or grass or vegetation of any kind, scarcely, and
hardly ever an isolated house.  Greece is a bleak, unsmiling desert,
without agriculture, manufactures or commerce, apparently.  What supports
its poverty-stricken people or its Government, is a mystery.

I suppose that ancient Greece and modern Greece compared, furnish the
most extravagant contrast to be found in history.  George I., an infant
of eighteen, and a scraggy nest of foreign office holders, sit in the
places of Themistocles, Pericles, and the illustrious scholars and
generals of the Golden Age of Greece.  The fleets that were the wonder of
the world when the Parthenon was new, are a beggarly handful of fishing-
smacks now, and the manly people that performed such miracles of valor at
Marathon are only a tribe of unconsidered slaves to-day.  The classic
Illyssus has gone dry, and so have all the sources of Grecian wealth and
greatness.  The nation numbers only eight hundred thousand souls, and
there is poverty and misery and mendacity enough among them to furnish
forty millions and be liberal about it.  Under King Otho the revenues of
the State were five millions of dollars--raised from a tax of one-tenth
of all the agricultural products of the land (which tenth the farmer had
to bring to the royal granaries on pack-mules any distance not exceeding
six leagues) and from extravagant taxes on trade and commerce.  Out of
that five millions the small tyrant tried to keep an army of ten thousand
men, pay all the hundreds of useless Grand Equerries in Waiting, First
Grooms of the Bedchamber, Lord High Chancellors of the Exploded
Exchequer, and all the other absurdities which these puppy-kingdoms
indulge in, in imitation of the great monarchies; and in addition he set
about building a white marble palace to cost about five millions itself.
The result was, simply: ten into five goes no times and none over.  All
these things could not be done with five millions, and Otho fell into
trouble.

The Greek throne, with its unpromising adjuncts of a ragged population of
ingenious rascals who were out of employment eight months in the year
because there was little for them to borrow and less to confiscate, and a
waste of barren hills and weed-grown deserts, went begging for a good
while.  It was offered to one of Victoria's sons, and afterwards to
various other younger sons of royalty who had no thrones and were out of
business, but they all had the charity to decline the dreary honor, and
veneration enough for Greece's ancient greatness to refuse to mock her
sorrowful rags and dirt with a tinsel throne in this day of her
humiliation--till they came to this young Danish George, and he took it.
He has finished the splendid palace I saw in the radiant moonlight the
other night, and is doing many other things for the salvation of Greece,
they say.

We sailed through the barren Archipelago, and into the narrow channel
they sometimes call the Dardanelles and sometimes the Hellespont.  This
part of the country is rich in historic reminiscences, and poor as Sahara
in every thing else.  For instance, as we approached the Dardanelles, we
coasted along the Plains of Troy and past the mouth of the Scamander; we
saw where Troy had stood (in the distance,) and where it does not stand
now--a city that perished when the world was young.  The poor Trojans are
all dead, now.  They were born too late to see Noah's ark, and died too
soon to see our menagerie.  We saw where Agamemnon's fleets rendezvoused,
and away inland a mountain which the map said was Mount Ida.  Within the
Hellespont we saw where the original first shoddy contract mentioned in
history was carried out, and the "parties of the second part" gently
rebuked by Xerxes.  I speak of the famous bridge of boats which Xerxes
ordered to be built over the narrowest part of the Hellespont (where it
is only two or three miles wide.) A moderate gale destroyed the flimsy
structure, and the King, thinking that to publicly rebuke the contractors
might have a good effect on the next set, called them out before the army
and had them beheaded.  In the next ten minutes he let a new contract for
the bridge.  It has been observed by ancient writers that the second
bridge was a very good bridge.  Xerxes crossed his host of five millions
of men on it, and if it had not been purposely destroyed, it would
probably have been there yet.  If our Government would rebuke some of our
shoddy contractors occasionally, it might work much good.  In the
Hellespont we saw where Leander and Lord Byron swam across, the one to
see her upon whom his soul's affections were fixed with a devotion that
only death could impair, and the other merely for a flyer, as Jack says.
We had two noted tombs near us, too.  On one shore slept Ajax, and on the
other Hecuba.

We had water batteries and forts on both sides of the Hellespont, flying
the crimson flag of Turkey, with its white crescent, and occasionally a
village, and sometimes a train of camels; we had all these to look at
till we entered the broad sea of Marmora, and then the land soon fading
from view, we resumed euchre and whist once more.

We dropped anchor in the mouth of the Golden Horn at daylight in the
morning.  Only three or four of us were up to see the great Ottoman
capital.  The passengers do not turn out at unseasonable hours, as they
used to, to get the earliest possible glimpse of strange foreign cities.
They are well over that.  If we were lying in sight of the Pyramids of
Egypt, they would not come on deck until after breakfast, now-a-days.

The Golden Horn is a narrow arm of the sea, which branches from the
Bosporus (a sort of broad river which connects the Marmora and Black
Seas,) and, curving around, divides the city in the middle.  Galata and
Pera are on one side of the Bosporus, and the Golden Horn; Stamboul
(ancient Byzantium) is upon the other.  On the other bank of the Bosporus
is Scutari and other suburbs of Constantinople.  This great city contains
a million inhabitants, but so narrow are its streets, and so crowded
together are its houses, that it does not cover much more than half as
much ground as New York City.  Seen from the anchorage or from a mile or
so up the Bosporus, it is by far the handsomest city we have seen.  Its
dense array of houses swells upward from the water's edge, and spreads
over the domes of many hills; and the gardens that peep out here and
there, the great globes of the mosques, and the countless minarets that
meet the eye every where, invest the metropolis with the quaint Oriental
aspect one dreams of when he reads books of eastern travel.
Constantinople makes a noble picture.

But its attractiveness begins and ends with its picturesqueness.  From
the time one starts ashore till he gets back again, he execrates it.  The
boat he goes in is admirably miscalculated for the service it is built
for.  It is handsomely and neatly fitted up, but no man could handle it
well in the turbulent currents that sweep down the Bosporus from the
Black Sea, and few men could row it satisfactorily even in still water.
It is a long, light canoe (caique,) large at one end and tapering to a
knife blade at the other.  They make that long sharp end the bow, and you
can imagine how these boiling currents spin it about.  It has two oars,
and sometimes four, and no rudder.  You start to go to a given point and
you run in fifty different directions before you get there.  First one
oar is backing water, and then the other; it is seldom that both are
going ahead at once.  This kind of boating is calculated to drive an
impatient man mad in a week.  The boatmen are the awkwardest, the
stupidest, and the most unscientific on earth, without question.

Ashore, it was--well, it was an eternal circus.  People were thicker than
bees, in those narrow streets, and the men were dressed in all the
outrageous, outlandish, idolatrous, extravagant, thunder-and-lightning
costumes that ever a tailor with the delirium tremens and seven devils
could conceive of.  There was no freak in dress too crazy to be indulged
in; no absurdity too absurd to be tolerated; no frenzy in ragged
diabolism too fantastic to be attempted.  No two men were dressed alike.
It was a wild masquerade of all imaginable costumes--every struggling
throng in every street was a dissolving view of stunning contrasts.  Some
patriarchs wore awful turbans, but the grand mass of the infidel horde
wore the fiery red skull-cap they call a fez.  All the remainder of the
raiment they indulged in was utterly indescribable.

The shops here are mere coops, mere boxes, bath-rooms, closets--any thing
you please to call them--on the first floor.  The Turks sit cross-legged
in them, and work and trade and smoke long pipes, and smell like--like
Turks.  That covers the ground.  Crowding the narrow streets in front of
them are beggars, who beg forever, yet never collect any thing; and
wonderful cripples, distorted out of all semblance of humanity, almost;
vagabonds driving laden asses; porters carrying dry-goods boxes as large
as cottages on their backs; peddlers of grapes, hot corn, pumpkin seeds,
and a hundred other things, yelling like fiends; and sleeping happily,
comfortably, serenely, among the hurrying feet, are the famed dogs of
Constantinople; drifting noiselessly about are squads of Turkish women,
draped from chin to feet in flowing robes, and with snowy veils bound
about their heads, that disclose only the eyes and a vague, shadowy
notion of their features.  Seen moving about, far away in the dim, arched
aisles of the Great Bazaar, they look as the shrouded dead must have
looked when they walked forth from their graves amid the storms and
thunders and earthquakes that burst upon Calvary that awful night of the
Crucifixion.  A street in Constantinople is a picture which one ought to
see once--not oftener.

And then there was the goose-rancher--a fellow who drove a hundred geese
before him about the city, and tried to sell them.  He had a pole ten
feet long, with a crook in the end of it, and occasionally a goose would
branch out from the flock and make a lively break around the corner, with
wings half lifted and neck stretched to its utmost.  Did the goose-
merchant get excited?  No.  He took his pole and reached after that goose
with unspeakable sang froid--took a hitch round his neck, and "yanked"
him back to his place in the flock without an effort.  He steered his
geese with that stick as easily as another man would steer a yawl.  A few
hours afterward we saw him sitting on a stone at a corner, in the midst
of the turmoil, sound asleep in the sun, with his geese squatting around
him, or dodging out of the way of asses and men.  We came by again,
within the hour, and he was taking account of stock, to see whether any
of his flock had strayed or been stolen.  The way he did it was unique.
He put the end of his stick within six or eight inches of a stone wall,
and made the geese march in single file between it and the wall.  He
counted them as they went by.  There was no dodging that arrangement.

If you want dwarfs--I mean just a few dwarfs for a curiosity--go to
Genoa.  If you wish to buy them by the gross, for retail, go to Milan.
There are plenty of dwarfs all over Italy, but it did seem to me that in
Milan the crop was luxuriant.  If you would see a fair average style of
assorted cripples, go to Naples, or travel through the Roman States.
But if you would see the very heart and home of cripples and human
monsters, both, go straight to Constantinople.  A beggar in Naples who
can show a foot which has all run into one horrible toe, with one
shapeless nail on it, has a fortune--but such an exhibition as that would
not provoke any notice in Constantinople.  The man would starve.  Who
would pay any attention to attractions like his among the rare monsters
that throng the bridges of the Golden Horn and display their deformities
in the gutters of Stamboul?  O, wretched impostor!  How could he stand
against the three-legged woman, and the man with his eye in his cheek?
How would he blush in presence of the man with fingers on his elbow?
Where would he hide himself when the dwarf with seven fingers on each
hand, no upper lip, and his under-jaw gone, came down in his majesty?
Bismillah!  The cripples of Europe are a delusion and a fraud.  The truly
gifted flourish only in the by-ways of Pera and Stamboul.

That three-legged woman lay on the bridge, with her stock in trade so
disposed as to command the most striking effect--one natural leg, and two
long, slender, twisted ones with feet on them like somebody else's fore-
arm.  Then there was a man further along who had no eyes, and whose face
was the color of a fly-blown beefsteak, and wrinkled and twisted like a
lava-flow--and verily so tumbled and distorted were his features that no
man could tell the wart that served him for a nose from his cheek-bones.
In Stamboul was a man with a prodigious head, an uncommonly long body,
legs eight inches long and feet like snow-shoes.  He traveled on those
feet and his hands, and was as sway-backed as if the Colossus of Rhodes
had been riding him.  Ah, a beggar has to have exceedingly good points to
make a living in Constantinople.  A blue-faced man, who had nothing to
offer except that he had been blown up in a mine, would be regarded as a
rank impostor, and a mere damaged soldier on crutches would never make a
cent.  It would pay him to get apiece of his head taken off, and
cultivate a wen like a carpet sack.

The Mosque of St. Sophia is the chief lion of Constantinople.  You must
get a firman and hurry there the first thing.  We did that.  We did not
get a firman, but we took along four or five francs apiece, which is much
the same thing.

I do not think much of the Mosque of St. Sophia.  I suppose I lack
appreciation.  We will let it go at that.  It is the rustiest old barn in
heathendom.  I believe all the interest that attaches to it comes from
the fact that it was built for a Christian church and then turned into a
mosque, without much alteration, by the Mohammedan conquerors of the
land.  They made me take off my boots and walk into the place in my
stocking-feet.  I caught cold, and got myself so stuck up with a
complication of gums, slime and general corruption, that I wore out more
than two thousand pair of boot-jacks getting my boots off that night, and
even then some Christian hide peeled off with them.  I abate not a single
boot-jack.

St. Sophia is a colossal church, thirteen or fourteen hundred years old,
and unsightly enough to be very, very much older.  Its immense dome is
said to be more wonderful than St. Peter's, but its dirt is much more
wonderful than its dome, though they never mention it.  The church has a
hundred and seventy pillars in it, each a single piece, and all of costly
marbles of various kinds, but they came from ancient temples at Baalbec,
Heliopolis, Athens and Ephesus, and are battered, ugly and repulsive.
They were a thousand years old when this church was new, and then the
contrast must have been ghastly--if Justinian's architects did not trim
them any.  The inside of the dome is figured all over with a monstrous
inscription in Turkish characters, wrought in gold mosaic, that looks as
glaring as a circus bill; the pavements and the marble balustrades are
all battered and dirty; the perspective is marred every where by a web of
ropes that depend from the dizzy height of the dome, and suspend
countless dingy, coarse oil lamps, and ostrich-eggs, six or seven feet
above the floor.  Squatting and sitting in groups, here and there and far
and near, were ragged Turks reading books, hearing sermons, or receiving
lessons like children.  and in fifty places were more of the same sort
bowing and straightening up, bowing again and getting down to kiss the
earth, muttering prayers the while, and keeping up their gymnastics till
they ought to have been tired, if they were not.

Every where was dirt, and dust, and dinginess, and gloom; every where
were signs of a hoary antiquity, but with nothing touching or beautiful
about it; every where were those groups of fantastic pagans; overhead the
gaudy mosaics and the web of lamp-ropes--nowhere was there any thing to
win one's love or challenge his admiration.

The people who go into ecstasies over St. Sophia must surely get them out
of the guide-book (where every church is spoken of as being "considered
by good judges to be the most marvelous structure, in many respects, that
the world has ever seen.")  Or else they are those old connoisseurs from
the wilds of New Jersey who laboriously learn the difference between a
fresco and a fire-plug and from that day forward feel privileged to void
their critical bathos on painting, sculpture and architecture forever
more.

We visited the Dancing Dervishes.  There were twenty-one of them.  They
wore a long, light-colored loose robe that hung to their heels.  Each in
his turn went up to the priest (they were all within a large circular
railing) and bowed profoundly and then went spinning away deliriously and
took his appointed place in the circle, and continued to spin.  When all
had spun themselves to their places, they were about five or six feet
apart--and so situated, the entire circle of spinning pagans spun itself
three separate times around the room.  It took twenty-five minutes to do
it.  They spun on the left foot, and kept themselves going by passing the
right rapidly before it and digging it against the waxed floor.  Some of
them made incredible "time."  Most of them spun around forty times in a
minute, and one artist averaged about sixty-one times a minute, and kept
it up during the whole twenty-five.  His robe filled with air and stood
out all around him like a balloon.

They made no noise of any kind, and most of them tilted their heads back
and closed their eyes, entranced with a sort of devotional ecstacy.
There was a rude kind of music, part of the time, but the musicians were
not visible.  None but spinners were allowed within the circle.  A man
had to either spin or stay outside.  It was about as barbarous an
exhibition as we have witnessed yet.  Then sick persons came and lay
down, and beside them women laid their sick children (one a babe at the
breast,) and the patriarch of the Dervishes walked upon their bodies.  He
was supposed to cure their diseases by trampling upon their breasts or
backs or standing on the back of their necks.  This is well enough for a
people who think all their affairs are made or marred by viewless spirits
of the air--by giants, gnomes, and genii--and who still believe, to this
day, all the wild tales in the Arabian Nights.  Even so an intelligent
missionary tells me.

We visited the Thousand and One Columns.  I do not know what it was
originally intended for, but they said it was built for a reservoir.  It
is situated in the centre of Constantinople.  You go down a flight of
stone steps in the middle of a barren place, and there you are.  You are
forty feet under ground, and in the midst of a perfect wilderness of
tall, slender, granite columns, of Byzantine architecture.  Stand where
you would, or change your position as often as you pleased, you were
always a centre from which radiated a dozen long archways and colonnades
that lost themselves in distance and the sombre twilight of the place.
This old dried-up reservoir is occupied by a few ghostly silk-spinners
now, and one of them showed me a cross cut high up in one of the pillars.
I suppose he meant me to understand that the institution was there before
the Turkish occupation, and I thought he made a remark to that effect;
but he must have had an impediment in his speech, for I did not
understand him.

We took off our shoes and went into the marble mausoleum of the Sultan
Mahmoud, the neatest piece of architecture, inside, that I have seen
lately.  Mahmoud's tomb was covered with a black velvet pall, which was
elaborately embroidered with silver; it stood within a fancy silver
railing; at the sides and corners were silver candlesticks that would
weigh more than a hundred pounds, and they supported candles as large as
a man's leg; on the top of the sarcophagus was a fez, with a handsome
diamond ornament upon it, which an attendant said cost a hundred thousand
pounds, and lied like a Turk when he said it.  Mahmoud's whole family
were comfortably planted around him.

We went to the great Bazaar in Stamboul, of course, and I shall not
describe it further than to say it is a monstrous hive of little shops--
thousands, I should say--all under one roof, and cut up into innumerable
little blocks by narrow streets which are arched overhead.  One street is
devoted to a particular kind of merchandise, another to another, and so
on.

When you wish to buy a pair of shoes you have the swing of the whole
street--you do not have to walk yourself down hunting stores in different
localities.  It is the same with silks, antiquities, shawls, etc.  The
place is crowded with people all the time, and as the gay-colored Eastern
fabrics are lavishly displayed before every shop, the great Bazaar of
Stamboul is one of the sights that are worth seeing.  It is full of life,
and stir, and business, dirt, beggars, asses, yelling peddlers, porters,
dervishes, high-born Turkish female shoppers, Greeks, and weird-looking
and weirdly dressed Mohammedans from the mountains and the far provinces
--and the only solitary thing one does not smell when he is in the Great
Bazaar, is something which smells good.




CHAPTER XXXIV.

Mosques are plenty, churches are plenty, graveyards are plenty, but
morals and whiskey are scarce.  The Koran does not permit Mohammedans to
drink.  Their natural instincts do not permit them to be moral.  They say
the Sultan has eight hundred wives.  This almost amounts to bigamy.  It
makes our cheeks burn with shame to see such a thing permitted here in
Turkey.  We do not mind it so much in Salt Lake, however.

Circassian and Georgian girls are still sold in Constantinople by their
parents, but not publicly.  The great slave marts we have all read so
much about--where tender young girls were stripped for inspection, and
criticised and discussed just as if they were horses at an agricultural
fair--no longer exist.  The exhibition and the sales are private now.
Stocks are up, just at present, partly because of a brisk demand created
by the recent return of the Sultan's suite from the courts of Europe;
partly on account of an unusual abundance of bread-stuffs, which leaves
holders untortured by hunger and enables them to hold back for high
prices; and partly because buyers are too weak to bear the market, while
sellers are amply prepared to bull it.  Under these circumstances, if the
American metropolitan newspapers were published here in Constantinople,
their next commercial report would read about as follows, I suppose:

                        SLAVE GIRL MARKET REPORT.

     "Best brands Circassians, crop of 1850, L200; 1852, L250; 1854,
     L300.  Best brands Georgian, none in market; second quality, 1851,
     L180.  Nineteen fair to middling Wallachian girls offered at L130 @
     150, but no takers; sixteen prime A 1 sold in small lots to close
     out--terms private.

     "Sales of one lot Circassians, prime to good, 1852 to 1854, at L240
     @ 242, buyer 30; one forty-niner--damaged--at L23, seller ten, no
     deposit.  Several Georgians, fancy brands, 1852, changed hands to
     fill orders.  The Georgians now on hand are mostly last year's crop,
     which was unusually poor.  The new crop is a little backward, but
     will be coming in shortly.  As regards its quantity and quality, the
     accounts are most encouraging.  In this connection we can safely
     say, also, that the new crop of Circassians is looking extremely
     well.  His Majesty the Sultan has already sent in large orders for
     his new harem, which will be finished within a fortnight, and this
     has naturally strengthened the market and given Circassian stock a
     strong upward tendency.  Taking advantage of the inflated market,
     many of our shrewdest operators are selling short.  There are hints
     of a "corner" on Wallachians.

     "There is nothing new in Nubians.  Slow sale.

     "Eunuchs--None offering; however, large cargoes are expected from
     Egypt today."


I think the above would be about the style of the commercial report.
Prices are pretty high now, and holders firm; but, two or three years
ago, parents in a starving condition brought their young daughters down
here and sold them for even twenty and thirty dollars, when they could do
no better, simply to save themselves and the girls from dying of want.
It is sad to think of so distressing a thing as this, and I for one am
sincerely glad the prices are up again.

Commercial morals, especially, are bad.  There is no gainsaying that.
Greek, Turkish and Armenian morals consist only in attending church
regularly on the appointed Sabbaths, and in breaking the ten commandments
all the balance of the week.  It comes natural to them to lie and cheat
in the first place, and then they go on and improve on nature until they
arrive at perfection.  In recommending his son to a merchant as a
valuable salesman, a father does not say he is a nice, moral, upright
boy, and goes to Sunday School and is honest, but he says, "This boy is
worth his weight in broad pieces of a hundred--for behold, he will cheat
whomsoever hath dealings with him, and from the Euxine to the waters of
Marmora there abideth not so gifted a liar!"  How is that for a
recommendation?  The Missionaries tell me that they hear encomiums like
that passed upon people every day.  They say of a person they admire,
"Ah, he is a charming swindler, and a most exquisite liar!"

Every body lies and cheats--every body who is in business, at any rate.
Even foreigners soon have to come down to the custom of the country, and
they do not buy and sell long in Constantinople till they lie and cheat
like a Greek.  I say like a Greek, because the Greeks are called the
worst transgressors in this line.  Several Americans long resident in
Constantinople contend that most Turks are pretty trustworthy, but few
claim that the Greeks have any virtues that a man can discover--at least
without a fire assay.

I am half willing to believe that the celebrated dogs of Constantinople
have been misrepresented--slandered.  I have always been led to suppose
that they were so thick in the streets that they blocked the way; that
they moved about in organized companies, platoons and regiments, and took
what they wanted by determined and ferocious assault; and that at night
they drowned all other sounds with their terrible howlings.  The dogs I
see here can not be those I have read of.

I find them every where, but not in strong force.  The most I have found
together has been about ten or twenty.  And night or day a fair
proportion of them were sound asleep.  Those that were not asleep always
looked as if they wanted to be.  I never saw such utterly wretched,
starving, sad-visaged, broken-hearted looking curs in my life.  It seemed
a grim satire to accuse such brutes as these of taking things by force of
arms.  They hardly seemed to have strength enough or ambition enough to
walk across the street--I do not know that I have seen one walk that far
yet.  They are mangy and bruised and mutilated, and often you see one
with the hair singed off him in such wide and well defined tracts that he
looks like a map of the new Territories.  They are the sorriest beasts
that breathe--the most abject--the most pitiful.  In their faces is a
settled expression of melancholy, an air of hopeless despondency.  The
hairless patches on a scalded dog are preferred by the fleas of
Constantinople to a wider range on a healthier dog; and the exposed
places suit the fleas exactly.  I saw a dog of this kind start to nibble
at a flea--a fly attracted his attention, and he made a snatch at him;
the flea called for him once more, and that forever unsettled him; he
looked sadly at his flea-pasture, then sadly looked at his bald spot.
Then he heaved a sigh and dropped his head resignedly upon his paws.  He
was not equal to the situation.

The dogs sleep in the streets, all over the city.  From one end of the
street to the other, I suppose they will average about eight or ten to a
block.  Sometimes, of course, there are fifteen or twenty to a block.
They do not belong to any body, and they seem to have no close personal
friendships among each other.  But they district the city themselves, and
the dogs of each district, whether it be half a block in extent, or ten
blocks, have to remain within its bounds.  Woe to a dog if he crosses the
line!  His neighbors would snatch the balance of his hair off in a
second.  So it is said.  But they don't look it.

They sleep in the streets these days.  They are my compass--my guide.
When I see the dogs sleep placidly on, while men, sheep, geese, and all
moving things turn out and go around them, I know I am not in the great
street where the hotel is, and must go further.  In the Grand Rue the
dogs have a sort of air of being on the lookout--an air born of being
obliged to get out of the way of many carriages every day--and that
expression one recognizes in a moment.  It does not exist upon the face
of any dog without the confines of that street.  All others sleep
placidly and keep no watch.  They would not move, though the Sultan
himself passed by.

In one narrow street (but none of them are wide) I saw three dogs lying
coiled up, about a foot or two apart.  End to end they lay, and so they
just bridged the street neatly, from gutter to gutter.  A drove of a
hundred sheep came along.  They stepped right over the dogs, the rear
crowding the front, impatient to get on.  The dogs looked lazily up,
flinched a little when the impatient feet of the sheep touched their raw
backs--sighed, and lay peacefully down again.  No talk could be plainer
than that.  So some of the sheep jumped over them and others scrambled
between, occasionally chipping a leg with their sharp hoofs, and when the
whole flock had made the trip, the dogs sneezed a little, in the cloud of
dust, but never budged their bodies an inch.  I thought I was lazy, but I
am a steam-engine compared to a Constantinople dog.  But was not that a
singular scene for a city of a million inhabitants?

These dogs are the scavengers of the city.  That is their official
position, and a hard one it is.  However, it is their protection.  But
for their usefulness in partially cleansing these terrible streets, they
would not be tolerated long.  They eat any thing and every thing that
comes in their way, from melon rinds and spoiled grapes up through all
the grades and species of dirt and refuse to their own dead friends and
relatives--and yet they are always lean, always hungry, always
despondent.  The people are loath to kill them--do not kill them, in
fact.  The Turks have an innate antipathy to taking the life of any dumb
animal, it is said.  But they do worse.  They hang and kick and stone and
scald these wretched creatures to the very verge of death, and then leave
them to live and suffer.

Once a Sultan proposed to kill off all the dogs here, and did begin the
work--but the populace raised such a howl of horror about it that the
massacre was stayed.  After a while, he proposed to remove them all to an
island in the Sea of Marmora.  No objection was offered, and a ship-load
or so was taken away.  But when it came to be known that somehow or other
the dogs never got to the island, but always fell overboard in the night
and perished, another howl was raised and the transportation scheme was
dropped.

So the dogs remain in peaceable possession of the streets.  I do not say
that they do not howl at night, nor that they do not attack people who
have not a red fez on their heads.  I only say that it would be mean for
me to accuse them of these unseemly things who have not seen them do them
with my own eyes or heard them with my own ears.

I was a little surprised to see Turks and Greeks playing newsboy right
here in the mysterious land where the giants and genii of the Arabian
Nights once dwelt--where winged horses and hydra-headed dragons guarded
enchanted castles--where Princes and Princesses flew through the air on
carpets that obeyed a mystic talisman--where cities whose houses were
made of precious stones sprang up in a night under the hand of the
magician, and where busy marts were suddenly stricken with a spell and
each citizen lay or sat, or stood with weapon raised or foot advanced,
just as he was, speechless and motionless, till time had told a hundred
years!

It was curious to see newsboys selling papers in so dreamy a land as
that.  And, to say truly, it is comparatively a new thing here.  The
selling of newspapers had its birth in Constantinople about a year ago,
and was a child of the Prussian and Austrian war.

There is one paper published here in the English language--The Levant
Herald--and there are generally a number of Greek and a few French papers
rising and falling, struggling up and falling again.  Newspapers are not
popular with the Sultan's Government.  They do not understand journalism.
The proverb says, "The unknown is always great."  To the court, the
newspaper is a mysterious and rascally institution.  They know what a
pestilence is, because they have one occasionally that thins the people
out at the rate of two thousand a day, and they regard a newspaper as a
mild form of pestilence.  When it goes astray, they suppress it--pounce
upon it without warning, and throttle it.  When it don't go astray for a
long time, they get suspicious and throttle it anyhow, because they think
it is hatching deviltry.  Imagine the Grand Vizier in solemn council with
the magnates of the realm, spelling his way through the hated newspaper,
and finally delivering his profound decision: "This thing means mischief
--it is too darkly, too suspiciously inoffensive--suppress it!  Warn the
publisher that we can not have this sort of thing: put the editor in
prison!"

The newspaper business has its inconveniences in Constantinople.  Two
Greek papers and one French one were suppressed here within a few days of
each other.  No victories of the Cretans are allowed to be printed.  From
time to time the Grand Vizier sends a notice to the various editors that
the Cretan insurrection is entirely suppressed, and although that editor
knows better, he still has to print the notice.  The Levant Herald is too
fond of speaking praisefully of Americans to be popular with the Sultan,
who does not relish our sympathy with the Cretans, and therefore that
paper has to be particularly circumspect in order to keep out of trouble.
Once the editor, forgetting the official notice in his paper that the
Cretans were crushed out, printed a letter of a very different tenor,
from the American Consul in Crete, and was fined two hundred and fifty
dollars for it.  Shortly he printed another from the same source and was
imprisoned three months for his pains.  I think I could get the assistant
editorship of the Levant Herald, but I am going to try to worry along
without it.

To suppress a paper here involves the ruin of the publisher, almost.  But
in Naples I think they speculate on misfortunes of that kind.  Papers are
suppressed there every day, and spring up the next day under a new name.
During the ten days or a fortnight we staid there one paper was murdered
and resurrected twice.  The newsboys are smart there, just as they are
elsewhere.  They take advantage of popular weaknesses.  When they find
they are not likely to sell out, they approach a citizen mysteriously,
and say in a low voice--"Last copy, sir: double price; paper just been
suppressed!"  The man buys it, of course, and finds nothing in it.  They
do say--I do not vouch for it--but they do say that men sometimes print a
vast edition of a paper, with a ferociously seditious article in it,
distribute it quickly among the newsboys, and clear out till the
Government's indignation cools.  It pays well.  Confiscation don't amount
to any thing.  The type and presses are not worth taking care of.

There is only one English newspaper in Naples.  It has seventy
subscribers.  The publisher is getting rich very deliberately--very
deliberately indeed.

I never shall want another Turkish lunch.  The cooking apparatus was in
the little lunch room, near the bazaar, and it was all open to the
street.  The cook was slovenly, and so was the table, and it had no cloth
on it.  The fellow took a mass of sausage meat and coated it round a wire
and laid it on a charcoal fire to cook.  When it was done, he laid it
aside and a dog walked sadly in and nipped it.  He smelt it first, and
probably recognized the remains of a friend.  The cook took it away from
him and laid it before us.  Jack said, "I pass"--he plays euchre
sometimes--and we all passed in turn.  Then the cook baked a broad, flat,
wheaten cake, greased it well with the sausage, and started towards us
with it.  It dropped in the dirt, and he picked it up and polished it on
his breeches, and laid it before us.  Jack said, "I pass."  We all
passed.  He put some eggs in a frying pan, and stood pensively prying
slabs of meat from between his teeth with a fork.  Then he used the fork
to turn the eggs with--and brought them along.  Jack said "Pass again."
All followed suit.  We did not know what to do, and so we ordered a new
ration of sausage.  The cook got out his wire, apportioned a proper
amount of sausage-meat, spat it on his hands and fell to work!  This
time, with one accord, we all passed out.  We paid and left .  That is
all I learned about Turkish lunches.  A Turkish lunch is good, no doubt,
but it has its little drawbacks.

When I think how I have been swindled by books of Oriental travel, I want
a tourist for breakfast.  For years and years I have dreamed of the
wonders of the Turkish bath; for years and years I have promised myself
that I would yet enjoy one.  Many and many a time, in fancy, I have lain
in the marble bath, and breathed the slumbrous fragrance of Eastern
spices that filled the air; then passed through a weird and complicated
system of pulling and hauling, and drenching and scrubbing, by a gang of
naked savages who loomed vast and vaguely through the steaming mists,
like demons; then rested for a while on a divan fit for a king; then
passed through another complex ordeal, and one more fearful than the
first; and, finally, swathed in soft fabrics, been conveyed to a princely
saloon and laid on a bed of eider down, where eunuchs, gorgeous of
costume, fanned me while I drowsed and dreamed, or contentedly gazed at
the rich hangings of the apartment, the soft carpets, the sumptuous
furniture, the pictures, and drank delicious coffee, smoked the soothing
narghili, and dropped, at the last, into tranquil repose, lulled by
sensuous odors from unseen censers, by the gentle influence of the
narghili's Persian tobacco, and by the music of fountains that
counterfeited the pattering of summer rain.

That was the picture, just as I got it from incendiary books of travel.
It was a poor, miserable imposture.  The reality is no more like it than
the Five Points are like the Garden of Eden.  They received me in a great
court, paved with marble slabs; around it were broad galleries, one above
another, carpeted with seedy matting, railed with unpainted balustrades,
and furnished with huge rickety chairs, cushioned with rusty old
mattresses, indented with impressions left by the forms of nine
successive generations of men who had reposed upon them.  The place was
vast, naked, dreary; its court a barn, its galleries stalls for human
horses.  The cadaverous, half nude varlets that served in the
establishment had nothing of poetry in their appearance, nothing of
romance, nothing of Oriental splendor.  They shed no entrancing odors--
just the contrary.  Their hungry eyes and their lank forms continually
suggested one glaring, unsentimental fact--they wanted what they term in
California "a square meal."

I went into one of the racks and undressed.  An unclean starveling
wrapped a gaudy table-cloth about his loins, and hung a white rag over my
shoulders.  If I had had a tub then, it would have come natural to me to
take in washing.  I was then conducted down stairs into the wet, slippery
court, and the first things that attracted my attention were my heels.
My fall excited no comment.  They expected it, no doubt.  It belonged in
the list of softening, sensuous influences peculiar to this home of
Eastern luxury.  It was softening enough, certainly, but its application
was not happy.  They now gave me a pair of wooden clogs--benches in
miniature, with leather straps over them to confine my feet (which they
would have done, only I do not wear No. 13s.) These things dangled
uncomfortably by the straps when I lifted up my feet, and came down in
awkward and unexpected places when I put them on the floor again, and
sometimes turned sideways and wrenched my ankles out of joint.  However,
it was all Oriental luxury, and I did what I could to enjoy it.

They put me in another part of the barn and laid me on a stuffy sort of
pallet, which was not made of cloth of gold, or Persian shawls, but was
merely the unpretending sort of thing I have seen in the negro quarters
of Arkansas.  There was nothing whatever in this dim marble prison but
five more of these biers.  It was a very solemn place.  I expected that
the spiced odors of Araby were going to steal over my senses now, but
they did not.  A copper-colored skeleton, with a rag around him, brought
me a glass decanter of water, with a lighted tobacco pipe in the top of
it, and a pliant stem a yard long, with a brass mouth-piece to it.

It was the famous "narghili" of the East--the thing the Grand Turk smokes
in the pictures.  This began to look like luxury.  I took one blast at
it, and it was sufficient; the smoke went in a great volume down into my
stomach, my lungs, even into the uttermost parts of my frame.  I exploded
one mighty cough, and it was as if Vesuvius had let go.  For the next
five minutes I smoked at every pore, like a frame house that is on fire
on the inside.  Not any more narghili for me.  The smoke had a vile
taste, and the taste of a thousand infidel tongues that remained on that
brass mouthpiece was viler still.  I was getting discouraged.  Whenever,
hereafter, I see the cross-legged Grand Turk smoking his narghili, in
pretended bliss, on the outside of a paper of Connecticut tobacco, I
shall know him for the shameless humbug he is.

This prison was filled with hot air.  When I had got warmed up
sufficiently to prepare me for a still warmer temperature, they took me
where it was--into a marble room, wet, slippery and steamy, and laid me
out on a raised platform in the centre.  It was very warm.  Presently my
man sat me down by a tank of hot water, drenched me well, gloved his hand
with a coarse mitten, and began to polish me all over with it.  I began
to smell disagreeably.  The more he polished the worse I smelt.  It was
alarming.  I said to him:

"I perceive that I am pretty far gone.  It is plain that I ought to be
buried without any unnecessary delay.  Perhaps you had better go after my
friends at once, because the weather is warm, and I can not 'keep' long."

He went on scrubbing, and paid no attention.  I soon saw that he was
reducing my size.  He bore hard on his mitten, and from under it rolled
little cylinders, like maccaroni.  It could not be dirt, for it was too
white.  He pared me down in this way for a long time.  Finally I said:

"It is a tedious process.  It will take hours to trim me to the size you
want me; I will wait; go and borrow a jack-plane."

He paid no attention at all.

After a while he brought a basin, some soap, and something that seemed to
be the tail of a horse.  He made up a prodigious quantity of soap-suds,
deluged me with them from head to foot, without warning me to shut my
eyes, and then swabbed me viciously with the horse-tail.  Then he left me
there, a snowy statue of lather, and went away.  When I got tired of
waiting I went and hunted him up.  He was propped against the wall, in
another room, asleep.  I woke him.  He was not disconcerted.  He took me
back and flooded me with hot water, then turbaned my head, swathed me
with dry table-cloths, and conducted me to a latticed chicken-coop in one
of the galleries, and pointed to one of those Arkansas beds.  I mounted
it, and vaguely expected the odors of Araby a gain.  They did not come.

The blank, unornamented coop had nothing about it of that oriental
voluptuousness one reads of so much.  It was more suggestive of the
county hospital than any thing else.  The skinny servitor brought a
narghili, and I got him to take it out again without wasting any time
about it.  Then he brought the world-renowned Turkish coffee that poets
have sung so rapturously for many generations, and I seized upon it as
the last hope that was left of my old dreams of Eastern luxury.  It was
another fraud.  Of all the unchristian beverages that ever passed my
lips, Turkish coffee is the worst.  The cup is small, it is smeared with
grounds; the coffee is black, thick, unsavory of smell, and execrable in
taste.  The bottom of the cup has a muddy sediment in it half an inch
deep.  This goes down your throat, and portions of it lodge by the way,
and produce a tickling aggravation that keeps you barking and coughing
for an hour.

Here endeth my experience of the celebrated Turkish bath, and here also
endeth my dream of the bliss the mortal revels in who passes through it.
It is a malignant swindle.  The man who enjoys it is qualified to enjoy
any thing that is repulsive to sight or sense, and he that can invest it
with a charm of poetry is able to do the same with any thing else in the
world that is tedious, and wretched, and dismal, and nasty.




CHAPTER XXXV.

We left a dozen passengers in Constantinople, and sailed through the
beautiful Bosporus and far up into the Black Sea.  We left them in the
clutches of the celebrated Turkish guide, "FAR-AWAY MOSES," who will
seduce them into buying a ship-load of ottar of roses, splendid Turkish
vestments, and ail manner of curious things they can never have any use
for.  Murray's invaluable guide-books have mentioned 'Far-away Moses'
name, and he is a made man.  He rejoices daily in the fact that he is a
recognized celebrity.  However, we can not alter our established customs
to please the whims of guides; we can not show partialities this late in
the day.  Therefore, ignoring this fellow's brilliant fame, and ignoring
the fanciful name he takes such pride in, we called him Ferguson, just as
we had done with all other guides.  It has kept him in a state of
smothered exasperation all the time.  Yet we meant him no harm.  After he
has gotten himself up regardless of expense, in showy, baggy trowsers,
yellow, pointed slippers, fiery fez, silken jacket of blue, voluminous
waist-sash of fancy Persian stuff filled with a battery of silver-mounted
horse-pistols, and has strapped on his terrible scimitar, he considers it
an unspeakable humiliation to be called Ferguson.  It can not be helped.
All guides are Fergusons to us.  We can not master their dreadful foreign
names.

Sebastopol is probably the worst battered town in Russia or any where
else.  But we ought to be pleased with it, nevertheless, for we have been
in no country yet where we have been so kindly received, and where we
felt that to be Americans was a sufficient visa for our passports.  The
moment the anchor was down, the Governor of the town immediately
dispatched an officer on board to inquire if he could be of any
assistance to us, and to invite us to make ourselves at home in
Sebastopol!  If you know Russia, you know that this was a wild stretch of
hospitality.  They are usually so suspicious of strangers that they worry
them excessively with the delays and aggravations incident to a
complicated passport system.  Had we come from any other country we could
not have had permission to enter Sebastopol and leave again under three
days--but as it was, we were at liberty to go and come when and where we
pleased.  Every body in Constantinople warned us to be very careful about
our passports, see that they were strictly 'en regle', and never to
mislay them for a moment: and they told us of numerous instances of
Englishmen and others who were delayed days, weeks, and even months, in
Sebastopol, on account of trifling informalities in their passports, and
for which they were not to blame.  I had lost my passport, and was
traveling under my room-mate's, who stayed behind in Constantinople to
await our return.  To read the description of him in that passport and
then look at me, any man could see that I was no more like him than I am
like Hercules.  So I went into the harbor of Sebastopol with fear and
trembling--full of a vague, horrible apprehension that I was going to be
found out and hanged.  But all that time my true passport had been
floating gallantly overhead--and behold it was only our flag.  They never
asked us for any other.

We have had a great many Russian and English gentlemen and ladies on
board to-day, and the time has passed cheerfully away.  They were all
happy-spirited people, and I never heard our mother tongue sound so
pleasantly as it did when it fell from those English lips in this far-off
land.  I talked to the Russians a good deal, just to be friendly, and
they talked to me from the same motive; I am sure that both enjoyed the
conversation, but never a word of it either of us understood.  I did most
of my talking to those English people though, and I am sorry we can not
carry some of them along with us.

We have gone whithersoever we chose, to-day, and have met with nothing
but the kindest attentions.  Nobody inquired whether we had any passports
or not.

Several of the officers of the Government have suggested that we take the
ship to a little watering-place thirty miles from here, and pay the
Emperor of Russia a visit.  He is rusticating there.  These officers said
they would take it upon themselves to insure us a cordial reception.
They said if we would go, they would not only telegraph the Emperor, but
send a special courier overland to announce our coming.  Our time is so
short, though, and more especially our coal is so nearly out, that we
judged it best to forego the rare pleasure of holding social intercourse
with an Emperor.

Ruined Pompeii is in good condition compared to Sebastopol.  Here, you
may look in whatsoever direction you please, and your eye encounters
scarcely any thing but ruin, ruin, ruin!--fragments of houses, crumbled
walls, torn and ragged hills, devastation every where!  It is as if a
mighty earthquake had spent all its terrible forces upon this one little
spot.  For eighteen long months the storms of war beat upon the helpless
town, and left it at last the saddest wreck that ever the sun has looked
upon.  Not one solitary house escaped unscathed--not one remained
habitable, even.  Such utter and complete ruin one could hardly conceive
of.  The houses had all been solid, dressed stone structures; most of
them were ploughed through and through by cannon balls--unroofed and
sliced down from eaves to foundation--and now a row of them, half a mile
long, looks merely like an endless procession of battered chimneys.  No
semblance of a house remains in such as these.  Some of the larger
buildings had corners knocked off; pillars cut in two; cornices smashed;
holes driven straight through the walls.  Many of these holes are as
round and as cleanly cut as if they had been made with an auger.  Others
are half pierced through, and the clean impression is there in the rock,
as smooth and as shapely as if it were done in putty.  Here and there a
ball still sticks in a wall, and from it iron tears trickle down and
discolor the stone.

The battle-fields were pretty close together.  The Malakoff tower is on a
hill which is right in the edge of the town.  The Redan was within rifle-
shot of the Malakoff; Inkerman was a mile away; and Balaklava removed but
an hour's ride.  The French trenches, by which they approached and
invested the Malakoff were carried so close under its sloping sides that
one might have stood by the Russian guns and tossed a stone into them.
Repeatedly, during three terrible days, they swarmed up the little
Malakoff hill, and were beaten back with terrible slaughter.  Finally,
they captured the place, and drove the Russians out, who then tried to
retreat into the town, but the English had taken the Redan, and shut them
off with a wall of flame; there was nothing for them to do but go back
and retake the Malakoff or die under its guns.  They did go back; they
took the Malakoff and retook it two or three times, but their desperate
valor could not avail, and they had to give up at last.

These fearful fields, where such tempests of death used to rage, are
peaceful enough now; no sound is heard, hardly a living thing moves about
them, they are lonely and silent--their desolation is complete.

There was nothing else to do, and so every body went to hunting relics.
They have stocked the ship with them.  They brought them from the
Malakoff, from the Redan, Inkerman, Balaklava--every where.  They have
brought cannon balls, broken ramrods, fragments of shell--iron enough to
freight a sloop.  Some have even brought bones--brought them laboriously
from great distances, and were grieved to hear the surgeon pronounce them
only bones of mules and oxen.  I knew Blucher would not lose an
opportunity like this.  He brought a sack full on board and was going for
another.  I prevailed upon him not to go.  He has already turned his
state-room into a museum of worthless trumpery, which he has gathered up
in his travels.  He is labeling his trophies, now.  I picked up one a
while ago, and found it marked "Fragment of a Russian General."  I
carried it out to get a better light upon it--it was nothing but a couple
of teeth and part of the jaw-bone of a horse.  I said with some asperity:

"Fragment of a Russian General!  This is absurd.  Are you never going to
learn any sense?"

He only said: "Go slow--the old woman won't know any different."  [His
aunt.]

This person gathers mementoes with a perfect recklessness, now-a-days;
mixes them all up together, and then serenely labels them without any
regard to truth, propriety, or even plausibility.  I have found him
breaking a stone in two, and labeling half of it "Chunk busted from the
pulpit of Demosthenes," and the other half "Darnick from the Tomb of
Abelard and Heloise."  I have known him to gather up a handful of pebbles
by the roadside, and bring them on board ship and label them as coming
from twenty celebrated localities five hundred miles apart.  I
remonstrate against these outrages upon reason and truth, of course, but
it does no good.  I get the same tranquil, unanswerable reply every time:

"It don't signify--the old woman won't know any different."

Ever since we three or four fortunate ones made the midnight trip to
Athens, it has afforded him genuine satisfaction to give every body in
the ship a pebble from the Mars-hill where St. Paul preached.  He got all
those pebbles on the sea shore, abreast the ship, but professes to have
gathered them from one of our party.  However, it is not of any use for
me to expose the deception--it affords him pleasure, and does no harm to
any body.  He says he never expects to run out of mementoes of St. Paul
as long as he is in reach of a sand-bank.  Well, he is no worse than
others.  I notice that all travelers supply deficiencies in their
collections in the same way.  I shall never have any confidence in such
things again while I live.




CHAPTER XXXVI.

We have got so far east, now--a hundred and fifty-five degrees of
longitude from San Francisco--that my watch can not "keep the hang" of
the time any more.  It has grown discouraged, and stopped.  I think it
did a wise thing.  The difference in time between Sebastopol and the
Pacific coast is enormous.  When it is six o'clock in the morning here,
it is somewhere about week before last in California.  We are excusable
for getting a little tangled as to time.  These distractions and
distresses about the time have worried me so much that I was afraid my
mind was so much affected that I never would have any appreciation of
time again; but when I noticed how handy I was yet about comprehending
when it was dinner-time, a blessed tranquillity settled down upon me, and
I am tortured with doubts and fears no more.

Odessa is about twenty hours' run from Sebastopol, and is the most
northerly port in the Black Sea.  We came here to get coal, principally.
The city has a population of one hundred and thirty-three thousand, and
is growing faster than any other small city out of America.  It is a free
port, and is the great grain mart of this particular part of the world.
Its roadstead is full of ships.  Engineers are at work, now, turning the
open roadstead into a spacious artificial harbor.  It is to be almost
inclosed by massive stone piers, one of which will extend into the sea
over three thousand feet in a straight line.

I have not felt so much at home for a long time as I did when I "raised
the hill" and stood in Odessa for the first time.  It looked just like an
American city; fine, broad streets, and straight as well; low houses,
(two or three stories,) wide, neat, and free from any quaintness of
architectural ornamentation; locust trees bordering the sidewalks (they
call them acacias;) a stirring, business-look about the streets and the
stores; fast walkers; a familiar new look about the houses and every
thing; yea, and a driving and smothering cloud of dust that was so like a
message from our own dear native land that we could hardly refrain from
shedding a few grateful tears and execrations in the old time-honored
American way.  Look up the street or down the street, this way or that
way, we saw only America!  There was not one thing to remind us that we
were in Russia.  We walked for some little distance, reveling in this
home vision, and then we came upon a church and a hack-driver, and
presto! the illusion vanished!  The church had a slender-spired dome that
rounded inward at its base, and looked like a turnip turned upside down,
and the hackman seemed to be dressed in a long petticoat with out any
hoops.  These things were essentially foreign, and so were the carriages
--but every body knows about these things, and there is no occasion for
my describing them.

We were only to stay here a day and a night and take in coal; we
consulted the guide-books and were rejoiced to know that there were no
sights in Odessa to see; and so we had one good, untrammeled holyday on
our hands, with nothing to do but idle about the city and enjoy
ourselves.  We sauntered through the markets and criticised the fearful
and wonderful costumes from the back country; examined the populace as
far as eyes could do it; and closed the entertainment with an ice-cream
debauch.  We do not get ice-cream every where, and so, when we do, we are
apt to dissipate to excess.  We never cared any thing about ice-cream at
home, but we look upon it with a sort of idolatry now that it is so
scarce in these red-hot climates of the East.

We only found two pieces of statuary, and this was another blessing.  One
was a bronze image of the Duc de Richelieu, grand-nephew of the splendid
Cardinal.  It stood in a spacious, handsome promenade, overlooking the
sea, and from its base a vast flight of stone steps led down to the
harbor--two hundred of them, fifty feet long, and a wide landing at the
bottom of every twenty.  It is a noble staircase, and from a distance the
people toiling up it looked like insects.  I mention this statue and this
stairway because they have their story.  Richelieu founded Odessa--
watched over it with paternal care--labored with a fertile brain and a
wise understanding for its best interests--spent his fortune freely to
the same end--endowed it with a sound prosperity, and one which will yet
make it one of the great cities of the Old World--built this noble
stairway with money from his own private purse--and--.  Well, the people
for whom he had done so much, let him walk down these same steps, one
day, unattended, old, poor, without a second coat to his back; and when,
years afterwards, he died in Sebastopol in poverty and neglect, they
called a meeting, subscribed liberally, and immediately erected this
tasteful monument to his memory, and named a great street after him.
It reminds me of what Robert Burns' mother said when they erected a
stately monument to his memory: "Ah, Robbie, ye asked them for bread and
they hae gi'en ye a stane."

The people of Odessa have warmly recommended us to go and call on the
Emperor, as did the Sebastopolians.  They have telegraphed his Majesty,
and he has signified his willingness to grant us an audience.  So we are
getting up the anchors and preparing to sail to his watering-place.  What
a scratching around there will be, now! what a holding of important
meetings and appointing of solemn committees!--and what a furbishing up
of claw-hammer coats and white silk neck-ties!  As this fearful ordeal we
are about to pass through pictures itself to my fancy in all its dread
sublimity, I begin to feel my fierce desire to converse with a genuine
Emperor cooling down and passing away.  What am I to do with my hands?
What am I to do with my feet?  What in the world am I to do with myself?




CHAPTER XXXVII.

We anchored here at Yalta, Russia, two or three days ago.  To me the
place was a vision of the Sierras.  The tall, gray mountains that back
it, their sides bristling with pines--cloven with ravines--here and there
a hoary rock towering into view--long, straight streaks sweeping down
from the summit to the sea, marking the passage of some avalanche of
former times--all these were as like what one sees in the Sierras as if
the one were a portrait of the other.  The little village of Yalta
nestles at the foot of an amphitheatre which slopes backward and upward
to the wall of hills, and looks as if it might have sunk quietly down to
its present position from a higher elevation.  This depression is covered
with the great parks and gardens of noblemen, and through the mass of
green foliage the bright colors of their palaces bud out here and there
like flowers.  It is a beautiful spot.

We had the United States Consul on board--the Odessa Consul.  We
assembled in the cabin and commanded him to tell us what we must do to be
saved, and tell us quickly.  He made a speech.  The first thing he said
fell like a blight on every hopeful spirit: he had never seen a court
reception.  (Three groans for the Consul.)  But he said he had seen
receptions at the Governor General's in Odessa, and had often listened to
people's experiences of receptions at the Russian and other courts, and
believed he knew very well what sort of ordeal we were about to essay.
(Hope budded again.)  He said we were many; the summer palace was small--
a mere mansion; doubtless we should be received in summer fashion--in the
garden; we would stand in a row, all the gentlemen in swallow-tail coats,
white kids, and white neck-ties, and the ladies in light-colored silks,
or something of that kind; at the proper moment--12 meridian--the
Emperor, attended by his suite arrayed in splendid uniforms, would appear
and walk slowly along the line, bowing to some, and saying two or three
words to others.  At the moment his Majesty appeared, a universal,
delighted, enthusiastic smile ought to break out like a rash among the
passengers--a smile of love, of gratification, of admiration--and with
one accord, the party must begin to bow--not obsequiously, but
respectfully, and with dignity; at the end of fifteen minutes the Emperor
would go in the house, and we could run along home again.  We felt
immensely relieved.  It seemed, in a manner, easy.  There was not a man
in the party but believed that with a little practice he could stand in a
row, especially if there were others along; there was not a man but
believed he could bow without tripping on his coat tail and breaking his
neck; in a word, we came to believe we were equal to any item in the
performance except that complicated smile.  The Consul also said we ought
to draft a little address to the Emperor, and present it to one of his
aides-de-camp, who would forward it to him at the proper time.
Therefore, five gentlemen were appointed to prepare the document, and the
fifty others went sadly smiling about the ship--practicing.  During the
next twelve hours we had the general appearance, somehow, of being at a
funeral, where every body was sorry the death had occurred, but glad it
was over--where every body was smiling, and yet broken-hearted.

A committee went ashore to wait on his Excellency the Governor-General,
and learn our fate.  At the end of three hours of boding suspense, they
came back and said the Emperor would receive us at noon the next day--
would send carriages for us--would hear the address in person.  The Grand
Duke Michael had sent to invite us to his palace also.  Any man could see
that there was an intention here to show that Russia's friendship for
America was so genuine as to render even her private citizens objects
worthy of kindly attentions.

At the appointed hour we drove out three miles, and assembled in the
handsome garden in front of the Emperor's palace.

We formed a circle under the trees before the door, for there was no one
room in the house able to accommodate our three-score persons
comfortably, and in a few minutes the imperial family came out bowing and
smiling, and stood in our midst.  A number of great dignitaries of the
Empire, in undress unit forms, came with them.  With every bow, his
Majesty said a word of welcome.  I copy these speeches.  There is
character in them--Russian character--which is politeness itself, and the
genuine article.  The French are polite, but it is often mere ceremonious
politeness.  A Russian imbues his polite things with a heartiness, both
of phrase and expression, that compels belief in their sincerity.  As I
was saying, the Czar punctuated his speeches with bows:

"Good morning--I am glad to see you--I am gratified--I am delighted--I am
happy to receive you!"

All took off their hats, and the Consul inflicted the address on him.  He
bore it with unflinching fortitude; then took the rusty-looking document
and handed it to some great officer or other, to be filed away among the
archives of Russia--in the stove.  He thanked us for the address, and
said he was very much pleased to see us, especially as such friendly
relations existed between Russia and the United States.  The Empress said
the Americans were favorites in Russia, and she hoped the Russians were
similarly regarded in America.  These were all the speeches that were
made, and I recommend them to parties who present policemen with gold
watches, as models of brevity and point.  After this the Empress went and
talked sociably (for an Empress) with various ladies around the circle;
several gentlemen entered into a disjointed general conversation with the
Emperor; the Dukes and Princes, Admirals and Maids of Honor dropped into
free-and-easy chat with first one and then another of our party, and
whoever chose stepped forward and spoke with the modest little Grand
Duchess Marie, the Czar's daughter.  She is fourteen years old, light-
haired, blue-eyed, unassuming and pretty.  Every body talks English.

The Emperor wore a cap, frock coat and pantaloons, all of some kind of
plain white drilling--cotton or linen and sported no jewelry or any
insignia whatever of rank.  No costume could be less ostentatious.  He is
very tall and spare, and a determined-looking man, though a very
pleasant-looking one nevertheless.  It is easy to see that he is kind and
affectionate There is something very noble in his expression when his cap
is off.  There is none of that cunning in his eye that all of us noticed
in Louis Napoleon's.

The Empress and the little Grand Duchess wore simple suits of foulard (or
foulard silk, I don't know which is proper,) with a small blue spot in
it; the dresses were trimmed with blue; both ladies wore broad blue
sashes about their waists; linen collars and clerical ties of muslin;
low-crowned straw-hats trimmed with blue velvet; parasols and flesh-
colored gloves The Grand Duchess had no heels on her shoes.  I do not
know this of my own knowledge, but one of our ladies told me so.  I was
not looking at her shoes.  I was glad to observe that she wore her own
hair, plaited in thick braids against the back of her head, instead of
the uncomely thing they call a waterfall, which is about as much like a
waterfall as a canvas-covered ham is like a cataract.  Taking the kind
expression that is in the Emperor's face and the gentleness that is in
his young daughter's into consideration, I wondered if it would not tax
the Czar's firmness to the utmost to condemn a supplicating wretch to
misery in the wastes of Siberia if she pleaded for him.  Every time their
eyes met, I saw more and more what a tremendous power that weak,
diffident school-girl could wield if she chose to do it.  Many and many a
time she might rule the Autocrat of Russia, whose lightest word is law to
seventy millions of human beings!  She was only a girl, and she looked
like a thousand others I have seen, but never a girl provoked such a
novel and peculiar interest in me before.  A strange, new sensation is a
rare thing in this hum-drum life, and I had it here.  There was nothing
stale or worn out about the thoughts and feelings the situation and the
circumstances created.  It seemed strange--stranger than I can tell--to
think that the central figure in the cluster of men and women, chatting
here under the trees like the most ordinary individual in the land, was a
man who could open his lips and ships would fly through the waves,
locomotives would speed over the plains, couriers would hurry from
village to village, a hundred telegraphs would flash the word to the four
corners of an Empire that stretches its vast proportions over a seventh
part of the habitable globe, and a countless multitude of men would
spring to do his bidding.  I had a sort of vague desire to examine his
hands and see if they were of flesh and blood, like other men's.  Here
was a man who could do this wonderful thing, and yet if I chose I could
knock him down.  The case was plain, but it seemed preposterous,
nevertheless--as preposterous as trying to knock down a mountain or wipe
out a continent.  If this man sprained his ankle, a million miles of
telegraph would carry the news over mountains--valleys--uninhabited
deserts--under the trackless sea--and ten thousand newspapers would prate
of it; if he were grievously ill, all the nations would know it before
the sun rose again; if he dropped lifeless where he stood, his fall might
shake the thrones of half a world!  If I could have stolen his coat, I
would have done it.  When I meet a man like that, I want something to
remember him by.

As a general thing, we have been shown through palaces by some plush-
legged filagreed flunkey or other, who charged a franc for it; but after
talking with the company half an hour, the Emperor of Russia and his
family conducted us all through their mansion themselves.  They made no
charge.  They seemed to take a real pleasure in it.

We spent half an hour idling through the palace, admiring the cosy
apartments and the rich but eminently home-like appointments of the
place, and then the Imperial family bade our party a kind good-bye, and
proceeded to count the spoons.

An invitation was extended to us to visit the palace of the eldest son,
the Crown Prince of Russia, which was near at hand.  The young man was
absent, but the Dukes and Countesses and Princes went over the premises
with us as leisurely as was the case at the Emperor's, and conversation
continued as lively as ever.

It was a little after one o'clock, now.  We drove to the Grand Duke
Michael's, a mile away, in response to his invitation, previously given.

We arrived in twenty minutes from the Emperor's.  It is a lovely place.
The beautiful palace nestles among the grand old groves of the park, the
park sits in the lap of the picturesque crags and hills, and both look
out upon the breezy ocean.  In the park are rustic seats, here and there,
in secluded nooks that are dark with shade; there are rivulets of crystal
water; there are lakelets, with inviting, grassy banks; there are
glimpses of sparkling cascades through openings in the wilderness of
foliage; there are streams of clear water gushing from mimic knots on the
trunks of forest trees; there are miniature marble temples perched upon
gray old crags; there are airy lookouts whence one may gaze upon a broad
expanse of landscape and ocean.  The palace is modeled after the choicest
forms of Grecian architecture, and its wide colonnades surround a central
court that is banked with rare flowers that fill the place with their
fragrance, and in their midst springs a fountain that cools the summer
air, and may possibly breed mosquitoes, but I do not think it does.

The Grand Duke and his Duchess came out, and the presentation ceremonies
were as simple as they had been at the Emperor's.  In a few minutes,
conversation was under way, as before.  The Empress appeared in the
verandah, and the little Grand Duchess came out into the crowd.  They had
beaten us there.  In a few minutes, the Emperor came himself on
horseback.  It was very pleasant.  You can appreciate it if you have ever
visited royalty and felt occasionally that possibly you might be wearing
out your welcome--though as a general thing, I believe, royalty is not
scrupulous about discharging you when it is done with you.

The Grand Duke is the third brother of the Emperor, is about thirty-seven
years old, perhaps, and is the princeliest figure in Russia.  He is even
taller than the Czar, as straight as an Indian, and bears himself like
one of those gorgeous knights we read about in romances of the Crusades.
He looks like a great-hearted fellow who would pitch an enemy into the
river in a moment, and then jump in and risk his life fishing him out
again.  The stories they tell of him show him to be of a brave and
generous nature.  He must have been desirous of proving that Americans
were welcome guests in the imperial palaces of Russia, because he rode
all the way to Yalta and escorted our procession to the Emperor¹s
himself, and kept his aids scurrying about, clearing the road and
offering assistance wherever it could be needed.  We were rather familiar
with him then, because we did not know who he was.  We recognized him
now, and appreciated the friendly spirit that prompted him to do us a
favor that any other Grand Duke in the world would have doubtless
declined to do.  He had plenty of servitors whom he could have sent, but
he chose to attend to the matter himself.

The Grand Duke was dressed in the handsome and showy uniform of a Cossack
officer.  The Grand Duchess had on a white alpaca robe, with the seams
and gores trimmed with black barb lace, and a little gray hat with a
feather of the same color.  She is young, rather pretty modest and
unpretending, and full of winning politeness.

Our party walked all through the house, and then the nobility escorted
them all over the grounds, and finally brought them back to the palace
about half-past two o'clock to breakfast.  They called it breakfast, but
we would have called it luncheon.  It consisted of two kinds of wine;
tea, bread, cheese, and cold meats, and was served on the centre-tables
in the reception room and the verandahs--anywhere that was convenient;
there was no ceremony.  It was a sort of picnic.  I had heard before that
we were to breakfast there, but Blucher said he believed Baker's boy had
suggested it to his Imperial Highness.  I think not--though it would be
like him.  Baker's boy is the famine-breeder of the ship.  He is always
hungry.  They say he goes about the state-rooms when the passengers are
out, and eats up all the soap.  And they say he eats oakum.  They say he
will eat any thing he can get between meals, but he prefers oakum.  He
does not like oakum for dinner, but he likes it for a lunch, at odd
hours, or any thing that way.  It makes him very disagreeable, because it
makes his breath bad, and keeps his teeth all stuck up with tar.  Baker's
boy may have suggested the breakfast, but I hope he did not.  It went off
well, anyhow.  The illustrious host moved about from place to place, and
helped to destroy the provisions and keep the conversation lively, and
the Grand Duchess talked with the verandah parties and such as had
satisfied their appetites and straggled out from the reception room.

The Grand Duke's tea was delicious.  They give one a lemon to squeeze
into it, or iced milk, if he prefers it.  The former is best.  This tea
is brought overland from China.  It injures the article to transport it
by sea.

When it was time to go, we bade our distinguished hosts good-bye, and
they retired happy and contented to their apartments to count their
spoons.

We had spent the best part of half a day in the home of royalty, and had
been as cheerful and comfortable all the time as we could have been in
the ship.  I would as soon have thought of being cheerful in Abraham's
bosom as in the palace of an Emperor.  I supposed that Emperors were
terrible people.  I thought they never did any thing but wear magnificent
crowns and red velvet dressing-gowns with dabs of wool sewed on them in
spots, and sit on thrones and scowl at the flunkies and the people in the
parquette, and order Dukes and Duchesses off to execution.  I find,
however, that when one is so fortunate as to get behind the scenes and
see them at home and in the privacy of their firesides, they are
strangely like common mortals.  They are pleasanter to look upon then
than they are in their theatrical aspect.  It seems to come as natural to
them to dress and act like other people as it is to put a friend's cedar
pencil in your pocket when you are done using it.  But I can never have
any confidence in the tinsel kings of the theatre after this.  It will be
a great loss.  I used to take such a thrilling pleasure in them.  But,
hereafter, I will turn me sadly away and say;

"This does not answer--this isn't the style of king that I am acquainted
with."

When they swagger around the stage in jeweled crowns and splendid robes,
I shall feel bound to observe that all the Emperors that ever I was
personally acquainted with wore the commonest sort of clothes, and did
not swagger.  And when they come on the stage attended by a vast body-
guard of supes in helmets and tin breastplates, it will be my duty as
well as my pleasure to inform the ignorant that no crowned head of my
acquaintance has a soldier any where about his house or his person.

Possibly it may be thought that our party tarried too long, or did other
improper things, but such was not the case.  The company felt that they
were occupying an unusually responsible position--they were representing
the people of America, not the Government--and therefore they were
careful to do their best to perform their high mission with credit.

On the other hand, the Imperial families, no doubt, considered that in
entertaining us they were more especially entertaining the people of
America than they could by showering attentions on a whole platoon of
ministers plenipotentiary and therefore they gave to the event its
fullest significance, as an expression of good will and friendly feeling
toward the entire country.  We took the kindnesses we received as
attentions thus directed, of course, and not to ourselves as a party.
That we felt a personal pride in being received as the representatives of
a nation, we do not deny; that we felt a national pride in the warm
cordiality of that reception, can not be doubted.

Our poet has been rigidly suppressed, from the time we let go the anchor.
When it was announced that we were going to visit the Emperor of Russia,
the fountains of his great deep were broken up, and he rained ineffable
bosh for four-and-twenty hours.  Our original anxiety as to what we were
going to do with ourselves, was suddenly transformed into anxiety about
what we were going to do with our poet.  The problem was solved at last.
Two alternatives were offered him--he must either swear a dreadful oath
that he would not issue a line of his poetry while he was in the Czar's
dominions, or else remain under guard on board the ship until we were
safe at Constantinople again.  He fought the dilemma long, but yielded at
last.  It was a great deliverance.  Perhaps the savage reader would like
a specimen of his style.  I do not mean this term to be offensive.  I
only use it because "the gentle reader" has been used so often that any
change from it can not but be refreshing:

          "Save us and sanctify us, and finally, then,
          See good provisions we enjoy while we journey to Jerusalem.
          For so man proposes, which it is most true
          And time will wait for none, nor for us too."

The sea has been unusually rough all day.  However, we have had a lively
time of it, anyhow.  We have had quite a run of visitors.  The Governor-
General came, and we received him with a salute of nine guns.  He brought
his family with him.  I observed that carpets were spread from the pier-
head to his carriage for him to walk on, though I have seen him walk
there without any carpet when he was not on business.  I thought may be
he had what the accidental insurance people might call an extra-hazardous
polish ("policy" joke, but not above mediocrity,) on his boots, and
wished to protect them, but I examined and could not see that they were
blacked any better than usual.  It may have been that he had forgotten
his carpet, before, but he did not have it with him, anyhow.  He was an
exceedingly pleasant old gentleman; we all liked him, especially Blucher.
When he went away, Blucher invited him to come again and fetch his carpet
along.

Prince Dolgorouki and a Grand Admiral or two, whom we had seen yesterday
at the reception, came on board also.  I was a little distant with these
parties, at first, because when I have been visiting Emperors I do not
like to be too familiar with people I only know by reputation, and whose
moral characters and standing in society I can not be thoroughly
acquainted with.  I judged it best to be a little offish, at first.  I
said to myself, Princes and Counts and Grand Admirals are very well, but
they are not Emperors, and one can not be too particular about who he
associates with.

Baron Wrangel came, also.  He used to be Russian Ambassador at
Washington.  I told him I had an uncle who fell down a shaft and broke
himself in two, as much as a year before that.  That was a falsehood, but
then I was not going to let any man eclipse me on surprising adventures,
merely for the want of a little invention.  The Baron is a fine man, and
is said to stand high in the Emperor's confidence and esteem.

Baron Ungern-Sternberg, a boisterous, whole-souled old nobleman, came
with the rest.  He is a man of progress and enterprise--a representative
man of the age.  He is the Chief Director of the railway system of
Russia--a sort of railroad king.  In his line he is making things move
along in this country He has traveled extensively in America.  He says he
has tried convict labor on his railroads, and with perfect success.  He
says the convicts work well, and are quiet and peaceable.  He observed
that he employs nearly ten thousand of them now.

This appeared to be another call on my resources.  I was equal to the
emergency.  I said we had eighty thousand convicts employed on the
railways in America--all of them under sentence of death for murder in
the first degree.  That closed him out.

We had General Todtleben (the famous defender of Sebastopol, during the
siege,) and many inferior army and also navy officers, and a number of
unofficial Russian ladies and gentlemen.  Naturally, a champagne luncheon
was in order, and was accomplished without loss of life.  Toasts and
jokes were discharged freely, but no speeches were made save one thanking
the Emperor and the Grand Duke, through the Governor-General, for our
hospitable reception, and one by the Governor-General in reply, in which
he returned the Emperor's thanks for the speech, etc., etc.




CHAPTER XXXVIII.

We returned to Constantinople, and after a day or two spent in exhausting
marches about the city and voyages up the Golden Horn in caiques, we
steamed away again.  We passed through the Sea of Marmora and the
Dardanelles, and steered for a new land--a new one to us, at least--Asia.
We had as yet only acquired a bowing acquaintance with it, through
pleasure excursions to Scutari and the regions round about.

We passed between Lemnos and Mytilene, and saw them as we had seen Elba
and the Balearic Isles--mere bulky shapes, with the softening mists of
distance upon them--whales in a fog, as it were.  Then we held our course
southward, and began to "read up" celebrated Smyrna.

At all hours of the day and night the sailors in the forecastle amused
themselves and aggravated us by burlesquing our visit to royalty.  The
opening paragraph of our Address to the Emperor was framed as follows:

     "We are a handful of private citizens of America, traveling simply
     for recreation--and unostentatiously, as becomes our unofficial
     state--and, therefore, we have no excuse to tender for presenting
     ourselves before your Majesty, save the desire of offering our
     grateful acknowledgments to the lord of a realm, which, through good
     and through evil report, has been the steadfast friend of the land
     we love so well."

The third cook, crowned with a resplendent tin basin and wrapped royally
in a table-cloth mottled with grease-spots and coffee stains, and bearing
a sceptre that looked strangely like a belaying-pin, walked upon a
dilapidated carpet and perched himself on the capstan, careless of the
flying spray; his tarred and weather-beaten Chamberlains, Dukes and Lord
High Admirals surrounded him, arrayed in all the pomp that spare
tarpaulins and remnants of old sails could furnish.  Then the visiting
"watch below," transformed into graceless ladies and uncouth pilgrims, by
rude travesties upon waterfalls, hoopskirts, white kid gloves and
swallow-tail coats, moved solemnly up the companion way, and bowing low,
began a system of complicated and extraordinary smiling which few
monarchs could look upon and live.  Then the mock consul, a slush-
plastered deck-sweep, drew out a soiled fragment of paper and proceeded
to read, laboriously:

"To His Imperial Majesty, Alexander II., Emperor of Russia:

"We are a handful of private citizens of America, traveling simply for
recreation,--and unostentatiously, as becomes our unofficial state--and
therefore, we have no excuse to tender for presenting ourselves before
your Majesty--"

The Emperor--"Then what the devil did you come for?"

-- "Save the desire of offering our grateful acknowledgments to the lord
of a realm which--"

The Emperor--" Oh, d--n the Address!--read it to the police.
Chamberlain, take these people over to my brother, the Grand Duke's, and
give them a square meal.  Adieu!  I am happy--I am gratified--I am
delighted--I am bored.  Adieu, adieu--vamos the ranch!  The First Groom
of the Palace will proceed to count the portable articles of value
belonging to the premises."

The farce then closed, to be repeated again with every change of the
watches, and embellished with new and still more extravagant inventions
of pomp and conversation.

At all times of the day and night the phraseology of that tiresome
address fell upon our ears.  Grimy sailors came down out of the foretop
placidly announcing themselves as "a handful of private citizens of
America, traveling simply for recreation and unostentatiously," etc.; the
coal passers moved to their duties in the profound depths of the ship,
explaining the blackness of their faces and their uncouthness of dress,
with the reminder that they were "a handful of private citizens,
traveling simply for recreation," etc., and when the cry rang through the
vessel at midnight: "EIGHT BELLS!--LARBOARD WATCH, TURN OUT!"  the
larboard watch came gaping and stretching out of their den, with the
everlasting formula: "Aye-aye, sir!  We are a handful of private citizens
of America, traveling simply for recreation, and unostentatiously, as
becomes our unofficial state!"

As I was a member of the committee, and helped to frame the Address,
these sarcasms came home to me.  I never heard a sailor proclaiming
himself as a handful of American citizens traveling for recreation, but I
wished he might trip and fall overboard, and so reduce his handful by one
individual, at least.  I never was so tired of any one phrase as the
sailors made me of the opening sentence of the Address to the Emperor of
Russia.

This seaport of Smyrna, our first notable acquaintance in Asia, is a
closely packed city of one hundred and thirty thousand inhabitants, and,
like Constantinople, it has no outskirts.  It is as closely packed at its
outer edges as it is in the centre, and then the habitations leave
suddenly off and the plain beyond seems houseless.  It is just like any
other Oriental city.  That is to say, its Moslem houses are heavy and
dark, and as comfortless as so many tombs; its streets are crooked,
rudely and roughly paved, and as narrow as an ordinary staircase; the
streets uniformly carry a man to any other place than the one he wants to
go to, and surprise him by landing him in the most unexpected localities;
business is chiefly carried on in great covered bazaars, celled like a
honeycomb with innumerable shops no larger than a common closet, and the
whole hive cut up into a maze of alleys about wide enough to accommodate
a laden camel, and well calculated to confuse a stranger and eventually
lose him; every where there is dirt, every where there are fleas, every
where there are lean, broken-hearted dogs; every alley is thronged with
people; wherever you look, your eye rests upon a wild masquerade of
extravagant costumes; the workshops are all open to the streets, and the
workmen visible; all manner of sounds assail the ear, and over them all
rings out the muezzin's cry from some tall minaret, calling the faithful
vagabonds to prayer; and superior to the call to prayer, the noises in
the streets, the interest of the costumes--superior to every thing, and
claiming the bulk of attention first, last, and all the time--is a
combination of Mohammedan stenches, to which the smell of even a Chinese
quarter would be as pleasant as the roasting odors of the fatted calf to
the nostrils of the returning Prodigal.  Such is Oriental luxury--such is
Oriental splendor!  We read about it all our days, but we comprehend it
not until we see it.  Smyrna is a very old city.  Its name occurs several
times in the Bible, one or two of the disciples of Christ visited it, and
here was located one of the original seven apocalyptic churches spoken of
in Revelations.  These churches were symbolized in the Scriptures as
candlesticks, and on certain conditions there was a sort of implied
promise that Smyrna should be endowed with a "crown of life."  She was to
"be faithful unto death"--those were the terms.  She has not kept up her
faith straight along, but the pilgrims that wander hither consider that
she has come near enough to it to save her, and so they point to the fact
that Smyrna to-day wears her crown of life, and is a great city, with a
great commerce and full of energy, while the cities wherein were located
the other six churches, and to which no crown of life was promised, have
vanished from the earth.  So Smyrna really still possesses her crown of
life, in a business point of view.  Her career, for eighteen centuries,
has been a chequered one, and she has been under the rule of princes of
many creeds, yet there has been no season during all that time, as far as
we know, (and during such seasons as she was inhabited at all,) that she
has been without her little community of Christians "faithful unto
death."  Hers was the only church against which no threats were implied
in the Revelations, and the only one which survived.

With Ephesus, forty miles from here, where was located another of the
seven churches, the case was different.  The "candlestick" has been
removed from Ephesus.  Her light has been put out.  Pilgrims, always
prone to find prophecies in the Bible, and often where none exist, speak
cheerfully and complacently of poor, ruined Ephesus as the victim of
prophecy.  And yet there is no sentence that promises, without due
qualification, the destruction of the city.  The words are:

     "Remember, therefore, from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and
     do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will
     remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent."

That is all; the other verses are singularly complimentary to Ephesus.
The threat is qualified.  There is no history to show that she did not
repent.  But the cruelest habit the modern prophecy-savans have, is that
one of coolly and arbitrarily fitting the prophetic shirt on to the wrong
man.  They do it without regard to rhyme or reason.  Both the cases I
have just mentioned are instances in point.  Those "prophecies" are
distinctly leveled at the "churches of Ephesus, Smyrna," etc., and yet
the pilgrims invariably make them refer to the cities instead.  No crown
of life is promised to the town of Smyrna and its commerce, but to the
handful of Christians who formed its "church."  If they were "faithful
unto death," they have their crown now--but no amount of faithfulness and
legal shrewdness combined could legitimately drag the city into a
participation in the promises of the prophecy.  The stately language of
the Bible refers to a crown of life whose lustre will reflect the day-
beams of the endless ages of eternity, not the butterfly existence of a
city built by men's hands, which must pass to dust with the builders and
be forgotten even in the mere handful of centuries vouchsafed to the
solid world itself between its cradle and its grave.

The fashion of delving out fulfillments of prophecy where that prophecy
consists of mere "ifs," trenches upon the absurd.  Suppose, a thousand
years from now, a malarious swamp builds itself up in the shallow harbor
of Smyrna, or something else kills the town; and suppose, also, that
within that time the swamp that has filled the renowned harbor of Ephesus
and rendered her ancient site deadly and uninhabitable to-day, becomes
hard and healthy ground; suppose the natural consequence ensues, to wit:
that Smyrna becomes a melancholy ruin, and Ephesus is rebuilt.  What
would the prophecy-savans say?  They would coolly skip over our age of
the world, and say: "Smyrna was not faithful unto death, and so her crown
of life was denied her; Ephesus repented, and lo!  her candle-stick was
not removed.  Behold these evidences!  How wonderful is prophecy!"

Smyrna has been utterly destroyed six times.  If her crown of life had
been an insurance policy, she would have had an opportunity to collect on
it the first time she fell.  But she holds it on sufferance and by a
complimentary construction of language which does not refer to her.
Six different times, however, I suppose some infatuated prophecy-
enthusiast blundered along and said, to the infinite disgust of Smyrna
and the Smyrniotes: "In sooth, here is astounding fulfillment of
prophecy!  Smyrna hath not been faithful unto death, and behold her crown
of life is vanished from her head.  Verily, these things be astonishing!"

Such things have a bad influence.  They provoke worldly men into using
light conversation concerning sacred subjects.  Thick-headed commentators
upon the Bible, and stupid preachers and teachers, work more damage to
religion than sensible, cool-brained clergymen can fight away again, toil
as they may.  It is not good judgment to fit a crown of life upon a city
which has been destroyed six times.  That other class of wiseacres who
twist prophecy in such a manner as to make it promise the destruction and
desolation of the same city, use judgment just as bad, since the city is
in a very flourishing condition now, unhappily for them.  These things
put arguments into the mouth of infidelity.

A portion of the city is pretty exclusively Turkish; the Jews have a
quarter to themselves; the Franks another quarter; so, also, with the
Armenians.  The Armenians, of course, are Christians.  Their houses are
large, clean, airy, handsomely paved with black and white squares of
marble, and in the centre of many of them is a square court, which has in
it a luxuriant flower-garden and a sparkling fountain; the doors of all
the rooms open on this.  A very wide hall leads to the street door, and
in this the women sit, the most of the day.  In the cool of the evening
they dress up in their best raiment and show themselves at the door.
They are all comely of countenance, and exceedingly neat and cleanly;
they look as if they were just out of a band-box.  Some of the young
ladies--many of them, I may say--are even very beautiful; they average a
shade better than American girls--which treasonable words I pray may be
forgiven me.  They are very sociable, and will smile back when a stranger
smiles at them, bow back when he bows, and talk back if he speaks to
them.  No introduction is required.  An hour's chat at the door with a
pretty girl one never saw before, is easily obtained, and is very
pleasant.  I have tried it.  I could not talk anything but English, and
the girl knew nothing but Greek, or Armenian, or some such barbarous
tongue, but we got along very well.  I find that in cases like these, the
fact that you can not comprehend each other isn't much of a drawback.
In that Russia n town of Yalta I danced an astonishing sort of dance an
hour long, and one I had not heard of before, with a very pretty girl,
and we talked incessantly, and laughed exhaustingly, and neither one ever
knew what the other was driving at.  But it was splendid.  There were
twenty people in the set, and the dance was very lively and complicated.
It was complicated enough without me--with me it was more so.  I threw in
a figure now and then that surprised those Russians.  But I have never
ceased to think of that girl.  I have written to her, but I can not
direct the epistle because her name is one of those nine-jointed Russian
affairs, and there are not letters enough in our alphabet to hold out.
I am not reckless enough to try to pronounce it when I am awake, but I
make a stagger at it in my dreams, and get up with the lockjaw in the
morning.  I am fading.  I do not take my meals now, with any sort of
regularity.  Her dear name haunts me still in my dreams.  It is awful on
teeth.  It never comes out of my mouth but it fetches an old snag along
with it.  And then the lockjaw closes down and nips off a couple of the
last syllables--but they taste good.

Coming through the Dardanelles, we saw camel trains on shore with the
glasses, but we were never close to one till we got to Smyrna.  These
camels are very much larger than the scrawny specimens one sees in the
menagerie.  They stride along these streets, in single file, a dozen in a
train, with heavy loads on their backs, and a fancy-looking negro in
Turkish costume, or an Arab, preceding them on a little donkey and
completely overshadowed and rendered insignificant by the huge beasts.
To see a camel train laden with the spices of Arabia and the rare fabrics
of Persia come marching through the narrow alleys of the bazaar, among
porters with their burdens, money-changers, lamp-merchants, Al-naschars
in the glassware business, portly cross-legged Turks smoking the famous
narghili; and the crowds drifting to and fro in the fanciful costumes of
the East, is a genuine revelation of the Orient.  The picture lacks
nothing.  It casts you back at once into your forgotten boyhood, and
again you dream over the wonders of the Arabian Nights; again your
companions are princes, your lord is the Caliph Haroun Al Raschid, and
your servants are terrific giants and genii that come with smoke and
lightning and thunder, and go as a storm goes when they depart!




CHAPTER XXXIX.

We inquired, and learned that the lions of Smyrna consisted of the ruins
of the ancient citadel, whose broken and prodigious battlements frown
upon the city from a lofty hill just in the edge of the town--the Mount
Pagus of Scripture, they call it; the site of that one of the Seven
Apocalyptic Churches of Asia which was located here in the first century
of the Christian era; and the grave and the place of martyrdom of the
venerable Polycarp, who suffered in Smyrna for his religion some eighteen
hundred years ago.

We took little donkeys and started.  We saw Polycarp's tomb, and then
hurried on.

The "Seven Churches"--thus they abbreviate it--came next on the list.  We
rode there--about a mile and a half in the sweltering sun--and visited a
little Greek church which they said was built upon the ancient site; and
we paid a small fee, and the holy attendant gave each of us a little wax
candle as a remembrancer of the place, and I put mine in my hat and the
sun melted it and the grease all ran down the back of my neck; and so now
I have not any thing left but the wick, and it is a sorry and a wilted-
looking wick at that.

Several of us argued as well as we could that the "church" mentioned in
the Bible meant a party of Christians, and not a building; that the Bible
spoke of them as being very poor--so poor, I thought, and so subject to
persecution (as per Polycarp's martyrdom) that in the first place they
probably could not have afforded a church edifice, and in the second
would not have dared to build it in the open light of day if they could;
and finally, that if they had had the privilege of building it, common
judgment would have suggested that they build it somewhere near the town.
But the elders of the ship's family ruled us down and scouted our
evidences.  However, retribution came to them afterward.  They found that
they had been led astray and had gone to the wrong place; they discovered
that the accepted site is in the city.

Riding through the town, we could see marks of the six Smyrnas that have
existed here and been burned up by fire or knocked down by earthquakes.
The hills and the rocks are rent asunder in places, excavations expose
great blocks of building-stone that have lain buried for ages, and all
the mean houses and walls of modern Smyrna along the way are spotted
white with broken pillars, capitals and fragments of sculptured marble
that once adorned the lordly palaces that were the glory of the city in
the olden time.

The ascent of the hill of the citadel is very steep, and we proceeded
rather slowly.  But there were matters of interest about us.  In one
place, five hundred feet above the sea, the perpendicular bank on the
upper side of the road was ten or fifteen feet high, and the cut exposed
three veins of oyster shells, just as we have seen quartz veins exposed
in the cutting of a road in Nevada or Montana.  The veins were about
eighteen inches thick and two or three feet apart, and they slanted along
downward for a distance of thirty feet or more, and then disappeared
where the cut joined the road.  Heaven only knows how far a man might
trace them by "stripping."  They were clean, nice oyster shells, large,
and just like any other oyster shells.  They were thickly massed
together, and none were scattered above or below the veins.  Each one was
a well-defined lead by itself, and without a spur.  My first instinct was
to set up the usual--

                                 NOTICE:

     "We, the undersigned, claim five claims of two hundred feet each,
     (and one for discovery,) on this ledge or lode of oyster-shells,
     with all its dips, spurs, angles, variations and sinuosities, and
     fifty feet on each side of the same, to work it, etc., etc.,
     according to the mining laws of Smyrna."

They were such perfectly natural-looking leads that I could hardly keep
from "taking them up."  Among the oyster-shells were mixed many fragments
of ancient, broken crockery ware.  Now how did those masses of oyster-
shells get there?  I can not determine.  Broken crockery and oyster-
shells are suggestive of restaurants--but then they could have had no
such places away up there on that mountain side in our time, because
nobody has lived up there.  A restaurant would not pay in such a stony,
forbidding, desolate place.  And besides, there were no champagne corks
among the shells.  If there ever was a restaurant there, it must have
been in Smyrna's palmy days, when the hills were covered with palaces.
I could believe in one restaurant, on those terms; but then how about the
three?  Did they have restaurants there at three different periods of the
world?--because there are two or three feet of solid earth between the
oyster leads.  Evidently, the restaurant solution will not answer.

The hill might have been the bottom of the sea, once, and been lifted up,
with its oyster-beds, by an earthquake--but, then, how about the
crockery?  And moreover, how about three oyster beds, one above another,
and thick strata of good honest earth between?

That theory will not do.  It is just possible that this hill is Mount
Ararat, and that Noah's Ark rested here, and he ate oysters and threw the
shells overboard.  But that will not do, either.  There are the three
layers again and the solid earth between--and, besides, there were only
eight in Noah's family, and they could not have eaten all these oysters
in the two or three months they staid on top of that mountain.  The
beasts--however, it is simply absurd to suppose he did not know any more
than to feed the beasts on oyster suppers.

It is painful--it is even humiliating--but I am reduced at last to one
slender theory: that the oysters climbed up there of their own accord.
But what object could they have had in view?--what did they want up
there?  What could any oyster want to climb a hill for?  To climb a hill
must necessarily be fatiguing and annoying exercise for an oyster.  The
most natural conclusion would be that the oysters climbed up there to
look at the scenery.  Yet when one comes to reflect upon the nature of an
oyster, it seems plain that he does not care for scenery.  An oyster has
no taste for such things; he cares nothing for the beautiful.  An oyster
is of a retiring disposition, and not lively--not even cheerful above the
average, and never enterprising.  But above all, an oyster does not take
any interest in scenery--he scorns it.  What have I arrived at now?
Simply at the point I started from, namely, those oyster shells are
there, in regular layers, five hundred feet above the sea, and no man
knows how they got there.  I have hunted up the guide-books, and the gist
of what they say is this: "They are there, but how they got there is a
mystery."

Twenty-five years ago, a multitude of people in America put on their
ascension robes, took a tearful leave of their friends, and made ready to
fly up into heaven at the first blast of the trumpet.  But the angel did
not blow it.  Miller's resurrection day was a failure.  The Millerites
were disgusted.  I did not suspect that there were Millers in Asia Minor,
but a gentleman tells me that they had it all set for the world to come
to an end in Smyrna one day about three years ago.  There was much
buzzing and preparation for a long time previously, and it culminated in
a wild excitement at the appointed time.  A vast number of the populace
ascended the citadel hill early in the morning, to get out of the way of
the general destruction, and many of the infatuated closed up their shops
and retired from all earthly business.  But the strange part of it was
that about three in the afternoon, while this gentleman and his friends
were at dinner in the hotel, a terrific storm of rain, accompanied by
thunder and lightning, broke forth and continued with dire fury for two
or three hours.  It was a thing unprecedented in Smyrna at that time of
the year, and scared some of the most skeptical.  The streets ran rivers
and the hotel floor was flooded with water.  The dinner had to be
suspended.  When the storm finished and left every body drenched through
and through, and melancholy and half-drowned, the ascensionists came down
from the mountain as dry as so many charity-sermons!  They had been
looking down upon the fearful storm going on below, and really believed
that their proposed destruction of the world was proving a grand success.

A railway here in Asia--in the dreamy realm of the Orient--in the fabled
land of the Arabian Nights--is a strange thing to think of.  And yet they
have one already, and are building another.  The present one is well
built and well conducted, by an English Company, but is not doing an
immense amount of business.  The first year it carried a good many
passengers, but its freight list only comprised eight hundred pounds of
figs!

It runs almost to the very gates of Ephesus--a town great in all ages of
the world--a city familiar to readers of the Bible, and one which was as
old as the very hills when the disciples of Christ preached in its
streets.  It dates back to the shadowy ages of tradition, and was the
birthplace of gods renowned in Grecian mythology.  The idea of a
locomotive tearing through such a place as this, and waking the phantoms
of its old days of romance out of their dreams of dead and gone
centuries, is curious enough.

We journey thither tomorrow to see the celebrated ruins.




CHAPTER XL.

This has been a stirring day.  The Superintendent of the railway put a
train at our disposal, and did us the further kindness of accompanying us
to Ephesus and giving to us his watchful care.  We brought sixty scarcely
perceptible donkeys in the freight cars, for we had much ground to go
over.  We have seen some of the most grotesque costumes, along the line
of the railroad, that can be imagined.  I am glad that no possible
combination of words could describe them, for I might then be foolish
enough to attempt it.

At ancient Ayassalook, in the midst of a forbidding desert, we came upon
long lines of ruined aqueducts, and other remnants of architectural
grandeur, that told us plainly enough we were nearing what had been a
metropolis, once.  We left the train and mounted the donkeys, along with
our invited guests--pleasant young gentlemen from the officers' list of
an American man-of-war.

The little donkeys had saddles upon them which were made very high in
order that the rider's feet might not drag the ground.  The preventative
did not work well in the cases of our tallest pilgrims, however.  There
were no bridles--nothing but a single rope, tied to the bit.  It was
purely ornamental, for the donkey cared nothing for it.  If he were
drifting to starboard, you might put your helm down hard the other way,
if it were any satisfaction to you to do it, but he would continue to
drift to starboard all the same.  There was only one process which could
be depended on, and it was to get down and lift his rear around until his
head pointed in the right direction, or take him under your arm and carry
him to a part of the road which he could not get out of without climbing.
The sun flamed down as hot as a furnace, and neck-scarfs, veils and
umbrellas seemed hardly any protection; they served only to make the long
procession look more than ever fantastic--for be it known the ladies were
all riding astride because they could not stay on the shapeless saddles
sidewise, the men were perspiring and out of temper, their feet were
banging against the rocks, the donkeys were capering in every direction
but the right one and being belabored with clubs for it, and every now
and then a broad umbrella would suddenly go down out of the cavalcade,
announcing to all that one more pilgrim had bitten the dust.  It was a
wilder picture than those solitudes had seen for many a day.  No donkeys
ever existed that were as hard to navigate as these, I think, or that had
so many vile, exasperating instincts.  Occasionally we grew so tired and
breathless with fighting them that we had to desist,--and immediately the
donkey would come down to a deliberate walk.  This, with the fatigue, and
the sun, would put a man asleep; and soon as the man was asleep, the
donkey would lie down.  My donkey shall never see his boyhood's home
again.  He has lain down once too often. He must die.

We all stood in the vast theatre of ancient Ephesus,--the stone-benched
amphitheatre I mean--and had our picture taken.  We looked as proper
there as we would look any where, I suppose.  We do not embellish the
general desolation of a desert much.  We add what dignity we can to a
stately ruin with our green umbrellas and jackasses, but it is little.
However, we mean well.

I wish to say a brief word of the aspect of Ephesus.

On a high, steep hill, toward the sea, is a gray ruin of ponderous blocks
of marble, wherein, tradition says, St. Paul was imprisoned eighteen
centuries ago.  From these old walls you have the finest view of the
desolate scene where once stood Ephesus, the proudest city of ancient
times, and whose Temple of Diana was so noble in design, and so exquisite
of workmanship, that it ranked high in the list of the Seven Wonders of
the World.

Behind you is the sea; in front is a level green valley, (a marsh, in
fact,) extending far away among the mountains; to the right of the front
view is the old citadel of Ayassalook, on a high hill; the ruined Mosque
of the Sultan Selim stands near it in the plain, (this is built over the
grave of St. John, and was formerly Christian Church ;) further toward
you is the hill of Pion, around whose front is clustered all that remains
of the ruins of Ephesus that still stand; divided from it by a narrow
valley is the long, rocky, rugged mountain of Coressus.  The scene is a
pretty one, and yet desolate--for in that wide plain no man can live, and
in it is no human habitation.  But for the crumbling arches and monstrous
piers and broken walls that rise from the foot of the hill of Pion, one
could not believe that in this place once stood a city whose renown is
older than tradition itself.  It is incredible to reflect that things as
familiar all over the world to-day as household words, belong in the
history and in the shadowy legends of this silent, mournful solitude.
We speak of Apollo and of Diana--they were born here; of the
metamorphosis of Syrinx into a reed--it was done here; of the great god
Pan--he dwelt in the caves of this hill of Coressus; of the Amazons--this
was their best prized home; of Bacchus and Hercules both fought the
warlike women here; of the Cyclops--they laid the ponderous marble blocks
of some of the ruins yonder; of Homer--this was one of his many
birthplaces; of Cirmon of Athens; of Alcibiades, Lysander, Agesilaus--
they visited here; so did Alexander the Great; so did Hannibal and
Antiochus, Scipio, Lucullus and Sylla; Brutus, Cassius, Pompey, Cicero,
and Augustus; Antony was a judge in this place, and left his seat in the
open court, while the advocates were speaking, to run after Cleopatra,
who passed the door; from this city these two sailed on pleasure
excursions, in galleys with silver oars and perfumed sails, and with
companies of beautiful girls to serve them, and actors and musicians to
amuse them; in days that seem almost modern, so remote are they from the
early history of this city, Paul the Apostle preached the new religion
here, and so did John, and here it is supposed the former was pitted
against wild beasts, for in 1 Corinthians, xv. 32 he says:

     "If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus,"
     &c.,

when many men still lived who had seen the Christ; here Mary Magdalen
died, and here the Virgin Mary ended her days with John, albeit Rome has
since judged it best to locate her grave elsewhere; six or seven hundred
years ago--almost yesterday, as it were--troops of mail-clad Crusaders
thronged the streets; and to come down to trifles, we speak of meandering
streams, and find a new interest in a common word when we discover that
the crooked river Meander, in yonder valley, gave it to our dictionary.
It makes me feel as old as these dreary hills to look down upon these
moss-hung ruins, this historic desolation.  One may read the Scriptures
and believe, but he can not go and stand yonder in the ruined theatre and
in imagination people it again with the vanished multitudes who mobbed
Paul's comrades there and shouted, with one voice, "Great is Diana of the
Ephesians!"  The idea of a shout in such a solitude as this almost makes
one shudder.

It was a wonderful city, this Ephesus.  Go where you will about these
broad plains, you find the most exquisitely sculptured marble fragments
scattered thick among the dust and weeds; and protruding from the ground,
or lying prone upon it, are beautiful fluted columns of porphyry and all
precious marbles; and at every step you find elegantly carved capitals
and massive bases, and polished tablets engraved with Greek inscriptions.
It is a world of precious relics, a wilderness of marred and mutilated
gems.  And yet what are these things to the wonders that lie buried here
under the ground ?  At Constantinople, at Pisa, in the cities of Spain,
are great mosques and cathedrals, whose grandest columns came from the
temples and palaces of Ephesus, and yet one has only to scratch the
ground here to match them.  We shall never know what magnificence is,
until this imperial city is laid bare to the sun.

The finest piece of sculpture we have yet seen and the one that impressed
us most, (for we do not know much about art and can not easily work up
ourselves into ecstasies over it,) is one that lies in this old theatre
of Ephesus which St. Paul's riot has made so celebrated.  It is only the
headless body of a man, clad in a coat of mail, with a Medusa head upon
the breast-plate, but we feel persuaded that such dignity and such
majesty were never thrown into a form of stone before.

What builders they were, these men of antiquity!  The massive arches of
some of these ruins rest upon piers that are fifteen feet square and
built entirely of solid blocks of marble, some of which are as large as a
Saratoga trunk, and some the size of a boarding-house sofa.  They are not
shells or shafts of stone filled inside with rubbish, but the whole pier
is a mass of solid masonry.  Vast arches, that may have been the gates of
the city, are built in the same way.  They have braved the storms and
sieges of three thousand years, and have been shaken by many an
earthquake, but still they stand.  When they dig alongside of them, they
find ranges of ponderous masonry that are as perfect in every detail as
they were the day those old Cyclopian giants finished them.  An English
Company is going to excavate Ephesus--and then!

And now am I reminded of--

                    THE LEGEND OF THE SEVEN SLEEPERS.

In the Mount of Pion, yonder, is the Cave of the Seven Sleepers.  Once
upon a time, about fifteen hundred years ago, seven young men lived near
each other in Ephesus, who belonged to the despised sect of the
Christians.  It came to pass that the good King Maximilianus, (I am
telling this story for nice little boys and girls,) it came to pass, I
say, that the good King Maximilianus fell to persecuting the Christians,
and as time rolled on he made it very warm for them.  So the seven young
men said one to the other, let us get up and travel.  And they got up and
traveled.  They tarried not to bid their fathers and mothers good-bye, or
any friend they knew.  They only took certain moneys which their parents
had, and garments that belonged unto their friends, whereby they might
remember them when far away; and they took also the dog Ketmehr, which
was the property of their neighbor Malchus, because the beast did run his
head into a noose which one of the young men was carrying carelessly, and
they had not time to release him; and they took also certain chickens
that seemed lonely in the neighboring coops, and likewise some bottles of
curious liquors that stood near the grocer's window; and then they
departed from the city.  By-and-by they came to a marvelous cave in the
Hill of Pion and entered into it and feasted, and presently they hurried
on again.  But they forgot the bottles of curious liquors, and left them
behind.  They traveled in many lands, and had many strange adventures.
They were virtuous young men, and lost no opportunity that fell in their
way to make their livelihood.  Their motto was in these words, namely,
"Procrastination is the thief of time."  And so, whenever they did come
upon a man who was alone, they said, Behold, this person hath the
wherewithal--let us go through him.  And they went through him.  At the
end of five years they had waxed tired of travel and adventure, and
longed to revisit their old home again and hear the voices and see the
faces that were dear unto their youth.  Therefore they went through such
parties as fell in their way where they sojourned at that time, and
journeyed back toward Ephesus again.  For the good King Maximilianus was
become converted unto the new faith, and the Christians rejoiced because
they were no longer persecuted.  One day as the sun went down, they came
to the cave in the Mount of Pion, and they said, each to his fellow, Let
us sleep here, and go and feast and make merry with our friends when the
morning cometh.  And each of the seven lifted up his voice and said, It
is a whiz.  So they went in, and lo, where they had put them, there lay
the bottles of strange liquors, and they judged that age had not impaired
their excellence.  Wherein the wanderers were right, and the heads of the
same were level.  So each of the young men drank six bottles, and behold
they felt very tired, then, and lay down and slept soundly.

When they awoke, one of them, Johannes--surnamed Smithianus--said, We are
naked.  And it was so.  Their raiment was all gone, and the money which
they had gotten from a stranger whom they had proceeded through as they
approached the city, was lying upon the ground, corroded and rusted and
defaced.  Likewise the dog Ketmehr was gone, and nothing save the brass
that was upon his collar remained.  They wondered much at these things.
But they took the money, and they wrapped about their bodies some leaves,
and came up to the top of the hill.  Then were they perplexed.  The
wonderful temple of Diana was gone; many grand edifices they had never
seen before stood in the city; men in strange garbs moved about the
streets, and every thing was changed.

Johannes said, It hardly seems like Ephesus.  Yet here is the great
gymnasium; here is the mighty theatre, wherein I have seen seventy
thousand men assembled; here is the Agora; there is the font where the
sainted John the Baptist immersed the converts; yonder is the prison of
the good St. Paul, where we all did use to go to touch the ancient chains
that bound him and be cured of our distempers; I see the tomb of the
disciple Luke, and afar off is the church wherein repose the ashes of the
holy John, where the Christians of Ephesus go twice a year to gather the
dust from the tomb, which is able to make bodies whole again that are
corrupted by disease, and cleanse the soul from sin; but see how the
wharves encroach upon the sea, and what multitudes of ships are anchored
in the bay; see, also, how the city hath stretched abroad, far over the
valley behind Pion, and even unto the walls of Ayassalook; and lo, all
the hills are white with palaces and ribbed with colonnades of marble.
How mighty is Ephesus become!

And wondering at what their eyes had seen, they went down into the city
and purchased garments and clothed themselves.  And when they would have
passed on, the merchant bit the coins which they had given him, with his
teeth, and turned them about and looked curiously upon them, and cast
them upon his counter, and listened if they rang; and then he said, These
be bogus.  And they said, Depart thou to Hades, and went their way.  When
they were come to their houses, they recognized them, albeit they seemed
old and mean; and they rejoiced, and were glad.  They ran to the doors,
and knocked, and strangers opened, and looked inquiringly upon them.  And
they said, with great excitement, while their hearts beat high, and the
color in their faces came and went, Where is my father?  Where is my
mother?  Where are Dionysius and Serapion, and Pericles, and Decius?  And
the strangers that opened said, We know not these.  The Seven said, How,
you know them not?  How long have ye dwelt here, and whither are they
gone that dwelt here before ye?  And the strangers said, Ye play upon us
with a jest, young men; we and our fathers have sojourned under these
roofs these six generations; the names ye utter rot upon the tombs, and
they that bore them have run their brief race, have laughed and sung,
have borne the sorrows and the weariness that were allotted them, and are
at rest; for nine-score years the summers have come and gone, and the
autumn leaves have fallen, since the roses faded out of their cheeks and
they laid them to sleep with the dead.

Then the seven young men turned them away from their homes, and the
strangers shut the doors upon them.  The wanderers marveled greatly, and
looked into the faces of all they met, as hoping to find one that they
knew; but all were strange, and passed them by and spake no friendly
word.  They were sore distressed and sad.  Presently they spake unto a
citizen and said, Who is King in Ephesus?  And the citizen answered and
said, Whence come ye that ye know not that great Laertius reigns in
Ephesus?  They looked one at the other, greatly perplexed, and presently
asked again, Where, then, is the good King Maximilianus?  The citizen
moved him apart, as one who is afraid, and said, Verily these men be mad,
and dream dreams, else would they know that the King whereof they speak
is dead above two hundred years agone.

Then the scales fell from the eyes of the Seven, and one said, Alas, that
we drank of the curious liquors.  They have made us weary, and in
dreamless sleep these two long centuries have we lain.  Our homes are
desolate, our friends are dead.  Behold, the jig is up--let us die.  And
that same day went they forth and laid them down and died.  And in that
self-same day, likewise, the Seven-up did cease in Ephesus, for that the
Seven that were up were down again, and departed and dead withal.  And
the names that be upon their tombs, even unto this time, are Johannes
Smithianus, Trumps, Gift, High, and Low, Jack, and The Game.  And with
the sleepers lie also the bottles wherein were once the curious liquors:
and upon them is writ, in ancient letters, such words as these--Dames of
heathen gods of olden time, perchance: Rumpunch, Jinsling, Egnog.

Such is the story of the Seven Sleepers, (with slight variations,) and I
know it is true, because I have seen the cave myself.

Really, so firm a faith had the ancients this legend, that as late as
eight or nine hundred years ago, learned travelers held it in
superstitious fear.  Two of them record that they ventured into it, but
ran quickly out again, not daring to tarry lest they should fall asleep
and outlive their great grand-children a century or so.  Even at this day
the ignorant denizens of the neighboring country prefer not to sleep in
it.




CHAPTER XLI.

When I last made a memorandum, we were at Ephesus.  We are in Syria, now,
encamped in the mountains of Lebanon.  The interregnum has been long,
both as to time and distance.  We brought not a relic from Ephesus!
After gathering up fragments of sculptured marbles and breaking ornaments
from the interior work of the Mosques; and after bringing them at a cost
of infinite trouble and fatigue, five miles on muleback to the railway
depot, a government officer compelled all who had such things to
disgorge!  He had an order from Constantinople to look out for our party,
and see that we carried nothing off.  It was a wise, a just, and a well-
deserved rebuke, but it created a sensation.  I never resist a temptation
to plunder a stranger's premises without feeling insufferably vain about
it.  This time I felt proud beyond expression.  I was serene in the midst
of the scoldings that were heaped upon the Ottoman government for its
affront offered to a pleasuring party of entirely respectable gentlemen
and ladies I said, "We that have free souls, it touches us not."  The
shoe not only pinched our party, but it pinched hard; a principal
sufferer discovered that the imperial order was inclosed in an envelop
bearing the seal of the British Embassy at Constantinople, and therefore
must have been inspired by the representative of the Queen.  This was
bad--very bad.  Coming solely from the Ottomans, it might have signified
only Ottoman hatred of Christians, and a vulgar ignorance as to genteel
methods of expressing it; but coming from the Christianized, educated,
politic British legation, it simply intimated that we were a sort of
gentlemen and ladies who would bear watching!  So the party regarded it,
and were incensed accordingly.  The truth doubtless was, that the same
precautions would have been taken against any travelers, because the
English Company who have acquired the right to excavate Ephesus, and have
paid a great sum for that right, need to be protected, and deserve to be.
They can not afford to run the risk of having their hospitality abused by
travelers, especially since travelers are such notorious scorners of
honest behavior.

We sailed from Smyrna, in the wildest spirit of expectancy, for the chief
feature, the grand goal of the expedition, was near at hand--we were
approaching the Holy Land!  Such a burrowing into the hold for trunks
that had lain buried for weeks, yes for months; such a hurrying to and
fro above decks and below; such a riotous system of packing and
unpacking; such a littering up of the cabins with shirts and skirts, and
indescribable and unclassable odds and ends; such a making up of bundles,
and setting apart of umbrellas, green spectacles and thick veils; such a
critical inspection of saddles and bridles that had never yet touched
horses; such a cleaning and loading of revolvers and examining of bowie-
knives; such a half-soling of the seats of pantaloons with serviceable
buckskin; then such a poring over ancient maps; such a reading up of
Bibles and Palestine travels; such a marking out of routes; such
exasperating efforts to divide up the company into little bands of
congenial spirits who might make the long and arduous Journey without
quarreling; and morning, noon and night, such mass-meetings in the
cabins, such speech-making, such sage suggesting, such worrying and
quarreling, and such a general raising of the very mischief, was never
seen in the ship before!

But it is all over now.  We are cut up into parties of six or eight, and
by this time are scattered far and wide.  Ours is the only one, however,
that is venturing on what is called "the long trip"--that is, out into
Syria, by Baalbec to Damascus, and thence down through the full length of
Palestine.  It would be a tedious, and also a too risky journey, at this
hot season of the year, for any but strong, healthy men, accustomed
somewhat to fatigue and rough life in the open air.  The other parties
will take shorter journeys.

For the last two months we have been in a worry about one portion of this
Holy Land pilgrimage.  I refer to transportation service.  We knew very
well that Palestine was a country which did not do a large passenger
business, and every man we came across who knew any thing about it gave
us to understand that not half of our party would be able to get dragomen
and animals.  At Constantinople every body fell to telegraphing the
American Consuls at Alexandria and Beirout to give notice that we wanted
dragomen and transportation.  We were desperate--would take horses,
jackasses, cameleopards, kangaroos--any thing.  At Smyrna, more
telegraphing was done, to the same end.  Also fearing for the worst, we
telegraphed for a large number of seats in the diligence for Damascus,
and horses for the ruins of Baalbec.

As might have been expected, a notion got abroad in Syria and Egypt that
the whole population of the Province of America (the Turks consider us a
trifling little province in some unvisited corner of the world,) were
coming to the Holy Land--and so, when we got to Beirout yesterday, we
found the place full of dragomen and their outfits.  We had all intended
to go by diligence to Damascus, and switch off to Baalbec as we went
along--because we expected to rejoin the ship, go to Mount Carmel, and
take to the woods from there.  However, when our own private party of
eight found that it was possible, and proper enough, to make the "long
trip," we adopted that programme.  We have never been much trouble to a
Consul before, but we have been a fearful nuisance to our Consul at
Beirout.  I mention this because I can not help admiring his patience,
his industry, and his accommodating spirit.  I mention it also, because I
think some of our ship's company did not give him as full credit for his
excellent services as he deserved.

Well, out of our eight, three were selected to attend to all business
connected with the expedition.  The rest of us had nothing to do but look
at the beautiful city of Beirout, with its bright, new houses nestled
among a wilderness of green shrubbery spread abroad over an upland that
sloped gently down to the sea; and also at the mountains of Lebanon that
environ it; and likewise to bathe in the transparent blue water that
rolled its billows about the ship (we did not know there were sharks
there.) We had also to range up and down through the town and look at the
costumes.  These are picturesque and fanciful, but not so varied as at
Constantinople and Smyrna; the women of Beirout add an agony--in the two
former cities the sex wear a thin veil which one can see through (and
they often expose their ancles,) but at Beirout they cover their entire
faces with dark-colored or black veils, so that they look like mummies,
and then expose their breasts to the public.  A young gentleman (I
believe he was a Greek,) volunteered to show us around the city, and said
it would afford him great pleasure, because he was studying English and
wanted practice in that language.  When we had finished the rounds,
however, he called for remuneration--said he hoped the gentlemen would
give him a trifle in the way of a few piastres (equivalent to a few five
cent pieces.)  We did so.  The Consul was surprised when he heard it, and
said he knew the young fellow's family very well, and that they were an
old and highly respectable family and worth a hundred and fifty thousand
dollars!  Some people, so situated, would have been ashamed of the berth
he had with us and his manner of crawling into it.

At the appointed time our business committee reported, and said all
things were in readdress--that we were to start to-day, with horses, pack
animals, and tents, and go to Baalbec, Damascus, the Sea of Tiberias, and
thence southward by the way of the scene of Jacob's Dream and other
notable Bible localities to Jerusalem--from thence probably to the Dead
Sea, but possibly not--and then strike for the ocean and rejoin the ship
three or four weeks hence at Joppa; terms, five dollars a day apiece, in
gold, and every thing to be furnished by the dragoman.  They said we
would lie as well as at a hotel.  I had read something like that before,
and did not shame my judgment by believing a word of it.  I said nothing,
however, but packed up a blanket and a shawl to sleep in, pipes and
tobacco, two or three woollen shirts, a portfolio, a guide-book, and a
Bible.  I also took along a towel and a cake of soap, to inspire respect
in the Arabs, who would take me for a king in disguise.

We were to select our horses at 3 P.M.  At that hour Abraham, the
dragoman, marshaled them before us.  With all solemnity I set it down
here, that those horses were the hardest lot I ever did come across, and
their accoutrements were in exquisite keeping with their style.  One
brute had an eye out; another had his tail sawed off close, like a
rabbit, and was proud of it; another had a bony ridge running from his
neck to his tail, like one of those ruined aqueducts one sees about Rome,
and had a neck on him like a bowsprit; they all limped, and had sore
backs, and likewise raw places and old scales scattered about their
persons like brass nails in a hair trunk; their gaits were marvelous to
contemplate, and replete with variety under way the procession looked
like a fleet in a storm.  It was fearful.  Blucher shook his head and
said:

"That dragon is going to get himself into trouble fetching these old
crates out of the hospital the way they are, unless he has got a permit."

I said nothing.  The display was exactly according to the guide-book, and
were we not traveling by the guide-book?  I selected a certain horse
because I thought I saw him shy, and I thought that a horse that had
spirit enough to shy was not to be despised.

At 6 o'clock P.M., we came to a halt here on the breezy summit of a
shapely mountain overlooking the sea, and the handsome valley where dwelt
some of those enterprising Phoenicians of ancient times we read so much
about; all around us are what were once the dominions of Hiram, King of
Tyre, who furnished timber from the cedars of these Lebanon hills to
build portions of King Solomon's Temple with.

Shortly after six, our pack train arrived.  I had not seen it before, and
a good right I had to be astonished.  We had nineteen serving men and
twenty-six pack mules!  It was a perfect caravan.  It looked like one,
too, as it wound among the rocks.  I wondered what in the very mischief
we wanted with such a vast turn-out as that, for eight men.  I wondered
awhile, but soon I began to long for a tin plate, and some bacon and
beans.  I had camped out many and many a time before, and knew just what
was coming.  I went off, without waiting for serving men, and unsaddled
my horse, and washed such portions of his ribs and his spine as projected
through his hide, and when I came back, behold five stately circus tents
were up--tents that were brilliant, within, with blue, and gold, and
crimson, and all manner of splendid adornment!  I was speechless.  Then
they brought eight little iron bedsteads, and set them up in the tents;
they put a soft mattress and pillows and good blankets and two snow-white
sheets on each bed.  Next, they rigged a table about the centre-pole, and
on it placed pewter pitchers, basins, soap, and the whitest of towels--
one set for each man; they pointed to pockets in the tent, and said we
could put our small trifles in them for convenience, and if we needed
pins or such things, they were sticking every where.  Then came the
finishing touch--they spread carpets on the floor!  I simply said, "If
you call this camping out, all right--but it isn't the style I am used
to; my little baggage that I brought along is at a discount."

It grew dark, and they put candles on the tables--candles set in bright,
new, brazen candlesticks.  And soon the bell--a genuine, simon-pure bell
--rang, and we were invited to "the saloon."  I had thought before that
we had a tent or so too many, but now here was one, at least, provided
for; it was to be used for nothing but an eating-saloon.  Like the
others, it was high enough for a family of giraffes to live in, and was
very handsome and clean and bright-colored within.  It was a gem of a
place.  A table for eight, and eight canvas chairs; a table-cloth and
napkins whose whiteness and whose fineness laughed to scorn the things we
were used to in the great excursion steamer; knives and forks, soup-
plates, dinner-plates--every thing, in the handsomest kind of style.  It
was wonderful!  And they call this camping out.  Those stately fellows in
baggy trowsers and turbaned fezzes brought in a dinner which consisted of
roast mutton, roast chicken, roast goose, potatoes, bread, tea, pudding,
apples, and delicious grapes; the viands were better cooked than any we
had eaten for weeks, and the table made a finer appearance, with its
large German silver candlesticks and other finery, than any table we had
sat down to for a good while, and yet that polite dragoman, Abraham, came
bowing in and apologizing for the whole affair, on account of the
unavoidable confusion of getting under way for a very long trip, and
promising to do a great deal better in future!

It is midnight, now, and we break camp at six in the morning.

They call this camping out.  At this rate it is a glorious privilege to
be a pilgrim to the Holy Land.




CHAPTER XLII.

We are camped near Temnin-el-Foka--a name which the boys have simplified
a good deal, for the sake of convenience in spelling.  They call it
Jacksonville.  It sounds a little strangely, here in the Valley of
Lebanon, but it has the merit of being easier to remember than the Arabic
name.

                     "COME LIKE SPIRITS, SO DEPART."

                 "The night shall be filled with music,
                   And the cares that infest the day
                 Shall fold their tents like the Arabs,
                      And as silently steal away."

I slept very soundly last night, yet when the dragoman's bell rang at
half-past five this morning and the cry went abroad of "Ten minutes to
dress for breakfast!"  I heard both.  It surprised me, because I have not
heard the breakfast gong in the ship for a month, and whenever we have
had occasion to fire a salute at daylight, I have only found it out in
the course of conversation afterward.  However, camping out, even though
it be in a gorgeous tent, makes one fresh and lively in the morning--
especially if the air you are breathing is the cool, fresh air of the
mountains.

I was dressed within the ten minutes, and came out.  The saloon tent had
been stripped of its sides, and had nothing left but its roof; so when we
sat down to table we could look out over a noble panorama of mountain,
sea and hazy valley.  And sitting thus, the sun rose slowly up and
suffused the picture with a world of rich coloring.

Hot mutton chops, fried chicken, omelettes, fried potatoes and coffee--
all excellent.  This was the bill of fare.  It was sauced with a savage
appetite purchased by hard riding the day before, and refreshing sleep in
a pure atmosphere.  As I called for a second cup of coffee, I glanced
over my shoulder, and behold our white village was gone--the splendid
tents had vanished like magic!  It was wonderful how quickly those Arabs
had "folded their tents;" and it was wonderful, also, how quickly they
had gathered the thousand odds and ends of the camp together and
disappeared with them.

By half-past six we were under way, and all the Syrian world seemed to be
under way also.  The road was filled with mule trains and long
processions of camels.  This reminds me that we have been trying for some
time to think what a camel looks like, and now we have made it out.  When
he is down on all his knees, flat on his breast to receive his load, he
looks something like a goose swimming; and when he is upright he looks
like an ostrich with an extra set of legs.  Camels are not beautiful, and
their long under lip gives them an exceedingly "gallus"--[Excuse the
slang, no other word will describe it]-- expression.  They have immense,
flat, forked cushions of feet, that make a track in the dust like a pie
with a slice cut out of it.  They are not particular about their diet.
They would eat a tombstone if they could bite it.  A thistle grows about
here which has needles on it that would pierce through leather, I think;
if one touches you, you can find relief in nothing but profanity.  The
camels eat these.  They show by their actions that they enjoy them.  I
suppose it would be a real treat to a camel to have a keg of nails for
supper.

While I am speaking of animals, I will mention that I have a horse now by
the name of "Jericho."  He is a mare.  I have seen remarkable horses
before, but none so remarkable as this.  I wanted a horse that could shy,
and this one fills the bill.  I had an idea that shying indicated spirit.
If I was correct, I have got the most spirited horse on earth.  He shies
at every thing he comes across, with the utmost impartiality.  He appears
to have a mortal dread of telegraph poles, especially; and it is
fortunate that these are on both sides of the road, because as it is now,
I never fall off twice in succession on the same side.  If I fell on the
same side always, it would get to be monotonous after a while.  This
creature has scared at every thing he has seen to-day, except a haystack.
He walked up to that with an intrepidity and a recklessness that were
astonishing.  And it would fill any one with admiration to see how he
preserves his self-possession in the presence of a barley sack.  This
dare-devil bravery will be the death of this horse some day.

He is not particularly fast, but I think he will get me through the Holy
Land.  He has only one fault.  His tail has been chopped off or else he
has sat down on it too hard, some time or other, and he has to fight the
flies with his heels.  This is all very well, but when he tries to kick a
fly off the top of his head with his hind foot, it is too much variety.
He is going to get himself into trouble that way some day.  He reaches
around and bites my legs too.  I do not care particularly about that,
only I do not like to see a horse too sociable.

I think the owner of this prize had a wrong opinion about him.  He had an
idea that he was one of those fiery, untamed steeds, but he is not of
that character.  I know the Arab had this idea, because when he brought
the horse out for inspection in Beirout, he kept jerking at the bridle
and shouting in Arabic, "Ho!  will you?  Do you want to run away, you
ferocious beast, and break your neck?" when all the time the horse was
not doing anything in the world, and only looked like he wanted to lean
up against something and think.  Whenever he is not shying at things, or
reaching after a fly, he wants to do that yet.  How it would surprise his
owner to know this.

We have been in a historical section of country all day.  At noon we
camped three hours and took luncheon at Mekseh, near the junction of the
Lebanon Mountains and the Jebel el Kuneiyiseh, and looked down into the
immense, level, garden-like Valley of Lebanon.  To-night we are camping
near the same valley, and have a very wide sweep of it in view.  We can
see the long, whale-backed ridge of Mount Hermon projecting above the
eastern hills.  The "dews of Hermon" are falling upon us now, and the
tents are almost soaked with them.

Over the way from us, and higher up the valley, we can discern, through
the glasses, the faint outlines of the wonderful ruins of Baalbec, the
supposed Baal-Gad of Scripture.  Joshua, and another person, were the two
spies who were sent into this land of Canaan by the children of Israel to
report upon its character--I mean they were the spies who reported
favorably.  They took back with them some specimens of the grapes of this
country, and in the children's picture-books they are always represented
as bearing one monstrous bunch swung to a pole between them, a
respectable load for a pack-train.  The Sunday-school books exaggerated
it a little.  The grapes are most excellent to this day, but the bunches
are not as large as those in the pictures.  I was surprised and hurt when
I saw them, because those colossal bunches of grapes were one of my most
cherished juvenile traditions.

Joshua reported favorably, and the children of Israel journeyed on, with
Moses at the head of the general government, and Joshua in command of the
army of six hundred thousand fighting men.  Of women and children and
civilians there was a countless swarm.  Of all that mighty host, none but
the two faithful spies ever lived to set their feet in the Promised Land.
They and their descendants wandered forty years in the desert, and then
Moses, the gifted warrior, poet, statesman and philosopher, went up into
Pisgah and met his mysterious fate.  Where he was buried no man knows--
for

          "* * * no man dug that sepulchre,
          And no man saw it e'er--
          For the Sons of God upturned the sod
          And laid the dead man there!"

Then Joshua began his terrible raid, and from Jericho clear to this Baal-
Gad, he swept the land like the Genius of Destruction.  He slaughtered
the people, laid waste their soil, and razed their cities to the ground.
He wasted thirty-one kings also.  One may call it that, though really it
can hardly be called wasting them, because there were always plenty of
kings in those days, and to spare.  At any rate, he destroyed thirty-one
kings, and divided up their realms among his Israelites.  He divided up
this valley stretched out here before us, and so it was once Jewish
territory.  The Jews have long since disappeared from it, however.

Back yonder, an hour's journey from here, we passed through an Arab
village of stone dry-goods boxes (they look like that,) where Noah's tomb
lies under lock and key.  [Noah built the ark.]  Over these old hills and
valleys the ark that contained all that was left of a vanished world once
floated.

I make no apology for detailing the above information.  It will be news
to some of my readers, at any rate.

Noah's tomb is built of stone, and is covered with a long stone building.
Bucksheesh let us in.  The building had to be long, because the grave of
the honored old navigator is two hundred and ten feet long itself!  It is
only about four feet high, though.  He must have cast a shadow like a
lightning-rod.  The proof that this is the genuine spot where Noah was
buried can only be doubted by uncommonly incredulous people.  The
evidence is pretty straight.  Shem, the son of Noah, was present at the
burial, and showed the place to his descendants, who transmitted the
knowledge to their descendants, and the lineal descendants of these
introduced themselves to us to-day.  It was pleasant to make the
acquaintance of members of so respectable a family.  It was a thing to be
proud of.  It was the next thing to being acquainted with Noah himself.

Noah's memorable voyage will always possess a living interest for me,
henceforward.

If ever an oppressed race existed, it is this one we see fettered around
us under the inhuman tyranny of the Ottoman Empire.  I wish Europe would
let Russia annihilate Turkey a little--not much, but enough to make it
difficult to find the place again without a divining-rod or a diving-
bell.  The Syrians are very poor, and yet they are ground down by a
system of taxation that would drive any other nation frantic.  Last year
their taxes were heavy enough, in all conscience--but this year they have
been increased by the addition of taxes that were forgiven them in times
of famine in former years.  On top of this the Government has levied a
tax of one-tenth of the whole proceeds of the land.  This is only half
the story.  The Pacha of a Pachalic does not trouble himself with
appointing tax-collectors.  He figures up what all these taxes ought to
amount to in a certain district.  Then he farms the collection out.  He
calls the rich men together, the highest bidder gets the speculation,
pays the Pacha on the spot, and then sells out to smaller fry, who sell
in turn to a piratical horde of still smaller fry.  These latter compel
the peasant to bring his little trifle of grain to the village, at his
own cost.  It must be weighed, the various taxes set apart, and the
remainder returned to the producer.  But the collector delays this duty
day after day, while the producer's family are perishing for bread; at
last the poor wretch, who can not but understand the game, says, "Take a
quarter--take half--take two-thirds if you will, and let me go!"  It is a
most outrageous state of things.

These people are naturally good-hearted and intelligent, and with
education and liberty, would be a happy and contented race.  They often
appeal to the stranger to know if the great world will not some day come
to their relief and save them.  The Sultan has been lavishing money like
water in England and Paris, but his subjects are suffering for it now.

This fashion of camping out bewilders me.  We have boot-jacks and a bath-
tub, now, and yet all the mysteries the pack-mules carry are not
revealed.  What next?




CHAPTER XLIII.

We had a tedious ride of about five hours, in the sun, across the Valley
of Lebanon.  It proved to be not quite so much of a garden as it had
seemed from the hill-sides.  It was a desert, weed-grown waste, littered
thickly with stones the size of a man's fist.  Here and there the natives
had scratched the ground and reared a sickly crop of grain, but for the
most part the valley was given up to a handful of shepherds, whose flocks
were doing what they honestly could to get a living, but the chances were
against them.  We saw rude piles of stones standing near the roadside, at
intervals, and recognized the custom of marking boundaries which obtained
in Jacob's time.  There were no walls, no fences, no hedges--nothing to
secure a man's possessions but these random heaps of stones.  The
Israelites held them sacred in the old patriarchal times, and these other
Arabs, their lineal descendants, do so likewise.  An American, of
ordinary intelligence, would soon widely extend his property, at an
outlay of mere manual labor, performed at night, under so loose a system
of fencing as this.

The plows these people use are simply a sharpened stick, such as Abraham
plowed with, and they still winnow their wheat as he did--they pile it on
the house-top, and then toss it by shovel-fulls into the air until the
wind has blown all the chaff away.  They never invent any thing, never
learn any thing.

We had a fine race, of a mile, with an Arab perched on a camel.  Some of
the horses were fast, and made very good time, but the camel scampered by
them without any very great effort.  The yelling and shouting, and
whipping and galloping, of all parties interested, made it an
exhilarating, exciting, and particularly boisterous race.

At eleven o'clock, our eyes fell upon the walls and columns of Baalbec, a
noble ruin whose history is a sealed book.  It has stood there for
thousands of years, the wonder and admiration of travelers; but who built
it, or when it was built, are questions that may never be answered.  One
thing is very sure, though.  Such grandeur of design, and such grace of
execution, as one sees in the temples of Baalbec, have not been equaled
or even approached in any work of men's hands that has been built within
twenty centuries past.

The great Temple of the Sun, the Temple of Jupiter, and several smaller
temples, are clustered together in the midst of one of these miserable
Syrian villages, and look strangely enough in such plebeian company.
These temples are built upon massive substructions that might support a
world, almost; the materials used are blocks of stone as large as an
omnibus--very few, if any of them, are smaller than a carpenter's tool
chest--and these substructions are traversed by tunnels of masonry
through which a train of cars might pass.  With such foundations as
these, it is little wonder that Baalbec has lasted so long.  The Temple
of the Sun is nearly three hundred feet long and one hundred and sixty
feet wide.  It had fifty-four columns around it, but only six are
standing now--the others lie broken at its base, a confused and
picturesque heap.  The six columns are their bases, Corinthian capitals
and entablature--and six more shapely columns do not exist.  The columns
and the entablature together are ninety feet high--a prodigious altitude
for shafts of stone to reach, truly--and yet one only thinks of their
beauty and symmetry when looking at them; the pillars look slender and
delicate, the entablature, with its elaborate sculpture, looks like rich
stucco-work.  But when you have gazed aloft till your eyes are weary, you
glance at the great fragments of pillars among which you are standing,
and find that they are eight feet through; and with them lie beautiful
capitals apparently as large as a small cottage; and also single slabs of
stone, superbly sculptured, that are four or five feet thick, and would
completely cover the floor of any ordinary parlor.  You wonder where
these monstrous things came from, and it takes some little time to
satisfy yourself that the airy and graceful fabric that towers above your
head is made up of their mates.  It seems too preposterous.

The Temple of Jupiter is a smaller ruin than the one I have been speaking
of, and yet is immense.  It is in a tolerable state of preservation.  One
row of nine columns stands almost uninjured.  They are sixty-five feet
high and support a sort of porch or roof, which connects them with the
roof of the building.  This porch-roof is composed of tremendous slabs of
stone, which are so finely sculptured on the under side that the work
looks like a fresco from below.  One or two of these slabs had fallen,
and again I wondered if the gigantic masses of carved stone that lay
about me were no larger than those above my head.  Within the temple, the
ornamentation was elaborate and colossal.  What a wonder of architectural
beauty and grandeur this edifice must have been when it was new!  And
what a noble picture it and its statelier companion, with the chaos of
mighty fragments scattered about them, yet makes in the moonlight!

I can not conceive how those immense blocks of stone were ever hauled
from the quarries, or how they were ever raised to the dizzy heights they
occupy in the temples.  And yet these sculptured blocks are trifles in
size compared with the rough-hewn blocks that form the wide verandah or
platform which surrounds the Great Temple.  One stretch of that platform,
two hundred feet long, is composed of blocks of stone as large, and some
of them larger, than a street-car.  They surmount a wall about ten or
twelve feet high.  I thought those were large rocks, but they sank into
insignificance compared with those which formed another section of the
platform.  These were three in number, and I thought that each of them
was about as long as three street cars placed end to end, though of
course they are a third wider and a third higher than a street car.
Perhaps two railway freight cars of the largest pattern, placed end to
end, might better represent their size.  In combined length these three
stones stretch nearly two hundred feet; they are thirteen feet square;
two of them are sixty-four feet long each, and the third is sixty-nine.
They are built into the massive wall some twenty feet above the ground.
They are there, but how they got there is the question.  I have seen the
hull of a steamboat that was smaller than one of those stones.  All these
great walls are as exact and shapely as the flimsy things we build of
bricks in these days.  A race of gods or of giants must have inhabited
Baalbec many a century ago.  Men like the men of our day could hardly
rear such temples as these.

We went to the quarry from whence the stones of Baalbec were taken.  It
was about a quarter of a mile off, and down hill.  In a great pit lay the
mate of the largest stone in the ruins.  It lay there just as the giants
of that old forgotten time had left it when they were called hence--just
as they had left it, to remain for thousands of years, an eloquent rebuke
unto such as are prone to think slightingly of the men who lived before
them.  This enormous block lies there, squared and ready for the
builders' hands--a solid mass fourteen feet by seventeen, and but a few
inches less than seventy feet long!  Two buggies could be driven abreast
of each other, on its surface, from one end of it to the other, and leave
room enough for a man or two to walk on either side.

One might swear that all the John Smiths and George Wilkinsons, and all
the other pitiful nobodies between Kingdom Come and Baalbec would
inscribe their poor little names upon the walls of Baalbec's magnificent
ruins, and would add the town, the county and the State they came from--
and swearing thus, be infallibly correct.  It is a pity some great ruin
does not fall in and flatten out some of these reptiles, and scare their
kind out of ever giving their names to fame upon any walls or monuments
again, forever.

Properly, with the sorry relics we bestrode, it was a three days' journey
to Damascus.  It was necessary that we should do it in less than two.
It was necessary because our three pilgrims would not travel on the
Sabbath day.  We were all perfectly willing to keep the Sabbath day, but
there are times when to keep the letter of a sacred law whose spirit is
righteous, becomes a sin, and this was a case in point.  We pleaded for
the tired, ill-treated horses, and tried to show that their faithful
service deserved kindness in return, and their hard lot compassion.  But
when did ever self-righteousness know the sentiment of pity?  What were a
few long hours added to the hardships of some over-taxed brutes when
weighed against the peril of those human souls?  It was not the most
promising party to travel with and hope to gain a higher veneration for
religion through the example of its devotees.  We said the Saviour who
pitied dumb beasts and taught that the ox must be rescued from the mire
even on the Sabbath day, would not have counseled a forced march like
this.  We said the "long trip" was exhausting and therefore dangerous in
the blistering heats of summer, even when the ordinary days' stages were
traversed, and if we persisted in this hard march, some of us might be
stricken down with the fevers of the country in consequence of it.
Nothing could move the pilgrims.  They must press on.  Men might die,
horses might die, but they must enter upon holy soil next week, with no
Sabbath-breaking stain upon them.  Thus they were willing to commit a sin
against the spirit of religious law, in order that they might preserve
the letter of it.  It was not worth while to tell them "the letter
kills."  I am talking now about personal friends; men whom I like; men
who are good citizens; who are honorable, upright, conscientious; but
whose idea of the Saviour's religion seems to me distorted.  They lecture
our shortcomings unsparingly, and every night they call us together and
read to us chapters from the Testament that are full of gentleness, of
charity, and of tender mercy; and then all the next day they stick to
their saddles clear up to the summits of these rugged mountains, and
clear down again.  Apply the Testament's gentleness, and charity, and
tender mercy to a toiling, worn and weary horse?--Nonsense--these are for
God's human creatures, not His dumb ones.  What the pilgrims choose to
do, respect for their almost sacred character demands that I should allow
to pass--but I would so like to catch any other member of the party
riding his horse up one of these exhausting hills once!

We have given the pilgrims a good many examples that might benefit them,
but it is virtue thrown away.  They have never heard a cross word out of
our lips toward each other--but they have quarreled once or twice.  We
love to hear them at it, after they have been lecturing us.  The very
first thing they did, coming ashore at Beirout, was to quarrel in the
boat.  I have said I like them, and I do like them--but every time they
read me a scorcher of a lecture I mean to talk back in print.

Not content with doubling the legitimate stages, they switched off the
main road and went away out of the way to visit an absurd fountain called
Figia, because Baalam's ass had drank there once.  So we journeyed on,
through the terrible hills and deserts and the roasting sun, and then far
into the night, seeking the honored pool of Baalam's ass, the patron
saint of all pilgrims like us.  I find no entry but this in my note-book:

     "Rode to-day, altogether, thirteen hours, through deserts, partly,
     and partly over barren, unsightly hills, and latterly through wild,
     rocky scenery, and camped at about eleven o'clock at night on the
     banks of a limpid stream, near a Syrian village.  Do not know its
     name--do not wish to know it--want to go to bed.  Two horses lame
     (mine and Jack's) and the others worn out.  Jack and I walked three
     or four miles, over the hills, and led the horses.  Fun--but of a
     mild type."

Twelve or thirteen hours in the saddle, even in a Christian land and a
Christian climate, and on a good horse, is a tiresome journey; but in an
oven like Syria, in a ragged spoon of a saddle that slips fore-and-aft,
and "thort-ships," and every way, and on a horse that is tired and lame,
and yet must be whipped and spurred with hardly a moment's cessation all
day long, till the blood comes from his side, and your conscience hurts
you every time you strike if you are half a man,--it is a journey to be
remembered in bitterness of spirit and execrated with emphasis for a
liberal division of a man's lifetime.




CHAPTER XLIV.

The next day was an outrage upon men and horses both.  It was another
thirteen-hour stretch (including an hour's "nooning.") It was over the
barrenest chalk-hills and through the baldest canons that even Syria can
show.  The heat quivered in the air every where.  In the canons we almost
smothered in the baking atmosphere.  On high ground, the reflection from
the chalk-hills was blinding.  It was cruel to urge the crippled horses,
but it had to be done in order to make Damascus Saturday night.  We saw
ancient tombs and temples of fanciful architecture carved out of the
solid rock high up in the face of precipices above our heads, but we had
neither time nor strength to climb up there and examine them.  The terse
language of my note-book will answer for the rest of this day's
experiences:

     Broke camp at 7 A.M., and made a ghastly trip through the Zeb Dana
     valley and the rough mountains--horses limping and that Arab
     screech-owl that does most of the singing and carries the water-
     skins, always a thousand miles ahead, of course, and no water to
     drink--will he never die?  Beautiful stream in a chasm, lined thick
     with pomegranate, fig, olive and quince orchards, and nooned an hour
     at the celebrated Baalam's Ass Fountain of Figia, second in size in
     Syria, and the coldest water out of Siberia--  guide-books do not
     say Baalam's ass ever drank there--somebody been imposing on the
     pilgrims, may be.  Bathed in it--Jack and I.  Only a second--ice-
     water.  It is the principal source of the Abana river--  only one-
     half mile down to where it joins.  Beautiful place--giant trees all
     around--so shady and cool, if one could keep awake--vast stream
     gushes straight out from under the mountain in a torrent.  Over it
     is a very ancient ruin, with no known history--supposed to have been
     for the worship of the deity of the fountain or Baalam's ass or
     somebody.  Wretched nest of human vermin about the fountain--rags,
     dirt, sunken cheeks, pallor of sickness, sores, projecting bones,
     dull, aching misery in their eyes and ravenous hunger speaking from
     every eloquent fibre and muscle from head to foot.  How they sprang
     upon a bone, how they crunched the bread we gave them!  Such as
     these to swarm about one and watch every bite he takes, with greedy
     looks, and swallow unconsciously every time he swallows, as if they
     half fancied the precious morsel went down their own throats--
     hurry up the caravan!--I never shall enjoy a meal in this
     distressful country.  To think of eating three times every day under
     such circumstances for three weeks yet--it is worse punishment than
     riding all day in the sun.  There are sixteen starving babies from
     one to six years old in the party, and their legs are no larger than
     broom handles.  Left the fountain at 1 P.M.  (the fountain took us
     at least two hours out of our way,) and reached Mahomet's lookout
     perch, over Damascus, in time to get a good long look before it was
     necessary to move on.  Tired?  Ask of the winds that far away with
     fragments strewed the sea."

As the glare of day mellowed into twilight, we looked down upon a picture
which is celebrated all over the world.  I think I have read about four
hundred times that when Mahomet was a simple camel-driver he reached this
point and looked down upon Damascus for the first time, and then made a
certain renowned remark.  He said man could enter only one paradise; he
preferred to go to the one above.  So he sat down there and feasted his
eyes upon the earthly paradise of Damascus, and then went away without
entering its gates.  They have erected a tower on the hill to mark the
spot where he stood.

Damascus is beautiful from the mountain.  It is beautiful even to
foreigners accustomed to luxuriant vegetation, and I can easily
understand how unspeakably beautiful it must be to eyes that are only
used to the God-forsaken barrenness and desolation of Syria.  I should
think a Syrian would go wild with ecstacy when such a picture bursts upon
him for the first time.

From his high perch, one sees before him and below him, a wall of dreary
mountains, shorn of vegetation, glaring fiercely in the sun; it fences in
a level desert of yellow sand, smooth as velvet and threaded far away
with fine lines that stand for roads, and dotted with creeping mites we
know are camel-trains and journeying men; right in the midst of the
desert is spread a billowy expanse of green foliage; and nestling in its
heart sits the great white city, like an island of pearls and opals
gleaming out of a sea of emeralds.  This is the picture you see spread
far below you, with distance to soften it, the sun to glorify it, strong
contrasts to heighten the effects, and over it and about it a drowsing
air of repose to spiritualize it and make it seem rather a beautiful
estray from the mysterious worlds we visit in dreams than a substantial
tenant of our coarse, dull globe.  And when you think of the leagues of
blighted, blasted, sandy, rocky, sun-burnt, ugly, dreary, infamous
country you have ridden over to get here, you think it is the most
beautiful, beautiful picture that ever human eyes rested upon in all the
broad universe!  If I were to go to Damascus again, I would camp on
Mahomet's hill about a week, and then go away.  There is no need to go
inside the walls.  The Prophet was wise without knowing it when he
decided not to go down into the paradise of Damascus.

There is an honored old tradition that the immense garden which Damascus
stands in was the Garden of Eden, and modern writers have gathered up
many chapters of evidence tending to show that it really was the Garden
of Eden, and that the rivers Pharpar and Abana are the "two rivers" that
watered Adam's Paradise.  It may be so, but it is not paradise now, and
one would be as happy outside of it as he would be likely to be within.
It is so crooked and cramped and dirty that one can not realize that he
is in the splendid city he saw from the hill-top.  The gardens are hidden
by high mud-walls, and the paradise is become a very sink of pollution
and uncomeliness.  Damascus has plenty of clear, pure water in it,
though, and this is enough, of itself, to make an Arab think it beautiful
and blessed.  Water is scarce in blistered Syria.  We run railways by our
large cities in America; in Syria they curve the roads so as to make them
run by the meagre little puddles they call "fountains," and which are not
found oftener on a journey than every four hours.  But the "rivers" of
Pharpar and Abana of Scripture (mere creeks,) run through Damascus, and
so every house and every garden have their sparkling fountains and
rivulets of water.  With her forest of foliage and her abundance of
water, Damascus must be a wonder of wonders to the Bedouin from the
deserts.  Damascus is simply an oasis--that is what it is.  For four
thousand years its waters have not gone dry or its fertility failed.
Now we can understand why the city has existed so long.  It could not
die.  So long as its waters remain to it away out there in the midst of
that howling desert, so long will Damascus live to bless the sight of the
tired and thirsty wayfarer.

     "Though old as history itself, thou art fresh as the breath of
     spring, blooming as thine own rose-bud, and fragrant as thine own
     orange flower, O Damascus, pearl of the East!"

Damascus dates back anterior to the days of Abraham, and is the oldest
city in the world.  It was founded by Uz, the grandson of Noah.  "The
early history of Damascus is shrouded in the mists of a hoary antiquity."
Leave the matters written of in the first eleven chapters of the Old
Testament out, and no recorded event has occurred in the world but
Damascus was in existence to receive the news of it.  Go back as far as
you will into the vague past, there was always a Damascus.  In the
writings of every century for more than four thousand years, its name has
been mentioned and its praises sung.  To Damascus, years are only
moments, decades are only flitting trifles of time.  She measures time,
not by days and months and years, but by the empires she has seen rise,
and prosper and crumble to ruin.  She is a type of immortality.  She saw
the foundations of Baalbec, and Thebes, and Ephesus laid; she saw these
villages grow into mighty cities, and amaze the world with their
grandeur--and she has lived to see them desolate, deserted, and given
over to the owls and the bats.  She saw the Israelitish empire exalted,
and she saw it annihilated.  She saw Greece rise, and flourish two
thousand years, and die.  In her old age she saw Rome built; she saw it
overshadow the world with its power; she saw it perish.  The few hundreds
of years of Genoese and Venetian might and splendor were, to grave old
Damascus, only a trifling scintillation hardly worth remembering.
Damascus has seen all that has ever occurred on earth, and still she
lives.  She has looked upon the dry bones of a thousand empires, and will
see the tombs of a thousand more before she dies.  Though another claims
the name, old Damascus is by right the Eternal City.

We reached the city gates just at sundown.  They do say that one can get
into any walled city of Syria, after night, for bucksheesh, except
Damascus.  But Damascus, with its four thousand years of respectability
in the world, has many old fogy notions.  There are no street lamps
there, and the law compels all who go abroad at night to carry lanterns,
just as was the case in old days, when heroes and heroines of the Arabian
Nights walked the streets of Damascus, or flew away toward Bagdad on
enchanted carpets.

It was fairly dark a few minutes after we got within the wall, and we
rode long distances through wonderfully crooked streets, eight to ten
feet wide, and shut in on either aide by the high mud-walls of the
gardens.  At last we got to where lanterns could be seen flitting about
here and there, and knew we were in the midst of the curious old city.
In a little narrow street, crowded with our pack-mules and with a swarm
of uncouth Arabs, we alighted, and through a kind of a hole in the wall
entered the hotel.  We stood in a great flagged court, with flowers and
citron trees about us, and a huge tank in the centre that was receiving
the waters of many pipes.  We crossed the court and entered the rooms
prepared to receive four of us.  In a large marble-paved recess between
the two rooms was a tank of clear, cool water, which was kept running
over all the time by the streams that were pouring into it from half a
dozen pipes.  Nothing, in this scorching, desolate land could look so
refreshing as this pure water flashing in the lamp-light; nothing could
look so beautiful, nothing could sound so delicious as this mimic rain to
ears long unaccustomed to sounds of such a nature.  Our rooms were large,
comfortably furnished, and even had their floors clothed with soft,
cheerful-tinted carpets.  It was a pleasant thing to see a carpet again,
for if there is any thing drearier than the tomb-like, stone-paved
parlors and bed-rooms of Europe and Asia, I do not know what it is.
They make one think of the grave all the time.  A very broad, gaily
caparisoned divan, some twelve or fourteen feet long, extended across one
side of each room, and opposite were single beds with spring mattresses.
There were great looking-glasses and marble-top tables.  All this luxury
was as grateful to systems and senses worn out with an exhausting day's
travel, as it was unexpected--for one can not tell what to expect in a
Turkish city of even a quarter of a million inhabitants.

I do not know, but I think they used that tank between the rooms to draw
drinking water from; that did not occur to me, however, until I had
dipped my baking head far down into its cool depths.  I thought of it
then, and superb as the bath was, I was sorry I had taken it, and was
about to go and explain to the landlord.  But a finely curled and scented
poodle dog frisked up and nipped the calf of my leg just then, and before
I had time to think, I had soused him to the bottom of the tank, and when
I saw a servant coming with a pitcher I went off and left the pup trying
to climb out and not succeeding very well.  Satisfied revenge was all I
needed to make me perfectly happy, and when I walked in to supper that
first night in Damascus I was in that condition.  We lay on those divans
a long time, after supper, smoking narghilies and long-stemmed chibouks,
and talking about the dreadful ride of the day, and I knew then what I
had sometimes known before--that it is worth while to get tired out,
because one so enjoys resting afterward.

In the morning we sent for donkeys.  It is worthy of note that we had to
send for these things.  I said Damascus was an old fossil, and she is.
Any where else we would have been assailed by a clamorous army of donkey-
drivers, guides, peddlers and beggars--but in Damascus they so hate the
very sight of a foreign Christian that they want no intercourse whatever
with him; only a year or two ago, his person was not always safe in
Damascus streets.  It is the most fanatical Mohammedan purgatory out of
Arabia.  Where you see one green turban of a Hadji elsewhere (the honored
sign that my lord has made the pilgrimage to Mecca,) I think you will see
a dozen in Damascus.  The Damascenes are the ugliest, wickedest looking
villains we have seen.  All the veiled women we had seen yet, nearly,
left their eyes exposed, but numbers of these in Damascus completely hid
the face under a close-drawn black veil that made the woman look like a
mummy.  If ever we caught an eye exposed it was quickly hidden from our
contaminating Christian vision; the beggars actually passed us by without
demanding bucksheesh; the merchants in the bazaars did not hold up their
goods and cry out eagerly, "Hey, John!"  or "Look this, Howajji!"  On the
contrary, they only scowled at us and said never a word.

The narrow streets swarmed like a hive with men and women in strange
Oriental costumes, and our small donkeys knocked them right and left as
we plowed through them, urged on by the merciless donkey-boys.  These
persecutors run after the animals, shouting and goading them for hours
together; they keep the donkey in a gallop always, yet never get tired
themselves or fall behind.  The donkeys fell down and spilt us over their
heads occasionally, but there was nothing for it but to mount and hurry
on again.  We were banged against sharp corners, loaded porters, camels,
and citizens generally; and we were so taken up with looking out for
collisions and casualties that we had no chance to look about us at all.
We rode half through the city and through the famous "street which is
called Straight" without seeing any thing, hardly.  Our bones were nearly
knocked out of joint, we were wild with excitement, and our sides ached
with the jolting we had suffered.  I do not like riding in the Damascus
street-cars.

We were on our way to the reputed houses of Judas and Ananias.  About
eighteen or nineteen hundred years ago, Saul, a native of Tarsus, was
particularly bitter against the new sect called Christians, and he left
Jerusalem and started across the country on a furious crusade against
them.  He went forth "breathing threatenings and slaughter against the
disciples of the Lord."

     "And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus, and suddenly there
     shined round about him a light from heaven:

     "And he fell to the earth and heard a voice saying unto him, 'Saul,
     Saul, why persecutest thou me?'

     "And when he knew that it was Jesus that spoke to him he trembled,
     and was astonished, and said, 'Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?'"

He was told to arise and go into the ancient city and one would tell him
what to do.  In the meantime his soldiers stood speechless and awe-
stricken, for they heard the mysterious voice but saw no man.  Saul rose
up and found that that fierce supernatural light had destroyed his sight,
and he was blind, so "they led him by the hand and brought him to
Damascus."  He was converted.

Paul lay three days, blind, in the house of Judas, and during that time
he neither ate nor drank.

There came a voice to a citizen of Damascus, named Ananias, saying,
"Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire at
the house of Judas, for one called Saul, of Tarsus; for behold, he
prayeth."

Ananias did not wish to go at first, for he had heard of Saul before, and
he had his doubts about that style of a "chosen vessel" to preach the
gospel of peace.  However, in obedience to orders, he went into the
"street called Straight" (how he found his way into it, and after he did,
how he ever found his way out of it again, are mysteries only to be
accounted for by the fact that he was acting under Divine inspiration.)
He found Paul and restored him, and ordained him a preacher; and from
this old house we had hunted up in the street which is miscalled
Straight, he had started out on that bold missionary career which he
prosecuted till his death.  It was not the house of the disciple who sold
the Master for thirty pieces of silver.  I make this explanation in
justice to Judas, who was a far different sort of man from the person
just referred to.  A very different style of man, and lived in a very
good house.  It is a pity we do not know more about him.

I have given, in the above paragraphs, some more information for people
who will not read Bible history until they are defrauded into it by some
such method as this.  I hope that no friend of progress and education
will obstruct or interfere with my peculiar mission.

The street called Straight is straighter than a corkscrew, but not as
straight as a rainbow.  St. Luke is careful not to commit himself; he
does not say it is the street which is straight, but the "street which is
called Straight."  It is a fine piece of irony; it is the only facetious
remark in the Bible, I believe.  We traversed the street called Straight
a good way, and then turned off and called at the reputed house of
Ananias.  There is small question that a part of the original house is
there still; it is an old room twelve or fifteen feet under ground, and
its masonry is evidently ancient.  If Ananias did not live there in St.
Paul's time, somebody else did, which is just as well.  I took a drink
out of Ananias' well, and singularly enough, the water was just as fresh
as if the well had been dug yesterday.

We went out toward the north end of the city to see the place where the
disciples let Paul down over the Damascus wall at dead of night--for he
preached Christ so fearlessly in Damascus that the people sought to kill
him, just as they would to-day for the same offense, and he had to escape
and flee to Jerusalem.

Then we called at the tomb of Mahomet's children and at a tomb which
purported to be that of St. George who killed the dragon, and so on out
to the hollow place under a rock where Paul hid during his flight till
his pursuers gave him up; and to the mausoleum of the five thousand
Christians who were massacred in Damascus in 1861 by the Turks.  They say
those narrow streets ran blood for several days, and that men, women and
children were butchered indiscriminately and left to rot by hundreds all
through the Christian quarter; they say, further, that the stench was
dreadful.  All the Christians who could get away fled from the city, and
the Mohammedans would not defile their hands by burying the "infidel
dogs."  The thirst for blood extended to the high lands of Hermon and
Anti-Lebanon, and in a short time twenty-five thousand more Christians
were massacred and their possessions laid waste.  How they hate a
Christian in Damascus!--and pretty much all over Turkeydom as well.  And
how they will pay for it when Russia turns her guns upon them again!

It is soothing to the heart to abuse England and France for interposing
to save the Ottoman Empire from the destruction it has so richly deserved
for a thousand years.  It hurts my vanity to see these pagans refuse to
eat of food that has been cooked for us; or to eat from a dish we have
eaten from; or to drink from a goatskin which we have polluted with our
Christian lips, except by filtering the water through a rag which they
put over the mouth of it or through a sponge!  I never disliked a
Chinaman as I do these degraded Turks and Arabs, and when Russia is ready
to war with them again, I hope England and France will not find it good
breeding or good judgment to interfere.

In Damascus they think there are no such rivers in all the world as their
little Abana and Pharpar.  The Damascenes have always thought that way.
In 2 Kings, chapter v., Naaman boasts extravagantly about them.  That was
three thousand years ago.  He says: "Are not Abana and Pharpar rivers of
Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel?  May I not wash in them
and be clean?"  But some of my readers have forgotten who Naaman was,
long ago.  Naaman was the commander of the Syrian armies.  He was the
favorite of the king and lived in great state.  "He was a mighty man of
valor, but he was a leper."  Strangely enough, the house they point out
to you now as his, has been turned into a leper hospital, and the inmates
expose their horrid deformities and hold up their hands and beg for
bucksheesh when a stranger enters.

One can not appreciate the horror of this disease until he looks upon it
in all its ghastliness, in Naaman's ancient dwelling in Damascus.  Bones
all twisted out of shape, great knots protruding from face and body,
joints decaying and dropping away--horrible!




CHAPTER XLV.

The last twenty-four hours we staid in Damascus I lay prostrate with a
violent attack of cholera, or cholera morbus, and therefore had a good
chance and a good excuse to lie there on that wide divan and take an
honest rest.  I had nothing to do but listen to the pattering of the
fountains and take medicine and throw it up again.  It was dangerous
recreation, but it was pleasanter than traveling in Syria.  I had plenty
of snow from Mount Hermon, and as it would not stay on my stomach, there
was nothing to interfere with my eating it--there was always room for
more.  I enjoyed myself very well.  Syrian travel has its interesting
features, like travel in any other part of the world, and yet to break
your leg or have the cholera adds a welcome variety to it.

We left Damascus at noon and rode across the plain a couple of hours, and
then the party stopped a while in the shade of some fig-trees to give me
a chance to rest.  It was the hottest day we had seen yet--the sun-flames
shot down like the shafts of fire that stream out before a blow-pipe--the
rays seemed to fall in a steady deluge on the head and pass downward like
rain from a roof.  I imagined I could distinguish between the floods of
rays--I thought I could tell when each flood struck my head, when it
reached my shoulders, and when the next one came.  It was terrible.  All
the desert glared so fiercely that my eyes were swimming in tears all the
time.  The boys had white umbrellas heavily lined with dark green.  They
were a priceless blessing.  I thanked fortune that I had one, too,
notwithstanding it was packed up with the baggage and was ten miles
ahead.  It is madness to travel in Syria without an umbrella.  They told
me in Beirout (these people who always gorge you with advice) that it was
madness to travel in Syria without an umbrella.  It was on this account
that I got one.

But, honestly, I think an umbrella is a nuisance any where when its
business is to keep the sun off.  No Arab wears a brim to his fez, or
uses an umbrella, or any thing to shade his eyes or his face, and he
always looks comfortable and proper in the sun.  But of all the
ridiculous sights I ever have seen, our party of eight is the most so--
they do cut such an outlandish figure.  They travel single file; they all
wear the endless white rag of Constantinople wrapped round and round
their hats and dangling down their backs; they all wear thick green
spectacles, with side-glasses to them; they all hold white umbrellas,
lined with green, over their heads; without exception their stirrups are
too short--they are the very worst gang of horsemen on earth, their
animals to a horse trot fearfully hard--and when they get strung out one
after the other; glaring straight ahead and breathless; bouncing high and
out of turn, all along the line; knees well up and stiff, elbows flapping
like a rooster's that is going to crow, and the long file of umbrellas
popping convulsively up and down--when one sees this outrageous picture
exposed to the light of day, he is amazed that the gods don't get out
their thunderbolts and destroy them off the face of the earth!  I do--I
wonder at it.  I wouldn't let any such caravan go through a country of
mine.

And when the sun drops below the horizon and the boys close their
umbrellas and put them under their arms, it is only a variation of the
picture, not a modification of its absurdity.

But may be you can not see the wild extravagance of my panorama.  You
could if you were here.  Here, you feel all the time just as if you were
living about the year 1200 before Christ--or back to the patriarchs--or
forward to the New Era.  The scenery of the Bible is about you--the
customs of the patriarchs are around you--the same people, in the same
flowing robes, and in sandals, cross your path--the same long trains of
stately camels go and come--the same impressive religious solemnity and
silence rest upon the desert and the mountains that were upon them in the
remote ages of antiquity, and behold, intruding upon a scene like this,
comes this fantastic mob of green-spectacled Yanks, with their flapping
elbows and bobbing umbrellas!  It is Daniel in the lion's den with a
green cotton umbrella under his arm, all over again.

My umbrella is with the baggage, and so are my green spectacles--and
there they shall stay.  I will not use them.  I will show some respect
for the eternal fitness of things.  It will be bad enough to get sun-
struck, without looking ridiculous into the bargain.  If I fall, let me
fall bearing about me the semblance of a Christian, at least.

Three or four hours out from Damascus we passed the spot where Saul was
so abruptly converted, and from this place we looked back over the
scorching desert, and had our last glimpse of beautiful Damascus, decked
in its robes of shining green.  After nightfall we reached our tents,
just outside of the nasty Arab village of Jonesborough.  Of course the
real name of the place is El something or other, but the boys still
refuse to recognize the Arab names or try to pronounce them.  When I say
that that village is of the usual style, I mean to insinuate that all
Syrian villages within fifty miles of Damascus are alike--so much alike
that it would require more than human intelligence to tell wherein one
differed from another.  A Syrian village is a hive of huts one story high
(the height of a man,) and as square as a dry-goods box; it is mud-
plastered all over, flat roof and all, and generally whitewashed after a
fashion.  The same roof often extends over half the town, covering many
of the streets, which are generally about a yard wide.  When you ride
through one of these villages at noon-day, you first meet a melancholy
dog, that looks up at you and silently begs that you won't run over him,
but he does not offer to get out of the way; next you meet a young boy
without any clothes on, and he holds out his hand and says "Bucksheesh!"
--he don't really expect a cent, but then he learned to say that before
he learned to say mother, and now he can not break himself of it; next
you meet a woman with a black veil drawn closely over her face, and her
bust exposed; finally, you come to several sore-eyed children and
children in all stages of mutilation and decay; and sitting humbly in the
dust, and all fringed with filthy rags, is a poor devil whose arms and
legs are gnarled and twisted like grape-vines.  These are all the people
you are likely to see.  The balance of the population are asleep within
doors, or abroad tending goats in the plains and on the hill-sides.  The
village is built on some consumptive little water-course, and about it is
a little fresh-looking vegetation.  Beyond this charmed circle, for miles
on every side, stretches a weary desert of sand and gravel, which
produces a gray bunchy shrub like sage-brush.  A Syrian village is the
sorriest sight in the world, and its surroundings are eminently in
keeping with it.

I would not have gone into this dissertation upon Syrian villages but for
the fact that Nimrod, the Mighty Hunter of Scriptural notoriety, is
buried in Jonesborough, and I wished the public to know about how he is
located.  Like Homer, he is said to be buried in many other places, but
this is the only true and genuine place his ashes inhabit.

When the original tribes were dispersed, more than four thousand years
ago, Nimrod and a large party traveled three or four hundred miles, and
settled where the great city of Babylon afterwards stood.  Nimrod built
that city.  He also began to build the famous Tower of Babel, but
circumstances over which he had no control put it out of his power to
finish it.  He ran it up eight stories high, however, and two of them
still stand, at this day--a colossal mass of brickwork, rent down the
centre by earthquakes, and seared and vitrified by the lightnings of an
angry God.  But the vast ruin will still stand for ages, to shame the
puny labors of these modern generations of men.  Its huge compartments
are tenanted by owls and lions, and old Nimrod lies neglected in this
wretched village, far from the scene of his grand enterprise.

We left Jonesborough very early in the morning, and rode forever and
forever and forever, it seemed to me, over parched deserts and rocky
hills, hungry, and with no water to drink.  We had drained the goat-skins
dry in a little while.  At noon we halted before the wretched Arab town
of El Yuba Dam, perched on the side of a mountain, but the dragoman said
if we applied there for water we would be attacked by the whole tribe,
for they did not love Christians.  We had to journey on.  Two hours later
we reached the foot of a tall isolated mountain, which is crowned by the
crumbling castle of Banias, the stateliest ruin of that kind on earth, no
doubt.  It is a thousand feet long and two hundred wide, all of the most
symmetrical, and at the same time the most ponderous masonry.  The
massive towers and bastions are more than thirty feet high, and have been
sixty.  From the mountain's peak its broken turrets rise above the groves
of ancient oaks and olives, and look wonderfully picturesque.  It is of
such high antiquity that no man knows who built it or when it was built.
It is utterly inaccessible, except in one place, where a bridle-path
winds upward among the solid rocks to the old portcullis.  The horses'
hoofs have bored holes in these rocks to the depth of six inches during
the hundreds and hundreds of years that the castle was garrisoned.  We
wandered for three hours among the chambers and crypts and dungeons of
the fortress, and trod where the mailed heels of many a knightly Crusader
had rang, and where Phenician heroes had walked ages before them.

We wondered how such a solid mass of masonry could be affected even by an
earthquake, and could not understand what agency had made Banias a ruin;
but we found the destroyer, after a while, and then our wonder was
increased tenfold.  Seeds had fallen in crevices in the vast walls; the
seeds had sprouted; the tender, insignificant sprouts had hardened; they
grew larger and larger, and by a steady, imperceptible pressure forced
the great stones apart, and now are bringing sure destruction upon a
giant work that has even mocked the earthquakes to scorn!  Gnarled and
twisted trees spring from the old walls every where, and beautify and
overshadow the gray battlements with a wild luxuriance of foliage.

From these old towers we looked down upon a broad, far-reaching green
plain, glittering with the pools and rivulets which are the sources of
the sacred river Jordan.  It was a grateful vision, after so much desert.

And as the evening drew near, we clambered down the mountain, through
groves of the Biblical oaks of Bashan, (for we were just stepping over
the border and entering the long-sought Holy Land,) and at its extreme
foot, toward the wide valley, we entered this little execrable village of
Banias and camped in a great grove of olive trees near a torrent of
sparkling water whose banks are arrayed in fig-trees, pomegranates and
oleanders in full leaf.  Barring the proximity of the village, it is a
sort of paradise.

The very first thing one feels like doing when he gets into camp, all
burning up and dusty, is to hunt up a bath.  We followed the stream up to
where it gushes out of the mountain side, three hundred yards from the
tents, and took a bath that was so icy that if I did not know this was
the main source of the sacred river, I would expect harm to come of it.
It was bathing at noonday in the chilly source of the Abana, "River of
Damascus," that gave me the cholera, so Dr. B.  said.  However, it
generally does give me the cholera to take a bath.

The incorrigible pilgrims have come in with their pockets full of
specimens broken from the ruins.  I wish this vandalism could be stopped.
They broke off fragments from Noah's tomb; from the exquisite sculptures
of the temples of Baalbec; from the houses of Judas and Ananias, in
Damascus; from the tomb of Nimrod the Mighty Hunter in Jonesborough; from
the worn Greek and Roman inscriptions set in the hoary walls of the
Castle of Banias; and now they have been hacking and chipping these old
arches here that Jesus looked upon in the flesh.  Heaven protect the
Sepulchre when this tribe invades Jerusalem!

The ruins here are not very interesting.  There are the massive walls of
a great square building that was once the citadel; there are many
ponderous old arches that are so smothered with debris that they barely
project above the ground; there are heavy-walled sewers through which the
crystal brook of which Jordan is born still runs; in the hill-side are
the substructions of a costly marble temple that Herod the Great built
here--patches of its handsome mosaic floors still remain; there is a
quaint old stone bridge that was here before Herod's time, may be;
scattered every where, in the paths and in the woods, are Corinthian
capitals, broken porphyry pillars, and little fragments of sculpture; and
up yonder in the precipice where the fountain gushes out, are well-worn
Greek inscriptions over niches in the rock where in ancient times the
Greeks, and after them the Romans, worshipped the sylvan god Pan.  But
trees and bushes grow above many of these ruins now; the miserable huts
of a little crew of filthy Arabs are perched upon the broken masonry of
antiquity, the whole place has a sleepy, stupid, rural look about it, and
one can hardly bring himself to believe that a busy, substantially built
city once existed here, even two thousand years ago.  The place was
nevertheless the scene of an event whose effects have added page after
page and volume after volume to the world's history.  For in this place
Christ stood when he said to Peter:

     "Thou art Peter; and upon this rock will I build my church, and the
     gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  And I will give unto
     thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt
     bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt
     loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

On those little sentences have been built up the mighty edifice of the
Church of Rome; in them lie the authority for the imperial power of the
Popes over temporal affairs, and their godlike power to curse a soul or
wash it white from sin.  To sustain the position of "the only true
Church," which Rome claims was thus conferred upon her, she has fought
and labored and struggled for many a century, and will continue to keep
herself busy in the same work to the end of time.  The memorable words I
have quoted give to this ruined city about all the interest it possesses
to people of the present day.

It seems curious enough to us to be standing on ground that was once
actually pressed by the feet of the Saviour.  The situation is suggestive
of a reality and a tangibility that seem at variance with the vagueness
and mystery and ghostliness that one naturally attaches to the character
of a god.  I can not comprehend yet that I am sitting where a god has
stood, and looking upon the brook and the mountains which that god looked
upon, and am surrounded by dusky men and women whose ancestors saw him,
and even talked with him, face to face, and carelessly, just as they
would have done with any other stranger.  I can not comprehend this; the
gods of my understanding have been always hidden in clouds and very far
away.

This morning, during breakfast, the usual assemblage of squalid humanity
sat patiently without the charmed circle of the camp and waited for such
crumbs as pity might bestow upon their misery.  There were old and young,
brown-skinned and yellow.  Some of the men were tall and stalwart, (for
one hardly sees any where such splendid-looking men as here in the East,)
but all the women and children looked worn and sad, and distressed with
hunger.  They reminded me much of Indians, did these people.  They had
but little clothing, but such as they had was fanciful in character and
fantastic in its arrangement.  Any little absurd gewgaw or gimcrack they
had they disposed in such a way as to make it attract attention most
readily.  They sat in silence, and with tireless patience watched our
every motion with that vile, uncomplaining impoliteness which is so truly
Indian, and which makes a white man so nervous and uncomfortable and
savage that he wants to exterminate the whole tribe.

These people about us had other peculiarities, which I have noticed in
the noble red man, too: they were infested with vermin, and the dirt had
caked on them till it amounted to bark.

The little children were in a pitiable condition--they all had sore eyes,
and were otherwise afflicted in various ways.  They say that hardly a
native child in all the East is free from sore eyes, and that thousands
of them go blind of one eye or both every year.  I think this must be so,
for I see plenty of blind people every day, and I do not remember seeing
any children that hadn't sore eyes.  And, would you suppose that an
American mother could sit for an hour, with her child in her arms, and
let a hundred flies roost upon its eyes all that time undisturbed?  I see
that every day.  It makes my flesh creep.  Yesterday we met a woman
riding on a little jackass, and she had a little child in her arms--
honestly, I thought the child had goggles on as we approached, and I
wondered how its mother could afford so much style.  But when we drew
near, we saw that the goggles were nothing but a camp meeting of flies
assembled around each of the child's eyes, and at the same time there was
a detachment prospecting its nose.  The flies were happy, the child was
contented, and so the mother did not interfere.

As soon as the tribe found out that we had a doctor in our party, they
began to flock in from all quarters.  Dr. B., in the charity of his
nature, had taken a child from a woman who sat near by, and put some sort
of a wash upon its diseased eyes.  That woman went off and started the
whole nation, and it was a sight to see them swarm!  The lame, the halt,
the blind, the leprous--all the distempers that are bred of indolence,
dirt, and iniquity--were represented in the Congress in ten minutes, and
still they came!  Every woman that had a sick baby brought it along, and
every woman that hadn't, borrowed one.  What reverent and what worshiping
looks they bent upon that dread, mysterious power, the Doctor!  They
watched him take his phials out; they watched him measure the particles
of white powder; they watched him add drops of one precious liquid, and
drops of another; they lost not the slightest movement; their eyes were
riveted upon him with a fascination that nothing could distract.
I believe they thought he was gifted like a god.  When each individual
got his portion of medicine, his eyes were radiant with joy--
notwithstanding by nature they are a thankless and impassive race--and
upon his face was written the unquestioning faith that nothing on earth
could prevent the patient from getting well now.

Christ knew how to preach to these simple, superstitious, disease-
tortured creatures: He healed the sick.  They flocked to our poor human
doctor this morning when the fame of what he had done to the sick child
went abroad in the land, and they worshiped him with their eyes while
they did not know as yet whether there was virtue in his simples or not.
The ancestors of these--people precisely like them in color, dress,
manners, customs, simplicity--flocked in vast multitudes after Christ,
and when they saw Him make the afflicted whole with a word, it is no
wonder they worshiped Him.  No wonder His deeds were the talk of the
nation.  No wonder the multitude that followed Him was so great that at
one time--thirty miles from here--they had to let a sick man down through
the roof because no approach could be made to the door; no wonder His
audiences were so great at Galilee that He had to preach from a ship
removed a little distance from the shore; no wonder that even in the
desert places about Bethsaida, five thousand invaded His solitude, and He
had to feed them by a miracle or else see them suffer for their confiding
faith and devotion; no wonder when there was a great commotion in a city
in those days, one neighbor explained it to another in words to this
effect: "They say that Jesus of Nazareth is come!"

Well, as I was saying, the doctor distributed medicine as long as he had
any to distribute, and his reputation is mighty in Galilee this day.
Among his patients was the child of the Shiek's daughter--for even this
poor, ragged handful of sores and sin has its royal Shiek--a poor old
mummy that looked as if he would be more at home in a poor-house than in
the Chief Magistracy of this tribe of hopeless, shirtless savages.  The
princess--I mean the Shiek's daughter--was only thirteen or fourteen
years old, and had a very sweet face and a pretty one.  She was the only
Syrian female we have seen yet who was not so sinfully ugly that she
couldn't smile after ten o'clock Saturday night without breaking the
Sabbath.  Her child was a hard specimen, though--there wasn't enough of
it to make a pie, and the poor little thing looked so pleadingly up at
all who came near it (as if it had an idea that now was its chance or
never,) that we were filled with compassion which was genuine and not put
on.

But this last new horse I have got is trying to break his neck over the
tent-ropes, and I shall have to go out and anchor him.  Jericho and I
have parted company.  The new horse is not much to boast of, I think.
One of his hind legs bends the wrong way, and the other one is as
straight and stiff as a tent-pole.  Most of his teeth are gone, and he is
as blind as bat.  His nose has been broken at some time or other, and is
arched like a culvert now.  His under lip hangs down like a camel's, and
his ears are chopped off close to his head.  I had some trouble at first
to find a name for him, but I finally concluded to call him Baalbec,
because he is such a magnificent ruin.  I can not keep from talking about
my horses, because I have a very long and tedious journey before me, and
they naturally occupy my thoughts about as much as matters of apparently
much greater importance.

We satisfied our pilgrims by making those hard rides from Baalbec to
Damascus, but Dan's horse and Jack's were so crippled we had to leave
them behind and get fresh animals for them.  The dragoman says Jack's
horse died.  I swapped horses with Mohammed, the kingly-looking Egyptian
who is our Ferguson's lieutenant.  By Ferguson I mean our dragoman
Abraham, of course.  I did not take this horse on account of his personal
appearance, but because I have not seen his back.  I do not wish to see
it.  I have seen the backs of all the other horses, and found most of
them covered with dreadful saddle-boils which I know have not been washed
or doctored for years.  The idea of riding all day long over such ghastly
inquisitions of torture is sickening.  My horse must be like the others,
but I have at least the consolation of not knowing it to be so.

I hope that in future I may be spared any more sentimental praises of the
Arab's idolatry of his horse.  In boyhood I longed to be an Arab of the
desert and have a beautiful mare, and call her Selim or Benjamin or
Mohammed, and feed her with my own hands, and let her come into the tent,
and teach her to caress me and look fondly upon me with her great tender
eyes; and I wished that a stranger might come at such a time and offer me
a hundred thousand dollars for her, so that I could do like the other
Arabs--hesitate, yearn for the money, but overcome by my love for my
mare, at last say, "Part with thee, my beautiful one!  Never with my
life!  Away, tempter, I scorn thy gold!"  and then bound into the saddle
and speed over the desert like the wind!

But I recall those aspirations.  If these Arabs be like the other Arabs,
their love for their beautiful mares is a fraud.  These of my
acquaintance have no love for their horses, no sentiment of pity for
them, and no knowledge of how to treat them or care for them.  The Syrian
saddle-blanket is a quilted mattress two or three inches thick.  It is
never removed from the horse, day or night.  It gets full of dirt and
hair, and becomes soaked with sweat.  It is bound to breed sores.  These
pirates never think of washing a horse's back.  They do not shelter the
horses in the tents, either--they must stay out and take the weather as
it comes.  Look at poor cropped and dilapidated "Baalbec," and weep for
the sentiment that has been wasted upon the Selims of romance!




CHAPTER XLVI.

About an hour's ride over a rough, rocky road, half flooded with water,
and through a forest of oaks of Bashan, brought us to Dan.

From a little mound here in the plain issues a broad stream of limpid
water and forms a large shallow pool, and then rushes furiously onward,
augmented in volume.  This puddle is an important source of the Jordan.
Its banks, and those of the brook are respectably adorned with blooming
oleanders, but the unutterable beauty of the spot will not throw a well-
balanced man into convulsions, as the Syrian books of travel would lead
one to suppose.

From the spot I am speaking of, a cannon-ball would carry beyond the
confines of Holy Land and light upon profane ground three miles away.
We were only one little hour's travel within the borders of Holy Land--we
had hardly begun to appreciate yet that we were standing upon any
different sort of earth than that we had always been used to, and see how
the historic names began already to cluster!  Dan--Bashan--Lake Huleh--
the Sources of Jordan--the Sea of Galilee.  They were all in sight but
the last, and it was not far away.  The little township of Bashan was
once the kingdom so famous in Scripture for its bulls and its oaks.
Lake Huleh is the Biblical "Waters of Merom."  Dan was the northern and
Beersheba the southern limit of Palestine--hence the expression "from Dan
to Beersheba."  It is equivalent to our phrases "from Maine to Texas"--
"from Baltimore to San Francisco."  Our expression and that of the
Israelites both mean the same--great distance.  With their slow camels
and asses, it was about a seven days' journey from Dan to Beersheba---say
a hundred and fifty or sixty miles--it was the entire length of their
country, and was not to be undertaken without great preparation and much
ceremony.  When the Prodigal traveled to "a far country," it is not
likely that he went more than eighty or ninety miles.  Palestine is only
from forty to sixty miles wide.  The State of Missouri could be split
into three Palestines, and there would then be enough material left for
part of another--possibly a whole one.  From Baltimore to San Francisco
is several thousand miles, but it will be only a seven days' journey in
the cars when I am two or three years older. --[The railroad has been
completed since the above was written.]-- If I live I shall necessarily
have to go across the continent every now and then in those cars, but one
journey from Dan to Beersheba will be sufficient, no doubt.  It must be
the most trying of the two.  Therefore, if we chance to discover that
from Dan to Beersheba seemed a mighty stretch of country to the
Israelites, let us not be airy with them, but reflect that it was and is
a mighty stretch when one can not traverse it by rail.

The small mound I have mentioned a while ago was once occupied by the
Phenician city of Laish.  A party of filibusters from Zorah and Eschol
captured the place, and lived there in a free and easy way, worshiping
gods of their own manufacture and stealing idols from their neighbors
whenever they wore their own out.  Jeroboam set up a golden calf here to
fascinate his people and keep them from making dangerous trips to
Jerusalem to worship, which might result in a return to their rightful
allegiance.  With all respect for those ancient Israelites, I can not
overlook the fact that they were not always virtuous enough to withstand
the seductions of a golden calf.  Human nature has not changed much since
then.

Some forty centuries ago the city of Sodom was pillaged by the Arab
princes of Mesopotamia, and among other prisoners they seized upon the
patriarch Lot and brought him here on their way to their own possessions.
They brought him to Dan, and father Abraham, who was pursuing them, crept
softly in at dead of night, among the whispering oleanders and under the
shadows of the stately oaks, and fell upon the slumbering victors and
startled them from their dreams with the clash of steel.  He recaptured
Lot and all the other plunder.

We moved on.  We were now in a green valley, five or six miles wide and
fifteen long.  The streams which are called the sources of the Jordan
flow through it to Lake Huleh, a shallow pond three miles in diameter,
and from the southern extremity of the Lake the concentrated Jordan flows
out.  The Lake is surrounded by a broad marsh, grown with reeds.  Between
the marsh and the mountains which wall the valley is a respectable strip
of fertile land; at the end of the valley, toward Dan, as much as half
the land is solid and fertile, and watered by Jordan's sources.  There is
enough of it to make a farm.  It almost warrants the enthusiasm of the
spies of that rabble of adventurers who captured Dan.  They said: "We
have seen the land, and behold it is very good.  * * *  A place where
there is no want of any thing that is in the earth."

Their enthusiasm was at least warranted by the fact that they had never
seen a country as good as this.  There was enough of it for the ample
support of their six hundred men and their families, too.

When we got fairly down on the level part of the Danite farm, we came to
places where we could actually run our horses.  It was a notable
circumstance.

We had been painfully clambering over interminable hills and rocks for
days together, and when we suddenly came upon this astonishing piece of
rockless plain, every man drove the spurs into his horse and sped away
with a velocity he could surely enjoy to the utmost, but could never hope
to comprehend in Syria.

Here were evidences of cultivation--a rare sight in this country--an acre
or two of rich soil studded with last season's dead corn-stalks of the
thickness of your thumb and very wide apart.  But in such a land it was a
thrilling spectacle.  Close to it was a stream, and on its banks a great
herd of curious-looking Syrian goats and sheep were gratefully eating
gravel.  I do not state this as a petrified fact--I only suppose they
were eating gravel, because there did not appear to be any thing else for
them to eat.  The shepherds that tended them were the very pictures of
Joseph and his brethren I have no doubt in the world.  They were tall,
muscular, and very dark-skinned Bedouins, with inky black beards.  They
had firm lips, unquailing eyes, and a kingly stateliness of bearing.
They wore the parti-colored half bonnet, half hood, with fringed ends
falling upon their shoulders, and the full, flowing robe barred with
broad black stripes--the dress one sees in all pictures of the swarthy
sons of the desert.  These chaps would sell their younger brothers if
they had a chance, I think.  They have the manners, the customs, the
dress, the occupation and the loose principles of the ancient stock.
[They attacked our camp last night, and I bear them no good will.]
They had with them the pigmy jackasses one sees all over Syria and
remembers in all pictures of the "Flight into Egypt," where Mary and the
Young Child are riding and Joseph is walking alongside, towering high
above the little donkey's shoulders.

But really, here the man rides and carries the child, as a general thing,
and the woman walks.  The customs have not changed since Joseph's time.
We would not have in our houses a picture representing Joseph riding and
Mary walking; we would see profanation in it, but a Syrian Christian
would not.  I know that hereafter the picture I first spoke of will look
odd to me.

We could not stop to rest two or three hours out from our camp, of
course, albeit the brook was beside us.  So we went on an hour longer.
We saw water, then, but nowhere in all the waste around was there a foot
of shade, and we were scorching to death.  "Like unto the shadow of a
great rock in a weary land."  Nothing in the Bible is more beautiful than
that, and surely there is no place we have wandered to that is able to
give it such touching expression as this blistering, naked, treeless
land.

Here you do not stop just when you please, but when you can.  We found
water, but no shade.  We traveled on and found a tree at last, but no
water.  We rested and lunched, and came on to this place, Ain Mellahah
(the boys call it Baldwinsville.) It was a very short day's run, but the
dragoman does not want to go further, and has invented a plausible lie
about the country beyond this being infested by ferocious Arabs, who
would make sleeping in their midst a dangerous pastime.  Well, they ought
to be dangerous.  They carry a rusty old weather-beaten flint-lock gun,
with a barrel that is longer than themselves; it has no sights on it, it
will not carry farther than a brickbat, and is not half so certain.  And
the great sash they wear in many a fold around their waists has two or
three absurd old horse-pistols in it that are rusty from eternal disuse--
weapons that would hang fire just about long enough for you to walk out
of range, and then burst and blow the Arab's head off.  Exceedingly
dangerous these sons of the desert are.

It used to make my blood run cold to read Wm. C. Grimes' hairbreadth
escapes from Bedouins, but I think I could read them now without a
tremor.  He never said he was attacked by Bedouins, I believe, or was
ever treated uncivilly, but then in about every other chapter he
discovered them approaching, any how, and he had a blood-curdling fashion
of working up the peril; and of wondering how his relations far away
would feel could they see their poor wandering boy, with his weary feet
and his dim eyes, in such fearful danger; and of thinking for the last
time of the old homestead, and the dear old church, and the cow, and
those things; and of finally straightening his form to its utmost height
in the saddle, drawing his trusty revolver, and then dashing the spurs
into "Mohammed" and sweeping down upon the ferocious enemy determined to
sell his life as dearly as possible.  True the Bedouins never did any
thing to him when he arrived, and never had any intention of doing any
thing to him in the first place, and wondered what in the mischief he was
making all that to-do about; but still I could not divest myself of the
idea, somehow, that a frightful peril had been escaped through that man's
dare-devil bravery, and so I never could read about Wm. C. Grimes'
Bedouins and sleep comfortably afterward.  But I believe the Bedouins to
be a fraud, now.  I have seen the monster, and I can outrun him.  I shall
never be afraid of his daring to stand behind his own gun and discharge
it.

About fifteen hundred years before Christ, this camp-ground of ours by
the Waters of Merom was the scene of one of Joshua's exterminating
battles.  Jabin, King of Hazor, (up yonder above Dan,) called all the
sheiks about him together, with their hosts, to make ready for Israel's
terrible General who was approaching.

     "And when all these Kings were met together, they came and pitched
     together by the Waters of Merom, to fight against Israel.  "And they
     went out, they and all their hosts with them, much people, even as
     the sand that is upon the sea-shore for multitude," etc.

But Joshua fell upon them and utterly destroyed them, root and branch.
That was his usual policy in war.  He never left any chance for newspaper
controversies about who won the battle.  He made this valley, so quiet
now, a reeking slaughter-pen.

Somewhere in this part of the country--I do not know exactly where--
Israel fought another bloody battle a hundred years later.  Deborah, the
prophetess, told Barak to take ten thousand men and sally forth against
another King Jabin who had been doing something.  Barak came down from
Mount Tabor, twenty or twenty-five miles from here, and gave battle to
Jabin's forces, who were in command of Sisera.  Barak won the fight, and
while he was making the victory complete by the usual method of
exterminating the remnant of the defeated host, Sisera fled away on foot,
and when he was nearly exhausted by fatigue and thirst, one Jael, a woman
he seems to have been acquainted with, invited him to come into her tent
and rest himself.  The weary soldier acceded readily enough, and Jael put
him to bed.  He said he was very thirsty, and asked his generous
preserver to get him a cup of water.  She brought him some milk, and he
drank of it gratefully and lay down again, to forget in pleasant dreams
his lost battle and his humbled pride.  Presently when he was asleep she
came softly in with a hammer and drove a hideous tent-pen down through
his brain!

"For he was fast asleep and weary.  So he died."  Such is the touching
language of the Bible.  "The Song of Deborah and Barak" praises Jael for
the memorable service she had rendered, in an exultant strain:

     "Blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be,
     blessed shall she be above women in the tent.

     "He asked for water, and she gave him milk; she brought forth butter
     in a lordly dish.

     "She put her hand to the nail, and her right hand to the workman's
     hammer; and with the hammer she smote Sisera, she smote off his head
     when she had pierced and stricken through his temples.

     "At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay down: at her feet he bowed,
     he fell: where he bowed, there he fell down dead."

Stirring scenes like these occur in this valley no more.  There is not a
solitary village throughout its whole extent--not for thirty miles in
either direction.  There are two or three small clusters of Bedouin
tents, but not a single permanent habitation.  One may ride ten miles,
hereabouts, and not see ten human beings.

To this region one of the prophecies is applied:

     I will bring the land into desolation; and your enemies which dwell
     therein shall be astonished at it.  And I will scatter you among the
     heathen, and I will draw out a sword after you; and your land shall
     be desolate and your cities waste."

No man can stand here by deserted Ain Mellahah and say the prophecy has
not been fulfilled.

In a verse from the Bible which I have quoted above, occurs the phrase
"all these kings."  It attracted my attention in a moment, because it
carries to my mind such a vastly different significance from what it
always did at home.  I can see easily enough that if I wish to profit by
this tour and come to a correct understanding of the matters of interest
connected with it, I must studiously and faithfully unlearn a great many
things I have somehow absorbed concerning Palestine.  I must begin a
system of reduction.  Like my grapes which the spies bore out of the
Promised Land, I have got every thing in Palestine on too large a scale.
Some of my ideas were wild enough.  The word Palestine always brought to
my mind a vague suggestion of a country as large as the United States.
I do not know why, but such was the case.  I suppose it was because I
could not conceive of a small country having so large a history.  I think
I was a little surprised to find that the grand Sultan of Turkey was a
man of only ordinary size.  I must try to reduce my ideas of Palestine to
a more reasonable shape.  One gets large impressions in boyhood,
sometimes, which he has to fight against all his life.  "All these
kings."  When I used to read that in Sunday School, it suggested to me
the several kings of such countries as England, France, Spain, Germany,
Russia, etc., arrayed in splendid robes ablaze with jewels, marching in
grave procession, with sceptres of gold in their hands and flashing
crowns upon their heads.  But here in Ain Mellahah, after coming through
Syria, and after giving serious study to the character and customs of the
country, the phrase "all these kings" loses its grandeur.  It suggests
only a parcel of petty chiefs--ill-clad and ill-conditioned savages much
like our Indians, who lived in full sight of each other and whose
"kingdoms" were large when they were five miles square and contained two
thousand souls.  The combined monarchies of the thirty "kings" destroyed
by Joshua on one of his famous campaigns, only covered an area about
equal to four of our counties of ordinary size.  The poor old sheik we
saw at Cesarea Philippi with his ragged band of a hundred followers,
would have been called a "king " in those ancient times.

It is seven in the morning, and as we are in the country, the grass ought
to be sparkling with dew, the flowers enriching the air with their
fragrance, and the birds singing in the trees.  But alas, there is no dew
here, nor flowers, nor birds, nor trees.  There is a plain and an
unshaded lake, and beyond them some barren mountains.  The tents are
tumbling, the Arabs are quarreling like dogs and cats, as usual, the
campground is strewn with packages and bundles, the labor of packing them
upon the backs of the mules is progressing with great activity, the
horses are saddled, the umbrellas are out, and in ten minutes we shall
mount and the long procession will move again.  The white city of the
Mellahah, resurrected for a moment out of the dead centuries, will have
disappeared again and left no sign.




CHAPTER XLVII.

We traversed some miles of desolate country whose soil is rich enough,
but is given over wholly to weeds--a silent, mournful expanse, wherein we
saw only three persons--Arabs, with nothing on but a long coarse shirt
like the "tow-linen" shirts which used to form the only summer garment of
little negro boys on Southern plantations.  Shepherds they were, and they
charmed their flocks with the traditional shepherd's pipe--a reed
instrument that made music as exquisitely infernal as these same Arabs
create when they sing.

In their pipes lingered no echo of the wonderful music the shepherd
forefathers heard in the Plains of Bethlehem what time the angels sang
"Peace on earth, good will to men."

Part of the ground we came over was not ground at all, but rocks--cream-
colored rocks, worn smooth, as if by water; with seldom an edge or a
corner on them, but scooped out, honey-combed, bored out with eye-holes,
and thus wrought into all manner of quaint shapes, among which the
uncouth imitation of skulls was frequent.  Over this part of the route
were occasional remains of an old Roman road like the Appian Way, whose
paving-stones still clung to their places with Roman tenacity.

Gray lizards, those heirs of ruin, of sepulchres and desolation, glided
in and out among the rocks or lay still and sunned themselves.  Where
prosperity has reigned, and fallen; where glory has flamed, and gone out;
where beauty has dwelt, and passed away; where gladness was, and sorrow
is; where the pomp of life has been, and silence and death brood in its
high places, there this reptile makes his home, and mocks at human
vanity.  His coat is the color of ashes: and ashes are the symbol of
hopes that have perished, of aspirations that came to nought, of loves
that are buried.  If he could speak, he would say, Build temples: I will
lord it in their ruins; build palaces: I will inhabit them; erect
empires: I will inherit them; bury your beautiful: I will watch the worms
at their work; and you, who stand here and moralize over me: I will crawl
over your corpse at the last.

A few ants were in this desert place, but merely to spend the summer.
They brought their provisions from Ain Mellahah--eleven miles.

Jack is not very well to-day, it is easy to see; but boy as he is, he is
too much of a man to speak of it.  He exposed himself to the sun too much
yesterday, but since it came of his earnest desire to learn, and to make
this journey as useful as the opportunities will allow, no one seeks to
discourage him by fault-finding.  We missed him an hour from the camp,
and then found him some distance away, by the edge of a brook, and with
no umbrella to protect him from the fierce sun.  If he had been used to
going without his umbrella, it would have been well enough, of course;
but he was not.  He was just in the act of throwing a clod at a mud-
turtle which was sunning itself on a small log in the brook.  We said:

"Don't do that, Jack.  What do you want to harm him for?  What has he
done?"

"Well, then, I won't kill him, but I ought to, because he is a fraud."

We asked him why, but he said it was no matter.  We asked him why, once
or twice, as we walked back to the camp but he still said it was no
matter.  But late at night, when he was sitting in a thoughtful mood on
the bed, we asked him again and he said:

"Well, it don't matter; I don't mind it now, but I did not like it today,
you know, because I don't tell any thing that isn't so, and I don't think
the Colonel ought to, either.  But he did; he told us at prayers in the
Pilgrims' tent, last night, and he seemed as if he was reading it out of
the Bible, too, about this country flowing with milk and honey, and about
the voice of the turtle being heard in the land.  I thought that was
drawing it a little strong, about the turtles, any how, but I asked Mr.
Church if it was so, and he said it was, and what Mr. Church tells me, I
believe.  But I sat there and watched that turtle nearly an hour today,
and I almost burned up in the sun; but I never heard him sing.  I believe
I sweated a double handful of sweat---I know I did--because it got in my
eyes, and it was running down over my nose all the time; and you know my
pants are tighter than any body else's--Paris foolishness--and the
buckskin seat of them got wet with sweat, and then got dry again and
began to draw up and pinch and tear loose--it was awful--but I never
heard him sing.  Finally I said, This is a fraud--that is what it is, it
is a fraud--and if I had had any sense I might have known a cursed mud-
turtle couldn't sing.  And then I said, I don't wish to be hard on this
fellow, and I will just give him ten minutes to commence; ten minutes--
and then if he don't, down goes his building.  But he didn't commence,
you know.  I had staid there all that time, thinking may be he might,
pretty soon, because he kept on raising his head up and letting it down,
and drawing the skin over his eyes for a minute and then opening them out
again, as if he was trying to study up something to sing, but just as the
ten minutes were up and I was all beat out and blistered, he laid his
blamed head down on a knot and went fast asleep."

"It was a little hard, after you had waited so long."

"I should think so.  I said, Well, if you won't sing, you shan't sleep,
any way; and if you fellows had let me alone I would have made him shin
out of Galilee quicker than any turtle ever did yet.  But it isn't any
matter now--let it go.  The skin is all off the back of my neck."

About ten in the morning we halted at Joseph's Pit.  This is a ruined
Khan of the Middle Ages, in one of whose side courts is a great walled
and arched pit with water in it, and this pit, one tradition says, is the
one Joseph's brethren cast him into.  A more authentic tradition, aided
by the geography of the country, places the pit in Dothan, some two days'
journey from here.  However, since there are many who believe in this
present pit as the true one, it has its interest.

It is hard to make a choice of the most beautiful passage in a book which
is so gemmed with beautiful passages as the Bible; but it is certain that
not many things within its lids may take rank above the exquisite story
of Joseph.  Who taught those ancient writers their simplicity of
language, their felicity of expression, their pathos, and above all,
their faculty of sinking themselves entirely out of sight of the reader
and making the narrative stand out alone and seem to tell itself?
Shakspeare is always present when one reads his book; Macaulay is present
when we follow the march of his stately sentences; but the Old Testament
writers are hidden from view.

If the pit I have been speaking of is the right one, a scene transpired
there, long ages ago, which is familiar to us all in pictures.  The sons
of Jacob had been pasturing their flocks near there.  Their father grew
uneasy at their long absence, and sent Joseph, his favorite, to see if
any thing had gone wrong with them.  He traveled six or seven days'
journey; he was only seventeen years old, and, boy like, he toiled
through that long stretch of the vilest, rockiest, dustiest country in
Asia, arrayed in the pride of his heart, his beautiful claw-hammer coat
of many colors.  Joseph was the favorite, and that was one crime in the
eyes of his brethren; he had dreamed dreams, and interpreted them to
foreshadow his elevation far above all his family in the far future, and
that was another; he was dressed well and had doubtless displayed the
harmless vanity of youth in keeping the fact prominently before his
brothers.  These were crimes his elders fretted over among themselves and
proposed to punish when the opportunity should offer.  When they saw him
coming up from the Sea of Galilee, they recognized him and were glad.
They said, "Lo, here is this dreamer--let us kill him."  But Reuben
pleaded for his life, and they spared it.  But they seized the boy, and
stripped the hated coat from his back and pushed him into the pit.  They
intended to let him die there, but Reuben intended to liberate him
secretly.  However, while Reuben was away for a little while, the
brethren sold Joseph to some Ishmaelitish merchants who were journeying
towards Egypt.  Such is the history of the pit.  And the self-same pit is
there in that place, even to this day; and there it will remain until the
next detachment of image-breakers and tomb desecraters arrives from the
Quaker City excursion, and they will infallibly dig it up and carry it
away with them.  For behold in them is no reverence for the solemn
monuments of the past, and whithersoever they go they destroy and spare
not.

Joseph became rich, distinguished, powerful--as the Bible expresses it,
"lord over all the land of Egypt."  Joseph was the real king, the
strength, the brain of the monarchy, though Pharaoh held the title.
Joseph is one of the truly great men of the Old Testament.  And he was
the noblest and the manliest, save Esau.  Why shall we not say a good
word for the princely Bedouin?  The only crime that can be brought
against him is that he was unfortunate.  Why must every body praise
Joseph's great-hearted generosity to his cruel brethren, without stint of
fervent language, and fling only a reluctant bone of praise to Esau for
his still sublimer generosity to the brother who had wronged him?  Jacob
took advantage of Esau's consuming hunger to rob him of his birthright
and the great honor and consideration that belonged to the position; by
treachery and falsehood he robbed him of his father's blessing; he made
of him a stranger in his home, and a wanderer.  Yet after twenty years
had passed away and Jacob met Esau and fell at his feet quaking with fear
and begging piteously to be spared the punishment he knew he deserved,
what did that magnificent savage do?  He fell upon his neck and embraced
him!  When Jacob--who was incapable of comprehending nobility of
character--still doubting, still fearing, insisted upon "finding grace
with my lord" by the bribe of a present of cattle, what did the gorgeous
son of the desert say?

"Nay, I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself!"

Esau found Jacob rich, beloved by wives and children, and traveling in
state, with servants, herds of cattle and trains of camels--but he
himself was still the uncourted outcast this brother had made him.  After
thirteen years of romantic mystery, the brethren who had wronged Joseph,
came, strangers in a strange land, hungry and humble, to buy "a little
food"; and being summoned to a palace, charged with crime, they beheld in
its owner their wronged brother; they were trembling beggars--he, the
lord of a mighty empire!  What Joseph that ever lived would have thrown
away such a chance to "show off?"  Who stands first--outcast Esau
forgiving Jacob in prosperity, or Joseph on a king's throne forgiving the
ragged tremblers whose happy rascality placed him there?

Just before we came to Joseph's Pit, we had "raised" a hill, and there, a
few miles before us, with not a tree or a shrub to interrupt the view,
lay a vision which millions of worshipers in the far lands of the earth
would give half their possessions to see--the sacred Sea of Galilee!

Therefore we tarried only a short time at the pit.  We rested the horses
and ourselves, and felt for a few minutes the blessed shade of the
ancient buildings.  We were out of water, but the two or three scowling
Arabs, with their long guns, who were idling about the place, said they
had none and that there was none in the vicinity.  They knew there was a
little brackish water in the pit, but they venerated a place made sacred
by their ancestor's imprisonment too much to be willing to see Christian
dogs drink from it.  But Ferguson tied rags and handkerchiefs together
till he made a rope long enough to lower a vessel to the bottom, and we
drank and then rode on; and in a short time we dismounted on those shores
which the feet of the Saviour have made holy ground.

At noon we took a swim in the Sea of Galilee--a blessed privilege in this
roasting climate--and then lunched under a neglected old fig-tree at the
fountain they call Ain-et-Tin, a hundred yards from ruined Capernaum.
Every rivulet that gurgles out of the rocks and sands of this part of the
world is dubbed with the title of "fountain," and people familiar with
the Hudson, the great lakes and the Mississippi fall into transports of
admiration over them, and exhaust their powers of composition in writing
their praises.  If all the poetry and nonsense that have been discharged
upon the fountains and the bland scenery of this region were collected in
a book, it would make a most valuable volume to burn.

During luncheon, the pilgrim enthusiasts of our party, who had been so
light-hearted and so happy ever since they touched holy ground that they
did little but mutter incoherent rhapsodies, could scarcely eat, so
anxious were they to "take shipping" and sail in very person upon the
waters that had borne the vessels of the Apostles.  Their anxiety grew
and their excitement augmented with every fleeting moment, until my fears
were aroused and I began to have misgivings that in their present
condition they might break recklessly loose from all considerations of
prudence and buy a whole fleet of ships to sail in instead of hiring a
single one for an hour, as quiet folk are wont to do.  I trembled to
think of the ruined purses this day's performances might result in.
I could not help reflecting bodingly upon the intemperate zeal with which
middle-aged men are apt to surfeit themselves upon a seductive folly
which they have tasted for the first time.  And yet I did not feel that
I had a right to be surprised at the state of things which was giving me
so much concern.  These men had been taught from infancy to revere,
almost to worship, the holy places whereon their happy eyes were resting
now.  For many and many a year this very picture had visited their
thoughts by day and floated through their dreams by night.  To stand
before it in the flesh--to see it as they saw it now--to sail upon the
hallowed sea, and kiss the holy soil that compassed it about: these were
aspirations they had cherished while a generation dragged its lagging
seasons by and left its furrows in their faces and its frosts upon their
hair.  To look upon this picture, and sail upon this sea, they had
forsaken home and its idols and journeyed thousands and thousands of
miles, in weariness and tribulation.  What wonder that the sordid lights
of work-day prudence should pale before the glory of a hope like theirs
in the full splendor of its fruition?  Let them squander millions!
I said--who speaks of money at a time like this?

In this frame of mind I followed, as fast as I could, the eager footsteps
of the pilgrims, and stood upon the shore of the lake, and swelled, with
hat and voice, the frantic hail they sent after the "ship" that was
speeding by.  It was a success.  The toilers of the sea ran in and
beached their barque.  Joy sat upon every countenance.

"How much?--ask him how much, Ferguson!--how much to take us all--eight
of us, and you--to Bethsaida, yonder, and to the mouth of Jordan, and to
the place where the swine ran down into the sea--quick!--and we want to
coast around every where--every where!--all day long!--I could sail a
year in these waters!--and tell him we'll stop at Magdala and finish at
Tiberias!--ask him how much?--any thing--any thing whatever!--tell him we
don't care what the expense is!"  [I said to myself, I knew how it would
be.]

Ferguson--(interpreting)--"He says two Napoleons--eight dollars."

One or two countenances fell.  Then a pause.

"Too much!--we'll give him one!"

I never shall know how it was--I shudder yet when I think how the place
is given to miracles--but in a single instant of time, as it seemed to
me, that ship was twenty paces from the shore, and speeding away like a
frightened thing!  Eight crestfallen creatures stood upon the shore, and
O, to think of it!  this--this--after all that overmastering ecstacy!
Oh, shameful, shameful ending, after such unseemly boasting!  It was too
much like "Ho! let me at him!"  followed by a prudent "Two of you hold
him--one can hold me!"

Instantly there was wailing and gnashing of teeth in the camp.  The two
Napoleons were offered--more if necessary--and pilgrims and dragoman
shouted themselves hoarse with pleadings to the retreating boatmen to
come back.  But they sailed serenely away and paid no further heed to
pilgrims who had dreamed all their lives of some day skimming over the
sacred waters of Galilee and listening to its hallowed story in the
whisperings of its waves, and had journeyed countless leagues to do it,
and--and then concluded that the fare was too high.  Impertinent
Mohammedan Arabs, to think such things of gentlemen of another faith!

Well, there was nothing to do but just submit and forego the privilege of
voyaging on Genessaret, after coming half around the globe to taste that
pleasure.  There was a time, when the Saviour taught here, that boats
were plenty among the fishermen of the coasts--but boats and fishermen
both are gone, now; and old Josephus had a fleet of men-of-war in these
waters eighteen centuries ago--a hundred and thirty bold canoes--but
they, also, have passed away and left no sign.  They battle here no more
by sea, and the commercial marine of Galilee numbers only two small
ships, just of a pattern with the little skiffs the disciples knew.  One
was lost to us for good--the other was miles away and far out of hail.
So we mounted the horses and rode grimly on toward Magdala, cantering
along in the edge of the water for want of the means of passing over it.

How the pilgrims abused each other!  Each said it was the other's fault,
and each in turn denied it.  No word was spoken by the sinners--even the
mildest sarcasm might have been dangerous at such a time.  Sinners that
have been kept down and had examples held up to them, and suffered
frequent lectures, and been so put upon in a moral way and in the matter
of going slow and being serious and bottling up slang, and so crowded in
regard to the matter of being proper and always and forever behaving,
that their lives have become a burden to them, would not lag behind
pilgrims at such a time as this, and wink furtively, and be joyful, and
commit other such crimes--because it would not occur to them to do it.
Otherwise they would.  But they did do it, though--and it did them a
world of good to hear the pilgrims abuse each other, too.  We took an
unworthy satisfaction in seeing them fall out, now and then, because it
showed that they were only poor human people like us, after all.

So we all rode down to Magdala, while the gnashing of teeth waxed and
waned by turns, and harsh words troubled the holy calm of Galilee.

Lest any man think I mean to be ill-natured when I talk about our
pilgrims as I have been talking, I wish to say in all sincerity that I do
not.  I would not listen to lectures from men I did not like and could
not respect; and none of these can say I ever took their lectures
unkindly, or was restive under the infliction, or failed to try to profit
by what they said to me.  They are better men than I am; I can say that
honestly; they are good friends of mine, too--and besides, if they did
not wish to be stirred up occasionally in print, why in the mischief did
they travel with me?  They knew me.  They knew my liberal way--that I
like to give and take--when it is for me to give and other people to
take.  When one of them threatened to leave me in Damascus when I had the
cholera, he had no real idea of doing it--I know his passionate nature
and the good impulses that underlie it.  And did I not overhear Church,
another pilgrim, say he did not care who went or who staid, he would
stand by me till I walked out of Damascus on my own feet or was carried
out in a coffin, if it was a year?  And do I not include Church every
time I abuse the pilgrims--and would I be likely to speak ill-naturedly
of him?  I wish to stir them up and make them healthy; that is all.

We had left Capernaum behind us.  It was only a shapeless ruin.  It bore
no semblance to a town, and had nothing about it to suggest that it had
ever been a town.  But all desolate and unpeopled as it was, it was
illustrious ground.  From it sprang that tree of Christianity whose broad
arms overshadow so many distant lands to-day.  After Christ was tempted
of the devil in the desert, he came here and began his teachings; and
during the three or four years he lived afterward, this place was his
home almost altogether.  He began to heal the sick, and his fame soon
spread so widely that sufferers came from Syria and beyond Jordan, and
even from Jerusalem, several days' journey away, to be cured of their
diseases.  Here he healed the centurion's servant and Peter's mother-in-
law, and multitudes of the lame and the blind and persons possessed of
devils; and here, also, he raised Jairus's daughter from the dead.  He
went into a ship with his disciples, and when they roused him from sleep
in the midst of a storm, he quieted the winds and lulled the troubled sea
to rest with his voice.  He passed over to the other side, a few miles
away and relieved two men of devils, which passed into some swine.  After
his return he called Matthew from the receipt of customs, performed some
cures, and created scandal by eating with publicans and sinners.  Then he
went healing and teaching through Galilee, and even journeyed to Tyre and
Sidon.  He chose the twelve disciples, and sent them abroad to preach the
new gospel.  He worked miracles in Bethsaida and Chorazin--villages two
or three miles from Capernaum.  It was near one of them that the
miraculous draft of fishes is supposed to have been taken, and it was in
the desert places near the other that he fed the thousands by the
miracles of the loaves and fishes.  He cursed them both, and Capernaum
also, for not repenting, after all the great works he had done in their
midst, and prophesied against them.  They are all in ruins, now--which is
gratifying to the pilgrims, for, as usual, they fit the eternal words of
gods to the evanescent things of this earth; Christ, it is more probable,
referred to the people, not their shabby villages of wigwams: he said it
would be sad for them at "the day of judgment"--and what business have
mud-hovels at the Day of Judgment?  It would not affect the prophecy in
the least--it would neither prove it or disprove it--if these towns were
splendid cities now instead of the almost vanished ruins they are.
Christ visited Magdala, which is near by Capernaum, and he also visited
Cesarea Philippi.  He went up to his old home at Nazareth, and saw his
brothers Joses, and Judas, and James, and Simon--those persons who, being
own brothers to Jesus Christ, one would expect to hear mentioned
sometimes, yet who ever saw their names in a newspaper or heard them from
a pulpit?  Who ever inquires what manner of youths they were; and whether
they slept with Jesus, played with him and romped about him; quarreled
with him concerning toys and trifles; struck him in anger, not suspecting
what he was?  Who ever wonders what they thought when they saw him come
back to Nazareth a celebrity, and looked long at his unfamiliar face to
make sure, and then said, "It is Jesus?"  Who wonders what passed in
their minds when they saw this brother, (who was only a brother to them,
however much he might be to others a mysterious stranger who was a god
and had stood face to face with God above the clouds,) doing strange
miracles with crowds of astonished people for witnesses?  Who wonders if
the brothers of Jesus asked him to come home with them, and said his
mother and his sisters were grieved at his long absence, and would be
wild with delight to see his face again ?  Who ever gives a thought to
the sisters of Jesus at all?--yet he had sisters; and memories of them
must have stolen into his mind often when he was ill-treated among
strangers; when he was homeless and said he had not where to lay his
head; when all deserted him, even Peter, and he stood alone among his
enemies.

Christ did few miracles in Nazareth, and staid but a little while.  The
people said, "This the Son of God!  Why, his father is nothing but a
carpenter.  We know the family.  We see them every day.  Are not his
brothers named so and so, and his sisters so and so, and is not his
mother the person they call Mary?  This is absurd."  He did not curse his
home, but he shook its dust from his feet and went away.

Capernaum lies close to the edge of the little sea, in a small plain some
five miles long and a mile or two wide, which is mildly adorned with
oleanders which look all the better contrasted with the bald hills and
the howling deserts which surround them, but they are not as deliriously
beautiful as the books paint them.  If one be calm and resolute he can
look upon their comeliness and live.

One of the most astonishing things that have yet fallen under our
observation is the exceedingly small portion of the earth from which
sprang the now flourishing plant of Christianity.  The longest journey
our Saviour ever performed was from here to Jerusalem--about one hundred
to one hundred and twenty miles.  The next longest was from here to
Sidon--say about sixty or seventy miles.  Instead of being wide apart--as
American appreciation of distances would naturally suggest--the places
made most particularly celebrated by the presence of Christ are nearly
all right here in full view, and within cannon-shot of Capernaum.
Leaving out two or three short journeys of the Saviour, he spent his
life, preached his gospel, and performed his miracles within a compass no
larger than an ordinary county in the United States.  It is as much as I
can do to comprehend this stupefying fact.  How it wears a man out to
have to read up a hundred pages of history every two or three miles--for
verily the celebrated localities of Palestine occur that close together.
How wearily, how bewilderingly they swarm about your path!

In due time we reached the ancient village of Magdala.




CHAPTER XLVIII.

Magdala is not a beautiful place.  It is thoroughly Syrian, and that is
to say that it is thoroughly ugly, and cramped, squalid, uncomfortable,
and filthy--just the style of cities that have adorned the country since
Adam's time, as all writers have labored hard to prove, and have
succeeded.  The streets of Magdala are any where from three to six feet
wide, and reeking with uncleanliness.  The houses are from five to seven
feet high, and all built upon one arbitrary plan--the ungraceful form of
a dry-goods box.  The sides are daubed with a smooth white plaster, and
tastefully frescoed aloft and alow with disks of camel-dung placed there
to dry.  This gives the edifice the romantic appearance of having been
riddled with cannon-balls, and imparts to it a very warlike aspect.  When
the artist has arranged his materials with an eye to just proportion--the
small and the large flakes in alternate rows, and separated by carefully-
considered intervals--I know of nothing more cheerful to look upon than a
spirited Syrian fresco.  The flat, plastered roof is garnished by
picturesque stacks of fresco materials, which, having become thoroughly
dried and cured, are placed there where it will be convenient.  It is
used for fuel.  There is no timber of any consequence in Palestine--none
at all to waste upon fires--and neither are there any mines of coal.
If my description has been intelligible, you will perceive, now, that a
square, flat-roofed hovel, neatly frescoed, with its wall-tops gallantly
bastioned and turreted with dried camel-refuse, gives to a landscape a
feature that is exceedingly festive and picturesque, especially if one is
careful to remember to stick in a cat wherever, about the premises, there
is room for a cat to sit.  There are no windows to a Syrian hut, and no
chimneys.  When I used to read that they let a bed-ridden man down
through the roof of a house in Capernaum to get him into the presence of
the Saviour, I generally had a three-story brick in my mind, and marveled
that they did not break his neck with the strange experiment.  I perceive
now, however, that they might have taken him by the heels and thrown him
clear over the house without discommoding him very much.  Palestine is
not changed any since those days, in manners, customs, architecture, or
people.

As we rode into Magdala not a soul was visible.  But the ring of the
horses' hoofs roused the stupid population, and they all came trooping
out--old men and old women, boys and girls, the blind, the crazy, and the
crippled, all in ragged, soiled and scanty raiment, and all abject
beggars by nature, instinct and education.  How the vermin-tortured
vagabonds did swarm!  How they showed their scars and sores, and
piteously pointed to their maimed and crooked limbs, and begged with
their pleading eyes for charity!  We had invoked a spirit we could not
lay.  They hung to the horses's tails, clung to their manes and the
stirrups, closed in on every aide in scorn of dangerous hoofs--and out of
their infidel throats, with one accord, burst an agonizing and most
infernal chorus: "Howajji, bucksheesh!  howajji, bucksheesh!  howajji,
bucksheesh!  bucksheesh!  bucksheesh!"  I never was in a storm like that
before.

As we paid the bucksheesh out to sore-eyed children and brown, buxom
girls with repulsively tattooed lips and chins, we filed through the town
and by many an exquisite fresco, till we came to a bramble-infested
inclosure and a Roman-looking ruin which had been the veritable dwelling
of St. Mary Magdalene, the friend and follower of Jesus.  The guide
believed it, and so did I.  I could not well do otherwise, with the house
right there before my eyes as plain as day.  The pilgrims took down
portions of the front wall for specimens, as is their honored custom, and
then we departed.

We are camped in this place, now, just within the city walls of Tiberias.
We went into the town before nightfall and looked at its people--we cared
nothing about its houses.  Its people are best examined at a distance.
They are particularly uncomely Jews, Arabs, and negroes.  Squalor and
poverty are the pride of Tiberias.  The young women wear their dower
strung upon a strong wire that curves downward from the top of the head
to the jaw--Turkish silver coins which they have raked together or
inherited.  Most of these maidens were not wealthy, but some few had been
very kindly dealt with by fortune.  I saw heiresses there worth, in their
own right--worth, well, I suppose I might venture to say, as much as nine
dollars and a half.  But such cases are rare.  When you come across one
of these, she naturally puts on airs.  She will not ask for bucksheesh.
She will not even permit of undue familiarity.  She assumes a crushing
dignity and goes on serenely practicing with her fine-tooth comb and
quoting poetry just the same as if you were not present at all.  Some
people can not stand prosperity.

They say that the long-nosed, lanky, dyspeptic-looking body-snatchers,
with the indescribable hats on, and a long curl dangling down in front of
each ear, are the old, familiar, self-righteous Pharisees we read of in
the Scriptures.  Verily, they look it.  Judging merely by their general
style, and without other evidence, one might easily suspect that self-
righteousness was their specialty.

From various authorities I have culled information concerning Tiberias.
It was built by Herod Antipas, the murderer of John the Baptist, and
named after the Emperor Tiberius.  It is believed that it stands upon the
site of what must have been, ages ago, a city of considerable
architectural pretensions, judging by the fine porphyry pillars that are
scattered through Tiberias and down the lake shore southward.  These were
fluted, once, and yet, although the stone is about as hard as iron, the
flutings are almost worn away.  These pillars are small, and doubtless
the edifices they adorned were distinguished more for elegance than
grandeur.  This modern town--Tiberias--is only mentioned in the New
Testament; never in the Old.

The Sanhedrim met here last, and for three hundred years Tiberias was the
metropolis of the Jews in Palestine.  It is one of the four holy cities
of the Israelites, and is to them what Mecca is to the Mohammedan and
Jerusalem to the Christian.  It has been the abiding place of many
learned and famous Jewish rabbins.  They lie buried here, and near them
lie also twenty-five thousand of their faith who traveled far to be near
them while they lived and lie with them when they died.  The great Rabbi
Ben Israel spent three years here in the early part of the third century.
He is dead, now.

The celebrated Sea of Galilee is not so large a sea as Lake Tahoe--
[I measure all lakes by Tahoe, partly because I am far more familiar with
it than with any other, and partly because I have such a high admiration
for it and such a world of pleasant recollections of it, that it is very
nearly impossible for me to speak of lakes and not mention it.]--by a
good deal--it is just about two-thirds as large.  And when we come to
speak of beauty, this sea is no more to be compared to Tahoe than a
meridian of longitude is to a rainbow.  The dim waters of this pool can
not suggest the limpid brilliancy of Tahoe; these low, shaven, yellow
hillocks of rocks and sand, so devoid of perspective, can not suggest the
grand peaks that compass Tahoe like a wall, and whose ribbed and chasmed
fronts are clad with stately pines that seem to grow small and smaller as
they climb, till one might fancy them reduced to weeds and shrubs far
upward, where they join the everlasting snows.  Silence and solitude
brood over Tahoe; and silence and solitude brood also over this lake of
Genessaret.  But the solitude of the one is as cheerful and fascinating
as the solitude of the other is dismal and repellant.

In the early morning one watches the silent battle of dawn and darkness
upon the waters of Tahoe with a placid interest; but when the shadows
sulk away and one by one the hidden beauties of the shore unfold
themselves in the full splendor of noon; when the still surface is belted
like a rainbow with broad bars of blue and green and white, half the
distance from circumference to centre; when, in the lazy summer
afternoon, he lies in a boat, far out to where the dead blue of the deep
water begins, and smokes the pipe of peace and idly winks at the
distant crags and patches of snow from under his cap-brim; when the boat
drifts shoreward to the white water, and he lolls over the gunwale and
gazes by the hour down through the crystal depths and notes the colors of
the pebbles and reviews the finny armies gliding in procession a hundred
feet below; when at night he sees moon and stars, mountain ridges
feathered with pines, jutting white capes, bold promontories, grand
sweeps of rugged scenery topped with bald, glimmering peaks, all
magnificently pictured in the polished mirror of the lake, in richest,
softest detail, the tranquil interest that was born with the morning
deepens and deepens, by sure degrees, till it culminates at last in
resistless fascination!

It is solitude, for birds and squirrels on the shore and fishes in the
water are all the creatures that are near to make it otherwise, but it is
not the sort of solitude to make one dreary.  Come to Galilee for that.
If these unpeopled deserts, these rusty mounds of barrenness, that never,
never, never do shake the glare from their harsh outlines, and fade and
faint into vague perspective; that melancholy ruin of Capernaum; this
stupid village of Tiberias, slumbering under its six funereal plumes of
palms; yonder desolate declivity where the swine of the miracle ran down
into the sea, and doubtless thought it was better to swallow a devil or
two and get drowned into the bargain than have to live longer in such a
place; this cloudless, blistering sky; this solemn, sailless, tintless
lake, reposing within its rim of yellow hills and low, steep banks, and
looking just as expressionless and unpoetical (when we leave its sublime
history out of the question,) as any metropolitan reservoir in
Christendom--if these things are not food for rock me to sleep, mother,
none exist, I think.

But I should not offer the evidence for the prosecution and leave the
defense unheard.  Wm. C. Grimes deposes as follows:--

     "We had taken ship to go over to the other side.  The sea was not
     more than six miles wide.  Of the beauty of the scene, however, I
     can not say enough, nor can I imagine where those travelers carried
     their eyes who have described the scenery of the lake as tame or
     uninteresting.  The first great characteristic of it is the deep
     basin in which it lies.  This is from three to four hundred feet
     deep on all sides except at the lower end, and the sharp slope of
     the banks, which are all of the richest green, is broken and
     diversified by the wadys and water-courses which work their way down
     through the sides of the basin, forming dark chasms or light sunny
     valleys.  Near Tiberias these banks are rocky, and ancient
     sepulchres open in them, with their doors toward the water.  They
     selected grand spots, as did the Egyptians of old, for burial
     places, as if they designed that when the voice of God should reach
     the sleepers, they should walk forth and open their eyes on scenes
     of glorious beauty.  On the east, the wild and desolate mountains
     contrast finely with the deep blue lake; and toward the north,
     sublime and majestic, Hermon looks down on the sea, lifting his
     white crown to heaven with the pride of a hill that has seen the
     departing footsteps of a hundred generations.  On the north-east
     shore of the sea was a single tree, and this is the only tree of any
     size visible from the water of the lake, except a few lonely palms
     in the city of Tiberias, and by its solitary position attracts more
     attention than would a forest.  The whole appearance of the scene is
     precisely what we would expect and desire the scenery of Genessaret
     to be, grand beauty, but quiet calm.  The very mountains are calm."

It is an ingeniously written description, and well calculated to deceive.
But if the paint and the ribbons and the flowers be stripped from it, a
skeleton will be found beneath.

So stripped, there remains a lake six miles wide and neutral in color;
with steep green banks, unrelieved by shrubbery; at one end bare,
unsightly rocks, with (almost invisible) holes in them of no consequence
to the picture; eastward, "wild and desolate mountains;" (low, desolate
hills, he should have said;) in the north, a mountain called Hermon, with
snow on it; peculiarity of the picture, "calmness;" its prominent
feature, one tree.

No ingenuity could make such a picture beautiful--to one's actual vision.

I claim the right to correct misstatements, and have so corrected the
color of the water in the above recapitulation.  The waters of Genessaret
are of an exceedingly mild blue, even from a high elevation and a
distance of five miles.  Close at hand (the witness was sailing on the
lake,) it is hardly proper to call them blue at all, much less "deep"
blue.  I wish to state, also, not as a correction, but as matter of
opinion, that Mount Hermon is not a striking or picturesque mountain by
any means, being too near the height of its immediate neighbors to be so.
That is all.  I do not object to the witness dragging a mountain forty-
five miles to help the scenery under consideration, because it is
entirely proper to do it, and besides, the picture needs it.

"C. W. E.," (of " Life in the Holy Land,") deposes as follows:--

     "A beautiful sea lies unbosomed among the Galilean hills, in the
     midst of that land once possessed by Zebulon and Naphtali, Asher and
     Dan.  The azure of the sky penetrates the depths of the lake, and
     the waters are sweet and cool.  On the west, stretch broad fertile
     plains; on the north the rocky shores rise step by step until in the
     far distance tower the snowy heights of Hermon; on the east through
     a misty veil are seen the high plains of Perea, which stretch away
     in rugged mountains leading the mind by varied paths toward
     Jerusalem the Holy.  Flowers bloom in this terrestrial paradise,
     once beautiful and verdant with waving trees; singing birds enchant
     the ear; the turtle-dove soothes with its soft note; the crested
     lark sends up its song toward heaven, and the grave and stately
     stork inspires the mind with thought, and leads it on to meditation
     and repose.  Life here was once idyllic, charming; here were once no
     rich, no poor, no high, no low.  It was a world of ease, simplicity,
     and beauty; now it is a scene of desolation and misery."

This is not an ingenious picture.  It is the worst I ever saw.  It
describes in elaborate detail what it terms a "terrestrial paradise," and
closes with the startling information that this paradise is "a scene of
desolation and misery."

I have given two fair, average specimens of the character of the
testimony offered by the majority of the writers who visit this region.
One says, "Of the beauty of the scene I can not say enough," and then
proceeds to cover up with a woof of glittering sentences a thing which,
when stripped for inspection, proves to be only an unobtrusive basin of
water, some mountainous desolation, and one tree.  The other, after a
conscientious effort to build a terrestrial paradise out of the same
materials, with the addition of a "grave and stately stork," spoils it
all by blundering upon the ghastly truth at the last.

Nearly every book concerning Galilee and its lake describes the scenery
as beautiful.  No--not always so straightforward as that.  Sometimes the
impression intentionally conveyed is that it is beautiful, at the same
time that the author is careful not to say that it is, in plain Saxon.
But a careful analysis of these descriptions will show that the materials
of which they are formed are not individually beautiful and can not be
wrought into combinations that are beautiful.  The veneration and the
affection which some of these men felt for the scenes they were speaking
of, heated their fancies and biased their judgment; but the pleasant
falsities they wrote were full of honest sincerity, at any rate.  Others
wrote as they did, because they feared it would be unpopular to write
otherwise.  Others were hypocrites and deliberately meant to deceive.
Any of them would say in a moment, if asked, that it was always right and
always best to tell the truth.  They would say that, at any rate, if they
did not perceive the drift of the question.

But why should not the truth be spoken of this region?  Is the truth
harmful?  Has it ever needed to hide its face?  God made the Sea of
Galilee and its surroundings as they are.  Is it the province of Mr.
Grimes to improve upon the work?

I am sure, from the tenor of books I have read, that many who have
visited this land in years gone by, were Presbyterians, and came seeking
evidences in support of their particular creed; they found a Presbyterian
Palestine, and they had already made up their minds to find no other,
though possibly they did not know it, being blinded by their zeal.
Others were Baptists, seeking Baptist evidences and a Baptist Palestine.
Others were Catholics, Methodists, Episcopalians, seeking evidences
indorsing their several creeds, and a Catholic, a Methodist, an
Episcopalian Palestine.  Honest as these men's intentions may have been,
they were full of partialities and prejudices, they entered the country
with their verdicts already prepared, and they could no more write
dispassionately and impartially about it than they could about their own
wives and children.  Our pilgrims have brought their verdicts with them.
They have shown it in their conversation ever since we left Beirout.
I can almost tell, in set phrase, what they will say when they see Tabor,
Nazareth, Jericho and Jerusalem--because I have the books they will
"smouch" their ideas from.  These authors write pictures and frame
rhapsodies, and lesser men follow and see with the author's eyes instead
of their own, and speak with his tongue.  What the pilgrims said at
Cesarea Philippi surprised me with its wisdom.  I found it afterwards in
Robinson.  What they said when Genessaret burst upon their vision,
charmed me with its grace.  I find it in Mr. Thompson's "Land and the
Book."  They have spoken often, in happily worded language which never
varied, of how they mean to lay their weary heads upon a stone at Bethel,
as Jacob did, and close their dim eyes, and dream, perchance, of angels
descending out of heaven on a ladder.  It was very pretty.  But I have
recognized the weary head and the dim eyes, finally.  They borrowed the
idea--and the words--and the construction--and the punctuation--from
Grimes.  The pilgrims will tell of Palestine, when they get home, not as
it appeared to them, but as it appeared to Thompson and Robinson and
Grimes--with the tints varied to suit each pilgrim's creed.

Pilgrims, sinners and Arabs are all abed, now, and the camp is still.
Labor in loneliness is irksome.  Since I made my last few notes, I have
been sitting outside the tent for half an hour.  Night is the time to see
Galilee.  Genessaret under these lustrous stars has nothing repulsive
about it.  Genessaret with the glittering reflections of the
constellations flecking its surface, almost makes me regret that I ever
saw the rude glare of the day upon it.  Its history and its associations
are its chiefest charm, in any eyes, and the spells they weave are feeble
in the searching light of the sun.  Then, we scarcely feel the fetters.
Our thoughts wander constantly to the practical concerns of life, and
refuse to dwell upon things that seem vague and unreal.  But when the day
is done, even the most unimpressible must yield to the dreamy influences
of this tranquil starlight.  The old traditions of the place steal upon
his memory and haunt his reveries, and then his fancy clothes all sights
and sounds with the supernatural.  In the lapping of the waves upon the
beach, he hears the dip of ghostly oars; in the secret noises of the
night he hears spirit voices; in the soft sweep of the breeze, the rush
of invisible wings.  Phantom ships are on the sea, the dead of twenty
centuries come forth from the tombs, and in the dirges of the night wind
the songs of old forgotten ages find utterance again.

In the starlight, Galilee has no boundaries but the broad compass of the
heavens, and is a theatre meet for great events; meet for the birth of a
religion able to save a world; and meet for the stately Figure appointed
to stand upon its stage and proclaim its high decrees.  But in the
sunlight, one says: Is it for the deeds which were done and the words
which were spoken in this little acre of rocks and sand eighteen
centuries gone, that the bells are ringing to-day in the remote islands
of the sea and far and wide over continents that clasp the circumference
of the huge globe?

One can comprehend it only when night has hidden all incongruities and
created a theatre proper for so grand a drama.




CHAPTER XLIX.

We took another swim in the Sea of Galilee at twilight yesterday, and
another at sunrise this morning.  We have not sailed, but three swims are
equal to a sail, are they not?  There were plenty of fish visible in the
water, but we have no outside aids in this pilgrimage but "Tent Life in
the Holy Land," "The Land and the Book," and other literature of like
description--no fishing-tackle.  There were no fish to be had in the
village of Tiberias.  True, we saw two or three vagabonds mending their
nets, but never trying to catch any thing with them.

We did not go to the ancient warm baths two miles below Tiberias.  I had
no desire in the world to go there.  This seemed a little strange, and
prompted me to try to discover what the cause of this unreasonable
indifference was.  It turned out to be simply because Pliny mentions
them.  I have conceived a sort of unwarrantable unfriendliness toward
Pliny and St. Paul, because it seems as if I can never ferret out a place
that I can have to myself.  It always and eternally transpires that St.
Paul has been to that place, and Pliny has "mentioned" it.

In the early morning we mounted and started.  And then a weird apparition
marched forth at the head of the procession--a pirate, I thought, if ever
a pirate dwelt upon land.  It was a tall Arab, as swarthy as an Indian;
young-say thirty years of age.  On his head he had closely bound a
gorgeous yellow and red striped silk scarf, whose ends, lavishly fringed
with tassels, hung down between his shoulders and dallied with the wind.
From his neck to his knees, in ample folds, a robe swept down that was a
very star-spangled banner of curved and sinuous bars of black and white.
Out of his back, somewhere, apparently, the long stem of a chibouk
projected, and reached far above his right shoulder.  Athwart his back,
diagonally, and extending high above his left shoulder, was an Arab gum
of Saladin's time, that was splendid with silver plating from stock clear
up to the end of its measureless stretch of barrel.  About his waist was
bound many and many a yard of elaborately figured but sadly tarnished
stuff that came from sumptuous Persia, and among the baggy folds in front
the sunbeams glinted from a formidable battery of old brass-mounted
horse-pistols and the gilded hilts of blood-thirsty knives.  There were
holsters for more pistols appended to the wonderful stack of long-haired
goat-skins and Persian carpets, which the man had been taught to regard
in the light of a saddle; and down among the pendulous rank of vast
tassels that swung from that saddle, and clanging against the iron shovel
of a stirrup that propped the warrior's knees up toward his chin, was a
crooked, silver-clad scimitar of such awful dimensions and such
implacable expression that no man might hope to look upon it and not
shudder.  The fringed and bedizened prince whose privilege it is to ride
the pony and lead the elephant into a country village is poor and naked
compared to this chaos of paraphernalia, and the happy vanity of the one
is the very poverty of satisfaction compared to the majestic serenity,
the overwhelming complacency of the other.

"Who is this?  What is this?"  That was the trembling inquiry all down
the line.

"Our guard!  From Galilee to the birthplace of the Savior, the country is
infested with fierce Bedouins, whose sole happiness it is, in this life,
to cut and stab and mangle and murder unoffending Christians.  Allah be
with us!"

"Then hire a regiment!  Would you send us out among these desperate
hordes, with no salvation in our utmost need but this old turret?"

The dragoman laughed--not at the facetiousness of the simile, for verily,
that guide or that courier or that dragoman never yet lived upon earth
who had in him the faintest appreciation of a joke, even though that joke
were so broad and so ponderous that if it fell on him it would flatten
him out like a postage stamp--the dragoman laughed, and then, emboldened
by some thought that was in his brain, no doubt, proceeded to extremities
and winked.

In straits like these, when a man laughs, it is encouraging when he
winks, it is positively reassuring.  He finally intimated that one guard
would be sufficient to protect us, but that that one was an absolute
necessity.  It was because of the moral weight his awful panoply would
have with the Bedouins.  Then I said we didn't want any guard at all.
If one fantastic vagabond could protect eight armed Christians and a pack
of Arab servants from all harm, surely that detachment could protect
themselves.  He shook his head doubtfully.  Then I said, just think of
how it looks--think of how it would read, to self-reliant Americans, that
we went sneaking through this deserted wilderness under the protection of
this masquerading Arab, who would break his neck getting out of the
country if a man that was a man ever started after him.  It was a mean,
low, degrading position.  Why were we ever told to bring navy revolvers
with us if we had to be protected at last by this infamous star-spangled
scum of the desert?  These appeals were vain--the dragoman only smiled
and shook his head.

I rode to the front and struck up an acquaintance with King Solomon-in-
all-his-glory, and got him to show me his lingering eternity of a gun.
It had a rusty flint lock; it was ringed and barred and plated with
silver from end to end, but it was as desperately out of the
perpendicular as are the billiard cues of '49 that one finds yet in
service in the ancient mining camps of California.  The muzzle was eaten
by the rust of centuries into a ragged filigree-work, like the end of a
burnt-out stove-pipe.  I shut one eye and peered within--it was flaked
with iron rust like an old steamboat boiler.  I borrowed the ponderous
pistols and snapped them.  They were rusty inside, too--had not been
loaded for a generation.  I went back, full of encouragement, and
reported to the guide, and asked him to discharge this dismantled
fortress.  It came out, then.  This fellow was a retainer of the Sheik of
Tiberias.  He was a source of Government revenue.  He was to the Empire
of Tiberias what the customs are to America.  The Sheik imposed guards
upon travelers and charged them for it.  It is a lucrative source of
emolument, and sometimes brings into the national treasury as much as
thirty-five or forty dollars a year.

I knew the warrior's secret now; I knew the hollow vanity of his rusty
trumpery, and despised his asinine complacency.  I told on him, and with
reckless daring the cavalcade straight ahead into the perilous solitudes
of the desert, and scorned his frantic warnings of the mutilation and
death that hovered about them on every side.

Arrived at an elevation of twelve hundred feet above the lake, (I ought
to mention that the lake lies six hundred feet below the level of the
Mediterranean--no traveler ever neglects to flourish that fragment of
news in his letters,) as bald and unthrilling a panorama as any land can
afford, perhaps, was spread out before us.  Yet it was so crowded with
historical interest, that if all the pages that have been written about
it were spread upon its surface, they would flag it from horizon to
horizon like a pavement.  Among the localities comprised in this view,
were Mount Hermon; the hills that border Cesarea Philippi, Dan, the
Sources of the Jordan and the Waters of Merom; Tiberias; the Sea of
Galilee; Joseph's Pit; Capernaum; Bethsaida; the supposed scenes of the
Sermon on the Mount, the feeding of the multitudes and the miraculous
draught of fishes; the declivity down which the swine ran to the sea; the
entrance and the exit of the Jordan; Safed, "the city set upon a hill,"
one of the four holy cities of the Jews, and the place where they believe
the real Messiah will appear when he comes to redeem the world; part of
the battle-field of Hattin, where the knightly Crusaders fought their
last fight, and in a blaze of glory passed from the stage and ended their
splendid career forever; Mount Tabor, the traditional scene of the Lord's
Transfiguration.  And down toward the southeast lay a landscape that
suggested to my mind a quotation (imperfectly remembered, no doubt:)

     "The Ephraimites, not being called upon to share in the rich spoils
     of the Ammonitish war, assembled a mighty host to fight against
     Jeptha, Judge of Israel; who, being apprised of their approach,
     gathered together the men of Israel and gave them battle and put
     them to flight.  To make his victory the more secure, he stationed
     guards at the different fords and passages of the Jordan, with
     instructions to let none pass who could not say Shibboleth.  The
     Ephraimites, being of a different tribe, could not frame to
     pronounce the word right, but called it Sibboleth, which proved them
     enemies and cost them their lives; wherefore, forty and two thousand
     fell at the different fords and passages of the Jordan that day."

We jogged along peacefully over the great caravan route from Damascus to
Jerusalem and Egypt, past Lubia and other Syrian hamlets, perched, in the
unvarying style, upon the summit of steep mounds and hills, and fenced
round about with giant cactuses, (the sign of worthless land,) with
prickly pears upon them like hams, and came at last to the battle-field
of Hattin.

It is a grand, irregular plateau, and looks as if it might have been
created for a battle-field.  Here the peerless Saladin met the Christian
host some seven hundred years ago, and broke their power in Palestine for
all time to come.  There had long been a truce between the opposing
forces, but according to the Guide-Book, Raynauld of Chatillon, Lord of
Kerak, broke it by plundering a Damascus caravan, and refusing to give up
either the merchants or their goods when Saladin demanded them.  This
conduct of an insolent petty chieftain stung the Sultan to the quick, and
he swore that he would slaughter Raynauld with his own hand, no matter
how, or when, or where he found him.  Both armies prepared for war.
Under the weak King of Jerusalem was the very flower of the Christian
chivalry.  He foolishly compelled them to undergo a long, exhausting
march, in the scorching sun, and then, without water or other
refreshment, ordered them to encamp in this open plain.  The splendidly
mounted masses of Moslem soldiers swept round the north end of
Genessaret, burning and destroying as they came, and pitched their camp
in front of the opposing lines.  At dawn the terrific fight began.
Surrounded on all sides by the Sultan's swarming battalions, the
Christian Knights fought on without a hope for their lives.  They fought
with desperate valor, but to no purpose; the odds of heat and numbers,
and consuming thirst, were too great against them.  Towards the middle of
the day the bravest of their band cut their way through the Moslem ranks
and gained the summit of a little hill, and there, hour after hour, they
closed around the banner of the Cross, and beat back the charging
squadrons of the enemy.

But the doom of the Christian power was sealed.  Sunset found Saladin
Lord of Palestine, the Christian chivalry strewn in heaps upon the field,
and the King of Jerusalem, the Grand Master of the Templars, and Raynauld
of Chatillon, captives in the Sultan's tent.  Saladin treated two of the
prisoners with princely courtesy, and ordered refreshments to be set
before them.  When the King handed an iced Sherbet to Chatillon, the
Sultan said," It is thou that givest it to him, not I."  He remembered
his oath, and slaughtered the hapless Knight of Chatillon with his own
hand.

It was hard to realize that this silent plain had once resounded with
martial music and trembled to the tramp of armed men.  It was hard to
people this solitude with rushing columns of cavalry, and stir its torpid
pulses with the shouts of victors, the shrieks of the wounded, and the
flash of banner and steel above the surging billows of war.  A desolation
is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and
action.

We reached Tabor safely, and considerably in advance of that old iron-
clad swindle of a guard.  We never saw a human being on the whole route,
much less lawless hordes of Bedouins.  Tabor stands solitary and alone,
a giant sentinel above the Plain of Esdraelon.  It rises some fourteen
hundred feet above the surrounding level, a green, wooden cone,
symmetrical and full of grace--a prominent landmark, and one that is
exceedingly pleasant to eyes surfeited with the repulsive monotony of
desert Syria.  We climbed the steep path to its summit, through breezy
glades of thorn and oak.  The view presented from its highest peak was
almost beautiful.  Below, was the broad, level plain of Esdraelon,
checkered with fields like a chess-board, and full as smooth and level,
seemingly; dotted about its borders with white, compact villages, and
faintly penciled, far and near, with the curving lines of roads and
trails.  When it is robed in the fresh verdure of spring, it must form a
charming picture, even by itself.  Skirting its southern border rises
"Little Hermon," over whose summit a glimpse of Gilboa is caught.  Nain,
famous for the raising of the widow's son, and Endor, as famous for the
performances of her witch are in view.  To the eastward lies the Valley
of the Jordan and beyond it the mountains of Gilead.  Westward is Mount
Carmel.  Hermon in the north--the table-lands of Bashan--Safed, the holy
city, gleaming white upon a tall spur of the mountains of Lebanon--a
steel-blue corner of the Sea of Galilee--saddle-peaked Hattin,
traditional "Mount of Beatitudes" and mute witness brave fights of the
Crusading host for Holy Cross--these fill up the picture.

To glance at the salient features of this landscape through the
picturesque framework of a ragged and ruined stone window--arch of the
time of Christ, thus hiding from sight all that is unattractive, is to
secure to yourself a pleasure worth climbing the mountain to enjoy.  One
must stand on his head to get the best effect in a fine sunset, and set a
landscape in a bold, strong framework that is very close at hand, to
bring out all its beauty.  One learns this latter truth never more to
forget it, in that mimic land of enchantment, the wonderful garden of my
lord the Count Pallavicini, near Genoa.  You go wandering for hours among
hills and wooded glens, artfully contrived to leave the impression that
Nature shaped them and not man; following winding paths and coming
suddenly upon leaping cascades and rustic bridges; finding sylvan lakes
where you expected them not; loitering through battered mediaeval castles
in miniature that seem hoary with age and yet were built a dozen years
ago; meditating over ancient crumbling tombs, whose marble columns were
marred and broken purposely by the modern artist that made them;
stumbling unawares upon toy palaces, wrought of rare and costly
materials, and again upon a peasant's hut, whose dilapidated furniture
would never suggest that it was made so to order; sweeping round and
round in the midst of a forest on an enchanted wooden horse that is moved
by some invisible agency; traversing Roman roads and passing under
majestic triumphal arches; resting in quaint bowers where unseen spirits
discharge jets of water on you from every possible direction, and where
even the flowers you touch assail you with a shower; boating on a
subterranean lake among caverns and arches royally draped with clustering
stalactites, and passing out into open day upon another lake, which is
bordered with sloping banks of grass and gay with patrician barges that
swim at anchor in the shadow of a miniature marble temple that rises out
of the clear water and glasses its white statues, its rich capitals and
fluted columns in the tranquil depths.  So, from marvel to marvel you
have drifted on, thinking all the time that the one last seen must be the
chiefest.  And, verily, the chiefest wonder is reserved until the last,
but you do not see it until you step ashore, and passing through a
wilderness of rare flowers, collected from every corner of the earth, you
stand at the door of one more mimic temple.  Right in this place the
artist taxed his genius to the utmost, and fairly opened the gates of
fairy land.  You look through an unpretending pane of glass, stained
yellow--the first thing you see is a mass of quivering foliage, ten short
steps before you, in the midst of which is a ragged opening like a
gateway-a thing that is common enough in nature, and not apt to excite
suspicions of a deep human design--and above the bottom of the gateway,
project, in the most careless way! a few broad tropic leaves and
brilliant flowers.  All of a sudden, through this bright, bold gateway,
you catch a glimpse of the faintest, softest, richest picture that ever
graced the dream of a dying Saint, since John saw the New Jerusalem
glimmering above the clouds of Heaven.  A broad sweep of sea, flecked
with careening sails; a sharp, jutting cape, and a lofty lighthouse on
it; a sloping lawn behind it; beyond, a portion of the old "city of
palaces," with its parks and hills and stately mansions; beyond these, a
prodigious mountain, with its strong outlines sharply cut against ocean
and sky; and over all, vagrant shreds and flakes of cloud, floating in a
sea of gold.  The ocean is gold, the city is gold, the meadow, the
mountain, the sky--every thing is golden-rich, and mellow, and dreamy as
a vision of Paradise.  No artist could put upon canvas, its entrancing
beauty, and yet, without the yellow glass, and the carefully contrived
accident of a framework that cast it into enchanted distance and shut out
from it all unattractive features, it was not a picture to fall into
ecstasies over.  Such is life, and the trail of the serpent is over us
all.

There is nothing for it now but to come back to old Tabor, though the
subject is tiresome enough, and I can not stick to it for wandering off
to scenes that are pleasanter to remember.  I think I will skip, any how.
There is nothing about Tabor (except we concede that it was the scene of
the Transfiguration,) but some gray old ruins, stacked up there in all
ages of the world from the days of stout Gideon and parties that
flourished thirty centuries ago to the fresh yesterday of Crusading
times.  It has its Greek Convent, and the coffee there is good, but never
a splinter of the true cross or bone of a hallowed saint to arrest the
idle thoughts of worldlings and turn them into graver channels.
A Catholic church is nothing to me that has no relics.

The plain of Esdraelon--"the battle-field of the nations"--only sets one
to dreaming of Joshua, and Benhadad, and Saul, and Gideon; Tamerlane,
Tancred, Coeur de Lion, and Saladin; the warrior Kings of Persia, Egypt's
heroes, and Napoleon--for they all fought here.  If the magic of the
moonlight could summon from the graves of forgotten centuries and many
lands the countless myriads that have battled on this wide, far-reaching
floor, and array them in the thousand strange Costumes of their hundred
nationalities, and send the vast host sweeping down the plain, splendid
with plumes and banners and glittering lances, I could stay here an age
to see the phantom pageant.  But the magic of the moonlight is a vanity
and a fraud; and whoso putteth his trust in it shall suffer sorrow and
disappointment.

Down at the foot of Tabor, and just at the edge of the storied Plain of
Esdraelon, is the insignificant village of Deburieh, where Deborah,
prophetess of Israel, lived.  It is just like Magdala.




CHAPTER L.

We descended from Mount Tabor, crossed a deep ravine, followed a hilly,
rocky road to Nazareth--distant two hours.  All distances in the East are
measured by hours, not miles.  A good horse will walk three miles an hour
over nearly any kind of a road; therefore, an hour, here, always stands
for three miles.  This method of computation is bothersome and annoying;
and until one gets thoroughly accustomed to it, it carries no
intelligence to his mind until he has stopped and translated the pagan
hours into Christian miles, just as people do with the spoken words of a
foreign language they are acquainted with, but not familiarly enough to
catch the meaning in a moment.  Distances traveled by human feet are also
estimated by hours and minutes, though I do not know what the base of the
calculation is.  In Constantinople you ask, "How far is it to the
Consulate?" and they answer, "About ten minutes."  "How far is it to the
Lloyds' Agency?"  "Quarter of an hour."  "How far is it to the lower
bridge?"  "Four minutes."  I can not be positive about it, but I think
that there, when a man orders a pair of pantaloons, he says he wants them
a quarter of a minute in the legs and nine seconds around the waist.

Two hours from Tabor to Nazareth--and as it was an uncommonly narrow,
crooked trail, we necessarily met all the camel trains and jackass
caravans between Jericho and Jacksonville in that particular place and
nowhere else.  The donkeys do not matter so much, because they are so
small that you can jump your horse over them if he is an animal of
spirit, but a camel is not jumpable.  A camel is as tall as any ordinary
dwelling-house in Syria--which is to say a camel is from one to two, and
sometimes nearly three feet taller than a good-sized man.  In this part
of the country his load is oftenest in the shape of colossal sacks--one
on each side.  He and his cargo take up as much room as a carriage.
Think of meeting this style of obstruction in a narrow trail.  The camel
would not turn out for a king.  He stalks serenely along, bringing his
cushioned stilts forward with the long, regular swing of a pendulum, and
whatever is in the way must get out of the way peaceably, or be wiped out
forcibly by the bulky sacks.  It was a tiresome ride to us, and perfectly
exhausting to the horses.  We were compelled to jump over upwards of
eighteen hundred donkeys, and only one person in the party was unseated
less than sixty times by the camels.  This seems like a powerful
statement, but the poet has said, "Things are not what they seem."  I can
not think of any thing, now, more certain to make one shudder, than to
have a soft-footed camel sneak up behind him and touch him on the ear
with its cold, flabby under-lip.  A camel did this for one of the boys,
who was drooping over his saddle in a brown study.  He glanced up and saw
the majestic apparition hovering above him, and made frantic efforts to
get out of the way, but the camel reached out and bit him on the shoulder
before he accomplished it.  This was the only pleasant incident of the
journey.

At Nazareth we camped in an olive grove near the Virgin Mary's fountain,
and that wonderful Arab "guard" came to collect some bucksheesh for his
"services" in following us from Tiberias and warding off invisible
dangers with the terrors of his armament.  The dragoman had paid his
master, but that counted as nothing--if you hire a man to sneeze for you,
here, and another man chooses to help him, you have got to pay both.
They do nothing whatever without pay.  How it must have surprised these
people to hear the way of salvation offered to them "without money and
without price."  If the manners, the people or the customs of this
country have changed since the Saviour's time, the figures and metaphors
of the Bible are not the evidences to prove it by.

We entered the great Latin Convent which is built over the traditional
dwelling-place of the Holy Family.  We went down a flight of fifteen
steps below the ground level, and stood in a small chapel tricked out
with tapestry hangings, silver lamps, and oil paintings.  A spot marked
by a cross, in the marble floor, under the altar, was exhibited as the
place made forever holy by the feet of the Virgin when she stood up to
receive the message of the angel.  So simple, so unpretending a locality,
to be the scene of so mighty an event!  The very scene of the
Annunciation--an event which has been commemorated by splendid shrines
and august temples all over the civilized world, and one which the
princes of art have made it their loftiest ambition to picture worthily
on their canvas; a spot whose history is familiar to the very children of
every house, and city, and obscure hamlet of the furthest lands of
Christendom; a spot which myriads of men would toil across the breadth of
a world to see, would consider it a priceless privilege to look upon.
It was easy to think these thoughts.  But it was not easy to bring myself
up to the magnitude of the situation.  I could sit off several thousand
miles and imagine the angel appearing, with shadowy wings and lustrous
countenance, and note the glory that streamed downward upon the Virgin's
head while the message from the Throne of God fell upon her ears--any one
can do that, beyond the ocean, but few can do it here.  I saw the little
recess from which the angel stepped, but could not fill its void.  The
angels that I know are creatures of unstable fancy--they will not fit in
niches of substantial stone.  Imagination labors best in distant fields.
I doubt if any man can stand in the Grotto of the Annunciation and people
with the phantom images of his mind its too tangible walls of stone.

They showed us a broken granite pillar, depending from the roof, which
they said was hacked in two by the Moslem conquerors of Nazareth, in the
vain hope of pulling down the sanctuary.  But the pillar remained
miraculously suspended in the air, and, unsupported itself, supported
then and still supports the roof.  By dividing this statement up among
eight, it was found not difficult to believe it.

These gifted Latin monks never do any thing by halves.  If they were to
show you the Brazen Serpent that was elevated in the wilderness, you
could depend upon it that they had on hand the pole it was elevated on
also, and even the hole it stood in.  They have got the "Grotto" of the
Annunciation here; and just as convenient to it as one's throat is to his
mouth, they have also the Virgin's Kitchen, and even her sitting-room,
where she and Joseph watched the infant Saviour play with Hebrew toys
eighteen hundred years ago.  All under one roof, and all clean, spacious,
comfortable "grottoes."  It seems curious that personages intimately
connected with the Holy Family always lived in grottoes--in Nazareth, in
Bethlehem, in imperial Ephesus--and yet nobody else in their day and
generation thought of doing any thing of the kind.  If they ever did,
their grottoes are all gone, and I suppose we ought to wonder at the
peculiar marvel of the preservation of these I speak of.  When the Virgin
fled from Herod's wrath, she hid in a grotto in Bethlehem, and the same
is there to this day.  The slaughter of the innocents in Bethlehem was
done in a grotto; the Saviour was born in a grotto--both are shown to
pilgrims yet.  It is exceedingly strange that these tremendous events all
happened in grottoes--and exceedingly fortunate, likewise, because the
strongest houses must crumble to ruin in time, but a grotto in the living
rock will last forever.  It is an imposture--this grotto stuff--but it is
one that all men ought to thank the Catholics for.  Wherever they ferret
out a lost locality made holy by some Scriptural event, they straightway
build a massive--almost imperishable--church there, and preserve the
memory of that locality for the gratification of future generations.  If
it had been left to Protestants to do this most worthy work, we would not
even know where Jerusalem is to-day, and the man who could go and put his
finger on Nazareth would be too wise for this world.  The world owes the
Catholics its good will even for the happy rascality of hewing out these
bogus grottoes in the rock; for it is infinitely more satisfactory to
look at a grotto, where people have faithfully believed for centuries
that the Virgin once lived, than to have to imagine a dwelling-place for
her somewhere, any where, nowhere, loose and at large all over this town
of Nazareth.  There is too large a scope of country.  The imagination can
not work.  There is no one particular spot to chain your eye, rivet your
interest, and make you think.  The memory of the Pilgrims can not perish
while Plymouth Rock remains to us.  The old monks are wise.  They know
how to drive a stake through a pleasant tradition that will hold it to
its place forever.

We visited the places where Jesus worked for fifteen years as a
carpenter, and where he attempted to teach in the synagogue and was
driven out by a mob.  Catholic chapels stand upon these sites and protect
the little fragments of the ancient walls which remain.  Our pilgrims
broke off specimens.  We visited, also, a new chapel, in the midst of the
town, which is built around a boulder some twelve feet long by four feet
thick; the priests discovered, a few years ago, that the disciples had
sat upon this rock to rest, once, when they had walked up from Capernaum.
They hastened to preserve the relic.  Relics are very good property.
Travelers are expected to pay for seeing them, and they do it cheerfully.
We like the idea.  One's conscience can never be the worse for the
knowledge that he has paid his way like a man.  Our pilgrims would have
liked very well to get out their lampblack and stencil-plates and paint
their names on that rock, together with the names of the villages they
hail from in America, but the priests permit nothing of that kind.
To speak the strict truth, however, our party seldom offend in that way,
though we have men in the ship who never lose an opportunity to do it.
Our pilgrims' chief sin is their lust for "specimens."  I suppose that by
this time they know the dimensions of that rock to an inch, and its
weight to a ton; and I do not hesitate to charge that they will go back
there to-night and try to carry it off.

This "Fountain of the Virgin" is the one which tradition says Mary used
to get water from, twenty times a day, when she was a girl, and bear it
away in a jar upon her head.  The water streams through faucets in the
face of a wall of ancient masonry which stands removed from the houses of
the village.  The young girls of Nazareth still collect about it by the
dozen and keep up a riotous laughter and sky-larking.  The Nazarene girls
are homely.  Some of them have large, lustrous eyes, but none of them
have pretty faces.  These girls wear a single garment, usually, and it is
loose, shapeless, of undecided color; it is generally out of repair, too.
They wear, from crown to jaw, curious strings of old coins, after the
manner of the belles of Tiberias, and brass jewelry upon their wrists and
in their ears.  They wear no shoes and stockings.  They are the most
human girls we have found in the country yet, and the best natured.
But there is no question that these picturesque maidens sadly lack
comeliness.

A pilgrim--the "Enthusiast"--said: "See that tall, graceful girl! look at
the Madonna-like beauty of her countenance!"

Another pilgrim came along presently and said: "Observe that tall,
graceful girl; what queenly Madonna-like gracefulness of beauty is in her
countenance."

I said: "She is not tall, she is short; she is not beautiful, she is
homely; she is graceful enough, I grant, but she is rather boisterous."

The third and last pilgrim moved by, before long, and he said: "Ah, what
a tall, graceful girl! what Madonna-like gracefulness of queenly beauty!"

The verdicts were all in.  It was time, now, to look up the authorities
for all these opinions.  I found this paragraph, which follows.  Written
by whom?  Wm. C. Grimes:

     "After we were in the saddle, we rode down to the spring to have a
     last look at the women of Nazareth, who were, as a class, much the
     prettiest that we had seen in the East.  As we approached the crowd
     a tall girl of nineteen advanced toward Miriam and offered her a cup
     of water.  Her movement was graceful and queenly.  We exclaimed on
     the spot at the Madonna-like beauty of her countenance.  Whitely was
     suddenly thirsty, and begged for water, and drank it slowly, with
     his eyes over the top of the cup, fixed on her large black eyes,
     which gazed on him quite as curiously as he on her.  Then Moreright
     wanted water.  She gave it to him and he managed to spill it so as
     to ask for another cup, and by the time she came to me she saw
     through the operation; her eyes were full of fun as she looked at
     me.  I laughed outright, and she joined me in as gay a shout as ever
     country maiden in old Orange county.  I wished for a picture of her.
     A Madonna, whose face was a portrait of that beautiful Nazareth
     girl, would be a 'thing of beauty' and 'a joy forever.'"

That is the kind of gruel which has been served out from Palestine for
ages.  Commend me to Fennimore Cooper to find beauty in the Indians, and
to Grimes to find it in the Arabs.  Arab men are often fine looking, but
Arab women are not.  We can all believe that the Virgin Mary was
beautiful; it is not natural to think otherwise; but does it follow that
it is our duty to find beauty in these present women of Nazareth?

I love to quote from Grimes, because he is so dramatic.  And because he
is so romantic.  And because he seems to care but little whether he tells
the truth or not, so he scares the reader or excites his envy or his
admiration.

He went through this peaceful land with one hand forever on his revolver,
and the other on his pocket-handkerchief.  Always, when he was not on the
point of crying over a holy place, he was on the point of killing an
Arab.  More surprising things happened to him in Palestine than ever
happened to any traveler here or elsewhere since Munchausen died.

At Beit Jin, where nobody had interfered with him, he crept out of his
tent at dead of night and shot at what he took to be an Arab lying on a
rock, some distance away, planning evil.  The ball killed a wolf.  Just
before he fired, he makes a dramatic picture of himself--as usual, to
scare the reader:

     "Was it imagination, or did I see a moving object on the surface of
     the rock?  If it were a man, why did he not now drop me?  He had a
     beautiful shot as I stood out in my black boornoose against the
     white tent.  I had the sensation of an entering bullet in my throat,
     breast, brain."

Reckless creature!

Riding toward Genessaret, they saw two Bedouins, and "we looked to our
pistols and loosened them quietly in our shawls," etc.  Always cool.

In Samaria, he charged up a hill, in the face of a volley of stones; he
fired into the crowd of men who threw them.  He says:

     "I never lost an opportunity of impressing the Arabs with the
     perfection of American and English weapons, and the danger of
     attacking any one of the armed Franks.  I think the lesson of that
     ball not lost."

At Beit Jin he gave his whole band of Arab muleteers a piece of his mind,
and then--

     "I contented myself with a solemn assurance that if there occurred
     another instance of disobedience to orders I would thrash the
     responsible party as he never dreamed of being thrashed, and if I
     could not find who was responsible, I would whip them all, from
     first to last, whether there was a governor at hand to do it or I
     had to do it myself"

Perfectly fearless, this man.

He rode down the perpendicular path in the rocks, from the Castle of
Banias to the oak grove, at a flying gallop, his horse striding "thirty
feet" at every bound.  I stand prepared to bring thirty reliable
witnesses to prove that Putnam's famous feat at Horseneck was
insignificant compared to this.

Behold him--always theatrical--looking at Jerusalem--this time, by an
oversight, with his hand off his pistol for once.

     "I stood in the road, my hand on my horse's neck, and with my dim
     eyes sought to trace the outlines of the holy places which I had
     long before fixed in my mind, but the fast-flowing tears forbade my
     succeeding.  There were our Mohammedan servants, a Latin monk, two
     Armenians and a Jew in our cortege, and all alike gazed with
     overflowing eyes."

If Latin monks and Arabs cried, I know to a moral certainty that the
horses cried also, and so the picture is complete.

But when necessity demanded, he could be firm as adamant.  In the Lebanon
Valley an Arab youth--a Christian; he is particular to explain that
Mohammedans do not steal--robbed him of a paltry ten dollars' worth of
powder and shot.  He convicted him before a sheik and looked on while he
was punished by the terrible bastinado.  Hear him:

     "He (Mousa) was on his back in a twinkling, howling, shouting,
     screaming, but he was carried out to the piazza before the door,
     where we could see the operation, and laid face down.  One man sat
     on his back and one on his legs, the latter holding up his feet,
     while a third laid on the bare soles a rhinoceros-hide koorbash
     --["A Koorbash is Arabic for cowhide, the cow being a rhinoceros.
     It is the most cruel whip known to fame.  Heavy as lead, and
     flexible as India-rubber, usually about forty inches long and
     tapering gradually from an inch in diameter to a point, it
     administers a blow which leaves its mark for time."--Scow Life in
     Egypt, by the same author.]--that whizzed through the air at every
     stroke.  Poor Moreright was in agony, and Nama and Nama the Second
     (mother and sister of Mousa,) were on their faces begging and
     wailing, now embracing my knees and now Whitely's, while the
     brother, outside, made the air ring with cries louder than Mousa's.
     Even Yusef came and asked me on his knees to relent, and last of
     all, Betuni--the rascal had lost a feed-bag in their house and had
     been loudest in his denunciations that morning--besought the Howajji
     to have mercy on the fellow."

But not he!  The punishment was "suspended," at the fifteenth blow to
hear the confession.  Then Grimes and his party rode away, and left the
entire Christian family to be fined and as severely punished as the
Mohammedan sheik should deem proper.

     "As I mounted, Yusef once more begged me to interfere and have mercy
     on them, but I looked around at the dark faces of the crowd, and I
     couldn't find one drop of pity in my heart for them."

He closes his picture with a rollicking burst of humor which contrasts
finely with the grief of the mother and her children.

One more paragraph:

     "Then once more I bowed my head.  It is no shame to have wept in
     Palestine.  I wept, when I saw Jerusalem, I wept when I lay in the
     starlight at Bethlehem.  I wept on the blessed shores of Galilee.
     My hand was no less firm on the rein, my anger did not tremble on
     the trigger of my pistol when I rode with it in my right hand along
     the shore of the blue sea" (weeping.) "My eye was not dimmed by
     those tears nor my heart in aught weakened.  Let him who would sneer
     at my emotion close this volume here, for he will find little to his
     taste in my journeyings through Holy Land."

He never bored but he struck water.

I am aware that this is a pretty voluminous notice of Mr. Grimes' book.
However, it is proper and legitimate to speak of it, for "Nomadic Life in
Palestine" is a representative book--the representative of a class of
Palestine books--and a criticism upon it will serve for a criticism upon
them all.  And since I am treating it in the comprehensive capacity of a
representative book, I have taken the liberty of giving to both book and
author fictitious names.  Perhaps it is in better taste, any how, to do
this.




CHAPTER LI.

Nazareth is wonderfully interesting because the town has an air about it
of being precisely as Jesus left it, and one finds himself saying, all
the time, "The boy Jesus has stood in this doorway--has played in that
street--has touched these stones with his hands--has rambled over these
chalky hills."  Whoever shall write the boyhood of Jesus ingeniously will
make a book which will possess a vivid interest for young and old alike.
I judge so from the greater interest we found in Nazareth than any of our
speculations upon Capernaum and the Sea of Galilee gave rise to.  It was
not possible, standing by the Sea of Galilee, to frame more than a vague,
far-away idea of the majestic Personage who walked upon the crested waves
as if they had been solid earth, and who touched the dead and they rose
up and spoke.  I read among my notes, now, with a new interest, some
sentences from an edition of 1621 of the Apocryphal New Testament.
[Extract.]

     "Christ, kissed by a bride made dumb by sorcerers, cures her.  A
     leprous girl cured by the water in which the infant Christ was
     washed, and becomes the servant of Joseph and Mary.  The leprous son
     of a Prince cured in like manner.

     "A young man who had been bewitched and turned into a mule,
     miraculously cured by the infant Savior being put on his back, and
     is married to the girl who had been cured of leprosy.  Whereupon the
     bystanders praise God.

     "Chapter 16.  Christ miraculously widens or contracts gates, milk-
     pails, sieves or boxes, not properly made by Joseph, he not being
     skillful at his carpenter's trade.  The King of Jerusalem gives
     Joseph an order for a throne.  Joseph works on it for two years and
     makes it two spans too short.  The King being angry with him, Jesus
     comforts him--commands him to pull one side of the throne while he
     pulls the other, and brings it to its proper dimensions.

     "Chapter 19.  Jesus, charged with throwing a boy from the roof of a
     house, miraculously causes the dead boy to speak and acquit him;
     fetches water for his mother, breaks the pitcher and miraculously
     gathers the water in his mantle and brings it home.

     "Sent to a schoolmaster, refuses to tell his letters, and the
     schoolmaster going to whip him, his hand withers."

Further on in this quaint volume of rejected gospels is an epistle of St.
Clement to the Corinthians, which was used in the churches and considered
genuine fourteen or fifteen hundred years ago.  In it this account of the
fabled phoenix occurs:

     "1.  Let us consider that wonderful type of the resurrection, which
     is seen in the Eastern countries, that is to say, in Arabia.

     "2.  There is a certain bird called a phoenix.  Of this there is
     never but one at a time, and that lives five hundred years.  And
     when the time of its dissolution draws near, that it must die, it
     makes itself a nest of frankincense, and myrrh, and other spices,
     into which, when its time is fulfilled, it enters and dies.

     "3.  But its flesh, putrefying, breeds a certain worm, which, being
     nourished by the juice of the dead bird, brings forth feathers; and
     when it is grown to a perfect state, it takes up the nest in which
     the bones of its parent lie, and carries it from Arabia into Egypt,
     to a city called Heliopolis:

     "4.  And flying in open day in the sight of all men, lays it upon
     the altar of the sun, and so returns from whence it came.

     "5.  The priests then search into the records of the time, and find
     that it returned precisely at the end of five hundred years."

Business is business, and there is nothing like punctuality, especially
in a phoenix.

The few chapters relating to the infancy of the Saviour contain many
things which seem frivolous and not worth preserving.  A large part of
the remaining portions of the book read like good Scripture, however.
There is one verse that ought not to have been rejected, because it so
evidently prophetically refers to the general run of Congresses of the
United States:

     "199.  They carry themselves high, and as prudent men; and though
     they are fools, yet would seem to be teachers."

I have set these extracts down, as I found them.  Everywhere among the
cathedrals of France and Italy, one finds traditions of personages that
do not figure in the Bible, and of miracles that are not mentioned in its
pages.  But they are all in this Apocryphal New Testament, and though
they have been ruled out of our modern Bible, it is claimed that they
were accepted gospel twelve or fifteen centuries ago, and ranked as high
in credit as any.  One needs to read this book before he visits those
venerable cathedrals, with their treasures of tabooed and forgotten
tradition.

They imposed another pirate upon us at Nazareth--another invincible Arab
guard.  We took our last look at the city, clinging like a whitewashed
wasp's nest to the hill-side, and at eight o'clock in the morning
departed.  We dismounted and drove the horses down a bridle-path which I
think was fully as crooked as a corkscrew, which I know to be as steep as
the downward sweep of a rainbow, and which I believe to be the worst
piece of road in the geography, except one in the Sandwich Islands, which
I remember painfully, and possibly one or two mountain trails in the
Sierra Nevadas.  Often, in this narrow path the horse had to poise
himself nicely on a rude stone step and then drop his fore-feet over the
edge and down something more than half his own height.  This brought his
nose near the ground, while his tail pointed up toward the sky somewhere,
and gave him the appearance of preparing to stand on his head.  A horse
cannot look dignified in this position.  We accomplished the long descent
at last, and trotted across the great Plain of Esdraelon.

Some of us will be shot before we finish this pilgrimage.  The pilgrims
read "Nomadic Life" and keep themselves in a constant state of Quixotic
heroism.  They have their hands on their pistols all the time, and every
now and then, when you least expect it, they snatch them out and take aim
at Bedouins who are not visible, and draw their knives and make savage
passes at other Bedouins who do not exist.  I am in deadly peril always,
for these spasms are sudden and irregular, and of course I cannot tell
when to be getting out of the way.  If I am accidentally murdered, some
time, during one of these romantic frenzies of the pilgrims, Mr. Grimes
must be rigidly held to answer as an accessory before the fact.  If the
pilgrims would take deliberate aim and shoot at a man, it would be all
right and proper--because that man would not be in any danger; but these
random assaults are what I object to.  I do not wish to see any more
places like Esdraelon, where the ground is level and people can gallop.
It puts melodramatic nonsense into the pilgrims' heads.  All at once,
when one is jogging along stupidly in the sun, and thinking about
something ever so far away, here they come, at a stormy gallop, spurring
and whooping at those ridgy old sore-backed plugs till their heels fly
higher than their heads, and as they whiz by, out comes a little potato-
gum of a revolver, there is a startling little pop, and a small pellet
goes singing through the air.  Now that I have begun this pilgrimage, I
intend to go through with it, though sooth to say, nothing but the most
desperate valor has kept me to my purpose up to the present time.  I do
not mind Bedouins,--I am not afraid of them; because neither Bedouins nor
ordinary Arabs have shown any disposition to harm us, but I do feel
afraid of my own comrades.

Arriving at the furthest verge of the Plain, we rode a little way up a
hill and found ourselves at Endor, famous for its witch.  Her descendants
are there yet.  They were the wildest horde of half-naked savages we have
found thus far.  They swarmed out of mud bee-hives; out of hovels of the
dry-goods box pattern; out of gaping caves under shelving rocks; out of
crevices in the earth.  In five minutes the dead solitude and silence of
the place were no more, and a begging, screeching, shouting mob were
struggling about the horses' feet and blocking the way.  "Bucksheesh!
bucksheesh !  bucksheesh!  howajji, bucksheesh!"  It was Magdala over
again, only here the glare from the infidel eyes was fierce and full of
hate.  The population numbers two hundred and fifty, and more than half
the citizens live in caves in the rock.  Dirt, degradation and savagery
are Endor's specialty.  We say no more about Magdala and Deburieh now.
Endor heads the list.  It is worse than any Indian 'campoodie'.  The hill
is barren, rocky, and forbidding.  No sprig of grass is visible, and only
one tree.  This is a fig-tree, which maintains a precarious footing among
the rocks at the mouth of the dismal cavern once occupied by the
veritable Witch of Endor.  In this cavern, tradition says, Saul, the
king, sat at midnight, and stared and trembled, while the earth shook,
the thunders crashed among the hills, and out of the midst of fire and
smoke the spirit of the dead prophet rose up and confronted him.  Saul
had crept to this place in the darkness, while his army slept, to learn
what fate awaited him in the morrow's battle.  He went away a sad man, to
meet disgrace and death.

A spring trickles out of the rock in the gloomy recesses of the cavern,
and we were thirsty.  The citizens of Endor objected to our going in
there.  They do not mind dirt; they do not mind rags; they do not mind
vermin; they do not mind barbarous ignorance and savagery; they do not
mind a reasonable degree of starvation, but they do like to be pure and
holy before their god, whoever he may be, and therefore they shudder and
grow almost pale at the idea of Christian lips polluting a spring whose
waters must descend into their sanctified gullets.  We had no wanton
desire to wound even their feelings or trample upon their prejudices, but
we were out of water, thus early in the day, and were burning up with
thirst.  It was at this time, and under these circumstances, that I
framed an aphorism which has already become celebrated.  I said:
"Necessity knows no law."  We went in and drank.

We got away from the noisy wretches, finally, dropping them in squads and
couples as we filed over the hills--the aged first, the infants next, the
young girls further on; the strong men ran beside us a mile, and only
left when they had secured the last possible piastre in the way of
bucksheesh.

In an hour, we reached Nain, where Christ raised the widow's son to life.
Nain is Magdala on a small scale.  It has no population of any
consequence.  Within a hundred yards of it is the original graveyard, for
aught I know; the tombstones lie flat on the ground, which is Jewish
fashion in Syria.  I believe the Moslems do not allow them to have
upright tombstones.  A Moslem grave is usually roughly plastered over and
whitewashed, and has at one end an upright projection which is shaped
into exceedingly rude attempts at ornamentation.  In the cities, there is
often no appearance of a grave at all; a tall, slender marble tombstone,
elaborately lettred, gilded and painted, marks the burial place, and this
is surmounted by a turban, so carved and shaped as to signify the dead
man's rank in life.

They showed a fragment of ancient wall which they said was one side of
the gate out of which the widow's dead son was being brought so many
centuries ago when Jesus met the procession:

     "Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold there was a
     dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a
     widow: and much people of the city was with her.

     "And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said, Weep
     not.

     "And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood
     still.  And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, arise.

     "And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak.  And he delivered
     him to his mother.

     "And there came a fear on all.  And they glorified God, saying, That
     a great prophet is risen up among us; and That God hath visited his
     people."

A little mosque stands upon the spot which tradition says was occupied by
the widow's dwelling.  Two or three aged Arabs sat about its door.  We
entered, and the pilgrims broke specimens from the foundation walls,
though they had to touch, and even step, upon the "praying carpets" to do
it.  It was almost the same as breaking pieces from the hearts of those
old Arabs.  To step rudely upon the sacred praying mats, with booted
feet--a thing not done by any Arab--was to inflict pain upon men who had
not offended us in any way.  Suppose a party of armed foreigners were to
enter a village church in America and break ornaments from the altar
railings for curiosities, and climb up and walk upon the Bible and the
pulpit cushions?  However, the cases are different.  One is the
profanation of a temple of our faith--the other only the profanation of a
pagan one.

We descended to the Plain again, and halted a moment at a well--of
Abraham's time, no doubt.  It was in a desert place.  It was walled three
feet above ground with squared and heavy blocks of stone, after the
manner of Bible pictures.  Around it some camels stood, and others knelt.
There was a group of sober little donkeys with naked, dusky children
clambering about them, or sitting astride their rumps, or pulling their
tails.  Tawny, black-eyed, barefooted maids, arrayed in rags and adorned
with brazen armlets and pinchbeck ear-rings, were poising water-jars upon
their heads, or drawing water from the well.  A flock of sheep stood by,
waiting for the shepherds to fill the hollowed stones with water, so that
they might drink--stones which, like those that walled the well, were
worn smooth and deeply creased by the chafing chins of a hundred
generations of thirsty animals.  Picturesque Arabs sat upon the ground,
in groups, and solemnly smoked their long-stemmed chibouks.  Other Arabs
were filling black hog-skins with water--skins which, well filled, and
distended with water till the short legs projected painfully out of the
proper line, looked like the corpses of hogs bloated by drowning.  Here
was a grand Oriental picture which I had worshiped a thousand times in
soft, rich steel engravings!  But in the engraving there was no
desolation; no dirt; no rags; no fleas; no ugly features; no sore eyes;
no feasting flies; no besotted ignorance in the countenances; no raw
places on the donkeys' backs; no disagreeable jabbering in unknown
tongues; no stench of camels; no suggestion that a couple of tons of
powder placed under the party and touched off would heighten the effect
and give to the scene a genuine interest and a charm which it would
always be pleasant to recall, even though a man lived a thousand years.
Oriental scenes look best in steel engravings.  I cannot be imposed upon
any more by that picture of the Queen of Sheba visiting Solomon.  I shall
say to myself, You look fine, Madam but your feet are not clean and you
smell like a camel.

Presently a wild Arab in charge of a camel train recognized an old friend
in Ferguson, and they ran and fell upon each other's necks and kissed
each other's grimy, bearded faces upon both cheeks.  It explained
instantly a something which had always seemed to me only a farfetched
Oriental figure of speech.  I refer to the circumstance of Christ's
rebuking a Pharisee, or some such character, and reminding him that from
him he had received no "kiss of welcome."  It did not seem reasonable to
me that men should kiss each other, but I am aware, now, that they did.
There was reason in it, too.  The custom was natural and proper; because
people must kiss, and a man would not be likely to kiss one of the women
of this country of his own free will and accord.  One must travel, to
learn.  Every day, now, old Scriptural phrases that never possessed any
significance for me before, take to themselves a meaning.

We journeyed around the base of the mountain--"Little Hermon,"--past the
old Crusaders' castle of El Fuleh, and arrived at Shunem.  This was
another Magdala, to a fraction, frescoes and all.  Here, tradition says,
the prophet Samuel was born, and here the Shunamite woman built a little
house upon the city wall for the accommodation of the prophet Elisha.
Elisha asked her what she expected in return.  It was a perfectly natural
question, for these people are and were in the habit of proffering favors
and services and then expecting and begging for pay.  Elisha knew them
well.  He could not comprehend that any body should build for him that
humble little chamber for the mere sake of old friendship, and with no
selfish motive whatever.  It used to seem a very impolite, not to say a
rude, question, for Elisha to ask the woman, but it does not seem so to
me now.  The woman said she expected nothing.  Then for her goodness and
her unselfishness, he rejoiced her heart with the news that she should
bear a son.  It was a high reward--but she would not have thanked him for
a daughter--daughters have always been unpopular here.  The son was born,
grew, waxed strong, died.  Elisha restored him to life in Shunem.

We found here a grove of lemon trees--cool, shady, hung with fruit.  One
is apt to overestimate beauty when it is rare, but to me this grove
seemed very beautiful.  It was beautiful.  I do not overestimate it.  I
must always remember Shunem gratefully, as a place which gave to us this
leafy shelter after our long, hot ride.  We lunched, rested, chatted,
smoked our pipes an hour, and then mounted and moved on.

As we trotted across the Plain of Jezreel, we met half a dozen Digger
Indians (Bedouins) with very long spears in their hands, cavorting around
on old crowbait horses, and spearing imaginary enemies; whooping, and
fluttering their rags in the wind, and carrying on in every respect like
a pack of hopeless lunatics.  At last, here were the "wild, free sons of
the desert, speeding over the plain like the wind, on their beautiful
Arabian mares" we had read so much about and longed so much to see!  Here
were the "picturesque costumes!"  This was the "gallant spectacle!"
Tatterdemalion vagrants--cheap braggadocio--"Arabian mares" spined and
necked like the ichthyosaurus in the museum, and humped and cornered like
a dromedary!  To glance at the genuine son of the desert is to take the
romance out of him forever--to behold his steed is to long in charity to
strip his harness off and let him fall to pieces.

Presently we came to a ruinous old town on a hill, the same being the
ancient Jezreel.

Ahab, King of Samaria, (this was a very vast kingdom, for those days, and
was very nearly half as large as Rhode Island) dwelt in the city of
Jezreel, which was his capital.  Near him lived a man by the name of
Naboth, who had a vineyard.  The King asked him for it, and when he would
not give it, offered to buy it.  But Naboth refused to sell it.  In those
days it was considered a sort of crime to part with one's inheritance at
any price--and even if a man did part with it, it reverted to himself or
his heirs again at the next jubilee year.  So this spoiled child of a
King went and lay down on the bed with his face to the wall, and grieved
sorely.  The Queen, a notorious character in those days, and whose name
is a by-word and a reproach even in these, came in and asked him
wherefore he sorrowed, and he told her.  Jezebel said she could secure
the vineyard; and she went forth and forged letters to the nobles and
wise men, in the King's name, and ordered them to proclaim a fast and set
Naboth on high before the people, and suborn two witnesses to swear that
he had blasphemed.  They did it, and the people stoned the accused by the
city wall, and he died.  Then Jezebel came and told the King, and said,
Behold, Naboth is no more--rise up and seize the vineyard.  So Ahab
seized the vineyard, and went into it to possess it.  But the Prophet
Elijah came to him there and read his fate to him, and the fate of
Jezebel; and said that in the place where dogs licked the blood of
Naboth, dogs should also lick his blood--and he said, likewise, the dogs
should eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.  In the course of time, the
King was killed in battle, and when his chariot wheels were washed in the
pool of Samaria, the dogs licked the blood.  In after years, Jehu, who
was King of Israel, marched down against Jezreel, by order of one of the
Prophets, and administered one of those convincing rebukes so common
among the people of those days: he killed many kings and their subjects,
and as he came along he saw Jezebel, painted and finely dressed, looking
out of a window, and ordered that she be thrown down to him.  A servant
did it, and Jehu's horse trampled her under foot.  Then Jehu went in and
sat down to dinner; and presently he said, Go and bury this cursed woman,
for she is a King's daughter.  The spirit of charity came upon him too
late, however, for the prophecy had already been fulfilled--the dogs had
eaten her, and they "found no more of her than the skull, and the feet,
and the palms of her hands."

Ahab, the late King, had left a helpless family behind him, and Jehu
killed seventy of the orphan sons.  Then he killed all the relatives, and
teachers, and servants and friends of the family, and rested from his
labors, until he was come near to Samaria, where he met forty-two persons
and asked them who they were; they said they were brothers of the King of
Judah.  He killed them.  When he got to Samaria, he said he would show
his zeal for the Lord; so he gathered all the priests and people together
that worshiped Baal, pretending that he was going to adopt that worship
and offer up a great sacrifice; and when they were all shut up where they
could not defend themselves, he caused every person of them to be killed.
Then Jehu, the good missionary, rested from his labors once more.

We went back to the valley, and rode to the Fountain of Ain Jelud.  They
call it the Fountain of Jezreel, usually.  It is a pond about one hundred
feet square and four feet deep, with a stream of water trickling into it
from under an overhanging ledge of rocks.  It is in the midst of a great
solitude.  Here Gideon pitched his camp in the old times; behind Shunem
lay the "Midianites, the Amalekites, and the Children of the East," who
were "as grasshoppers for multitude; both they and their camels were
without number, as the sand by the sea-side for multitude."  Which means
that there were one hundred and thirty-five thousand men, and that they
had transportation service accordingly.

Gideon, with only three hundred men, surprised them in the night, and
stood by and looked on while they butchered each other until a hundred
and twenty thousand lay dead on the field.

We camped at Jenin before night, and got up and started again at one
o'clock in the morning.  Somewhere towards daylight we passed the
locality where the best authenticated tradition locates the pit into
which Joseph's brethren threw him, and about noon, after passing over a
succession of mountain tops, clad with groves of fig and olive trees,
with the Mediterranean in sight some forty miles away, and going by many
ancient Biblical cities whose inhabitants glowered savagely upon our
Christian procession, and were seemingly inclined to practice on it with
stones, we came to the singularly terraced and unlovely hills that
betrayed that we were out of Galilee and into Samaria at last.

We climbed a high hill to visit the city of Samaria, where the woman may
have hailed from who conversed with Christ at Jacob's Well, and from
whence, no doubt, came also the celebrated Good Samaritan.  Herod the
Great is said to have made a magnificent city of this place, and a great
number of coarse 1imestone columns, twenty feet high and two feet
through, that are almost guiltless of architectural grace of shape and
ornament, are pointed out by many authors as evidence of the fact.  They
would not have been considered handsome in ancient Greece, however.

The inhabitants of this camp are particularly vicious, and stoned two
parties of our pilgrims a day or two ago who brought about the difficulty
by showing their revolvers when they did not intend to use them--a thing
which is deemed bad judgment in the Far West, and ought certainly to be
so considered any where.  In the new Territories, when a man puts his
hand on a weapon, he knows that he must use it; he must use it instantly
or expect to be shot down where he stands.  Those pilgrims had been
reading Grimes.

There was nothing for us to do in Samaria but buy handfuls of old Roman
coins at a franc a dozen, and look at a dilapidated church of the
Crusaders and a vault in it which once contained the body of John the
Baptist.  This relic was long ago carried away to Genoa.

Samaria stood a disastrous siege, once, in the days of Elisha, at the
hands of the King of Syria.  Provisions reached such a figure that "an
ass' head was sold for eighty pieces of silver and the fourth part of a
cab of dove's dung for five pieces of silver."

An incident recorded of that heavy time will give one a very good idea of
the distress that prevailed within these crumbling walls.  As the King
was walking upon the battlements one day, "a woman cried out, saying,
Help, my lord, O King!  And the King said, What aileth thee?  and she
answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to-
day, and we will eat my son to-morrow.  So we boiled my son, and did eat
him; and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son that we may eat
him; and she hath hid her son."

The prophet Elisha declared that within four and twenty hours the prices
of food should go down to nothing, almost, and it was so.  The Syrian
army broke camp and fled, for some cause or other, the famine was
relieved from without, and many a shoddy speculator in dove's dung and
ass's meat was ruined.

We were glad to leave this hot and dusty old village and hurry on.  At
two o'clock we stopped to lunch and rest at ancient Shechem, between the
historic Mounts of Gerizim and Ebal, where in the old times the books of
the law, the curses and the blessings, were read from the heights to the
Jewish multitudes below.




CHAPTER LII.

The narrow canon in which Nablous, or Shechem, is situated, is under high
cultivation, and the soil is exceedingly black and fertile.  It is well
watered, and its affluent vegetation gains effect by contrast with the
barren hills that tower on either side.  One of these hills is the
ancient Mount of Blessings and the other the Mount of Curses and wise men
who seek for fulfillments of prophecy think they find here a wonder of
this kind--to wit, that the Mount of Blessings is strangely fertile and
its mate as strangely unproductive.  We could not see that there was
really much difference between them in this respect, however.

Shechem is distinguished as one of the residences of the patriarch Jacob,
and as the seat of those tribes that cut themselves loose from their
brethren of Israel and propagated doctrines not in conformity with those
of the original Jewish creed.  For thousands of years this clan have
dwelt in Shechem under strict tabu, and having little commerce or
fellowship with their fellow men of any religion or nationality.  For
generations they have not numbered more than one or two hundred, but they
still adhere to their ancient faith and maintain their ancient rites and
ceremonies.  Talk of family and old descent!  Princes and nobles pride
themselves upon lineages they can trace back some hundreds of years.
What is this trifle to this handful of old first families of Shechem who
can name their fathers straight back without a flaw for thousands--
straight back to a period so remote that men reared in a country where
the days of two hundred years ago are called "ancient" times grow dazed
and bewildered when they try to comprehend it!  Here is respectability
for you--here is "family"--here is high descent worth talking about.
This sad, proud remnant of a once mighty community still hold themselves
aloof from all the world; they still live as their fathers lived, labor
as their fathers labored, think as they did, feel as they did, worship in
the same place, in sight of the same landmarks, and in the same quaint,
patriarchal way their ancestors did more than thirty centuries ago.  I
found myself gazing at any straggling scion of this strange race with a
riveted fascination, just as one would stare at a living mastodon, or a
megatherium that had moved in the grey dawn of creation and seen the
wonders of that mysterious world that was before the flood.

Carefully preserved among the sacred archives of this curious community
is a MSS.  copy of the ancient Jewish law, which is said to be the oldest
document on earth.  It is written on vellum, and is some four or five
thousand years old.  Nothing but bucksheesh can purchase a sight.  Its
fame is somewhat dimmed in these latter days, because of the doubts so
many authors of Palestine travels have felt themselves privileged to cast
upon it.  Speaking of this MSS. reminds me that I procured from the high-
priest of this ancient Samaritan community, at great expense, a secret
document of still higher antiquity and far more extraordinary interest,
which I propose to publish as soon as I have finished translating it.

Joshua gave his dying injunction to the children of Israel at Shechem,
and buried a valuable treasure secretly under an oak tree there about the
same time.  The superstitious Samaritans have always been afraid to hunt
for it.  They believe it is guarded by fierce spirits invisible to men.

About a mile and a half from Shechem we halted at the base of Mount Ebal
before a little square area, inclosed by a high stone wall, neatly
whitewashed.  Across one end of this inclosure is a tomb built after the
manner of the Moslems.  It is the tomb of Joseph.  No truth is better
authenticated than this.

When Joseph was dying he prophesied that exodus of the Israelites from
Egypt which occurred four hundred years afterwards.  At the same time he
exacted of his people an oath that when they journeyed to the land of
Canaan they would bear his bones with them and bury them in the ancient
inheritance of his fathers.  The oath was kept. "And the bones of Joseph,
which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in
Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor
the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of silver."

Few tombs on earth command the veneration of so many races and men of
divers creeds as this of Joseph.  "Samaritan and Jew, Moslem and
Christian alike, revere it, and honor it with their visits.  The tomb of
Joseph, the dutiful son, the affectionate, forgiving brother, the
virtuous man, the wise Prince and ruler.  Egypt felt his influence--the
world knows his history."

In this same "parcel of ground" which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor
for a hundred pieces of silver, is Jacob's celebrated well.  It is cut in
the solid rock, and is nine feet square and ninety feet deep.  The name
of this unpretending hole in the ground, which one might pass by and take
no notice of, is as familiar as household words to even the children and
the peasants of many a far-off country.  It is more famous than the
Parthenon; it is older than the Pyramids.

It was by this well that Jesus sat and talked with a woman of that
strange, antiquated Samaritan community I have been speaking of, and told
her of the mysterious water of life.  As descendants of old English
nobles still cherish in the traditions of their houses how that this king
or that king tarried a day with some favored ancestor three hundred years
ago, no doubt the descendants of the woman of Samaria, living there in
Shechem, still refer with pardonable vanity to this conversation of their
ancestor, held some little time gone by, with the Messiah of the
Christians.  It is not likely that they undervalue a distinction such as
this.  Samaritan nature is human nature, and human nature remembers
contact with the illustrious, always.

For an offense done to the family honor, the sons of Jacob exterminated
all Shechem once.

We left Jacob's Well and traveled till eight in the evening, but rather
slowly, for we had been in the saddle nineteen hours, and the horses were
cruelly tired.  We got so far ahead of the tents that we had to camp in
an Arab village, and sleep on the ground.  We could have slept in the
largest of the houses; but there were some little drawbacks: it was
populous with vermin, it had a dirt floor, it was in no respect cleanly,
and there was a family of goats in the only bedroom, and two donkeys in
the parlor.  Outside there were no inconveniences, except that the dusky,
ragged, earnest-eyed villagers of both sexes and all ages grouped
themselves on their haunches all around us, and discussed us and
criticised us with noisy tongues till midnight.  We did not mind the
noise, being tired, but, doubtless, the reader is aware that it is almost
an impossible thing to go to sleep when you know that people are looking
at you.  We went to bed at ten, and got up again at two and started once
more.  Thus are people persecuted by dragomen, whose sole ambition in
life is to get ahead of each other.

About daylight we passed Shiloh, where the Ark of the Covenant rested
three hundred years, and at whose gates good old Eli fell down and "brake
his neck" when the messenger, riding hard from the battle, told him of
the defeat of his people, the death of his sons, and, more than all, the
capture of Israel's pride, her hope, her refuge, the ancient Ark her
forefathers brought with them out of Egypt.  It is little wonder that
under circumstances like these he fell down and brake his neck.  But
Shiloh had no charms for us.  We were so cold that there was no comfort
but in motion, and so drowsy we could hardly sit upon the horses.

After a while we came to a shapeless mass of ruins, which still bears the
name of Bethel.  It was here that Jacob lay down and had that superb
vision of angels flitting up and down a ladder that reached from the
clouds to earth, and caught glimpses of their blessed home through the
open gates of Heaven.

The pilgrims took what was left of the hallowed ruin, and we pressed on
toward the goal of our crusade, renowned Jerusalem.

The further we went the hotter the sun got, and the more rocky and bare,
repulsive and dreary the landscape became.  There could not have been
more fragments of stone strewn broadcast over this part of the world, if
every ten square feet of the land had been occupied by a separate and
distinct stonecutter's establishment for an age.  There was hardly a tree
or a shrub any where.  Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends
of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.  No landscape
exists that is more tiresome to the eye than that which bounds the
approaches to Jerusalem.  The only difference between the roads and the
surrounding country, perhaps, is that there are rather more rocks in the
roads than in the surrounding country.

We passed Ramah, and Beroth, and on the right saw the tomb of the prophet
Samuel, perched high upon a commanding eminence.  Still no Jerusalem came
in sight.  We hurried on impatiently.  We halted a moment at the ancient
Fountain of Beira, but its stones, worn deeply by the chins of thirsty
animals that are dead and gone centuries ago, had no interest for us--we
longed to see Jerusalem.  We spurred up hill after hill, and usually
began to stretch our necks minutes before we got to the top--but
disappointment always followed:--more stupid hills beyond--more unsightly
landscape--no Holy City.

At last, away in the middle of the day, ancient bite of wall and
crumbling arches began to line the way--we toiled up one more hill, and
every pilgrim and every sinner swung his hat on high!  Jerusalem!

Perched on its eternal hills, white and domed and solid, massed together
and hooped with high gray walls, the venerable city gleamed in the sun.
So small!  Why, it was no larger than an American village of four
thousand inhabitants, and no larger than an ordinary Syrian city of
thirty thousand.  Jerusalem numbers only fourteen thousand people.

We dismounted and looked, without speaking a dozen sentences, across the
wide intervening valley for an hour or more; and noted those prominent
features of the city that pictures make familiar to all men from their
school days till their death.  We could recognize the Tower of Hippicus,
the Mosque of Omar, the Damascus Gate, the Mount of Olives, the Valley of
Jehoshaphat, the Tower of David, and the Garden of Gethsemane--and dating
from these landmarks could tell very nearly the localities of many others
we were not able to distinguish.

I record it here as a notable but not discreditable fact that not even
our pilgrims wept.  I think there was no individual in the party whose
brain was not teeming with thoughts and images and memories invoked by
the grand history of the venerable city that lay before us, but still
among them all was no "voice of them that wept."

There was no call for tears.  Tears would have been out of place.  The
thoughts Jerusalem suggests are full of poetry, sublimity, and more than
all, dignity.  Such thoughts do not find their appropriate expression in
the emotions of the nursery.

Just after noon we entered these narrow, crooked streets, by the ancient
and the famed Damascus Gate, and now for several hours I have been trying
to comprehend that I am actually in the illustrious old city where
Solomon dwelt, where Abraham held converse with the Deity, and where
walls still stand that witnessed the spectacle of the Crucifixion.




CHAPTER LIII.

A fast walker could go outside the walls of Jerusalem and walk entirely
around the city in an hour.  I do not know how else to make one
understand how small it is.  The appearance of the city is peculiar.  It
is as knobby with countless little domes as a prison door is with bolt-
heads.  Every house has from one to half a dozen of these white plastered
domes of stone, broad and low, sitting in the centre of, or in a cluster
upon, the flat roof.  Wherefore, when one looks down from an eminence,
upon the compact mass of houses (so closely crowded together, in fact,
that there is no appearance of streets at all, and so the city looks
solid,) he sees the knobbiest town in the world, except Constantinople.
It looks as if it might be roofed, from centre to circumference, with
inverted saucers.  The monotony of the view is interrupted only by the
great Mosque of Omar, the Tower of Hippicus, and one or two other
buildings that rise into commanding prominence.

The houses are generally two stories high, built strongly of masonry,
whitewashed or plastered outside, and have a cage of wooden lattice-work
projecting in front of every window.  To reproduce a Jerusalem street, it
would only be necessary to up-end a chicken-coop and hang it before each
window in an alley of American houses.

The streets are roughly and badly paved with stone, and are tolerably
crooked--enough so to make each street appear to close together
constantly and come to an end about a hundred yards ahead of a pilgrim as
long as he chooses to walk in it.  Projecting from the top of the lower
story of many of the houses is a very narrow porch-roof or shed, without
supports from below; and I have several times seen cats jump across the
street from one shed to the other when they were out calling.  The cats
could have jumped double the distance without extraordinary exertion.  I
mention these things to give an idea of how narrow the streets are.
Since a cat can jump across them without the least inconvenience, it is
hardly necessary to state that such streets are too narrow for carriages.
These vehicles cannot navigate the Holy City.

The population of Jerusalem is composed of Moslems, Jews, Greeks, Latins,
Armenians, Syrians, Copts, Abyssinians, Greek Catholics, and a handful of
Protestants.  One hundred of the latter sect are all that dwell now in
this birthplace of Christianity.  The nice shades of nationality
comprised in the above list, and the languages spoken by them, are
altogether too numerous to mention.  It seems to me that all the races
and colors and tongues of the earth must be represented among the
fourteen thousand souls that dwell in Jerusalem.  Rags, wretchedness,
poverty and dirt, those signs and symbols that indicate the presence of
Moslem rule more surely than the crescent-flag itself, abound.  Lepers,
cripples, the blind, and the idiotic, assail you on every hand, and they
know but one word of but one language apparently--the eternal
"bucksheesh."  To see the numbers of maimed, malformed and diseased
humanity that throng the holy places and obstruct the gates, one might
suppose that the ancient days had come again, and that the angel of the
Lord was expected to descend at any moment to stir the waters of
Bethesda.  Jerusalem is mournful, and dreary, and lifeless.  I would not
desire to live here.

One naturally goes first to the Holy Sepulchre.  It is right in the city,
near the western gate; it and the place of the Crucifixion, and, in fact,
every other place intimately connected with that tremendous event, are
ingeniously massed together and covered by one roof--the dome of the
Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Entering the building, through the midst of the usual assemblage of
beggars, one sees on his left a few Turkish guards--for Christians of
different sects will not only quarrel, but fight, also, in this sacred
place, if allowed to do it.  Before you is a marble slab, which covers
the Stone of Unction, whereon the Saviour's body was laid to prepare it
for burial.  It was found necessary to conceal the real stone in this way
in order to save it from destruction.  Pilgrims were too much given to
chipping off pieces of it to carry home.  Near by is a circular railing
which marks the spot where the Virgin stood when the Lord's body was
anointed.

Entering the great Rotunda, we stand before the most sacred locality in
Christendom--the grave of Jesus.  It is in the centre of the church, and
immediately under the great dome.  It is inclosed in a sort of little
temple of yellow and white stone, of fanciful design.  Within the little
temple is a portion of the very stone which was rolled away from the door
of the Sepulchre, and on which the angel was sitting when Mary came
thither "at early dawn."  Stooping low, we enter the vault--the Sepulchre
itself.  It is only about six feet by seven, and the stone couch on which
the dead Saviour lay extends from end to end of the apartment and
occupies half its width.  It is covered with a marble slab which has been
much worn by the lips of pilgrims.  This slab serves as an altar, now.
Over it hang some fifty gold and silver lamps, which are kept always
burning, and the place is otherwise scandalized by trumpery, gewgaws, and
tawdry ornamentation.

All sects of Christians (except Protestants,) have chapels under the roof
of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and each must keep to itself and not
venture upon another's ground.  It has been proven conclusively that they
can not worship together around the grave of the Saviour of the World in
peace.  The chapel of the Syrians is not handsome; that of the Copts is
the humblest of them all.  It is nothing but a dismal cavern, roughly
hewn in the living rock of the Hill of Calvary.  In one side of it two
ancient tombs are hewn, which are claimed to be those in which Nicodemus
and Joseph of Aramathea were buried.

As we moved among the great piers and pillars of another part of the
church, we came upon a party of black-robed, animal-looking Italian
monks, with candles in their hands, who were chanting something in Latin,
and going through some kind of religious performance around a disk of
white marble let into the floor.  It was there that the risen Saviour
appeared to Mary Magdalen in the likeness of a gardener.  Near by was a
similar stone, shaped like a star--here the Magdalen herself stood, at
the same time.  Monks were performing in this place also.  They perform
everywhere--all over the vast building, and at all hours.  Their candles
are always flitting about in the gloom, and making the dim old church
more dismal than there is any necessity that it should be, even though it
is a tomb.

We were shown the place where our Lord appeared to His mother after the
Resurrection.  Here, also, a marble slab marks the place where St.
Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine, found the crosses about
three hundred years after the Crucifixion.  According to the legend, this
great discovery elicited extravagant demonstrations of joy.  But they
were of short duration.  The question intruded itself: "Which bore the
blessed Saviour, and which the thieves?"  To be in doubt, in so mighty a
matter as this--to be uncertain which one to adore--was a grievous
misfortune.  It turned the public joy to sorrow.  But when lived there a
holy priest who could not set so simple a trouble as this at rest?  One
of these soon hit upon a plan that would be a certain test.  A noble lady
lay very ill in Jerusalem.  The wise priests ordered that the three
crosses be taken to her bedside one at a time.  It was done.  When her
eyes fell upon the first one, she uttered a scream that was heard beyond
the Damascus Gate, and even upon the Mount of Olives, it was said, and
then fell back in a deadly swoon.  They recovered her and brought the
second cross.  Instantly she went into fearful convulsions, and it was
with the greatest difficulty that six strong men could hold her.  They
were afraid, now, to bring in the third cross.  They began to fear that
possibly they had fallen upon the wrong crosses, and that the true cross
was not with this number at all.  However, as the woman seemed likely to
die with the convulsions that were tearing her, they concluded that the
third could do no more than put her out of her misery with a happy
dispatch.  So they brought it, and behold, a miracle!  The woman sprang
from her bed, smiling and joyful, and perfectly restored to health.  When
we listen to evidence like this, we cannot but believe.  We would be
ashamed to doubt, and properly, too.  Even the very part of Jerusalem
where this all occurred is there yet.  So there is really no room for
doubt.

The priests tried to show us, through a small screen, a fragment of the
genuine Pillar of Flagellation, to which Christ was bound when they
scourged him.  But we could not see it, because it was dark inside the
screen.  However, a baton is kept here, which the pilgrim thrusts through
a hole in the screen, and then he no longer doubts that the true Pillar
of Flagellation is in there.  He can not have any excuse to doubt it, for
he can feel it with the stick.  He can feel it as distinctly as he could
feel any thing.

Not far from here was a niche where they used to preserve a piece of the
True Cross, but it is gone, now.  This piece of the cross was discovered
in the sixteenth century.  The Latin priests say it was stolen away, long
ago, by priests of another sect.  That seems like a hard statement to
make, but we know very well that it was stolen, because we have seen it
ourselves in several of the cathedrals of Italy and France.

But the relic that touched us most was the plain old sword of that stout
Crusader, Godfrey of Bulloigne--King Godfrey of Jerusalem.  No blade in
Christendom wields such enchantment as this--no blade of all that rust in
the ancestral halls of Europe is able to invoke such visions of romance
in the brain of him who looks upon it--none that can prate of such
chivalric deeds or tell such brave tales of the warrior days of old.  It
stirs within a man every memory of the Holy Wars that has been sleeping
in his brain for years, and peoples his thoughts with mail-clad images,
with marching armies, with battles and with sieges.  It speaks to him of
Baldwin, and Tancred, the princely Saladin, and great Richard of the Lion
Heart.  It was with just such blades as these that these splendid heroes
of romance used to segregate a man, so to speak, and leave the half of
him to fall one way and the other half the other.  This very sword has
cloven hundreds of Saracen Knights from crown to chin in those old times
when Godfrey wielded it.  It was enchanted, then, by a genius that was
under the command of King Solomon.  When danger approached its master's
tent it always struck the shield and clanged out a fierce alarm upon the
startled ear of night.  In times of doubt, or in fog or darkness, if it
were drawn from its sheath it would point instantly toward the foe, and
thus reveal the way--and it would also attempt to start after them of its
own accord.  A Christian could not be so disguised that it would not know
him and refuse to hurt him--nor a Moslem so disguised that it would not
leap from its scabbard and take his life.  These statements are all well
authenticated in many legends that are among the most trustworthy legends
the good old Catholic monks preserve.  I can never forget old Godfrey's
sword, now.  I tried it on a Moslem, and clove him in twain like a
doughnut.  The spirit of Grimes was upon me, and if I had had a graveyard
I would have destroyed all the infidels in Jerusalem.  I wiped the blood
off the old sword and handed it back to the priest--I did not want the
fresh gore to obliterate those sacred spots that crimsoned its brightness
one day six hundred years ago and thus gave Godfrey warning that before
the sun went down his journey of life would end.

Still moving through the gloom of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre we
came to a small chapel, hewn out of the rock--a place which has been
known as "The Prison of Our Lord" for many centuries.  Tradition says
that here the Saviour was confined just previously to the crucifixion.
Under an altar by the door was a pair of stone stocks for human legs.
These things are called the "Bonds of Christ," and the use they were once
put to has given them the name they now bear.

The Greek Chapel is the most roomy, the richest and the showiest chapel
in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  Its altar, like that of all the
Greek churches, is a lofty screen that extends clear across the chapel,
and is gorgeous with gilding and pictures.  The numerous lamps that hang
before it are of gold and silver, and cost great sums.

But the feature of the place is a short column that rises from the middle
of the marble pavement of the chapel, and marks the exact centre of the
earth.  The most reliable traditions tell us that this was known to be
the earth's centre, ages ago, and that when Christ was upon earth he set
all doubts upon the subject at rest forever, by stating with his own lips
that the tradition was correct.  Remember, He said that that particular
column stood upon the centre of the world.  If the centre of the world
changes, the column changes its position accordingly.  This column has
moved three different times of its own accord.  This is because, in great
convulsions of nature, at three different times, masses of the earth--
whole ranges of mountains, probably--have flown off into space, thus
lessening the diameter of the earth, and changing the exact locality of
its centre by a point or two.  This is a very curious and interesting
circumstance, and is a withering rebuke to those philosophers who would
make us believe that it is not possible for any portion of the earth to
fly off into space.

To satisfy himself that this spot was really the centre of the earth, a
sceptic once paid well for the privilege of ascending to the dome of the
church to see if the sun gave him a shadow at noon.  He came down
perfectly convinced.  The day was very cloudy and the sun threw no
shadows at all; but the man was satisfied that if the sun had come out
and made shadows it could not have made any for him.  Proofs like these
are not to be set aside by the idle tongues of cavilers.  To such as are
not bigoted, and are willing to be convinced, they carry a conviction
that nothing can ever shake.

If even greater proofs than those I have mentioned are wanted, to satisfy
the headstrong and the foolish that this is the genuine centre of the
earth, they are here.  The greatest of them lies in the fact that from
under this very column was taken the dust from which Adam was made.  This
can surely be regarded in the light of a settler.  It is not likely that
the original first man would have been made from an inferior quality of
earth when it was entirely convenient to get first quality from the
world's centre.  This will strike any reflecting mind forcibly.  That
Adam was formed of dirt procured in this very spot is amply proven by the
fact that in six thousand years no man has ever been able to prove that
the dirt was not procured here whereof he was made.

It is a singular circumstance that right under the roof of this same
great church, and not far away from that illustrious column, Adam
himself, the father of the human race, lies buried.  There is no question
that he is actually buried in the grave which is pointed out as his--
there can be none--because it has never yet been proven that that grave
is not the grave in which he is buried.

The tomb of Adam!  How touching it was, here in a land of strangers, far
away from home, and friends, and all who cared for me, thus to discover
the grave of a blood relation.  True, a distant one, but still a
relation.  The unerring instinct of nature thrilled its recognition.  The
fountain of my filial affection was stirred to its profoundest depths,
and I gave way to tumultuous emotion.  I leaned upon a pillar and burst
into tears.  I deem it no shame to have wept over the grave of my poor
dead relative.  Let him who would sneer at my emotion close this volume
here, for he will find little to his taste in my journeyings through Holy
Land.  Noble old man--he did not live to see me--he did not live to see
his child.  And I--I--alas, I did not live to see him.  Weighed down by
sorrow and disappointment, he died before I was born--six thousand brief
summers before I was born.  But let us try to bear it with fortitude.
Let us trust that he is better off where he is.  Let us take comfort in
the thought that his loss is our eternal gain.

The next place the guide took us to in the holy church was an altar
dedicated to the Roman soldier who was of the military guard that
attended at the Crucifixion to keep order, and who--when the vail of the
Temple was rent in the awful darkness that followed; when the rock of
Golgotha was split asunder by an earthquake; when the artillery of heaven
thundered, and in the baleful glare of the lightnings the shrouded dead
flitted about the streets of Jerusalem--shook with fear and said, "Surely
this was the Son of God!"  Where this altar stands now, that Roman
soldier stood then, in full view of the crucified Saviour--in full sight
and hearing of all the marvels that were transpiring far and wide about
the circumference of the Hill of Calvary.  And in this self-same spot the
priests of the Temple beheaded him for those blasphemous words he had
spoken.

In this altar they used to keep one of the most curious relics that human
eyes ever looked upon--a thing that had power to fascinate the beholder
in some mysterious way and keep him gazing for hours together.  It was
nothing less than the copper plate Pilate put upon the Saviour's cross,
and upon which he wrote, "THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS."  I think St.
Helena, the mother of Constantine, found this wonderful memento when she
was here in the third century.  She traveled all over Palestine, and was
always fortunate.  Whenever the good old enthusiast found a thing
mentioned in her Bible, Old or New, she would go and search for that
thing, and never stop until she found it.  If it was Adam, she would find
Adam; if it was the Ark, she would find the Ark; if it was Goliath, or
Joshua, she would find them.  She found the inscription here that I was
speaking of, I think.  She found it in this very spot, close to where the
martyred Roman soldier stood.  That copper plate is in one of the
churches in Rome, now.  Any one can see it there.  The inscription is
very distinct.

We passed along a few steps and saw the altar built over the very spot
where the good Catholic priests say the soldiers divided the raiment of
the Saviour.

Then we went down into a cavern which cavilers say was once a cistern.
It is a chapel, now, however--the Chapel of St. Helena.  It is fifty-one
feet long by forty-three wide.  In it is a marble chair which Helena used
to sit in while she superintended her workmen when they were digging and
delving for the True Cross.  In this place is an altar dedicated to St.
Dimas, the penitent thief.  A new bronze statue is here--a statue of St.
Helena.  It reminded us of poor Maximilian, so lately shot.  He presented
it to this chapel when he was about to leave for his throne in Mexico.

From the cistern we descended twelve steps into a large roughly-shaped
grotto, carved wholly out of the living rock.  Helena blasted it out when
she was searching for the true Cross.  She had a laborious piece of work,
here, but it was richly rewarded.  Out of this place she got the crown of
thorns, the nails of the cross, the true Cross itself, and the cross of
the penitent thief.  When she thought she had found every thing and was
about to stop, she was told in a dream to continue a day longer.  It was
very fortunate.  She did so, and found the cross of the other thief.

The walls and roof of this grotto still weep bitter tears in memory of
the event that transpired on Calvary, and devout pilgrims groan and sob
when these sad tears fall upon them from the dripping rock.  The monks
call this apartment the "Chapel of the Invention of the Cross"--a name
which is unfortunate, because it leads the ignorant to imagine that a
tacit acknowledgment is thus made that the tradition that Helena found
the true Cross here is a fiction--an invention.  It is a happiness to
know, however, that intelligent people do not doubt the story in any of
its particulars.

Priests of any of the chapels and denominations in the Church of the Holy
Sepulchre can visit this sacred grotto to weep and pray and worship the
gentle Redeemer.  Two different congregations are not allowed to enter at
the same time, however, because they always fight.

Still marching through the venerable Church of the Holy Sepulchre, among
chanting priests in coarse long robes and sandals; pilgrims of all colors
and many nationalities, in all sorts of strange costumes; under dusky
arches and by dingy piers and columns; through a sombre cathedral gloom
freighted with smoke and incense, and faintly starred with scores of
candles that appeared suddenly and as suddenly disappeared, or drifted
mysteriously hither and thither about the distant aisles like ghostly
jack-o'-lanterns--we came at last to a small chapel which is called the
"Chapel of the Mocking."  Under the altar was a fragment of a marble
column; this was the seat Christ sat on when he was reviled, and
mockingly made King, crowned with a crown of thorns and sceptred with a
reed.  It was here that they blindfolded him and struck him, and said in
derision, "Prophesy who it is that smote thee."  The tradition that this
is the identical spot of the mocking is a very ancient one.  The guide
said that Saewulf was the first to mention it.  I do not know Saewulf,
but still, I cannot well refuse to receive his evidence--none of us can.

They showed us where the great Godfrey and his brother Baldwin, the first
Christian Kings of Jerusalem, once lay buried by that sacred sepulchre
they had fought so long and so valiantly to wrest from the hands of the
infidel.  But the niches that had contained the ashes of these renowned
crusaders were empty.  Even the coverings of their tombs were gone--
destroyed by devout members of the Greek Church, because Godfrey and
Baldwin were Latin princes, and had been reared in a Christian faith
whose creed differed in some unimportant respects from theirs.

We passed on, and halted before the tomb of Melchisedek!  You will
remember Melchisedek, no doubt; he was the King who came out and levied a
tribute on Abraham the time that he pursued Lot's captors to Dan, and
took all their property from them.  That was about four thousand years
ago, and Melchisedek died shortly afterward.  However, his tomb is in a
good state of preservation.

When one enters the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Sepulchre itself is
the first thing he desires to see, and really is almost the first thing
he does see.  The next thing he has a strong yearning to see is the spot
where the Saviour was crucified.  But this they exhibit last.  It is the
crowning glory of the place.  One is grave and thoughtful when he stands
in the little Tomb of the Saviour--he could not well be otherwise in such
a place--but he has not the slightest possible belief that ever the Lord
lay there, and so the interest he feels in the spot is very, very greatly
marred by that reflection.  He looks at the place where Mary stood, in
another part of the church, and where John stood, and Mary Magdalen;
where the mob derided the Lord; where the angel sat; where the crown of
thorns was found, and the true Cross; where the risen Saviour appeared--
he looks at all these places with interest, but with the same conviction
he felt in the case of the Sepulchre, that there is nothing genuine about
them, and that they are imaginary holy places created by the monks.  But
the place of the Crucifixion affects him differently.  He fully believes
that he is looking upon the very spot where the Savior gave up his
life.  He remembers that Christ was very celebrated, long before he came
to Jerusalem; he knows that his fame was so great that crowds followed
him all the time; he is aware that his entry into the city produced a
stirring sensation, and that his reception was a kind of ovation; he can
not overlook the fact that when he was crucified there were very many in
Jerusalem who believed that he was the true Son of God.  To publicly
execute such a personage was sufficient in itself to make the locality of
the execution a memorable place for ages; added to this, the storm, the
darkness, the earthquake, the rending of the vail of the Temple, and the
untimely waking of the dead, were events calculated to fix the execution
and the scene of it in the memory of even the most thoughtless witness.
Fathers would tell their sons about the strange affair, and point out the
spot; the sons would transmit the story to their children, and thus a
period of three hundred years would easily be spanned --[The thought is
Mr. Prime's, not mine, and is full of good sense.  I borrowed it from his
"Tent Life."--M.  T.]--at which time Helena came and built a church upon
Calvary to commemorate the death and burial of the Lord and preserve the
sacred place in the memories of men; since that time there has always
been a church there.  It is not possible that there can be any mistake
about the locality of the Crucifixion.  Not half a dozen persons knew
where they buried the Saviour, perhaps, and a burial is not a startling
event, any how; therefore, we can be pardoned for unbelief in the
Sepulchre, but not in the place of the Crucifixion.  Five hundred years
hence there will be no vestige of Bunker Hill Monument left, but America
will still know where the battle was fought and where Warren fell.  The
crucifixion of Christ was too notable an event in Jerusalem, and the Hill
of Calvary made too celebrated by it, to be forgotten in the short space
of three hundred years.  I climbed the stairway in the church which
brings one to the top of the small inclosed pinnacle of rock, and looked
upon the place where the true cross once stood, with a far more absorbing
interest than I had ever felt in any thing earthly before.  I could not
believe that the three holes in the top of the rock were the actual ones
the crosses stood in, but I felt satisfied that those crosses had stood
so near the place now occupied by them, that the few feet of possible
difference were a matter of no consequence.

When one stands where the Saviour was crucified, he finds it all he can
do to keep it strictly before his mind that Christ was not crucified in a
Catholic Church.  He must remind himself every now and then that the
great event transpired in the open air, and not in a gloomy, candle-
lighted cell in a little corner of a vast church, up-stairs--a small cell
all bejeweled and bespangled with flashy ornamentation, in execrable
taste.

Under a marble altar like a table, is a circular hole in the marble
floor, corresponding with the one just under it in which the true Cross
stood.  The first thing every one does is to kneel down and take a candle
and examine this hole.  He does this strange prospecting with an amount
of gravity that can never be estimated or appreciated by a man who has
not seen the operation.  Then he holds his candle before a richly
engraved picture of the Saviour, done on a messy slab of gold, and
wonderfully rayed and starred with diamonds, which hangs above the hole
within the altar, and his solemnity changes to lively admiration.  He
rises and faces the finely wrought figures of the Saviour and the
malefactors uplifted upon their crosses behind the altar, and bright with
a metallic lustre of many colors.  He turns next to the figures close to
them of the Virgin and Mary Magdalen; next to the rift in the living rock
made by the earthquake at the time of the Crucifixion, and an extension
of which he had seen before in the wall of one of the grottoes below; he
looks next at the show-case with a figure of the Virgin in it, and is
amazed at the princely fortune in precious gems and jewelry that hangs so
thickly about the form as to hide it like a garment almost.  All about
the apartment the gaudy trappings of the Greek Church offend the eye and
keep the mind on the rack to remember that this is the Place of the
Crucifixion--Golgotha--the Mount of Calvary.  And the last thing he looks
at is that which was also the first--the place where the true Cross
stood.  That will chain him to the spot and compel him to look once more,
and once again, after he has satisfied all curiosity and lost all
interest concerning the other matters pertaining to the locality.

And so I close my chapter on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre--the most
sacred locality on earth to millions and millions of men, and women, and
children, the noble and the humble, bond and free.  In its history from
the first, and in its tremendous associations, it is the most illustrious
edifice in Christendom.  With all its clap-trap side-shows and unseemly
impostures of every kind, it is still grand, reverend, venerable--for a
god died there; for fifteen hundred years its shrines have been wet with
the tears of pilgrims from the earth's remotest confines; for more than
two hundred, the most gallant knights that ever wielded sword wasted
their lives away in a struggle to seize it and hold it sacred from
infidel pollution.  Even in our own day a war, that cost millions of
treasure and rivers of blood, was fought because two rival nations
claimed the sole right to put a new dome upon it.  History is full of
this old Church of the Holy Sepulchre--full of blood that was shed
because of the respect and the veneration in which men held the last
resting-place of the meek and lowly, the mild and gentle, Prince of
Peace!




CHAPTER LIV.

We were standing in a narrow street, by the Tower of Antonio.  "On these
stones that are crumbling away," the guide said, "the Saviour sat and
rested before taking up the cross.  This is the beginning of the
Sorrowful Way, or the Way of Grief."  The party took note of the sacred
spot, and moved on.  We passed under the "Ecce Homo Arch," and saw the
very window from which Pilate's wife warned her husband to have nothing
to do with the persecution of the Just Man.  This window is in an
excellent state of preservation, considering its great age.  They showed
us where Jesus rested the second time, and where the mob refused to give
him up, and said, "Let his blood be upon our heads, and upon our
children's children forever."  The French Catholics are building a church
on this spot, and with their usual veneration for historical relics, are
incorporating into the new such scraps of ancient walls as they have
found there.  Further on, we saw the spot where the fainting Saviour fell
under the weight of his cross.  A great granite column of some ancient
temple lay there at the time, and the heavy cross struck it such a blow
that it broke in two in the middle.  Such was the guide's story when he
halted us before the broken column.

We crossed a street, and came presently to the former residence of St.
Veronica.  When the Saviour passed there, she came out, full of womanly
compassion, and spoke pitying words to him, undaunted by the hootings and
the threatenings of the mob, and wiped the perspiration from his face
with her handkerchief.  We had heard so much of St. Veronica, and seen
her picture by so many masters, that it was like meeting an old friend
unexpectedly to come upon her ancient home in Jerusalem.  The strangest
thing about the incident that has made her name so famous, is, that when
she wiped the perspiration away, the print of the Saviour's face remained
upon the handkerchief, a perfect portrait, and so remains unto this day.
We knew this, because we saw this handkerchief in a cathedral in Paris,
in another in Spain, and in two others in Italy.  In the Milan cathedral
it costs five francs to see it, and at St. Peter's, at Rome, it is almost
impossible to see it at any price.  No tradition is so amply verified as
this of St. Veronica and her handkerchief.

At the next corner we saw a deep indention in the hard stone masonry of
the corner of a house, but might have gone heedlessly by it but that the
guide said it was made by the elbow of the Saviour, who stumbled here and
fell.  Presently we came to just such another indention in a stone wall.
The guide said the Saviour fell here, also, and made this depression with
his elbow.

There were other places where the Lord fell, and others where he rested;
but one of the most curious landmarks of ancient history we found on this
morning walk through the crooked lanes that lead toward Calvary, was a
certain stone built into a house--a stone that was so seamed and scarred
that it bore a sort of grotesque resemblance to the human face.  The
projections that answered for cheeks were worn smooth by the passionate
kisses of generations of pilgrims from distant lands.  We asked "Why?"
The guide said it was because this was one of "the very stones of
Jerusalem " that Christ mentioned when he was reproved for permitting the
people to cry "Hosannah !"  when he made his memorable entry into the
city upon an ass.  One of the pilgrims said, "But there is no evidence
that the stones did cry out--Christ said that if the people stopped from
shouting Hosannah, the very stones would do it."  The guide was perfectly
serene.  He said, calmly, "This is one of the stones that would have
cried out.  "It was of little use to try to shake this fellow's simple
faith--it was easy to see that.

And so we came at last to another wonder, of deep and abiding interest--
the veritable house where the unhappy wretch once lived who has been
celebrated in song and story for more than eighteen hundred years as the
Wandering Jew.  On the memorable day of the Crucifixion he stood in this
old doorway with his arms akimbo, looking out upon the struggling mob
that was approaching, and when the weary Saviour would have sat down and
rested him a moment, pushed him rudely away and said, "Move on!"  The
Lord said, "Move on, thou, likewise," and the command has never been
revoked from that day to this.  All men know how that the miscreant upon
whose head that just curse fell has roamed up and down the wide world,
for ages and ages, seeking rest and never finding it--courting death but
always in vain--longing to stop, in city, in wilderness, in desert
solitudes, yet hearing always that relentless warning to march--march on!
They say--do these hoary traditions--that when Titus sacked Jerusalem and
slaughtered eleven hundred thousand Jews in her streets and by-ways, the
Wandering Jew was seen always in the thickest of the fight, and that when
battle-axes gleamed in the air, he bowed his head beneath them; when
swords flashed their deadly lightnings, he sprang in their way; he bared
his breast to whizzing javelins, to hissing arrows, to any and to every
weapon that promised death and forgetfulness, and rest.  But it was
useless--he walked forth out of the carnage without a wound.  And it is
said that five hundred years afterward he followed Mahomet when he
carried destruction to the cities of Arabia, and then turned against him,
hoping in this way to win the death of a traitor.  His calculations were
wrong again.  No quarter was given to any living creature but one, and
that was the only one of all the host that did not want it.  He sought
death five hundred years later, in the wars of the Crusades, and offered
himself to famine and pestilence at Ascalon.  He escaped again--he could
not die.  These repeated annoyances could have at last but one effect--
they shook his confidence.  Since then the Wandering Jew has carried on a
kind of desultory toying with the most promising of the aids and
implements of destruction, but with small hope, as a general thing.  He
has speculated some in cholera and railroads, and has taken almost a
lively interest in infernal machines and patent medicines.  He is old,
now, and grave, as becomes an age like his; he indulges in no light
amusements save that he goes sometimes to executions, and is fond of
funerals.

There is one thing he can not avoid; go where he will about the world, he
must never fail to report in Jerusalem every fiftieth year.  Only a year
or two ago he was here for the thirty-seventh time since Jesus was
crucified on Calvary.  They say that many old people, who are here now,
saw him then, and had seen him before.  He looks always the same--old,
and withered, and hollow-eyed, and listless, save that there is about him
something which seems to suggest that he is looking for some one,
expecting some one--the friends of his youth, perhaps.  But the most of
them are dead, now.  He always pokes about the old streets looking
lonesome, making his mark on a wall here and there, and eyeing the oldest
buildings with a sort of friendly half interest; and he sheds a few tears
at the threshold of his ancient dwelling, and bitter, bitter tears they
are.  Then he collects his rent and leaves again.  He has been seen
standing near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on many a starlight night,
for he has cherished an idea for many centuries that if he could only
enter there, he could rest.  But when he approaches, the doors slam to
with a crash, the earth trembles, and all the lights in Jerusalem burn a
ghastly blue!  He does this every fifty years, just the same.  It is
hopeless, but then it is hard to break habits one has been eighteen
hundred years accustomed to.  The old tourist is far away on his
wanderings, now.  How he must smile to see a pack of blockheads like us,
galloping about the world, and looking wise, and imagining we are finding
out a good deal about it!  He must have a consuming contempt for the
ignorant, complacent asses that go skurrying about the world in these
railroading days and call it traveling.

When the guide pointed out where the Wandering Jew had left his familiar
mark upon a wall, I was filled with astonishment.  It read:

                         "S. T.--1860--X."

All I have revealed about the Wandering Jew can be amply proven by
reference to our guide.

The mighty Mosque of Omar, and the paved court around it, occupy a fourth
part of Jerusalem.  They are upon Mount Moriah, where King Solomon's
Temple stood.  This Mosque is the holiest place the Mohammedan knows,
outside of Mecca.  Up to within a year or two past, no Christian could
gain admission to it or its court for love or money.  But the prohibition
has been removed, and we entered freely for bucksheesh.

I need not speak of the wonderful beauty and the exquisite grace and
symmetry that have made this Mosque so celebrated--because I did not see
them.  One can not see such things at an instant glance--one frequently
only finds out how really beautiful a really beautiful woman is after
considerable acquaintance with her; and the rule applies to Niagara
Falls, to majestic mountains and to mosques--especially to mosques.

The great feature of the Mosque of Omar is the prodigious rock in the
centre of its rotunda.  It was upon this rock that Abraham came so near
offering up his son Isaac--this, at least, is authentic--it is very much
more to be relied on than most of the traditions, at any rate.  On this
rock, also, the angel stood and threatened Jerusalem, and David persuaded
him to spare the city.  Mahomet was well acquainted with this stone.
From it he ascended to heaven.  The stone tried to follow him, and if the
angel Gabriel had not happened by the merest good luck to be there to
seize it, it would have done it.  Very few people have a grip like
Gabriel--the prints of his monstrous fingers, two inches deep, are to be
seen in that rock to-day.

This rock, large as it is, is suspended in the air.  It does not touch
any thing at all.  The guide said so.  This is very wonderful.  In the
place on it where Mahomet stood, he left his foot-prints in the solid
stone.  I should judge that he wore about eighteens.  But what I was
going to say, when I spoke of the rock being suspended, was, that in the
floor of the cavern under it they showed us a slab which they said
covered a hole which was a thing of extraordinary interest to all
Mohammedans, because that hole leads down to perdition, and every soul
that is transferred from thence to Heaven must pass up through this
orifice.  Mahomet stands there and lifts them out by the hair.  All
Mohammedans shave their heads, but they are careful to leave a lock of
hair for the Prophet to take hold of.  Our guide observed that a good
Mohammedan would consider himself doomed to stay with the damned forever
if he were to lose his scalp-lock and die before it grew again.  The most
of them that I have seen ought to stay with the damned, any how, without
reference to how they were barbered.

For several ages no woman has been allowed to enter the cavern where that
important hole is.  The reason is that one of the sex was once caught
there blabbing every thing she knew about what was going on above ground,
to the rapscallions in the infernal regions down below.  She carried her
gossiping to such an extreme that nothing could be kept private--nothing
could be done or said on earth but every body in perdition knew all about
it before the sun went down.  It was about time to suppress this woman's
telegraph, and it was promptly done.  Her breath subsided about the same
time.

The inside of the great mosque is very showy with variegated marble walls
and with windows and inscriptions of elaborate mosaic.  The Turks have
their sacred relics, like the Catholics.  The guide showed us the
veritable armor worn by the great son-in-law and successor of Mahomet,
and also the buckler of Mahomet's uncle.  The great iron railing which
surrounds the rock was ornamented in one place with a thousand rags tied
to its open work.  These are to remind Mahomet not to forget the
worshipers who placed them there.  It is considered the next best thing
to tying threads around his finger by way of reminders.

Just outside the mosque is a miniature temple, which marks the spot where
David and Goliah used to sit and judge the people. --[A pilgrim informs
me that it was not David and Goliah, but David and Saul.  I stick to my
own statement--the guide told me, and he ought to know.]

Every where about the Mosque of Omar are portions of pillars, curiously
wrought altars, and fragments of elegantly carved marble--precious
remains of Solomon's Temple.  These have been dug from all depths in the
soil and rubbish of Mount Moriah, and the Moslems have always shown a
disposition to preserve them with the utmost care.  At that portion of
the ancient wall of Solomon's Temple which is called the Jew's Place of
Wailing, and where the Hebrews assemble every Friday to k