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Full text of "Vagabond journeys; the human comedy at home and abroad"

V AG A BOND 



PERC1VAL POLLARD 



VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

THE HUMAN COMEDY 
AT HOME AND ABROAD 



VAGABOND JOURNEYS 



THE HUMAN COMEDY 
AT HOME AND ABROAD 



BY 



PERCIVAL POLLARD 



Author of 

"Their Day in Court," published by this house 

"Masks and Minstrels of New Germany," 

and other books 




NEW YORK 

THE NEALE PUBLISHING COMPANY 
1911 



Copyright, 1911, by 
THE N1ALE PUBLISHING COMPANY 



THIS BOOK 

is 
DEDICATED 

TO 

THE ONE WHO GOES WITH ME 
C. T. P. 



254456 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

Preface, 9 

CHAPTER ONE 

Humor and Humanity at Sea, 13 

CHAPTER Two 

Egypt Ruined For a Tourist Holiday, .... 40 

CHAPTER THREE 

Vandalism In Modern Florence, 51 

CHAPTER FOUR: MUNICH 

I Modernity, Paint and Carnival, .... 59 

II Illustrations and Posters, 77 

III Art and The Open -Air Theatre, .... 83 

CHAPTER FIVE 

A Typical Cure Resort, 101 

CHAPTER Six: PARIS 

I Her First Invitation, in 

II Paris As It Passes, 134 

III In Cooking Still Supreme, 143 

CHAPTER SEVEN: BERLIN 

I Newest of Great Cities, 157 

II The Pursuit of Culture, 164 

III Art Appetite Compared With Boston, . . 1/4 

IV Night Life, 183 

CHAPTER EIGHT: LONDON 

I Bond Street, 203 

II Seen From a Penny Chair, 223 

III A Prizefight by Whitechapel Rules, ... 237 



PREFACE 

Distinction no longer adheres either to the art of 
travel or that of letters. The common level for both 
sinks year by year. Especially where the two meet, 
in what is loosely called a book of travel, have the 
cheapness of journeys and the vulgarity of writing 
conspired to increasingly mediocre results. The ex- 
istence of an intelligent minority undesirous of infor- 
mation, of description, careless of guidance, and 
impatient of dogma, comes more and more to be 
forgotten. It is to such an intelligent minority that 
this book is offered. 

These pages do not lead to Westminster Abbey, 
nor to the Louvre; they profess no rivalry to the 
guide-books. The reader need not be afraid that 
either facts or dogmatic infliction of opinion will be 
forced upon him. Here are simply the impressions 
of one individual, a few random excursions with a 
whimsical temper. 

We live, today, so much in a welter of facts and 
figures that each of us is in danger of losing the 
qualities of fancy and philosophy. We become al- 
most unable to form our own peculiar judgments, 
assert our prejudices, think for ourselves. Yet I 
venture to declare that in personal expression 
whether about art or about travel lie not only such 
immediate savor, but such elixir of youth as never 
adhere to dogmatic decrees or in echoing the opinion 
of the majority. To an individual no such thing as 



io VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

a cut-and-dried truth exists. The opinions of Ruskin, 
of Carlyle, do not affect us today as definite truths, 
but as expressions of personal whim, kept sweet in 
the salt of style. 

The reader has, it is hoped, the courage of his 
own opinions, his own prejudices. If those do not 
march with the prejudices and opinions in this book, 
let him at least be sure that these are equally honest. 

Never too often can we fight the misconception 
that journeys have arrival as object. The proper 
traveler knows that journeys' ends are the journeys 
themselves. For the fine old leisurely lust for wan- 
dering, the German Wanderlust, too many have sub- 
stituted racing by the clock and the calendar. To 
say where you are going, where you have been; to 
count the miles, the places and the days; the mind of 
the average "traveler" of our time knows no more 
than that. Between racing across continents while 
devouring guide-books, and solemnly and leisurely 
digesting the past, present and future of each af)ot 
visited, is there no middle plan fit for profitable 
philosophy? If my book scarcely ever tells you how 
to get anywhither at all, if it offers no help to fledg- 
ling migrants, are there not some of you whose 
sophistication finds solace in that very omission? 

To the artist in travel, the artist in life, traveling 
mankind itself remains the paramount study. The 
commerce of men and women, one with another; the 
comedy that each world-wanderer takes with him as 
his luggage ; these are the unfailing interests to those 
who go abroad in the world with open eyes. Spots 
on the map may stale; men and women never. With 
the writer, ever since as a child he was hurried across 



PREFACE 1 1 

the war-girt Franco-Prussian frontier, travel has 
been a life-long habit, yet the fascination in its op- 
portunities for observing the human comedy never 
stales. To come upon a new town, throw guide- 
books into limbo, to walk about the streets, to watch, 
to talk with the people the proper traveler gains 
much from such leisurely, individual contemplation. 

For feelings our time tries to substitute facts. I 
would remind each of my readers that the facts are 
amply taken care of, and that what is needed is a 
Sentimental Education in travel. Material aids to 
travel multiply daily; let us beware of leaving our 
feelings at home. Emotions, more than motors, give 
virtue to our journeys. These are no sentimental 
journeys of mine, in this book, but at least they are 
not patterned upon guide-books. If I cannot aspire 
to the noble company of Sterne, Stevenson, Octave 
Mirbeau, and Otto Julius Bierbaum, I still would give 
the reader an invitation such as, whether expressed or 
not, they also gave. 

I would ask the reader to explore myself. 

October, 1911. 



CHAPTER ONE 

HUMOR AND HUMANITY AT SEA 

NO greater cure is left to-day in our central 
civilization than a sea voyage. There is 
the one refuge still easy for us all. Some 
escape, in this way, bodily and spiritual 
ills; some escape boredom. Some seek leisure, 
others rest, others variety. Fashionables and snobs, 
plutocrats and populace, all go down to the sea in 
ships as easily today as once their forefathers went 
out on Shank's mare. Some take as luggage one 
thing, some another; some their dreams and desires; 
some go philandering; some are on philosophy bent. 
Ample indeed are the chances for philosophy. 
Such voyage gives much to think upon the mutations 
of fashion and of sea travel, and, above all, upon 
the men and women who indulge therein. On any 
voyage giving you a fortnight or more at sea, to 
avoid philosophy about our fellows is almost impos- 
sible. To many of us, in fact, it is the chief charm; 
others come to it grudgingly, as to a last resort. 
From the old northern crossing of the Atlantic, it is 
true, charm, for all but the most determined observer 
and philosopher, is long since flown; that is as hack- 
neyed a detail to the sophisticated as a train trip from 
New York to Chicago, from Paris to Vienna. Inno- 
cents abroad no longer loom noticeably; the general 
average has done the thing innumerable times before, 

13 



H VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

and will do it still more times; there are hardly more 
chances for social amenities than for philosophy. To 
say to another nowadays on an Atlantic Limited Ex- 
press: "Didn't I cross with you on the Ruritania 
last year?" is only to court the weary answer, "What 
month? I crossed three times." Yet, even there, 
the fascination of the types aboard our liners seldom 
ceases, and if one's interest in humanity remains alive, 
romance and humor may come even on those regular, 
mail-carrying rushes from port to port. 

Nothing less than a fortnight serves for leisurely 
philosophy. One of the pleasantest of such less hur- 
ried crossings is the one that points toward the sea 
which lies midway between Europe and Africa. A 
sonorous, polysyllabic title it has, recalling dreadful 
spelling lessons of our youth; yet what does it mean 
save simply this: the Midway Sea? Let us call it 
that. A large and easy-going vessel; dreams of sun- 
shine held out by Madeira, the Azores, Gibraltar, 
Africa, the Rivieras, Sicily and Italy; few of the 
thousands who have gone that way but keep, in haze 
of memory, some pleasant pictures of it. 

There are, as you know, any number of lines to 
choose from. This is no place for pointing out 
advantages or the reverse; these things must be 
found out in person. Every taste is catered to. If 
you like kindergartens and brass bands in profusion 
and without ceasing, there are lines which will supply 
the want. If you like unlimited wine with your 
meals, and can get along without the English lan- 
guage, there are lines which will give you that. If 
you prefer walking in an air of fashionable aloof- 
ness, under a skipper who rarely condescends to say 



AT SEA 15 

good day to you, you, again, can also be supplied. 
But unless you care to address me privately, under 
secret seal, and with inclosure of a fee large enough 
to deaden me to all results you will never discover, 
until you actually make the voyage, which is really 
the line you ought to have taken. Each of us has 
tastes and desires other than our neighbors. These 
liners supply all such tastes ; it is for you to find the 
right one. 

SOME of us, as I said, come to philosophy with 
smiles, some come as a last resort. The cynic view, 
for instance, is that no man has yet discovered how 
the non-gregarious human being may, on shipboard, 
escape his fellow-creatures. If you would keep your 
health and enjoy the real flavor of the voyage you 
cannot, in the rumored habit of the conspicuous 
millionaire, seclude yourself utterly in your cabin. 
To breathe over and over again nothing but the air 
of one of those throbbing cells would be but slightly 
conducive to sanity, to health or to temper. 

It is not possible, as in the London club of prop- 
erly conservative and insular flavor, to consider the 
ship a place in which you should avoid your fellow- 
man. To hide behind a newspaper and keep your 
hat on becomes, in the long run, a trifle ridiculous, 
especially when it is obvious that it is the newspaper 
of yesterday a week ago. It may be objected that 
such cynic curmudgeons as find fault with the people 
whom an Atlantic Liner thrust upon them do not 
have to go to sea at all. Let them, say you, stay 
at home, and rail at the landscape; let them pout 
over nature, or Fontainebleau, or Barbizon, or 



1 6 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

Lyme, and declare to the assembled winds that only 
man is vile. Let them confine to their own gloomy 
chambers their constant repetition of the old French- 
man's saying that the more he saw of men the better 
he liked dogs. Let these non-conformists, in short, 
stay at home. . . . But, alas, if they did not 
travel about the world a little, the cynics and the 
non-conformists might cease deserving their titles; 
it is only as they carry out into the larger horizons 
their prejudices and objections that they succeed in 
getting the world at large to confirm their pessimism. 
Each man carries with him his own world; the op- 
timist finds everywhere some confirmation of his 
dream ; the pessimist some proof of his fears. Argu- 
ment, written or spoken, never has affected and 
never will affect persons of individual intelligence; 
we all remain, when debate and dispute are done, 
pretty much as we were before. 

Since, then, there will always be those who find 
fault with things as they are, it may be entertaining 
once again to consider the more or less amusing 
ways in which an average Atlantic liner's company 
of to-day contrives to start cynic observation. 

Whatever be the season when we read this page, 
let us imagine ourselves, for a moment, once again 
at that season when the flood of Eastward travel is 
at its crest. Once aboard the lugger are not only all 
the world and his wife, but most of the children. 
The schools release their young. The collegian, 
unripe still in his own proper element, goes seeking 
others across the sea. Above all, the American 
Schoolmaster is abroad. Male and female these 
pour locustwise upon patient Europe, contributing to 



AT SEA 17 

the continuing cynicism of our most unsocial travel- 
ers. One of these cynics remarked, only the other 
day, that a perusal of Who's Who had convinced 
him that our continent was entirely populated by 
authors and educators. Undoubtedly if it were not 
for our ''schoolmasters abroad," it might not be so 
easy for the itinerant curmudgeon to retain the com- 
placent scorn in which he surveys mankind. 

YEARS ago, before we began to achieve a definite 
system of government tutelage and examination for 
that service, it was the American consul who con- 
tributed to the average Atlantic liner proof of the 
assertion that the United States has a population of 
eighty million odd mostly fools. If on board ship, 
in those earlier days, there was one specially blatant 
idiot, one peculiarly pompous and noisy ass, it was 
sure to turn out that, as consul or consular agent, he 
was about to represent the United States in some 
unhappy European town. Many an optimist has 
been converted by these old-time consular emigrants; 
many a patriot has had his confidence shaken by 
them. Plucked from some cosmopolitan center like 
Muscatine, or Battle Creek, these victors in a politi- 
cal spoils system were cast blithely upon an aston- 
ished Europe. Remembering how they impressed 
those who suffered their presence on the Atlantic, 
one has nothing but the grimmest notions of how, 
on their European posts, they must have upheld the 
Stars and Stripes. At the ship's concert, in the 
course of the inevitable speeches, if one essentially 
bombastic bit of nonsense got itself unloaded upon 
the patient populace assembled assembled for rea- 



1 8 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

sons with which being unwilling to swim the rest of 
the way had much to do that was sure to have 
emanated from the representative of our country. 
If in the smoking-room one man more than another 
aired the things that were not so, it was our consular 
friend. Ah, well, those days are gone ; all that was 
under the Consulship of our predecessors; we 
order those things better now. They tell us in 
Washington that the examinations are becoming as 
rigorous and exacting as those demanded by any 
other government; they say the standard of intelli- 
gence and ability in our consular representatives is 
now so high that the ordinary exemplar of the old 
regime would no longer be able to enter the fold. 
Well, so much the better, and it was high time. We 
had too long been, in this respect, a laughing stock 
for the others, a regret to ourselves. 

The pestiferous position so long held by that now 
extinct genus is to-day proudly upheld by the travel- 
ing teacher. Lovely, no doubt, in their lives; good 
fathers, and mothers, and brothers, and sisters; yes, 
yes; we make no manner of doubt of that; and yet, 
and yet. . . . What was it the brutal old bear 
said when they reminded him that a certain calami- 
tous minister led such a beautiful home life? "What 
do I care," he growled, "that the man's good to his 
wife, if he lets England go to the devil?" Ay; and 
even so ; these be, let us never imagine otherwise, the 
most admirable specimens of domestic virtue; but 
as exponents of our schoolmastership they are bitter 
pills for us others to swallow. If one has been upon 
the Atlantic ferry often enough to be considered 
something of a commuter, one will have encountered 



AT SEA 19 

every variety of the schoolmaster type, from the 
teacher of a district or normal school in the middle 
or far West to the principal of some important 
institution or the member of this or that Board, or 
this or that lecture course. 

Invariably there recurs a similar routine of experi- 
ence. Our friend, the professor, approaches the 
voyage with all the pomp and circumstance that he 
is sure his position entitles him to. Is there a place 
in the dining-saloon more choice than another? He 
files his claim for it, waving close to the purser's 
nose his scholarly credentials and his whiskers. 
. . . Let it be remarked that if the London novel- 
ist, Frank Richardson, would extend to our Ameri- 
can side his curious investigations in whiskered 
humanity, he would find wonderful material. . . . 
In every way he begins his ship life upon a large 
scale. If he figures you as being in the least able to 
lisp the intellectual alphabet, he may condescend to 
you; but not otherwise. He is an adept at the pump. 
He asks you, succinctly, your intentions, not only on 
this particular voyage, but in life as a whole. He is 
not infrequently something of an amateur hypnotist; 
that, at least, would be a charitable interpretation. 
He fixes all the women with his whiskered eyes: he 
stands before them, as who should say: "Were you 
wishful to address my Majesty?" If he learns that 
you live in Timbuctoo, he will ask you if you know 
the particular potentate there, who is his very dear 
friend. If you have been in Oulang-Ylang, he as- 
sures you that our ambassador there is his old college 
chum. To all of which, if you are polite, you make 
but slight reply, and content yourself with wonder- 



20 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

ing. For, as the voyage waxes and wanes, the empti- 
ness behind the whiskers is daily more clearly discov- 
ered. The man is no longer on a rostrum; he no 
longer has before him a crew of timid infants, inca- 
pable of answering or argument; he is in a section of 
Cosmopolis, and he grows daily smaller in that con- 
tact. Pompous statements of the things that are not 
do not now serve his purpose; here or there, in 
smoking-room or at table, he is sure, sooner or later, 
to meet a person of real information; before the end 
of the trip he is despoiled of all the rumor of intelli- 
gence that he brought on board with him. For that 
is eternally the revelation in these cases of the school- 
master abroad; their so-called learning does not 
stand the test of human and experienced contact. 
They are teachers who have not in themselves the 
stuff for teaching. They are loaded with sham in- 
formation, bulging with bombastic superficialities. 
From a platform they doubtless impose ; they cannot 
impose upon any aggregation of adult travelers who 
know the world they live in. 

This is not to imply that all our teaching is done 
by such as these. It is simply the experience of 
somewhat cynic observation. Doubtless, as in every 
other human circumstance, it is, aboard ship, only 
the counterfeits who blazon themselves. Certainly 
the fact remains that the conspicuous types of travel- 
ing teachers leaving our shores for the improvement 
of Europe and their own minds, are persons who 
enable us easily to solve the puzzle of why so many 
of our American children, massively crammed with 
Isms and Ologies, remain painfully ignorant of the 
rudiments of good English. 



AT SEA 21 

If by any chance one has derived from fiction, or 
any other optimistic rainbow, the notion that these 
teachers of men must be themselves men of pro- 
found thought, of originality, well all you have to 
do is to listen to our friend, the professor. Listen, 
just listen, and you will hear the novel twist of 
phrase, the individual tone of thought, distilled from 
beyond his whiskers. Thus, on the second day or 
so: "Well, we are making progress." On the third 
or fourth day it is: "Still getting on." To all he 
hands out these noble soporific speeches, until you 
wish that Martin Tupper were not dead, and, listen- 
ing, might kill this other man from sheer envy. You 
realize, if never before, that to many people speech 
is given to prove the absence of thought. 

Do not think, however, that it is possible to dis- 
courage our friend, the professor. You may resent 
his constant application of the pump, and when he 
asks you if you know the great Soandso, retort that 
you know Nobody; when he enlarges upon his value 
as an item in the great work of Education, you may 
retort that you are with George Moore and consider 
education a curse; nothing you can say, no rudeness 
you may pretend, or pose you may adopt, will touch 
the man behind the whiskers; he is safe in his com- 
placency and the adulation of the women who adore 
him. For that is a strange detail; these whiskered 
professors always have about them a train of female 
satellites. From near or far they worship. Whether 
it be the hypnotic eye, the massive dome, represent- 
ing but not exposing thought, or the egregious whis- 
kers, or the pompously orated assertion that it is 
"another fine day we are having" who can tell? 



22 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

but the fact remains that many ladies of quite certain 
age do hang upon his words, and would doubtless be 
glad to do the same upon his whiskers. So, after all, 
though the rest of the ship's company may, by the 
last day, have committed the great crime of finding 
him out, some of the dowager duchesses still remain 
the professor's devout adherents. So we leave him, 
his vanity momentarily recovering from the ship's 
laughter, preparing to unloose upon poor Europe 
the wind of his rhetoric and the flutter of his whis- 
kers. Europe sees these professors in its galleries, 
and proceeding like hirsute comets over all the 
heavens that Baedeker has starred; it sees them and 
it does not whimper; Europe is a patient land. Yet, 
in its sleeve, no doubt, Europe has her laughter; she 
only needs to see these professorial types for some 
few weeks each year; she knows we in America must 
suffer them for months; we and our children. And 
so that wise old mother, Europe, smiles her smile. 

OFTEN as it may have been pointed out, it remains 
unanswerably true that there is no place in all the 
world where human characteristics so come to light 
and so tend to the irritation of the others, as aboard 
ship at sea. Under almost any other circumstances 
you can, be you so inclined, avoid your fellows. We 
know that it is possible to be exceedingly alone in a 
crowd. You may walk Broadway or the Avenue, 
Bond street or Piccadilly, as introspectively absorbed 
as if you were in your own study, your own office, or 
on a mountain top. Even in a huge summer hotel, 
typical of human hives, you can escape this way or 
that; you can take a walk; you can shut yourself in 



AT SEA 23 

your room; you can take a swim or a sail. Nothing 
of all this is possible aboard ship. For the period 
of your voyage you are hopelessly cooped up with 
this company. If the company is not to your liking, 
you are in sad case. You cannot stick in your cabin, 
if you are but common mortal, to whom palatial 
suites and magnificent spaces are denied; the moment 
you go about the deck you are at the mercy of your 
companions. If you make intimacies, they are likely 
to reach conclusions much more quickly than on land; 
and if you discover aversions they will be more keen 
and bitter than elsewhere in the world. The ship 
tends to an exaggeration of every quality that is in 
us. Our virtues and our pettiness are discovered 
more sharply and more quickly than elsewhere. 
Boredom and the eternal, inescapable round of the 
same faces, stir to unimagined venom the most 
mildly mannered of us who go down to the sea in 
ships. Always these same people at table, always 
the same insensate stereotyped phrases every morn- 
ing and noon and night; what a frightful, tedious 
round, says the cynic. He finds relief, if at all, only 
in the constant, silent, secret study of the types be- 
fore him. The others are all bent upon the conquest 
of more knowledge, more culture, on those Euro- 
pean shores; he is content with studying his traveling 
fellow-man. 

No matter how grim may be one's cynicism, one 
can surely never watch, the first day out, that strug- 
gle for dining places, without some stir of pity for 
the particular steward who has the arrangement in 
hand. The traveling theosophists, the Fletcherites 
and the Christian Scientists surround him as by a 



24 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

hedge; each wants something that is quite impossible, 
and he has to pretend that all who clamor will get 
absolutely the most desirable places in the saloon. 
The amalgamated society of dowager duchesses as- 
sures him that they must have a table for twelve 
together in this corner; the professor and his satel- 
lites must face north; the fashionable colony must be 
secluded in this corner here, and the jovial youths 
just out of college must be put together over there. 
This woman says she couldn't think of sitting there, 
and that one vows she will never be able to eat a 
single meal if she does not instantly get a place which 
has long ago been allotted to another. 

And always there is the voice which rises sharply 
above the clamor: "I never was on a boat yet that I 
didn't sit at the Captain's table." You gaze in awe 
at the speaker, and behold a frowzy duchess the 
term is a phrase with me, as the word "ladies" is in 
the opera by Lehar and you instantly feel a surge 
of sympathy for the noble army of Atlantic skippers. 
What weather they survive, and, aye, what women ! 
On one ship, I recall, great scandal was caused 
toward the end of the trip, by the rumor of a certain 
remark from the captain. The poor man had no 
doubt been badgered beyond his endurance; he was, 
at best, not a convivial soul; at any rate, it was re- 
ported that he would sooner fry in Hades than be 
married to an American woman. Poor man; he had, 
doubtless, that very day, been held up, for pumping 
purposes, by some peculiarly leech-like pest. Never, 
until you become an Atlantic commuter, will you 
realize the depths of imbecility to which apparently 
sensible people can fall in the way of asking ques- 



AT SEA 25 

tions at sea. Invariably, too, they choose the captain 
as victim. 

Imagine the captain, sitting in the place of author- 
ity in the dining saloon. Absorbing food, and lend- 
ing an unwilling, ruddy ear. Into that ear, pickled 
by the Atlantic breezes, wafts the pick of seagoing 
conversation. 

You are to imagine him being asked these ques- 
tions on the eastbound trip : 

"Do you think we will have any difficulty getting 
rooms?" 

"Would it be all right to wear a biscuit colored 
chiffon at Ascot?" 

"Does this boat belong to the Corn-bine, or has it 
got reciprocating screws?" 

"Can you arrange to let us see an iceberg?" 

"What made the purser look so vexed when I 
asked him if my Pom Pom couldn't have chicken 
livers every day for lunch?" 

"Can you manage not to land on Friday? But I 
suppose you're not superstitious, having so much to 
do with compasses, and foc'sles and things?" 

Or these, westward ho : 

"Don't suppose you can tell me of any good wapiti 
shooting over there, what?" 

"You see a lot of these American political beggars 
on these hookers, I suppose, eh? Lloyd-George sort, 
most of 'em, ain't they?" 

"Man told me he had to be personally present 
while his boots were being blacked in New York. 
D'you vouch for it? Pulling my leg, wasn't he?" 

"Why do Americans drink so much of that Polish 
water or whatever it is?" 



26 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

"Has anyone ever thought of applying the vacuum 
cleaning principle to a fog?" 

You are to imagine, I say, the captain's ruddy 
countenance, battered by the fury of a hundred tem- 
pests, stained by a thousand suns and furrowed by 
the salty sprays of countless billows, keeping grimly 
polite. 

Then, finally, you are to imagine what, once safe 
on the bridge, he says to the wild waves. 

I leave you imagining. Imagining, too, that you 
have finally discovered where the gales, the bliz- 
zards and all the other disastrous things that sweep 
the seven seas, originate, and why. 

I leave you imagining. 

It becomes evident as one listens to the inane 
questions asked aboard even the most fashionable 
liner, by the most sane-seeming people, that there is 
something about the awful monotony of life on 
board ship which utterly deadens what in most peo- 
ple passes for intelligence. An essay might, indeed, 
easily be written, based upon such sea-going observa- 
tion, proving that only about one person in a thou- 
sand knows enough to keep his or her mouth shut 
when there is nothing to say. Life at sea tends, in 
short, to bring about a condition bordering on idiocy. 
That, at any rate, is the conclusion reached by the 
cynic philosopher who listens too attentively to the 
prevailing conversations. The rare disclosure of 
original thought well, it is so rare that one is 
minded to frame it permanently in one's gallery of 
Dodos I Have Met. Too few of us can say, step- 
ping ashore from one of these sea-going hotels: At 



AT SEA 27 

least, I met One White Man ! or : There was One 
aboard who Spoke the Tongue. 

ONE of the newer features of the salt water com- 
muters to-day is the Great Novelist correcting his 
proofs. Never a ship sails now but what there is an 
inkslinger or two on board; the breed is as impos- 
sible to escape at sea as on land. We know these 
many years past that it is no longer possible to throw 
a stone from any tenement window or mountain top 
in all America without hitting a novelist; one is safe 
from them nowhere. They are threatening to be- 
come worse than rabbits in Australia. Now that 
plague has reached the sea. They do not, these 
novelists, long let concealment, like a worm i' the 
bud, feed on their cheek; no, no, they soon sit obvi- 
ously behind a fountain pen, correcting proofs that 
all men may behold and marvel. The loud whisper 
rises among the dowager duchesses and the various 
'Ists from Boston and the other parishes in Puri- 
tania : Did you know we had a Novelist among us? 
There, to-wit, he sits; magnificent amid the frag- 
ments of the new novel, serene amid his family, set 
high above his fellow-voyagers. The unsophisti- 
cated observe his magnificence, the fashionable attire 
of his family, his servants, and they aver that litera- 
ture must indeed be a most paying thing. They do 
not know, alas, that our traveling novelist, as often 
as not, has made his money from a soap, or a patent, 
or a parent, and is writing novels simply as an exer- 
cise in vanity. If you listen long enough to the great 
man buried under proof-sheets, you will learn little 
more of wisdom than from the professor of the 



28 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

whiskers or from the women who ask the skipper 
foolish questions; and you will realize that our poor 
literature is by now become a mead which any fool 
may enter and the gate to which no honest cudgel 
guards. Never mind; you cannot fluster the com- 
placency of the great Novelist. It is for these mo- 
ments that he has started forth upon his travels; to 
be whispered of everywhere as the great Man of Let- 
ters. Obscure at home, perhaps, but voyaging 
among people who take him at his own valuation, he 
is sure of just the recognition that he most desires. 
Surely, too, he adds to the human interest of the 
ship. People like to think they traveled with a 
Great Light of literature. Sometimes he is a play- 
wright, hurrying a new play to its conclusion while 
the ship makes for port. No matter, whatever sort 
of slave to pen and ink he is, you are sure to find 
him ; no well behaved ship today sails without him. 

A valuable suggestion might be made to such nov- 
elists as live today, not so much upon beef and vege- 
tables, as on adulation. Let them live altogether 
upon liners ! Let them float ever from one ship to an- 
other. Every week a new audience of persons who, 
knowing nothing much of literature themselves, are 
willing to take the Great Novelist's estimate of her 
or himself. Think, too, of the novelty of the press 
paragraphs possible: "Richard Roomers, the well- 
known author of 'The Older Crowd/ has given up 
his cottage at Sandylands and is a permanent resi- 
dent of the S. S. Asthmatic. . . ." Isn't there a 
properly romantic ring about that? I commend the 
notion, not only to publishers, and to their pet novel- 
ists, but also to the steamship companies. From re- 



AT SEA 29 

cent observation one must think that a regularly em- 
ployed Man of Letters would be a profitable addition 
to every self-respecting liner. They have grill- 
rooms, Turkish baths, gymnasiums, stenographers, 
barbers why not a Ship's Novelist? As a line to 
be cried loud in the advertisements, has not this some 
value : The S. S. Insomnia carries a Splits Restau- 
rant, an elevator and a Popular Novelist. 

Even such a detail as this is a sign of the times. 
Once we had to listen to the question: Who reads 
an American book? Today you can find no liner on 
the Atlantic aboard which a patently prosperous nov- 
elist is not sitting, correcting his proofs and curbing, 
as much as is polite, the adulation of innumerable 
dowager duchesses. Years ago one of the points of 
interest was to note what were the books that sea- 
goers read; to-day the observer can be kept equally 
busy noting what sort of books people write at sea. 
From the sternly cynic point of view, too, the discov- 
ery of the prevalence of novel-writing at sea explains 
much that, in the literature we read on land, had 
hitherto been matter for wonder. You may have 
heard of the woman who always looks as if she had 
dressed at an alarm of fire. Much of our current 
literature is, I am sure, written at sea. 

NOR is the snob to be forgotten. Rich or poor, 
he is always with us. Let us, for easy generalization, 
employ the masculine gender. Let us be polite, 
whether truthful or not; truth might show the snob 
as often a she as a he. The snob on land can be 
escaped. When he lifts his voice in the parlor car, 
or the palm room, or the street, or the box at the 



30 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

Opera, there is nothing to prevent your getting up 
and going away; at the worst it is only a matter of 
hours that you must suffer. But at sea ! Ah ! there 
he has you at his mercy. 

There are many varieties of the seagoing snob. 
There are those who never let you forget they have 
a motorcar, and that they are "going to do" Italy or 
Egypt, or some other innocent land; they seem to 
know about their travels very little, save that "we 
did 30,000 miles last year, and it only cost us ," 
and then they mention a sum with which you are 
quite sure you could be happy for the rest of your 
life. 

The subject of money having once been started, 
you hear and feel and smell nothing else for a long 
time; the scent of the dollar is even stronger than of 
smoke in the smoking room or of the salt on deck; 
you wonder why these people do not stay at home 
if they are going to take their dollar talk with them 
wherever they go. At such moments you know per- 
fectly why you are going eastward yourself; it is not 
because you seek summer; it is not because you need 
holiday, or that you have been ill; it is simply that 
you are trying to escape the talk of money. Cooped 
up there on board the mid-Atlantic liner, with these 
people who talk of money, money, money, you won- 
der why blind fate has arranged it so that the people 
who seem to have the most money are also the people 
who make it an offense to the nostrils of others. 

Among the recurring events in any season is the 
announcement that such and such a boat bound for 
such and such a port one day it is the Insomnia, the 
next week it is the Asthmatic, and another time it is 



AT SEA 31 

the King John has on board the representatives of 
more American wealth than any steamer that ever 
left port. This delicate little invitation to the snob, 
as well as to the seagoing gambler, occurs as regu- 
larly as the change of the moon. 

If it is on one of these boats that you travel, from 
the standpoint of fashion, you may be said to have 
chosen wisely. Here are representatives of the Most 
Dollars beg pardon, the First Families in Amer- 
ica. Here are notables galore. There is sure to be 
a Count or two, probably Hungarians or Italians 
from embassies at Washington, going back to castles 
whose furniture is mostly consonants. An English 
peer, perhaps, is in the mob somewhere, and one of 
the many American girls who married a title. Mil- 
lionaires abound, and the Catholic clergy is always 
well represented on these boats. The priests are 
going to deliver to the Church its treasures, while 
the millionaires are going to try to bribe the Church 
into selling its artistic treasures. All the world goes 
to Italy, in motors or in monkish cowl, to sit in the 
sunshine and brag of how much the sunshine is cost- 
ing, or to scurry through the Florentine jewelry 
shops so that friends may later be impressed with the 
cheapness of the purchases all the world goes to 
Italy. 

There are those whose sole hope seems to be to 
reach Monte Carlo and all the other places where the 
life of conspicuous bounderdom differs not at all from 
what it is in any other of its haunts. These mostly 
have motors; they vow it is the only way to see the 
country; but don't, if you love seriousness, ask them 
too closely what they have really seen in those other 



32 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

trips of theirs; the answer is always that refrain, 
"We made steen thousand miles." Then there are 
the people who sit about the deck reading Loti or 
Hichens. They are going to Biskra; you know it 
even before they tell you so. Instead of motorcars, 
some of the Egyptians have a dahabia of their own. 
If you have been so bewildered by the varieties of 
tall talk on board that you confuse diabetes with the 
houseboat on the Nile, the thing for you to do is sim- 
ply to keep still. Keep still and listen to others, and 
you will learn much on these boats. 

A CHAPTER has long itched to be written about 
English as spoken in places where our fashionables 
and semi-fashionables most congregate. Perhaps it 
is the semis who do the mischief; that, for the sake of 
the real article of American breeding, is distinctly to 
be hoped. For breeding, that is just what is so lack- 
ing in the speech you may overhear on board our par- 
lor cars, our millionaire steamers in midwinter, and 
the like. An Englishman hearing this speech would 
wonder what strange mongrel form of talk was this; 
a Western American would stand agape. It has 
always been a passion with the more restless in any 
society to take liberties with speech, but there has 
never been such awful stuff spoken as by our most 
conspicuous people. They distort vowels, they mis- 
place accents that they imagine as English, and they 
behave generally in a way that almost makes one 
prefer the Western schoolma'am who pronounces 
the language as if she had just learned it. 

In this strange parentless speech, then, the snob 
assails your ears as you proceed into summer seas. 



AT SEA 33 

He talks of motor cars, and dahabias, and the hotels 
of Syracuse and Sorrento; but, if you are wise, you 
will not let him disturb you, for unless you have 
rare bad luck in weather you can always escape out 
on to the boat deck and there lie stretched in the sun 
as it grows daily more scorching, until at the end of 
a dozen days you have a tanned hide so thick that 
not even the snob and his snobberies can penetrate it. 

Yes, on most of those boats there is always that 
glorious boat deck. If you have been ill, and are 
seeking simply peace and sunshine, there is no better 
thing in all the world to do than lie there and bask. 
Let the others come and wonder; never mind; the 
thing to do is to bask. "I simply don't see how you 
can stand the glare!" says your most intimate steam- 
ship acquaintance, but you wave him away and con- 
tinue letting the sun do its fine work of killing all the 
germs you have. You may have left icicles hanging 
from the pier in the North River, but at Gibraltar 
you are going to need your Panama, and for that 
Panama you need an appropriate tan; so you lie there 
basking. 

Some of the millionaires leave you when Gibraltar 
is touched. Madeira and the Azores were well 
enough; the funny little white villages and farms of 
the Azores were gaudy like so many toy towns, and 
you recall the names of Pico and Ponta Delgada with 
a certain relish. But you have no happy memories 
of a millionaire or two the less at those places; no, 
that only begins at Gibraltar. There you lose the 
splendid folk who are to "do" Spain. Spain, you see, 
can be "done" nowadays "between steamers," as the 
phrase is. Your ticket allows of your leaving your 



34 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

steamer at Gibraltar, and staying there, or in Spain, 
across the neck of land, and continuing your voyage 
on the next eastbound steamer. So if you are a mil- 
lionaire with new regions to conquer by motor, or 
if your daughter has a fancy to learn Spanish or a 
few Spanish fandangoes, off you go at Gibraltar. 

In any event, you will probably go off at Gibraltar 
for those hours allowed you while the ship takes on 
fresh provisions. It is a brief routine, but always 
pleasant. Your first time you will doubtless pay the 
price of folly and let a robber disguised in the fa- 
miliar livery of cabman drive you to the Alameda 
Gardens, past some of the fortifications, and even to 
Spanishtown ; the entire distance is only a few blocks 
and can be easily walked. If you are of the shopping 
sex, you will look for spangled veils and Moorish 
brocades, and when you return to the ship you will 
have grievous moments wondering if you were 
cheated or not, or if the peddler who came aboard 
the steamer sold his wares more cheaply than the 
merchant in Gibraltar. You will see the oranges in 
the gardens, and the flowers over the soldiers' graves, 
and the officers swaggering and riding, and the mel- 
ancholy, sombre-eyed Moors, who even in their guise 
as marketmen maintain their dignity, and the views 
aloft through quaint alleys as charming as aught in 
Genoa itself. 

The lessening of numbers begins with Gibraltar 
and increases with every stop. In Naples some of 
the millionaires have their motor cars waiting; 
others are for Palermo ; some for Fiume, having just 
heard of the Dalmatian riviera ; others are still wav- 
ing dahabias in our awed faces. One by one you will 



AT SEA 35 

lose sight of them for the time being. Soon it will 
be in all the cables that the Popular Novelist is tour- 
ing through Touraine, or some other unhappy ghost- 
land, in his Odol car, and soon the Professor will be 
insufficiently buried in Pompeii, and the dowager 
duchesses will be being presented to the Pope. The 
usual strangers, who have not been seen through the 
whole voyage, arrive from secret holes, and show 
themselves stealthily or gorgeously on the last day. 
The usual pretended intimacies die and the usual 
brave hopes of subsequent meetings flourish. u Be 
sure to come and see me when you get back; second 
house to the left between New York and Boston!" 
some of the sentences are as absurd as that. Every- 
one is so glad to have met everyone else. The candid 
friend, with courage to admit that he or she is 
heartily glad to get rid of the whole tribe, either does 
not exist or cannot find the courage. Once dumped 
upon the dock, once in the port, the company scat- 
ters; yet some linger a little linger and wonder. 
They see strange couples newly assorted; they watch 
the beginnings of this comedy and the end of that, 
and they wonder they mightily wonder. 

The snobs who have told you all the way over that 
they are going to a "dear little place called Alassio, 
where, they say, there are no Americans at all, only 
the nicest English people," you will lose these; and 
you will also lose the magnates from the Western 
town who told you that "that awful creature over 
there in the fur coat has been speaking to us just be- 
cause he's from Detroit, the same as we are. Of 
course, in Detroit we simply wouldn't think of no- 
ticing him." 



36 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

As FOR the determined slaves of fashion, they take 
mostly to an identical trip northward. The routes 
vary, to be sure, but they run together at one point 
or another. Some go straight up via Capri, Sor- 
rento, Rome, and Florence; you see them again in 
the Uffizi or in St. Peter's; some go to Venice, and 
there are also the bold ones who make for Vienna in 
order that they may come home and tell you that they 
heard "Count of Luxembourg" or "The Brave Sol- 
dier" two years before America even heard of it. 
There is great satisfaction in that being beforehand 
about the art matters of Europe, and some of our 
fashionables begin to realize it; still, for the most 
part, the people wise enough to be pioneers of that 
sort are rich in other ways than money or fashion. 
Some find one another again in Nice, some in Lu- 
cerne, and by Easter they all try to reach Paris. 
There are, you see, certain social festivals which the 
real devotees try to attend. Rome has its social sea- 
son, Florence is still for a certain set the first of all 
winter cities, as Ouida called it; and the people who 
know their way about try to reach Paris before the 
summer warmth begins to fill it with the type of 
Americans who are halted in front of Cook's atop 
of a char-a-banc. A little later comes the opening 
of the London season, and the fashionable northing 
has been completed. 

A great cure-all is this cruise, and yet there are 
some who find no comfort even in this cure. In Sor- 
rento, one month of March, there was a blithe spirit 
in the Vittoria who was perhaps the most typical 
instance of the nerve-ridden American who is utterly 
incurable. He had a lovely mode of accosting you. 



AT SEA 37 

u Ah," said he, meeting you in the hotel corridor 
after dinner, "American, I see! I'm from Minneap- 
olis; I'm in the lumber business. What's your busi- 
ness?" All in a breath, quick as lightning, and all 
with a smile; and only an Englishman could have had 
the heart not to meet him as smilingly as possible. In 
a few moments he had given you a sketch of his life, 
of the state of his nerves, and had passed on. 

Weeks later you might be sitting in a cafe in Flor- 
ence, reading an English paper. Suddenly a voice 
would begin behind you, quickly, and in the same old 
formula: "Ah, American, I see; my name's Jones, 
and I'm from Minneapolis," and when you turned 
around the same face from Sorrento was there, and 
only was taken aback for the shortest of moments. 
Later you met him in the Haymarket in London. 
Later still, safely homebound on a steamer that you 
had entered at Southampton, you might be thinking 
of the curious meetings of travel, when, the morning 
after touching at Queenstown, who should appear but 
Jones from Minneapolis! He had just been visiting 
Mr. Croker, and his nerves were not much better. 
Months still later a motor car in a New England 
village nearly runs you down, and you see a flag 
bearing this device, "We are from Minneapolis," 
and there sits Jones again. More months go by, and 
you pick up the paper and see that Jones, who has 
just completed so many thousand miles in a motor- 
car, has taken to ballooning. And so on goes Jones, 
who is a victim of nerves and cannot stay still, though 
he die of his restlessness. For Jones, then, such a 
voyage, afloat and ashore, is but one lap in a long 
struggle against tedium. 



38 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

You scatter, you drop away, you become flying 
fragments of what has been seabound company; yet 
you may meet again. Those who came for health, 
those who escape tedium, those who follow fashion, 
and you who bring philosophy, all drop off, all scat- 
ter. The people who are to inhabit villas in Rapallo, 
or who have friends in Fiesole with whom they are 
to spend the spring, they will all gradually drop 
away. 

You may find them again after the scattering, and 
you may find that the villa in Rapallo is a cheap pen- 
sion, or that the Fiesole visit has resulted in a fever- 
ish chase behind a guide in the Pitti Gallery. Vastly 
amusing is it to note these changes, later in the year, 
when such flying fragments of humanity from this 
or that ship meet; to see how the uninspired idiots 
of the sea have regained human intelligence, how the 
dowager duchesses who asked insane questions of the 
skipper are now badgering all the hotel portiers of 
Europe, and how the Popular Novelist has succeeded 
in maintaining his personal fame by the simple trick 
of constantly changing his audience. In this or that 
European watering-place you may discover convales- 
cents recovering from the ship's concert an afflic- 
tion far worse than seasickness. 

The ship's companies scattered, its members first 
gaily adventuring forth upon the patient older conti- 
nent, then reassembled for their return, and then 
once more flung forth upon their own land, we may 
again observe the cynical commuter of the Atlantic, 
shaking himself, as a dog who has been in the water, 
and muttering again, as he gradually regains his hold 
upon a rational outlook : 



AT SEA 39 

"From them that go down to the sea in ships, good 
Lord, deliver us!" 

We others, not yet so cynical, reach philosophy in 
the reflection that, when all the pseudo-human crea- 
tures aboard the lugger are counted, there still re- 
mains a small residue of delightful, genuine, real 
human beings whom to recall with pleasure for the 
rest of life. Whether you are fashionable or merely 
human, snob or philosopher, you will never regret 
such journey. 



CHAPTER TWO 

EGYPT RUINED FOR A TOURIST HOLIDAY 

IF the annually increasing horde of Anglo-Saxons 
wintering abroad ministers thereby to its own 
delight, there are those to whom it is a special 
aversion. In the case of that French lieuten- 
ant who writes under the name of Pierre Loti that 
aversion has been so expressed as to make the most 
delightful of reading, especially concerning Egypt. 
Loti loves Egypt, and he hates travelers, and out of 
that love and that hatred beautiful pages have been 
born. It is impossible to write more beautifully of 
Egypt than Loti has done. In that wonderful prose 
of his, as tremulous as light, as vibrant as distant 
music, he has painted the beauties of that land of 
roseate skies, blinding sands, blood-colored rocks, 
and immortal ruins. Yet for those prose beauties 
of his, for the pages on which he has spilled the crys- 
tal jewels of his phrases about Egypt as lavishly as, 
in other books, he did upon the subjects of Japan and 
Constantinople, you are not to look here. Here I 
would remark only upon those pages in his "La Mort 
de Philae" which express his rage against the Anglo- 
Saxon tourist. Never can one sufficiently emphasize 
any document which bids "the others" mend their 
manners. 

For, as philosophy shows, in cases of this sort we 
are never, ourselves, the tourists assailed. It is 

40 



EGYPT RUINED 41 

always "the others." We bear with the utmost calm 
the chastisement of an entire class in which we im- 
agine ourselves to be distinct exceptions. It has been 
said that one cannot indict a nation. But Loti has 
done his best to indict the whole tourist tribe. Or, 
to be precise, he regrets their existence; they, for 
him, obscure and spoil the whole Egyptian country. 
Upon its charm, its mystery and myth, this tourist 
tribe obtrudes so runs the Loti plaint its ever- 
hideous self. 

The tourists represent to Loti the human faces of 
modernity. And, as we know from all his books, he 
is a sworn foe to modernity. Ruskin fought no more 
fiercely against our utilitarian age than does this 
Frenchman, supposedly in the employ of Mars, but 
really servant of the Muse. English rule in Egypt, 
England's treatment of the Nile waters, the building 
of the Assouan Dam all these matters draw Loti's 
gentle anger; but most of all it is the tourists, the 
tourist agencies. Curiously enough, he never names 
American tourists specifically. Yet we cannot fancy 
ourselves immune from his disfavor; he has simply 
lumped us with the English, the dominant race among 
the visitors there. 

Night, the night of latter-day Egypt, may be said 
to be one dominant note of Loti. Night in Cairo, 
night in Thebes and night in Luxor are painted in 
colors that for permanence may surpass Boecklin or 
Gerome or Stuck. The night of Egypt, and Pierre 
Loti's pity, these are the dominant notes. He wrote, 
years ago, his "Book of Pity and of Death," and ever 
since the note of pity has seemed to me his greatest. 
Throughout this book he paints and pities; paints the 



42 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

glories of that land of ruins, and pities their being 
haunted by the tourist tribe. 

He loses no time beginning his diatribes against 
modernity as represented by the tourist. He has 
painted for us night upon the desert, and the Sphinx, 
as only he can do it, when he suddenly shows us the 
reverse of the picture. This desert of the Sphinx, he 
tells us, is now threatened on every side by modern- 
ism, and is becoming a meeting place for the idlers 
and the parvenus of the whole world. He goes on: 

"It is true that so far nobody has dared to profane 
the Sphinx by building in immediate proximity to its 
grandeur, the fixed disdain of which may still be 
potent. Yet, scarcely half a league away, is the ter- 
minus of a road where cabs and tramways gather, 
and where motor cars of expensive makes emit their 
ducklike quacks; and yonder, behind the Pyramid 
of Cheops, looms a vast hotel, swarming with snobs, 
and with fashionables feathered as insanely as red- 
skins for the scalp dance; with invalids in search of 
fresh air; with young English consumptives or old 
victims of rheumatism seeking the dry winds." 

For a little time we are again in the Egypt of the 
Sphinx and the many infinite speculations which that 
figure has started without satisfying; then Loti, with 
his gentle irony, marks the passing midnight hour by 
showing us the groups of tourists separating and dis- 
appearing to regain the hotel, where the orchestra 
doubtless still rages, or to enter their motor cars to 
be whirled to some Cairo club to play bridge, a pas- 
time to which to-day, sadly remarks our author, "even 
superior minds descend." 

Next we are shown the decay of the old Cairo 



EGYPT RUINED 43 

that was, the real Cairo. Loti is wrapped in solemn 
peace before the tomb of Mehemet All, engaged in 
reverent reflections, when breaking in there comes 
"an uproar of loud Teuton talk." Let it be noted 
that M. Loti is impartial; he loathes modernity; he 
does not care what national flag is waved. Even his 
own French nation does not escape his reproach, as, 
in the matter of Egypt's use of absinthe, you shall 
frequently see in this book. Let us return to the 
Teuton uproar: 

". . . The Teuton tongue. And shouts ! And 
laughter! . . . how is it possible, so close to 
Death? . . . There enters a band of tourists, got 
up smartly, or near-smart. A comically inclined 
guide is labeling the beauty spots for them, talking 
with all his might as if he was the capper for a circus. 
And one of the ladies, whose sandals, too large for 
her, make her stumble, bursts into a high, foolish 
laugh, long drawn out, like the gobbling of a turkey. 

u ls there not, then, any policeman, any watchman, 
in this sacred mosque? And among the devout pros- 
trate in prayer, not one to rise indignantly? . . . 
Who, after this, can ever talk to us of Egyptian 
fanaticism? Rather they are too tolerant. I should 
like to see how, in any church in Europe where men 
were on their knees in prayer, Mussulman tourists 
who impossible conception! behaved as badly as 
those savages did would be received." 

Of the many mosques of Cairo we are given 
sketches that seem almost without a flaw. Yet for 
Loti there is ever a flaw. 

"What," he asks, "do those mosques lack? . . . 
It must be that access to them is too easy, that one 



44 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

feels one's self too close to the modernized, hotel- 
infested regions filled with tourists, and that one fore- 
sees at any moment the clamorous intrusion of a band 
of Cook's selected, Baedeker in hand. Alas! these 
are the mosques of Cairo, of poor invaded and pro- 
faned Cairo. . . . On for those of Morocco, so 
jealously closed! Those of Persia, or even of Old 
Stamboul, where the shroud of Islam wraps you in 
silence, and gently falls upon your shoulders the 
moment that you cross the threshold!" 

Not even the outskirts of Cairo, which tempt Loti 
to some of his finest descriptive passages, are clear of 
his enemies. In order not to meet any tourists, he 
has chosen for his nocturnal visit a night that was 
none of the clearest. But 

"As we approached the vast tomb of Sultan Bar- 
kouk the assassin we saw issuing from it a gang, a 
score or so in file, emerging from the shadow of the 
ruined walls each bumping about on his little don- 
key, and each followed by the inevitable donkey 
driver incessantly belaboring his beast. They are 
on their way back to Cairo, the show being over, and 
they exchange, at the tops of their voices, from one 
donkey to another, their mostly inept impressions, 
in various Western tongues! Behold, even in this 
crew there is the traditional belated lady, who lags 
quite a distance back; she seems, as well as the moon 
enables one to judge, a somewhat ripe flower, but still 
has her attractions for the donkeyman, who, with 
both hands, supports her on her saddle, from behind, 
with a solicitude that is touching. . . . Ah ! these 
little Egyptian donkeys, so observing, so philosophic, 
so sly, if only they could write their memoirs ! What 



EGYPT RUINED 45 

many amusing things they have seen in the outskirts 
of Cairo at night!" 

In another passage M. Loti recurs to the donkey 
detail. He had attempted the funereal splendors of 
Abydos, of the temple of Osiris raised by Sethos, and 
once again he had been routed by the tourists and 
their luncheon. At the end of one of his most ran- 
corous attacks upon the tourist tribe he apostrophises 
one of the donkey burden bearers : 

"There was one love of a white donkey that looked 
at me, and in a flash we understood each other and 
mutual sympathy was born. A Cookess in glasses 
sat this donkey; the most awful one of them all, bony 
and severe; over her traveling dress, already suffi- 
ciently formidable, she had drawn a tennis jersey that 
still more accentuated her angles until her person 
seemed to breathe the very incarnation of British 
respectability. Besides it would have seemed more 
fair so long were her legs, which held no attraction 
for the human observer that it had been she who 
carried the donkey. 

"He gazed at me sadly, the poor little white chap, 
his ears twitching ceaselessly, and his fine eyes, so 
all-observing, were unmistakably saying to me : 

" She is hideous, isn't she? 1 

" Good Lord, yes, you poor little burden bearer. 
But consider, glued to your back as she is, up there, 
you have at least this advantage over me, that you no 
longer see her.' 

"Yet that reflection of mine, however wise, did not 
console him, and his look told me that he would be 
prouder to carry, like so many of his fellows, an ordi- 
nary bundle of sugar cane." 



46 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

In that haunt of Abydos, redolent of ghosts, M. 
Loti had been more than usually angered by the in- 
vading hordes. He had been roused from his dreams 
of tombs, of sanctuaries, of prehistoric peoples, there 
in the valley of the Nile, by the noise of people talk- 
ing and gabbling in British accents, of glasses clink- 
ing, of forks clattering on plates. He realized then 
that his temple was desecrated by a tribe of tourists 
lunching. 

"Poor, poor temple, to what are you fallen ! What 
excess of grotesque profanation is this? More than 
a score of places laid at table for a convivial crew of 
both sexes of those peculiar beings shepherded by 
Thomas Cook & Son, Egypt, Limited. Cork helmets 
and blue spectacles. Drinking whisky and soda ; eat- 
ing with their buckteeth, and throwing away the 
greasy paper that held the food. And the women, 
oh ! those women, what scarecrows ! . . . And it 
is like that every day, during the season, so the black- 
robed Bedouin guides tell us. A luncheon 'chez 
Osiris' is part of the programme of 'pleasure trips,' 
Every noon a new gang arrives, on irresponsible and 
unfortunate donkeys; as for the tables and plates, 
they are kept stored in the ancient temple ! 

"Let us fly quickly, and if possible before the sight 
has been stabbed upon our memories. . . . But, 
alas ! even when we are outside, alone once more upon 
the shining sands, we can no longer take anything 
seriously; Abydos, the desert, all have ceased to 
exist; those female faces haunt us, and their hats, 
and their looks behind their sun glasses. . . . The 
Cook face was once explained to me in what seems, 
off-hand, a reasonable way: 'The United Kingdom, 



EGYPT RUINED 47 

jealous of the well-earned repute for beauty of its 
girls, submitted them to a jury when they reached 
maturity. To those who were adjudged too ugly for 
purposes of posterity was given a perpetual pass with 
Thomas Cook & Son, which thus vowed them to an 
endless voyage that precluded their leisure for certain 
other trifling details of life.' The explanation fasci- 
nated me from the first. But a more careful scrutiny 
of these hordes infesting the valley of the Nile leads 
me to submit that all those Englishwomen are of a 
notoriously canonical age. ... so that I remain 
perplexed." 

On a further page our author laments the desecra- 
tion of the Nile to its present uses. He paints for us 
incomparable etchings of the Nile of other days, and 
of all that it evokes in sights and sounds. He makes 
us feel again that peace which, passing understand- 
ing, once dwelt there. And now 

"And now, before the tiniest of little towns amid 
the primitive little boats, that are still numerous, 
pointing their timbers like long reeds toward the blue 
sky here are always, as landings for the tourist 
steamers, enormous black pontoons disfiguring all 
things by their presence and by their shrieking ad- 
vertisements : 'Thos. Cook & Son, Egypt, Limited.' 
Further, one hears the whistle of the train that mer- 
cilessly skirts the river, to traverse thence the Delta 
as far as the Soudan, carrying hordes of European 
invaders. And, finally, close to the stations are the 
inevitable factories, ironically triumphant, dominat- 
ing with their smokestacks all those poor, ruinous 
objects that still attempt to voice Egypt and its 
mystery. . . . 



48 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

"Poor, poor Nile, that once reflected on its warm, 
glassy waters the sum of earthly magnificence, that 
bore so many barks of gods and goddesses in train 
behind the golden ship of Ammon, and that knew 
only, until the dawn of ages, purity impeccable, in 
human form as well as in architectural conceptions I 
. . . What a fall ! After that disdainful slumber 
of twenty centuries, to bear to-day the floating bar- 
racks of Cook's agency, to feed sugar factories, and 
to exhaust itself in growing from its fecund mud the 
stuff for English cottons ! . . ." 

Wherever M. Loti goes he has the same lament. 
He visits Luxor, and on Luxor modernized he pens 
one of his most plaintive chapters. He finds Luxor 
dominated by the stucco monstrosity of a huge hotel, 
and the whole district flooded with impossible people, 
with tourist boats ; he finds the whole place swarming 
with specimens of the whole world's plutocracy, 
dressed by the same tailors, hatted by the same hat- 
ters; shops and all the other impedimenta of so-called 
civilization; and, above all the babel of the tourist, 
the same people whom one sees at Nice or on the 
Riviera. The noise of dynamos disturbs these an- 
cient airs. 

At Thebes it is the same. There are chapters on 
Thebes at high noon, Thebes at night. We see the 
beauties as Loti can so graphically paint them, and 
then we are shown the blots upon them; that is the 
story of almost every chapter in the book. Even 
midnight in Thebes is not safe: 

"This moon," he sighs, "will presently bring peo- 
ple. A league away, at Luxor, I know well they are 



EGYPT RUINED 49 

hurriedly rising from their tables, so as not to miss 
the celebrated spectacle. For me, then, it is time to 
escape, and so I move away, toward the pyramids of 
Ptolemy, where dwell the watchmen of the night. 
Already they are busy, these Bedouins, opening the 
way for some tourists, who have shown permits, and 
who carry kodaks and stuff for flashlight pictures 
there, in the temples. . . . Further off is the crowd 
arriving, carriages, people ahorse, on donkeys, talk- 
ing and shouting, in all tongues save Egyptian. . ." 

So we could go on, chapter on chapter. We gain 
throughout the sharp outline of Loti, poet and mys- 
tic, most passionate of pagans, and most devout of 
religious men, flying, always flying, before the tour- 
ists of our time. He is like Lafcadio Hearn, like 
Robert Louis Stevenson, and many others, masters 
of the same craft of prose, himself somewhat out of 
tune with the time. He is of those who remind us 
of other and, so they vow, much finer times. What 
these men suffer, in that they are so out of tune with 
our drab modern tone, we gain, since they so admir- 
ably voice their sufferings in prose. 

Loti has many fine passages calling on the Egyp- 
tian of to-day to restore the ancient, reverent things 
and to oust all these alien influences. There are pas- 
sages aimed at the English financial operations by 
which Egypt is squeezed like a lemon. But, chiefly, 
his note is pity for the Egypt of to-day, for tourist- 
ridden Egypt, and pity for the illimitable patience of 
the Egyptian fellaheen. 

As for his hatred of the tourist, here is the irony 



50 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

of things exemplified: his pages on Egypt are so 
beautiful in their descriptions, in their evocations of 
all that is mysterious and lovely in that land, that all 
who read will wish to see Egypt and thereby swell 
the army of the tourists so loathed by M. Loti. 



CHAPTER THREE 

VANDALISM IN MODERN FLORENCE 

IT is not only Luxor that the vandals have tried 
to modernize; not alone Loti who has pro- 
tested. 

It is curious to note how these things move 
in waves, though continents and oceans may inter- 
vene. The pest of attempting to fill with plaster the 
fine ruins of this or that splendid and authentic bit 
of architecture or sculpture in this or that corner of 
the ancient world ; of disclosing with acids and washes 
portions of antique paintings hitherto rich in mys- 
tery and the dignifying veils of Time; of interpret- 
ing through impertinent and dilettante spectacles the 
meanings of nobly cryptic passages in paint, in prose 
or stone this pest has for many years past been run- 
ning a devastating blaze across the world of art. 
Money, perhaps, has been the root of some of that 
evil; there are hardly authentic antiquities enough 
for the collecting millionaires, and so the manufac- 
ture of antiquities, the falsifying of the genuine, the 
forging and the faking have resulted simply to supply 
a demand. Of all that forging and doctoring up of 
spurious antiquities, Florence has long been the 
capital. 

Just as it has meant to the world at large the piv- 
otal point in the history of the arts of painting and 
sculpture, so has Florence harbored within stone's 

51 



52 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

throws of its great museums and art palaces the 
greatest art forgers in the world. This has for years 
been an accepted truth in the world of art. 

When the antique masterpieces of Florence have 
for years past shown the blighting activities of the 
itch for restoration, it is little wonder that the can- 
vases of a Homer Martin should have been put under 
legal scrutiny that caused nothing less than scandal- 
ous chatter in every artistic community in America, 
or that Rembrandt's "Mill" or this or that other sup- 
posed masterpiece has been declared of doubtful 
authenticity. Since the fiasco of Herr von Bode and 
other omniscient gentlemen, we are somewhat accus- 
tomed to doubt. Yet it was something of a shock to 
discover that not even the great public galleries of 
Florence safe, we supposed, from the chicane pos- 
sible in private places have been free from the 
mania for restoring, for touching up, for dangerously 
meddling, in short, with the world's accepted master- 
pieces in paint. 

THE war of the resident painters and connoisseurs 
against the authorities directing the great Florentine 
galleries has been long in coming to a head. The 
directorate of the Uffizi and Pitti seems, indeed, to 
have been as rank a body as any Park Commission or 
Water Board convicted of incompetence and corrup- 
tion in an American municipality. Not that either 
dishonesty or any selfish sort of corruption was di- 
rectly charged against those governing bodies. Their 
great crime, in the eyes of the opposition, was igno- 
rance. They hung the pictures badly; they issued 
catalogues that reeked with error, and then, worst of 



VANDALISM IN FLORENCE 53 

all, they began most abominably to manhandle some 
of the most cherished masterpieces in the Florentine 
world of paint. Works by Raphael, by Leonardo, 
were subjected to restoration, until entire ruffs or 
collars, or shoulder capes, were brought into view 
in cases where, so the artists and unattached connois- 
seurs declared, the antique artist himself had been at 
pains to obscure these first crude outlines. Simply 
because the restorer, with his chemicals and his erod- 
ing processes, discovered the canvas held those 
things, he determined to have those things displayed. 
The artist was too dead to protest. 

Florence is, as most people know, the mecca of the 
working art-world to-day. Hardly a painter in any 
country who does not come, at one time or another, 
to 'Florence. The German, the English and the 
American painters come oftenest and stay longest. 
The colony of resident artists is not inconsiderable. 
You may, in the season, go to one of the great an- 
tique galleries every morning and to a studio of a 
modern painter every afternoon. William Chase 
takes his class of students there every now and again; 
great German teachers do the same. As you walk 
or drive on the Viale you cannot well help noting the 
curious square tower in which the painter Roelshoven 
has his dwelling and his workshop. And you may 
see, from that same spot, the wondrous house where 
lives the greatest antique dealer and greatest fraud in 
all Florence. So these opposites are always side by 
side. It is a community of living artists as well as 
of dead masterpieces. And that community of living 
artists and amateurs of art and of antiquity has a 



54 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

constant fight against the encroachment of that hid- 
eous plague of to-day, the mania for restoration. 

Florence itself, as a town, as a cluster of incom- 
parable architectural antiquities, has had to suffer 
from this plague. Not until after the old market, 
with its charming and inimitable gems and nooks and 
historic associations, had been torn away to make 
way for to-day's hideous open square, with the fright- 
ful equestrian statue of the king; not until then did 
the artists and the real lovers of Florence realize that 
there must be co-operation to defeat the enemy. The 
town government must, in those years, have had a 
silly dream of making Florence more modern, more 
comfortable, more acceptable to the tourist who 
wishes to sit outdoors and drink beer. Well, you 
can do that to-day on that square; but, if you have 
the faintest glimmer in you of the value of tone and 
time, you curse as you sit there. Florence must be 
crowded and narrow and dark and mysterious and 
cosy and old to be herself. That huge open square 
in its centre, with its tourists and its tables, its statue 
and its senseless galleries on the Strozzi side, that is 
as pathetic as a great tragedian who has come down 
to be a sandwich man. The artists, it is true, sat 
there themselves, on the side nearest the straw mar- 
ket; but as they sat they cursed many things. And 
among those whom they cursed were always the au- 
thorities of the Uffizi and the Pitti and the other 
galleries. 

IT remained for the printed articles of Signor Ric- 
cardo Nobili to arouse the general art-loving public 



VANDALISM IN FLORENCE 55 

to a realization of the conditions. In a series of ana- 
lytical and authoritative papers this critic and artist 
proved crime after crime against the authorities. 
The gist of the whole indictment was that the admin- 
istration of the public galleries was utterly incompe- 
tent, lacked expert knowledge and made up for that 
only by bureaucratic pompousness. Signer Nobili 
himself is the fine figure in this whole warfare, which 
waged for months in Florence, and was eventually 
taken higher, to the Italian Parliament itself. The 
Nobilis are themselves of the great Tuscan families, 
yet Riccardo Nobili's achievements are simply those 
of a strong individual in art and art analysis. He is 
himself painter and sculptor; he could have gone far 
in either direction; but he determined upon connois- 
seurship of art as his preferred metier. From the 
first he began war against the countless impostures 
that his home town reeked with. He has that inex- 
plicable sixth sense that tells him whether a painting, 
a statue, is genuine or false. Only by aid of that 
sixth sense can the most profound student achieve 
actual results in criticism in connoisseurship. I do 
not think either Morelli or Berenson have this sense 
so perfectly as Nobili. He is, as aforesaid, himself a 
Tuscan ; blood tells him much that not the most metic- 
ulous study could ever seize. He is himself accom- 
plished in paint and in modeling; he was one of the 
men of Julian's in Paris. He knows all the secrets of 
the forger; he has devoted his life to this cause. In 
a question of: Is this a Leonardo? or, Are those 
bronze doors genuine fourteenth century? wise is the 
millionaire or the dealer who would trust to that 
strange sixth sense that is in Riccardo Nobili. 



56 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

It is even possible, in comparatively light reading, 
to glimpse this Italian authority's knowledge of the 
subject of art, old and new. He published in Eng- 
land a few years ago a story called U A Modern An- 
tique," in which he made popular use of much of his 
learning in this sort. He told the methods whereby 
statues and canvases were artificially aged; how the 
patine was perfected, and how, in short, the dealers 
in antiquities thrived on the gullability of the type of 
collector who wanted only famous names. He told, 
too, how the modern members of the Florentine aris- 
tocracy retrieve their bankrupt fortunes by conspiring 
with such fraudulent dealers; how they lend their 
names to add a touch of genuineness to the spurious. 
Above all, Signor Nobili told the case of a young 
sculptor who created a bust which passed for an an- 
tique gem and was sold for a fabulous amount as the 
result of just such a conspiracy between dealers and 
Florentine nobles. Now, it is long notorious in Flor- 
ence that, for only one example, the Strozzi palace 
has been emptied of its real art treasures more than 
once ; yet the sale of specimens labelled genuine owing 
to their having been "in the possession of the Strozzi" 
still goes merrily on. Again, the episode central in 
S. Nobili's book has since that publication been almost 
exactly paralleled by the incident of the Leonardo 
bust and Dr. Bode. 

Florence is poor in newspapers. One need recall 
only the Fieramosca and the Nazione. There used 
to be a paper for English readers, but it no longer ex- 
ists. People who really wish to read the news of the 
day are likely to wait until the Corriere della Sera 
comes in from Milan or the Tribuna from Rome. 



VANDALISM IN FLORENCE 57 

Yet if the Nazione had done nothing save print these 
propagandist articles of S. Nobili's it would deserve 
the thanks of the world's art lovers. For weeks the 
critic pounded, in those pages, against the adminis- 
tration of the Florentine galleries; he convicted them 
of every crime that ignorance and incompetence can 
commit. More than once the intimation came to him 
that if he would only stop his pounding he could be 
made a cavaliere. But cavalieri are as thick in Italy 
as Legion of Honor men in France. S. Nobili was 
not to be swayed by these insinuations. It happens he 
is as much socialist as aristocrat; he consorts with 
such men as Edward Carpenter and Hyndman and 
Orage in England, the while the Florentine nobility 
has to admit him as brother. He Was without the 
passion for money or fame; he had the single pas- 
sion for art art as the artists had conceived and de- 
signed it. When that design was tampered with, the 
analytic critic in him became the destructive critic. 

SUCH good fighting cannot ever quite die down, 
since the vandals also never die. Only the other day 
one noted, in Florence, a new crime. It was in the 
Viale dei Colli, where the restorer has been busy at 
the old tower of San Miniato, filling in with plaster all 
traces of the cannon bullets sent against that tower 
in 1 5 2 8 by the artillery of Charles V. during the Flor- 
entine siege. 

If ours be indeed an age of facts, let them at least 
be authentic facts. We have too many pseudo art 
lovers who patter half-truth and discuss as history the 
things that are not so. There are too many Lilian 
Whitings who, as in her "Florence of Landor," point 



58 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

out as "near the Villa Landor an old villa with mar- 
ble terrace, which dates back to 1658, and where Lo- 
renzo the Magnificent died." . . . Now, Lo- 
renzo died at Villa di Careggi in 1492 ! 

If we look upon antique art and history, let us at 
least try for the authentic article. Upon antique 
Florence, upon Florentine art, I know but one sure 
guide, whom I have already named. The Baedekers 
and the Brownings and the Romolas may tell you just 
what will least disturb your parochial culture. Only 
Hewlett and Ouida have caught the tone of the Tus- 
can peasant and the Tuscan patrician, and only Ric- 
cardo Nobili, not Berenson and not Morelli, has the 
secret divining-rod that shall find the well of authentic 
Tuscan art. 

The Raphaels and the Leonardos are centuries 
dead; Homer Martin was but briefly dead; yet his 
canvases did not escape the hand of the restorer. 
What is the moral for the buyer of pictures? What 
said George Moore, in his impertinent youth, of 
Henry James, but this : "Right bang in front of the 
reader nothing happens." 

Will the picture-buyer of the future have to insist 
upon sitting in the painter's studio while the picture 
grows "right bang in front of him?" 



CHAPTER FOUR 

MUNICH: HOME OF THE ARTS 

I 
MODERNITY, PAINT, AND CARNIVAL 

IN life, as in art, the essentially modern spirit is 
hard to keep under. If Egypt, if Florence, if 
even Venice succeed, for a time, in suffusing us 
with a romantic, not to say archaic outlook 
upon life and its arts, such other-century sentiment 
does not long survive the chilly Alpine crossing. 
In order properly to emerge as moderns interested 
in modernity, the place to make for is Munich. Yes, 
Munich is the place wherein to reassert that in us 
which had of late been too much submerged beneath 
the madness of the Venetian moon and the lyric con- 
fusion of the nightingales in Florence. We were tired 
of Giotto and all his works ; beneath the gold dome of 
St. Mark's all you could catch was rheumatism; be- 
tween the Molo and the Lido there was little save 
the typhoid germ, and the antiquity merchants in the 
Via Maggio were descendants of the Forty Thieves. 
We would shake from us the dust of Italy. 

To be rid of Italian dust is not, of course, possible 
until you have the hottest of hot baths in whatever 
cleaner country your train has deposited you. For, 
as all old travelers will tell you, however enamored 

59 



60 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

you may be of antique art and its sacred crusts of 
filth, it takes something more than human Anglo- 
Saxon courage to endure patiently the dirt-encum- 
bered interiors of Italian railway trains. They are 
doubtless as sacred from the labors of the cleaner as 
a veritable bronze of the fourteenth century. Still, 
after a hot bath it is possible once again to feel mod- 
ern and clean. 

Modernity and cleanliness. No matter from 
where you reach any of the great German capitals, 
whether from the sunshine and rags of Italy or the 
fog and rags of England, the contrast results, for all 
who love wide spaces, clean streets and a general 
average of wholesome prosperity, always in favor of 
Germany. 

I recall leaving London just after one of those tur- 
bulent general elections which inaugurated the reign 
of George V. There the grim contrasts between high 
and low, between rich and poor, between fashion- 
plates and shuffling tatterdemalions, had never before 
seemed so vivid. Those very contrasts had loomed 
angrily through the fog that obscured buildings and 
horizons. Though the tumult and the shouting of 
the great political contest itself might fade from one's 
ears, the memory of the bitterness between the op- 
posed forces lingered. Paris has had its mercurial 
waves of passion and bloodshed as the commoner 
frothed against the patrician ; Italy and all the other 
Latin countries see socialism and anarchy taking 
bloody shape now and again, and in Germany itself 
the social-democrat is a factor which politically and 
even diplomatically it has become necessary to reckon 
with; yet in none of these countries, it must be con- 



MODERNITY, PAINT, CARNIVAL 61 

fessed, are the extremes farther apart than in Eng- 
land, nor an equal depth of resentment under what 
until quite recently seemed to the superficial observer 
to be resignation. 

I had to smile bitterly in noting, once again, the 
splendid spaces, the clean streets, the magnificent 
buildings, public and private, of such towns as Leip- 
zig and Munich. Recalling some of the ridiculous 
campaign cries from which I had but just come, as, 
for instance, that which painted Germany as poverty- 
stricken and its workmen forced to eat black bread 
instead of white, I felt inclined either to laughter at 
the general folly of things mundane or to tears at the 
pitiable condition of the English proletariat. For this 
at once forces itself upon our recognition whenever 
we pass from the British Isles to Germany: though 
there may, in the latter country, be distress and pov- 
erty in mining or factory districts, it does not, as in 
every great English town, obtrude itself upon the 
most unwilling observer. 

The arrogance and cold unfeelingness of the Eng- 
lish have shown themselves in nothing more than in 
the calm with which the prosperous classes there have 
for years taken for granted, have seemed quite obliv- 
ious to the horrid and filthy poverty that festers on 
almost every corner of the most fashionable British 
thoroughfare. Ragged wretches, male and female, 
drunken often enough, begging or cringing, cursing 
or crying, maudlin or sullen, inflict themselves upon 
every wayfarer through London, or Liverpool, or 
Manchester, or Newcastle, or almost any other city 
you may name. The entire English institution of 
prosperity for the few depends upon the servility or 



62 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

the wretchedness of the many. The crossing sweeper 
looks for a half-penny if he has cleared the mud from 
before you, for which sum he will be as obsequious as 
if he were your dog. You can hardly look about you 
on Regent street or the Haymarket, especially at the- 
ater time, in search for a taxi, but half a dozen sturdy 
lads in rags will fight for the opportunity to save you 
your search. Too long the Englishman of means has 
taken all this servility as his right, and all this pov- 
erty as much a matter of necessity as his own comfort. 
If recent political events in England did nothing else, 
they must at least have waked the dullard who pre- 
tends to the "better class" into realization of the fact 
that the monster underneath him is a living and omi- 
nous reality. 

For England, through this or that party in politics, 
to pretend that the case of the German proletariat is 
worse that its own that is, indeed, to laugh! The 
mines, the factories, the sweatshops of Germany may 
have their human derelicts, too ; but so much is sure, 
that these are never thrown upon the metropolitan 
stream for all to see. Greater heights there may 
be in England; but the depths are hideously 
lower; the average of decent well-being is far greater 
in Germany. You may walk the streets in any Ger- 
man capital without finding a beggar. Even the 
sight of women fulfilling the duties of a street-clean- 
ing department in the great towns of Saxony, Prussia 
and Bavaria is not likely to offend, but rather to 
amuse you. These are eminently vigorous and able- 
bodied persons ; they will slang you roundly if you do 
not give proper way to them as they strew sand upon 
the icy pavements, and they make you smile most 



MODERNITY, PAINT, CARNIVAL 63 

grimly if you remember the able-bodied loafers who 
parade London perpetually declaring for political 
and mendacious reasons that u all we want is work." 
Why, those street-cleaning dames of Leipzig and 
Munich even compare favorably, if you have any 
sense of humor and balance, with the suffragette per- 
sons of England. Sturdy, wholesome creatures these 
are; they are pictures for any artist's interest; they 
wear slouch hats and long-caped cloaks with strapped 
belts; their faces, in the cold weather, are always half 
muffled to the eyes, and until he has looked closely 
the stranger is likely to be in doubt as to whether he is 
regarding men or women. They clean the streets, 
they strew sand, and they tend the switches for the 
municipally-owned street cars. It would be interest- 
ing to propose to these good dames the predicament in 
which the British workmen has, since time immemo- 
rial, pretended to be; the mere sight of them proves 
admirably that for those who genuinely wish it the 
world has always work. 

Yet it is of this German country, whose towns 
show no rags or poverty, where streets are clean and 
spacious, where all look healthy and content, that 
English newspapers paint pictures in which bitter pov- 
erty and black bread are large in the foreground I 

MODERN, clean and artistic, Munich is all of these. 
Time was when Paris was clean; it is clean no more; 
the flying dirt there goes far toward obscuring its 
charm and dispelling its glamour. Time was, also, 
when Paris held without dispute the position of the 
world's chief center of artistic student life. That 
place is now seriously threatened by Munich. Even 



64 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

the carnival in Paris has become a rather wearisome 
farce; in Munich the carnival and all its aftermaths 
have still the real flavor of spontaneity. As for the 
modernity in Munich, you cannot be there long be- 
fore it greets you. The street cars no longer, as in 
Italy, seem intended to remind you of how much more 
foolish it is to pay money to ride when it is faster to 
walk, and as for the taximeter motor cars, they whizz 
by you with the most bewildering and beguiling fre- 
quence. Nor, if you have fallen to the motor cab's 
temptation, will you be long left in doubt as to what in 
Munich is the prevailing tone. As you are whirling 
toward the English garden and all the fashionable 
villegiatura nearby, what is it that the driver of your 
car suddenly points out to you? 

The magnificent house of Franz Stuck, the painter ! 

The spirit of the town is in that episode. It is a 
city of art and artists. Not necessarily artists merely 
in paint. From the house of Stuck to the Prinz- 
Regenten Theater, where they do the operas of Wag- 
ner so conscientiously, is but a step away. And it is 
Munich which supports the Kuenstler Theater, which 
is truly an artistic theater, created by and through 
genuine artists. Some observations upon the art of 
the theater in Germany necessarily follow all this 
contemplation of art development in Munich. I shall 
come to that presently. The point for immediate con- 
templation is this : Can you imagine an episode like 
that of the motorman and the house of Stuck on the 
American side of the water? Your driver might 
point out to you the house of this or that millionaire; 
but, after that, and a magnificent guess at the number 
of dollars represented by the aforesaid architectural 



MODERNITY, PAINT, CARNIVAL 65 

pile No ; I think that would be the sum total of Ex- 
hibit A to Z on our side of the water. Whereas the 
motorman of Munich not only pointed out, first and 
foremost, the house of a great painter, but also took 
it for granted that we knew who he was. Had we 
not known, he would not condescend to explain. 

At the very mention of Stuck's name, our too long 
dormant spirit of modernity awoke to complete alert- 
ness. We recalled, indeed, by way of finally van- 
quishing the antique spirit that had ruled us while in 
Italy, that, however Philistine the sentiment might 
seem, we preferred Stuck's portrait of himself, done 
specially for the Uffizi gallery in Florence, but lately 
hung there, to an acre or so of the redoubtable an- 
tiquities underneath that same roof. For years that 
crowded room just as you enter the Uffizi, where 
those wonderful portraits hang that men like Millais, 
and Herkomer and Andreas Zorn did of themselves, 
had seemed to us one of the most interesting in the 
place. Now they have had to open a new room, in 
one of the galleries near the stairway that leads to- 
ward the Pitti, to hold the later additions in this sort. 
In that new room hang portraits, by themselves, of 
Franz Stuck, of William Chase and of John Sargent. 
For our Sargent was, as you may have forgotten, born 
in Florence. So, as we thought of that wonderful 
specimen of paint and self-portraiture, Stuck's picture 
of himself in the Uffizi, we declared it worth a wilder- 
ness of Leonardos and at once, lest some Italian 
had overheard our thought, told the motorman to 
make for the New Pinakothek. For there, as we 
remember, hangs Stuck's terrible and compelling pic- 
ture of "Sin." 



66 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

Roaming once more about the New Pinakothek, 
gloating again over the wonderful collection of Von 
Lenbach's masterpieces there, and trying to deter- 
mine for the hundredth time whether his men or his 
women are most admirable, whether his Bismarck is 
a nobler work than his Saharet, or his Cleo more 
memorable than either, we observed how, in the 
newer additions to this gallery, the passage of time 
was being definitely marked for us. There, definitely 
established on those walls, are pictures by men who, 
not so many years ago, were held most violently seces- 
sionistic, who stood for everything that was young 
and overbold. 

Within the decade I recall a visit to the Berlin 
Secession, on the Kurfiirsten Damm, where I first 
encountered the curious art of Gustav Klimt. The 
golden mosaic decorative art of Alphonse Mucha, the 
Hungarian, was then still observable on the poster- 
pillars of Paris ; the art of Klimt, as first I saw it, had 
something of that goldleaf flavor, combined with the 
violent purples of the ultra-impressionists. And now 
a small gem of this, golden and subtle without any 
exaggeration, hangs in the Pinakothek ! 

About the art of Klimt, practically unknown out- 
side of German countries, I find my first impression, 
gained six years ago, worth recalling. In none of his 
newer canvases, either in the Miethke Gallery in 
Vienna, or in Hermann Bahr's villa m St. Veit 
(where, within the twelvemonth, I saw Klimt can- 
vases as full of magic and intoxication as a dream of 
Aphrodite in a sea of gold), have I found anything 
to put my earliest appreciation out of court. So that 
it is pertinent to give those early notes of mine here, 



MODERNITY, PAINT, CARNIVAL 67 

the more so as they stir in many ways artistic com- 
parisons that are not without profit. 

It was the first time the Secessionists of Berlin 
showed their work in the new building on the Ku'r- 
fuersten Damm. I went, in despair at the nullity of the 
convenional Salons, expecting such comfort as, in 
earlier years, the Secession had given me through 
triumphs by Rodin, and the loaned wonders of Manet 
and Monet. But horror was now piled on horror; 
the wildest freaks of woolwork, of purples, of green 
and of saffron anatomy, of sheer ugliness and folly, 
ruthlessly committed for their own sakes. Yet all 
was not a void. A notable trio still claimed my de- 
light. That delight I set down. It follows here : 

"At least three men remain notable Franz Stuck 
and Koloman Moser, each long since famous, and 
Gustav Klimt, a new man. Professor Moser again 
shows us specimens of jewelry and metal work that 
make us eternally dissatisfied with all that our home 
shops show us. And of Stuck, here is again his fa- 
mous 'Sphinx.' Nothing new to say of this master- 
piece in the allegory of flesh; cruel still those hard 
breasts ; cold still that lowering face, promising volup- 
tuousness, and assuring destruction. New canvases, 
by Stuck, are two. One shows Susanna at the Bath, 
the tawny girl curtaining herself against the senile 
eyes of the bearded watchers. The other shows a 
Fight for the Female. As combatants, two hairy, 
barbarian males; as prize and judge, a woman. The 
combatants are crouched toward each other; their 
eyes glitter brutally, their naked hands curl to claws; 
all their muscles quiver in rage and lust; the very hair 
of their beards and their naked bodies takes on the 



68 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

air of bristles. Beside them, disdainful, at once the 
prize and the princess, the lady of battles and the bat- 
tle's booty, stands the woman, tawny, sombre, cruel, 
the same woman of the same artist's 'Sphinx,' repell- 
ing, yet attractive, like a dark, alluring vice. Un- 
couth, brutal, barbarian, the picture reminds of Rops ; 
against the exquisitely sharpened wit of the Flemish 
master you have the hard animality of the Teuton. 

"Finally, one new man to be noted internationally, 
Gustav Klimt. A curious craft, his. A roomful of 
his work displays his heights, his depths. Women, 
all women. A method, if one must attempt compari- 
son, compound of Mucha and Botticelli. Do you re- 
call, perchance, the glorious golden panels that Al- 
phonse Mucha wasted upon the world's walls some 
years ago in advertisement of Bernhardt's 'Gis- 
monda?' Well, in much that fashion are wrought 
the best of these decorative canvases by Klimt. There 
is much gold and mosaic color in the background, 
much tenuous vapor in the figures themselves, a trans- 
parency and vagueness that is as if a girl of Botticelli 
were seen through the thin translucent glass of a bowl 
by Alexander. These are slim gilt souls that shine 
through slim gilt bodies. In several of the canvases 
only the vagueness and the thinness remain; but in 
one, at least, a definite result shines clear. This is in 
the canvas showing Judith. The triumphant Jewess, 
most wonderfully vivified, with lids half shut, the 
upper lip lifted to disdain and to triumph, in her hand 
the head of Holofernes. A trite enough subject. 
But for once this artist has shown that through his 
vapors, his gilt, his decorative mosaics and his flow- 
ing lines of supple limbs, he can call forth a real soul." 



MODERNITY, PAINT, CARNIVAL 69 

To-day not only Klimt, but many other whilom 
Secessionists hang upon the walls of Pinakothek. 
(About Klimt, by the way, I hold it a pity that only 
through a luxurious and expensive portfolio issued by 
Miethke of Vienna are his newer designs to be seen. 
He rarely exhibits, and reproductions are barred by 
the firm just named.) The story of youth rebellious, 
old age conservative, repeats itself in every century, 
and it is emphasized especially now by the fact that in 
Munich the artists of the Secession no longer hold 
their exhibit apart from the academic Salon; the two 
bodies now exhibit amicably together. 

Since all this breaking away from established aca- 
demic groups, all this secession and all the coming to- 
gether again has taken place in one generation, it is 
interesting to note how in each recurring annual ex- 
hibition of paintings in Munich, to say nothing of the 
New Pinakothek itself, the work of former Secession- 
ists may be found. Of these are Adolf Muenzer, 
Max Slevogt, Louis Corinth. (Decorations of 
Muenzer, as of another artist familiar to readers of 
Jugend, Julius Diez, fill much space in the Kur- 
haus in Wiesbaden, affording an interesting contrast 
to the methods of our own Abbey, Sargent or Par- 
rish.) Of the Slevogt portrait of Tilla Durieux 
which I remarked as notable when I saw it in that 
Munich gallery I was sharply reminded when the 
Pdw-Jagow-Flaubert incident set all Germany laugh- 
ing in the spring of 1911. Berlin's Police President, 
it will be recalled, censored the issue of Pan print- 
ing pages from an early diary of Flaubert; shortly 
afterwards, watching, in his capacity as stage censor, 
a rehearsal, Herr von Jagow takes a fancy to his 



70 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

neighbor, the actress Tilla Durieux; he writes her a 
note, underscoring his official interest in the theater, 
and wishes to be asked to her apartment that after- 
noon. Tilla Durieux, as all Berlin but Herr von 
Jagow knew, is the wife of the millionaire owner of 
the just suppressed Pan! Amid the roars of 
laughter, I thought of the Slevogt portrait of the 
Durieux that had been in Munich. Nor was that, 
for me, the end of the incident; Herr von Jagow's 
rancor was not stilled; he suppressed, presently, an- 
other issue of Pan, to which I, following a kindly 
suggestion of Dr. Alfred Kerr's, was a contributor. 
Not my article, however, but one by Herbert Eulen- 
berg, offended Von Jagow's nicety on that occasion. 
To Herr von Jagow I must ever feel grateful. He 
gave me, by the colossal mistake he made, one of the 
heartiest laughs in my life, and he helped something 
of my writing into the rare field of confiscation. 

ON the board of directors of the Secessionists are 
to-day such men as Von Stuck, Angelo Jank, Von Kel- 
ler and Von Habermann. Von Keller is portraitist; 
Jank paints horses and cavalrymen. It is Hugo von 
Habermann whose work is least known abroad. Se- 
cessionist once, now one of the grand old men of Ger- 
man art. With the Von Kellers, the Muenzers, the 
Stucks and the Lenbachs, some of his canvases hang 
in the New Pinakothek. One year I was fortunate 
enough to see in Munich a three-man show, in which 
Von Habermann was represented by no less than one 
hundred and thirty-odd canvases. 

From all these, too many, pictures this seemed to 
cry out most loudly: Here is a great master of male 



MODERNITY, PAINT, CARNIVAL 71 

portraiture who has chosen all his life to paint 
women. You could number the men portrayed on 
your fingers; the female faces and forms were tiring 
to count. Women, many women, dressed and un- 
dressed, this painter has painted. He gives you 
mostly dark figures who are by no means beautiful, 
but in whom there is always some definite trait of 
character or suggestion. Yellows, roses and violets 
he loves in his handling of stuffs. He paints the fe- 
male form as critic rather than as lover. In a touch 
of characteristic profile he finds his delight, and even 
exaggerates it toward caricature. For 40 years he 
has been a growing dominant figure in German art. 
In his early pictures, done in the seventies, you will 
find the tendencies of the earliest Secessionists. Even 
then he was himself a Secessionist, in that he never 
went the academic way. 

Those essential characteristics of his that deprive 
his women of beauty while accentuating their anatom- 
ical ruggedness go exactly to the strengthening of his 
portraits of men. Working always in swift strokes 
that give many of his canvases the effect of sketches, 
one conceives his painting mood to have been an iron- 
ically grim realism. One does not know whether most 
to admire the consistency with which he made all his 
subjects angular in contour and expression, or to won- 
der where he found so many models to his unsparing 
hand. For German women, after all, are not like 
that. One must not expect, of course, mere Germans 
from a German ; but it does arrest one a little to note 
how, in a lifetime of work, this German seems never 
once to have departed from depicting the type he had 
chosen from the first. Only once, perhaps, does he 



72 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

approach the fat-cheeked teuton type as popularly 
imagined; in his "Maid in the Open" he shows a girl 
thick-lipped and almost heavy with passion. Mostly, 
however, we see, over and over again, those sharp 
lines, sharp features, sharp elbows; everything sharp; 
blues and purples too sharp upon the flesh-tints; 
women who are sometimes provoking, but nearly 
always ugly; women naked and women clothed; 
women hardly anything but women. A nude by 
Von Habermann reminds the observer of little save 
the old paganism, to the effect that the boy's body is 
more beautiful than the girl's. 

At least twice Habermann approaches perilously 
close to methods that Whistler made his own. Once 
in No. 6 of the year 1875, called "The Nun." The 
black-robed figure, shading imperceptibly into the 
gray background; the silhoutted face that might be 
mistaken for a man's; these all recall Whistler irre- 
sistibly. Again, almost to the butterfly, almost to the 
framed picture hung in the left upper corner, almost 
to the very title, indeed, there is Habermann's "Por- 
trait of the Artist's Mother." The old lady lives and 
smiles at you ; she is more in the foreground than in 
the famous Whistler canvas; yet to miss the compar- 
ison is impossible. Habermann must have dared his 
trick intentionally; so great a master of technique 
would scorn to fear the parallel. With the best in- 
tentions, however, the German has failed to make a 
picture that will keep as placid a charm, as vigorous 
a strength as that noble picture in the Luxembourg. 
Tricks in technique have always delighted this mas- 
ter; the two most arresting nudes he has done are his 
"Nude in Green" and his "Remorse." In this latter 



MODERNITY, PAINT, CARNIVAL 73 

picture those qualities of his which may have affected 
the observer unpleasantly hardly count at all, for the 
reason that the figure is shown with its face hidden 
and buried in the pillows of a couch; the back of the 
figure seems perfect in anatomy, and even the angu- 
larities typical of this painter emphasize, in this case, 
the peculiar tragedy of the situation. The very shad- 
ows in the neck and the shoulder help the text the pic- 
ture is intended to convey. 

Perhaps it is the consensus of opinion that Von 
Habermann is a great painter of women. I conclude 
otherwise. I hold him a fine painter of men who has 
wasted himself on women. As for his models, they 
have proved that it is possible to be interesting with- 
out being beautiful. Of the German female figure, it 
is as interesting and individual an impression that one 
gains in this man's work as, say, from the work of the 
late F. von Reznicek. If Von Habermann seems to 
intend to give us the idea that the female form is sim- 
ply an anatomical study in angles, Von Reznicek for 
years imposed upon the world at large a fantastic ver- 
sion of feminine beauty to which the facts never cor- 
responded. 

THE case of the late Von Reznicek leads immedi- 
ately to the great gulf fixed between the Munich car- 
nival of fact and the carnival of fancy. Even so, the 
actual Maxim's in Paris is a distinct disenchantment 
to those who have known only the Maxim's of legend. 
For years a group of artists with headquarters in 
Munich, Von Reznicek at the head, has been filling 
the world with a notion of the gayety and charm of 
Munich in the season of carnival, which has attracted 



74 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

and fascinated wherever seen. Neither the beauty 
nor the so-called bohemianism of Paris ever presented 
greater freedom from conventional restraints, or a 
higher average of feminine beauty. Arresting in out- 
line, impeccable in drawing and fascinating in color, 
the sketches were absolutely the world's models of 
carnival gayety. 

Two years ago Von Reznicek died. The volumes 
of Simplicissimus, and particularly the special num- 
bers devoted to carnival during the last 10 years con- 
tained abundant proofs of the truth of the assertion 
that this Hungarian artist drew from fancy rather 
than from fact. In the very fact of his Hungarian 
nationality lies the crux of the argument. He was 
painting always the Viennese girl whom best he loved, 
rather than the Munich girls who were pretended as 
his subjects. And out of what actuality does the Mar- 
quis Franz de Bayros draw those wonderful women 
which he repeats over and over for our somewhat dis- 
turbed delight? They are as shepherdesses of Wat- 
teau or Sevres; they go as daintily as verses of De 
Musset or Dobson, and they are more shamelessly 
suggestive than Beardsley, less brutal and so more 
dangerous than Rops. The man cannot draw cor- 
rectly, and yet his false lines have an allure of grace, 
of charm, and of mystery that almost atones for what 
they have of perversity. One thing must be allowed 
De Bayros, he has no superior in arrangement of 
skirts and frou-frous, in multiplying adornment which 
yet hides nothing. His ladies are like those who in 
the longest of skirts, the most voluminous of laces, 
suddenly kick you the most astounding can-can, flash- 
ing at you all that seemed so completely hidden. No 



MODERNITY, PAINT, CARNIVAL 75 

beauty of the Pompadour period had ever fairer form 
under fairer raiment than these of De Bayros, whose 
bookplates alone will keep his name sweet, even if 
much of his art is by no means of the sweetest. Now, 
in what corner of Munich does De Bayros find his 
models ? No, no ; it is all artistic glamour ; the eye of 
the beholder. Most stupendous of follies, to seek 
always the explanation of an art, the originals for a 
story, the models for a picture; to think that a writer 
is to be found in his work. Child's play, stuff for im- 
mature minds, whatever their age. Not even in car- 
nival, when Munich does its best to be gay, to be ro- 
mantic, to be beautiful, are these lovely ladies of Von 
Reznicek, of De Bayros and of half a dozen others 
to be seen. 

Actual experiences of the carnival in Munich or, 
as the Muenchener himself calls it, "Fasching" 
proves that all this artistic glamour, and almost all 
of this feminine beauty, exists entirely in the eye of 
the beholder. The population of Munich goes about 
the business of carnival gayety with a determination 
that is admirable, but which does not lift either male 
or female from an inherent bourgeoisie. You see 
the streets filled almost every night for the weeks be- 
fore Mardi Gras with men and women, old and 
young, fantastically arrayed, and bound for balls, for 
masquerades or other timely festivals; but those ar- 
resting beauties, those fashion plates, those fascinat- 
ing forms in dress and undress which the artists have 
for years been giving us as typical of the time and the 
place those do not exist. Even at the Deutsche 
Theater, at the Bal Pare, while you see a welter of 
women as gay as impertinent, as thirsty, as light of 



76 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

feet and doubtless of morals as the most epicurean 
might wish, yet the world they represent is artistically 
far below that world this group of artists has con- 
spired to fashion. In this group, besides those names 
have been Galanis, Kley, Heilemann and many 
others. Most of them, as has been said, have im- 
posed their memories of Hungarian, of Viennese, of 
Polish, and of Parisian compatriots upon the world. 

That gulf between the physical exterior of the 
population of Munich and its artistic interest remains 
one of the mysteries hard for the alien to solve. 
Munich discusses everything artistic under the sun, 
the Wagner or Mozart festivals, the singing at Bay- 
reuth, the playing of the peasants in the Ammergau, 
the spectacles of Max Reinhardt, the anecdotes of 
Roda Roda, the newest operetta at the Theater an 
der Wien or on the Gaertner Platz, the pictures 
those thousands of pictures, new and old, which sur- 
round us always in Munich. It discusses all these 
things, and meanwhile every other male in Munich 
looks like a butcher or a beer keg, and every other 
female like a cook.. The miracle of how the Bava- 
rian beauty manages by inartistic apparel to defeat 
the ends of nature may be solved when we discover 
how the Munich artists, facing the awful facts, con- 
tinue to present those fascinating visions of theirs. 

For the ironic contemplation carnival, whether in 
Paris, in New Orleans, in Mobile, in Monte Carlo or 
in Munich, tends necessarily to disenchantment. That 
the real spirit of the real article exists best in Munich 
there can be as little denying as that this same best is 
still far behind the artist's version. The very fact, 
however, that the Munich carnival has stimulated so 



MODERNITY, PAINT, CARNIVAL 77 

much memorable art, not only in the world of paint, 
but in literature, as in the pantomimes of O. J. Bier- 
baum, proves the sincerity and value of this carnival 
spirit. When Frank Wedekind wrote an obvious 
sketch of Von Reznicek in his curious play, "Oaha," 
he added merely one more line for the future histo- 
rian of the South German art movements to record. 
The Munich population itself may look like well, 
what it does look like ; the Munich police may try, by 
forbidding dominos at masked balls, or curtains be- 
fore chambres separees, or by suggesting an amuse- 
ment tax, to damp the ardor of this carnival spirit, 
yet it remains with all its disenchantments one of the 
things in the modern world most worth while having 
tasted. None that has come under spell either of the 
carnival itself or of the art it has called forth in 
Munich will ever readily forget either. 

II 

ILLUSTRATIONS AND POSTERS 

ALL the arts touch one another; one incites the 
other; the temptation to wander from studios to the- 
aters, from paintings to plays or music or books is 
constantly harassing the critic. As a mere mundane 
mood like carnival (though some of its beginnings are 
in things professedly not mundane) has stimulated 
paint, and literature and pantomime, as I pointed out 
just now, so do all these paintings that are spread be- 
fore us in Munich start constant reflections upon kin- 
dred arts. Yet, before I come to any of these, there 
remain two details that seem valuable to art lovers. 



78 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

One concerns the art of the affiche, or artistic poster; 
the other is about various inexpensive forms of art that 
even the poorest amateur should be able to afford. 

Few visitors to Munich are aware that an annual 
event there is the auction of the originals used by that 
most celebrated of artistic weeklies, Jugend. Inti- 
macy with the contributors to the early volumes of 
that paper means intimacy with painters who are to- 
day upon the w r alls of the Pinakothek. I emphasize 
this, lest pseudo-artistic snobs suppose these drawings 
and sketches of little value. In nothing is good taste 
so profitable as in art ! You must have courage, and 
taste, a generation before the world's chorus begins. 
There is the whole secret. It is true the work sold in 
one of these auctions partake largely of caricature, 
besides having the defect of showing that it has been 
prepard for reproduction; as in so many cases where 
artists work for engraving, or lithograph, or color- 
printing, the print shows none of the crudities of the 
original. Nevertheless, if Americans who wish to 
decorate their apartments, their little houses, their 
bungalows, or even their town houses, inexpensively 
and yet artistically, would make a point of going to 
Munich every spring and attending those auction 
sales there they would be able to have on their walls 
something better than the Gibson, and Fisher, and 
Christy prints they now enjoy, in community with a 
few other million amateurs of the same taste. Those 
color sketches, for purposes of print in that Munich 
periodical, are, after all, actual originals. The same 
thing may be said of the color etchings which distin- 
guished artists all over Europe are now beginning 
more and more to produce. The small householder 



MODERNITY, PAINT, CARNIVAL 79 

and art lover pays for a color etching by a good artist 
about one-tenth of what he would have to pay for an 
original; yet he knows that only a limited number of 
other copies exist and that the artist has signed each 
copy. Only in the last two or three years has any 
effort been made in America to emphasize the value 
and delight of this form of art. Some of us have not 
visited Paris ever, in the last decade, without acquir- 
ing at least one such treasure. They do not cost more 
than some men pay for a dinner. In Paris the names 
of Laffitte, of Robbe, of Osterlind, of Mueller, of 
Willette, are specially connected with this form of 
art, and the wonderful landscapes of Thoma are 
hardly equalled even by an original oil or water color. 
In Munich the show of this branch of art is increas- 
ing. T. Franz Simon of Paris has done color etch- 
ings. Such of them as portray scenes and moods of 
Paris are worth attention, but his sketch of Hyde 
Park in London too clearly reveals the haziness of his 
method. One sees in that etching too vividly that he 
does not know good horseflesh or accoutrement when 
he sees it. One or two Austriaris, as F. Michl of 
Vienna and August Broemse of Prag, have taken up 
this branch, as have Axel Krause of Copenhagen, 
Henri Forrestier of Geneva and Alexander Lieb- 
mann of Munich; but in most cases one can admire 
little save the evidence that these artists are alive to 
this essentially modern method of supplying actual 
original art to that portion of the public which cannot 
afford paintings. In Florence, I remember, we had 
looked in vain, and only found one single artist, a 
woman, M. de Cordoba, attempting color etchings, 
and in Venice it had not been much better; there the 



8o VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

sum total was two artists who had reproduced the in- 
evitable lagoon and gondolier. 

The similar art of color etching from wood cuts 
seems, in the Munich show of this year, to be largely 
chosen by women artists. Broncia Pinell-Koller of 
Vienna, Anne Poll of Miinchen, Louis Pollitzer of 
Miinchen, Anna Ostroumowa-Lebeddewa of St. 
Petersburg and Dora Seifert of Dresden these 
were the foremost in this art patterned after 
the old Japanese methods. In America this art 
is still in its infancy. There was a Norwegian 
painter in Chicago, whose name will not come at 
this moment's bidding, and there was once an exhibi- 
tion of a few specimens by F. A. Nankivell on Fifth 
avenue, but to all intents this other, with that of color 
etching from copper, is still a virgin field on our side. 
All these forms of art, color etchings from wood or 
metal, sketches done for illustration, and the rest, are 
inexpensive and genuine. 

THERE remain those posters which in design and 
execution are artistic. Some years ago England and 
America took up the collecting of these, and it looked 
for a time as if the whole tone of pictorial advertising 
would improve. But there has come a reaction, so 
that once again only France, Italy and Germany offer 
the passer-by posters from which, if he have any fine 
taste, he will not hurry away as fast as possible. It 
is by its posters, even if one avoids galleries and 
museums on principle, that Munich proclaims imme- 
diately to the visitor its supremacy as an art center. 
Here, again, I had the frightful contrast hit me like 
a blow when I reached Munich after the last general 



MODERNITY, PAINT, CARNIVAL 81 

election in England. Nothing in all that bitter polit- 
ical struggle had been more awful and inartistic than 
the average poster used on the hoardings. Though 
literally acres of space must have been used through- 
out England in this way, so that for the time being 
the notoriety of soaps, beers, whiskies and actors was 
obscured, yet there was not one single work of art in 
the lot. Crude and clumsy depictions of melodra- 
matic texts; flaring letters and not one single artistic 
line. As for anything signed by an artist of any dis- 
tinction, that was out of the question. One had to 
wonder, recalling the work such men as Dudley 
Hardy, the Beggar-staffs, Raven-Hill and many 
others were doing ten years ago, and as some few, 
notably Hassall, are still doing to-day, why the men 
in charge of political parties in England are so much 
more stupid than the men in charge of comic operas, 
of periodicals and of champagne. There was never a 
campaign in which the assistance of the English silk- 
stocking element was more needed, so that the argu- 
ment about the need for only the workingman's en- 
thusiasm falls to the ground. 

The first quarter of an hour in Munich brought 
those inartistic London memories closer. Here, too, 
were acres of space covered, but by posters that were 
almost always a delight to contemplate. You were 
likely, in fact, to stop and examine them at your leis- 
ure. Whether, for art shows, for American bars, for 
this or that masked ball, or cafe or restaurant, the 
poster itself was nearly always attractive, of manage- 
able size, and by an artist who had not been afraid 
to sign his name. The most cursory stroll showed 
Adolf Munzer's three-sheet for the Bals Fare's at the 



82 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

German Theater that carnival season (and Miinzer is 
now prominent on the walls of the permanent state- 
owned academy buildings throughout Germany) and 
the smaller specimens of I. R. Wetzel of Jugend; 
of Leo Putz, done for the Modern Gallery, where the 
strange paintings of Max Slevogt are on view, while 
for such institutions as the Kunstverein, the Restau- 
rant Platzl, the carnival dances at the Colosseum, the 
Carnival Association of Munich, the Simplicissimus 
Masked Ball and the Simplicissimus Bierhall, the 
Casino Bar, the Maxim American Bar, and the Savoy 
Bar, the Dance Festival of the Suabian Brewery, the 
sporting goods shop of one Wagner, and innumerable 
others, there were posters, often charming, always 
arresting and nearly always of good workmanship, 
by such signers as O. Graf, H. Treiber, Blecker, Back- 
mund, Kneip, Meier and Treiber. Finally, there was 
the sphinx-like head framed in gold mosaic by F. von 
Stuck, advertising the winter show of the Seces- 
sionists. 

With that poster of Stuck' s we come back to the 
Secessionists, you see, who are now hand in glove in 
amity with the academicians. We are whirling once 
more in the motor-car, and the driver is pointing out 
to us ... I ask you to note how in Munich art 
dominates everything. Stray as you will, wander into 
the most trivial asides, it is to art we return. For 
Munich is the greatest, the freest of all art towns. 
She does not so much compel as lure. 



MODERNITY, PAINT, CARNIVAL 83 
III 

ART AND THE OPEN-AIR THEATER 

EYES tired, feet sore, lungs choked on air breathed 
over and over again, even the most devoted art lovers 
greet with relief the passing from picture galleries 
into fresh air. Let us take a whiff of fresh air 1 Fresh 
air in art, bribe me properly and I will write you a 
book upon that. Neither through literature, nor gal- 
leries, nor the theater does fresh air blow as it should. 
Wilde cultivated literature without it; Nietzsche 
might not have gone mad so soon if in his philosophy 
and his life there had been more outdoor ozone. . . . 
I am coming, thus leisurely, to that fascinating theme, 
the open-air theater. It has interested me as much 
as the more heralded business at Bayreuth, or the 
Passion Play. To all these you come easily and logic- 
ally from Munich, and the pedigree of the open-air 
theater movement may be traced to Oberammergau, 
to various lesser known villages in the Bavarian high- 
lands, in Bohemia, and in Tyrol. There native tradi- 
tion and legend have succeeded in keeping something 
of Homeric peasant-lore and natural sense of drama 
intact. From such beginnings eventually developed 
the serious evolution toward the open-air theater. 

All the arts touch; I say it again. Fresh air in all 
the arts I That has been my cry in many times and 
places. Some years ago, when the art colony at 
Lyme, in Connecticut, was just born, I aroused the 
laughter of some of those painting persons by con- 
tending that, for the decoration of town mansions 
only one sort of picture, or one sort of landscape, was 



84 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

fit, namely, that showing clear sunlight and fresh air. 
Town houses are dark and shadowy places; put into 
them a Troyon, a Corot, or even an Inness, and, un- 
less it is a proper gallery with north light or glassed 
roofs, you are but adding darkness unto darkness. 
The further I fare, the more I uphold that theory of 
mine. The open-air theater in Germany has fixed me 
in my belief. 

It may clear the air a little to touch upon the title 
of this form of theater. Heretofore, in English, we 
have gone to the rococo Italian phrase "al fresco. " 
Just as we have gone to the Greeks and the Latins for 
our stadiums and our amphitheaters. The German 
has gone, it seems to me, to the French for his title. 
He has taken the "plein air" of the landscape paint- 
ers, the impressionists, the vibrationists, and all the 
rest of them, and he has called his new art form "Die 
Freilicht-Biihne," which is, literally, "plein air," or 
"free-light stage ;" and the best word of our own that 
we can give is, I maintain, simply the open-air theater. 
The most definite meaning lies in that phrase; the 
whole setting of the art, and the whole art itself, is 
most clearly so expressed. 

Let me apologize a little to our friends, the Ger- 
mans, for having, in times past, accused their drama 
of a lack of fresh air. Some of them, through this 
fresh-air movement we are now regarding, have come 
to realize what was the matter. Year after year it 
was my habit to return from Germanic theaters with 
my most poignant memory having to do with 
crowded, tight-shut, stuffy theaters, in which stuffy, 
unnatural art got iself performed. One year I went 
so far as to say that the German theater would never 



MODERNITY, PAINT, CARNIVAL 85 

progress as long as it went on breathing foul air. The 
average German theater was as impervious to ozone 
as the average railway compartment in which the 
majority is German. 

I do not say that criticism from Anglo-Saxons had 
anything to do with it. The Teuton is still somewhat 
inclined to regard anything save the bombastic as be- 
ing mere airy journalistic nothing. But the fact re- 
mains: To-day the open-air theater movement is a 
most conspicuous and interesting artistic detail in all 
Germany. In the open air, in fresh ozone, and in the 
natural decoration of the unaltered landscape, dra- 
matic art in Germany has at last sought refuge from 
the sudden closed spaces in which too long it had been 
confined. The progressing theory that we should 
live more and more outdoors, should eat and drink 
and sleep winter and summer outdoors, has extended 
itself to the art of the theater, until we have this pres- 
ent, definite, distinct cult. 

While in America this tendency takes hold slowly, 
and but casually, as in the case of Maude Adams, or 
the sylvan spectacles of the Bohemian Club of San 
Francisco, in Europe, and especially in German- 
speaking countries, the open-air theater is spreading 
its influence farther and farther. All such outdoor 
performances are within easy reach of the ordinary 
traveler, all with regular repertoires, and all well 
worth special trips. Whoso loves the drama for its 
own sake, aside from social or snobbish calculations, 
should not return from Europe without having vis- 
ited one or another of these open-air theaters. Among 
those in continuous operation are theaters in Thale, 
in the Hartz Mountains; in Nerothal, near Wies- 



86 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

baden, and at Castle Hertenstein, near Lucerne. The 
theater in the Hartz has been giving its performances 
for no less than eight summers past. Those near 
Wiesbaden and Lucerne date only from Whitsuntide 
of 1909. In Orange, and elsewhere in France; in 
the Arena Goldoni, in Florence, and many other 
spots, these episodes in outdoor drama have occurred. 
I must, however, content myself with but one part of 
the field, and choose there one typical instance. 

THE main point that has so far developed from 
such experiments by the Germans is that the classic 
drama of the Greeks and of the giants like Shakes- 
peare and Goethe best lends itself to this setting. Es- 
sentials are unity of scene, and primitive expression. 
Large elemental emotions come to their fullest value 
under these circumstances. Natural men and women 
may be successfully presented; finesse and delicate 
shading fall flat. The plays should be such as to im- 
press the far spectator who has not clearly heard the 
speech itself. Great legends, plays of great histor- 
ical or internationally symbolic significance, are the 
ones most chosen. These were the plays performed 
at Thale in the Hartz, though also modern matter 
was included, as may be seen from this partial list of 
the repertoire for 1909: Heinrich von Kleist's 
"Herrmannsschlacht;" Hebbel's "Gygest and His 
Ring;" Hauptmann's u The Sunken Bell;" Suder- 
mann's "Teja;" in addition to several well-known 
Shakespeare and Ibsen and Goethe pieces. In the 
Hartz Theater, moreover, one found the department 
of farce not altogether excluded, as it is on the other 
stages of this sort. 



MODERNITY, PAINT, CARNIVAL 87 

Vitally interesting was the play which Ernst von 
Wolzogen specially wrote for the open-air theater 
at Nerothal, near Wiesbaden. Its name was "Die 
Maibraut" ("The May Bride"). There has been lit- 
tle in the conspicuous liberalism of the dramatic arts 
in Germany during the past two decades with which 
Von Wolzogen has not had something to do. He 
has written librettos and composed songs, written 
novels and stories and serious plays, and managed 
theaters, and, in case of need, acted and sung in his 
own person. 

Now, when it was a question of the new enterprise 
set in the rocky cleft of the Nero Valley, near Wies- 
baden, it was Von Wolzogen who wrote a piece to fit 
the occasion like a glove. He took for his text cer- 
tain mythologic or legendary revelations of Guido 
von List (great in Germanic lore) and spun out of 
those threads a great symbolic drama in which the 
elements of light, and earth, and winter, of gods and 
of men all have place and dramatic force. Tragedy 
and comedy in their most elemental expression were 
used; also dances, choruses and processionals, so that 
the piece gained an almost operatic largeness. Herr 
Rother composed music specially for the play. All 
this against the massive cloven rocks that serve as 
background gained an almost magic effect. The piece 
was an unqualified success in that open-air atmos- 
phere for which it was intended. 

Herr von Wolzogen, then, is to be noted as the 
first playwright directly to write for this newer ver- 
sion of the open-air theater. Now Wiesbaden offers 
a prize for the play given at Nerothal, and in addi- 
tion to the present theater among the rocks, a second 



88 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

smaller stage is used on the island in the garden of 
the Kurhaus in Wiesbaden itself. 

If Von Wolzogen is the first consciously to write 
a piece to fit this new development in theatric art, it 
should not be forgotten that one Friedrich Lieland 
years ago wrote a play, "Wieland der Schmied" 
( Wieland the Smith) , specially with a view to its per- 
formance in such surroundings as at that time the 
Berg Theater (Mountain Theater) in the Hartz 
alone exemplified. Also J. V. Widmann wrote a 
tragedy, "Oenone," entirely in the belief that, if 
played at all, it should be played in the open. And 
of course similar dreams have come to dramatists in 
all ages, all languages. Against the hampering and 
confining influences of the inclosed theater there has 
always been more or less revolt. Only now does it 
seem to have come to effective expression. 

The German playwright, however, who comes 
most frequently to performances at such theaters 
is Franz Grillparzer. Until, the other year, Haupt- 
mann founded his play of "Elga" upon an old play 
of Grillparzer's, modern Anglo-Saxons had come to 
forget that such a man had ever existed. But the 
Germans have never forgotten; if you will scan the 
number of performances that plays enjoy annually 
in German lands, you will always find the works of 
Grillparzer well to the fore. He satisfied admirably 
the German desire for fine rhetoric, and for more or 
less fatal tragedy. The German, as you may re- 
member, goes us always one better in the direction of 
dramatic fatalities ; he not only knows farce, and 
comedy, and tragedy, but he also knows (and pre- 
fers) what he calls the "Trauerspiel," which (you 



MODERNITY, PAINT, CARNIVAL 89 

cannot properly translate it unless you contrive such 
abomination as mourning play, or funeral play) 
means that at least one corpse must confront the final 
curtain. 

Then the hardened German playgoer, having had 
the proper amount of murder and sudden death 
that he had paid to see. went home and made a splen- 
did supper. In "Trauerspiel" there was never a 
more prolific and successful German than Grill- 
parzer. On the repertoire of the open-air theater 
Luzern-Hertenstein were Ibsen; also Schiller's 
"Bride of Messina," Goethe's "Torquato Tasso" 
and "Iphigenia in Tauris," Sophocles' "Oedipus" 
and Hoelderlin's "Death of Empedocles"; but you 
will find most of Grillparzer's, namely, "Sappho," 
"Medea" and "Hero and Leander." 

It is a performance at Hertenstein that I take as 
typical, and try to sketch here. Three times a week, 
weather permitting, plays were given. The play 
began at 3 in the afternoon and ended about 6. 
You go by one of the lake steamers; in twenty min- 
utes the boat touches at Hertenstein, the first land- 
ing. In fact, from any of the hotels near the Kur- 
saal in Lucerne you may plainly see Hertenstein 
itself. What was once an ancestral castle, Schloss 
Hertenstein, is now modernized into a hotel. From 
the landing you walk, always ascending, to the hill- 
top, in perhaps fifteen minutes. You find yourself 
on a peninsula between the main body of the Lake 
of Four Cantons and that bend which makes toward 
Kiissnacht, where, by the way, Goethe once spent a 
few days. 

You can see both these sheets of water, Alp-in- 



9 o VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

closed, before you. Below you, against the slope of 
the hill, benches are set, the semi-circular, in the 
classic amphitheatric form. At base is the stage, 
simply the green sward, with noble giant chestnut 
trees at back and in the foreground. Leafage and 
foliage everywhere. Just where the hill slopes 
sheerly down toward the water is set a temple with 
six pillars, simply Doric in style. At right of that a 
sort of tower; at left a lower tower; again at the 
left a hut in slight logs. Except the hut, everything 
is in white stucco, sufficiently like marble. The Doric 
temple has a line of terra-cotta color just over the 
columns, and down that body run perpendicular lines 
of green at intervals; otherwise all is white against 
the green of the natural scene. Through this green 
wooded background the Alps themselves loomed 
hugely, and even of the lake itself you could get 
shimmery glimpses. 

The occasion when everything seemed at its best 
in this new and immensely interesting form of art 
was a certain performance of Grillparzer's "Hero 
and Leander." Grillparzer, it should be remarked, 
went out of his way to entitle his play romantically, 
thus: "Des Meeres und der Liebe Wellen," but to 
translate into any sort of English would but mislead 
the reader away from the fact that the play deals 
with the Hero and Leander legend. Grillparzer 
left the legend pretty much as it was, introducing 
merely a grim high priest who, having thought to 
discover that his niece (Hero) lately vowed to per- 
petual virginity and the gods, is being visited nocturn- 
ally by Leander (who nightly swims the Hellespont 
to reach her in her isolated tower), waits for a night 



MODERNITY, PAINT, CARNIVAL 91 

of storm and then extinguishes the light which burns 
on Hero's tower to guide the coming lover. Without 
the light the swimmer is lost; the sea brings up his 
body at the tower's base; Hero, when she sees it, 
perishes also; the curtain falls on the two corpses. 

To us who are, after all, inexperienced in the grim- 
mer sorts of tradegy and, outside of Shakespeare, 
but seldom listeners to blank verse on the stage, it 
was wonderful how keen the sense of drama was 
throughout the piece. Until the concluding fatality, 
which came with the proper Greek note of the in- 
evitable, there were plenty of light spots in the per- 
formance; humor was by no means absent. And, 
always, there stirred almost amazed appreciation 
of the excellent suitability of the piece to this open- 
air method. The classic robes, mostly white, or 
simple solid colors purples and blues shining 
against the white temple and the green of nature; 
the faint music sounding now and then from below 
the hill, whence, also, the actors appeared and where 
they disappeared all conspired to make a set of 
memorable pictures. 

These pictures were, one might say, set in equally 
memorable music. It was, as I recall, a somewhat 
gray day (yet exceptional in that tearful Swiss Sum- 
mer in that it passed without rain), but the green of 
the whole nook under the huge chestnuts, the loom- 
ing majesty of the Alps and the moving tragedy on 
the grass before us all gained a magic musical accom- 
paniment from the song of a nightingale that sang 
incessantly throughout the play. Now and again the 
bird was plainly visible, perched upon the topmost 
swaying branch. It carolled there, a natural artist, 



92 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

rejoicing perhaps that some of the ozone and light 
in which it lived had now begun to enter the life of 
other artists. Certainly nothing could well have been 
more memorable than that nightingale singing for 
the Grillparzer play given in the open air that day 
in Switzerland. 

It was notable more than once how admirably the 
very lines of this play fitted the natural scene before 
the spectator. The final cry of agony from Hero 
rang out into the whole landscape; you might well 
say that the Alps themselves furnished the acoustics 
for this theater. From my description you will have 
seen how few incidentals are introduced upon Nature 
in these theaters. A temple which the actors them- 
selves used instead of the "wings" of the routine 
theater; a tower at right and one at left; a statue or 
two to fit the necessities of the particular play, a 
hut; otherwise simply the scene itself. Unity and 
the elementary emotions those were the essentials. 
No change of scene or light. The old-time repeti- 
tion of the three knocks, twice warned the spectators ; 
in the next moment the players had come upon that 
bit of Nature ; the play was on. So to the end, when 
we waked from the grasp of Art (in Nature) and 
gave our applause. 

IN some of the literature upon this open-air move- 
ment there are already discussions upon the acoustics, 
the placing of the voice, on light and such other ques- 
tions. There are already magazines published solely 
in the interests of this movement. Some argue that 
certain pieces (among them the Grillparzer play 
just described) would gain by being played later in 



MODERNITY, PAINT, CARNIVAL 93 

the day, so that actual twilight would fall upon the 
concluding tragedy. Such points should show you 
the possibilities still undeveloped in this dramatic 
form. Gordon Craig's theories of light upon our 
artificial theaters, and even Max Reinhardt's cunning 
use of them, seem small compared with such a large 
affair as the best way of employing the natural light 
of day or evening. Similarly there is a certain large- 
ness about this whole enterprise that makes one fore- 
see for it a healthy and influential future. It is a re- 
volt against the too mechanical form of the indoor 
theater; it is a voice against all that smacks of in- 
doors. Indoor art of all sorts becomes eventually 
an art of emasculation and sterility. 

A public composed of snobs (who go to the opera 
to see their names in the papers), actors who are 
mere automatons and playwrights who are merely 
carpenters are the result of indoor art. The open- 
air theater is calculated to appeal to the real lovers 
of dramatic art; hardly to those who look upon the 
theater merely as a relief from business cares or 
from ennui. To visit the open-air theaters it is 
nearly always necessary to make a little excursion 
into the country; the real intention and desire are 
paramount in the spectator. As to the players, it is 
contended that there will be for them much relief 
in the absence of the artificial lights and of the con- 
fined sense of the old-fashioned theater. Much, un- 
doubtedly, still remains to be learned about the best 
handling of the voice and gesture under these new 
circumstances. But you may be sure that these Ger- 
man artists, earnestly as they have now taken up this 
new form of drama, will discover easily and thor- 



94 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

oughly the finest and most effective details that it 
needs. 

Three years ago, in the Weigelpark, near Schon- 
brunn, outside Vienna, there was made an interest- 
ing experiment, which may now appositely be 
recalled. Max Mell of Vienna had written a lit- 
tle pantomime. Another artist had designed cos- 
tumes. The players were mere students, but there 
were introduced some dances by the Wiesenthal sis- 
ters, who were later to become famous on the Euro- 
pean Continent. Against the green of the park, 
under the clear Summer sky, those delicate colored 
costumes and those charmingly fantastic dances took 
on an effectiveness that would never have been reached 
within walls. Just such stuff might now well be tried 
in the present development of the open-air theater. 
Otto Julius Bierbaum himself wrote just such panto- 
mimes; he, too, was a protagonist of the open-air 
theater, just as he once was of the Ueberbrettl. You 
will easily see the possibility, too, of an Isadora Dun- 
can, a Marie Madeline, a Maud Allan, of a Russian 
or Hungarian troup of dancers, against the wonder- 
ful green magic of Nature. 

IV 

POETS, PAINTERS AND DANCERS. 

ALL the arts touch, are links in one chain of 
beauty. The picture drawn, just now, of dancers en- 
hancing their beauty and their skill against the back- 
ground of outdoors, swings me to the poetry and the 
paint that dancers have called forth. By virtue of 



MODERNITY, PAINT, CARNIVAL 95 
T" 

which they may live when neither eyes nor legs can 
fascinate the world. 

What, to-day, does one remember of Carmencita 
more vivid than the Sargent picture in the Luxem- 
bourg? In Zuloaga's "Spanish Dancers" the entire 
type gains a permanence that neither the jeweled 
sinuosities of an Otero, nor the nimble loveliness of 
a Liane d'Eve can win. Nor are dancers alone in 
this. Any art depending on the gesture or the voice 
which only photograph or phonograph can liter- 
ally record passes more quickly than the others. 
The actor, the singer and the dancer enjoy the brief- 
est fame. They live longer by what they inspired 
in poetry and paint than by any ever so vast vogue 
they may have enjoyed while alive. 

Each visit to the New Pinakothek starts these re- 
flections. Whether Von Lenbach's Bismarck was 
greater than his Saharet, I wrote some pages back, 
recurs to me each time I view those masterpieces. 
And also, before his Saharet, I recall the most dismal 
Good Friday in my life. 

It was in Hamburg. I was marooned, bankrupt. 
Through that grim veil of penitence nothing of en- 
tertainment could possibly pierce; yet certain paint- 
ings succeeded in making me forget the clangor of 
the church bells. Not the bulbous beauties of Hans 
Makart in the famous gallery; those were old stories. 
No simply the publicly exposed portraits of Saharet 
the dancer, who was presently to visit the Alstertown. 
Apparently every other portraitist in Germany had 
painted her. Her vogue was already staled; it had 
already lasted a decade ; and whether she was Aus- 
tralian, American or only German, people no longer 



96 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

cared. They knew, indeed, that she was amazingly 
domestic a grandmother, indeed, said the invidious 
but, Lord, how she could still dance ! Above all, 
what memorable pictures had been painted of her I 
In one who could inspire to such art so many eminent 
painters there must indeed have been vital art of her 
own and vivid beauty. This much is certain: the 
portrait by Von Lenbach will take her to posterity 
when music hall and mirror no longer record her 
actual graces. 

Will we remember longest La Loie Fuller, or the 
posters Jules Cheret made of her? Will not Dudley 
Hardy's poster for "The Gaiety Girl" live fully as 
long as the piece itself? Impermanent as is the art of 
the u affiche," it still has more chance of long life 
than the actual art it chronicles. Toulouse-Lautrec 
gave us a poster of Yvette Guilbert that may survive 
her, and Aubrey Beardsley framed Rejane in one of 
his startling arrangements of black and white. Long 
before the "Merry Widow" waltzed her way across 
the worlds, Lehar's fellow-countryman, the Freiherr 
von Recnicek, had given us a sketch of the Viennese 
waltz which you need only compare with the operetta 
to find the resemblance. Juan Cardona had given us 
a charming picture of a Spanish dancer, and given us 
this thought of hers: "I'd like to tour as a Spanish 
dancer well enough, but firstly, I'm too young; 
secondly, I'm Spanish; and, lastly, I can really 
dance!" Which, blithe opposite to the aforenamed 
canvas by Zuloaga, helps to keep vivid the type when 
its impersonators are no more. 

Let us applaud Isadora Duncan as much as we like ; 
let us give solemn ear to all the noble lessons she 



MODERNITY, PAINT, CARNIVAL 97 

would teach with her toes ; but let us not imagine that 
she, her pupils or her theories will live as long as the 
portrait F. A. von Kaulbach painted of her in Munich 
in 1902. 

Even Adeline Genee has been caught for the fu- 
ture; there are two chapters on her in a book of A. 
B. Walkley's; imperishable as her art seems now, 
she is the safer that she lives in literature. I have 
seen no great portrait of her. As for the daughter 
of Herodias, not only literature, through Wilde, but 
music, through Richard Strauss and others, have 
made her dancing immortal. 

And poetry . . . Do you recall, I wonder, the 
case of Mile. Madeleine? Munich, once again, 
gives me this memory. 

Madeleine's specialty was dancing while in a 
trance. 

At any rate, as in the story of Pharoah's daughter, 
"that's what she said." Whether the scientists made 
use of her performances to add to the hypnotic lore 
at disposal of Dr. Charcot and his fellows, or 
whether for her story there was no more basis in 
fact than there may have been for Du Maurier's 
"Trilby," is no great matter; the fact remains that 
she aroused, by her "hypnotic dancing," a veritable 
Madeleine epidemic throughout Germany. The 
case is one more proof of the danger of thinking 
there is no philosophy in a paradox; here, once again, 
was Wilde's assertion that Nature copies Art made 
manifest, since the story of "Trilby" considerably 
antedated the appearance of this dancer. 

The one, you will recall, could sing only while un- 
der the influence of Svengali ; this dancer could dance 



9 8 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

only while in a hypnotic trance. She, too, like Dun- 
can, danced stories, philosophies, poems and history. 
Like the music of Richard Strauss, which a little later 
was to pretend to express philosophies and tragedies 
in tone, so these dances exhibited all the other arts. 
Learned persons were invited upon the platform to 
pinch Mile. Madeleine's calves and convince them- 
selves of her unconscious state in every possible way; 
whether they went away believing or doubting, the 
public was sure of this at least, that this young per- 
son was extremely good to look upon, and that she 
danced divinely. 

The public, I repeat, and even the poets, used that 
phrase; if we are more logically inclined, we would 
avoid it, since none of us ever saw an actual divinity 
dance. But let us return to the poets. They sang 
of her for at least one Summer and that, for poets, 
is long faithfulness. Let me, in merest hints, recall 
to you what one Munich poet, A. De Nora, expended 
on this subject, while he used for his title without 
other addition, "Madeleine." The bravest, most 
prosaic hint of what was in his song will expose the 
fervor of his singing; and he was typical of all the 
rest. 

"Is she in dreams?" he asked, "Or is the dream 
in her? Are all these dreams simply her body's 
music? Her body but her dreams turned music? 
. . . I do not know. I only see before me in the 
garishly reflected light this living, lovely, voiceless 
riddle weaving swaying stooping rising and 
every tone's hardly completed trance trembling upon 
her pallid face, like faintest spoor on virgin snow. 
Now like the weasel's stealthy steps; now with the 



MODERNITY, PAINT, CARNIVAL 99 

majesty of deer that go to pools now dimly like the 
shadows thrown by pigeon wings, now awful, like 
the rising of the mighty wings of Death. ... So, 
drawn by music's lure, the closely serried crowd of 
passions pass from out her secret soul, over her 
bod's marble steps, to the temple of her face. 
And that, indeed, is beautiful ! As false, perhaps, as 
she is fair? Perhaps only for cunning's sake, to hide 
her conscious careful art, she wears this azure cloak 
of dreams? What matter, and who cares? Is not 
the soul of every woman like a Sphinx, that sits and 
smiles upon the verge of the intangible, and gives us 
riddles none can solve?" 

You will see from this slight paraphrase of mine 
to what enthusiasm the younger German poets rose 
in such case. Whether or not this dancer was a great 
artist or not is not my point; it is the stimulus such 
dancing as this gave to the other arts that I am in- 
sisting on. 

Poetry, paint, the theater and the dance have been 
shown inextricably interwoven, but Munich has long 
had more than that to show. Impossible to discuss 
Munich and dancing without touching on Lola Mon- 
tez. She danced not only drama and philosophy for 
us, but history. She takes us back, not six or ten 
years, but sixty. We think these young women, who 
dance history and philosophy and poetry for us, are 
doing something new. By no means; in 1847 there 
appeared in Leipsic a caricature of Lola Montez 
with this caption: "Lola Montez Dances Bavarian 
History." You see how we repeat the fads and 
vogues not only of other years and other centuries ! 
I dare say the Greeks and Romans had their dancers, 



ioo VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

too, whose press agents pretended their like had 
never been before. Lola Montez danced her way 
to royal favor with her El Ole, and from that time 
those active feet of hers did literally lead Bavarian 
history a dance. And there, precisely through the 
history written about her and the cartoons devoted 
to her she secured for herself a renown that greater 
dancers have missed. 

Poetry, the theater, the dance, history and we 
are back to paint again. A very debauch of the arts, 
always, for even the most barbaric, outdoor person in 
Munich. All the senses, eventually to say nothing of 
one's shoes, wear to shreds in such debauch. The 
floors and walls of galleries, innumerable miles of 
them, leave us mere remnants for the ministering 
mercies of cobbler and oculist. Let us tell the motor- 
man to steer us away any whither, anywhere there 
are no pictures, no statues anywhere, in short, 
where we can undergo a Kur. The Germans take a 
Kur for everything else ; let us take one for art. 



CHAPTER FIVE 

A TYPICAL CURE RESORT 

HAPPILY enough, perhaps, the average 
American does not yet know the Euro- 
pean "cure." Yet, if the national dis- 
eases of nerves, dyspepsia and whatever 
others there may be, spread presently from the well- 
to-do to the plain citizen, it will not be long before 
what is now as much an excuse for travel as a real 
search for health becomes a truly national necessity. 
To-day the American trend toward the fashionable 
European Kur-Ort is still in the amateur stage, de- 
spite the mere numbers of those who go. The 
Americans, that is, have not yet reached one need 
not hope that they ever reach ! the matter-of-course 
attitude with which the good average German citizen 
runs all the winter long straight in the face of all 
sensible rules of diet and health, saying all the while : 
"After all, it is for this one makes one's little cure in 
the summer." He knows the penalty, and he cheer- 
fully looks toward it. It is a question whether he 
enjoys more the winter in which he outrages nature, 
or the summer in which he allows nature to bring him 
back to health. For, of course, the "cure" is little 
but a return to nature's laws. 

You are not to suppose, moreover, that the shrewd 
German, Swiss, Italian and French innkeepers, doc- 
tors and other professional aids to human comfort 

101 



102 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

and health neglect the winter time. By no means. 
If in summer the health-seekers throng Marienbad, 
Carlsbad, Kissingen, Nauheim, Schwalbach, Wies- 
baden, Baden Baden, Pyrmont, Spa, Aix, Salsomag- 
giore, Bagni di Lucca or any of the other constantly 
discoverable resorts of middle Europe, in winter an- 
other throng fills Davos, St. Moritz, Adelboden, 
Meran and the almost countless winter resorts of the 
Swiss, the Italian, the French or the Bavarian moun- 
tains. Some cure nerves, some cure care; all are cur- 
ing in one way or another ills brought on by living 
too far from nature. Summer and winter the cures 
flourish. All winter long inns keep open that once 
had to harvest in a few short summer months. 

If Americans have not yet reached the for-granted 
attitude of the Germans toward the "cure," it is be- 
cause, as has been said, they are still comparatively 
beginners. It is only of recent years that the national 
nerves have begun to collapse. 

IN trying to give you a picture from the outside 
of life at a characteristic European Kur-Ort, I am 
not declaring ignorance of the existence of plenty of 
such curative resorts on our own side of the water. 
That is not the point at the moment; nor is it the 
moment's question whether actual lack of health or 
simply a desire to seem fashionable drives most 
Americans to the cures abroad. Let us leave causes, 
and be content with facts. There they are, those 
cure places, on the other side, and there, each sum- 
mer and each winter, you will find more and more 
Americans. The life in such a place, viewed humor- 
ously and intimately, is full of color and charm and 



A TYPICAL CURE RESORT 103 

such irony as those who are consciously "making the 
cure" cannot possibly see. To appreciate those iron- 
ies properly, you must be a casual observer, not a 
victim seeking the cure itself. 

It happens that a childhood of being dragged from 
one of the older European cure-resorts to an- 
other familiarized the writer with the characteristics 
of the most typical in that sort. The names do not 
matter much; in one generation this is fashionable, 
in another that. We know, for instance, that it was 
in Ems, then fashionable, that the word was given 
by the then king of Prussia which resulted in the 
building of the present German empire. The second 
German emperor was also fond of Ems; but to-day 
it has returned sheerly to its curative virtues; only 
Germans and Russians and French are seen there; 
it has no fashionable or royal attractions for the 
Americans, who are beginning to play with Kur-Orts 
as with a new toy. I was there last year for the first 
time since childhood, and I heard not one American 
voice. The humor of which is had I not said this 
subject was full of trapdoors? that Ems is exactly 
a cure for the American voice. But it is not my in- 
tention to name names; I am merely emphasizing 
how fashions change in cures, as in all else. Once, 
too, Teplitz, in Bohemia, was as frequented as any 
of the other places where warm waters gush forth 
for humanity's benefit; to-day you will wait long be- 
fore you see a Teplitz label on an American trunk. 

A typical place does not need to be identified for 
my present purpose. It is a German one, of course; 
for, after all, though we know that Italy and France 
and Belgium are full of rival resorts, it is in the Ger- 



104 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

man countries that the "cure" as a real part and par- 
cel of civilized life has been brought to its greatest 
perfection. It is the Germans who lift eyebrows 
when a family declares that it is not going to a cure 
that summer; it is the Germans who have system- 
atized the Kur-Ort until it is a distinct realm of its 
own. 

Whether it is a resort for the cure of nerves, of 
fat, or liver, of gout, or of what not, the essential 
procedure differs but slightly. In some places there 
is an actual air of strict adherence to a medical rou- 
tine ; in others a frank admission that it is entertain- 
ment the visiting population is after. Let us sketch 
a medium specimen. 

In such a Kur-Ort the life is characteristic both of 
cures and of cosmopolis. That is, indeed, the note 
of the more frequented of these places. There lies, 
perhaps, much of the charm that brings the visitors 
from the ends of the earth. If the underlying tone 
of all is German, the note of Russian, of Dutch, and 
American speech is often as prominent. You can 
spend long days playing with the problems of exter- 
nals and the nationalities they cover. A student of 
facial types need never tire of employment for his 
wits in such a place. Nor the student of manners 
and customs. Here is cosmopolis in little. 

They tell us about this or that great corner on this 
or that great metropolitan thoroughfare of human 
traffic. That if you will watch long enough, you will 
see all that's worth while in the world from such a 
corner. Well, you can say much the same of the 
characteristic Kur-Ort. The one I have in mind, for 
instance, combines curative properties with an actual 



A TYPICAL CURE RESORT 105 

entertaining life of its own as a town, as a center of 
entertainment and civic activity. The observer is 
not forced to witness merely a somewhat saddening 
procession of invalids. The actual invalids are so 
mingled into the seekers after rest or entertainment 
or fashionable fellowship that the total picture still 
has color and humor. It is true there are plenty of 
the lame, the halt and the blind, plenty of processions 
of the spectacled and the crutched. In one region 
might be found the greatest eye specialist in Europe, 
or at any rate his nephew; the English visitors who 
believed in his fame did not stop to inquire into those 
particulars. In another district was the greatest man 
on nerves, and so on down the whole list of ailments. 
But you did not have to see those features to the ex- 
clusion of the more humorous details. 

For it was surely humorous to note early in the 
morning at an hour when in England, in Russia, in 
Holland and in America they would not have risen 
for hours the fashionable and the feeble taking their 
little glasses and their tubes and going to the springs 
to gurgle warm water slowly and walk slowly about 
and listen to the band. Solemnly, as doing a great 
duty not only to themselves, but all humanity, they 
trod their gentle measures with a sort of military, 
not to say medical, precision. Or do we wrong them 
by imputing to them a concern for the human mass? 
Perhaps; on second thought, there is none so egotisti- 
cally selfish as the true cure-guest. Were you to dis- 
turb, for instance, by a look, a word, a touch, the 
even stateliness of his tread while sipping water from 
his glass, there is no telling what annihilation he 
might not hurl at you. The band plays its specified 



io6 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

hour; the cure-folk sip and stroll; the ladies' cos- 
tumes are not yet elaborated for fashionable com- 
parisons, since let us whisper it some of them are 
about to go to bed again. Why not? In the proper 
cure resort they always bring the coffee and the rolls 
to a properly paying guest's room. Comes, then, an 
hour or so when cosmopolis is not visible. It is 
sleeping, breakfasting, bathing in the curative waters, 
seeing its doctor. 

If you will do no more than sit on one of the 
benches in the public gardens, or in the rooms of the 
Kur-Haus, or before the portico of such an inn as 
the Four Seasons, in Wiesbaden, one of the most de- 
lightful in Europe, you will see and hear the world 
awaking for its public appearance. Cabs come and 
go. If it is the high season for fashion every 
resort has its high pinnacle of fashionableness, and 
some of the larger places have two high seasons in 
the year you will see so many royalties and hear so 
much elaborate courtesy that you will never again be 
much stirred by the magnificence of our most con- 
spicuous plutocrats. In the cure itself, however, all 
men, even Americans, are equal. Princes of the 
blood or princelings of the sinister, plutocrats of 
Holland or New Amsterdam, good burgesses from 
Rixdorf or from Salem, heavy guardsmen from Pic- 
cadilly or from Potsdam all are equal before the 
cure regime. You take a glass of water at seven, 
and you walk so many miles ; you take a warm bath at 
ninety-something (more likely at twenty-something 
Reaumur) ; you eat just this or that; in the afternoon 
you drink more water and listen to more music; you 



A TYPICAL CURE RESORT 107 

do all this exactly and faithfully, or you are a mere 
fashionable flaneur and have not come for the cure. 
To sit aside, to drink the water simply because it 
seems harmless, to take one of those baths now and 
again because they cleanse and to enjoy the constant 
music is pleasant, but it can also be dangerous, as I 
must point out later. For the present let us enjoy 
the pleasant spectacle from the outside. At noon 
there is the first procession for the benefit of all with 
eyes to see. The nationalities mingle, their clothes 
and their speech parade under the accurately trimmed 
chestnut trees; fountains play in the sunshine, and 
Russian music swings in from the park. You need 
not, in that fashionable mob, discern disease; there 
are wheeled chairs here and there, or other such 
evidences, but the gaiety of the scene is dominant. 
The scene repeats itself again at the hour of coffee, 
between four and five; the music plays again in the 
gardens of the Kur-Haus, and again the world and 
his wife strolls up and down over the gravel. At 
night, in fine weather, again the music, outdoors, and 
sometimes wonderfully effective fireworks over foun- 
tains and trees. You have to admit that these Ger- 
mans do their cure-business well. They do not, in the 
main, give you gambling, as some other nations do, 
but they give you good music, good plays and well- 
staged opera. In the resort I have in mind, for in- 
stance, you had all the entertainment an American 
metropolis could give you. The picture was more 
intimate, all was closer together, you could study 
your neighbors more effectively; that was the chief 
difference. 



io8 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

AMERICANS, in such a place as Wiesbaden, it is 
to be remarked, do not loom large. They have not 
yet discovered the solidity of its fashionableness, if 
we may call it so. Emperors go there, and with les- 
ser dignitaries the halls and streets simply swarm; 
but no especial appeal is made for the American cus- 
tom. Yet it is, for all that, more characteristic of 
the real Kur-Ort than many of the places where 
Americans go largely in order to impress other 
Americans. Our country people, discovered under 
these conditions as only a slight feature of the total, 
loom but faintly against the Russians and the Dutch. 

The faring forth abroad of the well-to-do Dutch 
is comparatively a new thing. Not so with the Rus- 
sians. I recall boyhood days in Schwalbach, where 
even then the Russians were in evidence ; they, with the 
English, had then the greatest habit of travel. We all 
know that the Russian is greatly in evidence in Paris 
and the lesser pleasure places; but there are few 
places anywhere in Europe where he is not seeking 
either distraction or health. He or she; whether it 
is the incalculable melancholy of the Russian country 
that drives its men and its women away so much, we 
cannot say here, but it is a fact that you will never 
realize anything of the Russian type, whether in 
brutality or beauty, until you have lived, rather than 
sampled, the life of this or that European cure resort. 
In many places the Russians loom so large that 
concerts of strictly Russian music are given no less 
than once a week throughout the season. 

You grow, eventually, callous to all the magnifi- 
cences and personages. A genial old Russian bear 
and I used to engage several times a day upon a per- 



A TYPICAL CURE RESORT 109 

formance in front of the most staid inn the town 
afforded; that will show you how irreverently one 
becomes inured to human greatness. The moment 
the one of us caught sight of the other, at twenty, 
thirty, forty paces no matter how far off each 
stopped, clicked heels together, lifted hat from head 
in most elaborate swing, bowed slowly forward and, 
approaching, cried as with one accord, u Good morn- 
ing, Excellenz 1" I am sure there was not a soul that 
watched who was not convinced that we were not, 
indeed, as great Excellencies as any of them. Why, 
when titles and dignities fly about as freely as in 
America such titles as captain, or colonel, or major, 
or simply the good old "Say" I should one not take 
one and play with it a little ? My friend, the Russian, 
began it; he said it was useless for me to deny it: I 
looked like an Excellenz, and that settled it. From 
that day we played our comedy with due solemnity. 
If he told me, that fine old Russian, much of Peters- 
burg and Moscow, he also proved to me that the 
Russians have humor as well as melancholy. 

OF humor, and of melancholy, is such a Kur-Ort 
full. I have hinted, in these last pages, of an under- 
lying danger in noting, from a safe aloofness, the 
cures of others. For, once upon a time I employed 
a summer in such observation, in a resort where peo- 
ple left so much gout and rheumatism that I, until 
then immune from either ailment, felt for the first 
time in my life a heritage of uric acid. One man's 
meat, and so on. What cured the others undid me. 
There was humor, there was melancholy, indeed! 

But the humor must prevail. What we must feel 



no VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

is that, having "made our cure," we have done our 
duty. Having drunk too deep of life, or of art, hav- 
ing had the world, in flesh and blood or in paint and 
mask, too much with us, we have now purged body 
and soul in the cure. We are washed sweet again. 
We can face again the world, the flesh and the devil. 
And what does that spell, if not Paris? 



CHAPTER SIX 

THE COURTESAN OF CITIES: PARIS 

I 
HER FIRST INVITATION 

AT last, then, in the dear city of delight, 
Paris. Paris with its thousand and one 
fair memories, its throng of paint and 
marble ghosts, its vistas of historic riot, 
of yesterdays that ran with blood, and to-morrows 
pale with absinthe ! Paris, with its myriad enchant- 
ments of art and femininity; Paris, the queen of 
courtesans among cities! 

Some such vague ecstasy comes over all of us who 
visit or revisit this dream-city of one's artistic spirit. 
Whether one come to it after long absence, or for the 
first time, the effect is much the same. The more if 
the interval of youth has seen one steeped in at- 
tempts to fathom the u slim gilt soul" of Paris as that 
soul breathes through the arts. If one has sung the 
chansons of Verlaine to fit one's mournful, youthful 
moods; has laughed with Forain and Caran d'Ache; 
has seen the boulevards and brasseries through the 
eyes and the pencils of Steinlen and Willette; has 
watched the disheveled riot of the music-halls by way 
of Jules Cheret and Toulouse-Lautrec; has searched 
for the heart of things French through the grim 

ill 



ii2 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

bronze of Rodin, the spiced prose of Prevost, the 
irony of Octave Mirbeau, and the jasmined poison 
of Catulle Mendes is it any wonder that the actual 
sight and feel of Paris start a thrill that has all the 
ecstasy of dream? Every artistic and romantic 
fiber responds to the mere thought that it is, once 
more, the Parisian air one breathes, the Parisian 
streets one walks, and the Parisian women one moves 
among. 

IF one is given to the ecstatic, in so champagne- 
like an atmosphere as that of Paris, it is as well to 
prepare for trouble. Should opportunity and coin- 
cidence contrive together to foment more ecstasies, 
there is no knowing what might not happen. 

We, at any rate, Tom Vingtoin and I, were, in the 
beginning of the episode that recurs to me whenever 
I think of Paris, quite innocent of impending dis- 
aster. We were sitting quite peaceably at a little 
table outside the Cafe de la Paix, opposite the Opera. 
No need, surely, to introduce to you Vingtoin; 
among the men in the younger movements of art, 
especially as concerns interpretation of Gallic art 
for English reading, no man should be better known. 
1 found him as delightful as ever. He was grown a 
trifle stout, but his lovely Scots-Parisian accent was 
as fascinating as of yore, and his monocle was un- 
dimmed. You may imagine, when one has spilt Eng- 
lish ink together side by side, and has even concocted 
independent theaters for the reformation of New 
York, that one may have, meeting thus after many 
years, much to say to each other. 

Besides, Vingtoin has an exquisite taste in Pernot 



THE COURTESAN OF CITIES 113 

blanche. The waiter piled the little platters on the 
table ; they began to assume quite a disreputable 
height, telling the tale of our thirst and our conversa- 
tional ardor. 

The staccato notes of Paris and the boulevard fell 
upon us, the insanely futile cracking of the cabmen's 
whips, the grinding and squeaking of the 'bus brakes, 
like souls in pain, the reek and thump of the motor- 
cars, the shouts of the newspaper sellers, the twang 
of the many Americans, the chatter of milliners' 
girls. We talked on and on, and our interest in the 
past and the present and the future grew as the Per- 
not blanche dipped toward us. 

"My dear boy," said Vingtoin, "we shall have 
great times! We shall sit where Verlaine sat, and I 
will point out to you where he hung his pipe. Ah, 
the poor old man ! You shall take a look in the cafe 
where the Reading gaolbird dropped his bloated 
paunch and ogled the throng. We will go to Rodin's 
studio together; we will " 

"But first you will come to dinner with me?" 

"Ah, no! I'm terribly sorry, but, in the first 
place, I have three thousand words to write to-night, 
and in the next, my wife is expecting me in Belle vue; 
you see we live half an hour out. Another day I 
shall be delighted." And he launched forth again 
into plans for the immediate. We were to wheel 
together into the suburbs and the countryside; Ver- 
sailles, St. Cloud and many another place was to find 
us awheel together. But he could not dine with me. 
Well, it was a great pity, but who was I to coax him 
from work and duty. Far be it . . . 

The motor-cars went by with their teuf, teuf 



ii 4 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

most abominable of noises. An ancient went by 
twanging his newspaper shout, "La Presse" "Le 
Frangais," and the infinite drawl of that "presse" I 
cannot make plain to you unless you have heard it 
yourself. Another ancient followed, very staccato, 
with "Paris, Sport Complet," to get the full effect 
of which you must attempt something like this, 
"Paree spore complay!" Inwardly I shriek with 
laughter at the Parisian version of our good word 
"sport," but Vingtoin is now too Parisian to note the 
grotesquerie. He is asking me about all the other 
musketeers of the time when we went smashing wind- 
mills together in America. 

"Charley is at the old grind. He is always 
threatening to come here. But I believe he will never 
come. Nelson translates, and writes plays, and 
translates. Gaffers still shouts for purity in the 
theater. They are all prosperous. So are you. All 
but I." 

"You, you scamp ! I believe you are a millionaire 
in disguise. We others grind for the magazines and 
syndicates; you manage to write books. You are 
heard of in strange places masquerading in blue gog- 
gles and a linen duster, you bah ! you are something 
mysterious, I believe, a ward in Chancery or the 
like!" 

"I am content with health, if that's what you mean, 
while you others fight for fame. I am pot>r, but in 
Paris; will you dine with me?" 

"My dear boy, I can't; I really can't!" 

"Too bad ! Well Ah, by the way, we forgot one 
man of the old crew. How's Dutot? Here, I 
know, and flourishing, but do you see much of him?" 



THE COURTESAN OF CITIES 115 

Dutot was the one who had been a sort of ring- 
leader of our young nihilism in New York art and 
letters. He was a Frenchman, and was now once 
more on his native soil, prosperous and inventive as 
ever. He has the theater upon the brain, and makes 
his salt by inventions for the yellow newspapers. 
Vingtoin and I began recounting the legends of 
Dutot. I interrupted with the request, more urgent 
than before, that Vingtoin dine with me. The Per- 
not blanche was milkier than ever. Vingtoin was 
chiming again his, "My boy, if I did not have three 
thousand words to write!" . . . when I beheld a 
figure approaching up the rue Auber, approaching 
and becoming more and more unmistakable. "As I 
live, it is Dutot!" 

It was. We had not, we three musketeers, been 
together for many years. The platters telling the 
tale of the Pernot blanches grew gaily in number. 
Paris was ringing in our veins; Paris, and memories 
of the land beyond seas, of New York and New Or- 
leans and St. Louis. 

"But," said I, "it is time we dined." I refused to 
hear Vingtoin's mumbling about "three thousand 
words." I reminded them both that Madame was 
still hungry and weary from the journey. We must 
join her and all dine. Vingtoin's murmur faded; he 
and his monocle remained. In a few moments we 
had haled forth Madame, and she was in the babble 
of names, and songs, and laughter that our remi- 
niscences resounded with. She is, thank fate, humor- 
ously used to it. To hear her say the names of "Paul 
Verlai-ne, and Rosset-t-i, and Chappiell-6-h!" is to 
go off into shrieks of laughter. She thinks us all 



ii6 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

mildly insane, and she knows no more of art than to 
be beautiful. For which I humbly thank my stars 
many times a day. So, on this memorable day of our 
debut in Paris, she fell admirably into the frolic. 

The four of us bundled into a cab, the cabman 
cracked his silly whip, and down the boulevard we 
went toward the Madeleine. At the corners of the 
rue Royale and the boulevards sit many Americans, 
at Durand's and other places, who know no better. 
But Dutot did. He led us to Lucas'. Many a time 
thereafter we were to give the glad word to our 
Jehu, "chez Lucas" and to dine in the open, with all 
the gay and mournful come-and-go past the Made- 
leine before us, but never again were we to have such 
a dinner as this. What a dinner it was ! Also, the 
Pernots blanches had built a terrific appetite. 

There was, I think, a crayfish soup. There was 
duck, and there was a Macedoine of fruit, and a good 
deal of honest good wine, yclept ordinary. But the 
bare names of these things do not tell of the delights 
of that dinner. It was the perfect cooking, the per- 
fect gaiety that made it a unique occasion, and though 
in other places we were to sample many other epicu- 
rean delights, the utter zest of that dinner remains 
a sweet morsel upon the mind. 

Vingtoin had ceased mentioning the three thousand 
words. His monocle was more rigid than ever. 
Dutot grew more and more inventive. When our 
thoughts approached coffee he invented our exodus 
from Lucas'. "We will go," said he, "to Maxim's." 
It is only two blocks, but I think we took a cab. I 
am a little hazy about the cabs. The others cannot 
verify any better than I can. But I know we got to 



THE COURTESAN OF CITIES 117 

Maxim's. "The Girl from Maxim's" had not yet 
arrived; it was too early in the evening for her. She 
turns up a little before midnight and lines the inside 
of Maxim's with her elegance and her cocottish type 
of good looks. She makes a sort of wallpaper for 
Maxim's; into the rooms so papered Americans walk 
with an almost admirable docility. Maxim's is not 
yet so utterly empty of real Parisians as is the Moulin 
Rouge, but it is getting there. Its vice is, of course, 
very expensive, and it is not so obvious as the vice of 
the Moulin Rouge; besides, it is a place where, after 
a certain hour, the American girl does not often 
enter. So the American youth makes hay there. 

The stars were in the heavens, the coffee in our 
cups, and the Pernot blanche taking counsel with the 
good red wine. The result of this counsel was that 
we must all go cabward once more. It may have 
been the same cab. It may have been another. I do 
not remember. It does not matter. All cabs in 
Paris are noisy as to whip, reckless as to career and 
cheap as to price, unless you use them as Dutot and 
Vingtoin did that morning. But hold it was not 
morning yet. Over the Place de la Concorde we 
drove. Vingtoin was grown romantic. "There 
Marie Antoinette was beheaded," said he, pointing, 
"and there Louis !" and he pointed. And which was 
Louis' esteemed number I did not hear, or care, for 
the night was too fine to think of murders and sud- 
den death. But Vingtoin raved all the way up the 
Champs-Elysees; he raved of the historic delights of 
his Paris, of the emotions this stone and that street 
gave him; he raved past the glittering, will-o'-the- 
wisp lights among the trees, the Marigny, the Jardin 



n8 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

de Paris, the Alcazar d'Ete; he raved romantically 
and eloquently, the while I listened and wondered 
what the Macedoine was made of, and what a beauti- 
ful benefaction was the making of Pernot blanche. 
While Vingtoin raved Dutot chaffed the cabman. 
But we got to the Elysee Palace in good order. For 
it was here we were to have more coffee and cognac. 
This was to be Turkish coffee. Therefore, being 
seated on the glittering lounge, Dutot hailed the 
oriental henchman fiercely. Elaborately dressed 
diners sat about talking English and all the other 
languages; we were not elaborately dressed, but we 
were elaborately gay, and we cheered Dutot on. 

"Avance-toi id" quoth Dutot, and the grinning 
darky came up to the very edge of the table. Where- 
upon, for Dutot's benefit, he had to give a specimen 
of every language he knew, and he seemed to know 
them nearly all. 

By this time Vingtoin and Dutot had struck up a 
duet, having for its object my permanent residence 
in Paris. They assured me that my fortune, if I 
stayed, was as good as made. Their argument, in 
cold statistics, was not much more exact than if I were 
to assert, as a piece of stirring news, the fact that 
God feeds the sparrows. But they assured me, with 
complete accord, that I could live beautifully, work 
but three hours a day and enjoy the delights of their 
society into the bargain. Taking me aside, Dutot 
assured me that he knew, he absolutely knew, I could 
make as much as Vingtoin was making. But, I told 
him, Vingtoin has the language perfectly. 

"Bah!" said Dutot, "he doesn't speak French any 
better than you do !" 



THE COURTESAN OF CITIES 119 

I have thought about that remark a good deal. I 
can't help thinking there is a slight in it, either for 
Vingtoin or for me. Or is it for both of us? But I 
forget; you have never heard my French. . . . 

The next moment Vingtoin had drawn me aside. 
He vowed that if Dutot could make a living in Paris, 
I could. He cited a great many figures and facts. 

Yet my foolish modesty prevented my admitting 
the belief that I could possibly be as prosperous in 
Paris as these two. It did not seem even hazily pos- 
sible. But, after all, I don't know; before the morn- 
ing was finished one of them borrowed money of me. 
Wild horses will not make me tell which one it was. 
But the relief that act was to my self-respect was 
worth twice the price. 

This time it was, I know, the identical cab that we 
bundled into, having imbibed our thick Turkish coffee 
and sufficiently deviled the servitor. What our route 
was I shall never be able to say, but I know where 
we got to, because Dutot chanted the name all the 
way, in such time as he was not assuring the cabman 
that he could drive much better than himself. It was 
"chez Barratte" that we were bound for, and it was 
the onion soup we were after. Barratte's is near the 
Central Markets, and early in the morning fashion- 
able folk come a slumming thither for the lovely 
soup, much as in New Orleans one went to old 
Mother Whatshername Begue for her wonderful 
buzzard's breath soup. We were too early for the 
fashionable folk, and had the place almost to our- 
selves, and the soup was glorious, despite Madame's 
remarks to the contrary. 

But Dutot was not content. He cried aloud for 



120 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

"Al-fred!" with all the accent on the fred. At last 
Alfred appeared, ancient and smiling, an ancient 
waiter, as fine a type as you may rarely see. When 
Dutot was a student Alfred had served him, had fed 
him, had loaned him money, wherefore now one must 
not forget Alfred. Alfred was reputed well off; his 
son was a doctor with a fashionable practice; but 
Alfred continued to be, as all his life, chez Barratte. 
We drank Alfred's health in more red wine, and 
Dutot embraced Alfred. It was very affecting. 

Vingtoin, meanwhile, grew more eloquent behind 
his monocle. We were all to do Paris together. Not 
the Baedeker things ; no, the corners you could not put 
into guide-books, the associations only intimacy and 
personality could make dear. Some of the regula- 
tion things, perhaps, but even these from the view- 
point of the insider, not the outsider. The Bal 
Bullier, the Red Mill, the Quarter, Montmartre, 
the cabarets of heaven and hell, the brasseries 
of the boulevards all these Vingtoin was to usher 
us into. 

Well, we did all of these things and many more; 
we dined at the Dead Rat, and we scaled the Boul 
Miche to the Bullier; we browsed along the street 
of the Old Pigeon and the street of Mr. the Prince; 
we sampled the books of the Quay Voltaire and the 
Odeon; we dined on all the sanded floors of the 
Boulevard Montmartre, and we went, at dawn, along 
the streets of the Fourth of September and the Little 
Fields to see the Markets in their fruity glory but 
not with Vingtoin, not with Vingtoin. 

No ; not with Vingtoin. Many things were to hap- 
pen to Vingtoin, and to Dutot, but not the things that 



THE COURTESAN OF CITIES 121 

they intended to have happen. Man proposes and 
Pernot blanche confuses. 

It is fortunate Madame and I were worn out by 
our journey early in the day. Or there is no knowing 
what might not have befallen us. As it was, after 
Vingtoin had succeeded in preventing Dutot from 
driving the cab, we steered for our hotel, and there, 
with explicit plans for the morrow, parted. On the 
morrow I was to go wheeling with Vingtoin. I re- 
member it as if it were yesterday. 

And that is the last I saw of Vingtoin. 

DEAR me, I wonder if he ever got his three thou- 
sand words written, and if he went wheeling! Not 
with me, he didn't, I know. And from what I was 
able to gather of the subsequent proceedings I think 
neither Vingtoin nor Dutot were doing anything at 
all on the morrow. The facts came to me in frag- 
ments, but the fragments are enough to assure me 
that it was a very large morning for our section of 
America in Paris. Had I mentioned that all this hap- 
pened on the night between the 3rd and 4th of July? 
Ah, me, these American Fourths in Paris! Ask 
Vingtoin and Dutot, if you doubt me. 

From the fragments, then, I know this much : they 
went back to Maxim's. There Dutot asserted his 
tact by renewing acquaintance with a waiter at whom 
he had once thrown a plate. Thence, somehow, 
vaguely, mistily, they got to Suresnes and to Ver- 
sailles. In one place Vingtoin insisted on buying a 
straw hat for the cab horse; in another they bor- 
rowed money; in another Dutot slept for hours in the 
cab, while Vingtoin mingled with liquors. 



122 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

The valley of the Seine reeks, I think, with the 
marks of that morning's cab ride. When Dutot was 
brought finally home, he made the cabman a present 
of some rabbits for the cabman's children. The 
mere fag-end of the cab bill was fifty francs. The 
total bill, like the remarks made by the Dutot and 
Vingtoin spouses, when their husbands arrived in the 
glare of noonday, their sins and their potations heavy 
upon them, I refuse to chronicle. 

But, oh, how I would like to know the exact move- 
ments of those two after they left us! I can still 
hear Vingtoin's refrains, first of the three thousand 
words he had to write, and then of the wheel ride we 
were to take together ; I can still hear Dutot shouting 
for "Alfred"; and the whole night is as if it were 
yesterday. But I shall never know just what hap- 
pened. No one will ever know. For I have never 
seen them again. I hope they are both alive. I 
should be sorry to think otherwise. They were go- 
ing to show me Paris, but that is a minor detail. 
What I want to know is, did Vingtoin write his three 
thousand words? 

But, whether he did or not, whether he and Dutot 
showed us Paris or not, they had done one thing 
completely, perfectly: 

They had assisted most nobly at a Parisian debut. 



THE COURTESAN OF CITIES 123 
II 

THE SHATTERING OF A LEGEND 

DAWN brings hope more often than does sunset, 
which, for most of us, only gilds regret. Youth 
makes a monomania of enthusiasm; experience 
brings the senses into proportion. Hardly one of us 
for whom Paris has not meant, at one time, part of 
youth, only to take on, afterward, the lines of some- 
what haggard age. The dreams and the legends 
were lovely; let us never regret the gay moments in 
which we helped to lift up those dreams and legends, 
made them come true because we wished it so; but 
let us admit also that we have not altogether escaped 
the tawdry truth that sometimes lurked behind the 
legend. Once the halo of romance takes to thin air, 
and behold the paint cracking, the perfume reeking 
stale as spent liquor, and the Actual making ugly 
faces at us. How many, many dreams and legends 
youth and Paris have conspired to build! 

The legend, for example, of Maxim's. How mad 
and glad and bad it was, and oh, how it was false! 

"Maxim's!" The name evoked, according as 
you were young or old, keen for pleasure or sated 
with it, the most glittering anticipations or the most 
roseate recollections. One never is, however, so 
much as one is to be, or has been blessed in this 
case, as in so many others. The golden haze of pros- 
pective or perspective filmed inevitably our picture 
of the place that so demurely sits beneath the Made- 
leine and in sight of where Marie Antoinette lost her 
head forever as composedly as now the ladies of 



124 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

Maxim's fix their complexions for the night. Of all 
spots in the world of pleasure, this one seemed most 
alloyed with legend, most enveiled in play and story. 
Of all such spots, it was the hardest to distinguish 
in its actual form from the lovely dream of it that 
purveyors of play and fiction, that viveurs in their 
anecdotage and striplings in their legend-tinted hopes, 
have spun. The past and the future glorify Maxim's, 
even as Paris herself is glorified in memory and in 
approach; artists in paint, in words and in drama 
conspire to color it with rose and gold; what is ob- 
scure is the actual, the present the real Maxim's, as 
you and I, mes amis, know it in the moments when 
we permit the actual to remain the actual, and our- 
selves to retain that rarest of all visions, the normal. 

The real Maxim's, is it indeed, seen soberly, seen 
clearly, the splendid sensuous dream of all that haze 
of memory, of play and story and picture that is 
so definite a fraction of the modern primrose path? 
Is it, indeed, the Maxim's of the song and of the 
stage? ^ , 

Is it impertinent, is it unpleasant, to inquire, to go 
behind the scenes? When the scenes themselves are 
so lovely, why finger them to see if they are papier- 
mache? Because, if you please, contrast is one of the 
most interesting things in the world, for one thing; 
and because, for another, there is hardly a more as- 
tonishing instance in the world of to-day of how the 
name of a small Parisian shopkeeper may become 
advertised to all civilization without its owner having 
ever, apparently, used a single one of the direct 
methods of reclame. And because, finally, it may be 
entertaining to consider a little the picture, the le- 



THE COURTESAN OF CITIES 125 

gends and the songs that went to the making famous 
of the Maxim dream. 

Though it is nearly two decades since the thrifty 
Parisian of the Rue Royale persuaded the author of 
"La Dame de Chez Maxime" to advertise abroad 
his cuisine's virtue and his customers' lack of it, that 
farce marks, to all intents and purposes, the begin- 
ning of the Maxim legend. Between that play and 
"Die Lustige Witwe," our young century's most 
popular operetta, there is a wealth of theatric use of 
the resort we are now considering. If it was "Die 
Lustige Witwe" coming from Vienna, which most 
effectively impressed the legend of Maxim's de- 
lights and Maxim's ladies "of course," as Nish 
has it, "when I say ladies . . . upon that sec- 
tion of the world whose happiness is in the pursuit of 
pleasure, it is not to be denied that Lehar's little 
masterpiece had planty of forerunners in the way of 
plays that pictured the aforesaid delights and the 
aforesaid ladies. The life of the corks that pop, and 
of the damsels whose faces are their fortunes, has 
always had a certain attraction on the stage. 
Whether it was the cork-room of Koster & Dial's, or 
the cabinets of the "Poodle Dog" in "A Trip to 
Chinatown," or the chambre separee of Schnitzler's 
"Abschied's-Souper," or the bald suggestiveness of 
a piece like "The Turtle," there has always been ap- 
plause for these scenes. The "cabinet particulier" 
of Paris becomes in Teuton usuage of the Parisian 
tongue the chambre separee; but the article is the 
same, and the picture of it on the stage can ever be 
counted on to pleasantly affect the spectators. How 
much more pleasant, then, the spectacle, upon the 



126 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

stage, of a magnified, a multiplied cabinet a very 
heaven (or hell; you have your choice!) of cabi- 
nets like Maxim's! 

Of the pieces entirely revolving upon the vogue 
of the resort, the most frank originated in Berlin. 
To see "Die Herren Von Maxim's" ("The Men of 
Maxim's"), was to have one's notion of German 
solidity in the theater roughly shocked. In that 
revue of the Metropol-Theater was a plot based 
upon a wager, made by the most conspicuous rasta- 
quouere of the period, that in eighty days he would 
accomplish a victory over eighty consecutive ladies. 
"Of course, when I say ladies . . . vide 

our friend Nish ! You may imagine the opportunity 
this wager, made in Maxim's, by one of the fashion- 
ables who frequented it, and about the fashionably 
frail who compose its population, gave for spectacu- 
lar song and scene upon the stage. Again, in "La 
Duchesse des Folies Bergeres" played in German 
as "Herzogin Crevette" we had a plot in which a 
one-time star in the elysium of the Rue Royale had 
married, but steals away to revisit despite her hus- 
band, her title, and all her responsibilities the 
glimpses of her less monogamous past. You may 
conceive, even where you do not remember, the 
gaiety of the young woman's return to the scene of 
her triumphs, the delight of her former comrades in 
amours as well as arms, and the perplexity that en- 
sues when there is danger of her husband finding her 
again, his wife, where once he had found her, before 
he made her his wife. 

We sighed almightily at these stories, once upon a 
time, and pretended they were so French as to be 



THE COURTESAN OF CITIES 127 

quite foreign to our understanding. We pretended 
to forget that these things happen daily in our own 
Puritan regions, only we have not the art of gilding 
every detail in the episode as have our friends in 
Paris. A millionaire of ours marries, and we know 
where his wife comes from, and it is not as pretty a 
place as even the real Maxim's; a great painter 
paints her portrait, and we admire it, but we whisper; 
she is left a widow and her millions bring another 
husband from those who whispered; our world is the 
same, in the whole and the half, as any other world, 
whether we dim our vision with the Puritan mask or 
not. Only we seem never to have the trick of giving 
wickedness so fully the air of a polite game between 
ladies and gentlemen as have our fellows across the 
Atlantic. 

It was when we compared the stage pictures of 
Maxim's in the European performances of "The 
Merry Widow" to those in the American production 
that we most clearly saw that while we are able to 
picture, theatrically, a place that may snare the 
fancies of the unsophisticated who confuse sin with 
noise, and vice with hilarity, we cannot yet reproduce 
such scenes as, in the Viennese and London versions, 
made this operetta one of the most potent and dan- 
gerous fostering forces of the legend. While in our 
American version of "Die Lustige Witwe" Maxim's 
was painted sufficiently gay, and cheery, and un- 
conventional, to suit the most obvious form of the 
legend, it is not to this version that I would contrast 
the real article. That contrast is not wide enough. 
These ladies, after all "and when I say ladies 
. . . were somewhat nasally voiced, and a bit 



128 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

loud, and there are men, of just the sort supposed to 
support the legendary Maxim's, who would not find 
them in the least fascinating, but only rather noisy. 
As for the males well, like so fatally many Ameri- 
can stage creatures they looked hardly gentlemen; 
not even a "run" of six hundred nights enabled them 
to wear their clothes as if either to the manner or to 
Maxim's born. 

No, it was abroad that one looked for the finest 
flights of fancy on the point. We imported u The 
Merry Widow" two years after its birth in Vienna; 
just as several years after their Opera Comique suc- 
cesses we imported that essence of Paris itself that 
Charpentier called "Louise," and that essence of an 
earlier Paris that Pierre Louys and Camille Erlanger 
called "Aphrodite"; but we lack the actors and 
actresses to give all those essences their vitality. As 
"Louise" is all Paris, the desire for it, the dream, 
and the delusion, so the one final scene in "The 
Merry Widow," as played in London and Vienna, 
was all the Maxim dream and legend in its essence. 
Here were the glitter of the lights, the waiters, 
silent, fleet and without scruple; the musicians, gay 
and garish; the swell mob of males, princes, poten- 
tates, cosmopolites, men of every world, splendid in 
black and white, insolent in their strength. And 
here, before all else, are 

Lo Lo, Dodo, Joujou, 

Cloclo, Margot, Froufrou, 
and all the others in that paradise where 

"Surnames do not matter, 

We take the first to hand." 
These were girls whom by a minute change in 



THE COURTESAN OF CITIES 129 

point of view any man might really take for ladies. 
Merry, but beautiful. They were clothed most won- 
drously, and they seemed most wondrous sweet. 
Only a poet who need not always be a gentleman ! 
would insult one of these by declaring her 
. . . fair in the fearless old fashion, 
And thy limbs are as melodies yet, 
And move to the music of passion . . . 
or reminding us that 

the kisses of her bought red mouth were sweet. 
As in the case of Rossetti's "Jenny," these damsels, 
whose metier was supposed to be Maxim's, were so 
delightful as to cause us to shudder when we think 
how easily they might be young persons whose names 
appear in the chronicles of fashion. Our cousin Nell, 
fond of fun, and fond of love, and fond of change, 
may so easily become like "Jenny," or like these "lit- 
tle Paris ladies" of "The Merry Widow" ! The dif- 
ference is so slight, so thin; that was just the danger 
in these stage pictures of that place upon the Rue 
Royale where the feminine frequenters nightly solve 
the secret of nocturnal beauty. Where we see a 
somewhat noisy, vulgar picture of the place, it has 
for us, if we have aught of finer sensibilities, no 
charm at all; but where the picture is alive with 
lovely, merry, discreet beauties in perfect taste and 
perfect gowns, and with men whose attire makes us 
dissatisfied with our own tailors, and whose manner 
makes their vices wear a proper gloss, there lies real 
danger. 

THE legend whatever hint one has here to give 
of its causes is perhaps as potent a one as the world 



130 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

of pleasure knows. Far dwellers in an unsophisti- 
cated West imagine that the pinnacles of possibilities 
in riotous living are, one the one hand, Maxim's, and 
on the other, Monte Carlo. Do you tell the would-be 
gallant of the backwoods that you have been in Paris 
now and again? He winks at you and says, 
"Maxim's, eh?" Discuss the a-las of to-day with an 
ancient amateur of Parisian cuisine, and he may at 
any moment break into fabulous recollections of what 
a devil he was at Maxim's "in the eighties." 

So far the dream . . . 

A fine conceit, in truth, and hard enough to sep- 
arate from fact. For the object is one to which most 
folk do not bring a sober, normal vision. They 
visit the place illumined by the legend and by liquor. 

Whereas, the fact . . . 

THERE may be many other places in the world to- 
day where the legend lives on liquor, and there cer- 
tainly was one yesterday; that was the Whitechapel 
Club in Chicago. There was no fun going into it 
soberly. Soberly considered, it was merely foul, 
blasphemous and brutal. 

Soberly considered but Maxim's should not be 
soberly considered, if the legend is to be preserved. 

Of the daytime, it is not germane to write. The 
legend says nothing of the daytime Maxim's. So it 
need not hurt the legend if we remark that it is pos- 
sible, passing from the Place de la Concorde toward 
the Madeleine, to observe nothing whatever of the 
existence of Maxim's, any more than of Weber's or 
of Lucas'. If you went in before candlelight, you 
would find emptiness, sleepy but insolent waiters and 



THE COURTESAN OF CITIES 131 

the general somnolence of a spider awaiting prey. 
The tables on the trottoir yawn; these hours, for 
Maxim's, are as the night hours to a farmer. 

Maxim's at night! Ah how they smiled, those 
dear fellows who once tried to lure me on toward 
the legendary home of all the Loreleis of the Rue 
Royale ! For I, like you who read this, had fed upon 
the legend. I awaited who knows what wonders I 
But I made, alas, the great mistake: I was too sober 
when I went to see my dream come true. My sober 
eyes strayed coldly to where, along the walls, the 
beauties of the legend sat. . . . Beauties? They 
were the same you had seen at the Marigny, at the 
Folies Bergeres, everywhere. Dressed magnificently, 
but impossibly, they were never for one sober second 
to be mistaken for anything but what they were. The 
paints, the enamels and the powder did not disguise 
the hardness in their only rarely handsome faces. 
The eyes, the eyes of the vulture and the vampire ; 
the voices not those of sirens, but of shrill, false 
vulgarities. The waiters had the dreadful familiar- 
ity that denotes accomplices in crime. The guests 
the princes, either of Marsovia or of Pittsburg, in 
the legend were of the type of men who order 
steak and seek cocktails on the boulevards; in brief, 
the Americans who belong to another legend alto- 
gether, the unfortunately verified legend of the 
"Seeing Chinatown" cars and the Cook's tours. Ill- 
fitting evening clothes mingled with sombrero hats. 
Bad French vied with nasal United States. An 
orchestra tried to drown the nasalities with its own 
strident notes. The ladies "when I say ladies, of 
course ..." went back and forth, upstairs, 



132 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

through curtains, ever swishing perfume too palp- 
ably, ogling too brazenly, shrilling too bravely their 
laughter. 

"Come," said my friend, the Parisian of the 
Parisians, he who has told all the diplomatic mys- 
teries of Europe in words that America could swal- 
low, he who has reported every great event in Paris 
for the last fifteen years, and known all the rising 
litterateurs, and been himself the finest Franco- 
American phenomenon of the lot "Come," said he, 
"and you shall see the really interesting spot, where 
all the intimate interviews take place; where Nini 
and Fifi meet the princes and the incognito foreign- 
ers, and where " And he led me to the curtain 

where at one side went the men, the other the 
women, at moments when they wished to be alone. 
And that was the precious, famous spot ! The reek 
of powder, of cigarettes, was just the same reek that 
is always behind such curtains all the world over. 
And in that milieu, where Nini was about to confer 
with Fifi as to the value of the evening's catch, were 
supposed to take place the romantic discoverings of 
the shall I say "affinities" that have gone to the 
Maxim legend! 

No; it was not for sober view. Garish, rather 
than brilliant. More expensive than the Haymar- 
ket, but none too remote from it in method. Tired 
were the dancers when they were not inebriate ; dull 
were the poisoned eyes when they did not sparkle 
with greed. If the dresses had sat there empty, if 
the powder and the perfume had floated forth, but 
from no bodily encircling skirts, the lover of the 
legend might quite easily have peopled the place 



THE COURTESAN OF CITIES 133 

with the fair ones of his dream. But these! The 
harpies of the world; no other than the harpies of 
the Friedrichstrasse, of the London promenades, 
and of the lobster palaces in the borough of Man- 
hattan. 

Beautiful? Yes. Gay? Yes. Desirable? Yes. 
Provided always that you came immersed in legend 
or in liquor. The one or the other made the greedy 
eyes look kind, the vapid lips seem merry, the 
rastas look like princes, and, in brief, the real 
Maxim's look like the Maxim's of 
Lolo, Dodo, Joujou, 
Cloclo, Margot, Froufrou. 

the Maxim's of "La Dame de chez Maxim," and of 
the final scene in that operetta in which Franz Lehar 
scored the greatest international success our world 
has known in a quarter of a century. 

With that inevitable bias toward the absurd that 
begins to mark the progress of our puritan decline, 
there were those in whom the final scene in "The 
Merry Widow" evoked remonstrance. To repro- 
duce, upon the stage, a place like that. . . . 
Unmindful of the other dozen or so of plays that 
had helped to build the legend, these good people 
entirely overlooked the essential truth that the place 
itself never was anything like the brilliant dream of 
fair women which the theater and fiction imposed 
upon our imagination. 

"The corks go pop," as the air has it; "we dance 
and never stop"; and that is quite true; but the peo- 
ple behind the "pop" differ but little from the wine- 
openers of Broadway, and from the dancers of any 
"swell ball" that engages the presence of our poli- 



134 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

ticians, our bookmakers, our "pugs" and their 
brides. 

So, once again, the lie has grown a wonderful 
thing, while the truth is a thing for scorn. There is 
philosophy in that. You will find no better philos- 
ophy at Maxim's, the real Maxim's. As for the 
Maxim's of legend it was a delightful dream; but 
a dream no less ! 

Ill 

PARIS AS IT PASSES 

NOT only dreams and illusions, but old landmarks 
succumb to time and progress in Paris as elsewhere. 
Most men who have fallen under the spell of Paris 
have counted as part of its fascination the legend of 
Maxim's, and that legend we have but now put to 
the ruthless test of truth. Another item in its fasci- 
nation, surely, has been to sit at the Cafe de la Paix. 
Was it not there, within half an hour of entering 
Paris, that I sat with Vingtoin. . . ? And now 
there is rumor that the Cafe de la Paix is to go. 

Who that has not written or declaimed about 
Paris but has insisted upon the charm of that 
corner of the boulevard where the terrace of the 
Cafe de la Paix gives not only upon the boulevard 
itself, but upon the magnificent space in front of the 
Opera, the fine descent of the Avenue de 1'Opera, and 
even the terminal of that most hideous and common- 
place Parisian thoroughfare, the Street of the Fourth 
of September? Long it had been a cherished saying 
of that extinct type, the boulevardier, that you had 
only to sit long enough at one of the little round-top- 



THE COURTESAN OF CITIES 135 

ped tables upon that terrace let us use that direct 
translation for the Frenchman's "terrasse," meaning 
simply the portion of the sidewalk nearest to the 
building, which portion the cafe proprietor covers 
with tables and chairs to see all the celebrities of 
the world go by. There is not a writer in English, 
from Richard Harding Davis up or down, as you 
may choose to think who has not used that pleasant 
allusion. It is a fable that every great corner in every 
clime has arrogated to itself; but it has been more 
true of that Cafe de la Paix corner than of most. The 
boulevardier, in the elder comprehension, is now 
dead; he has been succeeded by the Rasta, from 
South America, and the millionaire, from North. Is 
that great corner itself to go; or, at any rate, to 
change; just as the tribe of the boulevardier has 
changed? To be succeeded, then, by what? 

By nothing less, or more, so goes report, than that 
Mecca of the American woman, the Bon Marche. 
Such plan means that the entire block, to include the 
Grand Hotel, will be torn down and made over to 
accommodate the great department store that has 
piled up a fortune for the Maison Boucicault. Has 
then indeed the rivalry of the great institutions on the 
"right" bank at last become too much for the estab- 
lishment at the top of the Rue du Bac, that it has 
determined to array itself in closer conflict and proxi- 
mity against the Louvre, the Printemps, and the 
Galeries Lafayette? Americans and English, it has 
been true, have not much minded the jaunt over to 
the left bank; it was always so fatally easy to fall 
into the cab habit and simply utter syllables to the 
coachman. Plenty of the lumbering old omnibuses 



136 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

went there, too, from the "imperiales" of which you 
still get the finest views of Paris in its most central 
life and movement. But, despite notions to the con- 
trary, it is not the Americans who support the great 
shops of Paris ; the custom most desired is that of the 
Parisians themselves. What the American buys, let 
us say, once a year, the Parisian is buying constantly, 
bewilderingly. The quantity of toilettes that a 
Parisian woman, whether of the great world or of 
the several that touch its fringes, will get through 
with in the course of a year is simply amazing to 
those who conceive woman's mission in the world as 
something else than a creature to be dressed and 
undressed. 

What such a move would mean, then, is that the 
Parisians themselves have gradually been tiring of 
the journey across the Seine. For, with the exception 
of a few old families, relics, as it were of a faded 
period, the people with money to spend no longer 
live in the old St. Germain quarter, and as for the 
new district building up behind the Eiffel Tower, 
that is about as far from the Rue du Bac as from the 
Boulevard Haussman. 

The prosperity of the Galeries Lafayette must 
have become familiar to even the most casual visitor 
to Paris. In the last ten years alone, not to speak of 
still smaller beginnings, it has expanded across the 
street, until now its newer wing on the Boulevard 
Haussman opposite the simple offices of the great 
Morgan-Drexel-Harjes banking institution is larger 
than the parent house itself. 

It has become, this corner of the Boulevard 
Haussman, the place most frequented by the shopping 



THE COURTESAN OF CITIES 137 

population of Paris. If you wanted to see the busy 
folk, bourgeois, fashionable and super-fashionable, 
it was this corner you had need to observe. The 
stream of idlers that made perpetual procession be- 
fore the Cafe de la Paix was quite another matter. 
Before those little round tables, whether on the 
boulevard side or the side leading toward the Opera, 
the strollers of both sexes went ceaselessly, and 
never a moment of the day but had its interest for 
the onlooker; but that other corner behind, not be- 
fore, the Opera, that corner on the Haussman, that 
was where the fair sex reigned supreme. Here were 
no male strollers; there was not, indeed, any strolling 
at all ; it was a continual coming and going of shop- 
pers, of people inspecting the wares so recklessly dis- 
played upon the sidewalk itself. On foot, in cabs, 
in taxis, and in their own carriages, here passed all 
that was fair in Paris. Man, at this particular spot, 
was there only to "stand and wait." If he was wise 
he did not pass beyond those portals with his wife 
or his daughter or another man's ditto. He waited, 
meekly, and obtained some slight reward for his pa- 
tience in watching the kaleidoscopic colors of a great 
Parisian corner. For, though all were in a hurry, 
some there were, still, who took advantage of that; 
hoarse and nasal-voiced peddlers of postcards im- 
ploring the crowd to "demand the cards postal with 
Monsieur Bleriot and his aeroplane"; commission- 
aires from the shops, assisting carriage folk obse- 
quiously and foot folk brusquely; Americans strug- 
gling with the dreadful French tongue, only to find 
that even the salesman on the sidewalk talked perfect 
English; and many other fleeting delights. But al- 



138 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

ways, and above all else: woman. Rarely beautiful; 
but turned out, oh, turned out as, beyond question, 
no other woman in the world is turned out. 

THE change threatening the Cafe de la Paix cor- 
ner will be interesting to note. The result may, pos- 
sibly, intensify the present attractiveness. Hitherto 
a corner giving upon the great idling and curious 
throng, it may now take on something of the nature 
of that other corner, just described; the boulevard 
may for the first time find, upon its leisurely borders, 
the spectacle of the great mob of feminine shoppers 
added to its existing charms. For, so far, none of 
the great shops in Paris have been actually upon the 
"grand" boulevard. Not, that is, any of the great 
department shops. There is the "Trois Quartiers" 
across from the Madeleine; then, beyond the Opera, 
is the great "White" establishment; but these par- 
take in no way of general department shops. Far, 
far down, almost as far as the Place de la Repub- 
lique, are some Galeries St. Martin, where excellent 
perfumery is sold cheaply; but to all intents the big 
places have all been elsewhere. The Printemps, 
whose proprietor went shockingly bankrupt in sugar 
speculations a few years ago is, with the Galeries 
Lafayette, on the Haussman; the "Belle Jardiniere" 
is down near the river; the "Samaritaine" is on the 
Rue de Rivoli, where that street loses its character 
of neighbor to the Tuileries and takes on the color 
of the nearby vegetable markets. 

Possibly, as was said, the character of that Cafe 
de la Paix corner may acquire a new charm; but 
where are we to be while we observe that charm? 



THE COURTESAN OF CITIES 139 

What is to become of that crowd of onlookers who 
have for these many decades filled those chairs and 
sipped mild beverages at those little round-topped 
tables? Not, of course, that it has been the only 
vantage point upon the grand boulevards, but it has 
been the most admittedly popular. At Weber's, on 
the Rue Royale; at Durand's, at the Grand Cafe, at 
the Riche, at Poussets's, the Cafe Viennois at all 
the innumerable places up toward the Rue Mont- 
martre itself, there are never vacant chairs for more 
than a few seconds. There were those, too, who 
came to look upon a sitting outside the Cafe de la 
Paix as an advertisement of one's ignorance of 
Paris, just as there are those who know their Paris 
far too well ever to go near, in their sober senses, 
any such places, cafes or so-called bars, as include the 
name American in their title. Yet, there is no wis- 
dom without folly; whether, eventually, in spite of 
its odor of the outlandish and the outmoded, the 
Cafe de la Paix became a conscious habit with us or 
not, it was a place at which to have sat. 

It was at night that the spectacle was at its best. 
Its charms were then accentuated by the lights, by 
the increase in mere leisurely traffic, by the obvious 
pursuit of pleasure. Within the cafes solid burgh- 
ers dined and played dominos interminably; pretty 
women were eating and drinking, reading the news- 
papers, one another's toilettes and the nature of men; 
but that was background; the boulevard itself was 
the play. Men and women afoot, eager for life, 
or weary of it, but all keyed up, somehow, to a some- 
times passionate tension that Paris exercises allur- 
ingly and sometimes brutally; cabs and taxis, some 



140 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

scurrying in the true French recklessness across any 
open spaces the street might offer, others crawling, 
as the London phrase has it; the fashionably dressed, 
and the fantastically dressed, the rich and the poor. 
The well-fed gourmet on his way to Voisin's or the 
Anglais might be shouldered by one who, if not ac- 
tually an apache, looked so fit to commit murder for 
twenty sous, that to hang him on suspicion would be 
a benefaction. Strange gutter creatures approached 
the tables, spearing, with pointed stick, cigar and 
cigarette butts as accurately as the seahawk diving 
for a fish. The newspaper peddlers of Paris are 
themselves worth an entire chapter. Custom seems 
to prevent the same newsboy selling more than one 
sort of paper. As a result, we have a procession of 
weird creatures uttering each a strange cry, and each 
seeming to carry never more than half a dozen copies 
of this or that printed sheet; first, we are asked to 
"demand La Brehse," which is an effort in onoma- 
topeia to reproduce the strange nasal argot of these 
hawkers; then the last edition of a lottery drawing; 
then the "Batrie" (these guttermongers have an 
aversion to the consonant "p") and so on for half 
the night. The throng flows ceaselessly; and those 
who walk regard those seated quite as closely as the 
latter return the attention. The burgher and his 
wife; the student and his sweetheart; the night- 
hawks looking for prey all these come and go, go 
and come. 

Yes, if you sat there long enough, day and dusk, 
you would see most of the people who were worth 
while, to say nothing of many more whom it was as 
well not to see. 



THE COURTESAN OF CITIES 141 

COSMOPOLITAN as this throng, passing that cor- 
ner, has been in its time, it is elsewhere, after all, that 
one has had, of late, to look for the most "rigolo" 
types of "all Paris," which means, to some, all the 
world. If the Cafe de la Paix corner loses its old 
character, then the Avenue du Bois remains. That 
has been the most famous of all the thoroughfares 
for seeing the fashion and the frailty, the blossom 
and the musk, the notabilities and the notorious, of 
Paris. Through this funnel, every fine afternoon of 
the season, the world spilled itself into the Bois; for 
two sous, upon a little metal chair at the corner, the 
Etoile in view, as well as the parklike lane to the park 
itself, you could watch the carriages, the cars and 
the more leisurely saunterers; here it was not neces- 
sary even to buy a drink. 

It is this point that the artists Sem and Roubille 
chose when they portrayed Paris as it passes in their 
most arresting exhibition of wooden caricatures. 
This diorama was in its time on view in the Rue 
Royale, in Monte Carlo and in London. 

In this diorama you could watch u all Paris," as if 
you were standing at the Avenue Malakoff, with the 
Trianon-like house of the Castellane-Sagan-Gould es- 
tablishment in the background. Space does not per- 
mit mention of all the merely Paris celebrities on 
view in this exhibition; but some known to Cosmop- 
olis at large cannot fail to interest even America. 
Here went M. Martel of brandy fame; there Henry 
Labouchere's son-in-law, the Marchese de Rudini. 
Literary celebrities follow closely: George Feydeau, 
famous for his farces; Tristan Bernard, another 
playwright; Henri Bernstein, whose plays and duels 



1 42 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

England and America know; and no less than Ed- 
mond Rostand himself, under a gray Spanish som- 
brero, walking with James Hazen Hyde. Here is 
Count Robert de Montesquiou ; and there the satirist, 
Ernest Lajeunesse. Presently come James Gordon 
Bennett; two of the Rothschilds, Raoul Gunsbourg 
of the Monte Carlo Opera ; Prince Troubetskoi, and 
such internationally known artists as Boldini, Forain 
and Helleu. The corseted figure of Boni de Castel- 
lane swings by, twirling a cane. Then come folk in 
carriages or motors, ranging all the way from Tod 
Sloan to the late King Edward. Artistes like Max 
Dearly, Polaire and Otero ; the late king of the Bel- 
gians; celebrities of turf and finance and of that 
world wherein Emilienne d'Alencon and Rita del 
Erido are prominent. Whether anything like it 
could be done outside of Paris, or, at any rate, be- 
yond the confines of the European continent, is a 
question. The promenade is an art distinctly Paris- 
ian. There is, to be sure, an hour in the season when 
Bond Street, Fifth Avenue, Boylston Street see a 
passing-by of people well worth seeing; but we 
scarcely ever, in Anglo-Saxon centers, assemble such 
widely diverging types of character. 

All depends upon the eye of the beholder. We, 
on the American side, are perhaps still somewhat 
too thin-skinned to endure patiently the cosmopolitan 
caricaturist's contemplations. There is always, be- 
tween a society and its critics, a necessary collabora- 
tion before the really valuable effect is gained. It 
is certainly an interesting speculation whether any 
Anglo-Saxon corner in Cosmopolis would afford the 
pencil of the caricaturist such opportunities as Sem 



THE COURTESAN OF CITIES 143 

and Roubille have taken advantage of. About that, 
however, as about the future of the famous corner 
on the boulevard, only Time knows the answer. 

IV 

IN COOKING STILL SUPREME 

YET some of the old legends hold, some land- 
marks stay. In food for all mankind, as in fashions 
for the fair, Paris still leads the world. The years 
have not appreciably changed that fact. Tastes in 
clothes and cutlets differ, thank fate, or the world 
would be a melancholy monochrome ; there be points 
upon which the American woman surpasses her 
French sister in attaining to the ideal exterior; there 
may be hardy beefeaters who prefer the chop-houses 
of London and New York to the exquisite dinners 
of Paris ; but in the main the fair-minded gourmet can 
still discern daylight between Paris and the rest of 
the world; she still leads. Especially does she shine 
against the dismal dinners and the dreary dressing 
of London. Not even the brilliance of a Coronation 
atoned for the atrocities that London still insists on 
forcing upon the unhappy stranger, atrocities of 
fashion and cuisine. London's rank as a city in 
which to dine is still far in the rear of many other 
great towns and certainly not within hailing distance 
of New York. It is true that in the last score of 
years London has improved; the passing stranger is 
no longer compelled to dine either from the joint or 
not at all, but it is still indisputable that no matter 
how luxurious may seem the dining-room into which 



144 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

he enters, he does not really get his money's worth. 

There you have the difference between dining in 
Paris and in London. I have gone haphazard into 
a little brasserie on the Boulevard Montmartre, and 
I have had set before me, as the regular fixed dinner 
of the day, a meal that you could not equal, for sheer 
satisfaction to the eye as well as to the stomach, in 
all London, at four times the price. No, for what 
it charges, London never gives a cosmopolitan his 
or her money's worth; so much is certain. 

I have compared notes with many another vaga- 
bond, and I find no divergence from this opinion. If 
you consider London, to be concise, as a place to dine 
in, what do you find? There are the huge hotels 
the Cecil, the Savoy, the Carlton, the Ritz and many 
others. But it is not into these that the vagrom man 
or woman is likely to pop on the spur of a hungry 
moment. It is just on this side that Paris remains 
so supreme ; let your mood catch you on any street, 
it will be rarely that the first decent-seeming place 
you enter does not eventually furnish you with a 
pleasant repast. The places in London where the 
casual appetite may be satisfied include Prince's on 
Piccadilly, the Royal on Regent Street, Romano's 
in the Strand, the Trocadero on Shaftesbury Avenue, 
Dieudonne's on Ryder Street and Scott's at the top 
of the Haymarket. At Prince's you must engage 
tables beforehand. If you have done that, you are 
sure to see a number of persons of title and millions. 
But as to the food well, a habitue of Martin's or 
Delmonico's could not possibly go into raptures over 
it. The bill is not calculated to appeal to the casual 
and the curious stranger, however much he or she 



THE COURTESAN OF CITIES 145 

may teem with solicitude for the stomach. At the 
Royal it is about the same. At the Trocadero one 
finds a little more life and sparkle. The British fash- 
ion of ladies, who are sometimes ladies only by 
lapse, smoking after dinner may be observed here 
at every other table. Also, one has the interest of 
knowing that the rooms he is sitting in are on the site 
of the notorious Argyle Rooms, familiar to all who 
have gone into the history of the supposedly wicked 
side of life in great cities. 

The method of dining that obtains at the Troca- 
dero is typical of many similar places in London. 
In the same room you may be served any of three 
or more different dinners. One is at twelve shillings 
and sixpense; one at ten shillings, another at seven 
and another at five. Now, about this sort of thing 
there is always the uncomfortable suspicion that the 
seven-shilling dinner, say, is the remains of some 
other person's twelve and sixpenny dinner. The 
courses are plenty, but they are all equally heavy. 
The best soup you get in London is a bisque of 
crayfish. The entrees are French in name, but Eng- 
lish in their construction. If you are drinking wine, 
all is well; England invariably has good, if expen- 
sive, clarets, and her champagnes are as good as 
ours, and no dearer. But if you should prefer to 
have some light beer served, as one may always 
have it served in the most splendid of New York's 
dining-rooms, in carafe, you at once come a cropper. 
Beer, you are told, is only served downstairs in the 
grillroom. And from this and similar rules there is 
no diverging for love nor money. When you reach 
the dessert, which all England terms "the sweets," 



146 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

it comes to you wheeled on a neat little traveling 
waiter. The ice, also, is very fine to gaze upon. As 
it approaches you on its little carriage that is 
wheeled about the room it shines as with electric 
light, quite in the manner of the ices brought in on 
some German Atlantic liners when the captain's din- 
ner is on. Meanwhile, there is a band playing, and 
there are bare shoulders enough all around to make 
a cannibal's mouth water; the smoke of cigarettes 
filters toward the ceiling, and the gold tips are con- 
stantly kissed by over-red lips. But, when the steep 
bill comes, has the diner had his money's worth? 
No ! a thousand times no ! It is hard to say defi- 
nitely, this course was badly cooked, this entree was 
tasteless; but the fact remains that London food 
rarely delights the palate. It may make bone and 
sinew I dare say it does but it is never seasoned 
properly; it lacks salt at all times; and no matter 
how elaborate its surroundings may have been, it 
never by any chance suggests the perfect meal. 

The safest thing for the vagrom man in Lon- 
don today is still the thing that was safest twenty 
years ago, namely, to pop into the first public house 
he sees and partake of the so-called ordinary. He 
will, at least, get good beef and potatoes, and he 
can always help himself plentifully to the salt. His 
bill will not necessarily remind him that he has paid 
a great deal for very little. As to the appetite of 
the fairer sex, well, there's a sad matter! If she be 
not omnivorous in respect of what the English term 
"a tea," which includes bread and butter and various 
sorts of cake, she will fare but poorly in the largest 



THE COURTESAN OF CITIES 147 

city in the world. She will I fear, have to put up 
with the dinners of Prince's and his lesser rivals. 
The Strand, of course, teems with places where one 
can eat. But to eat is not to have dined! 

There, exactly, is where London fails; you may 
eat there, but you can seldom dine. Yet there be 
Englishmen who will rave you wonderful things 
about London as a solace to the gourmet. A dear 
fellow of my acquaintance, for instance, a man who 
is very different from the ordinary insular Briton, 
a man who has consorted much with the more 
mercurial spirits of England, such as "Johnny" 
Toole, "Dundreary" Sothern, and their newer 
peers, once gave me an elaborate list of the places 
in London where one could find what he called 
"beautiful food!" Dear fellow! if I cannot thank 
him for all the experiences in dining that he pre- 
pared for me, I can still feel eminently grateful to 
him for that phrase, "beautiful food." 

FOR "beautiful food" is just what Paris does give 
you, in every sense of the word. No matter 
whether you are at the Ritz or at any chance bras- 
serie on any chance boulevard, it is still "beautiful 
food." I really think that in all my experience I 
have only happened upon about one positively bad 
dinner in Paris, no matter how low the price I was 
paying. In the first place, you are always sure of 
good, crisp bread and fresh butter. In London one 
is likely to encounter some most impenetrable bread, 
though the butter is mostly prime. Next, the linen 
on a Parisian dinner-table is a delight that makes 



148 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

for rapture in the female breast and appetite in both 
sexes. Even where there is only sand on the floor, 
there is sure to be spotless linen on the table. 

I have gone into little holes-in-the-wall on the 
Boulevard Montmartre, where white sand was on 
the floor, and where cheaply but artistically garbed 
grisettes wandered in and out, and my dinner, at the 
price of about sixty cents, or half a crown, with red 
wine of the country included, has been one that for 
real satisfaction all London could not equal. For 
this price one has the choice either of a good soup, 
a soup that has taste to it, and is not, like most Eng- 
lish soups, a mere unsalted liquid; or, if you decline 
soup, the variety of fresh radishes, or salad or spicy 
sausage, or anchovies, or sardines, that are known 
as, hors d'oeuvres; then you may have two meat 
courses, each of which is sure to be perfectly cooked; 
next comes a vegetable, served as a separate course. 
To pass these French vegetables, cooked as Paris 
cooks them, without further comment, were to be 
unjust. Such green peas, and such string beans, 
such asparagus, as you may get in these insignificant, 
cheap little dinners! Why, not the most priceless 
dinner in England gives you anything that so satis- 
fies one's notion of food as it should be as do these 
little dishes of vegetables at any little brasserie in 
Paris. 

And no matter how queer and how cheap your 
little Parisian brasserie may seem, you are sure to 
find Americans not far off. These Americans, more- 
over, are not by any means slumming; they are sim- 
ply on the hunt for "beautiful food." Concerning 
the delights of the Ritz, of Voisin, of Paillard and 



THE COURTESAN OF CITIES 149 

of the Anglais, there are plenty who will tell you 
wonderful things. But about certain other sides of 
dining in Paris there has not been such a plethora 
of fact and fiction. If you were to ask me how best 
to live in Paris, gastronomically considered, with- 
out absolutely advertising the fact that you are a 
millionaire, I should advise one visit to each of the 
famous places I have mentioned, and thereafter a 
browsing into less expensive fields. 

You must go, of course, to Marguery's, far up the 
boulevard, not far from the Porte Martin. Not to 
have eaten Sole a la Marguery is not to have known 
dining in Paris. You are sure to have pleasant 
memories of Marguery's, no matter what may be 
the size of your bill. The heart of Paris is hum- 
ming a couple of miles away, but Sole a la Marguery 
brings all devotees of "beautiful food" together. 
Another reason why one went to Marguery's in the 
old days was that the venerable proprietor was one 
of the handsomest men in Paris. No matter how 
low an opinion your fair friends might have formed 
of the Parisian men in general, that white-haired, 
soldierly figure at Marguery's atoned for a great 
deal. 

Passing from Marguery's to the neighborhood of 
the Madeleine, there is a large choice of good places. 
Durand's is comparatively dear, and overinfested 
with the type of American who wishes to be seen 
rather than to be an artist in dining. Moreover, at 
Durand's, as at most of the places of this type, one 
is invariably enticed into dining in a cabinet, or 
private room; this is always twice as dear, and there 
is really nothing gained. Except as an aid to the 



150 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

average French farce or the average French af- 
fair of the heart (which also is but another sort of 
farce) the cabinet particulier has no real reason 
for existence. The place where you really can dine 
delightfully in this district is Lucas'. You are in 
sight of the Madeleine; you can, if the evening per- 
mit, have the cloth laid on one of the tables outdoors, 
and you will be most pleasantly served. You will 
have to order from the card; but you will hardly 
regret this. The life of the boulevard flows con- 
stantly into the Rue Royale before you, and, as 
the day darkens and the lights begin to glimmer, 
the spectacle constantly takes on new attractions. 
Fox terriers come wandering out of dark doorways, 
followed by the concierges whose pets they are. Lit- 
tle milliners trot homeward quickly; devotees of an- 
other profession pass at a more indolent gait. 
Meanwhile, Lucas' eagle-eyed head waiter is seeing 
that the entree is just right, the little peas oh, those 
little peas chez Lucas! just of the right savor, and 
that, for these American tastes, there are fans and 
also plenty of ice in the glasses. 

Ah, yes! thank fate, in Paris, as in Berlin, one 
can find plenty of that article so strange, so unknown 
in London ice. Also water. A cup of coffee is 
never served in Berlin without a glass of water; in 
Paris it is more likely to be cognac than water; but 
in London the fluid water is quite unknown to the 
average waiter. At Lucas', if one does not have 
more than a little chicken, some fresh peas, a salad 
and some coffee, he is sure to depart beautifully con- 
scious of having assisted at an artistic moment. One 
point about coffee and brandy that the stranger must 



THE COURTESAN OF CITIES 151 

take note of in Paris is that the ordinary cognac 
always served with coffee is a cheap type of brandy, 
and that if he wishes later in the evening, per- 
haps to take a little cognac by itself, he must not 
ask for cognac, but for fine champagne. He usually 
dines in one place, takes his coffee somewhere else, 
and perhaps his final liqueur still somewhere else. 

IF I have singled out Lucas' as a place most ex- 
cellent for those who wish, at moderate prices, to 
dine from the card, the places where one may dine 
at a fixed price are countless. Any insignificant little 
brasserie on the boulevard Montmartre will do. 

On the Place Clichy one evening when the famous 
Fete de Neuilly, at which all fashionable Paris goes 
slumming and playing at being child again, had just 
been moved over to Montmartre, I dined quite 
pleasantly at Le Rat Mort. The soup was excellent, 
despite the shudder the gentler members of our 
party could not suppress when they thought of what 
the restaurant's name implied. From the windows 
of the Rat Mort we gazed upon a trio of brilliant 
and noisy carrousels, all whirling madly to the mad- 
dest of tunes. Gay beauties came wandering down 
from the farthest heights of Montmartre models 
and such as were by no means models and seated 
themselves, with elaborate exposition of lace and 
frill, upon the horses of the merry-go-rounds. On 
one of these merry-go-rounds the steeds were pigs, 
that heaved up and down like ships at sea, with the 
gay Parisiennes bounding provokingly and enticingly 
up and down, all smiles and shouts and hosiery. 
What, in all the solemn, smoky, stolid business of 



i 5 2 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

London dining, can equal a sixty-cent dinner at the 
Dead Rat, or the Broken Pipe, or many another 
curious little place in Paris? Not even to New 
York have we been able to export the happy gaiety 
of these uncouth little holes; with us there comes 
always too great an intrusion of the tough element. 
The Parisians can be poor and still gay, exuberant 
and still decent. They can drink oceans of their 
cheap red wine without wishing to burn up the house 
or fight the neighbors. At the worst, they cry aloud 
for a political revolution of some sort; but the 
method is rarely a personal one. 

Yes, Paris is still the home of the most "beautiful 
food" in the world. Beautiful in every sense of the 
word; the dining-rooms, the diners as well as the 
dinner, all are equally pleasing to one's sense of 
beauty. What is true of Paris itself is true of the 
spots near by. Than Paris-Bellevue, for example, 
there is nothing more pleasant conceivable. In the 
distance twinkles Paris with its million points of 
light; dark below you flows the Seine; you can trace 
St. Cloud and Verseilles shimmering hazily. The 
food before you promises delight; everything here, 
as generally in Paris, caters not so much to appetite 
as to the art of dining. Which, assuredly, is an art 
like any other. 

An art of which Paris remains past mistress. 

WHERE, in the printed record, or in the facts to 
go upon that record, have we the equivalent, on this 
side of the Atlantic, to such pleasures of the table? 
How small is the shelf in that sort here ! Francis 
Saltus wrote stories and verses about things to eat 



THE COURTESAN OF CITIES 153 

and drink; and Jerome Hart once devoted a chapter 
to the cooking in San Francisco and New Orleans, 
and to the abominations current in the vast inns 
along our Florida coasts; but in the main, in fiction, 
or in descriptive chronicling, the detail of meat and 
drink is sadly scamped by us. We travel abroad in 
our thousands, and we return full of wonderful 
tales of what other lands contrive to do to our tastes 
and our stomachs; but here at home well, I need 
only to recall certain remarks of M. Hugues Le 
Roux in French and Freiherr von Wolzogen in Ger- 
man, who declared that the prevailing note of our 
cuisine was Cold Storage. Ice, they wailed, took the 
savor out of our food, our fruit, our wines to say 
nothing of our amatory relations. 

Truly, the path of the proper gourmet in America 
is but infrequently beset with rewards. Now and 
again, in this or that nook, he finds a haven of refuge 
for his digestion, for his palate for such pleasures 
of the table, in short, as appeal to the eye, to the 
taste and to the memory but how long do those 
havens survive the money fever? The ancient trav- 
elers like nothing much better than to lament the 
passing of this or that famous eating-place in Paris; 
but even the modern wanderer within our own bor- 
ders has to take note of the speed with which first 
too much popularity and then inevitable decline over- 
take the places that try to cater to the art of dining 
rather than merely to appetite. 

Yes, it is vastly unprofitable to contrast the field 
over which Lieutenant-Colonel Newnham-Davis 
roamed before giving us his "Gourmet's Guide to 
Europe" and the field which confronts a similar ad- 



154 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

venture here. Still, one wishes the experiment might 
be tried here. Not the sort of thing that a James 
Clarence Harvey once did under some "Bohemian" 
title of other; not merely an advertisement of con- 
spicuous feeding-places for the conspicuous members 
of our half-world of vanity; but a conscientious, un- 
biased record of what experiences are possible in 
American towns to the true disciple of Brillat- 
Savarin, or even to the person who is ordinarily 
careful of his interior arrangements. 

If the thing is ever to be done, let us hope that it 
will be Colonel Newnham-Davis who will do it. 
He has proved himself the first of Anglo-Saxon 
authorities in these matters; his little book is a 
model; and such of us as have been in the habit of 
proclaiming aloud the merits of terrapin, of planked 
shad, of chicken Maryland, of 'possum and sweet 
potatoes, of pompano and of many other purely 
American specialties, should unite in inviting this 
eminent authority over here for purposes of com- 
piling a "Gourmet's Guide to America." He might, 
it is true, consider us somewhat arrogant in our as- 
sumption of title to an entire Continent; he might, 
remembering his Parisian hours, remind us that 
there are Americans of the South, as well as of the 
northern half; but all that would merely extend the 
scope of his enterprise, from our peculiar kitchen 
hardly more definable than the American type of 
citizen, so compound is it of many alien qualities 
to the various Latin kitchens of South America and 
Mexico. 

THAT Colonel Newnham-Davis agrees with the 



THE COURTESAN OF CITIES 155 

pages of mine you have just been reading is made 
clear by the fact that France occupies nearly a third 
of his book; and the first fifty pages are devoted 
to Paris alone. No matter how devoted you are to 
the theory that when you die you will go to Paris, 
if you read his little book carefully, you will be as- 
tonished to discover what you do not know. The 
Parisian resorts patronized by the well-to-do cos- 
mopolitans are contrasted against those frequented 
by the Parisian burghers themselves, and the places 
on the Left Bank are detailed as thoroughly as the 
others. Even the summer places, partly in the open 
air, have several pages to themselves. And so it is 
throughout the book. From Spain to Petersburg, 
and from Sicily to Ostend, our author points the 
gastronomic way. 

No mere amateur in "beautiful food" may at- 
tempt to improve on the fine catholicity displayed 
by Colonel Davis, yet there are a few places not 
mentioned by him which seem to me worth mention. 
In Berlin, for instance, in the list of those places 
which, as the book says, "lovers of good wines 
should not miss," should be included an old-fashioned 
place, formerly on the Potsdamer Strasse, and now 
near by, called Fredericks. In the old days it was 
frequented by ruddy-faced ancients in uniform whose 
stripes and epaulets told the tale of their rank to 
those cognizant. Again in Tuscany, any rustic 
kitchen will supply an omelet con pane that deserves 
memory. In Sorrento, the restaurant of the Vit- 
toria deserves rank with the best in southern Italy; 
and the luncheon in the Vesuve, in Naples, is so good 
as to attract almost as m^.nv outsiders as the view 



156 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

from Bertolini's. In the matter of coffee, one of 
the best cups of it to be found outside of Vienna 
and don't we all know how bad coffee can be in 
Europe! is in the Hotel Imperial, in Trent, the 
proprietor of which happens to be a connoisseur of 
the berry from Bogota. 

But, when all is said and done, it is always to 
Paris we return when we feel that we would dine 
as artists and as amateurs of art. Paris still reigns 
supreme in cooking and cocottes. 

COMES the moment for good-bye to Paris, to that 
dear city of delight which, with its legends, its pano- 
rama, its cooks and its cocottes, held us so long. 
Paris, with its myriad enchantments, and its daily 
ruined dreams. Paris, with its arts and airs; its 
tawdriness and dirt. Whether still enchanted, or 
grimly disillusioned, we must be gone; work calls; 
work and brute matter are out yonder, somewhere 
beyond the fortifications ; we must not loll forever on 
the Venusberg beside the Seine. The world, ugly 
and terrible, calls. Somewhere men labor, and 
grind, and sweat. 

And so good-bye to Paris. Smiling, she waves 
at us; she is immortal, and the sons of men return 
to her through all the centuries. She smiles good- 
bye, knowing too well it means "Until we meet 
again!" 



CHAPTER SEVEN 

BERLIN, NEWEST OF GREAT CITIES 

IF the reader has not observed it, let me em- 
phasize that this chronicle of mine follows 
no logical routine of travel. Whim is the 
only guide. To go, for instance, from 
Munich to the Rhine-valley, thence to Paris, and 
thence to Berlin, bound eventually for London, would 
scarcely be the method of persons wishing to "do 
Europe'" in a given space of time. But to such per- 
sons I have nothing to say. As whim takes me over 
the paths of memory, so I stray leisurely, up this or 
that by-way. Similarities are no oftener my lure 
than violent contrasts. Comparison is one of the 
chief charms of life and travel. What superficially 
seems unreasoning whim is often rooted in most 
logical procedure. If, then, I ask you, leaving Paris 
where men perpetually seek pleasure, art and cook- 
ing, to pass onward to Berlin, the logic in my whim 
should be obvious. Berlin is the newest entrant in 
the circle of the world's great cities; her challenge 
is the boldest in the arena of Cosmopolis. Her pur- 
suits, too, let us examine; her pursuit of culture, of 
pleasure, and of cooking. And, while the taste of 
Paris cooking is not yet faded from us, let us make 
a little inquiry into a typical cuisine as a beginning 
from which to consider Berlin at large. 

157 



158 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 



FOOD FOB THE MILLION 

IT is in Berlin that the American metropolitan 
air is most closely paralleled. Not in London, not in 
Vienna, not in Paris; not even in Munich; but in 
Berlin. The look of modernity; the speed of build- 
ing; the traffic by day and night, all wear an air of 
home to a citizen of the Western continent. Indeed, 
the amateur of statistics may be surprised to find that 
the growth of Berlin since '71 has made it the marvel 
among modern towns. It was in that town that 
Bernhard Kempinski became one of the greatest 
restaurateurs of the world. Indeed, we may use his 
career, just closed, as a measuring stick for Berlin's 
growth into greatness. 

In London and in New York we are inclined to 
attach notoriety to the names of establishments that 
charge tremendous prices rather than to those that 
best solve the problem of catering to the great mid- 
dle class. We have too empty a space between the 
exclusive luxury of the millionaire and the dyspeptic 
democracy of Child's. Until a still recent, imperti- 
nent attempt to foist upon New York an Alpine scale 
of prices beyond anything ever tried there, one had 
not thought there was any limit to the absurd prices 
New Yorkers were willing to pay; but the quick 
failure of the Cafe le 1'Opera showed that there is, 
even in the most brazenly spendthrift town in Amer- 
ica, a dead-line. It was Kempinski's triumph that 
he gave the world, in his place on the Leipziger- 
strasse, close to the corner of the Friedrichstrasse, 



BERLIN, NEWEST OF CITIES 159 

in Berlin, about as good food as you could get any- 
where in the world at prices within the reach of all. 
All this, too, upon the American principle of quick 
service. 

It is the one great count against our American 
cuisine, from the European point of view, that our 
love of haste spoils the best dishes. We do not, as 
they tell us we should, order the day before and give 
the chef a chance to get the best from his viands, his 
condiments and his skill ; we sit down, we order, and 
we expect to be fed at once. Even with those same 
handicaps, then, Kempinski accomplished wonders. 
It is true the Berliner is rather a great than a delicate 
trencherman ; he likes quantity, and music and gayety. 
Kempinski gave them all of that, and excellent wine 
besides. The quantity of Sekt consumed in Kempin- 
ski's must have reached an enormous total annually. 
Even the most limelight-loving "wine-opener" in any 
American city would have opened eyes to note the 
matter-of-fact way in which the Kempinski patrons 
consumed the domestic combination of grape and 
carbonic acid gas. Not noisily, as if for an event; 
but simply as something without which no dinner at 
Kempinski's was complete. 

Kempinski's fame grew with the fame of Berlin. 
It was a bourgeois fame; an Englishman would be 
likely to think it somewhat noisily German; a 
Frenchman might turn up his nose at the cuisine; 
but an American was pretty sure to think of places 
a little like it in his home town. Solid citizens testi- 
fied the solid fare; family parties proved the festive 
respectability of the place. There were, as Berlin 
grew, many other places, and many finer places; 



160 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

but unless you had dined or supped once at Kempin- 
ski's, you had not seen Berlin. There was even a 
music hall song, dating from the Ueberbrettl' pe- 
riod of the late nineties, called "Bei Kempinski." 
One could gather an entire volume of caricatures 
and of stories in which the name was made a sort 
of modern classic. 

Kempinski was an essential part of that great 
modern metropolis that has been somewhat slowly 
dawning upon Americans. One foresees the time 
when the great trend will be toward Berlin rather 
than Paris; it is certain that each year sees a great 
increase of visitors to the German capital. 

IT was all vastly different in the Berlin of twenty 
years ago. An American visitor was rare. Almost 
the only American article was the dentist; even then 
it was considered both wise and fashionable to have 
an American dentist. One had none too many places 
in which to dine if, for exmaple, one wished to 
see officers in uniform. The German tongue has a 
phrase that marks a restaurant as "fit for officers" ; 
if it was so "fit," you need ask nothing farther. 
One establishment which was "offiziersfaehig" even 
in those old days, which has seen all the changes, 
all the growth of splendor and luxury, and gayety 
and gallicism making up the Berlin of today, is 
Frederich's, already mentioned at end of the pre- 
vious chapter. Until it moved, the other day, into 
a nearby side street, it was for years a pleasant 
landmark on the Potsdamerstrasse. Officers of 
the General Staff were ever wont to patronize it, 
and the late Adolf Menzel, as Maximilian Harden 



BERLIN, NEWEST OF CITIES 161 

has reminded us, frequented it habitually. Even 
today, while it may not rival the conspicuous or 
magnificent establishments of this present era of ex- 
travagance, it still gives for little money, in quiet 
and comfort, one of the best dinners the ordinary 
person may desire. 

Before our day of modern beer-palaces, you could 
name Berlin's most popular eating-places quickly 
enough. There were swagger establishments, like 
Dressel's, on the Linden; you took your coffee of an 
afternoon at the Cafe Bauer, or the Kraenzler op- 
posite, or the Victoria all on different corners of 
the Linden and the Friedrich and you went in the 
evening to hear the regimental music or the Italian 
opera at Kroll's. In those years all the Mary Gar- 
dens, the Cavalieris, and Tetrazzinis of the time 
sang, sooner or later, at Kroll's. It was a private, 
a cozy, establishment. Like Kempinski's, it was 
another way of spelling Berlin. Most of it just a 
garden outdoors, with tables and chairs; the indoor 
opera-house was small and intimate. To-day it is 
an annex to the Royal Opera-house, and under the 
imperial dominance; yet it does not seem to mean as 
much as once it did. In those years when it flamed 
with uniforms and with the amazingly ugly gowns of 
the blonde maidens of Berlin it was an essential part 
of that essentially provincial life. That life spelt 
Kroll's, and Kempinski's, and hearing Henrich 
Boetel crack his whip and his non-existent voice as 
the Postillion of Longjumeau in the theater on the 
Belle-Alliancesstrasse. It meant illuminations, or 
Lortzing's "Czar und Zimmermann" at the old 
Flora. It meant the first German emperor. . . , 



1 62 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

It was from a window of an uncle's house on the 
Belle-Alliancestrasse that the writer saw the three 
men who in our time have been German emperors, 
leading each his regiment; William, his son Frederick 
William, and the present ruler. All three together 
on the same day. 

In those days the shopkeeper of Berlin was the 
rudest in the world; he is but little better to-day. 
Politeness in a Berlin shop meant that the proprietor 
was from Vienna. Shrewd shoppers liked to pene- 
trate over beyond the royal stables and seek bar- 
gains in the old town ; to-day the old town, the whole 
district around City Hall, is as modern as anything 
else in Berlin. Neither Tietz nor Wertheim's nor 
the Western Warehouse existed then. The Berlin 
department store of to-day leaves little to be desired 
even by the most devoted victim of the American 
"meet-me-at-the-fountain" habit of spending the day. 
The street urchins of Berlin used to yell "Oder 
Kaehne!" whenever they saw American footwear 
approaching; their quick wit soon found the com- 
parison to those specially broad-beamed barger 
that ply the Oder and its canals. In those days the 
German officer was paramount. To the officer the 
outer world in mufti was simply non-existent; if you 
were in civil clothes he simply did not see you. The 
characteristic jest of the period summed up the Ger- 
man social situation in its entirety; an officer, enter- 
ing an outdoor resort which is simply overflowing 
with a mass of people, but all in mufti, screws his 
monocle more tightly in his eye, surveys the scene 
from on high, mutters "Not a soul in the place," and 
goes disgustedly away. Something of a contrast, 



BERLIN, NEWEST OF CITIES 163 

you see, to the American attitude, occasionally ex- 
pressed in an expulsion from places of public resort 
of United States sailors or soldiers in uniform. To- 
day the officer is not so paramount, and it may be that 
the American refusal to take him at the official Ger- 
man valuation has had as much as anything else to 
do with that. 

EVEN in those early days the Column of Victory 
was subject for the Berliner's jibes. The only 
maiden in Berlin, so went his joke, u die kein Ver- 
haeltniss hat" was the one at top of that column. 
So soon began the Gallic tendency of Berlin wit. 
To-day Berlin is more Gallic, in its wit and sketch, 
than Paris itself. Berlin makes fun of its ruler's 
taste in art; it derides the row of pallid ghosts in 
marble called the Avenue of Victory, supposed to 
represent the Hohenzollerns and their ancestors; 
it derides the fountain showing Roland Von Berlin; 
it derides everything. Especially the Berlin cabman; 
he will just as soon slang you as take your money, 
and his is a wit that cuts deep. 

It was a city of magnificent mistakes in marble that 
the restaurateur, Kempinski, knew in his later days. 
They were plastered all over the town, from the old 
castle, to the Brandenburger-Thor, and throughout 
the Thiergarten. People used to dine as far away 
as the Zoological Garden just to get away from 
them; besides, the music there was always good, and 
the provincial world of Berlin liked to stroll up and 
down there and be commented on. White marble 
is a passion with modern Berlin. Even the most 
material apartment houses manage to look white; 



1 64 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

one wonders how they keep so clean. In clean houses, 
clean streets, Berlin can teach the rest of the world. 
In much else it leads; in urban postal facilities, espe- 
cially of the pneumatic tube system; in electric tram- 
ways; in police paternalism, and much else. To feel 
that paternalism you must live, rather than visit, 
there; you may rebel at first; but it all works for the 
protection of the individual after all. 

American arrogance or indifference has beaten 
down much of the old provincialism that clung to 
Berlin. Like every other town in Germany, Berlin 
had a Civic Association for the Welfare of Strang- 
ers, which, like the village improvement societies of 
New England, has value chiefly as it improves the 
villagers themselves. For, having Kempinski's, hav- 
ing the pictures of Arnold Boecklin, having innumer- 
able riches material and artistic, the Berliners long 
remained the utterest villagers in Europe. Yet to- 
day the town is like Chicago, like New York, or like 
Boston, rather than like any other town in Europe. 

Especially it is like Boston in its pursuit of culture. 
Suppose we consider that a little. 

II 

THE PURSUIT OF CULTURE 

To the question: Where is Culture? a hundred 
towns cry "Here!" Yet the world sees daily mil- 
lions of people struggling, crushing, hurrying, breath- 
less in pursuit of what? Culture? How explain 
that paradox? Boston has culture; Berlin has it; 
Athens had it; and so on down the endless list; and 



BERLIN, NEWEST OF CITIES 165 

yet a vast human mob pants breathlessly in search 
of it! 

Grim determination on their faces, they brave 
bankruptcies, ocean journeys, privations, so they may 
follow that will-o'-the-wisp culture. Let us salute 
them, heroic, unreasonable, futile as they are; they 
represent the dreamers, the idealists of the world, 
however practically, however pathetically, however 
ridiculously they engage in their chase. Life, lib- 
erty and the pursuit of culture, so do they read the 
articles of their life's creed. 

There is not a tiny American hamlet that has not 
its worshipers at the shrine of culture. They call 
it by its name familiarly, not knowing that in so do- 
ing they offend it; it refuses to obey orders. Yet 
they put up a stern chase, across continents and 
oceans. You find these seekers in the galleries of 
Florence, heating the cool corridors of the Pitti and 
the Uffizi by their zeal and speed; you find them 
amid ruins of Roman and Saracen in Sicily; and you 
find them wherever modernity seems seething most 
hotly. It is a mad scramble to achieve culture; the 
middle-class mob of all the world is groaning and 
aching after it. Trying to put finger on every letter 
in the culture-alphabet. Whereas culture is a butter- 
fly; put your finger on it and it is dust, it is gone. 
Culture remains intangible, simply stuff for conver- 
sation. All newspapers, all criticism, might cease to 
exist; that would not matter as much as if people 
ceased talking about art. The moment that happens, 
art ceases to exist. 

Where Berlin and Boston touch is that they both 
insist upon compulsory culture. Boston has never 



1 66 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

had the compulsion to drink wine (Weinzwang 
impossible of direct translation), as have certain 
Berlin restaurants; but for decades it has had the 
compulsion to culture. For decades it has been the 
custom to suppose culture safely sequestered in the 
chill Bostonian air. The legend of Boston culture 
was fine and full of color; it is perpetuated by plenty 
of records in description of literary and artistic 
groups, colonies and enterprises. Once the legend 
was fact; the arts actually existed there; arts sub- 
servient neither to dollars nor to ladies. There were 
men of letters; among others Emerson, refrigerated 
philosopher. Periodicals of artistic importance bore 
the Boston imprint. 

In the history of culture Boston antedates Berlin; 
Boston began in the days when they burnt witches. 
Even to-day, if you produce anything inexplicably 
beautiful in the arts, you are burnt at the stake in 
America. Puritanism, the dollar, and the ladies, to- 
day control American culture. Only the ladies read, 
go to the theater, and here is the point to be re- 
peated talk about art. Talk. Stuff to talk about, 
the arts are no more than that. That is the case in 
Berlin and in Boston. 

To-day, of the culture legend there remains little 
in Boston save the compulsion, enforced upon whoso 
would be counted as an individual in the fashionable 
and intellectual world of Boston, to believe in cul- 
ture as having stepped out of the legend into the 
present day. You may be able to find evidences of 
nothing but a curious disposition toward putting new 
labels on old dogmas New Science, Christian 
Thought, and similar devices yet if you would not 



BERLIN, NEWEST OF CITIES 167 

be ostracized by Boston, you must do your share in 
furthering the hum of culture. Daily Boston strives 
to bring dead culture to life again, though many have 
never noticed that only the legend lives; they still 
believe in culture itself. . . . One must be 
armed in the arts; one must be able to name the 
names. The appearance of the thing must be there; 
or it's all off in Boston. . . . Money does not 
matter much; but you simply must believe in the 
culture legend. 

IT is in Germany, in Berlin, that the pursuit of cul- 
ture is, if possible, more fierce than even in America. 
Hugo Muensterberg, of Harvard, for a time fur- 
thering the Amerika Institut in Berlin, had found, 
he told me there not long ago, a greater interest in 
culture in Berlin than even in Boston. It was a lit- 
tle discussion upon that matter which started this 
closer inquiry into some of the humor and pathos 
of this pursuit in which Germany races with Amer- 
ica, and in which all the nations take part. 

In our young country, its own history none too 
long, its antiquity but fragmentary, its heritage of 
intellect somewhat casual, there is plausible reason 
for the blind worshiping at the culture shrine. All 
the students, the teachers, the women who are not 
happy, the men who are idle, mingle to make the 
American crowd that annually crosses the ocean seek- 
ing culture. 

Before them looms in general the huge continent 
of the older world, and some special attraction for 
each of them. These to Baireuth; those to Oberam- 
mergau; here is an exposition in Turin; there one in 



1 68 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

Rome, or Dresden, or Brussels; one year is a corona- 
tion in England, a "Rosencavalier" in Dresden, a 
horse show here, an international tourist show there. 
There is always something where items in culture 
may be gathered. 

Baedeker serves as first primer; then come the 
advertisements of the steamers and railways and 
hotels, and the Societies for Increasing Traffic, as 
the German phrase has it. From one spot they speed 
to another, sapping the honey from a cathedral here, 
a picture show there, a new opera here, a pantomime 
there. 

There is much that is pathetic in this frightful 
scramble. Life is so bitterly short, the wealth of 
wonders in the world so great! Not at a hundred 
miles an hour could even a millionth of the things 
worth seeing, hearing, knowing, in the world be ac- 
quired by any mortal. Yet relentlessly the chase goes 
on. 

There are those who delve into the antique ; those 
who devote themselves to merely the newest emana- 
tions; those who attempt both. All fail; culture es- 
capes them all; it is not to be had for the pursuing; 
it chooses to abide here or there ; but it is never to 
be compelled by this or that lure, this or that feverish 
zeal. 

Always we are before the problem which the 
Africans put into their saying that "the morrow 
never comes"; culture may once have been and may 
again be, but it never is. Some have it, not knowing 
they have it; nor does it insist on the acquisition of 
knowledge on the part of those it may choose to 
favor ; it is something finer than mere learning. Yet, 



BERLIN, NEWEST OF CITIES 169 

utterly intangible as it is, culture charms its devotees 
into a ceaseless pursuit. 

CONSIDERING only the very newest of the manifes- 
tations in the world of art, of the theaters or of let- 
ters, the pursuit of culture has indeed reached one 
of its most curious phases in Berlin. To Berlin the 
American culture-crowd should point, if they would 
see the hum of it at the liveliest. In Berlin culture 
has reached the point where it fills a circus with 
thousands. 

Heretofore culture has moved small groups, clubs, 
societies, village reading circles, round-the-world 
excursions. In the art of the theater especially the 
select crowds have had the loudest word for culture; 
Ibsen flourished first in small, intimate theaters; 
Porto-Riche, Wedekind, Schnitzler, Galsworthy, 
Barker, Shaw, and the rest were instrumental chiefly 
in giving small audiences in small theaters the feel- 
ing that they, and they only, were the elect in culture- 
land. 

Always, in the theater or in paint, there were the 
alien geniuses who were welcomed, largely, again, in 
order that a chosen set might preen themselves upon 
the possession of more culture than their neighbors; 
in this way served such men as Sorolla, Zuloaga, and 
Cezanne. . There are always critics, in every depart- 
ment of art, who live entirely upon a genius for pro- 
moting the alien and neglecting the greater artist 
around the corner. Where would be the profit in a 
culture that all men might enjoy? Where is the vir- 
tue in proclaiming Jones, who lives in the same town, 
a genius? A man who speaks the same tongue, who 



1 70 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

was once of the same set, an ordinary fellow like 
the critic himself? No, by culture, no! 

But Berlin has gone all this little affair of cliques 
and circles one better. It introduced culture in 
wholesale portions, culture at a circus, and culture 
by special trains. Daily Berlin looks in its glass, and 
is sure it sees Culture, culture. An industry, nothing 
less, is Berlin culture ; and unfortunate they who have 
no stock in that G. M. B. H. Limited Liability 
Company. 

No, America has not had anything like that yet. 
Of Baireuth and Oberammergau one could declare 
that it was largely America which dominated in the 
culture-seeking crowd. But Berliners, and Berliners 
only, filled the specials that went once a week to 
Dresden the first season to hear the "Rosencavalier," 
and it was Berlin itself that filled the circus where 
Max Rheinhardt was tickling its appetite for pic- 
turesque culture. Berliners thought nothing of sit- 
ting for four hours to see Rheinhardt's production 
of the second part of "Faust"; their physical en- 
durance stops at nothing in pursuit of culture. 
Goethe to-day, and Von Hoffmansthal to-morrow; 
Berlin talked of "Oedipus" in the intervals of talk- 
ing of "Faust" and "Sumurun." 

The last-named pantomime, Japanese in subject, 
was by Fredrich Freska, a German, and all the critics 
praised Herr Reinhardt's arrangement of scene and 
music as the greatest triumph in the history of mod- 
ern pantomime, and Berlin thrilled in pleasure, and 
certainly of its being indeed the center of culture. 
Yet what was new in the scenic management of 



BERLIN, NEWEST OF CITIES 171 

"Sumurun" was as much Gordon Craig's as Rein- 
hardt's, and those who knew of a culture not bounded 
by the city limits of Berlin knew also that Stanis- 
lawsky and Soulerjitsky of the Art Theater in Mos- 
cow, that Fritz Erler, Julius Diez, T. T. Heine, and 
others of the Munich Artists' Theater, and that the 
men of the Dublin Art Theater, had prepared the 
way which Reinhardt now cannily and spectacularly 
follows. 

Herr Reinhardt, genius in theatricalism as he is, 
is still a greater genius in fooling the culture mob. 
He has started the imitative appetites of the culture- 
mad on both sides of the Atlantic. Tragedy and 
pantomime and even individual cabaret talents like 
that Berlin amalgam of Guilbert and George Robey, 
Claire Waldoff he juggles them all for the amaze- 
ment of those dullards who had not realized that 
there was as much money to be made out of culture 
as out of anything else, if you knew how to go about 
it. If only the promoters of the New Theater in 
New York had known enough to engage Max Rein- 
hardt, their scheme of plutocratic culture might not 
have failed so ingloriously. 

Whether Americans would sit four hours one day 
and four hours the next to see a "Faust" is another 
question. But no strain is too great for the true 
Berlin pursuivant of culture. An entire day to Dres- 
den is not so much if you compare it with the months 
Americans will devote to a coronation or Baireuth; 
yet it was no slight physical strain; a special train 
down, then three of the most tedious acts of libretto 
and music you ever listened to, and then a special 



172 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

train back to Berlin, the whole journey blue with 
talk, talk, talk of music, Strauss, Von Hoffmansthal, 
"Rosencavalier," culture, culture. 

Yes, whisper it not in cultured ears, the "Rosen- 
cavalier" story is the dullest thing Von Hoffmansthal 
ever wrote, and went near to killing the Strauss music 
in its prime. The first act has noble music; the sec- 
ond begins well and ends well, and is deadly dull in 
the middle; and the third act, but for the last ten 
minutes, would damn any opera that had not been so 
magnificently advertised as necessary in the pursuit 
of culture. Von Hoffmansthal is never so sad as 
when he tries to be comic; the passages intended to 
work funnily in the "Rosencavalier" are of an im- 
penetrable melancholy. 

But, whether the piece was comic where it meant 
to be sad, or sad where it tried to be comic, what 
cared Berlin, so the "Rosencavalier" spelt culture? 
Not to have heard this or that supreme detail in 
culture, this or that triumph of Strauss, or Rein- 
hardt, is to bring upon yourself the scorn of all 
Berlin. 

Upon the hard Prussian faces, hastening along the 
streets of Berlin all day and all night, you find two 
expressions written; one says, Prosperity; the other 
says, Culture. You can hear the hum of both, 
audibly, like the sound of distant riot. 

In Boston or Berlin, in Vienna or Paris, the flying 
squadron in pursuit of culture must never stop for 
ironic reflections. It must not pause to think, para- 
doxic as that may be. It must hurry, hurry on, lest 
culture escape. 



BERLIN, NEWEST OF CITIES 173 

YET culture is not, if it exist at all, a mathematical 
concept, nor yet, as in Berlin, an incident in a profit- 
able enterprise. It is an affair of the emotions; it 
is a spiritual atmospheric effect. And if one is to 
feel that effect, those emotions, it will not be in Ber- 
lin, but in Vienna. At which, of course, the North- 
Germans will smile ironically. Yet I venture to say 
that if a flying squadron of the culture army were to 
visit the town of Professors Koloman Moser, Hoff- 
man and Otto Prutscher, their work in architecture, 
interior decoration, jewelry, and every possible form 
of applied art would be admitted beautiful enough 
to make even the most ironic observer declare that 
if culture indeed exists, it must be in the town where 
such lovely things as those are fashioned. 

Truly a curious thing, culture. In London they 
are long since beyond it, though they have never had 
it. In the time of Wilde there was a set which called 
itself the Souls; but today it has ceased to be worth 
London's while to pretend culture, save only where 
a German flavor obtains in this or that new set. Cul- 
ture is simply taken for granted, as is everything, in 
England. It is bad form to declare things plainly; 
one simply doesn't do that sort of thing. In London 
they are as far beyond culture as in Berlin they are 
above good manners. 

Does culture, then, indeed exist? Ah, no two 
answers to that will ever be alike. Is it, perhaps, 
never more than a legend? Only those can answer 
who have felt, who have breathed, fully and pas- 
sionately; those who live more deeply in life itself 
than in make-believes. 



174 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

III 

ART APPETITE COMPARED WITH BOSTON 

THAT culture is ever acquired, or even that cul- 
ture exists, we may doubt; but the tremendous extent 
of the pursuit of it, of the appetite, let us say, for 
art, it is impossible to deny. It may not be without 
interest to examine, a trifle ironically, or at least com- 
paringly, certain characteristics through which that 
appetite expresses itself in some of the larger art 
centers of our time, especially Berlin and Boston. 
For these two have much in common when it comes 
to art appetite. 

THE casual visitor to Boston must always be tre- 
menduously impressed by the continuous thronging 
to the Museum of Art which occurs when any famous 
loan collection is on view. In the proper Boston con- 
templation, from within rather than without the 
gates, that is, of course, no more than an incident in 
a farspread appreciation of art which has since al- 
most legendary times been taken for granted as typi- 
cal of the town. The existence of such art interest is 
not easily to be doubted after noting some popular 
expressions of it, which come to little less than a 
mobbing of the Museum. 

What notably impresses always in the Boston pro- 
cession of enthusiasts struggling toward this or that 
half-hundred of reputed masterpieces in paint is the 
completeness with which this town's huge business of 
educating and cultivating artistic and aesthetic ten- 
dencies has made its way into the very warp of the 



BERLIN, NEWEST OF CITIES 175 

plain people's lives. In the Boston mob which is 
content to shuffle for forty minutes, imperfectly com* 
fortable and insufficiently swept by ozone, through 
marble halls, for the sake of one roomful of pic- 
tures, the alien observer, intimately acquainted with 
the habits of other great galleries, finds features of 
no small interest. Mingled with the obvious mem- 
bers of that huge colony which is in Boston to learn 
this, that or the other a colony recruited from the 
entire American continent to an extent which those 
persons who live by figures alone must surely long 
since have computed as constituting an enormously 
valuable asset in the Boston fortune! are persons 
of every conceivable sort and condition, in a variety, 
in short, approached only in Munich or Berlin. 
Aside from the more well-to-do, who are to be ex- 
pected at such occasions anywhere in the world, there 
are always, in Boston, such numbers of the plain peo- 
ple, of all ages, as will be found under like circum- 
stances in no other town in America. The cynical 
explanation would, we may presume, be that the 
student colony so spreads through the town that 
hardly a single household is untouched by its life and 
its talk. And it is talk, as I asserted on a previous 
page, and as this present contemplation of the sub- 
ject is more specifically to point out, that chiefly 
spreads the public interest in any art. It is what 
people say of this book or that play which determines 
its fate. 

THE town to which Boston comes nearest in the 
extent of its student-colony as a factor in the general 
art appreciation is Berlin. There, too, whether it 



1 76 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

is in the Museum, the National Gallerie, the annual 
show of the Kunst-Ausstellung, or even the little 
gathering of secessionist stuff on the Kurfursten- 
damn, you will find the avid, garrulous student type 
mingling with the ordinary citizen of every degree. 
There, too, you will find the patter and chatter of 
the studios and the students pointing the way for the 
comment of the less expert burgesses who find it as 
necessary to prop their station in life with conversa- 
tion about art as with conversation on politics. Ber- 
lin, like Boston, counts its students of music, of art, 
of almost every form of aesthetics and science, as 
among its most valuable features. Entire house- 
holds, entire quarters of the town, are swayed by the 
necessities or desires of the student population; there 
are innumerable "pensions" where the ordinary bar- 
barian in Berlin must needs train his stomach to ac- 
custom itself to most amazing hours for meals in 
order that this or that "class" in music or paint may 
be accessible to the dominant student members of 
the household. Perhaps in Boston, too, a certain 
tendency toward dyspepsia is similarly to be ac- 
counted for. 

In Munich the art students dominate the scene. 
At certain seasons of the year, of course, they 
dwindle in significance before the gallery-devouring 
tourist, who treads from the Pinakothek to the 
Glyptothek, and thence to the Glas-Palast, with firm 
and grim determination. The Anglo-Saxon tourist, 
indeed, typifies, when abroad in the picture galleries 
of the world, the keen appetite for art of your proper 
Bostonian. The color-stuff that is to be the day's 
fare for eye and mind must be swallowed ; no matter 



BERLIN, NEWEST OF CITIES 177 

how large the dose, how fine or how coarse, it must 
be swallowed; as to mastication, assimilation, diges- 
tion: these things must take their chances. There 
are certain duties that one owes to one's station in 
life, to one's country, to one's town; the first of these, 
in the detail of pictures, is to see as many as possible. 
The point is: we went through every gallery in Eu- 
rope ; or, we have seen every collection that has been 
in the Museum of Art since it was opened! 

To reach the conclusion that there is a fraction 
of spuriousness about the art appreciation of the 
majority one has only to widen one's own experience 
of the galleries of the world, and to keep one's ears 
open to the stuff that is talked about pictures. Surely 
there can be nothing more piteous to the real lover 
of Florence, its cool and lovely opportunities for 
lingering, individual and precious enjoyment of its 
countless treasures, than to observe those sad pro- 
cessions scurrying through the Pitti and the Ufizi 
following the rapid commonplaces of this or that 
uninspired guide ! They troop like sheep following 
a harassed shepherd; they are hurried from master- 
piece to masterpiece; they see with the eyes of a flock, 
not of individuals; they listen to the opinions of 
others; they are swallowing, swallowing, just as all 
Boston swallows, just as swallow all Iowa, and Chi- 
cago, and all the thousands of Americans who read 
the constitutional phrase as "life, liberty and the pur- 
suit of culture." They swallow enough to provide 
themselves with certain first principles of conversa- 
tion; and there you have what they are really after; 
whether they digest anything is something they are 
willing to leave to luck. 



178 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

It is in the average conversation about art, in what 
people say while they stand in the galleries, or while 
they sit at dinner afterwards, that you will get your 
test of whether people, in this or that quarter of the 
world, do their own thinking about art. Mixing 
with the more or less fashionable throng in Burling- 
ton House in any spring of any year, what you will 
hear the Londoners and provincials saying will 
hardly convince you that the average English are 
concerned much beyond what is the most attractive 
portrait of the most "fashionable beauty" of the sea- 
son, or what is the "anecdote" on canvas which the 
leading journals have declared the picture of the 
year. In Philadelphia, every spring, you will find the 
curious spectacle of what is perhaps the nearest ap- 
proach to a representative annual "Salon" in Amer- 
ica without any element of real Philadelphia in it. 
The exhibition simply happens to be in Philadelphia ; 
but the people who make up the visiting apprecia- 
tion come from all over the East; Philadelphia itself 
contributes nothing to the color or note of the crowd 
in the gallery. In Florence, beyond the rapid gabble 
of the speeding lecturers, the occasionally genuine 
word of appreciation or understanding that you may 
hear will not be in English. Nor yet in Munich, nor 
in Berlin. 

The gallery conversations of London have been 
sketched so delightfully by F. Anstey and Pett Ridge, 
among others, that one need do no more than say 
they have all those features in repetition of what 
other people have printed or said which distinguish 
human conversation everywhere. Whether a plain 
cockney is expounding the obvious in analysis of some 



BERLIN, NEWEST OF CITIES 179 

painted story by Mr. Collyer that is as unimaginative 
as a page of Euclid; or a Bostonian student, over- 
sophicated in phrases and unilluminated by candor, 
is going into raptures over a certain picture because 
it is by a famous painter and depicts a famous woman 
for whom a famous man made a fool of himself 
the insincerity and parrotry of the stuff that is talked 
about art is much the same all over the world. 

WHAT is needed to purge the majority's adolescent 
art appreciation of much of its insincerity is some 
candid barbarism. It is not, to-day, any fine aborigi- 
nal, individual expression of opinion, however bar- 
baric or unorthodox, that you will hear in any gal- 
lery in America, from the Boston Art Museum to the 
Corcoran in Washington. The stuff you will hear is 
the voice either of the backpsch, sickly with senti- 
mentality and imitated dilutions of it, or of the would- 
be sophisticated chatterer of phrases caught from the 
studio or from literature. Cant and not candor is 
in the air. For one note of genuine opinion, naturally 
expressed and how quickly the note of an indi- 
vidual, of spontaneous sincerity, may be discerned 
out of a welter of imitative chatter! you will hear 
ten which are nothing but the backfisch version of 
Tomlinson's u ye have seen, ye have heard," etc. If 
Boston be that town on the American continent most 
sophisticated in matters of art, a town fuller than 
any other of the grim pursuers of that will-'o-the- 
wisp, culture, then Boston, too, needs an infusion of 
forthright barbarism more than any other. 

The barbarian in art may be simply an untutored 
individual spontaneously expressing natural sincerity; 



i8o VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

or he may be one who has triumphantly reached bar- 
barism after nausea from too much sophistication. 
Lorado Taft is of the latter class. But so you be 
genuinely barbaric, your road to barbarism need not 
matter. What matters is your courage for frank- 
ness. The sophisticated barbarian reaches his eman- 
cipation after much sloughing off of old habits of 
imitation and cant and patter. There comes a mo- 
ment of illumination ; suddenly the eyes that have for 
years seen no painting without a veil of other peo- 
ple's phrases, printed or spoken, open to the value of 
individual interpretation. To see the thing itself, not 
the thing through the study or the studio ; that is the 
rare sight. The barbarian, as we have seen, has 
courage, in the Uffizi of Florence to prefer to all the 
other starred and mob-scarred corridors that room 
where the artists of our own generation have shown 
portraits of themselves, Millais, Herkomer, Sar- 
gent and all the splendid rest, while the led sheep 
upstairs imbibe the pseudo-literary, pseudo-artistic 
commonplaces of a perfunctory phrasemaker at 
wholesale rates, passing from one all too "storied" 
canvas to another. Both in Boston and Berlin, 
where the backfisch is most relentlessly in dominance, 
some fine barbaric frenzy, compact of humor and 
humanity, should overthrow these pestilent literary 
attitudes toward art. 

Have you ever thought how strangely the human 
trend has chosen to differ in its attitude toward the 
theater and toward paint? Where nine out of ten 
people in a theater never know the names of the 
playwright, but only of the actors, in a picture gal- 
lery the names are everything. "Ah," says the back- 



BERLIN, NEWEST OF CITIES 181 

fisch from Iowa, or Vermont, or Chicago or from 
Pasewalk or Danzig or Pasing -"Lady Hamilton! 
How perfectly sweet! I could look at those eyes 
all day. A Romney how perfectly fascinating!" 
Item: the name of the artist assured her it was safe 
to gush; item: the name of the sitter added the scrap 
of historic and literary value needed to complete the 
proprietary of our backfisch joining the chorus of 
the other intellectual backfisch. 

The backfisch has been too long triumphant. In- 
ternational she is, as well as immortal. Fourteen 
or forty, she swells the great oratorio of other peo- 
ple's opinions about art. She is not so much a hu- 
man phenomenon as a state of mind ; as Von Buelow's 
tenor was a disease. She finds a landscape by Corot 
"attractive," just as in Baltimore they declare a new 
frock or a young man from New York "attractive"; 
the Corot may be an abortive daub, but she only 
knows that it is "a Corot." Barbaric courage to 
like a picture without having heard the name of the 
painter is not hers. She is wedded to her catalogue; 
she feasts, like Beau Brummel as the late Richard 
Mansfield showed him in that last fine scene in the 
Calais garret, "off the names of things." It is the 
backfisch who protects the experts who write of art 
in terms of all the other arts, making confusion and 
mysticism deeper than ever. It is she who has pro- 
duced the "programme writer" in criticism of music, 
and the Chopinesque critic of paint. 

If only the backfisch would keep still! But that 
is just it; she dominates the conversation! She has 
neither ego nor cosmos, but she has a voice. The 
true lovers of art seldom tell their love. That finest 



1 82 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

authority on art, ancient and modern, in all Florence, 
Riccardo Nobili, might have you in his house for 
months, and you would hear no word from him about 
art. 

To impress the others, the lodgers on the Pots- 
damerstrasse or Newbury Street, that is the aim and 
end of too much that is prattled and chattered of 
art to-day. 

Let us whisper to the prattlers of phrases, who see 
miles of canvas through literature only, that many 
wise men who have foreseen the future in the for- 
tunes of art, have been barbarians. George Moore 
was one of the most barbaric who ever looked at a 
painting; and if you had been as barbaric as he, and 
realized Whistler before the parrots and the fash- 
ionable did, you might be rich to-day. That hack- 
neyed remark concluding: . . . u but I know what 
I like" has too long, to suit a Gelett Burgess whim, 
been called a bromide; it is nothing but a battle-cry 
of barbarism that should be flung abroad more than 
it is. To go no other person's way, but your own; 
to echo no praise though a million artistic gospels 
point the path that is true barbarism. Because the 
others babble in one generation of Cezanne, Ma- 
tisse, Van Geogh, Gauguin and the post-impression- 
ists, in another of Sisley, or Manet, or Slevogt, that 
is no reason why one should pretend an opinion 
about them when one really has none at all. "I do 
not give one solitary hang" is part of the barbarian's 
candid armor. The barbarian is not a vandal, as is 
the modernizer of old Florence. The barbarian 
need not be bourgeois; need not mean the statues of 
Begas, the taste of a Hohenzollern or a Guelph. 



BERLIN, NEWEST OF CITIES 183 

The French, most sophisticated in art, can be the 
most barbaric. 

To see things as they are, without glasses furnished 
arrogantly by experts, or by literature, that is to be 
barbarian. 

IV 

NIGHT LIFE 

ONE more comparison remains, as we examine 
Berlin's right to rank among the world-towns. We 
have looked into cooking, and into various facets of 
that glittering moonstone, culture. But it is not of 
her countless feeding troughs, her garish beer pal- 
aces, her efforts to form a world-embracing Combine 
out of culture, that Berlin, in her heart of hearts, is 
proudest. No, the one domain wherein she pretends 
to indisputable eminence is Night Life. To con- 
sider her right to that eminence we must consider 
also some of her rivals. 

An amazing discussion goes back and forth across 
the English Channel every now and again. Like 
most discussions, most arguments, it is rooted in 
wrong premises, reaches false conclusions, and 
leaves all the disputants believing exactly what they 
did before. The question is, for one thing, whether 
London is dull, and, for another, whether Berlin is 
less dull. Emphasis, of course, goes largely upon 
the detail of night life. 

Suppose, from this safe distance, though armed 
with all the necessary facts, the experience, and the 
susceptibility to emotions, that we look at the ques- 
tion more widely than if it concerned only London 



1 84 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

and Berlin. For, in any comparative observation, 
it becomes necessary to range Paris and Vienna with 
those others. To include Brussels, Budapest, Naples 
and the rest would lead too far; national and racial 
characteristics and differences can be sufficiently 
gauged in the quartet just mentioned. 

FOR London to have tried to defend herself from 
the charge of being dead and buried after a com- 
paratively early midnight hour must ever be a proof 
of an insular immunity from the irony of facts. All 
of us who know our London at all know that how- 
ever much we may be on the inside of life at its most 
sophisticated, its most autocratic, we are neverthe- 
less bounced on to the cold street when the County 
Council hour strikes. 

We may be sitting with all the potentates and 
powers at the Savoy, the Carlton, the Ritz, the Berk- 
eley, or any of their peers, but when that hour ap- 
proaches the servitor's whisper, "Five minutes, gen- 
tlemen!" falls upon the just and the unjust alike, and 
at the minute itself the lights go out, and there is 
nothing for us to do but follow suit. 

And then, once upon the street, where is the night 
life of London? Ah, ask of the winds! You might 
as well; it will profit you just as much as if you asked 
of the policeman on the beat. Belated taxis toot 
past; one or two forlorn relics of that fine romantic 
era typified by the hansom cab go jingling by; some 
amazed and dazed aliens wander about Piccadilly 
Circus seeking for the livelier vices and the more 
brilliant glitter of their own towns; the real Lon- 
don is dead. Stray creatures, some in rags, and 



BERLIN, NEWEST OF CITIES 185 

some in all the elaborate black and white splendor 
of evening masculine regimentals, wander homeward 
on foot, some of them seeking food and hot coffee 
in and here you have the sufficient comment upon 
London's nocturnal state ! the cab shelters, equiva- 
lent to our American owl lunch wagons. A hawker 
selling chestnuts, or hot potatoes; a bird of prey or 
two smelling of patchouli ; the rest is silence and deso- 
lation. At the County Council hour everything goes 
dark and dumb. 

What, then, has London in the way of gayety after 
candlelight? What can visitors find for amusement 
after their hard work of sightseeing in daylight? 
Well, they may dine to-day in thirty times as many 
cosmopolitan restaurants as they could in the London 
of fifteen years ago, for one thing. If London to-day 
is but a gray place for those on nocturnal pleasure 
bent, it is a very glitter of color compared to what 
it was fifteen years ago. 

The old Londoner, of course, regrets the passing 
of his cozy old town; he sees the riddling of it by 
tubes, the increase of gorgeous and florid eating 
places, the passing away of old and dingy corners 
wherein people had for a century fed badly for no 
other reason than that their forefathers had done 
so he sees all this with distress and anger. But 
the stranger within the gates may bless his stars that 
he does not have to depend for his food and drink 
upon that now vanished London. 

The London of to-day, as most of us know, is as 
new a town as any of the others in the world. To 
find there the old, to-day well, none but the hard- 
iest Americans attempt it; the Londoner himself has 



1 86 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

given it up long ago. To repeat, then: one has a 
good range of places wherein to dine, of theaters 
wherein to sit for the bulk of the evening, and of 
places wherein to sup after the play. But with that 
the tale has been told. If you want a glittering frolic 
which you have imagined to yourself under the title 
of "London at Night," you will have to end it as 
you began it, in your dreams. You dine, you watch 
the play, you hear music, you sup, and then off to 
bed with you. By order of the County Council. 

Let us bless the County Council. The most timor- 
ous mother might let her tenderest fledgeling boy go 
unprotected across the West End of London in the 
small hours of the morning, from Mayfair to Bel- 
gravia, from Bayswater to Whitehall, from Kensing- 
ton to Marylebone, and he would be immune from 
the din of gayety, the infection of merriment, the 
sound and air of pleasure. This is not to say alas 
for the plans of County Councils, and all other hu- 
man devices to sterilize the human tendencies in the 
race ! that the aforesaid milkwhite youth might not 
run into some dismal, drab, or dirty iniquity in the 
modern Babylon. Man is not less vile there than 
elsewhere; nor woman, either; over essential human 
frailties no County Councils have jurisdiction. For 
those who take their pleasures sadly and darkly not 
even London is without temptation after midnight. 
But from nocturnal gayety the town is immune. The 
Goddess of Pleasure pulls the curtain at the Coun- 
cil's closing hour. The wayfarer is left in outer 
darkness. If he feels he must needs be a gay dog 
until dawn, there is nothing for him save his home 
or his club. 



BERLIN, NEWEST OF CITIES 187 

Even the clubs well, this is not the place for a 
dissertation on the different air of clubs in England 
as against that in America, but no man in his senses 
yet went to a London club for small-hour gayety. 
It is true that the new Automobile Club is become 
seriously a competitor of the existing public supper 
resorts, and that eventually some pleasurable after- 
math on supper may be permitted there; but we are 
not all motor-minded. Again, a segregated gayety, 
in four walls, in even the most splendid of clubs, is 
not what most people mean when they speak of this 
or that town's night life of pleasure. 

As for Paris, its night life is a tale that has been 
so often told that no good American can be supposed 
ignorant of its features. The details of such a night 
in Paris, as every foreigner permits himself at least 
once in his life, are become so common that there is 
hardly a hamlet in the remotest region of Suburbia 
or the backwoods where the mention of "gay Paree" 
will not arouse reminiscences in the meekest-seeming 
habitant. Let the subject of Paris come up in the 
unlikeliest crew of human beings, on land or sea, 
around the village grocery store, or the smoking 
room of the most luxurious ocean liner, and at once 
the gamut of gayety will be reviewed again by old 
and young, the bored and the ambitious. Students 
of art have their version of it; the indiscriminate 
tourists and sightseers have another, and keen gour- 
mets of sensation have another. That night life in 
Paris provides a feast for all appetites is admitted. 

Literature has recorded all the courses in the feast, 
long ago, and the only chance for new retouchings 



1 88 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

of the subject comes in the changes that the passing 
years bring over the nocturnal scene there in Lutetia. 
The records of Henri Murger, of Du Maurier and 
of Aristide Bruant, if we name no others, declare 
the glitter of the nightly pleasure in the City of Light. 
The name of Aristide Bruant recalls, of course, one 
of the first of those nocturnal cabarets, now so com- 
mon, which became places where art and literature 
met on common ground, for profit, and the pleasing 
of the visiting public. 

The routes across the map of Paris night life 
are many. To take them all, to know the landmarks 
on all the ways, would need a lifetime, and many 
lives have been wasted in the search. You have, as 
even in dismal London, innumerable places where to 
dine, innumerable playhouses. Then come the many 
places where a sort of bridge is formed between 
theatrical entertainment and nocturnal gayety, places 
the names of which are by now so familiar in New 
York that they are more and more supposed to bring 
profit through domestic application: The Folies 
Bergeres, the Jardin de Paris, the Alcazar d'Ete, the 
Ambassadeurs, and the Marigny. Some of these are, 
for summer, partly outdoors; some, like the 
Marigny, are always inclosed. There is always the 
show on the stage, and the show in the promenade. 
Beauty of face, of form and of frocks and frills is 
likely to distract from the actual stage the attention 
of the non-linguistic visitor. 

Morals we may leave to moralists; our concern is, 
now, merely to observe whether the obvious features 
of Paris by night are attractive. We have already 
seen how the legend of Maxim has paled; that is true 



BERLIN, NEWEST OF CITIES 189 

of many similar Parisian legends, yet we would be 
indeed curmudgeon, indeed bilious of view, if we dis- 
puted altogether the nocturnal charm of Paris. She 
is light, airy, well caparisoned, amusing, pleasurable 
to the eye and ear. She sparkles. 

When the great establishments that pretend to a 
more or less theatrical entertainment on or near the 
grand boulevards empty their throngs upon the night, 
the business of nocturnal pleasure has, if you know 
where to go, only begun for Paris. But, mark you, 
you must know where to go. On the boulevards 
themselves a hush and a dimness may come ; you may 
think all Paris is going to bed. As a matter of fact, 
it has gone up to the Hill of Martyrs, to the Place 
Pigalle, the Place Blanche, or even higher up, to 
where once was the old mill and where the studios 
were. You may walk if you have youth in your 
veins, or you may just say the right word to a cab- 
man, and presently you will be where night never dies 
in Paris. 

The names change from year to year; but most 
folk know the Rat Mort, where -you may dine (not 
badly, as I remarked in my chapter on Paris) amid 
peaceable appearing burgesses on the street floor, 
and later, on an upper floor, find all manner of 
mixed and fascinating dancing going on between 
the cataracts of champagne or tisane; most know 
the Abbaye, with its mirrors, its overdressed 
women; its paid dancers, and its supercilious servi- 
tors ; and most have been to the Moulin Rouge either 
when it was sheerly a dance hall or when it was ,i 
music hall, or when, as lately, it is a cross between 
the two. 



190 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

Then there are numerous cabarets, all based upon 
the idea of Bruant, or of the Cafe Noir of Rodolphe 
Sails. There is the place called Heaven, and that 
called Hell, and that of Death. To astonish you, 
to give you a sensation, to quicken into some sort of 
action your jaded nocturnal nerves, is the object of 
all these places. 

In one they used to shout an obscene word at 
you as you entered; if that had never happened 
to you in your life before, you were at least the 
richer for a sensation, however unspeakable your 
opinion of the welcome might be. In this place 
artists of the stage, of paint, of music, or of letters 
conspired to your amusement ; in another, you your- 
self might be dragged into doing something for the 
amusement of the others. You never quite knew 
what might befall you, as long, at any rate, as you 
kept your youth and your enthusiasm. 

Is it that we grow old, or do the joys themselves 
grow stale? Or does Paris indeed not keep to her 
old pace of providing nocturnal novelties? For, to 
tell the honest truth, the route of night life in Paris 
is to-day a trifle littered and shabby, like the streets 
of Paris herself. The taint of the tourist is a little 
too plain upon it all. New places come and go, but 
pass quickly into the familiar repertoire of every 
sightseer, until all are finally equally nauseous to the 
discriminating. 

The several phases of this nocturnal gayety begin 
to wear the air of a set scene upon a stage. You 
almost expect to hear some announcement for all 
the world to : 



BERLIN, NEWEST OF CITIES 191 

u Walk up, walk up, ladies and gentlemen, and see 
how gay Paris is at night." 

The moment this label becomes too plain, the thing 
itself is off. Yet Paris, however dingy she may be- 
come as a mistress of pleasure, still keeps the quick- 
ness of her wits, and one thinks that the near ex- 
ample of Berlin will serve to show her the horror of 
too garishly displaying nocturnal life as a tangible 
article for the world's desire. For, in Berlin but 
we go a trifle fast. No last word has yet been said of 
night life on the left bank of the Seine. 

Much of the legend and the literature has now to 
be forgotten. Fickle in this respect as in all else, 
Paris is forever changing the fashion in cafes and 
restaurants. One year the students went here, the 
actors there, the journalists there; if you came the 
next year to seek any of them in those places you 
would find another set entirely. 

Then, too, there is that frightfully abused term, 
still overmuch in vogue with the ignorant the Latin 
quarter. There has been no such thing, outside the 
literature produced in English by the uninitiate, for, 
lo, these many years. There is, instead, the Ameri- 
can quarter, and the Students' quarter. The line 
between the two may be something like the equator; 
it is enough to say that the American quarter lies up 
near the Montparnasse station, and the Students' 
over to the left, as you turn your back to the river. 
Ascending the rise along the Boulevard St. Michel 
you are traveling steadily along the ways worn ro- 
mantic by the legends of the Latin quarter; to-day 
it is the quarter of the students. You pass famous 
resort after resort, the Golden Sun, the Francis the 



1 92 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

First, the Scarlet Jackass, the Pantheon; you pass 
the gardens of the Luxembourg, and you reach the 
Bal Bullier. Not to-day what once it was, the Bal 
Bullier, even as, on Montmartre, the Tabarin, is too 
staged and arranged an affair. Yet if you are 
young. . . . To dance into the small hours with 
the first best or worst girl whose step suits yours ; to 
warm the corner of the cafe where once Verlaine 
drooled absinthe and rhymes; to watch the dawn 
come glimmering into the leafage of the Luxem- 
bourg, to catch the scent of night mists, of the Seine, 
of tar, of dust, that go to make the Paris essence; to 
begin with a cup of chocolate at the Cafe du Dom, to 
feast one's senses on lights, and music, and genius 
and woman the whole night long, and then go, in 
the proper Paris fashion, and break one's fast in a 
creamery the size of your hat that is to have been 
young. 

To each of us, so we have arranged our lives prop- 
erly, Paris must eternally spell a part of youth. Hag- 
gard and wan herself, often enough, letting herself 
get unkempt here and ragged there, she yet succeeds, 
in spite of everything, in reviving a sense of youth in 
all the world that visits her. We must be very tired, 
be very captious, if we deny her charm, or find it 
gone. Yet, that even in our time a change has come 
over her charm, that to-day it takes more determina- 
tion to find it and to exert it, there can be little deny- 
ing. You hear this spoken wherever cosmopolitans 
assemble. Philosophers of pleasure have phrased it 
thus : that Paris must sink even lower than she has 
sunk to-day before she will rise again to the splendid 
gayety of her empire days. 



BERLIN, NEWEST OF CITIES 193 

MEANWHILE, for those who look for the plain 
label "Night Life Warranted Gay," there is no doubt 
that the most important place has long since ceased 
to be Paris. Berlin is the place. 

Such night life has never before existed in the his- 
tory of the world. Never before have such determi- 
nation and fervor gone to the making of it, such 
grossness of appetite gone to the enjoyment of it. 
In preparing nocturnal pleasure and in wallowing in 
it the Berliners are unsurpassed. They made up 
their minds, some years ago, that they would make 
their town the capital of pleasure for the whole 
world, and, by the almighty dollar and the lettering 
on the package, they have done it ! None could mis- 
take this tremendous activity, this feverish hurrying 
and plunging into whirlwinds of change, of color, 
of splendor, and luxury; this is Pleasure, Pleasure; 
this is Night Life. One wonders that, like every- 
thing else in Berlin, night life has not been turned 
into a G. M. B. H. a limited liability company. 

Let us approach this extraordinary manifestation 
of German energy soberly, and with some attempt 
at beginning at a beginning. The stories of nocturnal 
gayety, as they touch the other towns, have mostly 
been told before; the story of Berlin's night life, the 
most amazing tale of all, has never yet been properly 
told. This present historian has seen it begin out of 
nothing. For some years after '71 Berlin was 
merely the capital of Prussia, trying to assume im- 
perial dignity. There came material prosperity. 
Germany grew rich. The same change that came 
over its letters, bringing them up into the most mod- 
ern directions in the late '903, came also over Berlin's 



194 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

appetite for amusement. In its heavy-handed man- 
ner it determined to be frivolous. The hours for 
lights, for music, for the semblance of liveliness grew 
later and later, earlier and earlier. The change in 
the last five or six years has come at a pace astonish- 
ing even those to whom the town was as familiar as 
their own house. 

Time was when the Cafe National, on the Fried- 
richstrasse, represented the culmination of deviltry 
that Berlin could show in the class of the Cafe du 
Pantheon on the Boulevard St. Michel. To-day the 
National is a dingy affair that none but the returning 
ghosts of other decades, or the Lost Soul of Mar- 
garethe Boehme would think of entering. Berlin is 
now on heights of luxury the National had never 
dared to attempt. 

Even six or seven years ago it was easily possible 
to spend a full night in Berlin without being bored. 
The hours for the play were early; you supped after- 
wards at Dressel's, or Kempinski's, or the Traube, 
or even Frederich's on the Potsdamerstrasse, and 
then you went to a cabaret. There were plenty of 
them, started in imitation of the French article, but 
eventually having some decent reason for existence 
in that they furthered a domestic art of music, of 
poetry, of the stage, and even of pantomime. You 
heard parodies of local application, burlesques, songs 
and stories somewhat near the bone, and music that 
was quite as worth memory as what you heard in the 
first-ranking theaters. Indeed, men like Oscar 
Straus, Victor Hollander, Paul Lincke, and others 
wrote countless cabaret songs; the cabaret helped 
them to their later operetta fame. 



BERLIN, NEWEST OF CITIES 195 

The hours of the cabaret were announced as from 
1 1 until dawn. Only a few years ago a popular farce 
in Berlin, based upon the cabaret mania, was called 
" 'Till Five o'Clock in the Morning." You could go 
from one cabaret to another, always finding different 
artists, and a different, individual style to the estab- 
lishment; the London trick of an artist "doing a 
turn" in half a dozen establishments a night was not 
in vogue. The names of the cabarets were such as 
"The Hurdy-gurdy." the "Roland von Berlin," 'The 
Bad Boy," and the like. They had their ups and 
downs; you found different ones each year; but the 
idea of the thing itself did not die down. It bridged 
effectively that period of hours between supper and 
the dawn, and the Berliner had determined this pe- 
riod must not be wasted in sleep. 

TO-DAY there are places in Berlin which surpass 
anything ever before attempted in the history of pub- 
lic pleasure. They call themselves dance palaces, 
using the French form for the label. The Parisian 
model for pleasure still serves the Berliner; the 
Parisian legend of nocturnal pleasure still has its 
power, but in the material evidences Berlin has long 
since surpassed Paris. One of these Palais de Danse 
will suffice, in description, for our purpose. 

You enter past as many flunkies as in an actual 
palace; you pay an entrance fee, if you are male, by 
no means small. As for the ladies let us be polite, 
even in Berlin, where politeness is eccentric ! the 
ladies find it profitable to subscribe to a season ticket. 
You proceed up stairs and halls that are marble and 
gold and everything that glitters and blazes, until 



196 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

you find yourself, eventually, in a vast hall the like 
of which has not been found since Babylon. Vast 
is the floor space, vast the height of the room, and 
stupendous the garishness of splendor about you 
everywhere. Nowhere an artistic style, but every- 
where a solid, colossal fever to impress. It is the 
splendor of drunkards. Drunkards drunk with their 
own prosperity, mad to shout that prosperity at the 
world. Golden nymphs and cherubs reel about the 
ceiling; thousands of lights produce an intense glare; 
jewels and wine shimmer and sparkle all about you. 

Upon a depressed portion of the floor couples 
dance to the oversensuous music. Watching the 
dancers sit the others, men and women, at countless 
tables, small and large. Champagne pops every- 
where; the "wine openers" of Broadway, watching 
this Berlin scene, would suddenly realize their own 
inefficiencies. Always, too, it is a French champagne 
that you see; the Berliner, in this sort of resort at 
least, is as cowardly about ordering his domestic fizz 
as is the American. The point of the whole business 
of nocturnal pleasure in Berlin is that there must be 
more money spent than has ever before been spent 
on nocturnal pleasure in the whole world. 

Everything is there that money can buy, more than 
you ever thought possible. Every material form of 
display and luxuriousness greets the eye, on the floor, 
the walls, and the ceiling. The women's frocks cost 
fortunes; the men are spending fortunes. Withal, 
the women could fascinate no refined taste, and the 
men would be tolerated for not one second by any 
finely constituted woman. They move, dancing, 
drinking, and eating, amid all this Babylonian splen- 



BERLIN, NEWEST OF CITIES 197 

dor; the men in the semblance of butchers, the women 
patterned for cooks. 

The rings on the men's hands, the Parisian robes 
on the women, do not hide the essential ugliness in 
them. After all, there are some things you cannot 
buy. Here, we must confess, is the supreme triumph 
of materialism in our own time, of materialism seek- 
ing pleasure. Had Babylon been banal, it must have 
been like the Berlin of to-day; let us keep our legend 
and believe that Babylon had never a megalomania 
that robbed it of good taste. 

Berlin, for all the hours from dusk to dawn, shows 
the teeth of its grim determination to be gay. It has 
laid on luxury with a trowel, first in this dancing 
palace, then another. You can continue from one 
of these to another, until the sun is high hung in 
heaven. You will see the same people; they, too, are 
making the nocturnal procession. It begins to grow 
sad, this route of pleasure ; you see the perverted men 
who can no longer achieve pleasure though they 
nightly spend a fortune on it, and the women who 
play the bitter part of unrewarded players in the 
comedy called Night Life. 

All around you cafes are open; even if some close, 
the bars, English or American so-called, or labeled 
Frenchwise, Tabarin, or Maxim, or Hohenzollern, 
never close at all. Nor is this confined to the central 
region. In every direction, near every residential 
nucleus, these bars and all-night resorts flourish. In 
some, too, even the dullest observer will find that 
pride in perversity which Berlin no longer takes the 
least pains to dissemble. 

Berlin, for garishness of its night life, for the 



198 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

amount of money spent, has surpassed the world. 
There is nothing like it anywhere, nor has there been 
in our time. To the Metropole Palais de Danse, 
in Berlin, Maxim's of Paris is like a dull and dingy 
hole in the wall, and Giro's at Monte like a petty 
beanery. Like the feverish zest of the Berliner to 
surpass the modern records of nocturnal gayety we 
have seen nothing in our time. And, in contradis- 
tinction to the business of pleasure in most other 
towns, certainly in Paris and in New York, the Ber- 
liners themselves play the leading parts; the night 
life is not simply an enterprise conducted for the 
amusement of Russian grand dukes, rich Americans, 
or gentlemen from Oskaloosa. No, Berlin does most 
of it herself; she has determined to lead, and she does 
it, not only in providing the place and the suitable 
surroundings, but the leading participants. 

Yet the irony of things has ordained that for all 
his energy, all his money, the real article of pleas- 
ure shall not come to the Berliner's lure. He gives 
one of the most imposing imitations in the world, 
and one, doubtless, likely to impress all save the 
very finest temperaments. The average American, 
applying his familiar standard of money spent, of 
obvious splendor achieved, may not miss the beauty 
that is not there, the intangible charm that has been 
utterly destroyed by all this patent pursuit of 
pleasure. 

He will simply see that nothing on Broadway, 
nothing in Saratoga, neither Chamberlin's in 
Washington nor Canfield's, neither this million- 
aire establishment nor that, was ever like the places 



BERLIN, NEWEST OF CITIES 199 

he will see in Berlin. "Rome on a drunk !" said a 
genial critic once of the Chicago Court House and 
its architecture. The phrase were better applied 
to the interior architecture of some of Berlin's noc- 
turnal palaces. 

Berlin's Chief of Police who, as I have already 
recorded, did not know the identity of Tilla Durieux, 
presumably also knows nothing of the night life of 
Berlin, otherwise fairly famous in the world. If 
he did, he might have found it as important to check 
certain tendencies in that night life recalling the 
Round Table and Eulenberg, and the Harden case, 
as to censor pages appealing only to men of letters. 

But perhaps there is an admitted policy of empire 
in all this. Perhaps the supreme night life of Ber- 
lin is to make evident to the world at large the com- 
mercial supremacy of Germany. However that may 
be, it is a fact that Germany is living fully up to its 
means, is as reckless in riotous living, as avid to 
spend more than its neighbors, as ever Americans 
have been accused of being. 

Berlin has all the externals. It is useless to deny 
that. Its conduct of the material business of a gay 
night life is unrivaled; the thing is a paying con- 
cern. The world at large, after all, is impressed 
by material evidences; Berlin has more and greater 
evidences of nocturnal gayety than any other mod- 
ern capital. Yet there are so many different sorts 
of people in the world! Some, for example, find the 
thing itself, gayety, pleasure, whatever others may 
choose to label it, in circumstances where labels, ma- 
terial evidences, suitable surroundings, etc., are ut- 



200 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

terly lacking. There are, will you believe it, after 
you have read of the brilliance of Berlin by night, 
people who find their gayety in Vienna ! 

YES, in the ancient Kaiserstadt, the old, last 
citadel of aristocracy and feudalism in the Western 
World, some find an air, an atmosphere, intangible 
like an escaping melody, that holds for them the 
thing that men call pleasure. An insuperable diffi- 
culty confronts whoever would describe the Viennese 
article of night life; since it is largely atmospheric, 
an affair of the emotions, of the tastes. To declare 
that there are innumerable cafes that keep open to 
the small hours ; to say that the central part of town 
dies early into darkness and silence, to record the 
names of the cabarets, the Hell, the Heaven, the 
Fledermaus, the Siisse Madel, the Max & Moritz 
all this is but to utter the inessential names of things 
and to give no hint of the heart of the matter. Like 
culture, this is an affair of the emotions, an effect 
not material, not tangible, not to be labeled, atmos- 
pheric. 

It is futile to list the places you may go to at night 
in Vienna; no listing gives away the secret of its 
charm. Just so is it futile for me to try to spell that 
charm for you. What mortal yet, in any art, save 
that of personality, gave charm a voice or form? 
No, a list will tell us nothing adequate. We may 
point out that it is possible to go to the Burg Thea- 
ter, or the Opera itself, or to the Theater des Wes- 
tens; to go to the Cabaret of the Hoelle, where as 
good a playwright as Ludwig Thoma is occasionally 
represented by one-act sketches ; or to a huge variety 



BERLIN, NEWEST OF CITIES 201 

house like Ronacher's, or to the Apollo to hear Roda- 
Roda tell his inimitable stories. There, in the Roda- 
Roda number, or if Frank Wedekind is mumming 
something of his own, we gain an experience not 
possible often or in many places, for Roda-Roda is 
playwright and humorist of the first rank, author of 
the most successful farce in years, "Feldherrn- 
huegel," forbidden in Austria on account of its satire 
on the Austrian army. Wedekind is now of world- 
wide notoriety. We have no English or American 
equivalents to such distinguished men of letters and 
the drama appearing before the huge audiences of 
music-halls. Or, again, we may hear at the Max & 
Moritz a tender ballad of that fine dead poet, von 
Liliencron, a ballad called "Muede," recalling the 
days when the Ueberbrettl was young in German 
lands. Strolling down the Hoheturmstrasse, on to 
the Pragerstrasse, you will find lesser resorts, dingier 
people, less presentable pleasures. But the essential 
pleasurable Viennese charm, how will you encompass 
that? 

You will do it exactly as a gunpowder expert the 
other day put his five-hundred-fingered hand upon 
Poetry in trying to describe what it was. You will 
do it just as a child catches a butterfly that it may 
win its gorgeous hues, which perish as they are 
brushed by the finger. Night life in Vienna has the 
quality of all Viennese life, it has a curious twilight 
of sentiment and charm that some few artists, not- 
ably Schnitzler, have put into words, but for trans- 
lation into an alien tongue, for alien comprehension, 
it presents difficulties too great to be overcome here. 
Old, established on long outmoded, useless feudal 



202 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

things, Vienna still holds for beauty in its life, its 
women, its externals, a peerless place in the world. 
To describe the charm of its night life is to describe 
the charm of a beautiful woman, the fascination of an 
affair with a charming damsel the Siisse Madel 
immortalized by more than one Viennese song and 
story. 

i 

To be young, and in Paris; to be sentimental, and 
in Vienna; to enjoy the sight of money spent, and in 
Berlin ; to be dog tired and go to bed, in London 
there are some sorts of night life abroad for you. 



CHAPTER EIGHT 

LONDON 

PARIS for the gourmet, Berlin for the roys- 
terer, London for the man of fashion; so 
runs our cosmopolitan summing-up. If 
time and again we have denied London's 
title as a capital of good cooking or nocturnal gayety, 
it is time., in all fairness, that we examined that in 
which she still excels. From the vantage ground of 
Bond Street and Hyde Park let us observe London 
and its habits; let us even look on at so typically 
British an event as a prizefight held, so that we may 
not narrow our vision over precincts too fashionable, 
in the heart of Whitechapel; let us see what can be 
done to escape a London Sunday, and to distinguish 
England speech from American. By then, without 
having infringed at any point upon the patents of all 
the Baedekers, without having moved constantly in a 
procession of sightseers, we may have gained as inti- 
mate an understanding of the greatest of English 
towns as others acquire by looking at the Tower of 
London and peering into Dickens-land. 



BOND STREET AND ITS HABITS 

IF we arc to credit streets and avenues with char- 
acters of their own, with moods, some of them freak- 
ish and some of them typical, then the distinguishing 

203 



204 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

characteristic of Bond Street, as of our own Fifth 
Avenue, is its quality as a thoroughfare for fashion. 

Like the world itself, streets are what we make 
them. The philosophy of Schopenhauer may easily 
be otherwise phrased by saying that everything de- 
pends upon the beholder. There are doubtless peo- 
ple who consider Fifth Avenue merely as so much 
real estate, or Bond Street as so much history. Those 
considerations would doubtless be valuable enough; 
but it is as fashionable thoroughfares that these two 
arteries of London and of New York make their 
paramount appeal to the general. 

If you will observe Bond Street or Fifth Avenue 
long enough and carefully enough, you will see all 
the people who are worth seeing in our Western 
world. As has been said often enough of this or 
that corner in Paris. You will see the fashionables 
and you will see the fashions. These latter, as to 
the cut of the clothes and the individuals within 
them, may change; just as the sand particles in one 
corner of Sahara may not be the identical ones to- 
day that they were yesterday; but the fashionable 
procession continues eternally, issuing from the 
earliest of our recollections and pointing into a 
changeless future. 

Though your philosophy be merely that of man 
or woman of the world, calculating only the imme- 
diate and the intimate, without any thoughts of ab- 
stract or altruistic doctrine, to watch the Bond Street 
parade, upon a day of Springtime, or of St. Luke's 
summer, is one of the most diverting of pastimes. 

JOHNSON asked us to walk with him in Fleet 



LONDON 205 

Street; and a pleasant legend shows Beau Brummel 
condescending to stroll with us down the Mall. Shall 
we, then, translate those two eminent personages 
into the twentieth century, and take a stroll down 
Bond Street together? 

Let us suppose ourselves to have entered Bond 
Street from Piccadilly. If we are of one persuasion 
we may just have rounded Stewart's most dangerous 
corner, where tea and muffins lure the unwary male; 
if we are of a cannier breed we will be blind to every- 
thing but a passing bit of gossip about Scott, the hat- 
ter, on the other corner, and how his daughters have 
married. From thence, strolling slowly westward, 
those who know their Bond Street will find many 
stopping places. One art gallery after another. 
Yonder are the galleries of the Wertheimers, whose 
family the American painter Sargent helped to make 
conspicuous, or who served to make Sargent famous 
you may put the case as you please. Here are 
galleries where occasionally you may see the cari- 
catures of Max Beerbohm, depicting renowned per- 
sonages of the day; and where, now and again, the 
caricatures by Spy of Vanity Fair may be seen. 

THESE latter are of value to our present subject; 
they are sartorial as well as satiric; and persons with 
leisure to make a study of masculine apparel in Eng- 
land will find it worth while to observe not only the 
actual street pageant, but these extremely instructive 
character and costume portraits. The subjects of 
"Spy" colored sketches have been all the men of 
social, sporting, political, military and even clerical 
importance of the time. To such an extent has this 



206 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

fact been appreciated the world over that some 
American tailors have been in the habit of placing 
"Spy" sketches in their windows from time to time. 
Quite aside from the study you may thus make of 
the essence of good dress in England, this gallery of 
portraits is vastly useful to the stranger, inasmuch 
as it forms a quick key to the identity of the many 
notabilities he sees daily. Hardly any great Briton 
is excluded from the gallery. Among its best dressed 
men, by American standards, have been Colonel 
Lawrence James Oliphant, Mr. Alfred Harmsworth 
and Mr. George Alexander; the last as Aubrey Tan- 
queray. The actor wore a blue lounge suit, button 
boots and a blue ascot tie, faintly dotted with red. 
Among the frock-coated gentry, one recent season, 
was Prince Francis of Teck, whose coat was buttoned 
very tight to the ngure in a fashion now much 
seen both in frocks and cutaways. His silk hat was 
tilted back at an angle that in any less exalted per- 
sonage would proclaim the bounder. "Spy's" por- 
trait of the Earl of Clarendon, then Lord Chamber- 
lain, showed him in a cutaway, black ascot, wing col- 
lar, yellow wash-leather gloves and a violet bouton- 
niere. In the tying of a four-in-hand some English- 
men seem to fancy a very ugly type of carelessness. 
Witness the portrait of Viscount Valentia, of Ox- 
ford, in the Vanity Fair gallery. His red four-in- 
hand was so loosely knotted that the collar stud 
showed plainly between it and the collar. Millions 
of Englishmen copy this hideous sloppiness. Vastly 
preferable is the tropic carelessness affected by such 
a man as Sir Claude Macdonald, of Chinese fame. 
In white flannels, with a Panama hat in hand, tall, 



LONDON 207 

lean and blond of mustache, he was the picture of 
cool, clean comfort. 

Reflections more serious than sartorial inevitably 
stir at sight of that Bond Street gallery. It is of 
certain male portraits of John Sargent, for instance, 
that I always think, as I pass this Bond Street point; 
portraits that definitely marked him as a painter of 
men. These were the portraits of Lord Ribblesdale 
and of young Wertheimer. As life stands out from 
cold stone, so these canvases stood out from those 
about them. They marked extremes, not only of 
person, but of type; and they must ever remain 
notable documents in the history of those vital 
changes which our generation has seen in England. 
To say nothing of their accentuating, once again 
(as was so repeatedly pointed out in my Munich 
chapter) , how imperishable is the artist's commentary 
upon his own time, its arts and its personages. 

Here, in Lord Ribblesdale, was the old aristocracy 
of birth and breeding; there, in young Wertheimer, 
the new world-power, brains and money. At all 
points the contrasts were absolute; as Lord Ribbles- 
dale was handsome and haughty, Wertheimer was 
handsome and haughty; yet a world lay between the 
two. With his small mouth, fine aquiline nose, thin 
face, Lord Ribblesdale typified the British peer at 
his best; he was in riding togs, and the Englishman 
is always at his best indeed, he seems perilously 
near being well-dressed at such time only when 
dressed for outdoor sports, riding or driving pre- 
ferred. Ribblesdale's face showed pride, careless 
consciousness of the prestige the ages have put to 
his credit, and a scorn for the majority opinion. 



208 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

Wertheimer's showed pride also, the pride of money 
and of the skill that shall bring others to worship 
such power. A young face, dark, with slumberous 
eyes, and a touch of sneer in it. The eyes tell of 
power and brain and cunning. 

As studies in male attire these two pictures of 
Ribblesdale and Wertheimer tell the entire story of 
the British male's dressing of to-day. Wertheimer 
is immaculate. Too much so, perhaps. London 
holds very few men who dress so well as this. His 
coat and trousers are black, the coat a short, or sacque 
cut. The waistcoat is buff, and at the neck is a white 
stock. Mr. Sargent knew what he was about when 
he had both these men choose the sporting attire. 
In Wertheimer's case it is suggested only in the 
stock; Ribblesdale is in full riding regalia. Where 
the fit of Wertheimer's clothes is precise, immaculate, 
Ribblesdale's simply hang about him. The clothes 
are of tan, the breeches are wrinkled countlessly; 
the two lower buttons of the waistcoat are unbut- 
toned; a large black stock is awry and under the 
right ear, and the black topcoat drops over the 
shoulders anyhow. Ribblesdale is too conscious of 
himself to care about clothes, or, rather, the misfit 
of them; he is Ribblesdale, a riding peer, and the 
lesser man may be immaculate for all he cares. That 
is what Sargent has put in this frame, at least. Wert- 
heimer intends that his clothes shall impress as much 
as his money and his brain. 

These two Sargent portraits, of such opposite 
types of man, are triumphs; they tell pregnant 
stones; they reveal the gist of an epoch. They 
signal the old that is passing, and the new that is in 



LONDON 209 

power. With J. C. Snaith's novel "Broke of Cov- 
enden," and with Galsworthy's "The Country 
House" and "The Patrician," these Sargent can- 
vases belong in the history of the Decline and Fall 
of the British Squire. 

MOVING on up Bond Street, away from Wert- 
heimer's, on the right comes one of England's most 
famous perfumers, and just around the corner is the 
Vigo Street entrance to the Burlington Arcade, where 
you may see some of the newest and most expensive 
of the fashionable haberdashery of the moment, and 
where, in certain afternoon hours, it is quite impos- 
sible for you, even if you are an American, to walk 
with your ladies. On the left you have passed a 
smaller arcade, where once was the bookshop of 
Leonard Smithers, who came into history as having 
been publisher to Oscar Wilde. 

At the bend, where Bond Street is narrowest, and 
where, if you are afoot, you have to be very careful 
lest milady's carriage throws some scornful London 
mud upon your clothes, was Long's Hotel, one of the 
places where, in an earlier decade, all the bloods, as 
well as the brains, of London were wont to look in 
for a nip; that was part of the duty they felt toward 
the town that kept them alive and amused. Not 
far from there was the Blue Posts Tavern in Cork 
Street, where, until just the other day, devotees of 
the grilled bone could worship and be satisfied. 

All about lies tailorland. If all else were stilled, 
if the carriages and motors and carts fell suddenly 
silent, and no steps resounded on the pavements, no 
voices filled the air, we may imagine that whole re- 



2io VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

gion, around and about St. George's, Hanover 
Square, from Conduit Street to Brook Street, sibilant 
with the snap and click of shears, and with the polite 
voices asking, "And will you have a ticket pocket out- 
side?" Tailors, tailors, everywhere. 

For ladies there are plenty of alluring places here- 
about, we know well enough; all the great French 
and American and English costumers have their 
places somewhere within reach of this radius; yet 
some of these are but agencies, but local depots, but 
filiales; whereas for men this is the ultimate sartorial 
Mecca. It is a large question, this, of the supremacy 
of the Bond Street tailor, or the Fifth Avenue tailor, 
and will never be settled as long as men's tastes dif- 
fer; but it is not to be disputed that nowhere else in 
the world is there so solid a cluster of the men who 
make our outer men. They cling together, as if feed- 
ing upon the very air of competition and proximity. 

A fashionable, struck suddenly with aphasia, with 
loss of memory, and so unable to recall the name and 
number of his proper tailor, need not suffer so long 
as he has reached this region; let him follow his nose, 
and the door of one tailor or another would surely 
open to him. 

Bootmakers, too, plenty of them. But no man 
of common sense goes near them, unless he is an 
American of the hopelessly Anglomaniac sort. The 
famous Parisian maker of featherweight trunks is 
here, and the drapers who display genuine Harris 
tweeds in their windows, whence it is doubtful if any 
ever issue into actual suits of clothes. A few doors 
up Conduit Street is one of the well-known Starting 
Price bookmakers, with rooms as splendid as an 



LONDON 211 

uptown stock broker's office in New York; nor is 
this the only point at which these differently labeled 
enterprises meet in the human scheme of things. 

And so, presently, we are in Oxford Street, with 
Marshall & Snelgrove's facing us, and the newest 
of all the London department stores, Selfridge's, 
looming up just to the left, beckoning all Americans. 
There, on Oxford Street, is stuff for all purses, all 
classes; there the stream is that of all-inclusive hu- 
manity; here, on Bond Street, at this particularly 
fashionable hour, the stream is sheerly aristocratic, 
and when rags appear there we feel the contrast all 
the more shockedly. Let us, for our present pur- 
pose, turn our back again upon the greater human 
flow, and consider simply the thin if brilliant lane 
of fashion that ebbs and flows through Bond Street. 

It is a constant procession of well-dressed men 
and women. Those who are not well dressed are 
in a conspicuous minority; you feel, instinctively, 
that, in the season at least, it is an insult to the street 
and to yourself not to be well dressed on Bond 
Street. Occasionally a carriage stops by the curb, 
while the traffic halts; occupants converse languidly; 
sometimes a hat is lifted from the tiny trottoir; 
there is chatter of where one is going that night, or 
the next. "No; we are off to Paris; London is really 
too dull yet; only provincials and Americans are in 
town." A human ruin in paint and powder, crow's 
feet and a wig, is saying to the corsetted beau beside 
her, with a tragic attempt at coquetry, "Ah, it was 
so triste after you went!" Splendid girls, the color 
of Devonshire cream and roses; ponderous dow- 
agers, impressive with lorgnettes and supercilious 



212 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

noses; clean-shaven, red-cheeked men, perfectly 
caparisoned pass, and repass. Constantly people 
bow and speak to one another; all London, and a 
good deal of the whole Anglo-Saxon world, are out 
walking and driving. 

The horseflesh is superb ; the driving is no better, 
perhaps, than on Fifth Avenue, but its obstacles are 
greater, in that Bond Street is not, after all, much 
wider than Maiden Lane, and yet must take at a 
certain time of the day all that is fashionable in Lon- 
don traffic. One may laugh as one likes at the su- 
perhuman stiffness of the grooms and the coachmen 
in Bond Street; after one has seen the ludicrous 
mockeries of English horsiness that obtain in most 
of the other European countries, one is forced to 
admire both the calm, immaculate immobility and 
the skill of the British horsefolk. The carriages of 
many types are all of an essential solidity; you may 
see some American runabouts in Hyde Park, but not 
in Bond Street. 

TIME was, and not so long ago, when the fash- 
ionable London male, who looms so large in the Bond 
Street procession, was built upon what seemed a 
changeless pattern. High silk hat, frock coat 
these were the unalterables. Trousers might run 
this way or that, toward gay or grave ; the waistcoat 
might betray the boldness or the timidity of its 
wearer; there might, or there might not, be spats. 
Dead of winter or tropic summer made no differ- 
ence; the Englishman and his tall hat went stolidly 
through both. Some of them knew their folly, yet 



LONDON 213 

it seemed too deeply rooted for change. Andrew 
Lang, while still the period was Victorian, wrote of 
the idiocy of man, tall-hatted and frock-coated, 
sweating through the summer day on which the cow, 
more sensible, chose some cool shady pool wherein 
to stand immersed. 

To every youngster who knew London in that 
late Victorian day the town seemed filled with a mil- 
lion sombre digits walking unsmilingly in long coats 
and heavy hats; an umbrella made the only occa- 
sional addition. One such youngster, mot qui parle, 
in whose schooltime London revealed itself only as 
he sat in a fourwheeler between King's Cross Sta- 
tion and London Bridge half a dozen times a year, 
all Londoners seemed to have been born in frock 
coats; and if he thought of death at all, he would 
have fancied Londoners as frock-coated in the Great 
Beyond. Bond Street, to be sure, meant nothing to 
that boy. 

Bond Street had not yet become so great a mill- 
race for Anglo-Saxon fashion as it is to-day, just as 
London itself, huge though it was, had not yet be- 
gun to cater to the stranger, unless he was himself 
an Englishman. London was still a terrible place 
for the cosmopolitan's feeding; it offered him beef 
and potatoes, and not much else. If one lived in, 
say, the Midlands, or the North, one came "up to 
town" for a week, or a month; one stayed at some 
dingy private hotel near the Embankment; one went 
to the theaters; one shopped a little; and with that, 
one had done one's duty. There was no question of 
a great international artery of the world's fashion- 



214 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

ables being visible in the great West End; that was 
not down in the guide books, nor did any of the 
elders seek to illumine our generation. 

Those elders may have gone to merry and per- 
haps unmoral routs where now the Trocadero feeds 
a section of the theater throng; they may have fore- 
gathered at the Star and Garter; but, if so, they 
told us nothing about it. No, it was not until after 
the Victorian period that Bond Street really entered 
upon its present paramount allure; it was not until 
the end of that period that the reign of the frock 
coat and the high hat seemed even so much as 
threatened. 

An American in London only fifteen years ago 
invariably felt a wave of relief as he saw a soft hat, 
for then he knew another American was approach- 
ing. To-day you may see all manner of hats in Bond 
Street; the Hombourg hats, so-called, presumably, 
because they came from Tyrol and not Hombourg; 
tweed hats like nothing in the world but frying pans, 
and immaculate bowlers perched far back upon the 
heads of glorious Bond Street dandies in lounge 
suits. In the increase of the latter combination you 
may find the real rival to the frock coat and top 
hat convention. The London tailor, patterning after 
the Fifth Avenue model, has finally turned out what 
we call on this side a sack suit that completes a man 
as well dressed as any who ever robed himself for a 
wedding. 

Time was, too, when English fashionables could 
be heard audibly to declare, in Bond Street, with 
patronizing tone and surprised manner, that Ameri- 
cans were "always rather smart/' as if it were, some- 



LONDON 215 

how, a miracle that we did not appear clothed in the 
leaves of the forest. That time, you see, is gone; 
by showing Bond Street how well it was possible to 
cut the lounge jacket we of Fifth Avenue have by 
now almost routed the frock coat and top hat. 

We know, of course, that there will be always 
those who will wear them, since that style best real- 
izes their sartorial character; there will always be 
frock coats, even outside of Brooklyn, just as there 
will always be funerals and weddings ; but the point 
I make is that, at long last, a century of British con- 
vention has crumbled when, to-day, the Bond Street 
exquisite who parades his long coat and his high hat 
appears somehow outmoded, rococo. 

AN impression still lingers that the only season 
for London and Bond Street is the spring. As a mat- 
ter of fact, autumn is really the season of London 
for the English. London for the Americans is an- 
other matter altogether. Just as most Americans 
get their impression of Paris from the Paris of be- 
tween June and September a Paris void of its 
proper soul so have they for years imagined that 
"the season" in London began in May and ended 
some ten or twelve weeks later. But that is merely 
a half-truth. If it is quite true that there are still 
millions of people in Paris after the "grande se- 
maine," so it is true that the season of fashionable 
entertainments, of the opera, and of all the set forms 
and institutions does fall into the London spring. 
But the Paris of after the Grand Prix is a town 
wherein Americans almost jostle one another, a 
town whose real personages are all taking the air 



2i6 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

or the water somewhere else; and the London of 
the summer is a town wherein the big shops on Ox- 
ford and Regent Streets mark their prices in dollars 
and cents rather than pounds, shillings, and pence. 

In the autumn much of this disappears. Bond 
Street is no longer a parade of the obviously curious 
and observant visitor; it is a street whereon, at this 
season, the Englishman and Englishwoman reign 
supreme. They may not be Londoners; they may 
be from the North, East, or West of England, but 
they are English; you hear it in their voices, you see 
it in the way some of them wear their Paris frocks, 
and in the way that others allow their English tailor- 
mades to display the arrogance with which these 
islanders can achieve the unlovely. Yes, London in 
October is the London that the English love. It is 
in the autumn that the real English "come up to 
town." 

Keep your eyes open and you will see this driven 
home everywhere. If you have imagined that ebb- 
ing of the American tides leaves London desolate, 
you were never more mistaken in your life. The 
shops, the tailors, the modistes, and the milliners 
are never more prosperous than during a London 
summer set into fall. The theaters, opening one 
after another with novelties, quickly with very few 
exceptions run into good business. The Row is 
crowded every fine afternoon with personages afoot, 
ahorse, and in carriages. The paddock at Kempton 
Park is as instructive an exhibit for those alive to 
the suasions of fashion and of beauty as any Ascot 
that ever was. 

Each year the St. Luke's summer of England be- 



LONDON 217 

comes more and more lovely, more like the Ameri- 
can Indian summer. October in London has often 
more tender days than June. So one cannot blame 
the English if it is at this time that they like to come 
to a London clear of Americans. Business through- 
out England may be bad, and the condition of the 
unemployed a vital, imminent question for the gov- 
ernment to settle, if it can, yet with the Bond Street 
Londoners everything is, superficially at any rate, 
very well indeed. The people who keep the jewelers 
and tailors and dressmakers going do not, you see, 
care very much about the Suffragettes trying to rush 
the House of Commons, or labor riots, or railway 
strikes, or the violent speeches that are made daily 
in the Park near the Marble Arch. The fine com- 
placency of the well-to-do classes in England still 
lifts these people above the woes of their less fortu- 
nate mortals. They think, with Marie Antoinette, 
that distress and poverty are doubtless there; but one 
takes them for granted, like the smoke or the noise 
of the motor buses. 

As for Bernard Shaw, whether he has been lectur- 
ing on "Political Laziness/' or announcing that he 
does not wash, or wear a white collar, one dismisses 
him as being "a rotten Radical," and one goes to 
one's club and pretends an interest in the Balkans; 
the Balkans are safe inasmuch as they are fairly re- 
mote, and, despite their qualities as avenues for all 
that is volcanic in European politics, have at least 
the virtue that they cannot talk back to us and con- 
vince us that in our safe and comfortable chairs at 
the club we are talking unmitigated bosh. Mrs. 
Pankhurst and her two familiars may drive down 



2i8 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

Bond Street in a fashionably caparisoned turnout, 
bowing right and left in her efforts to attract the at- 
tention of those whom the banner she holds aloft 
may have left cold; but she does not convince us 
that she is in the least different from all the other 
notoriety-seekers who have flitted their brief mo- 
ments across the modern limelight. 

And so your real Englishman enjoys his London 
and his Bond Street, when Americans no longer 
fill the scene. Your real Englishman loves us Ameri- 
cans, of course, but if you approach him shrewdly, 
if you conceal a little the nasal nature of your speech, 
he will admit to you that "I don't come up to town, 
you see, if I can help it, until it's clear of all these 
Americans, don't you see." Did not Bellamy the 
Magnificent say the Americans spoil shopping in 
London "because they will insist on paying cash just 
to get the discounts?" 

But the Englishman, we know, loves to grumble, 
even when he is happiest. Grumbling, indeed, is 
doubtless an element in his happiness, and if, even 
in a wonderful English version of our Indian sum- 
mers the Londoner still grumbles at our American 
ways, we are but adding to the items in his happiness. 

As to whether Bond Street or Fifth Avenue leads 
in fashionable clothes for men, that is, of course, 
eternally matter of opinion. The question is so 
huge. Is it decided by the men who wear the clothes, 
by the clothes themselves, or by the men who cut 
them? All separate, equally engrossing details. 
For my part, I believe the infinitesimally small frac- 
tion of male fashion that at rare intervals takes the 



LONDON 219 

Bond Street sun to be the best dressed body in the 
world; you may justly differ and vote for Fifth 
Avenue. 

The mistake about the slovenly dressing in Lon- 
don is easy to make. The average Londoner is in- 
deed sloppy; you may see the most abominable coats, 
the most ill-assorted garments of every sort, in that 
town; and, if you are not there in the right season 
nay, more, if you do not see even Bond Street in one 
of its best moods you may continue in the belief 
that London men do not know how to dress. You 
will see abominably turned-out men one has long 
since known London women to be sartorially hope- 
less who would be a conspicuous vice in any second- 
rate American town. The number of shocking hats, 
distressing trousers and shabby ties is equaled only 
by the abominable boots to be seen everywhere in 
London. When the average Londoner ties his four- 
in-hand he likes to leave a gaping half-inch or so be- 
tween the knot and the shirt-stud; the result is as if 
he had dressed for an alarm of fire. But that is all 
part of the burden the town carries in being a hive 
so enmillioned; the average is necessarily very far 
below the high exceptions. 

Again, you may wait long, to-day, before you 
find in London a conspicuous, admitted dandy. Yet, 
there are always men more or less military in car- 
riage whom it is not easy to mistake for anything else 
but Guardsmen; when a tailor of that region has 
done his best for such a British physique as that, then 
Bond Street has something to show that, with all its 
far higher average, Fifth Avenue must find it hard 
to beat. 



220 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

The American average, it is generally admitted, 
is the best in the world. But it has this disadvan- 
tage : so well dressed is everybody that it is quite im- 
possible to tell the banker from the drummer, the 
hotel clerk from the millionaire. We all dress well; 
yet, unless we can add, too, the touch of individuality, 
we might as well be turned out of one single slot. 
. . . We resent certain forms of individuality, it 
is true; yet, in proper relation to sensible fashions, it 
has its fine qualities. 

FASHIONABLES have, one believes, now emerged 
from that despotism wherein any one dandy could 
lead them. It is not so long ago since the pretense 
was made that the First Gentlemen in Europe led 
the masculine fashion; but to-day that is no longer 
true. Every decade or so, you may recall, the fiat 
was wont to go forth that slovenliness was to be the 
order of the day. The Prince was pictured as ap- 
pearing in a shocking coat, in baggy trousers, and a 
disgraceful hat, the very picture of the Little Eng- 
lander on the Continent. Tailordom would be one 
great groan, but we can readily see that any person- 
ages whose sartorial habits were constantly being 
reported to the world might, from time to time, re- 
volt or adopt such a ruse. The loungers of the 
Bois, the dummies of the Linden, the regulars of 
Bond Street, and the democratic fashionables of 
Fifth Avenue would thus, every now and again, be 
left to their own devices. 

Yes, in those other decades, there were indeed 
sad moments for all those dandies without a leader. 
To be English was, as always, the aim of all the 



LONDON 221 

males in Europe ; and when the English leader failed 
them, what were they to do ? One could fancy them 
calling upon fate for a new Beau Brummel. But the 
day for any one man holding that title, even though 
he be a prince, has, one thinks, gone by. The world 
is now too large and too broken into sets. To-day, 
in New York, the secret of single leadership seems 
lost. There are too many well-dressed men here, 
and the standard is too rigorously quiet for any in- 
dividual to excel. 

There was once a Berry Wall, a Prescott Law- 
rence, an Onativia, and even an Ollie Teall, but the 
noise of their dandydom is no longer heard in the 
land. He who to-day dresses conspicuously in any 
particular ceases to be well dressed. Yet that is a 
pity, if it is to mean the exclusion of any ever so faint 
a note of personality. To dress their individuality 
suits some men better than to compress them- 
selves to a mode. Take out of our recollection 
Whistler with his Parisian hat and reed-like cane, the 
Hammerstein hat and the Augustin Daly hat, George 
Francis Train with his white duck suit and his scarlet 
boutonniere, Mark Twain with his pale evening 
clothes, the red waistcoats of the Montmartre ro- 
mance, the topboots of Joaquin Miller, and the 
slouch hat and cape of Tennyson, and you take out 
much of spice and charm. 

Just a spice of such individuality it is, I think, that 
has made the Bond Street man reach a little higher 
mark than we of Fifth Avenue. Recall, again, those 
caricatures by Spy. Again, London has introduced 
into the domain of clothes the touch of humor, as 
evidenced in the criticisms passed annually by an 



222 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

organ of the tailoring trade upon the portraits in 
Burlington House. When a painter fumbles his de- 
piction of clothes, or when a sitter proves himself 
slovenly in any detail, this aforesaid periodical 
gravely comments upon these works of art strictly 
from the sartorial standpoint. None of us on Fifth 
Avenue has yet reached that stage of sartorial so- 
phistication or critical humor. 

Without character, finally, clothes may be perfect, 
but they cannot be the proper complement of man. 
We may have, here on Fifth Avenue, a more per- 
fect average of male attire; we may have immacu- 
lateness, but we also have a somewhat toneless mono- 
tone, lacking all spirit, all hint of the individual. 

In the region of St. George's, Hanover Square, 
some victories for individual fashion may still be 
won. Fashionables from Fifth Avenue, if they 
know exactly what they want, may still convince even 
the Bond Street tailor. The defeat of the frock 
coat has somewhat humbled that person. From this 
same region it is possible to extract the joy of the in- 
ventor. Here, several seasons before they were seen 
on Fifth Avenue, some of us slanged our tailors 
into cutting the sack coat slashed wide open in front, 
into using for such coats a double button looped like 
a sleeve link, and into making them without linings 
save of the skeleton description. Here we astounded 
the shears fraternity by demanding dinner suits made 
of dark gray rather than dead black. And here, 
after having patiently listened to the tone in which 
all these were marked as American "eccentricities," 
we had the satisfaction of seeing the Bond Street 
exquisites similarly attired a season or so later. 



LONDON 223 

In the main, however, it is a give-and-take game 
between Bond Street and Fifth Avenue; the one 
copies only the best from the other. Many of our 
Western absurdities of ultra pockets, turned-back 
cuffs on coats, etc., etc., Bond Street will not have at 
any price. 

Neither of these two streets, however, in New 
York or London, deserves such precision of detail as 
falls into the tediousness of statistics or of prose ac- 
cording to Butterick. We Americans have rarely 
dared write of men's fashions at all; perhaps that is 
one excuse for even so much in that direction as this. 
In one weekly paper here on Fifth Avenue there was 
once a writer who touched the subject, but he took 
so offensively snobbish a stand as to become soon 
enough supremely absurd. 

Fashion for men must, at its best, ever find a level 
somewhere between quiet common sense and indi- 
vidual character. And both these may be seen at 
their best in the Anglo-Saxon world in the fashion- 
able processions of Bond Street and Fifth Avenue. 

II 

SEEN FROM A PENNY CHAIR 

IF Bond Street is the main artery, Hyde Park is 
the heart of London. Mayfair may have its splen- 
did functions within doors ; potentates may have bril- 
liant processions and pageants; Bond Street may 
display its comedy of fashion; the most effective and 
fascinating show is, after all, to be found in the 
park. 



224 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

The park, and the police remain for many wise 
observers the finest things in London. These are 
the London features which appeal most to the cos- 
mopolitan of refinement, and many hardened Lon- 
doners agree with this conclusion. One may live in 
London all one's life, you see, and be quite ignorant 
of the inside of Westminster Abbey, or the Museum, 
or the many claimants to the site of "The Old Curi- 
osity Shop." If you mention familiarity with these 
details to any member of the tribe encamped between 
Bayswater and Berkeley Square, you will elicit a 
large look of surprise, as if to say, "What curious 
creatures these Americans are!" But the park and 
the police are the inescapable virtues of the town; 
they appeal to the years and the months, not the days 
and the weeks. One does not need to come into con- 
tact with towers, abbeys or museums, since these 
things pall upon all save those determined feverishly 
to "do London in three days" ; but one is forced daily 
upon the protection of both the park and the police. 
And to get to the park you can seldom manage, in 
an average crowded season, to get along without 
the help of the police. So one may, before going fur- 
ther, consider briefly the London police, the best, I 
believe, in the world. 

IN urban and suburban transit, London is still in 
process of being rescued from mediaeval conditions; 
the town's fire department is tragically behind the 
times; but the police force, ah, there one can only 
admire ! In the first place, they look like business. 
All stalwart, staunch fellows, they not infrequently 
make the average "Tommy" of the army look quite 



LONDON 225 

stunted. In looks only our own American policeman 
equals them. The Paris policeman never looks any- 
thing but sloppy, and his notion of how to control 
traffic at crowded street crossings is enough to make 
one shout with laughter. Nobody minds him, and 
his attempts upon the speed of the Parisian cabby 
only result in a slanging-match, at full voice, that 
makes one imagine the entire French Republic is once 
again about to dislocate its jaw. As a friend of mine 
put it, the Paris policeman, at important crossings, 
appears to be doing nothing but "looking pleasant." 
Concerning the legend that if you are knocked down 
by a cab in Paris it is the custom of the policeman 
to arrest you and have you fined, I will say nothing 
save that many Americans will go to their graves be- 
lieving it true. The retort of the Parisian seems 
rather far-fetched; it is to the effect that quantities of 
notoriety or death-seeking people, having taken to 
the habit of throwing themselves in front of speed- 
ing cabs, it was found necessary, in order to protect 
the insurance companies, as well as the general weal, 
to pass a law to prevent such would-be suicides from 
receiving compensation. It is this law that has, in 
its working results, given rise to the foregoing Amer- 
ican legend. But, as I said before, the Parisian ex- 
planation is unwieldy and clumsy; observation of 
Parisian street traffic is all that is really necessary 
to impress one with the belief that, in case of need, 
the Paris policeman would always, with much noise 
and melodrama, arrest the wrong person. 

The police of Berlin are vastly better than those 
of Paris. They do not look as well, by our notions, 
as their English equals, but they are fairly smart. 



226 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

The mounted force is much in evidence, and looks 
really fine, on good horses. The men are polite, 
control traffic inexorably, and see to it that Berlin 
remains one of the cleanest, most orderly, if ugliest, 
of cities. But, as individuals, the Berlin policemen 
are hardly to be counted at all; they are merely, like 
all else in German officialdom, automatic parts of a 
huge machine. When anything happens to you more 
serious than crossing a congested street or losing 
you way, you are fairly certain of running hard 
against a city ordinance, mechanically enforced by 
the man on the beat. Nor argument nor coaxing 
prevails. There is the regulation, and here the in- 
strument to enforce it; the human element is en- 
tirely absent. Nor can one, in Berlin, count upon a 
sense of humor in the police. The pranks of the 
American college boy would not strike the Berlin 
policeman as humorous; arrests would be the only 
result. Both Italy and France are, as to their police, 
more human, where the quality of humor is intro- 
duced. In Paris you may make almost as much noise 
as the cab-drivers themselves, and in Rome a friend 
of mine cut all the strings of a toy-balloon vender's 
stock, the other day, just for the fun of it, only an 
expostulation from the nearest policeman being his 
punishment, seeing he paid the peddler the price of 
his stock in full. In Berlin you might have paid the 
peddler the price of a hundred balloons; you would 
still have been arrested. 

In humor, in urbanity, as in perfect control of his 
district, the London policeman is the nearest possible 
approach to perfection. To the stranger he seems 
the politest of all the Londoners. The shop people 



LONDON 227 

in London are, in the average, both stupid and rude ; 
the supposedly well-bred people in Hyde Park, if a 
hapless vagabond were to come to them for infor- 
mation, would be either insolent or unintelligible; 
the policeman, however, seems invariably polite, 
wonderfully well informed, and furnished with Eng- 
lish that is not nearly so atrociously cockney as that 
of some who fancy themselves his betters. I have 
yet to find the American who, on approaching a Lon- 
don policeman under any circumstances whatever, 
did not come from the encounter grateful to the 
"copper" in question. 

Chiefly, however, it is in his control of traffic, 
awheel and afoot, that the London policeman is un- 
rivaled. When you consider the narrowness of the 
streets you must constantly marvel at the problems 
the London policeman is hourly asked to solve. The 
wonder is not so much that cab accidents occur, but 
that they should not be of hourly occurrence. Even 
with our own broad thoroughfares the traffic at cer- 
tain points is awkward enough; in the narrow ways 
of London it would, but for the policeman, be im- 
possible. Of all the many paths the London police 
make smooth for the wayfarer, the pleasantest, and 
the most important, leads to the park, where there is 
never any end to the panorama or to the vitality of 
interest. 

IF you get up reasonably early you will find the 
Row alive with notabilities. Occasionally these ride 
later, between eleven and twelve, when the world of 
fashion is in full array upon the penny chairs, but 
mostly it is the very early morning that sees the best 



228 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

riding of the day. It is the early mornings, too, 
that see the rhododendrons at their fairest, with only 
the green lawns and the trees as background to their 
pink and scarlet and white splendor. It is really one 
of the wonderful things of the world, this feast of 
fashion, of human and equine aristocracy, that Hyde 
Park gives one for the price of a penny chair. One 
spends one's two-cent piece, and is thereafter free of 
the most typical, most satisfactory spectacle in Lon- 
don; there are regions of the park where you may 
see the red-cheeked children of England; elsewhere 
you light upon the amateurs of miniature yacht rac- 
ing; here you come upon a military company prac- 
ticing signals, and there you encounter a crowd as- 
sembled to hear the flaming rhetoric of Socialism. 
Contrasts are everywhere, but everywhere also, and 
dominant above all else, are the flower and fashion 
of London. 

In fine weather Hyde Park is one lovely lawn 
party for all England. Between eleven and twelve 
in the morning the beaux and the beauties stroll and 
sit along the Row; from Hyde Park corner to the 
Albert Gate crossing all is a frou-frou of ruffles and 
laces and chatter and laughter. The men, in the 
average, are a well set-up, well groomed lot; neatly 
frockcoated and in high silk hats. Occasionally 
there is an American or a man just up from Oxford, 
distinguishable by straw hat and flannels. The 
women are in their most elaborate, airiest gowns; 
the American women, who appear now and then, 
contrast strangely, in their snug costumes, against 
the loose fussiness of the English out-door mode. It 
is some little time before an American becomes used 



LONDON 229 

to realization of the fact that Hyde Park is one vast 
lawn party, and that the fitting dress for it is the 
filmiest material imaginable. 

Like the metropolis itself, Hyde Park has its cus- 
toms and its rules. In the morning one sits or strolls 
in the Row; in the afternoon one sits on the grass 
opposite Stanhope or Grosvenor Gate. Gradually 
the carriages increase in number. Well-known peo- 
ple appear. Before one is the erratic architecture of 
Park Lane, with its countless varied interests. Here 
all the newest millionaires have houses; yonder the 
Stars and Stripes flies over Whitelaw Reid's tempo- 
rary abode, and nearby is the younger Pierpont Mor- 
gan's domicile. Ducal residences are too frequent 
to deserve notice in Park Lane. Their owners may 
be beside you in the grass, on penny chairs; you never 
can tell. 

Occasionally the procession of carriages stops; 
those nearest the curb are opened while the occupants 
alight and join friends sitting on the lawn. One 
chatters of where one is going to-night, to-morrow 
and the next day. One is to meet at a Carlton House 
terrace dinner, or at Ranelagh, or at Goodwood. 
The most marvelous creatures go up and down be- 
fore one; South African millionaires of Semitic 
cast; clean-shaven dandies who may, for all one can 
guess, be mere West End counterjumpers ; dowdy but 
impressive dowagers bristling with diamonds, lace 
and lorgnettes. One hears an entertaining melange 
of conversational scraps. A florid man, who knows 
all the sporting celebrities, is turning little flashes of 
light upon the passing throng, for the edification of 
his son, still burned by the sun of India. "You see 



230 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

that chap," he says, indicating with his eyes a man 
who seems a cross between a Baron Chevrial and a 
clothing-store dummy, u what d'you suppose he is? 
Sells pickles! An Italian sells pickles; and this is 
how he spends his money. Gets 'em all on,' then 
comes here and stares at the women. Walks up and 
down here and then goes home and sells pickles." 
People constantly walk up and down on the gravel 
walk between the lawn and the driveway; constantly 
they bow and speak to one another; it is London's 
largest party. The facets of the picture are so many 
that it is not easy to watch them all at once ; one can 
spend the entire London season in mastering its de- 
tails. In the carriages are stiff males and lace-cov- 
ered beauties, orientals and pagans, poodles and 
terriers. 

ALL the fashion and frills of Hyde Park are not 
confined to the driveway between Albert Gate and 
the Marble Arch. To take tea in Kensington Gar- 
dens is an almost equally pleasant part of the great 
panorama of Hyde Park. It is just a pleasant walk, 
no matter whether you enter the park at Albert Gate 
or at Lancaster Gate, on the Bayswater side. You 
enter by the little walk near the bridge over the 
Serpentine, and proceed to find, under the trees, near 
the sign announcing u is 6d Teas," the most comfort- 
able positions possible. These are usually comfort- 
able enough, being spacious garden-chairs of wicker, 
placed about little round tables, the which are under 
huge Japanese umbrellas so large as to be almost 
small tents. After you have tried the eagle-eye trick 
on the waiters for about ten minutes, in vain, you 



LONDON 231 

probably sally forth and kidnap one of these vassals 
who, in turn, in almost another ten minutes, brings 
you "a tea." All these waiters are German. If you 
are an American and want a glass of water to drink, 
even with tea, you will have hot water brought you. 
It is useless to get angry; you will never convince the 
Kensington Gardens tea-tyrants that cold water must 
have existed where hot water is procurable; they 
have, apparently, never heard of water as a bever- 
age. In England, in different spots, "a tea" means 
many different things. In Kensington Gardens it 
means a pot of tea, with hot water, sugar and milk; 
some slices of bread and butter, cut thin, and some 
fruit-cake. The tea is fair, but the prospect is fairer. 
Well-dressed people are under nearly every umj- 
brella ; uniforms and oriental costumes are all about, 
and over all is the intimate majesty of the trees, and 
the wonderful quiet of this corner of the park, that 
might, for all one can hear or see, be a thousand 
miles from town. 

Walking away from Kensington Gardens one is 
not unlikely to come upon many curious features, as, 
for instance, the old gentleman in the black stock 
who feeds the sparrows. He has names for many of 
them, and they come as he calls them, perching on 
his hand to feed. He pays no heed to the carriages, 
the strollers, or the automobiles. 

On Sundays the routine of the park is changed. 
The bandstand becomes the magnet for a multitude 
that is composed of the plain people, not the fashion- 
ables. The fashionables appear only for church 
parade, for a half-hour or so just after high noon, 
opposite Stanhope and Grosvenor Gates, and again 



232 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

in the late afternoon. Near the Marble Arch the 
Socialist gatherings are thick. Kensington Gardens, 
on Sundays, however, no longer serve tea to the 
select, but to the outsiders. These little distinctions 
have to be learned by experience. Hyde Park is not 
in a hurry to explain all its whims to the uninitiate. 

WHIMS, moods, were not always, as to-day, to be 
found in London town. Where all was once glacial 
manner, moods, even the mood of passion, can now 
be traced by the critic from his penny chair. 

Many and changing are the moods of towns; we 
all know how mercurial are the moods of Paris, and 
how those moods have made and unmade history. 
Until quite recent times such moodishness has been 
but slightly typical of London. The town remained 
sullen in its stoic reserve. The ha'penny papers were 
allowed to shriek their woes and crimes to an au- 
dience that, standing in superior attitudes before the 
club fire, contented itself with wondering haughtily 
what these abominable rags would do next. The 
actual news of the world was by no manner of means 
supposed to affect the welfare or otherwise of the 
aforesaid superior person before the club fire. But 
the stoic reserve is off now; the sullenness is changed 
to passionate excitement, and London, for once in 
its foggy life, is awake. The tenseness of its newer 
moods jumps at you from every corner. Of old po- 
litical campaigns made passing subjects for conver- 
sation in casual places and among casual persons; 
but nowadays politics are an inescapable obsession. 
The most absent-minded of travellers cannot avoid 



LONDON 233 

being struck by the change that has come upon Lon- 
don. And London is but typical of all England. 

In ordinary seasons, in the last few years, there 
has been only slight variation in the several sullen 
moods of London. If we except certain scenes dur- 
ing the Boer War, these moods have been no more 
than the moods of fashion or the season. The shop- 
keepers were servile in the one season, and con- 
descending in the other. Yet all these petty differ- 
ences in mood were matters only for the detection of 
the keen observer. The newer paramount excite- 
ment is another matter altogether; it hits the eye and 
ear and brain of the most superficial idler. It is im- 
possible to walk two streets without seeing and hear- 
ing the political travail of England. 

In the memory of those who know their modern 
London well that town has not worn so peculiarly 
distorted an appearance since the year of the corona- 
tion. The present pervasion of political strife 
through every avenue of life and traffic has a very 
different effect from those succeeding waves of hope 
and fear that came upon the place that year when 
Edward VII lay ill in Buckingham Palace, but to the 
dispassionate observer it is none the less of interest 
and is like to remain in the memory. That peculiar 
hush which crept upon London in the summer of 1902 
remains one of the strangest physical expressions 
of an urban mood that our generation can recall; 
perhaps there has been nothing quite like it on 
the American side of the water save the obvious 
solemnity that made itself felt in Union Square the 
morning Henry George died in New York. 



234 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

Where once the London hoardings held only plac- 
ards announcing entertainments and soaps and hair- 
restorers, you now find constantly predominant huge 
posters proclaiming melodramatically this or that 
political party cry. Here is a gaunt figure of an un- 
employed British workman over the legend "It's 
Work I Want," next is a loud printed cry "If the 
People Do Not Tax the Dukes They Will Have to 
Continue Paying the Dukes' Taxes." Where once 
London traffic was interfered with by nothing more 
alarming than this or that street being "up" for re- 
pairs, the most sophisticated cabhorse is to-day likely 
to shy in the most unexpected places as a result of 
finding the most outrageously inartistic posters de- 
facing a hitherto respectable private residence or 
shop. 

WHATEVER one's prejudices whether born and 
bred of those who are now daily being pilloried as 
battening upon the public toil or unearned incre- 
ment, or harboring the pleasant belief that all men 
can be made equal by taking thought it is inevitable 
that one sees all this conflict as between the Haves 
and the Have Nots. Whatever the reason, whether 
free trade or the absence of the single tax on land, 
the fact is hourly forced upon one that no country 
in the civilized world has such hideous and debased 
poverty as England. Italy, especially the districts 
about Naples, knows poverty; but that wears, com- 
pared to the English article, a blithe and careless air. 
Such sodden, bleary, hopeless derelicts as may be 
seen anywhere about the streets of London, or Man- 
chester, or Newcastle, or Liverpool, it is impossible 



LONDON 235 

for the untravelled American to conceive. The Lon- 
don Lancet itself has observed that there is nothing 
dirtier in the world than the poorer sort of British 
workingman; but the habitual workless and worth- 
less loafer is dirtier still. In other countries, in even 
the most crowded centers, as pointed out in my 
Munich chapter, it is necessary to search for the 
herded poor; in England their poverty, their filth, 
their degradation are obtruded upon one in the 
brightest of places. You are never safe from such 
contact. Something, then, is radically wrong with 
conditions that permit of such pauperism. Yet in 
England such conditions, such pauperism, have al- 
ways existed in recent recollection. One doubts 
whether this or that government, this or that legis- 
lation, has bettered or worsened this sore in English 
life. The orators cry aloud their accusations and 
their curses, yet one plain logical explanation none 
of them has dared give, and that is the very simple 
one of overpopulation. 

England is overpopulated; English towns, more 
than any others in the world, suffer from the "rush 
to the city" and the consequent human ruins. No 
political panacea can ever do for England what a 
good thorough pestilence might effect. Old-age pen- 
sions, preventives against unemployment none of 
these things can stay the evils of that very simple 
human disease: overpopulation. The Radicals hope 
to eradicate pauperism by pensions; and the others 
allege that tariff reform will put an end to unemploy- 
ment. But pauperism will always exist coordinately 
with overpopulation; and as for the unemployed 
well, the simplest of logic suggests that if work was 



2 3 6 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

really the dream and desire of all those who hoarsely 
cry that the foreigner has stolen their jobs all they 
had to do was to join the British army, which is con- 
stantly begging for recruits. But Mr. Robert 
Blatchford, Socialist as he is, knows his mobsters too 
well; in a pamphlet about Germany he goes so far 
as to say that the safety of England, in order to have 
a really capable army, lies in conscription. He 
knows that the professionally unemployed will never 
join the army save by force, just as he knows that 
many of the unemployed hate work like poison. 

Overpopulation has brought the crisis about. It 
has concentrated the Have Nots against the Haves. 
The Haves are not as apathetic or as politically 
useless as is the so-called silk-stocking element in 
America. They do their duty at the polls, and have 
always done so. The indifference of the "better 
classess" of voters in America is notorious. Of that 
indifference, at least, the gentlemen of England have 
never been guilty. As Sir William Bull put it when 
he got down from his platform and engaged in a 
hand-to-hand fight with a Radical interrupter: "Sir, 
I am an Englishman first, and a gentleman after- 
wards." 

So the moods of England, serious and gay, the 
moods that are eternal and the moods that are but 
passing, can be witnessed from a penny chair in 
Hyde Park. All this philosophy, and all this pano- 
rama is yours for the price of a penny chair. It is 
one of the great theaters of the world, this park; 
kings and queens, millionaires and peers play on this 
stage side by side with nursemaids and fox terriers. 



LONDON 237 

Here you can study human manners and cosmic 
tragedy. At Hyde Park corner you may see, at one 
time or another, all the important figures of the 
British Empire. 

Surely if any inanimate object knows London life 
by heart, it must be a penny chair in Hyde Park. 

Ill 

A PRIZEFIGHT BY WHITECHAPEL RULES 

LEST it be supposed that details only polite or 
political are to be emphasized in this glance at life 
in London, let me stray, from Bond Street and the 
park, to the extreme of Whitechapel. 

It is to be remarked that despite the anarchist 
affair of Houndsditch, the Whitechapel that sent 
waves of fear over our polite world, some years ago, 
would now be hard to find. To the careless eye of 
the present, it remains merely an average section of 
an average poverty-tenanted quarter. It has not 
even the appearance of a slum. You may walk the 
Mile End Road as unmolested as you walk Park 
Lane. Streets have been widened, plague-spotted 
tenements torn down. Apparently it is as uninterest- 
ing as Second Avenue, in New York, or Clark Street, 
in Chicago. There are countless shop-legends that 
suggest the Ghetto and far-off Soho, but there is also 
a spick and span Art Gallery magnificently laying 
the ghosts of bygone "Jacks," yclept "Springheel" 
and "Ripper." For the properly inquiring spirit, 
however, Whitechapel still holds its individual flavor, 
clear and strong. It is to Whitechapel that I owe 



2 3 8 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

the richest evening of my London life. An even- 
ing so rich in color and character that I can scarce 
give more than a faint sketch of it. 

That my introduction to the beating heart of 
Whitechapel should have come as it did is part of 
the irony of things, the irony of which that Art Gal- 
lery is a note. It was neither a coster from the Mile 
End Road, nor a Hooligan from Lambeth Walk, 
nor yet Phil May and his cigar that lit the way to 
Whitechapel for me. No; it was none of these. It 
was, instead, the most dapper dilettante of my 
whilom acquaintance. 

For the sake of the ridiculous contrast, let me em- 
phasize him a little. He was bloodless of com- 
plexion, small in stature, delicate in hands and feet 
and speech. He had been a tutor to the younger 
sons of the aristocracy; he was of the tutor type 
wedded to the dilettante type. His English was 
beautiful in intonation and sweetness until you be- 
gan to tire of the ineffable evenness of it. He had 
been much on the European continent; he was un- 
English in his manners and in his artistic likes. He 
had written a mild monograph on Watteau. Un- 
English as his ideals were in art, he was utterly Eng- 
lish on other details; he scouted life in Paris, or 
French cooking and the like, with the blighting 
phrase: "We don't care much for Paris." That 
was his sweeping sentence on all alien things : "We 
don't care much for it," meaning "We English," and 
lordlywise arrogating to himself the expression of 
All England's opinion. He had a little Vandyke 
beard, his hands were quite white, and he wore a soft 
hat of the Hombourg style. When he was not de- - 



LONDON 239 

bating the advisability of abolishing the House of 
Commons in favor of a second House of Lords, he 
was, I presumed, considering the merits and dements 
of such American millionaires as Morgan and 
Yerkes from the point of view of one anxious to sell 
the newest discovery in Gainsboroughs. When he 
approached me, on that afternoon, I thought surely 
it was for the purpose of sounding my peculiar igno- 
rance of both these estimable collectors; I was pre- 
pared to tell him that I had met Mrs. Yerkes, by way 
of Van Beers, and that I had once stroked a collie 
that had belonged to Mr. Morgan. 

But it was not of plutocrats or pictures that the 
Dapper Dilettante was then musing. "Do you 
care," said he, u for boxing?" You may imagine my 
surprise. "There is to be some boxing," he went on, 
"to-night, in Whitechapel." He showed me a let- 
ter from the manager of a hall. It was a delicious 
example in the non-committal. "Yes," it ran, "there 
will be an Entertainment this evening, and we shall 
be glad to see you." So non-committal was the note 
that we hesitated a little; it seemed hardly worth 
braving Whitechapel only to find some dull music- 
hall program in performance. Finally we deter- 
mined on risking it. 

THE tube shot us from Park Lane's gateway, the 
Marble Arch, to the Bank, and thence we fared by 
omnibus to Wonderland. That was the actual name, 
Wonderland. The Wonderland is in Whitechapel. 
It had been a music hall, and for aught I know it may 
be one again. But on that evening there was another 
sort of entertainment. 



2 4 o VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

The moment we entered the outer doors we were 
conspicuous. We were u toffs"; there was no dis- 
guising it; we were "toffs." We wore collars. Also 
we were prepared to pay two shillings for one even- 
ing's entertainment. We were importantly, impres- 
sively handed from one functionary to another. 
These functionaries were all intensely Hebraic, in- 
tensely polite, intensely pressed for time, intensely 
glittering under a huge star pinned over a breast. 
All about us pressed and swore and smoked the bul- 
warks of the British people, thick-set bullet-headed 
costers and sporting amateurs from every one of the 
plainer walks of life, and the be-starred functionaries 
did not mean to let a single one of these bulwarks do 
anything but enter and join the waves of smoke 
within. So we were bustled to our places speedily. 
Outside, the mob still crushed and jostled; gradually 
the hall filled to the very rafters. 

We found ourselves in the front row, facing the 
ring. All about us tobacco smoke hung like a fog. 
Through that fog one saw the hundreds of eager 
faces, and heard the buzz of cockney speech. The 
collars in the place might have been counted on one's 
fingers. The fashionable neckwear was of cloth, dim 
in hue, and knotted loosely at chin, under the ear, 
anywhere. Derby hats or dicers were as rare as 
collars; caps of all the sombre, indefinite tints pre- 
vailed. Smoke everywhere. The faces were 
weather-beaten, town-toughened, hard, brutal, too, 
but not bad. Contrasting with this assemblage a 
typical American counterpart, I noted that the well- 
to-do patron was conspicuously scarce in this W'hite- 
chapel hall. There was nothing to correspond to 



LONDON 241 

the stout, sleek persons who on the American side 
make up the huge world where politics, pugilism and 
gambling meet and mingle. That well-fed, smoothly- 
dressed type was not in evidence. No ; this was the 
Great Unwashed, the British Public from the bar- 
rows of Covent Garden, the docks of the Thames, 
and the sweatshops of Whitechapel. The only touch 
that reminded one of America was supplied by the 
fact that the proprietor of the hall was a Jew, and 
nearly all the attendants were of his race. 

The ring was strictly for use ; there was nothing 
ornamental about it. The attendants, with their 
towels and sponges, wore simply trousers and under- 
shirts ; there were few refinements. It appeared that 
the entertainment had already begun. It was dur- 
ing an interval between two bouts that we had taken 
our seats and begun our observations. Now there 
loomed upon us a memorable figure. It was the 
Master of Ceremonies. 

This Master of Ceremonies brought back the days 
of the Chairman in the old Music Halls before the 
program came in. If you want to know how it was 
in the days of yore in Music-hall-land, your only 
chance is to seek out some such haunt of the pugilistic 
British public as we found in Whitechapel that night. 
The Master of Ceremonies is called generally the 
M.C. for short. Resplendent in evening clothes and 
a huge Parisian diamond star on his breast, he 
mounted the platform and held up his hand. Gradu- 
ally the cockney rumblings died down. 

"Next, I 'ave the pleasure of interducin' Cockney 
Joe and Bill Smith. Cockney Joe on my left; Bill 
Smith on my right. Cockney Joe of Camberwell; 



VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

Bill Smith of Putney. You all knows 'em, and what 
they can do. Six rounds. Referee and timekeeper 
as before!" 

Whereupon two awkward looking gentlemen 
slouch across the ring, doff a garment or two, chiefly 
consisting of neck-cloth, shake hands and begin. 
The science is nothing wonderful, but the genuine- 
ness of the encounter there is no gainsaying. The 
fighting is for blood and verdict, not for money or 
chicane. All through the rounds the cheering and 
shouting are as interesting as is the actual pugilism. 
One thing is unmistakable, the British delight in fair- 
play. Good points are roundly cheered, attempts at 
wrestling or staying too long in the clinches are jeered 
at. Some four or five of the six-round bouts are 
fought preliminary to the great event of the evening. 
Some are between youngsters still in their 'teens 
apparently, some between veritable ancients. The 
names of the contestants are in themselves a treat. 
I wish I could remember them. One encounter 
was between a staunch youngster and a relic of other 
days, whom the M.C. introduced for the great work 
he had done years ago, when he had once stood up to 
Jem Mace. Well-preserved as this ancient seemed 
when he stripped, he fought so wildly, was so soon 
visibly exhausted, that the decision, in mercy to him, 
was very quickly given in his opponent's favor. But 
how they cheered ! And how quaint sounded always 
that stereotyped monition from the Master of Cere- 
monies: 

"Now, then, hands together for the plucky loser!" 
In between the rounds, waiters of all sorts and con- 
ditions circulated between the benches. Concerning 



LONDON 243 

the viands and liquors so dispensed, the Dapper 
Dilettante had already warned me. He intimated 
that it was dangerous to life and peace not to buy of 
the offerings. Yet I determined to resist, if possible. 
And I must set it down in justice to the Great Ma- 
jority on that occasion that, though I was coward 
and niggard enough to buy nothing, I was yet al- 
lowed to escape without so much as a sarcasm for 
punishment. Especially had I been warned anent the 
stewed eels. To that warning I would, indeed, add 
my own now and here. 

Save for the hardened adventurer into the regions 
of Darkest Cooking, the stewed eel of Whitechapel 
is not to be commended. I am not narrow in my ap- 
petites; the nationality of a dainty never confounds 
me; I would as soon eat birds' nests as frogs, if 
daintily presented; but at the stewed eel I admit I 
quailed. I shall not try to describe its gray and 
vague appearance. I thought of London fog in pro- 
cess of liquefaction; and I thought, also, of a melan- 
choly oyster I once absorbed from a barrow under 
the Brixton railway-arch to the sound of a deranged 
cornet. I recall the phrase of a famous epicure, but 
I recall, equally, my own emotions, and I repeat that 
there is nothing more dismal in life than to eat a 
bad oyster to the tone of trumpets. All these chaotic 
shreds of thought assailed me while the hoarse waiter 
held me the cup of stewed eels; stoutly I resisted him 
and his temptings. Not that I would decry the eel 
as food. By no means. I have eaten smoked eels in 
Pomerania that were as sweet as the whitest of flesh 
and exactest art in smoking could make them; I have 
enjoyed broiled eels from the Connecticut; and I am 



a 4 4 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

at all times ready to assert my appreciation of those 
dishes. But the stewed eel of Whitechapel ranks, 
with me, as does the lowest ratio in the following 
anecdote : 

An honest grocerman to a would-be purchaser of 
eggs, thus: "Eggs, sir? Yes, sir. Which'll you 
'ave, sir, country eggs at fourpence, fresh eggs at 
thrippence, Danish eggs at tuppence, or The Egg at 
a penny?" With "The Egg at a penny" I must here- 
after rank the stewed eel of Whitechapel as "The 
Eel." 

Nor did the constant flow of "bitters" lure me. 
I feasted on quite other things. On the untram- 
meled humanity all about me, on the appetite for 
stewed eels displayed by the majority, on the thirst 
for bitter beer everywhere prevalent, on the solidity 
of the tobacco qualms. Over and above the chatter- 
ing and clinking came the voice of the waiters with 
their eels and their beer. This was their formula, 
full of delicate imagery, smacking of flattery, tickling 
the vanity of the caps and the neck-cloths : 

"I'm 'ere, toffs, I'm 'ere!" 

The beautiful simplicity of that cry! Slang, the 
world over, cuts always straight to the center of 
things. It is folly to think that the slang of one 
country is especially ahead of that of another. Con- 
sider our own famous political phrase "What are we 
here for?" It has its counterpart in the brief ob- 
viousness of: 

"I'm 'ere, toffs, I'm 'ere!" 

Let the word "toff" be spoken in anger, in insult, 
and what a chasm it at once opens between the gen- 
tleman of the neck-cloth and the gentleman of collars 



LONDON 245 

and cuffs ! But spoken thus, in delicate appeal, what 
soothing balm to the egoism of even the neck-cloth ! 
The main affair of the evening was for a matter 
of ten rounds between one Jewy Cook and a Gentile 
whose first name only I recall. It was Ernest, short- 
ened by all into "Ernie." Everybody, in this bout as 
in all the others, knew everybody else. It was "Go 
it Ernie!" "Now then Jewy!" all the time. The 
genial enthusiast who yells "Kill him, kill him!" was 
not absent. He is the same all over the world, in 
Whitechapel or Coney Island. But the order held 
by the Master of Ceremonies in the face of these 
apparent ruffians for to the hasty judgment of sleek 
citizens from other grades in life they may well have 
seemed only ruffians was something admirable. 
He quelled the fiercest shouts, the deepest mutter- 
ings. Before this main bout he showed his high au- 
thority sharply: "All gentlemen will now stop 
smokin' so all present may be able to see the event 
of the evening, ten rounds between Jewy Cook and 
Ernie Soandso." This was indeed a desperate bat- 
tle. The Jew was bull-necked, broad-shouldered, 
huge; he looked easily the winner. His opponent 
was lithe, taller, thinner. He smiled constantly; the 
Jew looked like murder. Ernie had the science 
that was plain from the start. The Jew meant des- 
perate mischief; he went brutally at the hammer- 
and-tongs game; more than once it looked as if he 
had the other at his mercy. But skill kept Ernie just 
safe, and all the time the bigger fellow, the huger 
machine, the fiercer fury, was losing steam and 
stamina. Ernie showed his mettle constantly, and 
gradually, if surely, the balance of effective blows 



246 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

was to his credit. The Jew took refuge in desper- 
ate, time-killing clinches so much so, that, for the 
first time that evening, the referee, a plain, stout 
person, had to step into the ring and constantly 
separate the combatants by passing between them. 

The public was well divided in its favor. Both 
men had great records locally. My next neighbor, 
on the other side from the Dapper Dilettante, was, 
strangely enough, a huge Frenchman. He was con- 
stantly needing my help to tell him who the contest- 
ants were, and constantly, when the main bout ar- 
rived, assuring me that Jewey Cook would half kill 
his opponent. But he was destined to disappoint- 
ment. By his science and staying, his keeping his 
head and not allowing himself to be borne down in 
the last clinching rushes of the now maddened bull 
he was fighting, Ernie obtained the verdict to the 
roar of a hallfull of cheers. Then, upon the stereo- 
typed request of the Master of Ceremonies, a strange 
thing happened. For the loser there came something 
between silence and hisses. I knew well enough what 
it meant. The British public simply had not liked 
the way Cook had fought. He had been unfair in 
his clinching tactics, and they knew it. That was 
what they resented. But the Master of Ceremonies 
motioned for silence. He introduced Mr. Jacobs, 
the proprietor of the hall, a youthful, keen-faced 
fellow of Cook's breed. 

"You've seen many hard fights Cook has fought in 
this hall, gents, and you've never seen him refuse a 
fair fight in his life; you never saw him shirk his 
work, and you've seen him meet many good men and 
beat them, in this very hall; and I'm surprised the 



LONDON 247 

way you treats him when he loses. Gents, all hands 
together for the loser." 

Put in that way, and reminded of his past per- 
formances, the public put its hands together. But, 
pace Mr. Jacobs, that was not the point, and he 
must have known it. It was the fight they had just 
seen that they resented the methods of. And when 
the British public resents, in fisticuffs or theatricals, it 
hisses. 

It was an incident not down on the program, how- 
ever, that was most memorable. About midway of 
the preliminary bouts, after the Master of Cere- 
monies had announced the names of the two coming 
contestants, there ran through the hall first groans, 
then hisses. It developed that one of the contestants 
was a substitute. The name on the program was 
that of a public favorite ; the public wanted him, not 
another, or they would know the reason why. The 
Master of Ceremonies explained at great length. 
The proprietor, Mr. Jacobs, always tried to keep 
faith with his patrons; he held to his promises in- 
variably. But in this case they were unexpectedly 
disappointed. The boxer in question had been of- 
fered a chance to go on at the National Sporting 
Club the following Saturday, provided he missed to- 
night's engagement. It meant twenty-five pounds to 
him that was what the National Sporting Club 
offered him. After the Master of Ceremonies, Mr. 
Jacobs himself stepped upon the platform and re- 
peated these assurances, with the additional fact 
that to prove his good faith he had persuaded the 
boxer to appear before them that evening and speak 
for himself and testify to the facts already stated. 



248 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

It was all very entertaining, to the complete outsider. 
But suddenly, in the midst of Mr. Jacobs' explana- 
tion, a voice cried out from somewhere in the hall, 
rudely and profanely announcing that it was all a 
skin-game. Mr. Jacobs went white, but said noth- 
ing just then. The boxer was introduced; shuffled 
from one foot to the other; made his halting, though 
evidently veracious explanation, insisting chiefly on 
the twenty-five pounds at stake, an argument that 
did not fail to move his hearers. They let him es- 
cape with a hearty cheer. But Mr. Jacobs, still 
white, held up his hand again. 

u You all heard," he said, u a remark that was 
passed in this hall while I was speakin' a while ago, 
and you all heard the meanin' of them remarks. 
And I want to tell you that I know who passed that 
remark, and though he's got more money than me, I 
want to tell you that he don't never come in this 
hall again." He glared at a benevolent Hebrew 
sitting exactly opposite us, next the ringside. "I 
mean Mr. Mordecai, and he knows I mean what I 
says." 

Whereon the fight proceeded. It was entirely 
unimportant. The substitute, an Irish lad with red 
hair, his name Fitzgerald, was plucky, but nothing 
more. The public cheered the loser heartily. Mean- 
while I considered the face of Mr. Mordecai. If 
ever a person looked the one unlikely to have made 
the remark that all had heard, it was Mr. Mordecai. 
Of all the faces in that room, his was the most dis- 
tinctly benevolent; the face of a kindly, shrewd He- 
brew who had amassed money in trade. He seemed 
a very John Wanamaker of Whitechapel. About 



LONDON 249 

him buzzed friends; conversation and explanation 
buzzed all about him; it was evident that tremendous 
matters were in the air. He looked like an injured 
child. His mild eyes, his white whiskers, all seemed 
to plead his entire ignorance of what the disturbance 
was about. The white heat of passion was all this 
time dying from Mr. Jacobs, and the calm light of 
reason, to say nothing of friendly counsel, began to 
exert sway. So that at the end of the bout wherein 
the red Fitzgerald suffered defeat, the public was 
again warned into silence. 

u You all hears the remark I passes in this hall con- 
cerning Mr. Mordecai," said Mr. Jacobs. "I finds 
I makes a mistake concerning who passed the remark 
made while I was speakin', and the remark was not 
made by Mr. Mordecai. I wishes to state that I 
now knows who made that remark and I'll settle with 
him later. But, me bein' a gentleman, and havin' 
made the statement I did touching on Mr. Mordecai, 
I will now apologize before you all, and Mr. Mor- 
decai, also bein' a gentleman, will accept my apology 
before you all, and bein' gentlemen both we will 
drink each others' healths, after which we passes 
the bottle among you." 

And there, before all the hall, the hawkeyed Mr. 
Jacobs and the benevolent Mr. Mordecai drank to 
each other from glasses that had been filled for 
them out of one bottle, and the entire hall roared in 
cheers, while the whisky bottle was seized to pass 
from mouth to mouth and become the occasion of as 
near a riot as the hall saw that night. Finally one of 
the waiters, so that the business of the evening might 
go on, was forced to rescue the bottle and its dregs 



250 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

from the very lips of the thirsty soul who was strug- 
gling for its retention. 

So, in peace and perfect amity, ended this lovely 
episode. It was one of the most delicious expositions 
of gentility in my experience. The hard emphasis 
on the "gentleman" was so eloquent of the ambition 
of even Whitechapel. 

When all was over, the Dapper Dilettante and I, 
making for the door, were suddenly overtaken by a 
great rush and trampling, a shouting and crying. 
We thought that, after all, after the gentility, and the 
politeness, we were in for a riot. Had the police in- 
terfered, at the very close of it all? But no; a be- 
starred attendant took us, rushed us safely to the 
street, and thence we beheld the flying wedge that 
followed; it was merely the British public bringing 
forth upon their backs "Ernie" the victor, in triumph ! 

The morrow might bring Watteau, but what was 
Watteau to Whitechapel? I did not philosophize 
upon this to the Dapper Dilettante as we proceeded 
home, but I was muchly minded to do so. We had 
been in the flesh and blood of men and matters; the 
frills, in the dimness of the night we entered, looked 
petty and puerile. 

IV 

A LONDON SUNDAY 

IF there is one day more difficult than another to 
fill with gayety in London, it is Sunday. Of the pos- 
sible escapes from a London Sunday, it must serve 
my present purpose to choose but one. If my choice 



LONDON 251 

is what is known simply as a day on the river, that is 
because it still remains, in the simplicity of its out- 
door diversion, most typical of English life. As 
the Briton has brought to perfection most forms of 
sport, so does he bring to boating on the river all his 
genius for fresh air and exercise. Though the 
Thames could well, in its upper reaches, be counted 
as a tenth the width of the Mississippi, it remains 
for all London, and all England, "the" river. If 
you were, on the eve of an excursion to Windsor, to 

IStaines, to Maidenhead, or to Oxford, to declare 
you were going "up the Thames," the brand of inex- 
perience would be on you like a shot. 

London, on a Sunday morning, is a city devoid of 
cabs and omnibusses, and populated only by persons 
standing on corners and furiously whistling for cabs. 
At ten on a week-day morning you may see shopmen 
taking down shutters all over the West End; on 
Sundays things are even later. Americans could 
do a day's business in London before London was 
out of bed. No wonder the British is lagging behind 
the American and German empires. 

At Paddington, that Sunday, one saw that the 
river was to have a very big day indeed. . Public 
cabs and private conveyances drove up every in- 
stant; the platforms beside the trains were crowded 
with men in light flannels, and white shoes, and girls 
in muslins. and flannels. Almost every conveyance, 
every man, carried huge hampers of wicker. These 
were filled with the day's luncheons, to be taken under 
the leafy river banks. A tremendous business is done 
in these hampers. Almost every caterer or grocer 
sells you one all filled with food and drink; the rail- 



252 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

way company itself provides them ; you restoring the 
empty hamper when you return to the station in the 
evening. Taking a hamper has much to recommend 
it; you can lunch as appetite dictates, and choose 
your scene for the meal. Lounging on pillows in a 
skiff moored under the shade of Cliveden Woods 
has its charms for the gourmet. Yet a hamper also 
constitutes a hindrance. We chose to do without 
one, relying upon the little inn at Cookham. 

The express reached Maidenhead in something 
under an hour. The walk to Boulter's Lock is a mat- 
ter of fifteen minutes. On the way we crossed a 
bridge where a stone marked "twenty-six miles to 
Hyde Park Corner." Just a delightful morning's 
spin on a bicycle, some hours on the river, and home 
in the evening, without need of lamplighting until 
nine o'clock. Oh, the paradise for wheels this Eng- 
land is ! But my wheel was rusting somewhere in 
Maryland, and they put too many lumbering con- 
trivances on English wheels to tempt one into hiring 
one. In boats, however, it is very different. You 
can't easily beat the pleasure-skiffs that ply upon the 
Thames. You have fine thwarts, plenty of room, 
perfectly dry floors, and a luxuriantly cushioned 
space for the drone of the party to sit and manipu- 
late the steering ropes. The alternative to a skiff is 
the punt, very long, flat bottomed, and with blunt 
ends. These are propelled by a huge pole, and one 
must stand up to do the poling. Punts are very popu- 
lar and comfortable, but we chose a skiff. 

The river, w r here we first put our oars into it, was 
alive with craft of every sort. Launches and small 
steamboats struggled and jostled about in merry 



LONDON 253 

competition. No sooner had we reached a bit of 
open than we saw the press and scrimmage that de- 
noted a lock. It was Boulter's Lock. We hurried 
toward the lock as fast as possible. No rule of the 
river was discernable. Asked upon this point, the 
boatman, as he shoved our skiff into the water, had 
merely said: "No, there's no rule on a day like 
this, sir. You just does the best you can, and you'll 
find it's a good-natured crowd." That was true. 
There seemed little system, but much good nature. 

Rose-covered houses of beautiful gray stone faced 
the river everywhere; constantly one had glimpses of 
that indoor and outdoor comfort that English coun- 
try houses so excel in. Automobiles whizzed by on 
the highway beside the left bank. A constant pro- 
cession of persons strolling and riding and watching 
the crafts grew closer and more crowded as the 
lock was neared. The lock proclaimed itself by the 
sudden acceleration and gathering closer of all the 
boats, by the narrowing of the stream, and presently 
by sight of the huge wooden gates that shut in or out 
the water. One began to struggle for the front. 
Presently one was inextricably jammed in the proces- 
sion. One's bow lapped upon the stern of a punt; 
one's own elbow rested upon the nose of a following 
skiff, and a launch hung broadside against one's row- 
lock. Oars, of course, had long since been aban- 
doned. Progress was made partly by using the boat- 
hook as a paddle, partly by hooking one's self to the 
wall or to the craft ahead. If one were not afraid 
of sudden jerks and crushings, one clung to the stern- 
rail of a large launch, and so dragged in its wake. 
Shouts grew distinct as one came closer to the lock; 



254 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

one could see the lockkeeper and his assistants strug- 
gling and steaming in efforts to bring order out of 
chaos. "Come on there, now, with the skiffs! Keep 
back with that launch ! Hurry on, Oona ! That'll 
do; that's all. No more now; no, sir, you're too 
late; next time for you, sir!" And the gates, opened 
to let the first comers through, close in the teeth of 
the second batch of expectants. One had to have 
patience. The thing to do was to stay in as safe and 
good a position as possible, and give one's self up 
to observation of the picture. 

Before one loomed the lock, a narrowing portal 
of stone and two huge wooden gates. Above was 
the lockkeeper's house, of grey stone, hidden in 
clambering roses. The notice-boards of the Thames 
Conservancy stood about rich in explanations and 
monitions. The Thames Conservancy is the body 
that keeps "the river" and its denizens in order. 
And such order! An apple pie, sugared so as you 
could write your name on it, is but slatternly in com- 
parison. It may seem to those familiar with the 
boundless fine freedom, not to say unkemptness, of 
our Hudson, our Delaware, our Merrimack, our 
Connecticut and all our other rivers, that this order- 
liness of the Thames is a trifle petty, a bit old-maid- 
ish. But there is no denying the result of all this 
scrupulous care and good order is a river-traffic un- 
excelled in entertainment and popularity. It is an 
application, to aquatics, of the military precision of 
Germany. What England lacks in perfection of 
army and navy management, she gains in her sport- 
ing details. 

It is a crowd, waiting before the lock, that aver- 



LONDON 255 

ages pleasantly in attire and behavior. Maidenhead 
and these contiguous reaches of the river are too far 
from London to allow of the "rotter" or the 
"bounder" to predominate; the undesirable elements 
are absent. The men are cool looking and comfort- 
able in light colored flannels, belted and straw-hat- 
ted, as Panama hats are in every other boat, upon 
both sexes. But the typical English girl does not 
suit the Panama; it needs something more of the 
dusky Spanish type. Occasionally, one sees a Jap- 
anese parasol. The varied colors and patterns of 
these are gorgeously brilliant under the cool greens 
of the shading trees. Never was there such comfort 
in small boats as on this river. The man is stripped 
for his work of rowing or poling, but his fair es- 
cort what a picture of cool comfort she presents! 
She leans into the cushions, stretched out, almost 
asleep, barely holding the sunshade upright. Cush- 
ions for her head, her shoulders, her feet. Yet the 
boat is of the ordinary single scull St. Lawrence 
skiff type. Yes, in the way of river comfort, all the 
world may still go to school in England. 

On the larger launches orchestras are playing 
from the newest operetta, while elaborate ladies, 
dressed as for drawing-rooms, lounge in wicker arm- 
chairs and bronzed men, old and young, smoke ciga- 
rettes and make heavy efforts at doing the dolce far 
niente. Occasionally a fusillade of champagne corks 
punctuates the music, and starts jealousy where it 
does not produce gayety. At last, comes a wel- 
come shout, "Stand by! Hold fast!" The lock is 
to open, and one must prepare for the first rush of 
the released water. A surge, a bump, a close haul 



256 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

upon one's boathook which is held tight over a nail 
in the wall, and, with laughter and shouting, all the 
chance of danger is over. Slowly the boats going in 
the other direction file down the narrow lane one 
has left, and slowly, when the way is clear, one 
scrambles and pushes into the lock that one has so 
long lingered before. Again a wait ensues, while the 
water slowly rises, and one's horizon changes from 
mere wet walls to the boundless green of the fields 
and the hills. 

One has been known, on crowded occasions such as 
this, to spend eighty minutes at Boulter's Lock. But 
an end comes, even in England. The packed mob 
pours, at the given word and the swung gate, 
through the narrow portal, and gradually, past ivied 
houseboats and leafy cottages, into the open water 
where sculling is once more possible, and where each 
boat can take its own individual course. Some pull 
for the overhanging boughs of the trees, where the 
boat can be moored, and in the cool, dark quiet, a 
lunch can be enjoyed, or a doze, or a chat, a smoke, 
or any form, in fact, of loafing. There are quiet 
pools where lilies lie, white and yellow, and islands 
along whose shores shy moorhens dart in and out. 
Poppies are scarlet on the lowland bank; the other 
bank rises sheer from river to sky, one mighty mass 
of wooded green. These are the Cliveden Woods. 
Occasionally, the white of a gable shines in the green, 
or a stone landing-place breaks the perfect wilder- 
ness of leaf and tree; but even these signs of human 
habits do not mar; the graveled walk soon disap- 
pears in wooded windings, and the hills make insig- 
nificant the stone and mortar that try to break their 



LONDON 257 

beauty. So complete a wall of impenetrable green, 
sheer from the current to the clouds, it will be hard 
to equal elsewhere. Like all the English landscape, 
it has an ordered, finished look; it is as if the Great 
Gardener had said to himself: "Here, from this 
little river to these hilltops, I will spread a velvet 
carpet all of green." 

Loafing along, enjoying everything, coming sud- 
denly upon philandering couples half-hidden under 
overhanging boughs, passing crumbling cottages and 
barges that seem to have been asleep for centuries, 
one issues, eventually, upon signs of a second lock. 
It is the Cookham Lock. All the experiences of 
one's first lock are repeated. Again one pays the 
lockkeeper by slipping three pennies into the little 
bag he presents at the end of a pole longer than most 
fishing poles; in return for which you take and pre- 
serve the red ticket that rests in the bag, since you are 
paying also for your return trip. Again one 
scrambles and waits, waits and scrambles. 

I found the danger of the lock exaggerated, the 
fun underestimated. A little skill in river-craft, and 
some unselfishness will take any newcomer through 
the lock-ordeal. The only danger is from pressing 
too feverishly forward, getting jammed between a 
heavy launch and the wall, and crack! having 
one's light skiff snapped in two, one's self left sitting 
in water. But even this means little danger; the 
boats are but inches apart, one could not possibly 
drown. Yet there is a certain comfort in observing, 
next to the notice-board of the Thames Conservancy, 
a placard recording the presence of life-saving ap- 
pliances at each lock. Yes, they do these things well 



258 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

in England. All is orderly, comfortable, and, for 
all persons of good humor, as pleasant as possible. 

The thing to do (we had it upon the assurance of 
my friend the dapper little dilettante in cosmopolitan 
entertainment, who mingled the cults of Watteau 
and Whitechapel with Viennese coffee in the unpro- 
pitious climate of London) was to lunch at the little 
inn at Cookham. So, once safely through the sec- 
ond lock, that of Cookham, a few strokes of the 
sculls brought us to what was evidently the inn in 
question. It fronted the river so closely that one's 
skiff actually nosed upon the lawn where people were 
taking coffee and cognac. Into the close-packed 
ranks of the skiffs and punts assembled in this inn's 
private waterway we ran our crafts and began at 
once upon a new campaign, the search for a table, 
and the things that hungry folks consider a table's 
concomitants. 

The reputation of Satan is scarcely w r orse than 
that of the river inns in England. Robbery is 
averred to be but a mild term compared to the 
method of these inns. It is these notorious habits 
that compel the river-going young men and maidens 
to proceed upon the day's excursion loaded down 
with hampers. The hampers may be unsightly, they 
may destroy the comfort of the cab and the boat, 
but they enable the great British public to evade a 
palpable assault upon its patience and its pockets. 
Yet, for our own part, we found this particular river 
inn, not, measured by American standards, espe- 
cially expert in robbery. It is true we spent weary, 
anxious moments, waiting for and at last seizing upon 
a table. It is true that we sat for long apparently 



LONDON 259 

as unnoticed as a grain of sand in Sahara. But these 
things are incidental to outdoor dining the world 
over. And the meal we finally got, about three in 
the afternoon, having left home about nine, after a 
slender breakfast, was one of the best we had come 
upon in England. I recall especially some salmon and 
cucumbers, good as only England can produce; also 
a hock soup. The waiter was from Vienna, and he 
served us the coffee afterwards upon the lawn, with 
the most exquisite apologies for its un-Viennese quali- 
ties. Somewhere, upon the lawn, a band was playing. 
Gradually people began to call for their skiffs and 
start for home. Loath as we were, we, too, were 
presently of the home-bound company. 

The homeward way differed from the outgoing 
only in its greater pace. Where we had loafed we 
now sped; the evening was cooler, and a pleasant 
rivalry to reach the locks for the first entry was on. 
But that fortune never befell us. At Boulter's some 
characteristic conversation came to us. It was the 
lockkeeper talking to a familiar in one of the waiting 
skiffs. 

"There'll be reports this day," he said, "three got 
upset in this lock this morning." "Hurt?" said the 
other. "No; but jolly well wet." And with that, 
quite as an affair of course, the incident passed. We 
spent close to an hour in Boulter's, but we regretted 
nothing. We found a train at Maidenhead exactly 
upon the point of departure, and we came, eventually, 
upon London in the consciousness of having pleas- 
antly escaped a London Sunday. 



260 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

V 

THAT LITTLE PLACE IN THE COUNTRY 

To the English innkeeper I referred, just now, in 
terms which, while not my own so much as those of 
common report, were none too complimentary. The 
more deeply one studies the public, purchasable, hos- 
pitalities of England, the more one becomes con- 
vinced that, whether or no we absolve the nation of 
intentionally robbing the stranger while taking him in, 
the art of wayside innkeeping is not now, whatever 
may be the records of the past, an English one. This 
is the more remarkable since England is otherwise so 
eminent in outdoor life and sport. We have made 
many comparisons in the foregoing pages; already 
the question of cuisine in the leading European cen- 
ters has come up, leaving England a straggler in the 
race ; let us now see how even in its loveliest country- 
sides, in its balmiest airs, England fails in realizing 
its chances for being a wise and far-seeing hostess. 

WHY do the English, why do the Americans, 
flock so regularly to the European continent for their 
holiday months? For this reason, briefly: the Euro- 
pean continental has best solved the art of keeping 
hotels. Think over the names of the great hoteliers 
of the world; where they are not Swiss, they are Ger- 
man, or Austrian, or even Italian or French. One 
need not enter into the question of the great hotels 
of the great towns, but simply with the failure of our 
English cousins to keep a modest yet attractive inn 
in the country. 



LONDON 261 

The English travel almost as avidly as do the 
Americans. They flood the continent even more 
continuously than we do; at certain seasons, when 
but few of us are abroad in the world, the English 
dominate the European scene. Able as they are to 
make their journeys to the pleasure spots of Europe 
so easily and quickly, they see many moods of the 
continent that are not often revealed to us whose 
holiday period is more confined. But why do the 
English seek abroad, on the continent, their rest and 
recreation? 

Simply for this reason: the English themselves 
don't know how to supply either rest or recreation. 
The English innkeeper does not know what to do 
with sunshine, nor with food, nor with the human 
craving for light and laughter and music. 

The English growl in their clubs and at their fire- 
sides at the invasion of the European waiter. Every 
now and again the old discussion rises again: Are 
there no English waiters left to-day? Mighty few, 
indeed; and mostly very bad. It is all very well to 
talk of dumping labor on the British market, just 
as foreign goods are supposed to be dumped into 
the London shops ; the public would not buy shoddy, 
nor accept inadequate service if the other thing were 
to be had. If England made better silks and cottons 
than the Germans, they need fear no dumping; if the 
English were good waiters, the foreign waiters would 
soon enough be out of jobs. The cry that the for- 
eigner will keep body and soul together on what the 
Englishman will starve on is simply one of those 
smooth shibboleths with which the incompetent of 
this world try to cloak the fact that they are going 



262 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

under. At home, it is never (save in one or two 
places of public resort, or in one's club, in London) 
an Englishman who waits on an Englishman. 
Abroad, when the Englishman goes to Venice, he 
finds the hotels on the Grand Canal kept by Ger- 
mans; in Sorrento, the managers, if not the owners, 
are Austrians; even in Naples the Swiss hotelier is 
to the fore ; from the Lido to Ostend he will hardly 
find one of his own countrymen at the profitable 
game of innkeeping. There is Bailey's, in Boulogne; 
but there must always be exceptions ; and, by reverse 
revenge, most of the great hotels the other end of 
the same channel route, in Folkestone, are kept by 
Continentals. 

England plainly does not know the art of keeping 
a hotel. If you point out this or that famously suc- 
cessful inn in England, as the Old Ship in Brighton, 
or the Lord Warden in Dover, those are still the 
rarest of exceptions. England has simply forgotten 
how. Once upon a time she must have known; the 
fine old legends of mine host and mine inn indubitably 
had much of their root in British soil. But to-day 
she has forgotten. Just as in shopkeeping, the fine 
old complacent cry rings out against all argument: 
"We never have stocked that article, sir," indicat- 
ing with the triumphant obstinacy of a mule that 
what never has been never will be. What was once 
good enough for British travellers must still be good 
enough. Let motor cars and aeroplanes come or 
not, as they choose ; here we are at the old sign keep- 
ing our inn just as we did when an earlier George 
was king. If you don't like the place, why, demme, 
stay out it. And so all the world and his wife does 



LONDON 263 

stay out of it. And so all the world and his wife does 
innkeeper looks sour and curses the world at large. 

LET me give you a bit of vivid, illuminating expe- 
rience. 

It was little enough we wanted that day, within 
this twelvemonth, just a little place in the country 
somewhere in England. As by telepathy we had all, 
the New Yorker and ourselves, come to that same 
decision; just rest, and peace, and English fare; the 
English scene, the English air. In our preliminary 
letters we grew quite lyric about the prospect. Dear 
old England, etc. For weeks the New Yorker had 
been in the clutches of a fashionable Kur-ort in Ger- 
many; his term was about to expire, and his temper 
was doing the same; he declared himself so full of 
veal that he dared not look a cow in the face. As 
for ourselves, the embarrassment of Parisian culi- 
nary riches was heavy upon us; you cannot eat sole 
with mussel sauce daily without ennui, and even the 
coupe de fruits a la champagne begins to pall when 
you take it every other day. Whenever a friend of 
ours declared intention to return to America we asked 
him, as with one accord, to do us the favor and eat, 
for us, a good steak somewhere. We were sicken- 
ing of sauces and of a-la's. We sighed for an honest 
cut from the joint, with potatoes in their jackets. 
We yearned to watch again the carver trundling the 
smoking beef alongside and slicing off huge slices for 
our plates. "Oh, to be in England ..." we sang, 
and could hardly await the time. 

Quite aside from mere food, there were plenty of 
other reasons why we sighed to be in England. 



264 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

Some of us were somewhat too taut in the nerves as 
a result of the pursuit of happiness in Paris; some 
of us were tired of packing and unpacking; and some 
of us had work to do, especially the New Yorker and 
I. So, in the prospect, we told ourselves we would 
do our work, we would regain our quiet nerves, we 
would find our normal health, in that little place in 
the country, in England. 

Have you ever seen those lovely pictures which ap- 
pear in the magazines about the time the theat- 
rical Rialto awakes from its summer siesta? They 
depict the famous matinee idol, in the act of shearing 
sheep, or stacking hay, on his little place in the coun- 
try, in England. Others show the great beauty, who 
is incidentally an actress, watering the flowers on her 
houseboat on the Thames. Others show the little 
farm in Surrey owned by the well-known playwright 
whose new comedy. . . . You know the sort of 
thing. We had, in miniature, of course, brought 
down to the proper scale of our own insignificance, as 
it were, our own rustic dreams. The New Yorker, 
indeed, came to the conspiracy armed with a map and 
a plan that would have done credit to a search for 
stolen treasure. We were swift on the trail with 
him. 

NEVER was a more glorious day in all England 
than that day. Whatever else it may have done, 
earlier in the year and the inhabitants looked 
gloomy when you mentioned weather, ordinarily the 
only staple of English conversation on that day the 
climate could have been no fairer anywhere beneath 
the sun. It was actually hot, though it was still early 



LONDON 265 

morning. The Channel glittered under a haze that 
was Italian or American, anything but English. A 
day, if ever there was one whereon to breakfast un- 
der the trees, somewhere in God's own dining-room, 
with only the world as walls. A day . . . yes, and 
a Sunday, at that. 

What a day for the holiday-makers ! We thought 
of the crowds upon the roads to Versailles; of the 
German families sitting in hundreds of towns, fash- 
ionable and otherwise, listening to music and sipping 
innocuous fluids; we thought of a garden in Florence 
and the dinners eaten there under the moon with the 
bells and the nightingales caroling and then we 
awoke to the fact that it was Sunday and we were in 
England. Still, nothing venture, and there would 
certainly be no breakfast under the trees. 

We began at a large and luxurious hotel, where 
the sun was simply ramping and raging to enter the 
dining-room. We noted, as we entered, an evil 
omen; the supercilious foreign waiters were pulling 
down the curtains, and closing out the summer. 
Breakfast outdoors! Unheard of! The air of: 
%t So was giebt's ja gar nicht!" carefully assumed to 
prevent the average British traveler from suspect- 
ing that the waiter was German. 

Well, if not there, then somewhere else. We de- 
termined to wander forth. Alas, we might be wan- 
dering yet, if we had clung to our decision not to 
leave that part of Kent without breakfast outdoors. 
Through streets that reeked of stale Saturday nights, 
of fish markets, of ham and eggs, we wandered; 
nothing, nothing. At last, in a sort of clearing, there 
loomed a likely spot; only an innyard, indeed, but at 



266 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

least some space, some chance. All that was needed 
was a little table, a chair; the rest was for the cook 
and the waiter; there was God's sunshine, and there 
was our appetite. But you never saw so bland a look 
of amazement as was on the face of that publican 
when we entered and put our question. Never had 
such a thing been heard of, that was evident, and 
rather than go carefully into a map-and-ax plan of 
campaign, we simply went away from there. But 
we could not refrain from one pathetic Parthian 
shot : ''England does not deserve a summer, for she 
doesn't know what to do with it when she gets it." 

That episode was to be the keynote of all our 
coming experience. Where, on all the European 
continent, would you fail to find on such a day as 
that your cup of coffee and your rolls served for you 
out of doors? Oh, yes, the English will complain, 
year after year, "We don't get any real summers 
any more," but as for trying to learn how to live in 
summer, when it really comes to them. . . . 

Once again, let us not, in this detail, look home too 
closely. We ourselves, in America, are but just 
learning that we have an Italian summer. Let us 
continue to regard the beam in our British cousin's 
eye. 

A British breakfast is not, even at best, an idyllic 
thing. When you put it upon its worst possibilities. 

. . . Well, we may say briefly that, like the 
beasts of the field, we fed. Having fed, we returned 
to the Great Affair. The Quest. The Search. The 
Pursuit of Happiness, and the Little Place in the 
Country. 

The New Yorker pored for the hundredth time 



LONDON 267 

over his map. His informant was a star of great 
renown, and a Frenchwoman, at that ; he raved about 
how she had raved about the place. And, upon a 
point like that, a little inn in the country, you may 
depend upon it that a Frenchwoman would know. 
. . . We sallied forth gayly into the Kentish 
sunshine. Miles we went, many miles; even to-day 
the thought of that cab-bill gives a thrill like a knife 
cutting purse-strings. Miles, and some of them were 
in circles; the fact of the matter was that the scenery 
refused properly to correspond to the map. It sel- 
dom does; inanimate nature, too, can have its share 
of cussedness. At last, however, we found the place 
that had most of the needed and stipulated attributes. 

Roses clambered up the windows; there was a 
tennis court, and bowers were athwart the hedges 
wherein one could take one's tea. Yes, we would 
have tea. Delicious tea. Never was such a day! 
We had found the little place in the country. Our 
appetites grew with our increasing joy. We turned 
the simple tea into a luncheon. Such cold lamb; such 
salad, and such fruit tart, with such cream ! There, 
at last, was the thing for which we had come. Sim- 
ply idyllic. Mine hostess, too; such fresh color, such 
smiling eyes well, if we couldn't be happy there, 
couldn't do good work there, why we laughed, and 
asked to see the rooms. 

Dreams, when they crash, crash quickly. It took 
but one short question to shatter this one. There 
was no bathroom, and there was no modern sanita- 
tion. And upon that rock our good ship of hope 
foundered. For our friend the New Yorker, lavish 
and romantic enough in many ways, economic enough 



268 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

in many others, is hard and practical upon the point 
of open plumbing. New York has spoilt him, as it 
has billions of others, for anything less than the best 
in the way of bathrooms and plumbing. The hard 
look of defeat came into his face when he listened to 
the hostess' explanation that it was no bother at all 
to bring the tub into the room every morning. 

SADLY we spent the evening of that Sunday in one 
of the huge hotels in Folkestone. A hotel like any 
other large hotel in England; run by a foreign cor- 
poration, manned by foreigners. Luxurious enough, 
comfortable enough, reasonable enough; save al- 
ways that you had to pay absurdly for your bath. 
No wonder the legendary Englishman carried his 
tub with him; without it he had been bankrupt long 
ago. Consider: in Folkestone, with all the Atlantic 
to bathe in, hotels charge roundly for a bath ! Well, 
even so, the New Yorker and ourselves began to con- 
sider whether it might not be possible, after all, right 
there, to be comfortable, to do our work. For the 
outdoor luncheon and the roses our yearning was 
gradually dying; we were beginning to be content 
with mere creature comforts, with large lounging- 
rooms, with winter-gardens, with an orchestra play- 
ing at teatime and after dinner. Perhaps, what with 
the sea-air, and the quiet . . . 

Hark! What was that? Beneath the windows 
of our rooms a sad, a mournful noise. A dirge? 
No; merely the English proletariat enjoying its Sun- 
day evening, singing hymns upon the public square. 
Hymns full of woe and false notes; hymns springing 
from a religion without cheer; hymns from hearts 



LONDON 269 

that construe pleasure as either a dreadful or a dis- 
astrous thing. The Sabbath songs of a nation that 
does not know how to enjoy itself. The old French- 
man was absolutely right; the English take both their 
pleasure and their prayers sadly. If you want to 
know where the Puritan spirit sprang from, go listen 
to a Sunday evening sing-song on an English street. 
Then think of happy families all over the rest of the 
world, returning from happy Sundays, cheerily and 
innocently spent; think, and pity the English, who 
do not know what to do with either the sunshine or 
with Sunday. 

WE were not yet defeated. There was still Sur- 
rey, and still the many little places on the river, 
within easy reach of town. We took out other maps, 
and other plans. We were to invade, now, a country 
which, in the advertisements in the London news- 
papers, reads a pure paradise. 

First we went to Richmond. There is no prettier 
spot than Richmond Hill in many counties. You 
look upon the Thames winding below; between you 
and that is only a pleasant slope of meadow and 
wood; the roadway has houses only on one side so 
that nothing interrupts the view. Some of the 
houses looked nothing less than patrician until we 
went inside. For some of them were merely board- 
ing-houses, after all. And such houses as they were ! 
Slatternly servants slopping about; the odor of stale 
cooking; threadbare carpets, and unkempt curtains. 
It was hard to ask even the most superficial ques- 
tions; they wanted, for what they were evidently 
quite unable to furnish, prices for which one could 



270 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

live at well-known hotels in London! There they 
were, in one of the gardenspots of the world, and 
all they could do was to ask insane prices for non- 
existing accommodations! Imagine that spot some- 
where in Switzerland ! Every house would be appe- 
tizing and inviting; you would read about it in papers 
and periodicals, and when you compared the adver- 
tisement and the fact you would find no appalling 
discrepancy. If the Thames, there in Richmond 
or anywhere, indeed, from Maidenhead or Chertsey 
to Windsor or Oxford were anything but an Eng- 
lish stream, what delightful inns and houses the trav- 
eller would find along its banks ! 

House after house we saw, each more dishearten- 
ing than the other. Only luncheon could hearten us 
again. We found an inn. Upon the public road, 
with motors whizzing noisily by. We had just 
passed a less likely looking inn, where the "ordinary" 
of the day cost half a crown, as we had seen plac- 
arded in the window; but, well, somehow this other 
inn appealed to us, and we presumed luncheon would 
cost no more. But it did; it cost more than double. 
By a simple device was this accomplished. On the 
bill of fare there were no prices. This, all the more, 
made you suppose the luncheon was at a fixed price. 
By no means; it was merely a temptation; and our 
temptation cost us the price of a good dinner at, say, 
the Cafe Riche in Paris. We did not say the lunch- 
eon had not been good; but our appreciation of the 
food, of the interesting and tasteful pictures on the 
walls, was spoilt by the mean little method of 
hoodwinking one with an unmarked bill of fare. 
One does not mind that sort of thing at the Cafe 



LONDON 271 

Anglais, or at Paillard's, or at Bellevue; and seldom 
indeed does the true gourmet find, in those places in 
Paris, that he has not, in one way or another, had his 
money's worth ; but in a little two-by-three inn on the 
main highway of Richmond that was a bit too 
thick! We never even paused to see if there were 
rooms in that inn; we had discovered England's abil- 
ity, if not to keep up to the times in sanitation and 
outdoor entertainment, at least to keep up to them 
in highwaymanry. But when the Continental robs 
you, he does it with a smile; the Englishman, even 
as he robs, grumbles. 

We glared gloomily toward the old Star and Gar- 
ter, closed, tenantless, another memorial to England's 
inability to play innkeeper. Somewhat lower down, 
nearer the river, was another quite spacious-seeming 
hotel. It seemed the last chance; we attacked it. 

It would be as hopeless to make you comprehend 
the possibilities of that house as to make you believe 
its shabbiness. Here, upon the slope of one of the 
fairest of hills, looking on one of the most pic- 
turesque bends of the Thames, was a castellated 
house of several stories. There were gardens on 
all sides but one ; that one looked directly into sombre 
woods. Anywhere else but in England that sombre- 
ness had been turned into something cheerful; ter- 
raced walks and bowers had been cut and the out- 
look from those bedrooms had been made as gay 
as from all the rest. But these English were satis- 
fied to let those windows open on a dismal and dank 
backyard, set in miasmic clutter of trees whither no 
sunshine ever came. They were satisfied to do with- 
out carpets on the stairs and to let ceilings and walls 



272 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

hang peeling in plain view, to have rooms so small 
that luggage blocked the corridors, and furniture so 
bare that all the rooms looked like prison cells. 
From some windows there were views such as in 
Switzerland, or Germany, or France, had made 
the place internationally famous. These people let 
the odor of corruption and carelessness stare you in 
the face, and asked you five guineas a week for the 
privilege! Oh, laughter of the gods! When you 
can live in any one of the newer private hotels of 
London for three guineas and in many places on the 
Continent for less than that! But if you suggested 
that to these good English people they reminded 
you that perhaps, at another season of the year, they 
might, etc., etc., but that now, in the season . . . 
and then regard you complacently. Complacency, 
of course, is what all England is dying of. 

As for that "season," well, one comes to the con- 
clusion that the innkeeper's "season," all over the 
world, is when you are there, just as the publisher's 
season is when you are not there. 

We tried elsewhere in Surrey, in the lovely country 
near Guilford and Esher, but it came to the same 
thing everywhere. We read, again and again, those 
alluring advertisements. Mostly, we concluded, they 
were for people who wanted houses with innumerable 
bedrooms and "stabling for seven horses." The 
small fry, who wanted two or three rooms, with a 
sitting-room and bathroom, were not catered to at 
all. You could find plenty of places where you could 
play golf, or tennis, or get good fishing or shooting; 
but just quiet lodgings, plain, clean food, modern 
sanitation and bathrooms, these things England has 



LONDON 273 

not got at anything like reasonable rates. Nor has 
she got innkeepers that know enough to install such 
comforts, or to take advantage of the wonderful 
natural beauties of the country. 

IT would be unfair to pretend that the continent 
of Europe is entirely free from qualities, just re- 
marked, in possession of which England has been 
complacent for years. Annually, as the returning 
tide of travellers is spilled upon our shores after its 
invasion of the European continent and the British 
Isles, we hear an increasing and portentous growl. 
While a superficial majority is ever ready to aver 
that it "has had a good time," a more captious minor- 
ity reflects aloud that U A11 they want over there is 
what they can get out of us." From this great presi- 
dent of railroads or insurance company, and from 
that great keeper of American hotels, we hear more 
and more noisily the cry about the extortions prac- 
ticed in the great European inns, and, indeed, in the 
entire scheme of European travel and resort. Let 
us not pause here for the somewhat ironic contem- 
plation of the problem whether the European hotelier 
and theAmerican life-insurancepresident arebrothers 
under their skins or not; let us cling grimly, turning 
our backs upon Altruria and all sardonic reflections, 
to the fact that America, though it increasingly visits 
Europe, has begun to rebel against the abominations 
of the tips, of the sometimes too outrageous prices; 
and against the innkeeping incapacities of England 
itself. Let us avoid carefully any of the beams ob- 
scuring our own vision: the hat-and-coat highway- 
manry in our American hotels and restaurants, the 



274 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

insatiable harpies of our public wash-rooms, the 
sleeping-car monopoly which puts its employees upon 
the pocket of the public quite as frankly as any hotel 
in Europe. 

No, let us avoid bringing our comparisons too 
close home. It is only by such avoidance that many 
of us can safely cling to many of our dissatisfactions 
about Europe, and can become almost blatant about 
being "back in God's country again." 

"BACK in God's country again" is a phrase now 
thoroughly incorporated into the American language. 
To point out, before turning our back on England, 
some of the little difficulties encountered in England 
by those familiar only with the American language, 
may amuse and sweeten our farewell humor. 

VI 

THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE 

MY friend the American in London made a full 
circuit of the park before he got his courage up to 
the point where he brought his horse close up to that 
of Dundreary Junior's and began: 

"Say, I've been thinking it over, and you've got 
to help me out: I'm living in the funniest little one- 
eyed boarding-house near the Marble Arch you ever 
saw. They call it a private hotel, but it's pretty much 
all the same as a hash house on Clinton Street, 
Brooklyn. Don't suppose you know Brooklyn, do 
you? No? Well, you don't look it, I'll say that for 
you. Well, it's like this: that same home of the 



LONDON 275 

j 

friendless is full of the strangest dubs from strange 
parts you ever saw. Reminds me of the barker out- 
side the Philippine village at the World's Fair, who, 
when he got tired of the crowd outside giving him 
the ha-ha always used to scatter 'em with 'Walk up, 
walk up, ladies and gentlemen, and see what strange 
people there are in the world besides yourselves!' 
All right; there they are, as I said, dubs from the 
outlands of Dubville, and yet, and yet, every last 
one of them spots me for an American! I don't 
care if they've come from Hongkong or Rhodesia, 
they've not laid eyes or ears on me for five minutes 
in the smoking-room before they ask me if our new 
President is friendly to England. Now, as man to 
man, out here in the open, under the same sun I 
guess there's a sun up there, somewhere over the 
soft coal lining! what is it about me that's a U. S. 
A. trademark?" 

Dundreary Junior has a drooping mustache, blue 
eyes that can look extremely weary, and a smile that 
makes rare appearance only in the presence of ladies. 
He is one of the best turned out men on the Row, and 
his lemon-colored waistcoat, his bowler that is ap- 
parently in momentary danger of falling from the 
back of his head, and his immaculate buckskin gloves 
combine to make him one of the most frequently 
nodded-to men in London. His seat on a horse is a 
delight to the knowing eye, but in his speech he is typi- 
cal of his town and his type. He looked at our 
American friend for several consecutive moments, 
achieved a slow smile and a nod in the direction of 
a lady riding in the opposite direction, and then ven- 
tured this definite explanation : 



276 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

u Oh, of course, don't you see, they would know 
you, you see, like a shot. I mean to say, you see, 
that it's quite odds-on, don't you see, that you that 
you are, you see ! You are, I mean to say; you are 
aren't you? Eh? You are, you see; you are. I 
mean to say, don't you see, that it's quite the best 
Starting Price job of the meeting that you well, er, 
that you would be, don't you see!" 

The American chewed on that a little, and then re- 
marked, apropos of nothing that Dundreary Junior 
could imagine as relevant. 

"Say, ain't it a fine thing we speak the same lan- 
guage?" 

A mob of both sexes cantered past, and Dundreary 
remarked, in his usual casual tone: 

"That's a nice cob of Lord Cadowgan's." 

"Just as you say," said the American, "but whose 
did you say it was?" 

"Lord Cadowgan's." 

"How d' you spell it?" 

"C-a-d-o-g-a-n." 

The American looked conscience-stricken, or as if 
he had a touch of liver, or something equally painful. 

"Good Lord," he said, "I've been making that 
rhyme with oh, well, with Harrigan, so far as the 
vowels go, any way, Cadowgan you say? Ah, 
yes; it's just as I said; it's a God's blessing we speak 
the same language. Yes, Sir. That's what keeps 
the two countries so close together. The language. 
Still, as I was saying, in that hash house of mine up 
near the Marble Arch well, I can't make up my 
mind whether it's my feet or my accent ; but whatever 
it is, they have me marked and branded. Sure ! I 



LONDON 277 

do my best; I try to talk just the same as you, just 
the same. Yes, indeed. And I say, 'Don't you 
know' at least every few yards. That reminds me," 
and a distinctly new look of puzzlement added itself 
to the other sorts of amazement that had been flitting 
over his face, "I don't know as I've ever heard you 
say 'Don't you know' since I've had the pleasure of 
your acquaintance. How's that?" 

Dundreary Junior looked wearier than ever. 

"Well, don't you see," he was beginning, when the 
American interrupted him with : 

"That's it! There we are, plain as the Statue of 
Liberty I You don't realize it I reckon it ain't the 
fashion to pry into these little details of language in 
London but you've swapped 'Don't you know' for 
'Don't you see.' Yes, now that I come to think of 
it, the most frequent parts of speech in London con- 
versation if you call it conversation (this was a 
remark made only for his own ear) are 'You see 1 
and 'I mean to say.* Yes, I'll make a note of that. 
Maybe if I use those bits of lingo often enough and 
change my boarding-house, I won't get suspected of be- 
ing made in America inside of the first twenty seconds 
after they meet me. I'm sure it's not my accent, for 
I've been here several months, and I ought to have 
lost it, don't you think so ? As for my boots, I bought 
'em right here in London, at an American shoe store ; 
and if there's anything more sure than another in all 
this wide and woolly world it is that all the shoes 
sold in London's American shoe stores were made in 
Birmingham or wherever it is you people manufac- 
ture shoes; if those shoes ever saw Brockton, Mass., 
I'll eat oh, I'd even eat some of that everlasting 



278 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

haddock the head waiter tries to palm off on me for 
breakfast ! I tell you right now though, the thing's 
getting on my nerves, and if you don't help me out, 
I don't know who will. As I say, I've been here long 
enough, and summer's good and gone; there ain't 
supposed to be an American left in town; I'm just a 
left-over; and I'm doing my best to be a real Lon- 
doner. Haven't I staid in London until November 
just on purpose to see a November fog? No, Sir; it 
beats me." 

Dundreary Junior went on stroking his mustache ; 
he had spied a lady he knew in the distance. By way 
of elucidating the American's mystery he said: 

"Suppose we do the bit by the Barracks?" 

"Whatever you say yourself," said the American. 
And Dundreary turned out of the Row on to the 
path that fronts the Knightsbridge home of the 
Guards. 

"Sending the mare down for huntin' next week," 
said Dundreary Junior. 

"Say it again," said the American. 

Dundreary looked more bored than ever. "I 
mean to say, don't you see, that the mare's goin' 
down for huntin' next week." 

"Ah," said the American, "there it is again, I tell 
you; Mary's learning something every day. I see 
how it is; you folks over here have made up your 
minds that the 'h' has been getting kinder lonesome 
getting lost all alone, so you've sent the 'g' along to 
get lost with it. Hot scheme ! The two alphabetical 
Babes in the Wood, ladies and gentlemen, little H 
and little G. Goin' and huntin', eh? Another little 
item for my little list. That's Gilbert, I know; but 



LONDON 279 

then we Americans appreciated Gilbert long before 
you people did. Huntin', eh? So the mare likes 
huntin' ! What is it? Pheasants or grouse or part- 
ridges, and where does the mare come in?" 

If boredom could be framed entirely into one face, 
that face was Dundreary Junior's. 

"Huntin' with Lord Beaver's hounds, don't you 
see," he said. 

"Oh, hounds! Excuse me! How d' spell his 
lordship's name?" 

"B-e-1-v-o-i-r." 

"Great Greeley and I've been making that 
rhyme with Choctaw! Belvuaw, that's what I've 
been calling it. What with the Franco-British show, 
don't you know, and the Entente Cordiale, and all 
that, and so as not to let my University Place French 
get too rusty, I thought I'd get all the French accent 
on some of these Norman names of yours around 
here. And you tell me it's Beaver; alle same badger 
or any other common bird or beast? Well, well 
say, ain't it a God's blessing we speak the same lan- 
guage? Honest, it'd tickle me to death to have a 
real heart to heart talk with you about some of these 
little details of the language that binds us together, 
tongues across the sea, as it were. Tell you what, 
come and have lunch with me at the Cecil." 

"Quite sorry! I just went and had a bone an 
hour ago." 

"Ham or whale?" 

"Beg pardon?" 

"Hambone or whalebone?" 

"Oh, I mean to say, of course, don't you see, I had 
a grilled bone at the club " 



280 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

The American smothered something that might 
have been "Sell," but wasn't. 

But he was not suppressed for long. At the 
Marble Arch he began again. 

"Say, this unemployed gag gives me the Willies! 
If you ask me, I don't believe you could lead any of 
that bunch to work, not if you blindfolded 'em ! 
Offer 'em a job and the first thing they want to know 
is how much time they get off a week and how much 
beer money; never what they will do to keep the job 
down. No, Sir. I know 'em ! And they have the 
nerve to ask Congress or Parliament, or whatever 
you call it, to feed 'em, just for their consenting to be 
alive! The world's full of places where you can't 
get work done for you, and here this bunch stands 
around a banner and listens to blood-and-thunder 
talk. You ask any fellow-countryman of mine who's 
ever tackled the hired man or hired girl problem 
what he thinks of the unemployed! No, Sir; there's 
no sympathy from me for that lot." 

Past the Serpentine the American's horse disliked 
the looks of the boathouse, and for a few moments 
he had his hands full. But it was not long before he 
was off again on his conversational excursion. 

"Say, I wish I could sleep for about forty-eight 
hours from this present writing. Want to know 
why? Easiest thing ever! To-morrow's Sunday, 
that's why. Sunday in London! Say, if I was one 
of these fellows that write plays the kind they like 
in Germany, where a tragedy doesn't satisfy them, 
but they have to invent an extra dismal brand of 
drama and call it Trauerspiel funeral play! the 
very first thing I'd do would be to write a funeral 



LONDON 281 

play and call it 'Sunday in London/ Yes, Sir, just 
like that, 'Sunday in London.' And, mind you, 
there's folks that doubt it, even for a minute; some 
of them here in London have been sitting around 
lately and protesting to the newspapers on the ques- 
tion, Is London dull? Is London dull ! Is a Sunday 
in London like a slice of the simple life, or isn't it? 
Ask me; just ask me. Say, I've walked from Port- 
man Square to Northumberland Avenue, all of a Sun- 
day morning, in God's sunshiny hours, between 9 
and u, and never met a human soul! Fact, abso- 
lute fact! It was like this: A friend of a friend of 
mine blew in from Chicago the other Saturday oh, 
sorry, sorry! I thought I was in God's country; 
what I really mean is that he ran up to town from 
the North. Lives in Newcastle, where the coal comes 
from. 

"We'd been racing together; he, being in the 
know, dropped a wad, and little Me, from York 
State, where the ponies are as extinct as the dodo, 
betting a shoestring, wound up with my expenses 
paid for a week. However, after a dinner at the 
Royal, and a look in at a show and say, the best 
dance in your town is by a gang of Spaniards your 
people haven't had the sense to boom, and their turn 
is called La Flamenca and Her Lovers, or some such 
name, and there's a girl in there could have my little 
shoes and her big boots all under the . However, 
as I was saying, we came out of the show so early the 
gentleman from Coaltown thought it would be a 
shame to say farewell, and dragged me to the Savoy 
to see the celebrities come and go. We sat there, 
while those amazing males and females meandered 



282 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

by, and when the lights of London began to get dim 
we padded it out over the rubber courtyard, and my 
friend from the Grimy wound up by asking me to 
breakfast at his club. One of those solemn political 
clubs on Northumberland Avenue. 

"So Me strolling in the lonely sunshine of the 
Sunday morning! Lonesome? Say, I felt like tak- 
ing off my hat to Nelson in Trafalgar Square ! He 
was about the only thing in the image of man that I 
saw between Park Lane and Cockspur Street. And 
I've found out the difference between a London club 
and the other kind, too; the London club is a place 
where you go to avoid the human race! If you see 
a man you know in a London club you frown at him 
and go on reading the paper; and to show you really 
are at home you keep your hat on. Don't you run 
away what I mean is, Americans mustn't run away 
with the idea that a club is a sociable institution; no, 
Sir; we have that all wrong on our side of the water; 
here, where I understand the clubs really come from, 
the club is a place where you go to be let alone. Yes, 
that's right; the only club where people don't seem 
afraid to speak to each other, here in London, is the 
Garrick Club. Fact! Well, that's how I came to 
sample a Sunday morning in London. You'll admit 
there's not much to do in London on Sunday." 

"Oh, don't you see," drawled Dundreary, "you 
can always hear the Guards' Band play at noon in 
the park, and then, you see, there are always con- 
certs in the afternoon. Besides, there's always, I 
mean to say, church, you see church, don't you 



see." 



"Yes," said the American, "there we are, don't 



LONDON 283 

you know sorry, don't you see, I mean. There we 
are ! Oh, I know the whole lot of Sunday attractions 
in London; haven't I worked as hard as any nigger 
trying to find them, in the first place, and then trying 
to enjoy myself deliriously over them? 

"No, Sir; no more Sundays in London for me, if 
I can help it. I've tried everything to avoid them. 
One Sunday I ran down to Brighton. Is that right? 
'Ran down to Brighton ?' If it's 'ran up,' just correct 
me; don't spare my feelings. Anyway, I took the 
Southern Belle all Pullman express, and if you ask 
me, most of the southbound belles on that train hail 
from the Empire. 

"However, far be it from me to quarrel with any 
spice of life, even if you have to get onto a Brighton 
train for it. I don't say, mind you, that Brighton's 
any raving, tearing, giddy whirl on a Sunday, but you 
can always stroll on the Parade and lunch at the Old 
Ship, and eat oysters in Little East Street, and take 
coffee somewhere else, and see the human show at 
the various hotel lounges, and feel that you've got 
away with the middle of the day without absolutely 
perishing of the disease you're slowly but surely 
dying of. 

"Yes, I've seen it on you for a long time; and any 
time you feel it's going to take you too suddenly, 
just tip me a word, and I'll pass far away from here; 
honest, I will. Bored, my dear boy, bored that's 
what you are. I've seen you drooping under it for a 
long time. It's an awful complaint, and it affects 
different people differently; it only makes you look 
sad ; it makes me wild, simply wild ! Once, to get rid 
of the complaint, I went even farther than Brighton; 



284 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

I went to Paris over Sunday. Say, I'm at home there, 
you know; they don't laugh nearly so much at my 
French over there as they do at my English here. 
Funny, that, eh? Shows what the Entente Cordiale 
has accomplished, eh? Well, Sir, over there a light 
or two came over me; your fashionable lot over here 
in London speak much better French than they do 
United States. Fact ! Why, if I could talk the real, 
genuwine Hanover Square French, same as some of 
your Bond Street swells do, I'd live in Paris all the 
time, and get mistaken for a milord. 

"Another thing you can see in Paris that you can't 
see in London, and that's well-dressed English- 
women. There are none in London, you take my 
solemn word! They're all in Paris! That's one 
thing I'd never have found out if I hadn't staid on 
this side until after the other Americans had gone 
back; the real swell lot from here only go to Paris 
early in spring or in the winter; it's too thick with 
Americans for them in the summer. Say this 
hands-across-the-sea business is great stuff, eh? 
Honest, though, I don't blame you much; some of 
the Americans that get into the limelight on this side 
are the limit ! I'm thinking of a sight I saw at the 
Gare St. Lazare the other morning, waiting for a 
boat-train. She was a dream in purple, and she had 
a purple bow around her pup's neck, and if I hadn't 
known she was a vaudeville artist I'd have made the 
same mistake the people in Paris were making, and 
that was thinking all American women dressed on 
that same key of X. How are people to know the 
difference? 

u And, say, there's another thing I'd like to talk 



LONDON 285 

to you about when you have time some day. That's 
the exact definition of the week-end. As far as I 
can see, the only sure thing is that it means the large 
end of the week. IVe watched this thing pretty 
close, and my conclusion is that the London business 
man only works from about Tuesday noon to Thurs- 
day P. M. How do I make that out? Well, I've 
been through some pretty stiff doses of Whitmon- 
days, August Bank holidays, Michaelmas Gooses, 
and all the other festivals, and I've noticed that 
when your lawyer or stockbroker, etc., says he's go- 
ing away for the week-end, it means that he's leaving 
Thursday evening and not showing up again until 
Tuesday morning. Yes, Sir; it's the large end he 
takes, all right, all right. And then, if you please, 
he gets hot under the collar because the American 
or the German gets a little business away from him 
here and there. Oh, you're a funny lot here if you 
only knew it. Yes, Sir; you are to laugh; you are to 
laugh. Which, of course, is meant as a translation 
from Hanover Street French. Hanover Street 
French is what your man George Graves is so fond 
of getting off when he says 'Je ne pense pas,' which 
is a rotten translation of 'I don't think.' Yes, I 
know it's not American; it's straight Dickens; but 
then a chap like you wouldn't know any more about 
Dickens than about the Abbey or Stratford-on- 
Ayvon " 

"Stratf ord-on-Ayvon ?" 

"You mean Avon." 

"Oh, rhymes with spavin, does it? All right. 
Say, look, there goes a boy from E-ton ; I can tell by 
his clothes." 



286 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

"From where?" 

"E-ton; rhymes with bon-ton, accent on the 'ton,' 
doesn't it?" 

"No; don't you see, it's just Eton." 

u Oh rhymes with meetin', eh? dropping the 'g' 
carefully at the same time as the voice, and otherwise 
duly concealing the alphabet as much as possible. 
Well, well, say " and the American pulled up his 
horse to pass out of the Marble Arch gateway. 

"Ain't it great we speak the same language?" 



CHAPTER NINE 

WHEN EUROPE COMES TO AMERICA 

I 
FIRST PRINCIPLES FOR EUROPEANS 

A1ERICANS returning to the United States 
in the luxuriousness of "first class" must, 
if they are accustomed travelers by 
the Atlantic ferries, have noticed that 
of late they by no means had the ship to 
themselves. Year by year the number of Europeans 
who have determined to explore these United States, 
as of old they had explored Tibet, or Egypt, or Al- 
giers, or the east coast of Africa, has been increas- 
ing steadily. We have long known, of course, that 
the fashionable tide has swung both ways for many 
years; the more or less aristocratic or titled person- 
ages who come to be dined and wined, and, if pos- 
sible, wedded, have long been familiar figures in a 
tiny section of our continent. 

Yet these did not constitute real travelers. They 
came to Newport or Bar Harbor or Lenox without 
finding out more about our great country than many 
Americans discover about Germany after a "cure" 
in Baden-Baden or Kissingen or Wiesbaden. But, 
as aforesaid, real travelers have begun to put in 
their appearance. The more eagle-eyed of our ob- 

287 



288 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

servers may or may not have noted them; but the 
steamship companies must have become pleasantly 
aware of them; and our friend Baedeker long ago 
stamped their existence definitely with his rosy ap- 
proval. 

How many of you, I wonder, are aware of the 
existence of what to an American should be the most 
fascinating of all the volumes in the famous Leipsic 
series, namely, that entitled "Baedeker's United 
States?" Yes, here it is; almost uncannily up to 
date; and giving the most cosmopolitan and inter- 
nationally minded of us something of a shock of 
pleasure and surprise. In diplomatic complications, 
in great international relationships, we have for a 
few years been duly recognized by the European 
concert; we have come, politically, to rank as a world 
power; and now we are obviously admitted into the 
ranks of the lands worth visiting. We may prepare, 
then, for an annually increasing army of Europeans 
approaching these United States of ours armed with 
argonautic courage and a guidebook. We, going 
forth to browse about Europe as upon a pleasant 
pasture, are no longer to have it all our own way. 
The European will be popping over here just as 
brazenly as we now pop over to his country. We 
have definitely joined the ranks of countries to be 
seen. 

We have been listed, summed up, mapped, and 
planned. 

There is a price upon our very habits; henceforth 
the European may easily reckon just what it will cost 
to visit us, to see our great cities, the wonderful nat- 
ural picturesqueness of our land; and he can find, 



EUROPE COMES TO AMERICA 289 

upon a definite page in an easily pocketable little 
book, the safest behavior to adopt in our presence. 
No longer can we pretend to be a country of un- 
tracked wastes, of a great American Desert, of plain, 
uncharted materialism; no longer can the New Zea- 
lander or the Chinaman accuse us of being beyond 
the pale of civilized travel. The world seems all 
turned upside down as one reads in a guidebook the 
travel instructions, especially for conduct upon the 
Atlantic, addressed to people coming to rather than 
going from these shores. 

To see our essentials, our scope, our riches, our 
cities, our mountains, and our plains all done up in 
a single, tiny pair of covers, gives, no matter how 
much or how little we have traveled, as say our 
friends the French, most mightily to think. 

Each old traveler, paging through such a guide- 
book, will find a different point for comment, for ad- 
miration, for amazement, and even for dispute. 
Hardly any traveler, however, with a reasonable 
sense of proportion, but will find constant source of 
amusement. Nothing seems to have been left undone 
in the way of information; there are introductory 
pages on our history, our Government, our aborigi- 
nes, our physiography, our climate, our arts, our 
sports, our educational and industrial resources oh, 
it is all there in a nutshell. 

And in no less than one hundred and twenty differ- 
ent tours and routes are our States cut up to make a 
European holiday. It has always seemed proper 
enough to find the various routes from, say, Naples 
to Paris, set forth in the cold-blooded guidebook man- 
ner; but it had hardly occurred to us that the same 



290 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

thing could be done for the trip from New York to 
Chicago ; from New Orleans to El Paso ; from Bos- 
ton to Montreal. There were always, we know well 
enough, the so-called railroad "folders," but those 
were distinctly inadequate specimens of the "boost- 
er's" art. 

Our poetic friends, the real estate agents, occasion- 
ally did a little in this way; but the trail of picayune 
profit was somewhat traitorously over such ventures. 
Say what you will against him, despise him as you 
please, as a propagandist of travel, Baedeker is noth- 
ing less than continental. He does not descend to 
the petty; does not spoil his judicial fairness by pan- 
dering to small condescensions toward commerce. 
Observe his little warning, which comes in somewhat 
pat at this moment : 

"To hotel proprietors, tradesmen, and others the 
editor begs to intimate that a character for fair deal- 
ing and courtesy toward travelers is the sole pass- 
port to his commendation, and that advertisements 
of every kind are strictly excluded from his hand- 
books." 

Bully for B ! Most exactly he hits a nail on the 
head. In the detail of literature the present writer 
once propounded the identical theory: namely, that 
no proper criticism was to be expected from the aver- 
age newspaper until the advertisement of the pub- 
lishers ceased. Against which it was invariarbly 
averred that such an omission would be extremely 
ruinous business for the newspapers. Well, the 
Baedeker concern, one imagines, is not exactly bank- 
rupt. 



EUROPE COMES TO AMERICA 291 

THE general tone, both in the introductions and 
the body of the guide itself, is most happily balanced. 
European prejudices do not seem unduly catered to ; 
on many points one believes that Americans at large 
would profit greatly by this notion of how others 
see them. There is, for instance, no effort to decide 
the vexed question of comfort in railway travel 
European or American. But this observation is 
made about our day coaches : 

"A single, crying infant or spoiled child annoys 
sixty to seventy persons instead of the few in one 
compartment; the passenger has little control over 
his window, as some one is sure to object if he opens 
it; the window opens upward instead of downward; 
the continual opening and shutting of the doors, with 
the consequent draughts, are annoying; the incessant 
visitation of the train boy, with his books, candy, and 
other articles for sale, renders a quiet nap almost 
impossible ; while, in the event of an accident, there 
are only two exits for sixty people instead of six or 
eight. On the other hand, the liberty of moving 
about the car, or, in fact, from ertd to end of the 
train, the toilette accommodations, and the amuse- 
ment of watching one's fellow-passengers greatly 
mitigate the tedium of a long journey; while the pub- 
licity prevents any risk of the railway crimes some- 
times perpetrated in the separate compartments of 
the European system. . . ." 

These details are to us such commonplaces, so 
closely familiar, that we occasionally lose our per- 
spective about them. The point about the train boy 
is well taken; and one is glad to note that some of 



292 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

our wideawake railways no longer permit that in- 
cessant pest. 

I wonder, by the way, when the plague of plush 
seats, in torridest summer, will be made to cease. 

The hint at a European desire for fresh air, how- 
ever, is funny; it becomes logical only when we recall 
that this guide is written mostly for English travelers. 
Whosoever has traveled much on the Continent of 
Europe knows that there is nothing the average 
French or German or Italian traveler clings to more 
fiercely than his right to exclude fresh air from the 
railway compartment. 

A similar thought occurs when our friend hands 
out the following hints to such American hotel keep- 
ers as may wish to "meet the tastes of European 
visitors" : 

"The wash basins in the bedrooms should be much 
larger than is generally the case. ... A carafe 
or jug of drinking water (not necessarily iced) and 
a tumbler should always be kept in each bedroom. 
If it were possible to give baths more easily and 
cheaply, it would be a great boon to English visitors. 
It is not, fortunately, more usual than of yore for the 
price of a bedroom to include access to a general 
bathroom, but those who wish a private bath in or 
attached to their bedroom must still pay about a 
dollar a day extra. No hotel can be considered first- 
class or receive an asterisk of commendation that re- 
fuses to supply food to travelers who are prevented 
from appearing at the regular meal hours." 

Well threatened, indeed, that last! Behold the 
bludgeoning of Baedeker! He would withhold the 



EUROPE COMES TO AMERICA 293 

great asterisk. For generations has it not been the 
ambition of every European hotel and, for all we 
know to the contrary, every European artist, from 
Praxitiles to Puvis de Chavannes to be "starred in 
Baedeker?" Well, here, then, is the ultimatum for 
our own hotels. Let them take warning. The Eu- 
ropeon traveler has a guidebook now, and the erst- 
while autocratic demeanor of the hotelier and his 
allies may have to curb itself a little. 

The touch about the Englishman in search of his 
bath is somewhat anciently flavored, however. Why 
try to perpetuate that stale legend? We know, if 
we know anything at all about travel, that baths are 
almost as hard to obtain in England as elsewhere in 
Europe; the Englishman may be as hardy a bather 
as any of us in the privacy of his own home, but no 
sign of any such habit is apparent in his hotels. The 
only country of real indoor bathing facilities is our 
own; let that be set down definitely, once and for all. 

The Englishman and his bath have long been a 
ridiculous myth. Years ago it was one of his insular 
vanities one of his ways of insulting all the rest of 
the world to travel with a monstrous tin bathtub 
among his paraphernalia. He would set that tiny 
oasis upon a desert of floor; have innumerable jugs 
of water emptied into the tin contrivance; immerse 
the edges of himself therein, and go forth purged, in 
his own mind, of all his sins and convinced of the 
filthiness of all alien creation. The German achieved 
the same result in his sitz-bad. The Frenchman, 
save as an adjunct to wine or syrups or a fashionable 
bathing beach, has not yet discovered the uses of 
water. No, no ; let us have no more talk about any 



294 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

country save the United States knowing the real way 
to the bathroom. 

ANOTHER detail of railway travel here. We are 
reminded that u no alcoholic drinks are served while 
the train is passing through prohibition States* (now 
somewhat numerous)." True, alas! how true! 
Yet, if one could ornament a practical guide such as 
this with the illuminating poetry of personal expe- 
rience ! For, as has been often enough pointed out, 
one result of the prohibition has merely been the 
additional debauchery of the colored brother. 

Upon the average through express, under such 
circumstances, the wary traveler knows perfectly 
well all he need do, if his thirst take a certain fiery 
shape; he has but to tap on the door where the por- 
ter of the club car slumbers and ask for a little ginger 
pop. Out will come the ginger pop, the sarsapa- 
rilla it might be either, to judge by the bottle and 
down will gurgle the fire water. Cinquevalli could 
do no finer juggling. You pay an exorbitant price 
for very filthy liquor; you cannot complain, because 
you are breaking the law, and so is the darky and 
the whole business is detrimental to public morality. 
But we must not tell Mr. Baedeker about that; our 
morals, happily, do not interest him. Wise men, 
these Buddhas and Baedekers! 

NOTE again, this: u ln America the traveler is 
left to rely upon his own common sense still more 
freely than in England, and no attempt is made to 
take care of him in the patriarchal fashion of Con- 
tinental railways. He should, therefore, be careful 



EUROPE COMES TO AMERICA 295 

to see that he is is in the proper car, etc. . . . The 
brakeman or trainman, whose duty it is to announce 
each station as the train reaches it, is apt to be en- 
tirely unintelligible." For years we have laughed 
at these popular jests ; we were in danger of becoming 
too accustomed to them ; it may be wholesome to find 
them pointed out, soberly and in cold blood, as actual 
detriments to perfectly comfortable travel. 

But the "partriarchal fashion of Continental rail- 
ways!" Oh, Du meine Seele, yes, indeed! Who 
that in the old days ever journeyed on a bummel-zug 
through Pomerania or Mecklenburg but recalls 
that scene when the station master and the conductor, 
having had every door in the train hermetically sealed 
so that no passenger could escape, walked up and 
down the platform in solemn conclave for at least 
ten minutes. If the passengers were naive they 
imagined great railroad problems being solved; if 
they were sophisticated they guessed the conversa- 
tion to be about nothing more exciting than the 
weather. As in the caricature showing two monarchs 
chatting; the world, straining to listen, fancies the 
peace of Europe in dispute between them; as a mat- 
ter of fact, one is saying to the other: "Edward, 
who's your tailor?" 

WHAT echoes of laughter arise at the start of the 
paragraph on pedestrianism: "Except in a few dis- 
tricts, such as the Adirondacks and the White Moun- 
tains, walking tours are not much in vogue in the 
United States," says our informant, "where, indeed, 
the extremes of temperature and the scarcity of well- 
marked footpaths often offer considerable obstacles." 



296 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

To say nothing of the attitude of the inhabitants! 
Can you not see the face of the average American 
farmer if you arrived at the door while on a walking 
tour? No; we cannot rank as a nation of walkers. 
On the other hand, as this same critic points out, 
you can trolley almost all the way from New York 
to Chicago. That's the way we do our walking 
hanging on to a strap. A thousand pities it is that 
we do not walk more. No motor, no conveyance of 
any sort whatever can equal the pleasure of touring 
afoot through Switzerland, the English lakes, or 
Thueringen, or the Hartz or Tuscany, or any of the 
many beauty districts of the older civilization. Have 
we not quite as many fine regions? If we had not 
known it before, this little guide would open our 
eyes. The regions are there ; but what is fatal is the 
attitude of our Americans themselves, those who 
should do the walking and those who might do the 
helping along the way. As long as the National 
attitude toward pedestrianism is that it is a peculiar 
form of lunacy, or the result of a wager, so long shall 
we not rank as completely cognizant of our opportu- 
nities for vagabondage. 

MANY details of our language are evidently 
thought dark for Europeans. So there has been 
compiled a glossary of words which we use in a way 
uncommon elsewhere. Among these we find: "Team 
often applied to one horse." Applause, please, 
applause for the massive brain from Leipsic! Yea 
and verily, the land is full of places where a team is 
a single horse. It ranks with that other fine rustic 
formula : "Fine hitch you got there, Eli," A hitch 



EUROPE COMES TO AMERICA 297 

meaning, apparently, the same thing as u team." 
Hitch, in that sense, is not yet in the Baedeker glos- 
sary of United States phrases. Another matter of 
language is the pronunciation of Chicago here given 
as prevalent. It is indicated thus : Shikawgo. Now, 
may we venture to doubt that such is the sound used 
by, shall we say, the best people? It may be dan- 
gerous to attack Chicago's own usage, which, nine 
times out of ten, is as given above; but well, it is 
one of those matters of taste; and it does not seem 
as if "awgo" was anything but an unnecessarily ugly 
sound. Further on this same authority reminds us 
that the name arose from the Indian Checagua, 
meaning "wild onion" and "polecat." In such 
strange ways, you see, we come to memories of the 
stench characteristic of the Chicago River. 

Each traveler will have his own quarrel with a 
guidebook, yet all must admit some marvels it ac- 
complishes. One finds no canal route named, for 
instance, between Philadelphia and Baltimore, yet a 
traveler told the other day of one of the most comic 
incidents on that route. He had heard of it as a 
scenic route; arrived to undertake it, and then found 
only night boats running. This guide says nothing 
of the part St. Joseph, in Missouri, played in the out- 
fitting of the California pioneers. It does not add 
the name of Adirondack Murray to those connected 
with Guilford, Conn. English interest might have 
cared for mention of the Lords Say and Seal, and 
Fenwick, with the name Saybrook. In the list of race 
courses, that of Pimlico, in Maryland, is omitted; 
yet that is now almost the only fort left on the At- 
lantic coast to those who like their racing undiluted. 



298 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

Nor among the hunt clubs are any of the Green 
Spring Valley clubs given the Elkridge Hunt, the 
Patapsco, or the Green Spring itself. On one page 
the following pleasant paragraph concludes with an 
error: 

"Times Square, the center of club and theater 
land. In the middle stands the building of The New 
York Times. The tower (twenty-six stories) is 363 
feet high. The outside walls are of pink granite and 
terra-cotta, and the interior is finely fitted up. Be- 
neath it is a station of the New York Subw r ay. On 
the corner of Forty-fourth Street rises the huge 
Astor House.'' 

On an earlier page the Astor House and the Hotel 
Astor had been dissociated properly enough, so the 
above is plainly only an error in print. Lincoln, 
Neb., is named as having educational and penal in- 
stitutions, but the presence of Mr. Bryan is not 
named in either category. On another page a phrase 
of Henry James' is quoted as summing up the Saint- 
Gaudens statue of General Sherman on the Fifty- 
ninth Street plaza; a figure of dauntless refinement 
it seems Mr. James called it; and for the soldier 
who said war was hell, that seems a singularly inap- 
propriate line. 

However, as already observed, we may cavil as 
we please, the thing we must do, after all that, is to 
admit that the thing has been done excellently. Our 
splendid cities, our magnificent landscapes, our Rock- 
ies, and our rivers, our wealth and our climate are all 
exposed and labeled here, so that all who run over 
from Europe may read. Whether it is Fifth Avenue 



EUROPE COMES TO AMERICA 299 

or the Cliff Walk at Newport that the European 
wishes to inspect, by aid of this volume he can pick 
out all the notable spots, the homes of all the notable 
people. If we thought before now that we had noth- 
ing to show the foreigner, one look at this guide will 
convince otherwise. We are somewhat crowded to 
get into one volume, but some day, no doubt, we will 
deserve two. 

MEANWHILE a great responsibility falls upon 
every one of us. If we are no longer immune from 
the foreign tourist horde, if the German and the 
Frenchman and the Italian and the Englishman of 
idleness and means is hereafter to revisit upon us 
something of the insulting and supercilious inspection 
we have in times past bestowed upon his own lands, 
why, then we will have to get ready to receive. 

Has it ever occurred to you to contrast what Eu- 
rope does for us, in the way of reception, with what 
we do for "those others?" The contrast is wide 
enough. They learn our language and they cater to 
our ways, but there is not one of them who can go 
to the average hotel or railway or police official here 
in the United States and find any knowledge of any 
other tongue than English. You have read the an- 
nouncement that a certain number of Paris police- 
men were also required to be interpreters. You 
don't catch us doing much of that. 

Our argument has been that Europe was a poverty- 
stricken place, and they had to cater to us to earn 
a living. The argument will not wash. We have 
now been added to the Who's Who of travel coun- 
tries, and we must do the civilized thing. Our hotels 



300 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

will have to attempt a little study of European tastes, 
a little smattering of their tongues. In every possible 
way we must try to realize that we are now among 
those present when the tourist of Cosmopolis takes 
out his map of the world and asks himself whom 
next he shall visit. 

The table, like the inevitable wheel of fortune, 
has begun to turn. We may prepare for tourists 
from Europe, each with his little red book, coming in 
swarms to peep at us and our strange ways. Singly 
or in groups they will come ; omnibuses full of them 
may halt before long in Times Square and have the 
scenery and the passing throng explained to them 
in the dialect of Paris or Berlin or Cockaigne. For 
we cannot use the Monroe Doctrine to defeat the 
world's lust for travel. 

II 

OUR CAPITAL GATEWAY 

IT is not my intention to do more than indicate 
some of the first guideposts and gateways to our 
great country. To give to the European visitor even 
no more than glimpses of our continent comes into 
that informative province to which I make no pre- 
tensions. Just a few remarks upon the human com- 
edy as it passes through a typical American gateway 
of travel; just a brief disquisition upon a distinctly 
American specimen of the Personally Conducted 
urban tour; and I am done. 

OF adequate gateways, of railway stations to com- 



EUROPE COMES TO AMERICA 301 

pare with those in Dresden, in Frankfurt, in York or 
many another European town, we had not, until 
lately, much to show. At last, however, in Boston, 
in New York, and in Washington, we have such gate- 
ways to our continental travel of which not even the 
richest country in the world need be ashamed. The 
less we say of the past, the better. For many years 
New York had not one adequate railway station; 
Philadelphia was somewhat better off; but if Balti- 
more has the stations it deserves, then it has never 
been a deserving town. As for what happens when 
you pass south of Washington, or west, it is better 
to keep silence. 

Let us take the station at Washington, a govern- 
ment, not a private enterprise, as our typical gate- 
way. Into that great cave of the winds converge all 
the trains that are to radiate eventually to furthest 
corners of the south and west. As for a typical time 
in which to make our observations, let us choose the 
spring, when all America is passing southward 
through that channel. 

Even the European gateways fall into insignifi- 
cance against these vast marble halls on the banks of 
the Potomac. Only in the newest of the stations in 
New York is there such magnificent sense of space 
and time. As train after train pours in it seems to 
pour into illimitable void. The range of gates that 
greet the issuing passenger are like the horizon- 
touching pinnacles of some awful prison stockade; 
you look in vain for the end; the fence goes on and on 
as far as the eye can follow. In the rotundas you 
have the sense of space and height that fills you 
as you crane your neck in St. Peter's in Rome, or the 



302 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

Duomo in Milan. The crowds of human beings 
seem like tiny ants crawling. Steps and voices re- 
sound in echoes as if you were in some mighty cavern 
of the earth. 

If we may, for the sake of whimsy, endow a rail- 
way train with intelligence, this station at the capital 
must radiate a certain sense of splendid satisfaction. 
For this quarter of an hour we may imagine these 
trains sighing to themselves we taste of luxury. 
Here, for once at least on our long journey, we taste 
of spacious comfort; here we have room and to 
spare; here are all the needful conveniences, and 
even some superfluous ones. It is hard not to give 
way to philosophy in such a place. It has compressed 
within it all the wisdom and experience of the past 
and present, and it hopes to keep pace with the com- 
ing years. What to-day may seem too large, too 
empty, is nothing but the forethinking present's host- 
age against the future. When we are dust, and when 
to-day's machinery is rust, those magnificent spaces 
will be as crowded, no doubt, as were any one of the 
absurd little hives we called railway stations a gen- 
eration ago. All those manifold conveniences of 
home, the barber shops, the special platforms for 
motor cars, and all the rest will be as full as now 
they are empty. 

But this philosophy leads us far astray if it gives 
the impression that such a station has not its mo- 
ments of exuberant life. These come when the fash- 
ionable Florida trains come in. It is then that the 
echoes are galvanized into real activity. Cabs and 
motors suddenly pour furry and fluffy personages 
into those tremendous rotundas ; the red-capped por- 



EUROPE COMES TO AMERICA 303 

ters have a brief period of labor and profit; and on 
the long platforms beside the hissing locomotives 
and the long Pullmans there are New York fashion- 
ables commingling with Washington fashionables, 
the social metropolis meeting the political, and all 
alike bound South. 

IT was there, then, on one of those long-covered 
lanes beside a Florida Special that I walked, the 
other day, with Dundreary Junior. Dundreary, as 
I would not have you forget and as is notorious in 
those fashionable parts of London which are his 
proper habitat, is a handsome youth whose eyes wear 
an air of perpetual amazement. He could look bored 
in several languages, if he knew them; but the only 
language he knows is the London version of our 
tongue, and he uses very little of that. His fame is 
in the silences; a peculiarly British fame. He lives 
up to a tradition, the tradition of the habitually re- 
served Englishman. As to whether his shyness and 
his silence conceal amazing wisdom or sheer stupidity 
authorities will eternally differ. What is quite sure 
is that, save to his close intimates, he shows no other 
front save that of bored and blue-eyed silence. But 
his popularity, especially over here this cannot be 
impressed on you too often ! is conceded even by 
his enemies. 

When last seen Dundreary Junior was riding the 
Ladies' Mile in London. It seems that he took my 
tip to see America, for here, the other day, I had 
word of him being bound South after a too fierce fol- 
lowing of the fashionable hunt in New York, and so 
went to have a chat with him. 



304 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

The pace, as gathered from his staccato speech 
(which you need not expect to find reproduced here 
with any sort of accuracy, since its peculiarly British 
beauties prove too fragile for transmission), had 
become too hot for him in New York. 

"It was gettin'," he said, as we walked up and 
down among millionaires talking of motor races on 
Florida beaches, and beautiful women talking of 
the carnival in New Orleans, "a bit thick. Took your 
tip, don't you see, to do a bit of hig-leef over here. 
Not a bad idea at all, don't you see, to change the 
beat a bit now and then. Beastly bore, don't you see, 
that rotten old Riviera and all that, every winter. 
Same ruddy lot of bounders every year; nothing new; 
might as well stay in the Big Smoke. Tired of hunt- 
in'; bit bored with all the old lot of people; came 
over here. Rippin' lot of swells here, no end, all 
right; but I found I wasn't trained for it, not fit 
enough, pace far too stiff. Sure to come an awful 
cropper if I kept it up. 

"Take this last week for a sample; first night, 
musical tea for those earthquake Johnnies; second 
night, some kind of a 'here's hair' ball for the blind 
pity they couldn't have seen it, too ! third day we all 
got ourselves caricatured by one of these artist chaps 
who do the lightning cartoons at the music halls; 
fourth day they do tableaux from the Rubayiat, and 
I had to look like a jug of wine; and if I stayed 
on another day I dare say there'd have been a supper 
on skates for the victims of that collision at sea. 
Killin' pace, I call it ! Awfully lovely parties and all 
that sort of thing, and some of the girls are a bit of 
all right, you can take it from me ; but it was gettin' 



EUROPE COMES TO AMERICA 305 

to thick for me ; I wasn't feelin' just fit for any more 
of it. The forecast was all for some pretty stiff 
doses of Wagner and Wilde, Strauss and the Rosy 
Cavalier, too; and what with one thing and another 
I thought I'd better be off. Pity to go home so soon ; 
Italy and Sicily and all that have gone back in the 
bettin' a bit lately, and the Atlantic's been about as 
comfortable as Clapham Junction lately. So I 
thought of Florida. What?" 

I had not said anything, but "What?" is Dun- 
dreary Junior's brief way of asking an opinion on 
his present plan. 

I assured him he could not have done better. We 
continued to walk up and down, while the steam 
hissed from the locomotives, and the other passen- 
gers chattered and fluttered. There were travelers 
of vast international experience who compared these 
Florida trains with the Orient Express, or the Nord- 
Sud Express, and you could hear much talk of the 
P-L-M, and of the Southern Belle, and the Flying 
Scotsman. There were pillars of society going to 
Palm Beach, and you heard the names of hotels, the 
Wreckers, and the Ponta Gorda, and the Royal 
Poinsettia; they discussed the cuisine, and the serv- 
ice, and referred to the sunshine with the air of 
being able to pay for it, and therefore determined 
to get it. 

We were reminded of the dear old soul who went 
to one of those cure-resorts chiefly renowned for 
their air and their temperature, and, having surveyed 
her hotel room, turned to her servant with, "John, 
open the window and let in the climate!" There 
were other fashionables going to Aiken, and Pine- 



306 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

hurst, and the Warm Springs. Healthy looking men 
discussed quail shooting in Carolina and duck shoot- 
ing in Texas. You heard the uses and beauties of 
the i6-gauge gun compared with the 12-gauge, and 
the hammerless with the older type. There were 
early birds making for the Mardi Gras at New Or- 
leans, determined to forestall the terrific rush that 
invariably brings discomfort to the general late- 
comer there. There were those going to see Calve 
in "Carmen" in Havana, or to discuss the inaugura- 
tion of a Cuban President. 

And finally there were those who meant to get the 
outdoor best that Florida had to give. 

Of these was Dundreary Junior. Although I 
tried to paint for him the fashionable Florida of the 
hotels, he did not respond with any great enthusiasm. 
1 drew for him, in radiant colors from the rainbow 
of the professional press-agent, the gorgeous gaye- 
ties of life at the Royal Poinsettia and all the 
others. Those marvelous Moorish palaces set in the 
glare of everlasting sunshine; I tried to do them 
justice; but conscience rebelled at mentioning the 
cuisine. Indeed, Dundreary had only to keep his 
ears open to discover that the Florida cuisine is still 
in Punch's category of things one would rather have 
done differently. Still, to the people who like to 
pay the most and get the least, that makes little dif- 
ference; there is always more than one way of out- 
bidding one's neighbor. As the talk took a gastro- 
nomic turn, however, I could not refrain from 
tempting our friend from the path he was on. 



"Ir you would recover your gastric balance. 



" so 



EUROPE COMES TO AMERICA 307 

went my siren song, "leave your train here, come out 
with me through these cold and marble halls and see 
what American cooking really means. We have 
eaten together at the Cafe Anglais in Paris, at Dres- 
sel's in Berlin, and Sacher's in Vienna; we have 
known what Hatchett's in Piccadilly and the Bras- 
serie Universelle can do in the way of a lunch; and 
we once had coffee together at the Imperial in Trento, 
and once watched the lovely ladies from the Pre 
Catalan. Now, what you tasted in New York was 
worth while, but not typical; it was the essential best 
of all the other schools of cooking in the world; it 
was not peculiarly American. 

"If you want to know what American markets and 
American cooking really afford, you must visit either 
Baltimore, or Washington, or Norfolk, or all of 
them. Walk through the markets of Washington 
they are out there with the Congressional Library, 
and the Capitol, and the Washington Monument, 
and all the other sights visited by the 'Seeing Wash- 
ington's cars that await the Personally Conducted 
and you shall see things to remind you of Covent 
Garden market, or the Piazza dell' Erbe in Genoa; 
things to make your mouth water, and make you 
want to be an artist in cookery instead of only a fash- 
ionable young man. Stray back into Lexington Mar- 
ket in Baltimore and see bay shad and strawberries 
and French endives at prices that make you itch to 
start housekeeping on the spot to say nothing of 
the adorable women you will see there and want to 
go housekeeping with. Here you are, racing on to 
Florida, after imaginary alligators and fictitious tar- 
pon, and passing one of the few towns in America 



308 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

that is still a little unspoiled by the mirage of too 
great prosperity. 

"You will not find better cooking in France than 
you will in Baltimore, nor in Louisville finer mint 
juleps, and not in Buda will you find better looking 
women. There are few legends in the world that 
our ageing and our iconoclasm have not shattered, 
but the legend of the beautiful Baltimore women 
comes true every day of sunshine. They are true 
Southerners, creatures of warmth and sunshine; if 
they had a London climate in that town you would 
never know there were other than ugly people there; 
it takes the sun to bring out those butterflies. An en- 
tertaining chapter might be written on the hibernat- 
ing tendencies of the Baltimore belle. . . ." 

At this exact point of approaching the maudlin 
Dundreary Junior interrupted. 

"I say, don't be a bally idiot! I can't shoot alli- 
gators here, can I?" 

No; there are no alligators in either Baltimore or 
Washington; terrapin is the nearest approach. So, 
regretfully, our thoughts were forced back into more 
practical channels. Yet we withdrew, but gradually, 
from the subject of food. I warned my friend of 
what the future and Florida had in store for him. I 
told him fine and fragrant old legends about the rail- 
roads in the South he would presently pass through ; 
legends of the chocolate thumb in the soup plate, and 
the refractory cow on the track; those legends have 
not yet, despite the magnificent labels on the Florida 
Limited Specials, quite joined the ranks of the ex- 



EUROPE COMES TO AMERICA 309 

ploded myths. I told him that if he should find him- 
self sighing for the fleshpots he was not likely to find 
them much nearer than Antoine's in New Orleans. 
Then, unwillingly, at long last: 

"So it's the alligator you're after?'* 

Now that the buffalo is beyond reach of the man 
who, seeing it is a fine day, must go and kill some- 
thing, there is little left on our continent that has 
more fascination than the alligator. The alligator 
will soon join the bison and the American Indian as 
an extinct native; to protect him there should be 
Federal and State legislation, rather than individual 
pursuit. My friend's desire, therefore, filled me 
with regret. I tried to lure him into other Florida 
enchantments; the tarpon, the canoeing across the 
Everglades, capturing manatees, fighting sharks and 
swordfish, and even hunting bees. But he harked 
ever back to the crocodile and the alligator. 

"You mean," I rebuked him finally, "the saurian. 
Never say anything but saurian. It is one of the 
oldest formulas of Florida that you must speak of 
saurians as if they were relations of yours. Just as in 
a recent deplorable disaster at sea you must always 
refer to 'the ill-fated ship/ These things are the 
small change of conversation that is safe always and 
everywhere. They are the cliches of ordinary speech. 
Gelett Burgess called them bromides, but that was 
straining to invent what already existed; France long 
ago dubbed the stereotyped obvious phrase a 'cliche/ 
and the phrase is better than any other. Of course, 
then, if you are determined to hunt the saurian . . ." 

"One of your rotten ha'penny paper jokes, I sup- 



310 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

pose," said Dundreary Junior. And but for an 
amazingly beautiful girl passing by at the moment, 
he would have looked quite vexed. 

I tried to persuade him that it was no joke at all, 
but bitter truth. Drew him away once more from 
the fatal subject; painted duck shooting in the most 
brilliant colors, and went into raptures over house- 
boats that were like palaces upon the Florida water- 
ways, and yachts that glided like gorgeous phantoms 
from one haven of luxury to another. Had him com- 
pare the scenery with his memory of under the 
deodars in India. Warned him that if he had been 
bored stiff in the Circle of the Strangers at Charlie's 
Mount he might be bored still stiffer by the gambling 
in the melancholy garishness of a fashionable Florida 
casino. Asked him to beware of catching speed- 
mania in a motor on the Daytona beach. Yet he only 
made what our ribald Teuton friend called 

"Seelenvoll verlass'ne Oxenaugen" and came 
back to his eternal query: 

"About those alligators, now?" 

So that it was actually with a feeling of relief that 
I heard the cry of "All aboard!" watched the last 
pillar of society pass into the plushed and over- 
heated Pullman, and waved a hand to Dundreary 
Junior with a final, 

"Remember me to the sunshine!" and saw the 
Southern contingent safely on its way. 



EUROPE COMES TO AMERICA 311 
III 

THE PLAIN PEOPLE PERSONALLY CONDUCTED 

IT is with a little glance at Personal Conducting 
that I would conclude this book, which in a peculiar 
rather than a popular sense has skirted that phrase. 
Personal conduct, indeed, seen through the prejudices 
of temperament, is what has informed my pages. 
Meanwhile to deny the existence, or the humor, of 
those who believe in being Personally Conducted, in 
the popular interpretation, is a mistake I do not 
make. Nor need a sophisticated, cynic view of travel 
spoil appreciation of the simpler, more naive spirit, 
in which the majority approaches its wanderings. To 
prove such appreciation still surviving, let me sketch 
such an urban specimen of being Personally Con- 
ducted as may be counted typically American, so that 
the reader may be soothed, as he lays this volume 
down, into a mood of good-natured patriotism. 

WHILE fashionables and cynics manage to achieve 
the further places manage, in short, to populate 
those various resorts to which they long ago lent 
their own adjective the plain people, without the 
least fear of being thought good form or bad form, 
are bent upon having in their own natural and un- 
spoiled way the best time possible that travel can 
give them. Little care they that others sneer at 
tourists; their natural enthusiasm in all things seen 
and heard lifts them superior to small vices and to 
petty pretenses. They are as glad to sit upon a 
"sight-seeing car," that obviously labels them tour- 



312 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

ists, as your fashionable friend would be to announce 
himself a passenger on a millionaire's private rail- 
way car. 

Of the personally conducted, Washington is a fav- 
orite American Mecca. We need not forget in New 
York those torrid days of midsummer when the 
Western cousin is loose in the land and invades our 
feverish life with the breath of his own zestful en- 
thusiasm. We know there are times when it is Niag- 
ara Falls and Delaware Water Gap that the person- 
ally conducted steer for. But as a type it is Wash- 
ington that must serve our purpose. 

The fashionables may turn up their noses as much 
as they like; these people who are seeing their own 
country are not persons to be sneered at. All honor 
to these good folk who are seeing what to them rep- 
resents the utmost civic grandeur of America 
Washington. Let them be fed with somewhat large 
doses of marble and gilt, and with somewhat too 
bitter a scent of the dollar; never mind; having seen 
how splendid our young Nation is decking out its 
chief show town, they are far more fit than they were 
to appreciate the show towns of another hemisphere. 

Certainly it is upon the American taste for mag- 
nificence that the guides of the personally conducted 
love to dwell. You have, if you wish this proved, 
only to listen to the "lecturers" in the "Seeing Wash- 
ington" motor cars. If you have a proper sense of 
proportion and of humor you will be vastly profited 
by such an experience. And the more sophisticated 
you are, the more thoroughly you know your Wash- 
ington, the more will you be amused. 



EUROPE COMES TO AMERICA 313 

THIS is going somewhat too fast. If you hurry 
thus headlong into the party that is being personally 
conducted about the sights of Washington, you will 
have deprived us of an opportunity to consider in 
a large and comparative way the whole tribe of the 
world's personally conducted. And it is by knowing 
the tribe abroad as well as at home that we can best 
appreciate it. 

Glimpses of the personally conducted must cling 
to the memories of even the least traveled. You are 
watching the scenery on the St. Gotthard, let us sup- 
pose, and suddenly you observe that a sort of proces- 
sion is being led through the train. The procession 
is American; there are good looking young women 
in it; and others not so good looking, but all intelli- 
gent and vivacious. There is a shepherd to this 
herd. All their gaze is fixed on this mountain, then 
on that, and you discern a monotonous chant pro- 
ceeding from the shepherd. They are personally 
conducted. At Fluelen they leave you and file upon 
the boat, and then, if you are given to visions, you 
know that every one of these good souls will pres- 
ently pretend curiosity about the Lion of Lucerne, 
while really dreaming of the exact spot where the 
lady of "Three Weeks" leaned over the balcony and 
kissed her Paul. For not even the hard facts of 
guidebooks and the personal conductor can kill the 
romance in the densest mob of damsels ever let loose 
by our schools or our popularity contests. 

Lucerne, in fact, is one of the European heavens 
for the personally conducted. From London the 
Polytechnic people send down droves upon droves; 



3i4 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

they even own a house of their own there, where the 
P. C. victims dwell, one hopes, in perfect accord. 
The Swiss in general, and the people of Lucerne in 
particular, have brought the art of profiting from the 
personally conducted to a point of genius. The 
Washingtonians still have something to learn from 
Lucerne. 

Wherever you go, as so many of these pages have 
insisted, a horde of grim strivers after knowledge is 
likely to file across your horizon. A voice leads 
them. You may be gazing raptly at some picture 
that is not starred in the guidebooks, and the mo- 
ment has for you in consequence its special consecra- 
tion; you feel that you have discovered a beauty that 
the others did not appreciate, you are gloating, you 
are in the very ecstasy of selfish adoration, when 
suddenly a whisper of voices and clatter of feet 
come near; the whispering is louder somehow in 
those rooms than any shout could be, and the band 
of enthusiasts more conspicuous than a riot. 

Again a voice leads them, they form a circle about 
that voice, they stand in rapt adoration while the 
voice hymns one of the accepted masterpieces. Now 
it is a Carlo Dolci, now a Raphael, and now a Man- 
tegna. The voice rises, falls, and finally moves on, 
the circle of worshipers with it. 

In Paris, as you are wending your way to the Bras- 
serie Universelle for a bite of lunch, or to the Street 
of the Fourth of September for a stroll toward the 
Bourse, you find your way blocked by a Juggernaut. 
On top of it they sit, the personally conducted; pres- 
ently they will know more about Paris than you, or, 
at any rate, they will know it differently; a look of 



EUROPE COMES TO AMERICA 315 

resolve is upon their faces, and what the traveling 
American resolves to obtain he usually does obtain. 

So, wherever you go, you will find these friends of 
ours. Yet, here is a strange thing; seldom will you 
find, in after years, one single soul of either sex who 
will admit having "done Europe" in that fashion. 
Where do they all go to, these millions and millions 
whom one has met in every corner of the world, 
members of gangs and droves and armies? Do they 
suffer immediate translation into a future life? Do 
they now tour celestial or diabolic ways? 

Do some of them now listen while Gabriel with his 
trump announces all the sights, and others while 
Lucifer displays a few moving pictures with red fire 
accompaniment? Certain it is that no more than the 
dinners of yesterday are they now in our midst. 

Can it be that in those ultra-sophisticated, bored, 
and wearied travelers who told you only the other 
day that they go every spring to Alassio, you could 
find if you had the proper magic for wiping away 
years and the lies that the years breed those self- 
same folk who first went out into the world per- 
sonally conducted? 

The more you watch the traveling world, the more 
will you be inclined to answer this in the affirmative. 

AGAIN, there is not a little philosophy possible to 
consideration of the many varieties of personal con- 
ducting. Aside from the routine method, can we not 
make the phrase stretch easily over many delightful 
ways? And these, of course, are the ways that are 
not down in any of the books. Most of us have some- 
where a pleaan<- page ^f recollection fouching this 



316 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

or that delightful scene over which we were guided 
by a friend. That was being personally conducted, 
in the closest, most intimate sense of the word. To 
have seen New Orleans with one who knew old 
Madame Begue herself, and who had sung that sweet 
jingle: 

There used to be a tavern by the corner of the road 

to have walked over the battlefields of Chickamauga 
and Lookout Mountain with one who had fought 
over every foot there and then had made each of 
those scenes famous in literature all this is to have 
tasted most sweetly of one sort of personal conduct- 
ing. To have visited our National Cemetery at Ar- 
lington with one who had fought among those now 
lying there so still this also is to have tasted the 
relationship at its best. 

Every other friend, of course, pretends to be an 
expert guide to Paris by night. Why, eternally, by 
night alone? Why must those wretched members 
of a whispering fraternity on the Place de 1'Opera 
suffer so much amateur competition? Have they not 
enough ill-luck in being such bad judges of human 
nature? They have been known to accost, day after 
day, for a week, an old and hardened boulevardier 
for no other reason than that his clothes and his ap- 
pearance in general were somewhat English. 

What, we may well ask, are the wonders that these 
whispering genii expose to those who engage them? 
No doubt there are millions of the personally con- 
ducted who could answer the question, but, alas! 
these are those same millions who disappear into 
sophistication and mendacity. 



EUROPE COMES TO AMERICA 317 

For a season or so perhaps they achieve great 
local renown in this or that western hamlet of the 
plain; they are pointed out as having "done Paris up 
brown, you bet," and the cashier of their local bank 
winks at them and says u gay Paree" now and then 
while cashing a weekly wage. But that passes and 
they reach the scornful state of those who pretend to 
be above guides. 

As a matter of fact or rather of fiction one of 
those Paris guides might be made something of a ro- 
mantic figure in a novel. Henry Harland gave us 
the broken-down musician who played the piano in 
a dive; now the same thing could be done with one 
of those impertinent whisperers on the corner of the 
Cafe de la Paix. 

Quite another type of guide to those wishing to be 
personally conducted about the rose-colored sides of 
the world is the little lady who, if you have been wise 
enough to convince her that you needed it, has taken 
you by the hand and led you as near the real Paris 
as your Anglo-Saxon temperament has permitted. 
Her knowledge is not in any of the books and never 
will be. 

If you submit yourself properly, and if you pay in 
the proper coin, you will learn things that neither 
Vandam nor Muerger nor Locke nor Harland nor 
Du Maurier nor any of the others were able to tell; 
not that they may not themselves at one time have 
known them, but that they are things that die with 
youth, and that by the time you have come to con- 
sider Paris a rather unkempt and dusty town of 
badly managed traffic and ill-fitting morals, you will 
have forgotten altogether. 



3 1 8 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

"Louise, have you forgotten yet . . .?" asked 
a poet once, and the chances are that Louise has not 
forgotten, while you have; that is the way of the 
world, even in Paris, and even in the realm of the 
personally conducted. Over many charming paths 
may Louise have conducted you in the most intimate 
of personal ways, but now, alas ! as for all the others, 
for you, too, sophistication has set in, and Louise is 
gone into the limbo with the singer of Persephone. 
Theocritus was the very first singer of the personally 
conducted; he saw the shepherds and their flocks, 
and he sang of them, and thereby he belongs in this 
present bit of philosophy. 

FROM Theocritus to the pimply youth with the 
megaphone on one of the "Seeing Washington" cars 
is a long jump, but we are able to take it. Everything 
is possible to the glad and gay spirits of our party. 
The phrase has a symbolism; it is one of the most 
used cliches of the tribe; "our party" is the formula 
most constantly used by the experienced guides. 
"The members of our party will meet at such and 
such an hour" . . . "the members of our party 
will be glad to know," etc. 

Our party, then, may be imagined to have made 
the crossing safely, in their minds, from Sicily and 
the fields of which Theocritus sang, to the great space 
in front of the new Union Station at Washington. 
It is from there some of these cars start with their 
freight of the personally conducted. 

More than all else, it is sunshine that enables us to 
complete the analogy. Let it be a day of sunshine in 
Washington, and the personally conducted will in- 



EUROPE COMES TO AMERICA 319 

deed have an experience to remember. For there is 
something about our capital, when the sun shines, 
that takes the chill from those marble immensities, 
and adds humanity to its somewhat frosty splendor. 

It may have been your fortune, in other years, 
to have been personally conducted about the Wash- 
ington that was on just such a day of sunshine; then 
you can never have forgotten the sensation. From 
the old station of the Pennsylvania you came at once 
into the glare of the avenue ; darky boys went singing 
gayly up the street; nobody was in a hurry; old white- 
haired "uncles" offered you violets and arbutus on 
the corners, and couple after couple passed you 
whom at once you knew for bride and bridegroom. 

Well, it is the same to-day. People are still 
young; the sun still shines, and Washington, more 
splendid, more marble, more gilt, is still the Mecca 
of the brides and bridegrooms. Perhaps half the 
young people on the car with you are brides and 
bridegrooms ; let us hope so ; they will have a vapor 
of romance about them that will lessen the somewhat 
material flavor of the "lecture" you are about to 
receive. 

It cannot be denied that the expert guide who 
shows us Washington for a price is somewhat 
removed from romance. Perhaps he is the same all 
over the world. And yet, and yet remembering 
our Mark Twain, we may recall that it was the 
guide's very devotion to the historic and the ro- 
mantic that disturbed the patience of those early 
American pilgrims of the seventies. 

Only onomatopoeia could do justice to the lecture 
to which we are treated as we are personally con- 



320 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

ducted about Washington. These lectures, of 
course, are of the same type everywhere; we have 
them to confusion and in profusion here in New 
York; and we are very bored by them, and yet we 
should not be ; for they add daily to the maintenance 
of that element beloved of George Meredith, the 
Comic Spirit. So let us listen, for a moment, to our 
friend of the pimples and the persuasive song, as 
he sings to us on the Touring Car that is Seeing 
Washington. 

"On your left the addition to the White House 
built in the time of President Rusevelt on your left 
at a total of umpsteen millions, and covering um- 
phaumpha acres, the largest building in the city. And 
in the south on your right, open from 9 A. M. until 
4 P. M. formerly the house wherein Congressman 
Blank resided, now the home of the Indians when 
they visit the Great White Chief, the term they ap- 
ply to the President, open from 9 A. M. until 4 
P. M. on your left; the first house as we turn is 
the most magnificent private mansion in the world, 
costing umpsteen dollars, with a swimming pool in 
the basement, and a private art gallery in the garret, 
built by one of the leading society ladies in Washing- 
ton from designs by the late Stanford White on 
your left, the large white building is the new annex 
for the House of Representatives, to be connected 
with the Capitol by an underground passage cost- 
ing umpsteen and a half millions and covering a 
space of open from 9 A. M. to 4 P. M. " 

And so it goes, until you are in a welter of u on 
your left" and u on your right," and you begin to 
conceive of even the President himself as being 



EUROPE COMES TO AMERICA 321 

open from 9 A. M. until 4 P. M., and you hail with 
infinite relief a sudden and unrehearsed shout from 
the foreman of a street gang. The gang is busy at 
a sewer pipe, and the road is blocked halfway across 
its entire width; as the motor makes a careful ser- 
pentine motion to navigate the narrow channel prop- 
erly, the foreman sings out to the car, with a large 
Irish grin on his face : 

"This sewer was laid by George Washington 
and that's what's the matter with it." 

Whereupon all the carload really drops its timor- 
ous reserve and laughs, and at last, through our Irish 
friend, the ice of being personally conducted is 
broken. 

Our guide, by the way, may be suspected of hu- 
mor, though you never can tell. He gives us the in- 
formation that the statue on the dome of the Capitol 
is u the largest lady in Washington," and we at once 
think of that fine old jest about the lady on top of 
the Siegessauele in Berlin being the only female in 
Berlin "die kein Verhaelthiss hat," and you must get 
a German friend to translate that for you, since our 
own blushes are too much on a hair trigger. 

Also, when the guide avers that in the matter of 
new subterranean passage between the Capitol and 
the annexes this will be the first time in the world 
that "underground legislation has been carried on," 
we suspect him as merely voicing him who wrote the 
lecture, and that must have been a man with humor 
in him. But he of the pimples does not smile; he is 
doubtless too tired of his story to know what smiling 
is. At any rate, the touch about underground legis- 
lation is a fine bit of backhand irony. 



322 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

WHAT sticks out most plainly is that it is the cost 
and the size that are most insisted on in everything 
shown. This building cost that; that covers so many 
acres; and that is the "largest in the world." The 
Congressional Library holds so many books, and the 
gold on the dome is worth so much money; but noth- 
ing is said of the artists who have painted its in- 
teriors. 

Indeed, this is a distinct point: In all the day's 
harangue only the names of Stanford White as archi- 
tect and of Thomas Nelson Page as owner of a 
splendid house were named by this person so fluent 
in dollars and figures. Statues after statues were 
pointed out, but never the name of a single sculptor. 
No villa of an American equivalent to the Munich 
painter, Stuck, is mentioned where those homes of 
millionaires abound. 

Is that not something to be rectified? Surely even 
the plain people who like to be personally conducted 
are reaching a stage where they no longer worship 
the almighty dollar quite to the exclusion of all things 
artistic. 

We know that our millions do gaze upon the fres- 
coes in the Congressional Library, and that thousands 
went only the other day to the Corcoran to see a 
splendid loan collection, and the Saint-Gaudens 
statues, so those same millions and thousands might 
just as well have their personally conducted infor- 
mation leavened with the names of artists in the large 
sense. 

There is a fine touch when we pass the Smithson- 
ian. With a brevity that is fine art at its best, our 
lecturer informs us that it is the gift of u an English- 



EUROPE COMES TO AMERICA 323 

man named Smithson." Ah, if the car were not go- 
ing so fast and the subjects did not change so swiftly, 
what romantic addenda could he not have made to 
that simple statement. "An Englishman named 
Smithson" yes, and one who vowed that when his 
Northumbrian peers were dust his name would be 
known to the world, and we know that he spoke 
truly. 

One wonders if those other many names that we 
hear while personally conducted will last long or 
briefly. All those amazingly splendid houses we 
pass first this well-known millionaire, then that 
Congressman and that Senator, and then again this 
or that "leader of society." 

In the case of the "leader of society," we are not 
moved to ask, "Where did she get it?" but in the 
case of a simple Congressman we may well wonder 
in the same direction. Well, all this adds to the 
speculative philosophy possible for the price of being 
personally conducted. 

It is true that the guide cannot reveal to us the 
old-time life of, say, the Arlington Hotel ; everything 
to-day is emphasis on the cost and history of the 
New Willard. Yet what a Dickenslike period the 
Arlington stood for! Those strange dowager- 
duchess types in the dining-room, those shuffling 
darkies why have their romances never been told? 

Nor was there a word said of Chamberlin and the 
gambling done there. Harvey's was named ; but then 
Harvey's no longer witnesses "old man" Harvey 
himself seeing that your kidneys and your sherry are 
such as a person who knows both should have. Nor, 
as has been hinted, will you be told who made the 



324 VAGABOND JOURNEYS 

statue of Sherman, or of Sheridan, or of Thomas, 
though you may be told what they cost. 

However, we cannot have everything. We can- 
not have the fun of the thing, and all the profit, too. 
Besides, some of us are brides and bridegrooms, and 
content just to sit side by side and listen, and draw in 
the delightful sensation of belonging to the largest 
and richest nation of the world, a nation that is go- 
ing to make its capital the most magnificent capital 
in the world. 

PERHAPS there will always be those who will sigh 
for the old Washington, of the herdics and the old 
confidential darkies who lied picturesquely to you, 
and pointed out the wrong houses all the time. But 
those will be simply sighing for their youth. The 
thing for them to do is to accept the New Washing- 
ton that is growing with great strides of marble and 
park into a more spacious beauty than any Residenz- 
stadt of the old world, as a thing to be eternally 
proud of. 

As for the romance that, too, is like culture and 
like youth; it is a question of temperament; some of 
us have it always, some of us never. 

IF you wish to keep your youth, fare forth on 
journeys. They will start your humor, and humor 
is the half of youth. 



INDEX 



Abbey, Edwin, 69 
Abydos, 45 
Ache, Caran d , in 
Adams, Maude, 85 
Adirondacks, 295 
Akien, 305 
Aix, 1 02 
Alassio, 38 
Alencon, E. d', 142 
Alexander, Geo., 206 
Alexander, J. W., 68 
Allan, Maud, 94 
Ammergau, 76, 83, 167 
Anstey, F., 178 
Antoine's, 309 
Arlington, 316 
Assouan, 41 
Atlantic, 13-39 
Azores, 14, 33 

Baden-Baden, 102 

Baedeker, 22, 44, 58, 287-300 

Bahr, Hermann, 66 

Baltimore, 181, 297, 301, 307 

Barbizon, 15 

Barker, Granville, 169 

Battle Creek, 17 

Bayreuth, 76, 83, 167, 170 

Bayros, F. de, 74 

Beardsley, A., 74, 96 

Beerbohm, Max, 205 

Begas, R. t 182 

Beggarstaffs, The, 81 

Bellevue-Paris, 152 

Berenson, 55 

Berlin, 69, 126, 155, 157-202, 225, 

3i9 

Bernstein, H., 141 
Bernhardt, S., 68 
Bierbaum, O. J., n, 77, 94 
Biskra, 32 
Bismarck, 66, 95 
Blatchford, R., 236 
Bleriot, 137 
Bode, Von, 52 
Boehme, M., 194 
Boeklin, A., 41, 164 
Boetel, H., 161 
Boldini, 142 

Bond Street, 22, 142, 203-223, 284 
Boston, 27, 35, 164, 174-183, 301 
Botticelli, 68 
Boylston Street, 142 
Boulogne, 262 
Brighton, 262, 283 
Broadway, 22 
Broehmse, A., 79 
Brillat-Savarin, 154 
Brownings, The, 58 
Bruant, A., 188 
Buelow, Von, 181 
Bull, Sir William, 236 
Burgess, G., 182, 309 

Cairo, 36, 41 



Cappiello, 115 
Capri, 36 
Cardona, J., 96 
Carlsbad, 102 
Carmencita, 95 
Carpenter, E., 57 
Castellane, B. de, 142 
Cavalieri, L., 161 
Cezanne, 169, 182 
Charpentier, 128 
Chase, Wm., 53, 65 
Chavannes, P. de, 293 
Cheret, J., 96, in 
Chertsey, 270 
Chicago, 13, 130, 177, 297 
Chickamauga, 316 
Christy, H. C, 78 
Cinquevalli, 294 
Cliveden, 252, 256 
Cloud, St., 113 
Collyer, J., 179 
Coney Island, 245 
Cook & Sons, 46, 131 
Cookham, 257 
Connecticut, 243, 254 
Constantinople, 40 
Cordoba, M. de, 79 
Corinth, Louis, 69 
Corot, 84, 181 
Craig, Gordon, 93, 171 
Croker, R., 37 

Dalmatia, 34 
Daly, A., 221 
Davis, R. H., 135 
Davos Platz, 102 
Daytona, 310 
Dearly, M., 142 
Detroit, 35 
Diez, Julius, 69, 171 
Dobson, A., 74 
Dolci, Carlo, 314 
Dover, 262 

Dresden, 168, 170, 301 
Dublin, 171 
Duncan, Isadora, 96 
Durieux, Tilla, 69, 199 

Edward VII, 142, 233 
Egypt, 40-50 
Emerson, 166 
Ems, 103 
Erlanger, C., 128 
Erler, F., 171 
Eton, 285 
Eulenburg, 70 
Eve, Liane d', 95 

Fiesole, 38 

Fifth Ave., 204 

Fisher, H., 78 

Fiume, 34 

Flaubert, 69 

Florence, 36, 51-58, 86, 165, 177, 182 

Florida, 302, 309 



326 

Fluelen, 313 
Folkestone, 262, 268 
Fontainebleau, 1 5 
Forain, in 
Forrestier, H., 79 
Fredericks, 155, 160, 194 
Freksa, F., 170 
Fuller, Loie 96 

Galanis, 76 

Galsworthy, J., 169, 209 
Garden, M., 161 
Gaudens, St., 322 
Gauguin, 182 
Genee, A., 97 
Genoa, 34 
George V, 60 
George, Henry, 233 
Gerome, 41 
Gibraltar, 14, 33 
Gibson, C. D., 78 
Goethe, 86, 89, 170 
Graf, O., 82 
Grillparzer, F., 88 
Guilbert, Y., 96, 171 
Guilford, 272 

Habermann, Von, 70 
Hamburg, 95 
Hammerstein, 221 
Harden, M., 160, 199 
Hardy, Dudley, 81, 96 
Harland, H'y, 317 
Harmsworth, A., 256 
Hart, Jerome, 153 
Harvey, J. C., 154 
Harvey s, 323 
Hassall, J., 81 
Harz, The, 85 
Hatchett's, 307 
Hauptmann. G.. 86, 88 
Havana, 306 
Haymarket, London, 132 
Hearn, L., 49 
Hebbel, 86 
Heilemann, 76 
Heine, T. T.. 171 
Helleu, 142 
Herkomer, H., 180 
Hertenstein, 86, 89-92 
Hewlett, M., 58 
Hichens, R., 32 
Hoffmann, Prof., 173 
Hoffmansthal, Von, 170 
Hohenzollerns, The, 163, 182 
Hollaender, V., 194 



INDEX 



Hyde, T. H., 142 
Hyde Park, 223-237, 
Hyndman, H. M., 57 

Ibsen, 86, 169 

Tagow, Von, 69, 199 
James, H., 58 
Jank, A., 70 



252 



Japan, 40 

Jeunesse, E. La, 142 
Joseph, St. (Mo.), 297 
"Jugend," 69, 78 
Julian's, 55 

Kaulbach. Von, 97 

Keller, V9n, 70 

Kempinski's, 158-164, 194 

Kempton Park, 216 

Kerr, Alfred, 70 

Kissingen, 102 

Kleist, H. Von, 86 

Kley, H., 76 

Klimt, G., 66 

Krause, A., 79 

Kroll's, 161 

Kuessnacht, 89 

Laffitte, 79 

Landor, W. S., 57 

Lang, A., 21? 

Lehar, F., 24, 96, 125 

Leipzig, 6 1 

Lenbach, Von, 66, 70, 95 

Leonardo, 53, 65 

Lieland, Fr., 88 

Liliencron, Von, 201 

Lincke, Paul, 194 

List, G. Von, 87 

Lido, The, 59 

Liverpool, 61, 234 

Lloyd-George, D., 25 

Locke, W. J., 317 

London, 15, 36, 60, 81, 143, 173, 

183-187, 303 
Lortzing, 161 
Loti, P., 32, 40-50 
Louys, P., 128 
Lucerne, 36, 86, 89, 313 
Luxembourg. The, 72, 95, 192 
Luxor, 41, 48 
Lyme, Conn., 16, 83 

Macdonald, Sir C., 206 

Mace, Jem, 242 

Madeira, 14, 33 

Medeleine, M., 94, 97 

Maidenhead, 251, 255 

Makart, H., 95 

Manchester, 61, 324 

Manet, 67, 182 

Mansfield, R., 181 

Mantegna, 314 

Marienbad, 102 

Marigny Theater, 117, 188 

Marguery's, 149 

Maryland. 252, 297 

Martin, Homer, 52, 58 

Mai.irier, du, 15, 97, 188, 317 

Maxim's, 73, 116, 121, 123-134, 188 

May, Phil., 238 

Medici, Lorenzo de, 58 

Mell, Max, 94 

Mendes, C, 112 

Menzel, A., 160 

Merode, Cleo de, 66 



INDEX 



327 



Miehl, F., 79 

Milan, 55 

Miethke Gallery, 66 

Millais, 65, 180 

Miller, Joaquin, 221 

Minneapolis, 37 

Mirbeau, O., n, 112 

Mississippi, 251 

Monet, C., 67 

Monte Carlo, 31, 130, 198, 310 

Montez, l^ola, 99 

Montmartre, 120, 144, 148, 151, 189 

Morgan, J. P., 136, 229, 239 

Moore, Geo., 58, 182 

Morelli, 55 

Morocco, 44 

Moscow, 104 

Moser, Koloman, 173 

Mucha, A. de, 66, 68 

Mueller, 79 

Muensterberg, 167 

Muenzer, A., 69, 81 

Muerger, H., 188, 317 

Munich, 59-100, 175, 235, 322 

Nankivell, F. A., 80 

Naples, 34, 155, 234, 262 

Newcastle-on-Tyne, 61, 234, 281 

Newnham-Davis, 153-155 

New Orleans, 76, 115, 119, 153, 309, 

Newport, 299, 303 

New York, 13, 35, 115, 143, 298, 301 

Nice, 36, 48 

Nietzsche, 83 

Nile, The, 32 

Nobili, R., 54, 58, 182 

Nora, A. de, 98 

Ober-Ammergau, 83, 167 
Orage, A., 57 
Orange in France, 86 
Osiris, 45 
Osterlind, 79 
Otero, 95, 142 
Ouida, 36, 58 

Page, T. N., 322 

Paix, Cafe de la, 112, 135 

Palermo, 34 

"Pan," 70 

Paris, 13, 36, 60, 63, 76, 79, 111-156, 

187-192, 215, 225, 264, 284, 307, 

314, 316 
Parrish, M., 69 



Persia, 44 

3, St., 36, 
Pett-Ridge, W., ^78 



Peter's, 



301 



Philadelphia, 178 
Piccadilly. 22, 106, 184, 205 
Pitti Gallery, 38, 52, 165 
Pittsburgh, 131 
Polaire, 142 
Pomerania, 243, 295 
Pompeii, 35 
Ponta Delgada, 33 
Porto Riche, 169 



Prevost, M., 112 
Prutscher, O., 173 
Putz, Leo, 82 

Queenstown, 37 

Raphael, 53, 314 
Rapallo, 38 
Raven-Hill, L., 81 
Regent Street, 62 
Reid, Whitelaw, 229 
Reinhardt, M., 76, 93, 170 
Re jane, 96 

Recnicek, Von, 73, 77, 96 
Rembrandt, 52 
Ribblesdale, Lord, 207 
Richardson, F., 19 
Richmond in Surrey, 269 
Riviera, The, 304 
Robbe, M., 79 
Robey, Geo., 171 
Roda-Roda, 76, 201 
Rodin, 67, 112, 113 
Roelshoven, 53 
Rome, 36 
Rops, F., 68, 74 
Rossetti, 115, 129 
Rostand, E., 142 
Roubille, 141 
Roux, H. le, 153 
Ruskin, J., 41 

Saharet, 66, 95 

Salem, Mass., 106 

Salis, R., 190 

Saltus, Francis, 152 

San Francisco, 85, 153 

Sargent, John, 65, 69, 95, 180, 205, 

207-209 

Saybrook in Conn., 297 
Schnitzler, A., 125, 169, 201 
Schoenbrunn, 94 
Schopenhauer, 204 
Schwalbach, 102, 108 
Sem, 141 
Seifert, Dora, 80 
Sevres, 74 
Shakespeare, 86 
Shaw, Bernard, 217 
Sheridan, Gen'l, 324 
Sherman, Gen'l, 298, 324 
Sicily, 165, 318 
Simon, T. F., 79 
"Simplicissimus," 74 
Sisley, 182 

Sleyogt, M., 69, 82, 182 
Smithers, L., 209 
Smithson, 322 
Snaith, J. C., 209 
Sorolla, 169 

Sorrento, 33, 36, 155, 26^ 
Sothern, Dundreary, 147 
Soudan, 47 
Spain, 33 
"Spy," 205, 221 
Stamboul, 44 
Stanislawsky, 93 
Stevenson, R. L., n, 49 



328 



INDEX 



Steinlen, in 

Straus, Oscar, 194 

Strauss, R., 97, 168, 170 

Stratford on Avon, 285 

Strozzi, Palazzo, 54 

Stuck, F.. 41, 64, 67, 70, 82, 322 

Sudermann, H., 86 

Suresnes, 121 

Taft, Lorado, 180 
Tennyson, 221 
Teplitz, 203 
Tetrazzini, 161 
Thebes, 41 
Theocritus, 318 
Thoma, H., 79 
Thoma, L., 200 
Thomas, Gen'l, 324 
Thueringen, 296 
Toole, J. L., 147 
Toulouse-Lautrec, 96, in 
Train, Geo. F., 221 
Trent, 156 
Troubetskoi, 142 
Troyon, 84 
Tuscany, 155, 296 
Twain, Mark. 221, 319 

Uffici Gallery, 36, 52, 65, 165, 177 

Vandam, A., 317 
Venice, 59, 262 



Verlaine, P., in, 113, 192 
Versailles, 113, 121, 152 
Vienna, 13, 66, 94, 125, 156, 162, 
173, 200-202, 258, 307 

William of Germany, 162 

Wagner, R M 64, 305 

Waldoff, Claire, 171 

Walkley, A. B., 97 

Wall, Berry, 221 

Wanamaker, J., 248 

Washington, D. C, 31, 179, 300-324 

Watteau 74, 238 

Wedekind, F., 77, 169, 201 

Wertheimers, The, 207 

Wetzel, I. R., 82 

Whistler, 72, 182, 221 

White, Stanford, 322 

Whitechapel, 237 

Whiting, L., 57 

Widmann, J. V., 88 

Wiesbaden, 69, 85, 102, 106 

Wiesenthal Sisters, 94 

Wilde, O., 83, 97, 113, 173, 209, 305 

Willette, A., 79, in 

Windsor, 251 

Wolzogen, E. Von, 86, 153 

Yerkes, 238 

Zorn, A., 65 
Zuloaga, 95, 96, 169 






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