England, London: The future of labor-day


LONDON, Friday, May 9, 1851.

I have spent the forenoon of to-day in examining a portion of the Model
Lodging-Houses, Bathing and Washing establishments and Cooperative Labor
Associations already in operation in this Great Metropolis. My companions
were Mr. Vansittart Neale, a gentleman who has usefully devoted much time
and effort to the Elevation of Labor, and M. Cordonnaye, the actuary or
chosen director of an Association of Cabinet-Makers in Paris, who are
exhibitors of their own products in the Great Exposition, which explains
their chief’s presence in London. We were in no case expected, and enjoyed
the fairest opportunity to see everything as it really is. The beds were
in some of the lodging-houses unmade, but we were everywhere cheerfully
and promptly shown through the rooms, and our inquiries frankly and
clearly responded to. I propose to give a brief and candid account of
what we saw and heard.

Our first visit was paid to the original or primitive Model
Lodging-House, situated in Charles-st. in the heart of St. Giles’s. The
neighborhood is not inviting, but has been worse than it is; the
building (having been fitted up when no man with a dollar to spare had
any faith in the project) is an old-fashioned dwelling-house, not very
considerably modified. This attempt to put the new wine into old bottles
has had the usual result. True, the sleeping-rooms are somewhat
ventilated, but not sufficiently so; the beds are quite too abundant,
and no screen divides those in the same room from each other. Yet these
lodgings are a decided improvement on those provided for the same class
for the same price in private lodging-houses. The charge is 4_d._ (eight
cents) per night, and I believe 2_s._ (50 cents) per week, for which is
given water, towels, room and fire for washing and cooking, and a small
cupboard or safe wherein to keep provisions. Eighty-two beds are made up
in this house, and the keeper assured us that she seldom had a spare one
through the night. I could not in conscience praise her beds for
cleanliness, but it is now near the close of the week and her lodgers do
not come to her out of band-boxes.–Only men are lodged here. The
concern pays handsomely.

We next visited a Working Association of Piano Forte Makers, not far
from Drury Lane. These men were not long since working for an employer
on the old plan, when he failed, threw them all out of employment, and
deprived a portion of them of the savings of past years of frugal
industry, which they had permitted to lie in his hands. Thus left
destitute, they formed a Working Association, designated their own
chiefs, settled their rules of partnership; and here stepped in several
able “Promoters” of the cause of Industrial Organization of Labor, and
lent them at five per cent. the amount of capital required to buy out
the old concern–viz: $3,500. They have since (about six weeks) been
hard at work, having an arrangement for the sale at a low rate of all
the Pianos they can make. The associates are fifteen in number, all
working “by the piece,” except the foreman and business man, who receive
$12 each per week; the others earn from $8 to $11 each weekly. I see
nothing likely to defeat and destroy this enterprise, unless it should
lose the market for its products.

We went thence to a second Model Lodging House, situated near Tottenham
Court Road. This was founded subsequently to that already described, its
building was constructed expressly for it, and each lodger has a
separate apartment, though its division walls do not reach the ceiling
overhead. Half the lodgers have each a separate window, which they can
open and close at pleasure, in addition to the general provision for
ventilation. In addition to the wash-room, kitchen, dining-tables, &c.,
provided in the older concern, there is a small but good library, a
large conversation room, and warm baths on demand for a penny each. The
charge is _2s. 4d._ (58 cents) per week; the number of beds is 104, and
they are always full, with numerous applications ahead at all times for
the first vacant bed. Not a single case of Cholera occurred here in
1849, though dead bodies were taken out of the neighboring alley
(Church-lane) six or eight in a day. So much for the blasphemy of
terming the Cholera, with like scourges, the work of an “inscrutable
Providence.” The like exemption from Cholera was enjoyed by the two or
three other Model Lodging-Houses then in London. Their comparative
cleanliness, and the coolness in summer caused by the great thickness of
their walls, conduce greatly to this freedom from contagion.

The third and last of the Model Lodging-Houses we visited was even more
interesting, in that it was designed and constructed expressly to be
occupied by Families, of which it accommodates forty-eight, and has
never a vacant room. The building is of course a large one, very
substantially constructed on three sides of an open court paved with
asphaltum and used for drying clothes and as a children’s play-ground.
All the suits of apartments on each floor are connected by a corridor
running around the inside (or back) of the building, and the several
suits consist of two rooms or three with entry, closets, &c., according
to the needs of the applicant. That which we more particularly examined
consisted of three apartments (two of them bed-rooms) with the
appendages already indicated. Here lived a workman with his wife and six
young children from two to twelve years of age. Their rent is 6s. ($1.50
per week, or $78 per annum); and I am confident that equal
accommodations in the old way cannot be obtained in an equally central
and commodious portion of London or New York for double the money. Suits
of two rooms only, for smaller families, cost but $1 to $1.25 per week,
according to size and eligibility. The concern is provided with a
Bath-Room, Wash-Room, Oven, &c., for the use of which no extra charge is
made. The building is very substantial and well constructed, is
fire-proof, and cost about $40,000. The ground for it was leased of the
Duke of Bedford for 99 years at $250 per annum. The money to construct
it was mostly raised by subscription–the Queen leading off with $1,500;
which the Queen Dowager and two Royal Duchesses doubled; then came
sundry Dukes, Earls, and other notables with $500 each, followed by a
long list of smaller and smaller subscriptions. But this money was given
to the “Society for Bettering the Condition of the Laboring Classes,” to
enable them to try an experiment; and that experiment has triumphantly
succeeded. All those I have described, as well as one for single women
only near Hatton Garden, and one for families and for aged women near
Bagnigge Wells, which I have not yet found time to visit, are constantly
and thoroughly filled, and hundreds are eager for admittance who cannot
be accommodated; the inmates are comparatively cleanly, healthy and
comfortable; and _the plan pays_. This is the great point. It is very
easy to build edifices by subscription in which as many as they will
accommodate may have very satisfactory lodgings; but even in England,
where Public Charity is most munificent, it is impossible to build such
dwellings for _all_ from the contributions of Philanthropy; and to
provide for a hundredth part, while the residue are left as they were,
is of very dubious utility. The comfort of the few will increase the
discontent and wretchedness of the many. But only demonstrate that
building capacious, commodious and every way eligible dwellings for the
Poor is a safe and fair investment, and that their rents may be
essentially reduced thereby while their comfort is promoted, and a very
great step has been made in the world’s progress–one which will not be
receded from.

I saw in the house last described a newly invented Brick (new at least
to me) which struck me favorably. It is so molded as to be hollow in the
centre, whereby the transmission of moisture through a wall composed of
this brick is prevented, and the dampness often complained of in brick
houses precluded. The brick is larger than those usually made, and one
side is wedge-shaped.

We went from the house above described to the first constructed Bathing
and Washing establishment, George-st. Euston-square. In the Washing
department there are tubs, &c., for one hundred and twenty washers, and
they are never out of use while the concern is open–that is from 9
A. M. to 7 P. M. There is in a separate Drying Room an apparatus for
freeing the washed clothes from water (instead of Wringing) by whirling
them very rapidly in a machine, whereby the water is thrown out of them
by centrifugal force or attraction. Thence the clothes, somewhat damp, are
placed in hot-air closets and speedily dried; after which they pass into
the Ironing-room and are finished. The charge here is 4 cents for two
hours in the Washing-room and 2 cents for two hours in the Ironing-room,
which is calculated to be time enough for doing the washing of an average
family. Everything but soap is supplied. The building is not capacious
enough for the number seeking to use it, and is to be speedily enlarged.
I believe that the charges are too small, as I understand that the concern
merely supports itself without paying any interest on the capital which
created it.

The Female part of the Bathing establishment is in this part of the
building, but that for men is entered from another street. Each has Hot
and Vapor Baths of the first class for 12 cents; second class of these
or first-class cold baths for 8 cents; and so down to cold water baths
for 2 cents or hot ditto for 4 cents each. I think these,
notwithstanding their cheapness, are not very extensively–at least not
regularly–patronized. The first class are well fitted up and contain
everything that need be desired; the others are more naked, but well
worth their cost. Cold and tepid Plunge Baths are proffered at 6 and 12
cents respectively.

I must break off here abruptly, for the mail threatens to close.






LONDON, Thursday, May 15, 1851.

Apart from the Great Exhibition, this is a season of intellectual
activity in London. Parliament is (languidly) in session; the
Aristocracy are in town; the Queen is lavishly dispensing the
magnificent hospitalities of Royalty to those of the privileged caste
who are invited to share them; and the several Religious and
Philanthropic Societies, whether of the City or the Kingdom, are
generally holding their Anniversaries, keeping Exeter Hall in blast
almost night and day. I propose to give a first hasty glance at
intellectual and general progress in Great Britain, leaving the subject
to be more fully and thoroughly treated after I shall have made myself
more conversant with the facts in the case.

A spirit of active and generous philanthropy is widely prevalent in this
country. While the British pay more in taxes for the support of Priests
and Paupers than any other people on earth, they at the same time give
more for Religious and Philanthropic purposes. Their munificence is not
always well guided; but on the whole very much is accomplished by it in
the way of diffusing Christianity and diminishing Human Misery. But I
will speak more specifically.

The _Religious Anniversaries_ have mainly been held, but few or none of
them are reported–indeed, they are scarcely alluded to–in the Daily
press, whose vaunted superiority over American journals in the matter
of Reporting amounts practically to this–that the debates in Parliament
are here reported _verbatim_, and again presented in a condensed form
under the Editorial head of each paper, while scarcely anything else
(beside Court doings) is reported at all. I am sure this is consistent
neither with reason nor with the public taste–that if the Parliamentary
debates were condensed one-half, and the space so saved devoted to
reports of the most interesting Public Meetings, Lectures, &c., after
the New-York fashion, the popular interest in the daily papers would
become wider and deeper, and their usefulness as aids to General
Education would be largely increased. To a great majority of the reading
class, even here, political discussions–and especially of questions so
trite and so unimportant as those which mainly engross the attention of
Parliament–are of quite subordinate interest; and I think less than one
reader in four ever peruses any more of these debates than is given in
the Editorial synopsis, leaving the _verbatim_ report a sheer waste of
costly print and paper.–I believe, however, that in the aggregate, the
collections of the last year for Religious purposes have just about
equaled the average of the preceding two or three years; some Societies
having received less, others more. I think the public interest in
comprehensive Religious and Philanthropic efforts does not diminish.

For _Popular Education_, there is much doing in this Country, but in a
disjointed, expensive, inefficient manner. Instead of one all-pervading,
straight-forward, State-directed system, there are three or four in
operation, necessarily conflicting with and damaging each other. And yet
a vast majority really desire the Education of All, and are willing to
pay for it. John Bull is good at paying taxes, wherein he has had large
experience; and if he grumbles a little now and then at their amount as
oppressive, it is only because he takes pleasure in grumbling, and this
seems to afford him a good excuse for it. He would not be deprived of
it if he could: witness the discussions of the Income Tax, which every
body denounces while no one justifies it abstractly; and yet it is
always upheld, and I presume always will be. If the question could now
be put to a direct vote, even of the tax-payers alone–“Shall or shall
not a system of Common School Education for the United Kingdoms be
maintained by a National Tax?”–I believe Free Schools would be
triumphant. Even if such a system were matured, put in operation, and to
be sustained by Voluntary Contributions alone or left to perish, I
should not despair of the result.

But there is a lion in the path, in the shape of the Priesthood of the
Established Church, who insist that the children shall be indoctrinated
in the dogmas of their creed, or there shall be no State system of
Common Schools; and, behind these, stand the Roman Catholic Clergy, who
virtually make a similar demand with regard to the children of
Catholics. The unreasonableness, as well as the ruinous effects of these
demands, is already palpable on our side of the Atlantic. If, when our
City was meditating the Croton Water Works, the Episcopal and Catholic
Priesthood had each insisted that those works should be consecrated by
their own Hierarchy and by none other, or, in default of this, we should
have no water-works at all, the case would be substantially parallel to
this. Or if there were in some city a hundred children, whose parents
were of diverse creeds, all blind with cataract, whom it was practicable
to cure altogether, but not separately, and these rival Priesthoods were
respectively to insist–“They shall be taught our Creed and Catechism,
and no other, while the operation is going on, or there shall be no
operation and no cure,” that case would not be materially diverse from
this. In vain does the advocate of Light say to them, “Pray, let us give
the children the inestimable blessing of sight, and then _you_ may teach
your creed and catechism to all whom you can persuade to learn them,”
they will have the closed eyes opened according to Loyola or to Laud, or
not opened at all! Do they not provoke us to say that their insisting on
an impossible, a suicidal condition, is but a cloak, a blind, a fetch,
and that their real object is to keep the multitude in darkness? I am
thankful that we have few clergymen in America who manifest a spirit
akin to that which to this day deprives half the children of these
Kingdoms of any considerable school education whatever.

I think nothing unsusceptible of mathematical demonstration, can be
clearer than the imperative necessity of Universal Education, as a
matter simply of Public Economy. In these densely peopled islands, where
service is cheap, and where many persons qualified to teach are
maintaining a precarious struggle for subsistence, a system of General
Education need not cost half so much as in the United States, while
wealth is so concentrated that taxes bear less hardly here, in
proportion to their amount, than with us. Every dollar judiciously spent
on the education of poor children, would be more than saved in the
diminution of the annual cost of pauperism and crime, while the
intellectual and industrial capacity of the people would be vastly
increased by it. I do not see how even Clerical bigotry, formidable as
it deplorably is, can long resist this consideration among a people so
thrifty and saving, as are in the main the wielders of political power
in this country.

_Political Reforms_ move slowly here. Mr. Hume’s motion for Household
Suffrage, Vote by Ballot, Triennial Parliaments, &c. was denied a
consideration, night before last, by the concerted absence from the
House of nearly all the members–only twenty-one appearing when forty
(out of over six hundred) are required to constitute a quorum. So the
subject lost its place as a set motion, and probably will not come up
again this Session. The Ministry opposed its consideration now,
promising themselves to bring forward a measure for the Extension of
the Franchise _next Session_, when it is very unlikely that they will be
in a position to bring forward anything. It seems to me that the current
sets strongly against their continuance in office, and that, between the
hearty Reformers on one side and the out-spoken Conservatives on the
other, they must soon surrender their semblance of power. Still, they
are skillful in playing off one extreme against another, and may thus
endure or be endured a year longer; but the probability is against this.
To my mind, it seems clear that their retirement is essential to the
prosecution of Liberal Reforms. So long as they remain in power, they
will do, in the way of the People’s Enfranchisement, as near nought as

(—-“Nothing could live
Twixt that and silence.”)

Their successors, the avowed Conservatives, will of course do nothing;
but they cannot hold power long in the Britain of to-day; and whoever
shall succeed them must come in on a popular tide and on the strength of
pledges to specific and comprehensive Reforms which cannot well be
evaded. Slow work, say you? Well, there is no quicker practicable. When
the Tories shall have been in once more and gone out again, there will
be another great forward movement like the Reform Bill, and I think not
till then, unless the Continent shall meantime be convulsed by the
throes of a general Revolution.

I should like to see a chance for the defeat of that most absurd of all
Political stupidities, the _Ecclesiastical Titles Assumption Bill_, but
I do not. Persecution for Faith’s sake is most abhorrent, yet sincerity
and zeal may render it respectable; but this bill has not one redeeming
feature. While it insults the Catholics, it is perfectly certain to
increase their numbers and power; and it will do this without inflicting
on them the least substantial injury. Cardinal Wiseman will be the
local head of the Catholic Church in England, whether he is legally
forbidden to be styled “Archbishop of Westminster” or not, and so of the
Irish Catholic prelates. The obstacles which the ministerial bill
attempts to throw in the way of bequests to the Catholic Bishops as
such, will be easily evaded; these Bishops will exercise every function
of the Episcopate whether this Bill shall pass or fail: and their moral
power will be greatly increased by its passage. But the Ministry, which
has found the general support of the Catholics, and especially of the
Irish Catholic Members, very opportune at certain critical junctures,
will henceforth miss that support–in fact, it has already been
transformed into a most virulent and deadly hostility. Rural England was
hostile to the ministry before, on account of the depressing effect of
Free Trade on the agricultural interest; and now Ireland is turned
against them by their own act–an act which belies the professions of
Toleration in matters of Faith which have given them a great hold of the
sympathies of the best men in the country throughout the last half
century. I do not see how they can ride out the storm which they by this
bill have aroused.

The cause of _Temperance_–of Total Abstinence from all that can
intoxicate–is here about twenty years behind its present position in
the United States. I think there are not more absolute drunkards here
than in our American cities, but the habit of drinking for drink’s sake
is all but universal. The Aristocracy drink almost to a man; so do the
Middle Class; so do the Clergy; so alas! do the Women! There is less of
Ardent Spirits imbibed than with us; but Wines are much cheaper and in
very general use among the well-off; while the consumption of Ale, Beer,
Porter, &c. (mainly by the Poor) is enormous. Only think of £5,000,000
or _Twenty-Five Millions of Dollars_, paid into the Treasury in a single
year by the People of these Islands as Malt-Tax alone, while the other
ingredients used in the manufacture of Malt Liquors probably swell the
aggregate to Thirty Millions of Dollars. If we suppose this to be a
little more than one-third of the ultimate cost of these Liquors to the
consumers, that cost cannot be less than _One Hundred Millions of
Dollars per annum!_–a sum amply sufficient, if rightly expended, to
banish Pauperism and Destitution for ever from the British Isles. And
yet the poor trudge wearily on, loaded to the earth with exactions and
burdens of every kind, yet stupifying their brains, emptying their
pockets and ruining their constitutions with these poisonous,
brutalizing liquors! I see no hope for them short of a System of Popular
Education which shall raise them mentally above their present low
condition, followed by a few years of systematic, energetic, omnipresent
Temperance Agitation. A slow work this, but is there any quicker that
will be effective? The Repeal of the Taxes on Knowledge would greatly
contribute to the Education of the Poor, but that Reform has yet to be
struggled for.

Of _Social Reform_ in England, the most satisfactory agency at present
is the Society for improving the Dwellings of the Poor. This Society has
the patronage of the Queen, is presided over (I believe) by her husband,
and is liberally patronized by the better portion of the Aristocracy and
the higher order of the Clergy. These, aided by wealthy or philanthropic
citizens, have contributed generously, and have done a good work, even
though they should stop where they are. The work would not, could not
stop with them. They have already proved that good, substantial,
cleanly, wholesome, tight-roofed, well ventilated dwellings for the Poor
are absolutely cheaper than any other, so that Shylock himself might
invest his fortune in the construction of such with the moral certainty
of receiving a large income therefrom, while at the same time rescuing
the needy from wretchedness, disease, brutalization and vice. Shall not
New-York, and all her sister cities, profit by the lesson?

Of the correlative doings of the organized Promoters of Working Men’s
Associations, Coöperative Stores, &c., I would not be justified in
speaking so confidently, at least until I shall have observed more
closely. My present impression is that they are both far less mature in
their operations, and that, as they demand of the Laboring Class more
confidence in themselves and each other, than, unhappily, prevails as
yet, they are destined to years of struggle and chequered fortunes
before they will have achieved even the measure of success which the
Model Lodging and the Bathing and Washing Houses have already achieved.
Still, I have not yet visited the strongest and most hopeful of the
Working Men’s Associations.

I spent last evening with the friends of ROBERT OWEN, who celebrated his
80th birthday by a dinner at the Cranbourne Hotel. Among those present
were Thornton Hunt, son of Leigh Hunt, and one of the Editors of “The
Leader;” Gen. Houg, an exile from Germany from Freedom’s sake; Mr.
Fleming, Editor of the Chartist “Northern Star;” Mons. D’Arusmont and his
daughter, who is the daughter also of Frances Wright. Mr. Owen was of
course present, and spoke quite at length in reiteration and enforcement
of the leading ideas wherewith he has so long endeavored to impress the
world respecting the absolute omnipotence of circumstances in shaping the
Human Character, the impossibility of believing or disbelieving save as
one must, &c. &c. Mr. Owen has scarcely looked younger or heartier at any
time these ten years; he did not seem a shade older than when I last
before met him, at least three years ago. And not many young men are more
buoyant in spirit, more sanguine as to the immediate future, more genial
in temper, more unconquerable in resolution, than he is. I cannot see many
things as he does; it seems to me that he is stone blind on the side of
Faith in the Invisible, and exaggerates the truths he perceives until they
almost become falsehoods; but I love his sunny, benevolent nature, I admire
his unwearied exertions for what he deems the good of Humanity; and,
believing with the great Apostle to the Gentiles, that “Now abide Faith,
Hope, Charity: these three; but the greatest of these is Charity,” I
consider him practically a better Christian than half those who,
professing to be such, believe more and do less. I trust his life may be
long spared, and his sun beam cloudless and rosy to the last.






LONDON, Monday, May 15, 1851.

I have now been fifteen days in this magnificent Babel, but so much
engrossed with the Exhibition that I have seen far less of the town than
I otherwise should. Of the City proper (in the center) I know a little;
and I have made my way thence out into the open country on the North and
on the West respectively, but toward the South lies a wilderness of
buildings which I have not yet explored; while Eastward the metropolitan
districts stretch further than I have ever been. The south side of Hyde
Park and the main line of communication thence with the City proper is
the only part of London with which I can claim any real acquaintance.
Yet, on the strength of what little I _do_ know, I propose to say
something of London as it strikes a stranger; and in so doing I shall
generally refer to New-York as a standard of comparison, so as to render
my remarks more lucid to a great portion of their readers.

The _Buildings_ here are generally superior to those of our City–more
substantial, of better materials, and more tasteful. There are, I think,
as miserable rookeries here as anywhere; but they are exceptions; while
most of the houses are built solidly, faithfully, and with a thickness
of walls which would be considered sheer waste in our City. Among the
materials most extensively used is a fine white marble[A] of a
peculiarly soft, creamy appearance, which looks admirably until
blackened by smoke and time. Regent-street and several of the
aristocratic quarters west of it are in good part built of this marble;
but one of the finest, freshest specimens of it is St. George’s
Hospital, Piccadilly, which to my eye is among the most tasteful
edifices in London. If (as I apprehend) St. Paul’s Church, Somerset
House, and the similarly smoke-stained dwellings around Finsbury Oval
were built of this same marble, then the murky skies of London have much
to answer for.

Throughout the Western and Northern sections of the Metropolis, the
dwellings are far less crowded than is usual in the corresponding or
up-town portion of New-York, are more diverse in plan, color and finish,
and better provided with court-yards, shrubbery, &c. In the matter of
Building generally, I think our City would profit by a study of London,
especially if our lot-owners, builders, &c., would be satisfied with
London rates of interest on their respective investments. I think four
per cent. is considered a tolerable and five a satisfactory interest on
money securely invested in houses in London.

By the way: the apostles of Sanitary Reform here are anticipating very
great benefits from the use of the Hollow Brick just coming into
fashion. I am assured by a leading member of the Sanitary Commission
that the hollow brick cost much less than the solid ones, and are a
perfect protection against the dampness so generally experienced in
brick houses, and often so prejudicial to health. That there is a great
saving in the cost of their transportation is easily seen; and, as they
are usually made much larger than the solid brick, they can be laid up
much faster. I think Dr. Southwood Smith assured me that the saving in
the first cost of the brickwork of a house is _one-third_; if that is a
mistake, the error is one of misapprehension on my part. The hollow
brick is a far less perfect conductor of heat and cold than the solid
one; consequently, a house built of the former is much cooler in Summer
and warmer in Winter. It is confidently and reasonably hoped here that
very signal improvements, in the dwellings especially of the Poor, are
to be secured by means of this invention. Prince Albert has caused two
Model Cottages of this material to be erected at his cost in Hyde Park
near the Great Exhibition in order to attract general attention to the

The _Streets_ of London are generally better paved, cleaner and better
lighted than those of New-York. Instead of our round or cobble stone,
the material mainly used for paving here is a hard flint rock, split and
dressed into uniform pieces about the size of two bricks united by their
edges, so as to form a surface of some eight inches square with a
thickness of two inches. This of course wears much more evenly and lasts
longer than cobble-stone pavements. I do not know that we could easily
procure an equally serviceable material, even if we were willing to pay
for it. One reason of the greater cleanness of the streets here is the
more universal prevalence of sewerage; another is the positive value of
street-offal here for fertilizing purposes. And as Gas is supplied here
to citizens at 4s. 6d. ($1.10) per thousand feet, while the good people
of New-York must bend to the necessity of paying $3.50, or more than
thrice as much for the like quantity, certainly of no better quality, it
is but reasonable to infer that the Londoners can afford to light their
streets better than the New-Yorkers.

But there are other aspects in which _our_ streets have a decided
superiority. There are half a dozen streets and places here having the
same name, and only distinguished by appending the name of a neighboring
street, as “St. James-place, St. James-st.,” to distinguish it from
several other St. James-places, and so on. This subjects strangers to
great loss of time and vexation of spirit. I have not yet delivered half
the letters of introduction which were given me at home to friends of
the writers in this city, and can’t guess when I shall do it. Then the
numbering of the streets is absurdly vicious–generally 1, 2, 3, 4, &c.,
up one side and down the other side, so that 320 will be opposite 140,
and 412 opposite 1, and so throughout. Of course, if any street so
numbered is extended beyond its original limit, the result is
inextricable confusion. But the Londoners seem not to have caught the
idea of numbering by lots at all, but to have numbered only the houses
that actually existed when the numbering was undertaken; so that, if a
street happened to be numbered when only half built up, every house
erected afterward serves to render confusion worse confounded. On this
account I spent an hour and a half a few evenings since in fruitless
endeavors to find William and Mary Howitt, though I knew they lived at
No. 28 Upper Avenue Road, which is less than half a mile long. I found
Nos. 27, 29, 30, and 31, and finally found 28 also, but in another part
of the street, with a No. 5 near it on one side and No. 16 ditto on the
other–and this in a street quite recently opened. I think New-York has
nothing equal to this in perplexing absurdity.

The _Police_ here is more omnipresent and seems more efficient than
ours. I think the use of a common and conspicuous uniform has a good
effect. No one can here pretend that he defied or resisted a policeman
in ignorance of his official character. The London police appears to be
quite numerous, is admirably organized, and seems to be perfectly docile
to its superiors. Always to obey and never to ask the reason of a
command, is the rule here; it certainly has its advantages, but is not
well suited to the genius of our people.

The _Hotels_ of London are decidedly inferior to those of New-York. I do
not mean by this that every comfort and reasonable luxury may not be
obtained in the London inns for money enough, but simply that the same
style of living costs more in this city than in ours. I think $5 per day
would be a fair estimate for the cost of living (servants’ fees
included) as well in a London hotel as you may live in a first-class
New-York hotel for half that sum. One main cause of this disparity is
the smallness of the inns here. A majority of them cannot accommodate
more than twenty to forty guests comfortably; I think there are not four
in the entire Metropolis that could find room for one hundred each. Of
course, the expense of management, supervision, attendance, &c., in
small establishments is proportionably much greater than in large ones,
and the English habit of eating fitfully _solus_ instead of at a common
hour and table increases the inevitable cost. Considering the National
habits, it might be hazardous to erect and open such a hotel as the
Astor, Irving or New-York in this city; but if it were once well done,
and the experiment fairly maintained for three years, it could not fail
to work a revolution. _Wines_ (I understand) cost not more than half as
much here, in the average, as they do in New-York.

In _Cabs_ and other Carriages for Hire, London is ahead of New-York. The
number here is immense; they are of many varieties, some of them better
calculated for fine weather than any of ours; while the legal rates of
fare are more moderate and not so outrageously exceeded. While the
average New-York demand is fully double the legal fare, the London
cabman seldom asks more than fifty per cent. above what the law allows
him; and this (by Americans, at least) is considered quite reasonable
and cheerfully paid. If our New-York Jehus could only be made to realize
that they keep their carriages empty by their exorbitant charges, and
really double-lock their pockets against the quarters that citizens
would gladly pour into them, I think a reform might be hoped for.

The _Omnibuses_ of London are very numerous and well governed, but I
prefer those of New-York. The charges are higher here, though still
reasonable; but the genius of this people is not so well adapted to the
Omnibus system as ours is. For example: an Omnibus (the last for the
night) was coming down from the North toward Charing Cross the other
evening, when a lady asked to be taken up. The stage was full; the law
forbids the taking of more than twelve passengers inside; a remonstrance
was instantly raised by one or more of the passengers against taking
her; and she was left to plod her weary way as she could. I think that
could not have happened in New-York. In another instance, a stage-full
of passengers started eastward from Hyde Park, one of the women having a
basket of unwashed clothes on her knee. It was certainly inconvenient,
and not absolutely inoffensive; but the hints, the complaints, the
slurs, the sneers, with which the poor woman was annoyed and tortured
throughout–from persons certainly well-dressed and whom I should
otherwise have considered well-bred–were a complete surprise to me. In
vain did the poor woman explain that she was not permitted to deposit
her basket on the roof of the stage, as it was raining; the growls and
witticisms at her expense continued, and women were foremost in this
rudeness. I doubt that a woman was ever exposed to the like in New-York,
unless she was suspected of having Ethiopian blood in her veins.

The _Parks_, _Squares_ and _Public Gardens_ of London beat us clean out
of sight. The Battery is very good, but it is not Hyde Park; Hoboken
_was_ delightful; Kensington Gardens _are_ and ever will remain so. Our
City ought to have made provision, twenty years ago, for a series of
Parks and Gardens extending quite across the island somewhere between
Thirtieth and Fiftieth streets. It is now too late for that; but all
that can be should be done immediately to secure breathing-space and
grounds for healthful recreation to the Millions who will ultimately
inhabit New-York. True, the Bay, the North and East Rivers, will always
serve as lungs to our City, but these of themselves will not suffice.
Where is or where is to be the Public Garden of New York? where the
attractive walks, and pleasure-grounds of the crowded denizens of the
Eastern Wards? These must be provided, and the work cannot be commenced
too soon.


[A] It seems that this plain marble is but an _imitation_–a stone or
brick wall covered with a composition, which gives it a smooth and
creamy appearance.






LONDON, Wednesday, May 21, 1851.

“All the world”–that is to say, some scores of thousands who would
otherwise be in London–are off to-day to the Epsom Races, this being
the “Derby Day,” a great holiday here. Our Juries at the Fair generally
respect it, and I suppose I ought to have gone, since the opportunity
afforded for seeing out-door “life” in England may not occur to me
again. As, however, I have very much to do at home, and do not care one
button which of twenty or thirty colts can run fastest, I stay away; and
the murky, leaden English skies conspire to justify my choice. I
understand the regulations at these races are superior and ensure
perfect order; but Gambling, Intoxication and Licentiousness–to say
nothing of Swindling and Robbery–always did regard a horse-race with
signal favor and delight, and probably always will. Other things being
equal, I prefer that their delight and mine should not exactly coincide.

I am away from the Exhibition to-day for the second time since it
opened; yet I understand that, in spite of the immense number gone to
Epsom (perhaps in consequence of the general presumption that few would
be left to attend), the throng is as great as ever. Yesterday there were
so many in the edifice that the Juries which kept together often found
themselves impeded by the eddying tide of Humanity; and yet there have
been no admissions paid for with so little as one dollar each. Next
Monday the charge comes down to _one_ shilling (24 cents), and it is
already evident that extraordinary measures must be taken to preserve
the Exhibition from choking up. I presume it will be decreed that no
more than Forty, Fifty or at most Sixty Thousand single admissions shall
be sold in one day, and that each apartment, lane or avenue in the
building shall be entered from one prescribed end only and vacated from
the other. The necessity for some such regulation is obviously

The immense pecuniary success of the Exhibition is of course assured. I
presume the Commissioners will be able to pay all fair charges upon
them, and very nearly, if not quite, clear the Crystal Palace from the
proceeds, over $15,000 having been taken yesterday, and an average of
more than $10,000 per day since the commencement. If we estimate the
receipts of May inclusive at $400,000 only, and those of June and July,
at $150,000 each, the total proceeds will, on the 1st of August, have
reached $700,000–a larger sum than was ever before realized in a like
period by any Exhibition whatever. But then no other was ever comparable
to this in extent, variety or magnificence. For example: a single London
house has _One Million Dollars’_ worth of the most superb Plate and
Jewelry in the Exhibition, in a by no means unfavorable position; yet I
had spent the better portion of five days there, roaming and gazing at
will, before I saw this lot. There are three Diamonds exhibited which
are worth, according to the standard method of computing the value of
Diamonds, at least Thirty millions of Dollars, and probably could be
sold in a week for Twenty Millions; I have seen but one of them as yet,
and that stands so conspicuously in the center of the Exhibition that
few who enter can help seeing it. And there are several miles of cases
and lots of costly wares and fabrics exposed here, a good share of which
are quite as attractive as the great Diamonds, and intrinsically far
more valuable. Is there cause for wonder, then, that the Exhibition is
daily thronged by tens of thousands, even at the present high prices?

Yet very much of this immediate and indisputable success is due to the
personal influence and example of the Queen. Had she not seen fit to
open the display in person, and with unusual and imposing formalities,
there would have been no considerable attendance on that occasion; and
nothing less than her repeated and almost daily visits since, reaching
the building a little past nine in the morning (sometimes after being
engrossed with one of her State Balls or other festivities till long
after midnight), could have secured so general and constant an
attendance of the Aristocratic and Fashionable classes. No American who
has not been in Europe can conceive the extent of Royal influence in
this direction. What the Queen does every one who aspires to Social
consideration makes haste to imitate if possible. This personal
deference is often carried to an extent quite inconsistent with her
comfort and freedom, as I have observed in the Crystal Palace; where,
though I have never crowded near enough to recognize her, I have often
seen a throng blockading the approaches to the apartment or avenue in
which she and her cortege were examining the articles exhibited, and
there (being kept back from a nearer approach by the Police) they have
stood gaping and staring till she left, often for half an hour. This may
be intense loyalty, but it is dubious civility. Even on Saturday
mornings, when none but the Royal visiters are admitted till noon, and
only Jurors, Police and those Exhibitors whose wares or fabrics she
purposes that day to inspect are allowed to be present, I have noted
similar though smaller crowds facing the Police at the points of nearest
approach to her. At such times, her desire to be left to herself is
clearly proclaimed, and this gazing by the half hour amounts to positive

I remarked the other evening to Charles Lane that, while I did not doubt
the sincerity of the Queen’s interest in the articles exhibited, I
thought there was some purpose in these continual and protracted
visits–that, for England’s sake and that of her husband, whose personal
stake in the undertaking was so great, she had resolved that it should
not fail if she could help it–and she knew how to help it. Lane
assentingly but more happily observed: “Yes: though she seems to be
standing on _this_ side of the counter, she is perhaps really standing
on _the other_.”–As I regard such Exhibitions as among the very best
pursuits to which Royalty can addict itself, I should not give utterance
to this presumption if I did not esteem it creditable to Victoria both
as a Briton and a Queen. And it is very plain that her conduct in the
premises is daily, among her subjects, diffusing and deepening her



The London Commissioners gave a great Dinner at Richmond, yesterday, to
the foreign Commissioners in attendance on the Exhibition: Lord
Ashburton presiding, flanked by Foreign Ministers and Nobles. The feast
was of course superb; the speaking generally fair; the Music abundant
and faultless. Good songs were capitally given by eminent vocalists,
well sustained by instruments, between the several toasts with their
responses–a fashion which I suggest for adoption in our own country,
especially with the condition that the Speeches be shortened to give
time for the Songs. At this dinner, no Speech exceeded fifteen minutes
in duration but that of Baron Dupin, which may have consumed half an
hour, but in every other respect was admirable. The Englishmen who spoke
were Lords Ashburton and Granville, Messrs. Crace and Paxton; of the
Foreigners, Messrs. Dupin (France), Van de Weyer (Belgian Chargé), Von
Viebhan (Prussian), and myself. Lord Ashburton spoke with great good
sense and good feeling, but without fluency. Lord Granville’s remarks
were admirable in matter but also defective in manner. Barons Van de
Weyer and Dupin were very happy. The contrast in felicity of expression
between the British and the Continental speakers was very striking,
though the latter had no advantage in other respects.

I went there at the pressing request of Lord Ashburton, who had desired
that an American should propose the health of Mr. Paxton, the designer
of the Crystal Palace, and Mr. Riddle, our Commissioner, had designated
me for the service; so I spoke about five minutes, and my remarks were
most kindly received by the entire company; yet _The Times_ of to-day,
in its report of the festival, suppresses not merely what I said, but
the sentiment I offered and even my name, merely stating that “Mr.
Paxton was then toasted and replied as follows.” The _Daily News_ does
likewise, only it says Mr. Paxton’s health was proposed by a Mr.
_Wedding_ (a Prussian who sat near me). I state these facts to expose
the falsehood of the boast lately made by _The Times_ in its
championship of dear newspapers like the British against cheap ones like
the American that “In this country fidelity in newspaper reporting is a
religion, and its dictates are never disregarded,” &c. The pains taken
to suppress not merely what I said but its substance, and even my name,
while inserting Mr. Paxton’s response, refutes the Pharisaic assumption
of The Times so happily that I could not let it pass.–Nay, I am willing
to brave the imputation of egotism by appending a faithful transcript of
what I _did_ say on that occasion, that the reader may guess _why_ The
Times deemed its suppression advisable:

After Baron Dupin had concluded,

HORACE GREELEY, being next called upon by the chair, arose and said:

“In my own land, my lords and gentlemen, where Nature is still
so rugged and unconquered, where Population is yet so scanty
and the demands for human exertion are so various and urgent,
it is but natural that we should render marked honor to Labor,
and especially to those who by invention or discovery
contribute to shorten the processes and increase the
efficiency of Industry. It is but natural, therefore, that
this grand conception of a comparison of the state of Industry
in all Nations, by means of a World’s Exhibition, should there
have been received and canvassed with a lively and general
interest–an interest which is not measured by the extent of
our contributions. Ours is still one of the youngest of
Nations, with few large accumulations of the fruits of
manufacturing activity or artistic skill, and these so
generally needed for use that we were not likely to send them
three thousand miles away, merely for show. It is none the
less certain that the progress of this great Exhibition from
its original conception to that perfect realization which we
here commemorate, has been watched and discussed not more
earnestly throughout the saloons of Europe, than by the
smith’s forge and the mechanic’s bench in America. Especially
the hopes and fears alternately predominant on this side with
respect to the edifice required for this Exhibition–the
doubts as to the practicability of erecting one sufficiently
capacious and commodious to contain and display the
contributions of the whole world–the apprehension that it
could not be rendered impervious to water–the confident
assertions that it could not be completed in season for
opening the Exhibition on the first of May as promised–all
found an echo on our shores; and now the tidings that all
these doubts have been dispelled, these difficulties removed,
will have been hailed there with unmingled satisfaction.

“I trust, gentlemen, that among the ultimate fruits of this
Exhibition we are to reckon a wider and deeper appreciation of
the worth of Labor, and especially of those ‘Captains of
Industry’ by whose conceptions and achievements our Race is so
rapidly borne onward in its progress to a loftier and more
benignant destiny. We shall not be likely to appreciate less
fully the merits of the wise Statesman, by whose measures a
People’s thrift and happiness are promoted–of the brave
Soldier who joyfully pours out his blood in defense of the
rights or in vindication of the honor of his Country–of the
Sacred Teacher by whose precepts and example our steps are
guided in the pathway to heaven–if we render fit honor also
to those ‘Captains of Industry’ whose tearless victories
redden no river and whose conquering march is unmarked by the
tears of the widow and the cries of the orphan. I give you,

“_The Health of Joseph Paxton, Esq._, _Designer of the Crystal
Palace_–Honor to him whose genius does honor to Industry and
to Man!”

If the reader shall discern in the above (which is as nearly literal as
may be–I having only recollection to depend on) the _reason_ why _The
Times_ saw fit to suppress not merely the remarks, but the words of the
toast and the name of the proposer, I shall be satisfied; though I think
the exposure of that journal’s argument for dear newspapers as
preferable to cheap ones, on the ground that the former always gave fair
and accurate reports of public meetings while the latter never did, is
worth the space I have given to this matter. I am very sure that if my
remarks had been deemed discreditable to myself or my country, they
would have been fully reported in _The Times_.



The Queen and Prince Albert spent an hour in the American department a
few mornings since, and appeared to regard the articles there displayed
with deep interest. Prince Albert (who is esteemed here not merely a man
of sterling good sense, but thoroughly versed in mechanics and
manufactures) expressed much surprise at the variety of our
contributions and the utility and excellence of many of them. I mention
this because there are some Americans here who declare themselves
_ashamed of their country_ because of the meagerness of its share in the
Exhibition. I do not suppose their country will deem it worth while to
return the compliment; but I should have been far more ashamed of the
prodigality and want of sense evinced in sending an indiscriminate
profusion of American products here than I am of the actual state of the
case. It is true, as I have already stated, that we are deficient in
some things which might have been sent here with advantage to the
contributors and with credit to the country; but for Americans to send
here articles of luxury and fashion to be exhibited in competition with
all the choicest wares and fabrics of Europe, which must have beaten
them if only by the force of mere quantity alone, would have evinced a
want of sense and consideration which I trust is not our National
characteristic. If I ever _do_ feel ashamed in the American department,
it is on observing a pair of very well shaped and exquisitely finished
oars, labeled, “A Present for the Prince of Wales,” or something of the
sort. Spare me the necessity of blushing for what we _have_ there, and I
am safe enough from shame on account of our deficiencies.

Mr. A. C. Hobbs, of the lock-making concern of Day & Newell, has
improved his leisure here in picking a six-tumbler Bank Lock of Mr.
Chubb, the great English locksmith, and he now gives notice that he can
pick _any_ of Chubb’s locks, or any other based on similar principles,
as he is willing to demonstrate in any fair trial. I trust he will have
a chance.

The Queen quits the Exhibition for a time this week, and retires to her
house on the Isle of Wight, where she will spend some days in private
with her family. I presume the Aristocracy will generally follow her
example, so far as the Exhibition is concerned, leaving it to the poorer
class, to whom five shillings is a consideration. Absurd speculations
are rife as to what “the mob” will do in such a building–whether they
will evacuate it quietly and promptly at night–whether there will not
be a rush made at the diamonds and other precious stones by bands of
thieves secretly confederated for plunder, &c. &c. I do not remember
that like apprehensions were ever entertained in our country; but faith
in Man abstractly is weak here, while faith in the Police, the
Horse-Guards and the Gallows, is strong.–There are always two hundred
soldiers and three hundred policemen in the building while it is open to
the public; and in case of any attempt at robbery, every outlet would
(by means of the Telegraph) be closed and guarded within a few seconds,
while hundreds if not thousands of soldiers are at all times within
call. But they will not be needed.





LONDON, Friday, May 23, 1851.

I have been much occupied, through the last fortnight, and shall be for
some ten days more, with the Great Exhibition, in fulfillment of the
duties of a Juror therein. The number of Americans here (not exhibitors)
who can and will devote the time required for this service is so small
that none can well be excused; and the fairness evinced by the Royal
Commissioners in offering to place as many foreigners (named by the
Commissioners of their respective countries) as Britons on the several
Juries well deserves to be met in a corresponding spirit. I did not,
therefore, feel at liberty to decline the post of Juror, to which I had
been assigned before my arrival, though it involves much labor and care,
and will keep me here somewhat longer than I had intended to stay. On
the other hand, it has opened to me sources of information and
facilities for observation which I could not, in a brief visit to a land
of strangers, have otherwise hoped to enjoy. I spend each secular day at
the Exhibition–generally from 10 to 3 o’clock–and have my evenings for
other pursuits and thoughts. I propose here to jot down a few of the
notes on London I have made since the sailing of the last steamship.



I attended Divine worship in this celebrated edifice last Sunday
morning. Situated near the Houses of Parliament, the Royal Palaces of
Buckingham and St. James, and in the most aristocratic quarter of the
city, its external appearance is less imposing than I had expected, and
what I saw of its interior did not particularly impress me. Lofty
ceilings, stained windows, and a barbaric profusion of carving, groining
and all manner of costly contrivances for absorbing money and labor,
made on me the impression of waste rather than taste, seeming to give
form and substance to the orator’s simile of “the contortions of the
sibyl without her inspiration.” A better acquaintance with the edifice,
or with the principles of architecture, might serve to correct this
hasty judgment; but surely Westminster Abbey ought to afford a place of
worship equal in capacity, fitness and convenience to a modern church
edifice costing $50,000, and surely it does not. I think there is no one
of the ten best churches in New York which is not superior to the Abbey
for this purpose.

I supposed myself acquainted with all the approved renderings of the
Episcopal morning service, but when the clergyman who officiated at the
Abbey began to twang out “Dearly beloved brethren,” &c., in a nasal,
drawling semi-chant, I was taken completely aback. It sounded as though
some graceless Friar Tuck had wormed himself into the desk and was
endeavoring, under the pretense of reading the service, to caricature as
broadly as possible the alleged peculiarity of Methodistic pulpit
enunciation superimposed upon the regular Yankee drawl. As the service
proceeded, I became more accustomed and more reconciled to this mode of
utterance, but never enough so to like it, nor even the responses, which
were given in the same way, but much better. After I came away, I was
informed that this semi-chant is termed _intoning_, and is said to be a
revival of an ancient method of rendering the church service. If such be
the fact, I can only say that in my poor judgment that revival was an
unwise and unfortunate one.

The Service was very long–more than two hours–the Music excellent–the
congregation large–the Sermon, so far as I could judge, had nothing bad
in it. Yet there was an Eleventh-Century air about the whole which
strengthened my conviction that the Anglican Church will very soon be
potentially summoned to take her stand distinctly on the side either of
Romanism or of Protestantism, and that the summons will shake not the
Church only but the Realm to its centre.



In the evening I attended the Ragged School situated in Carter’s-field
Lane, near the Cattle-Market in Smithfield [where John Rogers was burned
at the stake by Catholics, as Catholics had been burned by Protestants
before him. The honest, candid history of Persecution for Faith’s sake,
has never yet been written; whenever it shall be, it must cause many
ears to tingle].

It was something past 7 o’clock when we reached the rough old building,
in a filthy, poverty-stricken quarter, which has been rudely fitted up
for the Ragged School–one of the first, I believe, that was attempted.
I should say there were about four hundred pupils on its benches, with
about forty teachers; the pupils were at least two-thirds males from
five to twenty years old, with a dozen or more adults. The girls were a
hundred or so, mainly from three to ten years of age; but in a separate
and upper apartment ascending out of the main room, there were some
forty adult women, with teachers exclusively of their own sex. The
teachers were of various grades of capacity; but, as all teach without
pay and under circumstances which forbid the idea of any other than
philanthropic or religious attractiveness in the duty, they are all
deserving of praise. The teaching is confined, I believe, to rudimental
instruction in reading and spelling, and to historic, theologic and
moral lessons from the Bible. As the doors are open, and every one who
sees fit comes in, stays so long as he or she pleases, and then goes
out, there is much confusion and bustle at times, but on the whole a
satisfactory degree of order is preserved, and considerable, though very
unequal, progress made by the pupils.

But such faces! such garments! such daguerreotypes of the superlative of
human wretchedness and degradation! These pupils were gathered from
among the outcasts of London–those who have no family ties, no homes,
no education, no religious training, but were born to wander about the
docks, picking up a chance job now and then, but acquiring no skill, no
settled vocation, often compelled to steal or starve, and finally
trained to regard the sheltered, well fed, and respected majority as
their natural oppressors and their natural prey. Of this large class of
vagrants, amounting in this city to thousands, Theft and (for the
females) Harlotry, whenever the cost of a loaf of bread or a night’s
lodging could be procured by either, were as matter-of-course resorts
for a livelihood as privateering, campaigning, distilling or (till
recently) slave-trading was to many respected and well-to-do champions
of order and Conservatism throughout Christendom. And the outcasts have
ten times the excuse for their moral blindness and their social misdeeds
that their well-fed competitors in iniquity ever had. They have simply
regarded the world as their oyster and tried to open its hard shells as
they best could, not indicating thereby a special love of oysters but a
craving appetite for food of some kind. It was oyster or nothing with
them. And in the course of life thus forced upon them, the males who
survived the period of infancy may have averaged twenty-five years of
wretched, debased, brutal existence, while the females, of more delicate
frame and subjected to additional evils, have usually died much younger.
But the gallows, the charity hospitals, the prisons, the work-houses
(refuges denied to the healthy and the unconvicted), with the unfenced
kennels and hiding-places of the destitute during inclement weather,
generally saw the earthly end of them all by the time that men in better
circumstances have usually attained their prime. And all this has been
going on unresisted and almost unnoticed for countless generations, in
the very shadows of hundreds of church steeples, and in a city which
pays millions of dollars annually for the support of Gospel

The chief impression made on me by the spectacle here presented was one
of intense sadness and self-reproach. I deeply realised that I had
hitherto said too little, done too little, dared too little, sacrificed
too little, to awaken attention to the infernal wrongs and abuses which
are inherent in the very structure and constitution, the nature and
essence, of civilised Society as it now exists throughout Christendom.
Of what avail are alms-giving, and individual benevolence, and even the
offices of Religion, in the presence of evil so gigantic and so inwoven
with the very framework of Society? There have been here in all recent
times charitable men, good men, enough to have saved Sodom, but not
enough to save Society from the condemnation of driving this outcast
race before it like sheep to the slaughter, as its members pressed on in
pursuit of their several schemes of pleasure, riches or ambition,
looking up to God for His approbation on their benevolence as they
tossed a penny to some miserable beggar after they had stolen the earth
from under his feet. How long shall this endure?

The School was dismissed, and every one requested to leave who did not
choose to attend the prayer-meeting. No effort was made to induce any to
stay–the contrary rather. I was surprised to see that three-fourths (I
think) staid; though this was partly explained afterwards by the fact
that by staying they had hopes of a night’s lodging here and none
elsewhere. That prayer-meeting was the most impressive and salutary
religious service I have attended for many years. Four or five prayers
were made by different teachers in succession–all chaste, appropriate,
excellent, fervent, affecting. A Hymn was sung before and after each by
the congregation–and well sung. Brief and cogent addresses were made by
the superintendent and (I believe) an American visitor. Then the School
was dismissed, and the pupils who had tickets permitting them to sleep
in the dormitory below filed off in regular order to their several
berths. The residue left the premises. We visiters were next permitted
to go down and see those who staid–of course only the ladies being
allowed to look into the apartment of the women. O the sadness of that
sight! There in the men’s room were perhaps a hundred men and boys,
sitting up in their rags in little compartments of naked boards, each
about half-way between a bread-tray and a hog-trough, which, planted
close to each other, were to be their resting-places for the night, as
they had been for several previous nights. And this is a very recent and
very blessed addition to the School, made by the munificence of some
noble woman, who gave $500 expressly to fit up some kind of a
sleeping-room, so that those who had attended the School should not
_all_ be turned out (as a part still necessarily are) to wander or lie
all night in the always cold, damp streets. There are not many hogs in
America who are not better lodged than these poor human brethren and
sisters, who now united, at the suggestion of the superintendent, in a
hymn of praise to God for all His mercies. Doubtless, many did so with
an eye to the shelter and hope of food (for each one who is permitted to
stay here has a bath and six ounces of bread allowed him in the
morning); yet when I contrasted this with the more formal and stately
worship I had attended at Westminster Abbey in the morning, the
preponderance was decidedly not in favor of the latter.

It seemed to me a profanation–an insult heaped on injury–an
unjustifiable prying into the saddest secrets of the great prison-house
of human woe–for us visiters to be standing here; and, though I
apologised for it with a sovereign, which grain of sand will, I am sure,
be wisely applied to the mitigation of this mountain of misery, I was
yet in haste to be gone. Yet I leaned over the rail and made some
inquiry of a ragged and forlorn youth of nineteen or twenty who sat next
us in his trough, waiting for our departure before he lay down to such
rest as that place could afford him. He replied that he had no parents
nor friends who could help him–had never been taught any trade–always
did any work he could get–sometimes earned six-pence to a shilling per
day by odd jobs, but could get no work lately–had no money, of
course–and had eaten nothing that day but the six ounces of bread given
him on rising here in the morning–and had only the like six ounces in
prospect between him and starvation. That hundreds so situated should
unite with seeming fervor in praise to God shames the more polished
devotion of the favored and comfortable; and if these famishing,
hopeless outcasts were to pilfer every day of their lives (as most of
them did, and perhaps some of them still do), I should pity even more
than I blamed them.

The next night gave me a clearer idea of



The Annual meeting of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society was
held on Monday evening, in Freemasons’ Hall–a very fine one. There were
about One Thousand persons present–perhaps less, certainly not more. I
think JOSEPH STURGE, Esq., was Chairman, but I did not arrive till after
the organization, and did not learn the officers’ names. At all events,
Mr. Sturge had presented the great practical question to the Meeting–“What
can we Britons do to hasten the overthrow of Slavery?”–and Rev. H. H.
GARNETT (colored) of our State was speaking upon it when I entered. He
named me commendingly to the audience, and the Chairman thereupon invited
me to exchange my back seat for one on the platform, which I took. Mr.
Garnett proceeded to commend the course of British action against Slavery
which is popular here, and had already been shadowed forth in the set
resolves afterward read to the meeting. The British were told that they
could most effectually war against Slavery by refusing the courtesies of
social intercourse to slaveholders–by refusing to hear or recognise
pro-slavery clergymen–by refusing to consume the products of Slave Labor,
&c. Another colored American–a Rev. Mr. CRUMMILL, if I have his name
right,–followed in the same vein, but urged more especially the duty of
aiding the Free Colored population of the United-States to educate and
intellectually develop their children. Mr. S. M. PETO, M. P. followed in
confirmation of the views already expressed by Mr. Garnett, insisting that
he could not as a Christian treat the slaveholder otherwise than as a
tyrant and robber. And then a very witty negro from Boston (Rev. Mr.
Heuston, I understood his name), spoke quite at length in unmeasured
glorification of Great Britain, as the land of _true_ freedom and
equality, where simple Manhood is respected without regard to Color, and
where alone he had ever been treated by all as a man and a brother.

By this time I was very ready to accept the Chairman’s invitation to say
a few words. For, while all that the speakers had uttered with regard to
Slavery was true enough, it was most manifest that, whatever effect the
course of action they urged might have in America, it could have no
other than a baneful influence on the cause of Political Reform in this
country. True, it did not always say in so many words that the Social
and Political institutions of Great Britain are perfect, but it never
intimated the contrary, while it generally implied and often distinctly
affirmed this. The effect, therefore, of such inculcations, is not only
to stimulate and aggravate the Phariseeism to which all men are
naturally addicted, but actually to impede and arrest the progress of
Reform in this Country by implying that nothing here needs reforming.
And as this doctrine of “Stand by thyself for I am holier than thou,”
was of course received with general applause by a British audience, the
vices of speaker and hearer reäcted on each other; and, judging from the
specimens I had that evening, I must regard American, and especially
Afric-American lecturers against Slavery in this country as among the
most effective upholders of all the enormous Political abuses and wrongs
which are here so prevalent.

When the stand was accorded me, therefore, I proceeded, not by any means
to apologize for American Slavery, not to suggest the natural obstacles
to its extinction, but to point out, as freely as the audience would
bear, some modes of effective hostility to it in addition to those
already commended. Premising the fact that Slavery in America now
justifies itself mainly on the grounds that the class who live by rude
manual toil always are and must be degraded and ill-requited–that there
is more debasement and wretchedness on their part in the Free States and
in Great Britain itself than there is in the Slave States–and that,
moreover, Free laborers will not work in tropical climates, so that
these must be cultivated by slaves or not at all–I suggested and
briefly urged on British Abolitionists the following course of action:

1. Energetic and systematic exertions to increase the reward of Labor
and the comfort and consideration of the depressed Laboring Class here
at home; and to diffuse and cherish respect for Man as Man, without
regard to class, color or vocation.

2. Determined efforts for the eradication of those Social evils and
miseries _here_ which are appealed to and relied on by slaveholders and
their champions everywhere as justifying the continuance of Slavery; And

3. The colonization of our Slave States by thousands of intelligent,
moral, industrious Free Laborers, who will silently and practically
dispel the wide-spread delusion which affirms that the Southern States
must be cultivated and their great staples produced by Slave Labor or
not at all.

I think I did not speak more than fifteen minutes, and I was heard
patiently to the end, but my remarks were received with no such
“thunders of applause” as had been accorded to the more politic efforts
of the colored gentlemen. There was in fact repeatedly evinced a
prevalent apprehension that I _would_ say something which it would be
incumbent on the audience to resent; but I did not. And I have a faint
hope that some of the remarks thus called forth will be remembered and
reflected on. I am sure there is great need of it, and that
denunciations of Slavery addressed by London to Charleston and Mobile
will be far more effective after the extreme of destitution and misery
uncovered by the Ragged Schools shall have been banished forever from
this island–nay, after the great body of those who here denounce
Slavery so unsparingly shall have earnestly, unselfishly, thoroughly
_tried_ so to banish it.






LONDON, Tuesday, May 27, 1851.

To say, as some do, that the English hate the Americans, is to do the
former injustice. Even if we leave out of the account the British
millions who subsist by rude manual toil, and who certainly regard our
country, so far as they think of it at all, with an emotion very
different from hatred, there is evinced by the more fortunate classes a
very general though not unqualified admiration of the rapidity of our
progress, the vastness of our resources, and the extraordinary physical
energy developed in our brief, impetuous career. Dense as is the
ignorance which widely prevails in Europe with regard to American
history and geography, it is still very generally understood that we
were, only seventy years since, but Three Millions of widely scattered
Colonists, doubtfully contending, on a narrow belt of partially cleared
sea-coast, with the mother country on one side and the savages on the
other, for a Political existence; and that now we are a nation of
Twenty-three Millions, stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific and
from the cane-producing Tropic to the shores of Lake Superior where snow
lies half the year–from Nantucket and the Chesapeake to the affluents
of Hudson’s Bay and the spacious harbors and sheltered roadsteads of
Nootka Sound. And this vast extent of country, the Briton remarks with
pride, we have not merely overrun, as the Spanish so rapidly traversed
South America, but have really appropriated and in good degree
assimilated, so that the far shores of the Pacific, which have but for
three or four years felt the tread of the Anglo-American, are now dotted
with energetic and thriving marts of Commerce, into whose lap gold mines
are pouring their lavish treasures, while a profusion of steamers, ships
and smaller watercraft link them closely with each other, with the
Atlantic States and the Old World, while their numerous daily journals
are aiding to diffuse the English language through the isles of the
immense Pacific, and their “merchant princes” are coolly discussing the
advantages of establishing a direct communication by lines of steamships
with China and opening the wealth of Japan to the commerce of the
civilized world. All this is marked with something of wonder but more of
pride by the ruling classes in Great Britain–the pride of a father
whose son has beaten him and run away, but who nevertheless hears with
interest and gratification that the unfilial reprobate is conquering
fame and fortune, and who with beaming eye observes to a neighbor, “A
wild boy that of mine, sir, but blood will tell!” If the United States
were attacked by any power or alliance strong enough to threaten their
subjugation, the sympathy felt for them in these islands would be
intense and all but universal.

And yet there is another side of the picture, which in fairness must
also be presented. The favored classes in Great Britain, while they
heartily admire the American energy and its fruits, do and must
nevertheless _dread the contagion of our example_; and this dread must
increase and be diffused as the rapidly increasing power, population and
wealth of our country commend it more and more to the attention of the
world. While we were some sixty days distant, and heard of mainly in
connection with Indian fights or massacres, fatal steamboat explosions
or insolvent banks, this contagion was not imminent and did not
seriously alarm; but, now that New-York is but ten days from London, and
New-Orleans (by Telegraph) scarcely more, the case is bravely altered,
and it becomes daily more and more palpable that the United States and
Great Britain cannot both remain as they are. If we in America can have
a succession of capable and reputable Chief Magistrates for £5,000 a
year, of Chief Justices for £1,000, and of Cabinets at a gross cost of
less than £10,000, it is manifest that John Bull, who, loyal as he is,
has a strong instinct of thrift and a pride in getting the worth of his
money, will not long be content to pay a hundred times as much for his
Chief Executive and ten times as much for his Judiciary and Ministry as
we do. It is a question, therefore, of the deepest practical interest to
the British Nation whether the Americans do really enjoy the advantages
of peace, order and security for the rights of person and property
through instrumentalities so cheap, and so dependent on moral force
only, as those devised and established by Washington and his
compatriots. If we have these with a Civil List of less than £1,000,000
sterling, an Army of less than Ten Thousand men, and a Navy (why won’t
it die and get decently buried?) of a dozen or two active vessels, why
should John tax and sweat himself as he does to maintain a Political
establishment which costs him over $150,000,000 a year beside the
interest on his enormous National Debt? If we, without any Church
endowed by law, have as ample and widely diffused provision for Divine
worship and Religious instruction as he has, why should he pay tithes to
endow Lord Bishops with incomes of £10,000 to £80,000 per annum?–These
and similar questions are beginning to be widely pondered here: they
refuse to be longer drowned by the blare of trumpets and the resonant
melody of “God save the Queen!” I know nobody who objects to that last
quoted sentiment, but there are many here, and the number is increasing,
who think there is an urgent and practical need of salvation also for
the People–salvation from heavy exactions, unjust burthens and galling
distinctions. And, as the interest of the Many in the reform of abuses
and the removal of impositions becomes daily more obvious and palpable,
so does the instinctive grasp of the Few to keep what they have and get
what they can become likewise more muscular and positive. And this
instinct absolutely demands a perversion or suppression of the truth
with regard to America–with regard especially to the prevalence of
order, justice and tranquillity within her borders. And not this only:
it is important to this class that it be made to appear that, while
Republican institutions may possibly answer for a time in a rude and
semi-barbarous community of scattered grain-growers and herdsmen, they
are utterly incompatible with a dense population, with general
refinement, the upbuilding of Manufactures and the prevalence of the
arts of civilized life.

Here, then, is the cue to the cry so early and generally raised, so
often and invidiously renewed by the London daily press, of surprise at
the meagerness of our country’s share in the Great Exhibition. Had any
other young nation of Twenty Millions, located three to five thousand
miles off, sent a collection so large and so creditable to its
industrial proficiency and inventive power, it would have been warmly
commended by these same journals; but it is deemed desirable to make an
impression on the public mind of Europe adverse to American skill and
attainment in the Arts, and hence these representations and sneers.

Yet, gentlemen! what would you have? For years you have been devoting
your energies to the task of convincing our people that they should be
content to grow Food and Cotton and send them hither in exchange for
Wares and Fabrics, especially those of the finer and costlier varieties.
You have written reams of essays intended to prove that this course of
Industry and Trade is dictated by Nature, by Providence, by Public
good; and that only narrow and short-sighted selfishness would seek to
overrule it. Well: here are American samples of all the staples you say
our Country _ought_ to produce and be content with, in undeniable
abundance and excellence–Cotton, Wool, Wheat, Flour, Indian Corn, Hams,
Beef, &c., &c., yet these you run over with a glance of cool contempt,
and say we have nothing in the Exhibition! Is this kind or politic
treatment of the supporters of your policy in the States? If a seeming
approximation to your Utopia should subject them to such compliments,
what may they expect from its perfect consummation? Let all our States
become as purely Agricultural as the Carolinas or the lower valley of
the Mississippi, and what would then be your estimation of us? If a
half-way obedience to your counsels exposes us to such disparagement,
what might we fairly expect from a thorough submission?

The vital truth, everywhere demonstrable, is nowhere so palpable as
here–that a diversification of Industrial pursuits is essential not
only to the prosperity and thrift, but also to the education and
intellectual activity of a People. A community which witnesses from year
to year the processes of Agricultural labor only, lacks a stimulus to
mental cultivation of inestimable value. If Europe were to say to
America, “Sit still, and we will send you from year to year all the
Wares and Fabrics you need for nothing, on the simple condition that you
will not attempt to produce any yourselves,” it would be most unwise and
suicidal to accept the offer. For we need not more the Wares and Fabrics
than the skill which fashions and the taste which beautifies them. We
need that multiform capacity and facility of hand and brain which only
experience in the Arts can bestow and diffuse. The National Industry is
the People’s University; to confine it to a few and those the ruder
branches is to stunt and stagnate the popular mind–is to arrest the
march of improvement in Agriculture itself. Hence, nearly or quite all
the modern improvements in Cultivation have been made in immediate
proximity to a dense Manufacturing population; hence Belgium is now a
garden, while Ireland (except the manufacturing North) is to a great
extent stagnant and decaying. Other causes doubtless conspire, as in
England contrasted with Italy and Spain, to produce these results, but
they do not unsettle the general truth that Industry advances through a
symmetric and many-sided development or does not advance at all.

We have yet much to learn in the Arts, but the first lesson of all is a
well-founded confidence in our own artisans, our own capacities, with a
patriotic resolution to encourage the former and develop the latter. And
this confidence is abundantly justified even by what is exhibited here.
While our show of products is much less than it might and less even than
it should have been, those who have really studied it draw thence hope
and courage. No other nation exhibits within a similar compass so great
a diversity of excellence–no other exhibits so large a proportion of
inventions and valuable improvements. Even in the vast apartment devoted
to British Machinery, the number and importance of the American
inventions exhibited (some of them adapted to new uses or improved upon
in this country; others merely incorporated with British improvements),
is very striking. I doubt whether England during the last half century
has borrowed so many inventions from all the world beside–I am sure she
has not from all except France–as she has from the United States. And
yet we are blessed with the presence of sundry Americans here who,
without having examined our contributions, without knowing anything more
about them than they have gleaned from _The Times_ and _Punch_, aided by
a hurried walk through the department, are busily proclaiming that this
show makes them ashamed of their country!

Here is the great source of our weakness–a want of proper pride in and
devotion to our own Industrial interests. Every sort of patriotism is
abundant in America but that which is most essential–that which aids to
develop and strengthen the Nation’s productive energies. No other people
buy Foreign fabrics extensively in preference to the equally cheap and
more substantial products of their own looms, yet ours do it habitually.
I had testimony after testimony from American merchants on the voyage
over, as well as before and since, that foreign fabrics habitually sell
in our markets for ten to twenty per cent. more than is asked for
equally good American products, while thousands of pieces of the latter
are readily sold on the strength of fabricated Foreign marks at prices
which they would not command to customers who would not buy them, if
their origin were known. This is certainly disgraceful to the
seller–what is it to the buyer? The mercantile interest naturally leans
toward the more distant production–the margin for profit is larger
where an article is brought across an ocean, while the cost of a home
made article is so notorious that there is little chance of putting on a
large profit. Give American producers the prices now readily paid
throughout our country for Foreign fabrics and they will grow rich by
manufacturing articles in no respect inferior to the former. But with
only a share of the American market, and this mainly for the coarsest
and cheapest goods, while the purchasers of the more costly and
fanciful, on which the larger profits are made, must have “Fabrique de
Paris” or some such label affixed to render them current, our
manufacturers have no fair chance. While fools could be found to buy
“Cashmere Shawls,” costing fifty to a hundred dollars, for five hundred
to a thousand, under the absurd delusion that they came from Eastern
Asia, the fabrication and the profits were European; let an American
begin to make just such Shawls and the secret is out, so the price sinks
at once to the neighborhood of the cost of production. So with De
Laines, Counterpanes, Brussels Carpetings and fabrics generally; and yet
Americans will talk as though the encouragement given by protective
Duties to home Manufacturers were given at the expense of our consumers.
Vainly are they challenged from day to day to name one single article
whereof the production has been transplanted from Europe to America
through Protection, which has not thereby been materially cheapened to
the American consumer; it suits them better to assume that the duty is a
tax on the consumer than to examine the case and admit the truth. But
delusion cannot be eternal.

That our Country would at some future day work its way gradually out of
its present semi-Colonial dependence on European tastes, European
fashions, European fabrication, even though all Legislative
encouragement were withheld, I firmly believe. The genius, the activity,
the energy, the enterprise of our people conspire to assure it. So the
thief, the burglar, the forger, are certain to suffer for their misdeeds
though all the penalties of human laws were repealed, and yet I consider
state prisons and houses of correction salutary if not indispensable. It
is difficult for even an ingenious and inventive race to make
improvements in an art or process which has no existence among them.
Whitney’s Cotton-Gin presupposed the growth of Cotton; Fulton’s
steamboat the existence of internal commerce and navigation; without
Lowell, Bigelow might have invented a new trap for muskrats but not
looms for weaving Carpets, Ginghams, Coach-Lace, &c. I deeply feel that
our Country owes to mankind the duty of so sustaining her Manufacturing
Industry that further and more signal triumphs of her inventive genius
may yet be evolved and realised, not merely in the domain of Fabrics but
in that of Wares and Metals also, and especially in that of the chief
metal, Iron. Had Iron enjoyed for twenty years such a measure of
Protection among us as Plain Cottons obtained from 1816 through Mr.
Calhoun’s minimum of six cents per square yard, we should, in all
probability, have been producing Iron by this time as cheaply as drills
and sheetings–that is, as cheaply (quality considered) as any nation on
the globe–as cheaply as we produce School-Books, Newspapers, and nearly
every article whereof the American maker is shielded by circumstances
from Foreign competition. Had the Tariff of 1842 but stood unaltered
till this time, who believes that even the greenest and silliest
American could have fancied himself blushing for the meagerness of his
country’s share in the Great Exhibition?






LONDON, Thursday, May 29, 1851.

I have now been four weeks in this metropolis, and, though confined
throughout nearly every day to the Crystal Palace, I have enjoyed large
and various opportunities for studying the English People. I have made
acquaintances in all ranks, from dukes to beggars–all ranks, I should
say, but that which is esteemed the highest. I have of course seen the
Royal family repeatedly at the Exhibition, which is open at all hours to
Jurors, and the Queen times her visits so as to be there mainly while it
is closed to the public. But I have barely seen her party, as I passed
it with a double row of gazers interposed, all eager to catch the
sunlight of Majesty, appearing to care little how much she might be
annoyed or they abased by their unseemly gaping. I hope no Americans
contributed to swell these groups, but after what I have seen here I am
by no means sure of it.

A young countrywoman who has not yet been long enough in Europe to
forget what it cost our forefathers to be rid of all this, but who had
in her own case adequate reasons for desiring a presentation at Court,
gave me some days since a graphic account of the ceremonial, which I
wish I had committed to paper while it was freshly remembered. It is of
course understood that every one presented to her Majesty must appear in
full dress–that of gentlemen (not Military) being a Court suit alike
costly, fantastic and utterly useless elsewhere, while ladies are
expected to appear in rich –> _British_ silk (Free Trade
notwithstanding) with a train three yards long (perhaps it is only three
feet), with plumes, &c. Thus equipped, they proceed to the Palace, where
at the appointed hour the Queen makes her appearance, with her family by
her side and backed by a double row of maids of honor, attendants, &c.
Each palpitating aspirant to the honor of presentation awaits his or her
turn standing, and may thus wait two hours. The Foreign Embassadors have
precedence in presenting; others follow; in due season your name is
called out; you pass before the Royal presence, make your bow or
courtesy, receive the faint suggestion of a response, and pass along and
away to make room for the next customer. Unless you belong essentially
to the Diplomatic circle (being presented by an Embassador will not
answer), you are not allowed to remain and see those behind you take the
plunge, but must hasten forthwith from the presence. And, as ordinary
Humanity has but one aspect in which it is fit to be gazed on by Royal
eyes, you must contrive to quit the presence with your face constantly
turned toward it. Now this need not be difficult for those in masculine
attire, but to the wearers of the rich Spitalfields silks and trains
aforesaid, even though the trains be but three feet long instead of
three yards, the evolution must require no moderate share of feminine
tact and dexterity. It is consoling to hear that all manage to
accomplish it, by dint of severe training through the week preceding the
event; though some are so frightened when the awful moment arrives that
their ghastly visages and tottering frames evince how narrowly they
escape swooning. The fact that it is over in a moment serves materially
to mitigate the torture!

“What ridiculous formalities!–What absurd requirements!” exclaims
Brother Jonathan. No, sir! You are judging without knowledge or without
consideration. These and kindred formalities, considered apart, may be
ludicrous, but, regarded as portions of a system, they are essential. In
a country where everything gravitates so intensely toward the Throne,
there must be impediments to presentation at Court, if the Sovereign is
to enjoy any leisure, peace, comfort, or even time for the most pressing
public duties. There is and should be no absolute barrier to the
presentation of any well-bred, well-behaved person, whether subject or
foreigner; and, if it were as easy as visiting the Exhibition, the Queen
would be required to hold a drawing-room every day, and devote the whole
of it to unmeaning and useless introductions. As the matter is actually
managed, those who have any good reason for it undergo the ceremony,
with many who have none; while the great majority are content with the
knowledge that they _might be_ admitted to the august presence if they
chose to incur the bother and expense. Those who cherish a moth-like
reverence for Royalty indulge it at their own cost and to the advantage
of Trade; weavers, costumers and shop-keepers are very glad to pocket
the money which the presentee must disburse; and even those ladies who
have the _entrée_, and so attend half a dozen drawing-rooms per annum,
are expected to appear at each in a new dress–thus the interests of the
shop are never lost sight of. These Court formalities, Brother J., are
_not_ absurd–very far from it. They are rational, politic, beneficent,
indispensable. Whether it is wise or unwise for _your_ young folks to
subject themselves to the inevitable expense and vexation for the sake
of standing a few feet nearer a Queen, is another affair altogether.
When I contrast these presentations with the freedom and ease (except
when there is a jam) of our Presidential receptions–when I remember
that any whole dress is good enough for the White House, and any honest
man or woman (with some not so honest) may go up on a levee night and be
introduced to the President and his lady, saunter through the rooms,
converse with friends and pass in review half the notables of the
Nation–I deeply realize the superiority of Republicanism to Royalty,
but without seeking to put the new wine into old bottles. The forms
appropriate to our simpler institutions would be utterly unsuitable
here–nay, they would be found impossible.

The Queen left London last week for her private residence on the Isle of
Wight, I supposed for weeks; but she was back in the Exhibition early on
Tuesday morning, and has since been holding a Drawing-Room, giving
Dinners, a Concert, &c. with her accustomed activity. She seems resolved
to make the Exhibition Summer an agreeable one for the Foreigners in
attendance, many of whom are included in her invitations. As the
“shilling days” opened meagerly on Monday, to the disappointment
(perhaps because) of the general apprehension of a crush, and as the
numbers thronging thither have rapidly increased ever since, the Queen’s
renewed countenance receives a good share of the credit, and her
condescension in coming on a “shilling day” is duly commended. It is
already plain enough that the attendance consequent on the cheap
admission is destined to be enormous. To-day over Fifty Thousand paid
their shilling each, over six thousand per hour–to say nothing of the
thousands who came in on season tickets, or as exhibitors, jurors, &c.
The money taken at the doors to-day must have exceeded $12,000, though
no “excursion trains” have yet come in from the Country. These will
begin to pour in next week, by which time it is to be hoped that the
Juries will have completed their examinations if not their awards; for
they will have scanty elbow-room afterward except at early hours in the
morning. I presume there will be Fifty Thousand admissions paid for
during each of the four “shilling days,” of next week. Fridays
henceforth the admission is to be 2s. 6d. (60 cents), and Saturdays 5s.
($1.20), and many believe the Palace will be as crowded on these as on
other days. I doubt.



“The Guild of Literature and Art” will have already been heard of in
America. It is an undertaking of several fortunate authors and their
friends to make some provision for their unsuccessful brethren–for
those who had the bad luck to be born before their time, as well as
those who would apparently have done better by declining to be born at
all. The world overflows with writers who would fain transmute their
thoughts into bread, and lacking the opportunity, have a slim chance for
any bread at all, even the coarsest. No other class has less worldly
wisdom, less practical thrift; no other suffers more keenly from “the
slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” than unlucky authors. If
anything can be done to mitigate the severity of their fate, and
especially if their more favored brethren can do it, there ought to be
but one opinion as to its propriety.

And yet I fear the issue of this project. The world is scourged by
legions of drones and adventurers who have taken to Literature as in
another age they would have taken to the highway–to procure an easy
livelihood. They write because they are too lazy to work, or because
they would scorn to live on the meager product of manual toil. Of
Genius, they have mainly the eccentricities–that is to say, a strong
addiction to late hours, hot suppers and a profusion of gin and water,
though they are not particular about the water. What Authorship needs
above all things is purification from this Falstaff’s regiment, who
should be taught some branch of honest industry and obliged to earn
their living by it. So far, therefore, am I from regretting that every
one who wishes cannot rush into print, and joining in the general
execration of publishers for their insensibility to unacknowledged
merit, that I wish no man could have his book printed until he had
earned the cost thereof by _bona fide_ labor, and that no one could
live by Authorship until after he had practically demonstrated both his
ability and willingness to earn his living in a different way. I greatly
fear the proposed “Guild,” even under the wisest regulations, will do as
much harm as good, by aggravating the prevalent tendency toward
Authorship among thousands who never asked whether the world is likely
to profit by their lucubrations, but only whether _they_ may hope to
profit by them. If the “Guild” should tend to increase the number of
aspirants to the honors and rewards of Authorship, it will incite more
misery than it is likely to overcome.

However, this is an attempt to mend the fortunes of unlucky British
Authors; and as we Americans habitually steal the productions of British
Authorship, and deliberately refuse them that protection to which all
producers are justly entitled, I feel myself fairly indebted to the
class, by the amount of my reading of their works to which Copyright in
America is denied. I meant to have attended the first dramatic
entertainment given at Devonshire House in aid of this enterprise, but I
did not apply for a ticket (price £5) till too late; so I took care to
be in season for next time–that is, Tuesday evening of this week.

The play (as before) was “Not so Bad as We Seem, or Many Sides to a
Character,” written expressly in aid of the “Guild” by Bulwer, and
performed at the town mansion of the Duke of Devonshire, one of the most
wealthy and popular of the British nobility. On the former evening the
Queen and Royal Family attended, with some scores of the Nobility; this
time there was a sprinkling of Duchesses, &c., but Commoners largely
preponderated, and the hour of commencing was changed from 9 to 7½
P. M. The apartment devoted to the performance is a very fine
one, and the whole mansion, though common-place enough in its exterior,
is fitted up with a wealth of carving, gilding, sculpture, &c., which
can hardly be imagined. The scenes were painted expressly in aid of the
“Guild,” and admirably done. The Duke’s private band played before and
between the acts, and nothing had been spared on his part to render the
entertainment a pleasant one. Every seat was filled, and, at $10 each
and no expenses out, a handsome sum must have been realized in aid of
the benevolent enterprise.

The male performers, as is well understood, are all Literary amateurs;
the ladies alone being actresses by profession. Charles Dickens had the
principal character–that of a profligate though sound-hearted young
Lord–and he played it very fairly. But stateliness sits ill upon him,
and incomparably his best scene was one wherein he appears in disguise
as a bookseller tempting the virtue of a poverty-stricken author.
Douglas Jerrold was for the nonce a young Mr. Softhead, and seemed quite
at home in the character. It was better played than Dickens’s. The
residue were indifferently good–or rather, indifferently bad–and on
the whole the performance was indebted for its main interest to the
personal character of the performers. I was not sorry when it was

After a brief interval for refreshments, liberally proffered, a comic
afterpiece, “Mr. Nightingale’s Diary,” was given with far greater
spirit. Dickens personated the principal character–or rather, the four
or five principal characters–for the life of the piece is sustained by
his appearance successively as a lawyer, a servant, a vigorous and
active gentleman relieved of his distempers by water-cure, a feeble
invalid, &c., &c. It is long since I saw much acting of any account, but
this seemed to me perfect; and I am sure the raw material of a capital
comedian was put to a better use when Charles Dickens took to
authorship. The other characters were fairly presented, and the play
heartily enjoyed throughout.

The curtain fell about half an hour past midnight amidst tumultuous and
protracted applause. The company then mainly repaired to the supper
room, where a tempting display of luxuries and dainties was provided for
them by the munificence of their noble host. I did not venture to
partake at that hour, but those who did would be quite unlikely to
repent of it–till morning. Thence they were gradually moving off to
another superb apartment, where the violins were beginning to give note
of coming melody, to which flying feet were eager to respond; but I
thought one o’clock in the morning quite late enough for retiring, and
so came away before the first set was made up. I do not doubt the
dancing was maintained with spirit till broad daylight.



A sumptuous entertainment was given on Wednesday (last) evening by the
“Ancient and Honorable Company of Fishmongers”–this being their regular
annual festival. The Fishmongers’ is among the oldest and wealthiest of
the Guilds of London, having acquired, by bequest or otherwise, real
estate which has been largely enhanced in value by the city’s extension.
Originally an association of actual fishmongers for mutual service as
well as the cultivation of good fellowship, it has been gradually
transformed by Time’s changes until now no single dealer in fish (I
understood) stands enrolled among its living members, and no fish is
seen within the precincts of its stately Hall save on feast-days like
this. Still, as its rents are ample, its privileges valuable, its
charities bounteous, its dinners superlative, its cellars stored with
ancient wines, and its leaning decided toward modern ideas, its roll of
members is well filled. Most of them are city men extensively engaged in
business, two or three of the City’s Members of Parliament being among
them. There were perhaps a dozen Members present, including Lord
Palmerston, Foreign Secretary of State, and Joseph Hume, the
world-known Economist. The chair was filled by “Sir John Easthope, Prime
Warden.” The chairmen of the several Juries at the Exhibition were among
the guests.

Having recently described the Dinner to the Foreign Commissioners at
Richmond, I can dispatch this more summarily, only noting what struck me
as novel. Suffice it that the company, three hundred strong, was duly
seated, grace said, the dinner served, and more than two hours devoted
to its consumption. It was now ten o’clock, and Lord Palmerston, who was
expected to speak and reputed to be rarely gifted with fluency, was
obliged to leave for the Queen’s Concert. Up to this time, no man had
been plied with more than a dozen kinds of wine, each (I presume) very
good, but altogether (I should suppose) calculated to remind the drinker
of his head on rising in the morning. The cloth was now removed and
after-grace sung by a choir, for even _with_ two prayers this sort of
omnivorous feasting at night is not quite healthy. I trust there is no
presumption involved in the invocation of a blessing on such
indulgences, yet I could imagine that an omission of one of the prayers
might be excused if half the dinner were omitted also.

But the eatables were removed, silence restored, and three enormous
flagons, apparently of pure gold, placed on the table near its head. The
herald or toast-master now loudly made proclamation: “My Lord Viscount
Ebrington, my Lord de Mauley, Baron Charles Dupin (&c. &c., reciting the
names and titles of all the guests), the honorable Prime Warden, the
junior Wardens and members of the ancient and honorable Company of
Fishmongers bid you welcome to their hospitable board, and in token
thereof beg leave to drink your healths”–whereupon the Prime-Warden
rose, bowing courteously to his right-hand neighbor (who rose also), and
proceeded to drink his health, wiping with his napkin the rim of the
flagon, and passing it to the neighbor aforesaid, who in turn bowed and
drank to _his_ next neighbor and passed the wine in like manner, and so
the flagons made the circuit of the tables. Then the festive board was
re-covered with decanters, and the intellectual enjoyments of the
evening commenced, the vinous not being intermitted.

The toasts were, “The Queen,” “Prince Albert and the Royal Family,” “The
Foreign Commissioners to the World’s Exhibition,” “The Royal
Commissioners,” “The Army and Navy,” “The House of Lords,” “The House of
Commons,” “The Health of the Prime Warden,” “Civil and Religious
Liberty,” “The Ministry,” “The Bank of England,” &c. The responsive
speeches were made by Baron Dupin for the Foreign Commissioners, Earl
Granville for the Royal ditto, Lord de Mauley for the Peers, Viscount
Ebrington for the Commons, Gen. Sir Hugh de Lacy Evans for the Army,
Solicitor General Wood (in the absence of Lord Palmerston) for the
Ministry, the Deputy-Governor in behalf of the Governor of the Bank of
England, Dr. Lushington in response to Civil and Religious Liberty, and
so on. When Baron Dupin rose to respond for the Foreign Commissioners,
they all rose and stood while he spoke, and so in turn with the Royal
Commissioners, Members of the House of Commons, &c. Earl Granville’s was
the most amusing, Dr. Lushington’s the most valuable speech of the
evening. It briefly glanced at past struggles in modern times for the
extension of Freedom in England, and hinted at similar struggles to
come, pointing especially to Law Reform. Dr. L. is a very earnest
speaker, and has won a high rank at the Bar and in public confidence.

I was more interested, however, in the remarks of Mr. Sergeant Talfourd,
author of “Ion,” and of Sir James Brooke, “Rajah of Sarawak” (Borneo, E.
I.), who spoke at a late hour in reply to a personal allusion. I do not
mean that Mr. Talfourd’s remarks especially impressed me, for they did
not, but I was glad of this opportunity of hearing him. The Rajah is a
younger and more vivacious man than I had fancied him, rather ornate in
manner, and spoke (unlike an Englishman) with more fluency than force,
in self-vindication against the current charge of needless cruelty in
the destruction of a nest of pirates in the vicinity of his Oriental
dominions. From reading, I had formed the opinion that he is doing a
good work for Civilization and Humanity in Borneo, but this speech did
not strengthen my conviction.

Farther details would only be tedious. Enough that the Fishmongers’
Dinner ended at midnight, when all quietly and steadily departed. In
“the good old days,” I presume a considerable proportion both of hosts
and guests would by this time have been under the table. Let us rejoice
over whatever improvement has been made in social habits and manners,
and labor to extend it.






LONDON, Wednesday, June 4, 1851.

Although I have not yet found time for a careful and thorough
examination of the machinery and processes recently invented or adopted
in Europe for the manufacture of cheap fabrics from Flax, I have seen
enough to assure me of their value and importance. I have been
disappointed only with regard to machinery for Flax-Dressing, which
seems, on a casual inspection, to be far less efficient than the best on
our side of the Atlantic, especially that patented of late in Missouri
and Kentucky. That in operation in the British Machinery department of
the Exhibition does its work faultlessly, except that it turns out the
product too slowly. I roughly estimate that our Western machines are at
least twice as efficient.

M. CLAUSSEN is here, and has kindly explained to me his processes and
shown me their products. He is no inventor of Flax-dressing Machinery at
all, and claims nothing in that line. In dressing, he adopts and uses the
best machines he can find, and I think is destined to receive important
aid from American inventions. What he claims is mainly the discovery of a
cheap chemical solvent of the Flax fiber, whereby its coarseness and
harshness are removed and the fineness and softness of Cotton induced in
their stead. This he has accomplished. Some of his Flax-Cotton is scarcely
distinguishable from the Sea Island staple, while to other samples he has
given the character of Wool very nearly. I can imagine no reason why this
Cotton should not be spun and woven as easily as any other. The staple may
be rendered of any desired length, though the usual average is about two
inches. It is as white as any Cotton, being made so by an easy and cheap
bleaching process. M. Claussen’s process in lieu of Rotting requires but
three hours for its completion. It takes the Flax as it came from the
field, only somewhat dryer and with the seed beaten off, and renders it
thoroughly fit for breaking. The plant is allowed to ripen before it is
harvested, so that the seed is all saved, while the tediousness and injury
to the fiber, not to speak of the unwholesomeness, of the old-fashioned
Rotting processes are entirely obviated. Where warmth is desirable in the
fabrics contemplated, the staple is made to resemble Wool quite closely.
Specimens dyed red, blue, yellow, &c., are exhibited, to show how readily
and satisfactorily the Flax-Cotton takes any color that may be desired.
Beside these lie rolls of Flannels, Feltings, and almost every variety of
plain textures, fabricated wholly or in good part from Flax as prepared
for Spinning under M. Claussen’s patent, proving the adaptation of this
fiber to almost every use now subserved by either Cotton or Wool. The
mixtures of Cotton and Flax, Flax-Cotton and Wool, are excellent and
serviceable fabrics.

The main question still remains to be considered–will it _pay_? Flax
may be grown almost anywhere–two or three crops a year of it in some
climates–a crop of it equal to three times the present annual product
of Cotton, Flax and Wool all combined could easily be produced even next
year. But unless cheaper fabrics, all things considered, can be produced
from Flax-Cotton than from the Mississippi staple, this fact is of
little worth. On this vital point I must of course rely on testimony,
and M. Claussen’s is as follows:

He says the Flax-straw, or the ripe, dry plant as it comes from the
field, with the seed taken off, may be grown even here for $10 per tun,
but he will concede its cost for the present to be $15 per tun,
delivered, as it is necessary that liberal inducements shall be given
for its extensive cultivation. Six tuns of the straw or flax in the
bundle will yield one tun of dressed and clean fiber, the cost of
dressing which by his methods, so as to make it Flax Cotton, is $35 per
tun. (Our superior Western machinery ought considerably to reduce this.)
The total cost of the Flax-Cotton, therefore, will be $125 per tun or
six cents per pound, while Flax-straw as it comes from the field is
worth $15 per tun; should this come down to $10 per tun, the cost of the
fiber will be reduced to $95 per tun, or less than five cents per pound.
At that rate, good “field-hands” must be rather slow of sale for
Cotton-planting at $1,000 each, or even $700.

Is there any doubt that Flax-straw may be profitably grown in the United
States for $15 or even $10 per tun? Consider that Flax has been
extensively grown for years, even in our own State, for the seed only,
the straw being thrown out to rot and being a positive nuisance to the
grower. Now the seed is morally certain to command, for two or three
years at least, a higher price than hitherto, because of the increased
growth and extended use of the fiber. Let no farmer who has Flax growing
be tempted to sell the seed by contract or otherwise for the present;
let none be given over to the tender mercies of oil-mills. We shall need
all that is grown this year for sowing next Spring, and it is morally
certain to bear a high price even this Fall. The sagacious should
caution their less watchful neighbors on this point. I shall be
disappointed if a bushel of Flax-seed be not worth two bushels of Wheat
in most parts of our Country next May.

Our ensuing Agricultural Fairs, State and local, should be improved for
the diffusion of knowledge and the attainment of concert and mutual
understanding with regard to the Flax-Culture. For the present, at any
rate, few farmers can afford or will choose to incur the expense of the
heavy machinery required to break and roughly dress their flax, so as to
divest it of four-fifths of its bulk and leave the fiber in a state for
easy transportation to the central points at which Flax-Cotton machinery
may be put in operation. If the Flax-straw has to be hauled fifty or
sixty miles over country roads to find a purchaser or breaking-machine,
the cost of such transportation will nearly eat up the proceeds. If the
farmers of any township can be assured beforehand that suitable
machinery will next Summer be put up within a few miles of them, and a
market there created for their Flax, its growth will be greatly
extended. And if intelligent, energetic, responsible men will now turn
their thoughts toward the procuring and setting up of the best
Flax-breaking machinery (not for fully dressing but merely for
separating the fibre from the bulk of the woody substance it incloses)
they may proceed to make contracts with their neighboring farmers for
Flax-straw to be delivered in the Autumn of next year on terms highly
advantageous to both parties. The Flax thus roughly dressed may be
transported even a hundred miles to market at a moderate cost, and there
can be no reasonable doubt of its commanding a good price. M. Claussen
assures me that he could now buy and profitably use almost any quantity
of such Flax if it were to be had. The only reason (he says) why there
are not now any number of spindles and looms running on Flax-Cotton is
the want of the raw material. (His patent is hardly yet three mouths
old.) Taking dressed and hetcheled Flax, worth seven to nine cents per
pound, and transforming it into Flax-Cotton while Cotton is no higher
than at present, would not pay.

Of course, there will be disappointments, mistakes, unforeseen
difficulties, disasters, in Flax-growing and the consequent fabrications
hereafter as heretofore. I do not presume that every man who now rushes
into Flax will make his fortune; I presume many will incur losses. I
counsel and urge the fullest inquiry, the most careful calculations,
preliminary to any decisive action. But that such inquiry will lead to
very extensive Flax-sowing next year,–to the erection of Flax-breaking
machinery at a thousand points where none such have ever yet
existed–and ultimately to the firm establishment of new and most
important branches of industry, I cannot doubt. Our own country is
better situated than any other to take the lead in the Flax-business;
her abundance of cheap, fertile soil and of cheap seed, the intelligence
of her producers, the general diffusion of water or steam power, and our
present superiority in Flax-breaking machinery, all point to this
result. It will be unfortunate alike for our credit and our prosperity
if we indolently or heedlessly suffer other nations to take the lead in

_P. S._–M. Claussen has also a Circular Loom in the Exhibition, wherein
Bagging, Hosiery, &c., may be woven without a seam or anything like one.
This loom may be operated by a very light hand-power (of course, steam
or water is cheaper), and it does its work rapidly and faultlessly. I
mention this only as proof of his inventive genius, and to corroborate
the favorable impression he made on me. I have seen nothing more
ingenious in the immense department devoted to British Machinery than
this loom.

I understand that overtures have been made to M. Claussen for the
purchase of his American patent, but as yet without definite result.
This, however, is not material. Whether the patent is sold or held,
there will next year be parties ready to buy roughly dressed Flax to
work up under it, and it is preparation to grow such Flax that I am
urging. I believe nothing more important or more auspicious to our
Farming Interest has occurred for years than this discovery by M.
Claussen. He made it in Brazil, while engaged in the growth of Cotton.
It will not supersede Cotton, but it will render it no longer
indispensable by providing a substitute equally cheap, equally
serviceable, and which may be grown almost everywhere. This cannot be
realized too soon.






LONDON, Friday, June 6, 1851.

The great “Exposition” (as the French more accurately term it) has now
been more than five weeks open, and is nearly complete. You may wander
for miles through its richly fringed avenues without hearing the sound
of saw or hammer, except in the space allotted to Russia, which is now
boarded up on all sides, and in which some twenty or thirty men are at
work erecting stands, unpacking and arranging fabrics, &c. I visited it
yesterday, and inferred that the work is pushed night and day, since a
part of the workmen were asleep (under canvas) at 2 o’clock. This
apartment promises to be most attractive when opened to the public. Its
contents will not be numerous, but among them are very large and showy
manufactures of Porcelain, Bronze, &c., and tables of the finest
Malachite, a single piece weighing (I think) nearly or quite half a ton.
Not half the wares are yet displayed, but “Russia” will be the center of
attraction for some days after it is thrown open.

The Exhibition has become a steady, business-like concern. The four
“shilling days” of each week are improved and enjoyed by the common
people, who quietly put to shame the speculation of the Aristocratic
oracles as to their probable behavior in such a magazine of wealth and
splendor–whether they might not make a general rush on the precious
stones, plate and other valuables here staring them in the face, with
often but a single policeman in sight–whether they might not refuse to
leave at the hour of closing, &c., &c. The gates are surrounded a little
before ten in the morning by a gathering, deepening crowd, but all
friendly and peaceable; and when they open at the stroke of the clock, a
dense column pours in through each aperture, each paying his shilling as
he passes (no tickets being used and no change given–the holders of
season, jurors’ and exhibitors’ tickets have separate entrances), and
all proceeding as smoothly as swiftly. Within half an hour, ten thousand
shillings will have thus been taken: within the next hour, ten thousand
more; thence the admissions fall off; but the number ranges pretty
regularly from Forty to Fifty Thousand per day, making the daily
receipts from $10,000 to $12,000. Yesterday was a great Race Day at
Ascot, attended by the Queen and Royal Family, as also by most of the
habitual idlers, with a multitude beside (and a miserably raw, rainy,
chilly day they had of it, with very poor racing), yet I should say that
the attendance at the Exhibition was greater than ever before. Certainly
not less than fifty thousand shillings, or $12,000, can have been taken.
For hours, the Grand Avenue, which is nearly or quite half a mile long
and at least thirty feet wide, was so filled with the moving mass that
no vacant spaces could be seen from any position commanding an extensive
prospect, though small ones were occasionally discoverable while
threading the mazes of the throng. The visiters were constantly turning
off into one or another department according to their several tastes;
but their places were as constantly supplied either by new-comers or by
those who, having completed their examinations in one department, were
hastening to another, or looking for one especially attractive. Turn
into whatever corner you might, there were clusters of deeply interested
gazers, intent on making the most of their day and their shilling, while
in the quieter nooks from 1 to 3 o’clock might be seen families or
parties eating the lunch which, with a prophetic foresight of the
miserable quality and exorbitant price of the viands served to you in
the spacious Refreshment Saloons, they had wisely brought from home. But
these saloons were also crowded from an early to a late hour, as they
are almost every day, and I presume the concern which paid a high price
for the exclusive privilege of ministering to the physical appetites
within the Crystal Palace will make a fortune by it, though the
interdiction of Wines and Liquors must prove a serious drawback. It must
try the patience of some of the visiters to do without their beer or ale
from morning to night; and if you leave the building on any pretext,
your shilling is gone. Every actual need of the day is provided for
inside, even to the washing of face and hands (price 2d.). But Night
falls, and the gigantic hive is deserted and closed, leaving its fairy
halls, its infinite wealth, its wondrous achievements, whether of Nature
or of Art, to darkness and silence. Of course, a watch is kept, and,
under pressing and peculiar circumstances, work has been permitted; but
the treasures here collected must be guarded with scrupulous vigilance.
If a fire should consume the Crystal Palace, the inevitable loss must
exceed One Hundred Millions of Dollars, even supposing that a few of the
most precious articles should be snatched from the swift destruction.
Ten minutes without wind, or five with it, would suffice to wrap the
whole immense magazine in flames, and not a hundredth part of the value
of building and contents would remain at the close of another hour.



The Exhibition is destined to contribute immensely to the Industrial and
Practical Education of the British People. The cheap Excursion Trains
from the Country have hardly commenced running yet; but it is certain
that a large proportion of the mechanics, artisans and apprentices of
the manufacturing towns and districts will spend one or two days each in
the Palace before it closes. Superficial as such a view of its contents
must be, it will have important results. Each artisan will naturally be
led to compare the products of his own trade with those in the same line
from other Nations, especially the most successful, and will be
stimulated to discern and master the point wherein his own and his
neighbor’s efforts have hitherto comparatively failed. Of a million who
come to gaze, only an hundred thousand may come with any clear idea of
profiting by the show, and but half of those succeed in carrying back
more wisdom than they brought here; yet even those are quite an army;
and fifty thousand skilled artisans or sharp-eyed apprentices viewing
such an Exposition aright and going home to ponder and dream upon it,
cannot fail of working out great triumphs. The British mind is more
fertile in improvement than in absolute invention, as is here
demonstrated, especially in the department of Machinery; and the simple
adaptation of the forces now attained, the principles established, the
machines already invented, to all the beneficent uses of which they are
capable, would speedily transform the Industrial and Social condition of
mankind. I am perfectly satisfied, for example, that Boots and Shoes may
be cut out and made up by machinery with less than one-fourth the labor
now required–that this would require no absolutely new inventions, but
only an adaptation of those already well known. So in other departments
of Industry. There is no reason for continuing to sew plain seams on
thick cloth by hand, when machinery can do the work even better and
twenty times as fast. I shall be disappointed if this Exhibition be not
speedily followed by immense advances in Labor-Saving Machinery,
especially in this country.

But out of the domain of Industry, British Progress in Popular Education
is halting and partial. And the chief obstacle is not a want of means,
nor even niggardliness; for the Nation is wealthy, sagacious and
public-spirited. I think the influential classes generally, or at least
very extensively, realize that a well managed system of Common Schools,
supported by taxation on Property, would save more in diminishing the
burthen of Pauperism than it would cost. I believe the Ministry feel
this. And yet Mr. Fox’s motion looking to such a system was voted down
in the House of Commons by some three to one, the Ministry and their
reliable supporters vieing with the Tories in opposing it! So the Nation
is thrown back on the wretched shift of Voluntaryism, or Instruction for
the poor and ignorant children to be provided, directed and paid for by
their poor, ignorant and often vicious parents, with such help and
guidance as self-constituted casual associations may see fit to give
them. The result is and will be what it ever has been and must be–the
virtual denial of Education to a great share of the rising generation.

For this suicidal crime, I hold the Episcopal and Roman Catholic
Priesthoods mainly responsible, but especially the former. If they would
only stand out of the way, a system of efficient Common Schools for the
whole Nation might be speedily established. But they will not permit it.
By insisting that no Nationally directed and supported system shall be
put in operation which does not recognize and affirm the tenets of their
respective creeds, they render the adoption of any such system
impossible. They see this; they know it; they _mean_ it. And nothing
moves me to indignation quicker than their stereotyped cant of “Godless
education,” “teaching infidelity,” “knowledge worthless or dangerous
without Religion,” &c. &c. Why, Sirs, it is very true that the People
need Religious as well as purely Intellectual culture, but the former
has been already provided for. You clergymen of the Established Church
have been richly endowed and beneficed expressly for this work–_why
don’t you_ DO _it?_ Why do you stand here darkening and
stopping the gateway of secular instruction with a self-condemning
assumption that your own duties have been and are criminally neglected,
and that therefore others shall likewise remain unperformed? Teach the
children as much Religion as you can; very few of you ever lack pupils
when you give your hearts to the work; and if they prove less apt or
less capable learners because they have been taught reading, writing,
grammar, geography and arithmetic in secular schools, it argues some
defect in your theology or its teachers. If you really wanted the
children taught Religious truth, you would be right glad to have them
taught letters and other rudimental lessons elsewhere, so as to be
fitted to apprehend and retain your inculcations. It should suffice for
the condemnation of all Established Churches ever more, that the
State-paid Priesthood of Great Britain is to-day the chief impediment to
a system of Common Schools throughout the British Isles.

The Catholic Clergy have more excuse. They, too unite in the
impracticable requirement that the dogmas of their Church shall be
taught in the schools attended by Catholic children, when they ought to
teach them these dogmas out of School-hours, and be content that no
antagonist dogmas are taught in the secular Schools. But _they_ receive
nothing from the State, and have good reason to regard it as hostile to
their faith, therefore to suspect its purposes and watch narrowly its
movements. If they would only take care to have a good system of Common
School Education established and efficiently sustained in Spain,
Portugal, Italy, Mexico, and other Countries wherein they are the
conscience-keepers of the great majority and practically omnipotent in
the sphere of moral and social effort, I could better excuse their
unfortunate attitude here. As it is, the difference between them and
their State-paid rivals here seems one of position rather than of
principle. And, in spite of either or both, this generation will yet see
Common Schools free and universal throughout this realm. But even a year
seems long to wait for it.



Preparations are on foot for a grand banquet at Birmingham to the Royal
Commissioners, the Foreign Commissioners and the Jurors at the
Exhibition, to take place on or about the 16th. This is to be followed
by one still more magnificent given by the Mayor and Council of London,
which the Queen is expected to attend. The East India Company give one
to-morrow evening, but I hope then to be in France, as I intend to leave
for Paris to-morrow. The advertisements promise to put us “through in
eleven hours” by the quickest and dearest route. Others take twice as

Miss CATHARINE HAYES, a Vocalist of European reputation, who sang the
last winter mainly in Rome, means to visit America in September. She is
here ranked very high in her profession, and profoundly esteemed and
respected in private life. I have heard her but once, having had but two
evenings’ leisure for public entertainments since I came here. There is
but one Jenny Lind, but Miss Hayes need not shrink from a comparison with
any other singer. She is very highly commended by the best Musical critics
of London. I cannot doubt that America will ratify their judgment.

We have had tolerably fair, pleasant weather for some time until the
last two days, when clouds, chilly winds and occasional rain have
returned. The “oldest inhabitant” don’t remember just such weather at
this season–as he probably observed last June. I shall gladly leave it
for dryer air and brighter skies.






PARIS, Monday, June 9, 1851.

I left London Bridge at 11½ on Saturday for this City, via South-Eastern
Railway to Dover, Steamboat to Calais and Railroad again to Paris. This
is the dearest and quickest route between the two capitals, and its
advertisements promised for $13½ to take us “Through in Eleven Hours,”
which was a lie, as is quite usual with such promises. We came on quite
rapidly to Dover–a very mean, old town–but there lost about an hour in
the transfer of our baggage to the steamboat, which was one of those
long, black, narrow scow contrivances, about equal to a buttonwood
“dug-out,” which England appears to delight in. They would not be
tolerated as ferry-boats on any of our Western rivers, yet they are made
to answer for the conveyance of Mails and Passengers across an arm of
the sea on the most important route in Europe. In this wretched concern,
which was too insignificant to be slow, we went cobbling and wriggling
across the Channel (27 miles) in something less than two hours, often
one gunwale nearly under water and the other ten or twelve feet above
it, with no room under deck for half our passengers, and the spray
frequently dashing over those above it, three fourths of the whole
number deadly sick (this individual of course included), when with a
decent boat the passage might be regularly made, in spite of such a
smartish breeze as we encountered, in comparative comfort. Perhaps we
felt glad enough on reaching the shore to pay for this needless misery,
and I readily believe that an hour or two of sea-sickness may be harshly
wholesome, yet I do think that a good boat on such a route might well be
afforded and cannot reputably be withheld. That part of England through
which we passed on this route is much like that I have already described
on the other side of London. The face of the country is very moderately
undulating; there is a fair proportion of trees and shrubbery, though no
considerable forest that I noticed; perhaps an eighth of the land may be
sowed with Wheat, but Grass is the general staple. I should say three
fourths of all the land in sight from this railway is covered with it,
while very little is planted or devoted to gardening after the few miles
next to London. Hops engross considerable attention, and I presume pay
well, being demanded by the national addiction to beer drinking. Still,
Grass, Cattle and Sheep are the Staples; and these require so much less
human labor per acre than Grain and Vegetables that I cannot see how the
rural, laboring population can find adequate employment or subsistence.
It looks as though the gradual substitution of Grass for Grain since the
repeal of the Corn-laws must deprive a large portion of the best British
peasantry of work, compelling them to emigrate to America or Australia
for a subsistence. Such emigration is already very active, and must
increase if the present low prices of Breadstuffs prove permanent.

I was again disappointed in seeing so little attention to Fruit Culture.
I know this is not the Fruit region of England, but the destitution of
fruit trees is quite universal. Since it is plain that an acre of choice
Apple trees will yield at least a hundred bushels of palatable food,
with little labor, and grass enough beside to pay for all the care it
requires, I cannot see why Fruit is so neglected. The peach, I hear,
does poorly throughout the kingdoms, requiring extra shelter and
sunshine, yet yielding indifferent fruit in return, which is reason
enough for neglecting it; but the Apple is hardier, and does well in
other localities no more genial than this. I think it has been unwisely

An important and profitable business, I think, might be built up in our
country in the production of Dried Fruits, especially peaches, and their
exportation to Europe, or at any rate to England. I was among those who
“sat at good men’s feasts,” both rich and poor (the men, not the
feasts), during the six weeks I was in England, yet I cannot remember
that Dried Apples or Peaches were ever an element of the repast, though
Gooseberries, Rhubarb, Raisins, Currants, &c., are abundantly resorted
to. If some American of adequate capital and capacity would embark in
the growth and curing of Apples, Peaches, &c., expressly for the English
market, drying them perfectly, preparing them with scrupulous neatness,
and putting them up in clean wooden boxes of twenty-five, fifty and one
hundred pounds, I think he might do well by it. For such a purpose,
cheap lands and cheap labor (that of aged persons and young children)
might be made available, while in years of bountiful Peach harvests,
like the last, even New-Jersey and Delaware could be drawn upon for an
extra supply. The miscellaneous exportation of any Dried Fruits that
might happen to be on the market would probably involve loss, because
time and expenditure are required to make these products known to the
great majority of British consumers, and assure them that the article
offered them has been prepared with scrupulous cleanliness. With proper
exertion and outlay, I believe an advantageous market might thus be
opened for several Millions’ worth of American products of which little
or nothing is now known in Europe.

We were detained a long hour in Calais–a queer old town, with little
trade and only a historical importance–although our baggage was not
examined there, but sealed up for custom-house scrutiny at Paris. They
made a few dollars out of us by charging for extra baggage, one of them
out of me, though my trunk contained only clothing and three or four
books. Small business this for a Railroad, though it will do in stage
transportation. Our passports were scrutinized–mine not very
thoroughly–we (the green ones) obtained an execrable dinner for 37½
cents, and changed some sovereigns for French silver at a shave which
was not atrocious. Finally, we were all let go.

The face of the country inland from Calais is flat and marshy–more like
Holland, as we conceive it, than like England or France. Of course, the
railroad avoids the higher ground, but I did not see a cliff nor steep
acclivity until darkness closed us in, though some moderate hills were
visible from time to time, mainly on the right. Here, too, as across the
Channel, Grass largely predominated, but I think there was a greater
breadth of Wheat. I saw very few Fruit-trees, though much more growing
Timber than I had expected, from the representations I had read of the
treeless nakedness of the French soil. I think trees are as abundant for
fifty miles southward from Calais as in any part of England, but they
are mainly Elms and Willows, scarcely an orchard anywhere, and of course
no vineyards, for the Grape loves a more Southern sun. The cultivation
is scarcely equal to the English, though not strikingly inferior, and
the evidences of a minute subdivision of the soil are often palpable.
Fences are very rare, save along the sides of the railway; ditches serve
their purpose near Calais, and nothing at all answers afterward. I
presume wood becomes much scarcer as we approach Paris, but darkness
forbade observation.

By the terms of the enticing advertisement, we should have been here at
10½ P. M., but, though we met with none other than the ordinary
detentions, it was half-past two on Sunday morning when we actually
reached the station at the barrier of the city. Here commenced the
custom-house search, and I must say it was conducted with perfect
propriety and commendable energy, though with determined rigor. Our
trunks and valises were all arranged on a long table according to the
numbers affixed to them respectively at Calais, and each, being opened
by its owner, was searched in its turn, and immediately surrendered, if
found “all right.” I had been required to pay smartly on my books at
Liverpool, though nobody could have suspected that they were for any
other than my own use; so I left most of them at London and had no
difficulty here. [One unlucky wight, who had pieces of linen in his
trunk, had to see them taken out and put safely away for farther
consideration.] I did not at first comprehend that the number on my
trunk, standing out fair before me in honest, unequivocal Arabic
figures, could possibly mean anything but “fifty-two,” but a friend
cautioned me in season that those figures spelled “cinquante-deux,” or
phonetically “sank-on-du” to the officer, and I made my first attempt at
mouthing French accordingly, and succeeded in making myself

It was fair daylight when we left the railway station for our various
destinations. Mine was the “Hotel Choiseul,” Rue St. Honoré, which had
been warmly commended to me, and where I managed to stop _pro tem._
though there was not an unoccupied bed in the house. Paris, by the way,
is quite full–scarcely a room to be had in any popular hotel, and,
where any is to be found, the price is very high or the accommodations
quite humble. London, on the contrary, where the keepers of hotels and
lodging-houses had been induced to expect a grand crush, and had
aggravated their prices accordingly, is comparatively empty. Thousands
after thousands go there, but few remain for any time; consequently the
hotels make what money is spent, while the boarding and lodging-houses
are often tenantless. Many sharp landladies have driven away their old
lodgers to the Country or the Continent by exorbitant charges, in the
hope of extorting many times as much from visiters to the Exhibition;
and have thus far been bitterly disappointed. I presume it will be so to
the end. Sixty thousand people are as many as the Crystal Palace will
comfortably hold, in addition to its wares and their attendants, and
these make no impression on the vast capacity of London, while they go
away as soon as they have satisfied their curiosity and ceased to attend
the Fair, giving place to others, who require no more room than they
did. I suspect theirs are not the only calculations which will be
disappointed by the ultimate issues of the World’s Exhibition.



My first day in Paris was Sunday, so, after breakfast, I repaired to the
famous modern Church of the Madeleine, reputed one of the finest in
Europe. This was the day of Pentecost, and fitly commemorated by the
Church. The spacious edifice was filled in every part, though at least a
thousand went out at the close of the earlier service, before the
attendance was fullest.

I think I was never in a place of worship so gorgeous as this. Over the
main altar there is a magnificent picture on the largest scale,
purporting to represent the Progress of Civilization from Christ’s day
to Bonaparte’s, Napoleon being the central figure in the foreground,
while the Saviour and the Virgin Mary occupy a similar position in the
rear. In every part, the Church is very richly and I presume tastefully

I did not comprehend the service, and cannot intelligibly describe it.
The bowings and genuflexions, the swinging of censers and ringing of
bells, the frequent appearance and disappearance of a band of gorgeously
dressed priests or assistants bearing what looked like spears, were
“inexplicable dumb show” to me, and most of them unlike anything I
remember to have seen in American Catholic Churches. The music was
generally fine, especially that of a chorus of young boys, and the
general bearing of the people in attendance, that of reverence and

“Peace be with all, whate’er their varying creeds,
With all who send up holy thoughts on high.”

But I could not bring myself to like the continual circulation of
several officials throughout almost the entire service, collecting rents
for seats (they were let very cheap), and begging money for “the Poor of
the Church;” as a stout, gross, absurdly overdressed herald who preceded
the collectors loudly proclaimed. I think this collection should have
been taken before or after the Mass. There was no sermon up to one
o’clock, when I left, with nearly all the audience, though there may
have been one afterward.






PARIS, Wednesday, June 11, 1851.

“Will the French Republic withstand the assaults of its enemies?” is a
question of primary importance with regard to the Political Future, not
of France only but of Europe, and more remotely of the world. Even
fettered and stifled as the Republic now is–a shorn and blind Samson in
the toils of the Philistines–it is still a potent fact, and its very
name is a “word of fear” to the grand conspiracy of despots and owls who
are intent on pushing Europe back at the point of the bayonet into the
debasement and thick darkness of the Feudal Ages. It is the French
Republic which disturbs with nightmare visions the slumbers of the
Russian Autocrat, and urges him to summon convocations of his
vassal-Kings at Olmutz and at Warsaw,–it is the overthrow of the French
Republic, whether by open assault or by sinister stratagem, which
engrosses the attention of those and kindred convocations throughout
Europe. “Put out the light, and then put out the light,” is the general
aspiration; and the fact that the actual Republic is reasonably
moderate, peaceful, unaggressive, so far from disarming their hostility,
only inflames it. Haman can never feel safe in his exaltation so long as
Mordecai the Jew is seen sitting at the king’s gate; and if France is to
be a Republic, the Royalties and Aristocracies of Europe would far
sooner see her bloody, turbulent, desolating and intent on conquest
than tranquil and inoffensive. A Republic absolutely ruled by Danton,
Marat and Robespierre would be far less appalling in the eyes of the
Privileged, Luxurious and Idle Classes of Europe than one peacefully
pursuing its career under the guidance of Cavaignac, De Tocqueville or

While in England, I could not but smile at the delusions propagated by
the Press and readily credited as well as diffused by the fortunate
classes with regard to the deplorable condition of France and the
absolute necessity existing for some radical change in her Government.
“O yes, you get along very well with a Republic in the United States,
where you had cheap lands, a vast and fertile wilderness, common schools
and a general reverence for Religion and Order to begin with; but just
look at France!”–such was and is a very general line of argument. If
the French had been equally divisible into felons, bankrupts, paupers
and lunatics, their hopeless state could hardly have been referred to
more compassionately. All this time France was substantially as tranquil
as England herself, and decidedly more prosperous, though annoyed and
impeded by the incessant plottings of traitors in her councils and other
exalted stations to resubject her to kingly sway. A thrifty, provident,
frugal artisan may often seem less wealthy and prosperous than his
dashing, squandering, lavish neighbor. France may not display so much
plate on the sideboards of her landlords and bankers as England does;
but every day adds to her ability to display it. While Great Britain and
the United States have undertaken to vie with each other in Free Trade,
France holds fast to the principle of Protection, with scarcely a
division in her Councils on the subject; and she is consequently
amassing in silence the wealth created by other Nations. The Californian
digs gold, which mainly comes to New-York in payment for goods; but on
that gold England has a mortgage running fast to maturity, for the goods
were in part bought of her and we owe her for Millions’ worth beside.
But France has a similar mortgage on it for the Grain supplied to
England to feed the fabricators of the goods, and it has hardly reached
the Bank of England before it is on its way to Paris. A great share of
the golden harvests of the tributaries of the Sacramento and San Joaquin
now find their resting-place here.

“But what,” asks a Say-Bastiat economist, “if they do? Isn’t all
Commerce an exchange of equivalents? Must we not buy in order to sell?
Isn’t Gold a commodity like any other? If our Imports exceed our
Exports, doesn’t that prove that we are obtaining more for our Exports
than their estimated value?” &c. &c. &c.

No, Sir! commerce is _not_ always an exchange of genuine equivalents.
The savage tribe which sells its hunting grounds and its ancestors’
graves for a few barrels of firewater, whereby its members are
debauched, diseased, rendered insanely furious, and set to cutting each
other’s throats, receives no real equivalent for what it parts with. Nor
is it well for ever so civilized a people to be selling its Specie and
mortgaging its Lands and Houses for Silks, Liquors, Laces, Wines,
Spices, &c.–trading off the essential and imperishable for the
factitious and transitory–and so eating itself out of house and home.
The farmer who drinks up his farm at the cross-roads tavern may have
obtained “more for his exports” (of produce from his farm), than they
were worth in the market–at least, it would seem so from the fact that
he has run over head and ears in debt–but he has certainly done a
pernicious, a losing business. So does any Nation which buys more wares
and fabrics than its exports will pay for, and finds itself in debt at
the year’s end for imports that it has eaten, drunk or worn out. The
thrifty household is the true model of the Nation. And, thus tested,
France, in spite of her enormous, locust-like Army and other relics of
past follies which the National mind is outgrowing though the Nation’s
rulers still cling to them, is this day one of the most prosperous
countries on earth.

But when I hear the aristocratic plotters talk of the necessity of a
Revision of the Constitution in order to restore to France tranquillity
and prosperity, I am moved not to mirth but to indignation. For these
plotters and their schemes are themselves the causes of the mischiefs
they affect to deplore and the dangers they pretend to be bent on
averting. Whatever is now feverish and ominous in French Politics grows
directly out of two great wrongs–the first positive and
accomplished–the law of the 31st May, whereby Three Millions of
Electors were disfranchised–the other contingent and meditated–the
overthrow of the Republic. All the agitation, the apprehension, the
uncertainty, and the consequent derangement of Industry, through the
last year, have grown out of these misdeeds, done and purposed, of the
Aristocratic party. In the sacred name of Order, they have fomented
discord and anarchy; invoking Peace, they have stirred up hatred and
bitterness. Whatever the Social Democracy _might_ have done, had they
been in the ascendant or under other supposable circumstances, the fact
is that theirs has been actually the cause of Order, of Conservatism, of
Tranquillity and the Constitution. Had they proved recreant to their
faith and trust, France would ere this have been plunged into
convulsions through the mutual jealousies and hostilities of the
factions who vaunt themselves collectively the party of Order; they have
been withheld from cutting each other’s throats by the calm, determined,
watchful, intrepid attitude of the calumniated Democracy.

The law of the 31st May still stands on the statute-book, and I
apprehend is destined to remain (though many who are better informed are
sanguine that it will be repealed before the next Presidential
Election), but the Republic will endure and its Constitution cannot be
overthrown. All the Bourbonists, Orleanists, and Bonapartists in the
Assembly combined are insufficient to change the Constitution legally;
and if a bare majority sufficed for that purpose (instead of
three-fourths), they could not to-day command a working majority for any
practical measure of Revision. It is easy to club their votes and
vaguely declare _some_ change necessary–but _what_ change? A Bourbon
Restoration? An Orleans Middle-Class Royalty? A Napoleonic Empire? For
no one of these can a majority even of this Reäctionist Assembly be
obtained. What, then, is their chance with the People?

As to the signing of Petitions for Revision, that is easily understood.
The Prefect, the Mayor, &c., of a locality readily procure the
signatures of all the Government _employés_ and hangers-on, who
constitute an immense army in France; the great manufacturers circulate
the petitions among their workmen, and most of them sign, not choosing
to risk their masters’ displeasure for a mere name more or less to an
unmeaning paper. But the plotters know perfectly well that the People
are _not_ for Revision in _their_ sense of the word; if they did not
fear this, they would restore Universal Suffrage. By clinging with
desperate tenacity to the Restrictive law of May 31st, they virtually
confess that their hopes of success involve the continued exclusion of
Three Millions of adult Frenchmen from the Registry of Voters. When they
prate, therefore, of _the people’s_ desire for Revision, the Republican
retort is ready and conclusive–“Repeal the law of May 31st, and we can
then tell what the people really desire. But so long as you maintain
that law, you confess that you dare not abide the verdict of the whole
People. You appeal to a Jury which you have packed–one whose right to
try this question we utterly deny. Restore Universal Suffrage, and we
can then tell what the People really do wish and demand; but until you
do this, we shall resist every attempt to change the Constitution even
by as much as a hair.” Who can doubt that this is right?

“Therefore, Representatives of the People, deliberate in peace,” pithily
says Changarnier, after proving to his own satisfaction that the army
will not level their arms against the Assembly in support of a
Napoleonic usurpation. So the friends of Republican France throughout
the world may give thanks and take courage. The darkness is dispersing;
the skies of the future are red with the coming day. Time is on the
popular side, and every hour’s endurance adds strength to the Republic.
It cannot be legally subverted; and should Force and Usurpation be
attempted, its champions will not shrink from the encounter nor dread
the issue. For well they know that the mind and heart of the People are
on their side–that the French who earn their bread and are not ashamed
to be seen shouldering a musket, so far as they have any opinion at all,
are all for the Republic–that France comprises a Bonapartist clique, an
Orleanist class, a Royalist party, and a Republican Nation. The clique
is composed of the personal intimates of Louis Napoleon and certain
Military officers, mainly relics of the Empire; the class includes a
good part of the lucky Parisian shop-keepers and Government _employés_
during the reign of Louis Philippe; the party embraces the remnants of
the anti-Revolutionary Aristocracy, most of the influential Priesthood,
and a small section of the rural Peasantry; all these combined may
number Four Millions, leaving Thirty Millions for the Nation. Such is
France in 1851; and, being such, the subversion of the Republic, whether
by foreign assault or domestic treason, is hardly possible. An open
attack by the Autocrat and his minions would certainly consolidate it; a
prolongation of Louis Napoleon’s power (no longer probable) would have
the same effect. Four years more of tranquil though nominal
Republicanism would only render a return to Monarchy more difficult;
wherefore the Royalist party will never assent to it, and without their
aid the project has no chance. To obtain that aid, “the Prince” must
secretly swear that after four years more he will turn France over to
Henry V.; this promise only the last extreme of desperation could extort
from him, and then to no purpose, since he could not fulfill it and the
Legitimists could not trust him. And thus, alike by its own strength and
by its enemies’ divisions, the safety of the Republic is assured.






PARIS, Thursday, June 12, 1851.

A great Capital like this is not seen in a few days; I have not yet seen
a quarter of it. The general magnitude of the houses (usually built
around a small quadrangular court near the street, whence the court is
entered by a gate or arched passage) is readily remarked; also the
minute subdivisions of Shop-keeping, many if not most sellers confining
their attention to a single fabric, so that their “stores” and stocks of
goods are small; also, the general gregariousness or social aptitudes of
the people. I lodge in a house once famous as “Frascati’s,” the most
celebrated gaming-house in Europe; it stands on the corner of the Rue
Richelieu with the Boulevards (“Italian” in one direction and
“Montmartre” in the other). My windows overlook the Boulevards for a
considerable distance; and there are many of the most fashionable shops,
“restaurants,” “cafés,” &c. in the city. No one in New-York would think
of ordering his bottle of wine or his ices at a fashionable resort in
Broadway and sitting down at a table placed on the sidewalk to discuss
his refection leisurely, just out of the ever-passing throng; yet here
it is so common as to seem the rule rather than the exception. Hundreds
sit thus within sight of my windows every evening; dozens do likewise
during the day. The Frenchman’s pleasures are all social: to eat, drink
or spend the evening alone would be a weariness to him: he reads his
newspaper in the thoroughfare or the public gardens: he talks more in
one day than an Englishman in three: the theaters, balls, concerts, &c.
which to the islander afford occasional recreation are to him a nightly
necessity: he would be lonely and miserable without them. Nowhere is
Amusement more systematically, sedulously sought than in Paris; nowhere
is it more abundant or accessible. For boys just escaped from school or
paternal restraint, intent on enjoyment and untroubled by conscience or
forecast, this must be a rare city. Its people, as a community, have
signal good qualities and grave defects: they are intelligent,
vivacious, courteous, obliging, generous and humane; eager to enjoy, but
willing that all the world should enjoy with them; while at the same
time they are impulsive, fickle, sensual and irreverent. Paris is the
Paradise of the Senses; a focus of Enjoyment, not of Happiness. Nowhere
are Youth and its capacities more prodigally lavished; nowhere is Old
Age less happy or less respected. Paris has tens of thousands who would
eagerly pour out their hearts’ blood for Liberty and Human Progress, but
no class or clan who ever thought of denying themselves Wine and kindred
stimulants in order that the Masses should be rendered worthier of
Liberty and thus better fitted to preserve and enjoy it. Such notions as
Total Abstinence from All that can Intoxicate are absolutely unheard of
by the majority of Parisians, and incomprehensible or ridiculous to
those who have heard of them. The barest necessaries of life are very
cheap here; many support existence quite endurably on a franc (18¾
cents) a day; but of the rude Laboring Class few can really afford the
comforts and proprieties of an orderly family life, and the privation is
very lightly regretted. The testimony is uniform that Marriage is
scarcely regarded as even a remote possibility by any one of the poor
girls of Paris who live by work: to be for a season the mistress of a
man of wealth, or one who can support her in luxury and idleness, is
the summit of her ambition. The very terms “grisette” and “lorette” by
which young women unblest with wealth or social rank are commonly
designated, involve the idea of demoralization–no man would apply them
to one whom he respected and of whose good opinion he was solicitous. In
no other nominally Christian city is the proportion of the unmarried so
great as here: nowhere else do families so quickly decay; nowhere else
is the proportion of births out of wedlock so appalling. The Poor of
London are less comfortable as a class than those of Paris–that is,
they suffer more from lack of employment, and their wages are lower in
view of the relative cost of living; but Philanthropy is far more active
there than here, and far more is done to assuage the tide of human woe.
Ten public meetings in furtherance of Educational, Philanthropic and
Religious enterprises are held in the British Metropolis to one in this,
and the number interested in such undertakings there, as contrasted with
that in this city, has an equal preponderance. I shall not attempt to
strike a balance between the good and evil prevailing respectively in
the two Capitals of Western Europe: the reader may do that for himself.



The first object of interest I saw in Paris was the COLUMN OF NAPOLEON
in the Place Vendome, as I rattled by it in the gray dawn of the morning
of my arrival. This gigantic Column, as is well known, was formed of
cannon taken by the Great Captain in the several victories which
irradiated his earlier career, and was constructed while he was Emperor
of France and virtually of the Continent. His Statue crowns the pyramid;
it was pulled down while the Allied Armies occupied Paris, and a resolute
attempt was made to prostrate the Column also, but it was too firmly
rooted. The Statue was not replaced till after the Revolution of 1830.
The Place Vendome is small, surrounded by high houses, and the stately
Column seems dwarfed by them. But for its historic interest, and
especially that of the material employed in its construction, I should
not regard it very highly.

Far better placed, as well as more majestic and every way interesting,
is the OBELISK OF LUXOR, which for thousands of years had overshadowed
the banks of the Nile until presented to France by the late Pacha of
Egypt, and transported thence to the Place de la Concorde, near the
Garden of the Tuileries. I have seen nothing in Europe which impressed
me like this magnificent shaft, covered as it is with mysterious
inscriptions which have braved the winds and rains of four thousand
years, yet seem as fresh and clear as though chiseled but yesterday. The
removal entire of this bulk of many thousand tuns from Egypt to Paris is
one of the most marvelous achievements of human genius, and Paris has for
me no single attraction to match the Obelisk of Luxor.

The TUILERIES strikes me as an irregular mass of buildings with little
pretensions to Architectural beauty or effect. It has great capacity, and
nothing more. The LOUVRE is much finer, yet still not remarkable, but its
wealth of Paintings by the Great Masters of all time surprised as well as
delighted me. I never saw anything at all comparable to it. But of this
another time.




PARIS, Monday, June 9, 1851.

Having the evening on my hands, I have spent a good share of it at the
Opera, of which France is proud, and to the support of which her
Government directly and liberally contributes. It is not only a National
institution, but a National trait, and as such I visited it.

The house is very spacious, admirably planned, superbly fitted up, and
every way adapted to its purpose; the charges moderate; the audience
large and well dressed; the officers and attendants up to their
business, and everything orderly and quiet. The play was Scribe’s
“L’Enfant Prodigue” (The Prodigal Son), which in England they soften
into “Azael the Prodigal,” but here no such euphemism is requisite, and
indeed I doubt that half who witness it suspect that the idea is taken
from the Scriptures. The idea, however, is all that is so borrowed.
There were no great singers included in the cast for this evening, not
even Alboni who remains here, while most of her compeers are in London.
I am a poor judge, but I should say the music is not remarkable.

This is a drama of Action and of Spectacle, however, to which the Music
is subordinate. Such a medley of drinking and praying, dancing and
devotion, idol-worship and Delilah-craft, I had not before encountered.
At least three hundred performers were at once on the stage. The
dancing-girls engaged were not less than one hundred in number,
apparently all between fourteen and eighteen years of age, generally
good-looking, and with that aspect of innocence and freshness to which
the Stage is so fatal. The most agile and eminent among them was a Miss
Plunkett, said to be an American, with a face of considerable beauty and
a winning, joyous manner. I should say that half the action of the
piece, nearly half the time, and more than half the attention of the
audience, were engrossed by these dancing demoiselles.

France is the cradle and home of the Ballet. In other lands it is an
exotic, here a natural outgrowth and expression of the National mind. Of
the spirit which conceived it, here is the abode and the Opera Français
the temple; and here it has exerted its natural and unobstructed
influence on the manners and morals of a People. If you would comprehend
the Englishman, follow him to his fireside; if a Frenchman, join him at
the Opera and contemplate him during the performance of the Ballet.

I am, though no practitioner, a lover of the Dance. Restricted to proper
hours and fit associates, I wish it were far more general than it is.
Health, grace, muscular energy, even beauty, might be promoted by it.
Why the dancing of the Theater should be rendered disgusting, I can not
yet comprehend. The “poetry of motion,” of harmonious evolutions and the
graceful movement of “twinkling feet,” I think I appreciate. All these
are natural expressions of innocent gaiety and youthful elasticity of
spirits, whereof this world sees far too little. I wish there were more
of them.

But what grace, what sense, what witchery, there can be, for instance,
in a young girl’s standing on one great toe and raising the other foot
to the altitude of her head, I cannot imagine. As an exhibition of
muscular power, it is disagreeable to me, because I know that the
capacity for it was acquired by severe and protracted efforts and at the
cost of much suffering. Why is it kept on the stage? Admit that it is
not lascivious; who will pretend that it is essentially graceful? I was
glad to see that the more extravagant distortions were not specially
popular with the audience–that nearly all the applause bestowed on
those ballet-feats which seem devised only to favor a liberal display of
the person came from the little knot of hired “claqueurs” in the center
of the pit. If there were many who loved to witness, there were few so
shameless as to applaud.

If the Opera is ever to become an element of Social life and enjoyment
in New-York, I do trust that it may be such a one as thoughtful men may
take their daughters to witness without apprehension or remorse. I do
not know whether the Opera we now have is or is not such a one; I know
_this_ is not. Its entire, palpable, urgent tendency, is “earthly,
sensual, devilish.” In none was the instinct of Purity ever strengthened
by beholding it; in many, it must, in the nature of things, be weakened
with each repetition of the spectacle. It is no marvel that the French
are reputed exceedingly reckless of the sanctions and obligations of
Marriage, if this is a part of their State-supported education.

I came away at the close of the third act, leaving two more to be
performed. The play is transcendent in spectacle, and has had a very
great success here.






PARIS, Sunday, June 15, 1851.

I marvel at the obliquity of vision whereby any one is enabled, standing
in this metropolis, to anticipate the subversion of the Republic and the
restoration of Monarchy. Such prophets must belong essentially to that
school which teaches the omnipotence of paper Constitutions and dilates
with bristling hair on the appalling possibility that Washington, or
Hamilton, or Franklin, might not have been chosen to the Convention
which framed our Federal Constitution, and that Constitution
consequently have remained unperfected or unadopted. The true view I
understand to be that if the Constitution had thus failed to be
constructed in ’87 or adopted in ’88, the necessity for it would still
have existed, growing daily more urgent and palpable, so that Convention
after Convention would from time to time have been called, and sooner or
later a Constitution would have been elaborated and adopted; and the
longer this consummation was delayed the stronger and more controlling
the Constitution ultimately formed would have been. So with the French
Republic. It is simply an expression of the intellectual convictions and
social instincts of the French People. You meet it on the Boulevards and
in the cafés where the wealthy and luxurious most do congregate; your
cabman and boot-black, though perfectly civil and attentive, let you
understand, if you have eyes, that they are Republicans; while in the
quarters tenanted or frequented only by the Artisan and the Laborer you
meet none but devotees of “the Republic Democratic and Social.” The
contrast between the abject servility of the Poor in London and their
manner here cannot be realized without actual observation. A hundred
Princes or illustrious Dukes in Paris would not attract as much
attention as any one of them would in London. Democracy triumphed in the
drawing-rooms of Paris before it had erected its first barricade in the
streets; and all subsequent efforts in behalf of Monarchy here have
produced and can produce only a fitful, spasmodic, unnatural life. If
three Revolutions within a life-time, all in the same direction, have
not impressed this truth conclusively, another and another lesson will
be added. The French have great faults of character which imperil the
immediate fortunes of the Republic but cannot affect its ultimate
ascendency. Impulsive and egotistic, they may seem willing to exchange
Liberty for Tranquillity or Security, but this will be a momentary
caprice, soon past and forgotten. The Nation can never more be other
than Republican, though the possessors of power, controlling the Press,
the Bureaux, the Assembly and the Army, may fancy that their personal
interests would be promoted by a less popular system, and so be seen for
a season following strange gods. This delusion and apostacy will
speedily pass, leaving only their shame behind.

The immediate peril of the Republic is the Election of May, ’52, in view
of the arbitrary disfranchisement of nearly one-half the Democratic
voters, the manacled condition of the Press, the denial to the People of
the Right of Meeting for deliberation and concert, and the betrayal of
all the enormous power and patronage of the State into the hands of the
Aristocratic party. If the Republicans were to attempt holding a
Convention to select a candidate for President, their meetings would be
promptly suppressed by the Police and the Bayonet. This may distract
and scatter them, though I trust it will not. Their Presidential
candidate will doubtless be designated by a Legislative Caucus or
meeting of Representatives in the Assembly, simply because no fairer and
fuller expression of the party’s preference would be tolerated. And if,
passing over the mob of Generals and of Politicians by trade, the choice
should fall on some modest and unambitious citizen, who has earned a
character by quiet probity and his bread by honest labor, I shall hope
to see his name at the head of the poll in spite of the unconstitutional
overthrow of Universal Suffrage. After this, though the plurality should
fall short of a majority and the Assembly proceed to elect Louis
Napoleon or Changarnier, there need be no further apprehension.

I hear, as from an official source, that there are now Three Thousand
Americans in Paris, most of them residing here for months, if not for
years. It gives me pleasure to state that, contrary to what I have often
heard of the bearing of our countrymen in Europe, a large majority of
these, so far as I may judge from meeting a good many and learning the
sentiments of more, are warmly and openly on the side of the Republic
and opposed to the machinations of the motley host who seek its

The conviction of Charles Hugo, and his sentence to six months’
imprisonment, for simply writing a strong Editorial in the _Evénement_
in condemnation of Legal Killing, is making a profound sensation here. I
think it will hasten the downfall both of the Guillotine and the “party
of Order” which thus assumes the championship of that venerated
institution. The _Times’_ Paris correspondent, I perceive, takes up the
tale of Hugo’s article having been calculated to expose the ministers of
the law to popular odium, and naively protests against a line of
argument by which “those who _execute_ the law are stigmatized as
_executioners_.” I suppose we must call them _executors_ hereafter to
obviate the hardship complained of. How singular that those who glory in
the deed should shrink indignantly from the name?

American attention will naturally be drawn to the recent debate in the
Assembly involving the principle of the _Higher Law_. The subject was a
bill reorganizing the National Guard, with the intent of sifting it as
clean as possible of the popular element, and thus rendering it either a
nullity, or an accomplice in the execution of the Monarchical
conspiracies now brewing. It is but a few days since Gen. Changarnier
solemnly informed the Assembly, in reply to President Bonaparte’s covert
menaces at Dijon, that the army could not be made to level its muskets
and point its cannon at the Assembly: “Wherefore, Representatives of
France, deliberate in Peace.” Following logically in the same train, a
“Red” saw fit to affirm that the Army could not be brought to use its
bayonets against the People who should take up arms, in defense of the
Republic. No stick thrown into a hornets’ nest ever excited such
commotion as this remark did in the camp of “Order.” In the course of a
violent and tumultuous debate, it came out that Gen. Baraguay
d’Hilliers, a leader on the side of “Order,” refused in 1848 to take the
proffered command of the troops fighting on the side of Order in the
deplorable street combats of June. This was excused on the ground of his
being a Representative as well as a General! The Champions of “Order,”
having said all they wished and allowed their opponents to say very
little, hastily shut down the gate, and refused to permit further
discussion. No matter: the truth has been formally proclaimed from the
tribune that _No one has a moral right to do as a soldier that which it
would be wrong for him to do as a man_–that, no matter what human
rulers may decree, every man owes a paramount obedience to the law of
God, and cannot excuse his violation of that law by producing an order
to do so from any functionary or potentate whatever. The idea is a
fruitful one, and France is now pondering it.

I attended divine worship to-day at NOTRE DAME, which seems to me not
only the finest Church but the most imposing edifice in Paris. The
Pantheon may vie with it, perhaps, but it has to my eye a naked and
got-up look; it lacks adequate furnishing. Beside these two, nearly all
the public buildings of Paris strike me as lacking height in proportion
to their superficial dimensions. The Hotel de Ville (City Hall) has a
fine front, but seems no taller while more extensive than our New-York
City Hall, which notoriously lacks another story. Even the Louvre, with
ample space and a rare position, which most of the Paris edifices want,
seems deficient in height. But Notre Dame, on the contrary, towers
proudly and gracefully, and I have not seen its general effect surpassed.
It reminded me of Westminster Abbey, though it is less extensive. As a
place of worship it is infinitely superior to the Abbey, which has the
damp air and gloom of a dungeon, in each most unlike Notre Dame. I trust
no American visits Paris without seeing this noble church, and on the
Sabbath if possible.



Since I left London, _The Times_ has contained two Editorials on
American contributions to the Great Exhibition, which seem to require
comment. These articles are deprecatory and apologetic in their general
tenor, evincing a consciousness that the previous strictures of the
London Press on American Art had pushed disparagement beyond the bounds
of policy, and might serve to arouse a spirit in the breasts of the
people so invidiously and persistently assailed. So our countryman are
now told, in substance, that they are rather clever fellows on the
whole, who have only made themselves ridiculous by attempting to do and
to be what Nature had forbidden. Nothing but our absurd pretensions
could thus have exposed us to the world’s laughter. America might be
America with credit; she has broken down by undertaking to be Europe
also, &c., &c.

“It is the _attempt_, and not the _deed_, confounds me.”

But what are the nature and extent of this American audacity? Our
countrymen have undertaken to minister to their own wants by the
production of certain Wares and Fabrics which they had formerly been
content either to do without or to buy from Europe. Being urgently
invited to do so, they have sent over some few of these results of their
art and skill to a grand exposition of the World’s Industry. Even if
they were as bad as they are represented, these products should be here;
since the object of the Exhibition is not merely to set forth what is
best but to compare it with the inferior, and so indicate the readiest
mode of improving the latter. Russia, Turkey, Egypt, Barbary, Persia,
have sent hither their wares and fabrics, which hundreds of thousands
have examined with eager and gratified interest–an interest as real as
that excited by the more perfect rival productions of Western Europe,
though of a different kind from that. No one has thought of ridiculing
these products of a more primitive industry; all have welcomed and been
instructed by them. And so ours would have been treated had they been in
fact the wretched affairs which the London Commercial press has
represented them. It is precisely because they are quite otherwise that
it has been deemed advisable systematically to disparage them–to
declare our Pianos “gouty” structures–“mere wood and iron;” our
Calicoes beneath the acceptance of a British servant-girl; our Farming
Tools half a century behind their British rivals; our Hats “shocking
bad,” &c., &c.,–all this, in the first months of the Exhibition, while
the Jurors appointed to judge and report upon the merits of rival
fabrics were making the requisite investigations. Their verdict is thus
substantially forestalled, and the millions who visit the Exhibition are
invited to look at the American department merely to note the bad taste
and incapacity therein displayed, and learn to avoid them.

But the self-constituted arbiters who thus tell the American people that
Art is not their province–that they should be content to grow Corn and
Cotton, looking to Europe for the satisfaction of their less urgent
necessities, their secondary wants–are they impartial advisers? Are
they not palpably speaking in the interest of the rival producers of
Europe, alarmed by the rapid growth and extension of American Art? Would
they have taken so much trouble with us if American taste and skill were
really the miserable abortions they represent them?

These indications of paternal care for American Industry, in danger of
being warped and misdirected, are not quite novel. An English friend
lately invited me to visit him at his house in the neighborhood of
Birmingham, holding out as an inducement the opportunity of inspecting
the great Iron and Hardware manufactories in that neighborhood. A moment
afterward he recollected himself and said, “I am not quite sure that I
could procure you admittance to them, because the rule has been that
_Americans were not to be admitted_. Gentlemen taking their friends to
visit these works were asked, at the door, ‘Is your friend an American?’
and if the answer was affirmative, he was not allowed to enter–but I
think this restriction has been generally abrogated.” Here you see, was
a compassionate regard for American Industry, in danger of being misled
and deluded into unprofitable employments, which neither The Times nor
any of its co-laborers has been able to more than humbly imitate.

To my mind, nothing can be more unjust than the intimation that, in
attempting to supply her own wants (or some of them) in the domain of
Art and Manufacture, America has rushed madly from her sphere and sought
to be Europe. She has already taught Europe many things in the sphere of
Invention, and is destined to teach her many more; and the fact that her
Carriages are condemned as too light and her Pianos as too heavy, her
Reaping Machines as “a cross between a treadmill and a flying chariot,”
&c., &c., by critics very superficially acquainted with their uses, and
who have barely glanced at them in passing, proves nothing but the
rashness and hostility of their contemners. From such unworthy
disparagement I appeal with confidence to the awards of the various
Juries appointed by the Royal Commissioners. They are competent; they
have made the requisite examinations; they (though nearly all European
and a majority of them British) are honorable men, and will render an
impartial judgment. That judgment, I firmly believe, will demonstrate
that, in proportion to the extent of its contributions, no other country
has sent more articles to the Exhibition by which the whole world may be
instructed and benefited than our own.






PARIS, Monday, June 16, 1851.

France, now the most Democratic, was long the most absolutely governed
and the most loyally infatuated among the great Nations of Europe. Her
cure of the dust-licking distemper was Homoeopathic and somewhat slow,
but it seems to be thorough and abiding. Those who talk of the National
passion for that bloody phantom Glory–for Battle and Conquest–speak of
what was, rather than of what is, and which, even in its palmiest days,
was rather a _penchant_ of the Aristocratic caste than a characteristic
of the Nation. The Nobles of course loved War, for it was their high
road to Royal favor, to station and renown; all the spoils of victory
enured to them, while nine-tenths of its calamities fell on the heads of
the Peasantry. But, though all France rushed to arms in 1793 to defend
the National liberties and soil, yet Napoleon, in the zenith of his
power and glory, could only fill the ranks of his legions by the
abhorred Conscription. The great body of the People were even then
averse to the din of the camp and the clangor of battle: the years of
unmixed disaster and bitter humiliation which closed his Military
career, served to confirm and deepen their aversion to garments rolled
in blood; and I am confident that there is at this moment no Nation in
Europe more essentially peaceful than France. Her Millions profoundly
sympathise with their brethren of Germany, Italy and Hungary, groaning
beneath the heavy yoke of the Autocrat and his vassals; but they
realize that the deliverance of Nations must mainly be wrought out from
within, and they would much rather aid the subject Nations to recover
their rights by the influence of example and of a Free Press than by
casting the sword of Brennus into the scale where their liberties and
happiness hang balanced and weighed down by the ambition and pride of
their despots. The establishment of the Democratic and Social Republic
is the appointed end of war in Europe. It will not erase the boundaries
of Nations, but these boundaries will no longer be overshadowed by
confronted legions, and they will be freed from the monster nuisance of
Passports. Then German, Frank, Briton, Italian, will vie with each
other, as now, in Letters, Arts and Products, but no longer in the
hideous work of defacing and desecrating the image of God; for Liberty
will have enlightened and Fraternity united them, and a permanent
Congress of Nations will adjust and dispose of all causes of difference
which may from time to time arise.–Freedom, Intelligence and Peace are
natural kindred: the ancient Republics were Military and aggressive only
because they tolerated and cherished Human Slavery; and it is this which
recently fomented hostilities between the two Republics of North
America, and now impotently threatens the internal peace of our own.
Liberty, if thorough and consistent, always did and must incline to
Peace; while Despotism, being founded in and only maintainable by Force,
inevitably fosters a martial spirit, organizes Standing Armies, and
finds delight and security in War.

These reflections have been recalled by my walks through several of the
late Royal (now National) Palaces of France, the most striking monuments
which endure of long ages of absolute kingly sway. How many there are of
these Palaces I have forgotten or never knew; but I recall the names of
the Luxembourg, the Tuileries, the Elisée Bourbon, St. Germain, St.
Cloud, Versailles, Meudon, and Rambouillet. These do not include the
Palais Royal, which was built by the Orleans branch of the Bourbon
family, nor any of the spacious edifices erected for the several
Ministers of State and for the transaction of public business. The
Palaces I have named were all constructed from time to time to serve as
residences for the ten to thirty persons recognized as of the blood
Royal, who removed from one to the other as convenience or whim may have
suggested. They are generally very spacious, probably averaging one to
two hundred apartments each, all constructed of the best materials and
furnished and adorned with the most lavish disregard of cost. I roughly
estimate the cost of these Palaces, if they were now to be built and
furnished in this style, at One Hundred Millions of Dollars; but the
actual cost, in the ruder infancy of the arts when most of them were
erected, was probably much more. Versailles alone cost some Thirty
Millions of Dollars at first, while enormous sums have since been
expended in perfecting and furnishing it. It would be within the truth
to say that France, from the infancy of Louis XIV. to the expulsion of
Louis Philippe, has paid more as simple interest on the residences of
her monarchs and their families than the United States, with a larger
population and with far greater wealth than France has averaged through
that period, now pays for the entire cost of the Legislative, Executive
and Judicial departments of her Government. All that we have paid our
Presidents from Washington inclusive, adding the cost of the
Presidential Mansion and all the furniture that has from time to time
been put into it, would not build and furnish one wing of a single Royal
Palace of France–that of Versailles.

But the point to which I would more especially call attention is that of
the unwearied exertions of Royalty to foster and inflame the passion for
Military glory. I wandered for hours through the spacious and
innumerable halls of Versailles, in which Art and Nature seem to have
been taxed to the utmost to heap up prodigies of splendor. At least one
hundred of these rooms would each of itself be deemed a marvel of
sumptuous display anywhere else; yet here we passed over floors of the
richest Mosaic and through galleries of the finest and most elaborately
wrought Marble as if they had been but the roughest pavement or the
rudest plaster. The eye is fatigued, the mind bewildered, by an almost
endless succession of sumptuous carving, gilding, painting, &c., until
the intervention of a naked ante-room or stair-case becomes a positive
relief to both. And the ideas everywhere predominant are War and its
misnamed Glory. Here are vast, expensive paintings purporting to
represent innumerable Sieges and Battles in which the French arms were
engaged, many of them so insignificant that the world has wisely
forgotten them, yet here preserved to inflame and poison the minds of
hot-blooded, unreflecting youth, impelling them to rush into the
manufacture of cripples and corpses under the horrible delusion that
needless, aimless Slaughter, if perpetrated by wholesale, can really be
honorable and glorious. These paintings, as a whole, are of moderate
value as works of Art, while their tendency is horrible and their
details to me revolting. Carriages shattered and overturned, animals
transfixed by spear-thrusts and writhing in speechless agony, men
riddled by cannon-shot or pierced by musket-balls and ghastly with
coming death, such are the spectacles which the more favored and
fortunate of the Gallic youth have been called for generations to admire
and enjoy. These battle-pieces have scarcely more Historic than Artistic
value, since the names of at least half of them might be transposed and
the change be undetected by ninety-nine out of every hundred who see
them. If _all_ the French battles were thus displayed, it might be urged
with plausibility that these galleries were historical in their
character; but a full half of the story, that which tells of French
disaster and discomfiture–is utterly suppressed. The Battles of
Ptolemais, of Ivry, of Fontenoy, of Rivoli, of Austerlitz, &c., are here
as imposing as paint can make them, but never a whisper of Agincourt,
Crecy, Poictiers, Blenheim, or Ramillies, nor yet of Salamanca, of
Vittoria, of Leipsic, or Waterloo. Even the wretched succession of
forays which the French have for the last twenty years been prosecuting
in Algerine Africa here shines resplendent, for Vernet has painted, by
Louis Philippe’s order and at France’s cost, a succession of
battle-pieces wherein French numbers and science are seen prevailing
over Arab barbarism and irregular valor in combats whereof the very
names have been wisely forgotten by mankind, though they occurred but
yesterday. One of these is much the largest painting I ever saw, and is
probably the largest in the world, and it seems to have been got up
merely to exhibit one of Louis Philippe’s sons in the thickest of the
fray. Last of all, we have the “Capture of Abd-el-Kader,” as imposing as
Vernet could make it, but no whisper of the persistent perfidy wherewith
he has been retained for several years in bondage, in violation of the
express agreement of his captors. The whole collection is, in its
general effect, delusive and mischievous, the purpose being to exhibit
War as always glorious and France as uniformly triumphant. It is by
means like these that the business of shattering knee-joints and
multiplying orphans is kept in countenance.

Versailles is a striking monument of the selfish profligacy of
King-craft and the long-suffering patience of Nations. Hundreds of
thousands of laborers’ children must have gone hungry to their straw
pallets in order that their needy parents might pay the inexorable taxes
levied to build this Palace. Yet after all it has stood mainly
uninhabited! Its immense extent and unequalled splendor require an
immeasurable profusion in its occupant, and the incomes even of kings
are not absolutely without limit. So Versailles, with six or eight other
Royal Palaces in and around Paris, has generally stood empty, entailing
on the country an enormous annual expense for its simple preservation.
And now, though France has outgrown Royalty, it knows not what to do
with its costly, spacious, glittering shells. A single Palace
(Rambouillet) standing furthest from Paris, was converted (under Louis
Philippe) into a gigantic storehouse for Wool, while its spacious Parks
and Gardens were wisely devoted to the breeding and sustenance of the
choicest Merino Sheep. The others mainly stand empty, and how to dispose
of them is a National perplexity. Some of them may be converted into
Hospitals, Insane Retreats, &c., others into Libraries or Galleries of
Art and Science; but Versailles is too far from Paris for aught but a
Retreat as aforesaid, and has cost so immense a sum that any use which
may be made of it will seem wasteful. I presume it could not be sold as
it stands for a tenth of its actual cost. Perhaps it will be best,
therefore, to convert all the others into direct uses and preserve this
for public inspection as a perpetual memorial of the reckless
prodigality and all-devouring pomp of Kings, and as a warning to Nations
never again to entrust their destinies to men who, from their very
education and the influences surrounding them through life, must be led
to consider the Toiling Millions as mainly created to pamper their
appetites, to gratify their pride, and to pave with their corpses their
road to extended dominion.

ST. CLOUD is a much smaller but more pleasantly situated, more tastefully
furnished and decorated Palace, some miles nearer than Versailles to
Paris, and commanding an admirable view of the city. The LUXEMBOURG,
situated in the southern section of the city, is externally a chaste and
well-proportioned edifice, containing some fine pictures by living artists,
and surrounded by spacious and delightful woods, shrubbery, &c., termed
“the Gardens of the Luxembourg.” The TUILERIES, in the heart of the city,
near the Seine, I have not seen internally, and the exterior seems low,
straggling, and every way unimposing. Its extent is almost incredible by
those who have not seen it–scarcely less than that of Versailles. The
LOUVRE is the finest structure of all, and most worthily devoted. Its
lower story is filled with Sculptures of no considerable merit, but its
galleries contain more strikingly good Paintings than I shall ever again
see under one roof. I have spent a good part of two days there, and mean
to revisit it on my return.



If each American could spend three days on this continent, his love of
Country and of Liberty could not fail to be quickened and intensified,
if only by an experience of the enormity of the Passport nuisance. It
has cost me precious hours already, not to speak of dollars, and is
certain to cost many more of each. I have nearly concluded to given up
Germany on account of it, while Italy fairly swarms with petty
sovereignties and with Yankee Consuls, the former afraid of their own
black shadows, the latter intent on their beloved two dollars each from
every American traveler. Such is the report I have of them, and I
presume the reality is equal to the foreshadowing. It is a shame that
Republican France stands far behind Aristocratic Britain in this
respect, but I trust the contrast will not endure many more years.

Two Americans who arrived here last week caused some perplexity to their
landlord. Every man who lodges a stranger here must see forthwith that
he has a Passport in good condition, in default of which said host is
liable to a penalty. Now, these Americans, when applied to, produced
Passports in due form, but the professions set forth therein were not
transparent to the landlord’s apprehension. One of them was duly
designated in his Passport as a “_Loafer_” the other as a “_Rowdy_” and
they informed him, on application, that, though these professions were
highly popular in America and extensively followed, they knew no French
synonyms into which they could be translated. The landlord, not content
with the sign manual of Daniel Webster, affirming that all was right,
applied to an American friend for a translation of the inexplicable
professions, but I am not sure that he has even yet been fully
enlightened with regard to them.

I am off to-day (I hope) for Lyons and Italy.






LYONS, Tuesday, June 17, 1851.

I came out of Paris through the spacious _Boulevards_,[B] which, under
various second appellations, stretch eastward from the Madeleine Church
nearly to the barrier, and then bend southward, near the beautiful
column which marks the site and commemorates the fall of the Bastile, so
long the chief dungeon wherein Despotism stifled Remonstrance and tamed
the spirit of Freedom. Liberty in France is doomed yet to undergo many
trials–nay, is now enduring some of them–but it is not within the
compass of probability that another Bastile should ever rear its head
there, nor that the absolute power and abject servitude which it fitly
symbolized should ever be known there hereafter. Very near it on the
south lies the famous Faubourg St. Antoine, inhabited mainly by bold,
free-souled working-men, who have repeatedly evinced their choice to die
free rather than live slaves, and in whom the same spirit lives and
rules to-day. I trust that dire alternative will never again be forced
upon them, but if it should be there is no Bastile so impregnable, no
despotism so fortified by prescription, and glorious recollections, and
the blind devotion of loyalty, as those they have already leveled to the

The Paris Station of the Lyons Railway is at the eastern barrier of the
City. I received here another lesson in French Railroad management. I
first bought at the office my ticket for Chalons on the Saone, which is
the point to which the road is now completed. The distance is 243 miles;
the fare (first-class) $7.50. But the display of my ticket did not
entitle me to enter the passengers’ sitting-room, much less to approach
the cars. Though I had cut down my baggage, by two radical
retrenchments, to two light carpet-bags, I could not take these with me,
nor would they pass without weighing. When weighed, I was required to
pay three or four sous (cents) for extra baggage, though there is no
stage-route in America on which those bags would not have passed
unchallenged and been accounted a very moderate allowance. Now I was
permitted to enter the sacred precincts, but my friend, who had spent
the morning with me and come to see me off, was inexorably shut out, and
I had no choice but to bid him a hasty adieu. Passing the entrance, I
was shown into the apartment for first-class passengers, while the
second-class were driven into a separate fold and the third-class into
another. Thus we waited fifteen minutes, during which I satisfied myself
that no other American was going by this train, and but three or four
English, and of these the two with whom I scraped an acquaintance were
going only to Fontainbleau, a few miles from Paris. They were required
to take their places in a portion of the train which was to stop at
Fontainbleau, and so we moved off.

The European Railway carriages, so far as I have yet seen them, are more
expensive and less convenient than ours. Each is absolutely divided into
apartments about the size of a mail-coach, and calculated to hold eight
persons. The result is thirty-two seats where an American car of equal
length and weight would hold at least fifty, and of the thirty-two
passengers, one-half must inevitably ride backward. I believe the
second-class cars are more sociable, and mean to make their
acquaintance. I should have done it this time, but for my desire to meet
some one with whom I could converse, and Americans and Englishmen are
apt to cling to the first-class places. My aim was disappointed. My
companions were all Frenchmen, and, what was worse, all inveterate
smokers. They kept puff-puffing, through the day; first all of them,
then three, two, and at all events one, till they all got out at Dijon
near nightfall; when, before I had time to congratulate myself on the
atmospheric improvement, another Frenchman got in, lit his cigar, and
went at it. All this was in direct and flagrant violation of the rules
posted up in the car; but when did a smoker ever care for law or
decency? I will endeavor next time to find a seat in a car where women
are fellow-passengers, and see whether their presence is respected by
the devotees of the noxious weed. I have but a faint hope of it.

The Railroad from Paris to Chalons passes through a generally level
region, watered by tributaries of the Seine and of the Saone, with a
range of gentle hills skirting the valleys, generally on the right and
sometimes on either hand. As in England, the track is never allowed to
cross a carriage-road on its own level, but is carried either under or
over each. The soil is usually fertile and well cultivated, though not
so skillfully and thoroughly as that of England. There are places,
however, in which the cultivation could not easily be surpassed, but I
should say that the average product would not be more than two-thirds
that of England, acre for acre. There are very few fences of any kind,
save a slight one inclosing the Railway, beyond which the country
stretches away as far as the eye can reach without a visible landmark,
the crops of different cultivators fairly touching each other and
growing square up to the narrow roads that traverse them. You will see,
for instance, first a strip of Grass, perhaps ten rods wide, and
running back sixty or eighty rods from the Railroad; then a narrower
strip of Wheat; then one of Grape-Vines; then one of Beans; then one of
Clover; then Wheat again, then Grass or Oats, and so on. I saw very
little Rye; and if there were Potatoes or Indian Corn, they were not up
sufficiently high to be distinguished as we sped by them. The work going
forward was the later Weeding with the earlier Hay-making, and I saw
nearly as many women as men working in the fields. The growing crops
were generally kept pretty clear of weeds, and the grass was most
faithfully but very slowly cut. I think one Yankee would mow over more
ground in a day than two Frenchmen, but he would cut less hay to the
acre. Of course, in a country devoid of fences and half covered with
small patches of grain, there could not be many cattle: I saw no oxen,
very few cows, and not many horses. The hay-carts were generally drawn
by asses, or by horses so small as not to be easily distinguished from
asses as we whirled rapidly by. The wagons on the roads were generally
drawn by small horses. I judge that the people are generally industrious
but not remarkably efficient, and that the women do the larger half of
the work, house-work included. The hay-carts were wretchedly small, and
the implements used looked generally rude and primitive. The dwellings
are low, small, steep-roofed cottages, for which a hundred dollars each
would be a liberal offer. Of course, I speak of the rural habitations;
those in the villages are better, though still mainly small,
steep-roofed, poor, and huddled together in the most chaotic confusion.
The stalls and pastures for cattle were in the main only visible to the
eye of faith; though cattle there must be and are to do the ploughing
and hauling. I suspect they are seldom turned loose in summer, and that
there is not a cow to every third cottage. I think I did not see a yoke
of oxen throughout the day’s ride of 243 miles.

I was again agreeably disappointed in the abundance of Trees. Wood
seems to be the peasants’ sole reliance for fuel, and trees are planted
beside the roads, the streams, the ditches, and often in rows or patches
on some arable portion of the peasants’ narrow domain. This planting is
mainly confined to two varieties–the Lombardy Poplar and what I took to
be the Pollard, a species of Willow which displays very little foliage,
and is usually trimmed up so as to have but a mere armful of leaves and
branches at the top of a trunk thirty to fifty feet high, and six to
twelve inches through. The Lombardy Poplar is in like manner preferred,
as giving a large amount of trunk to little shade, the limbs rarely
extending three feet from the trunk, while the growth is rapid. Such are
the means employed to procure fuel and timber with the least possible
abstraction of soil from the uses of cultivation. There are some
side-hills so rocky and sterile as to defy human industry, and these are
given up to brush-wood, which I presume is cut occasionally and bound
into faggots for fuel. Some of it may straggle up, if permitted, into
trees, but I saw little that would fairly justify the designation of
Forest. Of Fruit-trees, save in the villages, there is a deplorable
scarcity throughout.

We passed through few villages and no town of note but DIJON, the capital
of ancient Burgundy, where its Parliament was held and where its Dukes
reigned and were buried. Their palace still stands, though they have
passed away. Dijon is 200 miles from Paris, and has 25,000 inhabitants,
with manufactures of Cotton, Woolen and Silk. Here and henceforth the
Vine is more extensively cultivated than further Northward.

We reached CHALONS on the Saone (there is another Chalons on the Marne)
before 9 P. M. or in about ten hours from Paris. Here a steamboat was
ready to take us forthwith to Lyons, but French management was too much
for us. Our baggage was all taken from the car outside and carried piece
by piece into the dépôt, where it was very carefully arranged in order
according to the numbers affixed to the several trunks, &c., in Paris.
This consumed the better part of half an hour, though half as many
Yankees as were fussing over it would have had it all distributed to the
owners inside of ten minutes. Then the holders of the first three or four
numbers were let into the baggage-room, and when they were disposed of as
many more were let in, and so on. Each, as soon as he had secured his
baggage, was hustled into an omnibus destined for the boat. I was among
the first to get seated, but ours was the last omnibus to start, and when
the attempt was made, the carriage was overloaded and wouldn’t start! At
last it was set in motion, but stopped twice or thrice to let off
passengers and baggage at hotels, then to collect fare, and at last, when
we had got within a few rods of the landing, we were cheered with the
information that “_Le bateau est parti!_” The French may have been better
than this, but its purport was unmistakable–the boat was gone, and we
were done. I had of course seen this trick played before, but never so
clumsily. There was no help for us, however, and the amount of useless
execration emitted was rather moderate than otherwise. Our charioteers
had taken good care to obtain their pay for carrying us some time before,
and we suffered ourselves to be taken to our predestined hotel in a frame
of mind approaching Christian resignation. In fact, when I had been shown
up to a nice bed-room, with clean sheets and (for France) a fair supply
of water, and had taken time to reflect that there is no accommodation
for sleeping on any of these European river-boats, I was rather glad we
had been swindled than otherwise. So I am still. But you may travel the
same route in a hurry; so look out!

We rose at 4 and made for the boat, determined not to be caught twice in
the same town. At five we bade good-bye to Chalons-sur-Saone (a pleasant
town of 13,000 people), under a lowering sky which soon blessed the
earth with rain–a dubious blessing to a hundred people on a steamboat
with no deck above the guards and scarcely room enough below for the
female passengers. However, the rain soon ceased and the sky gradually
cleared, so that since 9 o’clock the day has been sunny and delightful.

The distance from Chalons to Lyons by the Saone is some 90 miles. The
river is about the size of the Connecticut from Greenfield to Hartford,
but is sluggish throughout, with very low banks until the last ten or
fifteen miles. After an intervale of half a mile to two miles, the land
rises gently on the right to an altitude of some two to five hundred
feet, the slope covered and checkered the whole distance with vineyards,
meadows, woods, &c. The Poplar and the Pollard are still planted, but
the scale of cultivation is larger and the houses much better than
between Paris and Dijon. The intervale (mainly in meadow) is much wider
on the left bank, the swell beyond it being in some places scarcely
visible. The scenery is greatly admired here, and as a whole may be
termed pretty, but cannot compare with that of the Hudson or Connecticut
in boldness or grandeur. There are some craggy hill-sides in the
distance, but I have not yet seen an indisputable mountain in France,
though I have passed nearly through it in a mainly southerly course for
over five hundred miles.

As we approach Lyons, the hills on either side come nearer and finally
shut in the river between two steep acclivities, from which much
building-stone has been quarried. Elsewhere, these hill-sides are
covered with tasteful country residences of the retired or wealthy
Lyonnais, surrounded by gardens, arbors, shrubbery, &c. The general
effect is good. At last, houses and quays begin to line and bridges to
span the river, and we halt beside one of the quays and are in Lyons.


[B] _Boulevard_ means, I presume, rampart or fortified works (hence our
English _bulwark_). The rampart was long ago removed, as the city
outgrew it, but the name is retained by the ample street which took its
place. Our _Battery_ at New-York illustrates this origin of a name.






TURIN (Italy), June 20, 1851.

LYONS, though a French city, and the second in the Republic, wears a sad,
disheartened aspect. In ’91 a stronghold of decaying Loyalty, it is
to-day the very focus of Democratic Socialism, being decidedly more “Red”
than Paris.–Here is concentrated the Sixth Military Division of the
French Army, under chiefs not chary of using the sabre and bayonet, and
with instructions to apply efficient poultices of grape and canister on
the first palpable appearance of local inflammation. Should Louis Napoleon
be enabled to override the Constitution and prolong his sway, it is
possible that, by the aid of the act of May 31st, 1850, whereby more than
half the Artisans of France are disfranchised, the spirit of Lyons may in
time be subdued, and partisans of “Order” substituted for her present
Socialist Representatives in the Assembly; but, should the popular cause
triumph in the ensuing Elections, I shall be agreeably disappointed if
that triumph is as temperately and forbearingly enjoyed here as was that
of February, 1848.

Lyons is now undergoing one of those periodical revulsions or
depressions which are the necessary incidents of the false system of
Industry and Trade which the leaders of Commercial opinion are bent on
fortifying and extending.–Here, at the confluence of the Rhone and the
Saone, is concentrated a population of nearly 200,000 souls, half of
whom attempt to live by spinning, weaving and dyeing Silks, while the
residue in good part busy themselves in collecting and buying the raw
material or in exporting and selling the product. But it is not best for
themselves nor for mankind that 100,000 Silk-workers should be clustered
on any square mile or two of earth; if they were distributed over the
world’s surface, in communities of five to fifty thousand souls–if the
raw Silk were grown in the various countries wherein the fabrics are
required, where the climate and soil do not forbid, and taken there to
be manufactured where they do–the workers would have space, air,
activity, liberty, development, which are unattainable while they are
cooped within the walls of a single city. If those Silk-weavers, for
instance, whose fabrics are consumed in the United States, were now
located in Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri, &c. instead of being mainly
crowded into Lyons, they would there obtain many of the necessaries of
life at half the prices they now give for them, while the consumers of
their fabrics would pay for them in good part with Fruits, Vegetables,
Fuel, &c. which, because of their bulk or their perishable nature, they
cannot now sell at all, or can only sell at prices below the cost of
production. No matter if the Silks were held in money a fifth, a fourth,
or even a third higher than now, the great body of our consumers would
obtain them much cheaper, estimating the cost not in dollars but in
days’ labor. The workers on both sides would be benefited, because they
would share between them at least three-fourths of the enormous tax
which Commerce now levies upon their Industry through the sale and
resale of its products, to distribute among its importers, shippers,
jobbers, retailers and lackeys of infinite variety. The bringing
together of Producer and Consumer, where Nature has interposed no
barrier, so that their diverse needs may be supplied by direct
interchange, or with the fewest possible intermediates, is the simple
and only remedy for one of the chief scourges under which Industry now
suffers throughout the world.

“Very true,” says Vapid, “but this will regulate itself.”–Will it,
indeed? Be good enough to tell me how! All the potent individual
agencies now affecting it are attached by self-interest to the wrong
side. The Capitalists, the Employers, the Exporters, engaged in the Silk
trade, all own property in Lyons, and are naturally anxious that the
manufacture shall be more and more concentrated there. The Shipper, the
Importer, the Jobber of our own country, has a like interest in keeping
the point of production as distant from their customers as possible.
Very often have I been told by wholesale merchants, “We prefer to sell
Foreign rather than Home-made fabrics, because the profit on the former
is usually much greater.” This consideration is active and omnipresent
in Trade generally. The sole interest subserved by Direct and Simple
Exchanges is that of Labor; and this, though greatest of all, is
unorganized, inert, and individually impotent. These Silk-Weavers of
Lyons are no more capable of removing to Virginia or Missouri and
establishing their business there than the Alps are of making an
American tour. Our consumers of Silks, acting as individuals, cannot
bring them over and establish them among us. But the great body of
consumers, animated by Philanthropy and an enlightened Self-Interest,
acting through their single efficient organism, the State, can make it
the interest of Capital and Capacity to bring them over and plant them
in the most eligible localities among us, and ought immediately and
persistently to do so. The inconveniences of such a policy are partial
and transitory, while its blessings are permanent and universal.



Railroads are excellent contrivances for dispatch and economy;
Steamboats ditto, and better still for ease and observation or reading;
Steamships are to be endured when Necessity compels; but an
old-fashioned Coach-and-Four is by no means to be despised, even in
this age of Progress and Enlightenment. While I stay in Europe, I wish
to see as much land and to waste as little time on blue water as
possible. So I turned aside at Lyons from the general stream of
Italy-bound travellers–which flows down the Rhone to Avignon and
Marseilles, thence embarking for Genoa and Leghorn,–and booked myself
for a ride across the Lower Alps by diligence to Turin. And glad am I
that my early resolve to do so was not shaken.

The European, but more especially French, diligence has often been
described. Ours consisted of a long carriage divided into the _coupé_ or
foremost apartment, directly under the driver, and with an outlook on
each side and in front over the backs of the horses; the middle
apartment, which is much like the interior of our ordinary stage-coach;
and the rumble or rear apartment, calculated for servants or other cheap
travelers. Two-thirds of the roof was covered with a tun or two of
baggage and merchandise; and in front of this, behind and above the
driver’s seat, is the _banquette_, a single seat across the top,
calculated to hold four persons, with a chaise top to be thrown back in
fine weather and a glass front to be let down by night or in case of
rain. I chose my seat here, as affording the best possible view of the
country. At 8 P. M. precisely, the driver cracked his whip, and four
good horses started our lumbering vehicle at a lively pace on the road
to Turin, some two hundred miles away in the south-east.

The road from Lyons to the frontier is one of the best in the world, and
traverses a level, fertile, productive country. I should say that Grass,
Wheat and the Vine are the chief staples. A row of trees adorns either
side of the road most of the way, not the trim, gaunt, limbless
skeletons which are preferred throughout Central France, but
wide-spreading, thrifty shade-trees, which I judged in the darkness to
be mainly Black Walnut, with perhaps a sprinkling of Chestnut, &c.
Through this noble avenue, we rattled on at a glorious pace, a row of
small bells jingling from each horse, and no change of teams consuming
more than two minutes, until we reached the little village on the French
side of the boundary between France and Savoy, some fifty miles from
Lyons. Here our Passports were taken away for scrutiny and _visé_, and
we were compelled to wait from 2½ till 5 o’clock, as the Sardinian
officers of customs would not begin to examine our baggage till the
latter hour. At 5 we crossed the little, rapid river (a tributary of the
Rhone) which here divides the two countries, a French and a Sardinian
sentinel standing at either end of the bridge. We drove into the court
of the custom-house, dismounted, had our baggage taken off and into the
rude building, where half a dozen officers and attendants soon appeared
and went at it. They searched rigidly, but promptly, carefully and like
gentlemen. In half an hour we were pronounced all right; our diligence
was reloaded, and, our passports having been returned, we rattled out of
the village and on our way, in the sunshine of as bright a June morning
as I ever hope to enjoy.

France is a land of plains, and glades, and gentle acclivities; Savoy is
a country of mountains. They rose before and around us from the moment
of our crossing the boundary–grim, rugged and precipitous, they formed
a striking contrast to all of Europe I had hitherto seen. Throughout the
day and night following, we were rarely or never out of sight of
snow-covered peaks; nay, I have not yet lost sight of them, since they
are distinctly visible in the clear Italian atmosphere from the streets
of this sunny metropolis, at a distance of some thirty miles north. Our
route lay through Savoy for about a hundred miles, and not one acre in
thirty within sight of it can ever be plowed. Yet the mountains are in
good part composed of limestone, so that the narrow, sheltered valleys
are decidedly fertile; and the Vine is often made to thrive on the
steep, rocky hill sides, where the plow could not be forced below the
surface, and where an ox could not keep his footing. Every inch of
ground that can be, is cultivated; little patches of Wheat, or Grass, or
Vines are got in wherever there is a speck of soil, though no larger
than a cart-body; and far up the sides of steep mountains, wherever a
spot is found so moderately inclined that soil will lie on it, there
Grass at least is grown.

Human Labor, in such a region, fully peopled, is very cheap and not very
efficient. The grape is the chief staple and Wine must be the principal
and probably is the only export, at least one third of the arable soil
being devoted to the Vine. Wheat is pretty extensively sown and is now
heading very thriftily, but I suspect the average size of the patches is
not above a quarter of an acre each. The Grass is good; and not much of
it cut yet. Indian Corn and Potatoes are generally cultivated, but in
deplorable ignorance of their nature. At least four times the proper
quantity of seed is put in the ground, neither Corn nor Potatoes being
allowed more than eighteen inches between the rows, making the labor of
cultivation very great and the chance of a good yield none at all.

I think I saw quite as many women as men at work in the fields
throughout Savoy. A girl of fourteen driving a yoke of oxen attached to
a cart, walking barefoot beside the team and plying the goadstick, while
a boy of her own age lay idly at length in the cart, is one of my
liveliest recollections of Savoyard ways. Nut-brown, unbonneted women,
hoeing corn with an implement between an adze and a pick-axe (and not a
bad implement, either, for so rugged an unplowed soil), women driving
hogs, cows, &c., to or from market, we encountered at every turn. So
much hard, rough work and exposure are fatal to every trace of beauty,
and I do not remember to have seen a woman in Savoy even moderately
good-looking, while many were absolutely revolting. That this is not
Nature’s fault is proved by the general aspect of the children, who,
though swarthy, have often good forms and features.

We drove down into CHAMBERY, the capital of ancient Savoy, about 9 A. M.
This is a town of some fifteen thousand inhabitants, pleasantly situated
in the valley of a much larger tributary of the Rhone than that we crossed
at the boundary, and with a breadth of arable soil of perhaps two miles
between the mountains. No where else in Savoy did we traverse a valley
even half a mile wide for any distance. Here is an old ducal palace, with
fine spacious grounds, shrubbery, &c. The road from Geneva and the Baths
of Aix to Turin comes down this valley and here intersects that from Lyons.
We were allowed twenty-five minutes for breakfast, which would have been
very well but that the time required for cooking most of the breakfast had
to come out of it.

There was enough and good enough to eat, and (as usual throughout all
this region) Wine in abundance without charge, but Tea, Coffee or
Chocolate must be ordered and paid for extra. Even so, I was unable to
obtain a cup of Chocolate, the excuse being that there was not time to
make it. I did not understand, therefore, why I was charged more than
others for breakfast; but to talk English against French or Italian is
to get a mile behind in no time, so I pocketed the change offered me and
came away. On the coach, however, with an Englishman near me who had
traveled this way before and spoke French and Italian, I ventured to
expose my ignorance as follows:

“Neighbor, why was I charged three francs for breakfast, and the rest of
you but two and a half?”

“Don’t know–perhaps you had Tea or Coffee.”

“No, Sir–don’t drink either.”

“Then perhaps you washed your face and hands.”

“Well, it would be just like me.”

“O, then, that’s it! The half franc was for the basin and towel.”

“Ah, _oui, oui_.” So the milk in _that_ cocoa-nut was accounted for.

Our road, though winding constantly among mountains, was by no means a
rugged one. On the contrary, I was surprised to find it so nearly level.
Three or four times during the day we came to a hard hill, and usually a
yoke of oxen, an extra horse or span, stood at the foot, ready to hitch
on and help us up. Of course, we were steadily rising throughout, but so
gradually and on so capital a road as to offer little impediment to our
progress. A better road made of earth I never expect to see. Every mile
of it is plainly under constant supervision, and any defect is instantly
repaired. The only exception to its excellence is caused by the
villages, which occur at an average of ten miles apart, and consist each
of fifty to two hundred poor dwellings, mainly of stone, huddled
chaotically together along the two sides of the road, which is twisted
and turned by them in every direction, and often crowded into a width of
not more than eight or ten feet. It is absolutely impossible that two
carriages should pass each other in these narrow, crooked lanes, and
dangerous for even a pedestrian to stand outside of a house while the
diligence is threading one of these gorges.

There is no town except Chambery on the whole route from Lyons to Turin;
but we passed about noon through a village in which a Fair was
proceeding. I did not suspect that two thousand people could live within
ten miles of the spot; yet I think fully two thousand were here
collected, with half as many cows, asses, hogs, &c., which had been
brought hither for sale, and about which they were jabbering and
gesticulating. Dealers in coarse chip hats and a few kindred fabrics
were also present; but it looked as if sellers were more abundant and
eager than buyers. It was only by great effort and by the most
exemplary patience that our driver and guard were enabled to clear the
road so that we passed through without inflicting any injury.

Wilder and narrower was the gorge, nearer and bleaker rose the
mountains, steeper and more palpable became the ascent, keener and
crisper grew the air, as the evening fell upon us pursuing our devious
way. The valleys were not only insignificant but widely separated by
tracts through which the road had with difficulty and at much expense
been cut out of the mountain side without infringing on the impetuous
torrent that tumbled and foamed by our side; and even where little
valleys or glens still existed it was clear that Nature no longer
responded with alacrity and abundance to the summons of human industry.
The Vine no longer clung to the steep acclivities; the summer foliage of
the lower valleys had given place to dark evergreens where shrubbery
could still find foot-hold and sustenance. The snow no longer skulked
timorously behind the peaks of distant mountains, showing itself only on
their northern declivities, but stood out boldly, unblenchingly on all
sides, and seemed within a musket-shot of our path. From slight
depressions in the brows of the overhanging cliffs, streamlets leaped
hundreds of feet in silvery recklessness, falling in feathery foam by
our side. I think I saw half a dozen of these cascades within a distance
of three miles.

At length, near ten o’clock, we reached the foot of Mount Cenis, where
sinuosity of course could avail us no further. We must now face the
music. Our five tired horses were exchanged for eight fresh ones, and we
commenced the slow, laborious ascent of some six or eight miles. Human
habitations had already become scattered and infrequent; but we passed
three or four in ascending the mountain. Their inmates of course live
upon the travel, in one way or another, for Sterility is here the
inexorable law. Yet our ascent was not so steep as might be expected,
being modified, when necessary, by zig-zags from one direction or one
side of the chasm we followed to the other. The horses were stopped to
breathe but once only; elsewhere for three hours or more they pursued
their firm, deliberate, decided, though slow advance. The shrubbery
dwindled as we ascended and at length disappeared, save in the sheltered
gorges; the snow came nearer and spread over still larger spaces; at
length, it lay in heavy beds or masses, half melted into ice, just by
the side of the road and on its edge, though I think there was none
actually under the wheels. Finally, a little before one o’clock, we
reached the summit, and the moon from behind the neighboring cliff burst
upon us fully two hours high. Two or three houses stood here for the use
of travelers; around them nothing but snow and the naked planet. Before
us lay the valley of the Po, the great plain of Upper Italy.

Six of our horses were here detached and sent back to the Savoy base of
the mountain, while with the two remaining we commenced our rapid and
dashing descent. Mount Cenis is decidedly steeper on this side than on
the other; it is only surmounted by a succession of zig-zags so near
each other that I think we traveled three miles in making a direct
progress of one, during which we must have descended some 1,500 feet.
Daylight found us at the foot with the level plain before us, and at 8
o’clock, A. M. we were in Turin.






GENOA (Italy), June 22, 1851.

The Kingdom of Sardinia was formed, after the overthrow of Napoleon, by
the union of Genoa and its dependencies, with the former Kingdom of
Piedmont and Savoy including the island of Sardinia, to whose long
exiled Royal house was restored a dominion thus extended. That dominion
has since stood unchanged, and may be roughly said to embrace the
North-Western fourth of Italy, including Savoy, which belongs
geographically to Switzerland, but which forms a very strong barrier
against invasion from the side of France. Savoy is almost entirely
watered by tributaries of the Rhone, and so might be said to belong
naturally to France rather than to Italy, regarding the crests of the
Alps as the proper line of demarcation between them. Its trade, small at
any rate, is of necessity mainly with France; very slightly, save on the
immediate sea-coast, with Genoa or Piedmont. Its language is French.
Though peopled nearly to the limit of its capacity, the whole number of
its inhabitants can hardly exceed Half a Million, nine-tenths of its
entire surface being covered with sterile, intractable mountains. Savoy
must always be a poor country, with inconsiderable commerce or
manufactures (for though its water-power is inexhaustible, its means of
communication must ever be among the worst), and seems to have been
created mainly as a barrier against that guilty ambition which impels
rulers and chieftains to covet and invade territories which reject and
resist their sway. Alas that the Providential design, though so
palpable, should be so often disregarded! Doubtless, the lives lost from
age to age by mere hardship, privation and exposure, during the passage
of invading armies through Savoy, would outnumber the whole present
population of the country.

Descending the Alps to the east or south into PIEDMONT, a new world lies
around and before you. You have passed in two hours from the Arctic
circle to the Tropics–from Lapland to Cuba. The snow-crested mountains
are still in sight, and seem in the clear atmosphere to be very near you
even when forty or fifty miles distant, but you are traversing a spacious
plain which slopes imperceptibly to the Po, and is matched by one nearly
as level on the other side. This great plain of upper Italy, with the Po
in its center, commences at the foot of the lower Alps very near the
Mediterranean, far west of Turin and of Genoa, and stretches across the
widest portion of the peninsula till it is lost in the Adriatic. The
western half of this great valley is Piedmont; the eastern is Lombardy.
Its fertility and facility of cultivation are such that even Italian
unthrift and ignorance of Agriculture are unable to destroy the former
or nullify the latter. I never saw better Wheat, Grass, and Barley, than
in my journey of a hundred miles across this noble valley of the Po, or
Piedmont, and the Indian Corn, Potatoes, &c., are less promising only
because of the amazing ignorance of their requirements evinced by
nine-tenths of the cultivators. In the first place, the land is not plowed
half deep enough; next, most of it is seldom or never manured; thirdly, it
is planted too late; and fourthly, three or four times as much seed is
planted as should be. I should judge that twenty seed potatoes, or kernels
of corn, to each square yard is about the average, while five of either is
quite enough. Then both, but especially Corn, are hilled up, sugar-loaf
fashion, until the height of each hill is about equal to its breadth at
the base, so that two days’ hot sun dries the hill completely through,
while there is no soil a foot from each stalk for its roots to run in.
From such perverse cultivation, a good yield is impossible. There has been
no rain of consequence here for some weeks, whence Wheat and Barley are
ripening too rapidly, while Corn, Potatoes and Vegetables suffer severely
from drouth, when with deeper plowing and rational culture everything
would have been verdant and flourishing. Yet this great plain in some
parts is and in most might be easily and bountifully irrigated from the
innumerable mountain streams which traverse it on their way to the Po. I
never saw another region wherein a few Sub-soil Plows, with men qualified
to use them and to set forth the nature and advantages of skillful
cultivation generally, are so much wanted as in Piedmont.

The Vine is of course extensively cultivated in Piedmont, as everywhere
in Italy, but not so universally as in the hilly, rocky region extending
from the great valley to this city (some thirty or forty miles). This
has a warm though a thin soil, which must be highly favorable to the
Vine to induce so exclusive a devotion to it. I think half of the arable
soil I saw between this and Arquata, where the plain and (for the
present) the Railroad stop, and the hills and the diligence begin, was
devoted to the Grape; while from the steeple of the Carignani Church,
which I ascended last evening, the semi-circle of towering, receding
hill-sides which invests Genoa landward, seems covered with the Vine,
and even the Gardens within the town are nearly given up to it. The Fig,
the Orange, the Almond, are also native here or in the vicinity.

This kingdom is to-day, after France, the chief point of interest in
continental Europe for lovers of Human Liberty. Three years ago, under
the impulse of the general uprising of the Nations, its rulers entered
upon a course of policy in accordance with the wants and demands of the
age, and that policy is still adhered to, though meantime the general
aspect of affairs is sadly changed, and Sardinia herself has experienced
the sorest reverses. The weak, unstable King whose ambition first
conspired to throw her into the current of the movement for the
liberation of Italy, has died defeated and broken-hearted, but his wiser
son and heir has taken his stand deliberately and firmly on the liberal
side, and cannot be driven from his course. His policy, as proclaimed in
his memorable Speech from the Throne on the assembling of the present
Chambers, is “to rear Free Institutions in the midst of surrounding
ruins.” A popular Assembly, in which the Ministry have seats, directs
and supervises the National Policy, which is avowedly and efficiently
directed toward the vigorous prosecution of Reforms in every department.
Absolute Freedom in matters of Religion has already been established,
and the long crushed and persecuted Vaudois or Waldenses rejoice in the
brighter day now opening before them. Their simple worship is not only
authorized and protected in their narrow, secluded Alpine valleys, but
it is openly and regularly conducted also in Turin, the metropolis,
where they are now endeavoring to erect a temple which shall fitly set
forth the changed position of Protestantism in Northern Italy. They are
still few and poor, and will apply to their brethren in America for
pecuniary aid, which I trust will be granted expressly on condition that
the church thus erected shall be open, when not otherwise required, to
any Protestant clergyman who produces ample testimonials of his good
standing with his own denomination at home. Such a church in Turin would
be of incalculable service to the cause of Human Emancipation from the
shackles of Force, Prescription and Tradition throughout Italy and the
Eastern World.

The Freedom of the Press is established in this kingdom, yet no single
journal of the Reäctionist type is issued, because there is no demand
for one. The only division of political sentiment is that which
separates the more impetuous Progressives, or avowed Democrats, from the
larger number (apparently) who believe it wiser and safer to hold fast
by King and Constitution, especially since the Monarch is among the most
zealous and active in the cause of Progress and Reform. I think these
are right, though their opponents have ample justification in History,
even the most recent, for their distrust of the liberal professions and
seemings of Royalty. But were the King and all his House to abdicate and
leave the country to-morrow, I believe that would be a disastrous step
for Sardinia and for Human Liberty. For this kingdom is almost walled in
by enemies–Austria, Tuscany, Rome (alas!) and Naples–all intensely
hating it and seeking its downfall because of the Light and Hope which
its policy and its example are diffusing among the nations. With the
Pope it is directly at variance, on questions of contested jurisdiction
deemed vital alike by the Spiritual and the Temporal power; and repeated
efforts at adjustment have only resulted in repeated failures. This feud
is of itself a source of weakness, since ninety-nine in every hundred of
the population are at least nominally Roman Catholic, and the great mass
of the Peasantry intensely so, while the Priesthood naturally side with
the Ecclesiastical as against the Political contestant. And behind
Austria, notoriously hostile to the present policy of Sardinia, stands
the black, colossal shadow of the Autocrat, with no power east of the
Rhine and the Adriatic able or willing to resist him, and only waiting
for an excuse to pour his legions over the sunny plains of Southern
Europe. A Democratic Revolution in Sardinia, no matter how peacefully
effected, would inevitably, while France is crippled as at present, be
the signal (as with Naples and Spain successively some twenty-five to
thirty years ago) for overwhelming invasion in the interest and by the
forces of utter Despotism. Well-informed men believe that if the present
King were to abdicate to-morrow, he would immediately be chosen
President by an immense majority of the People.

Yet there is an earnest, outspoken Democratic party in Sardinia, and
this city is its focus. Genoa, in fact, has never been reconciled to the
decree which arbitrarily merged her political existence in that of the
present Kingdom. She fondly cherishes the recollection of her ancient
opulence, power and glory, and remembers that in her day of greatness
she was the center and soul of a Republic. Hence her Revolutionary
struggle in 1848; hence the activity and boldness of her Republican
propaganda now. To see Italy a Federal Republic, whereof Piedmont,
Savoy, Genoa and Sardinia should be separate and sovereign States, along
with Venice, Lombardy, Tuscany, Rome, Naples, &c., would best satisfy
her essential aspirations.

Yet Genoa is clearly benefited by her present political connection. From
her lovely bay, she looks out over the Mediterranean, Corsica, Sardinia,
Africa and the Levant, but has scarcely a glimpse of the continent of
Italy. No river bears its products to her expectant wharves; only the
most insignificant mill-streams brawl idly down to her harbor and the
adjacent shore; steep, naked mountains rise abruptly behind her,
scarcely allowing room for her lofty edifices and narrow streets; while
from only a few miles back the waters are hurrying to join the Po and be
borne away by that rapid, unnavigable stream to the furthest limit of
Italy. No commercial City was ever more hardly dealt with by Nature on
the land side than Genoa; no one ever stood more in need of intimate
political connections suggestive of and cemented by works of Internal
improvement. These she is now on the point of securing. A very tolerable
Railroad has already been constructed from Turin to Arquata, some
seventy miles on the way to Genoa, and the remaining thirty odd miles
are now under contract, to be completed in 1852. The portion
constructed was easy, while the residue is exceedingly difficult,
following the valleys of impetuous mountain torrents, which to-day
discharge each minute five gallons and to-morrow five thousand
hogsheads. These valleys (or rather clefts) are quite commonly so narrow
and their sides so steep and rock-bound that the Railroad track has to
be raised several feet on solid masonry to preserve it from being washed
away by the floods which follow every violent or protracted rain.
Expensive arches to admit the passage of the streams whenever crossed,
and of the roads, are also numerous, so that these thirty miles, in
spite of the abundance and cheapness of Labor here, will cost at least
Three Millions of Dollars. Yet the road will pay when in full operation,
and will prove a new day-spring of prosperity to Genoa. From Turin,
branches or feeders will run to the Alps in various directions,
benefiting that city considerably, but Genoa infinitely more, since
nine-tenths of the produce even of Piedmont will run past Turin, without
unloading, to find purchasers and exporters here. A coal-mine of promise
has just been discovered at Aosta, at the foot of the Alps, to which one
of these branches is to be constructed. Genoa is now jealous of Turin’s
political ascendency, which is just as sensible as would be jealousy of
Albany on the part of New-York. Even already, though it has not come
near her, the Railroad is sensibly improving her trade and industry; and
whenever it shall have reached her wharves every mile added to its
extent or to that of any of its branches will add directly and largely
to the commerce and wealth of this city. In time this Road will connect
with those of France and Germany, by a tunnel through some one of the
Alps (Mount Cenis is now under consideration), but, even without that,
whenever it shall have reached the immediate base of the Alps on this
side and been responded to by similar extensions of the French and
Rhine-valley Railroads on the other, Genoa will supplant Marseilles
while continuing preferable to Trieste as the point of embarkation for
Cairo and Suez on the direct route from England and Paris for India,
China and Southern Asia generally, and can only be superseded in that
preëminence by a railroad running hence or from Lake Maggiore and Milan
direct to Naples or Salerno–a work of whose construction through so
many petty and benighted principalities there is no present probability.

Still, Sardinia has very much before her unaccomplished. She needs first
of all things an efficient and comprehensive system of Popular
Education. With the enormous superabundance of Sixty Thousand Priests
and other Ecclesiastics to a generally poor population of Four Millions,
she has not to-day five thousand teachers, good, bad and indifferent, of
elementary and secular knowledge. These black-coated gentry fairly
overshadow the land with their shovel hats, so that Corn has no fair
chance of sunshine. The Churches of this City alone must have cost Ten
Millions of Dollars–for you cannot walk a hundred steps without passing
one; and the wealth lavished in their construction and adornment exceeds
all belief–while all the common school-houses in Genoa would not bring
fifty thousand dollars. The best minds of the country are now pondering
the urgent necessity of speedily establishing a system of efficient
Popular Education.

But the Nation is deeply in debt, and laboring under heavy burdens. Its
Industry is inefficient, its Commerce meager, its Revenues slender,
while the imminent peril of Austrian invasion compels the keeping up of
an Army of Fifty Thousand effective men ready to take the field at a
moment’s warming. But for the notorious and active hostility of
three-fourths of Continental Europe to the liberal policy of its rulers,
Sardinia might dispense with three-fourths of this force and save its
heavy cost for Education and Internal Improvement. As things are, women
must toil in the fields while Physical and Mental Improvement must wait
in order that the Nation may sustain in virtual idleness Fifty Thousand
Soldiers and Sixty Thousand Priests.

Yet mighty are the blessings of Freedom, even under the greatest
disadvantages. Turin is now increasing in Industry and Population with a
rapidity unknown to its former history. Looking only at the new
buildings just erected or now in progress, you might mistake it for an
American city. Unless checked by future wars, Turin will double its
population between 1850 and 1860. Genoa has but recently and partially
felt the new impulse, yet even here the march of improvement is visible.
Three years more of peace will witness the substitution for its long
period of stagnation and decay of an activity surpassed by that of no
city in Europe.

Turin is eligibly located and well built, most of the houses being
large, tall, and the walls of decided strength and thickness; but Genoa
is even superior in most respects if not in all. I never saw so many
churches so admirably constructed and so gorgeously, laboriously
ornamented as the half dozen I visited yesterday and this morning. My
guide says there are sixty churches in Genoa (a city about the size of
Boston, though with fewer houses and a much smaller area than Brooklyn),
and that they are nearly all built and adorned with similar if not equal
disregard of cost. A modest, graceful monument to Christopher Columbus,
the Genoese discoverer of America, was one of the first structures that
met my eye on entering the city, and an eating-house in the square of
the chief theater is styled “Café Restaurant à l’Immortel Chr. Columbo,”
or something very near that. I never before saw so many admirable
specimens of costly and graceful architecture as have arrested my
attention in wandering through the streets of Genoa. At least half the
houses were constructed for the private residences of “merchant princes”
in the palmy days of “Genoa the Superb,” and their wealth would seem to
have been practically boundless. The “Hotel de Londres,” in which I
write, was originally a convent, and no house in New-York can vie with
it in the massiveness of its walls, the hight of its ceilings, &c. My
bed-room, appropriately furnished, would shame almost any American
parlor or drawing-room. All around me testifies of the greatness that
has been; who shall say that it is not soon to return? The narrow
streets (very few of them passable by carriages) and uneven ground-plot
are the chief drawbacks on this magnificence; but the city rises so
regularly and gracefully from the harbor as to seem like a glorious
amphitheater, and the inequality, so wearisome to the legs, is a beauty
and a pleasure to the eye. It gives, besides, opportunity for the finest
Architectural triumphs. The Carignani Church is approached by a massive
bridge thrown across a ravine, from which you look down on the tops of
seven-story houses, and I walked this morning in a public garden which
looks down into a private one some sixty feet below it. The
perpendicular stone wall which separates these gardens is at least five
feet thick at the top, and must have cost an immense sum; but in fact
the whole city has been three times completely walled in, and the latest
and most extensive of these walls is still in good condition, and was
successfully defended by Massena in the siege of 1800, until Famine
compelled him to surrender. May that stand recorded to the end of human
history as the last siege of Genoa!





[This letter, written and mailed at Leghorn on the 24th, has never come
to hand, having been entrusted to the tender mercies of the _French_
mail which was to leave Leghorn next day by steamer for Marseilles, and
thence be taken, via Paris, to Havre, and by steamship to this city. The
wretched old apology for a steamship whereon I had reached Leghorn (80
miles) in eighteen hours from Genoa may not yet have completed her
return passage between those ports, though I think she has; but whether
her officers know enough to receive and deliver a Mail-bag is
exceedingly doubtful. If they did, I see not how my letter can have been
stopped this side of Marseilles. I remember that it did particular
justice to French Government steamships in the Mediterranean and to
American Consuls in Italy, showing how our traveling countrymen are
crucified between the worthlessness of the former and the rapacity of
the latter. Our Consuls may well rejoice that said Letter XXII. comes up
missing, and perhaps the Tuscan Police has cause to join in their

This letter also gave some account of Leghorn, a well-built modern city,
the only port of Tuscany, situated on a flat or marsh scarcely raised
above the surface of the Mediterranean, and containing some 80,000
inhabitants. It has few or no antiquities, and not much to attract a
traveler’s attention.

Some thirty miles inland in a north-easterly direction, is _Pisa_, once
a very wealthy and powerful emporium of commerce, now a decaying inland
town of no political importance, with perhaps 30,000 inhabitants. It
lies on both sides of the Arno, several miles from the sea, and I
presume the river-bed has been considerably filled or choked up by
sediment and rains since the days of Pisa’s glory and power. Her
wonderful Leaning Tower is worthy of all the fame it has acquired. It is
a beautiful structure, though owing its dignity, doubtless, to some
defect in its foundation or construction. The Cathedral of Pisa is a
beautiful edifice, most gorgeous in its adornments, and with by far the
finest galleries I ever saw. Near these two structures is an extensive
burial-place full of sculptures and inscriptions in memory of the dead,
some of them 2500 years old, and thence reaching down to the present
day. Had I not extended my trip to Rome, I should have brought home far
more vivid and lasting impressions of Pisa, which has nevertheless an
abiding niche in my memory.

The day before my visit was the anniversary of the Patron Saint of Pisa,
which is celebrated every fourth year with extraordinary pomp and
festivity. This time, I was informed, the fire-works exploded at the
public charge, in honor of this festival, cost over $100,000, though
Pisa _cannot afford_ to sustain Free Common Schools, or make any
provision for the Education of her Children. Of course, she can afford
to die, or is certain to do it, whether she can afford it or not. Pisa
is located on a beautiful and fertile plain, and is surrounded by
gardens, with fruit and ornamental trees; but much of the soil between
it and Leghorn is the property of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, who keeps
it entirely in grass, affording subsistence to extensive and beautiful
herds of Cattle, whence he derives a large income, being the chief
milk-seller in his own dominions. So, at least, I was informed.]






ROME, Thursday, June 26, 1851.

I left Leghorn night before last in the French steamer Languedoc, which
could not obtain passengers in America, but is accounted one of the best
boats on the Mediterranean. The fare to Civita Vecchia (125 miles) was
40 francs, but 4 added for dinner (without saying “By your leave”) made
it $825. There were perhaps twenty-five passengers, mainly for Naples,
but eight or ten for Civita Vecchia and Rome, although it is everywhere
said that “Nobody goes to Rome at this season,” meaning nobody that is
anybody–none who can afford to go when they would choose. The night was
fair; the sea calm; we left Leghorn at 6 (nominally 5) and reached
Civita Vecchia about 5 next morning; but were kept on board waiting the
pleasure of the Police until about 7, when we were graciously permitted
to land, our Passports having been previously sent on shore for
inspection. No steamboat in these waters is allowed to come alongside of
the wharf; so we paid a franc each for being rowed ashore; then as much
more to the porters who carried our baggage on their backs to the
custom-house, where a weary hour was spent in overhauling and sealing
it, so that it need not be overhauled again on entering the gate of
Rome. For this service a trifle only was exacted from each. Meantime a
“commissionaire” had gone after our Passports, for which we paid first
the charge of the Papal Police, which I think was about three francs;
then for the _visé_ of our several Consuls, we Americans a dollar each,
which (though but half what is charged by our Consuls at other Italian
ports) is more than is charged by those of any other nation. Then came
the charge of our “commissionaire” for his services. We took breakfast;
but that, though a severe, was not a protracted infliction; hired places
in the Diligence (13 francs in the _coupé_, 10 in the body of the
stage), and at half-past 10 were to have been on our way to Rome. But
the start was rather late, and on reaching the gates of that wretched
village, which seems to subsist mainly on such petty swindles as I have
hastily described, our Passports, which had been thrice scrutinized that
morning within sixty rods, had to run the gauntlet again. I do not
remember paying for this, but while detained by it the ostlers from the
stables of our Diligence were all upon us, clamoring for money. I think
they got little. But we changed horses thrice on the way to Rome, and
each postillion was down upon us for money, and out of all patience with
those passengers who attempted to put him off with copper.

Aside from those engaged in fleecing us as aforesaid, I saw but three
sorts of men in Civita Vecchia–or rather, men pursuing three several
avocations–those of Priests, Soldiers and Beggars. Some united two of
these callings. A number of brown, bare-headed, wretched-looking women
were washing clothes in the hot sun of the sea-side, but I saw no trace
of masculine industry other than what I have described. The place is
said to contain 7,000 inhabitants, but I think there is scarcely a
garden outside its walls.

Half the way thence to Rome, the road runs along the shore of the
Mediterranean, through a naturally fertile and beautiful champaign
country, once densely peopled and covered with elegant structures, the
homes of intelligence, refinement and luxury. Now there is not a garden,
scarcely a tree, and not above ten barns and thirty human habitations in
sight throughout the whole twenty-five miles. Such utter desolation and
waste, in a region so eligibly situated, can with difficulty be realized
without seeing it. I should say it can hardly here be unhealthy, with
the pure Mediterranean directly on one side, the rugged hills but two to
five miles distant on the other, and the plain between very much less
marshy than the corresponding district of New-Jersey stretching along
the coast from New-York to Perth Amboy. A few large herds of neat cattle
are fed on these plains, considerable grass is cut, and some summer
grain; but stables for post-horses at intervals of five or six miles,
with perhaps as many dilapidated stone dwellings and a few wretched
herdsmen’s huts of straw or rubbish, are all the structures in sight,
save the bridges of the noble “Via Aurelia” which we traversed, the
ruins of some of the stately edifices once so abundant here, and the
mile-stones. There is not even one tavern of the half dozen pretenders
to the name between Civita Vecchia and Rome which would be considered
tolerable in the least civilized portion of Arkansas or Texas.

Half way to Rome, the road strikes off from the sea, and there is
henceforth more cultivation, more grain, better crops (though all this
land produces excellently both of Wheat and Barley, and of Indian Corn
also where the cultivation is not utterly suicidal), but still there are
very few houses and those generally poor, the wretchedest caricatures of
taverns on one of the great highways of the world, no gardens nor other
evidences of aspiration for comfort and natural beauty, few and ragged
trees, and the very few inhabitants are so squalid, so abject, so
beggarly, that it seems a pity they were not fewer. And this state
continues, except that the grain-crops grow larger and better, up to
within a mile or two of the gates of Rome, which thus seems another
Palmyra in the Desert, only that this is a desert of man’s making. I
presume the twenty-five or thirty miles at this end is unhealthy, even
for natives, but it surely need not be so. All this Campagna, with the
more pestilent Pontine Marshes on the south, which are now scourging
Rome with their deadly malaria and threaten to render it ultimately
uninhabitable, were once salubrious and delightful, and might readily be
made so again. If they were in England, Old or New, near a city of the
size of this, they would be trenched, dyked, drained, and reconverted
into gardens, orchards and model-farms within two years, and covered
with dwellings, mansions, country-seats, and a busy, energetic, thrifty
population before 1860. A tenth part of the energy and devotedness
displayed in the attempts to wrest Jerusalem from the Infidels would
rescue Rome from a fate not less appalling.

We ought by contract to have arrived here at half past six last evening;
we actually reached the gates at half past eight or a little later.
There our Passports were taken from us, and carried into the proper
office; but word came back that all was not right; we must go in
personally. We did so, and found that what was wanted to make all right
was money. There was not the smallest pretext for this–no Barbary
pirate ever had less–as we were not to get our Passports, but must wait
their approval by a higher authority and then go and pay for it. We
submitted to the swindle, however, for we were tired, the hour late, we
had lodgings yet to seek, and the night-air here is said to be very
unwholesome for strangers. This difficulty obviated, another presented
itself. The Custom-House stood on the other side of the street, and word
came that we were wanted there also, though our slender carpet-bags had
been regularly searched and sealed by the Roman functionaries at Civita
Vecchia expressly to obviate any pretext for scrutiny or delay here. No
use–money. By this time, change and patience were getting scarce in our
company. We tried to get off cheap; but it wouldn’t do. Finally, rather
than stay out till midnight in the malaria, I put down a
five-franc-piece, which was accepted and we were let go. Still for
form’s sake, our baggage was fumbled over, but not opened, and one or
two more heads looked in at the window for “_qualche cosa_,” but we gave
nothing, and soon got away.

We had paid thirteen francs each for a ride of fifty miles over a
capital road, where horses and feed are abundant, and must be cheap; but
now our postillion came down upon us for more money for taking us to a
hotel; and as we could do no better, we agreed to give him four francs
to set down four of us (all the Americans and English he had) at one
hotel. He drove by the Diligence Office, however, and there three or
four rough customers jumped unbidden on the vehicle, and, when we
reached our hotel, made themselves busy with our little luggage, which
we would have thanked them to let alone. Having obtained it, we settled
with the postillion, who grumbled and scolded though we paid him more
than his four francs. Then came the leader of our volunteer aids, to be
paid for taking down the luggage. I had not a penny of change left, but
others of our company scraped their pockets of a handful of coppers,
which the “_facchini_” rejected with scorn, throwing them after us up
stairs (I hope they did not pick them up afterwards), and I heard their
imprecations until I had reached my room, but a blessed ignorance of
Italian shielded me from any insult in the premises. Soon my two light
carpet-bags, which I was not allowed to carry, came up with a fresh
demand for porterage. “Don’t you belong to the hotel?” “Yes.” “Then
vanish instantly!” I shut the door in his face, and let him growl to his
heart’s content; and thus closed my first day in the more especial
dominions of His Holiness Pius IX.






ROME, Friday, June 27, 1851.

ROME is mighty even in her desolation. I knew the world had nothing like
her, and yet the impression she has made on me, at the first view, is
unexpectedly great. I do not yet feel able to go wandering from one
church, museum, picture or sculpture gallery to another, from morning
till night, as others do: I need to pause and think. Of course, I shall
leave without seeing even a tenth part of the objects of decided interest;
but if I should thus be enabled to carry away any clear and abiding
impression of a small part, I shall prefer this to a confused and foggy
perception of a greater multiplicity of details.

That single view of the Eternal City, from the tower of the Capitol, is
one that I almost wish I had given up the first day to. The entire of
Rome and its inhabited suburbs lies so fully and fairly before the eye,
with the Seven Hills, the Coliseum, the Pantheon, the Obelisks, the
Pillars, the Vatican, the Castle of St. Angelo, the various Triumphal
Arches, the Churches, &c., &c., around you, that it seems the best use
that could be made of one day to simply move from look-out to look-out
in that old tower, using the glass for a few moments and then pausing
for reflection. I have half a mind thus to spend one of my three
remaining days. True, the Coliseum will seem vaster close at hand, but
from no point can it be seen so completely and clearly, in its immensity
and its dilapidation combined, as from that. The Tarpeian Rock seems an
absurd fable–its fatal leap the daily sport of infants–but in all
ancient cities the same glaring discrepancy between ancient and modern
altitudes is presented, and especially, we hear, at Jerusalem. The Seven
Hills whereon Rome was built are all distinguishable, visible to-day;
but they are undoubtedly much lower than at first, while all the
intervening valleys have been filling up through centuries. Monkish
traditions say that what is now the basement of the Church of Sts. Peter
and Paul (not the modern St. Peter’s) was originally on the level of the
street, and this is quite probable: though I did not so readily
lubricate the stories I was told in that basement to-day of St. Peter,
Paul and Luke having tenanted this basement, Paul having lived and
preached here for the first two years of his residence in Rome; and when
they showed me the _altar_ at which St. Paul was wont to minister, I
stopped short and didn’t _try_ to believe any more. But this soil is
thickly sown with marvels and very productive.

St. Peter’s, or at least its Dome, was in sight through the greater part
of the last eleven or twelve miles of our journey to the city; from most
other directions it is doubtless visible at a much greater distance. I
have of course seen the immense structure afar off, as well as glanced
at it in passing by night; but I am not yet prepared to comprehend its
vast proportions. I mean to visit it last before leaving Rome, so as to
carry away as unclouded an impression of it as possible.

Of the three hundred and sixty-five Churches of Rome, I have as yet
visited but four, and may find time to see as many more of the most
noteworthy. They seem richer in Sculpture, Porphyry, Mosaic, Carving,
Tapestry, &c. than anything elsewhere well can be; but not equal in
Architecture to the finest Churches in Genoa, the Cathedral at Pisa, and
I think not externally to Notre Dame at Paris. Indeed, though large
portions of the present Rome are very far from ruinous, and some of them
quite modern and fresh-looking, yet the general Architecture of the city
is decidedly inferior to that of Genoa, and I should say even to that of
Leghorn. In making this comparison, I of course leave out of the account
St. Peter’s and the Churches of both cities, and refer mainly to private
architecture, in which Rome is not transcendent–certainly not in Italy.
The streets here are rather wide for an Italian city but would be deemed
intolerably narrow in America.

As to _Sculpture_ and _Painting_, I am tempted to say that if mankind
were compelled to choose between the destruction of what is in Rome or
that of all the rest in the world, the former should be saved at the
expense of the latter. Adequate conception of the extent, the variety,
the excellence of the works of Art here heaped together is impossible.
If every house on Broadway were a gallery, the whole six miles of them
(counting both sides of the street) might be filled from Rome with
Pictures, Statues, &c. of decided merit.

What little I have seen does not impress me with the superiority of
Ancient over Modern Art. Of course, if you compare the dozen best things
produced in twenty centuries against a like number chosen from the
productions of the last single century, you will show a superiority on
the part of the former; but that decides nothing. The Capitoline Venus
is a paragon, but there is no collection of ancient sculpture which will
compare with the extensive gallery of heads by Canova alone. When
benignant Time shall have done his appointed work of covering with the
pall of oblivion the worse nineteen twentieths of the productions of the
modern chisel, the genuine successes of the Nineteenth Century will
shine out clearer and brighter than they now do. So, I trust, with
Painting, though I do not know what painter of our age to place on a
perilous eminence with Canova as the champion or representative of
Modern as compared with Ancient Art.

It is well that there should be somewhere an Emporium of the Fine Arts,
yet not well that the heart should absorb all the blood and leave the
limbs destitute. I think Rome has been grasping with regard to works of
Art, and in some instances unwisely so. For instance, in a single
private gallery I visited to-day, there were not less than twenty
decidedly good pictures by Anibal Caracci–probably twice as many as
there are in all the world out of Italy. That gallery would scarcely
miss half of these, which might be fully replaced by as many modern
works of equal merit, whereby the gallery and Rome would lose nothing,
while the world outside would decidedly gain. If Rome would but consider
herself under a sort of moral responsibility to impart as well as
receive, and would liberally dispose of so many of her master-pieces as
would not at all impoverish her, buying in return such as could be
spared her from abroad, and would thus enrich her collections by
diversifying them, she would render the cause of Art a signal service
and earn the gratitude of mankind, without the least prejudice to her
own permanent well-being. It is in her power to constitute herself the
center of an International Art-Union really worthy of the name–to
establish a World’s Exhibition of Fine Arts unequaled in character and
beneficence. Is it too much to hope that she will realize or surpass
this conception?

These suggestions, impelled by what I have seen to-day, are at all
events much shorter than I could have made any detailed account of my
observations. I have no qualifications for a critic in Art, and make no
pretensions to the character, even had my observations been less hurried
than they necessarily were. I write only for the great multitude, as
ill-instructed in this sphere as I cheerfully admit myself, and who yet
are not unwilling to learn what impression is made by the treasures of
Rome on one like themselves.




I spent the forenoon wandering through the endless halls of the Vatican,
so far as they were accessible to the public, the more important
galleries being only open on Monday, and two or three of the very finest
not at all. I fear this restriction will deprive me of a sight of the
Apollo Belvedere, the Sistine Chapel, and one or two others of the
world’s marvels. I know how ungracious it is to “look a gift horse in
the mouth,” and yet, since these works exist mainly to be seen, and as
Rome derives so large a share of her income from the strangers whom
these works attract to her, I must think it unwise to send any away
regretting that they were denied a sight of the Apollo or of some of
Raphael’s master-pieces contained in the Vatican. I know at what vast
expense these works have been produced or purchased, and, though all who
visit Rome are made to pay a great deal indirectly for the privileges
they enjoy here, yet I wish the Papal Government would frankly exact, as
I for one should most cheerfully pay, a fair price for admission to the
most admirable and unrivaled collections which are its property. If, for
instance, it would abolish all Passport vexations, encourage the opening
of Railroads, and stimulate the establishment of better lines of
Diligences, &c., so that traveling in the Papal States would cease to be
twice as dear and infinitely slower than elsewhere in Italy, in France
or Germany, and would then charge each stranger visiting Rome on errands
other than religious something like five dollars for all that is to be
seen here, taking care to let him see it, and to cut off all private
importunities for services rendered in showing them, the system would be
a great improvement on the present, and the number of strangers in Rome
would be rapidly doubled and quadrupled. There might be some calumny
and misrepresentation, but these would very soon be dispelled, and the
world would understand that the Papacy did not seek to make money out of
its priceless treasures, but simply to provide equitably and properly
for their preservation and due increase. Here, as we all see, have
immense sums been already spent by this Government in excavating,
preserving, and in some cases partially restoring such decayed but
inimitable structures as the Coliseum, the Capitol, the various
Triumphal Arches, the Baths of Titus, Caracalla, &c., all of which
labors and expenditures we who visit Rome share the benefit, and it is
but the simplest justice that we should contribute to defray the cost,
especially when we know that every dollar so paid would be expended in
continuing these excavations, &c., and in completing the galleries and
other modern structures which are already so peerless. Rome is too
commonly regarded as only a ruin, or, more strictly, as deriving all its
eminence from the Past, while in fact it has more inestimable treasures,
the product of our own century, our own day, than any other city, and I
suspect nearly as many as all the rest of the world. Even the Vatican is
still unfinished; workmen were busy in it to-day, laying additional
floors of variegated marble, putting up new book-cases, &c., none of
them restorations, but all extensions of the Library, which, apart from
the value of its books and manuscripts, is a unique and masterly
exposition of ancient and modern Art. Here are single Vases, Tables,
Frescoes, &c., which would be the pride of any other city: one large
vase of Malachite, a present to Pius IX. from the Russian Autocrat, and
unequaled out of Russia, if in the world. I should judge that
three-fourths of the Frescoes which nearly cover the walls and ceiling
of the fifteen or twenty large halls devoted to the Library are less
than two centuries old. This part of the Vatican is approached through a
magnificent corridor, probably five hundred feet long, with an arched
ceiling entirely inlaid with beautiful Mosaic, and the same is
continued through another gallery some two hundred feet long, which
leads at right angles from this to another wing of the edifice; but the
corridor leading down this wing, and facing that first named, has a
naked, barren-looking ceiling, evidently waiting to be similarly inlaid
when time and means shall permit. This is but a specimen of what is
purposed throughout; and if the money which visitors leave in Rome
could, in some small part at least, be devoted to these works, instead
of being frittered away vexatiously and uselessly on petty extortioners,
official and unofficial, the change would be a very great improvement.
It does seem a shame that, where so much is necessarily expended, so
little of it should be devoted to those still progressing works, from
which are derived all this instruction and intellectual enjoyment.

Here let me say one word in justice to the princely families of Rome,
whose palaces and immense collections of Paintings and Sculptures are
almost daily open to strangers without charge, save the trifle that you
choose to give the attendant who shows you through them. I looked for
hours to-day through the ten spacious apartments of the Palace of the
Orsini family devoted to the Fine Arts, as I had already done through
that of the Doria family, and shall to-morrow do through others, and
doubtless might do through hundreds of others–all hospitably open to
every stranger on the simple condition that he shall deport himself
civilly and refrain from doing any injury to the priceless treasures
which are thus made his own without the trouble even of taking care of
them. I know there are instances of like liberality elsewhere; but is it
anywhere else the rule? and is it in our country even the exception?
What American ever thought of spending half an immense fortune in the
collection of magnificent galleries of Pictures, Statues, &c., and then
quietly opening the whole to the public without expecting a word of
compliment or acknowledgment in return?–without being even personally
known to those whom he thus benefited? We have something to learn of
Rome in this respect. Some of the English nobility whom the Press has
shamed into following this munificent example have done it so grudgingly
as to deprive the concession of all practical value. By requiring all
who wish to visit their galleries to make a formal written application
for the privilege, and await a written answer, they virtually restrict
the favor to persons of leisure, position and education. But in Rome not
even a card nor a name is required; and you walk into a strange private
palace as if you belonged there, lay down your stick or umbrella, and
are shown from hall to hall by an intelligent, courteous attendant,
study at will some of the best productions of Claude, Raphael, Salvator
Rosa, Poussin, Murillo, &c., pay two shillings if you see fit, to the
attendant, and are thanked for it as if you were a patron; going thence
to another such collection, and so for weeks, if you have time. If
wealth were always thus employed, it were a pity that great fortunes are
not more numerous.

But I purpose to speak of the COLISEUM. I will assume that most
of my readers know that this was an immense amphitheater, constructed in
the days of Rome’s imperial greatness, used for gladiatorial combats of
men with ferocious beasts and with each other, and calculated to afford
a view of the spectacle to about one hundred thousand persons at once.
The circuit of the building is over sixteen hundred feet; the arena in
its center is about three hundred and eighty by two hundred and eighty
feet. Most of the walls have fallen for perhaps half their height,
though some part of them still retain very nearly their original
altitude. In the darker ages, after this vast edifice had fallen into
ruin, its materials were carried away by thousands and tens of thousands
of tuns to build palaces and churches, and one side of the exterior wall
was actually for ages drawn upon as if it were a quarry. But in later
years the Papal Government has disbursed thousands upon thousands in the
uncovering and preservation of this stupendous ruin, and with the
amplest success. The fall of its roof and a great portion of its walls
had filled and buried it with rubbish to a depth of some twenty to forty
feet, all of which has been taken away, so that the floor of the
interior is now the veritable sand whereon the combatants fought and
bled and rendered up their lives, while the forty or fifty entrances for
emperors, senators and people, and even the underground passage for the
introduction of the wild beasts, with a part of their cages, are now
palpable. In some places, restorations have been made where they were
necessary to avert the danger of further dilapidation, but as sparingly
as possible; and, though others think differently, the Coliseum seems to
me as majestic and impressive in its utter desolation as it ever could
have been in its grandeur and glory.

We were fortunate in the hour of our visit. As we slowly made the
circuit of the edifice, a body of French cavalry were exercising their
horses along the eastern side of it, while at a little distance, in the
grove or garden at the south, the quick rattle of the drum told of the
evolutions of infantry. At length the horsemen rode slowly away to the
southward, and our attention was drawn to certain groups of Italians in
the interior, who were slowly marching and chanting. We entered, and
were witnesses of a strange, impressive ceremony. It is among the
traditions of Rome that a great number of the early Christians were
compelled by their heathen persecutors to fight and die here as
gladiators as a punishment for their contumacious, treasonable
resistance to the “lower law” then in the ascendant, which the high
priests and circuit judges of that day were wont in their sermons and
charges to demonstrate that every one was bound as a law-abiding citizen
to obey, no matter what might be his private, personal convictions with
regard to it. Since the Coliseum has been cleared of rubbish, fourteen
little oratories or places of prayer have been cheaply constructed
around its inner circumference, and here at certain seasons prayers are
offered for the eternal bliss of the martyred Christians of the
Coliseum. These prayers were being offered on this occasion. Some twenty
or thirty men (priests or monks I inferred), partly bare-headed, but as
many with their heads completely covered by hooded cloaks which left
only two small holes for the eyes, accompanied by a larger number of
women, marched slowly and sadly to one oratory, chanting a prayer by the
way, setting up their lighted tapers by its semblance of an altar,
kneeling and praying for some minutes, then rising and proceeding to the
next oratory, and so on until they had repeated the service before every
one. They all seemed to be of the poorer class, and I presume the
ceremony is often repeated or the participators would have been much
more numerous. The praying was fervent and I trust excellent,–as the
music decidedly was not; but the whole scene with the setting sun
shining redly through the shattered arches and upon the ruined wall,
with a few French soldiers standing heedlessly by, was strangely
picturesque and to me affecting. I came away before it concluded, to
avoid the damp night-air; but many chequered years and scenes of
stirring interest must intervene to efface from my memory that sunset
and those strange prayers in the Coliseum.






ROME, Saturday, June 29, 1851.

St. Peter’s is the Niagara of edifices, having the same relation to
other master-pieces of human effort that the great cataract bears to
other terrestrial effects of Divine power. In either case, the first
view disappoints, because the perfection of symmetry dims the
consciousness of magnitude, and the total absence of exaggeration in the
details forbids the conception of vastness in the aggregate. In viewing
London’s St. Paul’s, you have a realization of bulk which St. Peter’s
does not give, yet St. Paul’s is but a wart beside St. Peter’s. I do not
know that the resemblance has been noticed by others, but the
semi-circle of gigantic yet admirably proportioned pillars which
encloses the grand square in front of St. Peter’s reminds me vividly of
the general conformation of our great water-fall, while the column or
obelisk in the center of the square (which column is a mistake, in my
humble judgment, and should be removed) has its parallel in the
unsightly tower overlooking the main cataract from the extreme point of
Goat Island. Eternal endurance and repose may be fitly typified by the
oceans and snow-crested mountains, but power and energy find their best
expressions in the cataract and the dome. Time and Genius may produce
other structures as admirable in their own way and regarded in
connection with their uses; but, viewed as a temple, St. Peter’s will
ever stand unmatched and unapproachable.

I chose the early morning for my first visit. The sky was cloudless, as
it mainly is here save in winter, but the day was not yet warm, for the
summer nights are cooler here than in New-York, and the current English
talk of the excessive heat which prevails in Rome at this season is
calculated to deceive Americans. No one fails to realize from the first
the great beauty and admirable accessories of this edifice, with the
far-stretching but quite other than lofty pile of the Vatican on its
right and its own magnificent colonnade in front, but you do not feel
that it is lofty, nor spacious, nor anything but perfect. You ascend the
steps, and thus gain some idea of the immense proportions prevailing
throughout; for the church seems scarcely at all elevated above the
square, and yet many are the steps leading up to the doors. Crossing a
grand porch with an arched roof of glorious mosaic, you find yourself in
the body of the edifice, which now seems large and lofty indeed, but by
no means unparalleled. But you walk on and on, between opposing pillars
the grandest the world ever saw, the space at either side between any
two pillars constituting a separate chapel with its gorgeous altar, its
grand pictures in mosaic, its sculptured saints and angels, each of
these chapels having a larger area than any church I ever entered in
America; and by the time you have walked slowly and observingly to the
front of the main altar you realize profoundly that Earth has nothing
else to match with St. Peter’s. No matter though another church were
twice as large, and erected at a cost of twice the Thirty Millions of
dollars and fifty years expended upon this, St. Peter’s would still
stand unrivaled. For every detail is so marvellously symmetrical that no
one is dwarfed, no one challenges special attention. Of one hundred
distinct parts, any one by itself would command your profoundest
admiration, but everything around and beyond it is no less excellent,
and you soon cease to wonder and remain to appreciate and enjoy.

I devoted most of the day to St. Peter’s, seeing it under many different
aspects, but no other view of the interior is equal to that presented in
the stillness and comparative solitude of the early morning. The
presence of multitudes does not cloud your consciousness of its
immensity, for ten thousand persons occupy no considerable portion of
its area and might very easily be present yet wholly invisible to one
who stood just inside the entrance and looked searchingly through the
body of the edifice to find them; but there are usually very few seats,
and those for the privileged, so that hundreds are constantly moving
from place to place through the day, which distracts attention and mars
the feeling of repose and delighted awe which the naked structure is
calculated to inspire. Go very early some bright summer morning, if you
would see St. Peter’s in its calm and stately grandeur.

I ascended to the roof, and thence to the summit of the dome, but, apart
from a profounder consciousness of the vastness and admirable
proportions of the edifice, this is of little worth. True, the entire
city and its suburbs lie clearly and fully beneath and around you; but
so they do from the tower of the Capitol. Views from commanding heights
are obtained in almost every city. The ascent, however, as far as the
roof, is easier than any other I ever found within a building. Instead
of stairs, here is a circular road, more like the ascent of a mountain
than a Church. One single view is obtained, however, which richly
compensates for the fatigue of the ascent. It is that from the interior
of the dome down into the body of the Church below. The Alps may present
grander, but I never expect to have another like this.

Here I had personal evidence of the mean, reckless selfishness wherewith
public edifices are regarded by too many, and the absolute necessity of
constant, omnipresent watchfulness to preserve them from wanton
dilapidation. Five or six French soldiers had been permitted to ascend
the dome just before I did, and came down nearly at the same time with
me. As I stood gazing down from this point into the church below, two of
these soldiers came in on their way down, and one of them, looking
around to see that no one was present but a stranger, whipped the
bayonet he wore out of its sheath, forced the point into the mosaic
close behind as well as above us, pried out one of the square pieces of
agate or some such stone of which that mosaic is composed, put it in his
pocket and made off. I had no idea that he would deface the edifice
until the moment he did it, and then hastily remonstrated, but of course
without avail. I looked at the wall on which he operated, and found that
two or three had preceded him in the same work of paltry but most
outrageous robbery. Of course, each will boast of his exploit to his
comrades of kindred spirit, and they will be tempted to imitate it,
until the mischief done becomes sufficiently serious to attract
attention, and then Nobody will have a serious reckoning to encounter. A
few acts of unobserved rapine as trifling as these may easily occasion
some signal disaster. In an edifice like this, there should be no point
accessible to visiters unwatched by a faithful guardian even for one

In the afternoon, I attended the Celebration of High Mass, this being
observed by the Catholic world as St. Peter’s Day, and the Pope himself
officiating in the great Cathedral. Not understanding the service, I
could not profit by it, and the spectacle impressed me unfavorably. Such
a multiplicity of spears and bayonets seem to me strangely out of
keeping in a place of worship; if they belong here, why not bring in a
regiment of horse and a park of artillery as well? There is ample room
for them in St. Peter’s, and the cavalry might charge and the cannoniers
fire a few volleys with little harm to the building, and with great
increase both to the numbers and interest of the audience. I am not
pretending to judge this for others, but simply to state how it
naturally strikes one educated in the simple, sober observances of
Puritan New-England. I have heard of Protestants being converted in
Rome, but it seems to me the very last place where the great body of
those educated in really Protestant ways would be likely to undergo
conversion. I have seen very much here to admire, and there is doubtless
many times more such that I have not seen, but the radical antagonism of
Catholic and Protestant ideas, observances and tendencies never before
stood out in a light so clear and strong as that shed upon it by a few
days in Rome. I obtained admission yesterday to the Sistine Chapel of
the Vatican, and saw there, among the paintings in fresco, a
representation of the death of Admiral Coligny at the Massacre of St.
Bartholomew; and if this were not intended to express approval of that
horrible massacre, I would like to know what was meant by having it
painted and placed there.

But to return to St. Peter’s. The entrance of the grand procession from
the Vatican was a very slow process. In its ranks were the Noble Guard,
the Swiss Guard, the Cardinals, and many other divisions, each in its
own imposing and picturesque costume. At length came the Pope, seated in
a magnificent chair on a raised platform or palanquin, the whole borne
on the shoulders of some ten or twelve servitors. This was a capital
arrangement for us strangers, who wished a good view of His Holiness;
but I am sure it was very disagreeable to him, and that he would much
rather have walked like the rest. He passed into the church out of my
sight, dismounted, and I (having also entered) next saw him approach one
of the altars on the right, where he knelt and silently prayed for some
minutes. He was then borne onward to his throne at the further end, and
the service commenced.

The singing of the Mass was very good. The Pope’s reading I did not
hear, nor was I near enough even to see him, except fitfully. I think
there were more than five thousand persons present, including a
thousand priests and a thousand soldiers. There would doubtless have
been many more, but for the fact that a smart shower occurred just
before and at the hour (5 o’clock), while no public notice had been
given that the Pope would officiate.

In the evening, St. Peter’s and its accessories were illuminated–by far
the most brilliant spectacle I ever saw. All was dark and silent till,
at the first stroke of the bell, light flashed from a hundred thousand
burners, and the entire front of the Church and Dome, up to the very
summit of the spire, was one magnificent galaxy, while the double row of
gigantic pillars or columns surrounding the square was in like manner
radiant with jets of flame. I thought the architecture of St. Peter’s
Rome’s greatest glory when I had only seen it by daylight, yet it now
seemed more wondrous still. The bells rang sweetly and stirringly
throughout the evening, and there was a like illumination on the summit
of the Pincian Hill, while most of the shops and dwellings displayed at
least one row of burning candles, and bonfires blazed brightly in the
streets, which were alive with moving, animated groups, while the square
of St. Peter’s and the nearest bridges over the Tiber were black with
excited thousands. To-night we have fire-works from the Pincian in honor
of St. Peter, which would be thought in New England an odd way of
honoring an Apostle, especially on Sunday evening; but whether Rome or
Boston is right on this point is a question to be pondered.

_P. S. Monday._–I did not see the Fire-Works last evening, but almost
every one else in Rome did, and the unanimous verdict pronounces them
admirable–extraordinary. Great preparations had been made, and the
success must have been perfect to win so general and hearty a
commendation. The display was ushered in by a rousing salute of
artillery; but this was not needed to assemble in and around the Piazza
del Popolo all the population of Rome that could be spared from their
homes. The Piazza is the great square of Rome, in front of the Pincian
Hill, whence the rockets, wheels, stars, serpents, &c., were let off.
The display was not concluded till after 10 o’clock.

This day I have devoted to famous private galleries of Paintings and
Sculpture, having been again disappointed in attempting to gain a sight
of the Apollo Belvedere and Picture Gallery of the Vatican. The time for
opening these treasures to the public has lately been changed from 10
A. M. to noon, and they are only open regularly on Mondays; so
that I was there a little before noon to be ready; but after waiting
(with many others) a full hour, in front of an inexorable gate, without
being able to learn why we were shut out or when the embargo would
cease, I grew weary of the uncertainty and waste of time, and left. A
little past 1 (I now understand), the gate was opened, but too late for
me, as I did not return, and leave Rome for Florence to-morrow. Had the
simplest notice been given that such a delay would take place, or had
the officers at the gates been able to give any information, I should
have had different luck. “They manage these things better in France.”






ROME, Monday, June 30, 1851.

The common people of Rome generally seem to me an intelligent, vivacious
race, and I can readily credit the assurance of well-informed friends
that they are mentally superior to most other Italians. It may be deemed
strange that any other result should be thought possible, since the very
earth around them, with all it bears, is so vivified with the spirit of
Heroism, of Genius, and of whatever is most memorable in History. But
the legitimate influences of Nature, of Art, and of Ancestry, are often
overborne by those of Institutions and Laws, as is now witnessed on all
the eastern and southern coasts of the Mediterranean, and I was rather
disappointed in finding the present Romans a race of fully average
capacities, intellectual and physical. A face indicating mental
imbecility, or even low mediocrity, is very rarely met in those streets
where the greater portion of the Romans seem to work and live. The women
are brown, plain, bare-headed, and rather careless of personal
appearance, but ready at repartee, self-possessed, energetic, with
flashing eyes and countenances often indicating a depth of emotion and
character. I do not think such pictures as abound in Rome could have
been painted where the women were common-place and unideal.

But all with whom I can converse, and who are qualified to speak by
residence in the country, give unfavorable accounts of the moral
qualities of the Romans especially, and in these qualities I include
Patriotism and all the civic virtues. That Italians, and those of Rome
especially, are quite commonly sensual, selfish, indolent, fickle,
dishonest, vicious, is the general report of the foreigners residing
among them. Zealous Protestants will readily account for it by their
Catholicism. My own prepossessions naturally lead me to the conclusion
that much of the religious machinery in operation here is unfavorable to
the development of high moral character. Whatever the enlightened and
good may mean by these observances, it does seem to me that the ignorant
and vulgar understand that the evil consequences of pleasant sins may be
cheaply avoided by a liberal use of holy water, by bowings before the
altar and reverent conformity to rituals and ceremonies.–This is
certainly the great danger (in my sight) of the Catholic system, that it
may lead its votaries to esteem conformity to outward and ceremonial
requirements as essentially meritorious, and in some sense an offset for
violations of the moral law. Not that this error is by any means
confined to Catholics, for Christendom is full of Protestants who,
though ready enough to proclaim that kissing the toe of St. Peter’s
statue is a poor atonement for violating the Commandments, and Adoration
of the Virgin a very bad substitute for Chastity, do yet themselves
prefer bad Christians to good Infidels, and would hail with joy the
conversion of India or China to their creed, though it should involve no
improvement of character or life. I know every one believes that such
conversion would inevitably result in amendment of heart and morals, but
how many desire it mainly for that reason? How large a proportion of
Protestants esteem it the great end of Religion to make its votaries
better husbands, brothers, children, neighbors, kindred, citizens? To my
Protestant eyes, it seems that the general error on this point is more
prevalent and more vital at Rome than elsewhere; and I have been trying
to recollect, among all the immensity of Paintings, Mosaic and Statuary
I have seen here, representing St. Peter in Prison, St. Peter on the
Sea of Galilee, St. Peter healing the Cripple, St. Peter raising the
Dead, St. Peter receiving the Keys, St. Peter suffering Martyrdom, &c.
&c. (some of them many times over), I have any where met with a
representation of that most remarkable and beneficent vision whereby the
Apostle was instructed from Heaven that “Of a truth, I perceive that God
is no respecter of persons, but in every nation he that feareth Him and
worketh righteousness is accepted with Him.” I presume such a
representation must exist in a city where there are so many hundreds if
not thousands of pictures of St. Peter doing, receiving or suffering;
but this certainly is not a favorite subject here, or I should have seen
it many times depicted. Who knows a Protestant city in which the
aforesaid lesson given to Peter has been adequately dwelt on and heeded?

That the prevalence of Catholicism is not inconsistent with general
uprightness and purity of morals is demonstrated in Ireland, in
Switzerland, in Belgium, in the Tyrol, and elsewhere. The testimony of
the great body of travelers and other observers with regard to the
countries just named, affirms the general prevalence therein of those
virtues which are the basis of the Family and the Church. And yet, the
acknowledged state of things here is a grave fact which challenges
inquiry and demands explanation. In the very metropolis of Catholic
Christendom, where nearly all believe, and a great majority are at least
ceremonially devout–where many of the best intellects in the Catholic
communion have flourished and borne sway for more than fifteen
centuries, and with scarcely a divided empire for the last thousand
years–where Churches and Priests have long been more abundant than on
any other spot of earth, and where Divine worship and Christian
ordinances are scarcely intermitted for an hour, but are free and
welcome to all, and are very generally attended–what is the reason that
corruption and degeneracy should be so fearfully prevalent? If only the
enemies of Rome’s faith affirmed this degeneracy, we might fairly
suppose it invented or exaggerated; but even the immediate Priesthood of
this people, who may be presumed most unwilling and unlikely to deny
their virtues or magnify their vices, declare them unfit to be trusted
with power over their own political destinies, and indeed incapable of
self-government. Such is the fundamental basis and essential
justification of the rule now maintained in Rome, under the protection
of foreign bayonets. This is a conquered city, virtually if not
nominally in a state of siege, without assignable period. The Pope’s
guards are partly Swiss and partly native, that is, chosen from the
families of the Nobility; but the “power behind the throne” is
maintained by the thousands of French soldiers who garrison the city,
and the tens of thousands of Austrian, Spanish and Neapolitan soldiers
who would be pushed here upon the first serious attempt of the Romans to
assert their right of self-government. Thus, “Order reigns in Warsaw,”
while Democracy bites its lip and bides its time.

Has Human Nature degenerated under Christian ministrations? There surely
_was_ a Roman people, some twenty-odd centuries ago, who were capable of
self-government, and who maintained it long and creditably. Why should
it be otherwise with the Romans of to-day? I do not believe it is. They
have great vices I admit, for all testimony affirms it; that they might
somewhat abuse Freedom I fear, for the blessed sunshine is painful and
perilous to eyes long used to the gloom of the dungeon. But the
experience of Freedom must tend to dispel the ignorance and correct the
errors of its votaries, while Slavery only leads from bad to worse. If
ten centuries of such rule as now prevails here have nowise qualified
this people for Self-Government, what rational hope is there that ten
more such would do it? If a reform is ever to be effected, it cannot be
commenced too soon.

As to the actual government of Rome and her dependencies, it could not
well be worse. The rulers fully understand that they are under no
obligation to the people for the power they exercise, nor for the
submission which it commands. The despotism which prevails is unmodified
even by the hereditary despot’s natural desire to secure the throne to
his descendants by cultivating the good will of his people. The Pope is
nominally sovereign, and all regard him as personally a pure and good
man; but he exerts no actual power in the State, his time and thoughts
being wholly devoted to the various and complicated cares of his vast
Spiritual empire. Meantime, the Reäctionist influences so omnipotent
with his predecessor, but which were repressed for a time after the
present Pontiff’s accession, have unchecked sway in the political
administration. The way the present rulers of Rome read History is
this–“Pius IX. came into power a Liberal and a Reformer, and did all he
could for the promotion of Republican and Progressive ideas; for all
which his recompense was the assassination of his Prime Minister, and
his own personal expulsion from his throne and territories–which is
quite enough of Liberalism for one generation; we, at least, will have
no more of it.” And they certainly live up to their resolution. It is
currently reported that there are now _Seventeen Thousand_ political
prisoners confined here, but nobody who would tell can know how many
there are, and I presume this statement is a gross exaggeration,
significant only as an index of the popular feeling. The essential fact
is that there _might_ be Seventeen or Seventy Thousand thus imprisoned
without publicity, known accusation or trial, save at the convenience of
those ordering their arrest; and with no recognized right of the
arrested to Habeas Corpus or any kindred process. Many of the best
Romans of the age are in exile for Liberty’s sake. I was reliably
informed at Turin that there are at this time _Three Hundred Thousand_
Political Refugees in the Kingdom of Sardinia, nearly all, of course,
from the despotism of Lower Italy. Thus Europe is kept tranquil by a
system of terror, which is efficient while the spell holds; but let it
break at any point, and all will go together.

The Cardinals are the actual directors of State affairs here, and are
popularly held responsible for all that is disliked in the Government.
They would be likely to fare roughly in case of another revolution. They
are privately accused of flagrant immoralities, as men so powerful and
so unpopular would naturally be, whether with or without cause. I know
no facts that sustain the accusation.

A single newspaper is now published in Rome, but I have heard it
inquired for or mentioned but once since I came here, and then by a
Scotchman studying Italian. It is ultra-despotic in its spirit, and
would not be tolerated if it were not. It is a small, coarsely printed
sheet, in good part devoted to Church news, giving great prominence to
the progress of conversion from the English to the Romish communion.
There are very few foreign journals taken or read in the Roman States.
Lynn or Poughkeepsie probably, Newark or New-Haven certainly, buys and
reads more newspapers than the entire Three Millions of People who
inhabit the Papal States. I could not learn to relish such a state of
things. I have just paid $3.70 (more than half of it to our American
Consul) for the privilege of leaving the dominions of His Holiness, and
shall speedily profit by the gracious permission.






BOLOGNA, July 6, 1851.

“See Naples and die!” says the proverb: but I am in no hurry to “shuffle
off this mortal coil,” and rather weary of seeing. I think I should have
found a few choice friends in Naples, but my time is limited, and the
traveling through Southern Italy neither pleasant nor expeditious. Of
Vesuvius in its milder moods I never had a high opinion; and, though I
should have liked to tread the unburied streets of Pompeii, yet Rome has
nearly surfeited me with ruins. So I shortened my tour in Italy by
cutting off the farther end of it, and turned my face obliquely homeward
from the Eternal City. What has the world to show of by-gone glory and
grandeur which she cannot at least equal?

Let no one be sanguine as to his good resolutions. I as firmly resolved,
when I first shook from my feet the dust of Civita Vecchia, that I never
again would enter its gates, as I ever did to do or forbear any act
whatever. But, after a tedious and ineffectual attempt to make up a
party of Americans to come through from Rome to Florence direct, I was
at last obliged to knock under. All the seats by Diligence or Mail on
that route were taken ahead for a longer time than I could afford to
wait; and offers to fill an extra coach if the proprietors would send
one were utterly unavailing. Such a thing as Enterprise is utterly
unknown south of Genoa, and the idea of any obligation on the part of
proprietors of stage-lines to make extra efforts to accommodate an extra
number of passengers is so queer that I doubt whether Italian could be
found to express it. So some dozen or more who would gladly have gone
through by land to Florence were driven back upon Civita Vecchia and
Leghorn–I among the number.

Three of us left Rome in a private carriage at noon on Tuesday the 1st,
and reached Civita Vecchia at 10 minutes past 9 P. M.–the
inner gate having been closed at 9. One of my companions was known and
responsibly connected at the port, and so was enabled to negotiate our
admission, though the process was a tedious one, and our carriage had to
be left in the outer court, or between the two walls. Here I left it at
10; it may have been got in afterward. We found all the rooms taken at
the best Hotel (Orlandi), and were driven to accept such as there were
left. The boat (Languedoc) was advertised to start for Leghorn at 7 next
morning, by which time I succeeded in getting my Passport cleared (for
no steamboat in these waters will give you a permit to embark until you
have handed in your Passport, duly cleared, at its office, as well as
paid for your passage); but the boat was coolly taking in water long
after its advertised hour, and did not start until half past eight.

We had an unusually large number of passengers, about one hundred and
fifty, representing nearly every European nation, with a goodly number
of Americans; the day was cloudy and cool; the wind light and
propitious; the sea calm and smooth; so that I doubt if there was ever a
more favorable passage. I was sick myself, a result of the night-air of
the Campagna, bad lodging and inability to obtain a salt-water bath in
the morning, by reason of the Passport nuisance, but for which I should
have been well and hearty. We made Leghorn (120 miles) in about eleven
hours, which is very good time for the Mediterranean. But reaching the
harbor of Leghorn was one thing, getting ashore quite another; an hour
or more elapsed before any of us had permission to land. I was one of
the two first who got off, through the preconcerted interposition of a
powerful Leghorn friend who had procured a special permit from the
Police, and at whose hospitable mansion we passed the night. I was
unwell throughout; but an early bath in the Mediterranean was the
medicine I required, and from the moment of taking it I began to
recover. By seasonable effort, I recovered my Passport from the Police
office, duly _viséd_, at 10 A. M. and left by Railroad for
Florence at 10½, reaching the capital of Tuscany (60 miles) about 1
o’clock, P. M.

Florence (Italian _Firenzé_) is pleasantly situated on both sides of the
Arno, some forty miles in a direct line from its mouth. The river is
here about the size of the Hudson at Sandy Hill or the Mohawk at
Canajoharie, but subject to rapid swellings from rains in the Apennines
above. One such occurred the night I was there, though very little rain
fell at Florence. I was awakened in the night by the rushing and roaring
of its waters, my window having only a street between it and the river,
which subsided the next day, without having done any material damage.

That day was the 4th of July, and I spent most of it, under the guidance
of friends resident at Florence, in looking through the galleries
devoted to Paintings and Statuary in the two famous palaces of the
reigning family and in the Academy. Although the collections embrace the
Venus de Medicis and many admirable Paintings, I cannot say that my
expectations were fully realized. Ill health may in part account for
this; my recent acquaintance with the immense and multiform treasures of
Art at Rome may also help explain my obtuseness at Florence. And yet I
saw nothing in Rome with greater pleasure or profit than I derived from
the hour I spent in the studio of our countryman POWERS, whose fame is
already world-wide, and who I trust is now rapidly acquiring that generous
competence which will enable him to spend the evening of his days in ease
and comfort in his native land. The abundance of orders constantly pouring
in upon him at his own prices does not induce him to abandon nor postpone
his efforts in the ideal and more exalted sphere of his art, but rather to
redouble those efforts; and it will yet be felt that his “Greek Slave” and
“Fisher Boy,” so widely admired, are not his loftiest achievements. I defy
Antiquity to surpass–I doubt its ability to rival–his “Proserpine” and
his “Psyche” with any models of the female head that have come down to us;
and while I do not see how they could be excelled in their own sphere, I
feel that Powers, unlike Alexander, has still realms to conquer, and will
fulfill his destiny. If for those who talk of America quitting her proper
sphere and seeking to be Europe when she wanders into the domain of Art,
we had no other answer than POWERS, that name would be conclusive.

GREENOUGH is now absent from Florence. I met him at Turin, on his way to
America, on account (I casually heard) of sickness in his family. But I
obtained admission to his studio in Florence, and saw there the unfinished
group on which he is employed by order of Congress, to adorn one of the
yet empty niches in the Capitol. His execution is not yet sufficiently
advanced to be judged, but the design is happy and most expressive.

I saw something of three younger American Sculptors now studying and
working at Florence–HART of Kentucky, GALT of Virginia, and ROGERS of
New-York. (IVES is absent–at Rome, I believe, though I did not meet him
there.) I believe all are preparing to do credit to their country. HART
has been hindered by a loss of models at sea from proceeding with the
Statue of HENRY CLAY which he is commissioned by the Ladies of Virginia
to fashion and construct; but he is wisely devoting much of his time to
careful study and to the modeling of the Ideal before proceeding to commit
himself irrevocably by the great work which must fix his position among
Sculptors and make or mar his destiny. I have great confidence that what
he has already carefully and excellently done is but a foretaste of what
he is yet to achieve, and that his seeming hesitation will prove the
surest and truest efficiency.

I think there are but few American painters in Florence. I met none but
PAGE, who is fully employed and expects to spend some time in Italy. His
health is better than during his last year in New-York.

* * * * *

The strong necessity of moving on compelled me to tear myself away from
a pleasant party of Americans assembled at dinner in Florence last
evening to celebrate the 76th Anniversary of American Independence, and
take the Diligence at 8 o’clock for this place on the road to Venice,
though no other American nor even an Englishman came along. I have found
by experience that I cannot await the motions of others, nor can I find
a party ready to take post-horses and so travel at rational hours. The
Diligence or stage-coach traveling in Italy appears to be organized on
purpose to afford the least possible accommodation at the most
exorbitant cost. This city, for example, is 63 miles from Florence on
the way to Padua and Venice, and the Diligence leaves Florence for
Bologna at no other hour than 8 P. M. arriving here at 1½ o’clock next
day; fare 40 to 45 Tuscan pauls or $4.45 to $5. But when you reach
Bologna at midday, after an all-night ride, you find no conveyance for
any point beyond this until ten o’clock next morning, so that you must
wait here twenty-one hours; and the Diligence might far better, so far
as the travelers’ convenience and comfort is concerned, have remained in
Florence till an early hour in the morning, making the passage over the
Apennines by day and saving their nights’ rest. Three or four travelers
may break over this absurd tyranny by taking post-horses; a single one
has no choice but to submit. And, having reached Bologna, I tried to
gain time, or at least avoid another night-ride, by taking a private
carriage (_vetturino_) this afternoon for Ferrara, thirty miles further
on, sleep there to-night, and catch a Diligence or Mail-Coach to-morrow
morning, so as to reach Padua in the evening: but no–there is no coach
out of Padua Venice-ward till 4 to-morrow afternoon, and I should gain
nothing but extra fatigue and expense by taking a carriage to Ferrara,
so I give it up. I must make most of the journey from Ferrara to Padua
by night, and yet take as much time as though I traveled only by
day,–for I am in Italy.

The valley of the Arno, especially for some miles on either side of
Florence, is among the most fertile portions of this prolific land, and
is laboriously though not efficiently cultivated. All the Grains grow
luxuriantly throughout Italy, though Indian Corn is so thickly planted
and so viciously cultivated that it has no chance to ear or fill well.
There is enough labor performed on the average to insure sixty bushels
of shelled grain to the acre, but the actual yield will hardly exceed
twenty-five. And I have not had the first morsel of food prepared from
this grain offered me since I reached the shores of Europe. Wheat is the
favorite grain here, and, requiring less depth of soil than Indian corn,
and having been much longer cultivated here, yields very fairly. Barley
and Oats are grown, but to a limited extent; of Rye, still less. The
Potato is planted very sparingly south of Piedmont, and not so commonly
there as in Savoy. The Vine is a universal favorite, and rarely out of
view; while it often seems to cover half the ground in sight. But it is
not grown here in close hills as in France and around Cincinnati, but
usually in rows some twenty or thirty feet apart, and trained on trees
kept down to a hight of eight to twelve feet. Around Rome, a species of
Cane is grown wherewith to support the vines after the manner of
bean-poles, which, after serving a year or two in this capacity, is used
for fuel, and new stalks of cane replace those which have been enfeebled
by exposure and decay. The plan of training the vines on dwarfed trees
(which seems to me by far the most natural) prevails here as well as on
the other side of the Apennines; so that the vine-stalks are large and
may be hundreds of years old, instead of being (apparently) fresh from
the ground every year or two. The space between the vine-rows is usually
sown with Wheat, but sometimes planted with Corn or laid down to Grass,
and a moderate crop realized.

Crossing the Apennines mainly in the night, they seemed a little higher
than the Green Mountains of Vermont, but lacking the thrifty forests of
which I apprehend the proximity of Railroads is about to despoil that
noble range. But the Apennines, though cultivated wherever they can be,
are far more precipitous and sterile than their American counterpart,
and seem to be in good degree composed of a whitish clay or marl which
every rain is washing away, rendering the Arno after a storm one of the
muddiest streams I ever saw. I presume, therefore, that the Apennines
are, as a whole, less lofty and difficult now than they were in the days
of Romulus, of Hannibal, or even of Constantine.

We crossed the summit about daylight, and began rapidly to descend,
following down the course of one of the streams which find the Adriatic
together near the mouth of the Po. At 5 A. M. we passed the boundary of
Tuscany and entered the Papal territory, so that our baggage had to be
all taken down and searched, and our Passports re-scrutinized–two
processes to which I am becoming more accustomed than any live eel ever
was to being skinned. The time consumed was but an hour and the
pecuniary swindle trifling. But though the hour was early and there were
few habitations in sight, there soon gathered around us a swarm of most
importunate beggars–brown, withered old women spinning on distaffs held
in the hand (a process I fancied the world had outgrown), and stopping
every moment to hold out a dirty claw, with a most disgusting grimace
and whine–“For the love of God, Signor”–with ditto old men, and
children of various sizes, the youngest who could walk seeming as apt at
beggary as their grandames who have followed it, “off and on,” for
seventy or eighty years. If the ancient Romans had equaled their living
progeny in begging, they need not have dared and suffered so much to
achieve the mastery of the world–they might have begged it, and saved
an infinity of needless slaughter. These people have no proper pride, no
manly shame, because they have no hope. Untaught, unskilled in industry,
owning nothing, their government an absolute despotism, their labor only
required at certain seasons, and deemed amply rewarded with a York
shilling or eighteen pence per day, and themselves the virtual serfs of
great landholders who live in Rome or Bologna and whom they rarely or
never see–is it a wonder that they stoop to plead and whine for coppers
around every carriage that traverses their country? That they fare
miserably, their scanty rags and pinched faces sufficiently attest; that
they are indolent and improvident I can very well believe: for when were
uneducated, unskilled, hopeless vassals anything else? Italy, beautiful,
bounteous land! is everywhere haggard with want and wretchedness, but
these seem nowhere so general and chronic as in the Papal territories.
Every political division of Italy but this has at least some section of
Railroad in operation; Rome, though in the heart of all and the great
focus of attraction for travelers, has not the first mile and no
prospect of any, though it would seem a good speculation to build one if
it were to be used only in transporting hither the Foreign troops
absolutely essential here to keep the people quiet in their chains. “And
this, too, shall pass away!”






VENICE, Tuesday, July 8.

I never saw and cannot hope to see hereafter a region more blessed by
Nature than the great plain of Upper Italy, whereof the Po is the
life-blood. It is very fertile and beautiful where I first traversed it
near its head, from the foot of Mount Cenis by Turin to Alessandria and
Novi, on my way down to Genoa; yet it is richer and lovelier still where
I have just recrossed it from the foot of the Apennines by Bologna,
Ferrara, Rovigo and Padua on my way from Florence to Venice. Irrigation,
which might easily be almost universal in Piedmont, seems there but an
occasional expedient, while here it is the breath of life. From Bologna
to Rovigo (and I presume on to Padua, though there night and drowsiness
prevented my observing clearly), the whole country seems completely
intersected by Canals constructed in the palmier days of Italy on
purpose to distribute the fertilizing waters of the Po and the Adige
over the entire face of the country and dispense them to every field and
meadow. The great highway generally runs along the bank of one of these
Canals, which are filled from the rivers when they have just been raised
by rains and are thus surcharged with fertilizing matter, and drawn off
from day to day thereafter to refresh and enrich the remarkably level
plain they traverse. Thus not only the plain and the glades lying nearer
the sources of the rivers, but the sterile, rugged crests of the Alps
and Apennines which enclose this great basin are made to contribute
evermore to the fruitfulness of its soil, so that Despotism, Ignorance,
Stolidity, Indolence and Unthrift of all kinds vainly strive to render
it other than the Garden of Europe. The banks of the Canals and the
sides of the highways are generally lined with trees, rows of which also
traverse many if not most of the fields, so that from certain points the
whole country seems one vast, low forest or “timbered opening” of
Poplar, Willow, Mulberry, Locust, &c. There are a few Oaks, more Elms,
and some species I did not recognize, and the Vine through all this
region is trained on dwarfed or shortened trees, sometimes along the
roadside, but oftener in rows through one-fourth of the fields, while in
a few instances it is allowed thus to obtain an altitude of thirty or
forty feet. Of Fruit, I have seen only the Apricot and the Cherry in
abundance, but there are some Pears, while the Orange and Lemon are very
plentiful in the towns, though I think they are generally brought from
Naples and the Mediterranean coast. But finer crops of Wheat, Grass,
Hemp, &c., can grow nowhere than throughout this country, while the
Indian Corn which is abundantly planted, would yield as amply if the
people knew how to cultivate it. Ohio has no better soil nor climate for
this grain. Of Potatoes or other edible roots I have seen very little.
Hemp is extensively cultivated, and grows most luxuriantly. Man is the
only product of this prolific land which seems stunted and shriveled.
Were Italy once more a Nation, under one wise and liberal government,
with a single tariff, coinage, mail-post, &c., a thorough system of
common school education, a small navy, but no passports, and a public
policy which looked to the fostering and diversifying of her industry,
she might easily sustain and enrich a population of sixty millions. As
it is, one-half of her twenty-five millions are in rags, and are pinched
by hunger, while inhabiting the best wheat country in Europe, from which
food is constantly and largely exported. There are at least one hundred
millions of dollars locked up in useless decorations of churches, and
not one common school-house from Savoy to Sicily. A little education,
after a fashion, is fitfully dispensed by certain religious and
charitable foundations, so that the child lucky enough to be an orphan
or illegitimate has a chance to be taught to read and write; but any
such thing as a practical recognition of the right to education, or as a
public and general provision for imparting it, is utterly unknown here.
Grand and beautiful structures are crowded in every city, and are
crumbling to dust on every side; a single township dotted at proper
intervals with eight or ten school-houses would be worth them all. With
infinite water power, cheaper labor, and cheaper food than almost any
other country in the civilized world, and millions of children at once
naked and idle because no one will employ them at even six-pence a day,
she has not one cotton or woolen factory that I have yet seen, and can
hardly have one at all, though her mountains afford vast and excellent
sheep-walks, and Naples can grow cotton if she will. England and Germany
manufacture nearly all the few fabrics of cotton or wool worn here,
because those who should lead, instruct, and employ this people, are
blind to their duty or recreant to its obligations. Italy, once the
light of the world, is dying of aristocratic torpor and popular
ignorance, whence come indolence, superstition, and wide-spread
demoralization and misery.

Bologna is a walled city of Seventy Thousand inhabitants, with about as
much trade and business of all kinds as an American village of ten to
twenty thousand people. I doubt that thirty persons per day are carried
into or brought out of it by all public conveyances whatever. It is well
built on narrow streets, like nearly all Italian cities, and manifests
considerable activity in the way of watching gates and _visé_ing
Passports. Though in the Papal territory, it is under Austrian
guardianship; an Austrian sentinel constantly paced the court-yard of
the “Hotel Brun” where I stopped. Though the second town in the Pope’s
temporal dominions, strongly walled, it has no Military strength, being
commanded by a hill a short mile south of it–the last hill I remember
having seen till I reached Venice and looked across over the lagoons to
the Euganian hills on the main land to south-west. The most notable
thing I saw in Bologna was an awning of sheeting or calico spread over
the centre of the main street on a level with the roofs of the houses
for a distance of half a mile or so. I should distrust its standing a
strong gust, but if it would, the idea is worth borrowing.

After a night-ride over the Apennines from Florence, and a detention of
twenty-one hours at Bologna, I did hope that our next start would be
“for good”–that there would be no more halt till we reached Padua. But
I did not yet adequately appreciate Italian management. A Yankee
stage-coach running but once a day between two such cities as Bologna
and Ferrara would start at daylight and so connect at the latter place
as to set down its passengers beside the Railroad in Padua (86 to 90
miles of the best possible staging from Bologna) in the evening of the
same day. We left Bologna at 10 A. M., drove to Ferrara, arrived
there a little past 2; and then came a halt of _four hours_–till six
P. M. when the stage started for a night-trip to Padua–none
running during the day. But a Yankee stage would have one man for
manager, driver, &c., who would very likely be the owner also of the
horses and a partner in the line; we started from a grand office with
two book-keepers and a platoon of lackeys and baggage-smashers, with a
“guard” on the box, and two “postillions” riding respectively the nigh
horses of the two teams, there being always three horses at the pole and
sometimes three on the lead also, at others only two. We had half a
dozen passengers to Ferrara; for the rest of the way, I had this
extensive traveling establishment to myself. I do not think the average
number of passengers on a corresponding route in our country could be so
few as twenty. Such are some of the points of difference between America
and Italy.

We crossed the Po an hour after leaving Ferrara, and here passed out of
the Papal into the unequivocally Austrian territory–the Kingdom of
Venice and Lombardy. There were of course soldiers on each side (though
all of a piece), police officers, a Passport scrutiny and a fresh look
into my carpet-bags, mainly (I understand) for Tobacco! When any
tide-waiter finds more of that about me than the chronic ill breeding of
traveling smokers compels me to carry in my clothes, he is welcome to
confiscate all I possess. But they found nothing here to cavil at, and I
passed on.

There is no town where we crossed the Po, only a small village on either
side, and we followed down the left bank in a north-easterly direction
for several miles without seeing any considerable place. The river has
here, as through nearly its whole course, a strong, rapid current, and
was swollen and rendered turbid by recent rains. I judge that its
surface was decidedly above the level of the adjacent country, which is
protected from inundation (like the region of the Lower Mississippi) by
strong embankments or levees, at first natural doubtless–the product of
the successive overflows of centuries but subsequently strengthened and
perfected by human labor. The force of the current being strongest in
the center of the river, there is either stillness or an eddy near the
banks, so that the sediment with which the current is charged tends
constantly to deposition on or against the banks. When the river rises
so as to overflow those banks, the downward current is entirely unfelt
there and the deposition becomes still more rapid, the proportion of
earthy matter to that of water being much greater then than at other
times. Thus great, rapid rivers running through vast plains like these
gradually form levees in the course of many centuries, their channels
being defined and narrowed by their own deposits until the surface of
their waters, at least in times of flood, is raised above the level of
the surrounding country, often several feet. When the great swamps of
Louisiana shall have been drained and cultivated for ages, they too will
doubtless be fertilized and irrigated by canals, as the great plain
traversed by the Po now is. And here too, though the acres are generally
well cared for, I saw tracts of considerable extent which, from original
defect or unskillful management, stand below the water level of the
country, and so are given over to flags, bogs and miasma, when only a
foot or two of elevation is needed to render them salubrious and most

There are many more good dwellings on this plain than in the rural
portion of Lower Italy. These are generally built of brick, covered with
stucco or cement and white-washed, and, being nearly square in form, two
stories high, and without the long, sloping roofs common with us, are
rather symmetrical and graceful, in appearance. Their roofs are tiled
with a long, cylindrical brick, of which a first course is laid with the
hollow upward, and another over the joints of this with the hollow down,
conducting the water into the troughs made by the former and so off the
house. The peasants’ cottages are thatched with flags or straw, and
often built of the latter material. Of barns there are relatively few,
most of the wheat being stacked when harvested, and trodden out by oxen
on floors under the open sky. I have not seen a good harness nor a
respectable ox-yoke in Italy, most of the oxen having yokes which a
Berkshire hog of any pretensions to good breeding would disdain to look
through. These yokes merely hold the meek animals together, having no
adaptation to draft, which is obtained by a cobbling filigree of ropes
around the head, bringing the heaviest of the work upon the horns! The
gear is a little better than this–as little as you please–while for
Carts and Waggons there are few school-boys of twelve to fifteen in
America who would not beat the average of all I have seen in Italy.
Their clumsiness and stupidity are so atrocious that the owners do well
in employing asses to draw them: no man of feeling or spirit could
endure the horse-laughs they must extort from any animal of tolerable
sagacity. To see a stout, two-handed man coming home with his
donkey-load of fuel from a distant shrubbery, half a day of the two
having been spent in getting as much as would make one good
kitchen-fire, is enough to try the patience of Job.

Although the Po must be navigable and has been navigated by steamboats
for many miles above this point, until obstructed by rapids, yet nothing
like a steamboat was visible. The only craft I saw attempting to stem
its current was a rude sort of ark, like a wider canal-boat, drawn by
three horses traveling on a wide, irregular tow-path along the levee or
bank. I presume this path does not extend many miles without meeting
impediments. Quite a number of ruinous old rookeries were anchored in
the river at intervals, usually three to six abreast, which I found to
be grist-mills, propelled by the strong current, and receiving their
grain from the shore and returning the flour by means of small boats.
Our ferry-boat was impelled by what is termed (I think) a “rope
ferry”–a series of ropes and boats made fast to some anchorage in the
stream above, and moving it vigorously and expeditiously from one bank
to the other by the mere force of the current. It is quite evident that
modern Italy did not originate this contrivance, nor even the idea that
a rapid river could be induced to move a large boat obliquely up its
stream as well as down it. I should say the Po is here rather more than
half a mile wide.

Three hours later, we crossed in like manner at Rovigo the Adige, a much
smaller but still a large river, about the size of the Connecticut at
Hartford. It has its source exclusively in the Tyrolean Alps, but for
the last hundred miles of its course runs parallel with the Po, through
the same plain, at a medium distance of about twenty miles, and has the
same general characteristics. It was quite high and muddy when we
crossed it.

As midnight drew on, I grew weary of gazing at the same endless
diversity of grain-fields, vineyards, rows of trees, &c., though the
bright moon was now shining, and, shutting out the chill night-air, I
disposed myself on my old great-coat and softest carpet-bag for a
drowse, having ample room at my command if I could but have brought it
into a straight line. But the road was hard, the coach a little the
uneasiest I ever hardened my bones upon, and my slumber was of a
disturbed and dubious character, a dim sense of physical discomfort
shaping and coloring my incoherent and fitful visions. For a time I
fancied myself held down on my back while some malevolent wretch
drenched the floor (and me) with filthy water: then I was in a rude
scuffle and came out third or fourth best, with my clothes badly torn;
anon I had lost my hat in a strange place and could not begin to find
it; and at last my clothes were full of grasshoppers and spiders who
were beguiling their leisure by biting and stinging me. The misery at
last became unbearable and I awoke.–But where? I was plainly in a
tight, dark box, that needed more air: I soon recollected that it was a
stage-coach, wherein I had been making my way from Ferrara to Padua. I
threw open the door and looked out. Horses, postillions and guard were
all gone: the moon, the fields, the road were gone: I was in a close
court-yard, alone with Night and Silence: but where? A church clock
struck three; but it was only promised that we should reach Padua by
four, and I, making the usual discount on such promises, had set down
five as the probable hour of our arrival. I got out to take a more
deliberate survey, and the tall form and bright bayonet of an Austrian
sentinel, standing guard over the egress of the court-yard, were before
me. To talk German was beyond the sweep of my dizziest ambition, but an
Italian runner or porter instantly presented himself. From him I made
out that I was in Padua of ancient and learned renown (Italian
_Padova_), and that the first train for Venice would not start for three
hours yet. I followed him into a convenient _Café_, which was all open
and well lighted, where I ordered a cup of chocolate and proceeded
leisurely to discuss it. When I had finished, the other guests had all
gone out, but daylight was coming in, and I began to feel more at home.
The _Café_ tender was asleep in his chair; the porter had gone off; the
sentinel alone kept awake on his post. Soon the welcome face of the
coach-guard, whom I had borne company from Bologna, appeared; I hailed
him, obtained my baggage, hired a porter, and, having nothing more to
wait for, started at a little past four for the Railroad station, nearly
a mile distant; taking observations as I went. Arrived at the dépôt, I
discharged my porter, sat down and waited for the place to open, with
ample leisure for reflection. At six o’clock I felt once more the
welcome motion of a Railroad car, and at eight was in Venice.






MILAN, Wednesday, July 9, 1851.

Venice! Queen of the Adriatic! “City of the Heart!” how can I ever
forget thee? Brief, too brief was my halt amid thy glorious structures,
but such eras are measured not by hours, but by sensations, and my first
day in Venice must ever hold its place among the most cherished
recollections of my life.

Venice lies so absolutely and wholly on the water’s bosom that the
landward approach to her is not imposing and scarcely impressive. The
view from the sea-side may be somewhat better, but not much–not
comparable to that of Genoa from the Mediterranean. No part of the
islets upon and around which Venice was built having been ever ten feet
above the surface of the Adriatic, while the adjacent mainland for
miles is also just above the water level, you do not see the city from
any point of observation outside of it–only the distant outline of a
low mass of buildings perhaps two miles long, but which may not be three
blocks wide, for aught you can see. Formerly two miles of shallow lagoon
separated the city from the land; but this has been overcome by the
heavy piling and filling required for the Railroad which now connects
Venice with Verona, via Vicenza, and is to reach this city via Brescia
whenever the Austrian Government shall be able to complete it. At
present a noble enterprise, through one of the richest, most populous
and most productive Agricultural regions of the earth, and connecting
the Political with the Commercial metropolis of Austrian Italy, is
arrested when half-finished, entailing a heavy annual charge on the
Treasury for the interest of the sum already expended, yet yielding
little or no net revenue in return, because of its imperfect condition.
The wisdom of this would be just equal to that of our ten years’ halt
with the Erie Canal Enlargement, except for the fact that the Austrians
would borrow and complete if they could, while New York has had no such
excuse for her slothful blunder.

The approach to Venice across the Lagoon is like that of Boston across
the Charles River marshes from the West, though of course on a much
grander scale. The embankment or road-bed was commenced by gigantic
piling, and is very broad and substantial. You reach the station just in
the edge of the city, run the Passport gauntlet, and are let out on the
brink of a wide canal, where dozens of gondoliers are soliciting your
custom. I engaged one, and directed him (at a venture) to row me to the
Hotel l’Europe. This proved (like nearly or quite all the other great
Hotels) to be located on the same line or water-front with the Ducal
Palace, Church of St. Mark, and most of the notabilities of modern
Venice, with the inner harbor and shipping just on the left and the
Adriatic in plain sight before us, only two or three little islets
covered with buildings partially intervening. Of course, my first row
was a long one, quite through the city from west to east, including
innumerable turnings and windings. After this, whomsoever may assert
that the streets of Venice are dusty or not well watered, I shall be
able to contradict from personal observation.

After outward renovation and breakfast, I hired a boat for the day, and
went in search of American friends–a pursuit in which I was ultimately
successful. With these I visited the various council-rooms and galleries
in the Ducal Palace, saw the “Lion’s Mouth,” descended into the ancient
dungeons, now tenantless, and crossed the “Bridge of Sighs.” These last
are not open to the public, but a silver key gives access to them.
Thence we visited the famous picture-gallery of the Manfrini Palace, and
after that the Academy, thus consuming the better part of the day.

The works of Art in the Grand Palace did not, as a whole, impress me
strongly. Most of the larger ones are historical illustrations of the
glories of Venice; the battle of Lepanto; the taking of Zara; the Pope
and Venice uniting against or triumphing over the Emperor, &c., &c. Some
of the most honorable achievements of Venice, including her long and
memorable defense of Candia (or Crete) against the desperate and finally
successful attacks of the Turks, are not even hinted at. But these
galleries are palpably in a state of dilapidation and decay, which
implies that the Austrian masters of Venice, though they cannot stoop to
the meanness of demolishing or mutilating the memorials of her ancient
glories, will be glad to see them silently and gradually perish. The
whole Palace has a dreary and by-gone aspect, seeming conscious that
either itself or the Austrian soldiers drilling in front of it must be
an anachronism–that both cannot belong to the same place and time.

“The traitor clock forsakes the hours,
And points to times, O far away!”

The paintings in the Manfrini Palace seem to me by no means equal to
those in the Orsini, Doria, and some other private collections of Rome;
even of those extravagantly praised by Lord Byron, I failed to perceive
the admirable qualities apparent to his more cultivated taste. The
collection in the Academy I thought much better, but still far enough
behind similar galleries in Rome. The fact is, modern Italy is
poverty-stricken in Art and Genius as well as in Industry, and lives
upon the trophies and the memory of her past greatness. I have not heard
in all this land the name of one living Italian mentioned as likely to
attain eminence in Painting, nor even in Sculpture.

Toward evening, my friend and I ascended the Campanile or Bell-Tower of
St. Mark’s, some 330 feet high, and had thence a glorious view of the
city and its neighborhood. From this tower, the houses might almost be
counted, though of the Canals which separate them only a few of the
largest are discerned. But the port, the shipping outside, the gardens
(naturally few and contracted), the adjacent main-land, the Railroad
embankment across the Lagoon, the blue Euganian hills in the distance,
&c., &c., are all as palpable as Boston Harbor from Bunker Hill
Monument. Immediately beneath is the Place of St. Mark, the Wall-street
of Venice; just beside you is the old Palace and the famous Cathedral
Church of St. Mark; to the north is the Armory, one of the largest and
most interesting in Europe; while the dome of every Church in Venice and
all the windings of the Grand Canal are distinctly visible. An Austrian
steamship in the harbor and an Austrian regiment marching from the north
end of the city into the grand square to take post there, completed the
panorama. The sun setting in mild radiance after a most lovely summer
day, and the full moon shining forth in all her luster, gave it a
wondrous richness and beauty of light and shadow. I was loth indeed to
tear myself away from its contemplation and commence the tedious descent
of the now darkened circular way up and down the inside of the tower.

In the evening, we improved our gondoliers’ time in rowing leisurely
from one point of interest to another. Together we stood on the true
Rialto–a magnificent (and the only) bridge over the Grand Canal, in
good part covered with shops of one kind or another. Here a boy was
industriously and vociferously trying to sell a lot of cucumbers, which
he had arranged in piles of three or four each, and was crying “any pile
for” some piece of money, which I was informed was about half a Yankee
cent. Vegetables, and indeed provisions of all kinds, are very cheap in
Venice. I said this bridge is a grand one, as it is; but Venice is full
of bridges across its innumerable canals, and nearly all are of the best
construction. Arches more graceful in form, or better fitted to defy the
assaults of time, I have never seen.

We passed from the true to Shakspeare’s Rialto–the ancient Exchange of
Venice, where its large Commercial and Moneyed transactions took place
prior to the last three centuries. Here is seen the ancient Bank of
Venice–the first, I believe, established in the world; here also the
“stone of shame”–an elevated post which each bankrupt was compelled to
take and hold for a certain time, exposed to the derision of the
confronting thousands. (Now-a-days it is the bankrupt who flouts, and
his too confiding creditors who are jeered and laughed at.) This ancient
focus of the world’s commerce is now abandoned to the sellers of market
vegetables, who were busily arranging their cabbages, &c., for the next
morning’s trade when we visited it.

Venice is full of deserted Palaces, which, though of spacious dimensions
and of the finest marble, may be bought for less than the cost of an
average brick house in the upper part of New-York. The Duchess de Berri,
mother of the Bourbon Pretender to the throne of France, has bought one
of these and generally inhabits it; the Rothschilds own another; the
dancer Taglioni, it is said, owns four, and so on. Cheap as they are,
they are a poorer speculation than even corner lots in a lithographic
city of Nebraska or Oregon.

That evening in the gondola, with one old and two newer friends, is
marked with a white stone in my recollection. To bones aching with rough
riding in Diligences by night as well as day, the soft cushions and
gliding motion of the boat were soothing and grateful as “spicy gales
from Araby the blest.” The breeze from the Adriatic was strong and
refreshing after the fervid but not excessive heat of the day, and the
clear, mild moon seemed to invest the mossy and crumbling palaces with a
softened radiance and spiritual beauty. Boats were passing on every
side, some with gay parties of three to six, others with but two
passengers, who did not seem to need the presence of more, nor indeed to
be conscious that any others existed. The hum of earnest or glad voices
here contrasted strongly with silence and meditation there. Venice is a
City of the Past, and wears her faded yet queenly robes more gracefully
by night than by day.

Yes, the Venice of to-day is only a reminiscence of glories that were,
but shall be never again. Wealth, Luxury, Aristocracy ate out her soul;
then Bonaparte, perfidious despot that he ever was, robbed her of her
independence; finally the Holy Alliance of conquerors of Bonaparte made
his wrong the pretext for another, and wholly gave her to her ancient
enemy Austria, who greedily snatched at the prey, though it was her
assistance rendered or proffered to Austria in 1798-9 which gave
Napoleon his pretext for crushing her. Her recent struggle for
independence, though fruitless, was respectable, and protracted beyond
the verge of Hope; and not even Royalist mendacity has yet pretended
that _her_ revolt from Austria, or her prolonged defence under
bombardment and severe privation was the work of foreigners. But the
Croat again lords it in her halls; Trieste is stealing away her remnant
of trade; and the Railroads which should regain or replace it are
postponed from year to year, and may never be completed, or at least not
until it is utterly too late. Weeds gather around the marble steps of
her palaces; her towers are all swerving from their original
uprightness, and there is neither energy nor means to arrest their fall.
Nobody builds a new edifice within her precincts, and the old ones,
though of the most enduring materials and construction, cannot eternally
resist the relentless tooth of Time. Full of interest as is everything
in Venice, I do not remember to have detected there the effectual
working of a single idea of the last century, save in the Railroad,
which barely touches without enlivening her, the solitary steamboat
belonging to Trieste, and two or three larger gondolas marked
“_Omnibus_” this or that, which appeared to be conveying good loads of
passengers from one end of the city to the other for one-sixth or eighth
of the price which the same journey _solus_ cost me. The Omnibus
typifies ASSOCIATION–the simple but grandly fruitful idea which is
destined to renovate the world of Industry and Production, substituting
Abundance and Comfort for Penury and Misery. For Man, I trust, this
quickening word is yet seasonable; for Venice it is too late. It is far
easier to found two new cities than to restore one dead one. Fallen Queen
of the Adriatic! a long and mournful Adieu!






MILAN, Thursday, July 10, 1851.

Lombardy is of course the richest and most productive portion of Italy.
Piedmont alone vies with her, and is improving far more rapidly, but
Lombardy has great natural capacities peculiarly her own. Her soil,
fertile and easily tilled from the first, was long ago improved by a
system of irrigation which, probably from small and casual beginnings,
gradually overspread the whole table land, embracing, beside that of the
Adige, the broad valley of the Po and the narrower intervals of its many
tributaries, which, rushing down from the gorges of the Alps on the west
and the north, are skillfully conducted so as to refresh and fertilize
the whole plain, and, finding their way ultimately to the Po, are thence
drawn again by new canals to render like beneficence to the lower,
flatter intervals of Venezia and the Northern Papal States. Nowhere can
be found a region capable of supporting a larger population to the
square mile than Lombardy.

American Agriculture has just two arts to learn from Lombardy–IRRIGATION
and TREE-PLANTING. Nearly all our great intervales might be irrigated
immensely to the profit of their cultivators. Even where the vicinity of
mountains or other high grounds did not afford the facility here taken
advantage of, I am confident that many plains as well as valleys might be
profitably irrigated by lifting water to the requisite height and thence
distributing it through little canals or ditches as here. Where a head of
water may be obtained to supply the requisite power, the cost need not be
considerable after the first outlay; but, even though steam-power should
be requisite, in connection with the admirable Pumping machinery of our
day, Irrigation would pay liberally in thousands of cases. Such easily
parched levels as those of New-Jersey and Long Island would yield at least
double their present product if thoroughly irrigated from the turbid
streams and marshy ponds in their vicinity. Water itself is of course
essential to the growth of every plant, but the benefits of Irrigation
reach far beyond this. Of the fertilizing substances so laboriously and
necessarily applied to cultivating lands, at least three times as great
a proportion is carried off in running water as is absorbed and exhausted
by the crops grown by their aid; so that if Irrigation simply returned to
the land as much fertility as the rains carry off, it would, with decent
husbandry, increase in productiveness from year to year. The valley of
the Nile is one example among many of what Irrigation, especially from
rivers at their highest stage, will do for the soil, in defiance of the
most ignorant, improvident and unskillful cultivation. Such streams as the
Raritan, the Passaic and most of the New Jersey rivers, annually squander
upon the ocean an amount of fertilizing matter adequate to the comfortable
subsistence of thousands. By calculation, association, science, labor,
most of this may be saved. One hundred thousand of the poor immigrants
annually arriving on our shores ought to be employed for years, in
New-Jersey alone, in the construction of dams, canals, &c., adequate to
the complete irrigation of all the level or moderately sloping lands in
that State. Farms are cheaper there to-day than in Iowa for purchasers
who can pay for and know how to use them. Long Island can be rendered
eminently fertile and productive by systematic and thorough Irrigation;
otherwise I doubt that it ever will be.

Much of Lombardy slopes very considerably toward the Po, so that the
water in the larger or distributing canals is often used to run mills
and supply other mechanical power. It might be used also for
Manufacturing if Manufactures existed here, and nearly every farmer
might have a horse-power or so at command for domestic uses if he chose.
We passed yesterday the completely dry beds of what seemed to be small
rivers, their water having been entirely drawn away into the irrigating
canals on either side, while on either hand there were grist-mills
busily at work, and had been for hundreds of years, grinding by
water-power where no stream naturally existed. If I mistake not, there
are many such in this city, and in nearly all the cities and villages of
Lombardy. If our farmers would only investigate this matter of
Irrigation as thoroughly as its importance deserves, they would find
that they have neglected mines of wealth all around them more extensive
and far more reliable than those of California. One man alone may not
always be able to irrigate his farm except at too great a cost; but let
the subject be commended to general attention, and the expense would be
vastly diminished. Ten thousand farms together, embracing a whole
valley, may often be irrigated for less than the cost of supplying a
hundred of them separately. I trust our Agricultural papers will agitate
this improvement.

As to Tree-Planting, there can be no excuse for neglecting it, for no
man needs his neighbor’s coöperation to render it economical or
effective. We in America have been recklessly destroying trees quite
long enough; it is high time that we began systematically to reproduce
them. There is scarcely a farm of fifty acres or over in any but the
very newest States that might not be increased in value $1,000 by $100
judiciously expended in Tree-Planting, and a little care to protect the
young trees from premature destruction. All road-sides, steep
hill-sides, ravines and rocky places should be planted with Oak,
Hickory, Chestnut, Pine, Locust, &c., at once, and many a farm would,
after a few years, yield $100 worth of Timber annually, without
subtracting $10 from the crops otherwise depended on. By planting
Locust, or some other fast-growing tree, alternately with Oak, Hickory,
&c., the former would be ready for use or sale by the time the latter
needed the whole ground. Utility, beauty, comfort, profit, all combine
to urge immediate and extensive Tree-Planting; shall it not be

Here in Lombardy there is absolutely no farm, however small, without its
rows of Mulberry, Poplar, Walnut, Cherry, &c., overshadowing its canals,
brooks, roads, &c., and traversing its fields in all directions. The
Vine is very generally trained on a low tree, like one of our Plum or
small Cherry trees, so that, viewed at a distance or a point near the
ground, the country would seem one vast forest, with an undergrowth
mainly of Wheat and Indian Corn. Potatoes, Barley, Rye, &c., are grown,
but none of them extensively, nor is much of the soil devoted to Grass.
There are no forests, properly so called, but a few rocky hill-sides,
which occur at intervals, mainly about half way from Venice to Milan,
are covered with shrubbery which would probably grow to trees if
permitted. Wheat and all Summer Grains are very good; so is the Grass;
so the Indian Corn will be where it is not prevented by the vicious
crowding of the plants and sugar-loaf hoeing of which I have frequently
spoken. I judge that Italy altogether, with an enormous area planted,
will realize less than half the yield she would have from the same acres
with judicious cultivation. With Potatoes, nearly the same mistake is
made, but the area planted with these is not one-tenth that of Corn and
the blunder far less vital.

This ought to be the richest country in the world, yet its people and
their dwellings do not look as if it were so. I have seen a greater
number of Soldiers and Beggars in passing through it than of men at
work; and nearly all work out-doors here who work at all. The dwellings
are generally shabby, while Barns are scarce, and Cattle are treading
out the newly harvested wheat under the blue sky. New houses and other
signs of improvement are rare, and the people dispirited. And this is
the garden of sunny, delicious Italy!



I leave Italy with a less sanguine hope of her speedy liberation than I
brought into it. The day of her regeneration must come, but the
obstacles are many and formidable. Most palpable among these is an
insane spirit of local jealousy and rivalry only paralleled by the
“Corkonian” and “Far-down” feud among the Irish. Genoa is jealous of
Turin; Turin of Milan; Florence of Leghorn; and so on. If Italy were a
Free Republic to-day, there would be a fierce quarrel, and I fear a
division, on the question of locating its metropolis. Rome would
consider herself the natural and prescriptive capital; Naples would urge
her accessible position, unrivaled beauty and ascendency in population;
Florence her central and healthful location; Genoa her extensive
commerce and unshaken devotion to Republican Freedom, &c., &c. And I
should hardly be surprised to see some of these, chagrined by an adverse
decision, leaguing with foreign despots to restore the sway of the
stronger by way of avenging their fancied wrongs!

And it is too true that ages of subjugation have demoralized, to a
fearful extent, the Italian People. Those who would rather beg, or
extort, or pander to others’ vices, than honestly work for a living,
will never do anything for Freedom; and such are deplorably abundant in
Italy. Then, like most nations debased by ages of Slavery, these people
have little faith in each other. The proverb that “No Italian has two
friends” is of Italian origin. Every one fears that his confederate may
prove a traitor, and if one is heard openly cursing the Government as
oppressive and intolerable in a café or other public resort, though the
sentiment is heartily responded to, the utterer is suspected and avoided
as a Police stool-pigeon and spy. Such mutual distrust necessarily
creates or accompanies a lack of moral courage. There are brave and
noble Italians, but the majority are neither brave nor noble. There were
gallant spirits who joyfully poured out their blood for Freedom in
1848-9, but nine-tenths of those who wished well to the Liberal cause
took precious good care to keep their carcases out of the reach of
Austrian or French bullets. Even in Rome, where, next to Venice, the
most creditable resistance was made to Despotism, the greater part of
the actual fighting was done by Italians indeed, but refugees from
Lombardy, Tuscany and other parts of Italy. Had the Romans who heartily
desired the maintenance of the Republic shown their faith by their
works, Naples would have been promptly revolutionized and the French
driven back to their ships. On this point, I have the testimony of
eye-witnesses of diverse sentiments and of unimpeachable character. Rome
is heartily Republican to-day; but I doubt whether three effective
regiments could be raised from her large native population to fight a
single fair battle which was to decide the fate of Italy. So with the
whole country except Piedmont, and perhaps Genoa and Venice. I wish the
fact were otherwise; but there can be no use in disguising or
mis-stating it. Italy is not merely enslaved but debased, and not till
after years of Freedom will the mass of her people evince consistently
the spirit or the bearing of Freemen. She must be freed through the
progress of Liberal ideas in France and Germany–not by her own inherent
energies. Not till her masses have learned to look more coolly down the
throats of loaded and hostile cannon in fair daylight and be a little
less handy with their knives in the dark, can they be relied on to do
anything for the general cause of Freedom.



I have not been able to dislike the Austrians personally. Their simple
presence in Italy is a grievous wrong and mischief, since, so long as
they hold the Italians in subjection, the latter can hardly begin the
education which is to fit them for Freedom. Yet it is none the less true
that the portion of Italy unequivocally Austrian is better governed and
enjoys, not more Liberty, for there is none in either, but a milder form
of Slavery, than that which prevails in Naples, Rome, Tuscany, and the
paltrier native despotisms. I can now understand, though I by no means
concur in, the wish of a _quasi_ Liberal friend who prays that Austria
may just take possession of the whole Peninsula, and abolish the dozen
diverse Tariffs, Coinages, Mails, Armies, Courts, &c. &c., which now
scourge this natural Paradise. He thinks that such an absorption only
can prepare Italy for Liberty and true Unity; I, on the contrary, fear
that it would fix her in a more hopeless Slavery. Yet it certainly would
render the country more agreeable to strangers, whether sojourners or
mere travelers.

The Austrian soldiers, regarded as mere fighting machines, are certainly
well got up. They are palpably the superiors, moral and physical, of the
French who garrison Rome, and they are less heartily detested by the
People whom they are here to hold in subjection. Their discipline is
admirable, but their natural disposition is likewise quiet and
inoffensive. I have not heard of a case of any one being personally
insulted by an Austrian since I have been in Italy.–Knowing themselves
to be intensely disliked in Italy and yet its uncontrolled masters, it
would seem but natural that they should evince something of bravado and
haughtiness, but I have observed or heard of nothing of the kind. In
fact, the bearing of the Austrians, whether officers or soldiers, has
seemed to evince a quiet consciousness of strength, and to say, in the
least offensive manner possible–“We are masters here by virtue of our
good swords–if you dispute the right, look well that you have a sharper
weapon and a vigorous arm to wield it!” To a rule which thus answers all
remonstrances against its existence by a quiet telling off of its ranks
and a faultless marching of its determined columns, what further
argument can be opposed but that of bayonet to bayonet? I really cannot
see how the despot-governed, Press-shackled, uneducated Nations are ever
to be liberated under the guidance of Peace Societies and their World’s
Conventions; and, horrible as all War is and ever must be, I deem a few
battles a lesser evil than the perpetuity of such mental and physical
bondage as is now endured by Twenty Millions of Italians. When the Peace
Society shall have persuaded the Emperor Nicholas or Francis-Joseph to
disband his armies and rely for the support of his government on its
intrinsic justice and inherent moral force, I shall be ready to enter
its ranks; but while Despotism, Fraud and Wrong are triumphantly upheld
by Force, I do not see how Freedom, Justice and Progress can safely
disclaim and repudiate the only weapons that tyrants fear–the only
arguments they regard.



I have not been long in Italy, yet I have gone over a good share of its
surface, and seen nearly all that I much desired to see, except Naples
and its vicinity, with the Papal territory on the Perugia route from
Rome to Florence. I should have liked more time in Genoa, Rome, Florence
and Venice; but sight-seeing was never a passion with me, and I soon
tire of wandering from ruin to ruin, church to church, and gallery to
gallery. Yet when I stop gazing the next impulse is to move on; for if I
have time to rest anywhere, why not at home? Hotel life among total
strangers was never agreeable to me–(was it to any one?)–and I do not
like that of Italy so well as I at first thought I should. The
attendance is well enough, and as to food, I make a point of never
quarreling with that I have; though meals far simpler than those served
at the regular hotel dinners here would suit me much better. The charges
in general are quite reasonable, though I have paid one or two absurd
bills. It was at first right pleasant to lodge in what was once a
palace, and I still deem a large, high, airy sleeping-room, such as we
seldom have in American hotels, but are common here, a genuine luxury.
But when with such rooms you have doors that don’t shut so as to stay,
windows that won’t open, locks that won’t hold, bolts that won’t slide
and fleas that won’t–ah! _won’t_ they bite!–the case is somewhat
altered. I should not like to end my days in Italy.

As to the People, if I shall seem to have spoken of them disparagingly,
it has not been unkindly. I cherish an earnest desire for their
well-being. They do not need flattery, and do not, as a body, deserve
praise. Of what are sometimes called the “better classes” (though I
believe they are here _no_ better), I have seen little, and have not
spoken specially. Of the great majority who, here, as everywhere, must
exert themselves to live, whether by working, or begging, or petty
swindling, I have seen something, and of these certain leading
characteristics are quite unmistakable. An Italian Picture-Gallery seems
to me a pretty fair type of the Italian mind and character. The habitual
commingling of the awful with the paltry–the sacred and the
sensual–Madonna and Circé–Christ on the Cross and Venus in the
Bath–which is exhibited in all the Italian galleries, seems an
expression of the National genius. Am I wrong in the feeling that the
perpetual (and often execrable) representation of such awful scenes as
the Crucifixion is calculated first to shock but ultimately to weaken
the religious sentiment? Of the hundreds of pictures of the infant
Jesus I have seen in Italy, there are not five which did not strike me
as utterly unworthy of the subject, allowing that it ought to be
represented at all. “Men of Athens!” said the straight-forward Paul, “I
perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.” I think the
Italians, quite apart from what is essential to their creed, have this
very failing, and that it exerts a debilitating influence on their
National character. They need to be cured of it, as well as of the vices
I have already indicated, in order that their magnificent country may
resume its proper place among great and powerful Nations. I trust I am
not warring on the faith of their Church, when I urge that “To do
justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than
sacrifice”–that no man can be truly devout who is not strictly upright
and manly–and that one living purpose of diffusive, practical
well-doing, is more precious in the sight of Heaven, than the bones of
all the dead Saints in Christendom.

Farewell, trampled, soul-crushed Italy!






LUCERNE, July 12, 1851.

I left Milan at 5 o’clock, on the morning of the 10th, via Railroad to
Como, at the foot of the Lake of like name, which we reached in an hour
and a half, thence taking the Swiss Government Diligence for this place,
via the pass of St. Gothard. Even before reaching Como (only some twenty
miles from Milan), the spurs of the Alps had begun to gather around us,
and the little Lake itself is completely embosomed by them. Barely
skirting its southern border, we crossed the Swiss frontier and bade
adieu to the Passport swindle for a season, crossed a ridge into the
valley of Lake Lugano, which we skirted for two-thirds its length,
crossing it by a fine stone bridge near its center. (All the Swiss lakes
I have seen are very narrow for a good part of their length, of a
greenish blue color, derived from the mountain snows, very irregular in
their form, being shut in, narrowed and distorted by the bold cliffs
which crowd them on one side or on both, often reducing them to a
crooked strait, resembling the passage of the Highlands by the Hudson.)
Threading the narrow streets of the pleasant village of Lugano, we
struck boldly up the hill to the east, and over it into the valley of
the little river Ticino, which we reached at Bellinzona, a smart town of
some five to ten thousand inhabitants, and followed the river thence to
its source in the eternal snows of Mount St. Gothard. All this is, I
believe, in the Canton of Ticino, in which Italian is the common
language, and of which Bellinzona is the chief town.

Although in Switzerland, shut in by steep mountains, often snow-crowned,
which leave it an average width of less than half a mile, this valley is
Italian in many of its natural characteristics. For two-thirds of its
length, Wheat, Indian Corn and the Vine are the chief objects of
attention, and every little patch of level ground, save the rocky bed of
the impetuous mountain torrent, is laboriously, carefully cultivated.
Such mere scraps of earth do not admit of efficient husbandry, but are
made to produce liberally by dint of patient effort. I should judge that
a peck of corn is about the average product of a day’s work through all
this region. There is some pasturage, mainly on the less abrupt
declivities far up the mountains, but not one acre in fifty of the
Canton yields aught but it may be a little fuel for the sustenance of
man. Nature is here a rugged mother, exacting incessant toil of her
children as the price of the most frugal subsistence; but under such
skies, in the presence of so much magnificence, and in a land of
equality and freedom, mere life is _worth_ working for, and the
condition is accepted with a hearty alacrity. Men and women work
together, and almost equally, in the fields; and here, where the
necessity is so palpably of Nature’s creation, not Man’s, the spectacle
is far less revolting than on the fertile plains of Piedmont or
Lombardy. The little patch of Wheat is so carefully reaped that scarcely
a grain is left, and children bear the sheaves on their backs to the
allotted shelter, while mothers and maidens are digging up the soil with
the spade, and often pulling up the stubble with their hands,
preparatory to another crop. Switzerland could not afford to be a
Kingdom,–the expense of a Court and Royal Family would famish half her
people. Yet everywhere are the signs of frugal thrift and homely
content. I met only two beggars in that long day’s ride through sterile
Switzerland, while in a similar ride through the fertile plains of
Italy I should have encountered hundreds, though there each day’s labor
produces as much as three days’ do here. If the Swiss only _could_ live
at home, by the utmost industry and economy, I think they would very
seldom be found elsewhere; but in truth the land has long been peopled
to the extent of its capacity for subsisting, and the steady increase
which their pure morals and simple habits ensure must drive off
thousands in search of the bread of honest toil. Hence their presence
elsewhere, in spite of their passionate attachment to their free native

Most of the dwellings through all this region are built of stone–those
of the poor very rudely, of the roughest boulders, commonly laid up with
little or no mortar. The roofs are often of split stone. The houses of
the more fortunate class are generally of hewn or at least tolerably
square-edged stone, laid up in mortar, often plastered and whitened on
the outside, so as to present a very neat appearance. Barns are few, and
generally of stone also. The Vine is quite extensively cultivated, and
often trained on a rude frame-work of stakes and poles, so as completely
to cover the ground and forbid all other cultivation. Elsewhere it is
trained to stakes–rarely to dwarf trees as in Italy. The Mulberry holds
its ground for two-thirds of the way up the valley, giving out a little
after the Vine and before Indian Corn does so. Wheat gives place to Rye
about the same time, and the Potato, at first comparatively rare,
becomes universal. As the Mulberry gives out the Chestnut comes in, and
flourishes nobly for some ten or twenty miles about midway from
Bellinzona to Airolo. I suspect, from the evident care taken of it, that
its product is considerably relied on for food. Finally, as we gradually
ascend, this also disappears, leaving Rye and the Potato to struggle a
while longer, until at Airolo, at the foot of St. Gothard, where we
stopped at 10 o’clock for the night, though the valley forks and is
consequently of some width, there remain only a few slender
potato-stalks, in shivering expectation of untimely frost, a patch or
two of headless oats, with grass on the slopes, still tender and green
from the lately sheltering snows, and a dwarfish hemlock clinging to the
steep acclivities and hiding from the fierce winds in the deep ravines
which run up the mountains. Snow is in sight on every side, and seems
but a mile or so distant. Yet here are two petty villages and thirty or
forty scattered dwellings, whose inhabitants keep as many small cows and
goats as they can find grass for, and for the rest must live mainly by
serving in the hotels, or as postillions, road-makers, &c. Yet no hand
was held out to me in beggary at or around Airolo.



We did not start till after 9 next morning, and meantime some more
Diligences had come up, so that we formed a procession of one large and
heavy, followed by three smaller and more fit carriages, when we moved
out of the little village, and, leaving the larger branch of our creek,
now a scanty mill-stream at best, to bend away to the left, we followed
the smaller and charged boldly up the mountain. The ascent is of course
made by zig-zags, no other mode being practicable for carriages, so
that, when we had traveled three toilsome miles, Airolo still lay in
sight, hardly a mile below us. I judge the whole ascent, which with a
light carriage and three hard-driven horses occupied two hours and a
half, was about eight miles, though a straight line might have taken us
to the summit in three miles. The rise in this distance must have been
near five thousand feet.

For a time, the Hemlocks held on, but at length they gave up, before we
reached any snow, and only a little weak young Grass,–nourished rather
by the perpetual mists or rains than by the cold, sour earth which
clung to the less precipitous rocks,–remained to keep us company. Soon
the snow began to appear beside us, at first timidly, on the north side
of cliffs, and in deep chasms, where it was doubtless drifted to the
depth of thirty feet during the Winter, and has been gradually thawing
out since May. At length it stood forth unabashed beside our road, often
a solid mass six or seven feet thick, on either side of the narrow pass
which had been cut and worn through it for and by the passage of
travelers. Meantime, the drizzling rain, which had commenced soon after
we started, had changed to a spitting, watery sleet, and at length to
snow, a little before we reached the summit of the pass, where we found
a young Nova Zembla. An extensive cloud-manufactory was in full blast
all around us, shutting out from view even the nearest cliffs, while the
snow and wind–I being on the outside and somewhat wet already–made our
short halt there anything but comfortable. The ground was covered with
snow to an average depth of two or three feet; the brooks ran over beds
of ice and under large heaps of drifted and frozen snow, and all was
sullen and cheerless. Here were the sources (in part) of the Po and of
the Rhine, but I was rather in haste to bid the former good-bye.

We reduced our three-horse establishment to two, and began to descend
the Rhineward zig-zags at a rattling pace, our driver (and all the
drivers) hurrying all the way. We reached the first village (where there
was considerable Grass again, and some Hemlock, but scarcely any
attempts at cultivation), in fifty minutes, and I think the distance was
nearly five miles. “Jehu, the son of Nimshi,” could not have done the
distance in five minutes less.

We changed horses and drivers at this village, but proceeded at a
similar pace down through the most hideous chasm for the next two or
three miles that I ever saw. I doubt whether a night-mare ever beat it.
The descent of the stream must have been fully 1,500 feet to the mile
for a good part of this distance, while the mountains rose naked and
almost perpendicular on each side from its very bed to hights of one to
two thousand feet, without a shrub, and hardly a resting-place even for
snow. Down this chasm our road wound, first on one side of the rivulet,
then on the other, crossing by narrow stone bridges, often at the
sharpest angle with the road, making zig-zags wherever space could be
found or made for them, now passing through a tunnel cut through the
solid rock, and then under a long archway built over it to protect it
from avalanches at the crossing of a raving cataract down the mountain
side. And still the staving pace at which we started was kept up by
those on the lead, and imitated by the boy driving our carriage, which
was hindmost of all. I was just thinking that, though every one should
know his own business best, yet if _I_ were to drive down a steep
mountain in that way I should expect to break my neck, and suspect I
deserved it, when, as we turned a sharp zig-zag on a steep grade at a
stiff trot, our carriage tilted, and over she went in a twinkling.

Our horses behaved admirably, which in an upset is always half the
battle. Had they started, the Diligence managers could only have
rendered a Flemish account of _that_ load. As it was, they stopped, and
the driver, barely scratched, had them in hand in a minute.

I was on the box-seat with him, and fell under him, catching a bad
sprain of the left wrist, on which I came down, which disables that hand
for a few days–nothing broken and no great harm done–only a few
liberal rents and trifling bruises. But I should judge that our heads
lay about three feet from the side of the road, which was a precipice of
not more than twenty feet, but the rocks below looked particularly
jagged and uninviting.

Our four inside passengers had been a good deal mixed up, in the
concussion, but soon began to emerge _seriatim_ from the side door
which in the fall came uppermost–only one of them much hurt, and he by
a bruise or gash on the head nowise dangerous. Each, as his or her head
protruded through the aperture, began to “let in” on the driver, whose
real fault was that of following bad examples. I was a little riled at
first myself, but the second and last lady who came out put me in
excellent humor. She was not hurt, but had her new silk umbrella broken
square in two, and she flashed the pieces before the delinquent’s eyes
and reeled off the High Dutch to him with vehement volubility. I wished
I could have understood her more precisely. Though not more than
eighteen, she developed a tongue that would have done credit to forty.

The drivers ahead stopped and came back, helped right the stage, and
each took a shy at the unlucky charioteer, though in fact they were as
much in fault as he, only more fortunate. I suspected before that this
trotting down zig-zags was not the thing, and now I know it, and shall
remember it, at least for one week. And I have given this tedious detail
to urge and embolden others to remonstrate against it. The vice is
universal–at least it was just as bad at Mount Cenis as here, and here
were four carriages all going at the same reckless pace. The truth is,
it is not safe to trot down such mountains and hardly to ride down them
at all. We passed scores of places where any such unavoidable accident
as the breaking of a reach or a hold-back must have sent the whole
concern over a precipice where all that reached the bottom would hardly
be worth picking up. Who has a right to risk his life in this fool-hardy

The next time I cross the Alps, I will take my seat for the
stopping-place at the nearer foot, and thence walk leisurely over, with
a long staff and a water-proof coat, sending on my baggage by the coach
to the hotel on the other side. If I can get an hour’s start, I can (by
straightening the zig-zags) nearly double it going up; if not, I will
wait on the other side for the next stage. If it were not for the
cowardly fear of being thought timid, there would be more care used in
such matters. Hitherto, I have not given the subject much consideration,
but I turn over a new leaf from the date of this adventure.

We came down the rest of the mountain more carefully, though still a
great deal too fast. A girl of twelve or thirteen breaking stone by the
road-side in a lonely place was among the note-worthy features of the
wilder upper region. Trees, Potato-patches, Grain-fields were welcome
sights as we neared them successively, though the Vine and the Chestnut
did not and Indian Corn barely did reäppear on this side, which is much
colder than the other and grows little but Grass. At the foot of the
pass, the valley widened a little, though still with steep, snow-capped
cliffs crowding it on either side. Five hours from the summit and less
than two from the base, we reached the pretty town of Altorf, having
perhaps five thousand inhabitants, with a mile width of valley and
grassy slopes on the surrounding mountains. A few minutes more brought
us to the petty port of Fluellen on Lake Lucerne, where a little
steamboat was waiting to bring us to this city. I would not just then
have traded off that steamboat for several square miles of snow-capped

Lake Lucerne is a mere cleft in the mountains, narrow and most irregular
in form, with square cliffs like our Palisades, only many times higher,
rising sheer out of its depths and hardly a stone’s throw apart. Mount
Pilatte and The Rhigi are the most celebrated of those seen from its
breast. After making two or three short turns among the hights, it
finally opens to a width of some miles on a softer scene, with green
pastures and pleasant woods sweeping down the hills nearly or quite to
its verge. Lucerne City lies at or near its outlet, and seems a pleasant
place, though I have had no time to spend upon it, as I arrived at 8½ P.
M. too weary even to write if I had been able to sleep. I leave for
Basle by Diligence at eight this morning.






BASLE, July 13, 1851.

Very striking is the contrast between all of Switzerland I had
traversed, before reaching Lucerne, and the route thence to this place.
From Como to the middle of Lake Lucerne is something over a hundred
miles, and in all that distance there was never so much as one-tenth of
the land in sight that could, by any possibility, be cultivated. The
narrow valleys, when not _too_ narrow, were arable and generally
fertile; but they were shut in on every side by dizzy precipices, by
lofty mountains, often snow-crowned, and either wholly barren or with
only a few shrubs and stunted trees clinging to their clefts and
inequalities, because nothing else could cling there. A fortieth part of
these mountain sides may have been so moderately steep that soil could
gather and lie on them, in which case they yielded fair pasturage for
cattle, or at least for goats: but nine-tenths of their superficies were
utterly unproductive and inhospitable. On the mountain-tops, indeed,
there is sometimes a level space, but the snow generally monopolizes
that. Such is Switzerland from the Italian frontier, where I crossed it,
to the immediate vicinity of Lucerne.

Here all is changed. A small but beautiful river debouches from the lake
at its west end, and the town is grouped around this outlet. But
mountains here there are none–nothing but rich glades and gently
swelling hills, covered with the most bounteous harvest, through which
the high road runs north-easterly some sixty miles to Basle on the
Rhine in the north-east corner of Switzerland, with Germany (Baden) on
the east and France on the north. A single ridge, indeed, on this route
presents a ragged cliff or two and some heights dignified with the title
of mountains, which seem a joke to one who has just spent two days among
the Alps.

Grass is the chief staple of this fertile region, but Wheat is
abundantly grown and is just beginning to ripen, promising a noble
yield. Potatoes also are extensively planted, and I never saw a more
vigorous growth. Rye, Oats and Barley do well, but are little
cultivated. Of Indian Corn there is none, and the Vine, which had given
out on the Italian side some twenty miles below the foot of St. Gothard,
does not come in again till we are close to the Rhine. But in its stead
they have the Apple in profusion–I think more Apple trees between
Lucerne and the Rhine, than I had seen in all Europe before–and they
seem very thrifty, though this year’s yield of fruit will be light.
There are some other trees planted, and many small, thrifty forests,
such as I had hardly seen before on the Continent. These increase as we
approach the Rhine. There is hardly a fence throughout, and generous
crops of Wheat, Potatoes, Rye, Grass, Oats, &c., are growing close up to
the beaten road on either side. I don’t exactly see how Cattle are
driven through such a country, having passed no drove since crossing
Mount St. Gothard.

The dwellings are generally large, low structures, with sloping,
overhanging roofs, indicating thrift and comfort. Sometimes the first
story, or at least the basement, is of hewn-stone, but the greater part
of the structure is nearly always of wood. The barns are spacious, and
built much like the houses. I have passed through no other part of
Europe evincing such general thrift and comfort as this quarter of
Switzerland, and Basle, already a well built city, is rapidly improving.
When the Railroad line from Paris to Strasburg is completed, the French
capital will be but little more than twenty-four hours from Basle, while
the Baden line, down the German side of the Rhine, already connects this
city easily with all Germany, and is certain of rapid and indefinite
extension. Basle, though quite a town in Cæsar’s day, is renewing her



I am leaving Switzerland, after four days only of observation therein;
but during those days I have traversed the country from its southern to
its north-eastern extremity, passing through six of the Cantons and
along the skirts of another, resting respectively at Airolo, Lucerne,
and Basle, and meeting many hundreds of the people on the way, beside
seeing thousands in the towns and at work in their fields. This is
naturally a very poor country, with for the most part a sterile soil–or
rather, naked, precipitous rocks, irreclaimably devoid of soil–where,
if anywhere, the poor peasantry would be justified in asking charity of
the strangers who come to gaze at and enjoy their stupendous but most
inhospitable mountains–and yet I have not seen one beggar to a hundred
hearty workers, while in fertile, bounteous, sunny Italy, the
preponderance was clearly the other way. And, though very palpably a
stranger, and specially exposed by my ignorance of the languages spoken
here to imposition, no one has attempted to cheat me from the moment of
my entering the Republic till this, while in Italy every day and almost
every hour was marked by its peculiar extortions. Every where I have
found kindness and truth written on the faces and evinced in the acts of
this people, while in Italy rapacity and knavery are the order of the
day. How does a monarchist explain this broad discrepancy? Mountains
alone will not do, for the Italians of the Apennines and the Abruzzi are
notoriously very much like those of the Campagna and of the Val d’Arno;
nor will the zealot’s ready suggestion of diverse Faiths suffice, for my
route has lain almost exclusively through the _Catholic_ portion of this
country. Ticino, Uri, Lucerne, etc., are intensely, unanimously
Catholic; the very roadsides are dotted with little shrines, enriched
with the rudest possible pictures of the Virgin and Child, the
Crucifixion, &c., and I think I did not pass a Protestant church or
village till I was within thirty miles of this place. Nearly all the
Swiss I have seen are Catholics, and a more upright, kindly, truly
religious people I have rarely or never met. What, then, can have
rendered them so palpably and greatly superior to their Italian
neighbors, whose ancestors were the masters of theirs, but the
prevalence here of Republican Freedom and there of Imperial Despotism?

Switzerland, shut out from equal competition with other nations by her
inland, elevated, scarcely accessible position, has naturalized
Manufactures on her soil, and they are steadily extending. She sends
Millions’ worth of Watches, Silks, &c., annually even to distant
America; while Italy, with nearly all her population within a day’s ride
of the Adriatic or the Mediterranean, with the rich, barbaric East at
her doors for a market, does not fabricate even the rags which partially
cover her beggars, but depends on England and France for most of the
little clothing she has. Italy is naturally a land of abundance and
luxury, with a soil and climate scarcely equalled on earth; yet a large
share of her population actually lack the necessaries, not to speak of
the comforts, of life, and those who sow and reap her bountiful harvests
are often without bread: Switzerland has, for the most part, an Arctic
climate and scarcely any soil at all; and yet her people are all
decently clad and adequately though frugally fed, and I have not seen
one person who seemed to have been demoralized by want or to suffer from
hunger since I crossed her border. Her hotels are far superior to their
more frequented namesakes of Italy; even at the isolated hamlet of
Airolo, where no grain will grow, I found everything essential to
cleanliness and comfort, while the “Switzer Hoff” at Lucerne and “Les
Trois Rois” at Basle are two of the very best houses I have found in
Europe. What Royalist can satisfactorily explain these contrasts?

Switzerland, though a small country, and not half of this habitable,
speaks three different languages. I found at Airolo regular files of
Swiss journals printed respectively in French, Italian, and German: the
last entirely baffled me; the two former I read after a fashion, making
out some of their contents’ purport and drift. Those in French, printed
at Geneva, Lausanne, &c., were executed far more neatly than the others.
All were of small size, and in good part devoted to spirited political
discussion. Switzerland, though profoundly Republican, is almost equally
divided into parties known respectively as “Radical” and “Conservative:”
the Protestant Cantons being preponderantly Radical, the Catholic
generally Conservative. Of the precise questions in dispute I know
little and shall say nothing; but I do trust that the controversy will
not enfeeble nor paralyze the Republic, now seriously menaced by the
Allied Despots, who seem to have almost forgotten that there ever was
such a man as WILLIAM TELL. Let us drink, in the crystal current leaping
brightly down from the eternal glaciers, to his glorious, inspiring
memory, and to Switzerland a loving and hopeful Adieu!






COLOGNE, Tuesday, July 15, 1851.

After spending Sunday very agreeably at Basle (where American
Protestants traveling may like to know that Divine worship is regularly
conducted each Sabbath by an English clergyman, at the excellent Hotel
of the Three Kings), I set my face again northward at 7½ A. M.
on Monday, crossing the Rhine (which is here about the size of the
Hudson at Albany) directly into Baden, and so leaving the soil of
glorious Switzerland, the mountain home of Liberty amid surrounding
despotisms. The nine first miles from Basle (to Efringen) are traversed
by Omnibus, and thence a very good Railroad runs nearly parallel with
the Rhine by Freiburg, Kehl (opposite Strasburg), Baden (at some
distance), Rastatt, Carlsruhe, and Heidelberg, to Mannheim, distant from
Basle 167½ miles by Railroad, and I presume considerably further by
River, as the Rhine (unlike the Railroad as far as Heidelberg) is not
very direct in its course. There is a French Railroad completed on the
other (west) side of the river from Basle to Strasburg, and nearly
completed from Strasburg to Paris, which affords a far more direct and
expeditious route than that I have chosen, as I wished to see something
of Germany. It is also cheaper, I believe, to take the French Railroad
to Strasburg, and the river thence by steamboats which ply regularly as
high as Strasburg, and might keep on to Basle, I presume, if not impeded
by bridges, as the river is amply large enough.

The Baden Railroad runs through a country descending, indeed, toward the
Rhine and with the Rhine, but as nearly level as a country well can be,
and affording the fewest possible obstacles to its construction. It is
faithfully built, but instead of the numerous common roads which cross
it being carried over or under its track, as the English Railroads are,
they are closed on each side by a swing-bar, at which a guard is
stationed–a plan which saves expense at the outset, but involves a
heavy permanent charge. I should deem the English plan preferable to
this, though men are had much cheaper for such service in Germany than
in America, or even Great Britain. The pace is slower than with us. We
were about nine hours of fair daylight traversing 160 miles of level or
descending grade, with a light passenger train. The management, however,
was careful and unexceptionable.

This Railroad runs for most of the distance much nearer to the range of
gentle hills which bound the broad and fertile Rhine valley on the east
than to the river itself. The valley is nearly bare of trees for the
most part, and has scarcely any fences save the very slight board fence
on either side of the Railroad. In some places, natural woods of
considerable extent are permitted, but not many fruit nor shade-trees,
whether in rows or scattered. The hills in sight, however, are very
considerably wooded, and wood is apparently the common fuel. The valley
is generally but not entirely irrigated, though all of it easily might
be, the arrangements for irrigation appearing much more modern and
unsystematic here than in Lombardy. The land is cultivated in strips as
in France–first Wheat (the great staple), then Rye, then Potatoes, then
Clover, then Beets, or Hemp, or Flax, and so on. For a small part of the
way, Grass seems to preponderate, but generally Wheat and Rye cover more
than half the ground, while Potatoes have a very large breadth of it.
Rye is now being harvested, and is quite heavy: in fact, all the crops
promise abundant harvests. The Vine appears at intervals, but is not
general through this region: Indian Corn is also rare, and appears in
small patches. In some places many acres of Wheat are seen in one piece,
but usually a breadth of four to twenty rods is given to one crop, and
then another succeeds and so on. I presume this implies a diversity of
owners, or at least of tenants.

The cultivation, though not always judicious, is generally thorough,
there being no lack of hands nor of good will. The day being fine and
the season a hurrying one, the vast plain was everywhere dotted with
laborers, of whom fully half were Women, reaping Rye, binding it, raking
and pitching Hay, hoeing Potatoes, transplanting Cabbages, Beets, &c.
They seemed to work quite as heartily and efficiently as the men. But
the most characteristically European spectacle I saw was a woman
unloading a great hay-wagon of huge cordwood at a Railroad station, and
pitching over the heavy sticks with decided resolution and efficiency.
It may interest the American pioneers in the Great Pantalette (or is it
Pantaloon?) Movement to know that she was attired in appropriate
costume–short frock, biped continuations and a mannish oil-skin
hat.–And this reminds me that, coming away from Rome, I met, at the
half-way house to Civita Vecchia, a French marching regiment on its way
from Corsica to the Eternal City, to which regiment two women were
attached as sutlers, &c., who also wore the same costume, except that
their hats were of wool instead of oil-skin. Thus attired, they had
marched twenty-five miles that hot day, and were to march as many the
next, as they had doubtless done on many former days. It certainly
cannot be pretended that these women adopted that dress from a love of
novelty, or a desire to lead a new fashion, or from any other reason
than a sense of its convenience, founded on experience. I trust,
therefore, that their unconscious testimony in behalf of the Great
Movement may not be deemed irrelevant nor unentitled to consideration.
Their social rank is certainly not the highest, but I consider them more
likely to render a correct judgment on the merit of the Bloomer
controversy than the Lady Patronesses of Almack’s.



After spending the night at Mannheim, I took a steamboat at 5½ this
morning for this place, 165 miles down the Rhine, embracing all the
navigable part of the river of which the scenery is esteemed attractive.
As far down as Mayence or Mentz (55 miles), the low banks and broad
intervale continue, and there is little worthy of notice. From Mentz to
Coblentz (54 miles), there is some magnificent scenery, though I think
its natural beauties do not surpass those of the Hudson from New-York to
Newburgh. Certainly there are no five miles equal in rugged grandeur to
those beginning just below and ending above West Point. But the Rhine is
here somewhat larger than the Hudson; the hills on either side, though
seldom absolutely precipitous, are from one to five hundred feet high,
and are often crowned with the ruins of ancient castles, which have a
very picturesque appearance; while the little villages at their foot and
the cultivation (mainly of the Vine) which is laboriously prosecuted up
their rocky and almost naked sides, contribute to heighten the general
effect. These sterile rocks impart a warmth to the soil and a sweetness
to the grape which are otherwise found only under a more southerly sun,
and, combined with the cheapness of labor, appear to justify the
toilsome process of terracing up the steep hill-sides, and even carrying
up earth in baskets to little southward-looking nooks and crevices where
it may be retained and planted on. Yet I liked better than the vine-clad
heights those less abrupt declivities where a more varied culture is
attempted, and where the Vine is intermingled with strips of now
ripened Rye, ripening Wheat, blossoming Potatoes, &c., &c., together
imparting a variegated richness and beauty to the landscape which are
rarely equaled. But the Rhine has been nearly written out, and I will
pass it lightly over. Its towers are not very imposing in appearance,
though Coblentz makes a fair show. Opposite is Ehrenbreitstein, no
longer the ruin described (if I rightly remember) in Childe Harold, but
a magnificent fortress, apparently in the best condition, and said to
have cost Five Millions of dollars. The “blue Moselle” enters the Rhine
from the west just below Coblentz. This city (Cologne) is the largest, I
believe, in Rhenish Prussia, and, next to Rotterdam at its mouth, the
largest on the Rhine, having a flourishing trade and 90,000 inhabitants.
(Coblentz has 26,000, Mayence 36,000, Mannheim 23,000 and Strasburg

There are some bold hights dignified as mountains below Coblentz, but
the finest of the scenery is above. The hills disappear some miles above
this city, and henceforward to the sea all is flat and tame as a marsh.
On the whole, the Rhine has hardly fulfilled my expectations. Had I
visited it on my way _to_ the Alps, instead of just _from_ them, it
would doubtless have impressed me more profoundly; but I am sure the St.
Mary’s of Lake Superior is better worth seeing; so I think, is the
Delaware section of the Erie Railroad. It is possible the weather may
have unfitted me for appreciating this famous river, for a more cloudy,
misty, chilly, rainy, execrable, English day I have seldom encountered.
To travelers blessed with golden sunshine, the Rhine may wear a grander,
nobler aspect, and to such I leave it.



I have been but two days wholly among the Germans, but I had previously
met many of them in England, Italy and Switzerland. They are seen to
the best advantage at home. Their uniform courtesy (save in the
detestable habit of smoking where others cannot help being annoyed by
their fumes), indicates not merely good nature but genuine kindness of
heart. I have not seen a German quarreling or scolding anywhere in
Europe. The deference of members of the same family to each other’s
happiness in cars, hotels and steamboats has that quiet, unconscious
manner which distinguishes a habit from a holiday ornament. The entire
absence of pretense, of stateliness, of a desire to be thought a
personage and not a mere person, is scarcely more universal in
Switzerland than here. But in fact I have found Aristocracy a chronic
disease nowhere but in Great Britain. In France, there is absolutely
nothing of it; there are monarchists in that country–monarchists from
tradition, from conviction, from policy, or from class interest–but of
Aristocracy scarcely a trace is left. Your Paris boot-black will make
you a low bow in acknowledgment of a franc, but he has not a trace of
the abjectness of a London waiter, and would evidently decline the honor
of being kicked by a Duke. In Italy, there is little manhood but no
class-worship; her millions of beggars will not abase themselves one
whit lower before a Prince than before anyone else from whom they hope
to worm a copper. The Swiss are freemen, and wear the fact unconsciously
but palpably on their brows and beaming from their eyes. The Germans
submit passively to arbitrary power which they see not how successfully
to resist, but they render to rank or dignity no more homage than is
necessary–their souls are still free, and their manners evince a
simplicity and frankness which might shame or at least instruct America.
On the Rhine, the steamboats are so small and shabby, without
state-rooms, berth-rooms, or even an upper deck–that the passengers are
necessarily at all times under each other’s observation, and, as the
fare is high, and twice as much in the main as in the forward cabin, it
may be fairly presumed that among those who pay the higher charge are
none of the poorest class–no mere laborers for wages. Yet in this main
cabin well-dressed young ladies would take out their home-prepared
dinner and eat it at their own good time without seeking the company and
countenance of others, or troubling themselves to see who was observing.
A Lowell factory-girl would consider this entirely out of character, and
a New-York milliner would be shocked at the idea of it.

The Germans are a patient, long-suffering race. Of their Forty Millions
outside of Austria, probably less than an eighth at all approve or even
acquiesce in the despotic policy in which their rulers are leagued, and
which has rendered Germany for the present a mere outpost of Russia–an
unfinished Poland. These people are intelligent as well as brave–they
see and feel, yet endure and forbear. Perhaps their course is wiser than
that which hot impatience would prompt–nay, I believe it is. If they
can patiently suffer on without losing heart until France shall have
extricated herself from the toils of her treacherous misrulers, they may
then resume their rights almost without a blow. And whenever a new 1848
shall dawn upon them, they will have learned to improve its
opportunities and avoid its weaknesses and blunders. Heaven speed its
auspicious coming!






PARIS, Saturday, July 19, 1851.

From Cologne westward by Railroad to the Western frontier (near
Verviers) of Rhenish Prussia, and thus of Germany, is 65 miles. For most
of the way the country is flat and fertile, and in good part devoted to
Grazing, though considerable Wheat is grown. The farming is not
remarkably good, and the general aspect befits a region which for two
thousand years has been too often the arena of fierce and bloody
conflict between the armies of great nations. Cologne itself, though a
place of no natural strength, has been fortified to an extent and at an
evident cost beyond all American conception. All over this part of
Europe, and to a less degree throughout Italy, the amount of expenditure
on walls and forts, bastions, ditches, batteries, &c. is incalculably
great. I cannot doubt that any nation, by wisely expending half so much
in systematic efforts to educate, employ steadily and reward amply its
poorer classes, would have been strengthened and ensured against
invasion far more than it could be by walls like precipices and a belt
of fortresses as impregnable as Gibraltar. But this wisdom is slowly
learned by rulers, and is not yet very widely appreciated. Whenever it
shall be, “Othello’s occupation” will be gone, not for Othello only, but
for all who would live by the sword.

For some miles before it reaches the frontier, and for a much larger
distance after entering Belgium, the Railroad passes through a
decidedly broken, hilly, up-and-down country, most unlike the popular
conception of Flanders or Belgium. Precipices of naked rock are not
unfrequent and the region is wisely given up mainly to Wood and Grass,
the former engrossing most of the hill-sides and the latter flourishing
in the valleys. This Railroad has more tunnels in the course of fifty
miles than I ever before met with–I think not less than a dozen–while
the grading and bridging must have been very expensive. Such a country
is of course prolific in running streams, on which many small and some
larger manufacturing towns and villages are located. At length, it
ascends a considerable inclined plane at Liege, once a very popular,
powerful and still a handsome and important manufacturing town with
60,000 inhabitants; and here the beautiful and magnificently fertile
table lands of Belgium spread out like a vast prairie before the
traveler. In fact, the peasant cultivators are so commonly located in
villages, leaving long stretches of the rarely fenced though well
cultivated plain without a habitation, that the resemblance to level
prairies which have been planted and sown is more striking than would be
imagined. But the growing crops are too cleanly and carefully weeded and
too uniformly good to protract the illusion. Sometimes hundreds of acres
are unbrokenly covered with Wheat, which has the largest area of any one
staple; but more commonly a breadth of this is succeeded by one of Rye,
that by one of Potatoes, then Wheat again, then Clover, then Rye, then
Wheat, then Potatoes, then Clover or other grass, and so on. I never
before saw so extensive and uniformly thrifty a growth of Potatoes,
while acres upon acres of Beets, also in regular rows and kept carefully
free from weeds, present at this season a beautiful appearance. I
apprehend that not half so much attention has been given in our country
to the growth of this and the kindred roots as would have been richly
rewarded. Of course, it is idle to sow Beets on any but rich land, with
a generous depth of soil and the most thorough cultivation, but with
such cultivation the red lands of New-Jersey and the intervales of our
rivers might be profitably and extensively devoted to the Beet culture
and to that of the larger Turnips. I have seen nothing in Europe that
made a better appearance or promised a more bountiful return than the
large tracts of Belgium and the neighboring district of France sown to

Indian Corn and the Vine are scarcely, or not at all seen in Belgium.
Beggars are not abundant; but women are required to labor quite
extensively in the fields. The habitations of the poor are less wretched
than those of Italy, but not equal to those of the fertile portion of
Switzerland. Irrigation is quite extensively practised, but is far from
universal. The few cattle kept in the wholly arable and thoroughly
cultivated portion of the country are seldom allowed to range, because
of the lack of fences, but are kept up and fed throughout the year.
Women cutting grass in all by-places, and carrying it home by back-loads
to feed their stock, is a common spectacle throughout central Europe.
Trees sometimes line the roads and streams, or irrigating canals, and
sometimes have a piece of ground allotted them whereon to grow at
random, but are rather scarce throughout this region, and I think I saw
square miles entirely devoid of them. Fruit-trees are clearly too
scarce, though Cherries in abundance were offered for sale as we passed.
On the whole, Belgium is not only a fertile but a prosperous country.

At Liege, the Railroad we traversed leaves its westerly for a north-west
course, running past Tirlemont to Malines (Mechlin) and thence to
Antwerp; but we took a sharp turn to the south-west of Malines in order
to reach Brussels, which, though the capital and the largest city of
Belgium, is barely a point or stopping-place on a right line, while
Liege, Namur, Ghent and Bruges are each the point of junction of two or
more completed roads. Brussels has slept while this network has been
woven over the country, and will awake to discover herself shorn of her
trade and sinking into insignificance if she does not immediately bestir
herself. Her location is a fine one, on a ground which rises very
gradually from the great plain to a modest hill southward, and she is
among the best built of modern cities. But already she is off the direct
line from either London or Paris to Germany; I would have saved many
miles by avoiding her and taking the road due west from Liege to Namur,
Charleroi and Mons, where it intersects the Brussels line; and soon the
great bulk of the travel will do so if it does not already. Railroads
are reckless Radicals and are destined by turns to make and to mar the
fortunes of many great emporiums.



Tournay in the coal region, fifty miles from Brussels, is the last town
of Belgium; eight miles further is Valenciennes, one of the strong
frontier fortresses of France, with over 20,000 inhabitants, an active
trade and the worth of a dukedom wasted on its fortifications. Here our
baggage underwent a new custom-house scrutiny, which was expeditiously
and rationally made, and I kept on twenty-three miles farther to Douai,
where our Railroad falls into one from Calais, which had already
absorbed those from Dunkirk and Ghent, and where, it being after 10
o’clock, I halted for the night, so as to take a Calais morning train at
4½ and see by fair daylight the country thence to Paris, which I had
already traversed in the dark.

This country presents no novel features. It is not quite so level nor so
perfectly cultivated as central Belgium, but is generally fertile and
promises fairly. The Rye harvest is in progress through all this
country, and is very good, but the breadth of Wheat is much greater, and
it also promises well, though not yet ripened. Westward from Brussels
in Belgium is an extensive Grazing region, bountifully irrigated, and
covered with large herds of fine cattle. Something of this is seen after
crossing into France, but Wheat regains its predominance, while large
tracts are devoted to the Beet, probably for the manufacture of Sugar.
There are few American gardens that can show the Beet in greater
perfection than it exhibits here, in areas of twenty to forty acres.
Wood also becomes far more abundant in the Grazing region, and continues
so nearly up to the walls of Paris, Poplars and other trees of slender
foliage being planted in rows across the fields as well as by the
streams and road-sides. The Vine, which had vanished with the bolder
scenery of the Rhine, reappears only within sight of Paris, where many
of the cultivated fields attest a faultiness or meagerness of
cultivation unworthy of the neighborhood of a great metropolis. I
presume there will be more middling and half middling yields within
twenty miles of Paris than in all Belgium.

I find Paris, and measurably France, in a state of salutary ferment,
connected with the debate in the Assembly on the proposed Revision of
the Constitution. The best speeches are yet to be made, but already the
attention of the People is fixed on the discussion, and it will be
followed to the end with daily increased interest. That end, as is well
known, will be a defeat of the proposed Revision, and of all schemes
looking to the legal and peaceful reëstablishment of Monarchy, or the
reëlection of Louis Napoleon. And this discussion, this result, will
have immensely strengthened the Republic in the hearts of the French
Millions, as well as in the general conviction of its stability. And if,
with the Suffrage crippled as it is, and probably must continue to be, a
heartily Republican President can be elected here next May, an impulse
will be given to the movement throughout Europe which can scarcely be
withstood. Live the Republic!






LONDON, Tuesday, July 22, 1851.

The quickest and most usual route from Paris to London is that by way of
Calais and Dover; but as I had traversed that once, and part of it
twice, I resolved to try another for my return, and chose the cheapest
and most direct of all–that by way of Rouen, Dieppe, New-Haven and the
Brighton Railroad–which is 32 miles shorter than the Calais route, but
involves four times as long a water passage, and so is spun out to more
than twice the length of the other. We left Paris at 8 yesterday
morning; halted at the fine old town of Rouen before noon; were in
Dieppe at 2½ P. M.; but there we waited for a boat till after
6; then were eight hours crossing the Channel; had to wait at New-Haven
till after 6 this morning before the Custom-House scrutiny of our
baggage was begun; so that only a few were enabled to take the first
train thence for London at a quarter to 7. I was not among the lucky
ones, but had to hold on for the second train at a quarter past 8, and
so did not reach this city till after 10, or twenty-six hours from
Paris, though, with a little enterprise and a decent boat on the
Channel, the trip could easily be made in 14 hours–four for the French
side, six for the Channel, two for the English side and two for
Custom-House delay and leeway of all kinds. If Commodore Vanderbilt or
Mr. Newton would only take compassion on the ignorance and barbarism
prevailing throughout Europe in the matter of steamboat-building, and
establish a branch of his business on this side of the Atlantic, he
would do the cause of Human Progress a service, and signally contribute
to the diminution of the sum of mortal misery.

The night was mild and fair; the wind light; the sea consequently
smooth; and I suffered less, and repented my choice of a route less,
than I had expected to; but consider the facts: Here was the most direct
route by Railroad and Steamboat between the two great Capitals of
Europe–a route constantly traveled by multitudes from all parts of
world–yet the only boats provided for the liquid portion of the way are
two little black, cobbling concerns, each perhaps seventy feet long by
fifteen wide, with no deck above the water line, and not a single berth
for even a lady passenger, though making one passage each night. Who
could suppose that two tolerably civilized nations would endure this in
the middle of 1851?

We were nearly two hundred passengers, and the boat just about decently
held us, but had not sitting-room for all, above and under the deck. But
as about half, being “second class,” had no right to enter the main
cabin, those who had that right were enabled to sit and yawn, and try to
cheat themselves into the notion that they would coax sleep to their aid
after a while. Occasionally, one or two having left for a turn on deck,
some drowsy mortal would stretch himself on a setter at full length, but
the remonstrances of others needing seats would soon compel him to
resume a half-upright posture. And so the passage wore away, and between
2 and 3 this morning we reached New-Haven (a petty sea-port at the mouth
of the little river Ouse), where we were permitted promptly to land,
minus our baggage, and repair to a convenient inn. Here I, with several
others, invested two British shillings in a chance to sleep, but the
venture (at least in my case) proved a losing one. It was daylight when
we went to bed, and the incessant tramping, ringing of bells, &c., kept
us for the most part awake and called us up at a very early hour, to
fidget uselessly for the recovery of our baggage, and lose the early
train at last.

The country stretching north-westward from Paris to Dieppe (125 miles)
is less thoroughly cultivated than any other I have seen in Europe out
of Italy. I saw more weedy and thin Rye and ragged Wheat than I had
noted elsewhere. Grass is the chief staple, after leaving the
garden-covered vicinity of Paris, though Wheat, Rye and Oats are
extensively cultivated. The Root crops promise poorly. Indian Corn is
hardly seen, though the Vine is considerably grown. This region is
generally well wooded, but in a straggling, accidental way, which has
the effect neither of Lombard nicety of plantation, nor of the natural
luxuriance of genuine forests. Fruit is not abundant. Irrigation is
considerably practiced. The dwellings of the majority have an
antiquated, ruinous, tumble-down aspect, such as I have observed nowhere
else this side of Lower Italy. On the whole, I doubt whether this
portion of France has improved much within the last fifty years.

Rouen, the capital of ancient Normandy, is the fifth city of France,
only Paris, Lyons, Marseilles and Bordeaux having more inhabitants. Here
the Railroad for Havre diverges from that to Dieppe, which we adhered
to. Rouen is interesting for its antiquities, including several
venerable and richly adorned Churches which I had no time to visit.
Dieppe, on the Channel, has a small harbor, completely landlocked, and
17,000 inhabitants. It is considerably resorted to for sea-bathing, but
seems to have very little trade. I judge that the Railroads now being
extended through France, are likely to arrest the growth or hasten the
decline of most of the smaller cities and towns by facilitating and
cheapening access to the capital, where nearly every Frenchman would
live if he could, and where the genius of people and government (no
matter under what constitution) conspires to concentrate all the
intellectual and artistic life of the Nation.

The Railroad from New-Haven to London passes through no considerable
town, though not far from Brighton and Tunbridge. The country is
undulating and beautiful, mainly devoted to Grass, Wheat and Wood, and
in the very highest condition. It is now toward the end of Haying, and
the Wheat is just beginning to ripen, though that of Central Italy was
mainly harvested a full month ago. But the English Wheat covers the
ground thickly and evenly, and promises a large average crop, especially
if the present fine weather should continue through the next two weeks.

Noble herds of Cattle and flocks of Sheep overspread the spacious
grounds devoted to Pasturage, especially near the Channel, where most of
the land is in Grass. English Agriculture has a thorough and cleanly
aspect which I have rarely observed elsewhere. Belgium is as careful and
as productive, but its alternations of tillage or grass with woodland
are by no means so frequent nor so picturesque as I see here. The
sturdy, hospitable trees of an English park or lawn are not rivaled, so
far as I have seen, on the Continent. I have rarely seen a reach of
country better disposed for effect than that from a point ten miles this
side of New-Haven to within some ten miles of this city, where Market
Gardening supplants regular Farming. Women work in the fields at this
season in England, but not more than one woman to five men were visible
in the hay-fields we passed this morning–it may have been otherwise in
the afternoon. As to beggars, none were visible, begging being

Crossing the Channel shifts the boot very decidedly with respect to
language. Those who were groping in the dark a few hours ago are now in
the brightest sunshine, while the oracles of yesterday are the meekest
disciples to-day. I rode from New-Haven to London in the same car with
three Frenchmen and two Frenchwomen, coming up to the Exhibition, with a
scant half-allowance of English among them; and their efforts to
understand the signs, &c., were interesting. “_London Stout_,” displayed
in three-foot letters across the front of a drinking-house, arrested
their attention: “_Stoot? Stoot?_” queried one of them; but the rest
were as much in the dark as he, and I was as deficient in French as they
in English. The befogged one pulled out his dictionary and read over and
over all the French synonyms of “Stout,” but this only increased his
perplexity. “Stout” signified “robust,” “hearty,” “vigorous,”
“resolute,” &c., but what then could “_London_ Stout” be? He closed his
book at length in despair and resumed his observations.



London is given to late hours. At 6 A. M. though the sun has
long been up, there are few stirring in the principal streets;
occasionally you meet a cab hurrying with some passenger to take an
early train; but few shutters are down at 7, and scarcely an omnibus is
to be seen till after 8. The aristocratic dinner hour is 8 P.
M. though I trust few are so unmerciful to themselves as to
postpone their chief meal to that late hour when they have no company.
The morning to sleep, the afternoon to business and the evening to
enjoyment, seems the usual routine with the favored classes.

Walking home from a soirée at the West-end through Regent-street,
Haymarket and the Strand once at midnight, I was struck, though
accustomed to all manner of late hours in New-York, with the relative
activity and wide-awake aspect of London at that hour. It seemed the
High Change of revelry and pleasure-seeking. The taverns, the clubs and
drinking-shops betrayed no symptoms of drowsiness; the theatres were
barely beginning to emit their jaded multitudes; the cabs and private
carriages were more plentiful than by day, and were briskly wheeling
hundreds from party to party; even the omnibuses rattled down the wide
streets as freshly and almost as numerously as at midday. The policemen
were alert on nearly every corner; sharpers and suspicious characters
stepped nimbly about the cross-streets in quest of prey, and innumerable
wrecks of Womanhood, God pity them! shed a deeper darkness over the
shaded and dusky lanes and byways whence they momently emerged to salute
the passer-by. Beneath the shelter of night, Misery stole forth from its
squalid lair, no longer awed by the Police, to beseech the compassion of
the stranger and pour its tale of woe and suffering into the rarely
willing ear. Serene and silvery in the clear night-air rose the nearly
full moon over Southwark, shedding a soft and mellow light on pillar and
edifice, column and spire, and enduing the placid bosom of the Thames
with a tranquil and spiritual beauty. Such was one glimpse of London at
midnight; I have not seen it so impressive by day.






LONDON, July 25, 1851.

The fourth Annual Congress of the friends and champions of Peace,
universal and perpetual, was closed last evening, after a harmonious and
enthusiastic session of three full days. The number of Delegates in
attendance was between eight and nine hundred, while the spacious area
of Exeter Hall, which is said to hold comfortably thirty-five hundred
persons, was well filled throughout, and densely crowded for hours
together. Having been held at a most favorable time and at the point
most accessible to the great body of the active friends of Peace, I
presume the attendance was larger than ever before.

Two thoughts were suggested to me by the character and proceedings of
this assemblage–first, that of the eminently popular and plebeian
origin and impulse of all the great Reform Movements of our age. Every
great public assemblage in Europe for any other purpose will be sure to
number Lords, Dukes, Generals, Princes, among its dignitaries; but none
such came near the Peace Congress; very few of them take part in any
movement of the kind. In the list of Delegates to this Congress, under
the head of “Profession or Trade,” you find “Merchant,” “Miller,”
“Teacher,” “Tanner,” “Editor,” “Author,” “Bookseller,” “Jeweller,” &c.,
very rarely “Gentleman,” or “Baronet,” and never a higher title, I
rejoice to say that “Minister” or “Clergyman” appears pretty often, but
never such a word as “Bishop” or “Archbishop,” though the most liberal
of the Established Hierarchy, Archbishop Whateley of Dublin, sent a
brief note expressing sympathy with the objects of the meeting. And I
think among the clergymen present there was hardly one belonging to
either of the two Churches which in these realms claim a special and
exclusive patent from Heaven for the dispensation of Religious Truth.

The other thought suggested by this mighty gathering concerns the
character and efficacy of the organizations and sects in which
Christianity is presumed to be embodied. Let a Convention be called of
the Friends of Peace, of Temperance, of Personal Liberty, of the
Sacredness of Human Life, or any other tangible and positive idea, and
many hundreds will come together from distant nations, speaking diverse
languages, and holding antagonist opinions on other important subjects,
and will for days discuss and deliberate in perfect harmony, unite in
appropriate and forcible declarations of their common sentiments and in
the adoption of measures calculated to ensure their triumph. But let a
general Convention of the followers of Jesus Christ be called, with a
view to the speedy Christianization of the world, and either
three-fourths would keep away or the whole time of the meeting be wasted
in an acrimonious quarrel as to the meaning of Christianity or the
wording of the Shibboleth whereby those who were should be distinguished
from those who were not entitled to bear the Christian name.

This contrast implies a great wrong _somewhere_, and for which
_somebody_ must be responsible. I merely suggest it for general
consideration, and pass on.

Not fully sympathising with the Peace Movement in the actual condition
of Europe, I was not a Delegate, and did not attend the first two days’
deliberations. I see not how any one who does not hope to live and
thrive by injustice, oppression and murder, can be otherwise than
ardently favorable to Universal Peace. But, suppose there is a portion
of the human family who _won’t have Peace_, nor let others have it, what
then? If you say, “Let us have it as soon as we can,” I respond with all
my heart. I would tolerate War, even against pirates or murderers, no
longer than is absolutely necessary to inspire them with a love of
Peace, or put them where they can no longer invade the peace of others.
But so long as Tyrannies and Aristocracies shall say–as they now
practically _do say_ all over Europe, “Yes, we too are for Peace, but it
must be Peace with absolute submission to our good pleasure–Peace with
two-thirds of the fruits of Human Labor devoted to the pampering of our
luxurious appetites, the maintenance of our pomp, the indulgence of our
unbounded desires–it must be a Peace which leaves the Millions in
darkness, in hopeless degradation, the slaves of superstition and the
helpless victims of our lusts.” I answer, “No, Sirs! on your conditions
no Peace is possible, but everlasting War rather, until your unjust
pretensions are abandoned or until your power of enforcing them is
destroyed.” I have felt a painful apprehension that the prevalence of
the Peace Movement, confined as it is to the Liberal party, and acting
on a state of things which secures almost unbounded power to the
Despots, is calculated to break the spirit of down-trodden nations, and,
by thus postponing the inevitable struggle, protract to an indefinite
period the advent of that Reign of Universal Justice which alone can
usher in the glorious era of Universal Peace. And, had I been a Delegate
to this Universal Peace Congress, I should perhaps have marred its
harmony and its happiness by asking it to consider and vote upon some
such proposition as this:

“_Resolved_, That in commending to all men everywhere the duty
of seeking and preserving Peace, we bear in mind the Apostle’s
injunction, ‘_First_ pure, _then_ peaceable,’ and do not deny
but affirm the right of a Nation wantonly invaded by a foreign
army, or intolerably oppressed by its own rulers, to resist
force by force.”

I rejoice in being able to say that the general tendency of the speeches
was towards universal Emancipation, mental and physical. I doubt whether
an English audience composed in so large proportion of the
conventionally “respectable classes” ever listened to so much downright
Democracy before. The French speakers, the French writers, were full of
it, and the great event, at least of the last day’s session, was the
entrance of a body of fifteen French workmen, delegates to the World’s
Exhibition of the “Working Associations” of Paris, who came in a body to
pledge their hearts and hands to the cause of Universal Peace, and to
assure the Congress that the Laborers, the Republicans, of France, were
eminently pacific in their ideas and purposes, and that the preservation
of the Republic, which is the immediate object of their exertions, is
valued not more in its relation to their personal rights and aspirations
than as a step toward the formation of a European confederacy of
emancipated Nations, and thus as the corner-stone of the temple of
Universal Peace. The Speeches of these Workmen just from their benches
in the work-shops of Paris were every way admirable, and were received
with the heartiest enthusiasm. They breathed the true spirit not of
Peace only but of hearty coöperation in every work calculated to promote
the moral and social well-being of mankind. The wretched cant which
implies _natural enmity_ between France and England, or any other two
nations, was emphatically repudiated by them, and every variety of
forcible expression given to the earnest desire of the Laboring Classes
of France that Peace, Freedom and Brotherhood shall prevail, not in
their own country merely, but throughout the world.

Mr. COBDEN had made his great speech on the preceding day, wherein the
grievous expensiveness and hideous immorality of Standing Armies were
vividly portrayed. He did not hesitate to speak straight out on the
subject of the demoralizing influence of Armies on the People among
whom they were quartered or posted, and the broad track of moral
desolation which an armed force everywhere leaves behind it. If the
facts in this connection were but generally known, I think there would
soon be a loud call from Christians, Moralists and Philanthropists for
the entire disbandment and dispersion of every Standing Army.–EMILE
GIRARDIN, Editor of “_La Presse_,” spoke more especially of the
enormous expense of Armies and the ruinous taxation they render
necessary.–Mr. COBDEN spoke again yesterday, in more immediate
denunciation of the enormous Standing Army maintained by Austria, not
merely throughout its own but in other countries also, the Loans which
its Government is constantly contracting, and the gulf of bankruptcy to
which it is rapidly hurrying. He said there were intimations that
another Austrian Loan would be attempted in London, and if it should be
he should urge the call of a public meeting to expose the past knaveries
of Austria in dealing with her creditors, and to hold up to public
reprobation whoever should touch the Loan.–Mr. SAMUEL GURNEY, the Quaker
banker, also spoke in reprehension of Loans for War purposes and all who
subscribe to or encourage them.–EDWARD MIALL (Editor of _The
Non-Conformist_), also spoke forcibly against War Loans.

M. CORMENIN, an eminent French Statesman and writer, read a witty, piquant
essay in reprehension of War and all other contrivances for shortening
human life, which, being given first in French and then substantially in
English, elicited very hearty plaudits.

There were many more speakers, including Mr. HINDLEY, British M. P., M.
BOURET, French Chamber of Deputies, ELIHU BURRITT, M. AVIGNON, an Italian
banker, J. S. BUCKINGHAM, Dr. SCHERTZER of Vienna, and JOSEPH STURGE, who
moved that a similar convention be held next year, at a time and place to
be afterward agreed on, which was unanimously carried. It was announced
that Mr. Geo. Hatfield of Manchester had suggested and agreed to bear the
expense of fifteen Silver Medals to be presented, in behalf of the
Congress, to the representatives of the French Workmen’s Association for
their attendance and sympathy.–Sir DAVID BREWSTER, being warmly thanked
for his services as Chairman, responded in a few excellent remarks, urging
each person present to instill the principles of Peace into the hearts of
the children who are or may be committed to his or her guidance. He
remarked that he had not once been called upon to exercise authority or
repress commotion during the whole period of the Congress,–a fact proving
that the principles of Peace had already taken root in the breasts of the
Members; and there was not, I believe, a single proposition submitted to
the Congress on which its vote was not substantially unanimous. The
following are the Resolutions adopted:

The Congress of the friends of Universal Peace, assembled in
London July 22, 23 and 24, 1851, considering that recourse to
arms for the settlement of international disputes, is a custom
condemned alike by Religion, Morality, Reason, and Humanity,
and believing that it is useful and necessary frequently to
direct the attention both of Governments and Peoples to the
evils of the War system, and the desirableness and
practicability of maintaining Permanent International Peace,

1. That it is the special and solemn duty of all Ministers of
Religion, Instructors of Youth, and Conductors of the Public
Press, to employ their great influence in the diffusion of
pacific principles and sentiments, and in eradicating from the
minds of men those hereditary animosities, and political and
commercial jealousies, which have been so often the cause of
disastrous Wars.

2. That as an appeal to the sword can settle no question, on
any principle of equity and right, it is the duty of
Governments to refer to the decision of competent and
impartial Arbitrators such differences arising between them as
cannot be otherwise amicably adjusted.

3. That the Standing Armaments, with which the Governments of
Europe menace each other, amid professions of mutual
friendship and confidence, being a prolific source of social
immorality, financial embarrassment, and national suffering,
while they excite constant disquietude and irritation among
the nations, this Congress would earnestly urge upon the
Governments the imperative necessity of entering upon a system
of International Disarmament.

4. This Congress, regarding the system of negotiating Loans
for the prosecution of War, or the maintenance of warlike
armaments, as immoral in principle and disastrous in
operation, renews its emphatic condemnation of all such

5. This Congress, believing that the intervention, by
threatened or actual violence, of one country in the
international politics of another, is a frequent cause of
bitter and desolating wars, maintains that the right of every
State to regulate its own affairs should be held absolute and

6. This Congress recommends all the friends of Peace to
prepare public opinion, in their respective countries, with a
view to the formation of an authoritative Code of
International Law.

7. This Congress expresses its strong abhorrence of the system
of aggression and violence practiced by so-called civilized
nations upon aboriginal and feeble tribes, as leading to
incessant and exterminating wars, eminently unfavorable to the
true progress of religion, civilization and commerce.

8. This Congress, convinced that whatever brings the nations
of the earth together in intimate and friendly intercourse
must tend to the establishment of Peace, by removing
misapprehensions and prejudices, and inspiring mutual respect,
hails, with unqualified satisfaction, the Exhibition of the
Industry of all Nations, as eminently calculated to promote
that end.

9. That the members of Peace Societies, in all Constitutional
Countries, be recommended to use their influence to return to
their respective Parliaments, representatives who are friends
of Peace, and who will be prepared to support, by their votes,
measures for the diminution of the number of men employed in,
and the amount of money expended for, War purposes.


_American Members of the Congress._–Nathaniel Adams,
Cornwall, Conn., Rev. Robert Baird, New-York; Geo. M. Borrows,
Friburg, Maine; M. B. Bateman, Columbus, Ohio; Rev. George
Beckwith, Boston, Mass.; W. Wells Brown, do; Elihu Burritt,
Worcester, Mass.; William A. Burt, Washington, D. C.; Dr.
Thomas Chadbourne, Portsmouth, N. H.; Rev. J. W. Chickering,
Portland, Me.; Wm. Darlington, Westchester, Pa.; Rev. P. B.
Day, New-Haven; Rev. Amos Dresser, Oberlin, Ohio; Rev. D. C.
Eddy, Lowell, Mass.; Rev. Romeo Elton, Providence, R. I.; A.
R. Forsyth, Indiana; Rev. Aaron Foster, Massachusetts; William
B. Fox, do; Rev. H. H. Garnett, Geneva, N. Y.; David Gould,
Sharon, Conn.; Rev. Josiah Henson, Canada West; E. Jackson,
Jr., Boston, Mass.; Wm. Jackson, Newton, do; Rev. P. M.
McDowell, New-Brunswick; Rev. Geo. Maxwell, Ohio; Rev. H. A.
Mills, Lowell, Mass.; Rev. A. A. Miner, Boston, Mass.; Dr.
Henry S. Patterson, Frank B. Palmer, Dr. William Pettit,
Philadelphia, Pa.; Thomas Pierce, Illinois; Moses Pond,
Boston, Mass.; J. T. Sheoffe, Whitesboro’, N. Y.; Isaac
Skervan, Buffalo, N. Y.; Rev. Zadock Thompson, Burlington,
Vt.; Rev. John E. Tyler, Windham, Conn.; Ichabod Washbourne,
Worcester, Mass.; Rev. James C. White, Ohio; Chas. H. De
Wolfe, Oldtown, Me.






LONDON, Tuesday, July 26, 1851.

If I return this once more and for the last time to the subject of
American contributions to the great Exposition, it shall not be said
with truth that my impulse is a feeling of soreness and chagrin. Within
the last few days, a very decided and gratifying change has taken place
in the current of opinion here with regard to American invention and its
results. One cause of this was the late formal trial of American (with
other foreign) Plows, in the presence of the Agricultural Jury; which
trial, though partial and hurried, was followed by immediate orders for
an American Plow then tested (Starbuck’s) from Englishmen, Belgians and
Frenchmen, including several Agricultural Societies. If a hundred of
those Plows were here, they might be sold at once; in their absence, the
full price has been paid down for some twenty or thirty, to be shipped
at New-York, and be thenceforth at the risk and cost of the buyers. And
these orders have just commenced. The London journals which had
reporters present (some of which journals ridiculed our Farming
Implements expressly a few weeks ago), now grudgingly admit that the
American Plows did their work with less draft than was required by their
European rivals, but add that they did not do it so well. Such was not
the judgment of other witnesses of the trial, as the purchases, among
other things, attest.

A still more signal triumph to American ingenuity was accorded on
Thursday. Mr. Mechi, formerly a London merchant, having acquired a
competence by trade, retired some years since to a farm in Essex, about
forty miles off, where he is vigorously prosecuting a system of High
Farming, employing the most effective implements and agencies of all
kinds. He annually has a gathering of distinguished farmers and others
to inspect his estate and see how his “book farming” gets on. This
festival occurred day before yesterday–a sour, dark, drenching
day–notwithstanding which, nearly two hundred persons were present.
Among others, several machines for cutting Grain were exhibited and
tested, including two (Hussey’s and McCormick’s) from America, and an
English one which was declared on all hands a mere imitation of
Hussey’s. Neither the original nor the copy, however, appear to have
operated to the satisfaction of the assembly, perhaps owing to the
badness of the weather and its effects on the draggled, unripe grain.
With McCormick’s a very different result was obtained. This machine is
so well known in our Wheat-growing districts that I need only remark
that it is the same lately ridiculed by one of the great London journals
as “a cross between an Astley’s chariot, a treadmill and a flying
machine,” and its uncouth appearance has been a standing butt for the
London reporters at the Exhibition. It was the ready exemplar of
American distortion and absurdity in the domain of Art. It came into the
field at Mechi’s, therefore, to confront a tribunal (not the official
but the popular) already prepared for its condemnation. Before it stood
John Bull, burly, dogged and determined not to be humbugged–his
judgment made up and his sentence ready to be recorded. Nothing
disconcerted, the brown, rough, homespun Yankee in charge jumped on the
box, starting the team at a smart walk, setting the blades of the
machine in lively operation, and commenced raking off the grain in
sheaf-piles ready for binding,–cutting a breadth of nine or ten feet
cleanly and carefully as fast as a span of horses could comfortably
step. There was a moment, and but a moment of suspense; human prejudice
could hold out no longer; and burst after burst of involuntary cheers
from the whole crowd proclaimed the triumph of the Yankee “treadmill.”
That triumph has since been the leading topic in all agricultural
circles. _The Times’_ report speaks of it as beyond doubt, as placing
the harvest absolutely under the farmer’s control, and as ensuring a
complete and most auspicious revolution in the harvesting operations of
this country. I would gladly give the whole account, which, grudgingly
towards the inventor, but unqualifiedly as to the machine, speaks of the
latter as “securing to English farming protection against climate and an
economy of labor which must prove of _incalculable_ advantage.” Pretty
well for “a cross between an Astley’s chariot, a flying machine and a

Mr. McCormick, I hear, is probably now on his way hither from the United
States, and will be rather astonished on landing to find himself a lion.
Half a dozen makers and sellers of Agricultural implements, are already
on the watch for him, and if he makes his bargain wisely, he is morally
sure of a fortune from England alone. His machine and its operator were
the center of an eager circle to-day, and if five hundred of the former
were to be had here, they would all be bought within a month. There is
to be another public trial, merely to place beyond doubt its capacity to
cut dry and ripe grain as well as green and wet; but those who have seen
it work in the States will not care much for that.[C]

Mr. Hobbs, of the American Bank Lock Company, has had a recent trial of
the Chubb Lock, so long deemed invincible here, and consumed twenty-four
minutes and a half in picking it, under the supervision of judges of
unquestionable ability and impartiality. He then re-locked it without
disturbing the “Detector,” and left it as when it was set before him. He
has now to try his skill on the “Bramah” lock under the challenge for
£200; and, should he be able to open it, he says he shall there rest the
case.[D] He has been sent for by the Governor of the Bank of England,
and will respond to the invitation. His operations have of course
excited some feeling among those whose interests were affected by them;
yet it is manifestly proper and important, if the locks relied on by
banks and other depositories of treasure here are not secure against
burglary, that the fact should be known. Unless I err as to his success
at the forthcoming trial with the Bramah lock, British locksmiths must
commence at once to learn their business over again under Yankee

I might give other facts in support of my judgment that our Country has
not been and will not be _disgraced_ by her share in this Exhibition,
but I forbear. Had we declined altogether the invitation to participate
in this show, we certainly would have been discredited in the world’s
opinion, however unjustly; had we attempted to rival the costly tissues,
dainty carvings, rich mosaics, and innumerable gewgaws of Europe, we
should have shown equal bad taste and unsound judgment, and would have
deservedly been laughed at. Our real error consists, not in neglecting
to send articles to rival the rich fabrics and wares of this Continent,
but in sending too few of those homely but most important products in
which we unquestionably lead the world. We have a good many such here
now, but we should have had many more. One such plain, odd-looking
concern as McCormick’s Reaper, though it makes no figure in the eyes of
mere sight-seers in comparison with an inlaid Table or a case of Paris
Bonnets, is of more practical account than a Crystal Palace full of
those, and so will ultimately be regarded. Looking to-day at Mitchell’s
admirable new Map of the United States and their Territories, as now
existing, which worthily fills an honorable place in the Exhibition,
with several but too few others of the same class, I could not but
regret that a set of Harpers’ Common School Libraries, with a brief
account of the origin and progress of our School Library system, had not
been contributed; and I wish I had myself spent fifty dollars if
necessary to place in the Exhibition a good collection of American
School Books. If there shall ever be another World’s Exhibition, I
bespeak a conspicuous place in it for a model American country
School-House, with its Library, Globes, Maps, Black-Board, Class Books,
&c., and a succinct account of our Common School system, printed in the
five or six principal languages of Europe for gratuitous distribution to
all who may apply for it. With this got up as it should be, I would not
mind admitting that in Porcelain and Laces, Ormolu and Trinkets, Europe
is yet several years ahead of us.

Mr. J. S. Gwynne of our State, whose “Balanced Centrifugal Pump” made a
sensation and obtained a Gold Medal at our Institute Fair last October,
is here with it, and proposes a public trial of its qualities in
competition with the rival English pumps of Appold and Bessimer for
$1,000, to be paid by the loser to the Mechanics’ Society. Mr. Gwynne
claims that these English Pumps (which have been among the chief
attractions of the department of British Machinery) are palpable
plagiarisms from his invention, and not well done at that. He, of
course, does not claim the idea of a Centrifugal Pump as his own, for it
is much older than any of them, but he does claim that adaptation of the
idea which has rendered it effective and valuable. I am reliably
informed that he has just sold his Scotch patent only for the
comfortable sum of £10,000 sterling, or nearly $50,000; and this is but
one of several inventions for which he has found a ready market here at
liberal prices. I cite his case (for he is one of several Americans who
have recently sold their European patents here at high figures) as a
final answer to those who croak that our country is disgraced, and
regret that any American ever came near the Exhibition. Had these
discerning and patriotic gentlemen been interested in these patents,
they might have taken a different view of the matter. Even my New-York
friend, whose toadyism in exhibiting a capital pair of Oars inscribed “A
present for the Prince of Wales,” I have already characterized as it
deserves, yesterday informed me that he had sold $15,000 worth of Oars
here since the Fair opened. I am sure I rejoice in his good fortune, and
hope it may insure the improvement of his taste also.

There are many articles in the American department of which I would
gladly speak, that have attracted no public notice. Since I left for the
Continent, Mrs. A. Nicholson, formerly of our city, has sent in a
Table-Cover worked in Berlin Wool from the centre outward so as to form
a perfect circle, or succession of circles, from centre to
circumference, with a great variety of brilliant colors imperceptibly
shading into each other. This having been made entirely by hand, with no
implement but a common cut nail, the process is of course too slow to be
valuable; but the result attained may very probably afford useful hints
and suggestions to inventors of weaving machinery.–I think the display
of Flint Glass by the Brooklyn Company is equal in purity and fineness
to any other plain Glass in the Exhibition, and only regret that the
quantity sent had not been larger. I regret far more that the
“Hillotype,” for giving sun-pictures with the colors of life, has not
yet made its appearance here, while the “Caloric Engine” (using
compressed and heated air instead of water for the generation of power),
was not ready in season to justify a decision on its merits by the Jury
of its Class; and so with other recent American inventions of which
high hopes are entertained. We ought to have had here a show merely of
Inventions, Machines and Implements exceeding the entire contents of the
American Department–ought to have had, apart from any question of
National credit, if only because the inventors’ interests would have
been subserved thereby–and we should have had much more than we
actually have, had the state of the British Patent-Laws been less
outrageous than it is. A patent here costs ten times as much as in the
United States, and is worth little when you have it–that is, it is not
even an opinion that the patentee has really invented anything, but
merely an evidence that he claimed to have done so at such a date, and a
permission to prove that he actually did, if he can. In other words; a
patent gives a permission and an opportunity to contend legally for your
rights; and if the holder is known to have money enough, it generally
suffices; if not, he can and will be not only plundered with impunity,
but defied and laughed at. A bill radically revising the British
Patent-Laws is now on its way through Parliament, but in its absence
many American inventors refused to expose themselves to a loss of their
inventions by exhibiting them at the Fair; and who can blame them?

The succession of _fêtes_ to be given by the Municipality of Paris to
the Royal Commissioners, Jurors, &c., in honor of the World’s
Exhibition, opens this week, and will be brilliant and gratifying as no
other city but Paris could make it. The number invited is over One
Thousand, and all are taken from the British shore in French National
Vessels, and thenceforth will be the guests of their inviters until they
shall again be landed at an English port, paying nothing themselves for
travel, entertainment, balls, &c., &c. This is certainly handsome, and I
acknowledge the courtesy, though I shall not accept the invitation. I
leave for Scotland and Ireland on Monday.


[C] This trial took place at Mechi’s some three weeks later, and
resulted in a complete triumph for the reaper, which thereupon received
an award (already accorded it by the Council of Chairmen, subject to
revision upon the result of this trial), of a first-class or

[D] He has since done so, to the perfect satisfaction of the judges.






NEWCASTLE, Eng., Tuesday, July 29, 1851.

I came up through the heart of England by railroad yesterday from London
by Rugby, Leicester, Derby, Chesterfield, near Sheffield and Leeds,
through York, near Durham, to this place, where Coal is found in
proverbial abundance, as its black canopy of smoke might testify.
Newcastle lies at the head of navigation on the Tyne, about thirty miles
inland from the E. N. E. coast of England, three hundred miles from
London, and is an ancient town, mainly built of brick, exhibiting
considerable manufacturing and commercial activity.

The British Railroads are better built, more substantial and costly than
ours, but their management does not equal my anticipations. They make no
such time as is currently reported on our side, and are by no means
reliable for punctuality. The single Express Train daily from London to
Edinburgh professes to make the distance (428 miles) in about twelve
hours, which is less than 36 miles per hour, with the best of double
tracks, through a remarkably level country, everything put out of its
way, and no more stops than its own necessities of wood and water
require. We should easily beat this in America with anything like equal
facilities, and without charging the British price–£4 7s. (or over $21)
for a distance not equal to the length of the Erie Railroad, almost
wholly through a populous and busy region, where Coal is most abundant
and very cheap.

Our train (the Mail) started from London at 10½ A. M. and should have
been here at 11 P. M. or in a little less than 25 miles per hour. But
the running throughout the country is now bewitched with Excursion
Trains and throngs of passengers flocking on low-priced Excursion return
tickets to see the Great Exhibition, which is quite as it should be, but
the consequent delay and derangement of the regular trains is as it
should _not_ be. The Companies have no moral right to fish up a quantity
of irregular and temporary business to the violation of their promises
and the serious disappointment of their regular customers. As things are
managed, we left London with a train of twenty-five cars, half of them
filled with Excursion passengers for whom a separate engine should have
been, but was not, provided; so that we were behind time from the first
and arrived here at 1 this morning instead of 11 last night.

The spirit of accommodation is not strikingly evinced on British
Railroads. The train halts at a place to which you are a stranger, and
you perhaps hear its name called out for the benefit of the passengers
who are to stop there; but whether the halt is to last half a minute,
five minutes, or ten, you must find out as you can. The French Railroads
are better in this respect, and the American cannot be worse, though the
fault is not unknown there. A penny programme for each train, to be sold
at the chief stations on each important route, stating not merely at
what place but exactly how long each halt of that particular train would
be made, is one of the yet unsatisfied wants of Railroad travelers. Our
“Path-finders” and “Railway Guides” undertake to tell so much that plain
people are confused and often misled by them, and are unable to pick out
the little information they actually need from the wilderness of figures
and facts set before them. Let us have Guides so simple that no guide is
needed to explain them.

There is much sameness in English rural scenery. I have now traveled
nearly a thousand miles in this country without seeing anything like a
mountain and hardly a precipice except the chalky cliffs of the sea
shore. Nearly every acre I have seen is susceptible of cultivation, and
of course either cultivated, built upon, or devoted to wood. A few steep
banks of streams or ravines, almost uniformly wooded, and some small
marshes, mainly on the sea-coast, are all the exceptions I remember to
the general capacity for cultivation. Usually, the aspect of the country
is pleasant–beautiful, if you choose–but nowise calculated to excite
wonder or evoke enthusiasm. The abundance of evergreen hedges is its
most striking characteristic. I judge that two-thirds of England is in
Grass (meadow or pasture), very green and thrifty, and dotted with noble
herds of cattle and flocks of sheep. They are anxious to finish
Hay-making throughout the region we traversed yesterday; but as there
has been scarcely an hour of very bashful sunshine during the last six
days, more than half of which have been rainy, the operation is one
rather trying to human patience. Some of the cut grass looks as if it
were Flax spread out to rot, and all of it evinces a want of shelter.
This morning is almost fair, though hazy, so that the necessity of
taking in and drying the hay by a fire may be obviated, but a great deal
of it must be seriously damaged. (_P. S. 10 o’clock._–It is cloudy and
raining again.)

Wheat covers perhaps an eighth of all Central England, is now ripening
and generally heavy, but much of it is beaten down by the wind and rain,
and looks as if a herd of buffaloes had been chased through it by a
tribe of mounted Indians. If the weather should be mainly fair
henceforth, the crop may be saved, but it must already have received
material damage, and the process of harvesting it must be tedious.
Barley is considerably grown, and has also been a good deal prostrated.
Oats have suffered less, being more backward.–Potatoes look vigorous,
though not yet out of danger from blight or rot. Not a patch of Indian
Corn is to be seen throughout. Considerable grass-land has been plowed
up for Wheat next season, and some Turnips are just visible; but it is
evident that Grass and Stock, under the influence of the low prices of
Grain produced by the repeal of the Corn-laws, are steadily gaining upon
Tillage, of course throwing tens of thousands of Agricultural laborers
out of employment, and driving them to emigration, to manufactures, or
the poor-house. Thus the rural population of England is steadily and
constantly decreasing.

The best feature of English landscape is formed by its Trees. Though
rarely relied on for fuel, there is scarcely an area of forty acres
without them, while single trees, copses, more rarely rows, and often
petty forests, are visible in all quarters. The trees are not the
straight, tall, trim, short-limbed, shadeless Poplars, &c., of France
and Italy, but wide-spreading, hospitable Oaks, Yews and other sturdy
battlers with wind and storm, which have a far more genial and
satisfactory appearance. And the trees of England have a commercial as
well as a less measurable value; for timber of all sorts is in demand in
the collieries, manufactories and mines, and bears a high price, the
consumption far exceeding the domestic supply. But for the trees, these
sullen skies and level grounds would render England dreary enough.

Newcastle is the location of one of those immense structures which
illustrate the Industrial greatness and pecuniary strength of Britain,
and illustrate also the meagerness of her Railroad dividends. The Tyne
is here a furlong wide or more, running through a narrow valley or wide
ravine perhaps 150 feet below the average level of the great plain which
encloses it, and hardly more than half a mile wide at the top. Across
this river and gorge is thrown a bridge of iron, with abutments and
piers of hewn stone, the arches of said bridge having a total length of
1,375 feet, with 512 feet water-way, while the railway is 112½ feet
above high-water mark, with a fine carriage and footway underneath it
at a hight of 86 feet, and a total hight from river-bed to parapet of
132½ feet. The gigantic arches have a span of over 124 feet each, and
the total cost of the work was £304,500, or about $1,500,000. Near this
is a Central Railway Station (there are two others in the place), built
entirely, including the roof, of cut stone, save a splendid row of glass
windows on either side–said dépôt being over 592 feet long, the
passengers’ department being 537 by 183 feet, and the whole costing over
$500,000. Here, then, are about $2,000,000 expended on a single mile of
railroad, in a city of by no means primary importance. If any one can
see how fair dividends could be paid on railroads constructed at such
expense, the British shareholders generally would be glad to avail
themselves of his sagacity. And it is stated that the Law Expenses of
several of the British roads, including procurement of charter and right
of way, have exceeded $2,500,000. Add to this rival lines running near
each other, and often three where one should suffice, and you have the
explanation of a vast, enormous and ruinous waste of property. Let the
moral be heeded.



EDINBURGH, July 29–_Evening_.

From Newcastle to the Tweed (70 miles) the country continues level and
mainly fertile, but the Grain is far more backward than in the vicinity
of London, and very little of it has been blown down. More Wheat and far
less Grass are grown here than below York, while Barley, Oats and
Potatoes cover a good share of the ground, and the Turnip is often seen.
All look well, but the Potato, though late, is especially hearty and
thrifty. Shade-trees in the cultivated fields are rare; in fact, wood is
altogether rarer than at the south, though small forests are generally
within sight. I should judge from what I see and feel that shade is
seldom wanting here, except as a shield from the rain. Desperate
attempts at Hay-making engross the thoughts and efforts of a good many
men and women, though the skies are black, rain falls at intervals, and
a chill, heavy mist makes itself disagreeably familiar, while a thin,
drifting fog limits the vision to a square mile or so. Some of the
half-made hay in the meadows looks as though it had been standing out to
bleach for the last fortnight. Even the Grass-land is often ridged so as
to shed the water quickly, while deep ditches or drains do duty for
fences. Fruit-trees are rarely seen; they were scarce from London to
York, but now have disappeared. Our road runs nearer and nearer the
North Sea, which at length is close beside us on the right, but no town
of any importance is visible until we cross the Tweed on a long, high,
costly stone bridge just above Berwick of historic fame, and are in



Here the growing crops are much the same as throughout the North of
England–Wheat, Potatoes, Barley, Oats, and Grass–save that the Turnip
has become an article of primary importance. From some points, hundreds
of acres of the Swedish and French may be seen, and they are rarely or
never out of view. They are sown in rows or drills, some eighteen inches
or two feet apart, so as to admit of cultivation by the plow, which is
now in progress. The most forward of the plants now display a small
yellow blossom. All are healthy and promising, and are kept thoroughly
clear of weeds. I infer that they are mainly grown for feeding cattle,
and this seems a good idea, since they can be harvested in defiance of
rain and mist, which is rather more difficult with Hay. They become more
and more abundant as we approach this city, and are grown up to its very
doors. Heavy stone walls laid in mortar and copses or little forests of
Oak are among the characteristics of the rural district around
Edinburgh, whereof the culture is widely famed for its excellence. The
only Scottish town of any note we pass is Dunbar, by the sea-side,
though Dunse, Haddington and Dalkeith lie but a few miles inland from
our road, with which they are connected by branches. We reached this
city about 3 P. M. or in five hours from Newcastle, 130 miles.



I knew this was a city of noble and beautiful structures, but the
reality surpasses my expectation. The old town was mainly built in a
deep valley running northward into the Firth of Forth, with the Royal
Palace of Holyrood in its midst, the port of Leith on the Firth a few
miles northward, and the Castle on a commanding crag overlooking the old
town from the west. The Canongate and High-street lead up to the
esplanade of the Castle from the east, but its other sides are
precipitous and inaccessible, a deep valley skirting it on the north,
while the south end of the old town fills the other side. The former or
more northern valley has for the most part been kept clear of buildings,
the spacious Prince’s-street Gardens and the grounds of several
charitable institutions having had possession of it, until they were
recently required to surrender a part for the Railroads running south to
Berwick, &c., and west to Glasgow for a General Depot. Across this deep
valley or chasm, northward, rises the eminence on which the new town of
Edinburgh is constructed, with the deep chasm in which runs the rapid
mill-stream known as the “Water of Leith,” separating it from a like,
though lower, hill still further north and west, on which a few fine
buildings and very pleasant gardens are located. The new town is thus
perhaps 150 feet above the old town, a mile and a half long by half a
mile wide, commanding magnificent views of the old town, the port of
Leith, the broad, ocean-like Firth of Forth, and the finely cultivated
country stretching southward; and, as if these were not enough to secure
its salubrity, it has more gardens and public squares than any other
city of its size in the world. Its streets are broad and handsome; its
houses built almost wholly of stone, and I never saw so many good ones
with so few indifferent. If I were to choose from all the world a city
wherein to make an effort for longevity, I would select the new town of
Edinburgh; but I should prefer to live fewer years where there is more

Public Monuments would seem to be the grand passion of the Edinburghers.
The most conspicuous are those of Lord Nelson on Calton Hill (next to
the Castle, if not before it, the most commanding location in the city)
and of Walter Scott on Prince’s-street, nearly opposite the Castle,
across the glen, in full sight of all who arrive in Edinburgh by
Railroad, as also from the Castle and its vicinity, as well as from the
broad and thronged street beside which it is located. But there are
Monuments also to Pitt, to Lord Melville, and some twenty or thirty
other deceased notables. These are generally located in the higher
squares or gardens which wisely occupy a large portion of the
ground-plot of the new town. Public Hospitals and Infirmaries are also a
prominent feature of the Scottish capital, there being several spacious
and fine edifices devoted to the healing of the sick, most if not all of
them founded and endowed by private munificence. There are several
Bridges across the two principal and more on the secondary or cross
valleys, ravines or gorges which may well attract attention. These
Bridges are often several hundred feet long, and from thirty to eighty
feet high, and you look down from their roadway upon the red-tiled roofs
of large eight or nine-story houses beside and below them. Nearly or
quite every house in Edinburgh is built of stone, which is rather
abundant in Scotland, and often of a fair, free, easily worked quality.
Many even of the larger houses, especially in the old town, are built
of coarse, rough, undressed stone, often of round, irregular boulders,
made to retain the places assigned them by dint of abundant and
excellent mortar. In the better buildings, however, the stone is of a
finer quality, and handsomely cut, though almost entirely of a brown or
dark gray color. The winding drive to the summit of Calton Hill, looking
down upon large, tall, castle-like houses of varied material and
workmanship, with the prospect from the summit, are among the most
impressive I have seen in Europe.

I was interested this afternoon in looking around from one to another of
the edifices with which History or the pen of the Wizard of the North
has rendered us all familiar–the Tolbooth, the Parliament House, the
Castle, the house of John Knox, the principal Churches, &c., &c. I spent
most time of all in the Palace of Holyrood, which, though unwisely
located, never gorgeously furnished, and long since abandoned of Royalty
to dilapidation and decay, still wears the stamp of majesty and will be
regal even when crumbled into ruins. Its tapestries are faded and
rotten; its paintings, never brilliant specimens of the art, have also
felt the tooth of Time; its furniture, never sumptuous, would but poorly
answer at this day the needs of an ordinary family; its ball-room is now
a lumber-room; its royal beds excite premonitions of rheumatism: its
boudoir says nought of Beauty but that it passeth away. Yet the
carefully preserved ivory miniature of the hapless Queen of Scots is
still radiant with that superlative loveliness which seems unearthly and
prophetic of coming sorrows; and it were difficult to view without
emotion the tapestry she worked, the furniture she brought over from
France, some mementoes of her unwise marriage, the little room in which
she sat at supper with Rizzio and three or four friends when the
assassins rushed in through a secret door, stabbed her ill-starred
favorite, and dragged him bleeding through her bed-room into an outer
audience chamber, and there left him to die, his life-blood oozing out
from fifty-six wounds. The partition still stands which the Queen caused
to be erected to shut off the scene of this horrible tragedy from that
larger portion of the reception-room which she was obliged still to
occupy, therein to greet daily those whom public cares and duties
constrained her to confer with and listen to, though Murder had stained
ineffaceably the floor of that regal hall. Alas! unhappy Queen!–and yet
not all unhappy. Other sovereigns have their little day of pomp and
adulation, then shrivel to dust and are forgotten; but she still lives
and reigns wherever Beauty finds admirers or Suffering commands
sympathy. Other Queens innumerable have lived and died, and their
scepters crumbled to dust even sooner than their clay; but Mary is still
Queen of Scots, and so will remain forever.






THE CLYDE, Wednesday, July 30, 1851.

I am leaving Scotland without having seen half enough of it. My chief
reasons are a determination to run over a good part of Ireland and an
engagement to leave Europe in my favorite ship Baltic next week; but,
besides these, this continual prevalence of fog, mist, cloud, drizzle
and rain diminish my regret that I am unable to visit the Highlands. My
friends who, having a day’s start of me, went up the Forth from
Edinburgh to Stirling, thence visiting Lochs Lomond and Katrine, thence
proceeding by boat to Glasgow, were unable to see aught of the mountains
but their bases, their heads being shrouded in vapor; and, being landed
from a steamboat at the head of Lake navigation on Loch Lomond, found
five miles of land-carriage between them and a comfortable shelter, and
only vehicles enough to take the women and part of the men; the rest
being obliged to make the distance on foot in a drenching rain, with
night just at hand. Such adventures as this,–and they are common in
this region,–console me for my disappointment in not having been able
to see the Heather in its mountain home. The Gorse, the Broom, the
Whins, not to speak of the Scottish Thistle, have been often visible by
the roadside, and the prevalence of evergreens attests the influence of
a colder clime than that of England; indeed, the backwardness of all the
crops argues a difference of at least a fortnight in climate between
Edinburgh and London. Wheat has hardly filled yet in the Scottish
Lowlands; Oats are barely headed; and the Grass is little more than half
cut and not half dried into Hay; on the contrary, it now looks as if it
must winter on the ground or be taken in thoroughly water-soaked. Being
so much later, the crops are far less blown down here than they are in
England; but neither Grass nor Grain is generally heavy, while Potatoes
and Turnips, though backward, looked remarkably vigorous and promising.
Beautifully farmed is all this Lowland country, well fenced, clear of
weeds, and evidently in the hands of intelligent, industrious,
scientific cultivators. Wood is quite plentiful, Oak especially, though
shade-trees are not so frequent in cultivated fields as in England; but
rough, rocky, precipitous spots are quite common here, though in the
Lowlands, and these are wisely devoted to growing timber. Belgium is
more genial and more fertile, but I have rarely seen a tract of country
better farmed than that stretching westward from Edinburgh to Glasgow
(48 miles) and thence down the Clyde to Greenock, some 22 miles further.
The farmers in our Mohawk Valley ought to pass through this gloomy,
chilly, misty country, and be shamed into a better improvement of their
rare but misused advantages.

Traveling is useful in that it gives us a more vivid idea of the immense
amount of knowledge we yet lack. I supposed till to-day that, by virtue
of a Scotch-Irish ancestry (in part) and a fair acquaintance with the
works of Walter Scott, Burns, Hogg, &c., I knew the Lowland Scotch
dialect pretty thoroughly; and yet a notice plainly posted up, “This Lot
To _Feu_,” completely bothered me. On inquiry, I learned that _to feu_ a
lot means to let or lease it for building purposes–in other words, to
be built upon on a ground-rent. I suppose I learned this years ago, but
had entirely forgotten it.

The Clyde, though a fair stream at Glasgow, is quite narrow for twelve
to fifteen miles below that city, seeming hardly equal to the
Connecticut at Hartford, or the Hudson at Waterford; but then it has a
good tide, which helps the matter materially, and has at great expense
been dredged out so as to be navigable for vessels of several hundred
tuns. We passed a fine American packet-ship with a very wholesome
looking body of Scotch emigrants, hard aground some ten miles below
Glasgow, and I was informed that a large vessel, even though towed by a
steamboat, is seldom able to get down into deep water upon a single
tide, but is stopped half way to wait for another. This river fairly
swarms with small steamboats, of which there are regular lines
connecting Glasgow with Londonderry, Belfast, Dublin, Fleetwood
(north-west of England), Liverpool, London, &c. We met four or five
boats returning from Excursion parties crowded with the better paid
artisans and laborers of Glasgow, their wives and children.

The banks of the Clyde for some miles below Glasgow are low and marshy,
much of the intervale being devoted to pasturage, while a rude
embankment has been interposed on either side, consisting of stones of
five to fifty pounds each, intended to prevent the washing away of the
banks by the ripple raised by the often-passing steamboats. The end is
fairly though not cheaply subserved. As we descend, the shores become
bolder; the rugged hills, at first barely visible on the right, come
near and nearer the water: low rocks begin to lift their heads above the
surface of the stream, while others have their innate modesty
overpowered by wooden fixtures lifting their heads above the highest
tides to warn the mariner of his danger. At length a gigantic cone of
rock rises out of the water on the right of the channel to a height of
fifty or sixty feet, resembling some vast old cathedral: this is
Dumbarton Castle, with the anciently famous but now decaying town of
Dumbarton lying at the head of a small bay behind it. A little lower on
the left is Port Glasgow, the head of navigation for very large
vessels; and three miles lower still is Greenock, quite a stirring
seaport, somewhat addicted to ship-building. Here our boat, which had
left Glasgow (22 miles above) at 4 P. M. held on till 8 for the train
which left the same port at 7 with the mail and additional passengers;
and then laid her course directly across the channel to Belfast, 138
miles from Glasgow, where she is due at 5 to-morrow morning.



Looks more American than any other city I have seen in Europe. Half of
Pittsburgh spliced on to half of Philadelphia would make a city very
like Glasgow. Iron is said to be made cheaper here than elsewhere in the
world, the ore being alloyed with a carbonaceous substance which
facilitates the process and reduces the cost of melting. Tall chimneys
and black columns of smoke are abundant in the vicinity. The city is
about twice the size of Edinburgh, with more than double the trade of
that capital, and has risen rapidly from relative insignificance. New
rows of stately houses have recently been built, and the “court end” of
the city is extending rapidly toward the West. A brown or dark gray
stone, as in Edinburgh, is the principal material used, and gives the
city a very substantial appearance. Most of the town, being new, has
wide and straight streets; in the older part, they are perverse and
irrational, as old concerns are apt obstinately to be. They have an old
Cathedral here (now Presbyterian) of which the citizens seem quite
proud, I can’t perceive why. Architecturally, it seems to me a sad waste
of stone and labor. The other churches are also mainly Presbyterian,
and, while making less pretensions, are far more creditable to the taste
of their designers. The town is built on both sides of the Clyde, which
is crossed by fine stone bridges, but seven-eighths of it lie on the
north. Ancient Glasgow, embracing the narrow and crooked streets, lies
nearly in the center, and is crowded with a squalid and miserable
population, at least half the women and children, including mothers with
children in their arms, and grandmothers, or those who might well be
such, being without shoes or stockings in the cold and muddy streets.
Intemperance has many votaries here, as indeed, throughout Scotland;
“Dealers in Spirits,” or words to that effect, being a fearfully common
sign. I am afraid the good cause of Total Abstinence is making no
headway here–Glasgow has a daily paper (the first in Scotland) and many
weeklies, one of the best of them being a new one, “The Sentinel,” which
has a way of going straight to the core of public questions, and
standing always on the side of thorough Reform. Success to it, and a
warm good-bye to the rugged land of Song and Story–the loved home of
Scott and Burns.







DUBLIN, Thursday, July 31, 1851.

Though the night was thick, the wind was light, and we had a very good
passage across the North Channel, though our boat was very middling, and
I was nearly poisoned by some of my fellow-sleepers in the gentlemen’s
cabin insisting that every window should be closed. O to be Pope for one
little week, just long enough to set half a million pulpits throughout
the world to ringing the changes on the importance, the vital necessity,
of pure, fresh air! The darkness, or rather the general misapprehension,
which prevails on this subject, is a frightful source of disease and
misery. Nine-tenths of mankind have such a dread of “a draught” or
current of air that they will shut themselves up, forty together, in a
close room, car or cabin, and there poison each other with the
exhalations of their mutual lungs, until disease and often death are the
consequences. Why won’t they study and learn that a “draught” of pure
air will injure only those who by draughts of Alcoholic poison or some
other evil habit or glaring violation of the laws of life, have rendered
themselves morbidly susceptible, and that even a cold is better than the
noxiousness of air, already exhausted of its oxygen by inhalation?
Nothing physical is so sorely needed by the great majority as a
realizing sense of the blessedness, the indispensable necessity of pure,
fresh air.

We landed at Belfast at 5 this morning under a pouring rain, which
slacked off two hours later, but the skies are still clouded, as they
have been since Tuesday of last week, and there has been some sprinkling
through the day.

Of course the Crops are suffering badly. Flax is a great staple of the
North of Ireland, and three fourths of it is beaten flat to the earth.
Wheat is injured and poor, though not so generally prostrate; Oats look
feeble, and as if half drowned; some of these are, and considerable
Barley is thrown down; Grass is light, much of it uncut, and much that
is cut has lain under the stormy or cloudy skies through the last week
and looks badly; only the Potatoes look strong and thrifty, and promise
an ample yield. I shall be agreeably disappointed if Ireland realizes a
fair average harvest this year.

Belfast is a busy, growing town, the emporium of the Linen Manufacture,
and the capital of the Province of Ulster, the Northern quarter of
Ireland. It seems prosperous, though no wise remarkably so; and I have
been painfully disappointed in the apparent condition of the rural
peasantry on the line of travel from Belfast to Dublin, which I had
understood formed an exception to the general misery of Ireland. Out of
the towns not one habitation in ten is fit for human beings to live in,
but mere low, cramped hovels of rock, mud and straw; not one-half the
families on the way seem to have so much as an acre of land to each
household; not half the men to be seen have coats to their backs; and
not one in four of the women and children have each a pair of shoes or
stockings. And those feet!–if the owners would only wash them once a
week, the general aspect of affairs in this section would be materially
brightened. Wretchedness, rags and despair salute me on every side; and
if this be the best part of Ireland, what must the state of the worst

From Belfast we had railroad to Armagh, 35 miles; then 13 miles by
omnibus to Castle Blayney. We came over this latter route with ten or
twelve passengers, and a tun or so of luggage on the outside of the
Railroad Company’s omnibus, with thirteen of us stowed inside, beside a
youngster in arms, who illustrated the doctrine of Innate Depravity by a
perpetual fight with his mother. Yet, thus overloaded we were driven the
thirteen miles of muddy road in about two hours, taking at Castle
Blayney another railroad train, which brought us almost to Drogheda,
some 25 miles, where we had to take another omnibus for a mile or two,
for want of a railroad bridge over the Boyne, thus reaching another
train which brought us into Dublin, 32 miles. The North of Ireland is
yet destitute of any other railroads than such patches and fragments as
these, whereby I am precluded from seeing Londonderry, and its vicinity,
which I much desired. At length we were brought into Dublin at half-past
three o’clock, or in eight hours from Belfast, about one hundred and
thirty miles.

The face of the country through this part of Ireland is moderately
rolling, though some fair hills appear in the distance. The land is
generally good, though there are considerable tracts of hard, thin soil.
Small bogs are frequently seen, but no one exceeding a dozen acres; the
large ones lying farther inland. Taking so little room and supplying the
poor with a handy and cheap fuel, I doubt that these little bogs are any
detriment to the country. Some of them have been made to take on a soil
(by draining, cutting, drying and burning the upper strata of peat, and
spreading the ashes over the entire surface), and are now quite
productive.–Drainage and ridging are almost universally resorted to,
showing the extraordinary humidity of the atmosphere. The Potato is now
generally in blossom, and, having a large breadth of the land, and being
in fine condition, gives an appearance of thrift and beauty to the
landscape. But, in spite of this, the general yield of Ireland in 1851
is destined to be meager. There is more misery in store for this unhappy

We cross two small lakes some ten to fifteen miles north of this city,
and run for some distance close to the shore of the Channel. At length,
a vision of dwellings, edifices and spires bounds the horizon of the
level plain to the south-west, and in a few minutes we are in Dublin.






GALWAY, Ireland, Aug. 2, 1851.

I came down here yesterday from Dublin (126½ miles) by the first
Railroad train ever run through for the traveling public, hoping not
only to acquire some personal knowledge of the West of Ireland, but also
to gain some idea of the advantages and difficulties attending the
proposed establishment of a direct communication by Mail Steamers
between this port and our own country. And although my trip is
necessarily a hurried one, yet, having been rowed down and nearly across
the Bay, so as to gain some knowledge of its conformation and its
entrance, and having traversed the town in every direction, and made the
acquaintance of some of its most intelligent citizens, I shall at all
events return with a clearer idea of the whole subject than ever so much
distant study of maps, charts and books could have given me.

The Midland Railroad from Dublin passes by Maynooth, Mullingar, Athlone
(where it crosses the Shannon by a noble iron bridge), and Ballinasloe
to this place, at the head of Galway Bay, some twenty-five miles inland
from the broad Atlantic. The country is remarkably level throughout, and
very little rock-cutting and but a moderate amount of excavation have
been required in making the Railroad, of which a part (from Dublin to
Mullingar) has been for some time in operation, while the residue has
just been opened. (The old stage-road from Dublin to Galway measures
133 miles, or nearly seven more than the Railroad.) I presume there is
nowhere an elevation of forty feet to the mile, and with a good double
track (now nearly completed), there can be no difficulty in running
express trains through in three hours. From Dublin to Holyhead will
require four hours, and from Holyhead to London six more, making fifteen
hours in all (including two for coming into Galway) for the
transportation of the Mails from the broad Atlantic off this port to
London. Allow three more for leeway, and still the entire Mails may be
distributed in London about the time that the steamship can now be
telegraphed as off Holyhead, and at least twelve (I hope fifteen) hours
earlier than the Mails can now be received in London, to say nothing of
the saving of thirty or forty hours on the Mails to and from Ireland,
and twenty or so for those of Scotland. Is there any good reason why
those hours should not be saved? I can perceive none, even though the
steamships should still proceed to Liverpool as heretofore.

Galway Bay is abundantly large enough and safe enough for steamships,
even as it is, though its security is susceptible of easy improvement.
It has abundant depth inside, but hardly twenty feet at low water on a
bar in the harbor, so that large steamships coming in would be obliged
to anchor a mile or so from the dock for high water if they did not
arrive so as to hit it, as they must now wait off the bar at Liverpool,
only much further from the dock. But what I contemplate as a beginning
is not the bringing in of the Steamships but of their Mails. Let a small
steamboat be waiting outside when a Mail Steamer is expected (as now off
the bar at Liverpool), and let the Mails and such passengers as would
like to feel the firm earth under their feet once more, be swiftly
transferred to the little boat, run up to Galway, put on an express
train, started for Dublin, and thence sent over to Holyhead, and
dispatched to London and Liverpool forthwith. Let Irish Mails for
Galway, Dublin, &c., and Scotch Mails for Glasgow be made up on our
side, and let us see, by three or four fair trials, what saving of time
could be effected by landing the Mails at Galway, and then we shall be
in a position to determine the extent and character of the permanent
changes which are required. That a saving of fully twelve hours for
England and thirty for Ireland may be secured by making Galway the
European terminus of the Atlantic Mail Route, I am very confident, while
in the calculations of those who feel a local and personal interest in
the change the saving is far greater. But this is quite enough to
justify the inconsiderable expense which the experiment I urge would

Galway was formerly a place of far greater commerce and consequence than
it now is. It long enjoyed an extensive and profitable direct trade with
Spain, which, since the Union of Ireland with England, is entirely
transferred to London, so that not a shadow of it remains. At a later
day, it exported considerable Grain, Bacon, &c., to England, but the
general decline of Irish Industry, and the low prices of food since Free
Trade, have nearly destroyed this trade also, and there are now, except
fishing-boats, scarcely half a dozen vessels in the harbor, and of these
the two principal are a Russian from the Black Sea _selling_ Corn, to a
district whose resources are Agricultural or nothing, and a
smart-looking Yankee clipper taking in a load of emigrants and luggage
for New-York–the export of her population being about the only branch
of Ireland’s commerce which yet survives the general ruin. Galway had
once 60,000 inhabitants; she may now have at most 30,000; but there is
no American seaport with 5,000 which does not far surpass her annual
aggregate of trade and industry. What should we think in America of a
seaport of at least 35,000 inhabitants, the capital of a large, populous
county, located at the head of a noble, spacious bay, looking off on the
broad Atlantic some twenty miles distant, with cities of twenty, fifty,
and a hundred thousand inhabitants within a few hours’ reach on either
side of her, yet not owning a single steamboat of any shape or nature,
and not even visited by one daily, weekly, monthly, or at any stated
period? Truly, the desolation of Ireland must be witnessed or it cannot
be realized.

I judge that of nearly thirty thousand people who live here not ten
thousand have any regular employment or means of livelihood. The
majority pick up a job when they can, but are inevitably idle and
suffering two-thirds of the time. Of course, the Million learn nothing,
have nothing, and come to nothing. They are scarcely in fault, but those
who ought to teach them, counsel them, employ them, until they shall be
qualified to employ themselves, are deplorably culpable. Here are
gentlemen and ladies of education and wealth (dozens where there were
formerly hundreds) who year after year and generation after generation
have lived in luxury on the income wrung from these poor creatures in
the shape of Rent, without ever giving them a helping hand or a kind
word in return–without even suspecting that they were under moral
obligation to do so. Here is a Priesthood, the conscience-keepers and
religious instructors of this fortunate class, who also have fared
sumptuously and amassed wealth out of the tithes wrenched by
law-sanctioned robbery from the products of this same wretched
peasantry, yet never proffered them anything in return but conversion to
the faith of their plunderers–certainly not a tempting proffer under
the circumstances. And here also is a Priesthood beloved, reverenced,
confided in by this peasantry, and loving them in return, who I think
have done far less than they might and should have done to raise them
out of the slough in which generation after generation are sinking
deeper and deeper. I speak plainly on this point, for I feel strongly.
The Catholic Priesthood of Ireland resist the education of the Peasantry
under Protestant auspices and influences, for which we will presume they
have good reason; but, in thus cutting them off from one chance of
improving their social and intellectual condition, they double their own
moral responsibility to secure the Education of the Poor in some manner
not inconsistent with the preservation of their faith. And, seeing what
I have seen and do see of the unequaled power of this Priesthood–a
power immensely greater in Ireland than in Italy, for there the Priests
are generally regarded as the allies of the tyrant and plundering class,
while here they are doubly beloved as its enemies and its victims–I
feel an undoubting conviction that simply an earnest determination of
the Catholic Hierarchy of Ireland that every Catholic child in the
country shall receive a good education would secure its own fulfilment
within five years, and thenceforth for ever. Let but one generation be
well educated, and there can be no rational apprehension that their
children or grandchildren will be allowed to grow up in ignorance and
helplessness. Knowledge is self-perpetuating, self-extending. And,
dreadfully destitute as this country is, the Priesthood of the People
can command the means of educating that People, which nobody without
their coöperation can accomplish. Let the Catholic Bishops unite in an
earnest and potential call for teachers, and they can summon thousands
and tens of thousands of capable and qualified persons from convents,
from seminaries, from cloisters, from drawing-rooms, even from foreign
lands if need be, to devote their time and efforts to the work without
earthly recompense or any stipulation save for a bare subsistence, which
the less needy Catholics, or even the more liberal Protestants, in every
parish would gladly proffer them. There is really no serious obstacle in
the way of this first great step toward Ireland’s regeneration if the
Priesthood will zealously attempt it.

But closely allied to this subject, and not inferior to it in
importance, stands that of Industrial Training. The Irish Peasantry are
idle, the English say truly enough; but who inquires whether there is
any work within their reach? Suppose there was always _something_ to do,
what avails that to millions who know not how to do that precise
something? Walking with a friend through one of the back streets of
Galway beside the outlet of the Lakes, I came where a girl of ten years
old was breaking up hard brook pebbles into suitable fragments to mend
roads with. We halted, and M. asked her how much she received for that
labor. She answered, “Six-pence a car-load.” “How long will it take you
to break a car-load?” “_About a fortnight._” Further questions
respecting her family, &c., were answered with equal directness and
propriety, and with manifest truth. Here was a mere child, who should
have been sent to school, delving from morning till night at an
employment utterly unsuited to her sex and her strength, and which I
should consider dangerous to her eyesight, to earn for her poor parents
a half-penny per day. Think of this, ye who talk, not always without
reason, of “factory slaves” and the meagre rewards of labor in America.
In any community where labor is even decently rewarded, that child
should have been enabled to earn every day at least as much as her
fortnight’s work on the stone-heap would command. And even in Galway, a
concerted and systematic Industrial Education for the Poor would enable
her to earn at some light and suitable employment six times what she now

In every street of the town you constantly meet girls of fourteen to
twenty, as well as old women and children, utterly barefoot and in
ragged clothing. I should judge from the streets that not more than
one-fourth of the females of Galway belong to the shoe-wearing
aristocracy. Now no one acquainted with Human Nature will pretend that
girls of fourteen to twenty will walk the streets barefoot if the means
of buying shoes and stockings by honest labor are fairly within their
reach. But here there are none such for thousands. Born in wretched huts
of rough stone and rotten straw, compared with which the poorest
log-cabin is a palace, with a turf fire, no window, and a mass of filth
heaped up before the door, untaught even to read, and growing up in a
region where no manufactures nor arts are prosecuted, the Irish
peasant-girl arrives at womanhood less qualified by experience,
observation or training for industrial efficiency and usefulness than
the daughter of any Choctaw or Sioux Indian. Of course, not _all_ the
Irish, even of the wretchedly poor, are thus unskilled and helpless, but
a deplorably large class is; and it is this class whose awkwardness and
utter ignorance are too often made the theme of unthinking levity and
ridicule when the poor exile from home and kindled lands in New York and
undertakes housework or anything else for a living. The “awkwardness,”
which means only inability to do what one has never even _seen_ done, is
not confined to any class or nation, and should be regarded with every

An Industrial School, especially for girls, in every town, village and
parish of Ireland, is one of the crying needs of the time. I am
confident there are in Galway alone five thousand women and girls who
would hail with gratitude and thoroughly improve an opportunity to earn
six-pence per day. If they could be taught needle-work, plain
dressmaking, straw-braiding, and a few of the simplest branches of
manufactures, such as are carried on in households, they might and would
at once emerge from the destitution and social degradation which now
enshroud them into independence, comfort and consideration. Knowing how
to work and to earn a decent subsistence, they would very soon seek and
acquire a knowledge of letters if previously ignorant of them. In short,
the Industrial Education of the Irish Peasantry is the noblest and the
most hopeful idea yet broached for their intellectual and social
elevation, and I have great hope of its speedy triumph. It is now being
agitated in Dublin and many other localities, a central and many
auxiliary schools having already been established. But I will speak
further on this point in another letter.

Galway has an immense and steady water-power within half a mile of its
harbor, on the outlet of Lakes Corrib and Mash, by means of which it
enjoys an admirable internal navigation extending some sixty miles
northward. Here Manufactures might be established with a certainty of
commanding the cheapest power, cheapest labor and cheapest fuel to be
had in the world. I never saw a spot where so much water power yet
unused could be obtained at so trifling a cost as here directly on the
west line of the town and within half a mile of its center. A beautiful
Marble is found on the line of the Railroad only a few miles from the
town, and all along the line to Dublin the abundance and excellence of
the building-stone are remarkable. Timber and Brick come down the Lake
outlet as fast as they are wanted, while Provisions are here cheap as in
any part of the British Isles. Nature has plainly designed Galway for a
great and prosperous city, the site of extensive manufactures, the
emporium of an important trade, and the gateway of Europe toward
America; but whether all this is or is not to be dashed by the fatality
which has hitherto attended Irish prospects, remains to be seen. I trust
that it is not, but that a new Liverpool is destined soon to arise here;
and that, should I ever again visit Europe, I shall first land on the
quay of Galway.






DUBLIN, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 1851.

I had hoped to see all of Ireland that is accessible by Railroad from
this city, but Time will not permit. Having remained here over Sunday, I
had only Monday left for a trip Southward, and that would just suffice
for reaching Limerick and returning without attempting Cork. So at 7
yesterday morning I took the “Great Southern and Western Railroad,” and
was set down in Limerick (130 miles) at a quarter before 1, passing
Kildare, with its “Curragh” or spacious race-ground, Maryborough and
Thurles on the way. Portarlington, Mount Melick, Mountrath and
Templemore–all considerable towns–lie a few miles from the Railroad,
on the right or west, as Naas, Cashel and Tipperary are not far from it
on the left; while another Railroad, the “Irish South-Eastern,” diverges
at Kildare to Carlow, Bagnalstown and Kilkenny (146 miles from Dublin)
on the South; while from Kilkenny the “Kilkenny and Waterford” has
already been constructed to Thomastown (some 20 miles), and is to reach
Waterford, at the head of ship navigation on the common estuary at the
mouth of the Suir and Barrow, when completed.

I left the Great Southern and Western at Limerick Junction, 107 miles S.
S. W. of Dublin, and took the crossroad from Tipperary to Limerick (30
miles), but the main road proceeds south-westerly to Charleville, 22½
miles further, and thence leads due south to Mallow, on the Blackwater,
and then south by east to Cork, 164½ miles from Dublin, while another
railroad has just been opened from Cork to Bandon, 18¾ miles still
further south-west, making a completed line from Dublin to Bandon, 183½
miles, with branches to Limerick, Tipperary and Kilkenny, the latter to
be continued to Waterford. In a country so easily traversed by
Railroads, and so swarming with population as Ireland, these roads
should be not only most useful but most productive to their
stockholders, but they are very far from it. Few of the peasantry can
afford to travel by them, except when leaving the country for ever, and
their scanty patches of ground produce little surplus food for
exportation, while they can afford to buy little that the Railroads
bring in. Were the population of Ireland as well fed and as enterprising
as that of New-England, with an industry as well diversified, her
Railroads would pay ten per cent, on their cost; as things now are, they
do not pay two per cent. Thus the rapacity of Capital defeats itself,
and actually impoverishes its owners when it deprives Labor of a fair
reward. If all the property-holders of Ireland would to-day combine in a
firm resolve to pay at least half a dollar per day for men’s labor, and
to employ all that should present themselves, introducing new arts and
manufactures and improving their estates in order to furnish such
employment, they would not only speedily banish destitution and
ignorance from the land but they would double the value of their own
possessions. This is one of the truths which sloth, rapacity and
extravagance are slow to learn, yet which they cannot safely ignore. The
decay and ruin of nearly all the “old families” in Ireland are among the
penalties of disregarding it.

To talk of an excess of labor, or an inability to employ it, in such a
country as Ireland, is to insult the general understanding. In the first
place, there is an immediate and urgent demand for at least Half a
Million comfortable rain-proof dwellings. The inconceivable wretched
hovels in which nine-tenths of the peasantry endure existence
inevitably engender indolence, filthiness and disease. Generation after
generation grows up ignorant and squalid from never having had a
fireside by which they could sit down to read or study, nor an example
of home comfort and cleanliness in their own class to profit by. In
those narrow, unlighted, earth-floored, straw-thatched cabins, there is
no room for the father and his sons to sit down and enjoy an evening, so
they straggle off to the nearest groggery or other den in search of the
comfort their home denies them. Of course, men who have grown up in this
way have no idea of anything better and are slow to mend; but the
personal influence of their superiors in wealth and station is very
great, and might be ten times greater if the more fortunate class would
make themselves familiar with the wants and woes, the feelings and
aspirations of the poor, and act toward them as friends and wiser
brethren, instead of seeming to regard them only as strange dogs to be
repelled or as sheep to be sheared. But the first practical point to be
struggled for is that of steady employment and just reward for labor. So
long as men’s wages (without board) range from fourpence to one and
six-pence per day, and women’s from a penny to six-pence (which, so far
as I can learn, are the current rates at present, and nothing to do for
half the year at any price), no radical improvement can be hoped for. A
family with nothing to do, very little to eat and only a hog-pen to live
in, will neither acquire mental expansion, moral integrity, nor habits
of neatness and industry. On the contrary, however deficient they may
originally be in these respects, they are morally certain to grow worse
so long as their circumstances remain unchanged. But draw them out of
their wretched hovel into a neat, dry, glass-lighted, comfortable
dwelling, offer them work at all seasons, and a fair recompense for
doing it, and you will have at least rendered improvement possible. The
feasibility of cleanliness will instill the love of it, at least in the
younger members; the opportunity of earning will awaken the instinct of
saving as well as the desire to maintain a comely appearance in the eyes
of friends and neighbors. The laborer, well paid, will naturally be
adequately fed, and both able and willing to perform thrice the work per
day he now does or can; seeing the more efficient often step above them
to posts better paid and more respected, the dullest workers will aspire
to greater knowledge and skill in order that they too may attain more
eligible positions. “It is the first step that costs”–the others follow
almost of course. If the Aristocracy of Ireland would unitedly resolve
that every individual in the land should henceforth have constant work
and just recompense, the outlay involved need not be great and the
return would be abundant and certain. They have ample water-power for a
thousand factories, machine-shops, foundries, &c., which has run to
waste since creation, and can never bring them a dollar while Irish
Industry remains as rude, ill-paid and inefficient as it now is. Every
dollar wisely spent in improving this power will add two to the value of
their estates. So they have stone-quarries of immense value all over the
island which never produced anything and never will while the millions
live in hovels and confine their attention to growing oats and potatoes
for a subsistence. Agriculture alone and especially such Agriculture,
can never adequately employ the people; when the Oats and Potatoes have
been harvested, the peasant has very little to do but eat them until the
season for planting them returns. But introduce a hundred new arts and
processes–let each village have its mechanics, each county its
manufacturers of the various wares and fabrics really needed in the
country, and the excess of work done over the present aggregate would
speedily transform general poverty into general competence. The Six
Millions of People in Ireland are doing far less work this year than the
Three Millions of New-England, although the Irish in New-England are at
least as industrious and efficient as the natives. They work well
everywhere but at home, because they everywhere else find the more
powerful class ready to employ them, instruct them, pay them. In Ireland
alone are they required to work for six pence to eighteen pence per day,
and even at these rates stand idle half the year for want of anything to
do; so that the rent which they would readily double (for better
tenements) if they were fully employed and fairly paid, now benumbs and
crushes them, and their little patches of land, which ought to be in the
highest degree productive, are often the worst cultivated of any this
side of the Alps. Ignorance, want, and hopelessness have paralysed their
energies, and the consequent decay of the Peasantry has involved most of
the Aristocracy in the general ruin. The Encumbered Estates Commission
is now rapidly passing the soil of Ireland out of the hands of its
bankrupt landlords into those of a new generation. May these be wise
enough to profit by the warning before them, and by uniting to elevate
the condition of the Laboring Millions place their own prosperity on a
solid and lasting foundation!



The South of Ireland is decidedly more fertile and inviting than the
North or West. There is a deeper, richer soil, with far less stone on
the level low lands. The railroad from Dublin to Limerick runs
throughout over a level plain, and though it passes from the valley of
the Liffey across those of the Barrow, the Durrow and the Suir to that
of the Shannon, no perceptible ridge is crossed, no tunnel traversed,
and very little rock-cutting or embankment required. Although the
highways are often carried over the track at an absurd expense, while
the principal dépôts are made to cost thrice what they should, I still
cannot account for the great outlay on Irish railroads. They would have
been built at one-half the cost in the States, where the wages of labor
are thrice as much as here: who pockets the difference? Of course, there
is stealing in the assessment of land damages; but so there is
everywhere. When I was in Galway, a case was tried in which a
proprietor, whose bog was crossed by the Midland Railroad, sued the
company for more than the Appraisers had awarded him, and it was proved
on the trial that his bog, utterly worthless before, had been partially
drained and considerably increased in value by the railroad. There seems
to be no conscience in exacting damages of those who invest their money,
often most reluctantly, in railroads, of which the main benefits are
universal. In Ireland they have palpably and greatly benefited every
class but the stockholders, and these they have well nigh ruined.

There are fewer remains of dwellings recently “cleared” and thrown down
in the South than in the West of Ireland; though they are not unknown
here; but I saw no new ones going up, save in immediate connection with
the Railroads, in either section. If Government, Society and Ideas are
to remain as they have been, the country may be considered absolutely
finished, with nothing more to do but decay. I trust, however, that a
new leaf is about to be turned over; still, it is mournful to pass
through so fine a country and see how the hand of death has transfixed
it. Even Limerick, at the head of ship navigation on the glorious
estuary of the Shannon, with steamboat navigation through the heart of
this populous kingdom for sixty or eighty miles above it, shows scarcely a
recent building except the Railroad Dépôt and the Union Poor-House, while
its general aspect is that of stagnation, decline and decay. The smaller
towns between it and Dublin have a like gloomy appearance–Kildare, with
with its deserted “Curragh” and its towering ruins, looking most dreary
of all. Happy is the Irishman who, in a new land and amid the activities
and hopes which it inspires, is spared the daily contemplation of his
country’s ruin.

And yet there are brighter shades to the picture. Nature, ever buoyant
and imperative, does her best to remedy the ills created by “Man’s
inhumanity to Man.” The South of Ireland seems far better wooded than
either the North or West, and thrifty young forests and tree plantations
soften the gloom which unroofed and ruinous cabins would naturally
suggest. Though the Railroad runs wholly through a tame, dull level
sweeping ranges of hills appear at intervals on either side, exhibiting
a lovely alternation of cultivation, grass and forest, to the delighted
traveler. The Hay crop is badly saved so far, and some that has been cut
several days is still under the weather, while a good deal, though long
ripe, remains uncut; the Wheat looks to me thin and uneven; Oats (the
principal grain here) are short and generally poor; but I never saw the
Potato more luxuriant or promising, and the area covered with this noble
root is most extensive. The poor have a fashion of planting in _beds_
three to six feet wide, with narrow alleys between; which, though
involving extra labor, must insure a large yield, and presents a most
luxuriant appearance. Little Rye was sown, but that little is very good;
Barley is suffering from the stormy weather, but is quite thrifty. Yet
there is much arable land either wholly neglected or only yielding a
little grass, while I perceive even less bog undergoing reclamation than
in the West. I did not anticipate a tour of pleasure through Ireland,
but the reality is more painful than I anticipated. Of all I have seen
at work in the fields to-day, cutting and carrying turf, hoeing
potatoes, shaking out Hay, &c., at least one-third were women. If I
could believe that their fathers and husbands were in America, clearing
lands and erecting cabins for their future homes, I should not regret
this. But the probability is that only a few of them are there or
hopefully employed anywhere, while hundreds of neglected, weedy,
unpromising patches of cultivation show that, narrow as the holdings
mainly are, they are yet often unskillfully cultivated. The end of this
is of course ejectment, whence the next stage is the Union Work-House.
Alas! unhappy Ireland!






DUBLIN, Tuesday, August 5, 1851.

Of Irish stagnation, Irish unthrift, Irish destitution, Irish misery,
the world has heard enough. I could not wholly avoid them without giving
an essentially false and deceptive account of what must be painfully
obvious to every traveler in Ireland; yet I have chosen to pass them
over lightly and hurriedly, and shall not recur to them. They are in the
main sufficiently well known to the civilized world, and, apart from
suggestions of amendment, their contemplation can neither be pleasant
nor profitable. I will only add here that though, in spite of Poor Laws
and Union Poor-Houses, there are still much actual want, suffering and
beggary in Ireland, yet the beggars here are by no means so numerous nor
so importunate as in Italy, though the excuses for mendicity are far
greater. What I propose now to bring under hasty review are the
principal plans for the removal of Ireland’s woes and the conversion of
her myriads of paupers into independent and comfortable laborers. I
shall speak of these in succession, beginning with the oldest and
closing with the newest that has come under my observation. And first,
then, of



The hope of obtaining from the British Crown and Parliament the
concession of a separate Legislature of their own seems nearly to have
died out of the hearts of the Irish millions. The death of O’Connell
deprived the measure of its mightiest advocate; Famine and other
disasters followed; and fresher projects of amelioration have since to a
great extent supplanted it in the popular mind. Yet it is to-day most
palpable that such a Legislature is of the highest moment to the
National well-being, and that its concession would work the greatest
good to Ireland without injury to England. Nay; I see fresh reasons for
my hope that such concession is far nearer than is generally imagined.

On all hands it is perceived and conceded that the amount of legislation
required by the vast, widely scattered and diversely constituted
portions of the British Empire is too great to be properly affected by
any deliberative body. Parliament is just closing a long session, yet
leaving very much of its proper business untouched for want of time, and
that pertaining to Ireland is especially neglected. Then it has just
passed a most unwise and irritating act with regard to the titles of the
Catholic Prelates, which, because every act of Parliament must extend to
Ireland unless that country is expressly excluded, is allowed to operate
there, though the bad reasons given for its enactment at all have no
application to that country, while the mischiefs it will do there are
ten times greater than all it can effect in Great Britain. Had Ireland a
separate Parliament, no British Minister would have been mad enough to
propose the extension of this act over that country, where it is certain
to excite disaffection and disloyalty, arouse slumbering hatreds, and
impede the march of National and Social improvement. An Irish
Parliament, with specified powers and duties akin to those of an
American State Legislature, would be a great relief to a British
Parliament and Ministry, a great support to Irish loyalty and Irish
improvement, and no harm to anybody. These truths seem to me so palpable
that I think they cannot long be disregarded, but that some one of the
Political changes frequently occurring in Great Britain will secure to
Ireland a restoration of her domestic Legislature. Neither Canada,
Jamaica nor any other British colony can show half so good reasons for a
domestic Legislature.



The agitation for Tenant-Right in Ireland is destined to fail–in fact,
has virtually failed already. The Imperial Parliament will never concede
that right, nor will any Legislature similarly constituted. And yet the
demand has the clearest and strongest basis of natural and eternal
justice, as any fair mind must confess. What is that demand? Simply that
the creator of a new value shall be legally entitled to that value, or,
in case he is required to surrender it to another, shall be paid a fair
and just equivalent therefor. Here is a farm, for instance, whereof one
man is recognised by law as the owner, and he lets it for three lives or
a specific term of years to a tenant-cultivator for ten, fifteen or
twenty shillings per acre. The tenant occupies it, cultivates it, pays
the rent and improves it. At the close of his term, he is found to have
built a good house on it instead of the old rookery he found there,
while by fencing, draining, manuring and subsoiling he has doubled its
productive capacity, and consequently its annual value. He wishes to
cultivate it still, and offers to renew the lease for any number of
years, and pay the rent punctually. “But no,” says the landlord, “you
must pay twice as much rent as hitherto.” “Why so?” “Because the land is
more valuable than it was when you took it.” “Certainly it is; but that
value is wholly the fruit of my labor–it has cost you nothing.” “Can’t
help that, Sir; you improved for your own benefit, and with a full
knowledge that the additional value would revert to me on the
expiration of your lease; so pay my price or clear out!”–Is this right?
The law says Yes; but Justice says No; Public Good says even more
imperatively No. The laws of the land should encourage every occupier to
improve the land he holds, to expend capital and employ labor upon it,
so as to increase its value and productive capacity from year to year;
but the law of the British Empire discourages improvement and impedes
the employment of labor by taking the product from the producer and
giving it arbitrarily to the landlord. Yet the landlord influence in
Parliament is so predominant, so overwhelming, that no repeal, no
mitigation even, of this great wrong is probable; and every demand for
it is overborne by a senseless outcry against Agrarianism. Still, the
agitation for Tenant-Right does good by imbuing the popular mind with
some idea of the monster evil and wrong of the Monopoly of Land–an idea
which will not always remain unfruitful.



Emigration is now proceeding with gigantic strides, and is destined for
some time to continue. I think a full third of the present population of
Ireland are anxious to leave their native land, and will do so if they
shall ever have the means before better prospects are opened to them.
Packet-ships are constantly loading with emigrants at all the principal
ports, while thousands are flocking monthly to Liverpool to find ready
and cheap conveyance to America. But this emigration, however advisable
for the departing, does little for those left behind, and is in the main
detrimental to the country. The energetic, the daring, the high-spirited
go, leaving the residue more abject and nerveless than ever. If Two
Millions more were to leave the country next year, the condition of the
remainder would not be essentially improved. Over population is not a
leading cause of Ireland’s present miseries.



Rudimental knowledge is being slowly diffused in Ireland, in spite of
the serious impediments interposed by Religious jealousy and bigotry.
But this remedy, as now applied, does not reach the seat of the disease.
They are mainly the better class of poor children who are educated in
the National and other elementary schools; the most depraved, benighted,
degraded, are still below their reach. The destitute, hungry,
unemployed, unclad, despairing, cannot or do not send their children to
school; the wife and mother who must work daily in the turf-bog or
potato-field for a few pence per day must keep her older child at home
to mind the younger ones in her absence. Education, in its larger, truer
meaning, is the great remedy for Ireland’s woes; but until the parents
have steadier employment and a juster recompense the general education
of the children is impracticable.



The act authorizing and requiring the sale of irredeemably Encumbered
Estates in Ireland is one of the best which a British Parliament has
passed in many years. Under its operation, a large portion of the soil
is rapidly passing from the nominal ownership of bankrupts wholly unable
and unqualified to improve it into those of new proprietors who, it may
fairly be hoped, will generally be able to improve it, giving employment
to more labor and increasing the annual product. The benefits of this
change, however, can be but slowly realized, and are for the present
hardly perceptible.



Within the past few months, a very decided interest has been awakened in
the minds of enlightened and patriotic Irishmen in Dublin and other
places, with regard to the importance and possibility of establishing
various branches of Household Manufactures throughout the country. It is
manifest that the general cheapness of Labor and Food, the facilities
now enjoyed for communication, not only with Great Britain, but with all
Europe and America also, and the extraordinary amount of unemployed and
undeveloped capacity in Ireland, render the introduction of Manufactures
at once eminently desirable and palpably feasible. Even though nothing
could be immediately earned thereby, the simple diffusion of industrial
skill and efficiency which must ensue from such introduction would be an
inestimable gain to the peasantry of Ireland. But allow that all the
idle poor of this island could in six months be taught how to earn six
pence each per day, the aggregate benefit to the Irish and to mankind
would be greater than that of all the gold mines yet discovered. The
Poorhouse Unions could be nearly emptied in a year, and this whole
population comfortably fed, clad and housed within the next three years.
A beginning must be made with the simplest or household manufactures,
for want of means to establish the more complex, costly and efficient
branches, which require extensive Machinery and aggregation of Laborers;
but if the first step be successfully taken, others are certain to
follow. With abundant water-power and inexhaustible beds of fuel yet
untouched, it is demonstrable that Manufactures of Cotton and Woolen, as
well as Linen, might be prosecuted in Ireland even cheaper than in
England, though the average recompense of Labor should thereby be

The first impulse to the Manufacture movement appears to have been given
by Mr. Thomas Mooney, a gentleman well known to his countrymen
throughout the United States, whence he returned some eighteen months
ago. Primarily at his suggestion, a “Parent Board of Irish Manufacture”
was organized in Dublin several months since, funds collected by
voluntary subscription, an office opened, and a central school
established, with a view to the qualification of teachers for the
superintendence of auxiliary schools throughout the country. The
enterprise was proceeding vigorously and with daily increasing momentum
when Dissension, the evil genius of Ireland, broke out among its leading
supporters, which has resulted in the division of the original Society
into two, one of them sustaining Mr. Mooney and the other claiming to
have taken the movement entirely out of his hands. Thus the case stands
at present, but thus I trust it will not long remain. The enterprise is
one of the most feasible and hopeful of the many that have been
undertaken for the benefit of Ireland, and affords ample scope and
occupation for all who may see fit to labor for its success. I trust
that all differences will speedily be harmonized, and that the friends
of the movement, once more united, may urge it forward to a most
complete and beneficent triumph.



The Peat Bogs of Ireland cover some Three Millions of Acres of its
surface, mainly in the heart of the country, though extending into every
part of it. Perhaps One Hundred Thousand Acres, chiefly in the
north-east, have been brought into cultivation; of the residue, some
yields a little sour pasturage, but the greater portion is of no use
whatever, save as it supplies a very poor but cheap fuel to the
peasantry. These bogs are of all depths from a few inches to thirty or
forty feet, though the very shallow have generally been reclaimed. This
is effected in some cases by removing the Peat or Turf altogether; but
sometimes, where it is quite deep, by ditching and draining it, and then
cutting and heaping up some six to twelve inches at the top, so that it
can be thoroughly burned, and the ashes spread over the entire surface
for a soil. This is not so deep as could be desired, but the climate is
so uniformly moist and the skies so rarely unclouded that it suffices to
insure very tolerable crops thereafter.

I do not know how the origin of these Bogs is accounted for by the
learned, but I presume the land they cover was originally a dense
forest, and that the Peat commenced growing as a sort of moss or fungus,
carpeting the ground and preventing the germination of any more trees.
In the course of ten or fifteen centuries, the forest trees (mainly of
Oak or Fir) decayed and fell into the Peat, which, dying at the top,
continued to grow at the bottom, while the perpetual moisture of the
climate prevented its destruction by fire. Thus the forest gradually
disappeared, and the Peat alone remained, gaining a foot in depth in the
course of two or three centuries until it slowly reached its present

Many efforts have been made to render this Peat available as a basis of
Manufacture and Commerce, but hitherto with little success. The
magnificent chemical discoveries heralded some two years ago, whereby
each bog was to be transformed into a mimic California, have not endured
the rough test of practical experience. There is no doubt that Peat
contains all the valuable elements therein set forth–Carbon, Ammonia,
Stearine, Tar, &c., but unfortunately it has hitherto cost more to
extract them than they will sell for in market; so the high-raised
expectations of 1849 have been temporarily blasted, like a great many

But further chemical investigations have resulted in new discoveries,
which, it is confidently asserted, render the future success of the Peat
Charcoal manufacture a matter of demonstrable certainty. A company has
just been organized in London, under commanding auspices, which proposes
to embark £500,000 directly and £1,000,000 ultimately in Peat-Works,
having secured the exclusive right of using the newly patented
processes of Messrs. J. S. Gwynne and J. J. Hays, which are pronounced
exceedingly important and valuable. By a combination of these patented
processes, it is calculated that the company will be able to manufacture
from the inexhaustible Bogs of Ireland, 1. Peat Coal, or solidified
Peat, of intense calorific power, exceedingly cheap, almost as dense as
Bituminous Coal, while absolutely free from Gases injurious to metals as
well as from “clinker,” and therefore especially valuable for
Locomotives and for innumerable applications in the arts; 2. Peat
Charcoal, thoroughly carbonized, of compact and heavy substance, free
from sulphur, and for which there is an unlimited demand not only for
fuel but for fertilization; 3. Peat Tar, of extraordinary value simply
as Tar, an admirable preservative of Timber, and readily convertible
into Illuminating Gas of exceeding brilliancy and power; 4. Acetate of
Lime; and 5. a crude Sulphate of Ammonia, well known as a fertilizer of
abundant energy. The company is already at work, and expect soon to have
six working stations in different parts of the country, professing its
ability to manufacture for 14s. per tun, Peat Charcoal readily selling
in London for 45s., while they expect to realize 5s. worth of Tar,
Ammonia, &c., with every tun of Charcoal, while on Solidified Peat they
anticipate still larger profits. These may be very greatly reduced by
practical experience without affecting the vital point, that sagacious
and scrutinizing capitalists have been found willing to invest their
money in an enterprise which, if it succeeds at all, must secure
illimitable employment to Labor in Ireland and strongly tend to increase
its average reward.



A similar Company, with a like capital, has also been formed to
prosecute extensively in Ireland the manufacture of Beet Sugar, and
this can hardly be deemed an experiment. That the Sugar Beet grows
luxuriously here I can personally bear witness; indeed, I doubt whether
there is a soil or climate better adapted to it in the world. That the
Beet grown in Ireland yields a very large proportion of Sugar is
attested by able chemists; that the manufacture of Beet Sugar is
profitable, its firm establishment and rapid extension in France,
Belgium, &c., abundantly prove. The Irish Company have secured the
exclusive use of two recently patented inventions, whereby they claim to
be able to produce a third more sugar than has hitherto been obtained,
and of a quality absolutely undistinguishable from the best Cane Sugar.
They say they can make it at a profit of fully twenty-five per cent.
after paying an excise of £10 per tun to the Government, working their
mills all the year (drying their roots for use in months when they
cannot otherwise be fit for manufacture). Mr. Wm. K. Sullivan, Chemist
to the Museum of Irish Industry, states that the Beet Sugar manufactured
in France has increased from 51,000 tuns in 1840 to more than 100,000
tuns in 1850, in defiance of a large increase in the excise levied
thereon–that the average production of Sugar Beet is in Ireland 15 tuns
per acre, against less than 11 tuns in France and Germany–that each
acre of Beets will yield 4½ tuns (green) of tops or leaves, worth 7s.
6d. per tun for feeding cattle, making the clear profit on the
cultivation of the Beet, at 15s. per tun, over £5 per acre–that there
is no shadow of difference between the Sugar of the Beet and that of the
Cane, all the difference popularly supposed to exist being caused by the
existence of foreign substances in one or both–that Irish roots
generally, and Beet roots especially, contain considerably _more_ Sugar
than those grown on the Continent–and that Beet Sugar may be made in
Ireland (without reference to the newly patented processes from which
the Company expect such great advantages) at a very handsome profit. As
the soil and climate of Ireland are at least equal to, and the Labor
decidedly cheaper than, that employed in the same pursuit on the
Continent, while Ireland herself, wretched as she is, consumes over two
thousand tuns of Sugar per annum, and Great Britain, some twenty-five
thousand tuns–every pound of it imported–I can perceive no reasonable
basis for a doubt that the Beet Culture and Sugar Manufacture will
speedily be naturalized in Ireland, and that they will give employment
and better wages at all seasons to many thousands of her sons.

Such are some of the grounds of my hope that the deepest wretchedness of
this unhappy country has been endured–that her depopulation will
speedily be arrested, and that better days are in store for her
long-suffering people. Yet Conquest, Subjugation, Oppression and
Misgovernment have worn deep furrows in the National character, and ages
of patient, enlightened and unselfish effort will be necessary to
eradicate them. Ignorance, Indolence, Inefficiency, Superstition and
Hatred are still fearfully prevalent; I only hope that causes are
beginning to operate which will ultimately efface them. If I have said
less than would seem just of the Political causes, of Ireland’s
calamities, it is because I would rather draw attention to practical
though slow remedies than invoke fruitless indignation against the
wrongs which have rendered them necessary. Peace and Concord are the
great primary needs of Ireland–Peace between her warring
Churches–Concord between her rulers and landlords on one side and her
destitute and desperate Millions on the other. I wish the latter had
sufficient courage and self-trust to demand and enforce emancipation
from the Political and Social vassalage in which they are held; to
demand not merely Tenant-Right but a restitution of the broad lands
wrested from their ancestors by fire and sword–not merely equal rights
with Englishmen in Church and State, but equal right also to judge
whether the existing Union of the two islands is advantageous to
themselves, and if not, to insist that it be made so or cease
altogether. But Ireland has suffered too long and too deeply for this;
her emancipation is now possible only through the education and social
elevation of her People. This is a slow process, but earnest hearts and
united minds will render it a sure one. If the Irish but will and work
for it, the close of this century will find them a Nation of Ten
Millions, with their Industry as diversified, their Labor, as efficient,
its Recompense as liberal, and their general condition as thrifty and
comfortable as those of any other Nation. Thus circumstanced, they could
no longer be treated as the appendage of an Empire, the heritage of a
Crown, the conquest of a selfish and domineering Race, but must be
accounted equals with the inhabitants of the Sister Isle in Civil and
Religious Rights or break the connection without internal discord and
almost without a struggle. There shall yet be an Ireland to which her
sons in distant lands may turn their eyes with a pride unmingled with
sadness; but alas! who can say how soon!






LIVERPOOL, Wednesday, August 6, 1851.

I do not wholly like these cold and stately English, yet I think I am
not blind to their many sterling qualities. The greatness of England, it
is quite confidently asserted, is based upon her conquests and
plunderings–on her immense Commerce and unlimited Foreign Possessions.
I think otherwise. The English have qualities which would have rendered
them wealthy and powerful though they had been located in the center of
Asia instead of on the western coast of Europe. I do not say that these
qualities could have been developed in Central Asia, but if they _had_
been, they would have insured to their possessors a commanding position.
Personally, the English do not attract nor shine; but collectively they
are a race to make their mark on the destinies of mankind.

In the first place, they are eminently _industrious_. I have seen no
country in which the proportion of idlers is smaller. I think American
labor is more efficient, day to day or hour to hour, than British; but
we have the larger proportion of non-producers–petty clerks in the
small towns, men who live by their wits, loungers about barrooms, &c.
There is here a small class of wealthy idlers (not embracing nearly
_all_ the wealthy, nor of the Aristocracy, by any means), and a more
numerous class of idle paupers or criminals; but Work is the general
rule, and the idlers constitute but a small proportion of the whole
population. Great Britain is full of wealth, not entirely but mainly
because her people are constantly producing. All that she has plundered
in a century does not equal the new wealth produced by her people every

The English are eminently devotees of _Method_ and _Economy_. I never
saw the rule, “A place for everything, and everything in its place,” so
well observed as here. The reckless and the prodigal are found here as
every where else, but they are marked exceptions. Nine-tenths of those
who have a competence know what income they have, and are careful not to
spend more. A Duchess will say to a mere acquaintance, “I cannot afford”
a proposed outlay–an avowal rarely and reluctantly made by an American,
even in moderate circumstances. She means simply that other demands upon
her income are such as to forbid the contemplated expenditure, though
she could of course afford this if she did not deem those of prior
consequence. No Englishman is ashamed to be economical, nor to have it
known that he is so. Whether his annual expenditure be fifty pounds or
fifty thousand, he tries to get his money’s worth. I have been
admonished and instructed by the systematic economy which is practiced
even in great houses. You never see a lighted candle set down carelessly
and left to burn an hour or two to no purpose, as is so common with us;
if you leave one burning, some one speedily comes and quietly
extinguishes the flame. Said a friend: “You never see any paper in the
streets here as you do in New-York [swept out of the stores, &c.] the
English throw nothing away.” We speak of the vast parks and lawns of the
Aristocracy as so much land taken out of use and devoted to mere
ostentation; but all that land is growing timber or furnishing
pasturage–often both. The owner gratifies his taste or his pride by
reserving it from cultivation, but he does not forget the main chance.
So of his Fisheries and even Game-Preserves. Of course, there _are_
noblemen who would scorn to sell their Venison or Partridges; but Game
is abundant in the hotels and refectories–too much so for half of it to
have been obtained by poaching. Few whose estates might yield them ten
thousand a year are content with nine thousand.

The English are eminently a _practical_ people. They have a living faith
in the potency of the Horse-Guards, and in the maxim that “Safe bind is
sure find.” They have a sincere affection for roast beef. They are quite
sure “the mob” will do no harm if it is vigilantly watched and
thoroughly overawed. Their obstreperous loyalty might seem inconsistent
with this unideal character, but it is only seeming. When the portly and
well-to-do Briton vociferates “God save the Queen!” with intense
enthusiasm, he means “God save my estates, my rents, my shares, my
consols, my expectations.” The fervor of an Englishman’s loyalty is
usually in a direct ratio with the extent of his material possessions.
The poor like the Queen personally, and like to gaze at royal pageantry;
but they are not fanatically loyal. One who has seen Gen. Jackson or
Harry Clay publicly enter New-York or any other city finds it hard to
realize that the acclamations accorded on like occasions to Queen
Victoria can really be deemed enthusiastic.

_Gravity_ is a prominent feature of the English character. A hundred
Englishmen of any class, forgathered for any purpose of conference or
recreation, will have less merriment in the course of their sitting than
a score of Frenchmen or Americans would have in a similar time. Hence it
is generally remarked that the English of almost any class show to least
advantage when attempting to enjoy themselves. They are as awkward at a
frolic as a bear at a dance. Their manner of expressing themselves is
literal and prosaic; the American tendency to hyperbole and exaggeration
grates harshly on their ears. They can only account for it by a
presumption of ill breeding on the part of the utterer. Forward lads
and “fast” people are scarce and uncurrent here. A Western “screamer,”
eager to fight or drink, to run horses or shoot for a wager, and
boasting that he had “the prettiest sister, the likeliest wife and the
ugliest dog in all Kentuck,” would be no where else so out of place and
incomprehensible as in this country, no matter in what circle of

The _Women_ of England, of whatever rank, studiously avoid peculiarities
of dress or manner and repress idiosyncrasies of character. No where
else that I have ever been could so keen an observer as Pope have

“Nothing so true as what you once let fall;
Most women have no character at all.”

Each essays to think, appear and speak as nearly according to the
orthodox standard of Womanhood as possible. Hardly one who has any
reputation to save could tolerate the idea of attending a Woman’s Rights
Convention or appearing in a Bloomer any more than that of standing on
her head in the Haymarket or walking a tight-rope across the pit of
Drury Lane. So far as I can judge, the ideas which underlie the Woman’s
Rights movement are not merely repugnant but utterly inconceivable to
the great mass of English women, the last Westminster Review to the
contrary notwithstanding.

I do not judge whether they are better or worse for this. Their
conversation is certainly tamer and less piquant than that of the
American or the French ladies. I think it evinces a less profound and
varied culture than that of their German sisters; but none will deny
them the possession of sterling and amiable qualities. Their physical
development is unsurpassed, and for good reasons–their climate is mild
and they take more exercise than our women do. Their fullness of bust is
a topic of general admiration among the foreigners now so plentiful in
England, and their complexions are marvelously fair and delicate.
Except by a very few in Ireland, I have not seen them equaled. And, on
the whole, I do not know that there are better mothers than the English,
especially of the middle classes.

I did not find the Aristocracy so remarkable for physical perfection and
beauty as I had been taught to expect. Some of them are large, well
formed and vigorous; but I think the caste is not noticeably so. Among
the ladies of “gentle blood,” however, there is more of the asserted
aristocratic symmetry and beauty than among the men.

The general stiffness of English manners has often been noted. Not that
a gentleman is aught but a gentleman anywhere, but courtesy is certainly
not the Englishman’s best point. No where else will a perplexed stranger
inquiring his way receive more surly answers or oftener be refused any
answer at all than in London. Even the policeman who is paid to direct
you, replies to your inquiry with the shortest and gruffest monosyllable
that will do.

Awkwardness of manner pervades all classes; the most thoroughly natural,
modest and easy mannered man I met was a Duke, whose ancestors had been
dukes for many generations; but some of the most elaborately ill bred
men I met also inherited titles of nobility. And, while I have been
thrown into the company of Englishmen of all ranks who were cordial,
kind, and every way models of good breeding, I have also met here more
constitutionally arrogant and, unbearable persons than had crossed my
path in all my previous experience. These, too, are found in all ranks;
I think the Military service exhibits some of the worst specimens. But
Bull in authority anywhere is apt to exhibit his horns to those whom he
suspects of being nobodies. Elevation is unpropitious to the display of
his more amiable qualities.

I have elsewhere spoken of the indifferent figure made by most
Englishmen at public speaking. Many of them say good things; hardly one
delivers them aptly or gracefully. Any Frenchman having Lord Granville’s
brains would make a great deal more out of them in a speech. I attribute
this National defect to two causes; first, the habitually prosaic level
of British thought and conversation; next, the intense pride which is
also a National characteristic. John is called out at a festive
gathering, and springs to his feet really intending to be clever. But
the next moment the thought strikes him–“This is beneath my dignity,
after all. Why should I subject myself to miscellaneous criticism? Why
put myself on the verdict of this crowd? Does it become a gentleman of
my standing to fish for their plaudits? What will success amount to, if
attained?” Or else he criticises his own thoughts and meditated forms of
expression, pronounces them tame, trite or feeble, and recoils from
their enunciation as unworthy of his abilities, position and reputation.
The result is the same in either case–he hesitates, blunders, chokes,
and finally stammers out a few sentences and subsides into his seat,
sweating at every pore, red-faced with chagrin, vexed with himself and
every body else on account of his failure, which might not have
occurred, and certainly would not have been so palpable, had his
self-consciousness been less diseased and extravagant.

I have said that the British are not in manner a winning people. Their
self-conceit is the principal reason. They have solid and excellent
qualities, but their self-complacency is exorbitant and unparalleled.
The majority are not content with esteeming Marlborough and Wellington
the greatest Generals and Nelson the first Admiral the world ever saw,
but claim alike supremacy for their countrymen in every field of human
effort. They deem Machinery and Manufactures, Railroads and Steamboats,
essentially British products. They regard Morality and Philanthropy as
in effect peculiar to “the fast anchored isle,” and Liberty as an idea
uncomprehended, certainly unrealized, any where else. They are
horror-stricken at the toleration of Slavery in the United States, in
seeming ignorance that our Congress has no power to abolish it and that
their Parliament, which _had_ ample power, refused to exercise it
through generations down to the last quarter of a century. They cannot
even consent to go to Heaven on a road common to other nations, but must
seek admission through a private gate of their own, stoutly maintaining
that their local Church is the very one founded by the Apostles, and
that all others are more or less apostate and schismatic. Other Nations
have their weak points–the French, Glory; the Spaniards, Orthodoxy; the
Yankees, Rapacity; but Bull plunders India and murders Ireland, yet
deems himself the mirror of Beneficence and feeds his self-righteousness
by resolving not to fellowship slaveholders of a different fashion from
himself; he is perpetually fighting and extending his possessions all
over the globe, yet wondering that French and Russian ambition _will_
keep the world always in hot water. Our Yankee self-conceit and
self-laudation are immoderate; but nobody else is so perfect on all
points–himself being the judge–as Bull.

There is one other aspect of the British character which impressed me
unfavorably. Everything is conducted here with a sharp eye to business.
For example, the manufacturing and trafficking classes are just now
enamored of Free Trade–that is, freedom to buy raw staples and sell
their fabrics all over the world–from which they expect all manner of
National and individual benefits. In consequence, these classes seize
every opportunity, however unsuitable, to commend that policy to the
strangers now among them as dictated by wisdom, philanthropy and
beneficence, and to stigmatize its opposite as impelled by narrow-minded
selfishness and only upheld by prejudice and ignorance. The French widow
who appended to the high-wrought eulogium engraved on her husband’s
tombstone that “His disconsolate widow still keeps the shop No 16 Rue
St. Denis,” had not a keener eye to business than these apostles of the
Economic faith. No consideration of time or place is regarded; in
festive meetings, peace conventions, or gatherings of any kind, where
men of various lands and views are notoriously congregated, and where no
reply could be made without disturbing the harmony and distracting the
attention of the assemblage, the disciples of Cobden are sure to
interlard their harangues with advice to foreigners substantially
thus–“N. B. Protection is a great humbug and great waste. Better
abolish your tariffs, stop your factories and buy at our shops. We’re
the boys to give you thirteen pence for every shilling.” I cannot say
how this affected others, but to me it seemed hardly more ill-mannered
than impolitic.

Yet the better qualities in the English character decidedly
preponderate. Naturally, this people love justice, manly dealing, fair
play; and though I think the shop-keeping attitude is unfavorable to
this tendency, it has not effaced it. The English have too much pride to
be tricky or shabby, even in the essentially corrupting relation of
buyer and seller. And the Englishman who may be repulsive in his
out-of-door intercourse or spirally inclined in his dealings, is
generally tender and truthful in his home. There only is he seen to the
best advantage. When the day’s work is over and the welcome shelter of
his domestic roof is attained, he husks off his formality with his
great-coat and appears to his family and his friends in a character
unknown to the outer world. The quiet comfort and heartfelt warmth of
an English fireside must be felt to be appreciated. These Britons, like
our own people, are by nature not demonstrative; they do not greet their
wives before strangers with a kiss, on returning from the day’s
business, as a Frenchman may do; and if very glad to see you on
meeting, they are not likely to say so in words; but they cherish warm
emotions under a hard crust of reserve and shyness, and lavish all their
wealth of affection on the little band collected within the magic circle
of Home. Said an American who had spent two years as a public lecturer
throughout Great Britain: “Circumstances have introduced me favorably to
the intimacy and regard of many English families, and I can scarcely
recollect one which was not in its own sphere, a model household.” My
own opportunities have been very limited, yet so far as they go they
tend to maintain the justice of this remark. There are of course
exceptions, but they would be more abundant elsewhere. And I regard the
almost insuperable obstacles here interposed to the granting of
Divorces, no matter on what grounds, as one cause of the general harmony
and happiness of English homes.

But I must not linger. The order to embark is given; our good ship
Baltic is ready; another hour and I shall have left England and this
Continent, probably for ever. With a fervent good-bye to the friends I
leave on this side of the Atlantic, I turn my steps gladly and proudly
toward my own loved Western home–toward the land wherein Man enjoys
larger opportunities than elsewhere to develop the better and the worse
aspects of his nature, and where Evil and Good have a freer course, a
wider arena for their inevitable struggles, than is allowed them among
the heavy fetters and cast-iron forms of this rigid and wrinkled Old
World. Doubtless, those struggles will long be arduous and trying:
doubtless, the dictates of Duty will there often bear sternly away from
the halcyon bowers of Popularity; doubtless, he who would be singly and
wholly right must there encounter ordeals as severe as those which here
try the souls of the would-be champions of Progress and Liberty. But
Political Freedom, such as white men enjoy in the United States, and
the mass do not enjoy in Europe, not even in Britain, is a basis for
confident and well-grounded hope; the running stream, though turbid,
tends ever to self-purification; the obstructed, stagnant pool grows
daily more dank and loathsome. Believing most firmly in the ultimate and
perfect triumph of Good over Evil, I rejoice in the existence and
diffusion of that Liberty which, while it intensifies the contest,
accelerates the consummation. Neither blind to her errors nor a pander
to her vices, I rejoice to feel that every hour henceforth till I see
her shores must lessen the distance which divides me from my country,
whose advantages and blessings this four months’ absence has taught me
to appreciate more clearly and to prize more deeply than before. With a
glow of unwonted rapture I see our stately vessel’s prow turned toward
the setting sun, and strive to realize that only some ten days separate
me from those I know and love best on earth. Hark! the last gun
announces that the mail-boat has left us, and that we are fairly afloat
on our ocean journey: the shores of Europe recede from our vision; the
watery waste is all around us; and now, with God above and Death below,
our gallant bark and her clustered company together brave the dangers of
the mighty deep. May Infinite Mercy watch over our onward path and bring
us safely to our several homes; for to die away from home and kindred
seems one of the saddest calamities that could befall me. This mortal
tenement would rest uneasily in an ocean shroud; this spirit reluctantly
resign that tenement to the chill and pitiless brine; these eyes close
regretfully on the stranger skies and bleak inhospitality of the sullen
and stormy main. No! let me see once more the scenes so well remembered
and beloved; let me grasp, if but once again, the hand of Friendship and
hear the thrilling accents of proved Affection, and when sooner or later
the hour of mortal agony shall come, let my last gaze be fixed on eyes
that will not forget me when I am gone, and let my ashes repose in that
congenial soil which, however I may there be esteemed or hated, is still

“My own green land forever!”



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