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CHAPTER XVI.

AB'S EIGHTH LETTER CONTINUED.
IN THE ADIRONDACK REGION.


IT wur about baggin-time when we geet to Albany, wheere we'd th' satisfaction o' feelin th' air wur a deeal cooler, an' that we should have a chance of a comfortable stretch-out at neet.  We had till th' neet-boat coome in; an' then th' wharf wur alive an' noisy, an' folk like picnickers wur grinning through th' sharp mornin' air, an' strowlin about th' streets as if they didno' know wheere to goo.

    We had to be up wi' th' sparrows; for th' train ut had to tak us on started soon  an' we'd a long distance to travel; but ther one comfort, we'd nobbut our hond bags with us.  Th' tother lot we'd left at Brooklyn.  We'd about as pleasant a ride on th' railroad as any we'd had.  Th' country wur nice ut we had to go through, an' wurno' so dusty as we'd had it i' some journeys.  We'd another glent at th' Mohawk Falls as we passed through Troy, an' that factory a quarter of a mile long we seed again.  Then we passed through Saratoga, th' Leamington of Ameriky, wheere th' hotels are some o'th' wonders o' this lond o' wonders, for they're as big as some o'th' biggest o' factories.  There are moore beds in 'em than con be found i' o th' city beside.

    It wur about noon when we geet to "Glens Falls," wheere we had to leave th railroad, an' have a gradely owd-fashint ride on an owd-fashint coach.  Noane o' yo'r omblibusses, ut looken like bein made for flittin house goods, but one like th owd "Red Rover," wheere folk could see summat when they're peearched on th' top.  This had to tak us nine miles on an owd plank road; an' a nice spin we had.  If we'd ridden so far on a road like th' Broadway, i' New York, we should ha' had every button jowted off our clooas.  So how would our insides ha fared?  As it wur we'd a nice chatty company, an' could yer what one another said.  It wur a bit like droivin through sich a country as there is about Mottram, so thou may be sure we liked it.  I nobbut wanted t' see a face ut wur summat like thine an' yer someb'dy shout "Come to thy porritch," an' then I should ha' felt happy.

    Our journey's end for that day wur to be "Lake George," wheere we are now, wi' hardly a soul i'th' hotel beside us, if I dunno' reckon about a score o' darkie waiters, an' as mony young women gettin' th' house ready for crowdin time, ut they expected would begin in about a week.  Ther a lot o' darkies shakin carpets in a meadow—carpets ut anyone on 'em would cover our fowt—an' dust rose i' clouds.  I should think a darkie's face, when it's covered wi' dust, is abeaut as comikil a seet as con be seen.  It's next to bein whitewesht.  On th' foot-road leeadin through this meadow we could hardly put afoot down for treadin on ant hills.  We could see hunderts on 'em, wi' their little holes at th' top ut they used for durs, lyin as thick as wormholes on a bowlin green.  On our road, just before we coome to th' hotel, we passed th' "Bloody Pond."  Here, it's said, that at th' time o'th' border wars a party o' French soldiers wur camped one neet, havin their supper, when th' English surprised 'em, an' killed so mony ut their blood turned th' wayter red.  Th Indians about towd us that, an' I reckon they'd had it fro' their gronfeythers.

    This is a grand place, so very different to some parts of Ameriky.  It's like bein i' Cumberland, obbut th' lakes are so much bigger, an' th' hills are green i'stead o' bein grey.  We'd a strowl by th' edge o'th lake for t' watch th' sun set; an' what wi' now an' then th' chirpin of a whistling frog, an' th' croakin of a water hen, ut th' Indians co'en th' "Dumplin bird," an' ut maks a noise like th' workin of a pump, I felt sich a loneliness creep o'er me ut I're fairly chilled.  Beside, ther some Indian farms about, an' I wurno quite sure ut they're gradely civilized.  But they couldno' ha' getten a scalp off my toppin, chus how.

    I'd ha' bowt thee an Indian bonnet if I could ha' carried it safe, but bein made o' chips it would ha bin smashed int' toothpicks afore I'd getten it to New York.  Thou would ha' looked a bit of a blossom wi' one on thy yead, marchin through Hazlewo'th.  Th' childer would ha' thowt thou'd brokken out of a show wheere ther some penny play-actin done.  It's wonderful how they mak em; an' so is mony a thing they trucken in.

    I fund we'd nobbut come'n to this hotel for lodgins; for this mornin, as I're writin this letter, Sammy o' Moses's comes to me, an' says—

    "Ab, thou mun cut off."*

"What for? " I said,

"Th' boat 'll be off in a two-thri minits; an' it's Sunday t' morn. We conno' cross th' lake then, an' we ha' not a day to' spare. So dry up."


______________________



Chasm Hotel, Birmingham, New York State, June 7.


    Thou sees I did cut off, an' dry up, too, as Sammy towd me, an' now I'm gooin in for a finish.  I scrambled my papper up at once an' i' five minits after we'rn on board th' little steamer "Horican," bund for Ticonderoga, or "Old Ti," as they co'en it.  This would be a grand sail on a fine day, but it wur black an' weet when we set out; an' a little bit chilly.  Our "circus's" wur o' some use then an' it wur th' fust time they had bin.

    A dark weet day in a strange country, an' i'th' wildest part o' that country, isno' so very comfortin; an' what made it wur, ther no comfort to be getten on th' boat.  But we made th' best we could o'th' circumstances, an' hutched t'gether under th' awnin', like two chickens wi' outside berths under th' owd hen's wing, an' spekilated on it bein' fine th' day after.  But as things wur it wur like lookin' at a grand pictur wi' curtains drawn o'er it; an' we'rn missin one o'th seets we'd come'n so far to see.  Th' mountains, an' th' islands kept rowlin past us, till when we'd sailed about twenty mile, or a little above th' hauve road, th' owd sun drew his apporn fro' o'er his face, an' wi' one of his breetest smiles axt us how we wur.

    Then we could see summat—green hills rowlin o'er one another as if they're playin at rowly-powly, streaks o' sunshoine braidin' 'em wi' gowd, an' bringin into our seet little white neests o' cottages petcht here and there, as if they'd bin built by some sorts o' brids, or beavers had larned bow to build their houses wi' green windows to 'em, and had tiny boats for t' goo a-fishin with moored by th' lake side.  A place co'ed "Sabbath Day Point" is so pratty that one mit forget what day o'th' week it wur, and co every day Sunday.  An' everywheere's full o' tales o' wars, an' brushes wi' Indians.  As we passed th' "Hermit Island" I're shown a bit o poetry ut's so good I know even thou'll like it.  It wur th' fust time it had bin i' print, an's co'ed—


"THE JESUIT PRIEST; A LEGEND OF LAKE GEORGE."
BY MISS H. M. AMEDEN.


If you ask a story teller
Of this old and ancient legend;
Of this story of the Jesuit;
He would tell you that in old-time,
When the mountains on the lake shore,
And the woods between the mountains,
Were the abode of Indian hunters,
And the wild game of the forest;
When no white man yet had entered
On its waters, blue and tranquil,
That a band of holy Fathers,
In a far-off country eastward,
Had established mission stations,
That the red man of the forest
Might receive the Jesuit customs;
Worship at the Jesuit altars.

    He would tell you there was treachery
On the part of many red men;
There was suffering with the Fathers,
There were ugly wars and fightings
'Twixt the different tribes and clansmen.
And the prisoners that were taken
Suffered tortures; suffered torment
Till the life that once burned brightly
Slowly flickered out and perished;
And the Jesuit Fathers suffered
With the suffering like the others.
At the burning stake they perished,
Asking mercy they received not.

    Down among the eastern missions
Came a wandering tribe, and hostile;
Waited, till by shrewd and cunning,
They could get a pale-faced captive.
Then with prisoner strings they bound him,
Till his flesh was torn and bleeding,
Set their faces towards the forest,
With their prisoner in among them.
Down beside the Hermit Island,
On Lake George, the eastern shoreway,
Where its mountains yet had never
Echoed to the human voices,
Save the cry of savage warriors,
With their women, and their children.
Out beside a birchen tree-top,
From the shoreway, lone and silent,
Shot a light canoe, and veering,
Landed safe on Hermit Island.

    Carefully the boatman landed
Pulled the light canoe to inland
Underneath the brakes and bushes.
But his mien is not a savage,
And his robes are priestly garments.
Now he rises—lifts his bony
Fingers towards the light of heaven;
Then he makes the sign of crosses,
And his lips move as if praying.
After these devotions over,
Down he sinks as if exhausted,
Borne to earth as if to rise not.
Underneath his soiled garments
Forth he draws a much-worn missal;
Looks it over; waits, like doubting;
Turns back to the whitened fly-leaf,
And with pencil writes upon it—
"Pere St. Bernard of the Missions
Of the East has been a prisoner."
Then he writes a brief narration
Of his sufferings and his hardships,
So that if he, wandering, perish,
Some one in the years that follow
May perchance receive the message.
In a hollow stone behind him
Places he that written leaflet;
With a larger stone he covers
Up the message, thinking, hardly,
Will a human hand ere get it?

    Half exhausted, half discouraged,
Down he sat alone in silence,
Hardly knowing where to turn him,
Which was safest route to follow.
Then he heard a steady plashing
Of oars upon the water;
Looking towards the western shoreland
Saw a lithe canoe and master
Making towards him in the distance.
Passive sat he in his covert,
Knowing that retreat was useless—
Then as if a new thought gave him
Greater strength and greater courage,
Drew the birch canoe to cover
More concealed than first he placed it.
Then advancing in the sunshine
With a friendly gesture, greeted
Him who landed on the island.
Now the wondering savage listens
Till his greeting was well over.
Then began the painted chieftain;
"Pere St. Bernard, can you tell me
What red man is speaking to you,
How I know the holy Father?
How I know the hungry pale face?
Me forget?   The Indian chieftain
Writes not with the pale face's pencil,
But his heart is great, and holds much;
Does not say much, but remembers,
And gives back as he is given.

    "Pere St. Bernard! at the eastward
When the red man, not a chieftain,
Quarrelled with your pale face's brother,
It was you who saved my life then.

    You have been a prisoner yonder
In another tribe than mine is;
You are faint, and you are hungry,
But the redman not forget you;
You shall come across the water,
Travel with me and my people
Till you come among your brothers
At the eastward where you left them."

    So the Hermit Isle, deserted
By the priest and by the chieftain,
Kept its little secret hidden
And if ever you may linger
On the shore of Hermit Island,
At the southward, towards the Lake Head,
You may weave into your fancies
Jesuit Father, Indian chieftain;
They upon the shore then, standing
Just where you stand in the sunlight.
And before you leave the island
Search the hollow rock behind you,
See where lay the hidden message,
Secret of the Hermit Island.

__________________


    After londin we'rn takken by train to Ticonderoga, wheer we'rn shipped again for t' cross "Lake Champlain," another run of 130 miles.  This lake lies in a flatter country than Lake George,—well, just about th' wayter; but th' mountain i' th' distance looken grand.

    Then there's th' "Queen City of the Lake," Vermont, wi' its tin towers glitterin i'th' sun like newly polished ale-warmers, on our reet, ut shows ther someb'dy beside Indians i' this wilderness.  We londed at Port Kent; an' felt a little bit done up wi' our day's sailin; an' ther an owd shandry waitin for passengers to th' next city.  We scrambled into th' owd leather box, an' gan orders for t' be dropt at th' "Lake View House," about three mile on th' road.  Th' droiver towd us that hotel wurno' oppent for th' season yet, so we couldno' get in.  Ther th' Chasm Hotel across th' river we could happen bunk theere.  Any port in a storm but if th' hotels wur owt like the country we'rn gooin through there'd be thin pastur, for th' fields about had hardly a tuft o' grass to th' square yard.

    When we began a-gooin down th' broo th' lond looked better, an' when we geet to th' bottom we could see an' yer ut we hadno' come'n for nowt.  Birmingham lies here in a little neest, wi' a nail factory for t' keep everybody ut lives theere.  We'd a glent at th' Falls as we crossed th' river, an' as neet wur closin in th' chasm looked a fearful hole.  Our hearse pood up at an owd house ut favvort havin th' windows nailed up, an' we'rn towd ut that wur th' Chasm Hotel.  It made my flesh creep for t' look at it; an' Sammy's face wur as blank as if ther a boggart at th' door.

    "I'm no' gooin i' that shop till I know sommat about it," he said, lookin th' picture o' disappointment.  "Ab, get out an' punce th' dur, for t' see if there's owt wick about beside ettercrops.  If not we'n goo on."

    I tumbled down an' mounted th' step, then geet howd of a knocker ut favvort bein made out of an owd reawsty quoit, an' leet it bang again th' dur.  It made sich a strange sound ut I jumpt back, an' would ha' run away if there'd bin nob'dy wi' me.  But th' dur oppent, an' a face showed itsel ut put me i' mind o' owd "silver-yead."  Th' body it wur fixed on wur tall an' lank, an' it nobbut wanted a candle inside, I thowt, for t' ha' made it int' a lantern.  I axt him if he could tak two travellers in, an' he said he could, tho' they hadno' oppent yet.  Seein ut I looked a bit down about th' place, he axt me to took through an' satisfy mysel about it.  I towd Sammy an' th' coachman for t' keep their ears oppen, an' if they yerd a shout owt like "murder" they'd know what to do; then wi' a sinkin pluck I ventured into th' owd castle.

    Ther just enoogh o' leet when th' windows wur unbooarded for t' let me see what th' place wur like.  Strange, it wur as cozy a shop as any we'd bin into, booath upstairs and down; an' when I seed two as bonny wenches as any we'd met, I said to mysel, "I'm gooin t' let my anchor down here whether Sammy does or not."  I took my report to Sammy, an' he didno' want mich coaxin for t' turn in, as we'rn booath on us quite fagged out.  We'rn as comfortable as two sondknockers directly; an' when th' supper wur ready, an' th' wenches wur cotterin about us wi' cleean apporns on, then no two Yankees could ha' made theirsels feel moore awhoam than we did.  We'rn a little bit dropt on, too, when we axt for a lager apiece, an' wur towd it wur a teetotal shop.  Ther nowt nobbut bed for us, after supper; so we turned in i' good time, an' slummert soundly till mornin.  Noather boggarts nor robbers disturbed us.

    I'th' mornin we emptied th' hencote of o th' eggs they had, an' flung some good sweet ham after 'em, an' then we felt quite ready for what th' day mit bring us.  Th' landlort towd us visitors wurno' allowed into the Chasm o Sundays; an' that wur a bit of a damper for us: we should ha' to stop another day.  But we could see a part on't fro' th' bridge; so we'd go down that road.  When we geet back we fund th' londlort had bin out, too, an' he gan us th' welcome news ut he'd getten leeave for us to go through th' Chasm that day, an' a guide would goo wi' us.  He said it wur becose we'rn Britishers.  Th' owd chap looked quite another mon i' our een then; for he favvort he'd ha' done owt for us.

    We set off at once to the Chasm House, wheere we met th' guide.  A young woman leet us in, an' oppent a dur ut led to a "stairway."  We'rn towd to look at nowt nobbut th' steps as we went down, as a slip o'th foot would be th' last we should ever mak i' our lives.  That advice wur so comfortin ut I said I'd wait at th' top till they coome back; but as Sammy said if I didno follow he'd turn back and throw me down, I thowt I mit as weel mak use of a chance; so I followed.

    Lorgus o me, Sarah! when we geet to th' bottom o'th' stairs, an' looked up an down, I felt o of a tremble.  We'rn like between two walls o' rock 200 feet hee, an' lookin so close t'gether ut they could whisper to one another.  Between these two walls a river rushes at th' rate of about 15 miles an hour; an' th' guide towd us that i' some places it wur 70 feet deep.  This Chasm conno be a rift.  There's nowhere for th' rocks to set back to.  It must ha' bin worn an' weshed out wi' th' river; un it must ha' takken ages upo' ages to do it.  At one place there's a bend, an' here it's made a big chamber, ut reminds one o'th' Whirlpool Rapids at Niagara.  Close to this there's a big cave they co'en th' "Devil's oven" an' it looks as if Owd Nick had baked his dinner in it some time.  Then there's a nattural stairway made o' ledges o' rock; and this is coed "Jacob's ladder."  I shouldno' like to try t' mount it.  It would be odds again thee seein' me again if I did.  We had to walk by ledges o' rock, like shelves; an' every time we stirred a foot we'rn towd not to look down.  At some places wooden galleries are fixed, wheere if a nail slipped it would be wo-up!
 

The Ausable Chasm – A deep gorge carved by the Ausable River.
Source: Wikipedia.


    When we'd walked, or rayther crept, about a quarter of a mile—it mit be a hauve a one—we'rn led down some stairs to th' edge o'th river.  Here they a little boat fastened up, an' we'rn towd to get into it.  As I couldno' be i' greater danger than I'd bin in, I tottered into th' boat, an' tried to balance mysel'.  Then Sammy followed, an' it wur same as teemin a looad o' coals in it.  I felt like as if I'd fast howd o' mysel, an' doestno' leeave lose.  Then we shot off down th' river at a rate ut made me mazy—shot some rapids neck-or-nowt, till we geet to a hole ut I thowt would be my last restin-place, for it seemed to be throwin out its arms for t' get howd on us.

    "Surely we're no' gooin i' that hole," I bawked out.

    "No," th' guide said.  An' he turned his boat into a bit of a creek, an' I took my wynt again.

    "Is there no plan o' getting back nobbut gooin th' same road as we'n come'n?" I said to th' guide.

    "You can't go the same way back," he said.  "It's as much as I can do to pull myself back by that rope."  An' he pointed to a rope ut wur laid by th' rock side, like a taligraft wire.  "You can go by a footpath along here."

    "Thank thee," I said.  "I've no doubt but thou'rt a dacent lad o' someb'dy's.  If I had thee at th' owd Bell, thou should have a sope o'th' best there is."

    We left him, an' wi' mich ado climbed th' rocks, an' londed safely out o'th Chasm after gooin through about a mile on't, an' feelin i' sich a pickle as I never meean bein in again.

    This is th' last ventur' upo' th' list.  Th' next move 'll be for whoam.  So, by-bye, till thou sees th' face o' thy prodigal husbant,

AB.



* Cutting off among weavers means they must take in as much cloth as they have woven, when such cloth is urgently wanted.—B. B.


――――♦――――

 
CHAPTER XVII. AND CONCLUSION.

A GREAT EVENT—HOMEWARD BOUND—HOME AGAIN.
_________________
 


'Tis sweet to hear the watch-dog's honest bark
    Bay deep-mouthed welcome as we draw near home;
'Tis sweet to know there is an eye will mark
    Our coming, and look brighter when we come.

LORD BYRON.


WE are again in the city of Paterson, New Jersey; and our friend "Ab" is relating some of his adventures with, I am afraid, a little tendency towards drawing the long bow.  "Sammy o' Moses's" is enjoying over again most of these adventures, giving now and again a shrug of the shoulders, as much as to say—"Abram, thou'rt ridin thy big hoss."  Pipe-breaking "Frank" is again with us, colouring a new meerschaum, and regretting that he did not "do" the whole tour, instead of "lotus-eating" on the Passaic Falls.  "Will o' Jimmy's" and his wife—a very dear cousin of mine—are manifesting their delight in real Lancashire fashion; and other members of a once closely knit family are listening with the air of mixed doubt and credulity with which the recital of strange adventures is sometimes received.  And there are present several gentlemen of high standing in the city,—aldermen and councilmen and officials of the corporation, come to welcome the "Britishers" on the completion of their 4,000 miles tour.

    There are to be "high jinks" in the city: I am to have a grand "reception" at the Opera House; and every preparation for the event has been made.  Whilst we have been travelling east and west, Anglo-American citizens have been busy to give the occasion a national importance, as may be gathered from the following paragraph which appeared in the Evening Press of June 1st: "Anglo-Americans interested in the Lancashire poet and dialectician, Ben Brierley, will meet at the City Hall this evening to arrange for a fitting reception on his return from his western trip, about the 7th."  Large posters are on the walls; and my name, along with the line, "Memories of Old Lancashire," is conspicuously blazoned forth.  The English element is actively astir, for the event is to come off on the morrow.  There have been doubts as to whether we should turn up in time, as nothing had been heard of us during the past fortnight.  Newspapers have been busy with gossip; but the Daily Guardian sets the public at rest by announcing in its issue of June 9th:—"Mr. Brierley returned last evening, after a pleasant tour through the eastern States, Niagra Falls, and other places of attraction in that direction."  But rumour had gone before, and that occasioned this gathering.  A merry one it is, and full of enthusiasm about the proceedings so soon to be inaugurated.  There is singing and reciting and Will o' Jimmy's is again on the platform at the "old school" in his native Failsworth, telling the audience assembled there that his "name is Norval," and that, "on the Grampian Hills, his father feeds his flocks."

    The morn hath come, and with it unusual bustle.  The time of our departure for England is drawing near, and we have many friends, some of them new ones, to see and take leave of.  It is now the ninth of June, and we leave New York on the twelfth.  On the evening of this day, and that of to-morrow, I have to give "Readings" in the Opera House: that is the form the reception is to take.  I am exceedingly nervous as to the success, but am assured that it will be most flattering.

    The day is drawing to a close, and there is a carriage at the door.  Nervousness is on the increase.  The event not having been looked forward to when I left home, I have no "dress" suit to appear in—nothing but my "navy blue," which will look much out of place on a platform.  No matter; the ordeal has to be passed through, and I must gird up my loins to face it.

    I am at the "wing" of the Opera House stage, waiting for my "cue," and there is a cheering hum of voices in front.  It is an anxious moment when the chairman, ex-Mayor Buckley, rises to announce me.  And now I must write in the past tense, as the affair has become historical.

    I had on my appearance a reception that at first appalled me.  There was a perfect hurricane of voices, and the hand applause came with a crashing sound.  My whole system was shaken as if by electricity; and the fear that after all I might be a disappointment made my heart sink within me.

    But when the choir burst forth with—"Shall auld acquaintance be forgot?"—in which the audience joined, another feeling came over me, and confidence followed.  Surely I could not be in America, was the dominant impression; this must be a Lancashire Theatre, and all these people before me sons and daughters of old "John of Gaunt."  There were many faces that I had seen before—ay, "three thousand miles away;" and the gap of time and distance had been bridged over by a very pleasing structure.  At the very first utterance I found I "had them," as professionals say; and I kept my grip of them the rest of the evening.  It was the night of all nights during the whole of my career.  The audience were not only excited by hearing the old familiar talk, but they looked on me as having brought in my person a gleam from the bright firesides of their native land; and tears and laughter sprang from their fountains at the same moment.  It was worth going to America for to have seen, and been the object of, that demonstration.

    The night following I had the pleasure of standing before the same faces again, and on the same platform.  The enthusiasm of the former occasion repeated itself; and a never-to-be-forgotten experience came to an end.  I had some difficulty in getting away when all was over.  The hand-shaking I had to go through, and the many farewells that had to be uttered, was an entertainment of quite another kind.  I had the satisfaction of hearing, before I left the city, that a handsome sum would be handed over to the funds of the Paterson Orphan Asylum, as the result of the second night's entertainment.

    I have awakened out of a bright dream and we are treading at midnight the silent streets of New York, on the way to our temporary ocean home, the "City of Berlin," which sails on the morrow.  There is not the silence of the streets on that crowded wharf, for the good ship is lading.  Wherever all the cargo lying about is to be stowed is a marvel to us; but it is rapidly disappearing.  "We sleep on board, to-night, captain."  "All right!"  We climb the gangway, and are again among familiar scenes.  We must have lived there for years, every corner and every face is so mixed up in our memories.  Our baggage is bundled into our stateroom; and little Johnny Hughes is proud to be our berth-steward.  Why, we must belong to the ship's company, we are so heartily greeted.  We meet the doctor, and the two Bridges, and "Walter," and that dry "auld" North Briton, "Cam'll," the chief engineer—hands all round.  Were it not that we were tired we would have a "high old time of it."  But our wanderings are over; and we are "homeward bound."  A nine days' rest we feel will be welcome; and the first stretch in our berths is quite refreshing.  Notwithstanding there is a noise going on as if the enemy was boarding us, it cannot keep off sleep, nor the dreams that attend it.


"Away; nor let me loiter in my song!"


    It is a bright Saturday morning; and there is a large crowd on the wharf.  Our Brooklyn friends are there, and we hail them; and somehow a box of cigars is passed to us.  Many anxious eyes are strained towards the vessel to catch glimpses of friends, most of whom are leaving home for a tour through Europe.

    The gangway is withdrawn and the first throb of a pulsation that seems as if it would never cease lifts us on our uncertain way.  What handkerchiefs are waved from wharf and boats, and cheers grow faint as the shore recedes!  Our friend Ab was in one of his moods; and as a familiar object disappeared from view he unburdened himself in this strain—

    "Thou'rt a big country, an' thou's some big folk.  Some would be thowt big ut are no' becose talk conno' mak 'em so.  If it could it would have to do.  Ther's a good deeal o' things about thee ut I like; an' some I dunno' care for.  If we'd thy wayter—but that couldno' be, becose one o' thy lakes would swamp us, an' put us cleean out o' seet.  But if we'd thy Niagara it ud ha' to do moore wark than it does.  We wouldno' have as mony long chimdies as we han; nor as mich reech flyin about.  It ud give us a chance o' havin trees as green as thine; an' buildins as cleean outside.  If we'd as mony blessins i' wayter, an' lond, an' sun, an' sweet air, as thou con give, we wouldno' be feart o' other folk threshin us i' noather wark nor nowt elze.  We wouldno' ax nob'dy to pay duty to us, for t' keep up prices, an' help to carry th' gover'ment on.  We'd mak it so ut nob'dy could lick us, without protection.  Thou'rt a fair lond, Ameriky; grand for a trip like ours; but I deaut if ever thou're intended for white folk to live in.  They gotten too mich loce skin about their jaws when they'n bin here a year or two for to mak me think thou suits 'em.  If it wurno' for so mich new blood bein poured in fro' England, an' Garmany, an' Paddy's land, it wouldno' be mony hundert year afore th' Red Skins wur th' mesthers o'th' job again.  But tak thee as thou art, thou'rt a pattern of a new wo'ld; an' some owd uns mit tak lessons fro' thee.  Farewell, Yankee Doodle; we're gooin a-seem th' owd pot-lion again!"

    Our voyage home partook very much of the character of our voyage out, so far as the sailing and the incidents on board may be taken into account.  There was, however, this difference in our fellow-voyagers—we had a greater number of saloon passengers, and considerably fewer in the steerage.  But although we were going home the time did not pass over half so pleasantly as when we were going away.  Most of our companions were Yankees, of that insufferable type only to be met with in their true character on board ship.  Selfish and unsocial, their society was not to be courted; and the manner in which they appropriated the deck for their spoiled partners, to the exclusion and annoyance of everybody beside, was a mean and disgusting exhibition of assumed privilege.  There, on deck chairs, lay strong women from morn till night, swathed in shawls and wrappers; their husbands dancing about them always, so as not to be one step behind in their attentions, and by the slightest neglect draw down petticoat wrath.  Their meals had to be brought to them; and the manner in which the eatables were disposed of would not have been one of the most welcome sights to a person inclined to sea-sickness.  Had these people been unwell they would have had our sympathy.  But they were as well as we; and the sea never was rough.  We had none such a company going out.  We made up quite a happy family—mixed freely and sociably with each other; and created friendships that will not readily be forgotten.  Our friend Ab and a jolly Scotch-Yorkshire farmer from the neighbourhood of Rotherham conspired to overthrow these deck-squatters by accidentally tumbling among them; but they did not carry their design into effect.

    Our friend the grower of corn was the life of our party going out, and it was with unfeigned delight that we hailed his presence on board on our return.  He was rich in jest and story, and Ab and he "foregathered" oft.  He knew how to use an "eish plant" effectively to protect his growing corn, and the anecdotes he told of his prowess in that capacity made the Yankees envy us our fun.

    "We wanten oather an ask plant or a pair o' clogs here," remarked Ab, as he took a survey of the crowded deck, from their joint seat on the chain guard.  "Nowt like a bit o' timber for makkin folk stond furr.  If my owd smoothin iron wur here, hoo'd mak a clearance i' yond cote smartly.  There'd be a cat among th' pigeons afore they could shake a wing, an' if they didno' offer to get out o'th' road, feathers would begin a flyin.  Nowt like some women for settin others reet."

    Late one evening—I am not sure whether we had then cleared the "banks" of Newfoundland or not—I was sitting upon the upper deck alone, contemplating the sky, which was a marvel of stellar display.  The captain was pacing to and fro a few yards from me, evidently on the look-out for some special object, as he knew from information he had received in New York that the sea was not yet clear of icebergs.  Seeing me alone he crept under the rope to join me for a short time.  We had a pleasant chat together, and the captain, being a Scotchman, recited "Tam o' Shanter," giving all the pith of the racy Lowland dialect in a manner that I had never heard before.  Almost as suddenly as if a door had been opened the temperature fell.  The air was quite winterly.

    "I shall have to stay on deck to-night," the captain said, and he got up from his seat and left me.  Were we to have a storm, I wondered.

    Not feeling over comfortable about the matter, I retired to my birth, where I lay awake for some time; but not noticing any perceptible increase in the motion of the vessel, I suppose confidence asserted her sway, and I dozed over.  In the morning I was awakened by a loud knocking at our stateroom door, followed by a vigorous salute from the steward.

    "Mr. Brierley, icebergs in sight!"  That was all.

    I sprang out of my berth with unwonted alacrity, for I occupied the top shelf, and managed this time without the assistance of my "elevator," which was my portmanteau set on one end.  My "bunk mate" I found was already abroad.  Half dressed I rushed on deck, and from thence saw the floating mountains—four of them—a few miles distant on our larboard bow.  We had sailed eighty miles out of our course to avoid them.  In the farther distance they had the dark blue tint of our own land mountains, but as we neared them they changed one by one into huge rocks of quartz, that threw back the rays of the sun as if from a focussed glass; shifting and brightening up where had been shadow, as the mighty agents of destruction moved over the deep.  As we parted company they again wrapped themselves in their mountain blue, and we were, not sorry that they had taken their departure so peaceably.

    We had yet another sight in store for us ere the day was spent; a pair of whales came frolicking through the "briny," and spouting jets of water from their "blow-holes" to an immense height.  Ab could not see of what use they could be, because he was sure they'd never have any fires to put out.
 

Inman Line's "City of Berlin" in her final role.
Source: Library of Congress.


    We made a splendid passage; and although the sea was not exactly what we often hear described as being like a "mill-pond," the steady purpose of the "City of Berlin" made up for the difference, by taking each wave as a bull would take a dog, and tossing it out of the way.  It was our second Sunday as we sailed along the shores of "ould Ireland," the sight of which made our voices rise in thankfulness when at service, which on this occasion was led by the dean of Chester.  Another night on board, and then "Thy shores, fair Albion," would greet our gladdened eyes, and the welcoming hands of dear ones would be clasped about us.

    "It is the morn;" but we are yet far from port, though the "Skerries" are past, and the blue mountains on the Welsh coast are in sight.  And what is that speck on our bow?  Nearer it comes, and larger it grows.  It is the tender coming to meet us.  The tide is out, and our vessel cannot pass the bar.  What hearts are beating; and how strained eyes are peering in the distance, as if to discover some face that was the light of home!  Suddenly our friend Ab exclaims—

    "Theere hoo is!  I knew hoo'd come.  Dunno' tak any notice o' my pranks now, for I'm not mysel'.  Her face isno' a bit autured.  Now hoo's seen me; an' th' sun's shoinin as it never shoined before.  Mind out, I'm gooin t' have a jump if they dunno' shape better at comin close.  Bang!"

    It were fit I draw the curtain here; for there are moments in the lives of men and women that should be consecrated to the sight of the Almighty alone; and these moments were of them.  Farewell all of you, fellow-voyagers!  If a touch of nature has not made us kin, dangers shared in common have made us of one family.


――――♦――――


 
SECOND TRIP.

CHAPTER I.

A LIVELY TIME ON THE ATLANTIC.


TO undertake a journey of many thousands of miles, and start on the first of May, which the poets of old were wont to laud so much, but which is now no more genial than the first of January, is not a circumstance calculated to put a man in the best of spirits, especially when he has to perform that journey alone, and cannot boast the youthful blood of thirty.  With the cold and the rain, and the gloom of the day of village queens, garlands, and "bell horses," the day on which I sailed for New York, heralded by forecasts of immediate storms, inspired me with a doubt as to whether I had acted wisely in selecting that date upon which to commence my journey.  But it had been chosen a month before, when fruit trees were white with blossoms, and lanes were bright with the favourite flower of the late Lord Beaconsfield, and everything in nature betokened the early advent of summer.  Why, I might have reasoned, after such a promise of a splendid time, should we fall back upon the cold and bluster of March?  As well might we have expected the temperature of the dog-days.  But we did return to it.

    As I paced the streets of Liverpool, with my wife on my arm, and in company with others, amongst whom was a true and genial friend, once a fellow voyager to the land for which I was now bound, then looked on the bleak ruffled surface of the Mersey, I would not have objected being taken into custody, and subjected to a period of "false imprisonment," if I could have obtained damages to the amount of thirty-five guineas, and costs.  I could not have blamed myself if my trip had been compulsorily deferred.  But I had set my fortune—aye, my life upon the cast, and must stand the hazard of the die.  There was no backing out of the situation, even if cowardice had prompted such a proceeding: I must go.

    Cold blew the wind, and colder beat the rain, as we stepped upon the tender that was to bear us to the Inman Company's steamer, the City of Berlin, then lying out about four miles down the river.  Inhospitable looked the black sides of the huge ship, with rain pouring down them like tears, and the windows glaring at me with a watery glare, as if they were so many eyes of a monster waiting to get me into its clutches.  But when I had inspected my berth, which was the one I occupied four years ago, and renewed my acquaintance with the comfort-suggesting and splendidly furnished saloon, my spirits went up a few degrees; but my heart did not bound.  The bustle on deck, where luggage was being knocked about as if to try the strength of the various cases that contained it, and the satisfaction that I had not to part with my wife and friends until we reached Queenstown, instilled a little bravado into my breast, and I defied both wind and rain, and even challenged mal de mer to come at once and attack me.

    It was a curious if not a saddening sight to see, outside all this lively turmoil, faces peering from behind the "ropes" with something like the interest expressed in them that we occasionally notice in the straining eyes of cattle packed like ripe peas in their husk, in a railway truck, and watching proceedings they cannot comprehend the import of, yet feel a curiosity to know.  These faces belonged to emigrants from the north-east—Norwegians, Danes and Swedes; the fair hair of the Scandinavian girls flowing freely when not covered with a shawl.  Bonnets there were none; and hats were few.  I felt concerned as to what their feelings were in a strange land, the people speaking a strange tongue, and yet three thousand miles from their destination in another strange land—and what would they do when they got there.  Some of these foreigners were handsome, and many would compare favourably with the average of our English girls; whilst for health and strength, and fitness to be sent out to colonize a wilderness, I have not seen any to come up with them.

    The appearance of these people caused me to reason with myself.  Here was I, fitted out with the means of every physical comfort that could be desired, with a palace for my home, and fare as good as any hotel could provide, and with friends to greet me when I land; and yet, what a miserable dog I feel.  I am afraid I should make a poor traveller for the sake of travelling.

    None of these emigrants appeared to be in the least downcast in even that trying weather; but their faces were bright, as it seemed, with hope; and there was a vein of jollity running through the group that was not apparent among their better-to-do fellow voyagers.  There was not much time for my friends to look through the ship; but when my wife saw the cosy berth that had been assigned to her use, she wished, for the first time, that she was going with me the whole of the voyage.  Could she have fore-known what I and others had to pass through before we landed at New York, she would have wished she had accepted the invitation to visit Killarney, in preference to running the risk of ever seeing Niagara.

    I had a spell of sea-sickness before we reached Queenstown, but a few hours on land, and a drive out into the country, made me believe I was all right again; and in the evening I faced the dinner table, in a way, too, that might have led other diners to think I was going to eat the tablecloth.  This was Friday; and it was twenty-four hours, or more, ere I could face that table again.  We had a dreadful night.  The wind we encountered at Queenstown had on its way lashed the sea into a rebellion of water and I felt that an early retirement from the deck was safer than remaining, as "breakwaters" were being placed at the doors and "Richard" looked troubled.  It was an almost sleepless night with most of us.  I was afraid, not of the ship's safety, but of being pitched out of my berth.  My window was as if being washed by a two-inch hosepipe.  In the darkness my hat flew across the room like a bird of ill omen, and this incident did not add to my equanimity.

    The whole of Saturday the sea continued in its rebellious state, and the deck was clear of human life, save of a few emigrants who preferred to huddle in a corner to being downstairs, where the experience must have been of the most sickening kind.  Before the effects of the gale were fully developed, although the wind was intensely cold, these hardy sons and daughters of the Fjords were dancing merrily to the music of the concertina, if dancing it could be called that was nothing more than a bobbing up and down and a shaking of dishevelled hair.  Possibly they had been used to cold and kindred sorts of weather in their "ain countrie."
 

In the steerage (1891).
Source: New York Public Library.


    The cock of the deck, who could stand anything, and would like to plant a flag at the top of the North Pole, succumbed at last, and it was sometime before we heard of him again; when he did make his appearance the starch had been washed out of him, and his body and spirits were limp.  He no longer strutted majestically about the deck and sighed for the North Pole.

    My sickness returned to me with ten-fold virulence, and I had to keep to my room the whole of the day, stretched upon the couch, and declining with a shudder every invitation to meals.  Most of the following night the sea kept on its mad career, and I was afraid it would never be induced to listen to good counsels.  When the morrow came there was a perceptible moderating of the offended Atlantic's fury, but the deck was still deserted, and so were the tables.  I had a cup of tea and a bit of dry toast in my room, but it took me all day to get myself into anything like "form."  By degrees the drowsiness that brings not sleep left me, and I returned to my stateroom, feeling like one who had been suffering from delirium and was wakening out of it.  I was ready again to face the table.  From my miserable setting out I began to have a flow of good spirits, and the sea now behaving itself, I felt as if land was made for only women and carriages and pug dogs.  The elements seemed to know that it was the Sabbath, so put on their Sunday clothes.  But we seemed to have forgotten, as we had no service that morning.  The should-have-been worshippers preferred bodily comfort to spiritual duty, and were still in their wraps and overcoats, the latter with the "sideboards" up, as if intended for "breakwaters."  Still they lay in a listless state wherever a seat could be made into a couch.  The waves, however, had howled and kicked themselves to sleep, like big, naughty children.  Our vessel seemed to rest too, and it deserved its repose after receiving the charges and cutting through the ranks of King Neptune's merciless battalions.

    It now became a pleasure to look out upon the deep, watching the slabs of green and white marble float past, displaying such patterns as no artificer in real stone could ever hope to imitate, and all so varied that not one could be reproduced in millions of years, and possibly never.  These slabs were fringed with sprays of white coral, fitting tablets for such a grave.

    We had been three days out before my fellow passengers had had an opportunity of becoming acquainted with each other, and it was amusing to see with what an owlish stare they met and spoke.  They had had too much to do in looking after themselves, immured in their little prison homes, to devote any time to social intercourse.  But now they came out like butterflies in summer, flitting around with friendly greetings that were no less hearty from their having been compulsory reserved.  Everybody wanted to know everybody; and although several spoke a foreign language it did not seem to matter; somehow they got at each other.  Children danced and rolicked in the sun—when there was any—but even dullness was sunshine compared to what we had been accustomed to, and was welcome, too, so that no one provoked the ire of the autocrat of the deep.  Some found new fathers, and for a time preferred them to the old ones; and flirting behind the wheel-house came all at once into season.  But the season was a short one, as will be seen a little further on.

    The comparative calm was succeeded by a dense fog on the Monday.  It was dangerous for the vessel to go at full speed.  So it went on its hands and knees while the curtains were down, and crawled along.  As a matter of course, little progress was made during the fall of this semi-night.  An old lady who had not yet got over the terror of the gale, on hearing that there was more danger in a fog than in a storm, accosted me with, "Do you think we shall ever land? " "Well," I replied, "if we don't come into collision with another vessel, or an iceberg, the probability is we shall land sometime.  At this speed it would be about the end of July.  This fog is a sign that there are no more gales ahead, and if it will lift we may have a good time."  I am afraid that in my prediction the wish was father to the thought.  "Thank you," said the old lady, and she looked thankful, "I'm getting tired of this kind of work.  I was told that this was the best time to cross the Atlantic.  Whatever must the worst be like?" and the old girl subsided with a gleam of satisfaction in her face.

    It somehow happened that my prediction came true.  Tuesday morning was bright and calm.  Again the moths that fly about the saloon fluttered up to the deck and we had "society" until lunch time.


"But pleasures are like poppies spread;
 We seize the flower—the bloom is shed.
 Or like the Borealis race,
 That flit ere we can name the place."


    A bright morning, even in England, the sunniest (?) clime in the world, is not to be trusted, especially if it be very bright, for then the sun is shining through a thin vapour, like a bright eye glancing through a tear.  About mid-day the sun left the watch, and the cold took its place.  The saloon moths fluttered on deck until wraps were of little use, then were seen no more in the upper world—poor things!  But the hardy bees behind the "ropes" hummed and buzzed as merrily as if they were in a field of flowering clover on a warm sunny day; and this difference confirmed an opinion I have long held that luxuries stand in the way of real pleasures.

    Rain followed, and kept company with the cold.  Our newspapers had been read and re-read until their appearance was such that they might have done a year or two's service round a copper kettle, and as every subject for debate had been exhausted it was either saloon or bed we chose the former.  But the sea was getting up again, and no one could stand to sing.  We abandoned the idea of a concert when we saw that it was impossible to hold one, and dribbled off to bed, with sore forebodings for the night.  Our worst fears were realized.  The gale rapidly gathered in strength, and the waves began to play leapfrog in the most defiant and demon-like fashion.  I retired to bed early, preferring to be "rocked in the cradle of the deep" under blankets to being knocked about from pillar to pillar in the saloon, notwithstanding its electric lights, its brilliant bouquets of many coloured glasses that were swinging to and fro in an airy dance, and the chairs pirouetting like the automaton figures we sometimes see on the top of a musical box.  I slept soundly until a little after six, when my sleep was broken by a strange, and certainly unearthly noise.  It came with a bang—went on with a swis-s-s-sh-sh-sh—and was followed by a gurgle, as though the ship had been scuttled.  I sprang out of bed,—or rather, I allowed myself to be tumbled out—flung open my stateroom door, when I had a sort of pleasure in seeing the passage converted into a brook that would have delighted my childhood's days.  We had shipped an enormous sea.  Poor barber! two hours after he had not finished lading and mopping his little shop.  "This reminds me," said my next door cabin neighbour, "of what I once heard my father say, a man who goes to sea for pleasure ought to go to h—l for pastime."  Notwithstanding all this I was ready for breakfast as soon as it was ready for me—quite an unusual thing.  But I could not fall to without Daddy Neptune having a "marlock" with me.  He tumbled my eggs upon the tablecloth and smashed them, a portion of the yolk flying up my sleeve, nearly reaching my elbow.  My tea-cup was turned topsy-turvy (so were others), and my tea-pot was rolling about like a billiard ball, and "cannoning" against my neighbours.

    But to me, then, there was fun in all this, as I had got over my constant trouble, my liver doing its work properly, and could have enjoyed anything short of wreck.  But the best fun I had of this kind was chasing a shirt stud in my state-room, when the ship was rolling its worst.  This incident reminds me of a chase after a cockroach my wife and the servant once engaged in.  This insect belonged to a breed of racers, and defied pursuit.  It was in vain they crashed among fire irons, chair legs, table legs, making raids upon boots, and demolishing cinders, the pest continued to elude the vengeful slipper; so the pursuing party gave up the chase.  "Missis," observed the girl, as they were getting back their breath, "I think yo' didn't cop it."  It was the same with my stud, I "didn't cop it " until two days after, when it rolled out of its hiding place, and allowed me to pick it up without further chasing.  It is provoking enough when a stud rolls under your dressing-table at home; but when you have to go on your knees, and peep under your berth,—the vessel rolling at the time—and see the little fugitive winking at you as far in the distance as it can get, and you wrench a lath from your bed to use as a rake just in time to see something bright roll past you, and take refuge under the couch, it then becomes a question of either fun or profanity.  I chose the former, and had a good laugh at the incident.  A fellow voyager, to whom I related the circumstance, observed, "Well, you can boast of something that perhaps no other man can: it isn't everybody who can wear an Atlantic roller in his shirt front."  I dropped my "nose-pincers" in the same manner, and they must have instantly slipped out of sight.  But the following morning I saw something glitter on the carpet, and that seemed to be slowly working its way across with a pair of oval arms.  The thing turned out to be my glasses.

    The gale continued the whole of Wednesday, and there was no getting about from one place to another without great difficulty, and a little risk.  I did manage to scramble upstairs to the smoke-room by holding on from pillar to pillar, as a child learns to walk by going from chair to chair.  But when I got upstairs I found that things there were no better than they were below.  The water was playing at "Johnny Lingo," rushing from one side to the other as the ship rolled; and defying all the efforts of "Richard" and his assistants to get clear of it.  An elderly gentleman whom I took to be a Russian, but spoke tolerable English, I had noticed could pace the deck with the ease of one accustomed to the sea.  This gentleman came splashing into the room to light his cigarette; but he had no sooner stepped on the wet boards than their slipperiness betrayed him.  All on a sudden his feet shot out, and he was laid as flat on his back as if he had been tossed for a pancake.  The fall gave me a good splashing.  It was as good a "back fall" as any wrestler could desire, but the performer was in no way anxious to repeat it.  On wading round the vessel I found that the sea had carried away the iron door of one of the "quarter ports," and portions of both chain boxes.  It had also whitewashed the funnel right up to the white band with varied and picturesque tracery.  As the dreary day was drawing to a welcome close, and the leaden haze fell upon the turbid waters, I overheard an observant Welshman saying in reference to the gale—"It was getting no better very fast.  I should wonder if it would get no better all night.  Yes."


――――♦――――

 
CHAPTER II.

NEW YORK.


ALTHOUGH the object of my visit to the United States was to treat of Americans and American Society, it would have been a pity to bid good-bye to my fellow voyagers without saying a word about them, or how the voyage was finished.  I may say for the latter that the rest of the passage was in remarkable contrast with the commencement.  After the third gale the weather was delightfully fine; but it did not prepare us for the temperature we had to encounter in New York.  At the grey dawn it was bitterly cold—we were then passing Sandy Hook, and being afraid that I might miss seeing something of the land we had been looking out for all the previous afternoon, I shelled out of my husk ere the sun had lighted up Staten Island, the fine landscape lying in dreamy shadow that gradually lighted up with a morning smile.  And now, while we are waiting to cross the bar let me say something of the family of our temporary home.

    The "Saloonists" represented ten nationalities beside "Owdham,"—English, Irish, Scotch, Welsh, German, Russian, Norwegian, American, French, and Canadian, and it might be a wonder to many how we got on together.  Well, we did get on together, and very well too. All could speak English except the one Frenchman, and he picked up so much of our language that he was able to say "good morning," and "good night," which effort appeared to be a source of amusement to him.  The Russian was the most demonstrative fellow on board.  He talked with his hands and his arms; and when he was fast for a word to sufficiently express his meaning, he somehow rolled it out of his eyes in a way that was quite as good as if his tongue had articulated it.  The German would have it that he was Bismarck in disguise, at which name the Frenchman shrugged his shoulders and shook his head.  The face was not unlike the portraits I have seen of the German Prince, but the latter does not wear a beard, and our Russian friend did.

    He was a strange character was this subject of the Czar; and we were a long time in making out what his profession was.  But we tumbled to it at last, and were not long after the discovery in drawing him out in his true colours.  He was a mesmerist or something of the kind; and he gave us a séance which excited our wonder and surprise.  Getting one of the table guards, a board about four feet long, and something like three inches broad, he charged it with animal magnetism by rubbing his hands over the surface; then set the board on end, although the ship was rolling at the time, and made it stand erect.  Then by a motion of his chest, his arms being spread out, he caused the board to lean, like the Tower of Pisa, for a moment, then it fell into his chest.  This we thought a marvellous performance, but the next was more wonderful still.  After re-charging the board with electricity, he placed it flat upon the floor, then raised one end several inches, in which position it remained five or six seconds.  Had I not witnessed that phenomenon and seen for myself that there could have been no trick, or deception in it, I should have placed the thing among the category of sea serpents, frogs in coal, and pin-finding.  How is it to be accounted for?  Are there more things in earth and heaven than are dreamt of in our philosophy?  Verily, there must be.

    Dismissing the Russian I come to another character—the Irishman.  This fellow was "of infinite jest," the life and soul of the smoking cabin.  Full to the brim with anecdotes, which he had a racy manner of giving.  He had travelled over the whole or greatest portions of the southern and western world; and his "yarns" were of his travels.  He could sing and dance like a professional "comique," and I suspect, even yet, that he belongs to that fraternity—either the music hall or the theatre.  His connection with the American gentleman, in whose company he appears to have done most of his travelling, gave strength to my suspicions; the other being a theatrical manager and part owner of a theatre in New York.

    The German was a Norwegian by adoption.  He was a very fine fellow, and spoke remarkably good English, having lived in London several years, and married a London lady.  He had a fund of traditional stories of Norway, mostly of a superstitious character.  One for illustration of what the rest were like.  Said he, by way of preface, "we have been told of a certain personage whom we all fear, but do not venerate; who is known by a greater number of names than any other being: I mean the devil.  I find that in Norway we give him, for the sake of politeness, a similar name to what I have heard you give him in your Lancashire—you call him the 'Old Lad,' and he is known to us as the 'Old Gentleman.'  We give him credit for having a much more respectable appearance than you give him.  We dispense with the horns, the tail, and the cloven hoof and invest him with the appearance of a real Norwegian gentleman, wearing broadcloth, and bearing all other outward signs of a man to manners born.  In the dense Norwegian forests, of which there are many, he is held in constant terror; and at nightfall, if the wayfarer happens to meet anyone well dressed, especially if his figure be small, he is believed to be the Old Gentleman, and a certain amount of respect is paid to him to get into his good graces."

    "One evening a boy, rather a plucky little fellow, was rambling in the wood, when he picked up a nut that had fallen from one of the trees, but he found it was no good; a grub had eaten the kernel, and left a small hole in the shell.  Just as the boy had finished his examination of the nut and was about to throw it away, he became aware of the presence of a little old gentleman answering the description of the anti-divine.  He became much interested in this new acquaintance, eyed him over, scrutinized his appearance and dress.  At length, venturing to address the little old gentleman, the boy said—

    "Who are you?"

    "I am the—" was the reply.

    "Well," said the boy, neither frightened nor abashed, "if you are the old gentleman you could get through this hole into this nut."

    Instantly there was nothing seen of the old gentleman but the broad brim of a hat, and that at last disappeared through the hole in the nut.  To secure His Majesty in the prison-house the boy plugged up the hole, and went on his way rejoicing that he had got into his possession the source of all mischief.  But the old gentleman did not like his confinement, and begged to be set at liberty.  The boy engaged to let him go free on certain conditions to the advantage of the jailor.

    "But how must I get you out?" the boy asked to know.  "I can't get the plug out of the hole."

    "Crack the nut," said the ――

    The boy placed the nut between his jaws; but sound as were his teeth, he could make no impression on the shell.  He tried hammering it with a stone; but, no, the nut would not yield.

    "What shall I do?" said the boy.  "I can't break the shell; it is too hard."

    "Take it to the blacksmith," said the ―― "he and I are old friends, and shall be better acquainted by and bye."

    The boy did so, and the smith examined the nut with a peculiar interest.

    "You say you can't crack it," he said.

    "No," said the boy, "I've tried it with a stone, but the shell is too hard."

    "Well, I'll try what I can do," said the smith; and he placed the nut upon the anvil.  But in vain he hammered at it with his small hammer; the shell would not give way.  "The devil must be in it," he exclaimed, after he had worked upon the nut until he sweat; "but if he is I'll find him."  So he took hold of his sledge-hammer, and giving it a swing, let it fall upon the nut with a crushing blow.  The effect was startling.  A figure shot out of the broken shell—passed through the roof of the smithy,—and, after assuming the length of the tallest pine, disappeared in a blaze of light.  "I thought," said he, when the effect of the blow he had given had passed away, "The devil must be in it."

    Other stories were told night after night; and I can assure the reader that Lancashire was fairly represented.  We had a good time of it when we could sit without being pitched into each other's stomachs.  And in the saloon the piano was pretty well punished.

    For the greater part of the voyage our Oldham friend lay coiled up like a hedge-hog, and refused to partake of any kind of nourishment except a cup of tea, and a little biscuit.  He sighed for "Tommy Field;" and when he was told we were not yet half-way across, he rolled himself up in his armourless coil, and either slept or tried to sleep.  But when he got over his mal-de-mer, and had begun to find additional employment for his teeth, he entertained the company on an evening with merry discourses on a flute, of which he appeared to be a master.  He and I, and a Manchester Yorkshireman, were companions the rest of the voyage.  In the latter I found a friend after we had landed, and that is something to say of a man who, up to that time, had been comparatively a stranger to me.  The rest of my fellow voyagers were dispersed to the winds, and much as we had suffered on our way, it was a matter of regret that we had to part.  But the landing,—and then I have done with matters exclusively personal.

    From the intense cold of the early morning the barometer began to rise until it got well up the stairs; we could dispense with our overcoats, and about noon we could have felt much more comfortable without our body coats.  My Yorkshire friend asked me if it was always so hot, to which question I replied—

    "This is scarcely average English summer heat; we shall have it about thirty degrees hotter yet."

    He seemed to collapse at this information, and to the amusement of the crowd in Broadway, hoisted his umbrella.  But what was his astonishment on going to inspect his room at the Metropolitan Hotel to see in one of the private rooms,—the drawing-room of an itinerating family, a class of people who appear to have no settled home—a large fire, almost stacked up into the chimney.  He was staggered.

    "If this is winter," he said, "I shall never summer in America; not good enough."

    But the coldness of the night, in a measure, reconciled him to the variableness of the climate, and he thought for the time that he could stand it.  When we had got our "baggage" safely housed, and had secured our rooms, we went to see a little of "the wickedest city in the world."

    And now a word of advice given to me by an English gentleman long resident in New York.  It is well to give it here, as it may be of use to some other "greenhorn" visiting the States.

    "My young friend," said he (I am about ten years his senior), "you don't appear to know much about New York; you don't appear to have sufficient caution; like you have seen country people in Manchester, you look about you too much.  You don't see a New Yorker doing that.  He's always thinking about his business, and fixes his eyes on the side walks, kinder thinking a patch of it was there.  A New Yorker aint like the Yanks.  He don't wear a goatee, nor hair on his collar.  He just has his head and chin as bare as a pumpkin, and brings out all his hair force on his moustache.  Now I guess that plug o' yourn aint the New York fashion; too much Johnny about it.  Git a squar' felt, and boots to match,—toes as broad as a toomstone; shave off yer not-mach of beard; git a false moustache, more like a broom the better; try to look as though your experience of the world had soured your existence; and you'll pass for a New Yorker."

    "But I don't wish to pass for a New Yorker," I observed; at which he smiled, and covered the floor with a streak of brown juice.

    "That ain't bad of you, stranger," he replied, with another squirt; "but you hitch yourself too much on to British pride.  I'm a Britisher myself, but I've learnt to sink the old country into the Atlantic when I'm on the jaw.  It aint well to buck agin the stars and stripes, nor the saasy bird on the top of the flag pole.  Sw'ar by the hatchet of Washington, and yo'll get along; but don't go too far.  If you hope it may cut off the old lion's tail, the'll git you.  They've a kinder respect for the British menagerie at the bottom; and they won't stand to tease the animal.  Buck agin him, and you strike lightning out of the buttons of the genuine sons o' the west."

    "Thank you for your caution," I said.

    "Very good, stranger, but I ain't done yet.  If you've got a friend along with you don't go out alone.  If you do the chances are you'll get your pool scooped out.  You haven't to look for sharks; they'll follow you like a ship; and if they hail you, and ask you how you're getting along, and how did you enjoy your trip, they're fishing with their best bait.  If you show yourself flattered, and get to think you are somebody, you've got to find out you are a darned fool, if you don't act up to my advice.  The sharks have watched you in and out of your hotel.  They've got your number when you've given up your key.  Then they refer to the book, and find your name to the number; that's the way they git at you; and if you don't give them just the whole of Broadway for their recreation ground, you're a gone foo; it's just a dollar to a hickory nut you git cleared out."

    "But I've a pair of eyes," I observed.

    "What's the good o' them eyes if you don't know how to use them.  When a coon sees the open jaws of a snake, it's bound to jump into its throat; can't help itself no more than being sucked into a whirlpool when you get into the rapids.  If you aint got any business in New York, clear out of it smart, and you're safe; git across the ferry; it don't matter where to, so long as there's a splash of water betwixt you and this h—ll; for by ―― there aint no brimstone hotter.  But don't think the Americans have made New York what it is.  The sweepings and scourings of all countries under the light of our glorious sun have been dumped here.  That is New York's misfortune.  I kinder guess the old eagle would give a feather out of its wing if the scamps could be got together and shot, like old chaff beds, into the sea about a couple of leagues east of Sandy Hook.  There'd' be just about as much rejoicing as there is on the fourth o' July: that would, stranger."

    I took our friend's advice, and cleared out of New York as soon as I could see my way; and took the Pavonia Ferry to Jersey city; thence by rail to Paterson where I let go my anchor.  Here I found an agreeable change.  From the iron edged bustle of the metropolis I had dropped into a green and cozy nest, where the shark could inspire no dread.  Beneath its shady trees hands held out to me; and their friendly grasp was reassuring.  Had my native Failsworth been the Failsworth I have known it to be, with its roads overhung with trees, I might have imagined I was there, only the green, shuttered white houses would have had to be taken out of the picture, and brick ones put in their places.  Here I could listen to my native dialect in its almost pure state, and stumble upon faces that I had missed without knowing to what "bourne" they had gone.  I had nightly receptions, of which I was getting tired, and it was a relief to me when the Sabbath came.


Sabbath I thou art my Ararat of life,
Smiling above the deluge of my cares.


    I went to church in the morning, and was highly edified.  It is what they call the Reformed Church, much like our congregational.  The service was beautiful and the congregation of a character that we do not find too many of in Manchester.  All were in their places before service commenced.  There was no staring round at late comers nor any comments on that "fright of a bonnet."  Fussiness would have been as much out of place as spittoons, and would have brought down pity, or contempt upon anyone indulging in it.  The vocal music and organ accompaniments were light and sweet, as if the difference betwixt the breathing of soft harmonies and the bellowing of spasmodic thunder was properly recognised.  The congregation joined in the first, and closing hymns; the rest were sung by the choir only.  When I heard the strains of the "Old Hundredth," they touched a chord that brought the space of three thousand miles to within a span; and I heard in it the echo of


A voice that has long been hushed,


the sweetest music my ear could have listened to.  The ruffled spirit which danger and turmoil had harassed, I felt to calm down, and at last peace fell upon my soul.

    The morning was gloriously bright, such as we see none in England and as the sun sent its streams of gold through windows which were not constructed to keep out the light, the trees outside, with their full leaf ornaments, reflected scintillations of a still brighter effulgence.  I felt that we had something to learn from our cousins, if it was only the building of churches.  What a contrast, I thought, was this place to the gloom, and the dingy surroundings of St. John's, Miles Platting.


――――♦――――

 
CHAPTER III.

AMERICAN PROGRESS.


FOUR years have wrought a change in American tastes, and made an impression on its institutions.  These changes may have not been perceptible to frequent visitors, but they are not the less striking to those whose visits, like angels', are "few and far between."  When General Grant "struck" Manchester (England) and saw the magnificent pavement in front of the Town Hall, he had not an eye for anything besides.  The splendid monument of the late Prince Consort—


A piece of marble was to him,
And nothing more;


but the square sets upon which he stood, so neatly fitted to each other, and which made such an even surface, were more to him than the chiselled stone which seemed to breathe the breath of noble life.  No doubt his mind was running over things beyond the "silver streak:" New York, the centre of everything American, with its grand Broadway, the pride and scandal of its civilization: the well-dressed lady with the ugly boots; for to such I compared it on my visit four years ago.

    The pavement of this noble street is one of the changes I have noticed.  Square "sets" have taken the place of the round cobbles of something like half-a-hundred weight; and no man can now lock his foot in crossing, or need be alarmed about the safety of his ankle. Can this change be attributed to the visit of Gen. Grant to England?  In the buildings on each hand there has been a transformation as though the Harlequin's wand had exercised its magic power in the pantomime of real life.  The "jerry" of a new country is being swept away and piles of elegant buildings are rising on their foundations.  Another eyesore is being removed.  The improved class of warehouses and offices have banished the associations of the older tenements.  We no longer encounter an array of plaster Indians, "hooking-in" at tobacconists' doors.  No longer is Punch looking out for his countrymen, to put them on their guard against people who make a living out of sucking the blood of strangers.  I claim the hunchbacked humorist to be the English nationality notwithstanding whatever may be said to the contrary.  "Depots" on railroads (America has no railways) are disappearing, and the English term "station" is being substituted.  America is evidently following in the footsteps of the mother country.

    But more striking still is the change that is being felt in the tone of American politics and politicians.  By the latter I do not mean the people who "run" governments; but outsiders, whose opinions, as well as their votes, are a power in the Commonwealth—the operative classes.  Four years ago these were strong on protection, and even now some of the Republican party,—the Liberals, or Radicals of the States, hold on like grim death to the privilege that enables the labour tinker to compete with, or hold his own against, the more practical and finished worker.  I could have understood the situation a little better had the Democrats, who in England would march under the blue banner, been the Protectionists instead of the Republicans.  But the position being reversed has considerably bothered me.  These people have believed that the good trade they were four years ago enjoying was the result of the action of prohibitive duties.  In vain did the advocates of free trade endeavour to point out the fallacy of the arguments with which their opponents used to back up their theory.  Men who gloried in the names of Bright and Gladstone, clamoured for the principles that in England find their advocates in the leaders of the parliamentary opposition.  But business among American manufacturers began to fall off, notwithstanding that the foreign merchant was held back, or was supposed to be, by the high duties imposed on his goods.  The American industries have been gradually sinking ever since that time.  Wages have fallen, and are still falling; and those of the operative classes who were earning wages that in England would be dignified by the name of salaries, now find it a difficulty to make both ends meet.  Strikes have been rife, but with the result they almost invariably have; and what is, or has been, the cause of these changes?  The political weathercock, moving gratingly on its work-worn centre, is beginning to point to a quarter hitherto indicated by its tail, and while this change is going on working people continue to drop out of employment.  In one of the mills I have visited two-thirds of the looms are at rest, not in consequence of a strike, but through the depression of trade.  A large iron works employs only about a fourth of its usual complement of hands.  Is protection the cause of all this? is being asked.  The people—I mean the working people—are beginning to think so.  A little more grating of the weather-cock, and we may hope to see it pointing towards the horizon of Free Trade.  Will other countries follow the lead of England?

    In a discussion I heard last evening betwixt a Free Trader and a Protectionist, the former a Tory, and the latter a Radical—most incongruous to me—this was the way in which one of the disputants put his case:—"I have got something to sell; so has Mr. Brierley.  I am an American citizen, on my own sod.  Mr. Brierley is a Britisher, coming all the way from a small patch of country, and having to pay his freight.  He offers for sale a piece of cloth that would shame mine into fits.  But I've got to beat him.  You come between us, and say, 'Here, Britisher, it's all very well for you to take our corn free, because you want it, but we aint going to take your manufactures free, because we can manufacture for ourselves.'"  "Just my argument," said the other.  "It is, is it?" said the Free Trader.  "What I have always stood by."  "Oh, and the tax is to pay off the war debt, is it?"  "Put on for the very purpose."  "Glad to hear you say so.  Then how was it you went to England last fall, to buy three suits of clothes, and said it paid you to do it, you patriotic old cuss?  You merchants can buy goods from the foreigners, and have them invoiced at half the price, that you can evade the payment of half the duty.  It is the working man who has to suffer.  He has to pay a big price for a pair of pants that a monkey would be ashamed to wear.  We've got to pay through the nose for most everything.  Only such as you get the benefit of protection."

    If this be true it is no wonder that people are beginning to clamour for Free Trade.  I enclose a circular I received this morning, which in a measure endorsed what I have stated.  The matter will speak for itself.  Until to-day I had no idea that such society as the circular represents had an existence:—


ADDRESS OF THE MASSACHUSETTS TARIFF REFORM LEAGUE.


To the People of Massachusetts:—

    More than twenty years ago, to meet the exigencies of the great civil war, Congress imposed a tariff of duties on imports higher than this country had ever before known, and higher than any civilized nation now maintains.  The protective features of the war tariff have been kept in force without essential changes up to the present time.  The act of last year, framed by the representatives of protected industries, and enacted by Congress for the purpose of evading the demand for tariff reform, has given no relief.  So far from materially reducing duties, it has in some cases increased them.

    The tariff has diverted labor and capital from those industries in which they produce the greatest results.  In many branches of manufacture we lead the world; in agriculture we have an incomparably rich field.  The industries which can be carried on to the best advantage in this country are checked and are in many cases shut out from foreign markets in order that others less profitable may be artificially stimulated.

    The war tariff, no longer required for purposes of revenue, has laid heavy burdens on the consumers by raising the prices not only of the important articles taxed, but also of a great mass of similar articles which are made at home.  The higher prices of the latter give no revenue to the Government.  They simply add permanently or temporarily to the profits of the producers.  Where these profits have been permanent, as they have been in many cases of monopoly, they merely represent a contribution taken by the Government out of the pockets of one class and put into the pockets of another class.  More often the high profits are only temporary.  They give an unhealthy stimulus to the industries assisted and finally result in over-production, stagnation of trade, failures among employers, distress among the employed.  They burden consumers, and eventually benefit nobody.

    The defenders of our present extravagant system of protection assert that it brings about the general high rate of wages in this country.  But it is absurd to suppose that taxes on the necessaries of life and on the instruments of production cause high wages.  As a fact, wages are higher in this country in the industries not affected by protection, in agriculture, the mechanic trades, and in the self-supporting manufactures.  They are lowest in the protected industries, and wretchedly low in many of these.  As consumers, the laboring classes are the chief sufferers from the existing taxes.  It is they who bear the heavy burdens on articles of universal consumption.

    The high tariff has kept down the international commerce of the country.  It is avowedly intended to check imports and obstruct foreign trade.  Exports and imports being dependent on each other, in checking the later we necessarily cut down the former.  We cannot sell unless we buy.  The result of our present policy is seen in the fact that our international commerce cannot now compare with that of other nations.  For the ten years ending in 1880, the combined imports and exports of England were annually for each inhabitant, 95 dollars; of France, 39 dollars; of Germany, 34 dollars 40c.; of the United States, 22 dollars 80c.  The commerce of Germany, with a smaller population than the United States, was, during this decade, almost fifty per cent greater than our own.  That of France, also with a smaller population, was nearly forty per cent. greater.  Although unable to prevent entirely the growth of our commerce, the tariff has clearly deprived us of the great expansion which more liberal laws would have secured.

    Not content with giving protection to the finished products of manufacture, the tariff raises the prices of most of the raw materials upon which manufactures depend.  In order to maintain our artificial policy, its supporters are obliged to bring all classes of producers within its scope.  Wool-growers and the owners of iron mines are brought within the protective system.  Every other industrial nation, whatever its general policy may be, recognizes the expediency of allowing free trade in raw materials.  We, however, tax iron ore, pig-iron, lead, copper, wool, coal, lumber, hemp, flax, jute, dye-stuffs, and many other raw materials.  Besides raw materials, we tax many finished products which are essential to any success in domestic industry.  These taxes fetter the very industries which the protective policy is chiefly intended to benefit.  Growing whenever a profit is made at any stage of manufacture, they finally fall on the consumer with increased force.  They serve no possible useful purpose, and should be entirely abolished at the earliest practicable moment.

    Our duties on imports, arranged not for the purpose of raising revenue, but solely with reference to protection, pour annually into the treasury at least $100,000,000 more than is needed for any legitimate public purpose.  This immense surplus is a temptation to a wasteful and extravagant spending of the public money.  It is demoralizing alike to legislators and to those who believe themselves to have any title to Government aid.  It should be cut down shortly and sharply.  It has been proposed in the interests of protection to reduce the revenue by abolishing the internal taxes on spirits, beer, and tobacco.  These taxes are recognized and imposed as fit and proper by every civilized Government.  They have the advantage of taking nothing from tax payers over and above what they yield to the public treasury.  It would be monstrous to abolish or reduce any of these while retaining the protective taxes which affect the necessaries of life, impose a useless burden on consumers, and fetter the trade and industry of the country.

    The League is not formed for the purpose of abolishing at once all protective duties without giving time for industries which have been artificially stimulated to adjust themselves to new and better conditions.  But protection should no longer be maintained at the extravagant point where it now stands.  The present extreme tariff, with duties ranging from forty to one hundred per cent. and more, is indefensible, and the sooner it is reduced to a reasonable basis the better.  A great reduction of duties, if wisely made, can be borne by the industries which are now protected.  The League believes that it is time that the great abuses of our tariff system should be put an end to; the war taxes, after twenty years of profound peace, should be reduced; that the revenue should be brought down to the sum required for the legitimate expenses of the Government; that the profits of individuals at the expenses of the public should be cut off; and that this country should be enabled to take its proper share of the trade and commerce of the world.

    The special interests which have combined together for the purpose of resisting any substantial changes in the tariff have succeeded, by perfect organization and constant pressure, in creating a false impression at Washington as to the opinions of the people upon this question.  This impression can only be corrected by organized and well-directed action on the part of those who believe that the present policy is unsound, and are willing to enforce their opinions, if need be, at the polls.  The League invites all persons who sympathize with its objects to become members, and to aid actively in the work of local organization.  The secretary can be seen at his office, 40, State Street, Room 52, Boston, and letters addressed to him will receive prompt attention.—


By order of the Executive Committee.
                                                               JOSIAH QUINCY, Secretary.


    Putting tariffs away as old fashioned things only fit to gather dust in a political lumber-room, let us look at the fresher life of America.  "You have grown powerful under tariffs," says my Yankee friend.  "We have grown more powerful without them," I reply.  "We were bound to be a powerful nation under any circumstances; and so are you.  But it is much more pleasant to work with your limbs free than it is when shackled.  We have thrown away the irons; and you will follow the example.  Then won't the stupid worn-out old country knock the stuffing out of you?"  This bit of bunkum so tickled my friend that I believe he was in a mind just then to "club" all protective duties on the head; and clear for a fair race with other Countries.  The idea that a young man, with energies unimpaired, should seek an advantage over his father and handicap the old man so as to keep him in the rear, was not flattering to his abilities; and he "squirmed" under the infliction.  "You are right, stranger," he admitted, when he had swallowed the pill.  "And it reminds me of a young feller who could make holes into the best man of his own age and weight.  But he got on to a wiry old gineral old enough to be his dad, and he was bound to lick him.  He didn't want to, but the ancient piece of hickory wouldn't have his nay; so they fought—not much.  The man that was handicapped with years just got his swing, and young America had to take a mouthful of dust.  It git out that the old one was the young one's father; and he was just proud that no one could take him out of his boots only the man that married his mother.  If ever America loses the belt and cups, the old country's bound to git them.  Let us wash our necks, stranger.  If you're not going home with the tourists you'll think better of this country before you leave.  But I know you think well of the people,—just some of them, the gold.  You'll find the nickel in all countries."

    This ended controversial matters, and we got upon pleasanter things, in which I knew I would have no chance of being foremost, and could draw out the Yankee "right through his pants."

    "I read so much about American storms that I would like to see one," I remarked.

    "Yaas, through a fifteen inch telescope, I guess, one that you could shove yer head into," he replied.  "You wouldn't like to be within fishing distance of it.  Why, siree, I have known a cyclone one pass over a town of some five hundred inhabitants, and just take every building under the stoop, and cut it like a paper-knife, then carry the shingles right out for miles, and fix 'em thar, like a deserted city, with nothing left in it only an old parrot in its cage; and when the bird got settled, and looked around, it shouted—'Oh, Nurse of Moses, aint this a big move!'"

    "What became of the inhabitants!"

    "Not one left alive to make a newspaper paragraph."

    "How did you escape?"

    "By a near shave.  The wind just swept in front of me and took away a button from my vest.  I haven't got another fixed in its place, you see.  If I'd been another inch to the fore, I guess the tripe business would have flourished."

    I had got my friend "on his ear," and I justly expected quite a length of extravagant bounce.  To plant the spurs in his flanks I hinted that I would like to see an American blizzard.

    "You take a blizzard to be a kinder animal, I guess," he said, with a smile that said he had got me.  "You git crocodiles, and 'gators down in Florida; but they aint got any blizzards thar.  The blizzard, yer see, is a winged bird; and you just get to feel the flap of them wings, and if you don't lose every ounce of your flesh, and leave your bones for antiquarians to speculate on, I'm a coon of rare parts."

    "I was not aware that it was a bird," I confessed.

    "Just what it is, siree.  It don't crawl nor swim; but it sweeps around for miles; and by the tree that choked Absolom, nothing's bound to live.  It's just a snow that's got to the depth of a corn stack; and a cyclone comes, tosses the whole mass within half a mile of where it came from, till it's like a sea of frozen milk.  Then the stars have to look out.  If they were to be caught in one of them blizzards, the firmament would be swept as clean of light as Barnum's show would be by the howl of a nor' wester.  It would, stranger.  For three or four days after the country is dangerous from the showers of cart-wheels, ploughs, and the skeletons of cattle.  You aint anything like that in the old country I guess."


――――♦――――

 
CHAPTER IV.

AMERICAN FEELING TOWARDS ENGLAND.
 

"Once more upon the waters, yet once more"
 (Methinks I have quoted that line before),
               The golden sun is glowing,—
               A gentle breeze is blowing;
 And as the vessel dips her prow
 In the brine she's destined ere morn to plough,
               We feel like jolly sailors all.

Very much anon.


I AM in New York again, because I cannot avoid it, if I mean to get along anywhere.  At 4-30 I board the coasting boat, and take my ticket for Fall River, Mass.  What a crowd of people are there, bound for the same port!—and are booking state-rooms and beds as though they had to voyage to Liverpool, so eagerly were they jostling and pushing.  I am too late for the former, and must make up my mind to rough it.  Nobody strips for this class of berth, they may take off their coat and boots and cram them on a small shelf at the foot,—a shelf something like what I have seen servant girls put blacking brushes on; but trousers are retained for emergencies.  A drunken passenger may dispute possession, because he has not booked; and you've got to "best" him, which requires a little pluck.  I had no trouble of this kind; but a neighbour had, and the bully got the worst of it.  When the morning was fairly awake we found this bravo morning in his boots, laid flat on the baggage deck floor, with his slouched hat drawn over him for a coverlet, and muttering joint blessings on rats.  I took out about four hours' sleep; then drew aside my curtains for a look-out.  The darkies were laying the cloths for breakfast, and the barber was airing himself in his white morning gown, with as much self-assertion as if the vessel was his own.  He was on the look-out for customers, and was impertinent to those who did not want shaving.  Twenty-five cents a shave is much better remuneration than newspaper paragraphers get.  The wash I had was a delicious one, and very much a surprise for me; and this refreshing ablution, supplemented by a cooling drink, prepared me to face a drizzly morning, the boat being two hours late in consequence of a fog that set in at sunset, and prevailed all night.  I saw my friend Salisbury of the Advance waiting for me, like a rooster under a shed, where for two hours he had been anathematising old tubs and things in general.  I saw his jolly face, a little writhen by disappointment, long before he saw mine, which was not jolly.

    Some kinds of details are apt to tire people; and I do not mean to put upon patience.  I was welcomed right royally, and made to feel at home whether I would or not.  After breakfast, which I had been waiting for some time, we sallied into the city.  The road was not strewn with flowers, nor did people dance in front of us, waving garlands, and clanging cymbals.  But many an open hand gripped mine, and as often was I asked to take "suthin."  These kindly meant invitations had to be declined, otherwise "George" and I would have found ourselves in the hands of the city marshall before the day was properly on its legs.  Nothing like self denial and a reasonable respect for ourselves.  The day was spent in visiting, and ended as family parties used to end at wakes times.  The hands left one of the mills in swarms to meet me; and one enthusiastic Lancashire Irishman made the observation, "Misther Irving had a great reception in New York, but he couldn't shut down a mill."  Shut down in the Yankee sense, means shut up, as we understand it.

    After the first night I was the guest of the Mayor, the Hon. Milton Reed, whom I met in Manchester three years ago.  At his residence on the hill, overlooking Bowenville, we spent several quiet evenings, looking out on the Narragansett Bay, and fading with the brief twilight, like flowers, to an early closing.  From the elder Reed I gleaned "quite" an amount of information concerning the history of the States, and the characteristics of the people who inhabit them.  We were mostly downstairs before the house was astir; and old "Christopher North," for Mr. Reed might sit for his portrait, could declaim an hour uninterrupted by anyone who might dispute his word.  But I had to leave to be present at one of the institutions of Fall River,—that was a "clambake," a description of which will be found in "Ab-o'th'-Yate in Yankeeland," written four years ago.  These outings partake of the character of "Owdham pic-nics," and are enjoyed in a manner that none other than Lancashire people can enjoy them.  Twenty-six miles of a drive would tire some people quite out; but our company kept on to the last with surprising freshness.  It would be a libel on this happy forum to say their freshness was in consequence of the Sunday Closing Act being in force in America.  I don't believe in anything of the kind.  They were never tired with talking about the "old country," and some would say they are better off, and happier in the new.  But if a song of home was sung, either the singer would break down, or some of the listeners turn their faces towards a corner, as if something interesting was to be seen there.  They cannot forget the green lanes of old England.

    Those of my countrymen who still conceive of America that its principal features are prairies and forests, with wild men in the background, and striped pants encasing overgrown legs, and blue coats made of fents, with the wearer thereof all juice and goatee occupying the front, had better step over to Massachusetts, and take a look round.  I venture to think that before they had been in the city of Fall River long enough to get themselves known to the police, they would have some of their ancient notions knocked out of their heads.

    If it were possible for them to be dropped at once into South Main-street, when the gas is lit, and the electric lights give a yellowish tinge to the moon, and the stores are all aglare, like so many brightly illumined grottoes, festooned over with such things as ladies love to gaze upon and cause their husbands to shake all over with the anticipation of "fair round" bills, they would imagine our Manchester Market Street had been transported thither in a thousand sections,---jointed, puttied, painted and gilded afresh, to make a business street that is not dreary in its aspect, nor too stiff to be on familiar terms with.  The shops, or "stores," as they are called, are not the "shanties" we sometimes see in pictures as belonging to infant communities in the far west.  Their windows do not partake of the character of old-fashioned butchers' shops, unglazed and airy, but would cause even our Lewis to invent something more attractive than saleless ships, and balloons under tether.  All the retail business places are central, so placed that would-be customers need not ramble far to find the articles they want.  They have not to try Ancoats, Oldham Street, Piccadilly, Market Street, and Deansgate, to be tired into making no purchases, and going home with the resolve that they will try again some other day.  I have been in several of these stores, they are not like some we meet with in London, all "dicky."  They have good long shirts attached.  The first I visited was a repository for everything a house requires in the hardware line, from a tin-tack to a bed-room suite.  The newly married need not go to any other place for their furnishing,—to Oldham Street for their mahogany; to the Siberia of Knot Mill for their crockery; and to Tom Hudson's for their ironmongery.  They can obtain a great deal more than they are perhaps able to pay for without risking a fight with the shower, or being laid under the necessity of chartering a cab.  A short distance will bring them to another store, where "daises" of lace curtains give the entrance a bazaar-like appearance; and the chances are that however well-lined the pocket, there is a prospect of their coming out centless.  Oh, the seductive influences of these charming places!  Silks are placed before you as though the wand of the magician had been at work, and these can be bought at prices quite as low as they can in England, because of their being home manufacture.  Rolls of carpeting are sent spinning about in such profusion that you tread on beds of flower garden till you begin to imagine you are some prince upon whom the populace are lavishing their tokens of loyal respect and admiration.  These goods are of home production.  Then the clouds of skirtings that float about you in fine texture, and snowy whiteness!  These lead you to exclaim, "Ah, here are the products of Lancashire, not to be beaten anywhere."  Then your heart drops into your boots when you are told they were woven in Manchester, New Hampshire.  This was my feeling on being shown through one of these establishments, and I could not help putting to myself the question, "Is the mother of this great country to take a back seat?"

    But there is a set-off in our favour against all this.  The American "helps" have not been taught, or have not learned, the most economic principles.  They know not the value of waste.  There would be an exodus out of Garden Street, and Mark Lane, Manchester, if our dealers in "droppings" knew what a "bonanza" could be picked up here.  A manufacturer from East Lancashire who was once on a visit here, remarked, on going through a cotton mill, "I would not care to have any profits on goods manufactured if I might have the waste for my share."  But can this condition of things be reckoned upon to last for ever?  Surely not.  It is, therefore, a characteristic failing on our part to be still content with living in a fool's paradise.  We ought to look at things with sober earnestness if we mean to keep our industrial supremacy.  Bar-parlour bounce will not serve us in our growing needs.  I had forgotten to note what beautiful prints are turned out in New Hampshire.  They remind me of the "Calico Garden Party" held some time ago at our Botanical Gardens.  The printers here are rapidly approaching the heels of Sunnyside, and I am afraid that in a time their running will be such that we cannot afford to take the "sponge" in the race.

    But with all America's progress there is one thing she has yet to learn.  England has not been built up on extravagance.  If her nobility in past years measured their civilization by their expensive habits, the people generally held to thrift and economy.  The British taxpayer groaned at every penny added to the burden he had to bear; and the hustings cry of "Economy with Efficiency," was the out-come of much objurgation on his part.  But he does not complain of expenditure that he is willing to allow may be necessary; but by hitching the Board School system on to other state institutions he was given cause for a little soreness that has gradually been healed.  After having fought and struggled, and paid for an imperfect education for himself, he did not feel bound to pay for the better training of others quite as able to pay for their own as he in his day was.  He has not yet so far overcome this feeling as not to wince when the usual precept for the modest sum of £5,000 is handed into the City Council Chamber, and ordered to be paid.  But he has the satisfaction of knowing that this money is not extravagantly spent.  Our Board School teachers are not overburdened with salaries.  A young girl has to cost her parents, perhaps, more than they can afford to pay to get qualified for a position in which she cannot earn as much as can an educated weaver.  But in America the "school marm" is a bird of another plumage.  After being primarily educated at the public expense, even though her parents may be well-to-do, she is "finished" by the latter, and influence has to do the rest.  She is foisted upon the school authorities, and placed in a position that the English "governess" would be afraid could not be maintained.  Only fancy a young "marm" who has just laid aside her skipping rope, pocketing annually as much as one thousand dollars for thirty-nine weeks' work, the rest of the year being taken out in holidays.  Yet such is the case; and the general expenses of the City of Fall River are on a par.  I have before me the city treasurer's report for the year 1882, which gives the total expenditure on a city of fifty-two thousand inhabitants at 1,075,059 dollars, which sum has to be raised by direct taxation.

    The annual trip to Europe, to spend three months on the continent purely for pleasure, is another item of what the English would regard as extravagance.  A tradesman of the retail type thinks nothing of taking his family the "round trip"—Germany, the Rhine, Switerzland, France, and lastly England, and I have been a witness of the way in which they spend their money.  An Englishman in a similar position would satisfy himself with Blackpool, or Southport and fancy he had done the thing grandly.  The Americans have to guard against this kind of going ahead, or it may be worse for them than another internecine war.  Their resources maybe inexhaustible, but a pampered appetite may prove to be another "slave" to be emancipated.

    On Monday, the 26th, I had the opportunity of noting what the Yankee proper, not the mixed metal, thinks about the "old country."  I had the honour of an invitation to the annual dinner of the "Boston Charitable Society," an institution supported exclusively by British and Americans.  About 140 gentlemen were present, and the affair was of a character that I could not have dreamt of as being connected with the American "socials."  The occasion was the celebration of Her Majesty Queen Victoria's birthday,—our Victoria, not the "darkie" potentate of some island in the South Pacific, but our own good Queen.  After grace we had our National Anthem sung so heartily that I began to wonder where I was.  The speech of the Governor of the State of Massachusetts was another surprise to me; and in a few words I had to say upon being "trumpeted," I remarked, that instead of being 3,000 miles from home, I had an idea that I ought to order a cab to take me to 94, Saint Oswald's Grove, Queen's Park; the illusion being so complete.  But it took another and more demonstrative form.  After the singing of "Auld Lang Syne," a number of us adjourned to the offices of the Boston Herald to see one of the most perfect printing plants in America.  The night was still the same day, but the streets were quiet, and the electric lights gave a bright moonlight to the city.  As we sallied out from the Quincy Hotel I was reminded of the bands of midnight roysterers that were wont to close the revels of the olden time.  But were we in Market Street Lane, or the older Deansgate, that the echoes should be assailed with the loud singing of "The Union Jack of Old England?"  No, we were in Boston, where we are told the English are hated.  The proceedings of that evening did not confirm such an opinion.  Early on in the programme the following poem composed for the occasion was read:—
 

"THE HOPE OF THE FATHERS,
THE PRIDE OF THE SONS."

Delivered at a Soiree on Her Majesty's Birthday.


That sober freedom, out of which there springs,
Our loyal passion for our temperate kings.

"The Queen!  Our Queen!  Long may she reign!"
    Let heart and voice the toast repeat,
Who lingers o'er the loyal strain
    But seems some old-time friend to greet?
"Long live the Queen?"  From their gray sires
    Our fathers heard the loyal toast,
Which we, the children, now repeat,—
    Our fathers' loyalty our boast.

As one who scales at sun-lit height,
    Which holds the gloaming on its breast,
And lingers in the reddening light
    Awhile for retrospect and rest;
So, from the vantage-ground of years,
    We may recall the scenes long past,
And see how old-time loyal hopes
    To full fruition grew at last.

Our fathers in the Maiden Queen
    Saw promise of the nation's youth;
The herald of a nobler age
    Which strives for righteousness and truth;
O'er the wide earth Peace reigned serene,
    The cruel scars of war had healed,
And Science, Commerce, Art and Law,
    Unhampered, saw a glorious field.

And whose the pen can fitly trace
    The record of these fifty years?
The triumphs liberty achieved,
    Beyond our fathers' hopes and fears.
Mercy and Justice met with Law,
    And shaped its course towards the light;
Our fathers saw the dawning, we
    Are nearing to the noontide bright.


Fair Science took the field, and made
    Steam captive of her potent will;
She spanned the ocean's farthest bound
    With triumphs of her subtle skill.
She linked each nation's pulsing life,
    And penned each throb of grief or mirth,
And gave her sister Commerce power
    To gather tribute from all earth.

Who names our Queen the title gives
    To Art and Letters' brightest age,
Transcending all in wealth of lore
    Of singer, savant, saint or sage.
Brightest of all, this age has seized
    The storied wealth of ages past,
The wisdom of the centuries fled
    Is our rich heritage at last.

Yet he who marks the flying years
    Rich in its victories of Peace,
Might fear the sturdier manhood gone,
    Were war's rude discipline to cease.
'Mid Crimean snows, on Indian plains,
    The sons their fathers' deeds repeat,
And steel-clad ships bear tars as bold
    As hearts of oak of Nelson's fleet.

O sceptred Isle, set in the silver sea,
    An empire's throne, between whose jewelled feet
The current of the teeming world divides,
    And the tumultuous seas in triumph meet
Mother of empires! whose brave children bear
    The regal marks that test their stately birth
Reaching out stalwart arms to either pole,
    To cultivate, subdue, or win the earth!

The centre to the empire's utmost bound
    Repeats our loyal benison today;
"Long may she reign," our Britain's Mother Queen,
    Ruling o'er subject hearts with gentle sway.
Who with white flowers of purity and peace,
    And stainless life, has garlanded the throne;
Linking the grace and pomp of stately courts
    With loftier, purer virtues of the home.

"Long may she reign," and in the tide of years,
    When comes the time to change the earthly crown,
When, at the summons of the King of kings,
    The wearied hand shall lay the sceptre down,
May God wipe from her eyes the mist of tears
    A husband, son and daughter hides from sight,
And lead her gently through the gate of life,
    To wear a fadeless crown in realms of light.


GEORGE B. PERRY.


――――♦――――

 
CHAPTER V.

A HUMAN CATTLE MARKET.—A WHIT-MONDAY ON HUDSON RIVER.


TO make the best use of a leisure Saturday afternoon in New York, to which city I returned on the 31st, after ten days' absence in Massachusetts—for the city is the footer from which we spring to all points of the compass.  I took the tram-car to Castle Garden, to see what kind of life was going on there.  Some emigrant vessel was discharging her human freight at the time, most of which was of Scandinavian shipment.  There was no mistaking the brand.  The brick-coloured-pants, the long-sleeved boots upon whose surface Berry's best polish never shone, and the fur cap, which affords no protection from the sun's rays, were to these people what the shining patent leathers, the gossamer hat, and the smart tweed "continuations" are to an Englishman.  The crowd was swelled by a number of emigrants who must have landed some days before, as these, mostly Germans, were trimmed, as we trim horses for sale; the only difference they were not being trotted "around" to show their action.  I noticed two young women in particular, both likely looking girls, with pleasing faces that were round as the full moon, and plump as peaches.  Their light auburn hair done up in neatly plaited bands, had nothing to cover it.  They were attired alike,—chocolate dresses, and white aprons with ample strings.  They formed such a contrast to others of a different nationality that I thought it a wonder they had not been snapped up at once, and introduced to the kitchen, or the dairy of some western farmer.  But perhaps they were engaged, and had come to meet friends.  Not far from these stood a middle-aged woman, wearing bellows-like jackboots, with heels that had been of the fashionable shape, but were now getting much of the angle described by a cart with one wheel in the ditch.  Decency forbids me to say what little regard she had for the delicacies of ordinary life in a civilised country.  Whether she had been employed in driving a boat horse, or following a tinker, my limited knowledge of Dutch would not permit me to enquire.  The authorities ought to insist upon decency being observed in public places, but they might look to their sanitary arrangements at the same time, for a more repulsive hole than exists in one corner of Castle Garden could not be found in the country of the Hottentots.  English eyes would be shocked at the sight, even if they had been on familiar terms with our worst slums, or remembered Edinbro' in the days of the "forty-twa."
 

Immigrants at Castle Garden.
Source: New York Public Library.


    A study in Castle Garden is not a cheering occupation, unless the student cares more about his own comfort than that of his fellow creatures; for to me it was a most depressing experience.  My heart swelled within me when I noticed a little girl, with light wavy hair, and a face that seemed to indicate the thought of maturer years, looking up with enquiring glances to a woman with a child in her arms, and who was in conversation with a man whose countenance did not bear the aspect of my ideal of gentleness.  I then pictured to myself my own wife, with her darling child now sleeping in her grave, but whom I brought to life in my imagination, being cast here, and I sleeping in the latter's place in the cemetery at Harpurhey; but the picture was too overwhelming for more than a moment's inward contemplation, and I had to turn away.

    God, what will become of these? was the question uppermost in my mind.  Are they doomed to be the victims of some brute on the constant look-out for prey? or are they to be drafted to a country yet in the first stage of civilisation, to satisfy the hunger of "Yellow Jack," or some other form of death-dealing malaria?  I shut them out of sight, and went on with my study of the general crowd.

    There is more than one phase of even such an assembly as gathers together in Castle Garden.  There is the humorous side, and this afforded me no small amusement as I watched its ways.  The policemen employed to keep open the way for the emigrants to pass, if they had no fun themselves they were the cause of fun in others.  These important officials made use of a common language which they addressed to all nations and peoples, and they seemed to have faith in the possibility that they had collected together all the variety of tongues that had radiated from Babel, and focussed them into one intelligible to everybody.  A gaunt young Russian, whose anatomy would require at least seven feet of a coffin, turned down a good-humoured face on being told by one of the boys in blue to "Come out of that, an' git."  What to him was the meaning of the jargon that assailed him? was "come outothatangit" American?  If it was, why did the English speaking race complain of having their jaws dislocated by trying to get a Russian word from among their teeth?  "Didn't I tell yez to git!" angrily exclaimed the officer, seeing that the youth looked stolidly on, and did not offer to budge.  A push at the shoulder was better understood by the stranger than the mixed English addressed to him, and directly his fur cap was seen moving above the crowd, like the head of the giraffe in Barnum's procession.

    What would this young fellow stoop to do?  He could not make a living by being employed as a bootblack.  One of the urchins who "ring" the business would polish a pair of boots before he could get down to his work.  The cleaning of street lamps would be more in his way and his services would be worth more on account of his being able to dispense with a ladder.  Possibly he may get on in the city force, have a staff strapped to his wrist, and sometime may have the opportunity of returning the courtesy addressed to him by telling some ignorant fellow countryman to "come out o' that, an' git."

    On the following day (Sunday) there was quite a scene in the Garden.  A little boy, about six years of age, with nothing on his person but his shirt and a pair of clogs, was dancing to the music of a fiddle, which an old man scraped after the manner of a practitioner whose shoulders had blackened many an alehouse corner at a wakes or fair time.  It was said the party had newly landed from Mayo, in Ireland, but the boy's dancing and the way the collection was managed threw a doubt upon the genuineness of the story, and caused others besides myself to think the performance had been got up by some local Barnum.

    Whit-Monday!—the day of righteous carnival in Lancashire!  I am under way for Albany on one of the loveliest mornings we have yet had even in this sunny clime.  There is a slight haze overhead, which acts as a gauze veil to moderate the heat of the sun, and there is just as much breeze on the river as would fly a kite if it was not too heavily weighted.  The thermometer has been rapidly rising since Friday, when it was at 50º after being at 90º on the Tuesday.  On the former day it felt like a taste of winter, and Anglo-Americans walked through the streets with their hands in their pockets, and their shoulders just below their ears.  They call the change a "cold snap."  It snapped me no little.  On the 30th May we had half-an-inch thick of ice on the pools.  There is no appearance of it freezing to-day.

    We are passing through a varied landscape.  On one hand we have the "palisades," a deposit of strata something of the form of the Giant's Causeway in Ireland.  On the other is a lovely wooded slope, with villas hiding among the trees until they are assured of the good character of the passengers the steamer has on board.  Then they peep out with one eye at a time, till at length we behold their smiling faces bright with the tints of morning.  But whoever submitted to the planting of an iron foundry in their midst?  Vandals everywhere!  Here is a fleet of twelve ice-boats,—not such as we have in England to break up the ice on canals, but boats' conveying ice from the upper reaches of the Hudson, to cool the drinks, and preserve the fish in New York.

    They are towed by a couple of steam tugs, and the fleet has the appearance of being on a war equipment.  Ice enters into everything in this country.  Nothing can be had or done without it.  In winter it is used for travelling over, and in summer it is used for travelling under, as all persons have got so much to carry about with them.  In eatables, or drinkables, it is all the same.  We have it on our bread, on our butter, in our lemon, yes, whisky, if you like.  On one of the days of the "cold snap," a friend of mine would have hot water to his whisky, as he felt himself "chilled all through."  Even in that mixture the inevitable ice had to take its place.  One morning at the hotel I was staying at I had a couple of eggs for breakfast.  They had not been boiled to my liking.  The white was in a liquid state.  I complained and the next morning the eggs were served on a bed of ice.  "What is the meaning of this?" I enquired.  "We put them on ice to set them," was the reply.  And they were set and no mistake.  They were as hard as the kernel of a nut.  The first time I tasted iced eggs.

    I now see in the distance a fleet of another kind.  This consists of twenty-four barges laden with what the natives call "lumber."  We would call it "timber."  They are formed in a procession of three abreast, and towed by a large tug named the "Belle."  Not the only things a belle can draw, I thought, when a gentlemen's attentions are at the other end of the rope.  And what a time the lumber men are having!  They appear to be quite alive to its being a holiday, and are enjoying it in their own way.  It requires little effort amidst scenery such as surrounds us.  A Whit-Monday like this in the old country would send the "old folks at home" into transports of delight.  They would have fits, and our friend Burton's C. P. mixture would have to be in requisition to steady their nerves.  Children would walk in the procession with nothing but a covering of muslin.  Parsons, instead of quarrelling about the colour of gown they should wear, would dispense with clerical millinery altogether.  They would be more likely to strip both coat and vest, and use their "mortar-board" caps for drinking out of when they came to a street fountain.  Bandsmen would look lovingly at the White Bear, or the Royal, and banner carriers would go on strike.  Belle Vue pop would have to be served warm, unless they had a floe of ice to cool it.  Even the fireworks would look thirsty and I fancy if the elephants could get to the Beaver pond, the trowel-tailed animals would have to be "beached."

    The morning hath lifted its thin gauze, and we see the bare blue face of heaven, with "Ab's" old brass button, now turned into gold, blistering its own cheeks in the meridian.  The breeze we had with us at the start hath taken to the woods to cool itself, and we have nothing left us but the heat, with no one having the courage to hide the poker.  An old darkie predicts that we are going to have it "dammot."  I suppose by that he means "very hot," and is too pious to use the term.  But the Catskill mountains are yet in their morning gowns of bluish grey, that reminds me of the frieze coat of an Irishman, newly put on for church or fair.  The scenery grows lovelier apace, and we seem to be bound for some fairyland, in which to spend the night in elfin revels.


Here sleeps the world for evermore,
    Save when the fire-flies trim their lights,
To dance along the line of shore,
    And make earth starlit with their flights.

Sweet Ariel swings beneath a bough,
    'Round which a wreath of blossom creeps;
Her lyre forgot, and silent now,
    Hangs by the leaflet where she sleeps.


    But what sound was that?  Oh, the weird men of the mountains at their game of bowls which so fascinated "Rip Van Winkle" that they caused him to sleep the slumber of twenty years, and no wonder he was so charmed.  It is a sleepy clime.  I feel a drowsiness stealing upon me now.  But the sound again!  The game must be going briskly.  Yet methought I saw a flash.  Do these weird men strike fire with their bowling?  No, it is something else.  In the East a few bales of wool have been let loose, and they are drifting about the sky.  Someone is setting fire to them, and the heavens are shaken with the concussion it has caused.  There are a few white-chokered gentry on board going "to" holiday.  They have treated the rest of the passengers, I thought, rather superciliously, but now that there is another power at work than a church organ they look "kinder" small.  Perhaps in their pious sentimentalism, for I cannot make out American religion to mean anything more, they have forgotten the Being they are supposed to worship; and now that He is manifesting Himself in a voice unmistakeable, they are moved to look at their lessons.  If their small souls could only appreciate the grandeur of a thunderstorm, they would not slink into corners, as if to hide themselves.  Now "Heaven's artillery" is at work in real earnest.  The flashes come


                               ―――"Not from one lone cloud,
But every mountain now hath found a tongue."


    We have not a drop of rain with it , and I am informed that "dry thunder" is more dangerous than wet.  It may be so.  It has cooled the atmosphere, and that is all I care for just now.

    While listening to a conversation that was going on among these learned men, I elicited the fact that in some parts of England the people did not talk—they barked.  The temperature of the weather must have been getting up again, as I felt on a boiling heat, and very much inclined to "bark."  I could not get the thermometer down until I had barked; and I yelped out the observation that I knew of no part of England where the people blew their words through a fog-horn.  If some Yankees took snuff they could not speak at all.  Perhaps that was the reason why they chewed it.  The thunder never changed its method of speaking.  It always spoke with full articulation, and never used words that were not in the lexicon of mighty elements.  It never glided off with "I ain't," when it ought to say "I am not."  Nor do the uneductated people in the country where they bark.  "I am much obliged to you for your courtesy, and put a certain value upon your information; but if I am anything besides a Christian, I am an Englishman."

    They pulled their goatees on hearing this, shrugged their square shoulders, and put on the air of a couple of pious unspread eagles.


――――♦――――



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