The New Baedeker: Being Casual Notes of an Irresponsible Traveler (2024)

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Rhombicuboctahedron by Leonardo da Vinci

The New Baedeker: Being Casual Notes of an Irresponsible Traveler (1910) is a book by Harry Thurston Peck.

PART ONE

I

EN VOYAGE

I SHOULD not like to prescribe to any one just what sort of steamship he ought to choose when he first visits Europe. He may, if he will, select one of those monsters that are more than a seventh of a mile in length and that smash through the ocean with an absolute disdain of storm and waves. In them he will find playrooms for his children, electric elevators, a gymnasium, electric baths, a " solarium " domed over with richly painted glass, a special cafe modelled on the Ritz, and dark rooms in which to develop the photographs which he takes of his friends and of the ship. If he chooses to travel with dogs and cats or any other sort of beast, there are kennels and a kennel-master in the hold. If he does not desire to experience that blessed sense of peaceful isolation from the cares of life which comes to him who is in- evitably cut off from towns and cities in the midst of the great, magnificently rolling ocean, he can get


2 THE NEW BAEDEKER

news by wireless from other ships; and when he approaches land, he can have, as it were, a ticker to bring the bustle of the stock exchange into his very stateroom.

Or, if he has the true love of the sea within him, he can take a comfortable eight or nine or ten-day boat, and forget that there is anything in the whole wide world beyond the decks that glisten with the good salt spray, and the far range of water over which he casts a contented and untroubled gaze. In such a ship he can experience the grandeur of the storms and the beauty of the tranquil sea when it lies level in the sunlight, or when, at night, its track is turned to phosphorescent silver by the moon. He will not miss the playrooms and the gymnasium and the " solarium " and the cafe and the elevators and the dog-kennels; but he will feel the exhilaration of plunging over the great billows and of sleeping that wonderfully restful sleep which is induced by the gentle rocking and rhythmic swaying of the splendid ship that is in reality a ship and not a garish and luxurious hotel, fit only for rich invalids and peevish women.

In the character of an impartial guide, it would


EN VOYAGE 3

hardly be proper to say which one of the lines that cross the Atlantic is the most comfortable or gives you most nearly your ultimate desire. This, after all, is a matter of individual taste. I should be in- clined to classify all steamers in three groups — those that touch at English ports, those that touch at both French and Netherlandish ports, and those that ply directly between New York and France. There is a good deal of difference between these three classes. If you take any ship that ends its voyage in English waters, or that even enters English waters to receive or to discharge passengers, you will find it a ship very largely filled with young men and maidens who take possession of the decks, organise a concert, occupy your steamer-chair, turn the vessel into a combina- tion of upper Broadway and Piccadilly, and make you forget that you are on the ocean at all. There is something rather delightful about this airy, unconven- tional life. Within two days, everybody knows every- body else, from the girl of sixteen and the Harvard freshman to the maiden lady who spends hours in writ- ing her " impressions," and the personages of wealth who occupy suites of rooms far up in the air, whence they very seldom descend to pace the lower decks.


4 THE NEW BAEDEKER

On these steamers, the gregariousness is wonder- ful; the flirting, though of a rudimentary character, is incessant. Unless the sea rises in its might and compels the stewards to lash the deck-chairs to the brass railings, and to put racks upon the tables in the dining- saloon, there will be no end to the in- numerable staccato confidences which assail your ears above the clanging of the machinery, the quiver of the screws, and the clatter of the knives and forks. Every woman seems to have become either a Marie Bashkirtseff or a Mary MacLane, who instead of writing out what she has to say, screams it down the deck or from table to table in the saloon at any one of the seven meals which are provided for you.

" I can't help it! It 's my temperament! "

This will come to you out of Nowhere with the full force of feminine conviction.

" Yes, he would have had me — that is to say, I would have had him; only, you know — " " Well, I do just love Robert W. Chambers!" — "You can talk all you like, but her hair is bleached, and I don't believe that her Irish lace is real." — " No! Do you live on Euclid Avenue, too? " — " Yes, I expect to gain a larger outlook from those wonderful me-


EN VOYAGE 5

morials of the past " — " Oh, I say! Really, you know, it 's what you Americans call a hard supposi- tion— oh, it is jproposition? Thanks awf'ly!" — " What! Is the Bourse the same as our Stock Ex- change? I never knew that before! "

This sort of melange, confusing, intricate, un- related in its parts, comes to you all day long. It amuses you for a while; but unless you are very young and wish to note all the raw emotions of a mixed company, you feel that there is perhaps just a little bit too much of it.

If, on the other hand, you try one of those stout, substantial steamers that ply to Rotterdam or Ant- werp, touching, it may be at Boulogne, you will find a more serious set of passengers. Many of them are Dutchmen or Germans, and they all look as though they had business on their minds. They eat often, and they eat a great deal, as if to get the full value of their passage-money. The food is good, too, though sometimes there is a sort of symbolism about it that I could never understand. Thus, on one of these ships, throughout the entire voyage, which lasted eleven days, there was placed in the centre of each table in the dining-saloon at every


6 THE NEW BAEDEKER

meal a large pale fish of a bluish tinge. I never saw such a fish before and I never expect to see another like it. No one partook of it — one naturally would n't — but there it was, pertinaciously promi- nent, leaving me with a riddle which I have never solved. For the rest, there is plenty of space and you have a sort of feeling that perhaps after ten days or so you will find yourself back again in Hoboken; and what is the more curious, you don't care at all whether this is going to be so or not. You would just as soon start out again and do it all over. I suppose that it is the Dutch and Flem- ish influence which pervades these vessels, and which makes them so admirably adapted for the purposes of a rest-cure.

But when you go aboard a French steamer, you find an atmosphere that is entirely different. If you are making your first voyage, you will be delighted, because, from the moment when you ascend the gang- plank, you are already in Europe, already in France. Seven-tenths of the passenger list will be made up of foreigners. You will not hear English spoken except rarely. The neat little Breton and Norman sailors speak a patois that is strange to you. The


EN VOYAGE 7

stewards do not respond to any language save their own. The meals are served with ceremony. There is plenty of deck-room, and that deck-room is snowy clean and with every convenience, even to the smoul- dering little meche wliich is conveniently placed in a small copper cask so that you may light your cigar- ette from it, no matter which way the wind happens to blow. Even the tiny flags upon the chart in the companion-way to indicate each day's progress are tricoloured and therefore French. Everything is as neat as a pin, down to the small brass cannon which is lashed forward to bark out a small roar of joy when the distant harbour is sighted. If one may use an Americanism, the most expressive adjective which suggests itself as applicable to a French steamer is " cute."

But there is something more than " cuteness " about it. No one ever sees there the kind of miscel- laneous acquaintance and companionship which you note upon an English vessel crowded with Americans. The passengers are not hom*ogeneous. They do not, for the most part, come from countries where you may go up and speak to any one you please without a formal introduction. The Americans who choose


8 THE NEW BAEDEKER

these steamers have very much the same point of view. They do not want to attend " ship con- certs," or to Hsten to emotional revelations de- livered in throaty or nasal tones. They like to be let alone, to enjoy the solitude which is re- spected by their temporary companions and which they in turn respect in others. There is the ship bearing them onward with magnificent power; there are the quiet decks; and there is the great ex- panse of ocean whose strong, salt air renews one's life and gives one delicious hours of unbroken sleep at night.

You will find something very interesting about the psychology of two persons who occupy berths in the same stateroom. When you board the vessel, you go down to your cabin and thrust your steamer- trunk under the lower berth or under the couch opposite. Then you take out your toilet articles and arrange them on one side of the mirror very much as though you were staking out a claim in a mining country. Then you go up on deck, and if you come down an hour or two later, after the ship is under way, you will find that some one else has in like man-


EN VOYAGE 9

ner disposed of his steamer-trunk and has placed his small belongings on the side which you have left for him. There is a sort of tacit understanding, an unwritten etiquette, about these things. You may turn in at a particular hour of the night, and your mysterious companion has either turned in before and has drawn his curtains; or perhaps he will turn in later, noiseless, discreet, and hoping that he may not rouse you. There is the same mysterious agree- ment in the morning. You rise, and he rises, but never simultaneously. And so it is that you may cross the ocean without ever seeing or knowing the one who shares your room. It is a triumph of tact, and I take it that this sort of tact is essentially mas- culine. I fancy that women who are billeted to- gether adopt another course, strike up a temporary acquaintance, and talk things over in the watches of the night. But this is only a theory of mine; and perhaps it is an entirely wrong one.

I have spoken of the reserve which, in general, prevails on a great French steamer. The only excep- tion is to be found in the fumoir; but that would be the case wherever men of any nationality come to- gether and blow wreaths of smoke into the air. It


10 THE NEW BAEDEKER

is a part of that comradeship which the great god Nicotine inspires in his worshippers. When it comes to smoking, all sorts and conditions of men are brothers for the time. The grubbiest ragamuffin may ask an emperor for a light, and the emperor will recognise that, by the Law of the Jungle, it is not only his duty but his pleasure to provide matches for the gamin, or even to let the latter touch a half- smoked and wholly stale cigarette to the glowing end of the imperial Partaga. And so it happens that in the fumoir, or the smoke-room, or whatever you may choose to call it, the tongues of all men are unloosed and they tell curious things about them- selves to perfect strangers — things which they have never told to wife or sweetheart, or to their best friends on shore.

It is a delightful lounging-place, this fumoir. When you have paced the deck conscientiously for two full hours after luncheon, you go into this para- dise and sink down into a great leathern seat, stretching out your legs and pushing back your yachting cap. Through the port-holes there comes a bracing breeze which keeps the air always sweet; and if you are a fair sailor, you get infinite enjoy-


EN VOYAGE 11

ment from a good French cigarette and in watch- ing the gargon flitting about and taking orders; for you know that very soon he will bring in an im- mense tray neatly piled with triangular little sand- wiches from which you can see the green of lettuce leaf and a touch of mayonnaise projecting; and if you like, you may have a bit of Roquefort and a mug of pel-el which, though it bears here a French name, is really the ale of good old England. Then everyone falls to, and the chatter of many voices will arise. If you have no friend with you and simply drink your ale and listen, you will hear some of the most extraordinary stories that you ever dreamed of. They are not told excitedly, but in level, careless tones; and they let you into the secret of many lands and also of many human beings. There is not the slightest touch of egotism in these confidences. Those who impart them in French, or Spanish or English, do so because they cannot resist a certain spell that is cast over them by the boundless sea, the brief community of life aboard a ship, and a friendly fellowship which springs up among those who will never see each other any more, but who for the moment are brothers because they have eaten and


12 THE NEW BAEDEKER

drunken together, and have mingled the fragrant fumes of their various tobaccos.

The confidences that come out unasked in this temple of truth are most surprising. Over in yonder corner a sunburned Englishman, between puffs from a short briar pipe, will tell you of things which he has seen and done in India and among the foot-hills of the Himalayas. Nowhere else would he even men- tion these adventures, for he is as shy as the shyest of his race, and he would shrink with horror from the thought of boasting. What he says now, drops from his lips unconsciously, quite ^s if he were think- ing to himself; and you come to know that he has been a fleet-footed, sure-eyed shikarri where the tigers kill men in the jungle. Or he will relate some of the strange happenings of the strangest country of the world, surpassing in mystery and marvel even such tales of Kipling as " The Mark of the Beast," or " The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes," or that very creepy narrative called " Bubbling- Well Road." Listen and be thankful, but do not mention Kipling to him. I never yet knew an Anglo-Indian who would not drop his taciturnity and fairly foam at the mouth at the sound of Kipling's name; for,


EN VOYAGE 13

according to " mine own people," Kipling knows very little about India — the real India — and what he does know he has grievously distorted.

If you incline your ear in a different direction, you will hear a Frenchman discoursing, with the utmost fluency and to no one in particular, on the subject of marriage, that is to say, his own mar- riage and everybody else's marriage and on marriage in general. He never shows the slightest reserve in this; though for a Frenchman on land to discuss his family would make him appear a white crow, or nigroque simillimus cycno. And then there is the Spanish-American contingent from Cuba or South America, and very black gentlemen from Hayti, who speak French with the purest Parisian accent. It is odd to hear a negro speak in fluent French, and still more odd to find a very black man who does not know a single word of anything but German. But as for the Haytian gentlemen, they are usually very rich and have been educated in France, with which country they identify themselves racially. I shall never forget one very tall and very well dressed specimen of human ebony who fell to describing some of the peculiarities of English and American pub-


14 THE NEW BAEDEKER

lie life. Having finished his argument, he shrugged his shoulders triumphantly and remarked:

" Mais c'est bien different parmi nous autres — nous Latins! "

For appalling frankness, however, commend me to the South Americans. I remember one dark-faced, supple Venezuelan who was in the last stages of loco- motor ataxia. He could not carry his food to his mouth without using both his hands. He could not cross an absolutely level deck without pitching hor- ribly at all sorts of angles. His face was drawn and was as white as chalk. He could not have been more than thirty years of age, and yet a course of altogether vicious living had brought him to this pass. He explained it quite indifferently to any one who happened to be smoking near him. He was, in a way, the most dreadful sight that I have ever seen. His physician in Caracas had told him that, with the utmost care, he could not expect to live for much more than a single year. What was his resolve. He had a small property remaining to him in Vene- zuela, and he had sold it for whatever he could get. With the money, he was on his way to Paris to take one final and tremendous plunge into the maelstrom


EN VOYAGE 15

of swirling, horrifying sin, in the hope that at some moment there might descend the final blow which would strike him dead. To hear him tell, licking his chops the while, of a peculiarly vile diversion which he called le pigeon a quatre ailes, would give any- one a new insight into the possibilities of human depravity, and make the alleged performances of Tiberius at Capri appear by contrast only the sport of innocent childhood. Strange as it may seem, the thought of death was seldom present to his mind; but, like some evil beast, he was contem- plating the things that would hasten death, and he went over them in detail with a relish that was terrifying.

After all, it is better to be out upon the great broad deck which stretches from stem to stern and where you can feel three thousand miles of salty air blowing all about you and filling you with life. Al- most every one records his impression of the ocean's vastness and of the comparative fragility of even the most powerful steamer. What Dickens wrote long ago is precisely what a great many persons would write even to-day, if they had his gift of language:


16 THE NEW BAEDEKER

But what the agitation of a steam-vessel is, on a night in the wild Atlantic, it is impossible for the most vivid imagination to conceive. To say that she is flung down on her side in the waves, with her masts dipping into them, and that, springing up again, she rolls over on the other side, until a heavy sea strikes her with the noise of a hundred great guns, and hurls her back — that she stops, and staggers, and shivers, as though stunned, and then, with a violent throbbing at her heart, darts onward like a monster goaded into madness, to be beaten down and battered and crushed and leaped on by the angry sea — that thunder, lightning, hail, and rain, and wind, are all in fierce contention for the mastery — that every plank has its groan, every nail its shriek, and every drop of water in the great ocean its howling voice — is nothing. To say that all is grand, and all appalhng and horrible in the last degree, is nothing. Words cannot express it. Thoughts cannot convey it. Only a dream can call it up again, in all its fury, rage, and passion.

Nearly thirty years afterward, when ocean steam- ers had become huge in size and immense in their capacity, Dickens wrote from America to his friend John Forster the same sort of description of the sea. I have never been able to understand the feel- ing which he and so many others have expressed. Whether the ocean be calm or whether it be stormy, it always appears to be something that man has con- quered. It is the great steamer plunging intrepidly through wave and wrack that is the rightful object of wonder and admiration. If you can walk the deck at all, though you may have to grasp the life-line


EN VOYAGE 17

firmly, the most overwhelming sensation that comes to you is one of safety. For, in truth, with our limited vision we can see very little of the ocean at any one time — only a few miles out of the thou- sands that surround us. It is the tremendous ship that one can best appreciate. One thinks of it as of a moving island. The skill of man has welded it together with spikes and steel and joists. The ingenuity of man has hidden great engines in its depths to drive it against the futile onrush of the water. The brain of man directs its course and bids it go to its appointed goal.

Just at eventime, look down the long expanse of deck. Forward there sound the strains of an orchestra. Below, hundreds of persons are dining as luxuriously as they would on land. In the smoking- room, men are laughing and telling stories over their cafe noir. The whole ship is flooded with light which gleams out of innumerable port-holes. A roll and a slight plunge blend into a rhj^thmic cadence as though the monster vessel were enjoying its swift passage through the deep. Even from the steerage far below, there come the notes of a violin and the sound of dancing feet. The complexity, the com-


18 THE NEW BAEDEKER

pleteness, and the power of it all are wonderful even beyond the wonder of the misty sky-line and of the vast ocean which stretches far beyond your ken,

O ship, amid the illimitable sea,

Of himian hfe, a true epitome.

Speeding its way through shadow and through sun, .

On, till at last its Httle course is run;

Laden with hfe, with laughter, and with love —

Around, the Infinite, and God above!


II

hAvre and trouville

Whether you cross the Atlantic with a millionaire's menagerie or whether you are satisfied with a real ship, there cannot possibly be any question as to what is the most delightful port in the whole of Eu- rope. The approaches to Liverpool are dull and commonplace, though sufficiently spick and span; and one feels a certain pleasure at seeing the luggers drift about with their reddish sails. Southampton is about as interesting as Hoboken; and Dover lets you see nothing of its real points, which I hope some day to describe, but which are not visible at once from a steamship entering the port. Ham- burg and Bremen are as bad as Southampton. You find something picturesque when you ascend the Scheldt to Antwerp, but not enough to count; while Rotterdam is a horror. Cherbourg has some things of interest to attract you, with its granite breakwater and its memories of Louis XIV. and Vauban; but nothing to hold you very long. Of


20 THE NEW BAEDEKER

course, the Bay of Naples is beautiful and effective, with its blue sky overhead, the curling smoke of Vesuvius, and the huge volcanic slopes stretching out before you, while Capri lies in a sort of mist as you steam up through the bay. But the whole thing is too much like a stage-setting — a little tea-boardy in fact, and suggestive of a chromo.

If, after a week of ocean, you wish something to emerge before your sight slowly and serenely and with a mellow beauty of its own — a beauty that grows on you and resolves itself into minor beauties and delicate tones of foreign strangeness — then there is just one seaport for you, and that is the seaport of Le Havre. Nothing can be more delight- ful than to approach the widespread mouth of the river Seine a little before daybreak and while dark- ness still broods upon the scene. You rise j oy fully and go for the last time into the salle-a-manger (why will the French employ upon their ships the same words and names which they employ on shore?) and your own particular gargon brings you a cup of coifee and bowl of savoury soupe a Voignon; and then, fortified by the excellent meal, you light a


HAVRE AND TROUVILLE 21

cigarette and proceed on deck. The great ship is moving very slowly now, for you cannot land until dawn. All about you there is darkness, yet a sort of luminous darkness shot through with little points of fire. Guy de Maupassant has caught the eifect extremely well in his novel, Pierre et Jean. The novel is not among his best, and he does not give you in it the heart of Havre; yet none the less the book is associated with Havre, and you should be sure to read it on the ship while you are going over

Here, then, at the mouth of the Seine are twinkles of light appearing and disappearing in turn, and each one seems to beckon you and tell you something. Let us hear how Maupassant describes them:

Lights mark the entrance to the harbour; while beyond, across the Seine, can be seen still others, fixed or flashing, with brilliant effulgence and dark eclipses, opening and closing like eyes — the eyes of harbours, yellow, red, green — watching over the dark sea covered with ships: living eyes of the hospitable shore, saying by the simple movement of their lids: "Here I am. I am Trouville. I am Honfleur. I am the river of Pont Audemer."

Then on the ilhmitable sea, darker than the heavens, here and there stars seem visible. They tremble in the misty night — small, near or far, and also white, red, or green. They are almost always motionless, but some appear to move. They are the Hghts on vessels at anchor, waiting for the coming tide.


22 THE NEW BAEDEKER

But presently there comes a flush of rose into the sky, and from the deck you see the smooth white shores on which the water dimples in the dawn. The steamer moves majestically along until finally you behold the lighthouse, snowy white, and the huge semaphore, and then the ship turns inward. The tricolour is run up to the mast-head; a small brass cannon bangs vociferously on the upper deck, and soon you pass along the front of the Grand Quai so near that you can read the signs upon the quaint old gabled buildings which cluster thickly there. " Estaminet," " Ici On Loge a Pied," " A la Belle Havraise," " Cafe Debit " — this is certainly not an aristocratic portion of the town, yet it looks as neat and clean as though it had been especially prepared for you; while the jetties and little triangular points of sand that run out into the sea are as pure as driven snow. Havre somehow appears to be the home of a boundless hospitality. You feel this even as you go steaming by the piers. Every one seems so glad to see the great Atlantic liner. Boys and men and girls all line the quai, and even the little French soldiers with their red legs dance about vivaciously. Soyez le hienvenu! they all seem to say, and what is


>


HAVRE AND TROUVILLE 23

more, they seem to mean it. Here is where Havre differs from any other port in the world. It really welcomes you. It gives you a sense of buoyancy and joyousness so that you are immensely glad to be there; and if you are new to Europe, the quaint old sea-front, with the crowded streets that run back from it, will give you all sorts of sensations before your steamer has turned, after passing the Avant Port, into the great bassin which receives the vessels of the Compagnie Grenerale Transatlantique, and where you are to land without more ado.

Now, if you are an unwise person, you will bundle yourself at once into a railway train and be off to Paris. If you are just moderately wise you will stay until the afternoon and have yourself driven out to Frascati's, where you will certainly get a most delicious meal on its broad veranda, while you look over the sea on which you were steaming an hour or two before. It is very pretty and attract- ive, I admit. The fresh salt breeze blows in upon you. The sky is distilling liquid gold above your head. But after all, you might as well be at New- port or somewhere down near Belmar or at Cape May. Frascati's is not a part of Havre. About


24 THE NEW BAEDEKER

you are familiar faces and the sound of your native language. You are practically still at home. You are losing that indescribable quintessence of what is foreign, that sowpgon of an older world which you can never savour so perfectly as during the first few hours after you have landed fresh from com- fortable, commonplace America. It is like begin- ning the day with a Pittsburgh " stogey " instead of with one of those rare golden-brown and very thin cigars whose fragrance is of the Vuelta Abajo. The first six hours in a foreign land are the most delightful of one's whole vacation; so why merely let them iterate the things which you have left behind.

So, if you are very wise indeed, slip off the steamer and dispose yourself in a -fiacre, and tell the man who drives it to go speedily along until he turns into the Rue de Paris — that epitome of Havre. Mau- passant never caught the exact feeling of this de- lightful street, — perhaps because he was too famil- iar with it. Henry James has done it in half a dozen lines. It is in . his story — a most interesting, poignant story — which he wrote years and years ago under the title oi Four Meetings, Perhaps you


HAVRE AND TROUVILLE 25

will remember. It certainly would be difficult to forget it — that pathetic story of the little New England woman, Caroline Spencer, who all her life in the village of Grimwinter has yearned some day to visit Europe, and who for years has saved and pinched so that she may accomplish her desire. You remember, perhaps, how she took a French steamer and how every day throughout the voyage she sat, as it were, in a trance with her face turned toward the magical lands which she was so soon to see. When she reaches Havre, a lout of a cousin of hers who is studying " art " in Paris, meets her and con- cocts a story which appeals to her soft-heartedness; so that she gives him all her money, except enough to take her home again. Her whole stay in Europe has been one of a few short hours; and yet, after all, one has a sort of feeling that four or five hours in Havre meant to her as much as years of travel mean to those idle rich who bring nothing with them when they visit Europe and who, therefore, carry nothing home with them except what they have pur- chased in the shops.

But never mind the story of Four Meetings. You shall read it for yourself. My point is that in it


26 THE NEW BAEDEKER

Mr. James has given us with the hand of a master the Rue de Paris and almost Havre itself:

The early autumn day was warm and charming, and our stroll through the bright-coloured, busy streets of the old French seaport was sufficiently entertaining. We walked along the sunny, noisy quays and then turned into a wide, pleasant street which lay half in sun and half in shade — a French provincial street, that looked hke an old water-colour drawing: tall, grey, steep-roofed, red-gabled, many-storied houses; green shutters on windows and old scroll-work above them; flower-pots in balconies and white-capped women in doorways. We walked in the shade; all this stretched away on the sunny side of the street and made a picture.

It is indeed a picture; and, therefore, tell your cocJier to drive you to a very French hotel — very old and very good — which is nearly at the head of the Rue de Paris and a few doors below the Place Gambetta; so that when you choose to stroll out into the sun, a few steps will take you to a curious and interesting square with trees and flower-stands and little kiosques down the middle, with a row of hotels and their broad terrasses on one side, and on the other, the huge Bassin du Commerce in which great ships float quietly in the very heart of the city.

But immediately on your landing, don't be lured away into the Place Gambetta; because by this time you will have forgotten the very early breakfast


HAVRE AND TROUVILLE 27

which you had on board the ship, and you will be ravenously hungry. So, after getting rid of all traces of the sea and garbing yourself immaculately, go down to the first floor of the Hotel de Normandie — I don't see why I should n't mention its real name. Its great outer doors give upon the Rue de Paris; but within, there is a courtyard paved with ancient flagstones and provided with benches set among its palm trees. From these you can witness the whole economy of the hotel — the presiding genius, whom every one calls " Mees," because she thinks that she can speak English, the hulking portier in his uni- form, the little chasseur flying to and fro at every one's commands, the neat white-capped maids ascend- ing and descending the stairways, occasionally a cook emerging from some remote recess, and waiters bearing fruits and flowers to prepare the table d'hote for the approaching dejeuner. Don't go near the table d'hote. It will afford many things that are admirably cooked and served — nothing could be better; yet the first hours after one leaves the ship are the hours for asserting one's own individuality and for eating what one pleases and not what other persons have imagined for him.


28 THE NEW BAEDEKER

You will find a small restaurant just inside the street entrance of the hotel. It is presided over by a waiter who has apparently been forty years of age for the last two decades. He has a friendly alert air; and anything in the world that you want, he will promptly provide, for the honour of the Hotel de Normandie. You will naturally order some sort of potage or anything that your fancy suggests; but whatever else you do, be sure to call for mussels. I can see you turning up your nose at this. In America, who eats mussels, except at rare times per- haps some pickled mussels? They are placed by us in the same category as tripe. But behold the genius of the French! When the waiter brings in an enor- mous silver bowl with a dome-like silver cover, and when he removes the cover — then you forget every- thing in the world except the delicious savoury smell of the steam which rises from the myriad shells that open lovingly for you to extract from them the dainty sea-flavoured mussel that lurks within. Mussel, did I say.? No, these are not the ordinary mussels that Americans know. French gastronomic genius has transformed them into monies marinierey and the difference is like the difference between Coney Island


HAVRE AND TROUVILLE 29

beer and the nectar of the immortal gods. In some deftly magical way the French chef has imparted a delicious suggestion to the monies, just that indefin- able, evanescent memory of garlic — garlic which in the hands of the ordinary cook is an offensive and deadly weapon, but which in the hands of a cook of high degree — an artist in fact — is a means for achieving some of the supreme triumphs of his art. After the moules, you will have anything you care for — dainty slices of galantine^ or maybe capon nestling amid water-cresses, and then perhaps some peaches in a little basket where the fruit is enfolded in leaves from its own tree and ripened to precisely the right turn on some ancient wall in the sunshine of an old French garden. Then, perhaps, some pulled bread and a bit of Camembert and a cafe Mazagran in a long glass. No one remembers now the battle that gave its name to this particular prep- aration of coffee — which shows that men may come and empires may fall and armies may be dashed into fragments upon the battle-field, and their for- tunes may be forgotten; but the genius of cookery remains triumphant and its achievements are never lost.


30 THE NEW BAEDEKER

Well, after you have had the movies and the cold chicken and a salad and some long rolls of brown- crusted French bread, and after you have consumed the Camembert and drunk the Mazagran, you relax with a sigh of comfort while you blow a peaceful cloud and look out into the Rue de Paris, lazily and with infinite content. It is so delightful to be ashore and in this quaint and rich old town. It is fine to have so many good things at your disposal and to be taking in, as it were, through the open window, a sort of panorama of Old France. Directly across the street is a place devoted to the making of every possible kind of chocolate — forms and conceptions to which Mr. Huyler's imagination never soared. On the sidewalk, in the sun, men go by in blouses, and sturdy Norman girls wearing rather extraordinary caps and with portentous earrings. There is a clatter of wooden shoes upon the cobblestones, for nearly half the population prefer to walk in the mid- dle of the street. Sailors just off their ships, and tidy bourgeois of the • town, and pretty girls out shopping with their somewhat too plump mammas — a flutter of awnings, an impression of briskness, neatness and, more than all, a sense of having been


HAVRE AND TROUVILLE 31

there for centuries upon centuries, ever since the time of Louis XII. — all these combine to affect your imagination and delight your senses.

The Rue de Paris slopes leisurely down to the Grand Quai; and as you stroll along it, you see on every hand evidences that Havre is not only a sea- port, but one of the great seaports of the world. In France it ranks second only to Marseilles. The first thing that attracts your attention is the fact that so many shops incidentally deal in foreign postage- stamps. Whether you go into a tobacconist's or a magazin de hlanc or a confectioner's or a hardware shop, you are pretty certain to see in the windows great piles of envelopes — those beautiful fat, bulg- ing envelopes which delight the heart of every in- cipient stamp-collector — bearing in red and green letters such inscriptions as " 500 Timbres Tous Dif- ferents," while smaller envelopes contain fewer but choicer specimens. This amateur stamp industry shows that Havre is in communication with all parts of the world. From it go forth ships to Western Africa, to Madagascar, to Java and Sumatra and Japan, as well as to specifically French possessions, such as Tonquin and Martinique and New Caledonia.


32 THE NEW BAEDEKER

Thousands of families in Havre receive letters from their relatives in these countries, and they frugally remove the postage-stamps from them and sell them to the keepers of the shops. The stamps are prob- ably all picked over every little while by some expert; for I have never found anything very rare among them; but the ever present packets are a reminder of the maritime importance of the city.

The same fact comes to you more forcibly when you reach the Grand Quai itself. Along the contin- uous wharf and facing the open water, are innumer- able little restaurants and shops which sell marine stores and junk and all sorts of things that have a tarry smell. But what surprises you most, and gives an odd exotic touch to the whole wharfa*ge, is the screaming chatter of about a million parrots that swing in cages festooned along the widely open doors of all these buildings. Probably every sailor who comes back from Brazil or Africa or Asia or Central America or wherever it is that parrots live, brings with him a dozen of these birds and sells them for a song on the Grand Quai. There they form an innumerable company swinging in the sun and ruf- fling their feathers of blue and green and gold and


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HAVRE AND TROUVILLE 33

crimson until you might imagine that you were in a tropical forest or the heart of a rainbow.

It is wonderful how orderly even this part of a French maritime city is. In New York or Liverpool, for example, along the water-front, one naturally expects to find a drunken sailor at every turn, and to hear the sound of crapulous carousing at night from the various bar-rooms and " saloons." But the Grand Quai at Havre is as demure and self-respect- ing as Upper Fifth Avenue. The estammets emit no special sounds of revelry. In the little cafe- restaurants an occasional group of sailors wearing earrings will sit around a table consuming a few bocks, and smoking long-stemmed pipes; but they never howl or make any sort of a disturbance, and a placid old Norman dame in her white cap waits upon them in a casual friendly way. You may go into one of these places yourself and take your seat at a table if you desire to, and ask for something to eat. The floor is sanded. There are no tablecloths or napkins. You will be served perhaps with wooden bowls or with crockery about as thick as armour- plate. But everything is as neat as wax, and for a franc or less you will get a meal more appetising


34 THE NEW BAEDEKER

than the average country inn of America ever dreamed of.

This matter of public order in France is rather a mystery to me. You see the undersized gendarmes wherever you choose to go; but they efface them- selves and never seem to have any particular busi- ness. If you address them, they are immensely civil, in fact, almost Chesterfieldian. I remember asking one of them the way to a particular place. He did not, like an American policeman, grunt and mumble out a sentence both elliptical and syncopated. Far from that, he seemed to be much honoured by the inquiry. He walked out into the middle of the trot- toir and struck an attitude, holding his left hand on his heart, with the other free for pointing. " Permettez, Monsieur," he began; and then as I graciously permitted it, he gave me the direction several times over, and finally bowed, saluted, and retired to his own particular niche against the wall.

It is only in Havre, however, that I have witnessed two interferences by the French police on behalf of public order. The first was a rather curious one and shows the paternal character of government in


HAVRE AND TROUVILLE 35

France. Down past the Rue du General Faidherbe there is, or was, a large dingy building, a sort of combination of a cafe cliantant and a restaurant. At night there blazed from its front in gas jets " The Star." The name being English, it was prob- ably meant to attract the custom of English sailors; yet I never saw any Enghsh sailors there, but only the townsfolk of Havre and a sprinkling of fisher- men. Sitting up in a sort of perch which is reserved for strangers distinguished enough to pay half a franc for this seclusion, I watched with much interest, one evening, both the performance on the stage and the behaviour of the audience who were sitting at long parallel tables on the main floor below. Some of them were smoking and some of them were drink- ing cider — in Normandy the eating-houses usually display the sign " Cidre a Discretion " — and some were also eating bread and meat. One especial group attracted my attention. The man was prob- ably an artisan, good-natured and burly. With him were his wife and four or five children of various ages. The father and mother and elder children had consumed a large amount of cold meat and cheese and salad, and likewise no small quantity of sickly


36 THE NEW BAEDEKER

home-brewed beer. In this particular cafe chant' ant, it is not customary for the artists, after each turn, to do what the French call faire la quete, that is, to carry around a wooden bowl after the fashion of passing a hat or a contribution-box. On the contrary, the people in the audience show their approval by flinging sous and half sous upon the stage. After a particularly fetching song or an amusing piece of jugglery, a rain of coppers goes up from the auditorium and is picked up by the performers, as an opera singer would pick up a bouquet.

Now my friend, the artisan, had evidently been somewhat mellowed by his draughts of beer; and he let himself go in this pastime of flinging coppers. I should judge that he must have thrown as much as sixteen cents upon the stage, when suddenly, in a noiseless way, a gendarme appeared from nowhere and began to speak earnestly to this patron of the arts. There was much talk. Madame engaged in it with considerable vivacity. The elder children joined in. A dozen or more of persons who sat about them were also drawn into the vortex. Finally the proprietor of the place came down and took a


HAVRE AND TROUVILLE 37

hand. I had n't the slightest notion of what it was all about; for I could not hear what they were say- ing. But presently the talk subsided, the gendarme withdrew, and everything went on as before, except that the artisan threw no more coppers on the stage. My curiosity was so much excited that I descended from my isolated perch and managed to get the proprietor into a comer for an explanation.

  • ' Ah," said he with an expressive shrug, " the

good ouvrier was spending far too much money — more than he could afford. He was slightly warmed by the food and drink and the excitement of the music, and so he expended an extravagant sum."

" But," said I, " it was his own business, and his own money, and he seemed sober enough. Did his wife object? "

" Unhappily, no," returned the proprietor. " Ma- dame was most unreasonable. She was even quite willing that he should continue to throw whole sous upon the stage. Naturally, in the interest of the family, the agent interfered. It is surely a misfor- tune to allow a good fellow, merely because he is un peu gris, to squander the money which his family may need."


38 THE NEW BAEDEKER

There was much sense in this; and yet it seemed strange enough to an individualistic American that the poHce should interfere to prevent a man from doing what he pleased with what was quite his own, especially when his wife and children were wilHng.

The only other instance of the operation of French law that I have seen was a very different one, and yet exceedingly instructive. Walking one day in the out- skirts of Havre along the line of the coast where rise the huge falaises, I came rather suddenly upon a sight that caused me to stop. For here was the beginning of an interesting affair. There was a little one-story cottage in the background. In front of it stood, like a bull, a mighty, shaggy-haired, rough-bearded labourer, facing two gendarmes who had evidently come to take him into custody. They were approaching him with some caution, and it seemed to me that their caution was most necessary; for he was as big as the two of them together — ■ a perfect buffalo of a man — while they were slim, short, insignificant-looking persons, rather more so because of their co*cked hats and awkward uniforms. Apparently the labourer had been beating his wife and threatening to kill her; but with the inconsist-


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HAVRE AND TROUVILLE 39

ency of her sex she was now saying unpleasant things about the minions of the law. They, on their side, had thoughtfully brought with them a -fiacre which was waiting in the road near by, while the driver looked on with profound indifference.

The gendarmes advanced a step or two.

" Sac a papier! " growled the culprit.

His tone was most ferocious, but how could any tone give dignity to such an absurd ejacul*tion? After all, it is only English and Americans who have a real gift for straight profanity. Fancy a cow- boy cornered by a sheriff's posse and finding noth- ing more energetic to say than " Paper bag! "

I am tempted here, being a leisurely person, to indulge in a short excursus on the general ineffec- tiveness of all foreign profanity. Even the ancients could do nothing more than call upon the names of their various gods and on objects that were dear to them. The Greeks thought this a very tremen- dous thing to do; and so Rhadamanthus is said to have ordered men and women to swear by animals instead. Socrates, if correctly reported, used to say

  • ' By the dog! " whereas Lampon more feebly still

used to roar out " By the goose! " The Romans


40 THE NEW BAEDEKER

followed in the footsteps of the Greeks. In modern times, the Spaniards have perhaps the most objec- tionable vocabulary in existence. It has a sort of rancid richness about it which comes from the Arabs, and it is filled with blasphemy. Yet in straight swearing, Spanish is rather feeble and so is Italian. As for the Germans, they are curiously defective in thunderous oaths. I never could quite understand the workings of the German mind in this respect. Germans will call upon the Deity with the greatest freedom and on all occasions and think nothing of it, whereas they will be tremendously shocked if you use some expression in which the subtlest psychology can find nothing to be ashamed of. Thus, some mild-eyed, white-haired, gentle Hausfrau will ejacu- late " Lieber Gott! " or " Herr Je! " if she happens to burn a pancake; whereas, if you bark your shin and cry out " Zum Henker! " she will look at you with horror. I wish that some one would explain to me why it is so dreadful to a German to hear you say " To the hangman! " But after all, the French are the least capable of saying something really strong. A rather amusing instance of this can be found in Zola's La Debacle, Turn to that tremen-


HAVRE AND TROUYILLE 41

dous chapter in which he describes the taking of Bazeilles by the Bavarians. These rough soldiers have forced their way inch by inch through bloody streets amid a shower of bullets. Every window and a hundred loop-holes spurt fire on them. The towns- people are fighting like demons with any weapon that comes to hand. Flames burst from the roofs, and the scene is one of dreadful carnage and destruction. Then the Bavarians seize the near-sighted Weiss — a civilian who has shot many of their number and whom they have caught red-handed. His wife screams terribly and clings about his neck, and there comes to her " a short stocky Bavarian with an enormous head surrounded by a bristling forest of red hair and beard. He was besmeared with blood, a hideous spectacle, resembling nothing so much as some ferocious, hairy denizen of the woods, emerg- ing from his cavern and licking his chops, that are still red with the gore of the victim whose bones he has been crunching." This human brute lays his huge paws on Henriette and drags her from her hus- band's arms. Weiss draws himself up, bursting with rage, and hurls at the German the most dreadful epithet in his vocabulary. What is this dreadful


42 THE NEW BAEDEICER

epithet? Why, simply, " Sales cochons! " Now what is one to think of " Dirty pigs! " It takes you immediately away from the horrid scene of war and reminds you of a small urchin sticking his head through a hole in a picket fence and squeaking at some other urchin in the neighbouring back-yard. No, it is only the English and the Americans who have the gift of true profanity. That of the Eng- lishman comes down solidly like a bludgeon. That of the American blazes and crackles like a lightning- bolt. Yet both are effective. They are not com- mendable, but somehow they are clean. The English- man shows a sort of concentrated intensity. The American shows a vivid, lurid blend of anger and imagination.

Well, all this time I have been keeping the labourer standing face to face with the two gendarmes. The latter advanced still another step, and each took the ruffian by one of his arms.

" Nom d'un chien! " roared their adversary. But what could you expect of a man who Would say " Name of a dog! " as the worst thing that he could think of. All the same, I was looking every moment to see him raise the gendarmes off the earth with his


HAVRE AND TROUVILLE 43

mighty arms and smash their heads together, when in some magic, mysterious way, as it were in the twink- ling of an eye, he was down upon the ground, a pair of handcuffs were snapped upon his wrists, and in a moment more he was lying like a log in the bottom of the fiacre and being driven briskly toward the town, while the two gendarmes were sitting unemo- tionally upon his prostrate form. How they did it, Heaven only knows, but I have always had a good deal of respect for these gentry ever since. They evidently know their business, and they have a sort of jiu-jitsu of their own invention. I never saw anything neater in my life.

If you are a reader of Pierre et Jean you will probably try to find the particular cabaret or bras- serie in which the girl with a fringe first gave the half-clue to Pierre which led him to solve his mother's shameful secret. I think I know where it is myself — a little place just off the Rue de Paris. It is easier still to discover the residence of Madame Rose- milly at Sainte-Adresse. If you wish to make the whole Maupassant pilgrimage, you can take the boat which runs from Havre to Trouville in about an hour — the boat which carried Pierre to that pleas-


44 THE NEW BAEDEKER

ure-place where he found no pleasure, but only gloomier and blacker thoughts. You are very likely to have a rough time in the little steamer; and when you reach the long iron pier at TrouviUe, you will not be sorry to go ashore and to walk for half a mile along " the summer boulevard of Paris " and see a bit of what is chic and luxurious and elegant in French fashionable life collected on this marvel- lous beach. Suppose we let Maupassant describe it for us.

On the great bank of yellow sand, stretching from the jetty to the Ex)ches Noires, parasols of every colour, hats of every shape, dresses of every shade, m groups before the bathing-houses, in lines along the sea, or scattered here and there, resemble, in truth, enormous bouquets in an immeasurable meadow. The confused sounds, near or far, of voices made distinct by the thin air, the calls, the cries of children being bathed, the clear laughter of women, all formed a sweet, unbroken clamour, which was blended with the imperceptible sea air, and was inhaled with it.

This is a very pretty bit of description, but, of course, Maupassant could not stop there. His sixth sense, of which Henry James speaks in criticism, compels him to see something brutal under all this gaiety and colour and life. He must regard it as " the flowering of feminine perversity." That is


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HAVRE AND TROUVILLE 45

why I am not going to quote him any further; be- cause, for my part, I Hke to look upon what is pretty and attractive and to enjoy it as it seems to be and as what in all probability it actually is. Why im- pute all sorts of evil motives and sinister designs to these dainty butterflies who flit up and down the beach at Trouville or nestle under the great striped umbrellas or plunge into the sparkling sea? I am sure that many of them are above all criticism; for did I not myself find there, in this centre of French frivolity, an American professor of eco- nomics entirely forgetful of the splendour of the sky and the blueness of the sea and the bizarre but wonderful effect of colour on the beach? He was off in a comer by himself, working up statistics with an adding-machine, and his wife was dutifully assist- ing him.

Trouville has gone off a little now from what it used to be under the Second Empire, which trans- formed it from a mere fishing port into a brilliant capital of fashion. One is rather impressed by the fact that many of the ladies are from the provinces of France and that they dress in a style sufficiently archaic to excite the mirth of any American woman


46 THE NEW BAEDEKER

from Altoona or Buffalo or Colorado City. Under the Empire, Trouville was simply Paris transferred to the seashore. And, by the way, it is not Mau- passant who can claim a complete Kterary pro- prietorship in Trouville. He must, at any rate, share it with Ouida, since the first chapter of Moths opens vividly on this beach.

The yachts came and went, the sands glittered, the music sounded, men and women in bright-coloured stripes took headers into the tide or pulled themselves about in Httle canoes; the snowy canvas of the tents shone like huge white mushrooms, and the faces of all the houses were Uvely with green shutters and awnings brightly striped like the bathers. People, the gayest and best-bom people in Europe, laughed and chattered, and made love.

It was at Trouville, you will remember, that the frivolous and naughty Lady Dolly received her large-eyed and serious daughter Vera, and where Vera fell in love with the golden-throated Correze, but where she was compelled to marry the evil Rus- sian, Prince Zouroff. It is wonderful how the crea- tions of literature can populate a place and give it interest. As I lie upon my back in the sand at Trouville, with half -shut eyes, and comfortably bak- ing in the sun, the persons who move along the board- walk (which is probably the grandfather of all the


HAVRE AND TROUVILLE 47

boardwalks in America) seem quite familiar to me. I have met them years ago. I know their stories, their hopes, their griefs, their jealousies, and I know also what is going to happen to them. Thus does literature impinge on life, and make life luminous and full of an added interest which, if no one wrote good books, it would never in the world possess.


in

BERLIN

At the further end of Unter den Linden, away from the royal palace and the statue of old Frederick on his lumpy horse, that famous avenue broadens out into the Pariser Platz. Thence, one gazes through the stately Brandenburger Thor and beholds the Thiergarten with its expanse of greenery, its allur- ing alleys and its glint of snowy marble. If you enter one of the cream-coloured buildings which flank the Brandenburger Thor, you may ascend four flights. You will then discover, on the outer door of an apartment, a bright brass plate with an in- scription announcing it to be a pension, and bearing the name of the Frau Inspektor who conducts it.

A most delightful pension it is — immaculately neat, and furnished in the best of taste. Its clientele is small but cosmopoHtan. The Frau Inspektor, with her snowy hair and winter-apple cheeks and smile of rare benevolence, is a dear. To live there is a liberal education. In time you will come to know


BERLIN 49

the whole Familie Buchholz in real life, which is better even than to meet them in Herr Stinde's pages. You will hear no English. The subtleties of the Ber- liner Dialekt will gradually percolate your brain; and at last you will thoroughly enjoy the talk which lets you into the rivalries of Frau Buchholz and Frau Bergfeldt, the love affairs of Auguste and young Weigelt, and the importance of Herr Doktor Wrenzchen. The place has an atmosphere which is German to the last degree, and this atmosphere af- fords the proper medium through which to see Berlin.

To be sure, there are some complications about living in the pension. Take, for example, the matter of the keys. When you have been received and fa- vourably passed upon — a letter of introduction is strictly necessary — the Frau Inspektor entrusts you with four keys. First there is The ScJililssel, which opens the great door below. This Schlilssel is a big bronze affair, six inches long, and it weighs not less than half a pound. It might well have been the key to the Bastille or to one of the many dun- geons described by the veracious Baron von der Trenck. Then there is the HausscJilussel, which will


50 THE NEW BAEDEKER

let you pass the outer door of the apartment from the fourth-floor hall. This, too, is pretty large. Next comes a Httle Schlussel for the door within the outer door. The Frau Inspektor carefully explains, with a look of innocent cunning, that after inserting this Schlussel in the lock, you must first turn it twice to the right and then once to the left — or is it twice to the left and once to the right? Any- how, there is something to remember. And finally there is the Thiirschlilssel, which admits you to your own particular rooms.

When you have got all these four keys down in your trousers' pocket, you feel like Mark Twain's jumping frog after he had swallowed the pound of shot. And if, some evening, you chance to stay out rather late at the Cafe Bauer and are deluded into thinking that Eierponsch is a beverage for babes — O, that smooth, seductive, velvety, demoniac Eier- ponsch! — and you reach the Pariser Plaz after the portier has gone to bed —! In Heaven's name, which Schlussel is the Schlussel that you need for each of those confounded doors as you go upward in the dark? Is it the big Schlussel or the little Schussel or one of the medium-sized Schusselsf


bD a


BERLIN 51

And must you give the little Schliissel two turns to the right and then one to the left or two turns to the left and then one to the right? What with Schliissel after Schliissel, you get so schliissely that at last you give it up and make for the nearest hotel, where a Polizeibeamter worries you with questions, because you have neither luggage nor a passport.

Also, an American or an Englishman will find himself a little bit uncomfortable in the Pariser Platz, because of the well-known Teutonic horror of fresh air. My room is a delightful one, with a win- dow which looks out upon the Thiergarten. But in summer, Berlin is sometimes warm and stuffy — not as New York is warm, yet oppressed by a certain deadness of the air. At night I keep my window open, but it does not make much difference. So, finally, I hit upon the scheme of leaving open the door into the hall after all the household have re- tired, and of opening also the door into the dining- room. Then the sluggish air begins to stir and lets a stream of coolness pour into the room. But alas! In the still hours of the night come stealthy steps along the hall, and both doors are closed tight, so that again I swelter on the feather-bed. A second


52 THE NEW BAEDEKER

night and still a third this happens, and then I seek the Frau Inspektor.

" Ja, mein Herr, it is I who close the doors that you have so carelessly left open. Know you not that the night air is very dangerous? I almost fancied that your window was not closed! "

" My window was wide open," I reply. " And I must have air — plenty of it! "

The Frau Inspektor gasps and lifts her hands in horror.

  • ^ Unmoglich! It cannot be! Ne! ne! A few

more nights and the Herr will be so ill, and then — oh, NachldssigJceit! "

All argument is useless. The Frau Inspektor, out of the very goodness of her heart, will never hear of such a suicidal thing as letting me enjoy a draught of air in summer. In imagination she sees herself responsible for my speedy death. Her mild blue eyes begin to fill with tears. So I retire van- quished. But in the watches of the next sleepless night I plan a new campaign.

The Frau Inspektor has a son, a child of forty years, whom both the Frau Inspektor and her daughter, the Fraulein Emmi, coddle most absurdly,


BERLIN 53

though they view him with profound respect because he is a male and because he resembles (so I hear) his father, the late Herr Inspektor. I waylay him and desire his attention.

" When you were a student in the Gymnasium, Herr Otto," I begin, " did you ever read any stories of American life? "

" Ach, j a! " returns Herr Otto, his mind aroused to pleasing reminiscence. " So many read I then! Zum beispiel, the stories by a most wonderful ro- mancer written. We read them all, we younger ones — so gem! What was the name? Well do I re- member it — Herr Kupfer, or it may be Kupper. He wrote of the red savages in your country, and of the all so-skilful Scharfschiltz — how call you him? — Lederstrumpf! And the great forests — larger even than the Griinewald! "

" Yes, yes," I cried. " And you remember how Herr Cooper has described our hfe — how we live in those open forests through the summer, and how even in winter we have only huts of logs, that do indeed keep out the snow, but that let the wind blow through? "

" Wvmderhar! " murmured Herr Otto. " A


54 THE NEW BAEDEKER

strange people, die Amerikaner! I remember. Aber — das ist nicht Sitte bei wns! "

My heart sank as I heard this fatal formula. When Germans tell you that a thing is not the custom with them, they feel that the very last word has been said and that the incident is closed. How- ever, I returned to the attack.

" Of course, Herr Otto, such habits are unknown in a nation which has reached a high plane of civil- isation — a nation Hke Germany, for example. But it is different with us. / don't believe that in all America there is such a thing as a porcelain stove. And even in winter, Americans haven't yet. learned to lie at night between two feather-beds. I have al- ways been used to a great deal of air, and I can't be civilized all at once. Naturally, the Frau Inspektor does not understand this, because she has not studied the ways of strange peoples. But you, who are a man of the world and a great reader, will know that I am in no danger of falling ill from having the doors open at night. Indeed, if they are to be closed in the hot weather, I shall have to go out and sleep under a tree in the Thiergarten — and that, you know, is Polizeiwidrig — streng verbotert"


BERLIN 55

" Ja, ja, that understand I," assented Herr Otto, preening himself visibly. " I will myself speak to the Frau Mamma."

And he must have spoken to her very effectually, for that night and thereafter the doors were all left open, and I slept as comfortably as Leatherstocking himself.

But, putting aside the matter of the keys and the need of a mild duplicity in the management of Herr Otto, there is nothing to fret one's soul in this neat little pension. At the Mittagsessen and the Ahendes- sen there is daily gathered a small group of inter- esting human beings whom chance fortune has drawn together here. Besides the Frau Inspektor, and Herr Otto, and the Fraulein Emmi, there is a good- natured gigantic Swedish basso who has sung the Dragon's part in Siegfried, from St. Petersburg to San Francisco. There is a silent little Frenchman whose German is apparently limited to about twenty words and who seems to have nothing to do; so that I like to believe him to be a sort of diplomatic spy from the Quai d'Orsay. And again, there is a young lady from Vienna who represents the Ad- vanced School of German Thought, for she smokes multitudinous cigarettes after dinner, goes out alone


5Q THE NEW BAEDEKER

at all hours, and returns (also alone) at two In the morning from goodness knows where. Finally, there is a Finnish girl who is learning German, so as to teach it in Helsingfors. She has a rather plain face, but she wears a bang and that makes her distinctly fascinating. There are many young men and maidens in America to-day who have never seen bangs — or " fringes," if you like — worn. Apparently the bang, long since expelled from Western Europe, has only now reached Finland. For my part, I am hop- ing for a general renaissance of the bang. If the fact were only understood, there is no woman so plain, so naturally unprepossessing, as not to appear attractive when she wears a bang. The deep fringe of hair falling low upon the forehead has a strange power of creating fascination, of making an appeal, of compelling man's attention. Perhaps it is the same sort of appeal by which the primitive woman with tumbled tresses stirred the first desire of the cave-man amid the infinite silence of unbroken forest. But the little Fraulein Stella is quite unconscious of her charm, and eats eggs and Leberwurst without an esoteric thought.

And so do we all eat eggs and Leberwurst and


BERLIN 57

many other things more recondite. The Frau In- spektor has a carefully prepared cycle of repasts. By noting down what you have had on any particular day, you can forecast just what you are to have on the corresponding day next week. It is all very good; except that on the day appointed for berry- soup and smoked goose, I usually find it convenient to dine out at Killer's on the Linden. But when the Frau Inspektor treats us to mock-hare (or Falsche Hase) I am always present. Mock-hare is just as near as Germans can come to producing Philadelphia scrapple. Scientifically, mock-hare and scrapple may be viewed as representing abso- lutely independent research arriving at almost identical results — like John Couch Adams and M. Leverrier discovering the planet Neptune. If the Frau Inspektor only had a little Indian meal, the mock-hare would be actually scrapple — with that lovely golden brown colouring and crispness of taste which make scrapple one of the immortal contribu- tions of America to the world's gastronomic Wal- halla. Rank it with canvas-back duck and terrapin and buckwheat cakes and Little Neck clams and green com. But if it were not for the pinch of Indian


58 THE NEW BAEDEKER

meal, scrapple would not be scrapple. It would be mock-hare.

I eat so much of this delectable dish and say so much about it that the Frau Inspektor is flattered deep down in her gracious soul. The Fraulein Emmi, one day, mysteriously presents me with a slip of gilt- edged paper on which she has written out the recipe for mock-hare, so that I shall be able to have some made for me in far-off America.

" Though," says the Fraulein Emmi, " it ought to be cooked upon a range or stove."

I blush slightly, knowing that she has in mind the wild, open forest life which I have described to Herr Otto — a life of roaring campfires rather than of decent kitchens. HoweveK^ I take the recipe with gratitude. The Fraulein Emmi reads English more or less; and as a compliment to me, she has com- posed the recipe in that language, with the aid of a dictionary. I reproduce it here just as she wrote it on the sheet of gilt-edged paper:


FOR THE FALSE HAIB


350 gramm. beef — hacket 350 gramm. porck — hacket 1 little bread in Water gesoaket 3 spoons other Bread pulverisirt


BERLIN 59

2 teaspoons pepper salt.

1 onion fine hacket

In fat to damp. All together stirr, and stick with Lard.

It is delightful of a summer morning to wake and hear the notes of a bugle in the Thiergarten below one's window. Looking out, one sees a group of Uhlans riding between the strips of greenery, the little pennons fluttering from their lances, and their splendid horses moving all together. The perfect training of the German cavalry is wonderful. At a distance they seem like a row of lead soldiers, cast all in exactly the same mould. Each lance is held at precisely the same angle. Each rider has precisely the same seat upon his steed. Each horse, even, lifts his hoofs at precisely the same instant as each other horse. And when you see fifty thousand cavalry and infantry at some great review on the Tempel- hoferfeld, it is just the same. A column of a thou- sand men seems not to be composed of individuals. It might have been carved as a whole out of some blue and red material, and its movements are as regular as those of a machine. In fact, an intelli- gent machine is the ideal of the ruling German — not the highest possible ideal, but one of which the


60 THE NEW BAEDEKER

realisation is astonishing wherever you observe it — in the army, the police, the post-office, the univer- sities, or the imperial court. Perhaps, after a little, you weary of its mechanism. Spontaneity, indi- viduality, personality, have all been thrown into the hopper of a huge official mill, and have come out a finished product which lives and works and thinks according to a formula.

It is the eternal presence of the German soldier that differentiates Berlin from an American city of its size; for all else here is modern — the ornate palace of the Reichstag, the glorified Luna Park display of the Siegesallee, the brand-new Protestant cathedral or Domkirche, the avenue of the Linden itself, lined with ghttering shops and restaurants, the Leipzigerstrasse, crowded by trams and vans and bustling burghers. There is a brown-stone-front effect to the Schloss which recalls New York; and though the Schloss Bridge, with its statues over- looking the little river, is beautiful, it has not the effect of mellow age. To be sure, there are many places here which are redolent of history, but it is very modern history. One looks at the column in the Belle Alliance Platz, and it takes you no further


BERLIN 61

back than Waterloo. The building that nestles under a great Mansard roof and encompasses a garden in the Wilhelmstrasse gives you a thrill when you remember that in its offices the mighty Bismarck, with his Reichshund crouched beside him, created a great empire, and gave law to Continental Europe until the day when his " young master " sent an aide-de-camp to turn him out. But this was only a few years ago. We all remember it; and the Man of Blood and Iron might himself appear upon the steps without seeming like a visitant from another world.

Yes, Berlin is very new — an infant among Euro- pean capitals — and even old Fritz upon his lumpy horse is not an ancient, since his end came only after we Americans had won our freedom. Compare the German capital with Paris or Vienna or Brussels, not to speak of Rome, and it seems almost as new as Cincinnati or Detroit. The distinctive and pic- torial interest of it comes first of all from the swarm- ing soldiery — from the bright helmets, spiked or plumed, the glitter of gold lace, the blue and crim- son uniforms, the white jack-boots, and the clank of sabres everywhere. A dozen times an hour you see


62 THE NEW BAEDEKER

some gorgeous warrior stiffen suddenly and salute, as he perceives another of his kind somewhere within the regulation distance. It is most attractive for a time; and the bugle of the Uhlans in the morning is but the overture, the thrilling note with which the martial drama of the day begins.

Yet after a little while, the everlasting army officer gets upon your nerves. His lordly and all-conquering air, his supercilious pose, his assumption that he has the right of way, no matter where you meet him, his refusal to swerve a hair's breadth as he stalks along the broadest trottoir — somehow you feel that there is a great deal too much of him. And then you hear stories of his insolence to women, his bullying of civ- ilians, the grim tales of the barrack-yards where simple country boys are tortured by the drill-sergeant with inconceivable brutality, and now and then a darker and more sinister revelation of the moral rottenness which is festering like a plague-spot underneath the brave display of gorgeous uniforms and rigid ceremonial. It is not necessary to read such books as that of Bilse or such journals as the Zukunft. Any German can relate to you out of his own personal knowledge things as sickening as these.


BERLIN 63

And after that, the schneidig Offizier, as he swaggers by you on the Linden, nose in air, and regarding you with contempt, is not provocative of admiration.

Here is where I recall the Adventure of the Herr Lieutenant. You must know that, staying tempo- rarily in Berlin and viewing it with scorn, is an American friend, whom I may, for the purpose of this narrative, call Bob — especially as that is what everybody calls him in his native land. Now Bob is a frank and free-spoken and energetic person with a sort of mental twist which leads him to condemn whatever is under his immediate eye, and to admire whatever is remote. At home he professes to believe that the great Republic is tottering to its fall. Everything American is either detestable, ridicu- lous, or worthless. They do it all so much better in Europe. But here, in Berlin, you should hear Bob blaze with patriotic ardour! America is God's coun- try, sure enough. As for Germany and the Germans — pah! Bob has a most wonderful vocabulary to which half a dozen languages have contributed, and his fluency is marvellous; yet even he finds it difficult to relieve his burdened soul of all its pent-up feeling.


64 THE NEW BAEDEKER

And he is not in the least particular as to when and where he says the things that he desires to say. It is just a bit appalling to hear him, in the midst of the crowded Cafe Keck or the Oberbayrische Restaurant, express his candid views as to the Kaiser, the Crown Prince, the rest of the royal and imperial family, the German army, and the whole administra- tion of the Empire. His words come hot and pun- gent like a cataract of tabasco sauce. If any one else should utter half a dozen sentences such as these of Bob's, he would be swiftly haled before some be- dizened functionary and then laid by the heels in a dungeon for the crime of Majestdtsbeleidigimg. But Bob keeps right on, precisely as though he were in Brooklyn, and no one even warns him. It is just Bob's luck.

Well, one evening, rather late, we are roaming in a somewhat lonely and ill-lighted section of the Alt- Moabit, when down the pavement comes, very haugh- tily, a young Herr Lieutenant of his Majesty's Brandenburgers. He is very blond and very trig, much pinched as to his waist, and padded as to his shoulders, and his strut makes it apparent, even from afar, that the earth and the fulness thereof are all


BERLIN 65

his. I can feel Bob fairly bristle as this young warrior heaves in sight. The sidewalk is reasonably wide and we give a full half of it to the Herr Lieu- tenant. But he has already set his course, and to swerve from it for the sake of two contemptible civ- ilians would be absurd and ignominious. The result is that he comes into violent collision with Bob. Now Bob had instantaneously perceived just what was going to happen and had braced himself for the im- pact of the Herr Lieutenant. Therefore, the Herr Lieutenant reels violently and almost falls into the roadway, his cap half shaken from his head and his sword getting awkwardly mixed up with his sky- blue legs. He pulls himself together fiercely.

" Du! Lump! " snarls the Herr Lieutenant.

" Schweinehund! " flashes back Bob, like a rapid- fire gun.

Now to call any German whatsoever a pig-dog is a very serious matter. But to apply that name to an officer in uniform, especially after you have knocked him all over the place, is an insult that can be washed out by blood alone. According to the unwritten code of his ^lajesty's army, the Herr Lieu- tenant must instantly draw and run Bob through


m THE NEW BAEDEKER

the body. His hand goes swiftly to his sword-hilt. But Bob is by no means slow. With the agility of a cat he leaps aside, and catches up what an American rustic would call a " rock." It is a fine, smooth, round cobblestone of about two pounds in weight, and Bob poises it deftly in his ready hand.

" You slab-sided, spindle-shanked, waffle-j awed, pop-eyed son of a pink porcupine! " cries Bob. " If you pull that tin sword of yours, I '11 mash your face into Blutwurstl "

It may have been the effect of the moonlight, but I notice that the roseate cheeks of the Herr Lieuten- ant have suddenly turned to chalk. Perhaps he is appalled to find that the American language con- tains so many compound words. Doubtless on the field of battle, with his fellow-Brandenburgers, he would cheerfully rush forward to certain death amid the cannon-thunder. But up here in a dim corner of the Alt-Moabit, to have his face, his beautiful face, converted into Blutwurst by a " rock " at the hands of a foreign savage — there is no glory in it. And Bob has a very wicked look as he balances the cob- blestone in his nervous, muscular hand.

There is a poignant silence for about two seconds.


BERLIN 67

Then the Herr Lieutenant adjusts his cap, endeav- ours to assume an air of high disdain, and stalks stiffly off into the night with muttered words, among which I can distinguish only " Barbarismus! "

Bob and I make our way to the hospitable shelter of the Herculesgarten, and there celebrate together, with many a stein, this signal victory of the United States over the German army.

I wonder whether it is because the military caste is so exalted that the proletariat is so sordid and un- pleasant. One extreme is usually balanced by the other. At any rate, the rabble of Berlin is grosser and more offensive than that of any other northern capital — than in Paris or in London, for example, or in cosmopolitan New York. Intense poverty can- not rob the French of a certain artistic feeling, nor the English of a certain rough bonhomie, nor the Americans of a certain self-respect and orderliness. But a German crowd is like a herd of animals — coarse, rude, unmannerly, and yet quite servile in the presence of a uniform. To see them in their free moments, I take a little steamer which plies along the Spree from the Jannowitz Briicke in Berlin to Stra-


68 THE NEW BAEDEKER

lau an-d other pseudo-rustic places by the river — the German equivalents of Coney Island and Pleasure Bay and Nantasket.

The boat is packed with puif -faced men and blowsy women and squalling children. On the little deck before the wheel-house I observe two girls, not ill- looking, and doubtless servant-maids out for a holi- day. They lean over the railing. Beneath them is the lower deck jammed with perspiring humanity, so close that not one can move from where he stands. A slow Teutonic smile begins to spread itself over the broad faces of the girls. Then they lean forward and begin, quite pleasantly, to spit down upon the passengers below them. They grin when the marks- manship is particularly good. Their human targets cannot possibly escape them. In any other country there would be a riot on the boat; but this is Ger- many, and the lower deck is much amused by the rich humour of the two DienstmddcJien, There are little squeals and there is much dodging, but no one seems to feel disgust.

As you glide along the river you see, on either bank, beer-gardens, open-air restaurants, grotesque little hotels, and also open spaces where excursionists


BERLIN 69

may sit and eat and drink what they have brought with them in bottles and pails and baskets. It is not a holiday, yet it seems as though the entire popula- tion of Berlin were already swarming in the JJm- gehungen of the capital. Heavens! What shoals of sardellen, what heaps of herring, what hills of hams, what mountains of sausages, and what conti- nents of smoked goose, cheese, sauerkraut, and pork, are being washed down with seas of beer and gluh- wein and other fearsome brews! Surely Gargantua must have been a German. And when you reach Stralau you simply attain a climax for while there are tents containing sword-swallowers and bearded ladies and Circassian beauties (from Sanct Pauli at Hamburg) and a " Reptilien Ausstellung " you can scarcely notice them because you are distracted by the extraordinary capacity for guzzling which you see illustrated all about you. I used to think that the piles of " hot dogs " which disappear at Coney Island of a summer afternoon were staggering; but Stra- lau would engulf them in an hour, and then bellow for still more. There are also seventeen different kinds of music rending the atmosphere, and, oddly enough, most of it is in a minor key. If the Eng-


70 THE NEW BAEDEKER

lish take their pleasure sadly, these Germans surely take theirs dismally — one might say morbidly. For what is the ballad that is being sung by yon- der red-bearded baritone and most approved by those who stop between two bites of Wurst to listen? You may buy the words from the songster himself for the sum of two pfennig. " Schreck- liches Ende Einer Kindermorderin." Fancy — eat- ing, drinking, on pleasure bent in the open air and sunshine, and then topping off with a gruesome ditty which describes the shocking end of a child- murderess I

Take a tram through the lovely Thiergarten, and visit Charlottenburg. Again, you will see very much the same sort of crowd. Most of them will not visit the pretty palace there, but will make straight for the mausoleum. When it is opened by the attendant, in rush the Volk. This is the final resting place of kings, a place where Prussian sovereigns lie in the dignity of death. I have watched American crowds at the tomb of Washington and at the sepulchre of General Grant, but never in either place have I seen a man who did not bare his head and speak in low- ered tones and move about with evident respect. Yet


BERLIN 71

many call us the most irreverent of peoples! Watch these Germans squeezing, grunting, and snorting like so many swine around the royal tombs. If they were allowed to do so, they would camp upon the coffins and devour cheese and sausages in the very presence of the dead.

No, the ruling military caste and the porcine pop- ulace are the upper and nether millstones between which the great body of the German people are held fast. The men of intellectual power, the men of affairs, the men who are the mainstay of the race must let the heel of militarism press their necks a little longer. They are upright, honourable, cour- teous and altogether right; but they must still bow low to degenerates like Kuno von Moltke, for ex- ample, just as the peasants and the very poor must sweat to pay the sums which a military State de- mands. And these last pay in blood and self-respect as well as in hard coin. Their women cannot be vir- tuous and still earn a living. During the Franco- Prussian War, how the American and English pulpits rang with moral lessons! The French were wor- shippers of the great goddess Lubricity, and there- fore they were humbled. The Prussians were God-


72 THE NEW BAEDEKER

fearing, temperate, and pure, and so they were exalted.

I should like to have these sermonisers walk with me through the most respectable quarters of Berlin. In Paris, vice is kept strictly within bounds by the agents des moeurs. The smaller French cities are not merely decorous but dull. While Berlin —! Stroll through the beautiful arcade, the Passage which runs from the Linden to the Friedrichstrasse, and you will see effigies and pictures and mechanical toys such as might have been designed for Elagab- alus. There they are, exposed to everybody's view as openly as though they were Teddy-bears or Noah's arks. One cannot venture to describe them. They surpass the worst things in that Neapolitan collection to which no priest or woman is admitted. And what is supremely detestable in German pruri- ency is its utter grossness. The Frenchman at his lowest lets his wit play around the lupanar. The German at his lowest draws his inspiration from the latrine and the sewer.

Berlin boasts that it has no maisons tolerees. What need, when almost every Wirstshaus, almost every LoJcal, and almost every cafe swarm with


6o5


12/13 Kronenstr.i2/l3


Strohwittwer-

Heim


Ausschank

von echtem

HliQClieDep und hiesigen Lagerbier.


"-i—j- —


Internationale Bedienung.


-^^


Fremden und Hiesigen bestens empfohlen.

A. Pfeffer.

Prnck Ton 0. Haeodoru. Leipn^erstr. 126

The "Strohwittwer-Heim"


BERLIN 73

women who thrust themselves upon you with the slow smile that all over the world has but a single mean- ing? Crude printed handbills in red or blue an- nounce the Tingelt angel or the Schwalben-Nest or what you please as being a Strohwittwer Heim with Fesche Bedienung or Internationale Bedienung, The whole city teems with meretricious lures. It is the garrison taint, the inevitable concomitant of that social order under which marriage is made impossible by the obligations of military service. Napoleon's armies shook German feudalism to pieces; for even in Napoleon's despite, they spread everywhere a love of nationality and a knowledge of the rights of man. The restless days of 1848 gave to Prussia the sem- blance of constitutionalism. But Bismarck's three successful wars, while they did create an Empire, made it an Empire of brute force and of brutal rule. Only a great military disaster can now hurl this down and leave the true German people free to build again, and at last to have a country that is not a camp.

Some day, if God is very good to me, I shall be sitting at my window in the Pariser Platz and look- ing out across the Thiergarten toward Charlotten-


74 THE NEW BAEDEKER

burg. But there will be no Uhlans and no bugle calls. A strange hush will have fallen on Berlin. Shutters will be closed and curtains drawn along the Linden, and the whole great avenue will be as still as death. At the Brandenburger Thor a few mounted officers of the police in their dark uniforms will be sitting their horses, immobile and gloomy.

As I gaze with intense expectancy across the sea of green, there comes an impalpably faint murmur, like the far-away sound of surf upon the shore. It grows and swells, and then it deepens into a sort of muffled thunder pierced by the roll of distant drums. The murmur becomes a surging symphony. The clear call of trumpets cuts it with a shrilling blare of triumph. Now I can see the glint of sun on steel. Down one of the broad allees there gallop half a hundred horsem*n who draw rein beside the Branden- burger Thor. Then, of a sudden, comes a great flood of splendid cavalry, with glittering corselets, regiment upon regiment of cuirassiers, who have at last avenged the red ruin of their glorious debacle at Gravelotte. On they ride, not with the stolid, surly mien of Prussians, nor with the mechanical perfec- tion of the toy soldiers of the Tempelhoferfeld, but


BERLIN 75

swinging lightly in their saddles, their faces radiant with that joyous daring which belongs to the most war-loving nation in the world.

But now they have massed themselves about the Thor. Far as the eye can reach are regiments of sturdy infantry filling the whole vast area of the Thiergarten. Before them, surrounded by a bril- liant staif , rides a general whose name is now perhaps unknown to Europe and the world, but who on that day will be the greatest man on earth. As he nears the Thor, the glorious tricolour Is unfurled, sur- mounted it may be — for who can tell — by the Napoleonic eagle. And then, following the rising thunder of a thousand drums, there bursts forth a crash of music — thrilling, maddening, divine. I feel the words that are behind:

Amour sacre de la patrie, Conduis, soutiens nos bras vengeurs — Liberie, Liberte cherie, Combats avec tes defensem-s! Sous nos drapeux que la Victoire

Accoure a tes males accents; Que nos ennemis expirants

Voient ton triomphe et notre gloire!

Aux armes, citoyens! Formez vos bataillons! Marchons! Qu'un sapg impur abreuve nos sillons!


76 THE NEW BAEDEKER

And as the music swells and billows into a tempest of martial melody, rolling up the Linden and flooding it with a glorious sea of sound, I, at my window, shall lean far out and cry aloud with an infinite exultation —

" Vive la France! "


IV

ROME

When you glide into the railway station which re- ceives those who travel from Florence to Rome, per- haps you ought not to expect anything different from what you actually find. Rome! The very name recalls mailed legions, and splendid palaces, and the riches of a world cast into the lap of its triumphant mistress. But you alight from your railway car- riage and see only the bare, grey walls and platforms of a very French-looking gare, with a few facchmi waiting to take your luggage, and several hersa- glieri and other Italian warriors, wearing absurd co*cks' feathers in their caps. Is this really the Rome of your dreams, the Rome of Scaurus and Pompey and Csesar and Cicero and Catiline — the Rome of Gregory the Great, the Rome of Rienzi?

A traveller is almost always foolish enough to generalise from a railway-station, even though he knows that all railway-stations from Utica, New York, to far-off Benares in India, are quite apart


78 THE NEW BAEDEKER

from the places to which they belong. And to gen- eralise about Rome of all cities, after spending five minutes in its cheerless sta^ionel The late Pope Leo XIII. — that sagacious, urbane, and learned pontiif — had a series of little formulas which he used to employ when meeting strangers. They are replete with a vast amount of practical wisdom.

" How long have you been in Rome? " Pope Leo was wont to ask.

Perhaps the person would answer:

" A week, your Holiness."

" Ah, then you must feel as though you know Rome very well! "

If the visitor said that he had been in Rome for six months, his Holiness would reply:

" Then you have begun to look about you a little bit."

But if the visitor happened to say that he had lived in Rome for several years and intended living there for several more, then the Pope would smile benignantly and remark:

" Ah, then you have discovered that even a whole lifetime is not too long to teach you what Rome really is!"


ROME 79

I had n't heard of Pope Leo's views when I reached the outside station late one October afternoon, and I felt the weariness of travel and the chilHness of an atmosphere which went to my very bones. So I was cross and disappointed and caused myself to be driven swiftly to a very good hotel in the Via del Babuino near the Piazza del Popolo and the Pincian. Inducted into a handsome room, I still shivered with the cold. Even the gorgeous hotel porter, and the wilhng attendants, and the coming dinner and the subconsciousness of Rome itself could not dispel the chill. New York in January may be actually colder, but Rome in October makes you feel the coldness more. There was a fireplace under the mantel; so I rang, and when a servant came, I clamoured for a fire. The order was accepted with a deep bow of acquiescence, but I could see that somehow or other I had acted rashly.

Presently there entered a very pretty maid bring- ing sundry little sticks of wood and carrying them somewhat as a young priestess of Juno might carry the sacred emblems of that goddess in a procession. She laid them down reverently by the fireplace. There were thirteen of these little sticks, and each


80 THE NEW BAEDEKER

one looked as though it had been carefully washed and pumice-stoned. Elena, for such was the maiden's name, produced a few shavings and with much care ignited three of the sticks. They made a fitful and uncertain blaze in the large fireplace. The sight of them only intensified the surrounding area of cold. I said:

" Put on some more wood, please."

Elena looked grieved and rather startled as she added three more twigs to those which were already flickering. Thereupon, I seized the rest of the bundle and threw it all on at once. Elena gasped.

" Oh, but the wood, the precious wood! " she cried.

Then it was obvious that wood in Rome is not to be taken lightly. I thought of the vast opulent stretches of American woodland where any one can go and gather at will great seasoned logs and beauti- , ful broad chips and unlimited hemlock and spruce, and pine cones, and build huge roaring fires by the seashore or in the clearings in the forests — all this the free gift of sylvan nature in our still undimin- ished stores. But to Elena a few small sticks were very precious. They had been gathered with care and sold at a price and were not to be burned save


ROME 81

one by one, and then chiefly for display. I was sorry for Elena, but I demanded more wood, and still more; and I had a lovely blazing fire which lighted the whole room with its glorious flame, until there was no more cold and I felt that, after all, life was well worth living. The charge for all this wood was fifteen cents, which, when you put it into centesimi, looks formidable in a hotel bill and in the eyes of Elena, but which does not greatly deplete your letter of credit.

It was probably all wrong that, after being warmed and amply fed, I did not take an evening stroll down through the Piazza di Spagna and thence to some part of the Rome that existed in the days of the early emperors. I meant to do so; but, saunter- ing along the Via del Babuino, I chanced upon a building all aflare with gaslight amid which flamed the letters Varieta. Of course it was a cafe-concerto, and why should not one spend his first evening in Rome there rather than in contemplating some arch or ruin in the chilly moonlight? The cafe-concerto looked warm and bright; and I was pretty sure that Horace would have entered it precisely as he used to prowl around the Forum and down in the Su-


82 THE NEW BAEDEKER

burra, watching the bunco-steerers and jugglers and sausage vendors of his generation. In fact, when- ever I want to enjoy myself in an unconventional way, I always pacify my conscience by saying that this is just what Horace would have done. Dulce est desipere in loco is really one of his greatest lines, and it leaves you to decide for yourself whether any particular place is the sort of locus that he had in mind.

The hall which I now entered had a stage at one end, approached by a broad aisle. On each side of the aisle, and facing it, were long rows of tables, or rather slabs, with chairs behind them, by means of one of which I secured a seat. On the stage a most interesting performance was going on. Two gentle- men in evening dress were doing things. One would apply a match to the other's nose, whereupon the nose would immediately glow bright red and the match would be ignited. I am sure that Horace would have been amused by this. Then the gentle- men proceeded to other feats which I was beginning to enjoy, when all of a sudden a soft voice at my left, emanating from a hocca Romana, said with well- bred languor:


ROME 83


6i


Giulia, I am sure that the Signor would be glad to offer you some slight refreshment."

I turned around and there was a very daintily dressed lady, with beautiful white hair, looking at me, but speaking to her daughter who was equally well attired and who had the face of a Cloelia or a Clodia. I was struck by the friendliness of the Ro- mans and the ease with which they make a stranger feel at home. A ready waiter appeared and pres- ently brought to the Signorina Giulia some liquid trifle in a tiny glass. By this time, the gentlemen on the stage were surpassing themselves; but I had no sooner resumed the thread of their performance than the white-haired lady once more spoke. She hinted that refreshment of a more solid character would be conducive to the health of Giulia. Not to make too long a story of it, both the ladies were ere long consuming a terrine of pate de foie gras, long rolls of delicious looking bread, coffee in tall glasses, various Italian cheeses, luscious looking grapes, a salad rather highly flavoured with garlic, and sundry other things of which the memory escapes me.

Presently their appetite seemed more remarkable


84 THE NEW BAEDEKER

to me than anything which was happening on the little stage. I wondered whether they were going to finish before midnight. But they did so; and then the white-haired lady rose and thanked me most mellif- luously with the remark that they would both be charmed to have me call upon them, not thinking it necessary, however, to give me an address. Then they glided gracefully out through the blue cigarette smoke of the now crowded hall, while I settled with the waiter and reflected once more on the genial friendliness of the Romans. When I went back to my hotel I had a comfortable sort of feeling that I had acquaintances in Rome. The chilliness of my first impression had been entirely removed.

Looking back over my reminiscences I must say that this sort of friendliness was very general. For example, down in the Piazza di Venezia, strolling pleasantly in the noonday sunlight, I encountered a contadina dressed in many colours and engaged in selling flowers. One day I bought some and paid for them with a lira, having no smaller change at hand and not thinking that eighteen cents was an excessive price for a cluster of roses which on Fifth Avenue would have cost three dollars. But this large


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sum made an immense impression on the mind of Lucia, which was the name of the flower-girl. The next day, on my stroll, I found her reinforced by six others of her profession, all of them buried in blooms and insisting that I should buy of them. It seemed a pity to disappoint so many Romans all at once, especially as I was trying to get a real under- standing of the city after the notion of Pope Leo. So I bought seven bunches of flowers, though with copper instead of silver, and then fondly imagined that the incident was closed. Great was my surprise, therefore, on the following day, when I found the Piazza di Venezia filled with flower-girls, all of whom received me with a chorus of liquid Italian. I was much embarrassed; and when they approached I took refuge in a book-shop, the proprietor of which a little later allowed me to escape through one of those mysterious back-doors which every Roman house possesses and by which you can go through a whole maze of streets until your pursuers have lost you, and you have lost yourself.

But Rome — ancient, mediaeval, and modem all in one — who shall write of it.^* Who shall give any


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adequate conception of that wonderful place in which the old and the new are so inextricably interwoven? There is the Black Stone which Romulus may have touched; and there is the gigantic memorial to Victor Emmanuel which is still unfinished. There is not a nook or a corner which, if you know just what it means, can be passed by unheeded. Strangely enough, though this is the capital of the greatest Church in Christendom, the ecclesiastical phase of it makes the least impression. St. Peter's, for example, is one of the most remarkable structures in the world, and yet somehow I cannot think of it save as a show- place. Its colonnades, the leaping fountains in front of it, the marvellous statuary, the vast interior where men and women at one end seem mere pygmies to those who view them from the other — all this mag- nificence and hugeness do not kindle a spark in my imagination.

Go into the Sistine Chapel and hear the eunuch choir sing their strangely sweet unearthly music, and still you will feel that it is all a show. You are not bowed down in spirit as you are when you face the Gothic majesty of the cathedral at Cologne. At St. Peter's you consult your guide-book and walk


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about and chatter. At Cologne you are in the very presence of God Himself and your tongue cleaves to the roof of your mouth, and a sense of your infinite littleness and weakness and human frailty comes over you and bids you to be silent amid this scene of awe. And yet one can partly understand what St. Peter's means, not only to the faithful, but to many for whom its interest is only artistic and historical. Clive Newcome expressed it all in the letter that he wrote when he was living in the Via Gregoriana and which is one of the most famous and worst written passages in Thackeray.

Of course our first pilgrimage was to St. Peter's. What a walk! Under what noble shadows does one pass! At every turn there is a temple; in every court a brawling fountain. . . . You pass through an avenue of angels and saints on the bridge across Tiber, all in action; their great wings seem clanking, their marble garments clap- ping. St. Michael, descending upon the Fiend, has been caught and bronzified just as he Kghted on the Castle of St. Angelo. ... I think I have lost sight of St. Peter's, have n't I? How it makes your heart beat when you first see it! Ours did as we came in at m'ght from Civita Vecchia, and saw a great ghostly darkling dome rising solemnly up into the grey night, and keeping us company even so long as we drove, as if it had been an orb fallen out of heaven with its light put out. As you look at it from the Pincio, and the sun sets behind it, siu'ely that aspect of earth and sky is one of the grandest in the world. I don't like to say that the fa9ade of the church is ugly and obtrusive. As long as the dome overawes, that fa9ade is supportable.


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You advance toward it — through, O, such a noble court! with fountains flashing up to meet the sunbeams; and right and left of you, two sweeping half-crescents of great colmnns; but you pass by the courtiers and up to the steps of the throne, and the dome seems to disappear behind it. It is as if the throne was upset, and the king had toppled over.

There must be moments, in Rome especially, when every man of friendly heart, who writes himself Enghsh and Protestant, must feel a pang at thinking that he and his countrymen are insulated from European Christendom. An ocean separates us. From one shore or the other one can see the neighbour cliffs on clear days: one must wish sometimes that there were no stormy gulf between us; and from Canterbury to Rome a pilgrim could pass, and not drown beyond Dover. Of the beautiful parts of the great Mother Church I believe among us many people have no idea; we think of lazy friars, of pining cloistered virgins, of ignorant peasants worshipping wood and stones, of bought and sold indulgences, -absolutions, and the hke conunonplaces of Protestant satire. Lo! yonder inscription, which blazes round the dome of the temple, so great and glorious it looks like heaven almost, and as if the words were written in stars, it pro- claims to all the world, that this is Peter, and on this rock the Church shall be built, against which Hell shall not prevail. Under the bronze canopy his throne is lit with lights that have been burning before it for ages.

Thus Thackeray, speaking through CHve New- come. But, as for me, I must confess to a greater sympathy with what Mr. Arthur Symonds has written down in his book called Cities,

  • 'To see St. Peter's is to reahse all that is strongest, most Roman,

nothing that is subtle or spiritual, in the power of the Church. This vast building, the largest small church in the world, imposes


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itself upon you wherever you are in Rome; you see the dome from the Alban or the Sabine Hills, from which the whole city seems dwindled to a white shadow upon a green plain. . . . And always, by day, looked at from witliin or without, it is by its immensity, its spectacular qualities, that it is impressive. . . . And St. Peter's, impressing you as it certainly does, with its tremendous size, strength, wealth, and the tireless, enduring power which has called it into being, holds you at a distance, with the true ecclesiastical frigidity. You learn here how to distinguish between what is emotional and what is properly ecclesiastical in the CathoUc Church. St. Peter's is entirely positive, dogmatic, the assertion of the supremacy of the Church over the world."

That is to say, St. Peter's is in reality sugges- tive of temporal rather than of spiritual power. So it has always seemed to me, and so it doubtless seems to millions who behold it and wonder at it, but are never touched or moved by it in their secret souls. For my part, I am a little out of patience with papal Rome yet have no great sympathy with those who find fault with what they call the " modernis- ing " of the city since it became the capital of Modern Italy.

Thus an English archaeologist, in the preface of a work on the remains of ancient Rome, complains very bitterly of the changes which the last twenty years have brought about in the appearance of the Eternal City. The burden of his lament is one to


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which many other scholars and artists often give a similar expression. He speaks of the obliteration of many of the ancient gardens that diversified the city's dingy brown with clusters of greenery; of the uprooting of avenues of ilex; of the conversion of the beautiful prati into " a hideous waste of bricks and mortar "; of the rebuilding of the picturesque old lanes into " j erry-built stuccoed boulevards "; of the demolition of the Ghetto; and of all the other changes which have brought it to pass that, as Pro- fessor Lanciani says, " Rome is no more the Rome of our dreams, of a beautiful brownish hue, sur- rounded by a dense mass of foliage; but an immense white dazzling spot, some six miles in diameter, bor- dering directly on the wilderness of the Campagna." No one who has any sympathy with the spirit of antiquity or any love for the beautiful in nature and in art, can fail to share the feeling of regret which these distinguished scholars have clothed in language so expressive. Yet it sometimes appears to me that sufficient note has not been taken of the other side of this interesting question. In contemplating what has been lost we often forget to think of all that has been gained. From both the archaeological and the


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aesthetic point of view, the new Rome does, after all, far more fully satisfy one's ideas than the Rome that has lately passed away.

It is not at all necessary to put forward one plea that is very often made to excuse the sweeping changes — the plea that Rome is now the capital of United Italy and has thus come under the direct in- fluence of the modem spirit; that the rapid growth of its population has enormously increased the de- mand for building space and consequently the value of the land; and that its new prosperity and wealth have necessarily substituted modern comfort for mediaeval squalor. These facts may be taken for granted as an explanation of the changes; but they ought not to be put forth apologetically. That Rome is still a living city rather than a sepulchre is not a subject for apology; nor is it, I think, a subject for regret.

- In speaking of the alterations that have been made in the appearance of the city, it is curious to note how the word " modern " is almost always used as though it suggested barbarism worthy of the Van- dals; while " mediaeval " connotes a spirit of rever- ence for classical antiquity and of sympathy with the


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beautiful in art. One archasologist deplores the fact that Rome is now a " modern " capital; that the " modem " builder is everywhere at work. Another takes up the tale and laments the obliteration of so many of the " mediaeval " remains. A person igno- rant of the truth would suppose that only in these " modern " days has ancient Rome been rudely touched. He would never dream that it was in the centuries of mediaevalism that Imperial Rome was in reality blotted out, and that only in very modern times has its partial restoration been accomplished.

As a matter of fact, the Rome of classical tra- dition remained practically unchanged down to the seventh century, the last renewal of its magnificence having been that of King Theodoric, the Ostrogoth. It was then still a splendid city, in spite of the trans- fer by Constantine of thousands of its artistic mas- terpieces to Byzantium; and in spite of the injury it had received from the fanaticism of the Christians and the greed of the Goths. Its wonderful temples, palaces, and shrines were still intact, and there still remained bewildering treasures of art in marble and bronze and gold and silver. It was not until the eighth century that the spirit of mediaevalism de-


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scended upon Rome and " the long agony of seven hundred years " began.

It was then only that its stately piles of majestic architecture were degraded into quarries from which any one might steal material for building; that the costly marbles with their historic inscriptions were pitched into kilns to be burned for hme; and that, from the scarcity of metal, the exquisite bronzes that beautified the city were melted into junk. The medi- aeval nobles turned even mausoleums into fortresses; and when besieged, they hurled down upon the be- siegers' heads the priceless sculptures of Grecian masters whose surviving works could not to-day be purchased for their weight in diamonds. Still other treasures of art seem to have been mutilated in sheer wantonness, like the famous Famese Hercules, of which the body was found in the ruins of the Baths of Caracalla and the legs in a well more than a mile away. The marvellous Colosseum was turned into a woollen factory.

Finally, the medisevals did their very worst. The most famous sites of the ancient city were covered by rude towers and fortress-walls, the old streets were closed, and many of them were buried, like the


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Forum, under forty feet of accumulated rubbish. This is what medisevalism did for ancient Rome, justifying that famous and thoroughly truthful re- proach, Quod non fecerunt harhari, fecerunt Bar- berini. Those who deplore the demolition of the slimy Ghetto should bear in mind that as late as 1536 one Pope (Paul III.)? in making a single street, de- molished two hundred houses on the north side of the Capitol; while down to the beginning of the present century the Forum Romanum, to-day the most interesting relic of ancient Rome, was allowed to remain a dismal waste, the feeding-place of buffa- loes, and waiting for the despised " modern " ex- plorer reverently to reveal its past magnificence.

It is only a century since the splendid triumphal arch of Septimius Severus was disinterred. It is only about ninety years since the Column of Phocas was exhumed. It is less than that since the buildings of the Clivus Capitolinus were rescued from the rub- bish of mediaevalism. It is scarcely three decades since Fiorelli excavated the temples of Vesta, Castor, Caesar and the Basilica. I do not see how any one can justly speak of the Philistinism of modern Rome, where not a scrap of pottery or a bit of metal or a


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scratching on a wall is anywhere discovered without immediately passing under the almost painful scru- tiny of a dozen archaeologists, to be preserved for- ever among the choicest treasures of civilisation.

But it is not only on the archseological side that the growth and development of the new Rome have done so much for classical learning and for the better knowledge of ancient art. To one who has a proper sense of the eternal fitness of things the great capital will to-day speak far more distinctly of its historic past than if it had remained a mediaeval city of the dead. For an archaeologist to ask that the filthiest plague spots of the Middle Ages should remain un- touched to threaten the lives of half a million people, in order to gratify his conception of the picturesque, and that thousands should be poisoned to make an antiquarian holiday, is not merely an evidence of the distorted vision that so often afflicts the narrow specialist; it is also a distinct aesthetic mistake.

The whole spirit of ancient Rome, its keynote, its ultimate expression, was strength, just as the spirit of ancient Greece found its supreme expression in beauty. That Rome to-day should not be a decaying and desolate waste surrounding a mass of half-


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obliterated ruins, but rather a mighty capital with its pulses full of life, and becoming every day stronger and m©re magnificent, is surely quite in accordance with the spirit of its history. In fact, Rome as it is now conveys to the sympathetic mind with almost startling force the lesson of its past by the very fact of the splendour and promise of its present. Its ancient remains are not isolated and melancholy reminders of a grandeur that is gone. They are evidences of its enduring power. By link- ing the present with the past, by making themselves an inseparable portion of the future, they typify the manner in which the Rome of classical antiquity has kept its hold unshaken upon the life and thought of modern times.

In Rome the new and the old are wonderfully blended. Its temples are the same grand temples of the ancient gods. The aqueducts of Agrippa and of Quintus Marcius still supply the modern city. The great Via Flaminia is no grass-grown cow-path, but the Corso, one of the most brilliant avenues in Europe. The obelisks brought by the emperors from Egypt, the columns of Trajan and Antoninus, the arches of Titus and Severus and Constantine, still


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ornament the squares. Its government is still that of quaestors and aediles, and their proclamations still begin with the historic letters S. P. Q. R. The Capi-


Roma 1899 Num. d'Ordine U55

s. P. Q. R.


IPOGEO DEGLI SCIPIONI E COLOMBARIO DI POMPONIO HYLAS


BIGLIETTO D'INGRESSO CENTESIMI VENTICINQVE


"the historic letters, b. p. q. r." tol still exhibits the statue of Triumphant Rome; while on its front, in a den half covered with vines and tangled shrubbery, a she-wolf, the symbol of the city of Romulus, still paces restlessly up and down.

It is precisely this wonderful union of the present with the past in the very midst of so many evidences of power and splendour, and promising a no less magnificent future, that gives to the beholder so vivid an insight into the true meaning of all that Rome has been. When you stand on the Capitol, wdth perhaps the early twilight just softening down


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any obtrusive contrasts, the memorials of antiquity on every side gain a new significance from the distant hum of the great city that surrounds you; and you must be insensible indeed if you do not see in all its evidences of enduring life, the true meaning of its proud title, Urbs Sempiterna,

I was thinking of these things one afternoon, as I basked in the sun on the edge of what some persons believe to have been the Tarpeian Rock. It is a good place for meditation. I had quite lost myself in the remote past, when the ingratiating voice of youth glided into my reveries.

" Will the most illustrious signor condescend to look upon a few objects of art? "

I rolled over sleepily, and there was an Italian boy of the sort you see in paintings. Olive skin, dark hair, large lambent eyes, and a face of apparent innocence and profound respect. He had beside him a covered basket, and he repeated the words:

" Will the most illustrious signor condescend to look upon a few objects of art? "

Now I am not the least bit illustrious, and what is more, I know it. Likewise, the young Italian most


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certainly knew it. Nevertheless, there is something rather pleasing in being greeted in this way. It appeals to a certain human weakness which most of us possess. So I pulled myself together and tried to look illustrious, which was not very easy for one wearing an old Norfolk jacket and a pair of rather muddy, thick-soled English shoes.

The boy removed the cover from his basket and drew out a long wooden rosary, fit for a Capuchin monk. Every bead was the size of a pigeon's Ggg, I could have whittled one out myself with a knife, although I am not very good at whittling.

" Would your Excellency not like to possess this fine rosary carved by hand? His Holiness himself has blessed it."

I was already hypnotised; and after the young Italian had purred a few more sentences I had be- come the possessor of the rosary while he had re- ceived ten lire in a gold piece, which he bit with his beautiful white teeth that gleamed between his scarlet lips. He had other things to show me.

" See, Prince," said he, " here are smaller but still finer things."

I could n't quite resist being mistaken for a prince.


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When he produced some corals I bought them, and likewise sundry cameos, and a quantity of Venetian beads.

" Ah," said he, " any one could tell that your Highness is a lover of true art."

After that I bought the rest of the things that were in his basket; but even as I did so I felt that I was not entirely wise. So, after he had bestowed upon me other titles and had expressed his thanks and his appreciation of my artistic taste, I stuffed my purchases into various pockets and returned to my hotel. It was the last day of my sojourn in Rome and I had to pack. When I looked at my objects of art I could n't help seeing that they were merely junk — the huge wooden rosary, the corals which were obviously of celluloid, the cameos with their brass pins, and all the rest of them. To pack them and carry them around would have made them a per- petual reminder of how the puer delicatus had taken me in so easily. Simply to leave them on the floor would have led the valet de chamhre to guess my story. Suddenly an evil thought occurred to me.

The bed had been made up afresh for the next guest by the dainty hands of Elena. I cautiously turned


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down the covers and artfully inserted the rosary, the corals, the cameos and the Venetian beads in the inner part of the couch, and then replaced the cover- ing and smoothed it out so that nobody would know. When I left the Eternal City that evening on the night express, it was in the hope that some English- man would occupy my room. I thought of his sen- sations as he projected himself down into that bed, where the rosary would have the effect of a large snake, and where the brass pins of the cameos would surely scratch his legs.

Pondering on this picture, I leaned back against the stuffed cushions of a railway carriage and de- parted from the Eternal City with a panoramic vision of palaces, museums and obelisks, of the shirred eggs at the Caffe Nazionale, of the gentleman who lit matches on his companion's nose, and last of all of the hypothetical Englishman who was to become a sec- ond Laocoon in my room at the Hotel de Russie. If he reads these pages, I hope that he will write to me and tell me what he thought about it.


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ROMA RECENTIORUM

Strange blending of the old and new,

Of all that men have thought and done, The right, the wrong, the false, the true, The past, the present, all in one.

Here sleep the mighty pagan dead

Where now stands forth the crucifer, And many a temple rears its head To tell of Christ and Jupiter.

Wliere once, before the naked Gaul,

Rome's infant power swayed and shook, Here on the stately Capitol

Now swarm the hordes of Mr. Cook; Wnhile, gazing down the Sacred Way

By hoary Vesta's ruined wall. The co*ckney tourist chirps to-day His ditty of the music-hall.

Where Claudia mocked the rabble rout And laughed its helpless rage to see,

Now giggles as she flits about

Some cheerful chit from Tennessee;


EOME 103

And where great Caesar passed in state And where Catullus kept his tryst.

Now potters with uncertain gait The blear-eyed archaeologist.

Here, too, one time, the pallid nuns

Called on the saints with timorous trust, While from the hills the ape-faced Huns Grinned with the joy of blood and lust. Now, though the Roman maids no more

The fierce barbaric host expect. Their hapless city quails before The modem Hun — the architect.

Builder and tourist, Hun and Gaul,

Like flies in some stupendous dome, Flit harmless by; not one nor all Can mar thy maj esty, O Rome!

They come, they go, they pass away.

While still undimmed thy splendours shine; To them belongs the fleeting day, But all the centuries are thine.

To see at dawn the hills of Rome Ablaze with gold and amethyst;


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To watch Saint Peter's distant dome Swim in the evening's silver mist — This draws aside a curtain vast,

And, as the kingly dead appear, The murmuring pulses of the past Reveal the heart of History here;

For Age transmuted into Youth

Dwells on this consecrated spot; Here speaks from God the voice of Truth, Here dwells the Faith that changes not. The world's desire, the nations' dower.

Find here their one eternal home —

Glory and grace and deathless power,

Blent in the mighty name of Rome!


RO¥EN

" Paris is France." This is one of those sayings which are oftentimes repeated, but which long ago ceased to have a particle of truth in them. Paris is no longer France. It is only a huge cara- vanserai, maintained, to be sure, by cynical and greedy French, both male and female, yet for the benefit or the detriment of all the world save France itself. The Second Empire, with Baron Haussmann as its instrument, shattered the older Paris which be- longed to history, and siibstituted in its place a glit- tering and somewhat gaudy creation, meretricious, unsubstantial and unmeaning. Compared with any of the old French cities, Paris then became what a brand-new garish modem hotel is, when compared with a quiet, restful, well-appointed home. And since the Empire fell, its gilt has slowly worn away. A certain cheapness pervades the whole. It is the bouge of all the world.

What do you see in Paris? Swarms of half-


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educated and nasal-voiced Americans, commercial * travellers or millionaires, Cook's tourists and queer Englishwomen, Greeks, Turks, negroes, Russians, — some of them bent on purchasing articles de Paris, and others wallowing in the mire of a studied and cold- blooded lubricity. Nothing is so disheartening, so depressing, so pathetic, as a lengthy stay in Paris. It is like watching, day by day, a sluggish snake unwind its fetid coils; for, like a snake, its grace makes it only the more disgustful. No; Paris is not France; but fortunately the old France still survives elsewhere, the France of industry and honest wealth, the France of wit and wisdom, the France of con- stancy and courage, the France that so long domi- nated Europe and put the last touch upon the achievements of our modem civiHsation without let- ting go the fine traditions of the past.

If you wish to see the France that once was and the France that is to-day, outside of Paris, come with me to Rouen, that beautiful old city on the Seine. It is only a few hours from Paris on the south and from Le Havre on the north. Do not, like most travellers, break your journey there for only half a day; but settle down for some weeks in a


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quiet hostelry on the Rue des Carmes. The place is rather dingy and uninviting when you view it from the street; but after you pass through its broad archway and cross a courtyard laid with flagstones in the good old fashion, you will enter a lovely green garden lying in the very heart of the hotel, with turf- hke velvet, and having a sweet repose about it worth not merely a cycle of Cathay, but infinite cycles of the raucous, harlot-city, Paris. Your room will look out upon this stretch of turf. You will hear no noises in the morning. You can have your dejeuner brought to you there at any hour that you please; and when you like, you can sally forth to fldner in the sunshine which filters softly down upon the medi- a3val streets of Rouen itself.

The city has something of the early nineteenth century about it. It has much more of the seven- teenth and eighteenth centuries. Its glorious cruci- form cathedral of fretted stone-work, dark with time, takes you back to the reign of Philippe Auguste, who expelled the half-hearted troops of King John of England about the time when the English barons forced that king to set his seal to Magna Carta and then to hasten away from Runnimede with livid face,


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gnawing his nails to the quick, and snarling blas- phemies. What a wonderful blending of history and fiction is to be found in this old city! Here the Bur- gundians and the French contended; here the French and English fought; here Jeanne Dare was tried, condemned, and burned after suffering indescribable indignity and outrage. Here, too, in our own time, the tramp of German soldiery has been heard along the streets, while the people looked through their closed shutters at the stolid Teutons, whose helmets streamed up the Rue Jeanne Dare to disperse in little splashes of steel among the dwellings whose owners were compelled to shelter them. How vividly has Guy de Maupassant in Boule de Suif set that picture before the eye!

The advance guard of three corps met at precisely the same moment in the Place de I'Hotel de Ville; and through all the neigh- bouring streets came the German army, spreading out their ranks and making the pavement echo with their heavy, rhythmic tread. Orders shouted in an unknown guttural tongue rose before houses which seemed dead and empty, though behind the closed shutters watchful eyes peered out upon these victors who were masters of the city, of its people's fortunes, and of their very lives, according to the law of war.

The inhabitants in their darkened chambers were filled with that excitement which springs from any cataclysm, from those tremen- dous, murderous heavings of the earth against which all foresight


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and all resistance are of no avail. The same sensation Tevives each time the established order is reversed, and there is no more security, but when all that upholds the laws of men and of nature lies at the mercy of an ignorant and brutal force. An earthquake crushing under its wreckage an entire people; an overflowing river rolUng drowned peasants along with bodies of cattle and with beams torn from the roofs of dwelling-houses; or an exultant army slaughtering those who would defend themselves, carrying away prisoners, pillag- ing in the name of the sword, and thanking God to the roaring accom- paniment of cannon — these are among the awful scourges which test our faith in everlasting justice.

But to-day there is nothing to remind one that Rouen ever felt the heavy hand of Germany. It is a pleasant, genial city and very rich withal. Along its quays lie ships which have been floated inward up the Seine, together with those little bateaux- mouches on which one may slowly make his way from Le Havre to Rouen in perhaps a dozen hours, lazily watching the fertile countryside and the tortuous windings of the river, wliile regaling himself upon the good things of the land. These little craft re- mind me of the somewhat mythical canal-boats which delighted the good Jos Sedley in Belgium, plying between Bruges and Ghent, and of which Thackeray wrote: " So prodigiously good was the eating and drinking on board these sluggish but most comfort- able vessels, that there are legends extant of an Eng-


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lish traveller, who, coming to Belgium for a week, and travelling in one of these boats, was so delighted with the fare that he went backwards and forwards from Ghent to Bruges perpetually, until the rail- roads were invented, when he drowned himself on the last trip of the passage boat."

Fortunately, the railroads have not interfered with the little vessels which lazily make their way from Le Havre to Rouen and even to Paris. A traveller on any one of them is a personage of great importance. He is served with deference. He is a sort of monarch incognito upon his travels. All he needs is to forget that time has any value, and to let his soul expand under the influence of the sunshine, the glimpses of green fields, the dainty dishes which are set before him, and the deHcately cobwebbed bottle of Pontet Canet that makes him feel as though he were sur- rounded by blossoming vineyards in an everlasting summer.

When I come to write down just what it is that fascinates me most in Rouen, I find that there are many things. In the first place, this is the France of royalty and not of the wretched Republican regime


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which has converted Paris into a vulgar shop. In Rouen, men and women still fear God and have some regard for man. The courtesy — the old Gallic courtoisie — still prevails. The people have not yet learned from foreigners to be brusque and rude. Even the market-women bow and smile if you pur- chase an oeillet for your buttonhole, instead of grunt- ing at you as they do in Paris when you decline to spend fifty francs for a bunch of orchids. Everyone who enters a shop deferentially removes his hat. Everybody seems glad to see everybody else. The whole population, in fact, resembles a good-natured, well-fed family who are on the best of terms with one another and with the world at large. Round about the city, peeping out of thick clusters of greenery, are the chateaux of the old noblesse. Catholic and royalist to the very core. They have wealth to spare, and this is why the shops of Rouen are peculiarly attractive. Down by the Grosse Horloge with its double dial spanning a narrow street, and built and carved four or five hundred years ago, there are win- dows full of confections which must delight the hearts of the ladies who rightfully preix the noble de to their historic names. I am sure that they would


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equally delight the judicious American girl if any American girl were sufficiently well-advised to pass by Paris and do her shopping in Rouen. And such quaint bits of gold and silver work as you can see displayed by all the jewellers with every sort of varia- tion on the fleur de It/s, that symbol of Old France!

Rouen is a place of nooks and corners, as befits its mediaeval character. The noblesse of whom I have spoken have their own particular haunts where they are not brought into unseemly contact with the bour- geoisie. Some one told me in Paris of a very special restaurant regarding which few travellers have ever heard, but which is maintained in a special way for the convenience of persons with a de before their name. Of course any one who comes there will be ad- mitted, just as any one may occupy a seat along Rotten Row; but as the masses in London by a sort of instinct keep away from Rotten Row, so do the masses in Rouen refrain from invading this patrician restaurant. My friend also gave me the name of a very rare and wonderful vintage of Burgundy which is to be obtained there.

Desiring to see everything, I made my way to the address indicated. It is not far from the river front


ROUEN 113

and the Quai des Anglais — that is to say, it is not very far as we usually measure distances. But if we could convert time into space, we should have to say that it is thousands of leagues removed from the sunny, noisy promenade where Englishmen in tweeds and Englishwomen with green parasols and prepos- terous hats go sauntering up and down. You turn a comer and find yourself in a very quiet street, and presently you come to a narrow unpretentious little doorway, shaded by a friendly tree. You ring a bell and the door is opened for you by a discreet- looking waiter who ushers you into a small room at the foot of a pair of stairs. There is a pleasant- faced, alert-looking, middle-aged woman sitting at a desk. She views you carefully, but says nothing, while your hat and stick are taken from you and you are invited deferentially to ascend the stairs. They lead you into an apartment of moderate size, plainly furnished, yet bright with flowers and verdant plants. Then you take your seat at one of the Httle tables. The maitre gargon approaches you and bows. He will not do anything so vulgar as to offer you a menu, but he mentions a number of plats which are the plats du jour, very much as though you were in a


114 THE NEW BAEDEKER

private house. You know that they are especially prepared with the utmost gastronomic skill, and so you make your choice with security of mind. What wine would Monsieur desire? You speak the name of the rare and wonderful vintage as though you were pronouncing a spell, or saying " Open Sesame! " in the Cavern of the Forty Thieves. And indeed the effect is very much the same as though you had actu- ally uttered the words of a potent charm. The maitre gargon is visibly moved, while a hush falls on his four satellites. You feel that an echo of what you have said is sounding responsively from the cellars underneath.

The luncheon is served in its beseeming order. Every dish is the creation of an artist. Then, at the proper moment, you are conscious that something important is about to happen. The doors are opened, and there enters the head-waiter, followed by the sommelier who holds in both his hands a long and ancient-looking and cobweb-covered bottle. He moves slowly lest the precious liquor be disturbed. Behind him follow the four other waiters somewhat as though they were guards of honour. There is much ceremony about the drawing of the cork, and


The Cathedral of Notre Dame at Rouen


ROUEN 115

an obvious anxiety. Then the rich dark-red Bur- gundy is decanted for you almost drop by drop. If you were to drink it with less empressem*nt than has been shown in the serving of it, you would break the heart of the sommelier and change the dainty sunlit salon into an abode of gloom. But, since you are quite well aware of this, you drink with reverence, letting the royal wine glide gently past your palate. You pause, so that your appreciation may be evident to those who watch you earnestly but with profound respect. Indeed, this is the only way that you would wish to drink such wine as this. When you have finished, you feel as though you had been acting as the hierophant in some Eleusinian rite. It is decid- edly an experience.

Then, of course, there are the memories with which the city teems. I have already spoken of them, and yet I have merely hinted where I might have written fifty pages. For, when Philippe Auguste drove out King John in the year of grace 1204, the town was already very ancient. The Romans knew of it as Rotomagus, and their later emperors made it a second capital. RoUo with his Norsem*n settled here before the year 900. It was the capital of William the


116 THE NEW BAEDEKER

Conqueror before he crossed the Channel and pos- sessed himself of Saxon England. Here the child- prince Arthur was murdered by King John. In the huge round tower which still stands as the donjon of a castle now destroyed, poor Jeanne Dare was tried and was also foully slandered by the ruffian who had been placed within her cell. Rouen beat off the troops of Henry of Navarre until he had abj ured the Protes- tant faith. Here were bom the two Corneilles, and here died in exile the famous Earl of Clarendon in 1674.

I love to stroll along the leafy boulevards which circle the city with their verdure, supplanting the ancient ramparts that have long been levelled. I love also the quaint old houses in the crooked, nar- row streets. They overhang them with mouldering gables of carved oak; and in a moment, a few steps will take you from the twentieth century into the fourteenth. It must be confessed that some of these dark lanes have an evil reputation, and it is hardly safe to wander through them after nightfall. In the daytime, if you look up as you pass, you will see wicked painted faces through the casem*nt windows. When the dusk comes on, strange sounds are heard


ROUEN 117

within these dimly lighted homes of vice; and not infrequently some stranger, usually a sailor, is found in the morning lying prone upon the well-worn cobble- stones, with a long knife in his back. There is one particularly evil street or rather passage which runs along the old cathedral and connects the broad and spacious Rue de la Republique with the Rue des Carmes. For some reason it is not lighted in the evening, and nothing could be more sinister. Once upon a time, being in a hurry, I passed through it in order to reach my hotel more quickly than by taking another route. It was black as ink and as still as death, and it reminded me of nothing so strik- ingly as of a sort of wolf-trap set for men. You may be sure that I lost no time; yet as I neared the other end I heard a pattering of feet behind me, and you may take my word for it that I had sensations.

If I were writing only to please a very special public, I should have much to say about Madame Bovary; for readers of Flaubert will not forget the strange things that befell her in Rouen. There is her meeting with Leon in the old cathedral when he was half innocent and she was wholly bold. And there is her drive with him in a closed cab from the


118 THE NEW BAEDEKER

Rue Grant-Pont, along the river, to the cemetery, and through nearly every street. " From time to time the coachman on his box cast despairing eyes at the cafes "; but when he wished to stop, the voice of Leon sounded sharply from within the cab: " Con- tinuez! Continuez touj ours! " I will not, however, dwell on this, for it seems out of place; but I will quote a bit from Flaubert — an exquisite passage which shows you Rouen as you see it when you stroll into it after breakfasting:

It was a lovely summer morning. Silver sparkled in the jewellers' windows; and the light, falling obHquely on the cathedral, made mirrors of the corners of the ancient stone. A flock of birds fluttered in the blue sky around the trefoiled terrace. The public square, echoing with cries, was fragrant with the flowers that were massed along its pavement — roses, jasmines, pinks, narcissi, and forget-me- nots, nestling between moist grasses and mint and watercress. The fountains plashed in the centre; and beneath immense umbrellas, amid heaps of melons, the flower women, bareheaded, were twisting paper around clusters of fresh violets.

So much for Flaubert, that epileptic genius who was himself almost a possession of Rouen, since he was born not far away, in the delightful little ham- let of Les Andelys. I could also make some remarks about the theatre which Emma Bovary attended with her husband; for the building still stands, a mon-


ROUEN 119

ument of ugly architecture which was probably thought to be impressive in the year 1822. And not only does Flaubert have a share in Rouen, but so has his disciple, Guy de Maupassant. Apart from the fact that the story of Boule de Suif opens in this city, there is in its suburbs the village of Canteleu, where, as will be remembered by all readers of Bel Ami, Georges Duroy, that sublimated type of maque- reau, took his bride, who had been Madeleine Fores- tier, to see his parents, the old country people who kept a little cabaret — "a small house composed of a ground floor and a garret. A branch of pine nailed over the door indicated in the old style that the thirsty might find refreshment." Madeleine was not pleased with her peasant hosts, — the coarse old man who lived amid the stale smell of pipes and cheap cigars, nor the horny-handed old woman who looked at Madeleine with suspicion because of her " frills and musk." Yet it was Madeleine's cleverness which turned Canteleu to some account. You will remember how she afterwards suggested that her husband should begin calling himself Georges Du Roy de Cantel, and that he should have his visiting cards engrave4 thus with his name surmounted by a baron's coronet.


120 THE NEW BAEDEKEE

All these places are full of interest. They fasci- nate because they crowd the mind with so many rem- iniscences. But I wish that some one had worked into a novel or any other bit of writing an account of that extraordinary mountain which overlooks Rouen and which is known as Bonsecours. You can ascend it, I believe, by a funicular railway; but it is much better to hail some lazy, lounging cocher and get him to drive you thither in a ramshackle fiacre. He will not overcharge you, and you can lie back as you wind around and around the mountain, very much as though you were ascending it in a very leisurely balloon. Little by little the city of Rouen seems to sink beneath you, and you look down upon it with its shining river, its heaven-piercing spires, its gabled roofs and bustling quays, while directly beneath you is a great slanting slope of chalky hill- side rising at an angle of almost forty-five degrees, and up which you yourself are toiling. At last you reach the summit and look out over what seems to be half of France spread out like a panorama at your feet. It is very wonderful, and no less so is Bonsecours itself, — the broad mountain-top with its richly decorated church, its monument to Jeanne


La Vendeuse de Chansonnettes


ROUEN 121

Dare, and the startlingly realistic figure of the Saviour reared upward, life-size upon a cross. There are very pretty Renaissance buildings enclosing the statue; but after all, it is the view of the Seine and of the rich green hills of Normandy that draws your eyes away from your immediate surroundings. The place would not be France if there were not also a perfectly appointed little restaurant on the very summit, where you can sit and view the world beneath you, having at the same time a most delightful luncheon. Here and there at a little table you will see a devout pilgrim enjoying a consommatioTiy or it may be some piquante-looking girl who does not by any means appear to be a pilgrim. Tell the gargon to provide your driver with some bread and cheese, a hock, and a ten-centime cigar, and you can linger there for hours without having to pay an additional sou for cab hire. When you get ready to depart, you will find the co*cker snugly curled up in his vehicle and fast asleep. Wake him, and he will grin cheer- fully and say, " Merci, M'sieu," and away you go at an accelerated pace down the dusty, winding road which leads you back to Rouen.

It is rather hard to get into the confidence of the


122 THE NEW BAEDEKER

Rouennals, as is, indeed, the case with all French people in whose daily life you have no share. But I should say that upon this city there are left deep marks of the two great wars which it has seen — the long war of a hundred years with England, and the brief war of a few months with Germany. In the minds of the educated, the traditions of hostility to England are very deeply rooted. In the minds of the uneducated, who do not go far back for what they know of history, it is the hatred of Germany that is most intense. France and England may ar- range ententes. Their governments may work to- gether in harmony. Yet the born Frenchman who knows his country's annals will always think of Eng- land as the historic foe of France.

I took a walk one day with a Frenchman who had lived long abroad and who had even been naturalised as an American citizen. We strolled upon the boule- vards where once the ramparts used to stand, and we talked of many themes. He was now, he thought, a real cosmopolite. He looked at all things with a purely philosophic air of absolute detachment. One nation to him was the same as any other nation. Germany? Ah, yes, there was some ill-feeling with


ROUEN 123

regard to Germany; but that was only a temporary affair. Some adjustment would be made, some diplo- matic arrangement by which a part at least of Al- sace or Lorraine would be given back to France. The topic did not greatly interest him, though in 1871, when a very young man, he had been one of the Gardes Mobiles, and had served during the seige of Paris under General Trochu. I scarcely knew whether to admire or to deplore his indifference. But presently, I happened to speak of the capture of Rouen by the English in 1449. That was more than four hundred years ago, and you would hardly think that it would trouble the mind of a man who could remember the Franco-Prussian War with calm philosophy. Yet, at the very mention of the English, his eyes began to snap and his beard to bristle.

" Ah! " cried he; " those sacred pigs! Those English! We shall be even with them yet! "

And then he poured forth a flood of tumultuous language about the burning of poor Jeanne Dare. His English dropped from him like a garment, and the r^s of his French rolled like a drum that calls to battle. He stamped his feet and clenched his fists. His indifferentism had vanished into air. It was an


124 THE NEW BAEDEKER

interesting exhibition. When he stopped for breath, I ventured to put in a word, having some regard for the facts of history.

" But," said I, " although the English were in a way responsible for Jeanne Dare's death, it was the Due de Bourgogne who betrayed her into their hands. It was a Frenchman, the Bishop of Beauvais, who presided at her trial. Those who condemned her were theologians from the University of Paris. She was actually burned at the stake by Frenchmen."

B-r-r-r-r-r-r! The atmosphere grew thick with consonants and vowels; and a vision of pointed whiskers whirling in the air made me fairly dizzy. I thought it best to say no more, and soon after- wards we parted. That is the way in which edu- cated Frenchmen feel about the English.

But when you get down to the common people, the peasants, the small tradesmen, and the like, they seem to have forgotten the perfidious English, and to be cherishing a sullen, latent flame of anger against Germany. They can remember the German occupa- tion of Rouen; or if they cannot, they remember what their fathers tell them. I do not know any better way of testing the feelings of the French than


ROUEN ns

by studying the songs which are most popular with them at any given time. To visit a French cafe chantant in the provinces is as illuminating as to spend an evening at the Oxford in London and listen while the audience take up or hiss the political songs which are sung upon the stage. In France they have small sheets of music which give the words and the air of the cJiansonettes that are heard nightly in the little cafes chantants. These songs are sold for a few sous by girls in the poorer streets. They are bought by the thousands, and when they are sung in the cafes the refrain is caught up by every one and sung, not casually, but, as the French themselves would say, avec intention. Judging from a careful study of these songs I should imagine that the masses of the French still entertain a violent dislike to Ger- many, and that they still believe Russia to be a friend, not only powerful but loyal to her ally. The French in Paris know better, but not so the French in the smaller cities.

There is a very popular song, for instance, en- titled " L'Enfant Chantait la Marseillaise." On the outer cover is depicted a burly German threatening with his sword a little Alsatian girl. The words of


126 THE NEW BAEDEKER

the song are rather interesting. The first stanza runs as follows:

Dans un village de I'Alsace Parmi les soldats du vainqueur, Une blonde fiUette passe En murmurant un air vengeur. En I'entendant ainsi chanter Notre ancien hymne de guerre, "Tais-toi!" lui crie un officier; Mais repondant d'une voix fi%re L'enfant lui dit: "Je suis Fran9aise! Et malgre tons vos soldats, Vous ne m'empecherez pas De chanter la Marseillaise. Allemand! je suis Fran9aise!"

Then the lines go on to tell how the brutal Ger- man, " un heros de Bazeille," incensed by the girl's audacity, took his sword and struck her with it. Bleeding, she staggered back, and then:

fipongeant le sang de son front, Elle dit: "A I'autre campagne, Les canons fran9ais s'en iront Vous la chanter en Allemagne.'*

Refeiain

L'enfant redit: "Je suis Fran9aise! Un jour, vous n'empecherez pas Que nos clairons et nos soldats Chez vous chantent la Marseillaise. Allemand! Je meurs Fran9aise!"


Paroles de


IflUEffl


All)ill[(ll!KB[i;0fil([Vll[[.PapislMHLOTllJOOBfRTi{lile(;rsIPu^ . "L'Enfant Chantait la Marseillaise"


ROUEN 127

It would be difficult to overestimate the real influ- ence which such songs as these possess to nourish and deepen the patriotic feeling of the populace. So- phisticated persons may laugh and look at them as trivial affairs; or more likely they may never hear of them at all. But there must be millions of Frenchmen who, through the agency of these songs, are led to think that even little children in the lost provinces are treated with brutality because they are proud of their French blood and because they cling to everything which reminds them of their beloved France.

Only a little less striking is another popular song entitled " Je Bois a la Russie." One stanza, with its refrain, as I heard it thundered out in a large cafe near the Place Saint Marc, will sufficiently illustrate the ominous undertone of warlike feeling which makes such songs well known throughout the length and breadth of France. I wish that all my readers could have heard it suns as I did.


'&


On verra dans les deux puissances, Symbole la fraternite Nos drapeaux melant leurs nuances Sur les murs de chaque cite.


128 THE NEW BAEDEKER

Mais viennent les jours de bataille Planant au dessus de nos rangs A travers le feu, la mitraille, lis nous conduiront triomphants I

Refrain

Pour feter la sainte harmonie Qui regne entre les deux pays, Levant ma coupe, mes amis, Levant ma coupe, mes amis, Je bois, je bois, je bois a la Russie!

You would not hear such a song as this roared fiercely in Paris as you may hear it roared in Rouen or Amiens or Orleans, or any of the other smaller cities. You would not see in Paris the kindling eyes and the flushed faces, nor would you hear the deep tones thrilling with emotions which are a striking commentary upon the songs themselves.

In Paris, men are too sophisticated, too cynical, too pessimistic; but, fortunately, you may go out- side of Paris and find both men and women who be- lieve in something, who have hope and energy and vitality, who love la patrie with all their hearts, and who devoutly hate its enemies. And this is why, as I said at the beginning, Paris is by no means France. Look beyond it, and there you will find still beating


ROUEN 129

the great chivalrous heart of that gallant nation which, with all its faults, has stood for centuries at the summit of art and literature and intellectual activity of every sort, while around the achievements of the mind and the imagination there has gleamed the splendid aura of overwhelming martial glory.


VI

BRUSSELS AND MAUNES

What I particularly like about the kingdom of Bel- gium is its compactness. Everything lies, so to speak, right under your hand, and you can go from Anywhere to Anywhere-Else in about an hour's time. Of course, this in itself would be of no especial con- sequence if there were little to see and to excite your imagination. But every inch of Belgian territory teems with memories and associations of incompar- able ricliness. The present kingdom is a purely mod- ern creation. On its soil, however, there have been wrought out some of the most tremendously cata- clysmic episodes of history. The Roman legions thundered over its wooded slopes. It drank the blood of unnumbered patriots under Spanish rule. It witnessed the barbarities of Alva and his black- browed torture-mongers. It saw, upon the field of Waterloo, the downfall of the most marvellous man who ever trod the earth and who forced the haughti- est of kings and emperors to become his lackeys.


BRUSSELS AND MALINES 131

And yet all this is but a small part of what Bel- gium brings to mind. Every city street, every gabled mansion, almost every farmhouse that you pass so carelessly, is linked with some tradition or with some familiar name belonging to the imperish- able records of statesmanship or scholarship or art. " Infinite treasure in a little room " — this well-worn phrase might properly be made the motto of a coun- try which of all the countries in the world is the most charming and, if I may use such an adjective, the most lovable.

Were it only a question of compactness, some of these things might be said of Holland. But, unfor- tunately, in order to see Holland it is necessary to have some sort of contact with the Dutch — and this is quite sufficient to destroy your pleasure. More- over, Holland is so flat and dull and ditch-like! Its maze of dykes and trenches and canals, with their slimy ooze and sluggish streams of liquid mud, de- press the mind and propagate malaria. Holland, to me at least, is an abhorrent hole, intended by an in- scrutable design of Providence for ducks and Dutch- men, canaux, canards^ canaille^ as Voltaire so wittily expressed it. But Belgium, from small Namur to


132 THE NEW BAEDEKER

bold Liege, where Quentin Durward, dagger in hand, faced the Wild Boar of the Ardennes, and from the light-hearted elegance of Spa to the opulent quaintness of Antwerp — c^est la perfection meme.

These thoughts were in my mind, as I took a rather late dejeuner in the Grand Hotel at Brussels. If Brussels is in reality le petit Paris, then surely the Grand Hotel is a replica, reduced in size, of the Hotel Continental in the Rue de Rivoli, famed for giving temporary shelter to diplomatists and minor royalties and kings in exile. And the Grand Hotel in Brussels improves on the original. You take your breakfast in the shady portico which surrounds the inner court, whence you may; through the clustered palms that screen you, behold the busy life of the hotel. A good breakfast prepares the mind for phil- osophic observation. I do not give much thought to the pleasures of the table; yet on that particular morning I was conscious that my breakfast, simple though it was, had a certain poetic quality about it — harmonious in its composition, a gastronomic symphony, a sort of Morgenlied, intended to be eaten and not sung.

To the quick-luncher and the hasty tourist there


BRUSSELS AND MALINES 133

is nothing worthy of one's admiration in a poached egg. It is simply a poached egg, just as Words- worth's primrose was only a yellow primrose to Mas- ter Peter Bell. Ah, but there is such a difference in poached eggs — a difference as abysmal as that which divided Master Peter Bell's mind from the mind of Wordsworth! A new-laid egg, when poached lov- ingly by an artist's hand, comes to you firm and exquisitely white, — still whiter because of the crisp brown of the toast on which it lies. And it swells with a delicate contour j ust over the golden yolk — swells like the white breast of a dove. A dash of pure cayenne imparts a flush of rosy red to the crest of this dainty mamelon, and you look at it with a feeling of pure pleasure. And by its side are several slices of galantine de volaille, their pinkish surface diversified by the truffles that have been set so deftly here and there. A bowl of dark green cresses, fresh from the water of a running brook, affords a con- trast with the pale blond colour of the pats of new, unsalted butter. And there is a small basket woven of fresh leaves, and filled with strawberries — not the huge, vulgar, staring strawberries of the hot- house or the garden, but tiny, modest f raises dw bois.


134 THE NEW BAEDEKER

the epicure's delight, picked in the woods by the slim brown fingers of some peasant girl. In their aromatic fragrance, as you crush them in clotted cream, they bring to your inner vision the sweet woodland with interlacing boughs, and mosses under foot, and the ripple of clear water over pebbles. The coffee steams beside you; the crisp rolls coyly tempt you. The gleaming silver, the lucent crystal, and the spotless napery complete the spell which art and taste have cast about so simple and yet so satisfac- tory a rite as Breakfast.

Quite slowly and with a profound aesthetic appreci- ation, I consume the dejeuner. One should not hasten pleasure. He should get the fulness of its flavour, as when he drinks a rare liqueur and lets it die upon the palate drop by drop. But when the galantine is gone, and the plump, dove-like ^g^ has vanished, and the cresses are no more, and the coffee-cup is emptied, I light luxuriously a cigarette, enjoying the peculiar relish which is given by the first smoke of the day. The faint blue rings with their delicious scent float upward through the palm leaves; and I lean com- fortably back, and look into the court, where human life is every day epitomised.


BRUSSELS AND MALINES 135

Surely there exists no more impressive figure of benign authority than that of the majestic portier as he rears his six-foot-four of sheer magnificence near the entrance to the courtyard. At his com- mand, the small chasseurs fly forth in all directions. His word is law to the silent concierge. Betimes, a white-clad chef from the inner regions holds deferen- tial converse with him. As carriages drive in, this stately being deigns to greet the persons who alight from them, while some more humble functionary lifts the luggage down. Englishmen, in preposterous clothes and flustered by their journey from Dover to Ostend, splutter and speak with insular abrupt- ness to him; but the great man himself is always tranquil and serene. He humours them and addresses them in their own tongue, and bids them be at peace. And the anxious-looking American ladies, intent on seeing all of Europe in two months, are soothed by his gracious words. German or Spaniard, Turk or Dane — all receive the personal attention of this polyglot, who takes royal liberties with every lan- guage, although he has no language of his own.

The fact that he seems to speak these languages with certain variations used to puzzle me. Of


136 THE NEW BAEDEKER

what race are these gorgeous portiers, anyhow? Their Enghsh is a little like German. Their German has a sort of a far-away Italian touch to it. Their French is that of Stratf ord-atte-Bowe. Their Italian might be said to have a flavour of Dutch. Their Dutch and Spanish are each remarkable in its own way. Tell me where are portiers bred? — if I may take liberties with Shakespeare. Having a turn for original investigation I once tried to solve the prob- lem in Dresden, for it makes no difference where you find a portier. Each one is like all the rest. I ques- tioned this Dresden representative of his tribe at an hour when he was not busy. He inclined himself toward me from his great height and was benignant though unsmiling; since no man has ever seen a portier smile.

" Would you mind telling me in what country you were born," said I.

" Ah, zat I do not know," returned he, with an air of great dubiety.

" But," I persisted, " of what nationality was your father? What country did he come from? "

" Nacionalitee? I know not ze word. I did never see my fazzer."


BRUSSELS AND MALINES 137

This matter of original investigation was not easy as it seemed. But I persisted in a truly scientific spirit.

"Well, then, what is your own language.?"

" Sare, I spik all ze langages — all of zem."

" Yes," said I. " But which one of them is your own. When you are all by yourself, what language do you think in? "

The portier drew himself up with immense dignity and just a little touch of indignation.

" Sare,"Tie answered with some hauteur, " I nevaire sink!"

All this added to the admiration with which I viewed the portier. That he should never think, that he had no language of his own, that he never seemed to have b^en bom but simply to have come into exist- ence, — all this explained the impressiveness which travellers feel in him — a being who is neither autoch- thonous nor yet caeligenous. Rightly should we rev- erence all members of this race, if they can be said to constitute a race. And the departing traveller — how conscious is he of the potentate's superiority! To slip a ten-franc piece into the hand of so resplend- ent a personage seems utterly impertinent — almost


138 THE NEW BAEDEKER

insulting. Yet it is received quite graciously and with a courtly bow; for such gifts are not really tips. They are tribute, as from vassals to a sovereign. What king, no matter how magnificent, ever refused the taxes of his grateful subjects? Let us call these little offerings by the good old English feudal term

  • ' benevolences," consecrated by historic usage. Let

us never speak or think of them as " tips."

The morning nears the time of noon, and the scene grows still more animated. The coming and the going, the softened roll of carriage- wheels, the little dramas of every-day existence, the partings and the meetings, the voluble and shrill, yet not unpleasing, converse of the various domestics, the blending of languages in the speech of men and women and young girls — all this takes place before me as in a theatre of which my shady nook within the portico is a pri- vate box. I protest that here I could spend my life in watching and in listening. I might spend it, doubtless, to far more advantage; but, at least, in this place I should never once be bored.

The time has long since passed when good Ameri- cans on dying go of necessity to Paris. In these days, many go to London, and others to the Riviera.


BRUSSELS AND MALINES 139

Some even stay at home. If I were found to be a good enough American to have the right of choosing, I should ask an immortality in Brussels. There is something about Paris that chills the blood and makes one shudder, after the first glamour of its charm is dimmed. Resplendent, exquisite, all-satisfying though it seems, la ville Iv/miere may well inspire fear. I cannot help personifying cities; and Paris, like the race that reared it, is all glorious without and hard as flint within. Come to her rich and joyous and avid of dehghts, and she will give you her caresses lav- ishly. Her subtle breath will thrill you; her beauty captivate you; her eagerness to yield, her absolute abandonment, will fascinate you. But if illness fall upon you or if your wealth be wasted, or if, in a word, you have nothing more to give her, then her touch is ice, her laugh is mockery, —

et meretrix retro Periura cedit;

and you may quote still further and describe her as Non Mauris animmn mitior anguibus.

But not so Brussels. Brussels is a whole-souled, winsome camarade, who likes you for yourself and


140 THE NEW BAEDEKER

will not change. She has wit without a spark of malice. She is clever but not cynical. She has grace and charm but is not vain. A genial Flemish warmth has somehow suffused itself into the Gallic brilliancy, and the two, inextricably mingled, make Brussels the soul's true home, from which, because it is so in- finitely appealing, no one who knows it will ever wish to stray.

A shaft of sunlight glances through the archway at the entrance and flecks with gold the little kiosque wherein a dark-haired girl dispenses Turkish cigar- ettes. Mademoiselle is pretty, and she will give you a charming smile as you make a selection from her wares. She will even enter into an amiable conver- sation with you in a casual way, keeping the while a keen Gallic eye wide open for another purchaser. But the sunlight, though it gives to the kiosque a momentary splendour, serves to remind me that the day is speeding by. One must not spend it all as a mere afterpiece to breakfast. Something of my com- patriots' uneasy sense of duty stirs within me. In this twentieth century, the Puritan conscience has survived only in that strange compulsion which leads


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Americans and English people, when they travel, to dash with desperate energy from train to train, from inn to inn, from church to slum, from Whitechapel to Venice, and from the grave of some venerated martyr to Liberty's distracting shop on Regent Street. I have just enough of this uncomfortable virtue to make me feel a bit disquieted. I, too, will go somewhere. I will resist the diabolical tempta- tion to stay in Brussels like a reasonable being, to pace the Boulevard Anspach, to loiter in the pre- cincts of the ancient Hotel de Ville, to stroll past the brilliant shop-fronts of the Montague de la Cour, to ride a well-broken, easy-going Belgian saddle- horse along the Allee Verte, where George Osborne and Amelia and Rawdon Crawley and Becky and the elaborate Jos drove up and down in the days preced- ing Waterloo. No! Quick, gargon! A time-table! I must be off.

Just here the thought occults that, as I said be- fore, this Belgium is a most compact and comfort- able country. One can go somewhere without going very far. Let me see — there is Malines. But is Malines actually Somewhere? May it not be really Nowhere.? What do I recall about Mahnes.?


142 THE NEW BAEDEKER

Only a very little and that little very vaguely. Malines is the seat of the Primate of Belgium with an old cathedral — a sort of Belgian Canterbury or Barchester. It is where Mechlin lace is made. Its inhabitants, like those of Bruges, are mainly paupers. This last vagrant bit of memory would seem to make the town not merely unattractive, but depressing. Yet, perhaps oddly, I find in it a reason for proceed- ing thither. A city inhabited by paupers! How de- lightful as a change! I have tarried long in London and in Paris, which are full of millionaires; and I know too well Chicago, Pittsburgh, and New York, all three of which are infested by multimillionaires. How grateful to discover an historic city where no one has accumulated even a modest fortune and where nearly every one is positively poor! I will plunge myself in pauperism. The plunge will soothe a soul made sick by the sight of excessive riches used only for the harlotry of mere display. And as for the sneering hemistich written by some atrabilious me- diaeval monk — gaudet Mechlinia stvltis — this to me is but one more compelhng call. We meet too many Kneal descendants of Mr. Worldly Wiseman in our times. The world - — our Western world, at least


BRUSSELS AND MALINES 143

— is far too well supplied with " smart " men and with men who " hustle " and " do things." If it be really true that Malines abounds in foolish souls, it will afford perchance a resting place where one may turn aside and offer his devotions at the shrine of Sancta Simplicitas, wherein, I fear, the storks have long since built their nests. And a beloved Latin poet, far wiser than the mediaeval traducer of Ma- lines, has said that it is sweet to play the fool in loco.


A smoothly gliding train deposits me, after a ride of twenty minutes, in the outer station at Malines. Perhaps it is a proof of the stultitia of the good burghers that they have not allowed the railway builders to run their lines and rear their sheds and noisy workshops within the circling moat, which, with a concentric boulevard, surrounds the quaint old town. If so, their folly is the height of wisdom. Who wishes to disturb a bit of the sixteenth century with the frantic clangour of the twentieth? While I am being driven in a very deliberate fashion into the heart of old Malines, there comes to me a peace which surely passeth the understanding of those who


144 THE NEW BAEDEKER

dwell in cities that are " up to date." Broad avenues of which the cobblestones that pave them are dull grey; tall gabled buildings closely set together and all of dull grey stone —^ Malines appears to be a symphony in grey over which, however, the sun from a serene blue sky sheds down a flood of light that is softened by the atmospheric quality of the place to an harmonious agreement with the time- stained roofs and mellowed gables. There is no sound of passing vehicles. The streets are empty, save that here and there some solitary figure or iso- lated group appears upon the narrow sidewalk. Ahead, and looming grandly over the whole sleepy city, rises the gigantic spire of St. Rombaud's, be- gun, perhaps, ten centuries ago, yet still unfinished.

We enter the Grande Place and draw up before an ancient hostelry, which seems quite uninhabited. But there soon appears an aged yet far from decrepit servitor in livery. He says no word, but ushers me within — me the only person that is perceptible save himself. He is at once proprietor and porter, valet- de-chambre and waiter. How many hundred years has he inhabited the place? And how many years have passed since any one has claimed his hospital-


The Marketplace at Malines


BRUSSELS AND MALINES 145

ity? The bedroom to which he guides me cannot have been slept in since the days of WilHam the Silent, so wonderful is its mustiness, so antique its furnishings, so strangely palpable the stillness which you feel has been imprisoned here for generations. As I pass the doorway it is not like entering a room; it is like breaking down the barriers of time and irreverently violating a sanctuary that has been consecrated to perpetual loneliness.

However, the place is immaculately clean, from the hangings of the huge canopied affair that is a bed, down to the linen and the bath-towels. I deposit an incongruous Gladstone bag somewhere in this archaic chamber, throw open all the windows to let in the air, and then descend into the stone-flagged courtyard, where I find mine ancient engaged in polishing a pewter flagon. With grave courtesy he inquires at what hour Monsieur would wish to dine. A few words with him, and then I stroll out into the soft sunshine, and make my first acquaintance with Malines.

It is apparently a place without inhabitants. Though within the circle of its moat there are shel- tered fifty thousand human beings, it is a rare sight

10


146 THE NEW BAEDEKER

indeed to see a dozen at one time except on market- days. The great open places are the abodes of silence, rendered only more intense by the occasional click- clack of a pair of wooden shoes upon the pavement. A market-woman here and there in Flemish garb, a priest in black, a stray gendarme — each is conspicu- ous because so isolated. There are shops, but no one seems to enter them. You pause before a cafe debit, and perhaps you may descry a solitary figure in its dark interior slowly swallowing a draught of straw- hued beer. I peep into the Gothic dimness of the vast cathedral of St. Rombaud, and perceive a beadle sleeping there. I wonder who St. Rombaud was and why they reared this mighty structure in his honour. But the quest of information when one travels has always seemed to me the very worst of all bad form. One sees, one feels, one cogitates and forms hypothe- ses, and this is far more satisfying than a knowledge of mere facts. And as to St. Rombaud, it really does n't matter. He must have been a good man, else he would not have been canonised and made a saint; and he must have been a saint of some importance or they never would have piled up this majestic spire, three hundred feet or more in air, to reverence


BRUSSELS AND MALINES 147

his memory. So why disturb the beadle? Let him sleep on for another century or more.

Not without interest are the lace-makers, of whom one may still find a few, patiently engaged over their delicate creations. Time was when Mechlin lace was highly prized. Its very name had a sumptuous sound. But fickle fashion now prefers 'point de Bruxelles, and so Malines has seen its famous industry decay. For my part, I cannot understand why Mechlin lace is less to be admired than the Irish lace which women rave about. To me all real lace is beautiful — dainty and fine and fit for princesses. To watch its creamy light- ness foam in the laps of these lace-makers of Malines is enough to cause a man to wonder whether women rightly estimate their privileges. Doubtless they think that men are satisfied to enjoy a host of lovely things vicariously, on the persons of their wives and sisters.

DuU-hued garments, cut after conventional pat- terns that seldom change, are the inevitable lot of man. For women there are woven fabrics of en- trancing loveliness, in every tint and shade, from pure white and faint rose up the chromatic scale to the vividest and boldest and most flaming colours


148 THE NEW BAEDEKER

\ — colours that smite the eye and make it drink them in with a sort of Oriental thirstiness. And for women, too, are gathered all the glorious gems that earth and sea produce — superbly lustrous pearls, and emeralds of vivid fascination, and the deep azure sapphires, and iridescent opals, and the conquering diamond, whose flash and fire-spark have the power even to win hearts and vanquish virtue. All these and a thousand other miracles of beauty are woman's own, and she has the sole right to wear them, leav- ing man to stalk about, a dingy biped, close-cropped and clad in bags. Do you suppose that he would not feel a thrill of pleasure if he might, as of old, pos- sess some share of this magnificence? I do not my- self long to clothe my person in sable velvet slashed with crimson silk, or to flaunt whole yards of filmy lace, or to glitter from head to foot with coruscat- ing gems. But on behalf of my sex I should wish the privilege, or at least that women would admit that here is one of the multifarious advantages which men have weakly yielded to them.

It is not all stony grey, this old Malines. Walk through the Place du Betail and toward the outer boulevard, and you will find the pretty little river


BRUSSELS AND MALINES 149

Dyle, meandering with meditative slowness among fields of richest green, or gliding under one of the quaint bridges, of which some thirty-five still span its current. The Dyle is called officially a navi- gable stream; yet, resting on its sloping banks for two delicious, dreamy hours, I see no evidence that it is navigated by anything save silver-bellied min- nows and now and then a wind-blown leaf. Here, it may be, the younger Teniers strolled and studied nature — for he was bom not far away; and here perhaps the knights of Brabant oft drew rein and let their chargers drink. One's thoughts dwell wholly in the past if he lingers beside the Dyle. All that suggests to-day or yesterday is absent and unreal. When, as the shadows lengthen, I walk slowly back into the city, it is in the company of Gerard, son of Elias, or of Gerard's glorious son, Erasmus.

The antique solitude of my inn has now melted harmoniously into the picture as a whole; and when my famulus — no modern name for him seems quite appropriate — announces dinner and bows me into a narrow room panelled in dark old oak and partly hung with tapestry, I feel myself the only object that is incongruous, with my tweeds and russet shoes,


150 THE NEW BAEDEKER

in place of hose and doublet and a sword. Wax candles of prodigious length and set in silver candle- sticks shed a soft light upon the table. I dine in solitary state — the only guest. A potage curiously seasoned with sorrel and other herbs, a bit of fish, a pasty made of larks, and a cheese with fruit are set before me in succession. From a long and cob- webbed bottle, the famulus pours out a generous draught of amber wine, mellow and just a little sweet, but of a potency, as Mr. Henry James would say. Thus dined the Netherlandish burghers and thus dined the statesmen and the scholars in those days when the Low Countries were a prize for which all Europe struggled.

Darkness descends upon Malines. I look out on the Grande Place, and it is ghostly in its dimness. Perhaps it may have been a surfeit of antiquity that excites in me a reaction wholly modern, or perhaps the amber wine may have inspired the revolt. At any rate, I feel oppressed by so much greyness. The very smell of age which haunts the house becomes a source of irritation. " Confound the sixteenth cen- tury! " I say aloud. " I don't belong to it. Soyons de not re siecle! "


BRUSSELS AND MALINES 151

A few stray lights are twinkling on the Place. A glimmer is perceptible in several windows. The in- habitants are evidently lighting a few candles so that they may find their way to bed. But see! Directly opposite, there is something which may be called, comparatively, an illumination. As many as four lamps are gleaming in a window. I cross the cob- blestones in quest of what this may betoken. I find myself before a sort of cabaret, from whose door depends a yard or two of light brown paper, in- scribed with characters in charcoal. The four lamps enable me to read the following announcement:

Concert.

JOH]Sr TOM

PHOPBIETAIBE-PATKON


%a JBelle 1Rose

Chanteuse de Genre Pour Cette Semaine Seulement

" John Tom! " The name suggests that utterly impossible invention of Victor Hugo's in VHomme Qui Rit — Tom Jim-jack, scion of a noble English house. I must see John Tom.

The place was what in France would be styled


152 THE NEW BAEDEKER

contemptuously a bouis-bouis; but it did not de- serve that rather mysterious name. A long, nar- row room, with sanded floor, and benches and tables. At the upper end a small square platform, with a piano just below it at one side; and at the other side a cashier's desk. A pale and hectic-looking man was tinkling tunes abstractedly on the piano. A young woman of some embonpoint, evidently La Belle Rose, did needlework beside the pianist. At the desk presided Mme. John Tom, matronly and placid, while M. John Tom himself was ministering to the infrequent demands of half. a dozen men and women, whose thirst for beer was held in check by their instincts of economy. It was a picture almost domestic in its restfulness.

From time to time. La Belle Rose would put aside her needlework, leave her chair and ascend the plat- form to interpret one of her chansons de genre — songs which had been popular in Paris ten years before, but which were now for the first time heard in the archiepiscopal city of Malines. I can still hear the slightly nasal voice of La Belle Rose — the true music-hall voice all over the world — rendering with some archness of intonation the refrain:


BRUSSELS AND MALINES 153

    • J'arrive d'Orleans,

Mon p'tit nom c'est Estelle, J'aurai dix-huit printemps

A la fraise nouvelle. Je SOTS d'chez mes parents, J'ai mes trente-deux dents, Et d'bons antecedents J'arrive d'Orleans!"

Her audience listened with silent approbation. Still better than these frivolous chansonettes, they liked such sober songs as " Le Credo du Paysan ":

Je crois en Toi, maitre de la Nature, Je crois en Toi, et dans la Liberte —

because this struck more surely the chord of their own hard-working, honest, God-fearing lives. It is all so different in France.

La Belle Rose did not think it worth her while to carry around the little wooden dish which is conse- crated in all such places to la quete. She sewed steadily between her musical performances, and on the whole appeared to me a sort of Belgian Fother- ingay, who, however, needed not the fitful chaperon- age of a Belgian Costigan. There were, appar- ently, no Pendennises or Fokers in Malines.

M. John Tom, perceiving me to be a stranger,


154 THE NEW BAEDEKER

gave me the honour of his personal attention. He was a clean-shaven, stout and very comfortable- looking individual. He trusted that Monsieur was pleased with the entertainment. Monsieur was wholly pleased, and said so.

Ah," resumed John Tom, " Monsieur est peut- etre Anglais? " No, Monsieur was American. The information visibly excited reminiscences in the brain of John Tom. He broke into English suddenly, as when one turns on the waters of a hydrant.

" Americain! Ah, I 'ave visit I'Amerique. Yas, I 'ave visit zat most large city of ze contrie of Monsieur! "

" New York," said I, with the bland assurance of Manhattan.

But my metropolitan presumption was to be properly rebuked. John Tom looked puzzled for a moment.

" New York? Non, je ne le connais pas. 'Oboken."

And then John Tom sat down beside me and dis- coursed of many things that he had seen when, in a Red Star vessel, he had sailed and sailed and sailed over an incredible amount of water, and had then beheld the glories of 'Oboken for five whole days.


BRUSSELS AND MALINES 155

I had now shed the sixteenth century completely. 'Oboken brought me back to our own times.

John Tom returned at intervals. La Belle Rose sang. The clink of copper money was heard from the comptoir where Mme. John Tom presided. It was all very comfortable. But in time the big bell of St. Rombaud boomed out upon the stilly night. The last of the convives rose to go. John Tom again approached me. He regretted profoundly that the municipal ordinances compelled him to close his doors at ten. But if Monsieur desired to re- main — as a guest —

Monsieur desired to remain. He tried to think of some French equivalent for " the shank of the evening." In fact, he dreaded to go back into the sixteenth century. The thought of that silent, an- cient, musty bedroom, and of the flickering candle that would waken ghosts within its shadows, made him most unwilling to turn his back upon the light and sound of John Tom's hospitable cabaret. So John Tom closed the shutters and barred the door with a great wooden bar; and Mme. John Tom produced from some adjacent pantry a large Delft platter of dehcious sandwiches cut thin, together


156 THE NEW BAEDEKER

with some radishes and fruit. La Belle Rose put away her sewing. The pianist ran his fingers through his hair and rolled a cigarette.

" Can you not play for me," ^said I, " your fine national air, La Brahangonnef I have heard it only once, and wish that I could learn it."

The cigarette was swiftly laid aside, and the first few bars of martial music crashed out from the keys. Even this battered old piano could not rob of its power that splendid song which Campenhout com- posed to fit the stirring words by Jenneval, who fell soon after at the barricades. Americans have learned from Englishmen to think the Belgians tame and thoroughly unwarlike. This is because the Belgian troops at Waterloo broke when the French first smote the allied forces under Wellington's command. But these Belgians were at heart the partisans of Napoleon and they longed for his success, while they disliked the English. Why should they oppose the Emperor, who was to them a hero and a liberator? Thackeray well knew the truth when he wrote that marvellous chapter in Vanity Fair, If any one is given to think lightly of the Belgians, let him read the records of the year 1830, when the stubborn


BRUSSELS AND MALINES 157

Dutch were assailed so fiercely by the Belgian revo- lutionists as to startle them from their stolidity and at last lead Europe to insist on Belgium's independ- ence. In the blood and fury of that year La Braban- gonne was born.

The pianist, no longer languid, made his instru- ment roll out the battle-song. La Belle Rose began the words. John Tom chimed in, and then Mme. John Tom. The incongruous group took on a certain dignity:

Qui I'aurait cru? De I'arbitraire Consacrant les affreux projets, Sur nous de rairain sanguinaire Un prince a lance les boulets!

C'en est fait! Oui, Beiges, tout change,

Avec Nassau plus d'indigne traite! La mitraille a brise I'Orange Sur I'arbre de la Liberte!

The crash and thunder of the stern refrain are followed by a few chords of the " Marseillaise," won- derfully interwoven with Campenhout's own music, as if to show that Belgium's desperate fight for free- dom were but the final scene in that great patriotic drama which France began when it sounded the toc- sin of revolution in the annus mirabilis, 1793.


158 THE NEW BAEDEKER

The pianist went on from verse to verse, himself singing as he played. I caught the air and some- thing of the inspiration, and sang with all the resb of them. There was a roar of sound in that small room.

Of a sudden came a sharply vicious blow upon the outer door — a sound as of a rifle-butt. We left off singing and there came a hush that you could feel,

" Ouvrez, au nom de la loi! "

Such was the order, given by a hoarse voice in the street. M. John Tom unbarred his door. In the dim light I could perceive a stocky man in military uniform. Behind him, the Belgian army was repre- sented by three soldiers armed with rifles. The leader entered, and with him John Tom conferred in a low voice. I could make out the words apres dix heures . . . ahsolwment defendu. Obviously we had smashed the Belgian code to pieces by our patriotic Schwdrmerei, I thought I ought to give John Tom a little help. I went forward to the personage in uniform.

" M. le Capitaine, the establishment of M. John Tom was duly closed at ten o'clock. I am a stranger.


BRUSSELS AND MALINES 159

his private guest, and I was learning the words and music of La Brabangonne, one of the finest of all national airs."

M. le Capitaine — he was probably a high private or at most a corporal — bowed with much gravity and seemed pleased by his promotion to the higher rank. It is only in Georgia and Kentucky that mili- tary honours are acquired at birth.

" We should be much pleased if M. le Capitaine would enter and partake of some slight refreshment, now that he done us the honour of calling."

M. le Capitaine came in and shut the door. He sniffed the sandwiches afar off, and was soon devour- ing them with much apparent satisfaction.

" As we were singing La Brahan^onne, perhaps you would drink a demi-Moidin to Belgium and its proud traditions."

Doubtless it is a dusty task patrolling the streets and squares; and doubtless the army regulations in Belgium are comfortably elastic. At any rate, M. le Capitaine went to the door and spoke winged words to his brave followers. Presently we heard their tramping heels upon the trottoir, dying in the distance.


160 THE NEW BAEDEKER

The demi-Moulin disappeared, and others followed it. M. le Capitaine removed his kepi, unbuckled his belt, and made himself at home. He spoke with fer- vour of I'Amerique, which apparently he restricted to Brazil. He ate many radishes. At the hour of eleven-thirty he was standing on a chair beside the old piano and was leading all of us in the thundering refrain:

La mitraille a bri-i-se I'Ora-a-an-ge-e-e Sur I'arbre de la Liberte!

• ••••'••

The next morning, after a sixteenth century break- fast, I returned to Brussels, having settled my hotel bill — tout compris — for the sum of three francs and a half. (Economico-sociological note: If the inhabitants of Malines are chiefly paupers, it is be- cause they are still charging sixteenth century prices in the present year of grace.) I may not again behold Malines, but the memory of it is a grateful one. No doubt Malines is officially beneath the sway of the Cardinal-Primate of All Belgium; but in my thoughts of it, the quaint old city will remain for- ever the hereditary principality of my genial friend, the good John Tom.


VII

LIVERPOOL

There is one European city which nearly every travelling American at some time or other visits, but which he never really knows. This is Liverpool, the front door of Europe, — ianua Baiarum — and to the vast majority of tourists the front door only. When the huge steamer heaves its great side against the slanting gangways of the Landing Stage, and the voyager sets his feet firmly upon them with the keen joy of being once more on land, his thought is not of Liverpool, but leaps at once to bourns beyond this dull grey sky and this maze of dingy streets.

And so, after he has had his amicable two-minute interview with the British customs inspector, who obligingly sticks little labels on the luggage and blandly ignores the half-concealed cigars that must last for many a long day in this land of poor to-

^ This chapter is reproduced with some alterations and additions from the author's What is Good English and Other Essays (New York, 1899), now out of print.

11


162 THE NEW BAEDEKER

bacco, the American jumps into a contiguous four- wheeler and rattles on his way, with high thoughts and a happy heart. He may sometimes, to be sure, partake of a hasty meal at the Adelphi Hotel, where he will be served by the most insolent German waiters that can be found in Europe; but this will be the extent of his experience with Liverpool. In an hour or two he will be crossing over the ferry to Birken- head to visit Chester, with its double-decked streets and lustrous ivies, and beautiful stretches of green- ery; or he will be rechning luxuriously in a well- padded railway carriage, speeding along between ver- dant hedgerows and poppy-sprinkled meadows, with the fascinating zest of one whose vacation is still be- fore him, whose letter of credit is still untouched, and who is eagerly anticipating all the undefined, mys- terious delights of mighty London.

But to him, Liverpool itself is unimportant. It is not particularly old. It is not " historical." The guide-books tell of nothing there which seems espe- cially attractive. It is just a big commonplace, un- interesting British town, with commerce, shipping, railway facilities, and a large but not distinguished population. Why should a tourist who has yet to


LIVERPOOL 163

visit historic England and all the Continent waste any time in Liverpool? And in fact he does n't.

Yet there is quite another side to this. There are some travellers who, while fully capable of drawing inspiration from historic scenes, and of appreciating all the glories of tower and castle and cathedral, are still beset by a desire to study human beings also, and who find these no less interesting than the storied reHcs of the past. They like to prowl about in un- famihar comers, to chat with the casual native, to sit in the public parks and watch the unconscious throng, to see the popular amusem*nts, and, in other words, to understand the daily life and thought and habits of the men and women who make up the mass of every nation. And after they have gone about for a while, they manage to divest themselves of that beautifully American conception of what foreign travel really means, which has been cleverly epito- mised as " rushing madly from one strange bed to another with a perpetual cinder in one's eye." They think it better in the end to see a little and to see it thoroughly, and thus to bring home some definite food for thought, rather than to bewilder their brains and memories with a mad mirage in which palaces


164 THE NEW BAEDEKER

and prisons, cafes and castles, time-tables and buffet- restaurants, are all whirling for ever in a wild and , quite inextricable dance.

To those who have made at last this valuable dis- covery, the present writer earnestly commends the town of Liverpool as having claims upon their time. It is here that one may get to know the modern Briton as he is to-day, unglorified by any romantic halo from the past. When you see him in the shadow of the great Abbey, or on the terrace of the Houses, or in the cloisters of old Canterbury, or by the peace- ful ripple of the Avon, or when you are yourself under the potent spell which Oxford casts upon the imagination, it is not the average Briton of to-day that you are contemplating.

You behold unconsciously in him the representa- tive of a mighty race — the race that is both Eng- land's and our own, the race that was born to build and civilise and conquer; and however commonplace he may really be, he carries with him something of the glamour that makes the Anglo-Saxon heart all over this terrestrial globe experience a responsive thrill at the names of Runnimede, and Stratford, and Westminster, and Waterloo.


O


LIVERPOOL 165

And so if you wish to know the modern every-day Briton entirely 'per se, and to understand him as he actually is, you must be sure to catch him in some such place as Liverpool, where his environment is one that is in harmony with his actual temperament, and is not romantic nor yet steeped in memories of the past; but where you will perceive with a clear, achromatic vision the creature as he really is — a stodgy, pursy, pig-headed, obstinate, immovable, masterful, tena- cious creature — a creature to make you despair of him for his crass philistinism, and admire him be- yond the power of expression for his inherent force and illimitable efficiency.

Therefore, if perchance a tourist whose experience is one of several seasons, and who finds pleasure in pursuing the Culturgeschichte, ever comes to read these pages, let him make a note of my advice. When next he lands in Liverpool, he is not to hurry on to other and more superficially attractive places; but he is to call his cab and leisurely betake himself to Mr. Russell's excellent hotel in Church Street, — which is one of the best-kept inns the present writer has ever found in any country, — and let him there commit his luggage to the porter and his appetite to


166 THE NEW BAEDEKER

the personage who rules the cosey little breakfast- room. And after he has eaten of the light and spongy muffins, and done justice to the succulent chops that show the loving touch of the hissing grill, and after he has disposed of other plain but satisfying British viands, and has soothed his spirit with one of his remaining American cigars, then let him ramble out into the highways, past the velvet greensward of what was once the pro-cathedral gar- den and the quaint little brown church itself, and let him keep his eyes wide open for the incidents and oddities of Liverpudlian life.

He will see uncounted thousands of the Britons who are quite unknown to fame, who have no share in parliaments or pageants, who are not even mem- bers of the county yeomanry, who do not legislate or serve as soldiers, but who just make their daily bread in shops and warehouses, and who have good digestions and a happy absence of imagination. He will read their business signs couched in the neo- British dialect of to-day inviting him to enter and purchase, or to pay an especial visit to the house of " Liverpool's Leading Booters." He will ramble through Williamson Square, the Bowery of Liver-


LIVERPOOL 167

pool, where they do such things and they say such things every evening in the week, and where he may attend a " smoking concert," at which he will be asked to sing a ditty when his turn comes around. From the ditties which others sing in these caves of har- mony, he can get some knowledge of the ideals that belong to the humbler Liverpudlians. For example, I inferred from certain songs that to drive a tram is a somewhat aristocratic employment, uniting ease with luxury. For example, — and this, I am sorry to say, is the only fragment that has remained with me — there was a chorus in which everybody j oined with a tremendous thumping of beer-mugs. It ran:

No more getting up at half -past six,

Climbing up a ladder with a hod full of bricks;

No more clay pipes, nothing but cigars. Now I am a driver in the tramway cars!

Songs which celebrated relief from toil seemed to touch the deepest chord in these rough audiences. There was one which was peculiarly delightful. The v/ords of it were droned out slowly and almost pain- fully until the word " six " was uttered, when the re- maining lines were rattled off joyously and as fast as they could be sung.


168 THE NEW BAEDEKER

I 've worked eight hours to-day.

And I think I 've earned my pay.

"When the clock strikes six —

Then down go the bricks.

And I wonH work a half a minute longer!

I am pleased to observe near the Prince's Park two small dissenting chapels that are evidently rivals in the work of saving souls; for each has a large tin sign inviting spiritual custom. Both salute the wayfarer with " Welcome All! " but one describes its exercises alliteratively as " Brief, Bright, and Brotherly," while the other, with perhaps a pro- founder psychological insight into human nature, says nothing about the brightness or the brotherli- ness, but gets down to a definite basis on the ques- tion of brevity in announcing (as though it were a surgical operation) that " All is Over in One Hour," adding still more reassuringly, " Sermon Positively Only Fifteen Minutes."

Then there is that picturesquely named locality, the Back Goree, which I once innocently supposed to be the lair of pirates, and crossed by noisome lanes, and filled with the haunts of the evil, but in which an actual inspection disclosed nothing more terrifying than a few mouldy naval stores, and no


LIVERPOOL 169

one more formidable than a beery mariner, who stood in the door of an eating-house chewing a long, yellow straw. This eating-house has a red and white sign, which displays the names of the viands obtainable there, among them " Hot Pot," Raspberry Sandwiches," " Eccles Cakes," and other (to me) unknown British delicacies. I have often wished that I could eat some Hot Pot and an Eccles Cake, but somehow my gastronomic courage has always failed me, bhghted perhaps by the warm breath of cabbage-soup, whose odour gushes vio- lently and perpetually through the open doorway. He who is equally timorous and unenterprising can find a safer place for tKe satisfaction of his appetite at the Bear's Paw, a vast and flourishing restau- rant, whose menu is printed on a piece of brown paper about as large as a horse-blanket, and is as full of capital letters and exclamation-points as an American newspaper at election time. One does not readily grasp the full meaning of such capitalised warnings as " No Follows of Aspara- gus! " but anyone with a sense of style can appre- ciate the Tacitean brevity of the elliptical note, " Hot Mashed Goes with the Joint." And — well,


170 ^ THE NEW BAEDEKER

there is a good deal of ethnic instruction to be gleaned quietly in the streets of Liverpool, and what has been set forth above is given only by way of illustration.

Some years ago I happened to be spending a little time there, having arrived a few days in ad- vance of the sailing of my steamer. It was not the first visit, nor the second, nor the third; and so the hours passed rather slowly, and when the evening came I turned to the theatres in quest of amuse- ment and diversion. Oddly enough, at both the lead- ing houses the stage was held by plays relating to American manners. At the first a drama whose name I cannot now recall was billed as " A Thrill- ing Picture of Far Western Life! " From the ad- vertisem*nt it appeared that the scene was laid, with a slight geographical misfit, in Denver, Nebraska, and by an excess of generosity on the part of the playwright two villains were provided — one being Colonel Esek Slodge and the other plain Joe Wil- liams. A foot-note added the enticing promise, " In the Fifth Act, Joe Williams is Hanged in Full Sight of the Audience! " I rather wished to see that


LIVERPOOL 171

play; but somehow or other the hanging of Joe Williams appeared to lack the essential element of cheerfulness, and so I turned to the other theatre as a pis aller.

Its bill-boards vividly announced the " Protracted and Expensive Engagement of the Celebrated American Actor, Mr. Blank Blank," with a company described as " A Galaxy of the Best Histrionic Talent in the States." Furthermore, one was in- formed (in smaller letters) that " all parts being filled by Americans, this presentation affords a vivid, realistic picture of contemporary American life, as delineated in that most famous of all American plays, entitled Uncle ToirCs Cahin.^^ After reading this, and especially the allusion to " contemporary Ameri- can life," there was really nothing to do but to get a ticket and go; and the expenditure of five shil- lings having secured one of the best seats in the house, the present writer saw the curtain rise promptly at eight o'clock, disclosing the family mansion of Mr. Shelby in Kentucky, with the negro quarters adjacent to it.

The scene was one of surpassing beauty and, above all, of realism. The Shelby mansion was of white


172 THE NEW BAEDEKER

marble with Italian pillars, and it was embowered in palm-trees and other tropical foliage, while far away in the background stretched the blue waters of an in- land sea not usually recorded on the maps, upon which were to be descried a few stray gondolas; for every one is well aware that the gondola is a favourite means of locomotion with the natives of Kentucky. The scene was so very beautiful, in fact, that one at first forgot to be surprised at the close proximity of the negro quarters to the white marble mansion; for the distance between the two was, at a liberal estimate, six paces, so that the Shelby family were probably at times quite well informed of the progress of their domestic cookery. But it was soon obvious just why the quarters were so near the mansion. It was to enable the Shelbys to glut themselves with negro minstrelsy at any hour of the day and night; for presently the " hands " emerged and sang a hymn, a proceeding which they repeated at regular intervals, like a cuckoo-clock, all through the act. And whenever they did so, the Shelbys suspended any other oc- cupation and struck attitudes all over the place and listened. Mr. Shelby was a fine figure of a man.


LIVERPOOL 173

He wore jack-boots and white duck trousers, while Mrs. Shelby at three p. m. appeared in a low-necked dress and a tiara of precious stones. When it sub- sequently transpired that the Shelbys were deeply in debt, and that the white marble mansion was mortgaged up to its fastigium, I could n't help thinking that Mrs. Shelby might have raised a Httle money on her tiara instead of weakly consenting to the sale of George Harris and Eliza, and of poor Uncle Tom, all of whom presently appeared while the hands were singing their seventh hymn. George Harris was undoubtedly a typical mulatto slave, because the play-bill said so; but if I had seen him anywhere else I should have taken him for Albert Chevalier doing a coster turn. Uncle Tom was nice and black. When he was summoned to appear, in order that he might be informed that he had been sold to the heartless Haley, he came directly from working in the fields, and he had white cotton gloves, such as were doubtless always worn at the South by the better class of slaves when hoeing corn and digging sweet potatoes. He had a fine deep voice and a rich Whitechapel accent; and when he was informed that he had been sold to


174 THE NEW BAEDEKER

Haley, he observed with some emotion that it was very 'ard. But there was no help for it; so he had to go, but not before he, too, had sung a hymn, and had listened to the rendering of still another by his fellow-slaves.

George and Eliza, however, had more spirit than Uncle Tom; for they resolved to run away; and they did so while Haley was obligingly looking at the inland sea and the gondolas, and perhaps com- posing poetry; since he failed to get an inkling of their intention, though it was discussed by them in a loud and carrying tone of voice. When he did discover it, they had already gone, and then he promptly called for bloodhounds, and set off in hot pursuit, waiting, however, to hear the field hands give a rendering of one final hymn, and also the encores for which the audience very kindly called, wishing perhaps to give Eliza and her child a better start.

The beginning of the second act revealed a tavern on the banks of the Ohio River, to which place Eliza had succeeded in escaping. The tavern was simply but sufficiently furnished with one deal table and two chairs, and it had a large window which com-


LIVERPOOL 175

manded a sweeping view of the river. And here one discovered a remarkable fact as to the varia- tions of climate that can be found in Kentucky; for whereas the Shelby estate, when Eliza left it, was enjoying tropical summer, the broad Ohio, on the borders of the same State, was full of icebergs. Of course it is possible to suppose that she had con- sumed six months or so in reaching the river, and had thus given the season time to change; but the speed with which she rushed in seemed to render this hypothesis untenable. Haley and the blood- hounds were on her track; and already a large poster on the wall of the tavern proclaimed " One Hundred Pounds Reward for a Runaway Slave," from whick it appeared that Kentuckians prefer the English monetary system. As soon as Eliza saw the poster, she felt faint and sat down on one of the chairs; and when Phineas Fletcher presently en- tered, she confided in him at once, because he was a Quaker and said " thee " and " thou," and because, as she told him, he had so good and kind a face. I should myself have taken him for Jesse James; but Eliza knew her man, and when the bloodhounds were presently heard baying, he shut her up in a large


176 THE NEW BAEDEKER

closet for safety. Haley soon appeared with his myr- midons and two bloodhounds. The bloodhounds were very large and fat, and they inspired real terror — not in Phineas Fletcher, but in Haley and his minions, who were obviously afraid lest the animals should lean up against the scenery and go to sleep; so that it became necessary from time to time to tread furtively on their tails to keep them awake and bay- ing. Haley had some talk with Phineas, and pres- ently wanted to look into the closet; but when Jie grew insistent, Phineas, like a true Quaker, pulled a pistol out of each boot and stopped him. Later the myrmidons attempted the same thing, and then Phineas pulled two more pistols from somewhere down the back of his neck and stopped them. Then Haley went out to get more myrmidons, and Phineas had to give up; so he rushed Eliza out of the house, and she ran across the river on the ice, just as in the book, her passage being visible from the window. The audience naturally felt a good deal of sympathy with Eliza; but for my part I was more concerned for Haley and the myrmidons, since in spite of the rigour of the climate which filled the river with icebergs, they were all clad in linen dus-


LIVERPOOL 177

ters and overalls, and I am sure their legs must have been very cold.

Later still, Eliza and George were united; and being driven to bay, they made a gallant stand for freedom in the mountains, aided by Phineas. The lofty peak on which they rallied was not less than seven feet high, and when Haley and Tom Loker and the myrmidons and Lawyer Marks attacked them, Phineas shed a perfect shower of pistols from every conceivable part of his person. Haley's gang also had at least two pistols apiece, and both parties fired steadily at one another for several minutes, at a distance of six paces, with no harm to any one, which served rather to discredit Kentuckian marks- manship. Somehow or other, in the end, after every- body had used up all his cartridges, George and Eliza escaped down the rear of the peak, and then Lawyer Marks led in a large mouse-coloured ass, on which he expected to ride away. The ass kicked various members of the party and excited uncon- trollable mirth in the audience. It seemed rather awkward in its movements, however, and presently the skin over one of its fetlocks burst open and

made evident the fact that the ass was surrepti-

12


178 THE NEW BAEDEKER

tiously wearing corduroy trousers and patent-leather shoes.

Still further along in the play we were introduced to the luxurious abode of St. Clare in the city of New Orleans, and to the details of his domestic menage. A good deal of the action took place in the garden, a noble plaisaunce enclosed in a dense thicket of fir-trees, and, with contiguous mountains topped with snow. Miss Ophelia was a very promi- nent figure in these scenes. She was a very ample lady, with a bunch of keys at her waist, and a rubi- cund countenance, and her language was intimately suggestive of New England; for she said " How shiftless! " at least once in every two minutes; though sometimes, when she varied the form and said, " Now, that 's really very shiftless, you know! " or " Drat it, you 're really quite too shiftless! " one could n't help suspecting her of being secretly an Anglomaniac. She was greatly concerned with the general disorder of what she called the 'ouse, and went about picking up everything that anybody dropped, except their Ks. St. Clare was also an interesting character, though it was darkly hinted that he was given to dissipation; and, in fact, he


LIVERPOOL 179

showed this symbolically by parting his hair in the middle and always appearing with a cigarette, which he was continually allowing to go out and then I'elighting. Once, however, after he had been no doubt particularly wild, he came in, slapping his brow and exclaiming, " Oh, my head! " and then Uncle Tom dealt with him effectually.

" Mahster," said Tom — who, by the way, always wore his hat in the drawing-room — " do you know where such courses hend? "

" No," said St. Clare rather feebly.

" Then let me tell you, Mahster," said Uncle Tom with his deepest voice. " They hend in 'Ell! "

After this St. Clare smoked no more cigarettes and always parted his hair on one side. But he must have had a moral relapse, for when he was brought in one evening, stabbed, it was stated openly that the affair had taken place in " a drinking-bar."

The later scenes were very harrowing. At the command of the brutal Legree, Uncle Tom was whipped several times in each scene, and Sambo and Quimbo, who did it, always added a fresh horror to the spectacle by dancing a breakdown before be-


180 THE NEW BAEDEKER

ginning, and by singing at least two songs after they had finished. When Tom finally succumbed, and Legree was arrested for the murder of St. Clare, all the Shelby family and the Shelby field hands, and Topsy, and Haley, and Lawyer Marks appeared in some unaccountable way and sang " The Sweet Bye and Bye."

The last scene showed George and Eliza safe on Canadian soil. Greorge was full of emotion. He announced that at last he had reached a land over which the flag of Hengland floated, where 'ealth and 'ope were possible to he very one, and where, as hall men knew, Britons never, never could be slaves. As he said this he took out of one of his coat-tails a large cotton pocket-handkerchief which displayed the British emblem, and spread it under his chin like a porous-plaster. This was the cue for the orchestra, which struck up "God Save the King;" where- upon every one in the audience arose, and the play ended amid great enthusiasm.

A large and portly Briton who breathed very hard had sat beside me, and throughout the performance had incidentally occupied half my chair as well as all his own. As we were about to leave, he caught my


•'Rum lot, these Yankees, ain't they?"


LIVERPOOL 181

eye, and at once remarked with an air of intense

conviction:

" Rum lot, these Yankees, ain't they? "

And remembering my countrymen as they had just

been dramatically depicted, I said that I thought

they were.


PART TWO

I

PORTLAND, MAINE

De. SamueI/ Johnson once said to the attentive Boswell, that for him the current of his life was at its full whenever he was driven briskly along Fleet Street in a hackney-coach. This was all very well for Dr. Samuel Johnson. He happened to be a purblind, corpulent person, unable to see very far beyond his nose, and afflicted with an asthmatic shortness of breath which made him gasp and wheeze whenever he was obliged to walk. Years of garret- life, of tavern talk and of London fog had caused his appreciation of Nature in the large to become atrophied, just as the nicety of his tastes had become blunted. Hence, to rattle along over the cobble- stones in a stuffy coach was to him the very acme of delight. If, at the end of his drive, he found awaiting him a platter of stewed hare unduly " high," accompanied by a stout loaf, plenty of rancid butter and a steaming jorum of strong tea, he felt that he had really reached Elysium.


PORTLAND, MAINE 183

Now, if I were a person of sufficient importance to have a Boswell, I should set forth to him an ideal very different from that of the Great Cham. Of all the places on the habitable earth, where is it that one can get the keenest sense of what is good in life? Where will his blood race through his veins most joyously? Where will a glorious exhilaration make him feel as though he were walking upon air, with a sense of supreme well-being, of healthful, zestful happiness just because he is alive and there? Believe a normal human being of nomadic tastes when he tells you that all of these sensations will come upon you overwhelmingly, if you will only walk on Congress Street in Portland, Maine, about the end of June. The sunny fields of Kent are very fine. The roses of the Riviera and the blue of the Italian lakes are charming. The palms of Santa Catalina sway with a seductive fascination. The Rockies and the Alps are majestic in the boldness of tlieir beauty. The long, dim vistas of the Schwarzwald murmur almost lyrically through the leaves that make of every tree a deep-green bower. Yet these may all go hang when I recall the buoy- ancy of soul which comes over me on Congress Street in Portland, Maine.


184 THE NEW BAEDEKER

The truth is that certain places are meant to be enjoyed by poets only, while others are supremely satisfying to the wholly unimaginative nature. Thus, the Lago di Garda would give endless pleas- ure to a sensitive, unworldly spirit such as Shelley — that beautiful and ineffectual angel of the lumi- nous wings. On the other hand, the Hon. Enoch P. Scruggs of Altoona, Pennsylvania, and kis good lady and the Misses Scruggs, would ask nothing better of Providence than a long sojourn at Asbury Park. Yet few of us are really poets, and some of us are more exacting than the famille Scruggs. We like to have our heads well up in air but at the same time to keep our feet planted firmly on the solid earth. The actual and usual, seen against a background of romance — this is what appeals to me, at least, far more than either abstract and unchanging beauty, or the crude monotony of the commonplace. Fundamentally, this middle ground, when you come to think of it, is attractive and ap- pealing just because it is a microcosmic reproduc- tion of human life itself — life as it actually is and as it has been made for us, not by poets nor yet by plodders, but by the God of Things as They Are.


PORTLAND, MAINE 185

Here is the Horatian philosophy of the aurea mediocritas. Mediocritas — yes, but always aurea. That sagacious Roman who has seemed to every age to be its own possession, who is to-day more truly modern than even Mr. Bernard Shaw, and who will remain eternally the genial friend and easy- going monitor of all mankind — Horace, I say, knew well that contrast is the very essence of en j oyment.

Sed neque qui Capua Romam petit imbre lutoque Adspersus volet in caupona vivere; nee qui Frigus collegit furnos et balnea laudat.

Harmony is the more ravishing when it follows discord; beauty is the more entrancing when it stands out radiantly beside ugliness; and grains of gold gleam brightest when one finds them in a lump of clay. So let us learn to view the complicated web of human life that we may at last arrive at the supreme philosophy of enjoyment which can derive exquisite pleasure anywhere from the con- trasts which meet us in the study of mankind, from the analysis of anything, from the gleams of humour, the subtle tints of personality, the ways and manners of one's fellow men and women, and


186 THE NEW BAEDEKER

the picturesqueness of the background, whatever it may be. If you have acquired this priceless gift, you can be happy even at Ulubrse — or Chicago. The smallest hamlet or the largest city — it is quite the same. Everywhere the human comedy goes on forever. As for myself, I think that I have learned the lesson — provided only that I can be sure of getting well-cooked meals, however simple, and pro- vided also, that a certain brand of cigarettes — caporal superieur, paqTiet rose — be granted me as a concomitant to meditation.

But to return to Congress Street in June. The sky above is intensely blue. A soft yet bracing breeze blows up the street from the undulating waters of the Bay. It flutters the awnings and makes the flags stream proudly on their staifs. Everything is as fresh and sweet and as clearly out- lined as though Portland had been created on that very morning instead of much more than two cen- turies ago. This is not really newness, much less rawness. It is the neat, self-respecting trimness of a city — simplex munditiis — that is still American to its very core, with suggestive touches of Old England to give it dignity and the softened charm


PORTLAND, MAINE 187

of age. Looking down from a gradual slope is one of the most delightful of hotels, nestling among trees, and with a broad veranda that invites you to be quite at home. Yet if you choose, you can turn into Oak Street and take up your abode in " chambers " and be as comfortable as you will, a VAnglaise.

The spreading trees with their half -arched green- ery are one of the great charms of Portland. Turn off just where you like, and you will gaze down shaded streets to which the sunshine finds its way seductively through the foliage. The houses — fine old mansions — are set in velvet lawns dappled by the shadows of their elms and oaks. And every little while you will come upon a park with limpid pools of water and beds of flowers and the spray of fountains. Or, if you care to take another course, you will find yourself upon a strip of turf entitled the Eastern Promenade, which overlooks the sparkle of the sea. Only a few antique and interesting can- non share the place with you; and if you are so fortunate as to wander thither by the side of a charming girl, you may admire her to your heart's content, while the wind, with caressing touch, loosens


188 THE NEW BAEDEKER

the little fluffs of hair about her face and makes her colour come and go bewitchingly. And what you say to her no one will ever hear, except perhaps the birds that twitter in the tree-tops.

But it is Congress Street that calls one back — Congress Street, with its throngs of people moving busily up and down the sidewalks, its handsome shops, its general air of thrift and order and pros- perity. Every one you meet has clear bright eyes and a touch of incipient tan. Every one is well and cheerful and alive. You are very much alive your- self, and are every moment thanking Heaven for it. You look into the windows where the jewellers dis- play their dainty wares. You purchase great masses of carnations at a price so trifling as to make the flowers seem a gift from the Portldnderinn who hands them to you with a frank and friendly smile. You are ready to do anything, to go anywhere, to laugh aloud and even to burst forth into song, be- cause, as I said, you are so very much alive. Small wonder that Anthony Trollope wrote as he did of Portland and its people nearly fifty years ago. Mark the healthy and roast-beefy tone of the approving Briton:


JUtM.


73

3


O

Oh


o


PORTLAND, MAINE 189

Portland has an air of supreme plenty. . . . The faces of the people tell of three regular meals of meat a day, and of digestive powers in proportion. O happy Portlanders! If they only knew their own good fortime! They get up early and go to bed early. The women are comely and sturdy, able to take care of themselves, without any fal-lal of chivalry, and the men are sedate, obhging, and industrious. I saw the young girls in the streets coming home from their tea-parties at nine o'clock, many of them alone, and all with some basket in their hands, which betokened an evening not passed absolutely in idleness. No fear there of unruly questions on the way, or of insolence from the ill-conducted of the other sex. AU was, or seemed to be, orderly, sleek, and imobtrusive. Probably, of all modes of hfe that are allotted to man by his Creator, life such as this is the most happy.

Dear old Anthony knew a thing or two. In Trol- lope's time, Mr. Cordes had not yet spread his tables for the hungry visitor, nor was the fine hotel there, with its admirable chef; but Portland was well catered to, we may be sure. And even then the sun shone bright on Congress Street and its historic monument. Before TroUope was born — in fact as early as 1807 — the Rev. Dr. Dwight described Portland as " beautiful and brilliant." Dr. Dwight may not have been an authority on beauty and brilliancy, but I know that this time he was correct.

There is a good deal of history associated with Portland, but I enjoy this chiefly because it gives


190 THE NEW BAEDEKER

a fitting background for the living present. That is what history is for, just as that is the true excuse for architecture. I hke to think of Preble, and I like to look at the fine structures of St. Dominick's and St. Luke's as I rove about the town; but the trolley-cars are also an essential part of it, and so are the trees, and the shops, and all the rest.

If you like, you may visit the house where Long- fellow was born; but I have never myself done so. It seems rather foolish to make pilgrimages to the birthplaces of distinguished men. You are certain to be disappointed. There is Shakespeare's — at least, it is conj ecturally liis; a wretched, squalid hole of a garret, which only makes you sorry for the poet. And there is the birthplace of Robert Burns, transformed into a peep-show of tawdry " relics." What does it matter where a man was born. There is no particular merit in being bom. ' No one who is born has any choice in the matter. He is bom just because he has to be. The real thing to con- sider is what he does with himself after he has been born. I feel a reverential thrill when I enter Sir Walter Scott's noble book-lined study at Abbotsford, and see everything just as it was when he was still


PORTLAND, MAINE 191

alive — his leathern chair, his desk at which he wrote each morning before his guests were out of bed. But where he was born is of no earthly consequence. Shakespeare and Scott and Burns and Longfellow must all have looked alike when they were babies — rather red, and given to squalling, and doubtless smelling of sour milk. No; Longfellow's birthplace I will not visit. I Hke to think that when he was a man, he, too, walked on Congress Street wearing rather gorgeous waistcoats. But to my mind, Port- land is not so much an object of admiration because of Longfellow, as Longfellow is to be envied because he had the good luck to be born in Portland.

Yet although it is not worth while to seek out Longfellow's birthplace — which, in fact, is situated in some remote back street — one may derive a cer- tain amount of amusem*nt in what is everywhere known as " the Longfellow Home." This old man- sion of dark brick with a strip of lawn in front looks out upon Congress Street and contains a sort of Longfellow museum. Here the author of Evangeline lived during his boyhood, and here he wrote his first published poem at the age of thirteen. The place is owned by an Association, but the per-


192 THE NEW BAEDEKER

sons in it who show you around are volunteers — girls and women of various ages.

When I made my only visit to this mansion, I encountered in the hallway a tall and impressive woman who reminded me of the two Literary Ladies whom Dickens has made immortal in the pages of Martin Chuzzlewit. In Dickens there was a pair of them — one the Lady with the Wig, and the other the Lady with a Large Cameo like a Tart, representing the Capitol at Washington. I should call this lady in the Longfellow house a Composite Lady, since she seemed to blend all the character- istics of the two ladies described by Dickens. She spoke in a hollow voice when she addressed me, and she always mentioned Longfellow as " the Poet." Under her guidance I saw the shoes and stockings of the Poet when he was a baby, the stewing-pans in which the Poet's food was probably prepared for him, the stairs down which the Poet sometimes used to fall, the Poet's jack-knife, innumerable articles upon which the Poet may have gazed, and a cheery wood fire such as I hope the Poet often warmed his shins at.

To the second floor the Composite Lady did not


PORTLAND, MAINE 193

follow me; and I was left to gaze at a large collec- tion of feminine apparel which one of the Poet's rela- tives acquired. She seems to have had a good many clothes and some of them were rather good, though the fact is made perfectly apparent that, in the year 1812, dress-shields had not yet been invented. There were sundry other curiosities in the different rooms — not all of them relating to the Poet. A pleasant, tactful girl from the High School was in charge, and she did not think it necessary to lec- ture or, indeed, to say anything at all. Only once or twice, when I was obviously at a loss, did she come forward shyly and by pointing to a written legend or by inverting a picture, make clear that which had been obscure. On the whole, it is worth while to make this pilgrimage at least once. You may be lucky enough to meet the Composite Lady or the shy girl from the High School, and you may wonder ad libitum at the absurdity of heaping up such quantities of extraneous junk instead of trying to have the house appear just as it did when " the Poet " lived there. I am sure that Longfellow him- self, who had a quiet sense of humour, would be

much amused if he could see the exhibition.

13


194 THE NEW BAEDEKER

Doubtless a grocer's shop is not usually the sort of place where one lingers merely because it pro- vides a sensation of aesthetic pleasure. Yet on Congress Street there is a grocer's shop which has a singular attraction for me. In it Art has cast a certain glamour over Utility, as, indeed, it always should. In the golden period of Greek genius, the two were never separated. The artistic glorified the useful, while the useful made the artistic serve the needs of human life. It was only in the time of Aristotle that the notion of Fine Art was made separate and distinct; and Aristotle marks the be- ginning of Greek decadence. A Platonist would understand just why this grocer's shop attracts me, — and so would a mere hedonist. I admire the spaciousness of the place, the orderly arrangement of everything in it, the subordination of such usual wares as flour and kerosene»nd butter to the more tempting confections which are in themselves de- lightful and which can be treated with daintiness and delicacy. The honeycombs gleam like pale gold through the glass which lucently contains them. The cherries au marasqum, the thick white stalks of asparagus, the terrines of pates truffes, the jars


PORTLAND, MAINE 195

of Dundee jam, the dark-green olives, the luscious California peaches, the slim round wooden disks en- closing Camembert, the candied violets, the thousand and one trifles which make gastronomy a part of poetry — why on earth did Zola write a symphony of cheeses only, instead of a dithyramb of dainties that left so much out?

But what I like most of all is the broad counter which runs along nearly the whole of one side, and which seems nearly bare, save for a few trifling hints of devilled crabs and other freshly prepared com- estibles. Two or three neat girls are standing here. If you merely breathe the wish, they will see that, at whatever hour you mention, there will be ready for you whole roasted chickens, or delightful ducks and dainty salads and lettuce-sandwiches blending their green leaves with the gold of their rich mayonnaise, — hampers, in short, packed full of things such as Lucullus would have loved. And why? Because, indeed, you are intending to take a little steamer and go down the Bay to picnic on one of the fasci- nating islands that rise above the sunlit waters, with great rocks and woods and winding beaches, while Nature's own reposeful spirit touches them


196 THE NEW BAEDEKER

with peace. Let us convey our wishes to one of the maidens — and intimate that we wish her to be very, very bountiful and make the hamper a marvellous one even for Portland, where the horn of plenty pours forth all the gifts of the genial goddess, Copia.

Then, presently, let us find our way down to the crowded wharves, where every sort of craft is moored, and where, even if there be no " Spanish sailors with bearded lips," there is a glorious sug- gestion of " the beauty and the mystery of the ships, and the magic of the sea." To quote these words is to recall that one poem of Longfellow's which is as near perfection as anything that he ever wrote; and yet I am not sure whether the very last and final touch that makes it so beautiful does not come from the fact that it was written about Portland.

Often I think of the beautiful town

That is seated by the sea; Often in thought go up and down The pleasant streets of that dear old town. And my youth comes back to me. And a verse of a Lapland song Is haunting my memory still: "A boy's will is the wind's will, And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts."


PORTLAND, MAINE 197

I can see the shadowy lines of its trees.

And catch, in sudden gleams, The sheen of the far-surrounding seas. And islands that were the Hesperides Of aU my boyish dreams. And the burden of that old song. It murmurs and whispers stiU: "A boy's will is the wind's will, And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts."

I remember the black wharves and the slips.

And the sea-tides tossing free; And Spanish sailors with bearded lips. And the beauty and mystery of the ships. And the magic of the sea.

And the voice of that wayward song Is singing and saying still: "A boy's will is the wind's will. And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts."

At the Harp swell landing, and swaying in the slip, is a stout little steamer, the Maquoit, which from its size would be mistaken in the harbour of Manhattan for a tug-boat. Yet please view the Maquoit with all respect. She has a Cap'n with a gold-laced cap, presiding in the pilot-house, whom his crew address in true naval style as " Sir." She has a first officer and a purser and a sufficient com- plement of sailors — a sturdy, self-respecting, manly set of men; and officially they are just as proud of


198 THE NEW BAEDEKER

navigating the Maquoit as though she were the Lusitania.

Maybe the boat will not leave the pier on time. To oblige a friend of the Cap'n, the Maquoit can be held almost indefinitely. If a lady has asked the purser not to leave until she comes, and has inti- mated that she may be just a little late, the purser will tell the Cap'n, and the Cap'n's weather-beaten face will radiate a ready acquiescence. It is a friendly country, this. Every one likes to be nice to everybody else, and time is of no particular value. Meanwhile, the passengers come aboard, and strange-looking packages and boxes are loaded on the lower deck and even, at a pinch, upon the upper deck as well. Parcels from Portland milliners, crates of cackling poultry, great sides of beef, and perhaps a protesting pig, are mingled with articles of furniture and baby-carriages. For the people who live on the islands all the length of Casco Bay down to the open ocean must be nourished and made comfortable from Portland. You lazily view the loading, and admire the varied tastes of those whose most sacred Lares and Penates are being shipped on the Maquoit, And the passengers as they arrive


PORTLAND, MAINE 199

are worth your study too. Delightful girls ap- pear in simple costumes, with rosy faces and a touch of sun upon their shapely arms. Their white skirts and fluttering ribbons show bravely against the sober costumes of the island men, or for the matter of that, against the grey or dark blue of Outlanders like yourself. The whole scene is ani- mated — the rumble of the trucks, the chatter of the women, the splash of the restless water against the piles, the swaying of the little steamer, the breeze and sun and salt and splendour of the Bay beyond. So, if the Maquoit neglects the time-table, you do not care. Nobody cares. You are happy anyhow. In the cities, time is money; but up here in this blessed land, time is something better — time is pleasure and you have all the time there is. In the days when our great country had not yet expanded westward very far, men used to say " From Maine to Georgia " when they wished to convey a sense of ultimates. It is odd, but somehow or other, extremes have really, met in this particular antithesis. Maine and Georgia are very much alike in certain aspects of their people. The typical man of Maine resembles not a bit the typical New Englander as we


200 THE NEW BAEDEKER

are wont to think of the New Englander, He is as remote from the Massachusetts man as from a South Sea Islander, and much more agreeable than either. The Massachusetts man speaks with an air of sharp decision. He is tremendously " informing." He is not happy unless he can direct you or lecture you or instruct you. His tones, always slightly nasal, twang like a Jew's-harp when he talks to you. He is brisk, self-conscious, ill at ease, and he would rather like to bully you — for your own good. All these traits — even the twang — he inherited honestly from the provincial regions of Old England whence his dissenting forebears came.

But the Maine man has not the slightest affinity with him. His speech is slow and gentle. The harsher consonants shade off into mere phonetic hints, while the liquids and the vowels are prolonged de- liciously. He has no twang whatever, but instead a pleasant drawl, precisely that of the far South. He does not want to teach you anything. He is not in a hurry. He is patient, kindly, unobtrusive. He sel- dom laughs aloud; but a glint of humour will come into his eyes and a smile will light his face. He ob- serves everything, but he says very little. He is not


PORTLAND, MAINE 201

self-conscious in the least, but wholly natural and simple with a dignity which comes from living close to Nature. Take him all in all, he is about the finest type of American that I know.

I wonder for how long a time these kindly, honest, upright people of Maine will remain unspoiled. How many years must elapse before their sound, sim- ple qualities will feel the uneasy influences of the age? Even to-day, one seems to recognise a weak- ened moral fibre, a slight decadence, in the rising generation when compared with the fathers and the mothers. The young men and the young women are drifting to the towns, or at home are growing to be less rugged and less sound.

While I am thinking of these things, the whistle of the Maquoit hoots hoarsely and the boat steams out into the Bay. Two lanky men are sitting near me in the bow; and as we swing into the channel, they begin to talk in measured tones.

" Yes," observed the elder of the two, " 't was a blamed queer thing. It happened in Noo York. I read it in one of them papers. You see, 't was like this. A widow woman had lost her husband an' she went and c'lected the insurance money from a bank,"


202 THE NEW BAEDEKER

" What had the bank to do with it? " inquired the other.

" I d' know; but anyhow the money was in the bank and she went and drawed it out. Well, the feller in the bank handed her the bills and she was sticking them in her wallet. Up in one corner of the bank was one of them things thet whirl around and make a sort of rush of air. They have 'em in banks, I 'm told, to keep them fellers cool in summer. Well, jest as the lady was poking them bills into her wal- let, a stream of air licked up one of 'em — th' pa- per said 't was a thousand dollar bill, — and ketched it. 'N she never noticed it till she got home and counted the money."

" I guess she was put out some."

" Well, I guess so too. But when she went back to th' bank, thet feller there had seen the bill and had kep' it for her. When she came in, he just forked it out as ca'm as you please."

His listener meditated for a while. Then he asked:

" Would you 'a' kep it for her an' give it back.? "

" Oh, yes, I 'd a done just the same." He spat meditatively over the side. " Only 't would 'a' bin


PORTLAND, MAINE 203

a pull, I guess. But, you see, she was a widow


woman."


" Yes, it doos make a lot of diff'rence who 't is.- Now I found a wallet once with seven dollars and eighty-seven cents into it. I knew whose 't was, be- cause it had her name onto it. She was a good woman, too. I knocked off work a little earlier than usual an' took a car over to her house. Well, she was n't in. Her old aunt said I c'd leave it. I sez

  • No, mam, not till you give me my car-fares coming

and going.' Well, now, she would n't agree. So I sez: * All right; then I 'U keep the wallet till Mis' Brown comes and gets it.' An' so I went off with it an' left her there. I guess she was pretty mean."

  • ' Th' old hen! " commented the other; yet with

a certain philosophic calm that made the remark seem quite impersonal.

But now the Maquoit has got down into the open Bay, past Peak's Island and Long Island, and into the wonderful archipelago beyond which lies the illim- itable ocean. There is nothing like those islands anywhere. Their trees are so very green; their beaches are so snowy white. They are just as God


204 THE NEW BAEDEKER

meant them to be forever, from the smallest to the greatest, except perhaps Orr's Island, which has experienced the taint of other influences. When Mrs. Stowe described the Pearl of Orr's Island, I suppose that the Pearl was really pearly. But she is dead and gone to-day. I have seen the present Pearl. She is blowsy and bold-eyed, and when I saw her, she was sitting in the lap of a half-drunken hackman. But of all the other islands, I know none that is not beautiful in its own way — from bleak Mark Island, lonely and uninhabited, to Great Che- beague, which is the queen of the whole group. It is large enough to have some good inland roads, so that you do not feel imprisoned by the surround- ing sea. Its shore is scalloped into curving strips of sand, or else it juts out boldly in great rocks, upon which the surf comes thundering, in clouds of spray.

Here and there is a huge boulder that seems like a missile hurled from a giant's sling when the world was young. There is a gaunt uprooted pine beside it, keeping it company in its Jsolation. Here are grass-grown paths from which you get a glimpse of some slender pier running far out into the water.


PORTLAND, INIAINE 205

And the people are the best people in all Maine in their hospitality and rightness and self-respecting courtesy. Heaven send that they may never change!

Go down to the beach that faces the north end of Littlejohn's, and push out in a rowboat which answers to your slightest stroke. In half an hour the keel will grate gently on the pebbles of a cres- cent beach. The thick grass and the white birches come down to the very edge of the fine sand. Throw out your anchor there and find a place to lie on, with the sun streaming full upon your face and fill- ing you with the glory of life. It is not the sickly, sticky sun-fire of the cities. The fresh wind tem- pers its power, so that it makes your face tingle under its touch, and you feel a glow all through your veins as from some rare and wondrous wine. The sky above is a vault of pure sapphire through which now and then a gull wings its way, a fleck of distant white. Before you is the sea with its infinite murmurings. Behind you, the notes of a wood-bird come faintly through the trees. The scent of clover-blossoms mingles with the odour of


206 THE NEW BAEDEKER

the seaweed. You are lulled and soothed and fasci- nated by the beauty of it, the perfection of it, the wonder of it all; and you believe with a deep rever- ence and unfeigned thankfulness that everything is for the best in this very best of all possible worlds.


n

BOSTON

It is not ^ven to every one to write of Boston with a true conception of its essential inwardness, — its anima or perhaps one ought to say its animula. Foreigners who visit it are very apt to admire it more than they admire any other American city; but their admiration is neither unbiased nor intelli- gent; because Boston lionises foreigners. It sets them up on pedestals, and wreathes their brows with cranberries, and concentrates upon them the whole intensity of a provincial admiration. Naturally for- eigners enjoy this, and they go away and say nice things of Boston in return. Yet what they say is not to be read or pondered save with an amusem*nt that is best when it is esoteric.

A pure product of New York City cannot write of Boston with detachment, for the place gets fright- fully upon his nerves, simply for the reason that he is a New Yorker and therefore temperamentally anti- Bostonian. And the same may be said of a chron-


208 THE NEW BAEDEKER

icier from Chicago. People from Philadelphia or San Franeisco or New Orleans would not write of it at all — each, however, for a different reason which it would be tedious to explain at length and which cannot be explained with brevity. It is one of my vanities to think that I am peculiarly fitted to see Boston as it really is. This is not merely boast- ful self-assertion, but is based upon the fact that, having in my early years drunk in the atmosphere of Boston and its tributary province, I have subse- quently, like Odysseus, beheld many other cities and many other kinds of men and have, therefore, at once a certain underlying sympathy with Boston and also a true standard of comparison by which to judge it. Of course, a native of that city possesses only a Bostonian standard, of which, if he lives there very long, he will be quite unable to divest himself. ■ Take, for example. Professor Barrett Wendell — a con- spicuous and melancholy instance. Mr. Wendell, as his name implies, is by birth and training thoroughly Bostonian. Nevertheless, he does not wish to be considered so, but would rather be taken for a cos- mopolite, and a somewhat ruse citizen of the world. When he wrote his Literary History of America, he


BOSTON 209

tried with great care to view the New England writers as he would view the French writers of the eighteenth century, or the British writers of the early nineteenth. He even patronised them now and then and indulged in little pleasantries at their expense. But the spirit of Boston breathed through his words in his own despite, and led to the follow- ing delicious little sentence a propos of a stanza by Lowell:

You feel a note to which Boston hearts will vibrate so long as Boston hearts are beating.

Nempe hoc assidue! There you have it cropping up. Boston hearts! Think of that. They will beat and they will vibrate, and this matters much to the world beyond. The incident is the more memor- able because Lowell's lines do not refer to Boston at all, but to Massachusetts. It is a peculiar sign of the true Bostonian that he regards all Massachu- setts as merely a suburb of the City of the Three Hills.

Professor Wendell reminds me of that blase Muhammadan gentleman, Wali Dad, of whom Kip- ling has much to say in his story On the City Wall,

Wali Dad had become thoroughly Anglicised. He

14


210 THE NEW BAEDEKER

had given up his religion and his racial customs.

He lolled in the boudoir of Lalun, and criticised alike

the British government and his own people. When

the feast of Mohurrum came on and there was

trouble with the Hindus, Wali Dad looked out upon

the turmoil and emitted a few epigrams. The fight

grew somewhat serious. Then, says Kipling of

WaK Dad:

His nostrils were distended, liis eyes were fixed, and he was smit- ing himself softly on the breast. The crowd pom*ed by with renewed riot — a gang of Musahnans hard-pressed by some himdred Hindu fanatics. WaH Dad left my side with an oath, and, shouting: "Ya Hasan! Ya Hussain! " plunged into the thick of the fight, where I lost sight of him.

Professor Wendell is the Wali Dad of Boston. He can discourse in an unemotional yet piquant way of English literature and other literatures; but when something really stirs him and he wishes to give it the highest praise that he can think of, he tells us that here is a note to which Boston hearts will vi- brate so long as Boston hearts are beating!

There are many other Wali Dads in Boston, not all of them of such high degree; yet they are quite as faithful to the Boston standard of comparison. Some years ago, when Prince Henry of Prussia was


BOSTON 211

in the United States, he went out to Cambridge and visited the university. A Boston newspaper fell to musing on this incident. It wondered just what sort of an impression individual Bostonians had made upon the Prince. It closed with the following delightful passage of rumination:

We should not be so much interested to leam what Prince Henry thought of very distinguished men hke President Eliot, but it would be instructive were the Prince to set down all his reflections upon some of our typical Boston citizens, as, for instance, what impression he carried away of Henry L. Higginson.

It never for a moment occurred to this worthy scribe that a royal prince who had met the greatest men in Europe — statesmen, soldiers, philosophers, scholars, financiers and others — and who was per- petually attending magnificent functions, might possibly have failed to let his mind dwell with in- tense earnestness upon any of the " typical Boston citizens " — even upon Mr. Henry L. Higginson — and that he would probably not have sat up nights trying to formulate an opinion even of a Perkins.

But this was extremely characteristic of the Bos- ton mind and the Boston point of view. It is local — tremendously so; and it tends to specify and be


212 THE NEW BAEDEKER

exceedingly concrete with regard to whatever hap- pens in Boston or its vicinity. Dropping to a lower level, just scan the headlines in the Boston news- papers. You will find such things as this:

NATICK MAN FALLS FORTY FEET!

Or this:

SOUTH FRAMINGHAM BUTCHER TRIES A NEW EXPERIMENT!

Here you have it in a nutshell. It is not so im- portant that some one fell forty feet, but that this catastrophe happened in the city of Natick. Like- wise, the " new experiment " may, perhaps, in itself be interesting, but this interest is largely height- ened by the circ*mstance that the empirical butcher who tried it was a resident of South Framingham.

All this may seem to be a long and otiose digres- sion in a paper which undertakes to tell something about Boston. But if you will think of it for a mo- ment, you will see that it is no digression, but goes straight to the heart of the whole matter. In the preceding paragraphs, I have really been telling you about Boston all the time. I have been indicating and illustrating its concentrated individualism, which has


BOSTON 213

set its stamp so strongly upon this interesting city as to make it more truly individual than any other city in the United States. Bostonians will tell you with a sort of moan that the old landmarks are being swept away and that the influx of an alien popula- tion has sadly changed the good old town. It is true that Boston has had Irish mayors; and that not long ago it was proposed to change the beauti- ful name of an historic portion of the city in honour of a local Italian politician. Nevertheless, the grim tenacity with which Boston holds to its New England past is so much in evidence as to make small things like this of no importance. The spirit of Cotton Mather and Hanco*ck, the Adamses, the Quincys, the Lawrences and the Abbotts, wrought so mightily in Boston for two centuries or more as to stamp the place with certain traits which can perhaps never be eliminated. A resident of the Back Bay district, or one who lives in those quaint and charming little streets just off Beacon Hill, may note some varia- tions that are infinitesimally small; yet the visitor does not recognise them. To him, Boston is the same, yesterday, to-day and forever.

I have said it many times before, and so have


214 THE NEW BAEDEKER

others, but I must say it once again: the thing that makes Boston so unlike any other city of America is its kinship to the smaller cities of Old England. You find yourself starting with a gasp of astonish- ment and delight on turning some comer, at being reminded of Leeds, or Leicester, or Canterbury, or Coventry, or Chester, as the case may be. Often it is difficult to define wherein consists this likeness, but it is always there. It is there just as truly on State Street, with its noise and bustle, as it is in Copley Square or along the Public Garden, or when you stand beside the State House and see vistas on every side that are not American at all, but English. It has been remarked of Englishmen that they are op- pressively self-centred, that they seem repellent to a stranger, but that, after all, they have made Eng- land a country which contains the most beautiful homes in the whole world. Let me say that in this respect Bostonians are like Englishmen, and that Boston is like England. One need not be here more than half an hour before he gets the English flavour. The very names upon the shop-signs are good old Saxon names. When you find such names upon Broadway in vast New York, you stop and feel like


"The Quaint and Charming Streets off Beacon Hill"


BOSTON 215

taking oif your hat, they are so rare, and so incon- gruously placed beside the names of Germans, Irish, Poles, Italians and even Greeks and smooth Armeni- ans; but in Boston it is quite the other way. A for- eign name is here a curiosity. It is delightful even to know that the street up which you stroll is Marl- borough Street or Devonshire Street, or Somerset Street, or Commonwealth Avenue, or Beacon Street, and that the cars which pass you bear such legends as " Middlesex Fells." What a pleasure to know that there are fells near Boston! How fine the good old county names of Middlesex and Suif oik! How pleas- ing that the statues which adorn the town are not the statues of Garibaldi, or Verazzano, or even of Columbus, who was, after all, a dago, but of Ameri- cans such as Washington and Webster and Everett and Sumner and Hooker. How it thrills one to find that its park is not called a park, but has the good old name of Common, and that the beautifully shaded turf below it is a Public Garden! Even though the Shaw monument is disfigured by an inscription in atrocious Latin, it was erected in honour of a gen- uine American.

But, after all, it Is the homes of Boston that


216 THE NEW BAEDEKER

make the greater part of it so beautiful. Gently swelling fronts, clustered thick with ivy, fine old balconies touched always with a suggestion of green- ery and with awnings that cast a pleasant shade below — these are what most appeal to the wan- derer from other and cruder American cities. I don't know precisely the place which Mr. Howells had in mind when he described the little house in Clover Street where Bartley Hubbard and Marcia set up their household gods; but I have seen a dozen pleasant thoroughfares which might have served him as a model. One would rather live in Clover Street, however humble it may be, than in any of those brownstone structures decorated with griffins and impossible gods along the pretentious West End Avenue in New York. And if you come to squares and public buildings, there is nothing in New York to equal the shaded approach to the State House, whose gilded dome looks benignantly down upon all of Boston. Nor can New York equal Cop- ley Square, which, indeed, would be conspicuous for its chaste magnificence in any European capital. Richardson's great architectural creation. Trinity Church, conceived in a spirit that is Romanesque,


BOSTON • 217

surpasses Old Trinity in New York, and makes St. Patrick's Cathedral, with its two perky little spires, seem fantastic. What the still unfinished Cathedral of St. John the Divine will actually be after the architects have made the fiftieth change in their in- harmonious plans, no one can say. At present it is squat and huge, a j umble of Classical and Gothic. It can never hope to have the unity and harmony of the noblest church in Boston. Copley Square, in fact, next to Beacon Hill, is Boston's chief glory, with its three churches, the Public Library, and the Museum of Fine Arts. I have enough of the New Yorker in me to make me envious of these splendid structures, and enough of the Bostonian to regret that a few trumpery shops have been allowed to creep in and mar the symmetry of the whole.

Reverting to the English aspects of the city (which includes the State as well), one likes to know that the Governor of Massachusetts and the Lieu- tenant-Governor are the only public officers in the United States who are legally the possessors of titles. The Governor is by law " His Excellency," and the Lieutenant-Governor is by law " His Honour." So, too, the sheriff of the county is something like an


218 THE NEW BAEDEKER

English sheriff — a person of much dignity, and not a lounging poHtician, nor a glorified constable, as is the case elsewhere. He is entitled to wear a uniform and also to carry a sword beside him, pre- cisely as the sheriffs did nearly three centuries ago. Furthermore, every proclamation of His Excellency and every official order of the " General Court " winds up with the stately words: " God Save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts!" just as in modern Rome the city ordinances still bear the an- cient and hallowed abbreviation " S. P. Q. R."

These things are not trifles. They are indicative of the spirit which, as I have said, survives all modem changes. They are rooted in the past. They are redolent of a fine tradition.

On the other hand, while this is English and Saxon, it is none the less the Saxon-English of a provincial town. The Boston of the past was aris- tocratic in a sense — aristocratic as Venice was, but without the finer touches which would have come had the community been Royalist and Cavalier instead of Puritan. It was an aristocracy of those who be- lieved that " the India trade " had the odour of sanctity, and that the rich merchant who owned


BOSTON 219

slave ships and imported blacks for the Southern plantations was something of a nobleman. A noble- man he was, but without the esoteric graces of a nobleman. He was strong, but hard. He served the Lord on Sundays; but through the week-days he was busy on the wharves, reckoning up his profits from those ships, underneath whose battened hatches there screamed and yelled a herd of wretched negroes, rolling their yellow eyeballs and gasping for air and water while the vessel swayed in the sultry calms of the southern seas. He had no sense of humour, just as to-day he has very little; since from the roof of a fine chamber in the State House there still hangs a codfish as a symbol of his seafaring. The Gov- ernor may be styled " His Excellency," but he is very likely in private life a manufacturer of shoes. The sheriff of Middlesex may appear with sword and uniform and with huge gilt epaulets upon his shoul- ders; but he also wears what he would call " a silk hat," so that he was not long ago described as " re- sembling some distinguished diplomat from Haiti." The Boston Lancers go cantering over the long bridge to Harvard, or up and down the streets of Boston, and they make a rather fine display; yet


220 THE NEW BAEDEKER

no one ever heard of these civic warriors engaging on the stricken field. They are really the trainband of Boston; and while in this they recall a British origin, they recall no less the lower levels to which trainbands belong. Boston, in fact, is not at its best when it goes beyond a Puritan notion of elegance and comfort. A banquet there will show extraordi- nary solecisms in the order of the wines; and we have the high authority of Mr. Howells for the fact that Dan Mavering and his father — both of them Harvard men — when lunching at the Parker House, ordered raw oysters in midsummer. What is re- garded as the finest of Boston's hotels is really rather stodgy, even though no expense has been spared in its decoration and cuisine. The so-called Brahmin caste is called so only by its members, or at the most it is to be reckoned as the Sudra.

It is because Bostonians are not aware of this, and will never be aware of it, that their attitude is so different from the attitude of those who inhabit other American cities. Thus, if you tell a Chicago gentle- man that you think his town extremely sooty, and if you quote to him a little of what Kipling said about it — as to " its maze of wire-ropes overhead and


o pq


>


BOSTON 221

dirty stone-flagging underfoot " — " its turmoil and squash " — he will turn on you with indignation and recite to you statistics of its rapid growth, the num- ber of pigs that are slaughtered there each day, and will tell you how every one is hustling for money, except those who are also hustling for culture. If you remark to a Philadelphian that his city is the most corruptly governed of any city in the world, he will look abashed and rabbit-faced, because he cannot deny it. If you tell a New Yorker that his metropolis has filthy streets which are continually torn up, that it swarms with aliens, that it is heter- ogeneous and has no civic solidarity, he will frankly admit all this without resentment, adding only: " Well, after all, the place suits me" But when you criticise Boston to a Bostonian, your words glide from him like water from a duck. Who are you that you should speak of Boston? Boston is Boston, and nothing else can possibly be said of it. The Boston man may look at you with pity, or he may look at you with tolerant contempt, or he will politely change the subject for the reason that, no matter what you say, it cannot possibly have any interest for him. This trait is profoundly British — pro-


222 THE NEW BAEDEKER

vincial British — and it is of the essence of Pliilis- tinism; for the true Philistine thinks that he is bet- ter than any other person, and that what he has is the norm by which all things are to be measured. Who can criticise a norm? It is far above all criti- cism and even above all comment, because of its normality.

There is only one thing as to which Bostonians are not absolutely certain, and that is the perfection of the language which they use. Of course, they believe that their English is exactly what it ought to be, but they do not believe this with the absolute conviction in which their other faiths are so firmly embedded. Even Oliver Wendell Holmes observed some peculiari- ties of speech among the country folk in the vicinity of Boston; . so that he wrote the line —

" No well-bred rustic can enunciate ' view.' "

The stranger within the gates of Boston will be struck with the peculiar fashion of pronouncing such words as " hard," " yard," " dark," and so on. It is impossible to represent it even by the use of pho- netic symbols; but when a Boston man says " hard," he eliminates the liquid altogether and pronounces


BOSTON 223

the word like " had," prolonging, however, the " a " while keeping it still short and " close." As you ascend the social scale this peculiarity is not so marked, yet traces of it linger; so that about half of the graduates of Harvard utter the name of their Alma Mater with this extraordinary rendering of the first syllable. So, as I said, Boston people have dreadful though unuttered doubts about the quahty of their spoken English. They do so want it to be exactly right. Here I may tell a story which is not new to other Americans, but which perhaps no one has ever ventured to tell to a Bostonian. It appears that a visitor of distinction was received in Boston with great empressem*nt. During his visit a Boston lady asked him with some trepidation:

" Do you find that there is any difference between the English spoken by cultivated Americans else- where, and the English which you have heard from us here in Boston? "

" No; " he replied, meditatively — " at least, there is no particular difference except this: cultivated Americans elsewhere speak easy EngKsh, while the same class of Americans in Boston speak anxious EngHsh."


224 THE NEW BAEDEKER

The intensely local Boston spirit has left some unpleasant marks upon the history of Massachu- setts. Thus, when George Washington, in 1789, made his -first visit to New England as President of the United States, he was received with great en- thusiasm in Connecticut and New Hampshire, even though these States were not wholly favourable to the new Republic. But it was only in Boston that he was met with something which bordered upon in- sult. Old John Hanco*ck was Governor of the State, and he refused either to meet the President at the border, or even to call upon him after Washington had entered Boston. This was immensely character- istic, and Hanco*ck showed himself thereby to be a true Bostonian — not because he was pompous and pedantic and disregarded the amenities of life, but because he honestly believed that the Governor of Massachusetts was a greater man in every way than the President of the nation of which Massachusetts formed a part. That is very much the fashion in which a Bostonian pur sang would act to-day under the compulsion of unprecedented events. So, again, during the War of 1812, another Governor of Massa- chusetts hampered the nation in its struggle with


BOSTON 225

Great Britain. Aid and comfort were given to the enemy, and twelve Massachusetts delegates attended the treasonable Hartford Convention. The war had injured the " business " of the Boston merchants, and that was enough for them. That Boston should suf- fer for the benefit of the whole Republic was unthink- able. Why? Simply because it was Boston. An- other Boston man, the fanatical Wendell Phillips, later described the Constitution of the United States as " a covenant with hell." Why? Simply because he, a Bostonian, did not approve of it.

So far as Boston, at various times, aided England against Americans, this was not (as one might think) because Boston is itself so English. No- where, in fact, is there so little Anglomania. The people from the earliest times have been of English stock, but they have shown this most strikingly in their general willingness to oppose, confront and badger England. They have the Englishman's un- reason, stubbornness, and pride. If you doubt it, take a carriage and drive out to Charlestown, bid- ding the man to stop at Bunker Hill. Even the Bos- tonians are a little ashamed, in these days, of going

there. They leave this to strangers and newly mar-

15


226 THE NEW BAEDEKER

ried couples. When you ask the hall-porter at the Somerset to call a carriage, and tell him that you are going out to Bunker Hill, he will smile a dep- recatory smile and will deferentially suggest that there are better drives in other directions. It may be so, but there is something about that rough-hewn obelisk that appeals to me and stirs my blood.

The rugged blocks of stone appear to symbolise the rugged, untrained men who, on the seventeenth of June, in 1775, faced the choicest soldiers of the British army and hurled them back again and again, until every bullet had been shot away, and every powder-horn had been emptied. On Bunker Hill, one recalls the familiar anecdote of the Ameri- can who, in later years, visited the citadel at Que- bec. On this visit he was guided by a friend, an English gentleman, who had just a little of the tactlessness that marks his people. The pair, in roving about, came upon a small old-fashioned can- non which bore a label showing that it was captured from the Americans at the battle of Bunker Hill. The Englishman called attention to the label.

" You see," he said, " tliis cannon. We took it from you at Bunker Hill."


BOSTON 227

The American looked with a curious interest at the ancient field-piece. Then he remarked thought- fully:

" Yes, there is no doubt that you have got the cannon. But," he added, somewhat more slowly and distinctly, " it happens that we have got the HiU."

Whenever I visit Bunker Hill, I always go into the little museum at the base of the monument, — not, as one might suppose, to buy souvenirs or to look at patriotic relics; but especially to see an old coloured print which hangs upon the wall, and which, so the legend underneath it says, represents " The Honble Israel Putnam, Esqre." I don't believe that Putnam could possibly have resembled the like- ness given in this print, which I regard as the most remarkable print that I have ever seen. No human being and no being who was even partly human could look like such a pig-faced, bloated and pre- posterous old codger. That is what makes the print so well worth seeing. I have spent hours in the print-shops of Boston, trying to find a dupli- cate of it, but have never been successful.

From an artistic point of view, the marble statue


228 THE NEW BAEDEKER

of Joseph Warren which stands in this museum is hardly better in its way. It is from the hand of Henry Dexter, and represents Warren, not as a soldier and a man of action, but as a supercilious- looking lady's doctor. If he really was like that, I cannot feel any deep regret that a British grena- dier poked him in the ribs with a bayonet, as rep- resented in Trumbull's painting.

But on the very summit of the hill, at the very spot where he is reputed to have stood throughout the battle, stands a bronze figure of Colonel Wil- liam Prescott wrought by Story. That statue is one which gives, in every line, a strong impression of all that is and was the very best in New Eng- land and in Boston. It is the incarnation of the spirit of New England standing there alert, keen- eyed and watchful, grasping a drawn sword and gazing toward the scarlet ranks that are sweeping slowly up the hill to their own destruction. The face is not a sympathetic face, but it is clean and strong. It tells of a clear brain, of an unflinching purpose, and of dauntless courage. Prescott was the last to leave the field, and it is fitting that he should be the first to receive the admiration of every one who


BOSTON 229

now approaches it. Somehow, Prescott is like Bos- ton when we have purged away the minor blemishes at which we jest so lightly. Though we come to scoif, we must, if we are thoughtful and sincere, re- main to pray — to pray that the truth and strength and power which seem to live in this heroic figure may persist and remain as an ideal for all Americans.


Ill

LAKE PLEASANT, MASSACHUSETTS

My revered master and admired model, Herr Baedeker of Leipzig, makes a point of keeping his guide-books continually revised. He has an army of intelligent young men who fly over the face of the earth, eating, drinking and sleeping at every possible hotel and restaurant, bestowing asterisks or removing them, out of the fulness of their knowl- edge, studying time-tables and jotting down new objects of interest everywhere. The result is that the guide-books of Herr Baedeker give you prac- tically the very latest information about every place on the habitable globe. Being an irresponsible per- son, I cannot myself pretend to be quite so contem- poraneous, nor have I at my disposal an army of intelligent young men. I do my own travelling and

aiy own observing; and I have to do it as occasion

serves. Consequently, in the present paper my ac- count may not be wholly accurate as to superficial things, such as buildings, temples, and eating-houses;


LAKE PLEASANT, MASSACHUSETTS 231

but I am pretty sure that the essence of Lake Pleas- ant, Massachusetts, is just the same to-day as it was several years ago, when I hastened thither at the urgent promptings of an acquaintance.

This person was a strong believer in Spiritualism. He had talked to me about the subject for months. I knew the theory quite well; but, unfortunately, I had never seen any spirits. I reproached him gently for not having introduced me to those inner circles of Spiritualism where ghosts are as com- mon as newsboys, and where you can both talk with them and actually see them. On one occasion I pressed him so strongly that he became a little nettled and remarked:

" Well, you need n't be so sceptical. When you are convinced I want you to be absolutely convinced; and that is why I have n't taken you to visit any ordinary mediums. It happens that no really great mediums have been here for some time. But if you really want to investigate this subject in a serious mood, go up and spend a week or so at Lake Pleas- ant during the annual gathering of Spiritualists from all over the United States. There you will find mediums who will show you things remarkable


232 THE NEW BAEDEKER

enough to convince you, just as Mr. Slade con- vinced Professor Crookes."

(I observe that no Spiritualist ever speaks of Spiritualism without mentioning Mr. Henry Slade and Professor Crookes. This particular conversion is, so to speak, the long suit of the Occultists.)

Well, at that particular time I was not yet ready to say with Plocamus, Quadrigce mece decucurrerunt, so I pricked up my ears and asked:

" Where on earth is Lake Pleasant .^^

" Oh," he answered, " don't you know? It is a most beautiful place up in Franklin County, Mas- sachusetts. In the summer, as many as twenty thousand Spiritualists gather there and you will find the most marvellous evidences to prove the ex- istence of the human spirit after death."

"Good!" said I. "I'll go."

So that is why, on one balmy summer noon, I found myself alighting at a little station in a half- cleared forest in Franklin County, Massachusetts. As I looked about me I seemed to be in a sort of frontier settlement. All sorts of shacks and huts and two-story cottages, made of unstained pine boards, peered through the trees with a rawness that was


LAKE PLEASANT, MASSACHUSETTS 233

odd enough in the heart of the Old Bay State. There were also tents, and curiously constructed lit- tle cabins. Closer examination showed that a sort of design was apparent in the disarrangement of the whole; and that one might trace paths which were in the future to develop into actual streets. Some of the cottages had hammocks swung on their little verandas. The tents usually displayed big scrawling home-made signs with charcoal letters on brown paper. Now, it is my first principle on reach- ing a strange place — and this place seemed very strange indeed — to make at once for some coign of vantage where I can secure shelter, a room, and an assurance of some kind of food. So, without paying much attention to what was going on around me, I inquired my way to the hotel. The hotel was of unpainted pine and seemed to have been erected the day before yesterday. The uncompromising nails stood out against the pale yellow planking. The windows were in the experimental stage. A smell of fried things greeted me as I approached the front door of the hostelry. Presently, I had pos- session of a bedroom, the walls of which were also of thin pine planks, while the floor was divested of


234 THE NEW BAEDEKER

any covering. The only furniture was a cot-bed, a cheap washstand, and a small uncertain chair upon which I preferred not to sit.

Nevertheless, here was a place that was for the time my own. I hastily removed the marks of travel from my person, and, being summoned by the sound of a huge cow-bell, I locked the door from the out- side and went down to the dining-room for dinner, which in spiritualistic circles is served precisely at the hour of noon. Sitting at a rough plank table, I could observe the types that were represented around me. Afterward I discovered that they were of a class very much superior to the ordinary run of people who frequent Lake Pleasant. This is because the " hotel " was supposed to be very luxurious and even aristocratic; and its denizens were surpassed in this respect only by such Spiritualists as dwelt in cottages. After all, mutatis mutandis, there is no great difference between Lake Pleasant and New- port. It is the cottage colony that makes up the patriciate. The upper middle classes belong to the hotels, while the bourgeoisie inhabit boarding-houses or ordinary lodgings.

The dinner consisted of fried ham and fried pota-


LAKE PLEASANT, MASSACHUSETTS 235

toes and fried onions, with some coffee which might have been brewed in the Black Hole of Calcutta. The bread likewise was of a weight entirely dispro- portionate to the surface of each slice. I had a dark suspicion that if I ate the meal which was slammed before me by a blowsy girl, I should certainly see spirits before midnight whether they were there or not. Consequently, dinner was not prolonged, and I wandered out into the sunshine to inspect more closely this curious, half-frontier, half-gypsy camp. My attention was immediately attracted by a pro- longed and monotonous bellowing. It proceeded from a grey-bearded man who was perched upon a huge pine platform whence he expounded his doc- trines to about fifty men and women who gathered around him without, I must add, taking very serious notice of what he said.

"Yes, yes," he ejacul*ted, waving his skinny arms in air, " the soul goes right on developing. It has been developing for a million years and it will keep on developing right straight along and don't you forget it! I can prove it to you. Take the tadpole. The tadpole is first of all a little ordinary thing and then it gets to be a big tadpole with a


236 THE NEW BAEDEKER

tail. Then its tail is taken from it and it becomes a little frawg! After that, the little frawg gets to be a great big frawg. Now, doesn't that prove that the human soul was once a little ordinary thing? It grows until it is just like us. We are all of us in the tadpole stage. Our body is like the tadpole's tail. But pretty soon we shall shed it and then our spirits will be Hke the little frawg. At that time we can speak with those we leave behind; but after we get to be like the big frawg, we will go too far away from them. We will be more and more spirit- ual and they can't get hold of us. It 's the same way with the man and the monkey. First, the man was a monkey. Then he got to be a man, — at first, just a little baby, and then a boy, and then a real man. He could talk with monkeys once, but I can tell you that when the man gets into any scrap with a monkey, the man will knock the monkey every time! "

His grey beard wagged for half an hour as he piled up proof on proof. Some one told me that he was Professor Boggs from Idaho. I waited until his oration had ended because I wanted to ask him some questions. So, when his breath had given out


LAKE PLEASANT, MASSACHUSETTS 237

and his throat was very hoarse, I went up and compli- mented him on his effort and also asked him if he could give me the names of any particularly power- ful mediums who were then residing in the camp.

" Mediums? " he said with a touch of scorn. " I 've got past all mediums. Still, I guess that you 're a beginner; so I '11 recommend you to Eva Dusen- bury. She is eng rappo with some spirits that you can trust. Then I guess you 'd better go to a se-ants of the Butts Brothers to-night at eight o'clock. They are materialising-mediums. I guess they 're about the best around the camp."

Thanking the Professor, I noted down the names and then went for a peaceful stroll, enjoying the bizarre conglomeration of huts and tents with their signs and hammocks. I passed the " temple," which was also made of pine, and I gazed into the lake, which at any rate looked clean.

There were some stalls at which small objects were for sale. One of them was a book-stall, and I lingered before it quite a while, looking over the literature which it displayed. Of course, it all bore directly upon Spiritualism; but evidently it lacked a certain theological unity. Some of the pamphlets


238 THE NEW BAEDEKER

seemed to hold that Spiritualism verifies the tenets of orthodox Christianity. Others seemed to have cut loose entirely from any known religion. For instance, there was a huge volume of some eight hundred pages which the bookseller said was a new Bible written by an inspired dentist. I asked how he had come to write it.

" Well," said the bookseller, who was an extremely shrewd-looking person, " that 's just where the mer- ricle comes in. The author was setting at his type- writer one day, when all of a sudden his fingers began to jump around the keys; and when he took the first page out he found that it was the begininng of a special revelation. So he went on for about six months and finally he finished the book just as you see here."

I turned over some of the pages of the volume and tried to understand what they contained. But beyond the fact that they had to do with the life and observations of some people with very queer names, I could not grasp the thought. No sentence seemed to have any connection with any other sen- tence, and after studying for a little while, my mind began to reel as though I had been thinking back-


LAKE PLEASANT, MASSACHUSETTS 239

wards. I said this to the bookseller and he gave me the usual answer.

" Of course you can't understand it because its thought is Infinite. If you buy a copy and take it home and study it for several years, you can kind of work into it. Then you will understand the revelation. You can have the book for six dollars."

Somehow the prospect of several years' study in the future and the loss of six dollars in the immedi- ate present, failed to attract me, so I looked over the other wares and found a work in paper covers with the title Christianity a Fraud! Now this in itself was not exciting. People have been hammer- ing at Christianity for nearly two thousand years and Christianity does not seem to be any the worse for it. But I gathered from other sentences upon the cover that the book contained some special com- munications from Roman authors, collected and written down by a very celebrated medium. This promised well. Perhaps I should find some of the lost books of Livy, or the missing chapters of Petronius or possibly some parts of Sallust that scholars have regarded as destroyed. So I pur- chased the volume for fifty cents. Having done so,


240 THE NEW BAEDEKER

the bookseller rather wamied to me and began to talk the gossip of the camp. I ventured to ask him whether the celebrated Eva Dusenbury was the best of all the mediums. He winked one eye and said:

" Oh, yes, she 's a first-class medium all right; but I guess there 's some things about her she would n't Hke to have me tell you."

He declined, however, to go any further into this mysterious matter, so I asked him about the Butts Brothers. Again he winked his eye and said that while the Butts Brothers were all right as mediums, he would n't trust them with a nickel even if it were nailed down to the floor.

I stopped at sundry other booths and stalls and got into conversation with their proprietors. It occurred to me as a neat thing to ask them what they thought of the bookseller. Every one of them informed me that he was a mighty smart man, but that he had served two terms in jail. In fact, in the course of the afternoon, pretty nearly every conspicuous person in the camp had let me know in confidence that every other conspicuous person was no better than he or she ought to be; and, indeed, I have no doubt that all of them were telling me the


LAKE PLEASANT, MASSACHUSETTS 241

truth. It appeared that there was a sort of queen of the whole community. I forget her name, but I know that she excited a perfectly frantic envy in all the clairvoyants, mediums and soothsayers who belonged to her own sex. I could not understand the reason for this feeling except that she was " awfully stuck-up," that she had too many clothes, and that the male mediums all regarded her as good looking. Strolling around to where her cottage was situated, I had the good fortune to behold the lady lolling in a hammock. I should not myself have thought her beautiful, though per- haps the standards of beauty at Lake Pleasant are diiferent from those in Paris or New York. Nor, for that matter, should I have imagined that her clothes were anything to envy, though on this point, of course, mascuhne judgment is very fallible. Still, I must set down the fact that no great skill had gone into the bleaching of her hair and that she would have appeared much more attractive had she supplied a couple of teeth that were very obviously missing. As to her clothes — well, the combination of a purple waist, a yellow belt and a bright green

skirt, involved a colour-scheme which may have been

16


242 THE NEW BAEDEKER

daring, but which was certainly a bit too much so for my taste.

Turning away from such shining lights as she, I inspected very carefully the ordinary population of the camp — the people who were packed in tents or little shanties, and who seemed to be honest and sincere and to have come there with that sort of spir- itual longing which may seize upon revealed religion for its satisfaction, or which may possibly go wan- dering off after strange gods and the cheap phe- nomena of Occultism. There was something pathetic about these people. Their speech and accent told me that many of them had come great distances — from the Middle West, and even from the Pacific Slope. And they had come to be consoled, perhaps to speak with the spirits of those whom they had lost, to hear the familiar voices of mothers and fathers or of little children who had (to use their phrase) " passed over," but who were still hovering about the earth to comfort those who mourned their loss. These people represented the profoundest depths of ignorance. To look at them, you would say that they were capable of no emotions, that the bitterness and hardness of their daily lives had crushed out every


LAKE PLEASANT, MASSACHUSETTS 243

aspiration and every hope. The men, dressed in homespun, had faces that seemed sullen. The women in faded prints and wearing tattered shawls, sat silently for hours upon the stumps of trees when they were not preparing the rude meals which their men-folk ate in equal silence.

Heaven knows what sacrifices these men and women had made, so that they might come a thousand miles in emigrant trains to be comforted by Eva Dusen- bury and the Butts and inferior mediums. Pennies had been hoarded painfully. Every form of pleasure had been given up. They had stinted themselves in food and clothing for this one great week at Lake Pleasant, where they could commune with beings from another world. It was sad, yes, infinitely sad; and yet perhaps to undeceive them would have been a cruel thing. Doubtless they went back to months and months of toil and destitution, strengthened and up- lifted by the firm behef that they had seen and spoken to their lost ones. Doubtless they were robbed and cheated and egregiously fooled; and yet would any one have the heart to change their infinite belief into a scepticism which would make their lives an utter blank.? Who shall say.? For my part I take refuge


244 THE NEW BAEDEKER

in the ancient maxim, populws vult decipi, which is one of the profoundest sayings that I know of in the philosophy of the human mind. It has been enlarged in the old Italian saying: " If I am deceived I pray that I may never know it. But if I know it, I pray that I may be able to view it as a joke."


About five o'clock, having made the circuit of the camp, and having meditated much and acquired a good deal of information, I proceeded to the abode of Eva Dusenbury. Eva was sharing a tiny cottage with another priestess of the Occult. Both of them were sitting on the porch; and in response to my inquiries, Eva rose and introduced herself. She was a haggard little woman with a sallow skin seamed thick with wrinkles. Her hair was like that of the Witch of Endor. Her hands seemed like the claws of some large bird, and I should judge that she was not overfond of soap and water.

" Come upstairs," said Eva.

I went upstairs and found myself in the medium's sleeping apartment, which must have measured about six feet by eight. However, it contained, besides her


LAKE PLEASANT, MASSACHUSETTS £45

truckle-bed and a little dressing-table, two chairs, in one of which I took a seat, while Eva occupied the other.

" The fee for a se-ants is fifty cents," said the medium, by way of opening the conversation. It was obvious that Eva had a practical mind.

After she had received the coin and had deftly slipped it down into one of her stockings, she sur- prised me considerably by seizing my right hand and giving three convulsive shivers. Then her eyes rolled upward in a most disconcerting fashion and she shud- dered quite a little more.

I am afraid that I did not play the game quite fairly with Eva Dusenbury. I was sceptical enough to think that she was going to lead me on into admis- sions which she would take advantage of. So per- haps I helped her just a httle. Presently, in a strange and hollow voice she said, speaking from her trance:

" There is a spirit near you. She is one whom you have cared for very much."

I gripped her hand as though in agitation.

" Yes," she continued, " it is, as it comes to me, one of your relations."


246 THE NEW BAEDEKER

Ag-ain I gripped her hand.

She is trying to speak to you through me. She knew that you were coming. She cannot exactly tell me who she is. She might just possibly have been your sister."

I started violently. My emotion nearly overcame me. Eva felt encouraged.

'* Yes," she continued, " it is your sister, but I cannot tell how old she is. She may have passed over a good while ago. Let me see, she might be eight? "

I remained passive.

" No, she must be more than that, at least fourteen."

I still maintained a passive attitude.

" No, even more than that," said Eva, keeping the pupils of her eyes somewhere in the top of her head, " I think she is eighteen."

This time I pressed Eva's hand and made the chair creak.

"Yes," said Eva, " she is just eighteen. She con- trols me now completely. We are eng rappo. She wishes me to tell you that she is very happy — yes, very, very happy and that you are not to sorrow for


LAKE PLEASANT, MASSACHUSETTS 247

her. She is ahvays near you and she knows how much you think of her. She will stay in Spirit Land until you come, and there you will be reunited."

Eva went on for some three minutes more in the same inspired strain. I was deeply moved — the more so because I had never had a sister; but, of course, I had n't the heart to tell Eva that. It might have hurt her feelings, and then again she might have said that, after all, it was somebody else's sister who was interested in me. Therefore, I let it go at that; and presently, after Eva had given full value for my fifty cents, her eyes came down to normal, she re- leased my hand, and intimated that the se-ants was over. So there was nothing else to do but to go away. I had learned something about Spiritualism, though not precisely what my acquaintance in New York had desired me to learn.

Strolling down to the margin of the lake, I lit a cigarette and began to read the volume which was intended to prove that Christianity is a fraud. It was a great book. The author began by saying that the priests of ancient Rome, having gradually lost their influence, had invented a new religion in the shape of Christianity and had promptly transformed them-


248 THE NEW BAEDEKER

selves from pagan sacerdotes into Christian priests. In doing this thej had forged certain passages in the ancient writers in order to give an appearance of veracity to the new faith. Thus, said the writer, Christianity has been propagated for many centuries. It has flourished and has exercised great influence over the nations of the world; but now the mediums are getting after it. They had summoned up the spirits of the ancient historians and these spirits had exposed the frauds of the Roman priests. Then came a series of documents in the shape of letters communi- cated to the medium who wrote the book. I was rather interested in the epistolary style adopted by these noble Romans. In their own time they would have put their names at the beginning of the letters together with the name of him to whom the letter was addressed. But apparently they had made conces- sions to modem usage. Not only in this matter, but in the forms of their own names. Thus Gains Plinius Caecilius Secundus — a gentleman who prided himself upon good form — had signed his letter simply " Pliny." Doubtless he adapted his name to the English system, but it rather surprised me that he was so abrupt. A person of his urbanity should at


LAKE PLEASANT, MASSACHUSETTS M9

least have said " Yours faithfully, Pliny," while Pon- tius Pilate, who also wrote a letter, ought to have used some ofEcial style, as, for instance, " I beg to remain. Sir, your obedient servant, Pontius Pilate." But these, after all, were minor matters, and I read the volume for an hour with unfeigned interest and edification, especially the foot-notes, which contained archaeological lore of a nature which no savant of modern times has ever even suspected and which would tend to overthrow all the notions that we have of ancient life. It also completely contradicted what the Romans themselves have left to us engraved on stone and bronze. But that, also of course, is a small matter to a medium.

• • • , • • • •

At six o'clock the cow-bell rang tumultuously for supper. A fine meal was spread before us — pork- chops, pork and beans, doughnuts, and a kind of tea which I should be afraid to put my finger in lest it should shrivel up. I was pretty hungry by this time, yet not hungry enough to consume pork-chops and doughnuts. So I trifled with the beans; and, finding my right-hand neighbour a fairly intelligent and well-informed person, I told him about what had be-


250 THE NEW BAEDEKER

fallen me in the adytum of Eva Dusenbury and asked him whether this did not discredit her value as a medium.

" Not at all," said he; " she was controlled by a spirit; only, of course, it was not a reliable spirit. It was merely fooling you, just as it was fooling her. Undoubtedly it was a diakka."

"A what?" said I.

" A diakka," said he. " Don't you know that the spirit of James Victor Wilson once gave an explana- tion of the diakkas which clears away the charge of fraud when made against mediums like Eva Dusenbury? "

" No," said I, " and I never heard of James Victor Wilson, either."

" Well," returned my friend, " Wilson was a good man when he was alive, and his spirit gives you straight talk. He was the control of Andrew Jack- son Davis, and through him he explained all about the diakka. The whole thing stands to reason. You see, when very good and upright people die, their spirits go at once, as a rule, to a place so far away from earth that most mediums can't get into contact with them; but when a mean, ordinary citizen passes


LAKE PLEASANT, MASSACHUSETTS 251

over — what does his spirit do? It is n't fit for the great Draco Maj or Belt. It is still keen about things here in the world. So it just hangs around and gets mediums into trouble. That 's what a diakka is — just a low-down ordinary spirit. No, sir! I would n't believe a diakka under any circ*mstances, and you must have struck one this afternoon. But Eva Dusen- bury is all right. She 's a friend of mine."

I asked him about the Butts Brothers, and he said that they were very fine. They could tell a diakka as far as they could feel him, and if I went to their seance I would be convinced and not be fooled by con- temptible, lying spirits. No, sir!

Supplied with these bits of information, I went out into the woods at half past seven. They presented a weird sight. Innumerable lights twinkled among the trees and underbrush, for every tent had at least one candle, while here and there a great flare of flame streamed out from a naphtha torch and cast a lurid and unearthly glow down the dim forest paths. The Butts Brothers had a large tent, into which a number of persons were already filing. One of the brothers, in a grey flannel shirt, was collecting twenty-five cents from each visitor who entered. Within, there


252 THE NEW BAEDEKER

was scarcely any light at all save that which was afforded by two kerosene lamps. At the inner ex- tremity of the tent was a sort of cabinet about three feet high. Heaped around its base were garments that had apparently been thrown there loosely.

Facing the cabinet was a semicircle of seats which were gradually filled. The dim light, the awe of all those present, and the strangeness of the place itself, created an effect at which one may very readily laugh, but which was none the less quite real. It was an effect of oppression and of anticipation. Something was going to happen in the gloom. What would it be.?

At eight o'clock the flap of the tent was closed. I whispered to my neighbour on the left:

What is that cabinet? Is it not going to be searched to see that no one is concealed there? "

But he merely shook his head and shrunk away from me. He was under the spell, the spell of mys- tery and uncouthness which were curiously blended. At my right sat a thick-set, burly man with a wiry black beard. His face was partly muffled in the collar of a pea-j acket; and somehow or other I got the im- pression that he was or had been a sailor. This im-


LAKE PLEASANT, MASSACHUSETTS £53

pression was deepened by the fact that I could see dimly a tattooed anchor on his hand. The tent was not sufficiently well lighted for me to make out the features of the other persons present, but they were evidently men and women of the sort that I have already described, — ignorant, hopeless, stolid crea- tures to whom this evening was very important in the history of their lives.

In a few moments, the man who had stood at the entrance of the tent went from one lamp to the other and turned the wicks down until we were sitting in what was almost utter darkness. Thus we sat for at least five minutes with no sound audible save the heavy breathing of the men and an occasional ner- vous clearing of the throat. Then the person in charge said to us in a peculiarly vibrant voice:

" Will you not sing.f^ It helps the controls to get eng rappo.^^

There was a moment more of silence, and then, somewhere in the darkness, a woman's quavering voice began to sing the hymn:

I am so glad that our Father in Heaven

She had gone no further than this, when another high-pitched voice cried out:


254 THE NEW BAEDEKER

" Oh, we don't believe that stuff! "

A sort of hysterical giggle ran around the circle. These poor wretches had cast out all religion and yet they were afraid of it, even while they sat there lend- ing their presence to the grossest form of supersti- tion. But soon the man in charge began to sing a song in which nearly every one took part. I can re- member only the refrain:

Shadowland, Shadowland,

We 'U meet once more in Shadowland.

They were crooning this over with long-drawn notes, when of a sudden, a hush fell upon them all. What had happened? Peering through the darkness, I saw a diminutive figure clad in white rise from the front of the cabinet and make its way clumsily, like a child learning to walk, toward the farther end of the semicircle. It approached the edge of the specta- tors, and after moving along for a short distance, it stopped. Then a woman's voice — such an anxious, strained, pathetic voice! — said with a tremor:

"Is it 'oo. Dotty.?"

" 'Es," came the answer in a faint squeak. " 'Es, I 'se Dotty."


LAKE PLEASANT, MASSACHUSETTS 255

One could feel the thrill of a mother's love going out in that grotesque place to this simulated spirit- child.

"Is Dotty happy?"

" 'Es, Dotty very happy."

The gaunt, frowsy woman seemed to be lost in an ecstasy of j oy. With no imagination and no gift of speech, she could ask no questions, save this single one, which, after all, was the question nearest to a mother's heart. If her child was happy, what more was there to say? And so, after the small falsetto voice had once more said " I 'se happy," and after the mother had sobbed, out of the depth of her emo- tion, the figure melted away into the darkness and was lost beside the cabinet.

There was more singing and there was more wait- ing; and one figure after another would emerge, all of various heights and shapes, and would be recog- nised by one or another of those present. The ques- tions and answers were almost stereotyped. No one but myself was there to question critically. They were all believers and they all seemed anxious to know the one thing which possessed their minds — whether he or she who had " passed over " was really


256 THE NEW BAEDEKER

happy. This went on for three-quarters of an hour, and it would have been monotonous had it not been so pitiful. But then, at the last, there occurred some- thing which shook me from my attitude of criticism and produced, however crudely, an effect that was really startling.

After a long interval of slow, discordant song, there fell upon the assemblage a silence which seemed likely to remain unbroken. Believing that the seance had come to an end, I was about to rise and leave the tent. But just then there rose up into the gloom a figure about as tall as that of a man upon his knees. It came slowly to the farthermost end of the semi- circle and paused before each person sitting there. Its pauses elicited no response, and it kept on, moving clumsily, and with a sort of horrible lurch, from seat to seat, until it had completed more than half the arc. By this time my eyes had become accustomed to the darkness and I could make out that the object, what- ever it was, appeared to be a man moving upon his knees. As he came nearer and nearer it was possible to see the dim outlines of his garb. A sort of tar- paulin and an oilskin covered him. Nearer and still nearer he came on. At last, thought I, one of these


LAKE PLEASANT, MASSACHUSETTS 257

spectral apparitions is going to pass before my very eyes.

As it approached, my attention was attracted by the thick, hard breathing of the man who sat close at my right. There was something awful in the vague suggestion, something which made me feel that here was no ordinary imposition. My flesh crept as the figure drew near the place where I was sitting, and I was startled by the agitation of the person beside me. At last, the moving object reached the place immediately next to mine and stopped there. The man with the black beard leaned forward as though fascinated hideously, and I, too, leaned for- ward filled with curiosity. At that very moment the figure was seen to be the figure of a man. It threw its head back with a sort of unnatural, gruesome movement. Dark as the place was, I could see that it revealed a throat that was cut from ear to ear.

The sailor next me gave a frightful shriek such as I have never heard before or since.

" My God! " he cried, " not that! Not that! "

The lights went out as at a single stroke. The

tent was in confusion. Men and women ran to and

fro, stumbling over benches and hurrying toward the

17


258 THE NEW BAEDEKER

entrance. With them must have gone the sailor, and with them, also, I very gladly went; for the horror of it all had become insupportable. Out among the cool woods, dotted with flickering lights, we made our way, each to his own abiding place; and I must confess that I was extremely glad when I reached the bare plank front of the inn where I had taken lodgings.

It was steadying to the nerves to shut myself in- my little room and light a lamp, so as to think over the whole episode which had just occurred. Of course, a believer in Spiritualism would have accepted the obvious explanation of it: that the black-bearded sailor was really a sailor and had, at some time, mur- dered the man whose spirit that night came back to haunt him. But as I am a close student of the methods of Mr. Sherlock Holmes, and not a follower of Professor Crookes, I sought a purely natural ex- planation; for it is only after testing and rej ecting all natural explanations that one should turn to the supernatural or even to the supra-normal. There- fore, it was plain enough that the whole thing was a preconcerted arrangement. The sailor was hired to play his part, and one of the Butts Brothers imper-


LAKE PLEASANT, MASSACHUSETTS 259

sonated the man with the knife-sht throat. The more I thought of it, the more I was impressed with the cleverness of the Butts Brothers. This little per- formance neatly ended the seance, and it did so in a most dramatic and thrilling manner. Here was art in the crudest possible form; and yet the crud- ity, the bareness, and the simplicity, all heightened the effect.

Having settled the thing satisfactorily in my mind, I went to bed and tried to sleep; but the thin wooden partitions of the room made sleep impossible. On one side of me several rough-voiced men played poker until morning broke. On the other side, a Scandina- vian couple wrangled incessantly in a jargon that was partly English and partly Norse. Morning found me entirely worn out. I would not have stayed another day in Lake Pleasant even if I could have seen Eusapia Palladino herself at her best and es- corted by a train of visible diakkas. So, without waiting for any breakfast, I left the place and hur- ried over to the beautiful old town of Greenfield. There its broad street with its elms, through which the sunlight sifted down so peacefully on this Sunday morning, offered me a most comfortable shelter, a


260 THE NEW BAEDEKER

delicious breakfast, and a tranquillity broken only by the ringing of the church bells.

It was like passing from hell to heaven to hear those church bells and to know that I had left behind me all the mountebanks, the mediums, the clairvoy- ants, the purveyors of blasphemy and superstition. The taint of them had left my soul. It was something more than a satisfaction — it was actually a delight — to j oin the throngs of orderly, right-minded, de- cent people who were making their way to church; and the harmonious singing of a fine old hymn with its organ accompaniment brought me up out of the very Pit and made my brief stay at Lake Pleasant seem only like the memory of a troubled and disturb- ing dream.


IV UTICA, NEW YORK

The gentle but sophisticated reader may express surprise that I should write of Utica, New York. Why Utica, New York? The place is one of a hundred undistinguished cities, the very names of which are usually learned from railway time-tables. It has played no part in history. It is too young to possess colonial associations. It is too old to stir that sort of imagination which is fired by many Jack-and-the-Beanstalk cities of the West. No one visits it for pleasure or to see its sights. It is only a dot upon the map.

Quite true. Yet these are just the reasons why I wish to write of Utica, New York. There are perhaps a hundred towns in our great country of which the same things might be said. Ask the aver- age American to tell you the geographical situation of Utica and he will say: " Oh, it 's somewhere up in the middle of New York State." That is all he knows about it. But so, if you ask even a highly


262 THE NEW BAEDEKER

educated foreigner about some of our greatest cities, his answers will be still more vague. Name to an Englishman six American towns that are larger than Leeds or Sheffield or Edinburgh or Newcastle or Portsmouth — not to say York or Plymouth or Southampton or Dover or Yarmouth — and it is long odds that he will never even have heard of them. And as for Grermans and Frenchmen, most of them could not enumerate five American cities to save their lives; and if they tried it, they would surely include Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Ayres or Mexico.

I shall never forget the faint look of incredulous surprise which flickered across the face of a dis- tinguished British visitor ten years ago, when I told him that there existed a place called Brooklyn within whose limits very nearly a million human beings dwelt. He had heard of Yankee brag, and he suspected me of drawing the long bow for his astonishment. A day or two later he crossed the Bridge and plunged into the welter of unrelated streets which make up the maze of Brooklyn. I feared lest he might not return, since even a New Yorker is quickly lost in that appalling labyrinth.


UTICA, NEW YORK 263

For mj part, when I visit Brooklyn (which is sel- dom) I never lose my grasp on Fulton Street, but wander up and down its noisy way, venturing only to gaze timidly into its purlieus and adjacent lanes. Yet my accomplished guest returned safely at night- fall, convinced, I think, of the immensity of Brooklyn, though he said nothing and wore an air of pro- found depression, the reason for which the psycholo- gists of Brooklyn may explain.

Of course, foreigners will say: " Why should we know the names of your big cities? Their bigness is their only claim to notice. They have no at- tractions, no meaning, no background. They are simply great human hives, and might just as well be designated by numbers as by names." Yes, but is not the same thing true of many foreign cities.? Liverpool is no more significant than Brooklyn. Birmingham and Manchester are modern growths al- most as truly as are Kansas City and St. Joseph and Buffalo and Newark. Yet the Englishman who has

4

never heard of these American cities would rightly hold us very ignorant if we knew naught of Liver- pool and Manchester.

Now, what I am coming to is this: Our attitude


2Gi THE NEW BAEDEKER

toward our own smaller cities represents exactly the foreign attitude toward our larger ones. The super- ciliousness of a Londoner when you speak to him of Denver or St. Paul is matched by the supercil- iousness of the Philadelphian, for instance, when you speak to him of Utica. And so when you ask " Why write of Utica. f' ", I answer in the immortal words of Alice — or was it the Carpenter? — " Why not.? "

Indeed, one ought to turn away from our big, overgrown, amorphous capitals, to the smaller cities, which are far more truly representative of America — the real America. Cosmopolitan New York, jammed full of Jews and Irishmen and Germans and Italians, and with the architecture of a dozen countries copied and vulgarised and caricatured; Chicago, where Poles and Huns and Swedes sweat in its reeking stockyards and make the place a gruesome Babel; San Francisco, dashed with Spanish and Chinese; and Boston, sterile and preserving little of the past except its querulous colonial conceit — why tell of these and other cities which already every one has seen and read of to satiety? How much more fresh the interest of the smaller towns, which may be only


UTICA, NEW YORK 2Q5

names, yet which are really very individual — com- pact and prosperous and undeniably American. We go whirling through them in a " flyer," and we never think that each of them is the abode of sixty or seventy thousand of our fellow-countrymen, form- ing a microcosm which deserves our study. These people are not ciphers in the sum of national exist- ence. They live and love. They work and play. They have their triumphs and their tragedies. Their churches, theatres and clubs diversify their lives. They thrill with local pride. They set themselves with earnestness to work out their own problems, both social and municipal. They are not half so hopelessly " provincial " as are the persons who apply to them that sneering adjective.

The truth is that I am innocently proud of know- ing Utica, New York. If I had explored the sources of the Nile, or prowled around Uganda, or entered the Forbidden Palace at Pekin, or sneaked up into Thibet, I should never mention it. Other persons have done these things and they have written books about them, which you can procure at any library. But so far as I can find, no one has ever written


266 THE NEW BAEDEKER

anjtliing about Utica, New York, from the stand- point of an appreciative wanderer. And, therefore, as I take you with me up the slope of Genesee Street and past the Busy Corner, and initiate you into Utica, I feel naively vain, somewhat as Bartley Hubbard did when he showed the blushing Marcia how well he knew his Boston. " Wait till I show you Washington Street to-morrow. There 's the Museum. Here we are in ScoUay Square. There 's Hanover Street. Court crooks down that way. There 's Pemberton Square."

I shall not expect you to be so much impressed as Marcia was; nor, on the other hand, shall I give you a Catalogue of Streets in the manner of Homer and of Mr. Howells. In fact, I am discoursing of Utica purely for my own esoteric pleasure, and you are not bound to listen, though I hope you will. Even the most trivial knowledge has its value; and Utica is really worth your while. It gives you a clue to the mysteries of Central New York, upon which no one, before or since the time of Mr. Harold Frederic, has cast a single glimmer of interpretative light.

And vou are not to imagine that there is any-


UTICA, NEW YORK 267

thing at all usual or tame or commonplace in jour- neying to Utica. If you have sporting blood, let me tell you that this journey involves the piquancy of peril. In going thither you shall experience the de- lightful inconveniences of barbarous travel. You shall be afflicted with uncertainty and apprehension. You shall feel the need of fortitude as fully as did Miss Menie Muriel Dowie when she explored Ru- thenia and the Carpathians, wearing knickerbockers, and — so far as I can gather from her narrative — ^ carrying no luggage except a silver cigarette case and a box of insect-powder. It is not for every one to go to Utica any more than it used to be for every one to go to Corinth. Utica lies in that vast and fully subjugated province which pays tribute to the New York Central Railroad. To reach it you must travel on the New York Central Railroad's trains; and I assure you that if you went in palan- quins or on the humps of dromedaries you would experience no such vicissitudes or be so grievously uncertain as to when you would arrive.

The New York Central Railroad was once the model railway of the United States. But that was when its chiefs were men who knew their business.


268 THE NEW BAEDEKER

In these days, judging from a large array of con- crete facts, it has been given over — I cannot tell by whom — to a lot of merry boys, who think it fun to play at railroading. It may be fun for them, but it is far from fun to the poor passenger who lets himself become a subject for their cheerful irrespon- sibility. Take your ticket for the Empire State Express, but at the same time make your peace with Heaven and get a policy of accident insurance. It may be that only freight trains will be smashed that day, and that you will escape unscathed; but you will probably be several hours late; you will not make connections; your luggage will be dumped oif at any station other than the one you checked it to. If you ever find that luggage after days of telegraphing and complaining, you will be asked to pay the Company for having stored it for you at the place to which you didn't want it sent. Ex- perto crede Roberto,

But after all, here is where the romance of a voyage to Utica begins. Utica itself is loyal to the New York Central Railroad. It received long ago a railway station, which is now dilapidated to the


UTICA, NEW YORK 269

last degree; but Utica is loyal. It hugs its chains and deeply reverences the satraps of the " Central." And perhaps one would n't wish this sentiment to disappear, since from it springs a curious cult which I shall presently explain. This is the cult of Mile- age. You can buy a little pasteboard book in which is furled a yard or so of flimsy paper marked off by lines, each tiny section representing a mile of transportation on the " Central " and its tributary roads. This seems like a simple, every-day arrange- ment; but in Utica, New York, it is n't simple — not a bit. As I said, it is the subject of a cult, and the basis of a sort of ephemeral aristocracy. These pasteboard covers, enclosing the yard or so of flimsy paper, are precisely the same thing as a patent of nobility. Originally, the combination was called " a mileage book "; but by a process of linguistic at- trition, the dialect of Utica describes it as " a Mile- age." Now if you possess a Mileage you are no longer a common person, one of the plebecula, a terrcB filius. A halo of distinction shimmers around your head. You exhale the odour of a special sanc- tity. Trainmen who before have grunted at you, immediately lout low. All doors are open to you.


270 THE NEW BAEDEKER

Conductors will stop trains for you at stations where no stoppage is permitted to the common or garden variety of traveller. " Nice customs curtsey to great kings," said Henry V. In Utica and its vicinity they curtsey to the person who owns a Mileage.

And you do not even have to show your Mileage. Just look steadily at the varlet whom you would command and say " Mileage! " It is quite enough. He is brought to heel at once, and bows obsequi- ously. I have often wondered why unscrupulous men who really have no Mileage, do not use the magic word and thus unlawfully secure its benefits. But I have evolved a theory that only the actual pos- session of a Mileage can bestow the true patrician air which stamps the caste of Vere de Vere in Utica, New York. If you tried to act 8.s though you had a Mileage when you had n't one, something in your manner would betray you. Such is the psychology of the Mileage. I once heard two natives of Utica arguing earnestly over some controverted topic. One of them finally exclaimed:

" I '11 bet you a Mileage that I 'm right! " But the other, eyeing him with elaborate disdain replied:


UTICA, NEW YORK 271

" Huh! You look as though you had a Mileage, don't you! "

So, you see, a Mileage is like an amulet or the Hapsburg lip. If you have it, why then you have it; but if you have n't it, pretence will not avail. The lowliest trainman will throw you off the back platform without turning a hair.

It is worth noting, in order to give a scientific- ally complete account of this very interesting mat- ter, that there is a Greater and also a Lesser Mile- age. The former costs $20 and will entitle you to a thousand miles of danger, while the Lesser Mile- age costs but $10 and will permit you to risk your life for only five hundred miles. These two Mile- ages represent, as it were, two different grades or titles in the Central's peerage, corresponding, let us say, respectively, to a Marquisate and an Earl- dom. I wish that there were even loftier Mileages; for then I should save up my money and buy a Mileage of fifty thousand miles. It would make me at the very least a Duke in Utica; while a Mileage of a hundred thousand miles would be equivalent to a strain of the blood royal.

And there is still another cult — a very different


272 THE NEW BAEDEKER

one — which thrives in Utica, New York, and, in- deed, along the whole line of the Central. It is not aristocratic in its nature, but gastronomic; and I am delighted to publish here the results of my investigations.

The object of this cult is what is called the fried- cake. In writing down the word, be sure to hyphen- ate it; and, in pronouncing it, remember that it is an irrational spondee to be uttered with the trochaic beat and time — thus, " fH^6Z-cake," just as Profes- sor Brander Matthews discourses on the short-story which (to his mind) is something different from the short story. Now the fried-cake is not an indige- nous product, peculiar to Utica. Roughly speaking, the fried-cake belt extends from the Hudson River westward to Lake Erie; and the excellence of the fried-cake itself increases in a sort of geometrical ratio with every hundred miles. Thus, at Albany it is possible to procure and eat a fried-cake; but if you are wise, you will not do so. At Utica, the fried-cake attains a degree of deliciousness which is supposed to justify the cult. At Syracuse it ravishes the palate. At Buffalo it is a gastronomic dream — a Lucullan climax — an epicurean ecstasy.


UTICA, NEW YORK 273

At least I have been told so. I once knew a girl who used up an immensely long strip out of a Mile- age, ill travelling all the way from Boonville to Syra- cuse, just to eat some fried-cakes after an abstinence of several years.

My comment ariolum must prove rather unsatisfac- tory as an explanation of just what a fried-cake really is. I may imperfectly describe it as a cruller that is trying to lead the simple life. It looks like a cruller; only its golden brownish circle is more plump and puffy, and the hole in the middle is smaller. The fried-cake is never greasy, and the interior is of a beautifully hom*ogeneous texture - — light and firm and fine. I am obliged to confess that I have never eaten one. In the railway station at Utica, I have walked cautiously around a glass cylinder which was full of them; and once, near Utica, I bought one and broke it open to see what it looked like inside. But I am a timid soul when it comes to fooling with new kinds of food. I will secure all the evidence that can be had, and will most minutely question those who really know; but eating is too serious a matter to be made an adjunct

of sociology. Thus in France, I have sojourned in

18


274 THE NEW BAEDEKER

Caen without touching any of its famous tripe. I have escaped from Marseilles quite conscious-stricken and yet secretly relieved because its huge snails had never tempted me. In sundry picturesque and bacil- liferous towns of Italy, I have turned away from some very remarkable concoctions of oil and garlic which I knew were necessary to make me genuinely Weltreisig; and in Stuttgart I have stubbornly refused to do even so much as taste a certain dark-blue soup which smelled as though a poodle had been washed in it. These things I confess with shame; but we all have our limitations, and this is one of mine. Therefore, let me simply note the fact that in Utica, the fried-cake is locally regarded with delight and reverence, and that it probably is good to eat — or at least, that it is good for Uticans.

And what sort of human beings are these Uticans? When you stroll around the corner whereon Bagg's Hotel has stood for generations — and where even in the eighteenth century, Bagg's Tavern furnished accommodations for man and beast — you will feel that here is one American city which is not cursed


UTICA, NEW YORK 275

with our national unrest. The hackmen do not raise a noisy clamour at your coming. They are all asleep within their hacks, from whose open doors protrude quiescent legs. As you turn into Genesee Street — the Grand Boulevard of Utica — there is a refreshing absence of all noise or stir or bustle. The shopmen lounge before their shops and rumi- nate throughout the day. The small boys do not run or yell or scuffle, but are statuesque in their appar- ent immobility. The men and women whom you see upon the street stroll leisurely along as though, to them, Time had become Eternity. Even the trolley- cars move up and down with little noise and with the minimum of speed. They will stop for you as long as you desire. You never have to dash at them, and then hear the sharp clang of the bell and feel the jerk of the starting car as it throws you off your feet. It is not thus in Utica, New York. That blessed town has never heard the irritating formula, " Step lively! "

Its atmosphere of deep repose does not connote vacuity or sluggishness or crass stolidity. You are not entering Boeotia nor are you in crasso aere^ when you saunter up the slope of Genesee Street.


276 THE NEW BAEDEKER

Go into any shop and you will find a friendly in- terest displayed in your requirements. Accost any person in the street and ask a question, and he will be entirely at your disposal. These people have not merely time to give you, but good will. In certain portions of New England, you may observe pre- cisely the same touch of " neighbourliness "; but in New England it is always united with a rabid curi- osity as to who you are and where you come from. When you accept a casual favour, you have to pay for it by gratifying this sharp-edged inquisitiveness. Again, in many Western towns and cities, there is the same American friendliness, but you have to pay for it by listening to what men tell you of themselves. In Utica, there seems to prevail a natu- ral good breeding which neither intrudes upon your personal concerns nor makes insistent raids upon your patience. And this is why I like so much the men and women and even the small children of Utica, New York. They all possess what is one of the most essential elements of true gentihty, — a happy combination of reticence about themselves, and in turn a willingness to respect your reticence. The gimlet-minded Yankee and the bragging Westerner


UTICA, NEW YORK 277

might both, to their advantage, learn useful lessons from the citizens of Utica. I believe that in Syra- cuse, they speak scornfully of Utica as a " dead " city. Rather it is a city where every one has time to live and to enjoy life with a hedonistic philoso- phy, about which there is something Horatian if not positively Cyrenaic. You can see nothing Eng- lish in the external aspect of the place; yet its at- mosphere is like that which gives mellowness to many good old Enghsh towns such as Coventry and Canterbury.

Those persons who are fond of searching deeply into the origin of things may find an explanation of Utica's tranquillity in the fact that its real im- portance came to it when the Erie Canal was first constructed. That famous waterway cuts Genesee Street at right angles and is spanned by a long bridge. I love to lean over the railing and look down into the unstirred water, observing now and then a broad canal-boat lazily gliding on its way. The sight is restful in these days of frantic loco- motion; and perhaps when Utica was young, the calm spirit of the canal infused itself into the nature of the inhabitants. However this may be, all things


278 THE NEW BAEDEKER

are quite in keeping. There was a time when canal- boats connoted something ludicrous to me; but now they typify repose and peace. They are the gon- dolas of Utica and they still remain with her; ^whereas Venice — queen of the Adriatic and steeped in a rich inheritance of romantic memories — has crazily torn oif her chaplet and has yielded up her beautiful lagoons to panting, pluttering, imperti- nent little launches in which lovers can no longer dream by moonlight in each other's arms, with the ripple of the water making an accompaniment so exquisite as to seem almost divine — the very soul of poetry and music, in perfect harmony with that purest phase of passion whose throb is subtly stilled by a tenderness even more irresistible and overpowering.

After you pass the canal, Genesee Street begins to rise sharply and to take on a different character. No more small bakeries, tiny cigar shops, micro- scopic marts for the sale of hardware, marked-down " gents' furnishing goods," and sausages. The street broadens and, while still commercial, it has the air of a large and lucrative commerce. More than fifty


UTICA, NEW YORK 279

years ago, an English traveller wrote of Utica that it was redolent of " a fat prosperity." You begin to feel this as you ascend the incHne. Everything looks well-to-do. It is perhaps significant that the handsomest building in the place is a savings-bank, with the proud appearance of a Doge's palace. Comfortable folk are these Uticans. And as to the shops, one feels that he would willingly owe several thousand dollars to any of them. Here, too, you "begin to perceive traces of other than commercial influences. I note in the window of a colossal " em- porium," a sign in black and white that arrests my wandering steps.

"WE CARRY A COMPLETE LINE OF

STATUARY. HAVE YOU SEEN IT.?

COME IN."

Now never have I yet seen what may be truthfully called a complete line of statuary. The Vatican has a wealth of plastic treasures; and in the Museo Capitolino one can find much to interest him. The same thing is true of the Louvre and of the British Museum. But still, none of these collections, how- ever wonderful, carries a complete line of statuary. To think that the Muses should have kindly guided


280 THE NEW BAEDEKER

me to the only place in the world where they do carry a complete line, and that this place should be Utica, New York!

I enter with all the eagerness of one who humbly waits on Art. A floor-walker with a tightly but- toned frock-coat and umbrageous whiskers receives me. Why does one feel an instinctive aversion to a floor-walker .f^ But that question involves a whole treatise by itself. This floor-walker is a real one. I accost him:

" I believe that you carry a complete line of statuary? "

" Sure! This way, please. Two aisles to the right, and then the door at the end."

He even follows me thither, it being summer, and no one having anything in particular to do. I reach the salon which is draped with crimson plush. In it is certainly a line of statuary. I am convinced that the Italo- American or Crosby Street School of Sculp- ture is well represented. Before me is a semi- translucent figure of a Venus — the Venus Uticen- sis, no doubt. She is undraped. Now the Venus di Milo is very slightly draped, but she is superbly unconscious of it. The Venus de' Medici is utterly


UTICA, NEW YORK 281

undraped, but she is anxious that you shall notice it. The Venus Uticensis, however, is undraped and is very much perturbed about it. She may have been unconventionally bathing in Oneida Lake, and some one may have stolen all her clothes. The re- sult is that she feels inwardly horrified, but is try- ing to conceal the fact by an air of brazen indif- ference which deceives no one. Really she is going to cry in about half a minute, and call somebody a mean, horrid thing! As I don't want to be the per- son whom she will denounce, I turn hastily away. But I will write it down here for record, that I believe the Venus Uticensis to be a perfectly re- spectable young woman, and I know that she makes an honest living by working six days every week in a knitting-factory.

A girl with her hair much roughed and ratted Is showing two stout ladies and a thin straw-coloured gentleman around. They are much impressed by the complete line of statuary. The floor-walker looks on with an Olympian air of condescension. Somehow, that floor-walker gets upon my nerves.

Excuse me," I say to the ratted one, " may I ask where you keep your collection of doJcana? "


282^ THE NEW BAEDEKER

" I dunno," she replies. " I guess Mr. Higgs can tell you."

Mr. Higgs is evidently the floor-walker. He comes forward with an air of absolute sufficiency. I re- peat my question.

" Those er-objects," he remarks condescendingly,

  • ' are not included in our art collection. They —

they ain't statuary I guess."

" They are primitive statuary," I answer. " And I don't see anything Mycenaean."

The floor-walker stares with a dawning insolence.

"Say!" he ejacul*tes. "What are you giving us, anyhow? "

" And there does n't seem to be any piece of statuary which shows the archaic grin," I return placidly. " Now you know I am rather fond of the archaic grin. And could n't you bring out some- thing that was done by Scopas.?"

The floor-walker drops his floor-walkian manner.

" Look here," says he, " if you think that you can come in here and guy this place, you 're in for a j olt, that 's all."

" Pardon me," say I in a carrying voice. " You advertise that you carry a complete line of statuary;


UTICA, NEW YORK 283

yet, so far as I can judge, it is very incomplete. Are you trying to impose upon the public? "

The two stout ladies and the straw-coloured gentle- man are hstening intently. Up to this time they have examined the various works of art with admiration. But now a doubtful sort of expression steals over their faces. The floor-walker notices this with dis- may and so does the much ratted girl. Probably these visitors are persons of high degree and pos- sessed of Mileages. The floor-walker drops his voice to a sort of abject whine.

" Now look here," says he, aside, " you don't want to queer our business, do you. Of course we ain't got them things you mention. But please don't talk about them so loud."

There is a look of appeal also in the eyes of the much ratted girl; and so I hold my peace and stroll out into the sunshine and continue on my way to the higher levels of Genesee Street. After passing the principal hotel, which is delicately tinted to the hue of scrambled eggs, one finds the Faubourg St. Germain of Utica. Great trees cast a pleasant shadow from above; and on either side are well- built and extremely comfortable-looking mansions


284 THE NEW BAEDEKER

covered with ivy and surrounded by great stretches of green lawn. Here dwells the real patriciate of Utica — families, I suppose, of which every member always owns a Mileage. Scarcely any one is visible on the verandas, though now and then a girl in white may be discovered engaged in reading. Some one — I think that it was Mr. Henry James — said, as much as twenty years ago, that the appearance of American women changes gradually as one goes \Vest, and that the dainty type which is noticeable on Manhattan Island becomes blunter and shows features less delicately chiselled. I should not like to commit myself upon so controversial a question. I am willing to say, however, that whatever differ- ences may exist between the girls of Utica and those of the metropolis, the former look as though they were very certain to get married. What pleases me is the fact that they still retain the true Amer- ican self-possession and absence of self-consciousness. They are frank and wholesome, and they have never heard of chaperons; and that is why, perhaps, the men respect them all the more. If you are simply passing through the town, just spend a little time in the beautiful Public Library and watch the gentle-


UTICA, NEW YORK 285

mannered and very courteous young ladles who pre- side over the different departments of that useful institution. You will not find a more winsome- looking or more amiable and good-humoured bevy, no matter where you go.

The women are much more attractive than the men in Utica, though the latter are just as well deserving of your good opinion; for they are kindly and genuine and honest. One could wish that they would bestow a little more attention on their clothes and on matters which have reference to good form. Down by the shore of Oneida Lake there is a place called Sylvan Beach, which in its primitive condi- tion must have been extremely beautiful, with woods and water and a strip of strand. It has been turned into a rather awful congeries of shoot-the-chutes, and merry-go-rounds, and soda-water stands; and the earth is disfigured by empty paper-bags and peanut- shells, and the remnants of half-eaten lunches. It is entirely respectable, though depressing; and the advertisem*nts which tell of it describe it as "The Coney Island of Central New York." One imaginative journalist of Utica even writes of it by night as " The Great White Way.'


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Could anything be more pathetic? Here are dancing pavilions, where any one may dance with anybody else; and it touches you to see the palpitat- ing gratitude with which rather pretty and gentle- looking girls accept the attention of unshaven men, who waltz in their shirt-sleeves and often while holding a half -burnt " stogy " between their yellow teeth. Here again, however, is another subject that I cannot now pursue — the over-valuation which women set on men. But, as I said, it is all deco- rous to the last degree; and somehow the whole thing harmonises. This is America as it used to be, with something of its crudity, with a great deal of its homeliness, but with its fine simphcity and goodness and unspoiled faith in what is right. And ^ so, please follow me and learn a lesson while you receive some pleasure as I have done, in studying the quinta essentia of Utica, New York.


V

TRENTON FALLS, NEW YORK

I WONDER how many persons, living beyond a radius of fifty miles from the place, have ever heard of Trenton Falls. Its name suggests New Jersey, yet it is situated in the central part of New York State, in a pleasant and restful obscurity. You may search many maps without discovering it. You never see it mentioned in the newspapers. To nearly all the world it has no existence whatsoever.

The very fact of its obscurity affords a striking comment on the change which has come over the social life of the United States. Fifty years ago it would have been quite as absurd to ask " Where is Trenton Falls.? " as it would be now to ask " Where is Newport? " or " Where is Palm Beach? " In the fifties there were only three or four watering places in the whole country. Newport was one, the White Sulphur Springs of Virginia was another, Saratoga was a third. And with these, Trenton Falls was numbered, just a little less elaborate than


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Newport but quite as much a seat of fashion as Saratoga, which in those days was sought out for its mineral springs and not for its gambhng-rooms or for its race-tracks.

When Anthony Trollope visited this country in 1861, so that he might write his book on North America — a book which is difficult now to procure, but which well deserves re-reading — he went a long distance out of his way to visit Trenton Falls, be- cause, writes he, " I had heard its beauty mentioned in London thirty years before." When N. P. Willis was commissioned by a London publisher to edit a book filled with illustrations of the most picturesque places in America, great importance was given to Trenton Falls. The place then drew to itself many travellers even from Europe. The registers of the old hotel, which are still preserved, contain auto- graphs that would excite the envy of a collector. There, on the yellowing pages, are the names of Jenny Lind and of the Earl of Derby (then Lord George Stanley and afterward Prime Minister) who was thought to be the most eloquent orator of his time in England. There, too, is the big obstreperous- looking sign-manual of Trollope himself, the deli-


TRENTON FALLS, NEW YORK 289

cately written signature of Willis, and those of many contemporaries of Willis. The books are particularly rich in autographs of statesmen from the South — men who at that time still guided the destinies of the nation and regarded the Abo- litionists as a small and insignificant cluster of fanatics.

Trenton Falls, indeed, was a favourite resort of wealthy Southern planters and their families, who came there to spend the entire season, bringing with them carriages and carriage-horses and fine thorough- bred hunters, with a retinue of well-fed slaves who grinned and showed their white teeth, quite uncon- scious that they were the object of ill-directed sym- pathy; for they would not have accepted freedom on any terms whatever. Even now in the lofts of the hotel you may see, carefully stored away, the rude wooden bedsteads and the mattresses on which these sable retainers slept through the cool nights after their masters and mistresses had finished danc- ing and had retired to their own apartments. Tren- ton Falls was then what newspapers would now de- scribe as " a social centre." It was one of the very

few social centres in the United States.

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In this sense its glory has long since departed; yet the memory of what it has been makes it full of reminiscence and suggestion. It is forgotten and unknown save to the very few; but to these few it has a charm more fascinating than is exerted by any of the newer watering-places which have sprung up in the past twenty years and which en- tertain successful soap-makers and manufacturers of breakfast foods, and others whose names suggest nothing save mere money. Beside the old-time sim- plicity of Trenton Falls, the garish, lavish, noisy life of Palm Beach or Monterey seems meretricious; while Atlantic City and Long Branch and Elberon and the Hamptons are positively vulgar. They are like painted women in the presence of some beauti- ful old lady whose fine lace cap and snowy hair give her a dignity that by contrast reveals the wanton's cheapness.

But some one will naturally be moved to interrupt me and inquire " Where is this Trenton Falls, and why did it lose its old prestige and sink into ob- livion? " Trenton Falls nestles among the foothills of the Adirondacks; and it was the opening of the Adirondacks (or the North Woods, as they call


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them there) which relegated Trenton Falls to in- significance. Down into the late sixties the great Adirondack region was known only to the natives who occupied infrequent " shacks " amid its wilder- ness, or to an occasional hunter who penetrated its vast forests in search of the game that was so abundant. Li time, Adirondack Murray, that ec- centric sporting clergyman, began to write about the region. Little by little it was explored. Lines of railway crept into its recesses. Hotels were built along its lakes. Then fashion, which had remained contentedly at Trenton Falls, moved slowly onward into the wide-spreading woods. Trenton Falls be- came a sort of derelict. Whereas the railway had formerly ended there, now the long expresses, with their Pullmans and their dining-cars, thunder by it without stopping; and only a few local trains, when flagged, pause at its little station to allow an occasional passenger to descend. Luxurious persons whirl through it to the Fulton chain of lakes or, further still, to Whiteface or Paul Smith's. If they ever look out of the car windows as they rush past Trenton Falls, they see nothing but a tiny platform, a single house half hidden by the trees, and a long


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rough board-walk extending precipitately down the edge of a steep country road.

But what you see from a Pullman is not really Trenton Falls. Take a slow Black River accom- modation train at Utica and it will convey you thither, nosing its way slowly and with much labori- ous panting, on an up-grade through Marcy, Stitt- ville, Holland Patent and Barneveld, making its way into the low-lying foot-hills. The cars will be full of women and children dressed in rustic garb, and they will buy apples and popcorn from the train boy, and candy of a kind that you yourself would hardly care to purchase. In time, after a moment of excessive effort, the engine stops at Trenton FaUs.

I feel that it is rather unwise on my part to write about this place. I discovered it by accident, and I ought to keep all knowledge of it to myself; but the call of the pen is too strong to be resisted; and be- sides, there is no pleasure in making a discovery if you cannot tell of it and glory in it. And so I will explain here how you get off at the little red station and go down the steep board-walk, past sweet smelling clumps of forest and sunny meadowland until you


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cross a rustic bridge that spans a quiet mouse- coloured little brook, and then you come unexpect- edly upon a large and very pleasant-looking inn, shadowed by great trees. A broad veranda runs about it, extended on one side to a width of thirty or forty feet, so as to form a fine pavilion. In front of the house is a massive octagonal stone, where once rested a telescope upon a tripod. Further on is a dense grove, whose tree-tops are pierced by a grace- ful minaret which is in reality a water-tower. This inn is the place that was once the summer home of many distinguished people, though now is quite forgotten by the larger world. Li the days before the Civil War, a long parterre of flowers stretched in front of the hotel with walks bisecting it. Now it is overrun by clover, and only a few stray rose bushes still remain. Yet the impression is not an impression of ruin and decay. Here is a restfulness and a sense of peace which are very grateful to one who comes from the noisy, heated city to find quite unexpectedly a pleasant welcome, with no one to mo- lest him, and with an unlimited amount of space at his disposal. If you are of an easy-going disposition you can make yourself at home in an exceedingly


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short time. Everything will be done for you within reason, and it will be done as though you were not a stranger, but an honoured guest. I never have known anything more friendly than the spontaneous ^hospitality of this secluded inn. Your wants and even your little whims will be attended to out of pure friendship, and you will find yourself living in the America of sixty years ago — not that part of Amer- ica which Dickens saw and which Mrs. Trollope guyed unmercifully, but the part which was really best, and in which every one respected both himself and others without regard to class distinctions.

Thus, you will not be surprised, after you have had a most satisfying dinner, if the young lady who waited on you, appears presently in the drawing-room and plays, with an excellent touch on the piano, some music that is very good. Why should she not? She is as refined and gentle-mannered as any of the women whom she serves; and in her trim white shirt- waist and with her neatly arranged dark hair she is quite as pretty as any girl whom you would see in a whole day's journey. Indeed, the small staff of the hotel are such that you will like them from the very moment of your arrival. They are glad to see you


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when you come, and they are sorry when jou go; and they are glad and sorry because they think of you as of a friend — and this again belongs to the America that was.

It is quite inexplicable to me that thousands of families go further up into the woods and live in stuffy, noisy hostelries, in small close rooms, and be- set by the black flies of the Adirondacks, when they might for less money have spacious apartments and full exemption from all vexation in this large, ram- bling, roomy place. There are human beings, how- ever, who really love to be packed like sardines into sweat-boxes in the summer months. You can see them in herds and troops at Coney Island, and in Central Park on Sundays; and you can find them also scattered through the Adirondacks, thoroughly uncomfortable, yet not aware that anything is better. I am always sorry for these people. They do not understand how to enjoy their leisure time. They have not learned the art of resting. Unless, indeed, you have learned this art yourself, perhaps you would not care for Trenton Falls. But here you can stroll through beautifully wooded paths, and then lie basking in a broad expanse of meadow under a sun


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which bums your face and makes it tingle with a healthy glow, but under whose rays you never swelter. The clear cool breeze blows full and strong. The air is dry. The scents of the forest are deHcious. There is one particular hill which rises almost per- pendicularly, and up which the climb gives glorious exercise. When you reach the summit you find a sort of grassy cup in which ^ou may lie, stratus membra, and from which, as you look up, you can see nothing save the intense blue of the summer sky and the fleecy snow-white clouds that drift lazily across it. It gives you a feeling as though you were the only human being in the world; for no sound comes to the ear save the liquid note of a bird or the distant tinkle of a cow-bell far below you. If you lie upon your face and look over the edges of the crater, you will see spread out beneath you a rustic picture that is absolutely perfect. Woods that fling their dark shadows out into the sunlit fields, long stretches of green turf and clustering trees above which now and then curls up a wreath of smoke from a hidden chim- ney — for my part, I can imagine nothing more abso- lutely soothing to one who is world-worn and weary of that strife which saps vitality, than to lie in tliis


O


O

o


o


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green cup, and think of nothing, but just enjoy to the very full the great and beautiful and glorious freedom of it all. And not far beyond is a chain of shimmering crystal lakes which you can visit if you care to, and if you are not contented with the good old motto, dolce far niente.

There is one rather curious phenomenon about Trenton Falls. It is only fourteen miles from Utica, and Utica in summer is one of the most torrid places upon earth. Yet when that city is baking and sim- mering and stewing with intense humidity, and when the thermometer is standing there perhaps at ninety- eight, in Trenton Falls you will be so cool that you can readily wear winter clothing without discomfort. Five miles further north the heat comes on again; and in the Adirondacks the days are often quite in- tolerable. But in Trenton Falls you find it difficult to believe that summer days are anywhere oppres- sive; and towards evening you go into the smoking- room of the hotel and kindle a great roaring fire of logs which you yourself may gather in the grove a stone's throw from the door.

I suppose it is a sort of primitive, aboriginal in- stinct, this love of gleaning firewood. One feels the


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thrill of finding hidden treasure when he comes upon a clump of pine trees under which there lie thousands of dark brown cones, dried and seasoned by the sun and wind of years. And you can also discover some woodcutter's camp, where there are huge chips and great pine knots and soKd blocks of hickory and oak. With a great basket you can collect a mighty mass of fuel and heap it up for your own use in a recess of the smoking-room, which then becomes to you a sort of cave like that of the Forty Thieves. You feed the fire sparingly with a certain avarice which grows upon you. Every cone and every pine knot seems as precious as pure gold, because you have gathered it yourself and have prowled and wandered in the woods in search of it. This feeling is absurd, of course, because there is fuel lying all about in a barbaric opu- lence, enough to last for fifty years; yet none the less, the stores of it which you collect are dear to you, and the great fire which flames out for you at night is a thing of your own creation.

I suppose that I ought to say something about the Falls which have given the place its name; but the truth is that I have never seen them except at a considerable distance. When the river is full, they


TRENTON FALLS, NEW YORK 299

are magnificent in their rush and sweep as they thun- der down the rocks into the extraordinary gorge below. But a great cataract inspires me with a sort of nameless horror. It seems to call and beckon one and bid him cast himself into its swirling foam; and there is something actually evil in the sinister green of the water as it gathers itself up for the terrific leap. And so you may read what TroUope says about the Falls or what Willis has written of them. As for me, however, I keep them half a mile away from me, and go near them only when a protracted drought has reduced the waterfall to a mere trickling stream. The lower falls behind the post-office are as much as I can stand. But the gorge into which the Falls crash down is really wonderful. On each side of it are woods which few have penetrated save where a little path runs timidly along. As you look down over a slender railing, you gaze into a tremen- dous rocky chasm which cannot be matched on this side of the canons of the Colorado. You feel as Kim felt when he sat with the Red Lama and the Hillmen on " the top of the world " letting his legs hang over the edge and chattering, while beneath him there was a sheer drop into an abyss unfathomable. Geologists


SOO THE NEW BAEDEKER

know this gorge and they often visit it, because it tells strange stories of the time when the world was young. Its savage sternness is in striking contrast with the peaceful countryside about it.

I suppose that people who are very rich are wise in never visiting Trenton Falls, because most persons who are very rich find pleasure only in the spending of their money. In Trenton Falls you can spend no money, since there is nothing there to buy unless, to be sure, you have a juvenile taste for " bulls' eyes," which are sold at the little post-office, the only " store " within two miles. It is much more gratifying, however, to sit upon a cracker barrel and converse with the postmaster's assistant, who is a profound philosopher. He takes life as easily as did Horace or Aristippus. His talk is very interesting, and his questions are sometimes puzzling. When you go in to buy a dozen postage-stamps, you never can be sure what he will ask you. One day he wished to know whether I had ever been to Brooklyn, and if so, what the place was like. I answered the first part of this question very readily, but I fear that the sec- ond part elicited only a hazy and most indefinite response. For what living man can give an adequate


Trenton Falls


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idea of Brooklyn? Some day a genius will arise who will write a book on Brooklyn and will formulate on paper the essence of the town; but that will be a long while hence. The next time that I visited the post-office, the philosopher was on a different tack. He asked me to explain the cause of thunder, and I explained it volubly and at considerable length. Afterward I looked the matter up, and found my explanation altogether wrong. I doubt, however, whether it did any harm, for the philosopher, after listening to me and ruminating for a while, observed:

" Yes, I guess that something busts up there " — which was not at all what I had said, but which was ob- viously the theory which he had concocted in his mind.

The inn at Trenton Falls is a sedate aild quiet place, unhke those popular " resorts " where there is much dancing and flirting and where young men and maidens sit on the verandas and make experimental love to one another. Not that there are no young men and maidens there, but they do not seem to understand the game. One night, after I had gone to bed, I heard amid the stillness of the night a hurried, almost agonising protest from the grove a little way beyond.


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" Stop, Jimmy, stop! "

It was a girl's voice and it rather made me jump. Again and again it was repeated, until at last I went to the open window and looked out. There in the moonlight was a very pretty girl and likewise an ath- letic youth. My first thought was, of course, that he was stealing kisses from her. But no, it was nothing so romantic, or if you like, so shocking. He was simply twisting her arm, and when he twisted it too much she squealed and shrieked. Then he would stop, and the two would chat most amicably. Presently he would twist her arm again and her cries would pierce the air. This went on for a considerable time, and then they parted, he going up the " pipe-line " through the woods, and. she returning to the society of her family. It seemed rather mysterious; but after giving it much thought, I came to the general conclusion that there are many ways of making love; and that, on the whole, to twist a girl's arm in the intervals of moonlight confidences is as harmless a way of doing so as any other.

When all the sounds of night are stilled except the sounds of nature — the indefinable voices of the for- est, and the murmur of the wind — then Trenton


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Falls seems to revert to the days when it was known and sought by very many, and was not left to be dis- covered by a casual stranger like myself. Standing at my window with its little panes of glass, I observe inscriptions scratched upon them with a diamond. " George H. Brown and Wife " — " William C. Em- mons and Wife, New York " — " A. L. Clark and Wife, 1857 " — these are inscriptions as full of meaning as those which you find upon the walls and monuments of Pompeii. They tell of brides and grooms who came here on their wedding journey, and you know that the bride, with her engagement ring beside the plain gold band, carefully set down her husband's name and her new designation. There is a bit of tender pride in that word " Wife," written with a capital letter, and it touches one to think back through the years and to wonder where are now those who were then girls and who wrote the names upon the window-pane full sixty years ago. Dead perhaps, or if not dead, descending to their graves as very aged persons. There came the time when they no longer wrote " George H. Brown and Wife," but be- came " Mr. and Mrs. George H. Brown." Their romance reached its end. The ardours of their first


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love cooled. The one entrancing flush of poetry passed into the prose of every-day existence. But the romance and the poetry still linger about this ancient house, where the outward signs of it remain. And so, when you look out into the moonlit grove and upon the meadows and the distant Deerfield Hills, you may revive in imagination a picture of the past. Before you, once again, the great parterre of flowers is in bloom and heavy with the dews of night. Candle-lights are gleaming from all the windows. There is a sound of music from the broad pavilion. Beautiful women — beautiful despite their crinoline and their unbecoming head-dresses — move about, gracefully leaning on the arms of men in swallow- tails and wearing buff waistcoats with brass buttons. One may perceive the jaunty form of Nat Willis passing from one couple to another and exchanging rather florid compliments. The black retainers in livery flit to and fro. A cavalcade with blooded horses comes clattering up the long straight road from a gallop in the moonlight. The burly form of Anthony TroUope himself perhaps strides out, and you can even hear his voice as he boister- ously lays down the law on the subject of America


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and denounces American hotels. It is all a vision of the past, of a past that we are rapidly forgetting, but that comes back amid the mystery of moonlight to the sound of the cataract's deep voice at Trenton Falls.


20


VI

ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY

Altantic City, like every other place and like every person, has its varying phases. Its winter phase makes it agreeable to visit, but does not show it as especially unlike the usual self-respecting winter home. A sprinkling of the right sort of people are scattered about in such of its hotels as are themselves of the right sort. They represent dwellers in North- ern cities, leaving home for a week or ten days so as to escape the fatigues of Christmas, which has now become the most hideous festival of the entire year. They either know each other, or they have friends in common, and therefore you feel as though you were one of a very pleasant house-party, free to bask in the glorious sun-parlours, and to smoke pretty much everywhere you like; while the service and the cuisine are always unexceptionable. It is really very delight- ful to spend Christmas week, for instance, in Atlantic City. You are in the company of well-bred people ^of men who are intelligent, of matrons who are


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cordial, and of pretty girls who are properly chaper- oned, after the fashion which satisfies the conven- tions, but which also tactfully implies that there is no real need of chaperonage.

The second phase of Atlantic City is seen about Easter-time. Then the place wakens into life of a more active sort. The air is soft. There is a hum of activity along the Boardwalk. There is a good deal of display in the matter of feminine costumes.* One gets an impression of flowers and of dainty things. There is just enough crispness in the air to give it an exhilaration, while suggesting still the nascent spring. A note is sounded that will soon deepen into something more vibrant and intoxicating; yet in April it merely sounds, ever so faintly, the penetrating call. But even then, although thousands of visitors are in evidence, the Atlantic City of which I am going to write has not yet been roused from its sluggish winter sleep. Like the Mugger of Mugger- Ghat, it still lies well concealed and merely stirs its tail, so to speak, making only the very slightest ripple in the tranquil surface overhead.

But go to Atlantic City in midsummer, when the whole place has sprung into a wild, barbaric, roar-


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ing madness, and then you will see something the like of which can exist neither in the heavens above, nor in the earth beneath, nor in the waters under the earth. At least, so I should fancy. There may be other regions somewhere below that resemble it, but they certainly cannot surpass it in luridness or in a great many other things.

In the first place, however, for the benefit of such as have never been there, I ought to give a sort of general descriptive background of all the rest that I am to narrate. Picture to yourself a boardwalk — not a little skimpy boardwalk, but a vast wooden avenue, stretching for seven miles along the ocean front, and reared so high above the sea, that, at high tide, a mass of rushing, foaming, thundering waves comes plunging underneath it. Between the Board- walk and the sea there is at low tide a great strip of sand which is probably white at the beginning of the summer, but which assumes the colour of pepper and salt after a few millions of human animals have wallowed in it during the heated season. On this strip of sand there are a multitude of tents, and thou- sands of easy canvas chairs in which you can lie back and look up into the sky and think of nothing.


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There are also donkeys and donkey-boys, and ponies and mangy horses, and " artists " who execute sea- scapes in the damp sand; and there are also itin- erant venders of every sort of edible, that no one ever ought to touch, from " salt-water taffy " and great pink canes of peppermint candy reeking of glucose down to peanuts and " hot dogs." Again, there must be at least fifty thousand people scattered about in bathing clothes of every possible shape and size and colour. They come in phalanxes from out the bathing-houses which debouch beneath the Board- walk; and the bathers yell if they be males, or they shriek and giggle if they be females, and they sprawl in the sand and do almost everything except plunge into the sea. It is a fearsome sight to watch this writhing, weltering host. Now and then you may perceive a pair of innocent young girls playing in the sand, entirely unconscious of the saturnalia which is all about them; but, as a rule, the antics of the mob are neither joyous nor edifying. Shock- haired youths lie with their heads in the laps of frowsy-looking women who comb their hair; and those who are interested in the subject may classify at least a hundred new varieties of public love-


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making. All this is what you see — or rather a part of what you see — down on the sand below the Board- walk. It goes on without any intermission from sun- rise until midnight; and the bellowing and braying and hooting and shrieking are enough to qualify almost any one for Bedlam.

But, after all, this pandemonium in the sand, though it be enough to make Atlantic City in summer the maddest place on earth, is really nothing whatso- ever by comparison. People on the Boardwalk above barely give it more than a casual glance. The Board- walk itself is the second phenomenon; and the great hotels back of the Boardwalk with their heterogene- ous adjuncts form the third and most peculiar feature of the place. Atlantic City, therefore, like ancient Gaul, is divided into three parts. What passes for Atlantic City on the maps — that is to say, the com- mercial and indigenous portions, we may leave out of sight altogether. Probably there are people in- habiting some of these back-streets who have never seen the Boardwalk in all their lives. Therefore let us not discuss the actual town at all, and speak only of what is meant by the average individual when he says (in summer) that he is going to Atlantic City.


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Thej are marvellous, these huge hotels, which ex- tend at intervals along the seven miles of boardwalk. A few of them are everything that could be desired. A good many of them are slightly " sporty." A great many others are such that you would neither care to visit them nor to mention them to your friends. Like the great Baedeker of Germany, in whose footsteps I am humbly treading, I may venture to set down here the names of just a few hotels that are absolutely safe. The mention of them involves no necessary reflection upon the others. It is like the asterisk which you will find prefixed in the guide- books of my master to the names of certain hostelries. The others may or may not be of the first order; but these surely are. Such, for instance, is the Hotel Brighton, which combines quiet, comfort, luxury, and dignity in the most admirable fashion. I think that I can say as much for the Traymore and certainly for Haddon Hall. Many of the others I have never stayed in, and I have sometimes wished that of those which I did explore I had never seen a single one. But after all, life is life; and an irresponsible trav- eller must look into the weirder corners of the earth and get the full rich flavour of a haunt such as


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Atlantic City. Consequently I say nothing about those parts of it where you find well-bred people act- ing in a well-bred fashion. It is much more instruc- tive to visit the lairs which make up the Atlantic City jungle; and to study the habits and customs of the animals who swarm there.

Really, in the first place, it is difficult to know just where one should begin — such a wealth of marvels lies open to the view. I may premise, however, with a bit of practical philosophy, to the effect that you can always judge of the real nature of a hotel and of its patrons by observing the conduct of the waiters in its dining-room. It makes no difference whether you pay two dollars a day or ten dollars a day for the same sort of a room. This is no criterion of excel- lence or of character. I have in mind one of the most expensively constructed hotels in Atlantic City. The view from it is beautiful. Its appointments are luxu- rious. Its prices are fabulous. That is where I started in. Going to luncheon, I was struck by the beauty of the room; but on the way to my place,' the head waiter, who conducted me, was thrust aside by another head waiter, who claimed that I was his lawful prey. They stopped right there to have it


ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY 313

out, shaking their fists in each other's faces and uttering curses which were both low and deep. Leav- ing them to brawl to their hearts' content, I quietly picked out a place for myself; but not for fifteen minutes did any waiter appear to serve me. When he did so appear, he addressed me casually as " Boss," and when he quite failed to understand something that I said, he remarked (with a rising slide) " Huh? " Now any human being who says " Huh? " no matter what the occasion or to whom, ought to be impaled upon a stake and burned alive pour encour- ager les autres. Such a person has sunk to the very lowest depths of barbarism, and the world can have no use for him. Coming back, however, to this par- ticular waiter, he loafed and dawdled, leaned easily against the wall at intervals, and dropped into a cas- ual conversation. At the last, when I desired a light, he produced a box of pink-headed matches and ignited one upon the seat of his trousers. And this was in one of the most elaborate and expensive hotels of Atlantic City! What was the real significance of what I saw.? Why simply that the people whom these waiters had served were practically no more civilised than gorillas. Qiuiils dominus talis servus. This


S14 THE NEW BAEDEKER

rule has a universal application. Note it down, and remember it not merely in Atlantic City, but all over the world. The servant always reflects the general attitude of the persons whom he habitually serves. So, in the Atlantic City hotels, you will see men clap- ping the waiters on the back, and you will see women dressed in Paris gowns talking familiarly and j esting with their servitors, who inwardly despise them; for a really good waiter is one of the finest flowers of civilisation. He knows, or comes to know quite soon, the difference between pinchbeck and true metal; and even a ten-dollar tip from an Altoona bar-keeper can- not extract from him more than a perfunctory civility. You will find pretty soon that the general run of summer people at Atlantic City are quite in keeping with the waiters and the bell-boys and the office-clerks of the hotels. Of course, there are many who some- times visit Atlantic City; and there are others who often go there; but it is the ones who must go there and who could n't possibly go anywhere else that interest the scientific mind. They are persons whom, in a whole lifetime, one would never meet in any other place. They represent the strip of territory which runs vaguely west from Philadelphia through Ohio,


ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY 315

and then somewhere into the Mississippi Valley. I wrote a good deal about them a number of years ago; and I doubt whether there is much that I can add; since more recent observation only shows how right I was. The men are mainly railroad men and manufac- turers — not the heads of railways, but assistants and deputies and lieutenants. They have money in abundance without being vastly rich, and they come to Atlantic City because it so exactly suits their bar- barous ideal of what is fine. They know absolutely nothing beyond the narrow limits of their own voca- tions. They never read a book. They rarely read a magazine. Only now and then do they even read a newspaper. They never think of anything outside the subject of iron or coal or pork or wheat or railway rates. They incarnate crass materialism in its most hopeless form; because they do not even know that there is any other life outside the life they live. They are a wonderful study, a truly fearful spectacle. They are the nether millstone upon whose hard, coarse, flinty surface all the graces of life and all the ideality of existence are ground to atoms. They are incapable even of the enjoyment which they seek, though the glitter and noise and bustle of Atlantic


S16 THE NEW BAEDEKER

City stimulate their sluggish brains. And therefore they come here and sit in the stuccoed " grottoes " and eat and drink, and chew big black cigars and bully the waiters or else make intimates of them, while they listen to the coon-songs that are played for them in one unending bray of brass. A more joyless set of human beings you can discover nowhere, unless it be among their womenkind — their wives and daugh- ters who accompany them.

A very curious lot of women are these wives and daughters. They have the self-repression of pro- vincials from petty towns, and they dress like prin- cesses of the blood royal. They devote nearly all the daytime to their gowns, in the changing of which they spend many hours, and in the display of which they occupy nearly all the rest. They talk but little. They do not often flirt except as I shall note below. Of anything worth while they are absolutely igno- rant; but they know a great deal about milliners and manicures, and they are always superstitious; so that the fifty or sixty palmists, wizards, sooth- sayers, clairvoyants, hypnotists, Hindus, and pseudo- Egyptians, whose stalls are found along the Board- walk reap an easy fortune from them. They gossip


ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY 317

over these fortune-tellers' yarns; and they have various theories about Zozo Kenilworth, who is sup- posed to have read the palms of royalty. But neither to' them nor to the men they know do the days bring any genuine, spontaneous pleasure. What should they know of pleasure, being ignorant of the fact that pleasure is quite as much subjective as objec- tive; and that, if you are a fool, all the glories of the world are wasted on your vacuous eye and feeble brain? But when the season ends, these people feel that they have done the proper thing. They have dressed much and have displayed their dresses. They have spent long hours with hair-dressers and mani- cures and practitioners of massage. Hence they go back contentedly to Tonawanda or Pittsburg or Chil- licothe for another nine months' period of hibernation. Somehow their story is all told when you note the fact that at the office desks of the large hotels there are placed heaps of advertising cards which say: " Use Rubbin's Rouge! It Does Not Come Off in the Salt Water."

I have said that women of this type do not flirt to any great extent; and this is true. The Western Pennsylvania woman who arrives here even alone and


S18 THE NEW BAEDEKER

without a chaperone may be viewed as being abso- lutely proper when it comes to fundamentals. Yet the tilings which she will do are rather starthng. You find her analogue among Americans in Paris. In that capital of pleasure, the young American girl of seventeen, who at home never appears with- out an escort, seldom visits the theatre, and only then to witness plays that are unobjectionable, will in Paris be taken by her own father and mother and brothers to the Jardin de Paris or the Casino de Paris, just as they used to be taken to the Bal Bul- lier or the Moulin Rouge, there to rub elbows with the foulest creatures upon earth and to watch La Goulue or Grille d'Egout do the " split." Thus it is that women who in their home towns are wholly decorous and will never go to anything more excit- ing than an ice-cream sociable or the strawberry festival of the First Presbyterian Church will, in Atlantic City, be absolutely careless about the minor mores. One of these women, staying alone at a hotel, will, after the third meal, become acquainted with some man who sits at the same table with her. On the next day she will be rolling about with him in a " chair," while in less than a week she will be


ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY 319

visiting " grottoes " with him in the evening, and drinking high-balls. It is an instructive and curious fact that the high-ball is almost the universal drink among the generality at Atlantic City. Oddly, they resist the temptation of showing off their abundant money by " opening wine," which, in the language of their sort, means drinking freely of the noble vintage of Champagne. But, as I was saying, the lady in question will drink high-balls with this stranger seven nights in the week and yet will not have any thought of harm. Perhaps if her lover or her absent husband knew of her diversions, these would not please him; yet none the less he might rest entirely at his ease.

What appears to be more like genuine flirtation is seen in the case of Southern women whose sum- mers are partly spent in Atlantic City. Indeed, as a rule, only Southern and Western women visit the place in summer. The climate is too enervating for those who live farther north. Let us then take the Southern woman as you see her here. So far as I am aware, the Southern woman has never been de- scribed from a psychological point of view. She is a frequent figure in romances, and the writers of


320 THE NEW BAEDEKER

romances always expatiate on her personal charms. How many novels, I wonder, have used the phrases " luxuriant, dark hair," " the slumbrous eyes," " the easy, indolent grace " and the " the soft, caressing voice, with its delicious Southern drawl"? At any rate, these descriptions are stereotyped, and they may be taken as fairly true. But in the books, the Southern woman is made to act and speak and think precisely like any other kind of woman, except that in the more stirring stories she is supposed to be somewhat haughty and revengeful. Perhaps she is haughty and revengeful; but in the ordinary in- tercourse of life these two traits do not usually come to the surface.

The most striking characteristics of the Southern woman, when one comes to sum them up, are three. First of all, the Southern woman is a man's woman, and not a woman's woman. In the second place, she is a self-confessed and confirmed coquette. And, finally, she is very elementary in both of these, so that she appeals more enduringly to boys who are elementary themselves, and to old men, who find it refreshing to go back to elementary things. When she meets you, the Southern woman intimates that


ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY 321

she has made innumerable conquests. She never waits for you to find it out or to infer it from her fascinations; but she tells you all about it. You are permitted to assume, however, that she is not unwilling to break one more heart, and you are en- couraged to offer yours for that interesting pur- pose. It is evident from this that the Southern woman's talk is rather personal, and so it is. She practises all her fascinations on you. She assumes that you are humbly grateful to be ordered here and there. She wants to make you feel her moods, to be downcast at her displeasure, to exult at her graciousness — in short, to revolve about her as one of her attendant satellites. She will accept any amount of flattery, and she likes it in good, strong doses, with all the i's dotted and all the fs crossed; but she is not really moved by it. She takes it as her rightful due. In short, she is a coquette rather than a flirt; for in true flirt age there is a much more delicate shading and far less assumption.

So much for the Southern woman at Atlantic City or anywhere. Of course, I have been speaking only of those portions of Atlantic City which are re- spectable though bizarre. Naturally there is a great

21


322 THE NEW BAEDEKER

deal of coarse and oifensive vice, as well as some which hides itself rather artfully from the eye of the casual observer. For instance, the sopliisticated know of one hotel along the Boardwalk which is perfect in its appointments, where everything is quiet and apparently reposeful, and where the prices are quite in keeping with the rest. It is an excel- lent hotel; yet no one who visits it is apt to men- tion the fact, save perhaps to a, very intimate friend. There are enough legends current about it to fill a volume; but as I do not know whether they are altogether true, it is hardly worth one's while to mention even the mildest of them. Suffice it to quote the familiar saying that in summer at Atlantic City " everything goes." Recently, the Governor of the State of New Jersey tried to sup- press some of the most violently illegal of its pastimes; and he found that the sworn officers of the law im- pudently refused to act. It was not until he had threatened to quarter troops upon Atlantic City and govern it by martial law that the Boardwalk grew serious and reformed a little bit. It is quite in the Atlantic City spirit that I should love to see about fifty batteries of heavy siege artillery let


ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY 323

loose upon the place at once. How magnificent would be the crashing in of all the caravanserais, the shattering of the junk-shops, the saloons, the grot- toes, the piers, and the gaudy hotels, while the whole Boardwalk went flaming up to Heaven in seven miles of fire!

But this is perhaps extreme. Take the place as it is and you will have to admit that it is unique. Throw together in one mad jumble, the bazaars of Constantinople, the city of Allahabad during a Mohurrum riot, Mount Vesuvius in eruption, Mes- sina during an earthquake, and five thousand luna- tic asylums, and you will have a faint notion of what Atlantic City in midsummer is really like. For, in fact, it does resemble notliing else in the whole wide world. I have often said that if some foreign potentate were to be turned over to me so that I might show him in America a sight that would impress him beyond anything that he had seen be- fore, I should not take him to Niagara Falls or to the big trees of California or to the Yellowstone or to the Grand Canon of the Colorado, or to the Brooklyn Bridge or to any other place or region of which foreigners have heard. I should hurry him


SU THE NEW BAEDEICER

at once to Atlantic City and let the full outrageous- ness of it burst upon him all at once. From the balcony of some hotel along the Boardwalk, I would bid him look forth. I should absolutely know that he was experiencing a genuine sensation.

Atlantic City is an eighth wonder of the world. It is overwhelming in its crudeness — barbaric, hide- ous and magnificent. There is something colossal about its vulgarity. There is something fascinating in its kaleidoscopic multitudinousness. A brilliant front of seashore extending unbrokenly for miles and miles along the majestic ocean; and then, lin- ing that superb sweep of coast, a frantic, fantastic maniac's dream of peep-shows, cigar-shops, merry- go-rounds, street-pianos, bazaars, hotels, fortune- tellers' booths, Chinese laundries, theatres, flower- stands, and bar-rooms — of every conceivable size and shape and colour — blue, green, scarlet, gold, and purple — smiting you in the eye and making you gasp at the extravagant outrageousness of it all. And between this gaudy labyrinth and the sea there run the seven miles of boardwalk packed with fifty thousand human beings, so jammed together as to resemble a roaring torrent, broken only by


ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY S25

tlie basket-chairs propelled by grinning negroes. Scores of excursion trains vomit other thousands into this seething whirlpool, and they gabble and eat and stew and steam with all the rest.

When darkness falls, then the whole place leaps out in a glare of electric light, until the entire coast seems like a vast single sheet of multicoloured fire. Huge piers thrust their noses far out into the ocean and blazon forth in flaming letters, twenty feet in length, the merits of a certain kind of pickle or of a special brand of rank five-cent cigar. Brass bands crash discordantly into each other's blaring notes, while scores of orchestras set to work madly in the different hotels and eating-places. Hand-organs grind on forever. A dozen concert-halls send forth fragmentary bellowings to add their seeming cries of agony to the universal din. It is infernal — it is astonishing — and it is infinitely picturesque. No single human being ever could describe it. If we could group together Shakespeare, Rudyard Kip- ling, Walt Whitman, Upton Sinclair, Thomas W. Lawson and Richard Wagner, and in some way drive them suddenly insane; if we could then fill them full of brandy, and at the height of their wild de-


326 THE NEW BAEDEKER

lirium get them to rave in collaboration about At- lantic City, then they might possibly convey a faint impression of what the place in summer really is. Some foolish persons have compared Coney Island to Atlantic City; but to compare Coney Island, even at its noisiest, to Atlantic City, is like com- paring the feeble sputtering of a rain-soaked pin- wheel to the concatenated crashing, blasting, blinding glare of the Day of Judgment!

And yet it is not all like this. Go down to the Inlet and take any one of the white-sailed boats that are anchored there. It will bear you smoothly over the summer sea to the quiet sands of the Brigan- tine. Or else, have yourself rolled in a basket-chair toward Chelsea; and there you will see the snow- white beach slope lovingly to the water that comes dimpling in to kiss it. You forget the horrors that you have left behind you. You have come forth from Perdition, and the scorching smell of flame has left you. Here are rest and peace and beauty and the charm of Nature undefiled. And, for the matter of that, and to be quite fair, this, too, is a part of what you can find at Atlantic City.


The Inlet, Atlantic City


VII

FROM MONTREAL TO SAN FRANCISCO

When one glides over the Canadian frontier in a smoothly rolling express-train from New York, there is nothing in the landscape to suggest that he is passing into the possessions of another nation than his own. It all looks very much like a continu- ation of the United States. Only one little circum- stance proves to him that he has escaped from a country which is enslaved by a materiahsed democ- racy, and that he has reached a land where, though it be ruled by a king, decent consideration is shown to every one. It is the well-set up customs-house officer who impresses this fact upon you. He does not snap his jaws like a steel-trap when he speaks to you. He does not ask you to make an affidavit as to what you have in your luggage, and then im- pudently accuse you of perjury in telling you that he does n't believe a word of what you have said under oath. For the matter of that, he does n't drag your trunks or your belongings around the baggage-


828 THE NEW BAEDEKER

car, dump the contents on a dirty floor, and then call in a second ruffian to paw over the objects, and finally decide, without giving any details, that you must pay such and such a sum for " excess luggage." The Canadian official knows very well that you are not a smuggler. He has a sense of the decencies of life. He does n't seek to magnify his office. With a polite word or two, he lifts and immediately lowers the lids of your trunks, affixes a cabaHstic mark, and you are free to enter the dominions of His Majesty, King Edward VII. This treatment is a small thing in itself, and yet how grateful it is when you com- pare with it the scenes of sordidness and swinishness which disgrace the port of New York whenever a foreign steamer arrives at any of its piers. It is a curious thing, this independence of ours, for which we fought two wars, yet which to-day we do not in reality possess; since we are the serfs of those who are appointed to serve us. The customs-house in- spector insults our wives and children. The police- man, without a shadow of right, bullies nine-tenths of the population who believe that he is the very Law itself. We let corporations steal our franchises, and then overcharge us for our use of them. We


MONTREAL TO SAN FRANCISCO 329

allow combinations of soulless individuals to tax us on any pretence, because we send to Congress men whose election expenses these corporations have paid, and because they have put their former attorneys upon the judicial bench.

Somehow or other it is refreshing for a little while to escape from all the different kinds of slave-drivers whom America has been breeding for the past thirty years. Like one of those fugitives who, before the Civil War, fled to Canada by the historic Under- ground Railroad, no sooner do we touch British soil than we salute the British flag. For it emanci- pates us and allows us to forget beneath its folds the swarm of " hustlers " who in politics, in com- merce, and for that matter, in science, in literature, and in education, give no one any rest, but keep always stirring such a hell-broth as can be found nowhere outside of the United States. Kipling never wrote a truer stanza than that in which he charac- terises a certain type of the later-day American:

Or sombre-drunk at mine and mart He dubs his dreary brethren "Kings." His hands are black with blood: his heart Leaps, as a babe's, at little things.


330 THE NEW BAEDEKER

And somehow that other line of his,

Unkempt, disreputable, vast

rather sticks in one's mind as being painfully near a good part of the truth. But, after all, this is rank pessimism, and almost treasonable. Such reflections are due mainly to having been cooped up for too long a time in New York City — that extraordinary, heterogeneous Babylon which sometimes makes you shudder, yet which draws you back to it irresistibly if you have been absent very long. New York is almost a nation in itself; and perhaps the late Fer- nando Wood was not so very much out of the way when, in 1861, he proposed that it secede from the Union and set up for itself. It does n't really belong to anything. It is just a tremendous curiosity.

But these thoughts are dispelled by others when you arrive in Montreal and find a city which in its own way is altogether unique. Quebec, for example, is really French and sixteenth century French at that. Toronto, on the other hand, is British with a strong admixture of American. But Montreal, while it seems to be British, is a singular admixture of


MONTREAL TO SAN FRANCISCO 831

what is British and what is not. From the general appearance of it you get at first a certain impres- sion as of England, although only one-seventh of the inhabitants are English, and more than half of them are French. It is an admirable example of how the Briton manages to impose himself upon places and upon people who are not of his own stock. Put him down almost anywhere in the world and pres- ently you will find bitter beer and Bass's White Label and gooseberry tarts, and people always dressing for dinner and reckoning their money in pounds, shillings, and pence. I suppose the United States to be the only country in the world where he cannot do so, and where the British sovereign and the Bank of England note are looked at contemptuously by shopkeepers who will not take them even at a dis- count, but want " real money," much to the aston- ishment and chagrin of the travelling Englishman. But in Montreal, the British element appears to have entirely its own way. Dominion Square with its huge hotel reveals nothing that suggests the French who founded this fine city, centuries ago. If you enter the hotel in question, you will find, besides breakfast rooms and dining-rooms, " a lady's ordi-


332 THE NEW BAEDEKER

nary," — the very name taking you back to the England of James I. and The Fortunes of Nigel, And it was so like the English to pick out Jacques Cartier Square as a place in which to erect a column in memory of Lord Nelson!

Nevertheless, a somewhat closer examination shows you that the French tenacity is quite equal to the English obstinacy. The very names of streets and buildings tell you this — the Place d'Armes, the Bon- secours Market, Notre Dame de Montreal, the Chateau de Ramezay, Saint Sulpice, the statue of the fine old Sieur de Maisonneuve, with the figures of the Iroquois about him, and that of Lambert Closse, the first " town-maj or " of the old-time city, Ville Marie de Montreal. Often, side by side, you see France and England contending with each other architecturally. For instance, the moment you be- hold the Bank of Montreal, you almost cry out with wonder; for it is precisely the London Exchange, and you feel that you are going to enter Thread- needle Street in a moment or two. But then, placed next to it, is the Post-Ofiice, which you are at once tempted to call the Bureau des Postes — so French is its grey limestone front and its Mansard roof.


MONTREAL TO SAN FRANCISCO 333

And you come at the actual truth when you leave the public squares and the English shops and the Englishwomen shopping there, and go down into the heart of the town and find yourself in a labyrinth of streets that bear French names. The Doctor and I wanted to get a large supply of cartridges for the huge revolvers that we had brought with us. Just why we had brought them we could not very defi- nitely have explained; only, we were going westward some thousands of miles and we had a nebulous notion that we might need these weapons for self-protection. Possibly it was because we had seen a photograph purporting to be that of Vancouver in the early period of its still youthful history. That photo- graph might well justify the two revolvers. But, as I was saying, in our search for cartridges we went into many shops of different sorts before finding one where cartridges were sold; and in all these shops not a soul understood a single word of English. So this • was the real Montreal — French at its core, though superficially Anglicised.

And this is why one cannot think of Canada as being either wholly French or wholly English. It is, in fact, Canadian. It will never be annexed to the


334 THE NEW BAEDEKER

United States, and I fancy that the time will come when it will cease even nominally to be a possession of Great Britain. Here is the true solution of the Canadian question — that Canada should become either a kingdom or a republic by itself. It has a splendid history of its own. It has beautiful cities, a wonderfully clean and upright government, and if it should put forth its power and snap its leading- strings, it could well take high rank as a nation, free and self-respecting. At present, it gives me an un- comfortable feeling to see Canadians either trying to be more English than the English, or else wrap- ping themselves up in the tattered Gallicism of three hundred years ago. France, of course, can never have more than a sentimental interest in the country. Englishmen rather look down upon it, as they look down upon any set of people who remain under Eng- lish control outside of England. Canada at present reminds one of a hobbledehoy quite strong enough to stand alone and to be a man, but who, nevertheless, from force of habit, skulks around in an awkward way in at least a moral state of pupillage, wearing trousers too short for him and still haunted by the fear that, when he speaks, his voice may not be the


MONTREAL TO SAN FRANCISCO 335

deep bass of a man but may break and go off into a sort of childish falsetto. This, however, will not last very long. The young giant will soon stand up and stamp his feet and be proud of the name " Canadian."

All the same, at the present time, the English con- tingent is distinctly loyal to the mother country. I could n't resist asking rather foolish questions of a youth whom I encountered. I said:

" Do you feel a personal devotion to King Ed- ward VII.?"

" Yes," said he; "I would die for him! "

But the very answer, given with flushed face and a sparkle of the eye, showed me how little like an Englishman was this young Canadian. An English- man would at first have stared and then laughed, and then perhaps he would have exclaimed rather cryptically:

" Oh, I say now! "

You may be sure that his ch-eeks would not have flushed nor his eye have sparkled. Very likely he, too, would have died for King Edward, but he would have regarded the necessity as a " beastly bore." The Canadian, on the other hand, has all the spirit and the sentiment of the native-born American. Just


S36 THE NEW BAEDEKER

at present he is giving it to England; but the time will come when the flag of independent Can- ada will stir his soul, and when the Maple-Leaf will mean much more to him than the Lion and the Unicorn.

Two great proofs of Canadian energy and far- sightedness are to be found in the Victoria Jubilee Bridge which was flung across the St. Lawrence near Montreal at a cost of twenty million dollars, and which is one of the greatest engineering monuments in the world; and then still more the Canadian Pacific Railway, extending for three thousand miles across the whole of the Dominion, looping itself around the massive peaks of the Rockies and then descending to the far-off city of Vancouver. When it was com- pleted, in 1887, its importance was mainly military. By means of it, British troops after being shipped from Liverpool to Montreal, could then be whirled rapidly across the Continent to the Pacific Ocean. Great Britain in 1887 viewed Russia with a distrust- ful eye; and Canada did her part, so that the great Empire of the Czars might be swiftly smitten from the powerfully fortified naval station at Esquimalt, near Victoria.


MONTREAL TO SAN FRANCISCO 337

The Doctor and I were mainly interested in the Canadian Pacific Railway, since we intended to take one of its trains from Montreal and to proceed over its whole length to the Pacific Coast. This railway has an advantage over any of the American trans- continental lines, because the journey involves no change; but one can go directly through the vast stretches of prairie, the wheat-lands, and the mag- nificent mountains, and can do it all in a deliberate, comfortable fashion. After you cut loose from the towns and cities of Ontario and get out into the billowy prairies, you practically own the train. If you want to alight and stretch your legs and look at a bit of scenery by way of variety, the train will be stopped for you, as it will also at the city of Winni- peg, where you can stroll around for an hour or so in this metropolis of the wheat-lands, in the very midst of a thousand miles of loneliness.

So, after you dispose your luggage in its proper place and show a yard or kss of ticket, you can settle down with a certain ease and peace of mind very much as you would upon an ocean steamer, with the addi- tional advantage that if you don't like it you can

get off and walk. It is advisable to tip the porter

22


338 THE NEW BAEDEKER

rather heavily and suggest to him that at the end of the journey another tip will be forthcoming. On the whole I am inclined to think that this is quite immoral; for he will give "you a whole section instead of a single berth; and when (a day or two later) other persons enter who have paid for half of that section, he will invent the most ingenious ex- planations as to why their tickets are not good and will bestow them, grumbling, in some other portion of the train. I have often waked up in the middle of the night and listened guiltily to the loud expostu- lations of casual Canadians and have admired, from a purely literary standpoint, the fluent diction and the imaginative resources of this porter. But after all, it is the through passengers who constitute the aristocracy of the train; while others who are going only four or five hundred miles must put up with what the porter feels it best to give them. He had the hardest time of all with the Consul-General of a minor European monarchy; and the strife between them lasted from midnight until morning. During the latter part of it I whistled softly the Brahan- gonne, which may have appeased the Consul-General, or which, on the other hand, may have driven him


MONTREAL TO SAN FRANCISCO 339

into a speechless rage, so that he presently suc- cumbed. Anyway, he was a good man, and we after- ward became great friends.

It is a lazy, comfortable, luxurious life, this long whirl across the prairies. You can stroll about the train and chat with various acquaintances; enj oy- ing the most delicious meals whenever you feel like taking them; gazing upon the illimitable miles of undulating verdure, sometimes tilled, and sometimes covered only with scant grass, and sometimes densely populated by prairie-dogs. Their little houses, domed and green, about a foot in height, have a smaU opening for the family; and at these openings sit the masters of the houses, on their hind legs and with their paws drooping gently over their furry coats. Going out upon the very last platform of the last car and letting our legs hang over the miles of glittering track that sped away beneath us, the Doctor and I found use for our revolvers in bang- ing away at the prairie-dogs. I suppose it was the instinctive Anglo-Saxon desire to kill something; yet I doubt very much whether any prairie-dog lost his life beneath our fusillade. Still, since every time we fired, the little beasts would drop over backward


340 THE NEW BAEDEKER

into their respective holes, we let ourselves imagine that our aim was something wonderful. To be sure, all the dogs fell over at the same moment, being startled by the noise; but that was a small affair, and the cry of " I 've hit him! " continued until all our cartridges had been shot away. After that we sat no more upon the platform, but studied human types in the smoking compartment.

It was interesting as we went further west to see how the American element had impinged upon the Canadian. The politics that were talked were not Canadian politics. The conductors and even the brakemen were betting upon the election in the United States. The people who got on and off at the infrequent stations were, nine-tenths of them, countrymen of ours. Often, to be sure, they were not residents of Canada, but were merely there on temporary business; yet one could see and feel the effects of American immigration into the rich lands whose virgin soil has not yet begun to be exhausted by producing several crops a year.

I hold in grateful remembrance a long lank man from Minneapolis, who, for a day and a half before reaching Winnipeg, made much talk about himself


MONTREAL TO SAN FRANCISCO 341

and about the city where he lived. He confessed that he had not been bom there, but was trying hard, so he said, " to ketch up." He was the embodiment of activity. His face was lean and eager. His eyes were bright and keen. He wore a diamond pin, and on his feet were two russet shoes of phenomenal length and with soles of phenomenal thickness. When he talked, he twisted his legs around each other in a grapevine sort of fashion, and the glibness of his tongue was beyond the glibness of any other tongue that I have ever listened to.

" You 're from the East? Well, I thought so. I was from the East myself, but don't you stay there. Come out to Minnesota or Wisconsin, and get alive. There 's nothing in the East. It 's all squeezed out. Why, there 's men there working — actually working — for fifteen or twenty dollars a week. If they 'd only come out West they could sleep all day and make as much as that, 'n if they hustled around an hour or two a day they 'd get three or four hundred dollars a month. Poor yaps! They don't know it, but it 's so. Every one makes money in the West."

" But," said I, " there have been very hard times in the West, when no money was in sight at all. It


342 THE NEW BAEDEKER

was only two or three years ago that you were pass- ing around barbers' tickets and street-car checks, and all sorts of bogus paper, because you had n't any real money."

The Man from Minneapolis leered triumphantly.

" Well," he said, " don't that prove that we 're a bigger people than you fellers in the East? I '11 bet you could n't do anything with barbers' tickets and car-checks in the East. Nobody 'd take 'em there; but out West, when we have n't got any real money, we pass out any old thing and it goes just the same as gold certificates. You see the difference is this. When a panic comes along, you Eastern fellers all sit around and howl and think that everything is busted up for fair. We don't do that. We say to ourselves that this is just an ordinary little riffle, just an accident, and that pretty soon everything will be twice as good as ever. We 've got hope, we have, and we believe in ourselves, and we ain't afraid. That 's why I tell you to come out West, and bank on the future." -

He was a very convincing person, this Man from Minneapolis. He would boast about anything — about their epidemics and the intensity of their cold,


MONTREAL TO SAN FRANCISCO 343

and especially about their cyclones. He was par- ticularly proud of the cyclones.

" I tell you," said he, " Minnesota 's the place for cyclones. Over in North Dakota they have a few, but they 're only balmy little breezes compared with what we get in Minnesota. When you hear a noise and see a sort of twirly thing coming way off in the distance, then you just want to drop everything and slide down into your cyclone-cellar as fast as you can put."

" Of course, though," said I, " that must be out in the open prairie. They don't have cyclones in Minneapolis."

The Man from Minneapolis looked at me with scorn.

" Well, you bet they do! " he said. " Minneapolis has been ripped up the back half a dozen times since I was there. There 's rows and rows of the most beautiful private houses just outside the city, and every one of them has got a cyclone-cellar. When I first went out there, I lived in a boarding-house, and one morning I found a man nailing timber across the windows."

" What was that for.? "


S44 THE NEW BAEDEKER

" Why, of course, to keep the windows from blow- ing in."

" Well," said I, " I never heard of that, and I never read in the papers anything about the epidemic of infantile paralysis that you spoke of a little while ago."

The Man from Minneapolis grinned hugely at this, and uncoiled his legs with infinite delight.

" No," he answered, " I 'U bet you did n't, and you never will. You see, we 've got things fixed up out there. The whole State 's a regular press bureau, and everybody 's in it. Just let something fine hap- pen, and you 'U read about it in every newspaper in the East; but when things go wrong, never a word of it gets into any paper anywhere. Oh, we 're solid out in Minneapolis! "

Presently he rushed out of the " smoker " and, after rummaging in his valise, returned with a large book full of illustrations beautifully printed on heavy paper.

" Now I '11 show you," he said; " look at them three banks. I guess you have n't got anything finer than them in the East. And say! It ain't all business, either. Look at this university building.


MONTREAL TO SAN FRANCISCO 345

Why, it 's got all your universities skinned a mile. And here 's the biggest hotel in Minneapolis, just built. Ain't that handsome?"

I said that it was a very imposing building. But after looking at it carefully, I made a comment.

" Yes, it 's a fine building, but it does n't seem to fit in with your statement about cyclones. The win- dows have no protection whatever. How is it that they are n't all blown in? "

The Man from Minneapolis fell into a perfect ecstasy when I made this criticism. He winked at me three or four times, slapped his knee, and then chuckled for several minutes. Finally he said in a tone of infinite satisfaction:

" Well, I guess them windows are pretty well pro- tected. Every one of 'em 's got a steel blind that draws down over the glass just as tight as they can fix it. But don't you see? We ain't putting them steel blinds into the picture. That picture 's going all over the East, and I guess we don't want to show up any steel blinds. All the same," he continued meditatively, " them blinds is real pretty. They 're painted green, and you would n't ever know they was steel."


346 THE NEW BAEDEKER

Thus, and at much greater length, discoursed the Man from Minneapolis. When he got out at Winni- peg, he said rather regretfully:

" If I 'd been born in Minneapolis, I guess I would n't let you get away. I 'd follow you just as far as you went yourself. Yes, sir, I 'd just track you down. Well, good-bye."

Precisely what the Man from Minneapohs meant by this dark saying I have never been quite sure; but probably if he had tracked me down, he would either have sold me something, or have got me to endorse his note, or have given me a thousand shares of stock in a nascent railroad. But he departed, hurry- ing up the main street of Winnipeg, and I never saw him any more. On the whole, he was an inspiring person, and he really did typify the conquering American who never gives up, who has infinite cour- age, and whose faith in the future never falters for a moment.

After leaving Winnipeg, there was more prairie, but presently the monotony was broken by the spurs of mountains which prepare one for the grandeur of the Rockies. Little stations caused the train to stop at times, though I do not know precisely at


MONTREAL TO SAN FRANCISCO 347

what times; for the Canadian Pacific Railway is run on the twenty-four system and it is too much trouble for an irresponsible traveller to figure out into ordi- nary notation such hours as half-past eighteen o'clock, and twenty-three o'clock, and things like that. What difference did it make? The train ran smoothly. Everything was harmonious. The air was fresh and bracing, and there was a delightful absence of cinders.

Merely as a study in geographical terminology, I could n't help noticing how the English and Ameri- can elements of these western provinces were curi- ously commingled. Regina smacked of Canada — of English Canada. Brandon and Mortlake and Suffield and Rosslyn and Revelstoke were the Eng- lish of England. But right here on British soil you come across a fort which is formall} and officially styled Fort Whoop-up, and then you feel that some- thing American has permeated even the military system of Canada. The Indians are not forgotten, for there is the station called Medicine-Hat, besides Kamloops and the glorious canon of the Kicking Horse River. It is at this last place, indeed, that you begin to find scenery as wild and yet as beautiful


348 THE NEW BAEDEKER

as any in the world. Down in the great cleft be- tween the mountains there roars and foams and thun- ders the tremendous torrent of the pent-up stream. Around the peaks whose summits in the middle of the summer are white with snow, the two ribbons of steel on which your train is running, wind in the most daring fashion. When the engine is mysteriously transferred to the rear and you are pushed up a steep incline with much groaning and quivering, then you have come to the very Garden of the Gods, to an Olympus more awe-inspiring than that in Thessaly. Now the train pauses so that you may dine or break- fast at little chalets; and after breakfast you can go out and stand in a patch of blossoming clover; and presently there will come tumbKng down from above a mass of fleecy, pure white snow, which gleams among the clover leaves under a summer sun. It is all most fascinating, and from this time your attention is continually alert — the green glaciers, the continually increasing height of the mountains, the distant snow fields, the natural bridge, the bridle- trails down which there ride at times officers and troopers of the Mounted Police, a splendid set of fighting men, sitting their horses like centaurs; the


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silver mines, and then the great loop which twists and turns, doubling back upon its own course through long gashes cut into the great Ross Peak. The snow-sheds through which one does not usually pass in summer give striking evidence of what these gorges must be in the depth of winter.

In short, I have never seen anything that could compare with the bold and almost savage beauty of this region. Farther south, in the United States, the Rockies are fine, yet comparatively tame. The Alps would be almost as fine if they were not peppered all over with inns where people burn blue fire and turn on electric lights under the waterfalls, and where tourists tramp about in such numbers as to make you feel that you are in Piccadilly or sometimes in Bedlam. There will come an age, it may be, when the Rockies and the Selkirks shall also be afflicted in like manner; but as yet they are almost as they were when the Indian whose mummy, discovered some ten years ago and probably ten centuries old, was glid- ing in and out of the wild passes, killing his game with flints and gnawing the raw flesh from the bones.

From Vancouver you go by steamer to Victoria and find that you have come out once more into civ-


350 THE NEW BAEDEKER

ilisation. It is not the civilisation that one expects upon the Pacific Coast, but a much older one than that, with beautiful broad streets, dignified-looking country houses, and parks and flower gardens, all British to the last degree. It might be in Kent or in any part of England, were the sky not so beauti- fully bright and blue. It is a stolid, well-behaved and most respectable city. How it happened to be there in the remote West, it is difficult to say. The Doctor and I had a sort of theory that the place was a whited sepulchre; and that being so very far away, it must somehow have dangerous and deadly points about it — if not by day, at least by night. Therefore, we purchased some more cartridges and, like Mr. Rich- ard Harding Davis in Port Said, sallied forth to see what frightful things we could discover. The lights in all the houses were extinguished and the streets were empty, yet we did not allow these facts to shake our theory; and indeed, after prowling for a long while, we came up on a place in which some lights were glimmering. As it was obviously not a private house and as the front door was ajar, we ventured cautiously to enter it, keeping each one hand upon the butt of a revolver. Mr. Davis was mean enough


MONTREAL TO SAN FRANCISCO 351

not to tell what he found in Port Said. But what we found were two bank presidents playing billiards. Therefore, I hereby cheerfully give the city of Vic- toria, B. C, a certificate of character and really do beheve that all its people except bank presidents retire promptly at nine p. m.

It is a more comfortable mode of travelling to go from Vancouver to San Francisco entirely by rail; yet, as it is worth while to have made a voyage upon the Pacific, you can take at Victoria a particularly vicious and much-rolling steamer, on which they will feed you curried rice and get you past the Golden Gate at just about the time when the most hideous desert would seem delightful to you, after so much tossing and shaking and so much curried rice. The Golden Gate is itself exquisitely beautiful — most of all when you glide through it while the moonlight is touching the rocks and making them appear to be great masses of lustrous pearls surrounding a sea of molten silver. And then the customs-house officials are of a different breed from those who infest New York. You can enter the port at any hour of the night and they do not seem to be ruffled; nor, on the other hand, do they ruffle you.


352 THE NEW BAEDEKER

Regarding San Francisco I cannot write; for the San Francisco that was mine has been wrecked by earthquake and consumed by fire. What need for me to tell of the din of Market Street, of the great patio in the Palace Hotel, of the Cafe Riche, of the Chinatown that was, of the Cliff House that I knew, of the thousand and one delightful reminders of the time when men called the city " Yerba Buena " in their melKfluous Castilian tongue, and of the later days when its history was one of mingled. showers and sunshine. All these have been described by Mr. Irwin in a manner which I could not hope to rival and with a knowledge which no casual traveller could possibly possess. To that older San Francisco I pay the tribute of a reverential silence, pronouncing the single word which best befits it — Adios,


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Front matter

THE NEW BAEDEKER

En Voyage

THE NEW BAEDEKER

BEING

CASUAL NOTES OF AN IRRESPONSIBLE TRAVELLER

BY

HARRY THURSTON PECK


ILLUSTRATED


NEW YORK

DODD, MEAD, AND COxMPANY

1910


\


SK^


Copyright, 1909, 1910, By Dodd, Mead, & Company


Published, April, 1910


THE UNIVERSITY PRESS, CAMBRIDGE, U. S. A.


©C1.A261807


PIAE MEMORIAE CAROLI BAEDEKERI

LIPSIENSIS

PERMULTOBUM VIATORUM

DUClS DILECTI ATQUE AMICI

D. D. D.

DISCIPULUS


CONTENTS

PART I

Page

I En Voyage 1

II Havre and Trouville ....... 19

III Berlin 48

IV Rome 77

V Rouen - ... 105

VI Brussels and Malines • , . 130

VII Liverpool 161

PART II

I Portland, Maine 182

II Boston 207

III Lake Pleasant, Massachusetts .... 230

IV Utica, New York 261

V Trenton Falls, New York , . . . . 287 VI Atlantic City, New Jersey ..... 306

VII From Montreal to San Francisco . . . 327


ILLUSTRATIONS

En Voyage Frontispiece

A Welcome at Havre • Facing page 22

Le Grand Quai at Havre " 32

Le Havre from Saint e-Addresse ... " 38

The Beach at Trouville " 44

The Brandenburger Thor " 50

The "Strohwitter-Heim" " 72

St. Peter's from across the Tiber ... *' 86 "The Historic Letters, S. P. Q. R." .... Page 97

The Seine from Bonsecours Facing page 108

The Cathedral of Notre Dame at Rouen " 114

La Vendease de Chansonnettes ... " 1 20

"L'Enfant Chantait la Marseillaise" . . " 126

The Marketplace at Malines . . . . " 144

Luggers off the Mersey ...... " l64

" Rum lot, these Yankees, ain't they? " . 180

The Eastern Promenade at Portland , " 188

The Harpswell Landing at Portland . " 196 " The quaint and charming streets off

Beacon Hill" 214

An English Vista in Boston " 220

Genesee Street, the Grand Boulevard

of Utica " 266

Through the woods at Trenton Falls . . " 296

Trenton Falls . " 300

The Inlet, Atlantic City *' 326

" I have never seen anything that could

compare with the savage beauty of

this region " " 348

[edit]

See also

  • Baedeker

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