Andrew Carnegie

An American Four-in-Hand in Britain

Published by Good Press, 2019
goodpress@okpublishing.info
EAN 4057664562401

Table of Contents


PREFACE.
AN AMERICAN FOUR-IN-HAND IN BRITAIN.
SCOTLAND.
THE RECORD.

PREFACE.

Table of Contents

The publication of this book renders necessary a few words of explanation. It was originally printed for private circulation among a few dear friends—those who were not as well as those who were of the coaching party—to be treasured as a souvenir of happy days. The house which has undertaken the responsibility of giving it a wider circulation believed that its publication might give pleasure to some who would not otherwise see it. It is not difficult to persuade one that his work which has met with the approval of his immediate circle may be worthy of a larger audience; and the author was the more easily induced to consent to its reprint because, the first edition being exhausted, he was no longer able to fill many requests for copies.

The original intent of the book must be the excuse for the highly personal nature of the narrative, which could scarcely be changed without an entire remodelling, a task for which the writer had neither time nor inclination; so, with the exception of a few suppressions and some additions which seemed necessary under its new conditions, its character has not been materially altered. Trusting that his readers may derive from a perusal of its pages a tithe of the pleasure which the Gay Charioteers experienced in performing the journey, and wishing that all may live to see their "ships come home" and then enjoy a similar excursion for themselves, he subscribes himself,

Very Sincerely,

The Author

New York, May 1, 1883.

AN AMERICAN FOUR-IN-HAND
IN BRITAIN.

Table of Contents

Long enough ago to permit us to sing, "For we are boys, merry, merry boys, Merry, merry boys together," and the world lay all before us where to choose, Dod, Vandy, Harry, and I walked through Southern England with knapsacks on our backs. What pranks we played! Those were the happy days when we heard the chimes at midnight and laughed Sir Prudence out of countenance. "Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?" Nay, verily, Sir Gray Beard, and ginger shall be hot i' the mouth too! Then indeed

"The sounding cataract

Haunted me like a passion; the tall rock,

The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,

Their colors and their forms, were then to me

An appetite; a feeling and a love

That had no need of a remoter charm,

By thought supplied, or any interest

Unborrowed from the eye."

It was during this pedestrian excursion that I announced that some day, when my "ships came home," I should drive a party of my dearest friends from Brighton to Inverness. Black's "Adventures of a Phaeton" came not long after this to prove that another Scot had divined how idyllic the journey could be made. It was something of an air-castle—of a dream—those far-off days, but see how it has come to pass!

The world, in my opinion, is all wrong on the subject of air-castles. People are forever complaining that their châteaux en Espagne are never realized. But the trouble is with them—they fail to recognize them when they come. "To-day," says Carlyle, "is a king in disguise," and most people are in possession of their air-castles, but lack the trick to see 't.

Look around you! see Vandy, for instance. When we were thus doing Merrie England on foot, he with a very modest letter of credit stowed away in a belt round his sacred person—for Vandy it was who always carried the bag (and a faithful treasurer and a careful one too—good boy, Vandy!); he was a poor student then, and you should have heard him philosophize and lord it over us two, who had been somewhat fortunate in rolling mills, and were devoted to business. "Great Cæsar! boys, if I ever get fifteen hundred dollars a year income!" (This was the fortune I was vaguely figured up to be worth under ordinary conditions.) "Great Cæsar! boys"—and here the fist would come down on the hard deal table, spilling a few drops of beer—"fifteen hundred dollars a year! Catch me working any more like a slave, as you and Harry do!" Well, well, Vandy's air-castle was fifteen hundred dollars a year; yet see him now when thousands roll in upon him every month. Hard at it still—and see the goddess laughing in her sleeve at the good joke on Vandy. He has his air-castle, but doesn't recognize the structure.

There is Miss Fashion. How fascinating she was when she descanted on her air-castle—then a pretty cottage with white and red roses clustering beside the door and twining over it in a true-lover's knot, symbolizing the lover's ideal of mutual help and dependence—the white upon the red. No large establishment for her, nor many servants! One horse (I admit it was always to be a big one), and an elegant little vehicle; plenty of garden and enough of pin money. On this point there was never to be the slightest doubt, so that she could really get the best magazines and one new book every month—any one she chose. A young hard-working husband, without too much income, so that she might experience the pleasure of planning to make their little go far. Behold her now! her husband a millionaire, a brown-stone front, half a dozen horses, a country place, and a box at the opera! But, bless your heart! she is as unconscious of the arrival of her castle as she is that years creep upon her apace.

The Goddess Fortune, my friends, rarely fails to give to mortals all they pray for and more; but how she must stand amazed at the blindness of her idolators, who continue to offer up their prayers at her shrine, wholly unconscious that their first requests have been granted! It takes Fortune a little time to prepare the gifts for so many supplicants—the toys each one specially wants; and lo and behold! before they can be delivered (though she works with speed betimes) the unreasonable mortals have lost conceit of their prizes, and their coming is a mockery; they are crying for something else. If the Fates be malignant, as old religions teach, how they must enjoy the folly of man!

Imagine a good spirit taking Fortune to task for the misery and discontent of mortals, as she gazes with piteous eyes upon our disappointments, our troubles, and, saddest of all, our regrets, charging her with producing such unhappiness. "Why have you done this?" would be the inquiry. Listen to the sardonic chuckle of the Fate: "Hush! I've only given them what they asked (chuckle—chuckle—chuckle)! Not my fault! See that unhappy wretch, sleeplessly and feverishly tossing on his pillow, and in his waking hours absorbing all his lofty faculties in gambling at the Stock Exchange—wife, children, home, music, art, culture, all forgotten. He was once a bright, promising, ingenuous youth. He was born among trees and green fields, spent the morn of life in the country, sensitive and responsive to all nature's whisperings; lay in cool, leafy shades, wandered in forest glades, and paddled in the 'complaining brooks which make the meadow green.' Nay, not many years ago he returned at intervals to these scenes, and found their charm had still power over him—felt the truth of the poet's words, that

"'To him who in the love of nature holds

Communion with her visible forms, she speaks

A various language; for his gayer hours

She has a voice of gladness, and a smile

And eloquence of beauty, and she glides

Into his darker musings, with a mild

And healing sympathy, that steals away

Their sharpness, ere he is aware.'

"He asked for enough to live honorably upon among his fellows," continues the Fate, "and to keep his parents comfortable in their old age—a matter of a few hundreds a year—and I gave him this and thousands more. Ha, ha, ha! Silence! Look at him; he doesn't see the joke. Oh yes, you may try to tell it to him, if you like. He has no time to listen, nor ears to hear, nor eyes to see; no, nor soul to understand your language. He's 'short' on New Jersey Central or 'long' on Reading, and, bless you! he must strain every fibre if he would save himself from ruin.

"He could commune with you in your youth, you say; he had your language then. No doubt! no doubt! so did he then know his Latin and whisper his prayers at his mother's knee. The Latin has gone; his praying continues—nay has increased, for his fears and selfish wants have multiplied since he was an innocent, ignorant child, and he has much more to ask from God for his own ends, now that he is a wise man and is supposed to know much (chuckle—chuckle—chuckle).

"There is another mortal," we hear the Fate saying to the Good Fairy. "Look at her, decked out in all the vagaries of changeable Fashion; note her fixed-up look, her conventional air, her nervous, unmeaning, simpering smile—the same to-day, yesterday, and forever—something to all men, much to none. See her at home in her chamber! Why mopes she, looking so haggard, with features expressionless and inane? What worm gnaws at her heart and makes her life so petty? She, too, came into the world a bright and happy thing, and grew up fond of music and of birds, and with a passion for flowers and all of Nature's sweets; so careful, too, of mother and of father, the very embodiment of love to all around her. You should have seen her in her teens, a glorious ray from heaven—'making a sunshine in a shady place'—so natural, so hearty, with a carolling laugh like the falling of waters. In her most secret prayers she asked only for a kind lover with a fair competence, that they might live modestly, without ostentation. She was a good girl and I granted her wish and more," says Fate. "Her air-castle was small, but I sent her a magnificent one. She is courted, flattered, has every gift in my power to bestow; yet she pines in the midst of them. The fruits of her rare gardens have no flavor for her—Dead Sea fruits indeed, which fall to ashes on her lips. She has entered for the race of Fashion, and her soul is absorbed in its jealousies and disappointments. You may speak to her as of old; tell her there is something noble in that domain of human life where duties grow—something not only beyond but different from Fashion, higher than dress or show. She understands you not.

"Hand her a bunch of violets. Does she learn their lesson with their odor (which her dog scents as well as she)? Comes there to her the inner meaning, the scent of the new-mown hay that speaks of past hours of purity, of the fresh breeze that fanned her cheek in childhood's halcyon days, the love of all things of the green earth and the sense of the goodness of God which his flowers ever hold within their petals for those who know their language? 'They will decorate me to-night for the ball!' That is the be-all and the end-all of her ladyship's love for flowers.

"Show her a picture with more of heaven than earth in it, and glimpses of the light that never shone on sea or shore. If the artist be in fashion she will call it 'pretty,' when it is grand. Give her music. Is it the opera? Oh yes, she will attend. It is the fashion. But place within her reach the soul-moving oratorio (with more religion in it than in twenty sermons) or the suggestive symphony. No, a previous engagement prevents. Why, just think of it—one can't talk there! Yet this woman could once play with feeling and sing with expression, delighting her young companions. Of her one could truly say,

"'Oh! to see or hear her singing! scarce I know which is divinest—

For her looks sing too—she modulates her gestures on the tune;

And her mouth stirs with the song, like song; and when the notes are finest,

'Tis the eyes that shoot out vocal light, and seem to swell them on.'

And now she has fallen to this!"

"Has she children?" inquires the Good Spirit.

"No," says Fate, "we are not altogether relentless. How could we give such a woman children and look you in the face? It is sometimes thought necessary even to go as far as this, but in such cases we commend the poor infants to the special care of the great Father, for mother they have none. But look! there is a man now who did so pray for a son and heir that we gave him one, and yonder goes the result. God in heaven! why are men so rash in their blindness as to pray for anything! Surely 'Thy will be done' were best."

I am as bad as Sterne in his "Sentimental Journey," and will never get on at this rate. I started to argue that the Fates were too kind instead of not kind enough; at least, my air-castles have ever been mere toys compared with the realities, for never did I dream, in my wildest days, that the intended drive through Britain would assume the princely proportions of a four-in-hand, crowded with a dozen of my dearest friends. A modest phaeton or wagonette with a pair of horses was the extent of my dream, but the Fairy sent me four, you see, and two friends for every one I had pleased myself with imagining as sure to take the journey with me.

But now to a sober beginning of the story of the coach. It was in the leafy month of June—the very first day thereof, however—in the year of our Lord 1881, that the good ship Bothnia (Cunard Line, of course), Captain McMicken (a true Scot and bold British sailor), steamed from the future Metropolis of the World for the shores of Merrie England. She had many passengers, but among them were eleven who outranked all others, if their respective opinions of each other were to be accepted as the true standard of judgment. I had received for many months before the sweetest pleasure imaginable in startling first one and then another with requests to report at headquarters, Windsor Hotel, New York, May 31st, prepared to embark. It was on St. Valentine's Day that the Prima Donna received a missive which caused her young heart to flutter. What a pretty reply came! Here is a short extract:

"Three months to dream of it; three months to live in it; and my whole lifetime afterward to think it over. I am the happiest girl alive, only sometimes I can't believe it's all going to happen."

To Davenport, Iowa, went another invitation. In due time came a return missive from the proud City of the River:

"Will I go to Paradise for three months on a coach? Agent of Providence, I will!"

Isn't it glorious to make one's friends so happy?


Harbor of New York, June 1, 1881.
On board Steamer Bothnia.

Call the roll.

Queen Dowager, Head of the Clan (no Salic Law in our family); Miss J. J. (Prima Donna); Miss A. F. (Stewardess); Mr. and Mrs. McC. (Dainty Davie); Mr. and Mrs. K. (Paisley Troubadours); Mr. B. F. V. (Vandy); Mr. H. P., Jr. (Our Pard); Mr. G. F. McC. (General Manager); ten in all, making, together with the scribe, the All-coaching Eleven.

Ting-a-ling-a-ling! The tears are shed, the kisses ta'en. The helpless hulk breathes the breath of life. The pulsations of its mighty heart are felt, the last rope that binds us to land cast off; and now see the hundreds of handkerchiefs waving from the pier fading and fading away. But note among the wavers one slight graceful figure; Miss C. of our party, present in spirit if bodily absent on duty, much to the regret of us all. The wavings from deck to shore tell our friends

"how slow our souls sailed on,

How fast our ship."

The Bothnia turned her face to the east, and out upon old ocean's gray and melancholy waste sailed the Gay Charioteers. As we steamed down the bay three steamers crowded with the most enterprising of Europe's people passed us, emigrants coming to find in the bounteous bosom of the Great Republic the blessings of equality, the just reward of honest labor. Ah, favored land! the best of the Old World seek your shores to swell to still grander proportions your assured greatness. That all come only for the material benefits you confer, I do not believe. Crowning these material considerations, I insist that the more intelligent of these people feel the spirit of true manhood stirring within them, and glory in the thought that they are to become part of a powerful people, of a government founded upon the born equality of man, free from military despotism and class distinctions. There is a trace of the serf in the man who lives contentedly in a land with ranks above him. One hundred and seventeen thousand came last month, and the cry is still they come! O ye self-constituted rulers of men in Europe, know you not that the knell of dynasties and of rank is sounding? Are you so deaf that you do not hear the thunders, so blind that you do not see the lightnings which now and then give warning of the storm that is to precede the reign of the people?

There is everything in the way one takes things. "Whatever is, is right," is a good maxim for travellers to adopt, but the Charioteers improved on that. The first resolution they passed was, "Whatever is, is lovely; all that does happen and all that doesn't shall be altogether lovely." We shall quarrel with nothing, admire everything and everybody. A surly beggar shall afford us sport, if any one can be surly under our smiles; and stale bread and poor fare shall only serve to remind us that we have banqueted at the Windsor. Even no dinner at all shall pass for a good joke. Rain shall be hailed as good for the growing corn; a cold day pass as invigorating, a warm one welcomed as suggestive of summer at home, and even a Scotch mist serve to remind us of the mysterious ways of Providence. In this mood the start was made. Could any one suggest a better for our purpose?

Now comes a splendid place to skip—the ocean voyage. Everybody writes that up upon the first trip, and every family knows all about it from the long descriptive letters of the absent one doing Europe.

When one has crossed the Atlantic twenty odd times there seems just about as much sense in boring one's readers with an account of the trip as if the journey were by rail from New York to Chicago. We had a fine, smooth run, and though some of us were a trifle distrait, most of us were supremely happy. A sea voyage compared with land travel is a good deal like matrimony compared with single blessedness, I take it: either decidedly better or decidedly worse. To him who finds himself comfortable at sea, the ocean is the grandest of treats. He never fails to feel himself a boy again while on the waves. There is an exultation about it. "He walks the monarch of the peopled deck," glories in the storm, rises with and revels in it. Heroic song comes to him. The ship becomes a live thing, and if the monster rears and plunges it is akin to bounding on his thoroughbred who knows its rider. Many men feel thus, and I am happily of them, but the ladies who are at their best at sea are few.

The travellers, however, bore the journey well, though one or two proved indifferent sailors. One morning I had to make several calls upon members below and administer my favorite remedy; but pale and dejected as the patients were, not one failed to smile a ghastly smile, and repeat after a fashion the cabalistic words—"Altogether lovely."

He who has never ridden out a hurricane on the Atlantic is to be pitied. It seems almost ridiculous to talk of storms when on such a monster as the Servia. Neptune now may "his dread trident shake" and only give us pleasure, for in these days we laugh at his pretensions. Even he is fast going the way of all kings, his wildest roar being about on a par with the last Bull of the Pope, to which we listen with wonder but without fear.

In no branch of human progress has greater advance been made within the past twenty years than in ocean navigation by steam; not so much in the matter of speed as in cost of transport. The Persia, once the best ship of the Cunard Line, required an expenditure of thirty-five dollars as against her successors' one dollar. The Servia will carry thirty-five tons across the ocean for what one ton cost in the Persia. A revolution indeed! and one which brings the products of American soil close to the British shores. Quite recently flour has been carried from Chicago to Liverpool for forty-eight cents (2s.) per barrel. The farmer of Illinois is as near the principal markets of Britain as the farmer in England who grows his crops one hundred miles from his market and transports by rail; and, in return for this, the pig-iron manufacturer of Britain is as near the New York market as is his competitor on the Hudson.

Some of the good people of Britain who are interested in land believe that the competition of America has reached its height. Deluded souls, it has only begun!

One cannot be a day at sea without meeting the American who regrets that the Stars and Stripes have been commercially driven from the ocean. This always reminds me of a fable of the lion and the turtle. The lion was proudly walking along the shore, the real king of his domain, the land. The turtle mocked him, saying, Oh, that's nothing, any one can walk on land. Let's see you try it in the water. The lion tried. Result: the turtle fed upon him for many days. America can only render herself ridiculous by entering the water. That is England's domain.

"Her home is on the mountain wave,

Her march is o'er the deep."

We are talking just now about building some ships for a proposed American Navy, which is equivalent to saying that we are going to furnish ships to the enemy, if we are ever foolish enough to have one—for it takes two fools to wage war. Unless America resolves to change her whole policy as a republic, teaching mankind the victories of peace, far more renowned than those of war, and goes back to the ideas of monarchical governments, she should build no ships of war; but if she will leave her unique position among the nations, and step down to the level of quarrellers, let her beat the navies of Britain and France, for the ships of a weak naval power are the certain prey of the stronger in time of war. In peace they are useless.

In thinking of the real glories of America, my mind goes first to this—that she has no army worthy of the name, and scarcely a war ship of whose complete inefficiency in case of active service we are not permitted to indulge the most sanguine anticipations.

What has America to do following in the wake of brutal, pugilistic nations still under the influence of feudal institutions, who exhaust their revenues training men how best to butcher their fellows, and in building up huge ships for purposes of destruction! No, no, let monarchies play this game as long as the people tolerate it, but for the Republic "all her paths are peace," or the bright hopes which the masses of Europe repose in her are destined to a sad eclipse.

Travellers know the character and abilities of the men in charge of a Cunard ship, but have they ever considered for what pittances such men are obtained? Captain, $3,250 per annum; first officer, $1,000; second, third, and fourth officers, $600. For what sum, think you, can be had a man capable of controlling the ponderous machinery of the Servia? Chief engineer, $1,250. You have seen the firemen at work down below, perhaps. Do you know any work so hard as this? Price $30 per month. The first cost of a steel ship—and it is scarcely worth while in these days to think of any other kind—is about one-half on the Clyde what it is on the Delaware. Steel can be made, and is made, in Britain for about one half its cost here. Not in our day will it be wise for America to leave the land. It is a very fair division, as matters stand—the land for America, the sea for England.


Friday, June 10, 1881.

Land ahoy! There it was, the long dark low-lying cloud, which was no cloud, but the outline of one of the most unfortunate of lands—unhappy Ireland, cursed by the well-meaning attempt of England to grow Englishmen there. England's experience north of the Tweed should have taught her better.

Conquerors cannot rule as conquerors a people who have parliamentary institutions and publish newspapers; and neither of these can ever be taken away from Ireland. They always come to stay. You may succeed in keeping down slaves for a while, but then you must govern them as slaves, and the Irish people have advanced beyond this. Just in proportion as they do grow less like serfs and more like men, the impossibility of England's governing Ireland must grow likewise. I hear some Americans reproaching the Irish people for rioting and fighting so much; the real trouble is they don't fight half enough. Take my own heroic Scotland; let even Mr. Gladstone, one of ourselves and our best beloved, send an Englishman as Lord Advocate to Scotland, and let him dare pass a measure for Scotland in Parliament against the wishes of the Scotch members, and all the uprisings in Ireland would seem like farces to the thorough work Scotland would make of English interference. She would not stand it a minute. Neither should Ireland. If she has the elements of a great people within her borders, she will never submit. In less than a generation Ireland can be made as loyal a member of the British confederacy as Scotland is; and all that is necessary to produce this is that she should be dealt with as England has to deal with Scotland. Let the Emerald Isle, then, fight against the attempted dominion of England, as Scotland fought against it, and may the result be the same—that Ireland shall govern herself, as Scotland does, through her own representatives duly elected by the people. "To this complexion must it come at last," and the sooner the better for all parties concerned.

We reached Liverpool Saturday morning. How pleasant it is to step on shore in a strange land and be greeted by kind friends on the quay! Their welcome to England counted for so much.

Mr. and Mrs. P. had been fellow passengers. A special car was waiting to take them to London, but they decided not to go, and Mr. P. very kindly placed it at the disposal of Mr. J. and family (who were, fortunately for us, also fellow-passengers) and our party, so that we began our travelling upon the other side under unexpectedly favorable conditions.

To such of the party as were getting their first glimpse of the beautiful isle, the journey to London seemed an awakening from happy dreams. They had dreamed that England looked thus and thus, and now their dreams had come true. The scenery of the Midland route is very fine, much more attractive than that of the other line.

The party spent from Saturday until Thursday at the Westminster Hotel, in monster London, every one being free to do what most interested him or her. Groups of three or four were formed for this purpose by the law of natural selection, but the roll was called for breakfasts and dinners, so that we all met daily and were fully advised of each other's movements.

The House of Commons claimed the first place with our party, all being anxious to see the Mother of Parliaments. It is not so easy a matter to do this as to see our Congress in session; but thanks to our friend Mr. R. C. and to others, we were fortunate in being able to do so frequently. Our ladies had the pleasure of being taken into the Ladies' Gallery by one of the rising statesmen of England, Sir Charles Dilke, a Cabinet Minister, and one who has had the boldness, and as I think the rare sagacity, to say that he prefers the republican to the monarchical system of government. The world is to hear of Sir Charles Dilke, if he live and health be granted him, and above all, if he remain steadfast to his honest opinions. So many public men in England "stoop to conquer," forgetting that whatever else they may conquer thereafter they never can conquer that stoop; that "drags down their life"!

We really heard John Bright speak—the one of all men living whom our party wished most to see and to hear. I had not forgotten hearing him speak in Dunfermline, when I was seven years of age, and well do I remember that when I got home I told mother he made one mistake; for when speaking of Mr. Smith (the Liberal candidate) he called him a men, instead of a maan. When introduced to Mr. Bright I was delighted to find that he had not forgotten Dunfermline, nor the acquaintances he had made there.

A grand character, that of the sturdy Quaker; once the best hated man in Britain, but one to whom both continents are now glad to confess their gratitude. He has been wiser than his generation, but has lived to see it grow up to him. Certainly no American can look down from the gallery upon that white head without beseeching heaven to shower its choicest blessings upon it. He spoke calmly upon the Permissive Liquor Bill, and gave the ministerial statement in regard to it. All he said was good common sense; we could do something by regulating the traffic and confining it to reasonable hours, but after all the great cure must come from the better education of the masses, who must be brought to feel that it is unworthy of their manhood to brutalize themselves with liquor. England has set herself at last to the most important of all work—the thorough education of her people; and we may confidently expect to see a great improvement in their habits in the next generation. My plan for mastering the monster evil of intemperance is that our temperance societies, instead of pledging men never to taste alcoholic beverages, should be really temperance agencies and require their members to use them only at meals—never to drink wines or spirits without eating. The man who takes one glass of wine, or beer, or spirits at dinner is clearly none the worse for it. I judge that if the medical fraternity were polled, a large majority would say he was the better for it, at least after a certain age. Why can't we recognize the fact that all races indulge in stimulants and will continue to do so? It is the regulation, not the eradication, of this appetite that is practical. The coming man is to consider it low to walk up to a bar and gulp down liquor. The race will come to this platform generations before they will accept that of Sir Wilfrid Lawson and his total abstinence ideas.

This was written before the Church of England movement in this direction was known to me. Much good must come of its efforts; but I confess I should like to see that church show that it is in earnest by removing the deep reproach cast upon it by recent statements, which pass uncontradicted. Listen to this startling announcement: This holy Church of England, mark you, is the largest owner of gin palaces in the world. The head of the church, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in passing from his palace at Lambeth to his abbey at Westminster, sees more than one hundred (I believe I understate the case) gin palaces which his church owns and has rented for such purposes; nay, it is shown that the church has always raised the rents of these houses, with which licenses go, as the sales of liquor have increased; so that her interest lies in extending the use of liquors as a beverage secretly upon one hand, while she poses before the world as laboring to restrict the curse with the other. Her right hand knows only too well what her left hand doeth. It does seem that the mere announcement of such a fact would work its own remedy—perhaps it will when its holy fathers are done with the vastly more important business of determining the size and shape of vestures, or the number of candles, or the posture of the priest most pleasing to God—but before the church can figure as much of an agency in the cause of temperance reform, it will have to wash its hands of its hundred gin palaces.

The article in Harper's Magazine upon Bedford Square, giving glowing accounts of this Arcadian colony, with its æsthetic homes, its Tabard Inn, and its club, made us all desire to visit it. We did so one afternoon, and received a very cordial welcome from Mrs. C. in the absence of her husband. She kindly showed us the grounds and explained all to us. Truth compels me to say we were sadly disappointed, but for this we had probably only ourselves to blame. It is so natural to imagine that exquisite wood-cuts and pretty illustrations set forth grander things than exist. The houses were much inferior to our preconceived ideas, and many had soft woods painted, and most of the cheap shams of ordinary structures. The absence of grand trees, shady dells, and ornamental grounds, and the exceedingly cheap and cheap-looking houses made all seem like a new settlement in the Far West rather than the latest development of culture. From this criticism Mr. C.'s own pretty little home is wholly exempt, and no doubt there are many other homes there equally admirable. I speak only of the general impression made upon our party by a very hasty visit. Bedford Park is no doubt an excellent idea, and destined to do much good, only it is different from what we had expected.

Extremes meet. It was from houses such as I have spoken of that we went direct to Stafford House, to meet the Marquis of Stafford by appointment, and to be shown over that palace by him. What a change! If the former were not up to our expectations, this exceeded them. I don't suppose any one ever has expected to see such a staircase as enchants him upon entering Stafford House. This is the most magnificent residence any of us has ever seen. I will not trust myself to speak of its beauties, nor of the treasures it contains. One begins to understand to what the Marquis of Stafford is born. The Sutherland family have a million two hundred thousand acres of land in Britain; no other family in the world compares with them as landowners. It is positively startling to think of it. Almost the entire County of Sutherland is theirs. Stafford House is their London residence. They have Trentham Hall and Lillieshall in Mid-England, and glorious Dunrobin Castle in Scotland.

The Marquis sits in the House of Commons as member for Sutherland County; and what do you think! he is a painstaking director of the London and North-Western Railway, and I am informed pays strict attention to its affairs. The Duke of Devonshire is Chairman of the Barrow Steel Company. Lord Granville has iron works, and Earl Dudley is one of the principal iron manufacturers of England. It is all right, you see, my friends, to be a steel-rail manufacturer or an iron-master. How fortunate! But the line must be drawn somewhere, and we draw it at trade. The A. T. Stewarts and the Morrisons have no standing in society in England. They are in vulgar trade. Now if they brewed beer, for instance, they would be somebodies, and might confidently look forward to a baronetcy at least; for a great deal of beer a peerage is not beyond reach.

We heard a performance of the "Messiah" in Albert Hall, which the Prima Donna agreed with me was better in two important particulars than any similar performance we had heard in America. First in vigor of attack by the chorus; this was superb; from the first instant the full volume and quality of sound were perfect. The other point was that all-important one of enunciation. We have no chorus in New York which rivals what we heard, though we have an orchestra which is equal to any. The words were, of course, familiar, and we could scarcely judge whether we were correct in our impression, but we believed that even had they been strange to us we could nevertheless have understood every word. Since my return to New York I have heard this oratorio given by the Oratorio Society, and am delighted to note that Dr. Damrosch has greatly improved his chorus in this respect; but the English do pronounce perfectly in singing. This opinion was confirmed by the music subsequently heard in various places throughout our travels. In public as well as in private singing the purity of enunciation struck us as remarkable. If I ever set up for a music teacher I shall bequeath to my favorite pupil as the secret of success but one word, "enunciation."

Some of us went almost every day to Westminster, but dancing attendance upon Parliament is much like doing so upon Congress. The interesting debates are few and far between. The daily routine is uninteresting, and one sees how rapidly all houses of legislation are losing their hold upon public attention. A debate upon the propriety of allowing Manchester to dispose of her sewage to please herself, or of permitting Dunfermline to bring in a supply of water, seems such a waste of time. The Imperial Parliament of Great Britain is much in want of something to do when it condescends to occupy its time with trifling questions which the community interested can best settle; but even in matters of national importance debates are no longer what they were. The questions have already been threshed out in the Reviews—those coming forums of discussion—and all that can be said already said by writers upon both sides of the question who know its bearings much better than the leaders of party. When the Fortnightly or the Nineteenth Century gets through with a subject the Prime Minister only rises to sum up the result at which the Morleys and Rogerses, the Spencers and Huxleys, the Giffens and Howards have previously arrived.

The English are prone to contrast the men of America and England who are in political life, and the balance is no doubt greatly in their favor. But the reason lies upon the surface: America has solved the fundamental questions of government, and no changes are desired of sufficient moment to engage the minds of her ablest men. During the civil war, when new issues arose and had to be met, the men who stepped forward to guide the nation were of an entirely different class from those prominent in politics either before or since. Contrast the men of Buchanan's administration with those the war called to the front—Lincoln, Seward, Stanton, Sumner, Edmunds, Morton, or the generals of that time, with Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, Hancock. All of these men I have known well, except one or two of the least prominent. I have met some of the best known politicians in England. Compared morally or intellectually, I do not think there is much, if any, difference between them; while for original creative power I believe the Americans superior. That a band of men so remarkable as to cause surprise to other nations will promptly arise whenever there is real work to do, no one who knows the American people can doubt; but no man of real ability is going to spend his energies endeavoring to control appointments to the New York Custom House, any more than he will continue very long to waste his time discussing Manchester sewage. Much as my English friends dislike to believe it, I tell them that when there is really no great work to be done, when the conflict between feudal and democratic ideas ends, as it is fast coming to an end, and there is no vestige of privilege left from throne to knighthood, only vain, weak men will seek election to Parliament, and such will stand ready to do the bidding of the constituencies as our agents in Congress do. But this need not alarm our English friends; there will then be much less bribery before election and much less succumbing to social court influences after it. The brains of a country will be found where the real work is to do. The House of Lords registers the decrees of the House of Commons. The House of Commons is soon to register the decrees of the monthlies. Both these things may be pronounced good. In the next generation the debates of Parliament will affect the political currents of the age as little as the fulminations of the pulpit affect religious thought at present; and then a man who feels he has real power within him will think of entering Parliament about as soon as he would think of entering the House of Lords or the American Congress.

"The parliament of man, the federation of the world,"

comes on apace; but its form is to be largely impersonal. The press is the universal parliament. The leaders in that forum make your "statesman" dance as they pipe.

The same law is robbing the pulpit of real power. Who cares what the Reverend Mr. Froth preaches nowadays, when he ventures beyond the homilies? Three pages by Professor Robertson Smith in the "Encyclopædia Britannica" destroy more theology in an hour than all the preachers in the land can build up in a lifetime. If any man wants bona fide substantial power and influence in this world, he must handle the pen—that's flat. Truly, it is a nobler weapon than the sword, and a much nobler one than the tongue, both of which have nearly had their day.

We had a happy luncheon with our good friends the C.'s, one of our London days; and some of our party who had heard that there was not a great variety of edibles in England saw reason to revise their ideas. Another day we had a notable procession for miles through London streets and suburbs to the residence of our friend, Mr. B. Five hansoms in line driven pell-mell reminded me of our Tokio experiences with gin-rikshaws, two Bettos tandem in each.

It was a pretty, graceful courtesy, my friend, to display from the upper window the "Stars and Stripes," in honor of the arrival of your American guests, and prettier still to have across your hall as a portière, under which all must bow as they entered, that flag which tells of a government founded upon the born equality of man. Thanks! Such things touch the heart as well as the patriotic chord which vibrates in the breast of every one so fortunate as to claim that glorious standard as the emblem of the land he fondly calls his own. Colonel Robert Ingersoll, that wonderful orator, says that when abroad, after a long interval, he saw in one of the seaports the Stars and Stripes fluttering in the breeze, "he felt the air had blossomed into joy." It was he too who told the South long ago that "there wasn't air enough upon the American continent to float two flags." Right there, Colonel!

Do you know why the American worships the starry banner with a more intense passion than even the Briton does his flag? I will tell you. It is because it is not the flag of a government which discriminates between her children, decreeing privilege to one and denying it to another, but the flag of the people which gives the same rights to all. The British flag was born too soon to be close to the masses. It came before their time, when they had little or no power. They were not consulted about it. Some conclave made it, as a pope is made, and handed it down to the nation. But the American flag bears in every fibre the warrant, "We the People in Congress assembled." It is their own child, and how supremely it is beloved!

It is a significant fact that in no riot or local outbreak have soldiers of the United States, bearing the national flag, ever been assaulted. Militia troops have sometimes been stoned, but United States troops never. During the worst riot ever known in America, that in our own good city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, twenty-eight United States soldiers, all there were in the barracks, marched through the thousands of excited men unmolested. I really believe that had any man in the crowd dared to touch that flag, General Dix's famous order would have been promptly enforced by his companions. Major-General Hancock recently told me that he had never known United States soldiers to be attacked by citizens. He was in command of the troops during the riots in the coal regions in Pennsylvania some years ago, and whenever a body of his regulars appeared they were respected and peace reigned.

General Dix's order was, "If any man attempts to pull down the flag shoot him on the spot." So say we all of us. And it will be the same in Britain some day, ay and in Ireland too, when an end has been made of privilege and there is not a government and a people, but only a government of the people, for the people, and by the people. The day is not so far off either as some of you think, mark me.

But good-bye, London, and all the thoughts which crowd upon one when in your mighty whirl. You monster London, we are all glad to escape you! But ere we "gang awa'" shall we not note our visit to one we are proud to call our friend, and of whom Scotland is proud, Dr. Samuel Smiles, a writer of books indeed—books which influence his own generation much, and the younger generation more. Burns's wish was that he,

"For poor auld Scotland's sake,

Some useful plan or book could make,

Or sing a sang at least."

Well, the Doctor has made several books that are books, and I have heard him sing a song, too, for the days of Auld Lang Syne. May he live long, and long may his devoted wife be spared to watch over him!


Thursday Morning, June 16, 1881.

We are off for Brighton. Mr. and Miss B. accompany us. Mr. and Mrs. K. have run up to Paisley with the children, and Mr. and Mrs. G. have joined us in their place. The coach, horses, and servants went down during the night.

We had time to visit the unequalled aquarium and to do the parade before dinner. Miss F. and I stole off to make a much more interesting visit; we called upon William Black, whose acquaintance I had been fortunate enough to make in Rome, and whom I had told that I should some day imitate his "Adventures of a Phaeton." A week before we sailed from New York, I had dined with President Garfield at Secretary Blaine's in Washington. After dinner, conversation turned upon my proposed journey, and the President became much interested. "It is the 'Adventures of a Phaeton' on a grand scale," he remarked. "By the way, has Black ever written any other story quite so good as that? I do not think he has." In this there was a general concurrence. He then said: "But I am provoked with Black just now. A man who writes to entertain has no right to end a story as miserably as he has done that of 'MacLeod of Dare.' Fiction should give us the bright side of existence. Real life has tragedies enough of its own."

A few weeks more and we were to have in his own case the most terrible proof of the words he had spoken so solemnly. I can never forget the sad, careworn expression of his face as he uttered them.

"But come it soon or come it fast,

It is but death that comes at last."

One might almost be willing to die if, as in Garfield's case, there should flash from his grave, at the touch of a mutual sorrow, to both divisions of the great English-speaking race, the knowledge that they are brothers. This discovery will bear good fruit in time.

"Nothing in his life became him like the leaving it."

Garfield's life was not in vain. It tells its own story—this poor boy toiling upward to the proudest position on earth, the elected of fifty millions of freemen; a position compared with which that of king or kaiser is as nothing. Let other nations ask themselves where are our Lincolns and Garfields? Ah, they grow not except where all men are born equal! The cold shade of aristocracy nips them in the bud.