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did not wait for him to answer, but with that readiness to put in a word so common here, instantly and tartly answered, 'Ay, but they are free.' Free to do what?' I asked him. 'Free to do as they like; to stop working if they choose.' And what then?' I pursued. He was silent. 'They must do that or starve, must they not?' I demanded. Why, yes, they must work, and do that if they cannot find anything else.' I continued my inquiries. And you do not suppose they work in the fields under a hot sun, planting potatoes or corn, because they love the employment?' 'No, but they are free; they are not slaves.' 'And are you so blinded by the name of slavery,' I replied, 'here in Britain, that you treat your women as they are not treated in America, nor in any other Christian country of which I have heard; you have poverty and misery among your laborers and those who are not even able to get work-wretchedness that the negro never feels-and you are totally insensible to it, while you are in pain for the poor slaves of a land beyond the sea.' 'But we never whip these poor people of ours, as you do the negroes.' There you are wrong again: I read in the London Times, this week, of a man in London who flogged his apprentice so cruelly, that the boy put an end to his miseries by suicide.' And so we pursued the conversation until we became good friends, and mutually admitted the evils of both countries, and agreed that we were bound to consider the difficulties under which each labors, and leave those, who are the most familiar with them, to do the best they can to alleviate or remove them."
The conclusion of the whole matter was certainly amiable and wise. our author appears in the conversation not as a man, but as an American compelled to defend his country, right or wrong, and his defense is lamentable.
The necessity which drives the women of England, and of France, and of Germany, and of Italy, into the field to labor, is precisely the same necessity in kind, however different in degree, which leads the American citizen into the counting-room, the workshop, the pulpit, or the field, and that is—the necessity of getting a living. All this has nothing to do with the institution of slavery. Every man is the slave of physical necessity. Slavery is not work, nor the necessity of work. The suffer
ing which arises from overcrowded spheres of labor, or from the want of work, is fearful, but it is not to be confounded with another kind of suffering.
"Apprentices are savagely flogged in England by their masters, says Mr. Prime. Yes, and so are children by their fathers everywhere. "And here is one in London who kills himself," says our author. Yes, and here, as we write, is a young American wife who kills herself because of her treatment by her father and mother-in-law. Is Mr. Prime's argument, that the relation of fathers and parents-in-law is like the relations of slavery; or, that one sin excuses another? Why, being a man as well as an American, should he not allow that the special wrong of our institution is not the greater or less quantity of food, clothing, or whipping, but the legal, and moral, and social denial of manhood to man? There is no need of being furious about it. In a day of universal glasshouses we must be careful of flinging stones. But let us be manly. Let Americans in Europe concede that it is a very ugly business, and not try so painfully to find the raw of other nations, as if the human instinct against slavery were weakened, because there are other sins to condemn and correct. There is undoubtedly a great deal of Exeter Hall eloquence which entirely misses the mark, and Mrs. Jellaby, nervous about the interests of Boriboola-Gha while her own children run to waste, is a very absurd character; but, meanwhile, there are, also, noble aims, and generous sentiments, and humane efforts, and the possibility of decent life, at least; and an American traveler, by virtue of his name, should rather be found upon their side, than talking amiable, and puny, and irrelevant common-places. Some fatality seems to dog a certain class of American travelers, so that they cannot truly represent the American idea. They are either foolishly conservative and vain of dining with a Duke; or, they are rabidly destructive, and think it a deadly sin to live in a palace and be loyal to a king. For our own part, we do not believe that any genuine American, Northerner or Southerner, who is worthy to bear the name, is either a bully or a coward.
"Another Budget " is another volume of traveling letters from the East. It is a diary of the usual sights and surprises, without any marked characteristics of style, or scope of observation.
In Alexandria the author sees a bridal procession, and gives this description of it:
"One day, while walking out, we heard curious music. We stopped, and saw a gay-looking procession coming along. We found out a wedding was going on, and the friends of the bridegroom were leading him to his dwelling; and in the evening, the friends of the bride were to escort her to the same place."
Truly, of making of books there is no end.
And we trust there never might be, if all books could have the airy grace and various merit of "Cosas de España," which is one of the latest and best of American sketches of travel. It uses only a skeleton of statistic, enough to gain force and consistency; the rest is grace, form and color. It is fresh without flippancy; sparkling without a strained humor; with the ease of the man of the world, and the elegance of the scholar. You open the pleasant pages, and you go to Spain. You are not gone long: but you are shown what is essentially Spanish, and you enjoy it with the true Hidalgo humor. It is a gay, gushing, rollicking story, and belongs to that class of works of travel which gives literary reputation. It is not only the record of an educated gentleman who happened to be in Spain, but who, also, happened to have eyes, and imagination, and wit, and good sense, and who could write in a style that few, except the aptest Frenchmen, can so dextrously control. There is so much shrewd and sprightly criticism of French character, in the opening chapters of this little book, that we are tempted to quote more than we ought. Our author is at the hot baths in the Pyrenees:—
"Thus did I spend my summer-days, lying in waters soft as woman's tears, and-with all due deference to better authority be it said-of just about the same temperature. For though it is sometimes asserted that such tears are scalding, I must be allowed to say that this has not exactly been my experience, and is not, therefore, written in the articles of my faith. But be the case as it may, it is absolutely certain that I lay gloriously steeped in dreams and thermal water from June to October. My memory, when, in recalling the past, it reaches these months of soft delights, stops, and refuses to go back further. The lotus I ate from the branches which
overhung these pools of healing, has made the Pyrenees to me a barrier and a shore, against which breaks the sea of a semi-oblivion beyond. But by way of compensation, the recollection of this summer in the mountains ever keeps a nook in my heart as green and sunny as one of their own vales.
"Whoever, then, is tired of the paradise of Paris, would do well to look for another in the Pyrenees. Even in winter one may go to Pau; and, during four or five of the warmer months, let his path lead him to what bath it may, it will be only his own fault if he be not the happiest of mortals. Paris empties its saloons to furnish the society of these watering-places. And if, when seen in the blaze of gas and the flashing of brilliants, the accomplished Parisienne dazzled, here en négligé, in the simple robe which sets off more than it conceals the graces of her person, she attracts and charms you. Let not this seem an exaggeration; for, of all female prodigies, the Parisian belle is the most extraordinary. She is as unequaled in capacities as in graces. Her salon has often proved a third chamber in the government. It is a court no less of literature and the arts, than of love. In beauty of toilette, that rarest of female accomplishments, or in elegance of conversation, that highest grace of civilized society, she has no rival. In the lower grades of life, the Parisienne is the most clever of saleswomen and accountants. She invents the fashions in dress for the world; and in the use of her needle is more skillful than Andromache or the Queen of Sheba. Nor is this the half of her worth; for in spite of the temptations which lie, like flowers, along her path of life, she is, in the great majority of instances, a true woman in all her sentiments-the scandal-mongers to the contrary notwithstanding. Seen in the country, she may not always carry away the palm from the very best bred of Englishwomen, much as she excels them in the metropolis. Still, with her good sense and her good toilette-'tis about all it takes to make a lady-she adapts herself so perfectly to rustic scenes, and establishes such harmony of attire and conduct with the life of surrounding nature, that her, who at Paris was the grace of ball and opera, you also worship in the Pyrenees as the goddess of woods and streams. Not but what there is a plenty of stately dowagers to be met with at the baths, who are stiffer than
the ledges of limestone; and more than a sufficiency of laughing Lorettes, too gay by half for the gravity of mountain scenery. Young unmarried ladies, too, are of no account here, as a matter of course. They are of none in any French society. Mere wall-flowers, they are coldly admired at a distance not much less than the snow-clad summits; and are never approached except through the medium of their more accessible
"Nor is the life of the provinces left unrepresented dans les bains. The chateaux of the neighbouring departments send whole families to spend the dogdays under the shadow of the mountains. But the provincial dame bears about the same relation of inferiority to the Parisian, as the secondary towns of France do to the metropolis. She is a more or less unsuccessful imitation of a perfection of accomplishment, a grace of manners, an elegance of conversation, and a taste in adornment, which are native to the seat of the world's fashion; and which, with rare exceptions, can neither be born nor bred in provincial stations. Do what she will, she cannot lift her skirts over a mountain torrent as the lady of the Faubourg St. Germain does over the town gutters. And this is one test of gentility. Whether the fault
lies in her shoes not being so well fitted, or her ankles so well turned, or where it lies, I never could discover; but the fact is, one would sooner be tempted to kneel down in the mud of the Boulevards to arrange a lady's shoe-string, than on the greenest grass of Normandy or Provence. There is a certain air of inferior breeding in a Frenchwoman who has not lived in Paris, scarcely to be counterbalanced by the possession of beauty even. In her own chateau, she appears well enough, and fitting the place: but out of it, she loses the fine balance of the graces. She is no cosmopolitan. Her more cultivated rival, on the contrary, never appears to be out of her natural sphere, place her where you will. The world over, she is at home. Be her seat a silken sofa, or a grassy bank, a chair in the gardens of the Tuileries, or a rock in the mountains, she makes it at once a throne; a throne whence with gentle sceptre she rules the empire of all gallant men's hearts.
"French gentlemen (like French children), are generally a nuisance at the watering-places. The wits of the town,
who illumine the Parisian night with bons mots and repartees, are entertaining enough in the salon; on the road, likewise, Frenchmen are invariably the most amusing and agreeable of traveling companions; but, in the country, these same persons furnish as good specimens of the bore, pure and simple, as can anywhere be met with. They seem entirely out of their element, having no eye for beauty of scenery, or taste for rural pleasures; not knowing how to subdue themselves to sentiment; and making a very poor fist at writing verses. Equally misplaced are the politicians, who, congregating by themselves under every shade, spend their mornings in rabid discourse about the government and the state of the country-or did so in the days of the Republic. Nor less incongruous in these rustic scenes are the laced and spurred officers of the army, who come here to bathe their scars of service; and to bedew their epaulettes, if they can, with drops more precious than those that trickle from the rocks. You wish them all, officers, politicians, and wits, well out of the mountains. They may understand, perfectly, the philosophy of the life Parisian; but they know not what to do with themselves on hill and brook-sides. They lack sentiment."
This extract shows the genial eye and graceful hand, the discrimination and good sense, which make such a small book of sketches superior to many very large volumes of details which tell nothing. We can give but one other taste of this sparkling work, which, if it lead our readers to the volume itself, will introduce them to the pleasantest account of the aspects of Spanish life with which any tourist has enriched our literature. 'Spanish life is pretty well filled up with holydays. The country is under the protection of a better-filled calendar of saints than any in Christendom, Italy, perhaps, excepted. But these guardians do not keep watch and ward for naught: they have each their "solid day" annually set apart for them, or, at least, their afternoon, wherein to receive adoration and tribute money. The poor Spaniard is kept nearly half the year on his knees. His prayers cost him his pesetas, too; for, neither the saints will intercede nor the priests will absolve, except for cash. But his time spent in ceremonies the Spaniard counts as nothing. The fewer days the laborer has to work, the happier is he. These are the dull prose of
an existence essentially poetic. On holydays, on the contrary, the life of the lowest classes runs as smoothly as verses. If the poor man's porron only be well filled with wine, he can trust to luck and the saints for a roll of bread and a few onions. Free from care, he likes, three days in the week, to put on his best-more likely, his only bib-andtucker and go to mass, instead of field or wharf duty. He is well pleased at the gorgeous ceremonies of his venerable mother-church: at the sight of street processions, with crucifix and sacramental canopy, and priests in cloth of purple and of gold. The spectacle, also, of the gay promenading, the music, the parade and mimic show of war, the free theatres, the bull-fights, the streets hung with tapestry, and the town-hall's front adorned with a flaming full length of Isabella the Second-these constitute the brilliant passages in the epic of his life. Taking no thought for the morrow after the holyday, he is wiser than a philosopher, and enjoys the golden hours as they fly. Indeed, he can well afford to do so; for, in his sunny land of corn and wine, the common necessaries of life are procured with almost as little toil as in the bread-fruit islands of the Pacific.
"All the Spaniard's holy days are religious festivals. There is no Fourth of July in his year. His mirth, accordingly, is not independent and profane, like the Yankee's. Being more accustomed also to playtime, he is less tempted to fill it up with excesses. It is in the order of his holyday to go, first of all, to church; and a certain air of religious decorum is carried along into all the succeeding amusements. Neither is his the restless, capering enjoyment of the Frenchman, who begins and ends his holy days with dancing; nor the chattering hilarity of the Italian, who goes beside himself over a few roasted chestnuts and a monkey. The Spaniard wears a somewhat graver face. His happiness requires less muscular movement. To stand wrapped in his cloak, statue-like, in the public square; to sit on sunny bank, or beneath shady bower, is about as much activity as suits his dignity. Only the sound of castanets can draw him from his propriety; and the steps of the fandango work his brain up to intoxication. Spanish festal-time, accordingly, is like the hazy, dreamy, voluptuous days of the Indian summer, when the air is as full of calm as it is of splendor, and when the pulses of Nature beat full, but feverless.
"The holyday is easily filled up with pleasures. The peasant has no more to do than to throw back his head upon the turf, and tantalize his dissolving mouth by holding over it the purple clusters, torn from overhanging branches. The beggar lies down against a wall, and counts into the hand of his companion the pennies they have to spend together during the day-unconscious, the while, that the sand of half his hours has already run out. The village-beauty twines roses in her hair, and looks out of the window, happy to see the gayjacketed youngsters go smirking and ogling by. The belles of the town lean over their flower balconies, chatting with neighbors, and raining glances on the throng of admirers who promenade below. Town and country wear their holyday attire with graceful, tranquil joy. Only from the cafés of the one, and the ventorillos of the other, may perchance be heard the sounds of revelry; where the guitar is thrummed with a gayety not heard in serenades; where the violin leads youthful feet a round of pleasures, too fast for sureness of footing; and where the claque of the castanets rings out merrily above laugh and song, firing the heart with passions which comport not well with Castilian gravity."
"Gan-Eden, or Pictures of Cuba," is a book in the same strain and of the same character as "Cosas de España," but written with even more exuberant and youthful enthusiasm. It is one of the books which, when you have read, you seem to have traveled; a kind of aromatic talisman that transports you to foreign lands without packing or seasickness. We cannot quote as we would from its luxuriant pages, but we mention it as another poetic, and scholarly, and brilliant contribution to the literature of travel.
The "Notes of a Theological Student" are quiet sketches in Europe and the East, written, with winning simplicity, by a gentleman whom we should suppose to be of the most gentle, religious, charitable, and classical cultivation. Although called the notes of a theological student, there is nothing in them which could annoy the most nervous sectarian. The author is evidently a Calvinist, but, if all Calvinists were like him, it could never be insinuated that the sect had inherited more grit than grace from their great founder. The sketches are slight, nor are they in any other way so strik
ing, as by the sweet and unruffled Christian spirit which pervades them. The portraits of German celebrities particularly, are characteristic and thoughtful.
"Art, Scenery, and Philosophy in Europe, being fragments from the portfolio of the late Horace Binney Wallace, Esquire, of Philadelphia," is the title of a book which is among the most remarkable and valuable in American esthetic literature. Indeed, there have rarely been such thoughtful, profound, delicate, and subtile criticisms upon Art, anywhere, as those of Mr. Wallace. His mind was clearly gifted with the keenest perceptions, and exquisitely cultivated. His style has the extremest philosophic precision united to imaginative richness. His reputation, while he lived-for he died at thirty-five-was limited and uncertain. His friends were his lovers and laureates; and, until the appearance of the present volume, the
public knew him only in their fair report. We mention his work here, not to examine it in detail, but only to present it to our readers, hoping at some other time to do it that justice which it demands. We quote its name as another illustration of the variety and value of our books of travel.
The American literature of travel has this peculiar interest, that it is the judgment of the New World upon the Old; and, in a certain way, the homage of the Future to the Past. Even the commonplaces of Europe have a little romance for us. Distances of time and space are full of enchantment, and if our tourists often betray the boasting eagerness and crude enthusiasm of the boy, they also show his fresh feeling for whatever is truly beautiful and grand, his quick homage to whatever is heroic, and his pensive pleasure in contemplating the fading forms of a society which has had no type in his own national experience.
ROBERT OF LINCOLN.
on briar and weed,
Near to the nest of his little dame,
Over the mountain-side or mead,
Robert of Lincoln is telling his name;
Spink, spank, spink;
Snug and safe is that nest of ours,
Robert of Lincoln is gaily drest,
Wearing a bright black wedding coat; White are his shoulders and white his crest, Hear him call in his merry note,Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,
Spink, spank, spink;
Look, what a nice new coat is mine,
Robert of Lincoln's Quaker wife,
Pretty and quiet, with plain brown wings,
Passing at home a patient life,
Broods in the grass while her husband sings
Spink, spank, spink;
Brood, kind creature; you need not fear
Thieves and robbers while I am here.
Chee, chee, chee.