North America

Part 1 out of 7

This etext was prepared by Donald Lainson,








Newport--Rhode Island


Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont


Lower Canada


Upper Canada


The Connection of the Canadas with Great Britain




North and West


From Niagara to the Mississippi


The Upper Mississippi


Ceres Americana


Buffalo to New York


An Apology for the War


New York


The Constitution of the State of New York




Cambridge and Lowell


The Rights of Women




From Boston to Washington




It has been the ambition of my literary life to write a book about
the United States, and I had made up my mind to visit the country
with this object before the intestine troubles of the United States
government had commenced. I have not allowed the division among
the States and the breaking out of civil war to interfere with my
intention; but I should not purposely have chosen this period
either for my book or for my visit. I say so much, in order that
it may not be supposed that it is my special purpose to write an
account of the struggle as far as it has yet been carried. My wish
is to describe, as well as I can, the present social and political
state of the country. This I should have attempted, with more
personal satisfaction in the work, had there been no disruption
between the North and South; but I have not allowed that disruption
to deter me from an object which, if it were delayed, might
probably never be carried out. I am therefore forced to take the
subject in its present condition, and being so forced I must write
of the war, of the causes which have led to it, and of its probable
termination. But I wish it to be understood that it was not my
selected task to do so, and is not now my primary object.

Thirty years ago my mother wrote a book about the Americans, to
which I believe I may allude as a well-known and successful work
without being guilty of any undue family conceit. That was
essentially a woman's book. She saw with a woman's keen eye, and
described with a woman's light but graphic pen, the social defects
and absurdities which our near relatives had adopted into their
domestic life. All that she told was worth the telling, and the
telling, if done successfully, was sure to produce a good result.
I am satisfied that it did so. But she did not regard it as a part
of her work to dilate on the nature and operation of those
political arrangements which had produced the social absurdities
which she saw, or to explain that though such absurdities were the
natural result of those arrangements in their newness, the defects
would certainly pass away, while the political arrangements, if
good, would remain. Such a work is fitter for a man than for a
woman, I am very far from thinking that it is a task which I can
perform with satisfaction either to myself or to others. It is a
work which some man will do who has earned a right by education,
study, and success to rank himself among the political sages of his
age. But I may perhaps be able to add something to the familiarity
of Englishmen with Americans. The writings which have been most
popular in England on the subject of the United States have
hitherto dealt chiefly with social details; and though in most
cases true and useful, have created laughter on one side of the
Atlantic, and soreness on the other. if I could do anything to
mitigate the soreness, if I could in any small degree add to the
good feeling which should exist between two nations which ought to
love each other so well, and which do hang upon each other so
constantly, I should think that I had cause to be proud of my work.

But it is very hard to write about any country a book that does not
represent the country described in a more or less ridiculous point
of view. It is hard at least to do so in such a book as I must
write. A de Tocqueville may do it. It may be done by any
philosophico-political or politico-statistical, or statistico-
scientific writer; but it can hardly be done by a man who professes
to use a light pen, and to manufacture his article for the use of
general readers. Such a writer may tell all that he sees of the
beautiful; but he must also tell, if not all that he sees of the
ludicrous, at any rate the most piquant part of it. How to do this
without being offensive is the problem which a man with such a task
before him has to solve. His first duty is owed to his readers,
and consists mainly in this: that he shall tell the truth, and
shall so tell that truth that what he has written may be readable.
But a second duty is due to those of whom he writes; and he does
not perform that duty well if he gives offense to those as to whom,
on the summing up of the whole evidence for and against them in his
own mind, he intends to give a favorable verdict. There are of
course those against whom a writer does not intend to give a
favorable verdict; people and places whom he desires to describe,
on the peril of his own judgment, as bad, ill educated, ugly, and
odious. In such cases his course is straightforward enough. His
judgment may be in great peril, but his volume or chapter will be
easily written. Ridicule and censure run glibly from the pen, and
form themselves into sharp paragraphs which are pleasant to the
reader. Whereas eulogy is commonly dull, and too frequently sounds
as though it were false. There is much difficulty in expressing a
verdict which is intended to be favorable; but which, though
favorable, shall not be falsely eulogistic; and though true, not

Who has ever traveled in foreign countries without meeting
excellent stories against the citizens of such countries? And how
few can travel without hearing such stories against themselves! It
is impossible for me to avoid telling of a very excellent gentleman
whom I met before I had been in the United States a week, and who
asked me whether lords in England ever spoke to men who were not
lords. Nor can I omit the opening address of another gentleman to
my wife. "You like our institutions, ma'am?" "Yes, indeed," said
my wife, not with all that eagerness of assent which the occasion
perhaps required. "Ah," said he, "I never yet met the down-trodden
subject of a despot who did not hug his chains." The first
gentleman was certainly somewhat ignorant of our customs, and the
second was rather abrupt in his condemnation of the political
principles of a person whom he only first saw at that moment. It
comes to me in the way of my trade to repeat such incidents; but I
can tell stories which are quite as good against Englishmen. As,
for instance, when I was tapped on the back in one of the galleries
of Florence by a countryman of mine, and asked to show him where
stood the medical Venus. Nor is anything that one can say of the
inconveniences attendant upon travel in the United States to be
beaten by what foreigners might truly say of us. I shall never
forget the look of a Frenchman whom I found on a wet afternoon in
the best inn of a provincial town in the west of England. He was
seated on a horsehair-covered chair in the middle of a small,
dingy, ill-furnished private sitting-room. No eloquence of mine
could make intelligible to a Frenchman or an American the utter
desolation of such an apartment. The world as then seen by that
Frenchman offered him solace of no description. The air without
was heavy, dull, and thick. The street beyond the window was dark
and narrow. The room contained mahogany chairs covered with horse-
hair, a mahogany table, rickety in its legs, and a mahogany
sideboard ornamented with inverted glasses and old cruet-stands.
The Frenchman had come to the house for shelter and food, and had
been asked whether he was commercial. Whereupon he shook his head.
"Did he want a sitting-room?" Yes, he did. "He was a leetle tired
and vanted to seet." Whereupon he was presumed to have ordered a
private room, and was shown up to the Eden I have described. I
found him there at death's door. Nothing that I can say with
reference to the social habits of the Americans can tell more
against them than the story of that Frenchman's fate tells against
those of our country.

From which remarks I would wish to be understood as deprecating
offense from my American friends, if in the course of my book
should be found aught which may seem to argue against the
excellence of their institutions and the grace of their social
life. Of this at any rate I can assure them, in sober earnestness,
that I admire what they have done in the world and for the world
with a true and hearty admiration; and that whether or no all their
institutions be at present excellent, and their social life all
graceful, my wishes are that they should be so, and my convictions
are that that improvement will come for which there may perhaps
even yet be some little room.

And now touching this war which had broken out between the North
and South before I left England. I would wish to explain what my
feelings were; or rather what I believe the general feelings of
England to have been before I found myself among the people by whom
it was being waged. It is very difficult for the people of any one
nation to realize the political relations of another, and to chew
the cud and digest the bearings of those external politics. But it
is unjust in the one to decide upon the political aspirations and
doings of that other without such understanding. Constantly as the
name of France is in our mouths, comparatively few Englishmen
understand the way in which France is governed; that is, how far
absolute despotism prevails, and how far the power of the one ruler
is tempered, or, as it may be, hampered by the voices and influence
of others. And as regards England, how seldom is it that in common
society a foreigner is met who comprehends the nature of her
political arrangements! To a Frenchman--I do not of course include
great men who have made the subject a study,--but to the ordinary
intelligent Frenchman the thing is altogether incomprehensible.
Language, it may be said, has much to do with that. But an
American speaks English; and how often is an American met who has
combined in his mind the idea of a monarch, so called, with that of
a republic, properly so named--a combination of ideas which I take
to be necessary to the understanding of English politics! The
gentleman who scorned my wife for hugging her chains had certainly
not done so, and yet he conceived that he had studied the subject.
The matter is one most difficult of comprehension. How many
Englishmen have failed to understand accurately their own
constitution, or the true bearing of their own politics! But when
this knowledge has been attained, it has generally been filtered
into the mind slowly, and has come from the unconscious study of
many years. An Englishman handles a newspaper for a quarter of an
hour daily, and daily exchanges some few words in politics with
those around him, till drop by drop the pleasant springs of his
liberty creep into his mind and water his heart; and thus, earlier
or later in life, according to the nature of his intelligence, he
understands why it is that he is at all points a free man. But if
this be so of our own politics; if it be so rare a thing to find a
foreigner who understands them in all their niceties, why is it
that we are so confident in our remarks on all the niceties of
those of other nations?

I hope that I may not be misunderstood as saying that we should not
discuss foreign politics in our press, our parliament, our public
meetings, or our private houses. No man could be mad enough to
preach such a doctrine. As regards our parliament, that is
probably the best British school of foreign politics, seeing that
the subject is not there often taken up by men who are absolutely
ignorant, and that mistakes when made are subject to a correction
which is both rough and ready. The press, though very liable to
error, labors hard at its vocation in teaching foreign politics,
and spares no expense in letting in daylight. If the light let in
be sometimes moonshine, excuse may easily be made. Where so much
is attempted, there must necessarily be some failure. But even the
moonshine does good if it be not offensive moonshine. What I would
deprecate is, that aptness at reproach which we assume; the
readiness with scorn, the quiet words of insult, the instant
judgment and condemnation with which we are so inclined to visit,
not the great outward acts, but the smaller inward politics of our

And do others spare us? will be the instant reply of all who may
read this. In my counter reply I make bold to place myself and my
country on very high ground, and to say that we, the older and
therefore more experienced people as regards the United States, and
the better governed as regards France, and the stronger as regards
all the world beyond, should not throw mud again even though mud be
thrown at us. I yield the path to a small chimney-sweeper as
readily as to a lady; and forbear from an interchange of courtesies
with a Billingsgate heroine, even though at heart I may have a
proud consciousness that I should not altogether go to the wall in
such an encounter.

I left England in August last--August, 1861. At that time, and for
some months previous, I think that the general English feeling on
the American question was as follows: "This wide-spread nationality
of the United States, with its enormous territorial possessions and
increasing population, has fallen asunder, torn to pieces by the
weight of its own discordant parts--as a congregation when its size
has become unwieldy will separate, and reform itself into two
wholesome wholes. It is well that this should be so, for the
people are not homogeneous, as a people should be who are called to
live together as one nation. They have attempted to combine free-
soil sentiments with the practice of slavery, and to make these two
antagonists live together in peace and unity under the same roof;
but, as we have long expected, they have failed. Now has come the
period for separation; and if the people would only see this, and
act in accordance with the circumstances which Providence and the
inevitable hand of the world's Ruler has prepared for them, all
would be well. But they will not do this. They will go to war
with each other. The South will make her demands for secession
with an arrogance and instant pressure which exasperates the North;
and the North, forgetting that an equable temper in such matters is
the most powerful of all weapons, will not recognize the strength
of its own position. It allows itself to be exasperated, and goes
to war for that which if regained would only be injurious to it.
Thus millions on millions sterling will be spent. A heavy debt
will be incurred; and the North, which divided from the South might
take its place among the greatest of nations, will throw itself
back for half a century, and perhaps injure the splendor of its
ultimate prospects. If only they would be wise, throw down their
arms, and agree to part! But they will not."

This was I think the general opinion when I left England. It would
not, however, be necessary to go back many months to reach the time
when Englishmen were saying how impossible it was that so great a
national power should ignore its own greatness and destroy its own
power by an internecine separation. But in August last all that
had gone by, and we in England had realized the probability of
actual secession.

To these feelings on the subject maybe added another, which was
natural enough though perhaps not noble. "These western cocks have
crowed loudly," we said; "too loudly for the comfort of those who
live after all at no such great distance from them. It is well
that their combs should be clipped. Cocks who crow so very loudly
are a nuisance. It might have gone so far that the clipping would
become a work necessarily to be done from without. But it is ten
times better for all parties that it should be done from within;
and as the cocks are now clipping their own combs, in God's name
let them do it, and the whole world will be the quieter." That, I
say, was not a very noble idea; but it was natural enough, and
certainly has done somewhat in mitigating that grief which the
horrors of civil war and the want of cotton have caused to us in

Such certainly had been my belief as to the country. I speak here
of my opinion as to the ultimate success of secession and the folly
of the war, repudiating any concurrence of my own in the ignoble
but natural sentiment alluded to in the last paragraph. I
certainly did think that the Northern States, if wise, would have
let the Southern States go. I had blamed Buchanan as a traitor for
allowing the germ of secession to make any growth; and as I thought
him a traitor then, so do I think him a traitor now. But I had
also blamed Lincoln, or rather the government of which Mr. Lincoln
in this matter is no more than the exponent, for his efforts to
avoid that which is inevitable. In this I think that I--or as I
believe I may say we, we Englishmen--were wrong. I do not see how
the North, treated as it was and had been, could have submitted to
secession without resistance. We all remember what Shakspeare says
of the great armies which were led out to fight for a piece of
ground not large enough to cover the bodies of those who would be
slain in the battle; but I do not remember that Shakspeare says
that the battle was on this account necessarily unreasonable. It
is the old point of honor which, till it had been made absurd by
certain changes of circumstances, was always grand and usually
beneficent. These changes of circumstances have altered the manner
in which appeal may be made, but have not altered the point of
honor. Had the Southern States sought to obtain secession by
constitutional means, they might or might not have been successful;
but if successful, there would have been no war. I do not mean to
brand all the Southern States with treason, nor do I intend to say
that, having secession at heart, they could have obtained it by
constitutional means. But I do intend to say that, acting as they
did, demanding secession not constitutionally, but in opposition to
the constitution, taking upon themselves the right of breaking up a
nationality of which they formed only a part, and doing that
without consent of the other part, opposition from the North and
war was an inevitable consequence.

It is, I think, only necessary to look back to the Revolution by
which the United States separated themselves from England to see
this. There is hardly to be met, here and there, an Englishman who
now regrets the loss of the revolted American colonies; who now
thinks that civilization was retarded and the world injured by that
revolt; who now conceives that England should have expended more
treasure and more lives in the hope of retaining those colonies.
It is agreed that the revolt was a good thing; that those who were
then rebels became patriots by success, and that they deserved well
of all coming ages of mankind. But not the less absolutely
necessary was it that England should endeavor to hold her own. She
was as the mother bird when the young bird will fly alone. She
suffered those pangs which Nature calls upon mothers to endure.

As was the necessity of British opposition to American
independence, so was the necessity of Northern opposition to
Southern secession. I do not say that in other respects the two
cases were parallel. The States separated from us because they
would not endure taxation without representation--in other words,
because they were old enough and big enough to go alone. The South
is seceding from the North because the two are not homogeneous.
They have different instincts, different appetites, different
morals, and a different culture. It is well for one man to say
that slavery has caused the separation, and for another to say that
slavery has not caused it. Each in so saying speaks the truth.
Slavery has caused it, seeing that slavery is the great point on
which the two have agreed to differ. But slavery has not caused
it, seeing that other points of difference are to be found in every
circumstance and feature of the two people. The North and the
South must ever be dissimilar. In the North labor will always be
honorable, and because honorable, successful. In the South labor
has ever been servile--at least in some sense--and therefore
dishonorable; and because dishonorable, has not, to itself, been
successful. In the South, I say, labor ever has been dishonorable;
and I am driven to confess that I have not hitherto seen a sign of
any change in the Creator's fiat on this matter. That labor will
be honorable all the world over as years advance and the millennium
draws nigh, I for one never doubt.

So much for English opinion about America in August last. And now
I will venture to say a word or two as to American feeling
respecting this English opinion at that period. It will of course
be remembered by all my readers that, at the beginning of the war,
Lord Russell, who was then in the lower house, declared, as Foreign
Secretary of State, that England would regard the North and South
as belligerents, and would remain neutral as to both of them. This
declaration gave violent offense to the North, and has been taken
as indicating British sympathy with the cause of the seceders. I
am not going to explain--indeed, it would be necessary that I
should first understand--the laws of nations with regard to
blockaded ports, privateering, ships and men and goods contraband
of war, and all those semi-nautical, semi-military rules and axioms
which it is necessary that all attorneys-general and such like
should, at the present moment, have at their fingers' end. But it
must be evident to the most ignorant in those matters, among which
large crowd I certainly include myself, that it was essentially
necessary that Lord John Russell should at that time declare openly
what England intended to do. It was essential that our seamen
should know where they would be protected and where not, and that
the course to be taken by England should be defined. Reticence in
the matter was not within the power of the British government. It
behooved the Foreign Secretary of State to declare openly that
England intended to side either with one party or with the other,
or else to remain neutral between them.

I had heard this matter discussed by Americans before I left
England, and I have of course heard it discussed very frequently in
America. There can be no doubt that the front of the offense given
by England to the Northern States was this declaration of Lord John
Russell's. But it has been always made evident to me that the sin
did not consist in the fact of England's neutrality--in the fact of
her regarding the two parties as belligerents--but in the open
declaration made to the world by a Secretary of State that she did
intend so to regard them. If another proof were wanting, this
would afford another proof of the immense weight attached in
America to all the proceedings and to all the feelings of England
on this matter. The very anger of the North is a compliment paid
by the North to England. But not the less is that anger
unreasonable. To those in America who understand our constitution,
it must be evident that our government cannot take official
measures without a public avowal of such measures. France can do
so. Russia can do so. The government of the United States can do
so, and could do so even before this rupture. But the government
of England cannot do so. All men connected with the government in
England have felt themselves from time to time more or less
hampered by the necessity of publicity. Our statesmen have been
forced to fight their battles with the plan of their tactics open
before their adversaries. But we in England are inclined to
believe that the general result is good, and that battles so fought
and so won will be fought with the honestest blows and won with the
surest results. Reticence in this matter was not possible; and
Lord John Russell, in making the open avowal which gave such
offense to the Northern States, only did that which, as a servant
of England, England required him to do.

"What would you in England have thought," a gentleman of much
weight in Boston said to me, "if, when you were in trouble in
India, we had openly declared that we regarded your opponents there
are as belligerents on equal terms with yourselves?" I was forced
to say that, as far as I could see, there was no analogy between
the two cases. In India an army had mutinied, and that an army
composed of a subdued, if not a servile race. The analogy would
have been fairer had it referred to any sympathy shown by us to
insurgent negroes. But, nevertheless, had the army which mutinied
in India been in possession of ports and sea-board; had they held
in their hands vast commercial cities and great agricultural
districts; had they owned ships and been masters of a wide-spread
trade, America could have done nothing better toward us than have
remained neutral in such a conflict and have regarded the parties
as belligerents. The only question is whether she would have done
so well by us. "But," said my friend, in answer to all this, "we
should not have proclaimed to the world that we regarded you and
them as standing on an equal footing." There again appeared the
true gist of the offense. A word from England such as that spoken
by Lord John Russell was of such weight to the South that the North
could not endure to have it spoken. I did not say to that
gentleman, but here I may say that, had such circumstances arisen
as those conjectured, and had America spoken such a word, England
would not have felt herself called upon to resent it.

But the fairer analogy lies between Ireland and the Southern
States. The monster meetings and O'Connell's triumphs are not so
long gone by but that many of us can remember the first demand for
secession made by Ireland, and the line which was then taken by
American sympathies. It is not too much to say that America then
believed that Ireland would secure secession, and that the great
trust of the Irish repealers was in the moral aid which she did and
would receive from America. "But our government proclaimed no
sympathy with Ireland," said my friend. No. The American
government is not called on to make such proclamations, nor had
Ireland ever taken upon herself the nature and labors of a

That this anger on the part of the North is unreasonable, I cannot
doubt. That it is unfortunate, grievous, and very bitter, I am
quite sure. But I do not think that it is in any degree
surprising. I am inclined to think that, did I belong to Boston as
I do belong to London, I should share in the feeling, and rave as
loudly as all men there have raved against the coldness of England.
When men have on hand such a job of work as the North has now
undertaken, they are always guided by their feelings rather than
their reason. What two men ever had a quarrel in which each did
not think that all the world, if just, would espouse his own side
of the dispute? The North feels that it has been more than loyal
to the South, and that the South has taken advantage of that over-
loyalty to betray the North. "We have worked for them, and fought
for them, and paid for them," says the North. "By our labor we
have raised their indolence to a par with our energy. While we
have worked like men, we have allowed them to talk and bluster. We
have warmed them in our bosom, and now they turn against us and
sting us. The world sees that this is so. England, above all,
must see it, and, seeing it, should speak out her true opinion."
The North is hot with such thoughts as these; and one cannot wonder
that she should be angry with her friend when her friend, with an
expression of certain easy good wishes, bids her fight out her own
battles. The North has been unreasonable with England; but I
believe that every reader of this page would have been as
unreasonable had that reader been born in Massachusetts.

Mr. and Mrs. Jones are the dearly-beloved friends of my family. My
wife and I have lived with Mrs. Jones on terms of intimacy which
have been quite endearing. Jones has had the run of my house with
perfect freedom; and in Mrs. Jones's drawing-room I have always had
my own arm-chair, and have been regaled with large breakfast-cups
of tea, quite as though I were at home. But of a sudden Jones and
his wife have fallen out, and there is for awhile in Jones Hall a
cat-and-dog life that may end--in one hardly dare to surmise what
calamity. Mrs. Jones begs that I will interfere with her husband,
and Jones entreats the good offices of my wife in moderating the
hot temper of his own. But we know better than that. If we
interfere, the chances are that my dear friends will make it up and
turn upon us. I grieve beyond measure in a general way at the
temporary break up of the Jones-Hall happiness. I express general
wishes that it may be temporary. But as for saying which is right
or which is wrong--as to expressing special sympathy on either side
in such a quarrel--it is out of the question. "My dear Jones, you
must excuse me. Any news in the city to-day? Sugars have fallen;
how are teas?" Of course Jones thinks that I'm a brute; but what
can I do?

I have been somewhat surprised to find the trouble that has been
taken by American orators, statesmen, and logicians to prove that
this secession on the part of the South has been revolutionary--
that is to say, that it has been undertaken and carried on not in
compliance with the Constitution of the United States, but in
defiance of it. This has been done over and over again by some of
the greatest men of the North, and has been done most successfully.
But what then? Of course the movement has been revolutionary and
anti-constitutional. Nobody, no single Southerner, can really
believe that the Constitution of the United States as framed in
1787, or altered since, intended to give to the separate States the
power of seceding as they pleased. It is surely useless going
through long arguments to prove this, seeing that it is absolutely
proved by the absence of any clause giving such license to the
separate States. Such license would have been destructive to the
very idea of a great nationality. Where would New England have
been, as a part of the United States, if New York, which stretches
from the Atlantic to the borders of Canada, had been endowed with
the power of cutting off the six Northern States from the rest of
the Union? No one will for a moment doubt that the movement was
revolutionary, and yet infinite pains are taken to prove a fact
that is patent to every one.

It is revolutionary; but what then? Have the Northern States of
the American Union taken upon themselves, in 1861, to proclaim
their opinion that revolution is a sin? Are they going back to the
divine right of any sovereignty? Are they going to tell the world
that a nation or a people is bound to remain in any political
status because that status is the recognized form of government
under which such a people have lived? Is this to be the doctrine
of United States citizens--of all people? And is this the doctrine
preached now, of all times, when the King of Naples and the Italian
dukes have just been dismissed from their thrones with such
enchanting nonchalance because their people have not chosen to keep
them? Of course the movement is revolutionary; and why not? It is
agreed now among all men and all nations that any people may change
its form of government to any other, if it wills to do so--and if
it can do so.

There are two other points on which these Northern statesmen and
logicians also insist, and these two other points are at any rate
better worth an argument than that which touches the question of
revolution. It being settled that secession on the part of the
Southerners is revolution, it is argued, firstly, that no occasion
for revolution had been given by the North to the South; and,
secondly, that the South has been dishonest in its revolutionary
tactics. Men certainly should not raise a revolution for nothing;
and it may certainly be declared that whatever men do they should
do honestly.

But in that matter of the cause and ground for revolution, it is so
very easy for either party to put in a plea that shall be
satisfactory to itself! Mr. and Mrs. Jones each had a separate
story. Mr. Jones was sure that the right lay with him; but Mrs.
Jones was no less sure. No doubt the North had done much for the
South; had earned money for it; had fed it; and had, moreover, in a
great measure fostered all its bad habits. It had not only been
generous to the South, but over-indulgent. But also it had
continually irritated the South by meddling with that which the
Southerners believed to be a question absolutely private to
themselves. The matter was illustrated to me by a New Hampshire
man who was conversant with black bears. At the hotels in the New
Hampshire mountains it is customary to find black bears chained to
poles. These bears are caught among the hills, and are thus
imprisoned for the amusement of the hotel guests. "Them
Southerners," said my friend, "are jist as one as that 'ere bear.
We feeds him and gives him a house, and his belly is ollers full.
But then, jist becase he's a black bear, we're ollers a poking him
with sticks, and a' course the beast is a kinder riled. He wants
to be back to the mountains. He wouldn't have his belly filled,
but he'd have his own way. It's jist so with them Southerners."

It is of no use proving to any man or to any nation that they have
got all they should want, if they have not got all that they do
want. If a servant desires to go, it is of no avail to show him
that he has all he can desire in his present place. The
Northerners say that they have given no offense to the Southerners,
and that therefore the South is wrong to raise a revolution. The
very fact that the North is the North, is an offence to the South.
As long as Mr. and Mrs. Jones were one in heart and one in feeling,
having the same hopes and the same joys, it was well that they
should remain together. But when it is proved that they cannot so
live without tearing out each other's eyes, Sir Cresswell
Cresswell, the revolutionary institution of domestic life,
interferes and separates them. This is the age of such
separations. I do not wonder that the North should use its logic
to show that it has received cause of offense but given none; but I
do think that such logic is thrown away. The matter is not one for
argument. The South has thought that it can do better without the
North than with it; and if it has the power to separate itself, it
must be conceded that it has the right.

And then as to that question of honesty. Whatever men do they
certainly should do honestly. Speaking broadly, one may say that
the rule applies to nations as strongly as to individuals, and
should be observed in politics as accurately as in other matters.
We must, however, confess that men who are scrupulous in their
private dealings do too constantly drop those scruples when they
handle public affairs, and especially when they handle them at
stirring moments of great national changes. The name of Napoleon
III. stands fair now before Europe, and yet he filched the French
empire with a falsehood. The union of England and Ireland is a
successful fact, but nevertheless it can hardly be said that it was
honestly achieved. I heartily believe that the whole of Texas is
improved in every sense by having been taken from Mexico and added
to the Southern States, but I much doubt whether that annexation
was accomplished with absolute honesty. We all reverence the name
of Cavour, but Cavour did not consent to abandon Nice to France
with clean hands. When men have political ends to gain they regard
their opponents as adversaries, and then that old rule of war is
brought to bear, deceit or valor--either may be used against a foe.
Would it were not so! The rascally rule--rascally in reference to
all political contests--is becoming less universal than it was.
But it still exists with sufficient force to be urged as an excuse;
and while it does exist it seems almost needless to show that a
certain amount of fraud has been used by a certain party in a
revolution. If the South be ultimately successful, the fraud of
which it may have been guilty will be condoned by the world.

The Southern or Democratic party of the United States had, as all
men know, been in power for many years. Either Southern Presidents
had been elected, or Northern Presidents with Southern politics.
The South for many years had had the disposition of military
matters, and the power of distributing military appliances of all
descriptions. It is now alleged by the North that a conspiracy had
long been hatching in the South with the view of giving to the
Southern States the power of secession whenever they might think
fit to secede; and it is further alleged that President after
President, for years back, has unduly sent the military treasure of
the nation away from the North down to the South, in order that the
South might be prepared when the day should come. That a President
with Southern instincts should unduly favor the South, that he
should strengthen the South, and feel that arms and ammunition were
stored there with better effect than they could be stored in the
North, is very probable. We all understand what is the bias of a
man's mind, and how strong that bias may become when the man is not
especially scrupulous. But I do not believe that any President
previous to Buchanan sent military materials to the South with the
self-acknowledged purpose of using them against the Union. That
Buchanan did so, or knowingly allowed this to be done, I do
believe, and I think that Buchanan was a traitor to the country
whose servant he was and whose pay he received.

And now, having said so much in the way of introduction, I will
begin my journey.



We--the we consisting of my wife and myself--left Liverpool for
Boston on the 24th August, 1861, in the Arabia, one of Cunard's
North American mail packets. We had determined that my wife should
return alone at the beginning of winter, when I intended to go to a
part of the country in which, under the existing circumstances of
the war, a lady might not feel herself altogether comfortable. I
proposed staying in America over the winter, and returning in the
spring; and this programme I have carried out with sufficient

The Arabia touched at Halifax; and as the touch extended from 11 A.M.
to 6 P.M. we had an opportunity of seeing a good deal of that
colony; not quite sufficient to justify me at this critical age in
writing a chapter of travels in Nova Scotia, but enough perhaps to
warrant a paragraph. It chanced that a cousin of mine was then in
command of the troops there, so that we saw the fort with all the
honors. A dinner on shore was, I think, a greater treat to us even
than this. We also inspected sundry specimens of the gold which is
now being found for the first time in Nova Scotia, as to the glory
and probable profits of which the Nova Scotians seemed to be fully
alive. But still, I think the dinner on shore took rank with us as
the most memorable and meritorious of all that we did and saw at
Halifax. At seven o'clock on the morning but one after that we
were landed at Boston.

At Boston I found friends ready to receive us with open arms,
though they were friends we had never known before. I own that I
felt myself burdened with much nervous anxiety at my first
introduction to men and women in Boston. I knew what the feeling
there was with reference to England, and I knew also how impossible
it is for an Englishman to hold his tongue and submit to dispraise
of England. As for going among a people whose whole minds were
filled with affairs of the war, and saying nothing about the war, I
knew that no resolution to such an effect could be carried out. If
one could not trust one's self to speak, one should have stayed at
home in England. I will here state that I always did speak out
openly what I thought and felt, and that though I encountered very
strong--sometimes almost fierce--opposition, I never was subjected
to anything that was personally disagreeable to me.

In September we did not stay above a week in Boston, having been
fairly driven out of it by the musquitoes. I had been told that I
should find nobody in Boston whom I cared to see, as everybody was
habitually out of town during the heat of the latter summer and
early autumn; but this was not so. The war and attendant turmoils
of war had made the season of vacation shorter than usual, and most
of those for whom I asked were back at their posts. I know no
place at which an Englishman may drop down suddenly among a
pleasanter circle of acquaintance, or find himself with a more
clever set of men, than he can do at Boston. I confess that in
this respect I think that but few towns are at present more
fortunately circumstanced than the capital of the Bay State, as
Massachusetts is called, and that very few towns make a better use
of their advantages. Boston has a right to be proud of what it has
done for the world of letters. It is proud; but I have not found
that its pride was carried too far.

Boston is not in itself a fine city, but it is a very pleasant
city. They say that the harbor is very grand and very beautiful.
It certainly is not so fine as that of Portland, in a nautical
point of view, and as certainly it is not as beautiful. It is the
entrance from the sea into Boston of which people say so much; but
I did not think it quite worthy of all I had heard. In such
matters, however, much depends on the peculiar light in which
scenery is seen. An evening light is generally the best for all
landscapes; and I did not see the entrance to Boston harbor by an
evening light. It was not the beauty of the harbor of which I
thought the most, but of the tea which had been sunk there, and of
all that came of that successful speculation. Few towns now
standing have a right to be more proud of their antecedents than

But as I have said, it is not specially interesting to the eye;
what new town, or even what simply adult town, can be so? There is
an Atheneum, and a State Hall, and a fashionable street,--Beacon
Street, very like Piccadilly as it runs along the Green Park,--and
there is the Green Park opposite to this Piccadilly, called Boston
Common. Beacon Street and Boston Common are very pleasant.
Excellent houses there are, and large churches, and enormous
hotels; but of such things as these a man can write nothing that is
worth the reading. The traveler who desires to tell his experience
of North America must write of people rather than of things.

As I have said, I found myself instantly involved in discussions on
American politics and the bearing of England upon those politics.
"What do you think, you in England--what do you believe will be the
upshot of this war?" That was the question always asked in those
or other words. "Secession, certainly," I always said, but not
speaking quite with that abruptness. "And you believe, then, that
the South will beat the North?" I explained that I personally had
never so thought, and that I did not believe that to be the general
idea. Men's opinions in England, however, were too divided to
enable me to say that there was any prevailing conviction on the
matter. My own impression was, and is, that the North will, in a
military point of view, have the best of the contest--will beat the
South; but that the Northerners will not prevent secession, let
their success be what it may. Should the North prevail after a two
years' conflict, the North will not admit the South to an equal
participation of good things with themselves, even though each
separate rebellious State should return suppliant, like a prodigal
son, kneeling on the floor of Congress, each with a separate rope
of humiliation round its neck. Such was my idea as expressed then,
and I do not know that I have since had much cause to change it.

"We will never give it up," one gentleman said to me--and, indeed,
many have said the same--"till the whole territory is again united
from the Bay to the Gulf. It is impossible that we should allow of
two nationalities within those limits." "And do you think it
possible," I asked, "that you should receive back into your bosom
this people which you now hate with so deep a hatred, and receive
them again into your arms as brothers on equal terms? Is it in
accordance with experience that a conquered people should be so
treated, and that, too, a people whose every habit of life is at
variance with the habits of their presumed conquerors? When you
have flogged them into a return of fraternal affection, are they to
keep their slaves or are they to abolish them?" "No," said my
friend, "it may not be practicable to put those rebellious States
at once on an equality with ourselves. For a time they will
probably be treated as the Territories are now treated." (The
Territories are vast outlying districts belonging to the Union, but
not as yet endowed with State governments or a participation in the
United States Congress.) "For a time they must, perhaps, lose
their full privileges; but the Union will be anxious to readmit
them at the earliest possible period." "And as to the slaves?" I
asked again. "Let them emigrate to Liberia--back to their own
country." I could not say that I thought much of the solution of
the difficulty. It would, I suggested, overtask even the energy of
America to send out an emigration of four million souls, to provide
for their wants in a new and uncultivated country, and to provide,
after that, for the terrible gap made in the labor market of the
Southern States. "The Israelites went back from bondage," said my
friend. But a way was opened for them by a miracle across the sea,
and food was sent to them from heaven, and they had among them a
Moses for a leader, and a Joshua to fight their battles. I could
not but express my fear that the days of such immigrations were
over. This plan of sending back the negroes to Africa did not
reach me only from one or from two mouths, and it was suggested by
men whose opinions respecting their country have weight at home and
are entitled to weight abroad. I mention this merely to show how
insurmountable would be the difficulty of preventing secession, let
which side win that may.

"We will never abandon the right to the mouth of the Mississippi."
That, in all such arguments, is a strong point with men of the
Northern States--perhaps the point to which they all return with
the greatest firmness. It is that on which Mr. Everett insists in
the last paragraph of the oration which he made in New York on the
4th of July, 1861. "The Missouri and the Mississippi Rivers," he
says, "with their hundred tributaries, give to the great central
basin of our continent its character and destiny. The outlet of
this system lies between the States of Tennessee and Missouri, of
Mississippi and Arkansas, and through the State of Louisiana. The
ancient province so called, the proudest monument of the mighty
monarch whose name it bears, passed from the jurisdiction of France
to that of Spain in 1763. Spain coveted it--not that she might
fill it with prosperous colonies and rising States, but that it
might stretch as a broad waste barrier, infested with warlike
tribes, between the Anglo-American power and the silver mines of
Mexico. With the independence of the United States the fear of a
still more dangerous neighbor grew upon Spain; and, in the insane
expectation of checking the progress of the Union westward, she
threatened, and at times attempted, to close the mouth of the
Mississippi on the rapidly-increasing trade of the West. The bare
suggestion of such a policy roused the population upon the banks of
the Ohio, then inconsiderable, as one man. Their confidence in
Washington scarcely restrained them from rushing to the seizure of
New Orleans, when the treaty of San Lorenzo El Real, in 1795,
stipulated for them a precarious right of navigating the noble
river to the sea, with a right of deposit at New Orleans. This
subject was for years the turning-point of the politics of the
West; and it was perfectly well understood that, sooner or later,
she would be content with nothing less than the sovereign control
of the mighty stream from its head-spring to its outlet in the

This is well put. It describes with force the desires, ambition,
and necessities of a great nation, and it tells with historical
truth the story of the success of that nation. It was a great
thing done when the purchase of the whole of Louisiana was
completed by the United States--that cession by France, however,
having been made at the instance of Napoleon, and not in
consequence of any demand made by the States. The district then
called Louisiana included the present State of that name and the
States of Missouri and Arkansas--included also the right to
possess, if not the absolute possession of all that enormous
expanse of country running from thence back to the Pacific: a huge
amount of territory, of which the most fertile portion is watered
by the Mississippi and its vast tributaries. That river and those
tributaries are navigable through the whole center of the American
continent up to Wisconsin and Minnesota. To the United States the
navigation of the Mississippi was, we may say, indispensable; and
to the States, when no longer united, the navigation will be
equally indispensable. But the days are gone when any country such
as Spain was can interfere to stop the highways of the world with
the all but avowed intention of arresting the progress of
civilization. It may be that the North and the South can never
again be friends as the component parts of one nation. Such, I
take it, is the belief of all politicians in Europe, and of many of
those who live across the water. But as separate nations they may
yet live together in amity, and share between them the great water-
ways which God has given them for their enrichment. The Rhine is
free to Prussia and to Holland. The Danube is not closed against
Austria. It will be said that the Danube has in fact been closed
against Austria, in spite of treaties to the contrary. But the
faults of bad and weak governments are made known as cautions to
the world, and not as facts to copy. The free use of the waters of
a common river between two nations is an affair for treaty; and it
has not yet come to that that treaties must necessarily be null and
void through the falseness of politicians.

"And what will England do for cotton? Is it not the fact that Lord
John Russell, with his professed neutrality, intends to express
sympathy with the South--intends to pave the way for the advent of
Southern cotton?" "You ought to love us," so say men in Boston,
"because we have been with you in heart and spirit for long, long
years. But your trade has eaten into your souls, and you love
American cotton better than American loyalty and American
fellowship." This I found to be unfair, and in what politest
language I could use I said so. I had not any special knowledge of
the minds of English statesmen on this matter; but I knew as well
as Americans could do what our statesmen had said and done
respecting it. That cotton, if it came from the South, would be
made very welcome in Liverpool, of course I knew. If private
enterprise could bring it, it might be brought. But the very
declaration made by Lord John Russell was the surest pledge that
England, as a nation, would not interfere even to supply her own
wants. It may easily be imagined what eager words all this would
bring about; but I never found that eager words led to feelings
which were personally hostile.

All the world has heard of Newport, in Rhode Island, as being the
Brighton, and Tenby, and Scarborough of New England. And the glory
of Newport is by no means confined to New England, but is shared by
New York and Washington, and in ordinary years by the extreme
South. It is the habit of Americans to go to some watering-place
every summer--that is, to some place either of sea water or of
inland waters. This is done much in England, more in Ireland than
in England, but I think more in the States than even in Ireland.
But of all such summer haunts, Newport is supposed to be in many
ways the most captivating. In the first place, it is certainly the
most fashionable, and, in the next place, it is said to be the most
beautiful. We decided on going to Newport--led thither by the
latter reputation rather than the former. As we were still in the
early part of September, we expected to find the place full, but in
this we were disappointed--disappointed, I say, rather than
gratified, although a crowded house at such a place is certainly a
nuisance. But a house which is prepared to make up six hundred
beds, and which is called on to make up only twenty-five, becomes,
after awhile, somewhat melancholy. The natural depression of the
landlord communicates itself to his servants, and from the servants
it descends to the twenty-five guests, who wander about the long
passages and deserted balconies like the ghosts of those of the
summer visitors, who cannot rest quietly in their graves at home.

In England we know nothing of hotels prepared for six hundred
visitors, all of whom are expected to live in common. Domestic
architects would be frightened at the dimensions which are needed,
and at the number of apartments which are required to be clustered
under one roof. We went to the Ocean Hotel at Newport, and
fancied, as we first entered the hall under a veranda as high as
the house, and made our way into the passage, that we had been
taken to a well-arranged barrack. "Have you rooms?" I asked, as a
man always does ask on first reaching his inn. "Rooms enough," the
clerk said; "we have only fifty here." But that fifty dwindled
down to twenty-five during the next day or two.

We were a melancholy set, the ladies appearing to be afflicted in
this way worse than the gentlemen, on account of their enforced
abstinence from tobacco. What can twelve ladies do scattered about
a drawing-room, so called, intended for the accommodation of two
hundred? The drawing-room at the Ocean Hotel, Newport, is not as
big as Westminster Hall, but would, I should think, make a very
good House of Commons for the British nation. Fancy the feelings
of a lady when she walks into such a room, intending to spend her
evening there, and finds six or seven other ladies located on
various sofas at terrible distances, all strangers to her. She has
come to Newport probably to enjoy herself; and as, in accordance
with the customs of the place, she has dined at two, she has
nothing before her for the evening but the society of that huge,
furnished cavern. Her husband, if she have one, or her father, or
her lover, has probably entered the room with her. But a man has
never the courage to endure such a position long. He sidles out
with some muttered excuse, and seeks solace with a cigar. The
lady, after half an hour of contemplation, creeps silently near
some companion in the desert, and suggests in a whisper that
Newport does not seem to be very full at present.

We stayed there for a week, and were very melancholy; but in our
melancholy we still talked of the war. Americans are said to be
given to bragging, and it is a sin of which I cannot altogether
acquit them. But I have constantly been surprised at hearing the
Northern men speak of their own military achievements with anything
but self-praise. "We've been whipped, sir; and we shall be whipped
again before we've done; uncommon well whipped we shall be." "We
began cowardly, and were afraid to send our own regiments through
one of our own cities." This alluded to a demand that had been
made on the Government that troops going to Washington should not
be sent through Baltimore, because of the strong feeling for
rebellion which was known to exist in that city. President Lincoln
complied with this request, thinking it well to avoid a collision
between the mob and the soldiers. "We began cowardly, and now
we're going on cowardly, and darn't attack them. Well; when we've
been whipped often enough, then we shall learn the trade." Now all
this--and I heard much of such a nature--could not be called
boasting. But yet with it all there was a substratum of
confidence. I have heard Northern gentlemen complaining of the
President, complaining of all his ministers, one after another,
complaining of the contractors who were robbing the army, of the
commanders who did not know how to command the army, and of the
army itself, which did not know how to obey; but I do not remember
that I have discussed the matter with any Northerner who would
admit a doubt as to ultimate success.

We were certainly rather melancholy at Newport, and the empty house
may perhaps have given its tone to the discussions on the war. I
confess that I could not stand the drawing-room--the ladies'
drawing-room, as such like rooms are always called at the hotels--
and that I basely deserted my wife. I could not stand it either
here or elsewhere, and it seemed to me that other husbands--ay, and
even lovers--were as hard pressed as myself. I protest that there
is no spot on the earth's surface so dear to me as my own drawing-
room, or rather my wife's drawing-room, at home; that I am not a
man given hugely to clubs, but one rather rejoicing in the rustle
of petticoats. I like to have women in the same room with me. But
at these hotels I found myself driven away--propelled as it were by
some unknown force--to absent myself from the feminine haunts.
Anything was more palatable than them, even "liquoring up" at a
nasty bar, or smoking in a comfortless reading-room among a deluge
of American newspapers. And I protest also--hoping as I do so that
I may say much in this book to prove the truth of such
protestation--that this comes from no fault of the American women.
They are as lovely as our own women. Taken generally, they are
better instructed, though perhaps not better educated. They are
seldom troubled with mauvaise honte; I do not say it in irony, but
begging that the words may be taken at their proper meaning. They
can always talk, and very often can talk well. But when assembled
together in these vast, cavernous, would-be luxurious, but in truth
horribly comfortless hotel drawing-rooms, they are unapproachable.
I have seen lovers, whom I have known to be lovers, unable to
remain five minutes in the same cavern with their beloved ones.

And then the music! There is always a piano in a hotel drawing-
room, on which, of course, some one of the forlorn ladies is
generally employed. I do not suppose that these pianos are in
fact, as a rule, louder and harsher, more violent and less musical,
than other instruments of the kind. They seem to be so, but that,
I take it, arises from the exceptional mental depression of those
who have to listen to them. Then the ladies, or probably some one
lady, will sing, and as she hears her own voice ring and echo
through the lofty corners and round the empty walls, she is
surprised at her own force, and with increased efforts sings louder
and still louder. She is tempted to fancy that she is suddenly
gifted with some power of vocal melody unknown to her before, and,
filled with the glory of her own performance, shouts till the whole
house rings. At such moments she at least is happy, if no one else
is so. Looking at the general sadness of her position, who can
grudge her such happiness?

And then the children--babies, I should say if I were speaking of
English bairns of their age; but seeing that they are Americans, I
hardly dare to call them children. The actual age of these
perfectly-civilized and highly-educated beings may be from three to
four. One will often see five or six such seated at the long
dinner-table of the hotel, breakfasting and dining with their
elders, and going through the ceremony with all the gravity, and
more than all the decorum, of their grandfathers. When I was three
years old I had not yet, as I imagine, been promoted beyond a
silver spoon of my own wherewith to eat my bread and milk in the
nursery; and I feel assured that I was under the immediate care of
a nursemaid, as I gobbled up my minced mutton mixed with potatoes
and gravy. But at hotel life in the States the adult infant lisps
to the waiter for everything at table, handles his fish with
epicurean delicacy, is choice in his selection of pickles, very
particular that his beef-steak at breakfast shall be hot, and is
instant in his demand for fresh ice in his water. But perhaps his,
or in this case her, retreat from the room when the meal is over,
is the chef-d'oeuvre of the whole performance. The little,
precocious, full-blown beauty of four signifies that she has
completed her meal--or is "through" her dinner, as she would
express it--by carefully extricating herself from the napkin which
has been tucked around her. Then the waiter, ever attentive to her
movements, draws back the chair on which she is seated, and the
young lady glides to the floor. A little girl in Old England would
scramble down, but little girls in New England never scramble. Her
father and mother, who are no more than her chief ministers, walk
before her out of the saloon, and then she--swims after them. But
swimming is not the proper word. Fishes, in making their way
through the water, assist, or rather impede, their motion with no
dorsal wriggle. No animal taught to move directly by its Creator
adopts a gait so useless, and at the same time so graceless. Many
women, having received their lessons in walking from a less
eligible instructor, do move in this way, and such women this
unfortunate little lady has been instructed to copy. The peculiar
step to which I allude is to be seen often on the boulevards in
Paris. It is to be seen more often in second-rate French towns,
and among fourth-rate French women. Of all signs in women
betokening vulgarity, bad taste, and aptitude to bad morals, it is
the surest. And this is the gait of going which American mothers--
some American mothers I should say--love to teach their daughters!
As a comedy at a hotel it is very delightful, but in private life I
should object to it.

To me Newport could never be a place charming by reason of its own
charms. That it is a very pleasant place when it is full of people
and the people are in spirits and happy, I do not doubt. But then
the visitors would bring, as far as I am concerned, the
pleasantness with them. The coast is not fine. To those who know
the best portions of the coast of Wales or Cornwall--or better
still, the western coast of Ireland, of Clare and Kerry for
instance--it would not be in any way remarkable. It is by no means
equal to Dieppe or Biarritz, and not to be talked of in the same
breath with Spezzia. The hotels, too, are all built away from the
sea; so that one cannot sit and watch the play of the waves from
one's windows. Nor are there pleasant rambling paths down among
the rocks, and from one short strand to another. There is
excellent bathing for those who like bathing on shelving sand. I
don't. The spot is about half a mile from the hotels, and to this
the bathers are carried in omnibuses. Till one o'clock ladies
bathe, which operation, however, does not at all militate against
the bathing of men, but rather necessitates it as regards those men
who have ladies with them. For here ladies and gentlemen bathe in
decorous dresses, and are very polite to each other. I must say
that I think the ladies have the best of it. My idea of sea
bathing, for my own gratification, is not compatible with a full
suit of clothing. I own that my tastes are vulgar, and perhaps
indecent; but I love to jump into the deep, clear sea from off a
rock, and I love to be hampered by no outward impediments as I do
so. For ordinary bathers, for all ladies, and for men less savage
in their instincts than I am, the bathing at Newport is very good.

The private houses--villa residences as they would be termed by an
auctioneer in England--are excellent. Many of them are, in fact,
large mansions, and are surrounded with grounds which, as the
shrubs grow up, will be very beautiful. Some have large, well-kept
lawns, stretching down to the rocks, and these, to my taste, give
the charm to Newport. They extend about two miles along the coast.
Should my lot have made me a citizen of the United States, I should
have had no objection to become the possessor of one of these
"villa residences;" but I do not think that I should have "gone in"
for hotel life at Newport.

We hired saddle-horses, and rode out nearly the length of the
island. It was all very well, but there was little in it
remarkable either as regards cultivation or scenery. We found
nothing that it would be possible either to describe or remember.
The Americans of the United States have had time to build and
populate vast cities, but they have not yet had time to surround
themselves with pretty scenery. Outlying grand scenery is given by
nature; but the prettiness of home scenery is a work of art. It
comes from the thorough draining of land, from the planting and
subsequent thinning of trees, from the controlling of waters, and
constant use of minute patches of broken land. In another hundred
years or so, Rhode Island may be, perhaps, as pretty as the Isle of
Wight. The horses which we got were not good. They were unhandy
and badly mouthed, and that which my wife rode was altogether
ignorant of the art of walking. We hired them from an Englishman
who had established himself at New York as a riding-master for
ladies, and who had come to Newport for the season on the same
business. He complained to me with much bitterness of the saddle-
horses which came in his way--of course thinking that it was the
special business of a country to produce saddle-horses, as I think
it the special business of a country to produce pens, ink, and
paper of good quality. According to him, riding has not yet become
an American art, and hence the awkwardness of American horses.
"Lord bless you, sir! they don't give an animal a chance of a
mouth." In this he alluded only, I presume, to saddle-horses. I
know nothing of the trotting horses, but I should imagine that a
fine mouth must be an essential requisite for a trotting match in
harness. As regards riding at Newport, we were not tempted to
repeat the experiment. The number of carriages which we saw there--
remembering as I did that the place was comparatively empty--and
their general smartness, surprised me very much. It seemed that
every lady, with a house of her own, had also her own carriage.
These carriages were always open, and the law of the land
imperatively demands that the occupants shall cover their knees
with a worked worsted apron of brilliant colors. These aprons at
first I confess seemed tawdry; but the eye soon becomes used to
bright colors, in carriage aprons as well as in architecture, and I
soon learned to like them.

Rhode Island, as the State is usually called, is the smallest State
in the Union. I may perhaps best show its disparity to other
States by saying that New York extends about two hundred and fifty
miles from north to south, and the same distance from east to west;
whereas the State called Rhode Island is about forty miles long by
twenty broad, independently of certain small islands. It would, in
fact, not form a considerable addition if added on to many of the
other States. Nevertheless, it has all the same powers of self-
government as are possessed by such nationalities as the States of
New York and Pennsylvania, and sends two Senators to the Senate at
Washington, as do those enormous States. Small as the State is,
Rhode Island itself forms but a small portion of it. The
authorized and proper name of the State is Providence Plantation
and Rhode Island. Roger Williams was the first founder of the
colony, and he established himself on the mainland at a spot which
he called Providence. Here now stands the City of Providence, the
chief town of the State; and a thriving, comfortable town it seems
to be, full of banks, fed by railways and steamers, and going ahead
quite as quickly as Roger Williams could in his fondest hopes have

Rhode Island, as I have said, has all the attributes of government
in common with her stouter and more famous sisters. She has a
governor, and an upper house and a lower house of legislature; and
she is somewhat fantastic in the use of these constitutional
powers, for she calls on them to sit now in one town and now in
another. Providence is the capital of the State; but the Rhode
Island parliament sits sometimes at Providence and sometimes at
Newport. At stated times also it has to collect itself at Bristol,
and at other stated times at Kingston, and at others at East
Greenwich. Of all legislative assemblies it is the most
peripatetic. Universal suffrage does not absolutely prevail in
this State, a certain property qualification being necessary to
confer a right to vote even for the State representatives. I
should think it would be well for all parties if the whole State
could be swallowed up by Massachusetts or by Connecticut, either of
which lie conveniently for the feat; but I presume that any
suggestion of such a nature would be regarded as treason by the men
of Providence Plantation.

We returned back to Boston by Attleborough, a town at which, in
ordinary times, the whole population is supported by the jewelers'
trade. It is a place with a specialty, upon which specialty it has
thriven well and become a town. But the specialty is one ill
adapted for times of war and we were assured that the trade was for
the present at an end. What man could now-a-days buy jewels, or
even what woman, seeing that everything would be required for the
war? I do not say that such abstinence from luxury has been
begotten altogether by a feeling of patriotism. The direct taxes
which all Americans will now be called on to pay, have had and will
have much to do with such abstinence. In the mean time the poor
jewelers of Attleborough have gone altogether to the wall.



Perhaps I ought to assume that all the world in England knows that
that portion of the United States called New England consists of
the six States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts,
Connecticut, and Rhode Island. This is especially the land of
Yankees, and none can properly be called Yankees but those who
belong to New England. I have named the States as nearly as may be
in order from the north downward. Of Rhode Island, the smallest
State in the Union, I have already said what little I have to say.
Of these six States Boston may be called the capital. Not that it
is so in any civil or political sense; it is simply the capital of
Massachusetts. But as it is the Athens of the Western world; as it
was the cradle of American freedom; as everybody of course knows
that into Boston harbor was thrown the tea which George III. would
tax, and that at Boston, on account of that and similar taxes,
sprang up the new revolution; and as it has grown in wealth, and
fame, and size beyond other towns in New England, it may be allowed
to us to regard it as the capital of these six Northern States,
without guilt of lese majeste toward the other five. To me, I
confess this Northern division of our once-unruly colonies is, and
always has been, the dearest. I am no Puritan myself, and fancy
that, had I lived in the days of the Puritans, I should have been
anti-Puritan to the full extent of my capabilities. But I should
have been so through ignorance and prejudice, and actuated by that
love of existing rights and wrongs which men call loyalty. If the
Canadas were to rebel now, I should be for putting down the
Canadians with a strong hand; but not the less have I an idea that
it will become the Canadas to rebel and assert their independence
at some future period, unless it be conceded to them without such
rebellion. Who, on looking back, can now refuse to admire the
political aspirations of the English Puritans, or decline to
acknowledge the beauty and fitness of what they did? It was by
them that these States of New England were colonized. They came
hither, stating themselves to be pilgrims, and as such they first
placed their feet on that hallowed rock at Plymouth, on the shore
of Massachusetts. They came here driven by no thirst of conquest,
by no greed for gold, dreaming of no Western empire such as Cortez
had achieved and Raleigh had meditated. They desired to earn their
bread in the sweat of their brow, worshiping God according to their
own lights, living in harmony under their own laws, and feeling
that no master could claim a right to put a heel upon their necks.
And be it remembered that here in England, in those days, earthly
masters were still apt to put their heels on the necks of men. The
Star Chamber was gone, but Jeffreys had not yet reigned. What
earthly aspirations were ever higher than these, or more manly?
And what earthly efforts ever led to grander results?

We determined to go to Portland, in Maine, from thence to the White
Mountains in New Hampshire--the American Alps, as they love to call
them--and then on to Quebec, and up through the two Canadas to
Niagara; and this route we followed. From Boston to Portland we
traveled by railroad--the carriages on which are in America always
called cars. And here I beg, once for all, to enter my protest
loudly against the manner in which these conveyances are conducted.
The one grand fault--there are other smaller faults--but the one
grand fault is that they admit but one class. Two reasons for this
are given. The first is that the finances of the companies will
not admit of a divided accommodation; and the second is that the
republican nature of the people will not brook a superior or
aristocratic classification of traveling. As regards the first, I
do not in the least believe in it. If a more expensive manner of
railway traveling will pay in England, it would surely do so here.
Were a better class of carriages organized, as large a portion of
the population would use them in the United States as in any
country in Europe. And it seems to be evident that in arranging
that there shall be only one rate of traveling, the price is
enhanced on poor travelers exactly in proportion as it is made
cheap to those who are not poor. For the poorer classes, traveling
in America is by no means cheap, the average rate being, as far as
I can judge, fully three halfpence a mile. It is manifest that
dearer rates for one class would allow of cheaper rates for the
other; and that in this manner general traveling would be
encouraged and increased.

But I do not believe that the question of expenditure has had
anything to do with it. I conceive it to be true that the railways
are afraid to put themselves at variance with the general feeling
of the people. If so, the railways may be right. But then, on the
other band, the general feeling of the people must in such case be
wrong. Such a feeling argues a total mistake as to the nature of
that liberty and equality for the security of which the people are
so anxious, and that mistake the very one which has made shipwreck
so many attempts at freedom in other countries. It argues that
confusion between social and political equality which has led
astray multitudes who have longed for liberty fervently, but who
have not thought of it carefully. If a first-class railway
carriage should be held as offensive, so should a first-class
house, or a first-class horse, or a first-class dinner. But first-
class houses, first-class horses, and first-class dinners are very
rife in America. Of course it may be said that the expenditure
shown in these last-named objects is private expenditure, and
cannot be controlled; and that railway traveling is of a public
nature, and can be made subject to public opinion. But the fault
is in that public opinion which desires to control matters of this
nature. Such an arrangement partakes of all the vice of a
sumptuary law, and sumptuary laws are in their very essence
mistakes. It is well that a man should always have all for which
he is willing to pay. If he desires and obtains more than is good
for him, the punishment, and thus also the preventive, will come
from other sources.

It will be said that the American cars are good enough for all
purposes. The seats are not very hard, and the room for sitting is
sufficient. Nevertheless I deny that they are good enough for all
purposes. They are very long, and to enter them and find a place
often requires a struggle and almost a fight. There is rarely any
person to tell a stranger which car he should enter. One never
meets an uncivil or unruly man, but the women of the lower ranks
are not courteous. American ladies love to lie at ease in their
carriages, as thoroughly as do our women in Hyde Park; and to those
who are used to such luxury, traveling by railroad in their own
country must be grievous. I would not wish to be thought a
Sybarite myself, or to be held as complaining because I have been
compelled to give up my seat to women with babies and bandboxes who
have accepted the courtesy with very scanty grace. I have borne
worse things than these, and have roughed it much in my days, from
want of means and other reasons. Nor am I yet so old but what I
can rough it still. Nevertheless I like to see things as well done
as is practicable, and railway traveling in the States is not well
done. I feel bound to say as much as this, and now I have said it,
once for all.

Few cities, or localities for cities, have fairer natural
advantages than Portland and I am bound to say that the people of
Portland have done much in turning them to account. This town is
not the capital of the State in a political point of view.
Augusta, which is farther to the north, on the Kennebec River, is
the seat of the State government for Maine. It is very generally
the case that the States do not hold their legislatures and carry
on their government at their chief towns. Augusta and not Portland
is the capital of Maine. Of the State of New York, Albany is the
capital, and not the city which bears the State's name. And of
Pennsylvania, Harrisburg and not Philadelphia is the capital. I
think the idea has been that old-fashioned notions were bad in that
they were old fashioned; and that a new people, bound by no
prejudices, might certainly make improvement by choosing for
themselves new ways. If so, the American politicians have not been
the first in the world who have thought that any change must be a
change for the better. The assigned reason is the centrical
position of the selected political capitals; but I have generally
found the real commercial capital to be easier of access than the
smaller town in which the two legislative houses are obliged to
collect themselves.

What must be the natural excellence of the harbor of Portland, will
be understood when it is borne in mind that the Great Eastern can
enter it at all times, and that it can lay along the wharves at any
hour of the tide. The wharves which have been prepared for her--
and of which I will say a word further by-and-by--are joined to,
and in fact, are a portion of, the station of the Grand Trunk
Railway, which runs from Portland up to Canada. So that passengers
landing at Portland out of a vessel so large even as the Great
Eastern can walk at once on shore, and goods can be passed on to
the railway without any of the cost of removal. I will not say
that there is no other harbor in the world that would allow of
this, but I do not know any other that would do so.

From Portland a line of railway, called as a whole by the name of
the Canada Grand Trunk Line, runs across the State of Maine,
through the northern parts of New Hampshire and Vermont, to
Montreal, a branch striking from Richmond, a little within the
limits of Canada, to Quebec, and down the St. Lawrence to Riviere
du Loup. The main line is continued from Montreal, through Upper
Canada to Toronto, and from thence to Detroit in the State of
Michigan. The total distance thus traversed is, in a direct line,
about 900 miles. From Detroit there is railway communications
through the immense Northwestern States of Michigan, Wisconsin, and
Illinois, than which perhaps the surface of the globe affords no
finer districts for purposes of agriculture. The produce of the
two Canadas must be poured forth to the Eastern world, and the men
of the Eastern world must throng into these lands by means of this
railroad, and, as at present arranged, through the harbor of
Portland. At present the line has been opened, and they who have
opened are sorely suffering in pocket for what they have done. The
question of the railway is rather one applying to Canada than to
the State of Maine, and I will therefore leave it for the present.

But the Great Eastern has never been to Portland, and as far as I
know has no intention of going there. She was, I believe, built
with that object. At any rate, it was proclaimed during her
building that such was her destiny, and the Portlanders believed it
with a perfect faith. They went to work and built wharves
expressly for her; two wharves prepared to fit her two gangways, or
ways of exit and entrance. They built a huge hotel to receive her
passengers. They prepared for her advent with a full conviction
that a millennium of trade was about to be wafted to their happy
port. "Sir, the town has expended two hundred thousand dollars in
expectation of that ship, and that ship has deceived us." So was
the matter spoken of to me by an intelligent Portlander. I
explained to that intelligent gentleman that two hundred thousand
dollars would go a very little way toward making up the loss which
the ill-fortuned vessel had occasioned on the other side of the
water. He did not in words express gratification at this
information, but he looked it. The matter was as it were a
partnership without deed of contract between the Portlanders and
the shareholders of the vessel, and the Portlanders, though they
also have suffered their losses, have not had the worst of it.

But there are still good days in store for the town. Though the
Great Eastern has not gone there, other ships from Europe, more
profitable if less in size, must eventually find their way thither.
At present the Canada line of packets runs to Portland only during
those months in which it is shut out from the St. Lawrence and
Quebec by ice. But the St. Lawrence and Quebec cannot offer the
advantages which Portland enjoys, and that big hotel and those new
wharves will not have been built in vain.

I have said that a good time is coming, but I would by no means
wish to signify that the present times in Portland are bad. So far
from it that I doubt whether I ever saw a town with more evident
signs of prosperity. It has about it every mark of ample means,
and no mark of poverty. It contains about 27,000 people, and for
that population covers a very large space of ground. The streets
are broad and well built, the main streets not running in those
absolutely straight parallels which are so common in American
towns, and are so distressing to English eyes and English feelings.
All these, except the streets devoted exclusively to business, are
shaded on both sides by trees, generally, if I remember rightly, by
the beautiful American elm, whose drooping boughs have all the
grace of the willow without its fantastic melancholy. What the
poorer streets of Portland may be like, I cannot say. I saw no
poor street. But in no town of 30,000 inhabitants did I ever see
so many houses which must require an expenditure of from six to
eight hundred a year to maintain them.

The place, too, is beautifully situated. It is on a long
promontory, which takes the shape of a peninsula, for the neck
which joins it to the main-land is not above half a mile across.
But though the town thus stands out into the sea, it is not exposed
and bleak. The harbor, again, is surrounded by land, or so guarded
and locked by islands as to form a series of salt-water lakes
running round the town. Of those islands there are, of course,
three hundred and sixty-five. Travelers who write their travels
are constantly called upon to record that number, so that it may
now be considered as a superlative in local phraseology, signifying
a very great many indeed. The town stands between two hills, the
suburbs or outskirts running up on to each of them. The one
looking out toward the sea is called Mountjoy, though the obstinate
Americans will write it Munjoy on their maps. From thence the view
out to the harbor and beyond the harbor to the islands is, I may
not say unequaled, or I shall be guilty of running into
superlatives myself, but it is in its way equal to anything I have
seen. Perhaps it is more like Cork harbor, as seen from certain
heights over Passage, than anything else I can remember; but
Portland harbor, though equally landlocked, is larger; and then
from Portland harbor there is, as it were, a river outlet running
through delicious islands, most unalluring to the navigator, but
delicious to the eyes of an uncommercial traveler. There are in
all four outlets to the sea, one of which appears to have been made
expressly for the Great Eastern. Then there is the hill looking
inward. If it has a name, I forget it. The view from this hill is
also over the water on each side, and, though not so extensive, is
perhaps as pleasing as the other.

The ways of the people seemed to be quiet, smooth, orderly, and
republican. There is nothing to drink in Portland, of course; for,
thanks to Mr. Neal Dow, the Father Matthew of the State of Maine,
the Maine liquor law is still in force in that State. There is
nothing to drink, I should say, in such orderly houses as that I
selected. "People do drink some in the town, they say," said my
hostess to me, "and liquor is to be got. But I never venture to
sell any. An ill-natured person might turn on me; and where should
I be then?" I did not press her, and she was good enough to put a
bottle of porter at my right hand at dinner, for which I observed
she made no charge. "But they advertise beer in the shop windows,"
I said to a man who was driving me--"Scotch ale and bitter beer. A
man can get drunk on them." "Waal, yes. If he goes to work hard,
and drinks a bucketful," said the driver, "perhaps he may." From
which and other things I gathered that the men of Maine drank
pottle deep before Mr. Neal Dow brought his exertions to a
successful termination.

The Maine liquor law still stands in Maine, and is the law of the
land throughout New England; but it is not actually put in force in
the other States. By this law no man may retail wine, spirits, or,
in truth, beer, except with a special license, which is given only
to those who are presumed to sell them as medicines. A man may
have what he likes in his own cellar for his own use--such, at
least, is the actual working of the law--but may not obtain it at
hotels and public houses. This law, like all sumptuary laws, must
fail. And it is fast failing even in Maine. But it did appear to
me, from such information as I could collect, that the passing of
it had done much to hinder and repress a habit of hard drinking
which was becoming terribly common, not only in the towns of Maine,
but among the farmers and hired laborers in the country.

But, if the men and women of Portland may not drink, they may eat;
and it is a place, I should say, in which good living on that side
of the question is very rife. It has an air of supreme plenty, as
though the agonies of an empty stomach were never known there. 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 fortune! 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, obliging, 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. All was, or seemed to be, orderly,
sleek, and unobtrusive. Probably, of all modes of life that are
allotted to man by his Creator, life such as this is the most
happy. One hint, however, for improvement, I must give even to
Portland: It would be well if they could make their streets of some
material harder than sand.

I must not leave the town without desiring those who may visit it
to mount the observatory. They will from thence get the best view
of the harbor and of the surrounding land; and, if they chance to
do so under the reign of the present keeper of the signals, they
will find a man there able and willing to tell them everything
needful about the State of Maine in general and the harbor in
particular. He will come out in his shirt sleeves, and, like a
true American, will not at first be very smooth in his courtesy;
but he will wax brighter in conversation, and, if not stroked the
wrong way, will turn out to be an uncommonly pleasant fellow. Such
I believe to be the case with most of them.

From Portland we made our way up to the White Mountains, which lay
on our route to Canada. Now, I would ask any of my readers who are
candid enough to expose their own ignorance whether they ever
heard, or at any rate whether they know anything, of the White
Mountains? As regards myself, I confess that the name had reached
my ears; that I had an indefinite idea that they formed an
intermediate stage between the Rocky Mountains and the Alleghanies;
and that they were inhabited either by Mormons, Indians, or simply
by black bears. That there was a district in New England
containing mountain scenery superior to much that is yearly crowded
by tourists in Europe, that this is to be reached with ease by
railways and stagecoaches, and that it is dotted with huge hotels
almost as thickly as they lie in Switzerland, I had no idea. Much
of this scenery, I say, is superior to the famed and classic lands
of Europe. I know nothing, for instance, on the Rhine equal to the
view from Mount Willard down the mountain pass called the Notch.

Let the visitor of these regions be as late in the year as he can,
taking care that he is not so late as to find the hotels closed.
October, no doubt, is the most beautiful month among these
mountains; but, according to the present arrangement of matters
here, the hotels are shut up by the end of September. With us,
August, September, and October are the holiday months; whereas our
rebel children across the Atlantic love to disport themselves in
July and August. The great beauty of the autumn, or fall, is in
the brilliant hues which are then taken by the foliage. The
autumnal tints are fine with us. They are lovely and bright
wherever foliage and vegetation form a part of the beauty of
scenery. But in no other land do they approach the brilliancy of
the fall in America. The bright rose color, the rich bronze which
is almost purple in its richness, and the glorious golden yellows
must be seen to be understood. By me, at any rate, they cannot be
described. They begin to show themselves in September; and perhaps
I might name the latter half of that month as the best time for
visiting the White Mountains.

I am not going to write a guide book, feeling sure that Mr. Murray
will do New England and Canada, including Niagara, and the Hudson
River, with a peep into Boston and New York, before many more
seasons have passed by. But I cannot forbear to tell my countrymen
that any enterprising individual, with a hundred pounds to spend on
his holiday--a hundred and twenty would make him more comfortable
in regard to wine, washing, and other luxuries--and an absence of
two months from his labors, may see as much and do as much here for
the money as he can see or do elsewhere. In some respects he may
do more; for he will learn more of American nature in such a
journey than he can ever learn of the nature of Frenchmen or
Americans by such an excursion among them. Some three weeks of the
time, or perhaps a day or two over, he must be at sea, and that
portion of his trip will cost him fifty pounds, presuming that he
chooses to go in the most comfortable and costly way; but his time
on board ship will not be lost. He will learn to know much of
Americans there, and will perhaps form acquaintances of which he
will not altogether lose sight for many a year. He will land at
Boston, and, staying a day or two there, will visit Cambridge,
Lowell, and Bunker Hill, and, if he be that way given, will
remember that here live, and occasionally are to be seen alive, men
such as Longfellow, Emerson, Hawthorne, and a host of others, whose
names and fames have made Boston the throne of Western literature.
He will then, if he take my advice and follow my track, go by
Portland up into the White Mountains. At Gorham, a station on the
Grand Trunk Line, he will find a hotel as good as any of its kind,
and from thence he will take a light wagon, so called in these
countries. And here let me presume that the traveler is not alone:
he has his wife or friend, or perhaps a pair of sisters, and in his
wagon he will go up through primeval forests to the Glen House.
When there, he will ascend Mount Washington on a pony. That is de
rigueur, and I do not therefore dare to recommend him to omit the
ascent. I did not gain much myself by my labor. He will not stay
at the Glen House, but will go on to--Jackson's I think they call
the next hotel, at which he will sleep. From thence he will take
his wagon on through the Notch to the Crawford house, sleeping
there again; and when here, let him, of all things, remember to go
up Mount Willard. It is but a walk of two hours up and down, if so
much. When reaching the top, he will be startled to find that he
looks down into the ravine without an inch of foreground. He will
come out suddenly on a ledge of rock, from whence, as it seems, he
might leap down at once into the valley below. Then, going on from
the Crawford House, he will be driven through the woods of Cherry
Mount, passing, I fear without toll of custom, the house of my
excellent friend Mr. Plaistead, who keeps a hotel at Jefferson.
"Sir," said Mr. Plaistead, "I have everything here that a man ought
to want: air, sir, that aint to be got better nowhere; trout,
chickens, beef, mutton, milk--and all for a dollar a day! A-top of
that hill, sir, there's a view that aint to be beaten this side of
the Atlantic, or I believe the other. And an echo, sir!--we've an
echo that comes back to us six times, sir; floating on the light
wind, and wafted about from rock to rock, till you would think the
angels were talking to you. If I could raise that echo, sir, every
day at command, I'd give a thousand dollars for it. It would be
worth all the money to a house like this." And he waved his hand
about from hill to hill, pointing out in graceful curves the lines
which the sounds would take. Had destiny not called on Mr.
Plaistead to keep an American hotel, he might have been a poet.

My traveler, however, unless time were plenty with him, would pass
Mr. Plaistead, merely lighting a friendly cigar, or perhaps
breaking the Maine liquor law if the weather be warm, and would
return to Gorham on the railway. All this mountain district is in
New Hampshire; and, presuming him to be capable of going about the
world with his mouth, ears, and eyes open, he would learn much of
the way in which men are settling themselves in this still
sparsely-populated country. Here young farmers go into the woods
as they are doing far down West in the Territories, and buying some
hundred acres at perhaps six shillings an acre, fell and burn the
trees, and build their huts, and take the first steps, as far as
man's work is concerned, toward accomplishing the will of the
Creator in those regions. For such pioneers of civilization there
is still ample room even in the long-settled States of New
Hampshire and Vermont.

But to return to my traveler, whom, having brought so far, I must
send on. Let him go on from Gorham to Quebec and the heights of
Abraham, stopping at Sherbrooke that he might visit from thence the
Lake of Memphra Magog. As to the manner of traveling over this
ground I shall say a little in the next chapter, when I come to the
progress of myself and my wife. From Quebec he will go up the St.
Lawrence to Montreal. He will visit Ottawa, the new capital, and
Toronto. He will cross the lake to Niagara, resting probably at
the Clifton House on the Canada side. He will then pass on to
Albany, taking the Trenton Falls on his way. From Albany he will
go down the Hudson to West Point. He cannot stop at the Catskill
Mountains, for the hotel will be closed. And then he will take the
river boat, and in a few hours will find himself at New York. If
he desires to go into American city society, he will find New York
agreeable; but in that case he must exceed his two months. If he
do not so desire, a short sojourn at New York will show him all
that there is to be seen and all that there is not to be seen in
that great city. That the Cunard line of steamers will bring him
safely back to Liverpool in about eleven days, I need not tell to
any Englishman, or, as I believe, to any American. So much, in the
spirit of a guide, I vouchsafe to all who are willing to take my
counsel--thereby anticipating Murray, and leaving these few pages
as a legacy to him or to his collaborateurs.

I cannot say that I like the hotels in those parts, or, indeed, the
mode of life at American hotels in general. In order that I may
not unjustly defame them, I will commence these observations by
declaring that they are cheap to those who choose to practice the
economy which they encourage, that the viands are profuse in
quantity and wholesome in quality, that the attendance is quick and
unsparing, and that travelers are never annoyed by that grasping,
greedy hunger and thirst after francs and shillings which disgrace,
in Europe, many English and many continental inns. All this is, as
must be admitted, great praise; and yet I do not like the American

One is in a free country, and has come from a country in which one
has been brought up to hug one's chains--so at least the English
traveler is constantly assured--and yet in an American inn one can
never do as one likes. A terrific gong sounds early in the
morning, breaking one's sweet slumbers; and then a second gong,
sounding some thirty minutes later, makes you understand that you
must proceed to breakfast whether you be dressed or no. You
certainly can go on with your toilet, and obtain your meal after
half an hour's delay. Nobody actually scolds you for so doing, but
the breakfast is, as they say in this country, "through." You sit
down alone, and the attendant stands immediately over you.
Probably there are two so standing. They fill your cup the instant
it is empty. They tender you fresh food before that which has
disappeared from your plate has been swallowed. They begrudge you
no amount that you can eat or drink; but they begrudge you a single
moment that you sit there neither eating nor drinking. This is
your fate if you're too late; and therefore, as a rule, you are not
late. In that case, you form one of a long row of eaters who
proceed through their work with a solid energy that is past all
praise. It is wrong to say that Americans will not talk at their
meals. I never met but few who would not talk to me, at any rate
till I got to the far West; but I have rarely found that they would
address me first. Then the dinner comes early--at least it always
does so in New England--and the ceremony is much of the same kind.
You came there to eat, and the food is pressed upon you ad nauseam.
But, as far as one can see, there is no drinking. In these days, I
am quite aware that drinking has become improper, even in England.
We are apt, at home, to speak of wine as a thing tabooed, wondering
how our fathers lived and swilled. I believe that, as a fact, we
drink as much as they did; but, nevertheless, that is our theory.
I confess, however, that I like wine. It is very wicked, but it
seems to me that my dinner goes down better with a glass of sherry
than without it. As a rule, I always did get it at hotels in
America. But I had no comfort with it. Sherry they do not
understand at all. Of course I am only speaking of hotels. Their
claret they get exclusively from Mr. Gladstone, and, looking at the
quality, have a right to quarrel even with Mr. Gladstone's price.
But it is not the quality of the wine that I hereby intend to
subject to ignominy so much as the want of any opportunity for
drinking it. After dinner, if all that I hear be true, the
gentlemen occasionally drop into the hotel bar and "liquor up." Or
rather this is not done specially after dinner, but, without
prejudice to the hour, at any time that may be found desirable. I
also have "liquored up," but I cannot say that I enjoy the process.
I do not intend hereby to accuse Americans of drinking much; but I
maintain that what they do drink, they drink in the most
uncomfortable manner that the imagination can devise.

The greatest luxury at an English inn is one's tea, one's fire, and
one's book. Such an arrangement is not practicable at an American
hotel. Tea, like breakfast, is a great meal, at which meat should
be eaten, generally with the addition of much jelly, jam, and sweet
preserve; but no person delays over his teacup. I love to have my
teacup emptied and filled with gradual pauses, so that time for
oblivion may accrue, and no exact record be taken. No such meal is
known at American hotels. It is possible to hire a separate room,
and have one's meals served in it; but in doing so a man runs
counter to all the institutions of the country, and a woman does so
equally. A stranger does not wish to be viewed askance by all
around him; and the rule which holds that men at Rome should do as
Romans do, if true anywhere, is true in America. Therefore I say
that in an American inn one can never do as one pleases.

In what I have here said I do not intend to speak of hotels in the
largest cities, such as Boston or New York. At them meals are
served in the public room separately, and pretty nearly at any or
at all hours of the day; but at them also the attendant stands over
the unfortunate eater and drives him. The guest feels that he is
controlled by laws adapted to the usages of the Medes and Persians.
He is not the master on the occasion, but the slave--a slave well
treated, and fattened up to the full endurance of humanity, but yet
a slave.

From Gorham we went on to Island Pond, a station on the same Canada
Trunk Railway, on a Saturday evening, and were forced by the
circumstances of the line to pass a melancholy Sunday at the place.
The cars do not run on Sundays, and run but once a day on other
days over the whole line, so that, in fact, the impediment to
traveling spreads over two days. Island Pond is a lake with an
island in it; and the place which has taken the name is a small
village, about ten years old, standing in the midst of uncut
forests, and has been created by the railway. In ten years more
there will no doubt be a spreading town at Island Pond; the forests
will recede; and men, rushing out from the crowded cities, will
find here food, and space, and wealth. For myself, I never remain
long in such a spot without feeling thankful that it has not been
my mission to be a pioneer of civilization.

The farther that I got away from Boston the less strong did I find
the feeling of anger against England. There, as I have said
before, there was a bitter animosity against the mother country in
that she had shown no open sympathy with the North. In Maine and
New Hampshire I did not find this to be the case to any violent
degree. Men spoke of the war as openly as they did at Boston, and,
in speaking to me, generally connected England with the subject.
But they did so simply to ask questions as to England's policy.
What will she do for cotton when her operatives are really pressed?
Will she break the blockade? Will she insist on a right to trade
with Charleston and new Orleans? I always answered that she would
insist on no such right, if that right were denied to others and
the denial enforced. England, I took upon myself to say, would not
break a veritable blockade, let her be driven to what shifts she
might in providing for her operatives. "Ah! that's what we fear,"
a very stanch patriot said to me, if words may be taken as a proof
of stauchness. "If England allies herself with the Southerners,
all our trouble is for nothing." It was impossible not to feel
that all that was said was complimentary to England. It is her
sympathy that the Northern men desire, to her co-operation that
they would willingly trust, on her honesty that they would choose
to depend. It is the same feeling whether it shows itself in anger
or in curiosity. An American, whether he be embarked in politics,
in literature, or in commerce, desires English admiration, English
appreciation of his energy, and English encouragement. The anger
of Boston is but a sign of its affectionate friendliness. What
feeling is so hot as that of a friend when his dearest friend
refuses to share his quarrel or to sympathize in his wrongs! To my
thinking, the men of Boston are wrong and unreasonable in their
anger; but were I a man of Boston, I should be as wrong and as
unreasonable as any of them. All that, however, will come right.
I will not believe it possible that there should in very truth be a
quarrel between England and the Northern States.

In the guidance of those who are not quite au fait at the details
of American government, I will here in a few words describe the
outlines of State government as it is arranged in New Hampshire.
The States, in this respect, are not all alike, the modes of
election of their officers, and periods of service, being
different. Even the franchise is different in different States.
Universal suffrage is not the rule throughout the United States,
though it is, I believe, very generally thought in England that
such is the fact. I need hardly say that the laws in the different
States may be as various as the different legislatures may choose
to make them.

In New Hampshire universal suffrage does prevail, which means that
any man may vote who lives in the State, supports himself, and
assists to support the poor by means of poor rates. A governor of
the State is elected for one year only; but it is customary, or at
any rate not uncustomary, to re-elect him for a second year. His
salary is a thousand dollars a year, or two hundred pounds. It
must be presumed, therefore, that glory, and not money, is his
object. To him is appended a Council, by whose opinions he must in
a great degree be guided. His functions are to the State what
those of the President are to the country; and, for the short
period of his reign, he is as it were a Prime Minister of the
State, with certain very limited regal attributes. He, however, by
no means enjoys the regal attribute of doing no wrong. In every
State there is an Assembly, consisting of two houses of elected
representatives--the Senate, or upper house, and the House of
Representatives so called. In New Hampshire, this Assembly or
Parliament is styled The General Court of New Hampshire. It sits
annually, whereas the legislature in many States sits only every
other year. Both houses are re-elected every year. This Assembly
passes laws with all the power vested in our Parliament, but such
laws apply of course only to the State in question. The Governor
of the State has a veto on all bills passed by the two houses.
But, after receipt of his veto, any bill so stopped by the Governor
can be passed by a majority of two-thirds in each house. The
General Court usually sits for about ten weeks. There are in the
State eight judges--three supreme, who sit at Concord, the capital,
as a court of appeal both in civil and criminal matters, and then
five lesser judges, who go circuit through the State. The salaries
of these lesser judges do not exceed from 250 pounds to 300 pounds
a year; but they are, I believe, allowed to practice as lawyers in
any counties except those in which they sit as judges--being
guided, in this respect, by the same law as that which regulates
the work of assistant barristers in Ireland. The assistant
barristers in Ireland are attached to the counties as judges at
Quarter Sessions, but they practice, or may practice, as advocates
in all counties except that to which they are so attached. The
judges in New Hampshire are appointed by the Governor, with the
assistance of his Council. No judge in New Hampshire can hold his
seat after he has reached seventy years of age.

So much at the present moment with reference to the government of
New Hampshire.



The Grand Trunk Railway runs directly from Portland to Montreal,
which latter town is, in fact, the capital of Canada, though it
never has been so exclusively, and, as it seems, never is to be so
as regards authority, government, and official name. In such
matters, authority and government often say one thing while
commerce says another; but commerce always has the best of it and
wins the game, whatever government may decree. Albany, in this
way, is the capital of the State of New York, as authorized by the
State government; but New York has made herself the capital of
America, and will remain so. So also Montreal has made herself the
capital of Canada. The Grand Trunk Railway runs from Portland to
Montreal; but there is a branch from Richmond, a township within
the limits of Canada, to Quebec; so that travelers to Quebec, as we
were, are not obliged to reach that place via Montreal.

Quebec is the present seat of Canadian government, its turn for
that honor having come round some two years ago; but it is about to
be deserted in favor of Ottawa, a town which is, in fact, still to
be built on the river of that name. The public edifices are,
however, in a state of forwardness; and if all goes well, the
Governor, the two Councils, and the House of Representatives will
be there before two years are over, whether there be any town to
receive them or no. Who can think of Ottawa without bidding his
brothers to row, and reminding them that the stream runs fast, that
the rapids are near and the daylight past? I asked, as a matter of
course, whether Quebec was much disgusted at the proposed change,
and I was told that the feeling was not now very strong. Had it
been determined to make Montreal the permanent seat of government,
Quebec and Toronto would both have been up in arms.

I must confess that, in going from the States into Canada, an
Englishman is struck by the feeling that he is going from a richer
country into one that is poorer, and from a greater country into
one that is less. An Englishman going from a foreign land into a
land which is in one sense his own, of course finds much in the
change to gratify him. He is able to speak as the master, instead
of speaking as the visitor. His tongue becomes more free, and he
is able to fall back to his national habits and national
expressions. He no longer feels that he is admitted on sufferance,
or that he must be careful to respect laws which he does not quite
understand. This feeling was naturally strong in an Englishman in
passing from the States into Canada at the time of my visit.
English policy, at that moment, was violently abused by Americans,
and was upheld as violently in Canada. But nevertheless, with all
this, I could not enter Canada without seeing, and hearing, and
feeling that there was less of enterprise around me there than in
the States, less of general movement, and less of commercial
success. To say why this is so would require a long and very
difficult discussion, and one which I am not prepared to hold. It
may be that a dependent country, let the feeling of dependence be
ever so much modified by powers of self-governance, cannot hold its
own against countries which are in all respects their own masters.
Few, I believe, would now maintain that the Northern States of
America would have risen in commerce as they have risen, had they
still remained attached to England as colonies. If this be so,
that privilege of self-rule which they have acquired has been the
cause of their success. It does not follow as a consequence that
the Canadas, fighting their battle alone in the world, could do as
the States have done. Climate, or size, or geographical position
might stand in their way. But I fear that it does follow, if not
as a logical conclusion, at least as a natural result, that they
never will do so well unless some day they shall so fight their
battle. It may be argued that Canada has in fact the power of
self-governance; that she rules herself and makes her own laws as
England does; that the Sovereign of England has but a veto on those
laws, and stands in regard to Canada exactly as she does in regard
to England. This is so, I believe, by the letter of the


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