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spaper observes, with a good deal of point, that it is from these exceptional enthusiasts that the heroes of the tales of Mr. James and Mr. Howells seem to be recruited. It shrewdly describes them as people who spend more than half their life in Europe, and return only to scold their agents for the smallness of their remittances ; and protests that such people will have, and can have, no perceptible influence for good on the real civilization of America. Then our Boston friend turns to me agai me, at any rate, it is not credible. And I feel more sure than ever, that our Boston informant has told us of groups where he ought to have told us of individuals; and that many of his individuals, even, have hopped over, as he wittily says, to Europe. Mr. Lowell himself describes his own nation as the most common-schooled and the least cultivated people in the world. They strike foreigners in the same way. M. Renan says that the United States have created a considerable popular instructio
Birmingham (United Kingdom) (search for this): chapter 2
us is our Populace, and it is relieved of the pressure and false ideal of our Barbarians. It is generally industrious and religious, as our middle class. Its religion is even less invaded, I believe, by the modern spirit than the religion of our middle class. An American of reputation as a man of science tells me that he lives in a town of a hundred and fifty thousand people, of whom there are not fifty who do not imagine the first chapters of Genesis to be exact history. Mr. Dale, of Birmingham, found, he says, that orthodox Christian people in America were less troubled by attacks on the orthodox creed than the like people in England. They seemed to feel sure of their ground and they showed no alarm. Public opinion requires public men to attend regularly some place of worship. The favorite denominations are those with which we are here familiar as the denominations of Protestant dissent; when Mr. Dale tells us of the Baptists, not including the Free Will Baptists, Seventh Day
Glamorgan (United Kingdom) (search for this): chapter 2
spectacle of an upper class materialized, a middle class vulgarized, a lower class brutalized, one has earned the right, perhaps, to speak with candor of the social systems of other countries. Mr. Lowell complains that we English make our narrow Anglicism, as he calls it, the standard of all things; but we are worth nothing, says Mr. Lowell of himself and his countrymen, we are worth nothing except so far as we have disinfected ourselves of Anglicism. Mr. Hussey Vivian, the member for Glamorganshire, goes to travel in America, and when he comes back, delighted with the country and the people, he publishes his opinion that just two things are wanting to their happiness,--a sovereign of the British type, and a House of Lords:-- If Americans could only get over the first wrench, and elect a king of the old stock, under the same limited constitutional conditions as our sovereigns, and weld their separate states into one compact and solid nation, many of them would be only too thankfu
France (France) (search for this): chapter 2
rious absurd ways as the necessary consequence; for they will never arrive at that devoutly to be wished consummation, till they learn to look at us as we are, and not as they suppose us to be. On the other hand, from some quarters in America come reproaches to us for not speaking about America enough, for not making sufficient use of her in illustration of what we bring forward. Mr. Higginson expresses much surprise that when, for instance, I dilate on the benefits of equality, it is to France that I have recourse for the illustration and confirmation of my thesis, not to the United States. A Boston newspaper supposes me to speak of American manners as vulgar, and finds, what is worse, that the Atlantic Monthly, commenting on this supposed utterance of mine, adopts it and carries it further. For the writer in the Atlantic Monthly says that, indeed, the hideousness and vulgarity of American manners are undeniable, and that redemption is only to be expected by the work of a few en
Illinois (Illinois, United States) (search for this): chapter 2
for some time. Miss Bird, as those who have read her books well know, is not a lackadaisical person, or in any way a fine lady; she can ride, catch, and saddle a horse, make herself agreeable, wash up plates, improvise lamps, teach knitting. But-- Oh (she says), what a hard, narrow life it is with which I am now in contact! A narrow and unattractive religion, which I believe still to be genuine, and an intense but narrow patriotism, are the only higher influences. Chalmers came from Illinois nine years ago. He is slightly intelligent, very opinionated, and wishes to be thought well-informed, which he is not. He belongs to the strictest sect of Reformed Presbyterians; his great boast is that his ancestors were Scottish Covenanters. He considers himself a profound theologian, and by the pine logs at night discourses to me on the mysteries of the eternal counsels and the divine decrees. Colorado, with its progress and its future, is also a constant theme. He hates England with
Denver (Colorado, United States) (search for this): chapter 2
minance of Murdstone and Quinion herself — of Quinion at any rate. Yes, and of Murdstone too. Miss Bird, the best of travellers, and with the skill to relate her travels delightfully, met the rudimentary American type of Murdstone not far from Denver, and has described him for us. Denver — I hear some one say scornfully-Denver! A new territory, the outskirts of civilization, the Rocky Mountains! But I prefer to follow a course which would, I know, deliver me over a prey into the Americans' ple social order in the older states will be too strong for it; or whether, on the other hand, it may be too strong for the elegant and simple social order. Miss Bird then describes the Chalmers family, a family with which, on her journey from Denver to the Rocky Mountains, she lodged for some time. Miss Bird, as those who have read her books well know, is not a lackadaisical person, or in any way a fine lady; she can ride, catch, and saddle a horse, make herself agreeable, wash up plates, i
England (United Kingdom) (search for this): chapter 2
all that we needed. We have done so here in England. These groups, with us, these serious and eformists in all the towns, small and great, of England, whose praise is here celebrated by Mr. Brighpable of producing and produce for us here in England, too, and for the production of which we needhe pale of middle-class achievement. Both in England and in America, the middle class is abundantl, and to chapel or church. True; and yet, in England at any rate, the middle class, with all its i of social life and manners. That which in England we call the middle class is in America virtuas future, is also a constant theme. He hates England with a bitter personal hatred. He trusts to one may say, and boldly turns the tables upon England, is just the way in which Murdstone and Quinius has which are wanting to the other. We in England have liberty and industry and the sense for c have seen reason for thinking, that as we in England, with our aristocracy, gentlemen, liberty, in[9 more...]
Colorado (Colorado, United States) (search for this): chapter 2
eformed Presbyterians; his great boast is that his ancestors were Scottish Covenanters. He considers himself a profound theologian, and by the pine logs at night discourses to me on the mysteries of the eternal counsels and the divine decrees. Colorado, with its progress and its future, is also a constant theme. He hates England with a bitter personal hatred. He trusts to live to see the downfall of the British monarchy and the disintegration of the empire. He is very fond of talking, and asks me a great deal about my travels, but if I speak favorably of the climate or resources of any other country, he regards it as a slur on Colorado. Mrs. Chalmers looks like one of the English poor women of our childhood — lean, clean, toothless, and speaks, like some of them, in a piping, discontented voice, which seems to convey a personal reproach. She is never idle for one moment, is severe and hard, and despises everything but work. She always speaks of me as this or that woman. The f
Australia (Australia) (search for this): chapter 2
, at the Sydney Theatre, plays the Count in the Somnambula; and here is the criticism: Barring his stomach, he is the finest-looking artist I have seen on the stage for years; and if he don't slide into the affections or break the gizzards of half our Sydney girls, it's a pretty certain sign there's a scarcity of balm in Gilead. This is not Mark Twain, not an American humorist at all; it is the Bathurst Sentinel. So I have gone to the Rocky Mountains for the New World Murdstone, and to Australia for the New World Quinion. I have not assailed in the least the civilization of America in those northern, middle, and southwestern states, to which Americans have a right to refer us when we seek to know their civilization, and to which they, in fact, do refer us. What I wish to say is, and I by no means even put it in the form of an assertion — I put it in the form of a question only, a question to my friends in America who are believers in equality and lovers of the humane life as I al
United States (United States) (search for this): chapter 2
he world, I have never yet been able to go to America, and probably I never shall be able. But manand on civilization, and then is told that in America a lover of these will find just what suits hi better than to find the difficulty solved in America, to find democracy a success there, with a tynds, from the example of the people of the United States. I go back again to my Boston newspaper:- northern, middle, and southwestern states of America, and this in addition to circles in New York en America, and I have not. Perhaps things in America are as he says. I am sure I hope they are, fst every town of the great majority of the United States a type of elegant and simple social order,rich people quite sufficiently materialized. America has not our large and unique class of gentlemhe really fruitful reform to be looked for in America, so far as I can judge, is the very same refohronicles of Jumbo, my critic will tell me what he thinks of it. A word more about America. [72 more...]
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