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Chapter 12: Greece and other lands 1867; aet. 48

Our country

On primal rocks she wrote her name,
Her towers were reared on holy graves;
The golden seed that bore her came
Swift-winged with prayer o'er ocean waves.

The Forest bowed his solemn crest,
And open flung his sylvan doors;
Meek Rivers led the appointed Guest
To clasp the wide-embracing shores;

Till, fold by fold, the broidered Land
To swell her virgin vestments grew,
While Sages, strong in heart and hand,
Her virtue's fiery girdle drew.

O Exile of the wrath of Kings!
O Pilgrim Ark of Liberty!
The refuge of divinest things,
Their record must abide in thee.

First in the glories of thy front
Let the crown jewel Truth be found;
Thy right hand fling with generous wont
Love's happy chain to farthest bound.

Let Justice with the faultless scales
Hold fast the worship of thy sons,
Thy commerce spread her shining sails
Where no dark tide of rapine runs.

So link thy ways to those of God,
So follow firm the heavenly laws,
That stars may greet thee, warrior-browed,
And storm-sped angels hail thy cause.

O Land, the measure of our prayers,
Hope of the world, in grief and wrong!
Be thine the blessing of the years,
The gift of faith, the crown of song.

J. W. H.

In January, 1867, a new note is sounded.

“In the evening attended meeting in behalf of Crete, [261] at which Chev presided and spoke. Excellent as to matter, but always with a defective elocution, not sending his voice out. He was much and deservedly glorified by other speakers, and, indeed, his appearance on this occasion was most touching and interesting. Phillips was very fine; Huntington was careful, polished, and interesting. Andrew read the resolutions, with a splendid compliment to Chev.”

Some months before this, in August, 1866, the Cretans had risen against their Turkish oppressors, and made a valiant struggle for freedom. From the first the Doctor had been deeply interested in the insurrection: now, as reports came of the sufferings of the brave mountaineers, and of their women and children, who had been sent to the mainland for safety, he felt impelled to help them as he had helped their fathers forty years before.

He was sixty-six years old, but looked much younger. When, at the first meeting called by him, he rose and said, “Forty-five years ago I was much interested in the Greek Revolution,” the audience was amazed. His hair was but lightly touched with silver; his eyes were as bright, his figure as erect and martial, as when, in 1826, he had fought and marched under the Greek banner, and slept under the Greek stars, wrapped in his shaggy capote.

His appeal in behalf of Crete roused the evergenerous heart of Boston. Committees were formed, and other meetings were held, among them that just described. Governor Andrew's “splendid compliment” to him was given thus:-- [262]

“I venture, Mr. Chairman, to make one single suggestion — that if all of us were dumb to-night, if the eloquent voices which have stimulated our blood and inspired our hearts had been silent as the tomb, your presence, sir, would have been more eloquent than a thousand orations; when we remember that after the life-time of a whole generation of men, he who forty years ago bared his arm to seize the Suliote blade, speaks again with the voice of his age in defence of the cause of his youth.”

Thirty-seven thousand dollars were raised for Crete, and in March, 1867, Dr. Howe sailed again for Greece on an errand of mercy. The Journal gives an outline of the busy winter:--

“The post is the poor man's valet....”

January 12. A busy and studious day; had the neighbors in after tea. Want clamors for relief, but calls for cure, which begins in discipline ....”

January 24. N. P. Willis's funeral. Chev came home quite suddenly and asked me to go with him to the church, St. Paul's. The pallbearers were Longfellow and Lowell, Drs. Holmes and Howe, Whipple and Fields, T. B. Aldrich and I don't know who. Coffin covered with flowers. Appearance of the family interesting: the widow bowed and closely shrouded. Thus ends a man of perhaps first-rate genius, ruined by the adoption of an utterly frivolous standard of labor and of life. George IV and Bulwer have to answer for some of these failures.”

“My tea party was delightful, friendly, not fashionable. We had a good talk, and a lovely, familiar time.” [263]

“Heard J. F. C. Took my dear Francesco [Marion Crawford] at his request, with great pleasure, feeling that he would find there a living Jesus immortal in influence, instead of the perfumed and embalmed mummy of orthodoxy....”

“Of that which is not clear one cannot have a clear idea. My reading in Fichte to-day is of the most confused.”

February 7. Chev came dancing in to tell me that Flossy is engaged to David Hall. His delight knew no bounds. I am also pleased, for David is of excellent character and excellent blood, the Halls being firstrate people and with no family infirmity (insanity or blindness). My only regret is that it must prove a long engagement, David being a very young lawyer.”

February 14. All's up, as I feared, with Northern Lights in its present form. Gilmour proposes to go to New York and to change its form and character to that of a weekly newspaper. I of course retire from it and, indeed, despite my title of editor, have been only a reader of manuscripts and contributor — nothing more. I have not had power of any sort to make engagements.”

The tenth number of “Northern Lights” was also the last, and we hear no more of the ill-fated magazine.

The Journal says nothing of the proposed trip to Greece, until February 15:--

“I had rather die, it seems to me, than decide wrongly about going to Europe and leaving the children. And yet I am almost sure I shall do so. Chev clearly wishes me to go. ... Whether I go or stay, God [264] help me to make the best of it. My desire to help Julia is a strong point in favor of the journey. It would be, I think, a turning-point for her.”

Later she writes:--

Chev has taken our passage in the Asia, which sails on the 13th proximo. So we have the note of preparation, and the prospect of change and separation makes us feel how happy we have been, in passing this whole winter together.

The remaining days were full of work of every kind.

She gave readings here and there in aid of the Cretans.

Ran about much: saw Miss Rogers's deaf pupils at Mrs. Lamson's, very interesting.... For the first time in three days got a peep at Fichte. Finished Jesse's “George the third.”

Went to Roxbury to read at Mrs. Harrington's for the benefit of the Cretans. It was a literary and musical entertainment. Tickets, one dollar. We made one hundred dollars. My poems were very kindly received. Afterwards, in great haste, to Sophia Whitwell's,1 where I received a great ovation, all members greeting me most affectionately. Presently Mr. [Josiah] Quincy, with some very pleasant and complimentary remarks on Dr. Howe and myself, introduced Mrs. Silsbee's farewell verses to me, which were cordial and feeling. Afterwards I read my valedictory verses, strung together in a very headlong fashion, but just as well liked as though I had bestowed more care upon them. A bouquet of flowers crowned the whole, really a very gratifying occasion.


March 13. Departure auspicious. Dear Maud, Harry, and Flossy on board to say farewell, with J. S. Dwight, H. P. Warner, and other near friends. Many flowers; the best first day at sea I ever passed.”

Julia and Laura were the happy two chosen to join this expedition, the other children staying with relatives and friends. From first to last the journey was one of deepest interest. The Journal keeps a faithful record of sight-seeing, which afterward took shape in a volume, “From the Oak to the Olive,” published in 1868, and dedicated “To S. G. H., the strenuous champion of Greek liberty and of human rights.”

It is written in the light vein of “A trip to Cuba.” In the first chapter she says: “The less we know about a thing, the easier it is to write about it. To give quite an assured and fluent account of a country, we should lose no time on our first arrival. The first impression is the strongest. Familiarity constantly wears off the edge of observation. The face of the new country astonishes us once, and once only.”

Though much that she saw during this trip was already familiar to her, there is no lack of strength in the impression. She sees things with new eyes; the presence of “the neophytes,” as she calls the daughters, gives an atmosphere of “first sight” to the whole.

In London she finds “the old delightful account reopened, the friendly visits frequent, and the luxurious invitations to dinner occupy every evening of our short week.”

London. Lunch with the Benzons, whose palatial [266] residence moved me not to envy. This seems an idle word, but I like to record my satisfaction in a simple, unencumbered life, without state of any kind, save my pleasant relations and my good position in my own country. Mrs. Benzon asked me to come alone to dinner in the evening. First, however, I called upon Arthur Mills at Hyde Park Gardens; then upon Mrs. Ambassadress Adams, who was quite cordial; then in frantic hurry home to dress. At Benzon's I met Robert Browning, a dear and sacred personage, dear for his own and his wife's sake. He sat next me at table and by and by spoke very kindly of my foolish verses2 about himself and E. B. B. I mean he spoke of them with magnanimity. Of course my present self would not publish, nor I hope write, anything of the kind, but I launched the arrow in the easy petulance of those days, more occupied with its force and polish than with its direction.”

“To Lady Stanley's 5 o'clock tea, where I met her daughter Lady Amberley and Sir Samuel Baker, the explorer of the sources of the Nile. Dined with the Benzons, meeting Browning again.”

“Tea with Miss Cobbe. Met the Lyells. Dined with Males family, Greek,--a most friendly occasion. Afterwards went for a short time to Mrs.--, a very wealthy Greek widow, who received us very ill. Heard there Mr. Ap Thomas, a Welsh harper who plays exceedingly well. The pleasure of hearing him scarcely compensated for Mrs.--'s want of politeness, which was probably not intentional. Saw there Sir Samuel [267] and Lady Baker, the latter wore an amber satin tunic over a white dress, and a necklace of lion's teeth.”

April 5. Breakfast with Mr. Charles Dalrymple at 2 Clarges Street, where we met Mr. Grant Duff, Baron McKaye, and others. Tea at Lady Trevelyan's, where I was introduced to Dean Stanley of Westminster . .. and young Milman, son of the Reverend H. M. Lady Stanley was Lady Augusta Bruce, a great favorite of the Queen. Dined at Argyll Lodge, found the Duchess serene and friendly; the Duke seemed hard and sensible, Lord Lorne, the eldest son, very pleasant, and Hon. Charles Howard and son most amiable, with more breeding, I should say, than the Duke. Chev was the hero of this occasion; the Duchess always liked him.”

During this brief week, the Doctor had been in close communication with the Greeks of London, who one and all were eager to welcome him, and to bid him Godspeed on his errand. His business transacted, he felt that he must hurry on toward Greece. Some stay must be made in Rome, where our Aunt Louisa (now Mrs. Luther Terry) was anxiously expecting the party; but even this tie of affection and friendship could not keep the Doctor long from his quest. On May 1 he and Julia went to Greece, the others remaining for some weeks in Italy.

Sixteen years had passed since our mother's last visit to Rome. She found some changes in the city, but more vital ones in herself.

“I left Rome,” she says, “after those days, with entire determination, but with infinite reluctance. America seemed the place of exile, Rome the home of [268] sympathy and comfort.... And now I must confess that, after so many intense and vivid pages of life, this visit to Rome, once a theme of fervent and solemn desire, becomes a mere page of embellishment in a serious and instructive volume.”

Here follows a disquisition on “the Roman problem for the American thinker” ; the last passage gives her conclusion:--

“A word to my countrymen and countrywomen, who, lingering on the edge of the vase, are lured by its sweets, and fall into its imprisonment. It is a false, false superiority to which you are striving to join yourself. A prince of puppets is not a prince, but a puppet; a superfluous duke is no dux; a titular count does not count. Dresses, jewels, and equipages of tasteless extravagance; the sickly smile of disdain for simple people; the clinging together, by turns eager and haughty, of a clique that becomes daily smaller in intention, and whose true decline consists in its numerical increase — do not dream that these lift you in any true way — in any true sense. For Italians to believe that it does, is natural; for Englishmen to believe it, is discreditable; for Americans, disgraceful.”

The Terrys were at this time living in Palazzo Odescalchi. Our mother observes that “the whole of my modest house in Boylston Place would easily, as to solid contents, lodge in the largest of those lofty rooms. The Place itself would equally lodge in the palace. I regard my re-found friends with wonder, and expect to see them execute some large and stately manceuvre, indicating their possession of all this space.” [269]

It was Holy Week when they arrived in Rome, and she was anxious that the “neophytes” should see as much as possible of its impressive ceremonies. She took them to St. Peter's to see the washing of the pilgrims' feet by noble Roman ladies, and to hear the “Miserere” in the Sistine Chapel. These functions are briefly chronicled in the Journal and more fully in “From the Oak to the Olive.”

“Solid fact as the performance of the functions remains, for us it assumes a forcible unreality, through the impeding intervention of black dresses and veils, with what should be women under them. But as these creatures push like battering-rams, and caper like hegoats, we shall prefer to adjourn the question of their humanity, and to give it the benefit of a doubt. We must except, however, our countrywomen from dear Boston, who were not seen otherwise than decently and in order.”

A vivid description follows of the ceremonies of Good Friday and Easter Sunday, ending with the illumination of St. Peter's.

“A magical and unique spectacle it certainly is, with the well-known change from the paper lanterns to the flaring lampions. Costly is it of human labor, and perilous to human life. And when I remembered that those employed in it receive the sacrament beforehand, in order that imminent death may not find them out of a state of grace, I thought that its beauty did not so much signify.”

In the Journal she writes, April 19: “It is the golden calf of old which has developed into the papal bull.” [270]

At a concert she saw the Abbe Liszt, “whose vanity and desire to attract attention were most apparent.”

Though the sober light of middle age showed Rome less magical than of old, yet the days were full of delight.

“In these scarce three weeks,” she cries, “how much have we seen, how little recorded and described! So sweet has been the fable, that the intended moral has passed like an act in a dream — a thing of illusion and intention, not of fact. Impotent am I, indeed, to describe the riches of this Roman world,--its treasures, its pleasures, its flatteries, its lessons. Of so much that one receives, one can give again but the smallest shred, --a leaf of each flower, a scrap of each garment, a proverb for a sermon, a stave for a song. So be it; so, perhaps, it is best.”

“Last Sunday I attended a Tombola at Piazza Navona.... I know the Piazza of old. Sixteen years since I made many a pilgrimage thither, in search of Roman trash. I was not then past the poor amusement of spending money for the sake of spending it. The foolish things I brought home moved the laughter of my little Roman public. I appeared in public with some forlorn brooch or dilapidated earring; the giddy laughed outright, and the polite gazed quietly. My rooms were the refuge of all broken-down vases and halting candelabra. I lived on the third floor of a modest lodging, and all the wrecks of art that neither first, second, nor fourth would buy, found their way into my parlor, and stayed there at my expense. I recall [271] some of these adornments to-day. Two heroes, in painted wood, stood in my dark little entry. A gouty Cupid in bas-relief encumbered my mantelpiece. Two forlorn figures in black and white glass recalled the auction whose unlucky prize they had been. And Horace Wallace, coming to talk of art and poetry, on my red sofa, sometimes saluted me with a paroxysm of merriment, provoked by the sight of my last purchase. Those days are not now. Of their accumulations I retain but a fragment or two. Of their delights remain a tender memory, a childish wonder at my own childishness. To-day, in heathen Rome, I can find better amusement than those shards and rags were ever able to represent.”

On May 26 she writes in her Journal:--

“I remembered the confusion of my mind when I was here sixteen years ago and recognized how far more than equivalent for the vivacity of youth, now gone, is the gain of a steadfast standard of good and happiness. To desire supremely ends which are incompatible with no one's happiness and which promote the good of all — this even as an ideal is a great gain from the small and eager covetousness of personal desires. Religion gives this steadfast standard whose pursuit is happiness. Therefore let him who seeks religion be glad that he seeks the only true good of which, indeed, we constantly fail, and yet in seeking it are constantly renewed.... Studios of Mozier and of Rogers-the former quite full. Both have considerable skill, neither has genius. The statues of Miss Hosmer are marble silences — they have nothing to say.” [272]

Greece was before her. On June 17 the Journal says:

Acroceraunian mountains, shore of Albania. Nothing strikes me — I have been struck till I am stricken down. Sirocco and head wind — vessel laboring with the sea, I with Guizot's ‘Meditations,’ which also have some head wind in them. They seem to me inconclusive in statement and commonplace in thought, yet presenting some facts of interest. A little before 2 P. M. we passed Fano, the island on which Calypso could not console herself, and no wonder. At 2 we enter the channel of Corfii.

At Corfu a Turkish pacha came on board with his harem, to our lively interest. The Journal gives every observable detail of the somewhat squalid manage, from the pacha's lilac trousers down to the dress of his son and heir, a singularly dirty baby. She remarks that “An Irish servant's child in Boston, got up for Sunday, looks far cleaner and better.”

The pacha looked indolent and good-natured, and sent coffee to her before she disembarked at Syra. Here she was met by Mr. Evangelides, the “Christy” of her childhood, the Greek boy befriended by her father. He was now a prosperous man in middle life, full of affectionate remembrance of the family at 16 Bond Street, and of gratitude to “dear Mr. Ward.” He welcomed her most cordially, and introduced her not only to the beauties of Syra, but to its principal inhabitants, the governor of the Cyclades, the archbishop, and Doctor Hahn, the scientist and antiquary. She conversed with the archbishop in German. [273]

“He deplored the absence of a state religion in America. I told him that the progress of religion in our country seemed to establish the fact that society attains the best religious culture through the greatest religious liberty. He replied that the members should all be united under one head. ‘Yes,’ said I, ‘but the Head is invisible’ ; and he repeated after me, ‘Indeed, the Head is invisible.’ I will here remark that nothing could have been more refreshing to the New England mind than this immediate introduction to the theological opinions of the East.”

A few hours later his Grace returned the visit, seeking in his turn, it would appear, the refreshment of a new point of view.

“We resumed our conversation of the morning, and the celibacy of the clerical hierarchy came next in order in our discussion. The father was in something of a strait between the Christian dignification of marriage and its ascetic depreciation. The arrival of other visitors forced us to part, with this interesting point still unsettled.”

Arrived in Athens, the travellers found the “veteran” (as the Doctor is called throughout her book) in full tide of work. The apartment in the pleasant hotel swarmed with dark-eyed patriots, with Cretan refugees, with old men who had known “Xaos” in the brave days of old, with young men eager to see and greet the old Philhellene. Among the latter came Michael Anagnostopoulos, who was to become his secretary, and later his son-in-law and his successor at the Perkins Institution for the Blind. The ladies of [274] Athens came too, full of hospitable feeling. There were visits, deputations, committee meetings, all day long, and in the evening parties and receptions.

Spite of all this, her first impression of Athens was melancholy. She was oppressed and depressed at sight of the havoc wrought by Time and war upon monuments that should have been sacred. Speaking of the Parthenon, she exclaims:--

And Pericles caused it to be built; and this, his marble utterance, is now a lame sentence, with half its sense left out. ...

Here is the Temple of Victory. Within are the basreliefs of the Victories arriving in the hurry of their glorious errands. Something so they tumbled in upon us when Sherman conquered the Carolinas, and Sheridan the Valley of the Shenandoah, when Lee surrendered, and the glad President went to Richmond. One of these Victories is untying her sandal, in token of permanent abiding. Yet all of them have trooped away long since, scared by the hideous havoc of barbarians. And the bas-reliefs, their marble shadows, have all been battered and mutilated into the saddest mockery of their original tradition. The statue of Wingless Victory, that stood in the little temple, has long been absent and unaccounted for. But the only Victory that the Parthenon now can seize or desire is this very Wingless Victory, the triumph of a power that retreats not — the power of Truth.

I give heed to all that is told me in a dreary and desolate manner. It is true, no doubt,--this was, and this, and this; but what I see is, none the less, emptiness,--the [275] broken eggshell of a civilization which Time has hatched and devoured. And this incapacity to reconstruct the past goes with me through most of my days in Athens. The city is so modern, and its circle so small! The trumpeters who shriek around the Theseum in the morning, the cafe-keeper who taxes you for a chair beneath the shadow of the Olympian columns, the custode who hangs about to see that you do not break the broken marbles further, or carry off their piteous fragments, all of these are significant of modern Greece; but the ruins have nothing to do with it.

Poor as these relics are, in comparison with what one would wish them to be, they are still priceless. This Greek marble is the noblest in descent; it needs no eulogy. These forms have given the models for a hundred familiar and commonplace works, which caught a little gleam of their glory, squaring to shapeliness some town-house of the West, or Southern bank or church. So well do we know them in the prose of modern design that we are startled at seeing them transfigured in the poetry of their own conception. Poor old age! poor old columns!

There was a colony of Cretan refugees at Nauplia, another at Argos, both in dire need of food and clothing. The Doctor asked the Government for a steamer, and received the Parados, in which he promptly embarked with wife, daughters, and supplies, and sailed for Nauplia.

The travelling library of this expedition was reduced to “a copy of Machiavelli's Principe, a volume of Muir's Greece, and a Greek phrase-book on Ollendorff's [276] principle.” Our mother also took some worsted work, but she suffered such lively torment from the bites of mosquitoes and sand-fleas on her hands and wrists that she could make little use of this. To one recalling the anguish of this visitation, it seems amazing that she could even write in her Journal; indeed, the entries, though tolerably regular, are brief and condensed.

June 24.... We arrived in the harbor of Nauplia by 7 P. M.... Crowd in the street. Bandit's head just cut off and brought in. We go to the prefect's house, ... he offers us his roof — sends out for mattresses. ... I mad with my mosquito bites. Mattresses on the floor. We women lie down four in a row, very thankfully . . .”

At the fortress of Nauplia, she was deeply touched by the sight of a band of prisoners waiting, in an inner court, for the death to which they had been condemned.

“ ‘Do not pity them, madam!’ said the major; ‘they have all done deeds worthy of death.’ ”

“But how not to pity them,” she cries,

when they and we are made of the same fragile human stuff, that corrupts so easily to crime, and is always redeemable, if society would only afford the costly process of redemption!

As I looked at them, I was struck by a feeling of their helplessness. What is there in the world so helpless as a disarmed criminal? No inner armor has he to beat back the rude visiting of society; no secure soulcitadel, where scorn and anger cannot reach him. He [277] has thrown away the jewel of his manhood; human law crushes its empty case. But the final Possessor and Creditor is unseen.

After Nauplia came Argos, where the Cretan refugees were gathered in force. Here the travellers had the great pleasure of helping to clothe the half-naked women and children. Many of the garments had been made by Florence and her young friends in their sewing circle; the book recalls “how the little maidens took off their feathery bonnets and dainty gloves, wielding the heavy implements of cutting, and eagerly adjusting the arms and legs, the gores and gathers! With patient pride the mother trotted off to the bakery, that a few buns might sustain these strenuous little cutters and sewers, whose tongues, however active over the charitable work, talked, we may be sure, no empty nonsense nor unkind gossip. For charity begins indeed at home, in the heart, and, descending to the fingers, rules also the rebellious member whose mischief is often done before it is meditated. At sight of these well-made garments a little swelling of the heart seized us, with the love and pride of remembrance so dear.”

The Journal describes briefly the distribution among the Cretans, “some extremely bare and ragged, with suffering little children. Our calico skirts and sacks made a creditable appearance. We gave with as much judgment as the short time permitted. Each name was called by a list, and as they came in we hastily selected garments: the dresses, however, gave out before we had quite finished.... Ungrateful old woman, who wanted a gown and would hardly take a chemise. [278] Meddlesome lady of the neighborhood bringing in her favorites out of order.”

Generous as the supplies from America were, they did not begin to meet the demand. After visiting Crete (in spite — perhaps partly because — of the fact that a high price was set on his head) and the various colonies of refugees, the Doctor felt that further aid must be obtained. Accordingly, the journeyings of the little party after leaving Greece were for the most part only less hurried than the earlier ones, the exception being a week of enchantment spent in Venice, awaiting the Doctor, who had been called back to Athens at the moment of departure.

The Journal tells of Verona, Innsbriick, Munich. Then came flying glimpses of Switzerland, with a few days' rest at Geneva, where she had the happiness of meeting her sister once more; finally, Paris and the Exposition of 1867.

After a visit to Napoleon's tomb, she writes: “Spent much of the afternoon in beginning a piece of tapestry after a Pompeiian pattern copied by me on the spot.”

Worsted work was an unfailing accompaniment of her journeyings in those days; indeed, until age and weariness came upon her, she never failed to have some piece of work on hand. When her eyes could no longer compass cross-stitch embroidery, she amused herself with knitting, or with “hooking” small rugs.

Her sketchbook was another resource while travelling. She had no special talent for drawing, but took great pleasure in it, and was constantly making pencil sketches of persons and things that interested her. We [279] even find patterns of Pompeiian mosaic or of historic needlework reproduced in the Journal.

From Paris the travellers hurried to Belgium, and after a glance at Brussels, spent several days in Antwerp with great contentment. Both here and in Brussels she had been much interested in the beautiful lace displayed on every hand. She made several modest purchases, not without visitings of conscience.

“I went to the Cathedral. .... I saw to-day the Elevation of the Cross [Rubens] to special advantage. As I stood before it, I felt lifted for a moment above the mean and foolish pleasures of shopping, etc., on which I have of late dwelt so largely. The heroic face before me said, ‘You cannot have those and these, cannot have Christian elevation with heathen triviality.’ That moment showed me what a picture can do. I hope I shall remember it, though I do plead guilty of late to an extraordinary desire for finery of all sorts. It is as if I were going home to play the part of Princess in some great drama, which is not at all likely to be the case.”

Yet the same day she went to the beguinage and bought “Flossy's wedding hdkf, 22 frc— lace scarf, 3 fr., piece of edging, 4 fr.”

Among the notabilities of Antwerp in those days was Charles Felu, the armless painter. He was to be seen every day in the Museum, copying the great masters with skill and fidelity. He interested the Doctor greatly, and the whole party made acquaintance with him. A letter from one of them describes the meeting with this singular man:-- [280]

“As we were looking round at the pictures, I noticed a curious painting arrangement. There was a platform raised about a foot above the floor, with two stools, one in front of the other, and an easel. Presently the artist entered. The first thing he did, on stepping on the platform, was to kick off his shoes. He then seated himself (Heaven knows how) on one stool and placed his feet in front of him on the other, close before the easel. I was surprised to see that his stockings had no toes to them. But my surprise was much greater when I saw him take the palette in one foot and the brush in the other, and begin to paint. The nicety with which he picked out his brushes, rubbed the paints, erased with his great toe, etc., was a mystery to me. ... In a few minutes he put his foot into his pocket, drew out a paper from which he took his card, andfooted it politely to papa.... He shaves himself, plays billiards (and well, too), cards, and dominoes, cuts up his meat and feeds himself, etc.”

October 1. By accident went to the same hotel [in Bruges] to which I went twenty-four years ago, a bride. I recognized a staircase with a balustrade of swans each holding a stiff bulrush in its mouth.... Made a little verse thereupon.”

From Belgium the way led to London; thence, after a brief and delightful visit to the Bracebridges at Atherstone, to Liverpool, where the China awaited her passengers. The voyage was long and stormy, thirteen days: the Journal speaks chiefly of its discomforts; but on the second Sunday we read: “X. preached a horrible sermon — stood up and mocked at philosophy in good [281] English and bad Christianity. He failed alike of satire and of sense, and talked like a small Pharisee of two thousand years ago. ‘Not much like the Sermon on the Mount,’ quoth I; not theology enough to stand examination at Andover. Bluejackets in a row, unedified, as were most of us.”

On October 25 the travellers landed in Boston, thankful to be again on firm land, and to see the family unit once more complete.

“The dear children came on board to greet us — all well, and very happy at our return.”

Thus ends the story, seven months of wonder and of delight.

At her Club, soon after, she gave the following epitome of the trip, singing the doggerel lines to an improvised tune which matched them in absurdity:--

Oh! who were the people you saw, Mrs. Howe,
When you went where the Cretans were making a row?
Kalopathaki — Rodocanachi--
Paparipopoulos — Anagnostopoulos--
Nicolaides — Paraskevaides--
These were the people that saw Mrs. Howe
When she went where the Cretans were making a row.

Oh! what were the projects you made, Mrs. Howe,
When you went where the Cretans were making a row?
Emancipation — civilization — redintegration of a great nation,
Paying no taxes, grinding no axes-
Flinging the Ministers over the banisters.
These were the projects of good Mrs. Howe
When she went where the Cretans were making a row.

Oh! give us a specimen, dear Mrs. Howe,
Of the Greek that you learned and are mistress of now.
Potichomania — Mesopotamia.
Tatterdemalion — episcopalian-- [282]

Megalotherium — monster inferium--
Scoulevon — auctrion — infant phenomenon.
Kyrie ticamete — what's your calamity?
Pallas Athenae Aun,
Favors no Fenian.
Such is the language that learned Mrs. Howe,
In the speech of the Gods she is mistress of now.

1 This was evidently a meeting of the “Brain Club.”

2 Kenyon's Legacy, printed in Later Lyrics.

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