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Chapter 26: three months in Europe.

  • The voyage out
  • -- first impressions of England -- opening of the Exhibition -- characteristic observations -- he attends a grand banquet -- he sees the Sights -- he speaks at Exeter Hall -- the play at Devonshire House -- Robert Owen's birthday -- Horace Greeley before a Committee of the House of Commons -- he throws light upon the subject -- vindicates the American Press -- journey to Paris -- the Sights of Paris -- the opera and ballet -- a false Prophet -- his opinion of the French -- journey to Italy-anecdote -- a nap in the diligence -- arrival at Rome -- in the galleries -- scene in the Coliseum -- to England again -- triumph of the American Reaper -- a week in Ireland and Scotland -- his opinion of the English -- homeward bound -- his arrival -- the extra Tribune.

‘The thing called Crystal Palace!’ This was the language which the intense and spiritual Carlyle thought proper to employ on the only occasion when he alluded to the World's Fair of 1851. And Horace Greeley appears, at first, to have thought little of Prince Albert's scheme, or at least to have taken little interest in it. ‘We mean,’ he said, ‘to attend the World's Fair at London, with very little interest in the show generally, or the people whom it will collect, but with special reference to a subject which seems to us of great and general importance-namely, the improvements recently made, or now being made, in the modes of dressing flax and hemp and preparing them to be spun and woven by steam or waterpower.’ ‘Only adequate knowledge,’ he thought, “was necessary to give a new and profitable direction to Free Labor, both agricultural and manufacturing.” [347]

Accordingly, Horace Greeley was one of the two thousand Americans who crossed the Atlantic for the purpose of attending the World's Fair, and, like many others, he seized the opportunity to make a hurried tour of the most accessible parts of the European Continent. It was the longest holiday of his life. Holiday is not the word, however. His sky was changed, but not the man; and his labors in Europe were as incessant and arduous as they had been in America, nor unlike them in kind. A strange apparition he among the elegant and leisurely Europeans. Since Franklin's day, no American had appeared in Europe whose “style” had in it so little of the European as his, nor one who so well and so consistently represented some of the best sides of the American character. He proved to be one of the Americans who can calmly contemplate a duke, and value him neither the less nor the more on account of his dukeship. Swiftly he travelled. Swiftly we pursue him.

At noon on Saturday, the sixteenth of April, 1851, the steamship Baltic moved from the wharf at the foot of Canal-street, with Horace Greeley on board as one of her two hundred passengers. It was a chilly, dismal day, with a storm brewing and lowering in the north-east. The wharf was covered with people, as usual on sailing days; and when the huge vessel was seen to be in motion, and the inevitable White Coat was observed among the crowd on her deck, a hearty cheer broke from a group of Mr. Greeley's personal friends, and was caught up by the rest of the spectators. He took off his hat and waved response and farewell, while the steamer rolled away like a black cloud, and settled down upon the river.

The passage was exceedingly disagreeable, though not tempestuous. The north-easter that hung over the city when the steamer sailed “clung to her like a brother” all the way over, varying a point or two now and then, but not changing to a fair wind for more than six hours. Before four o'clock on the first day—before the steamer had gone five miles from the Hook, the pangs of seasickness came over the soul of Horace Greeley, and laid him prostrate. At six o'clock in the evening, a friend, who found him in the smoker's room, helpless, hopeless, and recumbent, persuaded and assisted him to go below, where he had strength only to un-boot [348] and sway into his berth. There he remained for twenty-four hours. He then managed to crawl upon deck; but a perpetual head-wind and cross-sea were too much for so delicate a system as his, and he enjoyed not one hour of health and happiness during the passage. His opinion of the sea, therefore, is unfavorable. He thought, that a sea-voyage of twelve days was about equal, in the amount of misery it inflicts, to two months hard labor in the State Prison, or to the average agony of five years of life on shore. It was a consolation to him, however, even when most sick and impatient, to think that the gales which were so adverse to the pleasure-seekers of the Baltic, were wafting the emigrant ships, which it hourly passed, all the more swiftly to the land of opportunity and hope. His were ‘light afflictions’ compared with those of the multitudes crowded into their stifling steerages.

At seven o'clock on the evening of Thursday, the twenty-eighth of April, under sullen skies and a dripping rain, the passengers of the Baltic were taken ashore at Liverpool in a steam-tug, which in New York, thought Mr. Greeley, would be deemed unworthy to convey market-garbage. With regard to the weather, he tells us, in his first letter from England, that he had become reconciled to sullen skies and dripping rains: he wanted to see the thing out, and would have taken amiss any deceitful smiles of fortune, now that he had learned to dispense with her favors. He advised Americans, on the day of their departure for Europe, to take a long, earnest gaze at the sun, that they might know him again on their return; for the thing called Sun in England was only shown occasionally, and bore a nearer resemblance to a boiled turnip than to its American namesake.

Liverpool the traveller scarcely saw, and it impressed him unfavorably. The working-class seemed ‘exceedingly ill-dressed, stolid, abject, and hopeless.’ Extortion and beggary appeared very prevalent. In a day or two he was off to London by the Trent Valley Railroad, which passes through one of the finest agricultural districts in England.

To most men their first ride in a foreign country is a thrilling and memorable delight. Whatever Horace Greeley may have felt on his journey from Liverpool to London, his remarks upon what he saw are the opposite of rapturous; yet, as they are characteristic, [349] they are interesting. The mind of that man is a “study,” who, when he has passed through two hundred miles of the enchanting rural scenery of England, and sits down to write a letter about it, begins by describing the construction of the railroad, continues by telling us that much of the land he saw is held at five hundred dollars per acre, that two-thirds of it was “in grass,” that there are fewer fruit-trees on the two hundred miles of railroad between Liverpool and London, than on the forty miles of the Harlem railroad north of White Plains, that the wooded grounds looked meager and scanty, and that the western towns of America ought to take warning from this fact and preserve some portions of the primeval forest, which, once destroyed, can never be renewed by cultivation in their original grandeur. “The eye sees what it brought with it the means of seeing,” and these practical observations are infinitely more welcome than affected sentiment, or even than genuine sentiment inadequately expressed. Besides, the suggestion with regard to the primeval forests is good and valuable. On his arrival in London, Mr. Greeley drove to the house of Mr. John Chapman, the well-known publisher, with whom he resided during his stay in the metropolis.

On the first of May the Great Exhibition was opened, and our traveler saw the show both within and without the Crystal Palace. The day was a fine one—for England. He thought the London sunshine a little superior in brilliancy to American moonlight; and wondered how the government could have the conscience to tax such light. The royal procession, he says, was not much; a parade of the New York Firemen or Odd Fellows could beat it; but then it was a new thing to see a Queen, a court, and an aristocracy doing honor to industry. He was glad to see the queen in the pageant, though he could not but feel that her vocation was behind the intelligence of the age, and likely to go out of fashion at no distant day; but not through her fault. He could not see, however, what the Master of the Buck-hounds, the Groom of the Stole, the Mistress of the Robes, and “such uncouth fossils,” had to do with a grand exhibition of the fruits of industry. The Mistress of the Robes made no robes; the Ladies of the Bed-chamber did nothing with beds but sleep on them. The posts of honor nearest the Queen's person ought to have been confided to the descendants of Watt and Arkwright, [350] “Napoleon's real conquerors;” while the foreign ambassadors should have been the sons of Fitch, Fulton, Whitney, Daguerre and Morse; and the places less conspicuous should have been assigned, not to Gold-stick, Silver-stick, and “kindred absurdities,” but to the Queen's gardeners, horticulturists, carpenters, upholsterers and milliners! (Fancy Gold-stick reading this passage!) The traveler, however, even at such a moment is not unmindful of similar nuisances across the ocean, and pauses to express the hope that we may be able, before the century is out, to elect “something else” than Generals to the Presidency.

Before the arrival of Mr. Greeley in London, he had been named by the American Commissioner as a member of the Jury on Hardware, etc. There were so few Americans in London at the time, who were not exhibitors, that he did not feel at liberty to decline the duties of the proffered post, and accordingly devoted nearly every day, from ten o'clock to three, for a month, to an examination of the articles upon whose comparative merits the jury were to decide. Few men would have spent their first month in Europe in the discharge of a duty so onerous, so tedious, and so likely to be thankless. His reward, however, was, that his official position opened to him sources of information, gave him facilities for observation, and enabled him to form acquaintances, that would not have been within the compass of a mere spectator of the Exhibition. Among other advantages, it procured him a seat at the banquet given at Richmond by the London Commissioners to the Commissioners from foreign countries, a feast presided over by Lord Ashburton, and attended by an ample representation of the science, talent, worth and rank of both hemispheres. It was the particular desire of Lord Ashburton that the health of Mr. Paxton, the Architect of the Palace, should be proposed by an American, and Mr. Riddle, the American Commissioner, designated Horace Greeley for that service. The speech delivered by him on that occasion, since it is short, appropriate, and characteristic, may properly have a place here. Mr. Greeley, being called upon by the Chairman, spoke as follows:

In my own land, my lords and gentlemen, where Nature is still so rugged and unconquered, where Population is yet so scanty and the demands for human exertion are so various and urgent, it is but natural that we should render [351] marked honor to Labor, and especially to those who by invention or discovery contribute to shorten the processes and increase the efficiency of Industry. It is but natural, therefore, that this grand conception of a comparison of the state of Industry in all Nations; by means of a World's Exhibition, should there have been received and canvassed with a lively and general interest,—an interest which is not measured by the extent of our contributions. Ours is still one of the youngest of Nations, with few large accumulations of the fruits of manufacturing activity or artistic skill, and these so generally needed for use that we were not likely to send them three thousand miles away, merely for show. It is none the less certain that the progress of this great Exhibition, from its original conception to that perfect realization which we here commemorate, has been watched and discussed not more earnestly throughout the saloons of Europe, than by the smith's forge and the mechanic's bench in America. Especially the hopes and fears alternately predominant on this side with respect to the edifice required for the Exhibition—the doubts as to the practicability of erecting one sufficiently capacious and commodious to contain and display the contributions of the whole world—the apprehension that it could not be rendered impervious to water—the confident assertions that it could not be completed in season for opening the Exhibition on the first of May as promised—all found an echo on our shores; and now the tidings that all these doubts have been dispelled, these difficulties removed, will have been hailed there with unmingled satisfaction.

I trust, gentlemen, that among the ultimate fruits of this Exhibition we are to reckon a wider and deeper appreciation of the worth of Labor, and especially of those “ Captains of Industry” by whose conceptions and achievements our Race is so rapidly borne onward in its progress to a loftier and more benignant destiny. We shall not be likely to appreciate less fully the merits of the wise Statesmen, by whose measures a People's thrift and happiness are promoted—of the brave Soldier, who joyfully pours out his blood in defense of the rights or in vindication of the honor of his Country—of the Sacred Teacher, by whose precepts and example our steps are guided in the pathway to heaven—if we render fit honor also to those “ Captains of Industry” whose tearless victories redden no river and whose conquering march is unmarked by the tears of the widow and the cries of the orphan. I give you, therefore,

The Health of Joseph Paxton, Esq., Designer of the Crystal Palace— Honor to him whose genius does honor to Industry and to Man!

This speech was not published in the newspaper report of the banquet, nor was the name of the speaker even mentioned. The omission gave him an opportunity to retort upon the London Times its assertion, that with the English press, “fidelity in reporting is a religion.” The speech was written out by Mr. Greeley himself, and [352] published in the Tribune. It must be confessed, that the graduate of a Vermont printing-office made a creditable appearance before the “lords and gentlemen.”

The sights in and about London seem to have made no great impression on the mind of Horace Greeley. He spent a day at Hampton Court, which he oddly describes as larger than the Astor House, but less lofty and containing fewer rooms. Westminstor Abbey appeared to him a mere barbaric profusion of lofty ceilings, stained windows, carving, graining, and all manner of contrivances for absorbing labor and money— “waste, not taste; the contortions of the sybil without her inspiration.” The part of the building devoted to public worship he thought less adapted to that purpose than a fifty-thousand dollar church in New York. The new fashion of “intoning” the service sounded to his ear, as though a Friar Tuck had wormed himself into the desk and was trying, under pretense of reading the service, to caricature, as broadly as possible, the alleged peculiarity of the methodistic pulpit super-imposed upon the regular Yankee drawl. The Epsom races he declined to attend for three reasons; he had much to do at home, he did not care a button which of thirty colts could run fastest, and he preferred that his delight and that of swindlers, robbers, and gamblers, should not “exactly coincide.” He found time, however, to visit the Model Lodging houses, the People's Bathing establishments, and a Ragged School. The spectacle of want and woe presented at the Ragged School touched him nearly. It made him feel, to quote his own language, that ‘he had hitherto said too little, done too little, dared too little, sacrified too little, to awaken attention to the infernal wrongs and abuses, which are inherent in the very structure and constitution, the nature and essence of civilized society, as it now exists throughout Christendom.’ He was in haste to be gone from a scene, to look upon which, as a mere visitor, seemed an insult heaped on injury, an unjustifiable prying into the saddest secrets of the prison-house of human woe; but he apologized for the fancied impertinence by a gift of money.

While in London, Mr. Greeley attended the anniversary of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, and made a speech of a somewhat novel and unexpected nature. The question that was under discussion was, “What can we Britons do to hasten the overthrow [353] of Slavery?” Three colored gentlemen and an M. P. had extolled Britain as the land of true freedom and equality, had urged Britons to refuse recognition to “pro-slavery clergymen,” to avoid using the products of slave-labor, and to assist the free-colored people to educate their children. One of the colored orators had observed the entrance of Horace Greeley, and named him commendingly to the audience; whereupon he was invited to take a seat upon the platform, and afterwards to address the meeting; both of which invitations were promptly accepted. He spoke fifteen minutes. He began by stating the fact, that American Slavery justifies itself mainly on the ground, that the class who live by manual toil are everywhere, but particularly in England, degraded and ill-requited. Therefore, he urged upon English Abolitionists, first, to use systematic exertions to increase the reward of Labor and the comfort and consideration of the depressed Laboring Class at home; and to diffuse and cherish respect for Man as Man, without regard to class, color or vocation. Secondly, to put forth determined efforts for the eradication of those Social evils and miseries in England which are appealed to and relied on by slaveholders and their champions everywhere as justifying the continuance of Slavery; and thirdly, to colonize our Slave States by thousands of intelligent, moral, industrious Free Laborers, who will silently and practically dispel the wide-spread delusion which affirms that the Southern States must be cultivated and their great staples produced by Slave Labor, or not at all.

These suggestions were listened to with respectful attention; but they did not elicit the “thunder of applause” which had greeted the “Stand-aside-for-i-am-holier-than-thou” oratory of the preceding speakers.

Our traveler witnessed the second performance at the Devonshire House, of Bulwer's play, “Not so bad as we seem,” for the benefit of the Literary Guild, the characters by Charles Dickens, Douglas Jerrold, and other literary notabilities. Not that he hoped much for the success of the project; but it was, at least, an attempt to mend the fortunes of unlucky British authors, whose works “we Americans habitually steal,” and to whom he, as an individual, felt himself indebted. The price of the tickets for the first performance was twenty-five dollars. He applied for one too late, and was therefore [354] obliged to content himself with purchasing a ten-dollar ticket for the second. The play, however, he found rather dull than otherwise, the performance being indebted, he thought, for its main interest to the personal character of the actors, who played respectably for amateurs, but not well. Dickens was not at home in the leading part, as “stateliness sits ill upon him;” but he shone in the scene where, as a bookseller in disguise, he tempts the virtue of a poor author. In the afterpiece, however, in which the novelist personated in rapid succession a lawyer, a servant, a gentleman and an invalid, the acting seemed “perfect,” and the play was heartily enjoyed throughout. Mr. Greeley thought, that the ‘raw material of a capital comedian was put to a better use when Charles Dickens took to authorship.’ It was half-past 12 when the curtain fell, and the audience repaired to a supper room, where the munificence of the Duke of Devonshire had provided a superb and profuse entertainment. ‘I did not venture, at that hour,’ says the traveler, ‘to partake; but those who did would be quite unlikely to repent of it —till morning.’ He left the ducal mansion at one, just as the violins began to give note of coming melody, to which nimble feet were eager to respond.

The eightieth birthday of Robert Owen was celebrated on the fourteenth of May, by a dinner at the Colbourne hotel, attended by a few of Mr. Owen's personal friends, among whom Horace Greeley was one. ‘I cannot,’ wrote Mr. Greeley, ‘see many things as he does; it seems to me that he is stone-blind on the side of Faith in the invisible, and exaggerates the truths he perceives until they almost become falsehoods; but I love his sunny benevolent nature, I admire his unwearied exertions for what he deems the good of humanity; and, believing with the great apostle to the Gentiles, that “Now abide faith, hope, charity; these three; but the greatest of these is charity,” I consider him practically a better Christian than half those who, professing to be such, believe more and do less.’ The only other banquet at which Mr. Greeley was a guest in London during his first visit, was the dinner of the Fishmonger's Company. There he heard a harangue from Sir James Brooke, the Rajah of Borneo. From reading, he had formed the opinion that the Rajah was doing a good work for civilization and humanity in Borneo, but this impression was not confirmed [355] by the ornate and fluent speech delivered by him on this occasion.

During Mr. Greeley's stay in London, the repeal of the “taxes on knowledge” was agitated in and out of parliament. Those taxes were a duty on advertisements, and a stamp-duty of one penny per copy on every periodical containing news. A parliamentary committee, consisting of eight members of the House of Commons, the Rt. Hon. T. Milnor Gibson, Messrs. Tufnell, Ewart, Cobden, Rich, Adair, Hamilton, and Sir J. Walmsey, had the subject under consideration, and Mr. Greeley, as the representative of the only untrammeled press in the world, was invited to give the committee the benefit of his experience. Mr. Greeley's evidence, given in two sessions of the committee, no doubt had influence upon the subsequent action of parliament. The advertisement duty was entirely removed. The penny stamp was retained for revenue reasons only, but must finally yield to the demands of the nation.

The chief part of Mr. Greeley's evidence claims a place in this work, both because of its interesting character, and because it really influenced legislation on a subject of singular importance. He told England what England did not understand before he told her—why the Times newspaper was devouring its contemporaries; and he assisted in preparing the way for that coming penny-press which is destined to play so great a part in the future of “Great England.”

In reply to a question by the chairman of the committee with regard to the effect of the duty upon the advertising business, Mr. Greeley replied substantially as follows:

Your duty is the same on the advertisements in a journal with fifty thousand circulation, as in a journal with one thousand, although the value of the article is twenty times as much in the one case as in the other. The duty operates precisely as though you were to lay a tax of one shilling a day on every day's labor that a man were to do; to a man whose labor is worth two shillings a day, it would be destructive; while by a man who earns twenty shillings a day, it would be very lightly felt. An advertisement is worth but a certain amount, and the public soon get to know what it is worth; you put a duty on advertisements and you destroy the value of those coming to new establishments. People who advertise in your well-established journals, could afford to pay a price to include the duty; but in a new paper, the advertisements [356] would not be worth the amount of the duty alone; and consequently the new concern would have no chance Now, the advertisements are one main source of the income of daily papers, and thousands of business men take them mainly for those advertisements. For instance, at the time when our auctioneers were appointed by law (they were, of course, party Politicians), one journal, which was high in the confidence of the party in power, obtained not a law, but an understanding, that all the auctioneers appointed should advertise in that journal. Now, though the journal referred to has ceased to be of that party, and the auctioneers are no longer appointed by the State, yet that journal has almost the monopoly of the auctioneer's business to this day. Auctioneers must advertise in it because they know that purchasers are looking there; and purchasers must take the paper, because they know that it contains just the advertisements they want to see; and this, without regard to the goodness or the principles of the paper. I know men in this town who take one journal mainly for its advertisements, and they must take the Times, because everything is advertised in it; for the same reason, advertisers must advertise in the Times. If we had a duty on advertisements, I will not say it would be impossible to build a new concern up in New York against the competition of the older ones; but I do say, it would be impossible to preserve the weaker papers from being swallowed up by the stronger.

Mr. Cobden. ‘Do you then consider the fact, that the Times newspaper for the last fifteen years has been increasing so largely in circulation, is to be accounted for mainly by the existence of the advertisement duty?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘Yes; much more than the stamp. By the operation of the advertisement duty, an advertisement is charged ten times as much in one paper as in another. An advertisement in the Times may be worth five pounds, while in another paper it is only worth one pound; but the duty is the same.’

Mr. Rich. ‘The greater the number of small advertisements in papers, the greater the advantage to their proprietors?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘Yes. Suppose the cost of a small advertisement to be five shillings, the usual charge in the Times; if you have to pay a shilling or eighteen pence duty, that advertisement is worth nothing in a journal with a fourth part of the circulation of the Times.’

Chairman. ‘Does it not appear to you that the taxes on the press are hostile to one another; in the first place, lessening the circulation of papers by means of the stamp duty, we diminish the consumption of paper, and therefore lessen the amount of paper duty; secondly, by diminishing the sale of papers through the stamp, we lessen the number of advertisements, and therefore the receipts of the advertisement duty?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘I should say that if the government were, simply as a matter of revenue, to fix a duty, say of half a penny per pound, on paper, it would be easily collected, and produce more money; and then, a law which is equal [357] in its operation does not require any considerable number of officers to collect the duty, and it would require no particular vigilance; and the duty on paper alone would be most equal and most efficient as a revenue duty.’

Chairman. ‘It is clear, then, that the effect of the stamp and advertisement duty is to lessen the amount of the receipt from the duty on paper.’

Mr. Greeley. ‘Enormously. I see that the circulation of daily papers in London is but sixty thousand, against a hundred thousand in New York; while the tendency is more to concentrate on London than on New York. Not a tenth part of our daily papers are printed in New York.’

Mr. Cobden. ‘do you consider, that there are upwards of a million papers issued daily from the press in the United States?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘I should say about a million: I cannot say upwards. I think there are about two hundred and fifty daily journals published in the United States.’

Mr. Cobden. ‘At what amount of population does a town in the United States begin to have a daily paper? They first of all begin with a weekly paper, do they not?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘Yes. The general rule is, that each county will have one weekly newspaper. In all the Free States, if a county have a population of twenty thousand, it has two papers, one for each party. The general average in the agricultural counties is one local journal to every ten thousand inhabitants. When a town grows to have fifteen thousand inhabitants in and about it, then it has a daily paper; but sometimes that is the case when it has as few as ten thousand: it depends more on the business of a place than its population. But fifteen thousand may be stated as the average at which a daily paper commences; at twenty thousand they have two, and so on. In central towns, like Buffalo, Rochester, Troy, they have from three to five daily journals, each of which prints a semi-weekly or a weekly journal.’

Mr. rich. ‘Have your papers much circulation outside the towns in which they are published?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘The county is the general limit; though some have a judicial district of five or six counties.’

Mr. rich. ‘Would the New York paper, for instance, have much circulation in Charleston’?

Mr. Greeley. ‘The New York Herald, I think, which is considered the journal most friendly to Southern interests, has a considerable circulation.’

Chairman. ‘When a person proposes to publish a paper in New York, he is not required to go to any office to register himself, or to give security that he will not insert libels or seditious matter? A newspaper publisher is not subject to any liability more than other persons?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘No; no more than a man that starts a blacksmith's shop.’ [358]

Chairman. ‘They do not presume in the United States, that because a man is going to print news in a paper, he is going to libel?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘No; nor do they presume that his libelling would be worth much, unless he is a responsible character.’

Mr. Cobden. ‘From what you have stated with regard to the circulation of the daily papers in New York, it appears that a very large proportion of the adult population must be customers for them?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘Yes; I think three-fourths of all the families take a daily paper of some kind.’

Mr. Cobden. ‘The purchasers of the daily papers must consist of a different class from those in England; mechanics must purchase them?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘Every mechanic takes a paper, or nearly every one.’

Mr. Cobden. ‘Do those people generally get them before they leave home for their work?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘Yes; and you are complained of if you do not furnish a man with his newspaper at his breakfast; he wants to read it between six or seven usually.’

Mr. Cobden. ‘Then a ship-builder, or a cooper, or a joiner, needs his daily paper at his breakfast-time?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘Yes; and he may take it with him to read at his dinner, between twelve and one; but the rule is, that he wants his paper at his breakfast.’

Mr. Cobden. ‘After he has finished his breakfast or his dinner, he may be found reading the daily newspaper, just as the people of the upper classes do in England?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘Yes; if they do.’ Mr. Cobden. ‘And that is quite common, is it not?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘Almost universal, I think. There is a very low class, a good many foreigners, who do not know how to read; but no native, I think.’

Mr. Ewart. ‘Do the agricultural laborers read much?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘Yes; they take our weekly papers, which they receive through the post generally.’

Mr. Cobden. ‘The working people in New York are not in the habit of resorting to public-houses to read the newspapers are they?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘They go to public-houses, but not to read the papers. It is not the general practice; but, still, we have quite a class who do so.’

Mr. Cobden. ‘The newspapers, then, is not the attraction to the public-house?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘No. I think a very small proportion of our reading class go there at all; those that I have seen there are mainly the foreign population, those who do not read.’

Chairman. ‘Are there any papers published in New York, or in other parts, which may be said to be of an obscene or immoral character?’ [359]

Mr. Greeley. ‘We call the New York Herald a very bad paper-those who do not like it; but that is not the cheapest.’

Chairman. ‘Have you heard of a paper called the “ The Town,” published in this country, with pictures of a certain character in it? Have you any publications in the United States of that character?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘Not daily papers. There are weekly papers got up from time to time called the “ Scorpion,” the “ Flash,” and so on, whose purpose is to extort money from parties who can be threatened with exposure of immoral practices, or for visiting infamous houses.’

Mr. Ewart. ‘They do not last, do they?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘I do not know of any one being continued for any considerable time. If one dies, another is got up, and that goes down. Our cheap daily papers, the very cheapest, are, as a class, quite as discreet in their conduct and conversation as other journals. They do not embody the same amount of talent; they devote themselves mainly to news. They are not party journals; they are nominally independent; they are not given to harsh language with regard to public men: they are very moderate.’

Mr. Ewart. ‘is scurillity or personality common in the publications of the United States?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘It is not common; it is much less frequent than it was; but it is not absolutely unknown.’

Mr. Cobden. ‘What is the circulation of the New York Herald?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘Twenty-five thousand, I believe.’

Mr. Cobden. ‘Is that an influential paper in America?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘I think not.’

Mr. Cobden. ‘It has a higher reputation in Europe probably than at home.’

Mr. Greeley. ‘A certain class of journals in this country find it their interest or pleasure to quote it a good deal.’

Chairman. ‘As the demand is extensive, is the remuneration for the services of the literary men who are employed on the press, good?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘The prices of literary labor are more moderate than in this country. The highest salary, I think, that would be commanded by any one connected with the press would be five thousand dollars—the highest that could be thought of. I have not heard of higher than three thousand.’

Mr. rich. ‘What would be about the ordinary remuneration’

Mr. Greeley. ‘In our own concern it is, besides the principal editor, from fifteen hundred dollars down to five hundred. I think that is the usual range.’

Chairman. ‘Are your leading men in America, in point of literary ability, employed from time to time upon the press as an occupation.?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘It is beginning to be so, but it has not been the custom. There have been leading men connected with the press; but the press has not been usually conducted by the most powerful men. With a few exceptions, the leading political journals are conducted ably, and they are becoming more [360] so; and, with a wider diffusion of the circulation, the press is more able to say for it.’

Mr. rich. ‘Is it a profession apart?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘No; usually the men have been brought up to the bar, to the pulpit, and so on; they are literary men.’

Chairman. ‘I presume that the non-reading class in the United States is a very limited one?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘Yes; except in the Slave States.’

Chairman. ‘Do not you consider that newspaper reading is calculated to keep up a habit of reading?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘I think it is worth all the schools in the country. I think it creates a taste for reading in every child's mind, and it increases his interest in his lessons; he is attracted from always seeing a newspaper and hearing it read I think.’

Chairman. ‘Supposing that you had your schools as now, but that your newspaper press were reduced within the limits of the press in England, do you not think that the habit of reading acquired at school would be frequently laid aside?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘I think that the habit would not be acquired, and that paper reading would fall into disuse.’

Mr. Ewart. ‘Having observed both countries, can you state whether the press has greater influence on public opinion in the United States than in England, or the reverse?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘I think it has more influence with us. I do not know that any class is despotically governed by the press, but its influence is more universal; every one reads and talks about it with us, and more weight is laid upon intelligence than on editorials; the paper which brings the quickest news is the thing looked to.’

Mr. Ewart. ‘The leading article has not so much influence as in England?’ Mr. Greeley. ‘No; the telegraphic dispatch is the great point.’

Mr. Cobden. ‘Observing our newspapers and comparing them with the American papers, do you find that we make much less use of the electric telegraph for transmitting news than in America?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘Not a hundredth part as much as we do.’

Mr. Cobden. ‘An impression prevails in this country that our newspaper press incurs a great deal more expense to expedite news than you do in New York. Are you of that opinion?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘I do not know what your expense is. I should say that a hundred thousand dollars a year is paid by our association of the six leading daily papers, besides what each gets separately for itself.’

Mr. Cobden. ‘Twenty thousand pounds a year is paid by your association, consisting of six papers, for what you get in common?’

Mr. Greeley. ‘Yes; we telegraph a great deal in the United States. Assuming [361] that a scientific meeting was held at Cincinnati this year, we should telegraph the reports from that place, and I presume other journals would have special reporters to report the proceedings at length. We have a report every day, fifteen hundred miles, from New Orleans daily; from St. Louis too, and other places.’

The Committee then adjourned.

On Saturday morning, the seventh of June, after a residence of seven busy weeks in London, our traveler left that “magnificent Babel,” for Paris, selecting the dearest and, of course, the quickest route. Dover, quaint and curious Dover, he thought a “mean old town;” and the steamboat which conveyed him from Dover to Calais was “one of those long, black, narrow scow-contrivances, about equal to a buttonwood dug-out, which England appears to delight in.” Two hours of deadly sea-sickness, and he stood on the shores of France. At Calais, which he styles “a queer old town,” he was detained a long hour, obtained an execrable dinner for thirty-seven and a half cents, and changed some sovereigns for French money, “ at a shave which was not atrocious.” Then away to Paris by the swiftest train, arriving at half-past 2 on Sunday morning, four hours after the time promised in the enticing advertisement of the route. The ordeal of the custom-house he passed with little delay. ‘I did not,’ he says, ‘at first comprehend, that the number on my trunk, standing out fair before me in honest, unequivocal Arabic figures, could possibly mean anything but fifty-two; but a friend cautioned me in season that those figures spelled “cinquante-deux,” or phonetically “sank-on-du” to the officer, and I made my first attempt at mouthing French accordingly, and succeeded in making myself intelligible.’

About daylight on Sunday morning, he reached the Hotel Choiseul, Rue St. Honore, where he found shelter, but not bed. After breakfast, however, he sallied forth and saw his first sight in Paris, high mass at the Church of the Madeleine; which he thought a gorgeous, but inexplicable dumb show.

Eight days were all that the indefatigable man could afford to a stay in the gay capital; but he improved the time. The obelisk of Luxor, brought from the banks of the Nile, and covered with mysterious inscriptions, that had braved the winds and rains of four thousand years, impressed him more deeply than any object he had [362] seen in Europe. The Tuileries were to his eye only an irregular mass of buildings with little architectural beauty, and remarkable chiefly for their magnitude. At the French Opera, he saw the musical spectacle of Azael the Prodigal, or rather, three acts of it; for his patience gave way at the end of the third act. ‘Such a medley of drinking, praying, dancing, idol-worship, and Delilahcraft he had never before encountered.’ To comprehend an Englishman, he says, follow him to the fireside; a Frenchman, join him at the opera, and contemplate him during the performance of the ballet, of which France is the cradle and the home. ‘Though no practitioner,’ he adds, ‘I am yet a lover of the dance;’ but the attitudes and contortions of the ballet are disagreeable and tasteless, and the tendency of such a performance as he that night beheld, was earthy, sensual, and develish. Notre Dame he thought not only the finest church, but the most imposing edifice in Paris, infinitely superior, as a place of worship, to the damp, gloomy, dungeon-like Westminster Abbey. The Hotel de Ville, like the New York City Hall, “lacks another story.” In the Palace of Versailles, he saw fresh proofs of the selfishness of king-craft, the long-suffering patience of nations, and the necessary servility of Art when patronized by royalty. He wandered for hours through its innumerable halls, encrusted with splendor, till the intervention of a naked ante-room was a relief to the eye; and the ruling idea in picture and statue and carving was military glory. ‘Carriages shattered and overturned, animals transfixed by spear-thrusts and writhing in speechless agony, men riddled by cannon-shot or pierced by musket-balls, and ghastly with coming death; such are the spectacles which the more favored and fortunate of the Gallic youth have been called for generations to admire and enjoy. The whole collection is, in its general effect, delusive and mischievous, the purpose being to exhibit War as always glorious, and France as uniformly triumphant. It is by means like these that the business of shattering kneejoints and multiplying orphans is kept in countenance.’

At the Louvre, however, the traveler spent the greater part of two days in rapturous contemplation of its wonderful collection of paintings. Two days out of eight--the fact is significant.

Let no man who has spent but three days in a foreign country, venture on prophecy with regard to its future. France, at the time [363] of Horace Greeley's brief visit, went by the name of Republic, and Louis Napoleon was called President. For a sturdy republican like Mr. Greeley, it was but natural that one of his first inquiries should be, “Will the Republic stand?” It is amusing, now, to read in a letter of his, written on the third day of his residence in Paris, the most confident predictions of its stability ‘Alike,’ he says, ‘by its own strength and by its enemies' divisions, the safety of the Republic is assured;’ and again, ‘Time is on the popular side, and every hour's endurance adds strength to the Republic.’ And yet again, ‘An open attack by the Autocrat would certainly consolidate it; a prolongation of Louis Napoleon's power (no longer probable) would have the same effect.’ ‘No longer probable.’ The striking events of history have seldom seemed “probable” a year before they occurred.

Other impressions made upon the mind of the traveler were more correct. France, which the English press was daily representing as a nation inhabited equally by felons, bankrupts, paupers and lunatics, he found as tranquil and prosperous as England herself. He saw there less plate upon the sideboards of her landlords and bankers, but he observed evidences on all hands of general though unostentatious thrift. The French he thought intelligent, vivacious, courteous, obliging, generous and humane, eager to enjoy, but willing that all the world should enjoy with them; but at the same time, they are impulsive, fickle, sensual and irreverent. Paris, the “paradise of the senses,” contained tens of thousands who could die fighting for liberty, but no class who could even comprehend the idea of the temperance pledge!! The poor of Paris seemed to suffer less than the poor of London; but in London there were ten philanthropic enterprises for one in Paris. In Paris he saw none of that abject servility in the bearing of the poor to the rich which had excited his disgust and commiseration in London. A hundred princes and dukes attract less attention in Paris than one in London; for “ Democracy triumphed in the drawing-rooms of Paris before it had erected its first barricade in the streets;” and once more the traveler ‘marvels at the obliquity of vision, whereby any one is enabled, standing in this metropolis, to anticipate the subversion of the Republic.’ ‘And if,’ he adds, ‘passing over the mob of generals and politicians-by-trade, the choice of candidates [364] for the next presidential term should fall on some modest and unambitious citizen, who has earned a character by quiet probity and his bread by honest labor, I shall hope to see his name at the head of the poll in spite of the unconstitutional overthrow of Universal Suffrage.’ Thus he thought that France, fickle, glory-loving France, would do in 1852, what he only hoped America would be capable of some time before the year 1900; that is, “elect something else than Generals to the presidency.”

Away to Lyons on the sixteenth of June. To an impetuous traveler like Horace Greeley, the tedious formalities of the European railroads were sufficiently irritating; but the ‘passport nuisance’ was disgusting almost beyond endurance. One of the very few anecdotes which he found time to tell in his letters to the Tribune, occurs in connection with his remarks upon this subject. ‘Every one in Paris who lodges a stranger must see forthwith that he has a passport in good condition, in default of which said host is liable to a penalty. Now, two Americans, when applied to, produced passports in due form, but the professions set forth therein were not transparent to the landlord's apprehension. One of them was duly designated in his passport as a “loafer,” the other as a “rowdy,” and they informed him, on application, that though these professions were highly popular in America and extensively followed, they knew no French synonyms into which they could be translated. The landlord, not content with the sign manual of Daniel Webster, affirming that all was right, applied to an American friend for a translation of the inexplicable professions, but I am not sure that he has even yet been fully enlightened with regard to them.’ he thought that three days endurance of the passport system as it exists on the continent of Europe would send any American citizen home with his love of liberty and country kindled to a blaze of enthusiasm.

On the long railroad ride to Lyons, the traveler was half stifled with the tobacco smoke in the cars. His companions were all Frenchmen and all smokers, who ‘kept puff-puffing, through the day; first all of them, then three, two, and at all events one, till they all got out at Dijon near nightfall; when, before I had time to congratulate myself on the atmospheric improvement, another Frenchman got in, lit his cigar, and went at it. All this was in direct and flagrant violation of the rules posted up in the car, [365] but when did a smoker ever care for law or decency?’ However, he flattened his nose diligently against the car windows, and spied what he could of the crops, the culture, the houses and the people of the country. He discovered that a Yankee could mow twice as much grass in a day as a Frenchman, but not get as much from each acre; that the women did more than half the work of the farms; that the agricultural implements were primitive and rude, the hay-carts ‘wretchedly small;’ that the farm-houses were low small, steep-roofed, huddled together, and not worth a hundred dollars each; that fruit-trees were deplorably scarce; and that the stalls and stables for the cattle were “visible only to the eye of faith.” He reached Chalours on the Saone, at nine in the evening; and Lyons per steamboat in the afternoon of the next day. Lyons, the capital of the silk-trade, furnished him, as might have been anticipated, with an excellent text for a letter on Protection, in which he endeavored to prove that it is not best for mankind that one hundred thousand silk-workers should be clustered on any square mile or two of earth.

The traveler's next ride was across the Alps to Turin. The letter which describes it contains, besides the usual remarks upon wheat, grass, fruit-trees and bad farming, one slight addition to our stock of personal anecdotes. The diligence had stopped at Chambery, the capital of Savoy, for breakfast.

‘There was enough,’ he writes,

and good enough to eat, wine in abundance without charge, but tea, coffee, or chocolate, must be ordered and paid for extra. Yet I was unable to obtain a cup of chocolate, the excuse being that there was not time to make it. I did not understand, therefore, why I was charged more than others for breakfast; but to talk English against French or Italian is to get a mile behind in no time, so I pocketed the change offered me and came away. On the coach, however, with an Englishman near me who had traveled this way before and spoke French and Italian, I ventured to expose my ignorance as follows:

“Neighbor, why was I charged three francs for breakfast, and the rest of you but two and a half?”

“Don't know—perhaps you had tea or coffee.”

“No, sir—don't drink either.”

“Then perhaps you washed your face and hands.”

“Well, it would be just like me.”

“O, then, that's it! The half franc was for the basin and towel.”

“Ah, oui, oui.” So the milk in that cocoanut was accounted for.


Anecdotes are precious for biographical purposes. This is a little story, but the reader may infer from it something respecting Horace Greeley's manners, habits, and character. The morning of June the twentieth found the diligence rumbling over the beautiful plain of Piedmont towards Turin. Horace Greeley was in Italy. One of the first observations which he made in that enchanting country was, that he had never seen a region where a few sub-soil plows, with men qualified to use and explain them, were so much wanted! Refreshing remark! The sky of Italy had been overdone. At length, a traveler crossed the Alps who had an eye for the necessities of the soil.

Mr. Greeley spent twenty-one days in Italy, paying flying visits to Turin, Genoa, Pisa, Florence, Padua, Bologna, Venice, Milan, and passing about a week in Rome. At Genoa, he remarked that the kingdom of Sardinia, which contains a population of only four millions, maintains sixty thousand priests, but not five thousand teachers of elementary knowledge; and that, while the churches of Genoa are worth four millions of dollars, the school-houses would not bring fifty thousand. ‘The black-coated gentry fairly overshadow the land with their shovel-hats, so that corn has no chance of sunshine.’ Pisa, too, could afford to spend a hundred thousand dollars in fireworks to celebrate the anniversary of its patron saint; but can spare nothing for popular education. At Florence, the traveler passed some agreeable hours with Hiram Powers, felt that his Greek Slave and Fisher Boy were not the loftiest achievements of that artist, defied antiquity to surpass his Proserpine and Psyche, and predicted that Powers, unlike Alexander, has realms still to conquer, and will fulfil his destiny. At Bologna the most notable thing he saw was an awning spread over the centre of the main street for a distance of half a mile, and he thought the idea might be worth borrowing. On entering Venice his carpet-bags were searched for tobacco; and he remarks, that when any tide-waiter finds more of that noxious weed about him than the chronic illbreeding of smokers compels him to carry in his clothes, he is welcome to confiscate all his worldly possessions. Before reaching Venice, another diligence-incident occurred, which the traveler may be permitted himself to relate [367]

‘As midnight drew on,’ he writes, ‘I grew weary of gazing at the same endless diversity of grain-fields, vineyards, rows of trees, &c., though the bright moon was now shining; and, shutting out the chill night-air, I disposed myself on my old great-coat and softest carpet-bag for a drowse, having ample room at my command if I could but have brought it into a straight line. But the road was hard, the coach a little the uneasiest I ever hardened my bones upon, and my slumber was of a disturbed and dubious character, a dim sense of physical discomfort shaping and coloring my incoherent and fitful visions. For a time I fancied myself held down on my back while some malevolent wretch drenched the floor (and me) with filthy water; then I was in a rude scuffle, and came out third or fourth best, with my clothes badly torn; anon I had lost my hat in a strange place, and could not begin to find it; and at last my clothes were full of grasshoppers and spiders, who were beguiling their leisure by biting and stinging me. The misery at last became unbearable and I awoke. But where? I was plainly in a tight, dark box that needed more air; I soon recollected that it was a stage-coach, wherein I had been making my way from Ferrara to Padua. I threw open the door and looked out. Horses, postilions, and guard were all gone; the moon, the fields, the road were gone: I was in a close court-yard, alone with Night and Silence; but where? A church clock struck three; but it was only promised that we should reach Padua by four, and I, making the usual discount on such promises, had set down five as the probable hour of our arrival. I got out to take a more deliberate survey, and the tall form and bright bayonet of an Austrian sentinel, standing guard over the egress of the court-yard, were before me. To talk German was beyond the sweep of my dizziest ambition, but an Italian runner or porter instantly presented himself. From him I made out that I was in Padua of ancient and learned renown (Italian Padova), and that the first train for Venice would not start for three hours yet. I followed him into a convenient cafe, which was all open and well lighted, where I ordered a cup of chocolate, and proceeded leisurely to discuss it. When I had finished, the other guests had all gone out, but daylight was coming in, and I began to feel more at home. The cafe tender was asleep in his chair; the porter had gone off; the sentinel alone kept awake on his post. Soon the welcome face of the coach-guard, whom I had borne company from Bologna, appeared; I hailed him, obtained my baggage, hired a porter, and, having nothing more to wait for, started at a little past four for the Railroad station, nearly a mile distant; taking observations as I went. Arrived at the depot, I discharged my porter, sat down and waited for the place to open, with ample leisure for reflection. At six o'clock I felt once more the welcome motion of a railroad car, and at eight was in Venice.’

At Venice, amid a thousand signs of decay, he saw one, and only one, indication of progress. It was a gondola with the word Om- [368] Nibus written upon it; and the omnibus, he remarks, typifies Asso-Ciation, the simple but grandly fruitful idea which is destined to renovate the world of industry and production, substituting abundance and comfort for penury and misery. For Man, he thought, this quickening word is yet seasonable; for Venice, it is too late.

Rome our hurrying traveler reached through much tribulation. Even his patience gave way when the petty and numberless exactions of passport officials, hotel runners, postilions, and porters, had wrung the last copper from his pocket. After he and his fellow-passengers had paid every conceivable demand, when they supposed they had bought off every enemy, and had nothing to do but drive quietly into the city, ‘our postilion,’ says the indignant traveler, ‘came down upon us for more money for taking us to a hotel; and as we could do no better, we agreed to give him four francs to set down four of us (all the Americans and English he had) at one hotel. He drove by the Diligence Office, however, and there three or four rough customers jumped unbidden on the vehicle, and, when we reached our hotel, made themselves busy with our little luggage, which we would have thanked them to let alone. Having obtained it, we settled with the postilion, who grumbled and scolded, though we paid him more than his four francs. Then came the leader of our volunteer aids, to be paid for taking down the luggage. I had not a penny of change left, but others of our company scraped their pockets of a handful of coppers, which the “facchini” rejected with scorn, throwing them after us up stairs (I hope they did not pick them up afterwards), and I heard their imprecations until I had reached my room, but a blessed ignorance of Italian shielded me from any insult in the premises. Soon my two light carpet-bags, which I was not allowed to carry, came up with a fresh demand for porterage. “Don't you belong to the hotel?” “Yes.” “Then vanish instantly!” I shut the door in his face, and let him growl to his heart's content; and thus closed my first day in the more especial dominions of His Holiness Pius IX.’

But he was in Rome, and Rome impressed him deeply; for, in the nature of Horace Greeley, the poetical element exists as undeniably as the practical. He has an eye for a picture and a prospect, as well as for a potato-field and a sub-soil plough.

The greater part of his week in Rome was spent in the galleries [369] of art; and while feasting his eyes with their manifold glories, practical suggestions for the diffusion of all that wealth of beauty occur to his mind. It is well, he thought, that there should be somewhere in the world an Emporium of the Fine Arts; but not well that the heart should absorb all the blood and leave the limbs destitute; and, ‘if Rome would but consider herself under a more responsibility to impart as well as receive, and would liberally dispose of so many of her master-pieces as would not at all impoverish her, buying in return such as could be spared her from abroad, and would thus enrich her collections by diversifying them, she would render the cause of Art a signal service, and earn the gratitude of mankind, without the least prejudice to her own permanent well-being.’

Among the Sights of Rome, the Coliseum seems to have made the most lasting impression upon the mind of the traveler. He was fortunate in the hour of his visit. As he slowly made the circuit of the gigantic ruin, a body of French cavalry were exercising their horses along the eastern side, while in a neighboring grove the rattle of the kettle-drum revealed the presence of infantry. At length the horsemen rode slowly away, and the attention of the visitors was attracted to some groups of Italians in the interior, who were slowly marching and chanting.

‘We entered,’ says Mr. Greeley,

and were witnesses of a strange, impressive ceremony. It is among the traditions of Rome that a great number of the early Christians were compelled by their heathen persecutors to fight and die here as gladiators, as a punishment for their contumacious, treasonable resistance to the “lower law” then in the ascendant, which the high priests and circuit judges of that day were wont in their sermons and charges to demonstrate that every one was bound as a law-abiding citizen to obey, no matter what might be his private, personal convictions with regard to it. Since the Coliseum has been cleared of rubbish, fourteen little oratories or places of prayer have been cheaply constructed around its inner circumference, and here at certain seasons prayers are offered for the eternal bliss of the martyred Christians of the Coliseum. These prayers were being offered on this occasion. Twenty or thirty men (priests or monks I inferred), partly bareheaded, but as many with their heads completely covered by hooded cloaks, which left only two small holes for the eyes, accompanied by a large number of women, marched slowly and sadly to one oratory, chanting a prayer by the way, setting up their lighted tapers by its semblance of an altar, kneeling and [370] praying for some minutes, then rising and proceeding to the next oratory, and so on until they had repeated the service before every one. They all seemed to be of the poorer class, and I presume the ceremony is often repeated or the participators would have been much more numerous. The praying was fervent and I trust excellent,—as the music decidedly was not; but the whole scene, with the setting sun shining redly through the shattered arches and upon the ruined wall, with a few French soldiers standing heedlessly by, was strangely picturesque, and to me affecting. I came away before it concluded, to avoid the damp night-air; but many checkered years and scenes of stirring interest must intervene to efface from my memory that sun-set and those strange prayers in the Coliseum.

St. Peter's, he styles the Niagara of edifices; and, like Niagara, the first view of it is disappointing. In the Sistine chapel, he observed a picture of the Death of Admiral Coligny at the Massacre of St. Bartholomew, and if the placing of that picture there was not intended to express approbation of the Massacre, he wanted to know what is was intended to express.

The tenth of July was the traveler's last day in Italy. A swift journey through Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, and North Eastern France brought him once more to England. In Switzerland, he saw everywhere the signs of frugal thrift and homely content. He was assailed by no beggar, cheated by no official; though, as he truly remarks, he was “ very palpably a stranger. ” A more “upright, kindly, truly religious people” than the Catholic Swiss, he had never seen; and he thought their superiority to the Italians attributable to their republican institutions!! He liked the Germans. Their good humor, their kind-heartedness, their deference to each other's wishes, their quiet, unostentatious manner, their self-respect, won his particular regard. In the main cabins of German steamboats, he was gratified to see ‘well-dressed young ladies take out their home-prepared dinner and eat it at their own good time without seeking the company and countenance of others, or troubling themselves to see who was observing. A Lowell factory girl would consider this entirely out of character, and a New York milliner would be shocked at the idea of it.’

Nowhere, he here remarks, had he found Aristocracy a chronic disease, except in England.

Your Paris boot-black will make you a low bow in acknowledgment of a franc, but he has not a trace of the abjectness of a [371] London waiter, and would evidently decline the honor of being kicked by a Duke. In Italy, there is little manhood but no class-worship; her millions of beggars will not abase themselves one whit lower before a Prince than before any one else from whom they hope to worm a copper. The Swiss are freemen, and wear the fact unconsciously but palpably on their brows and beaming from their eyes. The Germans submit passively to arbitrary power which they see not how successfully to resist, but they render to rank or dignity no more homage than is necessary—their souls are still free, and their manners evince a simplicity and frankness which might shame, or at least instruct America.

On the twenty-first of July, Horace Greeley was again in London. One incident of his journey from the court to the metropolis was sufficiently ludicrous. There were three Frenchmen and two French women in the car, going up to see the Exhibition. ‘LondonStout, displayed in tall letters across the front of a tavern, attracted the attention of the party. “Stoot? Stoot?” queried one of them; but the rest were as much in the dark as he, and the American was as deficient in French as they in English. The befogged one pulled out his dictionary and read over and over all the French synonyms of “ Stout,” but this only increased his perplexity. “Stout” signified “robust,” “hearty,” “vigorous,” “resolute,” &c., but what then could “London Stout” be? He closed his book at length in despair and resumed his observations.’

The remaining sixteen days of Mr. Greeley's three months in Europe were busy ones indeed. The great Peace Convention was in session in London; but, as he was not a delegate, he took no part in its proceedings. If he had been a delegate, he tells us, that he should have offered a resolution which would have affirmed, not denied, the right of a nation, wantonly invaded by a foreign army or intolerably oppressed by its own rulers, to resist force by force; a proposition which he thought might perhaps have marred the ‘harmony and happiness’ of the Convention.

A few days after his return to London, he had the very great gratification of witnessing the triumph of McCormick's Reaping Machine, which, as it stood in the Crystal Palace, had excited general derision, and been styled “a cross between an Astley chariot, a flying machine, and a tread-mill.” It came into the field, therefore, to [372] confront a tribunal prepared for its condemnation. Before it stood John Bull, burly, dogged, and determined not to be humbugged—his judgment made up and his sentence ready to be recorded. Nothing disconcerted, the brown, rough, homespun Yankee in charge jumped on the box, starting the team at a smart walk, setting the blades of the machine in lively operation, and commenced raking off the grain in sheaf-piles ready for binding,—cutting a breadth of nine or ten feet cleanly and carefully as fast as a span of horses could comfortably step. There was a moment, and but a moment of suspense; human prejudice could hold out no longer; and burst after burst of involuntary cheers from the whole crowd proclaimed the triumph of the Yankee “ treadmill.”

A rapid tour through the north of England, Scotland, and Ireland absorbed the last week of Mr. Greeley's stay in Europe. The grand old town of Edinburgh surpassed his expectations, and he was amused at the passion of the Edinburghers for erecting public monuments to eminent men. Glasgow looked to him more like an American city than any other he had seen in Europe; it was half Pittsburgh, half Philadelphia. Ireland seemed more desolate, more wretched, even in its best parts, than he had expected to find it. As an additional proof of his instinctive sense of means and ends, take this suggestion for Ireland's deliverance from the pall of ignorance that overspreads it:—‘Let the Catholic Bishops unite in an earnest and potential call for teachers, and they can summon thousands and tens of thousands of capable and qualified persons from convents, from seminaries, from cloisters, from drawing-rooms, even from foreign lands if need be, to devote their time and efforts to the work without earthly recompense or any stipulation save for a bare subsistence, which the less needy Catholics, or even the more liberal Protestants, in every parish, would gladly proffer them.’

Perfectly practicable—perfectly impossible! The following is the only incident of his Irish tour that space can be found for here:— ‘Walking with a friend through one of the back streets of Galway beside the outlet of the Lakes, I came where a girl of ten years old was breaking up hard brook pebbles into suitable fragments to mend. roads with. We halted, and M. asked her how much she received for that labor. She answered, “Sixpence a car-load.” How long will it take you to break a car-load? “ About a, fortnight.” ’ [373]

He concluded his brief sketch of this country with the words, ‘Alas! unhappy Ireland.’ Yet, on a calmer and fuller survey of Ireland's case, and after an enumeration of the various measures for her relief and regeneration which were slowly but surely operating, he exclaims, “There shall yet be an Ireland to which her sons in distant lands may turn their eyes with a pride unmingled with sadness; but who can say how soon!”

Mr. Greeley, though he did not “wholly like those grave and stately English,” appreciated highly and commends frankly their many good qualities. He praised their industry, their method, their economy, their sense of the practical; sparing not, however, their conceit and arrogance. An English duchess, he remarks, does not hesitate to say, “I cannot afford” a proposed outlay—an avowal rarely and reluctantly made by an American, even in moderate circumstances. The English he thought a most un-ideal people, even in their “obstreperous loyalty” ; and when the portly and well-to-do Briton exclaims, “God save the Queen,” with intense enthusiasm, he means, “ God save my estates, my rents, my shares, my consols, my expectations.” He liked the amiable women of England, so excellent at the fireside, so tame in the drawing-room; but he doubted whether they could so much as comprehend the “ideas which underlie the woman's-rights movement.” The English have a sharp eye to business, he thought; particularly the Free Traders. Our champion of Protection on this subject remarks:—‘The French widow who appended to the high-wrought eulogium engraved on her husband's tombstone, that “His disconsolate widow still keeps the shop No. 16 Rue St. Denis,” had not a keener eye to business than these apostles of the Economic faith. No consideration of time or place is regarded; in festive meetings, peace conventions, or gatherings of any kind, where men of various lands and views are notoriously congregated, and where no reply could be made without disturbing the harmony and distracting the attention of the assemblage, the disciples of Cobden are sure to interlard their harangues with advice to foreigners substantially thus— “N. B. Protection is a great humbug and a great waste. Better abolish your tariffs, stop your factories, and buy at our shops. We're the boys to give you thirteen pence for every shilling.” I cannot say how this affected others, but to me it seemed hardly more ill-mannered than impolitic.’ [374]

Yet, the better qualities of the British decidedly preponderate; and he adds, that the quiet comfort and heartfelt warmth of an English fireside must he felt to be appreciated.

On Wednesday, the sixth of August, Horace Greeley was once more on board the steamship Baltic, homeward bound.

‘I rejoice,’ he wrote on the morning of his departure, ‘I rejoice to feel that every hour, henceforth, must lessen the distance which divides me from my country, whose advantages and blessings this four months absence has taught me to appropriate more dearly and to prize more deeply than before. With a glow of unwanted rapture I see our stately vessel's prow turned toward the setting sun, and strive to realize that only some ten days separate me from those I know and love best on earth. Hark! the last gun announces that the mail-boat has left us, and that we are fairly afloat on our ocean journey; the shores of Europe recede from our vision; the watery waste is all around us; and now, with God above and Death below, our gallant bark and her clustered company together brave the dangers of the mighty deep. May Infinite Mercy watch over our onward path and bring us safely to our several homes; for to die away from home and kindred seems one of the saddest calamities that could befall me. This mortal tenement would rest uneasily in an ocean shroud, this spirit reluctantly resign that tenement to the chill and pitiless brine: these eyes close regretfully on the stranger skies and bleak inhospitality of the sullen and stormy main. No! let me see once more the scenes so well remembered and b loved; let me grasp, if but once again, the hand of Friendship, and hear the thrilling accents of proved Affection, and when sooner or later the hour of mortal agony shall come, let my last gaze be fixed on eyes that will not forget me when I am gone, and let my ashes repose in that congenial soil which, however I may there be esteemed or hated, is still “ My own green land forever!” ’

Neptune was more gracious to the voyager on his homeward than he had been on his outward passage. The skies were clearer, the winds more favorable and gentler. A few days, not intolerably disagreeable, landed him on the shores of Manhattan. The ship reached the wharf about six o'clock in the morning, cheating the expectant morning papers of their foreign news, which the editor of the Tribune had already “made up” for publication on board the steamer, However, he had no sooner got on shore than he rushed away to the office, bent on getting out an “extra” in advance of all contemporaries. The compositors were all absent, of course; but boys were forthwith dispatched to summon them from bed and breakfast. Meanwhile, [375] the impetuous Editor-in-Chief proceeded with his own hands to set the matter in type, and continued to assist till the form was ready to be lowered away to the press-room in the basement. In an hour or two the streets resounded with the cry, ‘Extra Trybune; 'ZZZyival of the Baltic.’ Then, but not till then, Horace Greeley might have been seen in a corner of an omnibus, going slowly up town, towards his residence in Nineteenth street.

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