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Oh! how good it seemed, and how safe we felt, when we once more stepped on terra firma. But we soon discovered that we had a very awkward gait, and even that reverend gentleman who walks so excruciatingly straight at home swayed slightly from side to side. For several days I walked as if trying to balance myself, and often thought the floor was moving up and down as on shipboard.
As we had a few hours to spend in Liverpool before taking the train for London, we availed ourselves of the opportunity to visit St. George's Hall. It is a grand building, four hundred and twenty feet long, and ornamented with fifteen magnificent Corinthian columns forty-five feet high; and the massiveness of the structure is greatly enhanced by two colossal stone lions lying at the foot of the steps by which it is approached, and also the equestrian bronze statues of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria. The interior of the hall is very fine, with beautifully gilded ceiling. It is tastefully ornamented with sculpture, and contains a very large pipe organ. It is is used for public gatherings, musical entertainments, etc.
We obtained a lunch at the Northwestern Hotel, and ate with a relish the largest and most delicious mutton chops we had ever tasted. We left Liverpool at eleven o'clock a. m., in company
with Philip Phillips and family, and dear Mrs. Pritchard, whom we learned to know and love on the ocean, on a fast express train over the Northwestern Railway, and reached London about four p. m., a distance of two hundred and ten miles.
The English railway cars are much smaller than our American cars, and are divided into several apartments, each seating eight persons, and occasionally ten. Four ride forward and four backward. The cars are entered from the side, and the windows form the upper half of the doors. The most desirable seats are, of course, near the windows, where one can lower or raise them at pleasure, and obtain a good view of the scenery. There are first, second and third class cars, but they have no fire, water nor conveniences. Baggage is not checked, so that it necessitates a person looking after his luggage very closely, lest it be taken on too far, or not far enough. Valises, satchels, etc., may be taken into the car free, and placed under the seat or in the rack. As our luggage consisted of two valises, it mattered little to us whether they had a check system or not. The guard, or conductor, as we would say, has no means of passing through the train, but is obliged to walk on a narrow platform attached to the outside of the cars, and hold on to an iron railing. He is thus exposed to heat and cold, sun and rain. The engineer and fireman have also no protection in the majority of cases.
The railway stations, however, all over Europe, are much superior to those in America. Some are immense structures, made entirely of glass and iron, with first, second and third class waiting rooms. Others are massive buildings of stone, presenting a fine architectural appearance; and the Swiss depots are perfect marvels of taste, with their display of wood-carving. The first-class waiting rooms are often carpeted with Brussels, and have a cheerful fire in the grate, hearth rugs, easy chairs, etc., which gives the traveler such a home-like feeling, while he is waiting for trains. And I have seen waiting rooms on the Continent decorated with marble statues, and the walls adorned with large oil paintings. I have a distinct recollection of a waiting room in a station at Munich, the walls of which are imitation of different colored marble, and so perfect is the representation, that not until we had tested them in various ways could we believe that they were not marble. The furnishing, too, seemed complete; marble centre table, handsome garnet rep lambrequins, cane-seated chairs, and here and there garnet plush circular sofas.
The ride from Liverpool to London was simply charming ! Every foot of ground seemed to be under the most careful cultivation. The lovely green fields dotted with daisies and buttercups, were such a sweet relief to our eyes that had been accustomed to beholding nothing but water for so many days. Not a stick, stone or stump was to be seen. Beautiful green hedges take the place of fences. Even the railways are bordered with
them. No pedestrians are allowed on the railway track, and no carriage drives cross the track; but in all cases of intersection, a bridge is built over the track, or the track bridges over the carriage and footway—thus preventing the many accidents common in America.
The buildings in England are all of stone or brick. The scenery during the whole journey seemed like one grand pano
Bridges over small streams are of white stone, and some of them encircled with English ivy, making such picturesque little views.
When we reached London, we took a hansom, (a small twowheeled vehicle, with an elevated driver's seat behind ; two wooden half-doors in front shut you in, and a dashboard encircling the hind parts of the horse, prevents the mud from flying in one's face), to Mr. Burr's private boarding house, No. u Queen Square.
I will not tell you now what we saw and learned in London ; but if you will follow us in our trip over the Continent, we will bring you back to London, and tell you what we saw in the two weeks we spent there, and also in other parts of England ând Scotland.
At New Haven we took a steamer across the British Channel to Dieppe; were six hours and a half on the water. The shortest route across the Channel, from Dover to Calais, only occupies an hour and a quarter; but we had read and heard so many unpleasant reports about that passage, that we decided to take a route where “ wash-bowls” would not be brought into requisition. Old Neptune failed to make any impression on us.
ARRIVING at Paris, we had a strange experience with the Frenchmen at the depot, but finally succeeded in getting a cab to take us to Mr. J. Eppler's, No. 9, Boulevarde Malesherbes, to whom Rev. Dr. Hamma directed us. These French cab-drivers always expect pour boire, that is, a few cents with which to buy drink, in addition to their regular fare; and if you do not give it them they get fearfully angry, and gesture and talk all over.
Mr. Eppler assisted us to find a hotel, centrally located, with comfortable apartments, where English is spoken. The name of the hotel is American Family Home, No. 7, 9, and 11 Rue de la Bienfaisance, near the Boulevarde Malesherbes. It is a very large building, and we lost our way several times, until we became accustomed to its labyrinth of halls. The floors are of ' dark oiled wood, with the carpets laid on loose.
We were struck with the diminutiveness of our wash pitcher, it being only four inches higher than the bowl. Upon inquiry, we found that this was the ordinary size used by the Parisians.
If one had nothing else to judge from, he might suppose them not a very cleanly class of people. But indeed, it is quite the contrary. To my mind, Paris excels all other European cities in cleanliness. The streets are immaculate, its perfect system of sewerage wonderful, and its being built up with lofty structures of white limestone, of the finest architecture, gives it a bright, clean, cheery aspect; such a pleasant change from smoky, foggy London.
Here we entered upon a style of taking our meals essentially different from the habits of our own country. But we afterwards discovered that the same custom prevails all over the Continent, viz., déjeûner (a light breakfast consisting of a French roll and a cup of coffee), which may be had any time after half-past eight in the morning; at twelve comes lunch, the regular déjeûner à la fourchette; and between five and six o'clock comes table d'hôte, a dinner of eleven or twelve courses, finishing up with delicious fruits, especially in Italy. If one eats everything he is offered, he will be sure to have enough. Wine is as freely used here as water is in America.
I once counted the wine bottles on the table and found there were fourteen, besides all the private bottles. We had to call for water, as there was none on the table. The waiters looked at us in astonishment. It takes fully an hour to go through all the ceremonies of this extensive dinner; so one day in Brussels, coming in a little late, we thought it would be a kindness to the waiters, and also to ourselves, not to take all the courses from beginning to end, but select from the bill of fare what we preferred. We did so; and when we came to pay our bill found that they had charged us two francs (forty cents) apiece more than if we had allowed the waiters to bring us ten courses, ten clean plates, and ten clean knives and forks! After that experience we permitted waiters to make themselves all the trouble they desired. But I must not omit to tell you what a feast of strawberries we had during our trip. We began to have them about the middle of May in Paris, and continued to have them in different countries until the last of August, when we bid them good-bye in Scotland.
Paris! The very name has a charm, but one cannot imagine its beauties and attractions. They must be seen to be realized. The boulevards, of which we have heard so much, are streets ninety-nine feet wide, with an addition of thirty-five feet of pavement on either side. They are macadamized, and are flanked with beautiful shade trees. These great thoroughfares, some sixty in number, are universally admitted to excel all other cities in the grandeur of their architecture, the attractiveness of their shops, and the briskness of their traffic. The vehicles which traverse these boulevards daily, from the superb private equipage to the ponderous wagon, are more than twentyfive thousand. The population of Paris is two millions. Late