Infomotions, Inc.Europe Revised / Cobb, Irvin S. (Irvin Shrewsbury), 1876-1944



Author: Cobb, Irvin S. (Irvin Shrewsbury), 1876-1944
Title: Europe Revised
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Title: Europe Revised

Author: Irvin S. Cobb

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Europe Revised
by Irvin S. Cobb

To My Small Daughter

Who bade me shed a tear at the tomb of Napoleon, which I was very
glad to do, because when I got there my feet certainly were hurting
me.




Note

The picture on page 81 purporting to show the undersigned leaping
head first into a German feather-bed does the undersigned a
cruel injustice.  He has a prettier figure than that--oh, oh, much
prettier!

The reader is earnestly entreated not to look at the picture on
page 81.  It is the only blot on the McCutcheon of this book.

Respectfully,

The Author.




Chapter I



We Are Going Away From Here

Foreword.--It has always seemed to me that the principal drawback
about the average guidebook is that it is over-freighted with
facts.  Guidebooks heretofore have made a specialty of facts--have
abounded in them; facts to be found on every page and in every
paragraph.  Reading such a work, you imagine that the besotted
author said to himself, "I will just naturally fill this thing
chock-full of facts"--and then went and did so to the extent of a
prolonged debauch.

Now personally I would be the last one in the world to decry facts
as such.  In the abstract I have the highest opinion of them.  But
facts, as someone has said, are stubborn things; and stubborn
things, like stubborn people, are frequently tiresome.  So it
occurred to me that possibly there might be room for a guidebook
on foreign travel which would not have a single indubitable fact
concealed anywhere about its person.  I have even dared to hope
there might be an actual demand on the part of the general public
for such a guidebook.  I shall endeavor to meet that desire--if
it exists.

While we are on the subject I wish to say there is probably not a
statement made by me here or hereafter which cannot readily be
controverted.  Communications from parties desiring to controvert
this or that assertion will be considered in the order received. 
The line forms on the left and parties will kindly avoid crowding.
Triflers and professional controverters save stamps.

With these few introductory remarks we now proceed to the first
subject, which is The Sea: Its Habits and Peculiarities, and the
Quaint Creatures Found upon Its Bosom.

From the very start of this expedition to Europe I labored under
a misapprehension.  Everybody told me that as soon as I had got
my sea legs I would begin to love the sea with a vast and passionate
love.  As a matter of fact I experienced no trouble whatever in
getting my sea legs.  They were my regular legs, the same ones I
use on land.  It was my sea stomach that caused all the bother. 
First I was afraid I should not get it, and that worried me no
little.  Then I got it and was regretful.  However, that detail
will come up later in a more suitable place.  I am concerned now
with the departure.

Somewhere forward a bugle blares; somewhere rearward a bell jangles.
On the deck overhead is a scurry of feet.  In the mysterious
bowels of the ship a mighty mechanism opens its metal mouth and
speaks out briskly.  Later it will talk on steadily, with a measured
and a regular voice; but now it is heard frequently, yet intermittently,
like the click of a blind man's cane.  Beneath your feet the ship,
which has seemed until this moment as solid as a rock, stirs the
least little bit, as though it had waked up.  And now a shiver
runs all through it and you are reminded of that passage from
Pygmalion and Galatea where Pygmalion says with such feeling:

She starts; she moves; she seems to feel the thrill of life along
her keel.

You are under way.  You are finally committed to the great adventure.
The necessary good-bys have already been said.  Those who in the
goodness of their hearts came to see you off have departed for
shore, leaving sundry suitable and unsuitable gifts behind.  You
have examined your stateroom, with its hot and cold decorations,
its running stewardess, its all-night throb service, and its windows
overlooking the Hudson--a stateroom that seemed so large and
commodious until you put one small submissive steamer trunk and
two scared valises in it.  You are tired, and yon white bed, with
the high mudguards on it, looks mighty good to you; but you feel
that you must go on deck to wave a fond farewell to the land you
love and the friends you are leaving behind.

You fight your way to the open through companionways full of
frenzied persons who are apparently trying to travel in every
direction at once.  On the deck the illusion persists that it is
the dock that is moving and the ship that is standing still.  All
about you your fellow passengers crowd the rails, waving and
shouting messages to the people on the dock; the people on the
dock wave back and shout answers.  About every other person is
begging somebody to tell auntie to be sure to write.  You gather
that auntie will be expected to write weekly, if not oftener.

As the slice of dark water between boat and dock widens, those who
are left behind begin running toward the pierhead in such numbers
that each wide, bright-lit door-opening in turn suggests a flittering
section of a moving-picture film.  The only perfectly calm person
in sight is a gorgeous, gold-laced creature standing on the outermost
gunwale of the dock, wearing the kind of uniform that a rear admiral
of the Swiss navy would wear--if the Swiss had any navy--and holding
a speaking trumpet in his hand.  This person is not excited, for
he sends thirty-odd-thousand-ton ships off to Europe at frequent
intervals, and so he is impressively and importantly blase about
it; but everybody else is excited.  You find yourself rather that
way.  You wave at persons you know and then at persons you do not
know.

You continue to wave until the man alongside you, who has spent
years of his life learning to imitate a siren whistle with his
face, suddenly twines his hands about his mouth and lets go a
terrific blast right in your ear.  Something seems to warn you
that you are not going to care for this man.

The pier, ceasing to be a long, outstretched finger, seems to fold
back into itself, knuckle-fashion, and presently is but a part
of the oddly foreshortened shoreline, distinguishable only by the
black dot of watchers clustered under a battery of lights, like a
swarm of hiving bees.  Out in midstream the tugs, which have been
convoying the ship, let go of her and scuttle off, one in this
direction and one in that, like a brace of teal ducks getting out
of a walrus' way.

Almost imperceptibly her nose straightens down the river and soon
on the starboard quarter--how quickly one picks up these nautical
terms!--looming through the harbor mists, you behold the statue
of Miss Liberty, in her popular specialty of enlightening the
world.  So you go below and turn in.  Anyway, that is what I did;
for certain of the larger ships of the Cunard line sail at midnight
or even later, and this was such a ship.

For some hours I lay awake, while above me and below me and all
about me the boat settled down to her ordained ship's job, and
began drawing the long, soothing snores that for five days and
nights she was to continue drawing without cessation.  There were
so many things to think over.  I tried to remember all the
authoritative and conflicting advice that hadbeen offered to me
by traveled friends and well-wishers.

Let's see, now: On shipboard I was to wear only light clothes,
because nobody ever caught cold at sea.  I was to wear the heaviest
clothes I had, because the landlubber always caught cold at sea. 
I was to tip only those who served me.  I was to tip all hands in
moderation, whether they served me or not.  If I felt squeamish I
was to do the following things: Eat something.  Quit eating.  Drink
something.  Quit drinking.  Stay on deck.  Go below and lie perfectly
flat.  Seek company.  Avoid same.  Give it up.  Keep it down.

There was but one point on which all of them were agreed.  On no
account should I miss Naples; I must see Naples if I did not see
another solitary thing in Europe.  Well, I did both--I saw Naples;
and now I should not miss Naples if I never saw it again, and I
do not think I shall.  As regards the other suggestions these
friends of mine gave me, I learned in time that all of them were
right and all of them were wrong.

For example, there was the matter of a correct traveling costume.
Between seasons on the Atlantic one wears what best pleases one.
One sees at the same time women in furs and summer boys in white
ducks.  Tweed-enshrouded Englishmen and linen-clad American girls
promenade together, giving to the decks that pleasing air of variety
and individuality of apparel only to be found in southern California
during the winter, and in those orthodox pictures in the book of
Robinson Crusoe, where Robinson is depicted as completely wrapped
up in goatskins, while Man Friday is pirouetting round as nude as
a raw oyster and both of them are perfectly comfortable.  I used
to wonder how Robinson and Friday did it.  Since taking an ocean
trip I understand perfectly.  I could do it myself now.

There certainly were a lot of things to think over.  I do not
recall now exactly the moment when I ceased thinking them over. 
A blank that was measurable by hours ensued.  I woke from a dream
about a scrambled egg, in which I was the egg, to find that morning
had arrived and the ship was behaving naughtily.

Here was a ship almost as long as Main Street is back home, and
six stories high, with an English basement; with restaurants and
elevators and retail stores in her; and she was as broad as a
courthouse; and while lying at the dock she had appeared to be
about the most solid and dependable thing in creation--and yet in
just a few hours' time she had altered her whole nature, and was
rolling and sliding and charging and snorting like a warhorse.  It
was astonishing in the extreme, and you would not have expected it
of her.

Even as I focused my mind on this phenomenon the doorway was
stealthily entered by a small man in a uniform that made him look
something like an Eton schoolboy and something like a waiter in a
dairy lunch.  I was about to have the first illuminating experience
with an English manservant.  This was my bedroom steward, by name
Lubly--William Lubly.  My hat is off to William Lubly--to him and
to all his kind.  He was always on duty; he never seemed to sleep;
he was always in a good humor, and he always thought of the very
thing you wanted just a moment or two before you thought of it
yourself, and came a-running and fetched it to you.  Now he was
softly stealing in to close my port.  As he screwed the round,
brass-faced window fast he glanced my way and caught my apprehensive
eye.

"Good morning, sir," he said, and said it in such a way as to
convey a subtle compliment.

"Is it getting rough outside?" I said--I knew about the inside.
"Thank you," he said; "the sea 'as got up a bit, sir--thank you,
sir."

I was gratified--nay more, I was flattered.  And it was so delicately
done too.  I really did not have the heart to tell him that I was
not solely responsible--that I had, so to speak, collaborators;
but Lubly stood ready always to accord me a proper amount of
recognition for everything that happened on that ship.  Only the
next day, I think it was, I asked him where we were.  This occurred
on deck.  He had just answered a lady who wanted to know whether
we should have good weather on the day we landed at Fishguard and
whether we should get in on time.  Without a moment's hesitation
he told her; and then he turned to me with the air of giving credit
where credit is due, and said:

"Thank you, sir--we are just off the Banks, thank you."

Lubly ran true to form.  The British serving classes are ever like
that, whether met with at sea or on their native soil.  They are
a great and a noble institution.  Give an English servant a kind
word and he thanks you.  Give him a harsh word and he still thanks
you.  Ask a question of a London policeman--he tells you fully and
then he thanks you.  Go into an English shop and buy something--the
clerk who serves you thanks you with enthusiasm.  Go in and fail
to buy something--he still thanks you, but without the
enthusiasm.

One kind of Englishman says Thank you, sir; and one kind--the
Cockney who has been educated--says Thenks; but the majority brief
it into a short but expressive expletive and merely say: Kew.  Kew
is the commonest word in the British Isles.  Stroidinary runs it
a close second, but Kew comes first.  You hear it everywhere. 
Hence Kew Gardens; they are named for it.

All the types that travel on a big English-owned ship were on ours.
I take it that there is a requirement in the maritime regulations
to the effect that the set must be complete before a ship may put
to sea.  To begin with, there was a member of a British legation
from somewhere going home on leave, for a holiday, or a funeral. 
At least I heard it was a holiday, but I should have said he was
going home for the other occasion.  He wore an Honorable attached
to the front of his name and carried several extra initials behind
in the rumble; and he was filled up with that true British reserve
which a certain sort of Britisher always develops while traveling
in foreign lands.  He was upward of seven feet tall, as the crow
flies, and very thin and rigid.

Viewing him, you got the impression that his framework all ran
straight up and down, like the wires in a bird cage, with barely
enough perches extending across from side to side to keep him from
caving in and crushing the canaries to death.  On second thought
I judge I had better make this comparison in the singular number
--there would not have been room in him for more than one canary.

Every morning for an hour, and again every afternoon for an hour,
he marched solemnly round and round the promenade deck, always
alone and always with his mournful gaze fixed on the far horizon.
As I said before, however, he stood very high in the air, and it
may have been he feared, if he ever did look down at his feet, he
should turn dizzy and be seized with an uncontrollable desire to
leap off and end all; so I am not blaming him for that.

He would walk his hour out to the sixtieth second of the sixtieth
minute and then he would sit in his steamer chair, as silent as a
glacier and as inaccessible as one.  If it were afternoon he would
have his tea at five o'clock and then, with his soul still full
of cracked ice, he would go below and dress for dinner; but he
never spoke to anyone.  His steamer chair was right-hand chair to
mine and often we practically touched elbows; but he did not see
me once.

I had a terrible thought.  Suppose now, I said to myself--just
suppose that this ship were to sink and only we two were saved;
and suppose we were cast away on a desert island and spent years
and years there, never knowing each other's name and never mingling
together socially until the rescue ship came along--and not even
then unless there was some mutual acquaintance aboard her to
introduce us properly! It was indeed a frightful thought! It made
me shudder.

Among our company was a younger son going home after a tour of the
Colonies--Canada and Australia, and all that sort of bally rot. 
I believe there is always at least one younger son on every
well-conducted English boat; the family keeps him on a remittance
and seems to feel easier in its mind when he is traveling.  The
British statesman who said the sun never sets on British possessions
spoke the truth, but the reporters in committing his memorable
utterance to paper spelt the keyword wrong--undoubtedly he meant
the other kind--the younger kind.

This particular example of the species was in every way up to grade
and sample.  A happy combination of open air, open pores and open
casegoods gave to his face the exact color of a slice of rare roast
beef; it also had the expression of one.  With a dab of English
mustard in the lobe of one ear and a savory bit of watercress stuck
in his hair for a garnish, he could have passed anywhere for a
slice of cold roast beef.

He was reasonably exclusive too.  Not until the day we landed did
he and the Honorable member of the legation learn--quite by chance
--that they were third cousins--or something of that sort--to one
another.  And so, after the relationship had been thoroughly
established through the kindly offices of a third party, they
fraternized to the extent of riding up to London on the same
boat-train, merely using different compartments of different
carriages.  The English aristocrat is a tolerably social animal
when traveling; but, at the same time, he does not carry his
sociability to an excess.  He shows restraint.

Also, we had with us the elderly gentleman of impaired disposition,
who had crossed thirty times before and was now completing his
thirty-first trip, and getting madder and madder about it every
minute.  I saw him only with his clothes on; but I should say,
speaking offhand, that he had at least fourteen rattles and a
button.  His poison sacs hung 'way down.  Others may have taken
them for dewlaps, but I knew better; they were poison sacs.

It was quite apparent that he abhorred the very idea of having to
cross to Europe on the same ocean with the rest of us, let alone
on the same ship.  And for persons who were taking their first
trip abroad his contempt was absolutely unutterable; he choked at
the bare mention of such a criminal's name and offense.  You would
hear him communing with himself and a Scotch and soda.

"Bah!" he would say bitterly, addressing the soda-bottle.  "These
idiots who've never been anywhere talking about this being rough
weather! Rough weather, mind you! Bah! People shouldn't be allowed
to go to sea until they know something about it.  Bah!"

By the fourth day out his gums were as blue as indigo, and he was
so swelled up with his own venom he looked dropsical.  I judged
his bite would have caused death in from twelve to fourteen minutes,
preceded by coma and convulsive rigors.  We called him old Colonel
Gila Monster or Judge Stinging Lizard, for short.

There was the spry and conversational gentleman who looked like
an Englishman, but was of the type commonly denominated in our own
land as breezy.  So he could not have been an Englishman.  Once
in a while there comes along an Englishman who is windy, and
frequently you meet one who is drafty; but there was never a breezy
Englishman yet.

With that interest in other people's business which the close
communion of a ship so promptly breeds in most of us, we fell to
wondering who and what he might be; but the minute the suspect
came into the salon for dinner the first night out I read his
secret at a glance.  He belonged to a refined song-and-dance team
doing sketches in vaudeville.  He could not have been anything
else--he had jet buttons on his evening clothes.

There was the young woman--she had elocutionary talents, it turned
out afterward, and had graduated with honors from a school of
expression--who assisted in getting up the ship's concert and then
took part in it, both of those acts being mistakes on her part,
as it proved.

And there was the official he-beauty of the ship.  He was without
a wrinkle in his clothes--or his mind either; and he managed to
maneuver so that when he sat in the smoking room he always faced
a mirror.  That was company enough for him.  He never grew lonely
or bored then.  Only one night he discovered something wrong about
one of his eyebrows.  He gave a pained start; and then, oblivious
of those of us who hovered about enjoying the spectacle, he spent
a long time working with the blemish.  The eyebrow was stubborn,
though, and he just couldn't make it behave; so he grew petulant
and fretful, and finally went away to bed in a huff.  Had it not
been for fear of stopping his watch, I am sure he would have slapped
himself on the wrist.

This fair youth was one of the delights of the voyage.  One felt
that if he had merely a pair of tweezers and a mustache comb and
a hand glass he would never, never be at a loss for a solution of
the problem that worries so many writers for the farm journals--a
way to spend the long winter evenings pleasantly.




Chapter II



My Bonny Lies over the Ocean--Lies and Lies and Lies

Of course, we had a bridal couple and a troupe of professional
deep-sea fishermen aboard.  We just naturally had to have them. 
Without them, I doubt whether the ship could have sailed.  The
bridal couple were from somewhere in the central part of Ohio and
they were taking their honeymoon tour; but, if I were a bridal
couple from the central part of Ohio and had never been to sea
before, as was the case in this particular instance, I should take
my honeymoon ashore and keep it there.  I most certainly should!
This couple of ours came aboard billing and cooing to beat the
lovebirds.  They made it plain to all that they had just been
married and were proud of it.  Their baggage was brand-new, and
the groom's shoes were shiny with that pristine shininess which,
once destroyed, can never be restored; and the bride wore her
going-and-giving-away outfit.

Just prior to sailing and on the morning after they were all over
the ship.  Everywhere you went you seemed to meet them and they
were always wrestling.  You entered a quiet side passage--there
they were, exchanging a kiss--one of the long-drawn, deep-siphoned,
sirupy kind.  You stepped into the writing room thinking to find
it deserted, and at sight of you they broke grips and sprang apart,
eyeing you like a pair of startled fawns surprised by the cruel
huntsman in a forest glade.  At all other times, though, they had
eyes but for each other.

A day came, however--and it was the second day out--when they were
among the missing.  For two days and two nights, while the good
ship floundered on the tempestuous bosom of the overwrought ocean,
they were gone from human ken.  On the afternoon of the third day,
the sea being calmer now, but still sufficiently rough to satisfy
the most exacting, a few hardy and convalescent souls sat in a
shawl-wrapped row on the lee side of the ship.

There came two stewards, bearing with them pillows and blankets
and rugs.  These articles were disposed to advantage in two steamer
chairs.  Then the stewards hurried away; but presently they
reappeared, dragging the limp and dangling forms of the bridal
couple from the central part of Ohio.  But oh, my countrymen, what
a spectacle! And what a change from what had been!

The going-away gown was wrinkled, as though worn for a period of
time by one suddenly and sorely stricken in the midst of health.
The bride's once well-coifed hair hung in lank disarray about a
face that was the color of prime old sage cheese--yellow, with a
fleck of green here and there--and in her wan and rolling eye was
the hunted look of one who hears something unpleasant stirring a
long way off and fears it is coming this way.

Side by side the stewards stretched them prone on their chairs and
tucked them in.  Her face was turned from him.  For some time
both of them lay there without visible signs of life--just two
muffled, misery-stricken heaps.  Then, slowly and languidly, the
youth stretched forth an arm from his wrappings and fingered the
swaddling folds that enveloped the form of his beloved.

It may have been he thought it was about time to begin picking the
coverlid, or it may have been the promptings of reawakened romance,
once more feebly astir within his bosom.  At any rate, gently and
softly, his hand fell on the rug about where her shoulder ought
to be.  She still had life enough left in her to shake it off--and
she did.  Hurt, he waited a moment, then caressed her again.  "Stop
that!" she cried in a low but venomous tone.  "Don't you dare touch
me!"

So he touched her no more, but only lay there mute and motionless;
and from his look one might plumb the sorrows of his soul and know
how shocked he was, and how grieved and heartstricken! Love's
young dream was o'er! He had thought she loved him, but now he
knew better.  Their marriage had been a terrible mistake and he
would give her back her freedom; he would give it back to her as
soon as he was able to sit up.  Thus one interpreted his
expression.

On the day we landed, however, they were seen again.  We were
nosing northward through a dimpled duckpond of a sea, with the
Welsh coast on one side and Ireland just over the way.  People who
had not been seen during the voyage came up to breathe, wearing
the air of persons who had just returned from the valley of the
shadow and were mighty glad to be back; and with those others came
our bridal couple.

I inadvertently stumbled on them in an obscure companionway.  Their
cheeks again wore the bloom of youth and health, and they were in
a tight clinch; it was indeed a pretty sight.  Love had returned
on roseate pinions and the honeymoon had been resumed at the point
where postponed on account of bad weather.

They had not been seasick, though.  I heard them say so.  They had
been indisposed, possibly from something they had eaten; but they
had not been seasick.  Well, I had my own periods of indisposition
going over; and if it had been seasickness I should not hesitate
a moment about coming right out and saying so.  In these matters
I believe in being absolutely frank and aboveboard.  For the life
of me I cannot understand why people will dissemble and lie about
this thing of being seasick.  To me their attitude is a source of
constant wonderment.

On land the average person is reasonably proud of having been
sick--after he begins to get better.  It gives him something to
talk about.  The pale and interesting invalid invariably commands
respect ashore.  In my own list of acquaintances I number several
persons--mainly widowed ladies with satisfactory incomes--who
never feel well unless they are ill.  In the old days they would
have had resort to patent medicines and the family lot at Laurel
Grove Cemetery; but now they go in for rest cures and sea voyages,
and the baths at Carlsbad and specialists, these same being main
contributing causes to the present high cost of living, and also
helping to explain what becomes of some of those large life-insurance
policies you read about.  Possibly you know the type I am
describing--the lady who, when planning where she will spend the
summer, sends for catalogues from all the leading sanatoriums. 
We had one such person with us.

She had been surgically remodeled so many times that she dated
everything from her last operation.  At least six times in her
life she had been down with something that was absolutely incurable,
and she was now going to Homburg to have one of the newest and
most fatal German diseases in its native haunts, where it would
be at its best.  She herself said that she was but a mere shell;
and for the first few meals she ate like one--like a large, empty
shell with plenty of curves inside it.

However, when, after a subsequent period of seclusion, she emerged
from her stateroom wearing the same disheveled look that Jonah
must have worn when he and the whale parted company, do you think
she would confess she had been seasick? Not by any means! She said
she had had a raging headache.  But she could not fool me.  She
had the stateroom next to mine and I had heard what I had heard. 
She was from near Boston and she had the near-Boston accent; and
she was the only person I ever met who was seasick with the broad
A.

Personally I abhor those evasions, which deceive no one.  If I had
been seasick I should not deny it here or elsewhere.  For a time
I thought I was seasick.  I know now I was wrong--but I thought
so.  There was something about the sardels served at lunch--their
look or their smell or something--which seemed to make them
distasteful to me; and I excused myself from the company at the
table and went up and out into the open air.  But the deck was
unpleasantly congested with great burly brutes--beefy, carnivorous,
overfed creatures, gorged with victuals and smoking disgustingly
strong black cigars, and grinning in an annoying and meaning sort
of way every time they passed a body who preferred to lie quiet.

The rail was also moving up and down in a manner that was annoying
and wearisome for the eye to watch--first tipping up and up and up
until half the sky was hidden, then dipping down and down and down
until the gray and heaving sea seemed ready to leap over the side
and engulf us.  So I decided to go below and jot down a few notes.
On arriving at my quarters I changed my mind again.  I decided to
let the notes wait a while and turn in.

It is my usual custom when turning in to remove the left shoe as
well as the right one and to put on my pajamas; but the pajamas
were hanging on a hook away over on the opposite side of the
stateroom, which had suddenly grown large and wide and full of
great distances; and besides, I thought it was just as well to
have the left shoe where I could put my hand on it when I needed
it again.  So I retired practically just as I was and endeavored,
as per the admonitions of certain friends, to lie perfectly flat.
No doubt this thing of lying flat is all very well for some people
--but suppose a fellow has not that kind of a figure?

Nevertheless, I tried.  I lay as flat as I could, but the indisposition
persisted; in fact, it increased materially.  The manner in which
my pajamas, limp and pendent from that hook, swayed and swung back
and forth became extremely distasteful to me; and if by mental
treatment I could have removed them from there I should assuredly
have done so.  But that was impossible.

Along toward evening I began to think of food.  I thought of it
not from its gastronomic aspect, but rather in the capacity of
ballast.  I did not so much desire the taste of it as the feel of
it.  So I summoned Lubly--he, at least, did not smile at me in
that patronizing, significant way--and ordered a dinner that
included nearly everything on the dinner card except Lubly's thumb.
The dinner was brought to me in relays and I ate it--ate it all!
This step I know now was ill-advised.  It is true that for a short
time I felt as I imagine a python in a zoo feels when he is full
of guinea-pigs--sort of gorged, you know, and sluggish, and only
tolerably uncomfortable.

Then ensued the frightful denouement.  It ensued almost without
warning.  At the time I felt absolutely positive that I was seasick.
I would have sworn to it.  If somebody had put a Bible on my chest
and held it there I would cheerfully have laid my right hand on
it and taken a solemn oath that I was seasick.  Indeed,I believed
I was so seasick that I feared--hoped, rather--I might never
recover from it.  All I desired at the moment was to get it over
with as quickly and as neatly as possible.

As in the case of drowning persons, there passed in review before
my eyes several of the more recent events of my past life--meals
mostly.  I shall, however, pass hastily over these distressing
details, merely stating in parentheses, so to speak, that I did
not remember those string-beans at all.  I was positive then, and
am yet, that I had not eaten string-beans for nearly a week.  But
enough of this!

I was sure I was seasick; and I am convinced any inexperienced
bystander, had there been one there, would have been misled by my
demeanor into regarding me as a seasick person--but it was a wrong
diagnosis.  The steward told me so himself when he called the next
morning.  He came and found me stretched prone on the bed of
affliction; and he asked me how I felt, to which I replied with a
low and hollow groan--tolerably low and exceedingly hollow.  It
could not have been any hollower if I had been a megaphone.

So he looked me over and told me that I had climate fever.  We
were passing through the Gulf Stream, where the water was warmer
than elsewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, and I had a touch of climate
fever.  It was a very common complaint in that latitude; many
persons suffered from it.  The symptoms were akin to seasickness,
it was true; yet the two maladies were in no way to be confused. 
As soon as we passed out of the Gulf Stream he felt sure I would
be perfectly well.  Meantime he would recommend that I get Lubly
to take the rest of my things off and then remain perfectly quiet.
He was right about it too.

Regardless of what one may think oneself, one is bound to accept
the statement of an authority on this subject; and if a steward
on a big liner, who has traveled back and forth across the ocean
for years, is not an authority on climate fever, who is? I looked
at it in that light.  And sure enough, when we had passed out of
the Gulf Stream and the sea had smoothed itself out, I made a
speedy and satisfactory recovery; but if it had been seasickness
I should have confessed it in a minute.  I have no patience with
those who quibble and equivocate in regard to their having been
seasick.

I had one relapse--a short one, but painful.  In an incautious
moment, when I wist not wot I wotted, I accepted an invitation
from the chief engineer to go below.  We went below--miles and
miles, I think--to where, standing on metal runways that were hot
to the foot, overalled Scots ministered to the heart and the lungs
and the bowels of that ship.  Electricity spat cracklingly in our
faces, and at our sides steel shafts as big as the pillars of a
temple spun in coatings of spumy grease; and through the double
skin of her we could hear, over our heads, a mighty Niagaralike
churning as the slew-footed screws kicked us forward twenty-odd
knots an hour.  Someone raised the cover of a vat, and peering
down into the opening we saw a small, vicious engine hard at work,
entirely enveloped in twisty, coily, stewy depths of black oil,
like a devil-fish writhing in sea-ooze and cuttle-juice.

So then we descended another mile or two to an inferno, full of
naked, sooty devils forever feeding sulphurous pitfires in the
nethermost parlors of the damned; but they said this was the
stokehole; and I was in no condition to argue with them, for I
had suddenly begun to realize that I was far from being a well
person.  As one peering through a glass darkly, I saw one of the
attendant demons sluice his blistered bare breast with cold water,
so that the sweat and grime ran from him in streams like ink; and
peering in at a furnace door I saw a great angry sore of coals all
scabbed and crusted over.  Then another demon, wielding a nine-foot
bar daintily as a surgeon wields a scalpel, reached in and stabbed
it in the center, so that the fire burst through and gushed up red
and rich, like blood from a wound newly lanced.

I had seen enough and to spare; but my guide brought me back by
way of the steerage, in order that I might know how the other half
lives.  There was nothing here, either of smell or sight, to upset
the human stomach--third class is better fed and better quartered
now on those big ships than first class was in those good old early
days--but I had held in as long as I could and now I relapsed.  I
relapsed in a vigorous manner--a whole-souled, boisterous manner.
People halfway up the deck heard me relapsing, and I will warrant
some of them were fooled too--they thought I was seasick.

It was due to my attack of climate fever that I missed the most
exciting thing which happened on the voyage.  I refer to the
incident of the professional gamblers and the youth from Jersey
City.  From the very first there was one passenger who had been
picked out by all the knowing passengers as a professional gambler;
for he was the very spit-and-image of a professional gambler as
we have learned to know him in story books.  Did he not dress in
plain black, without any jewelry? He certainly did.  Did he not
have those long, slender, flexible fingers? Such was, indeed, the
correct description of those fingers.  Was not his eye a keen
steely-blue eye that seemed to have the power of looking right
through you? Steely-blue was the right word, all right.  Well,
then, what more could you ask?

Behind his back sinister yet fascinating rumors circulated.  He
was the brilliant but unscrupulous scion of a haughty house in
England.  He had taken a first degree at Oxford, over there, and
the third one at police headquarters, over here.  Women simply
could not resist him.  Let him make up his mind to win a woman and
she was a gone gosling.  His picture was to be found in rogues'
galleries and ladies' lockets.  And sh-h-h! Listen! Everybody knew
he was the identical crook who, disguised in woman's clothes,
escaped in the last lifeboat that left the sinking Titanic.  Who
said so? Why--er--everybody said so!

It came as a grievous disappointment to all when we found out the
truth, which was that he was the booking agent for a lyceum bureau,
going abroad to sign up some foreign talent for next season's
Chautauquas; and the only gambling he had ever done was on the
chance of whether the Tyrolian Yodelers would draw better than our
esteemed secretary of state--or vice versa.

Meantime the real professionals had established themselves cozily
and comfortably aboard, had rigged the trap and cheese-baited it,
and were waiting for the coming of one of the class that is born
so numerously in this country.  If you should be traveling this
year on one of the large trans-Atlantic ships, and there should
come aboard two young well-dressed men and shortly afterward a
middle-aged well-dressed man with a flat nose, who was apparently
a stranger to the first two; and if on the second night out in the
smoking room, while the pool on the next day's run was being
auctioned, one of the younger men, whom we will call Mr. Y, should
appear to be slightly under the influence of malt, vinous or
spirituous liquors--or all three of them at once--and should,
without seeming provocation, insist on picking a quarrel with the
middle-aged stranger, whom we will call Mr. Z; and if further along
in the voyage Mr. Z should introduce himself to you and suggest a
little game of auction bridge for small stakes in order to while
away the tedium of travel; and if it should so fall out that Mr.
Y and his friend Mr. X chanced to be the only available candidates
for a foursome at this fascinating pursuit; and if Mr. Z, being
still hostile toward the sobered and repentant Mr. Y, should decline
to take on either Mr. Y or his friend X as a partner, but chose
you instead; and if on the second or third deal you picked up your
cards and found you had an apparently unbeatable hand and should
bid accordingly; and Mr. X should double you; and Mr. Z, sitting
across from you should come gallantly right back and redouble it;
and Mr. Y, catching the spirit of the moment, should double again
--and so on and so forth until each point, instead of being worth
only a paltry cent or two, had accumulated a value of a good many
cents--if all these things or most of them should befall in the
order enumerated--why, then, if I were you, gentle reader, I would
have a care.  And I should leave that game and go somewhere else
to have it too--lest a worse thing befall you as it befell the
guileless young Jerseyman on our ship.  After he had paid out a
considerable sum on being beaten--by just one card--upon the playing
of his seemingly unbeatable hand and after the haunting and elusive
odor of eau de rodent had become plainly perceptible all over the
ship, he began, as the saying goes, to smell a rat himself, and
straightway declined to make good his remaining losses, amounting
to quite a tidy amount.  Following this there were high words,
meaning by that low ones, and accusations and recriminations, and
at eventide when the sunset was a welter of purple and gold, there
was a sudden smashing of glassware in the smoking room and a flurry
of arms and legs in a far corner, and a couple of pained stewards
scurrying about saying, "Ow, now, don't do that, sir, if you please,
sir, thank you, sir!" And one of the belligerents came forth from
the melee wearing a lavender eye with saffron trimmings, as though
to match the sunset, and the other with a set of skinned knuckles,
emblematic of the skinning operations previously undertaken.  And
through all the ship ran the hissing tongues of scandal and gossip.

Out of wild rumor and cross-rumor, certain salient facts were
eventually precipitated like sediment from a clouded solution. 
It seemed that the engaging Messrs. X, Y and Z had been induced,
practically under false pretenses to book passage, they having
read in the public prints that the prodigal and card-foolish son
of a cheese-paring millionaire father meant to take the ship too;
but he had grievously disappointed them by not coming aboard at
all.  Then, when in an effort to make their traveling expenses
back, they uncorked their newest trick and device for inspiring
confidence in gudgeons, the particular gudgeon of their choosing
had refused to pay up.  Naturally they were fretful and peevish
in the extreme.  It spoiled the whole trip for them.

Except for this one small affair it was, on the whole, a pleasant
voyage.  We had only one storm and one ship's concert, and at the
finish most of us were strong enough to have stood another storm.
And the trip had been worth a lot to us--at least it had been worth
a lot to me, for I had crossed the ocean on one of the biggest
hotels afloat.  I had amassed quite a lot of nautical terms that
would come in very handy for stunning the folks at home when I got
back.  I had had my first thrill at the sight of foreign shores.
And just by casual contact with members of the British aristocracy,
I had acquired such a heavy load of true British hauteur that in
parting on the landing dock I merely bowed distantly toward those
of my fellow Americans to whom I had not been introduced; and they,
having contracted the same disease, bowed back in the same haughty
and distant manner.

When some of us met again, however, in Vienna, the insulation had
been entirely rubbed off and we rushed madly into one another's
arms and exchanged names and addresses; and, babbling feverishly
the while, we told one another what our favorite flower was, and
our birthstone and our grandmother's maiden name, and what we
thought of a race of people who regarded a cup of ostensible coffee
and a dab of honey as constituting a man's-size breakfast.  And,
being pretty tolerably homesick by that time, we leaned in toward
a common center and gave three loud, vehement cheers for the land
of the country sausage and the home of the buckwheat cake--and,
as giants refreshed, went on our ways rejoicing.

That, though, was to come later.  At present we are concerned with
the trip over and what we had severally learned from it.  I
personally had learned, among other things, that the Atlantic
Ocean, considered as such, is a considerably overrated body. 
Having been across it, even on so big and fine and well-ordered a
ship as this ship was, the ocean, it seemed to me, was not at all
what it had been cracked up to be.

During the first day out it is a novelty and after that a
monotony--except when it is rough; and then it is a doggoned
nuisance.  Poets without end have written of the sea, but I take
it they stayed at home to do their writing.  They were not on the
bounding billow when they praised it; if they had been they might
have decorated the billow, but they would never have praised it.

As the old song so happily put it: My Bonny Lies Over the Ocean!
And a lot of others have lied over it too; but I will not--at least
not just yet.  Perhaps later on I may feel moved to do so; but at
this moment I am but newly landed from it and my heart is full of
rankling resentment toward the ocean and all its works.

I speak but a sober conviction when I say that the chief advantage
to be derived from taking an ocean voyage is not that you took it,
but that you have it to talk about afterward.  And, to my mind,
the most inspiring sight to bewitnessed on a trip across the
Atlantic is the Battery--viewed from the ocean side, coming back.

Do I hear any seconds to that motion?




Chapter III



Bathing Oneself on the Other Side

My first experience with the bathing habits of the native Aryan
stocks of Europe came to pass on the morning after the night of
our arrival in London.

London disappointed me in one regard--when I opened my eyes that
morning there was no fog.  There was not the slightest sign of a
fog.  I had expected that my room would be full of fog of about
the consistency of Scotch stage dialect--soupy, you know, and thick
and bewildering.  I had expected that servants with lighted tapers
in their hands would be groping their way through corridors like
caves, and that from the street without, would come the hoarse-voiced
cries of cabmen lost in the enshrouding gray.  You remember Dickens
always had them hoarse-voiced.

This was what I confidently expected.  Such, however, was not to
be.  I woke to a consciousness that the place was flooded with
indubitable and undoubted sunshine.  To be sure, it was not the
sharp, hard sunshine we have in America, which scours and bleaches
all it touches, until the whole world has the look of having just
been clear-starched and hot-ironed.  It was a softened, smoke-edged,
pastel-shaded sunshine; nevertheless it was plainly recognizable
as the genuine article.

Nor was your London shadow the sharply outlined companion in black
who accompanies you when the weather is fine in America.  Your
shadow in London was rather a dim and wavery gentleman who caught
up with you as you turned out of the shaded by-street; who went
with you a distance and then shyly vanished, but was good company
while he stayed, being restful, as your well-bred Englishman nearly
always is, and not overly aggressive.

There was no fog that first morning, or the next morning, or any
morning of the twenty-odd we spent in England.  Often the weather
was cloudy, and occasionally it was rainy; and then London would
be drenched in that wonderful gray color which makes it, scenically
speaking, one of the most fascinating spots on earth; but it was
never downright foggy and never downright cold.  English friends
used to speak to me about it.  They apologized for good weather
at that season of the year, just as natives of a Florida winter
resort will apologize for bad.

"You know, old dear," they would say, "this is most unusual--most
stroidinary, in fact.  It ought to be raw and nasty and foggy at
this time of the year, and here the cursed weather is perfectly
fine--blast it!" You could tell they were grieved about it, and
disappointed too.  Anything that is not regular upsets Englishmen
frightfully.  Maybe that is why they enforce their laws so rigidly
and obey them so beautifully.

Anyway I woke to find the fog absent, and I rose and prepared to
take my customary cold bath.  I am much given to taking a cold
bath in the morning and speaking of it afterward.  People who take
a cold bath every day always like to brag about it, whether they
take it or not.

The bathroom adjoined the bedroom, but did not directly connect
with it, being reached by means of a small semi-private hallway. 
It was a fine, noble bathroom, white tiled and spotless; and one
side of it was occupied by the longest, narrowest bathtub I ever
saw.  Apparently English bathtubs are constructed on the principle
that every Englishman who bathes is nine feet long and about
eighteen inches wide, whereas the approximate contrary is frequently
the case.  Draped over a chair was the biggest, widest, softest
bathtowel ever made.  Shem, Ham and Japhet could have dried
themselves on that bathtowel, and there would still have been
enough dry territory left for some of the animals--not the large,
woolly animals like the Siberian yak, but the small, slick, porous
animals such as the armadillo and the Mexican hairless dog.

So I wedged myself into the tub and had a snug-fitting but most
luxurious bath; and when I got back to my room the maid had arrived
with the shaving water.  There was a knock at the door, and when
I opened it there stood a maid with a lukewarm pint of water in a
long-waisted, thin-lipped pewter pitcher.  There was plenty of hot
water to be had in the bathroom, with faucets and sinks all handy
and convenient, and a person might shave himself there in absolute
comfort; but long before the days of pipes and taps an Englishman
got his shaving water in a pewter ewer, and he still gets it so. 
It is one of the things guaranteed him under Magna Charta and he
demands it as a right; but I, being but a benighted foreigner,
left mine in the pitcher, and that evening the maid checked me up.

"You didn't use the shaving water I brought you to-day, sir!" she
said.  "It was still in the jug when I came in to tidy up, sir."

Her tone was grieved; so, after that, to spare her feelings, I
used to pour it down the sink.  But if I were doing the trip over
again I would drink it for breakfast instead of the coffee the
waiter brought me--the shaving water being warmish and containing,
so far as I could tell, no deleterious substances.  And if the
bathroom were occupied at the time I would shave myself with the
coffee.  I judge it might work up into a thick and durable lather.
It is certainly not adapted for drinking purposes.

The English, as a race, excel at making tea and at drinking it
after it is made; but among them coffee is still a mysterious and
murky compound full of strange by-products.  By first weakening
it and wearing it down with warm milk one may imbibe it; but it
is not to be reckoned among the pleasures of life.  It is a solemn
and a painful duty.

On the second morning I was splashing in my tub, gratifying that
amphibious instinct which has come down to us from the dim
evolutionary time when we were paleozoic polliwogs, when I made
the discovery that there were no towels in the bathroom.  I glanced
about keenly, seeking for help and guidance in such an emergency.
Set in the wall directly above the rim of the tub was a brass
plate containing two pushbuttons.  One button, the uppermost one,
was labeled Waiter--the other was labeled Maid.

This was disconcerting.  Even in so short a stay under the roof
of an English hotel I had learned that at this hour the waiter
would be hastening from room to room, ministering to Englishmen
engaged in gumming their vital organs into an impenetrable mass
with the national dish of marmalade; and that the maid would also
be busy carrying shaving water to people who did not need it. 
Besides, of all the classes I distinctly do not require when I am
bathing, one is waiters and the other is maids.  For some minutes
I considered the situation, without making any headway toward a
suitable solution of it; meantime I was getting chilled.  So I
dried myself--sketchily--with a toothbrush and the edge of the
window-shade; then I dressed, and in a still somewhat moist state
I went down to interview the management about it.  I first visited
the information desk and told the youth in charge there I wished
to converse with some one in authority on the subject of towels. 
After gazing at me a spell in a puzzled manner he directed me to
go across the lobby to the cashier's department.  Here I found a
gentleman of truly regal aspect.  His tie was a perfect dream of
a tie, and he wore a frock coat so slim and long and black it made
him look as though he were climbing out of a smokestack.  Presenting
the case as though it were a supposititious one purely, I said to
him:

"Presuming now that one of your guests is in a bathtub and finds
he has forgotten to lay in any towels beforehand--such a thing
might possibly occur, you know--how does he go about summoning the
man-servant or the valet with a view to getting some?"

"Oh, sir," he replied, "that's very simple.  You noticed two
pushbuttons in your bathroom, didn't you?"

"I did," I said, "and that's just the difficulty.  One of them is
for the maid and the other is for the waiter."

"Quite so, sir," he said, "quite so.  Very well, then, sir: You
ring for the waiter or the maid--or, if you should charnce to be
in a hurry, for both of them; because, you see, one of them might
charnce to be en--"

"One moment," I said.  "Let me make my position clear in this
matter: This Lady Susanna--I do not know her last name, but you
will doubtless recall the person I mean, because I saw several
pictures of her yesterday in your national art gallery--this Lady
Susanna may have enjoyed taking a bath with a lot of snoopy old
elders lurking round in the background; but I am not so constituted.
I was raised differently from that.  With me, bathing has ever
been a solitary pleasure.  This may denote selfishness on my part;
but such is my nature and I cannot alter it.  All my folks feel
about it as I do.  We are a very peculiar family that way.  When
bathing we do not invite an audience.  Nor do I want one.  A crowd
would only embarrass me.  I merely desire a little privacy and,
here and there, a towel."

"Ah, yes! Quite so, sir," he said; "but you do not understand me.
As I said before, you ring for the waiter or the maid.  When one
of them comes you tell them to send you the manservant on your
floor; and when he comes you tell him you require towels, and he
goes to the linen cupboard and gets them and fetches them to you,
sir.  It's very simple, sir."

"But why," I persisted, "why do this thing by a relay system? I
don't want any famishing gentleman in this place to go practically
unmarmaladed at breakfast because I am using the waiter to conduct
preliminary negotiations with a third party in regard to a bathtowel."

"But it is so very simple, sir," he repeated patiently.  "You ring
for the waiter or the ma--"

I checked him with a gesture.  I felt that I knew what he meant
to say; I also felt that if any word of mine might serve to put
this establishment on an easy-running basis they could have it and
welcome.

"Listen!" I said.  "You will kindly pardon the ignorance of a poor,
red, partly damp American who has shed his eagle feathers but still
has his native curiosity with him! Why not put a third button in
that bathroom labeled Manservant or Valet or Towel Boy, or something
of that general nature? And then when a sufferer wanted towels,
and wanted 'em quick, he could get them without blocking the wheels
of progress and industry.  We may still be shooting Mohawk Indians
and the American bison in the streets of Buffalo, New York; and
we may still be saying: 'By Geehosaphat, I swan to calculate!
--aanyway, I note that we still say that in all your leading comic
papers; but when a man in my land goes a-toweling, he goes a-toweling
--and that is all there is to it, positively! In our secret lodges
it may happen that the worshipful master calls the august swordbearer
to him and bids him communicate with the grand outer guardian and
see whether the candidate is suitably attired for admission; but
in ordinary life we cut out the middleman wherever possible.  Do
you get my drift?"

"Oh, yes, sir," he said; "but I fear you do not understand me. 
As I told you, it's very simple--so very simple, sir.  We've never
found it necessary to make a change.  You ring for the waiter or
for the maid, and you tell them to tell the manservant--"

"All right," I said, breaking in.  I could see that his arguments
were of the circular variety that always came back to the starting
point.  "But, as a favor to me, would you kindly ask the proprietor
to request the head cook to communicate with the carriage starter
and have him inform the waiter that when in future I ring the
bathroom bell in a given manner--to wit: one long, determined ring
followed by three short, passionate rings--it may be regarded as
a signal for towels?"

So saying, I turned on my heel and went away, for I could tell he
was getting ready to begin all over again.  Later on I found out
for myself that, in this particular hotel, when you ring for the
waiter or the maid the bell sounds in the service room, where those
functionaries are supposed to be stationed; but when you ring for
the manservant a small arm-shaped device like a semaphore drops
down over your outer door.  But what has the manservant done that
he should be thus discriminated against? Why should he not have a
bell of his own? So far as I might judge, the poor fellow has few
enough pleasures in life as it is.  Why should he battle with the
intricacies of a block-signal system when everybody else round the
place has a separate bell? And why all this mystery and mummery
over so simple and elemental a thing as a towel?

To my mind, it merely helps to prove that among the English the
art of bathing is still in its infancy.  The English claim to have
discovered the human bath and they resent mildly the assumption
that any other nation should become addicted to it; whereas I argue
that the burden of the proof shows we do more bathing to the square
inch of surface than the English ever did.  At least, we have
superior accommodations for it.

The day is gone in this country when Saturday night was the big
night for indoor aquatic sports and pastimes; and no gentleman as
was a gentleman would call on his ladylove and break up her plans
for the great weekly ceremony.  There may have been a time in
certain rural districts when the bathing season for males practically
ended on September fifteenth, owing to the water in the horsepond
becoming chilled; but that time has passed.  Along with every
modern house that is built to-day, in country or town, we expect
bathrooms and plenty of them.  With us the presence of a few
bathtubs more or less creates no great amount of excitement--nor
does the mere sight of open plumbing particularly stir our people;
whereas in England a hotelkeeper who has bathrooms on the premises
advertises the fact on his stationery.

If in addition to a few bathrooms a Continental hotelkeeper has a
decrepit elevator he makes more noise over it than we do over a
Pompeian palmroom or an Etruscan roofgarden; he hangs a sign above
his front door testifying to his magnificent enterprise in this
regard.  The Continental may be a born hotelkeeper, as has been
frequently claimed for him; but the trouble is he usually has no
hotel to keep.  It is as though you set an interior decorator to
run a livery stable and expected him to make it attractive.  He
may have the talents, but he is lacking in the raw material.

It was in a London apartment house, out Maida Vale way, that I
first beheld the official bathtub of an English family establishment.
It was one of those bathtubs that flourished in our own land at
about the time of the Green-back craze--a coffin-shaped, boxed-in
affair lined with zinc; and the zinc was suffering from tetter or
other serious skin trouble and was peeling badly.  There was a
current superstition about the place to the effect that the bathroom
and the water supply might on occasion be heated with a device
known in the vernacular as a geezer.

The geezer was a sheet-iron contraption in the shape of a pocket
inkstand, and it stood on a perch in the corner, like a Russian
icon, with a small blue flame flickering beneath it.  It looked
as though its sire might have been a snare-drum and its dam a dark
lantern, and that it got its looks from its father and its heating
powers from the mother's side of the family.  And the plumbing
fixtures were of the type that passed out of general use on the
American side of the water with the Rutherford B. Hayes administration.
I was given to understand that this was a fair sample of the
average residential London bathroom--though the newer apartment
houses that are going up have better ones, they told me.

In English country houses the dearth of bathing appliances must
be even more dearthful.  I ran through the columns of the leading
English fashion journal and read the descriptions of the large
country places that were there offered for sale or lease.  In many
instances the advertisements were accompanied by photographic
reproductions in half tone showing magnificent old places, with
Queen Anne fronts and Tudor towers and Elizabethan entails and
Georgian mortgages, and what not.

Seeing these views I could conjure up visions of rooks cawing in
the elms; of young curates in flat hats imbibing tea on green
lawns; of housekeepers named Meadows or Fleming, in rustling black
silk; of old Giles--fifty years, man and boy, on the place--wearing
a smock frock and leaning on a pitchfork, with a wisp of hay caught
in the tines, lamenting that the 'All 'asn't been the same, zur,
since the young marster was killed ridin' to 'ounds; and then
pensively wiping his eyes on a stray strand of the hay.

With no great stretch of the imagination I could picture a gouty,
morose old lord with a secret sorrow and a brandy breath; I could
picture a profligate heir going deeper and deeper in debt, but
refusing to the bitter end to put the ax to the roots of the
ancestral oaks.  I could imagine these parties readily, because I
had frequently read about both of them in the standard English
novels; and I had seen them depicted in all the orthodox English
dramas I ever patronized.  But I did not notice in the appended
descriptions any extended notice of heating arrangements; most of
the advertisements seemed to slur over that point altogether.

And, as regards bathing facilities in their relation to the
capacities of these country places, I quote at random from the
figures given: Eighteen rooms and one bath; sixteen rooms and two
baths; fourteen rooms and one bath; twenty-one rooms and two baths;
eleven rooms and one bath; thirty-four rooms and two baths. 
Remember that by rooms bedrooms were meant; the reception rooms
and parlors and dining halls and offices, and the like, were listed
separately.

I asked a well-informed Englishman how he could reconcile this
discrepancy between bedrooms and bathrooms with the current belief
that the English had a practical monopoly of the habit of bathing.
After considering the proposition at some length he said I should
understand there was a difference in England between taking a bath
and taking a tub--that, though an Englishman might not be particularly
addicted to a bath, he must have his tub every morning.  But I
submit that the facts prove this explanation to have been but a
feeble subterfuge.

Let us, for an especially conspicuous example, take the house that
has thirty-four sleeping chambers and only two baths.  Let us
imagine the house to be full of guests, with every bedroom occupied;
and, if it is possible to do so without blushing, let us further
imagine a couple of pink-and-white English gentlemen in the two
baths.  If preferable, members of the opposite sex may imagine two
ladies.  Very well, then; this leaves the occupants of thirty-two
bedrooms all to be provided with large tin tubs at approximately
the same hour of the morning.  Where would any household muster
the crews to man all those portable tin tubs? And where would the
proprietor keep his battery of thirty-two tubs when they were not
in use? Not in the family picture gallery, surely!

From my readings of works of fiction describing the daily life of
the English upper classes I know full well that the picture gallery
is lined with family portraits; that each canvased countenance
there shows the haughtily aquiline but slightly catarrhal nose,
which is a heritage of this house; that each pair of dark and
brooding eyes hide in their depths the shadow of that dread Nemesis
which, through all the fateful centuries, has dogged this brave
but ill-starred race until now, alas! the place must be let,
furnished, to some beastly creature in trade, such as an American
millionaire.

Here at this end we have the founder of the line, dubbed a knight
on the gory field of Hastings; and there at that end we have the
present heir, a knighted dub.  We know they cannot put the tubs
in the family picture gallery; there is no room.  They need an
armory for that outfit, and no armory is specified in the
advertisement.

So I, for one, must decline to be misled or deceived by specious
generalities.  If you are asking me my opinion I shall simply say
that the bathing habit of Merrie England is a venerable myth, and
likewise so is the fresh-air fetish.  The error an Englishman makes
is that he mistakes cold air for fresh air.

In cold weather an Englishman arranges a few splintered jackstraws,
kindling fashion, in an open grate somewhat resembling in size and
shape a wallpocket for bedroom slippers.  On this substructure he
gently deposits one or more carboniferous nodules the size of a
pigeon egg, and touches a match to the whole.  In the more fortunate
instances the result is a small, reddish ember smoking intermittently.
He stands by and feeds the glow with a dessert-spoonful of fuel
administered at half-hour intervals, and imagines he really has a
fire and that he is really being warmed.

Why the English insist on speaking of coal in the plural when they
use it only in the singular is more than I can understand.  Conceded
that we overheat our houses and our railroad trains and our hotel
lobbies in America, nevertheless we do heat them.  In winter their
interiors are warmer and less damp than the outer air--which is
more than can be said for the lands across the sea, where you have
to go outdoors to thaw.

If there are any outdoor sleeping porches in England I missed them
when I was there; but as regards the ventilation of an English
hotel I may speak with authority, having patronized one.  To begin
with, the windows have heavy shades.  Back of these in turn are
folding blinds; then long, close curtains of muslin; then, finally,
thick, manifolding, shrouding draperies of some airproof woolen
stuff.  At nighttime the maid enters your room, seals the windows,
pulls down the shades, locks the shutters, closes the curtains,
draws the draperies--and then, I think, calks all the cracks with
oakum.  When the occupant of that chamber retires to rest he is
as hermetic as old Rameses the First, safe in his tomb, ever dared
to hope to be.  That reddish aspect of the face noted in connection
with the average Englishman is not due to fresh air, as has been
popularly supposed; it is due to the lack of it.  It is caused by
congestion.  For years he has been going along, trying to breathe
without having the necessary ingredients at hand.

At that, England excels the rest of Europe in fresh air, just as
it excels it in the matter of bathing facilities.  There is some
fresh air left in England--an abundant supply in warm weather, and
a stray bit here and there in cold.  On the Continent there is
none to speak of.




Chapter IV



Jacques, the Forsaken

In Germany the last fresh air was used during the Thirty Years'
War, and there has since been no demand for any.  Austria has no
fresh air at all--never did have any, and therefore has never felt
the need of having any.  Italy--the northern part of it anyhow--is
also reasonably shy of this commodity.

In the German-speaking countries all street cars and all railway
trains sail with battened hatches.  In their palmiest days the
Jimmy Hope gang could not have opened a window in a German sleeping
car--not without blasting; and trying to open a window in the
ordinary first or second class carriage provides healthful exercise
for an American tourist, while affording a cheap and simple form
of amusement for his fellow passengers.  If, by superhuman efforts
and at the cost of a fingernail or two, he should get one open,
somebody else in the compartment as a matter of principle, immediately
objects; and the retired brigadier-general, who is always in charge
of a German train, comes and seals it up again, for that is the
rule and the law; and then the natives are satisfied and sit in
sweet content together, breathing a line of second-handed air that
would choke a salamander.

Once, a good many years ago--in the century before the last I think
it was--a member of the Teutonic racial stock was accidentally
caught out in the fresh air and some of it got into his lungs. 
And, being a strange and a foreign influence to which the lungs
were unused, it sickened him; in fact I am not sure but that it
killed him on the spot.  So the emperors of Germany and Austria
got together and issued a joint ukase on the subject and, so far
as the traveling public was concerned, forever abolished those
dangerous experiments.  Over there they think a draft is deadly,
and I presume it is if you have never tampered with one.  They
have a saying: A little window is a dangerous thing.

As with fresh air on the Continent, so also with baths--except
perhaps more so.  In deference to the strange and unaccountable
desires of their English-speaking guests the larger hotels in Paris
are abundantly equipped with bathrooms now, but the Parisian
boulevardiers continue to look with darkling suspicion on a party
who will deliberately immerse his person in cold water; their
beings seem to recoil in horror from the bare prospect of such a
thing.  It is plainly to be seen they think his intelligence has
been attainted by cold water externally applied; they fear that
through a complete undermining of his reason he may next be
committing these acts of violence on innocent bystanders rather
than on himself, as in the present distressing stages of his mania. 
Especially, I would say, is this the attitude of the habitue of
Montmartre.

I can offer no visual proof to back my word; but by other testimony
I venture the assertion that when a boulevardier feels the need
of a bath he hangs a musk bag round his neck--and then, as the
saying is, the warmer the sweeter.  His companion of the gentler
sex apparently has the same idea of performing daily ablutions
that a tabby cat has.  You recall the tabby-cat system, do you
not?--two swipes over the brow with the moistened paw, one forward
swipe over each ear, a kind of circular rubbing effect across the
face--and call it a day! Drowning must be the most frightful death
that a Parisian sidewalk favorite can die.  It is not so much the
death itself--it is the attendant circumstances.

Across the river, in the older quarters of Paris, there is excitement
when anybody on the block takes a bath--not so much excitement as
for a fire, perhaps, but more than for a funeral.  On the eve of
the fatal day the news spreads through the district that to-morrow
poor Jacques is going to take a bath! A further reprieve has been
denied him.  He cannot put it off for another month, or even for
another two weeks.  His doom is nigh at hand; there is no
hope--none!

Kindly old Angeline, the midwife, shakes her head sadly as she
goes about her simple duties.

On the morrow the condemned man rises early and sees his spiritual
adviser.  He eats a hearty breakfast, takes an affectionate leave
of his family and says he is prepared for the worst.  At the
appointed hour the tumbrel enters the street, driven by the paid
executioner--a descendant of the original Sanson--and bearing the
dread instrument of punishment, a large oblong tin tub.

The rumble of the heavy wheels over the cobbles seems to wake an
agonized chord in every bosom.  To-day this dread visitation
descends on Jacques; but who can tell--so the neighbors say to
themselves--when the same fate may strike some other household now
happily unconscious! All along the narrow way sorrow-drooped heads
protrude in rows; from every casement dangle whiskers, lank and
stringy with sympathy--for in this section every true Frenchman
has whiskers, and if by chance he has not his wife has; so that
there are whiskers for all.

From the window of the doomed wretch's apartments a derrick
protrudes--a crossarm with a pulley and a rope attached.  It bears
a grimly significant resemblance to a gallows tree.  Under the
direction of the presiding functionary the tub is made fast to the
tackle and hoisted upward as pianos and safes are hoisted in
American cities.  It halts at the open casement.  It vanishes
within.  The whole place resounds with low murmurs of horror and
commiseration.

Ah, the poor Jacques--how he must suffer! Hark to that low, sickening
thud! 'Tis the accursed soap dropping from his nerveless grasp. 
Hist to that sound--like unto a death rattle! It is the water
gurgling in the tub.  And what means that low, poignant, smothered
gasp? It is the last convulsive cry of Jacques descending into the
depths.  All is over! Let us pray!

The tub, emptied but stained, is lowered to the waiting cart.  The
executioner kisses the citizen who has held his horse for him
during his absence and departs; the whole district still hums with
ill-suppressed excitement.  Questions fly from tongue to tongue. 
Was the victim brave at the last? Was he resigned when the dread
moment came? And how is the family bearing up? It is hours before
the place settles down again to that calm which will endure for
another month, until somebody else takes a bath on a physician's
prescription.

Even in the sanctity of a Paris hotel a bath is more or less a
public function unless you lock your door.  All sorts of domestic
servitors drift in, filled with a morbid curiosity to see how a
foreigner deports himself when engaged in this strange, barbaric
rite.  On the occasion of my first bath on French soil, after
several of the hired help had thus called on me informally, causing
me to cower low in my porcelain retreat, I took advantage of a
moment of comparative quiet to rise drippingly and draw the latch.
I judged the proprietor would be along next, and I was not dressed
for him.  The Lady Susanna of whom mention has previously been
made must have stopped at a French hotel at some time of her life.
This helps us to understand why she remained so calm when the
elders happened in.

Even as now practiced, bathing still remains a comparative novelty
in the best French circles, I imagine.  I base this presumption
on observations made during a visit to Versailles.  I went to
Versailles; I trod with reverent step those historic precincts
adorned with art treasures uncountable, with curios magnificent,
with relics invaluable.  I visited the little palace and the big;
I ventured deep into that splendid forest where, in the company
of ladies regarding whom there has been a good deal of talk
subsequently, France's Grandest and Merriest Monarch disported
himself.  And I found out what made the Merriest Monarch merry--so
far as I could see, there was not a bathroom on the place.  He was
a true Frenchman--was Louis the Fourteenth.

In Berlin, at the Imperial Palace, our experience was somewhat
similar.  Led by a guide we walked through acres of state drawing
rooms and state dining rooms and state reception rooms and state
picture rooms; and we were told that most of them--or, at least,
many of them--were the handiwork of the late Andreas Schluter. 
The deceased Schluter was an architect, a painter, a sculptor, a
woodcarver, a decorator, all rolled into one.  He was the George
M. Cohan of his time; and I think he also played the clarinet,
being a German.

We traversed miles of these Schluter masterpieces.  Eventually we
heard sounds of martial music without, and we went to a window
overlooking a paved courtyard; and from that point we presently
beheld a fine sight.  For the moment the courtyard was empty,
except that in the center stood a great mass of bronze--by Schluter,
I think--a heroic equestrian statue of Saint George in the act of
destroying the first adulterated German sausage.  But in a minute
the garrison turned out; and then in through an arched gateway
filed the relief guard headed by a splendid band, with bell-hung
standards jingling at the head of the column and young officers
stalking along as stiff as ramrods, and soldiers marching with the
goosestep.

In the German army the private who raises his knee the highest and
sticks his shank out ahead of him the straightest, and slams his
foot down the hardest and jars his brain the painfulest, is promoted
to be a corporal and given a much heavier pair of shoes, so that
he may make more noise and in time utterly destroy his reason. 
The goosestep would be a great thing for destroying grasshoppers
or cutworms in a plague year in a Kansas wheatfield.

At the Kaiser's palace we witnessed all these sights, but we did
not run across any bathrooms or any bathtubs.  However, we were
in the public end of the establishment and I regard it as probable
that in the other wing, where the Kaiser lives when at home, there
are plenty of bathrooms.  I did not investigate personally.  The
Kaiser was out at Potsdam and I did not care to call in his absence.

Bathrooms are plentiful at the hotel where we stopped at Berlin. 
I had rather hoped to find the bedroom equipped with an old-fashioned
German feather bed.  I had heard that one scaled the side of a
German bed on a stepladder and then fell headlong into its smothering
folds like a gallant fireman invading a burning rag warehouse; but
this hotel happened to be the best hotel that I ever saw outside
the United States.  It had been built and it was managed on American
lines, plus German domestic service--which made an incomparable
combination--and it was furnished with modern beds and provided
with modern bathrooms.

Probably as a delicate compliment to the Kaiser, the bathtowels
were starched until the fringes at the ends bristled up stiffly
a-curl, like the ends of His Imperial Majesty's equally imperial
mustache.  Just once--and once only--I made the mistake of rubbing
myself with one of those towels just as it was.  I should have
softened it first by a hackling process, as we used to hackle the
hemp in Kentucky; but I did not.  For two days I felt like an
etching.  I looked something like one too.

In Vienna we could not get a bedroom with a bathroom attached
--they did not seem to have any--but we were told there was a
bathroom just across the hall which we might use with the utmost
freedom.  This bathroom was a large, long, loftly, marble-walled
vault.  It was as cold as a tomb and as gloomy as one, and very
smelly.  Indeed it greatly resembled the pictures I have seen of
the sepulcher of an Egyptian king--only I would have said that
this particular king had been skimpily embalmed by the royal
undertakers in the first place, and then imperfectly packed.  The
bathtub was long and marked with scars, and it looked exactly like
a rifled mummy case with the lid missing, which added greatly to
the prevalent illusion.

We used this bathroom ad lib.: but when I went to pay the bill I
found an official had been keeping tabs on us, and that all baths
taken had been charged up at the rate of sixty cents apiece.  I
had provided my own soap too! For that matter the traveler provides
his own soap everywhere in Europe, outside of England.  In some
parts soap is regarded as an edible and in some as a vice common
to foreigners; but everywhere except in the northern countries it
is a curio.

So in Vienna they made us furnish our own soap and then charged
us more for a bath than they did for a meal.  Still, by their
standards, I dare say they were right.  A meal is a necessity, but
a bath is an exotic luxury; and, since they have no extensive
tariff laws in Austria, it is but fair that the foreigner should
pay the tax.  I know I paid mine, one way or another.

Speaking of bathing reminds me of washing; and speaking of washing
reminds me of an adventure I had in Vienna in connection with a
white waistcoat--or, as we would call it down where I was raised,
a dress vest.  This vest had become soiled through travel and wear
across Europe.  At Vienna I intrusted it to the laundry along with
certain other garments.  When the bundle came back my vest was
among the missing.

The maid did not seem to be able to comprehend the brand of German
I use in casual conversation; so, through an interpreter, I explained
to her that I was shy one white vest.  For two days she brought
all sorts of vests and submitted them to me on approval--thin ones
and thick ones; old ones and new ones; slick ones and woolly ones;
fringed ones and frayed ones.  I think the woman had a private
vest mine somewhere, and went and tapped a fresh vein on my account
every few minutes; but it never was the right vest she brought me.

Finally I told her in my best German, meantime accompanying myself
with appropriate yet graceful gestures, that she need not concern
herself further with the affair; she could just let the matter
drop and I would interview the manager and put in a claim for the
value of the lost garment.  She looked at me dazedly a moment
while I repeated the injunction more painstakingly than before;
and, at that, understanding seemed to break down the barriers of
her reason and she said, "Ja! Ja!" Then she nodded emphatically
several times, smiled and hurried away and in twenty minutes was
back, bringing with her a begging friar of some monastic order or
other.

I would take it as a personal favor if some student of the various
Teutonic tongues and jargons would inform me whether there is any
word in Viennese for white vest that sounds like Catholic priest!
However, we prayed together--that brown brother and I.  I do not
know what he prayed for, but I prayed for my vest.

I never got it though.  I doubt whether my prayer ever reached
heaven--it had such a long way to go.  It is farther from Vienna
to heaven than from any other place in the world, I guess--unless
it is Paris.  That vest is still wandering about the damp-filled
corridors of that hotel, mooing in a plaintive manner for its mate
--which is myself.  It will never find a suitable adopted parent.
It was especially coopered to my form by an expert clothing
contractor, and it will not fit anyone else.  No; it will wander
on and on, the starchy bulge of its bosom dimly phosphorescent in
the gloaming, its white pearl buttons glimmering spectrally; and
after a while the hotel will get the reputation of being haunted
by the ghost of a flour barrel, and will have a bad name and lose
custom.  I hope so anyway.  It looks to be my one chance of getting
even with the owner for penalizing me in the matter of baths.

From Vienna we went southward into the Tyrolese Alps.  It was a
wonderful ride--that ride through the Semmering and on down to
Northern Italy.  Our absurdly short little locomotive, drawing our
absurdly long train, went boring in and out of a wrinkly shoulder-seam
of the Tyrols like a stubby needle going through a tuck.  I think
in thirty miles we threaded thirty tunnels; after that I was
practically asphyxiated and lost count.

If I ever take that journey again I shall wear a smoke helmet and
be comfortable.  But always between tunnels there were views to
be seen that would have revived one of the Seven Sleepers.  Now,
on the great-granddaddy-longlegs of all the spidery trestles that
ever were built, we would go roaring across a mighty gorge, its
sides clothed with perpendicular gardens and vineyards, and with
little gray towns clustering under the ledges on its sheer walls
like mud-daubers' nests beneath an eave.  Now, perched on a ridgy
outcrop of rock like a single tooth in a snaggled reptilian jaw,
would be a deserted tower, making a fellow think of the good old
feudal days when the robber barons robbed the traveler instead of
as at present, when the job is so completely attended to by the
pirates who weigh and register baggage in these parts.

Then--whish, roar, eclipse, darkness and sulphureted hydrogen!--we
would dive into another tunnel and out again--gasping--on a
breathtaking panorama of mountains.  Some of them would be standing
up against the sky like the jagged top of a half-finished cutout
puzzle, and some would be buried so deeply in clouds that only their
peaked blue noses showed sharp above the featherbed mattresses of
mist in which they were snuggled, as befitted mountains of Teutonic
extraction.  And nearly every eminence was crowned with a ruined
castle or a hotel.  It was easy to tell a hotel from a ruin--it
had a sign over the door.

At one of those hotels I met up with a homesick American.  He was
marooned there in the rain, waiting for the skies to clear, so he
could do some mountain climbing; and he was beginning to get moldy
from the prevalent damp.  By now the study of bathing habits had
become an obsession with me; I asked him whether he had encountered
any bathtubs about the place.  He said a bathtub in those altitudes
was as rare as a chamois, and the chamois was entirely extinct;
so I might make my own calculations.  But he said he could show
me something that was even a greater curiosity than a bathtub, and
he led me to where a moonfaced barometer hung alongside the front
entrance of the hotel.

He said he had been there a week now and had about lost hope; but
every time he threatened to move on, the proprietor would take him
out there and prove that they were bound to have clearing weather
within a few hours, because the barometer registered fair.  At
that moment streams of chilly rain-water were coursing down across
the dial of the barometer, but it registered fair even then.  He
said--the American did--that it was the most stationary barometer
he had ever seen, and the most reliable--not vacillating and given
to moods, like most barometers, but fixed and unchangeable in its
habits.

I matched it, though, with a thermometer I saw in the early spring
of 1913 at a coast resort in southern California.  An Eastern
tourist would venture out on the windswept and drippy veranda, of
a morning after breakfast.  He would think he was cold.  He would
have many of the outward indications of being cold.  His teeth
would be chattering like a Morse sounder, and inside his white-duck
pants his knees would be knocking together with a low, muffled
sound.  He would be so prickled with gooseflesh that he felt like
Saint Sebastian; but he would take a look at the thermometer
--sixty-one in the shade! And such was the power of mercury and
mind combined over matter that he would immediately chirk up and
feel warm.

Not a hundred yards away, at a drug store, was one of those
fickle-minded, variable thermometers, showing a temperature that
ranged from fifty-five on downward to forty; but the hotel thermometer
stood firm at sixty-one, no matter what happened.  In a season of
trying climatic conditions it was a great comfort--a boon really
--not only to its owner but to his guests.  Speaking personally,
however, I have no need to consult the barometer's face to see
what the weather is going to do, or the thermometer's tube to see
what it has done.  No person needs to do so who is favored naturally
as I am.  I have one of the most dependable soft corns in the
business.

Rome is full of baths--vast ruined ones erected by various emperors
and still bearing their names--such as Caracalla's Baths and Titus'
Baths, and so on.  Evidently the ancient Romans were very fond of
taking baths.

Other striking dissimilarities between the ancient Romans and the
modern Romans are perceptible at a glance.




Chapter V



When the Seven A.M. Tut-tut leaves for Anywhere

Being desirous of tendering sundry hints and observations to such
of my fellow countrymen as may contemplate trips abroad I shall,
with their kindly permission, devote this chapter to setting forth
briefly the following principles, which apply generally to railroad
travel in the Old World.

First--On the Continent all trains leave at or about seven A.M. 
and reach their destination at or about eleven P.M.  You may be
going a long distance or a short one--it makes no difference; you
leave at seven and you arrive at eleven.  The few exceptions to
this rule are of no consequence and do not count.

Second--A trunk is the most costly luxury known to European travel.
If I could sell my small, shrinking and flat-chested steamer trunk
--original value in New York eighteen dollars and seventy-five
cents--for what it cost me over on the other side in registration
fees, excess charges, mental wear and tear, freightage, forwarding
and warehousing bills, tips, bribes, indulgences, and acts of
barratry and piracy, I should be able to laugh in the income tax's
face.  In this connection I would suggest to the tourist who is
traveling with a trunk that he begin his land itinerary in Southern
Italy and work northward; thereby, through the gradual shrinkage
in weight, he will save much money on his trunk, owing to the
pleasing custom among the Italian trainhands of prying it open and
making a judicious selection from its contents for personal use
and for gifts to friends and relatives.

Third--For the sake of the experience, travel second class once;
after that travel first class--and try to forget the experience.
With the exception of two or three special-fare, so-called de-luxe
trains, first class over there is about what the service was on an
accommodation, mixed-freight-and-passenger train in Arkansas
immediately following the close of the Civil War.

Fourth--When buying a ticket for anywhere you will receive a cunning
little booklet full of detachable leaves, the whole constituting
a volume about the size and thickness of one of those portfolios
of views that came into popularity with us at the time of the
Philadelphia Centennial.  Surrender a sheet out of your book on
demand of the uniformed official who will come through the train
at from five to seven minute intervals.  However, he will collect
only a sheet every other trip; on the alternate trips he will
merely examine your ticket with the air of never having seen it
before, and will fold it over, and perforate it with his punching
machine and return it to you.  By the time you reach your destination
nothing will be left but the cover; but do not cast this carelessly
aside; retain it until you are filing out of the terminal, when
it will be taken up by a haughty voluptuary with whiskers.  If you
have not got it you cannot escape.  You will have to go back and
live on the train, which is, indeed, a frightful fate to contemplate.

Fifth--Reach the station half an hour before the train starts and
claim your seat; then tip the guard liberally to keep other
passengers out of your compartment.  He has no intention of doing
so, but it is customary for Americans to go through this pleasing
formality--and it is expected of them.

Sixth--Tip everybody on the train who wears a uniform.  Be not
afraid of hurting some one's feelings by offering a tip to the
wrong person.  There will not be any wrong person.  A tip is the
one form of insult that anybody in Europe will take.

Seventh--Before entering the train inhale deeply several times. 
This will be your last chance of getting any fresh air until you
reach your destination.  For self-defense against the germ life
prevailing in the atmosphere of the unventilated compartments,
smoke a German cigar.  A German cigar keeps off any disease except
the cholera; it gives you the cholera.

Eighth--Do not linger on the platform, waiting for the locomotive
whistle to blow, or the bell to ring, or somebody to yell "All
aboard!" If you do this you will probably keep on lingering until
the following morning at seven.  As a starting signal the presiding
functionary renders a brief solo on a tiny tin trumpet.  One puny
warning blast from this instrument sets the whole train in motion.
It makes you think of Gabriel bringing on the Day of Judgment by
tootling on a penny whistle.  Another interesting point: The engine
does not say Choo-choo as in our country--it says Tut-tut.

Ninth--In England, for convenience in claiming your baggage, change
your name to Xenophon or Zymology--there are always about the
baggage such crowds of persons who have the commoner initials,
such as T for Thompson, J for Jones, and S for Smith.  When next
I go to England my name will be Zoroaster--Quintus P. Zoroaster.

Tenth--If possible avoid patronizing the so-called refreshment
wagons or dining cars, which are expensive and uniformly bad. 
Live off the country.  Remember, the country is living off you.




Chapter VI



La Belle France Being the First Stop

Except eighty or ninety other things the British Channel was the
most disappointing thing we encountered in our travels.  All my
reading on this subject had led me to expect that the Channel would
be very choppy and that we should all be very seasick.  Nothing
of the sort befell.  The channel may have been suetty but it was
not choppy.  The steamer that ferried us over ran as steadily as
a clock and everybody felt as fine as a fiddle.

A friend of mine whom I met six weeks later in Florence had better
luck.  He crossed on an occasion when a test was being made of a
device for preventing seasickness.  A Frenchman was the inventor
and also the experimenter.  This Frenchman had spent valuable years
of his life perfecting his invention.  It resembled a hammock swung
between uprights.  The supports were to be bolted to the deck of
the ship, and when the Channel began to misbehave the squeamish
passenger would climb into the hammock and fasten himself in; and
then, by a system of reciprocating oscillations, the hammock would
counteract the motion of the ship and the occupant would rest in
perfect comfort no matter how high she pitched or how deep she
rolled.  At least such was the theory of the inventor; and to prove
it he offered himself as the subject for the first actual demonstration.

The result was unexpected.  The sea was only moderately rough; but
that patent hammock bucked like a kicking bronco.  The poor Frenchman
was the only seasick person aboard--but he was sick enough for the
whole crowd.  He was seasick with a Gallic abandon; he was seasick
both ways from the jack, and other ways too.  He was strapped down
so he could not get out, which added no little to the pleasure of
the occasion for everybody except himself.  When the steamer landed
the captain of the boat told the distressed owner that, in his
opinion, the device was not suited for steamer use.  He advised
him to rent it to a riding academy.

In crossing from Dover to Calais we had thought we should be going
merely from one country to another; we found we had gone from one
world to another.  That narrow strip of uneasy water does not
separate two countries--it separates two planets.

Gone were the incredible stiffness and the incurable honesty of
the race that belonged over yonder on those white chalk cliffs
dimly visible along the horizon.  Gone were the phlegm and stolidity
of those people who manifest emotion only on the occasions when
they stand up to sing their national anthem:

                        God save the King!
                     The Queen is doing well!

Gone were the green fields of Sussex, which looked as though they
had been taken in every night and brushed and dry-cleaned and then
put down again in the morning.  Gone were the trees that Maxfield
Parrish might have painted, so vivid were they in their burnished
green-and-yellow coloring, so spectacular in their grouping. 
Gone was the five-franc note which I had intrusted to a sandwich
vender on the railroad platform in the vain hope that he would
come back with the change.  After that clincher there was no doubt
about it--we were in La Belle France all right, all right!

Everything testified to the change.  From the pier where we landed,
a small boy, in a long black tunic belted in at his waist, was
fishing; he hooked a little fingerling.  At the first tentative
tug on his line he set up a shrill clamor.  At that there came
running a fat, kindly looking old priest in a long gown and a
shovel hat; and a market woman came, who had arms like a wrestler
and skirts that stuck out like a ballet dancer's; and a soldier
in baggy red pants came; and thirty or forty others of all ages
and sizes came--and they gathered about that small boy and gave
him advice at the top of their voices.  And when he yanked out
the shining little silver fish there could not have been more
animation and enthusiasm and excitement if he had landed a full-grown
Presbyterian.

They were still congratulating him when we pulled out and went
tearing along on our way to Paris, scooting through quaint,
stone-walled cities, each one dominated by its crumbly old cathedral;
sliding through open country where the fields were all diked and
ditched with small canals and bordered with poplars trimmed so
that each tree looked like a set of undertaker's whiskers pointing
the wrong way.

And in these fields were peasants in sabots at work, looking as
though they had just stepped out of one of Millet's pictures. 
Even the haystacks and the scarecrows were different.  In England
the haystacks had been geometrically correct in their dimensions
--so square and firm and exact that sections might be sliced off
them like cheese, and doors and windows might be carved in them;
but these French haystacks were devil-may-care haystacks wearing
tufts on their polls like headdresses.  The windmills had a rakish
air; and the scarecrows in the truck gardens were debonair and
cocky, tilting themselves back on their pins the better to enjoy
the view and fluttering their ragged vestments in a most jaunty
fashion.  The land though looked poor--it had a driven, overworked
look to it.

Presently, above the clacking voice of our train, we heard a whining
roar without; and peering forth we beheld almost over our heads a
big monoplane racing with us.  It seemed a mighty, winged Thunder
Lizard that had come back to link the Age of Stone with the Age
of Air.  On second thought I am inclined to believe the Thunder
Lizard did not flourish in the Stone Age; but if you like the
simile as much as I like it we will just let it stand.

Three times on that trip we saw from the windows of our train
aviators out enjoying the cool of the evening in their airships;
and each time the natives among the passengers jammed into the
passageway that flanked the compartments and speculated regarding
the identity of the aviators and the make of their machines, and
argued and shrugged their shoulders and quarreled and gesticulated.
The whole thing was as Frenchy as tripe in a casserole.

I was wrong, though, a minute ago when I said there remained nothing
to remind us of the right little, tight little island we had just
quit; for we had two Englishmen in our compartment--fit and proper
representatives of a certain breed of Englishman.  They were tall
and lean, and had the languid eyes and the long, weary faces and
the yellow buck teeth of weary cart-horses, and they each wore a
fixed expression of intense gloom.  You felt sure it was a fixed
expression because any person with such an expression would change
it if he could do so by anything short of a surgical operation.
And it was quite evident they had come mentally prepared to
disapprove of all things and all people in a foreign clime.

Silently, but none the less forcibly, they resented the circumstance
that others should be sharing the same compartment with them--or
sharing the same train, either, for that matter.  The compartment
was full, too, which made the situation all the more intolerable:
an elderly English lady with a placid face under a mid-Victorian
bonnet; a young, pretty woman who was either English or American;
the two members of my party, and these two Englishmen.

And when, just as the train was drawing out of Calais, they
discovered that the best two seats, which they had promptly
preempted, belonged to others, and that the seats for which they
held reservations faced rearward, so that they must ride with their
backs to the locomotive--why, that irked them sore and more.  I
imagine they wrote a letter to the London Times about it afterward.

As is the pleasing habit of traveling Englishmen, they had brought
with them everything portable they owned.  Each one had four or
five large handbags, and a carryall, and a hat box, and his
tea-caddy, and his plaid blanket done up in a shawlstrap, and his
framed picture of the Death of Nelson--and all the rest of it; and
they piled those things in the luggage racks until both the racks
were chock-full; so the rest of us had to hold our baggage in our
laps or sit on it.  One of them was facing me not more than five
or six feet distant.  He never saw me though.  He just gazed
steadily through me, studying the pattern of the upholstery on the
seat behind me; and I could tell by his look that he did not care
for the upholstering--as very naturally he would not, it being
French.

We had traveled together thus for some hours when one of them began
to cloud up for a sneeze.  He tried to sidetrack it, but it would
not be sidetracked.  The rest of us, looking on, seemed to hear
that sneeze coming from a long way off.  It reminded me of a
musical-sketch team giving an imitation of a brass band marching
down Main Street playing the Turkish Patrol--dim and faint at
first, you know, and then growing louder and stronger, and gathering
volume until it bursts right in your face.

Fascinated, we watched his struggles.  Would he master it or would
it master him? But he lost, and it was probably a good thing he
did.  If he had swallowed that sneeze it would have drowned him. 
His nose jibed and went about; his head tilted back farther and
farther; his countenance expressed deep agony, and then the log
jam at the bend in his nose went out with a roar and he let loose
the moistest, loudest kerswoosh! that ever was, I reckon.

He sneezed eight times.  The first sneeze unbuttoned his waistcoat,
the second unparted his hair, and the third one almost pulled his
shoes off; and after that they grew really violent, until the last
sneeze shifted his cargo and left him with a list to port and his
lee scuppers awash.  It made a ruin of him--the Prophet Isaiah
could not have remained dignified wrestling with a sneezing bee
of those dimensions--but oh, how it did gladden the rest of us to
behold him at the mercy of the elements and to note what a sodden,
waterlogged wreck they made of him!

It was not long after that before we had another streak of luck. 
The train jolted over something and a hat fell down from the topmost
pinnacle of the mountain of luggage above and hit his friend on
the nose.  We should have felt better satisfied if it had been a
coal scuttle; but it was a reasonably hard and heavy hat and it
hit him brim first on the tenderest part of his nose and made his
eyes water, and we were grateful enough for small blessings.  One
should not expect too much of an already overworked Providence.

The rest of us were still warm and happy in our souls when, without
any whistle-tooting or bell-clanging or station-calling, we slid
silently, almost surreptitiously, into the Gare du Nord, at Paris.
Neither in England nor on the mainland does anyone feel called
on to notify you that you have reached your destination.

It is like the old formula for determining the sex of a pigeon--you
give the suspected bird some corn, and if he eats it he is a he;
but if she eats it she is a she.  In Europe if it is your destination
you get off, and if it is not your destination you stay on.  On
this occasion we stayed on, feeling rather forlorn and helpless,
until we saw that everyone else had piled off.  We gathered up our
belongings and piled off too.

By that time all the available porters had been engaged; so we
took up our luggage and walked.  We walked the length of the
trainshed--and then we stepped right into the recreation hall of
the State Hospital for the Criminal Insane, at Matteawan, New York.
I knew the place instantly, though the decorations had been changed
since I was there last.  It was a joy to come on a home institution
so far from home--joysome, but a trifle disconcerting too, because
all the keepers had died or gone on strike or something; and the
lunatics, some of them being in uniform and some in civilian dress,
were leaping from crag to crag, uttering maniacal shrieks.

Divers lunatics, who had been away and were just getting back, and
sundry lunatics who were fixing to go away and apparently did not
expect ever to get back, were dashing headlong into the arms of
still other lunatics, kissing and hugging them, and exchanging
farewells and sacre-bleuing with them in the maddest fashion
imaginable.  From time to time I laid violent hands on a flying,
flitting maniac and detained him against his will, and asked him
for some directions; but the persons to whom I spoke could not
understand me, and when they answered I could not understand them;
so we did not make much headway by that.  I could not get out of
that asylum until I had surrendered the covers of our ticket books
and claimed our baggage and put it through the customs office.  I
knew that; the trouble was I could not find the place for attending
to these details.  On a chance I tried a door, but it was distinctly
the wrong place; and an elderly female on duty there got me out by
employing the universal language known of all peoples.  She shook
her skirts at me and said Shoo! So I got out, still toting five or
six bags and bundles of assorted sizes and shapes, and tried all
the other doors in sight.

Finally, by a process of elimination and deduction, I arrived at
the right one.  To make it harder for me they had put it around a
corner in an elbow-shaped wing of the building and had taken the
sign off the door.  This place was full of porters and loud cries.
To be on the safe side I tendered retaining fees to three of the
porters; and thus by the time I had satisfied the customs officials
that I had no imported spirits or playing cards or tobacco or soap,
or other contraband goods, and had cleared our baggage and started
for the cabstand, we amounted to quite a stately procession and
attracted no little attention as we passed along.  But the tips I
had to hand out before the taxi started would stagger the human
imagination if I told you the sum total.

There are few finer things than to go into Paris for the first
time on a warm, bright Saturday night.  At this moment I can think
of but one finer thing--and that is when, wearied of being short-changed
and bilked and double-charged, and held up for tips or tribute
at every step, you are leaving Paris on a Saturday night--or, in
fact, any night.

Those first impressions of the life on the boulevards are going
to stay in my memory a long, long time--the people, paired off at
the tables of the sidewalk cafes, drinking drinks of all colors;
a little shopgirl wearing her new, cheap, fetching hat in such a
way as to center public attention on her head and divert it from
her feet, which were shabby; two small errand boys in white aprons,
standing right in the middle of the whirling, swirling traffic,
in imminent peril of their lives, while one lighted his cigarette
butt from the cigarette butt of his friend; a handful of roistering
soldiers, singing as they swept six abreast along the wide, rutty
sidewalk; the kiosks for advertising, all thickly plastered over
with posters, half of which should have been in an art gallery and
the other half in a garbage barrel; a well-dressed pair, kissing
in the full glare of a street light; an imitation art student, got
up to look like an Apache, and--no doubt--plenty of real Apaches
got up to look like human beings; a silk-hatted gentleman, stopping
with perfect courtesy to help a bloused workman lift a baby-laden
baby carriage over an awkward spot in the curbing, and the workingman
returning thanks with the same perfect courtesy; our own driver,
careening along in a manner suggestive of what certain East Side
friends of mine would call the Chariot Race from Ben Hirsch; and
a stout lady of the middle class sitting under a cafe awning
caressing her pet mole.

To the Belgian belongs the credit of domesticating the formerly
ferocious Belgian hare, and the East Indian fakir makes a friend
and companion of the king cobra; but it remained for those ingenious
people, the Parisians, to tame the mole, which other races have
always regarded as unbeautiful and unornamental, and make a cunning
little companion of it and spend hours stroking its fleece.  This
particular mole belonging to the stout middle-aged lady in question
was one of the largest moles and one of the curliest I ever saw. 
It was on the side of her nose.

You see a good deal of mole culture going on here.  Later, with
the reader's permission, we shall return to Paris and look its
inhabitants over at more length; but for the time being I think
it well for us to be on our travels.  In passing I would merely
state that on leaving a Paris hotel you will tip everybody on the
premises.

Oh, yes--but you will!

Let us move southward.  Let us go to Sunny Italy, which is called
Sunny Italy for the same reason that the laughing hyena is called
the laughing hyena--not because he laughs so frequently, but because
he laughs so seldom.  Let us go to Rome, the Eternal City, sitting
on her Seven Hills, remembering as we go along that the currency
has changed and we no longer compute sums of money in the franc
but in the lira.  I regret the latter word is not pronounced as
spelled--it would give me a chance to say that the common coin of
Italy is a lira, and that nearly everybody in Rome is one also.




Chapter VII



Thence On and On to Verbotenland

Ah, Rome--the Roma of the Ancients--the Mistress of the Olden
World--the Sacred City! Ah, Rome, if only your stones could speak!
It is customary for the tourist, taking his cue from the guidebooks,
to carry on like this, forgetting in his enthusiasm that, even if
they did speak, they would doubtless speak Italian, which would
leave him practically where he was before.  And so, having said
it myself according to formula, I shall proceed to state the actual
facts:

If, coming forth from a huge and dirty terminal, you emerge on a
splendid plaza, miserably paved, and see a priest, a soldier and
a beggar; a beautiful child wearing nothing at all to speak of,
and a hideous old woman with the eyes of a Madonna looking out of
a tragic mask of a face; a magnificent fountain, and nobody using
the water, and a great, overpowering smell--yes, you can see a
Roman smell; a cart mule with ten dollars' worth of trappings on
him, and a driver with ten cents' worth on him; a palace like a
dream of stone, entirely surrounded by nightmare hovels; a new,
shiny, modern apartment house, and shouldering up against it a
cankered rubbish heap that was once the playhouse of a Caesar, its
walls bearded like a pard's face with tufted laurel and splotched
like a brandy drunkard's with red stains; a church that is a dismal
ruin without and a glittering Aladdin's Cave of gold and gems and
porphyry and onyx within; a wide and handsome avenue starting from
one festering stew of slums and ending in another festering stew
of slums; a grimed and broken archway opening on a lovely hidden
courtyard where trees are green and flowers bloom, and in the
center there stands a statue which is worth its weight in minted
silver and which carries more than its weight in dirt--if in
addition everybody in sight is smiling and good-natured and happy,
and is trying to sell you something or wheedle you out of something,
or pick your pocket of something--you need not, for confirmatory
evidence, seek the vast dome of St. Peter's rising yonder in the
distance, or the green tops of the cedars and the dusky clumps of
olive groves on the hillsides beyond--you know you are in Rome.

To get the correct likeness of Naples we merely reduce the priests
by one-half and increase the beggars by two-thirds; we richen the
color masses, thicken the dirt, raise the smells to the Nth degree,
and set half the populace to singing.  We establish in every second
doorway a mother with her offspring tucked between her knees and
forcibly held there while the mother searches the child's head for
a flea; anyhow, it is more charitable to say it is a flea; and we
add a special touch of gorgeousness to the street pictures.

For here a cart is a glory of red tires and blue shafts, and green
hubs and pink body and purple tailgate, with a canopy on it that
would have suited Sheba's Queen; and the mule that draws the cart
is caparisoned in brass and plumage like a circus pony; and the
driver wears a broad red sash, part of a shirt, and half of a pair
of pants--usually the front half.  With an outfit such as that,
you feel he should be peddling aurora borealises, or, at the very
least, rainbows.  It is a distinct shock to find he has only chianti
or cheeses or garbage in stock.

In Naples, also, there is, even in the most prosaic thing, a sight
to gladden your eye if you but hold your nose while you look on
it.  On the stalls of the truckvenders the cauliflowers and the
cabbages are racked up with an artistic effect we could scarcely
equal if we had roses and orchids to work with; the fishmonger's
cart is a study in still life, and the tripe is what artists call
a harmonious interior.

Nearly all the hotels in Italy are converted palaces.  They may
have been successes as palaces, but, with their marble floors and
their high ceilings, and their dank, dark corridors, they distinctly
fail to qualify as hotels.  I should have preferred them remaining
unsaved and sinful.  I likewise observed a peculiarity common to
hotelkeepers in Italy--they all look like cats.  The proprietor
of the converted palace where we stopped in Naples was the very
image of a tomcat we used to own, named Plutarch's Lives, which
was half Maltese and half Mormon.  He was a cat that had a fine
carrying voice--though better adapted for concert work than parlor
singing--and a sweetheart in every port.  This hotelkeeper might
have been the cat's own brother with clothes on--he had Plute's
roving eye and his bristling whiskers and his sharp white teeth,
and Plute's silent, stealthy tread, and his way of purring softly
until he had won your confidence and then sticking his claw into
you.  The only difference was, he stuck you with a bill instead
of a claw.

Another interesting idiosyncrasy of the Italian hotelkeeper is
that he invariably swears to you his town is the only honest town
in Italy, but begs you to beware of the next town which, he assures
you with his hand on the place where his heart would be if he had
a heart, is full of thieves and liars and counterfeit money and
pickpockets.  Half of what he tells you is true--the latter half.

The tourist agencies issue pamphlets telling how you may send money
or jewelry by registered mail in Italy, and then append a footnote
warning you against sending money or jewelry by registered mail
in Italy.  Likewise you are constantly being advised against
carrying articles of value in your trunk, unless it is most carefully
locked, bolted and strapped.  It is good advice too.

An American I met on the boat coming home told me he failed to
take such precautions while traveling in Italy; and he said that
when he reached the Swiss border his trunk was so light he had to
sit on it to keep it from blowing off the bus on the way from the
station to the hotel, and so empty that when he opened it at both
ends the draft whistling through it gave him a bad cold.  However,
he may have exaggerated slightly.

If you can forget that you are paying first-class prices for
fourth-rate accommodations--forget the dirt in the carriages and
the smells in the compartments--a railroad journey through the
Italian Peninsula is a wonderful experience.  I know it was a
wonderful experience for me.

I shall not forget the old walled towns of stone perched precariously
on the sloping withers of razorbacked mountains--towns that were
old when the Saviour was born; or the ancient Roman aqueducts, all
pocked and pecked with age, looping their arches across the land
for miles on miles; or the fields, scored and scarified by three
thousand years of unremitting, relentless, everlasting agriculture;
or the wide-horned Italian cattle that browsed in those fields; or
yet the woman who darted to the door of every signal-house we
passed and came to attention, with a long cudgel held flat against
her shoulder like a sentry's musket.

I do not know why a woman should exhibit an overgrown broomstick
when an Italian train passes a flag station, any more than I know
why, when a squad of Paris firemen march out of the engine house
for exercise, they should carry carbines and knapsacks.  I only
know that these things are done.

In Tuscany the vineyards make a fine show, for the vines are trained
to grow up from the ground and then are bound into streamers and
draped from one fruit tree or one shade tree to another, until a
whole hillside becomes one long, confusing vista of leafy festoons.
The thrifty owner gets the benefit of his grapes and of his trees,
and of the earth below, too, for there he raises vegetables and
grains, and the like.  Like everything else in this land, the
system is an old one.  I judge it was old enough to be hackneyed
when Horace wrote of it:

            Now each man, basking on his slopes,
             Weds to his widowed tree the vine;
             Then, as he gayly quaffs his wine,
             Salutes thee god of all his hopes.

Classical quotations interspersed here and there are wonderful
helps to a guide book, don't you think?

In rural Italy there are two other scenic details that strike the
American as being most curious--one is the amazing prevalence of
family washing, and the other is the amazing scarcity of birdlife.
To himself the traveler says:

"What becomes of all this intimate and personal display of family
apparel I see fluttering from the front windows of every house in
this country? Everybody is forever washing clothes but nobody ever
wears it after it is washed.  And what has become of all the birds?"

For the first puzzle there is no key, but the traveler gets the
answer to the other when he passes a meat-dealer's shop in the
town and sees spread on the stalls heaps of pitiably small starlings
and sparrows and finches exposed for sale.  An Italian will cook
and eat anything he can kill that has wings on it, from a cassowary
to a katydid.

Thinking this barbarity over, I started to get indignant; but just
in time I remembered what we ourselves have done to decimate the
canvas-back duck and the wild pigeon and the ricebird and the
red-worsted pulse-warmer, and other pleasing wild creatures of the
earlier days in America, now practically or wholly extinct.  And
I felt that before I could attend to the tomtits in my Italian
brother's eye I must needs pluck a few buffaloes out of my own;
so I decided, in view of those things, to collect myself and
endeavor to remain perfectly calm.

We came into Venice at the customary hour--to wit, eleven P.M.
--and had a real treat as our train left the mainland and went
gliding far out, seemingly right through the placid Adriatic, to
where the beaded lights of Venice showed like a necklace about the
withered throat of a long-abandoned bride, waiting in the rags of
her moldered wedding finery for a bridegroom who comes not.

Better even than this was the journey by gondola from the terminal
through narrow canals and under stone bridges where the water
lapped with little mouthing tongues at the walls, and the tall,
gloomy buildings almost met overhead, so that only a tiny strip
of star-buttoned sky showed between.  And from dark windows high
up came the tinkle of guitars and the sound of song pouring from
throats of silver.  And so we came to our hotel, which was another
converted palace; but baptism is not regarded as essential to
salvation in these parts.

On the whole, Venice did not impress me as it has impressed certain
other travelers.  You see, I was born and raised in one of those
Ohio Valley towns where the river gets emotional and temperamental
every year or two.  In my youth I had passed through several of
these visitations, when the family would take the family plate and
the family cow, and other treasures, and retire to the attic floor
to wait for the spring rise to abate; and when really the most
annoying phase of the situation for a housekeeper, sitting on the
top landing of his staircase watching the yellow wavelets lap inch
by inch over the keys of the piano, and inch by inch climb up the
new dining-room wallpaper, was to hear a knocking at a front window
upstairs and go to answer it and find that Moscoe Burnett had come
in a john-boat to collect the water tax.

The Grand Canal did not stir me as it has stirred some--so far
back as '84 I could remember when Jefferson Street at home looked
almost exactly like that.

Going through the Austrian Tyrol, between Vienna and Venice, I met
two old and dear friends in their native haunts--the plush hat and
the hot dog.  When such a thing as this happens away over on the
other side of the globe it helps us to realize how small a place
this world is after all, and how closely all peoples are knitted
together in common bonds of love and affection.  The hot dog, as
found here, is just as we know him throughout the length and breadth
of our own land--a dropsical Wienerwurst entombed in the depths
of a rye-bread sandwich, with a dab of horse-radish above him to
mark his grave; price, creation over, five cents the copy.

The woolly plush hat shows no change either, except that if anything
it is slightly woollier in the Alps than among us.  As transplanted,
the dinky little bow at the back is an affectation purely--but in
these parts it is logical and serves a practical and a utilitarian
purpose, because the mountain byways twist and turn and double, and
the local beverages are potent brews; and the weary mountaineer,
homeward-bound afoot at the close of a market day, may by the simple
expedient of reaching up and fingering his bow tell instantly whether
he is going or coming.

This is also a great country for churches.  Every group of chalets
that calls itself a village has at least one long-spired gray
church in its midst, and frequently more than one.  In one sweep
of hillside view from our car window I counted seven church steeples.
I do not think it was a particularly good day for churches either;
I wished I might have passed through on a Sunday, when they would
naturally be thicker.

Along this stretch of railroad the mountaineers come to the stations
wearing the distinctive costume of their own craggy and slabsided
hills--the curling pheasant feather in the hatbrim; the tight-fitting
knee-breeches; the gaudy stockings; and the broad-suspendered belt
with rows of huge brass buttons spangling it up and down and
crosswise.  Such is your pleasure at finding these quaint habiliments
still in use amid settings so picturesque that you buy freely of
the fancy-dressed individual's wares--for he always has something
to sell.

And then as your train pulls out, if by main force and awkwardness
you jam a window open, as I did, and cast your eyes rearward for
a farewell peek, as I did, you will behold him, as I did, pulling
off his parade clothes and climbing into the blue overalls and the
jean jumpers of prosaic civilization, to wait until the next carload
lot of foreign tourists rolls in.  The European peasant is indeed
a simple, guileless creature--if you are careless about how you
talk.

In this district and on beyond, the sight of women doing the bulk
of the hard and dirty farmwork becomes common.  You see women
plowing; women hoeing; women carrying incredibly huge bundles of
fagots and fodder on their heads; women hauling heavy carts,
sometimes with a straining, panting dog for a teammate, sometimes
unaccompanied except by a stalwart father or husband, or brother
or son, who, puffing a china-bowled pipe, walks alongside to see
that the poor human draft-animals do not shirk or balk, or shy
over the traces.

To one coming from a land where no decent man raises his hand
against a woman--except, of course, in self-defense--this is indeed
a startling sight to see; but worse is in store for him when he
reaches Bohemia, on the upper edge of the Austrian Empire.  In
Bohemia, if there is a particularly nasty and laborious job to be
done, such as spading up manure in the rain or grubbing sugar-beets
out of the half-frozen earth, they wish it on the dear old
grandmother.  She always seemed to me to be a grandmother--or old
enough for one anyway.  Perhaps, though, it is the life they lead,
and not the years, that bends the backs of these women and thickens
their waists and mats their hair and turns their feet into clods
and their hands into swollen, red monstrosities.

Surely the Walrus, in Alice in Wonderland, had Germany in mind
when he said the time had come to speak of cabbages and kings
--because Germany certainly does lead the known world in those two
commodities.  Everywhere in Germany you see them--the cabbages by
the millions and the billions, growing rank and purple in the
fields and giving promise of the time when they will change from
vegetable to vine and become the fragrant and luscious trailing
sauerkraut; but the kings, in stone or bronze, stand up in the
marketplace or the public square, or on the bridge abutment, or
just back of the brewery, in every German city and town along the
route.

By these surface indications alone the most inexperienced traveler
would know he had reached Germany, even without the halt at the
custom house on the border; or the crossing watchman in trim uniform
jumping to attention at every roadcrossing; or the beautifully
upholstered, handswept state forests; or the hedges of willow trees
along the brooks, sticking up their stubby, twiggy heads like so
many disreputable hearth-brooms; or the young grain stretching in
straight rows crosswise of the weedless fields and looking, at a
distance, like fair green-printed lines evenly spaced on a wide
brown page.  Also, one observes everywhere surviving traces that
are unmistakable of the reign of that most ingenious and wideawake
of all the earlier rulers of Germany, King Verboten the Great.

In connection with the life and works of this distinguished ruler
is told an interesting legend well worthy of being repeated here.
It would seem that King Verboten was the first crowned head of
Europe to learn the value of keeping his name constantly before
the reading public.  Rameses the Third of Egypt--that enterprising
old constant advertiser who swiped the pyramids of all his
predecessors and had his own name engraved thereon--had been dead
for many centuries and was forgotten when Verboten mounted the
throne, and our own Teddy Roosevelt would not be born for many
centuries yet to come; so the idea must have occurred to King
Verboten spontaneously, as it were.  Therefore he took counsel
with himself, saying:

"I shall now erect statues to myself.  Dynasties change and wars
rage, and folks grow fickle and tear down statues.  None of that
for your Uncle Dudley K. Verboten! No; this is what I shall do:
On every available site in the length and breadth of this my realm
I shall stick up my name; and, wherever possible, near to it I
shall engrave or paint the names of my two favorite sons, Ausgang
and Eingang--to the end that, come what may, we shall never be
forgotten in the land of our birth."

And then he went and did it; and it was a thorough job--so thorough
a job that, to this good year of our Lord you may still see the
name of that wise king everywhere displayed in Germany--on railroad
stations and in railroad trains; on castle walls and dead walls
and brewery walls, and the back fence of the Young Ladies' High
School.  And nearly always, too, you will find hard by, over doors
and passageways, the names of his two sons, each accompanied or
underscored by the heraldic emblem of their house--a barbed and
feathered arrow pointing horizontally.

And so it was that King Verboten lived happily ever after and in
the fullness of time died peacefully in his bed, surrounded by his
wives, his children and his courtiers; and all of them sorrowed
greatly and wept, but the royal signpainter sorrowed most of all.

I know that certain persons will contest the authenticity of this
passage of history; they will claim Verboten means in our tongue
Forbidden, and that Ausgang means Outgoing, and Eingang means
Incoming--or, in other words, Exit and Entrance; but surely this
could not be so.  If so many things were forbidden, a man in Germany
would be privileged only to die--and probably not that, unless he
died according to a given formula; and certainly no human being
with the possible exception of the comedian who used to work the
revolving-door trick in Hanlon's Fantasma, could go out of and
come into a place so often without getting dizzy in the head.  No
--the legend stands as stated.

Even as it is, there are rules enough in Germany, rules to regulate
all things and all persons.  At first, to the stranger, this seems
an irksome arrangement--this posting of rules and orders and
directions and warnings everywhere--but he finds that everyone,
be he high or low, must obey or go to jail; there are no exceptions
and no evasions; so that what is a duty on all is a burden on none.

Take the trains, for example.  Pretty much all over the Continent
the railroads are state-owned and state-run, but only in Germany
are they properly run.  True, there are so many uniformed officials
aboard a German train that frequently there is barely room for the
paying travelers to squeeze in; but the cars are sanitary and the
schedule is accurately maintained, and the attendants are honest
and polite and cleanly of person--wherein lies another point of
dissimilarity between them and those scurvy, musty, fusty brigands
who are found managing and operating trains in certain nearby
countries.

I remember a cup of coffee I had while going from Paris to Berlin.
It was made expressly for me by an invalided commander-in-chief
of the artillery corps of the imperial army--so I judged him to
be by his costume, air and general deportment--who was in charge
of our carriage and also of the small kitchen at the far end of it.

He came into our compartment and bowed and clicked his heels
together and saluted, and wanted to know whether I would take
coffee.  Recklessly I said I would.  He filled in several blanks
of a printed form, and went and cooked the coffee and brought it
back, pausing at intervals as he came along to fill in other blanks.
Would I take cream in my coffee? I would; so he filled in a couple
of blanks.  Would I take sugar? I said I would take two lumps. 
He put in two lumps and filled in another blank.

I really prefer my coffee with three lumps in it; but I noticed
that his printed form was now completely filled in, and I hated
to call for a third lump and put him to the trouble of starting
his literary labors all over again.  Besides, by that time the
coffee would be cold.  So I took it as it was--with two lumps
only--and it was pretty fair coffee for European coffee.  It tasted
slightly of the red tape and the chicory, but it was neatly prepared
and promptly served.

And so, over historic streams no larger than creeks would be in
America, and by castles and cabbages and kings and cows, we came
to Berlin; and after some of the other Continental cities Berlin
seemed a mighty restful spot to be in, and a good one to tarry in
awhile.  It has few historical associations, has Berlin, but we
were loaded to the gills with historical associations by now.  It
does not excel greatly in Old Masters, but we had already gazed
with a languid eye upon several million Old Masters of all ages,
including many very young ones.  It has no ancient monuments and
tombs either, which is a blessing.  Most of the statuary in Berlin
is new and shiny and provided with all the modern conveniences
--the present kaiser attended competently to that detail.  Wherever,
in his capital, there was space for a statue he has stuck up one
in memory of a member of his own dynasty, beginning with a statue
apiece for such earlier rulers as Otho the Oboe-Player, and Joachim,
surnamed the Half-a-Ton--let some one correct me if I have the
names wrong--and finishing up with forty or fifty for himself.
That is, there were forty or fifty of him when I was there.  There
are probably more now.

In its essentials Berlin suggests a progressive American city,
with Teutonic trimmings.  Conceive a bit of New York, a good deal
of Chicago, a scrap of Denver, a slice of Hoboken, and a whole lot
of Milwaukee; conceive this combination as being scoured every day
until it shines; conceive it as beautifully though somewhat profusely
governed, and laid out with magnificent drives, and dotted with
big, handsome public buildings, and full of reasonably honest and
more than reasonably kindly people--and you have Berlin.

It was in Berlin that I picked up the most unique art treasure I
found anywhere on my travels--a picture of the composer Verdi that
looked exactly like Uncle Joe Cannon, without the cigar; whereas
Uncle Joe Cannon does not look a thing in the world like Verdi,
and probably wouldn't if he could.

I have always regretted that our route through the German Empire
took us across the land of the Hessians after dark, for I wanted
to see those people.  You will recollect that when George the
Third, of England, first put into actual use the doctrine of Hands
Across the Sea he used the Hessians.

They were hired hands.




Chapter VIII



A Tale of a String-bean

It was at a small dinner party in a home out in Passy--which is
to Paris what Flatbush is to Brooklyn--that the event hereinafter
set forth came to pass.  Our host was an American who had lived
abroad a good many years; and his wife, our hostess, was a French
woman as charming as she was pretty and as pretty as she could be.

The dinner was going along famously.  We had hors-d'oeuvres, the
soup and the hare--all very tasty to look on and very soothing to
the palate.  Then came the fowl, roasted, of course--the roast
fowl is the national bird of France--and along with the fowl
something exceedingly appetizing in the way of hearts of lettuce
garnished with breasts of hothouse tomatoes cut on the bias.

When we were through with this the servants removed the debris and
brought us hot plates.  Then, with the air of one conferring a
real treat on us, the butler bore around a tureen arrangement full
of smoking-hot string-beans.  When it came my turn I helped myself
--copiously--and waited for what was to go with the beans.  A
pause ensued--to my imagination an embarrassed pause.  Seeking a
cue I glanced down the table and back again.  There did not appear
to be anything to go with the beans.  The butler was standing at
ease behind his master's chair--ease for a butler, I mean--and the
other guests, it seemed to me, were waiting and watching.  To
myself I said:

"Well, sir, that butler certainly has made a J. Henry Fox Pass of
himself this trip! Here, just when this dinner was getting to be
one of the notable successes of the present century, he has to go
and derange the whole running schedule by serving the salad when
he should have served the beans, and the beans when he should have
served the salad.  It's a sickening situation; but if I can save
it I'll do it.  I'll be well bred if it takes a leg!"

So, wearing the manner of one who has been accustomed all his life
to finishing off his dinner with a mess of string-beans, I used my
putting-iron; and from the edge of the fair green I holed out in
three.  My last stroke was a dandy, if I do say it myself.  The
others were game too--I could see that.  They were eating beans
as though beans were particularly what they had come for.  Out of
the tail of my eye I glanced at our hostess, sitting next to me
on the left.  She was placid, calm, perfectly easy.  Again addressing
myself mentally I said:

"There's a thoroughbred for you! You take a woman who got prosperous
suddenly and is still acutely suffering from nervous culture, and
if such a shipwreck had occurred at her dinner table she'd be
utterly prostrated by now--she'd be down and out--and we'd all be
standing back to give her air; but when they're born in the purple
it shows in these big emergencies.  Look at this woman now--not a
ripple on the surface--balmy as a summer evening! But in about one
hour from now, Central European time, I can see her accepting that
fool butler's resignation before he's had time to offer it!"

After the beans had been cleared off the right-of-way we had the
dessert and the cheese and the coffee and the rest of it.  And,
as we used to say in the society column down home when the wife
of the largest advertiser was entertaining, "at a suitable hour
those present dispersed to their homes, one and all voting the
affair to have been one of the most enjoyable occasions among like
events of the season." We all knew our manners--we had proved that.

Personally I was very proud of myself for having carried the thing
off so well but after I had survived a few tables d'hote in France
and a few more in Austria and a great many in Italy, where they
do not have anything at the hotels except tables d'hote, I did not
feel quite so proud.  For at this writing in those parts the
slender, sylphlike string-bean is not playing a minor part, as
with us.  He has the best spot on the evening bill--he is a
headliner.  So is the cauliflower; so is the Brussels sprout; so
is any vegetable whose function among our own people is largely
scenic.

Therefore I treasured the memory of this incident and brought it
back with me; and I tell it here at some length of detail because
I know how grateful my countrywomen will be to get hold of it--I
know how grateful they always are when they learn about a new
gastronomical wrinkle.  Mind you, I am not saying that the notion
is an absolute novelty here.  For all I know to the contrary,
prominent hostesses along the Gold Coast of the United States
--Bar Harbor to Palm Beach inclusive--may have been serving one
lone vegetable as a separate course for years and years; but I
feel sure that throughout the interior the disclosure will come
as a pleasant surprise.

The directions for executing this coup are simple and all the
deadlier because they are so simple.  The main thing is to invite
your chief opponent as a smart entertainer; you know the one I
mean--the woman who scored such a distinct social triumph in the
season of 1912-13 by being the first woman in town to serve tomato
bisque with whipped cream on it.  Have her there by all means. 
Go ahead with your dinner as though naught sensational and
revolutionary were about to happen.  Give them in proper turn the
oysters, the fish, the entree, the bird, the salad.  And then, all
by itself, alone and unafraid, bring on a dab of string-beans.

Wait until you see the whites of their eyes, and aim and fire at
will.  Settle back then, until the first hushed shock has somewhat
abated--until your dazed and suffering rival is glaring about in
a well-bred but flustered manner, looking for something to go with
the beans.  Hold her eye while you smile a smile that is compounded
of equal parts--superior wisdom, and gentle contempt for her
ignorance--and then slowly, deliberately, dip a fork into the beans
on your plate and go to it.

Believe me, it cannot lose.  Before breakfast time the next morning
every woman who was at that dinner will either be sending out
invitations for a dinner of her own and ordering beans, or she
will be calling up her nearest and best friend on the telephone
to spread the tidings.  I figure that the intense social excitement
occasioned in this country a few years ago by the introduction of
Russian salad dressing will be as nothing in comparison.

This stunt of serving the vegetable as a separate course was one
of the things I learned about food during our flittings across
Europe, but it was not the only thing I learned--by a long shot
it was not.  For example I learned this--and I do not care what
anybody else may say to the contrary either--that here in America
we have better food and more different kinds of food, and food
better cooked and better served than the effete monarchies of the
Old World ever dreamed of.  And, quality and variety considered,
it costs less here, bite for bite, than it costs there.

Food in Germany is cheaper than anywhere else almost, I reckon;
and, selected with care and discrimination, a German dinner is an
excellently good dinner.  Certain dishes in England--and they are
very certain, for you get them at every meal--are good, too, and
not overly expensive.  There are some distinctive Austrian dishes
that are not without their attractions either.  Speaking by and
large, however, I venture the assertion that, taking any first-rate
restaurant in any of the larger American cities and balancing it
off against any establishment of like standing in Europe, the
American restaurant wins on cuisine, service, price, flavor and
attractiveness.

Centuries of careful and constant press-agenting have given French
cookery much of its present fame.  The same crafty processes of
publicity, continued through a period of eight or nine hundred
years, have endowed the European scenic effects with a glamour and
an impressiveness that really are not there, if you can but forget
the advertising and consider the proposition on its merits.

Take their rivers now--their historic rivers, if you please.  You
are traveling--heaven help you--on a Continental train.  Between
spells of having your ticket punched or torn apart, or otherwise
mutilated; and getting out at the border to see your trunks
ceremoniously and solemnly unloaded and unlocked, and then as
ceremoniously relocked and reloaded after you have conferred largess
on everybody connected with the train, the customs regulations
being mainly devised for the purpose of collecting not tariff but
tips--between these periods, which constitute so important a feature
of Continental travel--you come, let us say, to a stream.

It is a puny stream, as we are accustomed to measure streams, boxed
in by stone walls and regulated by stone dams, and frequently it
is mud-colored and, more frequently still, runs between muddy
banks.  In the West it would probably not even be dignified with
a regular name, and in the East it would be of so little importance
that the local congressman would not ask an annual appropriation
of more than half a million dollars for the purposes of dredging,
deepening and diking it.  But even as you cross it you learn that
it is the Tiber or the Arno, the Elbe or the Po; and, such is the
force of precept and example, you immediately get all excited and
worked up over it.

English rivers are beautiful enough in a restrained, well-managed,
landscape-gardened sort of way; but Americans do not enthuse over
an English river because of what it is in itself, but because it
happens to be the Thames or the Avon--because of the distinguished
characters in history whose names are associated with it.

Hades gets much of its reputation the same way.

I think of one experience I had while touring through what we had
learned to call the Dachshund District.  Our route led us alongside
a most inconsequential-looking little river.  Its contents seemed
a trifle too liquid for mud and a trifle too solid for water.  On
the nearer bank was a small village populated by short people and
long dogs.  Out in midstream, making poor headway against the
semi-gelid current, was a little flutter-tailed steamboat panting
and puffing violently and kicking up a lather of lacy spray with
its wheelbuckets in a manner to remind you of a very warm small
lady fanning herself with a very large gauze fan, and only getting
hotter at the job.

In America that stream would have been known as Mink Creek or
Cassidy's Run, or by some equally poetic title; but when I found
out it was the Danube--no less--I had a distinct thrill.  On closer
examination I discovered it to be a counterfeit thrill; but
nevertheless, I had it.

What applies in the main to the scenery applies in the main to the
food.  France has the reputation of breeding the best cooks in the
world--and maybe she does; but when you are calling in France you
find most of them out.  They have emigrated to America, where a
French chef gets more money in one year for exercising his art
--and gets it easier--than he could get in ten years at home--and
is given better ingredients to cook with than he ever had at home.

The hotel in Paris at which we stopped served good enough meals,
all of them centering, of course, round the inevitable poulet roti;
but it took the staff an everlastingly long time to bring the food
to you.  If you grew reckless and ordered anything that was not
on the bill it upset the entire establishment; and before they
calmed down and relayed it in to you it was time for the next meal.
Still, I must say we did not mind the waiting; near at hand a
fascinating spectacle was invariably on exhibition.

At the next table sat an Italian countess.  Anyhow they told me
she was an Italian countess, and she wore jewelry enough for a
dozen countesses.  Every time I beheld her, with a big emerald
earring gleaming at either side of her head, I thought of a Lenox
Avenue local in the New York Subway.  However, it was not so much
her jewelry that proved such a fascinating sight as it was her
pleasing habit of fetching out a gold-mounted toothpick and exploring
the most remote and intricate dental recesses of herself in full
view of the entire dining room, meanwhile making a noise like
somebody sicking a dog on.

The Europeans have developed public toothpicking beyond anything
we know.  They make an outdoor pastime and function of it, whereas
we pursue this sport more or less privately.  Over there, a toothpick
is a family heirloom and is handed down from one generation to
another, and is operated in company ostentatiously.  In its use
some Europeans are absolutely gifted.  But then we beat the world
at open-air gum-chewing--so I reckon the honors are about even.

This particular hotel, in common with all other first-class hotels
in Paris, was forgetful about setting forth on its menu the prices
of its best dishes and its special dishes.  I take it this arrangement
was devised for the benefit of currency-quilted Americans.  A
Frenchman asks the waiter the price of an unpriced dish and then
orders something else; but the American, as a rule, is either too
proud or too foolish to inquire into these details.  At home he
is beset by a hideous fear that some waiter will think he is of a
mercenary nature; and when he is abroad this trait in him is
accentuated.  So, in his carefree American way, he orders a portion
of a dish of an unspecified value; whereupon the head waiter slips
out to the office and ascertains by private inquiry how large a
letter of credit the American is carrying with him, and comes back
and charges him all the traffic will bear.

As for the keeper of a fashionable cafe on a boulevard or in the
Rue de la Paix--well, alongside of him the most rapacious restaurant
proprietor on Broadway is a kindly, Christian soul who is in
business for his health--and not feeling very healthy at that. 
When you dine at one of the swagger boulevard places the head
waiter always comes, just before you have finished, and places a
display of fresh fruit before you, with a winning smile and a bow
and a gesture, which, taken together, would seem to indicate that
he is extending the compliments of the season and that the fruit
will be on the house; but never did one of the intriguing scoundrels
deceive me.  Somewhere, years before, I had read statistics on the
cost of fresh fruit in a Paris restaurant, and so I had a care.
The sight of a bunch of hothouse grapes alone was sufficient to
throw me into a cold perspiration right there at the table; and
as for South African peaches, I carefully walked around them,
getting farther away all the time.  A peach was just the same as
a pesthouse to me, in Paris.

Alas though! no one had warned me about French oysters, and
once--just once--I ate some, which made two mistakes on my part,
one financial and the other gustatory.  They were not particularly
flavorous oysters as we know oysters on this side of the ocean. 
The French oyster is a small, copper-tinted proposition, and he
tastes something like an indisposed mussel and something like a
touch of biliousness; but he is sufficiently costly for all purposes.
The cafe proprietor cherishes him so highly that he refuses to
vulgarize him by printing the asking price on the same menu.  A
person in France desirous of making a really ostentatious display
of his affluence, on finding a pearl in an oyster, would swallow
the pearl and wear the oyster on his shirtfront.  That would stamp
him as a person of wealth.

However, I am not claiming that all French cookery is ultra-exorbitant
in price or of excessively low grade.  We had one of the surprises
of our lives when, by direction of a friend who knew Paris, we
went to a little obscure cafe that was off the tourist route and
therefore--as yet--unspoiled and uncommercialized.  This place
was up a back street near one of the markets; a small and smellsome
place it was, decorated most atrociously.  In the front window,
in close juxtaposition, were a platter of French snails and a
platter of sticky confections full of dark spots.  There was no
mistaking the snails for anything except snails; but the other
articles were either currant buns or plain buns that had been made
in an unscreened kitchen.

Within were marble-topped tables of the Louie-Quince period and
stuffy wall-seats of faded, dusty red velvet; and a waiter in his
shirtsleeves was wandering about with a sheaf of those long French
loaves tucked under his arm like golf sticks, distributing his
loaves among the diners.  But somewhere in its mysterious and
odorous depths that little bourgeois cafe harbored an honest-to-goodness
cook.  He knew a few things about grilling a pig's knuckle--that
worthy person.  He could make the knuckle of a pig taste like the
wing of an angel; and what he could do with a skillet, a pinch of
herbs and a calf's sweetbread passed human understanding.

Certain animals in Europe do have the most delicious diseases
anyway--notably the calf and the goose, particularly the goose of
Strasburg, where the pate de foie gras comes from.  The engorged
liver of a Strasburg goose must be a source of joy to all--except
its original owner!

Several times we went back to the little restaurant round the
corner from the market, and each time we had something good.  The
food we ate there helped to compensate for the terrific disillusionment
awaiting us when we drove out of Paris to a typical roadside inn,
to get some of that wonderful provincial cookery that through all
our reading days we had been hearing about.  You will doubtless
recall the description, as so frequently and graphically dished
up by the inspired writers of travelogue stuff--the picturesque,
tumbledown place, where on a cloth of coarse linen--white like
snow--old Marie, her wrinkled face abeam with hospitality and
kindness, places the delicious omelet she has just made, and brings
also the marvelous salad and the perfect fowl, and the steaming
hot coffee fragrant as breezes from Araby the Blest, and the vin
ordinaire that is even as honey and gold to the thirsty throat. 
You must know that passage?

We went to see for ourselves.  At a distance of half a day's
automobile run from Paris we found an establishment answering to
the plans and specifications.  It was shoved jam-up against the
road, as is the French custom; and it was surrounded by a high,
broken wall, on which all manner of excrescences in the shape of
tiny dormers and misshapen little towers hung, like Texas ticks
on the ears of a quarantined steer.  Within the wall the numerous
ruins that made up the inn were thrown together any fashion, some
facing one way, some facing the other way, and some facing all
ways at once; so that, for the housefly, so numerously encountered
on these premises, it was but a short trip and a merry one from
the stable to the dining room and back again.

Sure enough, old Marie was on the job.  Not desiring to be unkind
or unduly critical I shall merely state that as a cook old Marie
was what we who have been in France and speak the language fluently
would call la limite! The omelet she turned out for us was a thing
that was very firm and durable, containing, I think, leather
findings, with a sprinkling of chopped henbane on the top.  The
coffee was as feeble a counterfeit as chicory usually is when it
is masquerading as coffee, and the vin ordinaire had less of the
vin to it and more of the ordinaire than any we sampled elsewhere.

Right here let me say this for the much-vaunted vin ordinaire of
Europe: In the end it biteth like a serpent and stingeth like an
adder--not like the ordinary Egyptian adder, but like a patent
adder in the office of a loan shark, which is the worst stinger
of the whole adder family.  If consumed with any degree of freedom
it puts a downy coat on your tongue next morning that causes you
to think you inadvertently swallowed the pillow in your sleep.
Good domestic wine costs as much in Europe as good domestic wine
costs in America--possibly more than as much.

The souffle potatoes of old Marie were not bad to look on, but I
did not test them otherwise.  Even in my own country I do not care
to partake of souffle potatoes unless I know personally the person
who blew them up.  So at the conclusion of the repast we nibbled
tentatively at the dessert, which was a pancake with jelly, done
in the image of a medicated bandage but not so tasty as one.  And
then I paid the check, which was of august proportions, and we
came sadly away, realizing that another happy dream of youth had
been shattered to bits.  Only the tablecloth had been as advertised.
It was coarse, but white like snow--like snow three days old in
Pittsburgh.

Yet I was given to understand that was a typical rural French inn
and fully up to the standards of such places; but if the manager
of a roadhouse within half a day's ride of New York or Boston or
Philadelphia served such food to his patrons, at such prices, the
sheriff would have him inside of two months; and everybody would
be glad of it too--except the sheriff.  Also, no humane man in
this country would ask a self-respecting cow to camp overnight in
such outbuildings as abutted on the kitchen of this particular
inn.

I am not denying that we have in America some pretty bad country
hotels, where good food is most barbarously mistreated and good
beds are rare to find, but we admit our shortcomings in this regard
and we deplore them--we do not shellac them over with a glamour of
bogus romance, with intent to deceive the foreign visitor to our
shores.  We warn him in advance of what he may expect and urge him
to carry his rations with him.

It is almost unnecessary to add that old Marie gave us veal and
poulet roti.  According to the French version of the story of the
Flood only two animals emerged from the Ark when the waters
receded--one was an immature hen and the other was an adolescent
calf.  At every meal except breakfast--when they do not give you
anything at all--the French give you veal and poulet roti.  If at
lunch you had the poulet roti first and afterward the veal, why,
then at dinner they provide a pleasing variety by bringing on the
veal first and the poulet roti afterward.

The veal is invariably stringy and coated over with weird sauces,
and the poulet never appears at the table in her recognizable
members--such as wings and drumsticks--but is chopped up with a
cleaver into cross sections, and strange-looking chunks of the
wreckage are sent to you.  Moreover they cook the chicken in such
a way as to destroy its original taste, and the veal in such a way
as to preserve its original taste, both being inexcusable errors.

Nowhere in the larger Italian cities, except by the exercise of a
most tremendous determination, can you get any real Italian cooking
or any real Italian dishes.  At the hotels they feed you on a pale,
sad table-d'hote imitation of French cooking, invariably buttressed
with the everlasting veal and the eternal poulet roti.  At the
finish of a meal the waiter brings you, on one plate, two small
withered apples and a bunch of fly-specked sour grapes; and, on
another plate, the mortal remains of some excessively deceased
cheese wearing a tinfoil shroud and appropriately laid out in a
small, white, coffin-shaped box.

After this had happened to me several times I told the waiter with
gentle irony that he might as well screw the lid back on the casket
and proceed with the obsequies.  I told him I was not one of those
morbid people who love to look on the faces of the strange dead. 
The funeral could not get under way too soon to suit me.  It seemed
to me that this funeral was already several days overdue.  That
was what I told him.

In my travels the best place I ever found to get Italian dishes
was a basement restaurant under an old brownstone house on
Forty-seventh Street, in New York.  There you might find the typical
dishes of Italy--I defy you to find them in Italy without a
search-warrant.  However, while in Italy the tourist may derive
much entertainment and instruction from a careful study of table
manners.

In our own land we produce some reasonably boisterous trenchermen,
and some tolerably careless ones too.  Several among us have yet
to learn how to eat corn on the ear and at the same time avoid
corn in the ear.  A dish of asparagus has been known to develop
fine acoustic properties, and in certain quarters there is a crying
need for a sound-proof soup; but even so, and admitting these
things as facts, we are but mere beginners in this line when
compared with our European brethren.

In the caskets of memory I shall ever cherish the picture of a
particularly hairy gentleman, apparently of Russian extraction,
who patronized our hotel in Venice one evening.  He was what you
might call a human hazard--a golf-player would probably have
thought of him in that connection.  He was eating flour dumplings,
using his knife for a niblick all the way round; and he lost every
other shot in a concealed bunker on the edge of the rough; and he
could make more noise sucking his teeth than some people could
make playing on a fife.

There is a popular belief to the effect that the Neapolitan eats
his spaghetti by a deft process of wrapping thirty or forty inches
round the tines of his fork and then lifting it inboard, an ell
at a time.  This is not correct.  The true Neapolitan does not eat
his spaghetti at all--he inhales it.  He gathers up a loose strand
and starts it down his throat.  He then respires from the diaphragm,
and like a troupe of trained angleworms that entire mass of spaghetti
uncoils itself, gets up off the plate and disappears inside him--en
masse, as it were--and making him look like a man who is chinning
himself over a set of bead portieres.  I fear we in America will
never learn to siphon our spaghetti into us thus.  It takes a
nation that has practiced deep breathing for centuries.




Chapter IX



The Deadly Poulet Routine

Under the head of European disillusionments I would rate, along
with the vin ordinaire of the French vineyard and inkworks, the
barmaid of Britain.  From what you have heard on this subject you
confidently expect the British barmaid to be buxom, blond, blooming,
billowy, buoyant--but especially blond.  On the contrary she is
generally brunette, frequently middle-aged, in appearance often
fair-to-middling homely, and in manner nearly always abounding
with a stiffness and hauteur that would do credit to a belted earl,
if the belting had just taken place and the earl was still groggy
from the effects of it.  Also, she has the notion of personal
adornment that is common in more than one social stratum of women
in England.  If she has a large, firm, solid mound of false hair
overhanging her brow like an impending landslide, and at least
three jingly bracelets on each wrist, she considers herself well
dressed, no matter what else she may or may not be wearing.

Often this lady is found presiding over an American bar, which is
an institution now commonly met with in all parts of London.  The
American bar of London differs from the ordinary English bar of
London in two respects, namely--there is an American flag draped
over the mirror, and it is a place where they sell all the English
drinks and are just out of all the American ones.  If you ask for
a Bronx the barmaid tells you they do not carry seafood in stock
and advises you to apply at the fishmongers'--second turning to
the right, sir, and then over the way, sir--just before you come
to the bottom of the road, sir.  If you ask for a Mamie Taylor she
gets it confused in her mind with a Sally Lunn and sends out for
yeastcake and a cookbook; and while you are waiting she will give
you a genuine Yankee drink, such as a brandy and soda--or she will
suggest that you smoke something and take a look at the evening
paper.

If you do smoke something, beware--oh, beware!--of the native
English cigar.  When rolled between the fingers it gives off a
dry, rustling sound similar to a shuck mattress.  For smoking
purposes it is also open to the same criticisms that a shuck
mattress is.  The flames smolder in the walls and then burst through
in unexpected places, and the smoke sucks up the airshaft and
mushrooms on your top floor; then the deadly back draft comes and
the fatal firedamp, and when the firemen arrive you are a ruined
tenement.  Except the German, the French, the Belgian, the Austrian
and the Italian cigar, the English cigar is the worst cigar I ever
saw.  I did not go to Spain; they tell me, though, the Spanish
cigar has the high qualifications of badness.  Spanish cigars are
not really cigars at all, I hear; they fall into the classification
of defective flues.

Likewise beware of the alleged American cocktail occasionally
dispensed, with an air of pride and accomplished triumph, by the
British barmaid of an American bar.  If for purposes of experiment
and research you feel that you must take one, order with it, instead
of the customary olive or cherry, a nice boiled vegetable marrow.
The advantage to be derived from this is that the vegetable marrow
takes away the taste of anything else and does not have any taste
of its own.

In the eating line the Englishman depends on the staples.  He
sticks to the old standbys.  What was good enough for his fathers
is good enough for him--in some cases almost too good.  Monotony
of victuals does not distress him.  He likes his food to be humdrum;
the humdrummer the better.

Speaking with regard to the whole country, I am sure we have better
beef uniformly in America than in England; but there is at least
one restaurant on the Strand where the roast beef is just a little
bit superior to any other roast beef on earth.  English mutton is
incomparable, too, and English breakfast bacon is a joy forever.
But it never seems to occur to an Englishman to vary his diet.  I
submit samples of the daily menu:

                 LUNCHEON            DINNER
                 Roast Beef          Boiled Mutton
                 Boiled Mutton       Roast Beef
                 Potatoes, Boiled    Cabbage, Boiled
                 Cabbage, Boiled     Potatoes, Boiled
                 Jam Tart            Custard
                 Custard             Jam Tart
                 Cheese              Coffee
                 Coffee              Cheese
                             TEA!

I know now why an Englishman dresses for dinner--it enables him
to distinguish dinner from lunch.

His regular desserts are worthy of a line.  The jam tart is a
death-mask that went wrong and in coiisequence became morose and
heavy of spirit, and the custard is a soft-boiled egg which started
out in life to be a soft-boiled egg and at the last moment--when
it was too late--changed its mind and tried to be something else.

In the City, where lunching places abound, the steamer works
overtime and the stewpan never rests.  There is one place, well
advertised to American visitors, where they make a specialty of
their beefsteak-and-kidney pudding.  This is a gummy concoction
containing steak, kidney, mushroom, oyster, lark--and sometimes
W and Y.  Doctor Johnson is said to have been very fond of it;
this, if true, accounts for the doctor's disposition.  A helping
of it weighs two pounds before you eat it and ten pounds afterward.
The kidney is its predominating influence.  The favorite flower
of the English is not the primrose.  It is the kidney.  Wherever
you go, among the restaurants, there is always somebody operating
on a steamed flour dumpling for kidney trouble.

The lower orders are much addicted to a dish known--if I remember
the name aright--by the euphonious title of Toad in the Hole. 
Toad in the Hole consists of a full-grown and fragrant sheep's
kidney entombed in an excavated retreat at the heart of a large
and powerful onion, and then cooked in a slow and painful manner,
so that the onion and the kidney may swap perfumes and flavors. 
These people do not use this combination for a weapon or for a
disinfectant, or for anything else for which it is naturally
purposed; they actually go so far as to eat it.  You pass a cabmen's
lunchroom and get a whiff of a freshly opened Toad in the Hole
--and you imagine it is the German invasion starting and wonder
why they are not removing the women and children to a place of
safety.  All England smells like something boiling, just as all
France smells like something that needs boiling.

Seemingly the only Londoners who enjoy any extensive variety in
their provender are the slum-dwellers.  Out Whitechapel-way the
establishment of a tripe dresser and draper is a sight wondrous
to behold, and will almost instantly eradicate the strongest
appetite; but it is not to be compared with an East End meatshop,
where there are skinned sheep faces on slabs, and various vital
organs of various animals disposed about in clumps and clusters. 
I was reminded of one of those Fourteenth Street museums of
anatomy--tickets ten cents each; boys under fourteen not admitted.
The East End butcher is not only a thrifty but an inquiring soul.
Until I viewed his shop I had no idea that a sheep could be so
untidy inside; and as for a cow--he finds things in a cow she
didn't know she had.

Breakfast is the meal at which the Englishman rather excels; in
fact England is the only country in Europe where the natives have
the faintest conception of what a regular breakfast is, or should
be.  Moreover, it is now possible in certain London hotels for an
American to get hot bread and ice-water at breakfast, though the
English round about look on with undisguised horror as he consumes
them, and the manager only hopes that he will have the good taste
not to die on the premises.

It is true that, in lieu of the fresh fruit an American prefers,
the waiter brings at least three kinds of particularly sticky
marmalade and, in accordance with a custom that dates back to the
time of the Druids, spangles the breakfast cloth over with a large
number of empty saucers and plates, which fulfill no earthly purpose
except to keep getting in the way.  The English breakfast bacon,
however, is a most worthy article, and the broiled kipper is juicy
and plump, and does not resemble a dried autumn leaf, as our kipper
often does.  And the fried sole, on which the Englishman banks his
breakfast hopes, invariably repays one for one's undivided attention.
The English boast of their fish; but, excusing the kipper, they
have but three of note--the turbot, the plaice and the sole.  And
the turbot tastes like turbot, and the plaice tastes like fish;
but the sole, when fried, is most appetizing.

I have been present when the English gooseberry and the English
strawberry were very highly spoken of, too, but with me this is
merely hearsay evidence; we reached England too late for berries.
Happily, though, we came in good season for the green filbert,
which is gathered in the fall of the year, being known then as the
Kentish cobnut.  The Kentish cob beats any nut we have except the
paper-shell pecan.  The English postage stamp is also much tastier
than ours.  The space for licking is no larger, if as large--but
the flavor lasts.

As I said before, the Englishman has no great variety of things
to eat, but he is always eating them; and when he is not eating
them he is swigging tea.  Yet in these regards the German excels
him.  The Englishman gains a lap at breakfast; but after that first
hour the German leaves him, hopelessly distanced, far in the rear.
It is due to his talents in this respect that the average Berliner
has a double chin running all the way round, and four rolls of fat
on the back of his neck, all closely clipped and shaved, so as to
bring out their full beauty and symmetry, and a figure that makes
him look as though an earthquake had shaken loose everything on
the top floor and it all fell through into his dining room.

Your true Berliner eats his regular daily meals--four in number
and all large ones; and in between times he now and then gathers
a bite.  For instance, about ten o'clock in the morning he knocks
off for an hour and has a few cups of hard-boiled coffee and some
sweet, sticky pastry with whipped cream on it.  Then about four
in the afternoon he browses a bit, just to keep up his appetite
for dinner.  This, though, is but a snack--say, a school of Bismarck
herring and a kraut pie, some more coffee and more cake, and one
thing and another--merely a preliminary to the real food, which
will be coming along a little later on.  Between acts at the theater
he excuses himself and goes out and prepares his stomach for supper,
which will follow at eleven, by drinking two or three steins of
thick Munich beer, and nibbling on such small tidbits as a rosary
of German sausage or the upper half of a raw Westphalia ham.  There
are forty-seven distinct and separate varieties of German sausage
and three of them are edible; but the Westphalia ham, in my judgment,
is greatly overrated.  It is pronounced Westfailure with the accent
on the last part, where it belongs.

In Germany, however, there is a pheasant agreeably smothered in
young cabbage which is delicious and in season plentiful.  The
only drawback to complete enjoyment of this dish is that the
grasping and avaricious German restaurant keeper has the confounded
nerve to charge you, in our money, forty cents for awhole pheasant
and half a peck of cabbage--say, enough to furnish a full meal
for two tolerably hungry adults and a growing child.

The Germans like to eat and they love a hearty eater.  There should
never be any trouble about getting a suitable person to serve us
at the Kaiser's court if the Administration at Washington will but
harken to the voice of experience.  To the Germans the late Doctor
Tanner would have been a distinct disappointment in an ambassadorial
capacity; but there was a man who used to live in my congressional
district who could qualify in a holy minute if he were still alive.
He was one of Nature's noblemen, untutored but naturally gifted,
and his name was John Wesley Bass.  He was the champion eater of
the world, specializing particularly in eggs on the shell, and
cove oysters out of the can, with pepper sauce on them, and soda
crackers on the side.

I regret to be compelled to state, however, that John Wesley is
no more.  At one of our McCracken County annual fairs, a few years
back, he succumbed to overambition coupled with a mistake in
judgment.  After he had established a new world's record by eating
at one sitting five dozen raw eggs he rashly rode on the steam
merry-go-round.  At the end of the first quarter of an hour he
fainted and fell off a spotted wooden horse and never spoke again,
but passed away soon after being removed to his home in an unconscious
condition.  I have forgotten what the verdict of the coroner's
jury was--the attending physician gave it some fancy Latin name--but
among laymen the general judgment was that our fellow townsman had
just naturally been scrambled to death.  It was a pity, too--the
German people would have cared for John Wesley as an ambassador. 
He would have eaten his way right into their affections.

We have the word of history for it that Vienna was originally
settled by the Celts, but you would hardly notice it now.  On first
impressions you would say that about Vienna there was a noticeable
suggestion--a perceptible trace--of the Teutonic; and this applies
to the Austrian food in the main.  I remember a kind of Wiener-schnitzel,
breaded, that I had in Vienna; in fact for the moment I do not
seem to recall much else about Vienna.  Life there was just one
Wiener-schnitzel after another.

In order to spread sweetness and light, and to the end, furthermore,
that the ignorant people across the salted seas might know something
of a land of real food and much food, and plenty of it and plenty
of variety to it, I would that I might bring an expedition of
Europeans to America and personally conduct it up and down our
continent and back and forth crosswise of it.

And if I had the money of a Carnegie or a Rockefeller I would do
it, too, for it would be a greater act of charity than building
public libraries or endowing public baths.  I would include in my
party a few delegates from England, where every day is All Soles'
Day; and a few sausage-surfeited Teutons; and some Gauls, wearied
and worn by the deadly poulet routine of their daily life, and a
scattering representation from all the other countries over there.

In especial I would direct the Englishman's attention to the broiled
pompano of New Orleans; the kingfish filet of New York; the sanddab
of Los Angeles; the Boston scrod of the Massachusetts coast; and
that noblest of all pan fish--the fried crappie of Southern Indiana.
To these and to many another delectable fishling, would I introduce
the poor fellow; and to him and his fellows I fain would offer a
dozen apiece of Smith Island oysters on the half shell.

And I would take all of them to New England for baked beans and
brown bread and codfish balls; but on the way we would visit the
shores of Long Island for a kind of soft clam which first is steamed
and then is esteemed.  At Portsmouth, New Hampshire, they should
each have a broiled lobster measuring thirty inches from tip to
tip, fresh caught out of the Piscataqua River.

Vermont should come to them in hospitality and in pity, offering
buckwheat cakes and maple sirup.  But Rhode Island would bring a
genuine Yankee blueberry pie and directions for the proper consumption
of it, namely--discarding knife and fork, to raise a crusty,
dripping wedge of blueberry pie in your hand to your mouth, and
to take a first bite, which instantly changes the ground-floor
plan of that pie from a triangle to a crescent; and then to take
a second bite, and then to lick your fingers--and then there isn't
any more pie.

Down in Kentucky I should engage Mandy Berry, colored, to fry for
them some spring chickens and make for them a few pones of real
cornbread.  In Creole Louisiana they should sample crawfish gumbo;
and in Georgia they should have 'possum baked with sweet potatoes;
and in Tidewater Maryland, terrapin and canvasback; and in Illinois,
young gray squirrels on toast; and in South Carolina, boiled rice
with black-eyed peas; and in Colorado, cantaloupes; and in Kansas,
young sweet corn; and in Virginia, country hams, not cured with
chemicals but with hickory smoke and loving hands; and in Tennessee,
jowl and greens.

And elsewhere they should have their whacking fill of prairie hen
and suckling pig and barbecued shote, and sure-enough beefsteak,
and goobers hot from the parching box; and scrapple, and yams
roasted in hot wood-ashes; and hotbiscuit and waffles and Parker
house rolls--and the thousand and one other good things that may
be found in this our country, and which are distinctively and
uniquely of this country.

Finally I would bring them back by way of Richmond, and there I
would give them each an eggnog compounded with fresh cream and
made according to a recipe older than the Revolution.  If I had
my way about it no living creature should be denied the right to
bury his face in a brimming tumbler of that eggnog--except a man
with a drooping red mustache.

By the time those gorged and converted pilgrims touched the Eastern
seaboard again any one of them, if he caught fire, would burn for
about four days with a clear blue flame, and many valuable
packing-house by-products could be gleaned from his ruins.  It
would bind us all, foreigner and native alike, in closer ties of
love and confidence, and it would turn the tide of travel westward
from Europe, instead of eastward from America.

Let's do it sometime--and appoint me conductor of the expedition!




Chapter X



Modes of the Moment; a Fashion Article

Among the furbearing races the adult male of the French species
easily excels.  Some fine peltries are to be seen in Italy, and
there is a type of farming Englishman who wears a stiff set of
burnishers projecting out round his face in a circular effect
suggestive of a halo that has slipped down.  In connection with
whiskers I have heard the Russians highly commended.  They tell
me that, from a distance, it is very hard to distinguish a muzhik
from a bosky dell, whereas a grand duke nearly always reminds one
of something tasty and luxuriant in the line of ornamental arborwork.
The German military man specializes in mustaches, preference being
given to the Texas longhorn mustache, and the walrus and kitty-cat
styles.  A dehorned German officer is rarely found and a muley one
is practically unknown.  But the French lead all the world in
whiskers--both the wildwood variety and the domesticated kind
trained on a trellis.  I mention this here at the outset because
no Frenchman is properly dressed unless he is whiskered also;
such details properly appertain to a chapter on European dress.

Probably every freeborn American citizen has at some time in his
life cherished the dream of going to England and buying himself
an outfit of English clothes--just as every woman has had hopes
of visiting Paris and stocking up with Parisian gowns on the spot
where they were created, and where--so she assumes--they will
naturally be cheaper than elsewhere.  Those among us who no longer
harbor these fancies are the men and women who have tried these
experiments.

After she has paid the tariff on them a woman is pained to note
that her Paris gowns have cost her as much as they would cost her
in the United States--so I have been told by women who have invested
extensively in that direction.  And though a man, by the passion
of the moment, may be carried away to the extent of buying English
clothes, he usually discovers on returning to his native land that
they are not adapted to withstand the trying climatic conditions
and the critical comments of press and public in this country. 
What was contemplated as a triumphal reentrance becomes a footrace
to the nearest ready-made clothing store.

English clothes are not meant for Americans, but for Englishmen
to wear: that is a great cardinal truth which Americans would do
well to ponder.  Possibly you have heard that an Englishman's
clothes fit him with an air.  They do so; they fit him with a lot
of air around the collar and a great deal of air adjacent to the
waistband and through the slack of the trousers; frequently they
fit him with such an air that he is entirely surrounded by space,
as in the case of a vacuum bottle.  Once there was a Briton whose
overcoat collar hugged the back of his neck; so they knew by that
he was no true Briton, but an impostor--and they put him out of
the union.  In brief, the kind of English clothes best suited for
an American to wear is the kind Americans make.

I knew these things in advance--or, anyway, I should have known
them; nevertheless I felt our trip abroad would not be complete
unless I brought back some London clothes.  I took a look at the
shop-windows and decided to pass up the ready-made things.  The
coat shirt; the shaped sock; the collar that will fit the neckband
of a shirt, and other common American commodities, seemed to be
practically unknown in London.

The English dress shirt has such a dinky little bosom on it that
by rights you cannot refer to it as a bosom at all; it comes nearer
to being what women used to call a guimpe.  Every show-window where
I halted was jammed to the gunwales with thick, fuzzy, woolen
articles and inflammatory plaid waistcoats, and articles in crash
for tropical wear--even through the glass you could note each
individual crash with distinctness.  The London shopkeeper adheres
steadfastly to this arrangement.  Into his window he puts everything
he has in his shop except the customer.  The customer is in the
rear, with all avenues of escape expertly fenced off from him by
the proprietor and the clerks; but the stock itself is in the
show-window.

There are just two department stores in London where, according
to the American viewpoint, the windows are attractively dressed. 
One of these stores is owned by an American, and the other, I
believe, is managed by an American.  In Paris there are many shops
that are veritable jewel-boxes for beauty and taste; but these are
the small specialty shops, very expensive and highly perfumed.

The Paris department stores are worse jumbles even than the English
department stores.  When there is a special sale under way the
bargain counters are rigged up on the sidewalks.  There, in the
open air, buyer and seller will chaffer and bicker, and wrangle
and quarrel, and kiss and make up again--for all the world to see.
One of the free sights of Paris is a frugal Frenchman, with his
face extensively haired over, pawing like a Skye terrier through a
heap of marked-down lingerie; picking out things for the female
members of his household to wear--now testing some material with
his tongue; now holding a most personal article up in the sunlight
to examine the fabric--while the wife stands humbly, dumbly by,
waiting for him to complete his selections.  So far as London was
concerned, I decided to deny myself any extensive orgy in
haberdashery.  From similar motives I did not invest in the lounge
suit to which an Englishman is addicted.  I doubted whether it
would fit the lounge we have at home--though, with stretching, it
might, at that.  My choice finally fell on an English raincoat and
a pair of those baggy knee breeches such as an Englishman wears
when he goes to Scotland for the moor shooting, or to the National
Gallery, or any other damp, misty, rheumatic place.

I got the raincoat first.  It was built to my measure; at least
that was the understanding; but you give an English tailor an inch
and he takes an ell.  This particular tailor seemed to labor under
the impression that I was going to use my raincoat for holding
large public assemblies or social gatherings in--nothing that I
could say convinced him that I desired it for individual use; so
he modeled it on a generous spreading design, big at the bottom
and sloping up toward the top like a pagoda.  Equipped with guy
ropes and a centerpole it would make a first-rate marquee for a
garden party--in case of bad weather the refreshments could be
served under it; but as a raincoat I did not particularly fancy
it.  When I put it on I sort of reminded myself of a covered wagon.

Nothing daunted by this I looked up the address of a sporting tailor
in a side street off Regent Street, whose genius was reputed to
find an artistic outlet in knee breeches.  Before visiting his
shop I disclosed my purpose to my traveling companion, an individual
in whose judgment and good taste I have ordinarily every confidence,
and who has a way of coming directly to the meat of a subject.

"What do you want with a pair of knee breeches?" inquired this
person crisply.

"Why--er--for general sporting occasions," I replied.

"For instance, what occasions?"

"For golfing," I said, "and for riding, you know.  And if I should
go West next year they would come in very handy for the shooting."

"To begin with," said my companion, "you do not golf.  The only
extensive riding I have ever heard of your doing was on railway
trains.  And if these knee breeches you contemplate buying are
anything like the knee breeches I have seen here in London, and
if you should wear them out West among the impulsive Western people,
there would undoubtedly be a good deal of shooting; but I doubt
whether you would enjoy it--they might hit you!"

"Look here!" I said.  "Every man in America who wears duck pants
doesn't run a poultry farm.  And the presence of a sailor hat in
the summertime does not necessarily imply that the man under it
owns a yacht.  I cannot go back home to New York and face other
and older members of the When-I-Was-in-London Club without some
sartorial credentials to show for my trip.  I am firmly committed
to this undertaking.  Do not seek to dissuade me, I beg of you.
My mind is set on knee breeches and I shan't be happy until I get
them."

So saying I betook myself to the establishment of this sporting
tailor in the side street off Regent Street; and there, without
much difficulty, I formed the acquaintance of a salesman of suave
and urbane manners.  With his assistance I picked out a distinctive,
not to say striking, pattern in an effect of plaids.  The goods,
he said, were made of the wool of a Scotch sheep in the natural
colors.  They must have some pretty fancy-looking sheep in Scotland!

This done, the salesman turned me over to a cutter, who took me
to a small room where incompleted garments were hanging all about
like the quartered carcasses of animals in a butcher shop.  The
cutter was a person who dropped his H's and then, catching
himself, gathered them all up again and put them back in his
speech--in the wrong places.  He surveyed me extensively with a
square and a measuring line, meantime taking many notes, and told
me to come back on the next day but one.

On the day named and at the hour appointed I was back.  He had the
garments ready for me.  As, with an air of pride, he elevated them
for my inspection, they seemed commodious--indeed, voluminous.  I
had told him, when making them, to take all the latitude he needed;
but it looked now as though he had got it confused in his mind
with longitude.  Those breeches appeared to be constructed for
cargo rather than speed.

With some internal misgivings I lowered my person into them while
he held them in position, and when I had descended as far as I
could go without entirely immuring myself, he buttoned the dewdabs
at the knees; then he went round behind me and cinched them in
abruptly, so that of a sudden they became quite snug at the
waistline; the only trouble was that the waistline had moved close
up under my armpits, practically eliminating about a foot and a
half of me that I had always theretofore regarded as indispensable
to the general effect.  Right in the middle of my back, up between
my shoulder blades there was a stiff, hard clump of something that
bored into my spine uncomfortably.  I could feel it quite
plainly--lumpy and rough.

"Ow's that, sir?" he cheerily asked me, over my shoulder; but it
seemed to me there was a strained, nervous note in his voice.  "A
bit of all right--eh, sir?"

"Well," I said, standing on tiptoe in an effort to see over the
top, "you've certainly behaved very generously toward me--I'll say
that much.  Midships there appears to be about four or five yards
of material I do not actually need in my business, being, as it
happens, neither a harem favorite nor a professional sackracer. 
And they come up so high I'm afraid people will think the gallant
coast-guards have got me in a lifebuoy and are bringing me ashore
through the surf."

"You'll be wanting them a bit loose, sir, you know," he interjected,
still snuggling close behind me.  "All our gentlemen like them
loose."

"Oh, very well," I said; "perhaps these things are mere details. 
However, I would be under deep obligations to you if you'd change
'em from barkentine to schooner rig, and lower away this gaff-topsail
which now sticks up under my chin, so that I can luff and come up
in the wind without capsizing.  And say, what is that hard lump
between my shoulders?"

"Nothing at all, sir," he said hastily; and now I knew he was
flurried.  "I can fix that, sir--in a jiffy, sir."

"Anyhow, please come round here in front where I can converse more
freely with you on the subject," I said.  I was becoming suspicious
that all was not well with me back there where he was lingering. 
He came reluctantly, still half-embracing me with one arm.

Petulantly I wrestled my form free, and instantly those breeches
seemed to leap outward in all directions away from me.  I grabbed
for them, and barely in time I got a grip on the yawning top hem.
Peering down the cavelike orifice that now confronted me I beheld
two spectral white columns, and recognized them as my own legs. 
In the same instant, also, I realized what that hard clump against
my spine was, because when he took his hand away the clump was
gone.  He had been standing back there with some eight or nine
inches of superfluous waistband bunched up in his fist.

The situation was embarrassing, and it would have been still more
embarrassing had I elected to go forth wearing my breeches in their
then state, because, to avoid talk, he would have had to go along
too, walking immediately behind me and holding up the slack.  And
such a spectacle, with me filling the tonneau and he back behind
on the rumble, would have caused comment undoubtedly.

That pantsmaker was up a stump! He looked reproachfully at me,
chidingly at the breeches and sternly at the tapemeasure--which
he wore draped round his neck like a pet snake--as though he felt
convinced one of us was at fault, but could not be sure which one.

"I'm afraid, sir," he said, "that your figure is changing."

"I guess you're right," I replied with a soft sigh.  "As well as
I can judge I'm not as tall as I was day before yesterday by at
least eighteen inches.  And I've mislaid my diaphragm somewhere,
haven't I?"

"'Ave them off, please, sir," he said resignedly.  "I'll 'ave to
alter them to conform, sir.  Come back to-morrow."

I had them off and he altered them to conform, and I went back on
the morrow; in fact I went back so often that after a while I
became really quite attached to the place.  I felt almost like a
member of the firm.  Between calls from me the cutter worked on
those breeches.  He cut them up and he cut them down; he sheared
the back away and shingled the front, and shifted the buttons to
and fro.

Still, even after all this, they were not what I should term an
unqualified success.  When I sat down in them they seemed to climb
up on me so high, fore and aft, that I felt as short-waisted as a
crush hat in a state of repose.  And the only way I could get my
hands into the hip pockets of those breeches was to take the
breeches off first.  As ear muffs they were fair but as hip pockets
they were failures.  Finally I told him to send my breeches, just
as they were, to my hotel address--and I paid the bill.

I brought them home with me.  On the day after my arrival I took
them to my regular tailor and laid the case before him.  I tried
them on for him and asked him to tell me, as man to man, whether
anything could be done to make those garments habitable.  He called
his cutter into consultation and they went over me carefully,
meantime uttering those commiserating clucking sounds one tailor
always utters when examining another tailor's handiwork.  After
this my tailor took a lump of chalk and charted out a kind of Queen
Rosamond's maze of crossmarks on my breeches and said I might leave
them, and that if surgery could save them he would operate.  At
any rate he guaranteed to cut them away sufficiently to admit of
my breast bone coming out into the open once more.

In a week--about--he called me on the telephone and broke the sad
news to me.  My English riding pants would never ride me again. 
In using the shears he had made a fatal slip and had irreparably
damaged them in an essential location.  However, he said I need
not worry, because it might have been worse; from what he had
already cut out of them he had garnered enough material to make
me a neat outing coat, and by scrimping he thought he might get a
waistcoat to match.

I have my English raincoat; it is still in a virgin state so far
as wearing it is concerned.  I may yet wear it and I may not.  If
I wear it and you meet me on the street--and we are strangers--you
should experience no great difficulty in recognizing me.  Just
start in at almost any spot on the outer orbit and walk round and
round as though you were circling a sideshow tent looking for a
chance to crawl under the canvas and see the curiosities for
nothing; and after a while, if you keep on walking as directed,
you will come to a person with a plain but subsantial face, and
that will be me in my new English raincoat.  Then again I may wear
it to a fancy-dress ball sometime.  In that case I shall stencil
Pike's Peak or Bust! on the sidebreadth and go as a prairie schooner.
If I can succeed in training a Missouri hound-dog to trail along
immediately behind me the illusion will be perfect.

After these two experiences with the English tailor I gave up.
Instead of trying to wear the apparel of the foreigner I set myself
to the study of it.  I would avoid falling into the habit of making
comparisons between European institutions and American institutions
that are forever favorable to the American side of the argument. 
To my way of thinking there is oniy one class of tourist-Americans
to be encountered abroad worse than the class who go into hysterical
rapture over everything they see merely because it is European,
and that is the class who condemn offhand everything they see and
find fault with everything merely because it is not American.  But
I must say that in the matter of outer habiliments the American
man wins the decision on points nearly every whack.

In his evening garb, which generally fits him, but which generally
is not pressed as to trouserlegs and coatsleeves, the Englishman
makes anexceedingly good appearance.  The swallow-tailed coat was
created for the Englishman andhe for it; but on all other occasions
the well-dressed American leads him--leads the world, for that
matter.  When a Frenchman attires himself in his fanciest regalia
he merely succeeds in looking effeminate; whereas a German, under
similar circumstances, bears a wadded-in, bulged-out, stuffed-up
appearance.  I never saw a German in Germany whose hat was not too
small for him--just as I never saw a Japanese in Occidental garb
whose hat was not too large for him--if it was a derby hat.  If a
German has on a pair of trousers that flare out at the bottom and
a coat with angel sleeves--I think that is the correct technical
term--and if the front of his coat is spangled over with the
largest-sized horn buttons obtainable he regards himself as being
dressed to the minute.

As for the women, I believe even the super-critical mantuamakers
of Paris have begun to concede that, as a nation, the American
women are the best-dressed women on earth.  The French women have
a way of arranging their hair and of wearing their hats and of
draping their furs about their throats that is artistic beyond
comparison.  There may be a word insome folks' dictionaries fitly
to describe it--there is no such word in mine; but when you have
said that much you have said all there is to say.  A French woman's
feet are not shod well.  French shoes, like all European shoes,
are clumsy and awkward looking.

English children are well dressed because they are simply dressed;
and the children themselves, in contrast to the overdressed, overly
aggressive youngsters so frequently encountered in America, are
mannerly and self-effacing, and have sane, simple, childish tastes.
Young English girls are fresh and natural, but frequently frumpy;
and the English married woman is generally dressed in poor taste
and appears to have a most limited wardrobe.  Apparently the husband
buys all he wants, and then, if there is any money left over, the
wife gets it to spend on herself.

Venturing one morning into a London chapel I saw a dowdy little
woman of this type kneeling in a pew, chanting the responses to
the service.  Her blouse gaped open all the way down her back and
she was saying with much fervor, "We have left undone those things
which we ought to have done." She had too, but she didn't know it,
as she knelt there unconsciously supplying a personal illustration
for the spoken line.

The typical highborn English woman has pale blue eyes, a fine
complexion and a clear-cut, rather expressionless face with a
profile suggestive of the portraits seen on English postage stamps
of the early Victorian period; but in the arranging of her hair
any French shopgirl could give her lessons, and any smart American
woman could teach her a lot about the knack of wearing clothes
with distinction.

In England, that land of caste which is rigid enough to be cast
iron, all men, with the exception of petty tradespeople, dress to
match the vocations they follow.  In America no man stays put--he
either goes forward to a circle above the one into which he was
born or he slips back into a lower one; and so he dresses to suit
himself or his wife or his tailor.  But in England the professional
man advertises his calling by his clothes.  Extreme stage types
are ordinary types in London.  No Southern silver-tongued orator
of the old-time, string-tied, slouch-hatted, long- haired variety
ever clung more closely to his official makeup than the English
barrister clings to his spats, his shad-bellied coat and his
eye-glass dangling on a cord.  At a glance one knows the medical
man or the journalist, the military man in undress or the gentleman
farmer; also, by the same easy method, one may know the workingman
and the penny postman.  The workingman has a cap on his head and
a neckerchief about his throat, and the legs of his corduroy
trousers are tied up below the knees with strings--else he is no
workingman.

When we were in London the postmen were threatening to go on strike.
From the papers I gathered that the points in dispute had to do
with better hours and better pay; but if they had been striking
against having to wear the kind of cap the British Government makes
a postman wear, their cause would have had the cordial support and
intense sympathy of every American in town.

It remains for the English clerk to be the only Englishman who
seeks, by the clothes he wears in his hours of ease, to appear as
something more than what he really is.  Off duty he fair1y dotes
on the high hat of commerce.  Frequently he sports it in connection
with an exceedingly short and bobby sackcoat, and trousers that
are four or five inches too short in the legs for him.  The Parisian
shopman harbors similar ambitions--only he expresses them with
more attention to detail.  The noon hour arriving, the French
shophand doffs his apron and his air of deference.  He puts on a
high hat and a frock coat that have been on a peg behind the door
all the morning, gathers up his cane and his gloves; and, becoming
on the instant a swagger and a swaggering boulevardier, he saunters
to his favorite sidewalk cafe for a cordial glassful of a pink or
green or purple drink.  When his little hour of glory is over and
done with he returns to his counter, sheds his grandeur and is
once more your humble and ingratiating servitor.

In residential London on a Sunday afternoon one beholds some weird
and wonderful costumes.  On a Sunday afternoon in a sub-suburb of
a Kensington suburb I saw, passing through a drab, sad side street,
a little Cockney man with the sketchy nose and unfinished features
of his breed.  He was presumably going to church, for he carried
a large Testament under his arm.  He wore, among other things, a
pair of white spats, a long-tailed coat and a high hat.  It was
not a regular high hat, either, but one of those trick-performing
hats which, on signal, will lie doggo or else sit up and beg.  And
he was riding a bicycle of an ancient vintage!

The most impressively got-up civilians in England--or in the world,
either, for that matter--are the assistant managers and the deputy
cashiers of the big London hotels.  Compared with them the lilies
of the field are as lilies in the bulb.  Their collars are higher,
their ties are more resplendent, their frock coats more floppy as
to the tail and more flappy as to the lapel, than it is possible
to imagine until you have seen it all with your own wondering eyes.
They are haughty creatures, too, austere and full of a starchy
dignity; but when you come to pay your bill you find at least one
of them lined up with the valet and the waiter, the manservant and
the maidservant, the ox and the ass, hand out and palm open to get
his tip.  Having tipped him you depart feeling ennobled and uplifted
--as though you had conferred a purse of gold on a marquis.




Chapter XI



Dressed to Kill

With us it is the dress of the women that gives life and color to
the shifting show of street life.  In Europe it is the soldier,
and in England the private soldier particularly.  The German private
soldier is too stiff, and the French private soldier is too limber,
and the Italian private soldier has been away from the dry-cleanser's
too long; but the British Tommy Atkins is a perfect piece of work
--what with his dinky cap tilted over one eye, and his red tunic
that fits him without blemish or wrinkle, and his snappy little
swagger stick flirting the air.  As a picture of a first-class
fighting man I know of but one to match him, and that is a khaki-clad,
service-hatted Yankee regular--long may he wave!

There may be something finer in the way of a military spectacle
than the change of horse-guards at Whitehall or the march of the
foot-guards across the green in St. James' Park on a fine, bright
morning--but I do not know what it is.  One day, passing Buckingham
Palace, I came on a footguard on duty in one of the little sentry
boxes just outside the walls.  He did not look as though he were
alive.  He looked as though he had been stuffed and mounted by a
most expert taxidermist.  From under his bearskin shako and from
over his brazen chin-strap his face stared out unwinking and solemn
and barren of thought.

I said to myself: "It is taking a long chance, but I shall ascertain
whether this party has any human emotions." So I halted directly
in front of him and began staring fixedly at his midriff as though
I saw a button unfastened there or a buckle disarranged.  For a
space of minutes I kept my gaze on him without cessation.

Finally the situation grew painful; but it was not that British
grenadier who grew embarrassed and fidgety--it was the other party
to the transaction.  His gaze never shifted, his eyes never
wavered--but I came away feeling all wriggly.

In no outward regard whatsoever do the soldiers on the Continent
compare with the soldiers of the British archipelago.  When he is
not on actual duty the German private is always going somewhere
in a great hurry with something belonging to his superior
officer--usually a riding horse or a specially heavy valise.  On
duty and off he wears that woodenness of expression--or, rather,
that wooden lack of expression--which is found nowhere in such
flower of perfection as on the faces of German soldiers and German
toys.

The Germans prove they have a sense of humor by requiring their
soldiers to march on parade with the goose step; and the French
prove they have none at all by incasing the defenseless legs of
their soldiers in those foolish red-flannel pants that are
manufactured in such profusion up at the Pantheon.

In the event of another war between the two nations I anticipate
a frightful mortality among pants--especially if the French forces
should be retreating.  The German soldier is not a particularly
good marksman as marksmen go, but he would have to be the worst
shot in the world to miss a pair of French pants that were going
away from him at the time.

Still, when all is said and done, there is something essentially
Frenchy about those red pants.  There is something in their length
that instinctively suggests Toulon, something in their breadth
that makes you think of Toulouse.  I realize that this joke, as
it stands, is weak and imperfect.  If there were only another
French seaport called Toubagge I could round it out and improve
it structurally.

If the English private soldier is the trimmest, the Austrian officer
is the most beautiful to look on.  An Austrian officer is gaudier
than the door-opener of a London cafe or the porter of a Paris
hotel.  He achieves effects in gaudiness which even time Italian
officer cannot equal.

The Italian officer is addicted to cock feathers and horsetails
on his helmet, to bits of yellow and blue let into his clothes,
to tufts of red and green hung on him in unexpected and unaccountable
spots.  Either the design of bottled Italian chianti is modeled
after the Italian officer or the Italian officer is modeled after
the bottle of chianti--which, though, I am not prepared to say
without further study of the subject.

But the Austrian officer is the walking sunset effect of creation.
For color schemes I know of nothing in Nature to equal him except
the Grand Canon of the Colorado.  Circus parades are unknown in
Austria--they are not missed either; after an Austrian officer a
street parade would seem a colorless and commonplace thing.  In
his uniform he runs to striking contrasts--canary yellow, with
light blue facings; silvers and grays; bright greens with scarlet
slashings--and so on.

His collar is the very highest of all high collars and the heaviest
with embroidery; his cloak is the longest and the widest; his boots
the most varnished; his sword-belt the broadest and the shiniest;
and the medals on his bosom are the most numerous and the most
glittering.  Alf Ringling and John Philip Sousa would take one
look at him--and then, mutually filled with an envious despair,
they would go apart and hold a grand lodge of sorrow together. 
Also, he constantly wears his spurs and his sword; he wears them
even when he is in a cafe in the evening listening to the orchestra,
drinking beer and allowing an admiring civilian to pay the check
--and that apparently is every evening.

There was one Austrian colonel who came one night into a cafe in
Vienna where we were and sat down at the table next to us; and he
put our eyes right out and made all the lights dim and flickery. 
His epaulets were two hairbrushes of augmented size, gold-mounted;
his Plimsoll marks were outlined in bullion, and along his garboard
strake ran lines of gold braid; but strangest of all to observe
was the locality where he wore what appeared to be his service
stripes.  Instead of being on his sleeves they were at the extreme
southern exposure of his coattails; I presume an Austrian officer
acquires merit by sitting down.

This particular officer's saber kept jingling, and so did his
spurs, and so did his bracelet.  I almost forgot the bracelet. 
It was an ornate affair of gold links fastened on his left wrist
with a big gold locket, and it kept slipping down over his hand
and rattling against his cuff.  The chain bracelet locked on the
left wrist is very common among Austrian officers; it adds just
the final needed touch.  I did not see any of them carrying
lorgnettes or shower bouquets, but I think, in summer they wear
veils.

One opportunity is afforded the European who is neither a soldier
nor a hotel cashier to dress himself up in comic-opera clothes
--and that is when he a-hunting goes.  An American going hunting
puts on his oldest and most serviceable clothes--a European his
giddiest, gayest, gladdest regalia.  We were so favored by gracious
circumstances as to behold several Englishmen suitably attired for
the chase, and we noted that the conventional morning costume of
an English gentleman expecting to call informally on a pheasant
or something during the course of the forenoon consisted, in the
main, of a perfect dear of a Norfolk jacket, all over plaits and
pockets, with large leather buttons like oak-galls adhering thickly
to it, with a belt high up under the arms and a saucy tail sticking
out behind; knee-breeches; a high stock collar; shin-high leggings
of buff or white, and a special hat--a truly adorable confection
by the world's leading he-milliner.

If you dared to wear such an outfit afield in America the very
dickeybirds would fall into fits as you passed--the chipmunks would
lean out of the trees and just naturally laugh you to death! But
in a land where the woodlands are well-kept groves, and the
undergrowth, instead of being weedy and briery, is sweet-scented
fern and gorse and bracken, I suppose it is all eminently correct.

Thus appareled the Englishman goes to Scotland to shoot the grouse,
the gillie, the heather cock, the niblick, the haggis and other
Scotch game.  Thus appareled he ranges the preserves of his own
fat, fair shires in ardent pursuit of the English rabbit, which
pretty nearly corresponds to the guinea pig, but is not so ferocious;
and the English hare, which is first cousin to our molly cottontail;
and the English pheasant--but particularly the pheasant.

There was great excitement while we were in England concerning the
pheasants.  Either the pheasants were preying on the mangel-wurzels
or the mangel-wurzels were preying on the pheasants.  At any rate
it had something to do with the Land Bill--practically everything
that happens in England has something to do with the Land Bill--and
Lloyd George was in a free state of perspiration over it; and the
papers were full of it and altogether there was a great pother
over it.

We saw pheasants by the score.  We saw them first from the windows
of our railroad carriage--big, beautiful birds nearly as large as
barnyard fowls and as tame, feeding in the bare cabbage patches,
regardless of the train chugging by not thirty yards away; and
later we saw them again at still closer range as we strolled along
the haw-and-holly-lined roads of the wonderful southern counties.
They would scuttle on ahead of us, weaving in and out of the
hedgerows; and finally, when we insisted on it and flung pebbles
at them to emphasize our desires, they would get up, with a great
drumming of wings and a fine comet-like display of flowing
tailfeathers on the part of the cock birds, and go booming away
to what passes in Sussex and Kent for dense cover--meaning by that
thickets such as you may find in the upper end of Central Park.

They say King George is one of the best pheasant-shots in England.
He also collects postage stamps when not engaged in his regular
regal duties, such as laying cornerstones for new workhouses and
receiving presentation addresses from charity children.  I have
never shot pheasants; but, having seen them in their free state
as above described, and having in my youth collected postage stamps
intermittently, I should say, speaking offhand, that of the two
pursuits postage-stamp collecting is infinitely the more exciting
and dangerous.

Through the closed season the keepers mind the pheasants, protecting
them from poachers and feeding them on selected grain; but a day
comes in October when the hunters go forth and take their stands
at spaced intervals along a cleared aisle flanking the woods; then
the beaters dive into the woods from the opposite side, and when
the tame and trusting creatures come clustering about their feet
expecting provender the beaters scare them up, by waving their
umbrellas at them, I think, and the pheasants go rocketing into
the air--rocketing is the correct sporting term--go rocketing into
the air like a flock of Sunday supplements; and the gallant gunner
downs them in great multitudes, always taking due care to avoid
mussing his clothes.  For after all the main question is not "What
did he kill?" but "How does he look?"

At that, I hold no brief for the pheasant--except when served with
breadcrumb dressing and currant jelly he is no friend of mine.
It ill becomes Americans, with our own record behind us, to chide
other people for the senseless murder of wild things; and besides,
speaking personally, I have a reasonably open mind on the subject
of wild-game shooting.  Myself, I shot a wild duck once.  He was
not flying at the time.  He was, as the stockword goes, setting. 
I had no self-reproaches afterward however.  As between that duck
and myself I regarded it as an even break--as fair for one as for
the other--because at the moment I myself was, as we say, setting
too.  But if, in the interests of true sportsmanship, they must
have those annual massacres I certainly should admire to see what
execution a picked half dozen of American quail hunters, used to
snap-shooting in the cane jungles and brier patches of Georgia and
Arkansas, could accomplish among English pheasants, until such
time as their consciences mastered them and they desisted from
slaughter!

Be that as it may, pheasant shooting is the last word in the English
sporting calendar.  It is a sport strictly for the gentry.  Except
in the capacity of innocent bystanders the lower orders do not
share in it.  It is much too good for them; besides, they could
not maintain the correct wardrobe for it.  The classes derive one
substantial benefit from the institution however.  The sporting
instinct of the landed Englishman has led to the enactment of laws
under which an ordinary person goes smack to jail if he is caught
sequestrating a clandestine pheasant bird; but it does not militate
against the landowner's peddling off his game after he has destroyed
it.  British thrift comes in here.  And so in carload lots it is
sold to the marketmen.  The result is that in the fall of the year
pheasants are cheaper than chickens; and any person who can afford
poultry on his dinner table can afford pheasants.

The Continental hunter makes an even more spectacular appearance
than his British brother.  No self-respecting German or French
sportsman would think of faring forth after the incarnate brown
hare or the ferocious wood pigeon unless he had on a green hat
with a feather in it; and a green suit to match the hat; and swung
about his neck with a cord a natty fur muff to keep his hands in
between shots; and a swivel chair to sit in while waiting for the
wild boar to come along and be bowled over.

Being hunted with a swivel chair is what makes the German wild
boar wild.  On occasion, also, the hunter wears, suspended from
his belt, a cute little hanger like a sawed-off saber, with which
to cut the throats of his spoil.  Then, when it has spoiled some
more, they will serve it at a French restaurant.

It was our fortune to be in France on the famous and ever-memorable
occasion when the official stag of the French Republic met a tragic
and untimely end, under circumstances acutely distressing to all
who believe in the divinity bestowed prerogatives of the nobility.
The Paris edition of the Herald printed the lamentable tale on its
front page and I clipped the account.  I offer it here in exact
reproduction, including the headline:

        HUNTING INCIDENT SAID TO BE DUE TO CONSPIRACY

Further details are given in this morning's Figaro of the incident
between Prince Murat and M. Dauchis, the mayor of Saint-Felix,
near Clermont, which was briefly reported in yesterday's Herald.

A regular conspiracy was organized by M. Dauchis, it is alleged,
in order to secure the stag Prince Murat and Comte de Valon were
hunting in the forest of La Neuville-en-Hetz.  Already, at the
outset of the hunt, M. Dauchis, according to Le Figaro, charged
at a huntsman with a little automobile in which he was driving and
threatened to fire.  Then when the stag ran into the wood, near
the Trye River, one of his keepers shot it.  In great haste the
animal was loaded on another automobile; and before either the
prince or Comte de Valon could interfere it was driven away.

While Comte de Valon spurred his horse in pursuit Prince Murat
disarmed the man who had shot the stag, for he was leveling his
gun at another huntsman; but before the gun was wrenched from his
hands he had struck Prince d'Essling, Prince Murat's uncle, across
the face with the butt.

Meantime Comte de Valon had overtaken the automobile and, though
threatened with revolvers by its occupants, would have recaptured
the stag if the men in charge of it had not taken it into the house
of M. Dauchis' father.

The only course left for Prince Murat and Comte de Valon was to
lodge a complaint with the police for assault and for killing the
stag, which M. Dauchis refused to give back.

From this you may see how very much more exciting stag hunting is
in France than in America.  Comparing the two systems we find but
one point of resemblance--namely, the attempted shooting of a
huntsman.  In the North Woods we do a good deal of that sort of
thing: however with us it is not yet customary to charge the
prospective victim in a little automobile--that may come in time.
Our best bags are made by the stalking or still-hunting method. 
Our city-raised sportsman slips up on his guide and pots him from
a rest.

But consider the rest of the description so graphically set forth
by Le Figaro--the intriguing of the mayor; the opposing groups
rampaging round, some on horseback and some in automobile runabouts;
the intense disappointment of the highborn Prince Murat and his
uncle, the Prince d'Essling, and his friend, the Comte de Valon;
the implied grief of the stag at being stricken down by other than
noble hands; the action of the base-born commoner, who shot the
stag, in striking the Prince d'Essling across his pained and
aristocratic face with the butt--exact type of butt and name of
owner not being given.  Only in its failure to clear up this
important point, and in omitting to give descriptions of the
costumes worn by the two princes and the comte, is Le Figaro's
story lacking.  They must have been wearing the very latest creations
too.

This last brings us back again to the subject of clothes and serves
to remind me that, contrary to a belief prevalent on this side of
the water, good clothes cost as much abroad as they cost here. 
In England a man may buy gloves and certain substantial articles
of haberdashery in silk and linen and wool at a much lower figure
than in America; and in Italy he will find crocheted handbags and
bead necklaces are to be had cheaper than at home--provided, of
course, he cares for such things as crocheted handbags and bead
necklaces.  Handmade laces and embroideries and sundry other
feminine fripperies, so women tell me, are moderately priced on
the Continent, if so be the tourist-purchaser steers clear of the
more fashionable shops and chases the elusive bargain down a back
street; but, quality considered, other things cost as much in
Europe as they cost here--and frequently they cost more.  If you
buy at the shopkeeper's first price he has a secret contempt for
you; if you haggle him down to a reasonably fair valuation--say
about twice the amount a native would pay for the same thing--he
has a half-concealed contempt for you; if you refuse to trade at
any price he has an open contempt for you; and in any event he
dislikes you because you are an American.  So there you are.  No
matter how the transaction turns out you have his contempt; it is
the only thing he parts with at cost.

It is true that you may buy a suit of clothes for ten dollars in
London; so also may you buy a suit of clothes for ten dollars in
any American city, but the reasonably affluent American doesn't
buy ten-dollar suits at home.  He saves himself up to indulge in
that form of idiocy abroad.  In Paris or Rome you may get a
five-course dinner with wine for forty cents; so you may in certain
quarters of New York; but in either place the man who can afford
to pay more for his dinner will find it to his ultimate well-being
to do so.  Simply because a boarding house in France or Italy is
known as a pension doesn't keep it from being a boarding house
--and a pretty average bad one, as I have been informed by misguided
Americans who tried living at a pension, and afterwards put in a
good deal of their spare time regretting it.

Altogether, looking back on my own experiences, I can at this time
of writing think of but two common commodities which, when grade
is taken into the equation, are found to be radically cheaper in
Europe than in America--these two things being taxicabs and counts.
For their cleanliness and smartness of aspect, and their reasonableness
of meter-fare, taxicabs all over Europe are a constant joy to the
traveling American.  And, though in the United States counts are
so costly that only the marriageable daughters of the very wealthy
may afford to buy them--and even then, as the count calendars
attest, have the utmost difficulty in keeping them after they are
bought--in Continental Europe anywhere one may for a moderate price
hire a true-born count to do almost any small job, from guiding
one through an art gallery to waiting on one at the table.  Counts
make indifferent guides, but are middling fair waiters.

Outside of the counts and the taxicabs, and the food in Germany,
I found in all Europe just one real overpowering bargain--and that
was in Naples, where, as a general thing, bargains are not what
they seem.  For the exceedingly moderate outlay of one lira--Italian
--or twenty cents--American--I secured this combination, to wit, as
follows:

In the background old Vesuvius, like a wicked, fallen angel, wearing
his plumy, fumy halo of sulphurous hell-smoke; in the middle
distance the Bay of Naples, each larcenous wave-crest in it
triple-plated with silvern glory pilfered from a splendid moon;
on the left the riding lights of a visiting squadron of American
warships; on the right the myriad slanted sails of the coral-fishers'
boats, beating out toward Capri, with the curlew-calls of the
fishermen floating back in shrill snatches to meet a jangle of
bell and bugle from the fleet; in the immediate foreground a
competent and accomplished family troupe of six Neapolitan troubadours
--men, women and children--some of them playing guitars and all
six of them, with fine mellow voices and tremendous dramatic effect,
singing--the words being Italian but the air good American--John
Brown's Body Lies a-Moldering in the Grave!

I defy you to get more than that for twenty cents anywhere in the
world!




Chapter XII



Night Life--with the Life Part Missing

In our consideration of this topic we come first to the night life
of the English.  They have none.

Passing along to the next subject under the same heading, which
is the night life of Paris, we find here so much night life, of
such a delightfully transparent and counterfeit character; so much
made-to-measure deviltry; so many members of the Madcaps' Union
engaged on piece-work; so much delicious, hoydenish derring-do,
all carefully stage-managed and expertly timed for the benefit of
North and South American spenders, to the end that the deliriousness
shall abate automatically in exact proportion as the spenders quit
spending--in short, so much of what is typically Parisian that,
really Paris, on its merits, is entitled to a couple of chapters
of its own.

All of which naturally brings us to the two remaining great cities
of Mid-Europe--Berlin and Vienna--and leads us to the inevitable
conclusion that the Europeans, in common with all other peoples
on the earth, only succeed--when they try to be desperately wicked
--in being desperately dull; whereas when they seek their pleasures
in a natural manner they present racial slants and angles that are
very interesting to observe and very pleasant to have a hand in.

Take the Germans now: No less astute a world traveler than Samuel
G. Blythe is sponsor for the assertion that the Berliners follow
the night-life route because the Kaiser found his capital did not
attract the tourist types to the extent he had hoped, and so decreed
that his faithful and devoted subjects, leaving their cozy hearths
and inglenooks, should go forth at the hour when graveyards yawn
--and who could blame them?--to spend the dragging time until dawn
in being merry and bright.  So saying His Majesty went to bed,
leaving them to work while he slept.

After viewing the situation at first hand the present writer is
of the opinion that Mr. Blythe was quite right in his statements.
Certainly nothing is more soothing to the eye of the onlooker,
nothing more restful to his soul, than to behold a group of Germans
enjoying themselves in a normal manner.  And absolutely nothing
is quite so ghastly sad as the sight of those same well-flushed,
well-fleshed Germans cavorting about between the hours of two and
four-thirty A.M., trying, with all the pachydermic ponderosity of
Barnum's Elephant Quadrille, to be professionally gay and cutuppish.
The Prussians must love their Kaiser dearly.  We sit up with our
friends when they are dead; they stay up for him until they are
ready to die themselves.

As is well known Berlin abounds in pleasure palaces, so called. 
Enormous places these are, where under one widespreading roof are
three or four separate restaurants of augmented size, not to mention
winecellars and beer-caves below-stairs, and a dancehall or so and
a Turkish bath, and a bar, and a skating rink, and a concert hall
--and any number of private dining rooms.  The German mind invariably
associates size with enjoyment.

To these establishments, after his regular dinner, the Berliner
repairs with his family, his friend or his guest.  There is one
especially popular resort, a combination of restaurant and vaudeville
theater, at which one eats an excellent dinner excellently served,
and between courses witnesses the turns of a first-rate variety
bill, always with the inevitable team of American coon shouters,
either in fast colors or of the burnt-cork variety, sandwiched
into the program somewhere.

In the Friedrichstrasse there is another place, called the
Admiralspalast, which is even more attractive.  Here, inclosing a
big, oval-shaped ice arena, balcony after balcony rises circling
to the roof.  On one of these balconies you sit, and while you
dine and after you have dined you look down on a most marvelous
series of skating stunts.  In rapid and bewildering succession
there are ballets on skates, solo skating numbers, skating carnivals
and skating races.  Finally scenery is slid in on runners and the
whole company, in costumes grotesque and beautiful, go through a
burlesque that keeps you laughing when you are not applauding, and
admiring when you are doing neither; while alternating lightwaves
from overhead electric devices flood the picture with shifting,
shimmering tides of color.  It is like seeing a Christmas pantomime
under an aurora borealis.  In America we could not do these things
--at least we never have done them.  Either the performance would
be poor or the provender would be highly expensive, or both.  But
here the show is wonderful, and the victuals are good and not
extravagantly priced, and everybody has a bully time.

At eleven-thirty or thereabout the show at the ice palace is over
--concluding with a push-ball match between teams of husky maidens
who were apparently born on skates and raised on skates, and would
not feel natural unless they were curveting about on skates.  Their
skates seem as much a part of them as tails to mermaids.  It is
bedtime now for sane folks, but at this moment a certain madness
which does not at all fit in with the true German temperament
descends on the crowd.  Some go upstairs to another part of the
building, where there is a dancehall called the Admiralskasino;
but, to the truly swagger, one should hasten to the Palais du Danse
on the second floor of the big Metropolpalast in the Behrenstrasse.
This place opens promptly at midnight and closes promptly at two
o'clock in the morning.

Inasmuch as the Palais du Danse is an institution borrowed outright
from the French they have adopted a typically French custom here.
As the visitor enters--if he be a stranger--a flunky in gorgeous
livery intercepts him and demands an entrance fee amounting to
about a dollar and a quarter in our money, as I recall.  This
tariff the American or Englishman pays, but the practiced Berliner
merely suggests to the doorkeeper the expediency of his taking a
long running start and jumping off into space, and stalks defiantly
in without forking over a single pfennig to any person whatsoever.

The Palais du Danse is incomparably the most beautiful ballroom
in the world--so people who have been all over the world agree
--and it is spotlessly clean and free from brackish smells, which
is more than can be said of any French establishment of similar
character I have seen.  At the Palais du Danse the patron sits at
a table--a table with something on it besides a cloth being an
essential adjunct to complete enjoyment of an evening of German
revelry; and as he sits and drinks he listens to the playing of a
splendid band and looks on at the dancing.  Nothing is drunk except
wine--and by wine I mainly mean champagne of the most sweetish
and sickish brand obtainable.  Elsewhere, for one-twentieth the
cost, the German could have the best and purest beer that is made;
but he is out now for the big night.  Accordingly he saturates his
tissues with the sugary bubble-water of France.  He does not join
in the dancing himself.  The men dancers are nearly all paid
dancers, I think, and the beautifully clad women who dance are
either professionals, too, or else belong to a profession that is
older even than dancing is.  They all dance with a profound German
gravity and precision.  Here is music to set a wooden leg a-jigging;
but these couples circle and glide and dip with an incomprehensible
decorum and slowness.

When we were there, they were dancing the tango or one of its
manifold variations.  All Europe, like all America, was, for the
moment, tango mad.  While we were in Paris, M. Jean Richepin
lectured before the Forty Immortals of the Five Academies assembled
in solemn conclave at the Institute of France.  They are called
the Forty Immortals because nobody can remember the names of more
than five of them.  He took for his subject the tango--his motto,
in short, being one borrowed from the conductors in the New York
subway--"Mind your step!"

While he spoke, which was for an hour or more, the bebadged and
beribboned bosoms of his illustrious compatriots heaved with
emotion; their faces--or such parts of their faces as were visible
above the whiskerline--flushed with enthusiasm, and most vociferously
they applauded his masterly phrasing and his tracing-out of the
evolution of the tango, all the way from its Genesis, as it were,
to its Revelation.  I judge the revelation particularly appealed
to them--that part of it appeals to so many.

After that the tango seemed literally to trail us.  We could not
escape it.  While we were in Berlin the emperor saw fit officially
to forbid the dancing of the tango by officers of his navy and
army.  We reached England just after the vogue for tango teas
started.

Naturally we went to one of these affairs.  It took place at a
theater.  Such is the English way of interpreting the poetry of
motion--to hire some one else to do it for you, and--in order to
get the worth of your money--sit and swizzle tea while the paid
performer is doing it.  At the tango tea we patronized the tea was
up to standard, but the dancing of the box-ankled professionals
was a disappointment.  Beforehand I had been told that the scene
on the stage would be a veritable picture.  And so it was--Rosa
Bonheur's Horse Fair.

As a matter of fact the best dancer I saw in Europe was a performing
trick pony in a winter circus in Berlin.  I also remember with
distinctness of detail a chorusman who took part in a new Lehar
opera, there in Berlin.  I do not remember him for his dancing,
because he was no clumsier of foot than his compatriots in the
chorus rank and file; or for his singing, since I could not pick
his voice out from the combined voices of the others.  I remember
him because be wore spectacles--not a monocle nor yet a pair of
nose-glasses, but heavy-rimmed, double-lensed German spectacles
with gold bows extending up behind his ears like the roots of an
old-fashioned wisdom tooth.

Come to think about it, I know of no reason why a chorusman should
not wear spectacles if he needs them in his business or if he
thinks they will add to his native beauty; but the spectacle of
that bolster-built youth, dressed now as a Spanish cavalier and
now as a Venetian gondolier, prancing about, with his spectacles
goggling owlishly out at the audience, and once in a while, when
a gleam from the footlights caught on them, turning to two red-hot
disks set in the middle of his face, was a thing that is going to
linger in my memory when a lot of more important matters are
entirely forgotten.

Not even in Paris did the tango experts compare with the tango
experts one sees in America.  At this juncture I pause a moment,
giving opportunity for some carping critic to rise and call my
attention to the fact that perhaps the most distinguished of the
early school of turkey-trotters bears a French name and came to
us from Paris.  To which I reply that so he does and so he did;
but I add then the counter-argument that he came to us by way of
Paris, at the conclusion of a round trip that started in the old
Fourth Ward of the Borough of Manhattan, city of Greater New York;
for he was born and bred on the East Side--and, moreover, was born
bearing the name of a race of kings famous in the south of Ireland
and along the Bowery.  And he learned his art--not only the rudiments
of it but the final finished polish of it--in the dancehalls of
Third Avenue, where the best slow-time dancers on earth come from.
It was after he had acquired a French accent and had Gallicized
his name, thereby causing a general turning-over of old settlers
in the graveyards of the County Clare, that he returned to us, a
conspicuous figure in the world of art and fashion, and was able
to get twenty-five dollars an hour for teaching the sons and
daughters of our richest families to trip the light tanfastic go.
At the same time, be it understood, I am not here to muckrake the
past of one so prominent and affluent in the most honored and
lucrative of modern professions; but facts are facts, and these
particular facts are quoted here to bind and buttress my claim
that the best dancers are the American dancers.

After this digression let us hurry right back to that loyal Berliner
whom we left seated in the Palais du Danse on the Behrenstrasse,
waiting for the hour of two in the morning to come.  The hour of
two in the morning does come; the lights die down; the dancers
pick up their heavy feet--it takes an effort to pick up those
Continental feet--and quit the waxen floor; the Oberkellner comes
round with his gold chain of office dangling on his breast and
collects for the wine, and our German friend, politely inhaling
his yawns, gets up and goes elsewhere to finish his good time.
And, goldarn it, how he does dread it! Yet he goes, faithful soul
that he is.

He goes, let us say, to the Pavilion Mascotte--no dancing, but
plenty of drinking and music and food--which opens at two and stays
open until four, when it shuts up shop in order that another place
in the nature of a cabaret may open.  And so, between five and six
o'clock in the morning of the new day, when the lady garbagemen
and the gentlemen chambermaids of the German capital are abroad
on their several duties, he journeys homeward, and so, as Mr. Pepys
says, to bed, with nothing disagreeable to look forward to except
repeating the same dose all over again the coming night.  This
sort of thing would kill anybody except a Prussian--for, mark you,
between intervals of drinking he has been eating all night; but
then a Prussian has no digestion.  He merely has gross tonnage in
the place where his digestive apparatus ought to be.

The time to see a German enjoying himself is when he is following
his own bent and not obeying the imperial edict of his gracious
sovereign.  I had a most excellent opportunity of observing him
while engaged in his own private pursuits of pleasure when by
chance one evening, in the course of a solitary prowl, I bumped
into a sort of Berlinesque version of Coney Island, with the island
part missing.  It was not out in the suburbs where one would
naturally expect to find such a resort.  It was in the very middle
of the city, just round the corner from the cafe district, not
more than half a mile, as the Blutwurst flies, from Unter den
Linden.  Even at this distance and after a considerable lapse of
time I can still appreciate that place, though I cannot pronounce
it; for it had a name consisting of one of those long German
compound words that run all the way round a fellow's face and lap
over at the back, like a clergyman's collar, and it had also a
subname that no living person could hope to utter unless he had a
thorough German education and throat trouble.  You meet such nouns
frequently in Germany.  They are not meant to be spoken; you gargle
them.  To speak the full name of this park would require two
able-bodied persons--one to start it off and carry it along until
his larynx gave out, and the other to take it up at that point and
finish it.

But for all the nine-jointed impressiveness of its title this park
was a live, brisk little park full of sideshow tents sheltering
mildly amusing, faked-up attractions, with painted banners flapping
in the air and barkers spieling before the entrances and all the
ballyhoos going at full blast--altogether a creditable imitation
of a street fair as witnessed in any American town that has a good
live Elks' Lodge in it.

Plainly the place was popular.  Germans of all conditions and all
ages and all sizes--but mainly the broader lasts--were winding
about in thick streams in the narrow, crooked alleys formed by the
various tents.  They packed themselves in front of each booth where
a free exhibition was going on, and when the free part was over
and the regular performance began they struggled good-naturedly
to pay the admission fee and enter in at the door.

And, for a price, there were freaks to be seen who properly belonged
on our side of the water, it seemed to me.  I had always supposed
them to be exclusively domestic articles until I encountered them
here.  There was a regular Bosco--a genuine Herr He Alive Them
Eats--sitting in his canvas den entirely surrounded by a choice
and tasty selection of eating snakes.  The orthodox tattooed man
was there, too, first standing up to display the text and accompanying
illustrations on his front cover, and then turning round so the
crowd might read what he said on the other side.  And there was
many another familiar freak introduced to our fathers by Old Dan
Rice and to us, their children, through the good offices of Daniel's
long and noble line of successors.

A seasonable Sunday is a fine time; and the big Zoological Garden,
which is a favorite place for studying the Berlin populace at the
diversions they prefer when left to their own devices.  At one
table will be a cluster of students, with their queer little
pill-box caps of all colors, their close-cropped heads and well-shaved
necks, and their saber-scarred faces.  At the next table half a
dozen spectacled, long-coated men, who look as though they might
be university professors, are confabbing earnestly.  And at the
next table and the next and the next--and so on, until the aggregate
runs into big figures--are family groups--grandsires, fathers,
mothers, aunts, uncles and children, on down to the babies in arms.
By the uncountable thousands they spend the afternoon here, munching
sausages and sipping lager, and enjoying the excellent music that
is invariably provided.  At each plate there is a beer mug, for
everybody is forever drinking and nobody is ever drunk.  You see
a lot of this sort of thing, not only in the parks and gardens so
numerous in and near any German city but anywhere on the Continent.
Seeing it helps an American to understand a main difference between
the American Sabbath and the European Sunday.  We keep it and they
spend it.

I am given to understand that Vienna night life is the most alluring,
the most abandoned, the most wicked and the wildest of all night
life.  Probably this is so--certainly it is the most cloistered
and the most inaccessible.  The Viennese does not deliberately
exploit his night life to prove to all the world that he is a gay
dog and will not go home until morning though it kill him--as the
German does.  Neither does he maintain it for the sake of the coin
to be extracted from the pockets of the tourist, as do the Parisians.
With him his night life is a thing he has created and which he
supports for his own enjoyment.

And so it goes on--not out in the open; not press-agented; not
advertised; but behind closed doors.  He does not care for the
stranger's presence, nor does he suffer it either--unless the
stranger is properly vouched for.  The best theaters in Vienna are
small, exclusive affairs, privately supported, and with seating
capacity for a few chosen patrons.  Once he has quit the public
cafe with its fine music and its bad waiters the uninitiated
traveler has a pretty lonesome time of it in Vienna.  Until all
hours he may roam the principal streets seeking that fillip of
wickedness which will give zest to life and provide him with
something to brag about when he gets back among the home folks
again.  He does not find it.  Charades would provide a much more
exciting means of spending the evening; and, in comparison with
the sights he witnesses, anagrams and acrostics are positively
thrilling.

He is tantalized by the knowledge that all about him there are big
doings, but, so far as he is concerned, he might just as well be
attending a Sunday-school cantata.  Unless he be suitably introduced
he will have never a chance to shake a foot with anybody or buy a
drink for somebody in the inner circles of Viennese night life. 
He is emphatically on the outside, denied even the poor satisfaction
of looking in.  At that I have a suspicion, born of casual observation
among other races, that the Viennese really has a better time when
he is not trying than when he is trying.




Chapter XIII



Our Friend, the Assassin

No taste of the night life of Paris is regarded as complete without
a visit to an Apache resort at the fag-end of it.  For orderly and
law-abiding people the disorderly and lawbreaking people always
have an immense fascination anyhow.  The average person, though
inclined to blink at whatever prevalence of the criminal classes
may exist in his own community, desires above all things to know
at firsthand about the criminals of other communities.  In these
matters charity begins at home.

Every New Yorker who journeys to the West wants to see a few
roadagents; conversely the Westerner sojourning in New York pesters
his New York friends to lead him to the haunts of the gangsters. 
It makes no difference that in a Western town the prize hold-up
man is more apt than not to be a real-estate dealer; that in New
York the average run of citizens know no more of the gangs than
they know of the Metropolitan Museum of Art--which is to say,
nothing at all.  Human nature comes to the surface just the same.

In Paris they order this thing differently; they exhibit the same
spirit of enterprise that in a lesser degree characterized certain
promoters of rubberneck tours who some years ago fitted up
make-believe opium dens in New York's Chinatown for the awed
delectation of out-of-town spectators.  Knowing from experience
that every other American who lands in Paris will crave to observe
the Apache while the Apache is in the act of Apaching round, the
canny Parisians have provided a line of up-to-date Apache dens
within easy walking distance of Montmartre; and thither the guides
lead the round-eyed tourist and there introduce him to well-drilled,
carefully made-up Apaches and Apachesses engaged in their customary
sports and pastimes for as long as he is willing to pay out money
for the privilege.

Being forewarned of this I naturally desired to see the genuine
article.  I took steps to achieve that end.  Suitably chaperoned
by a trio of transplanted Americans who knew a good bit about the
Paris underworld I rode over miles of bumpy cobblestones until,
along about four o'clock in the morning, our taxicab turned into
a dim back street opening off one of the big public markets and
drew up in front of a grimy establishment rejoicing in the happy
and we1l-chosen name of the Cave of the Innocents.

Alighting we passed through a small boozing ken, where a frowzy
woman presided over a bar, serving drinks to smocked marketmen,
and at the rear descended a steep flight of stone steps.  At the
foot of the stairs we came on two gendarmes who sat side by side
on a wooden bench, having apparently nothing else to do except to
caress their goatees and finger their swords.  Whether the gendarmes
were stationed here to keep the Apaches from preying on the marketmen
or the marketmen from preying on the Apaches I know not; but having
subsequently purchased some fresh fruit in that selfsame market I
should say now that if anybody about the premises needed police
protection it was the Apaches.  My money would be on the marketmen
every time.

Beyond the couchant gendarmes we traversed a low, winding passage
cut out of stone and so came at length to what seemingly had
originally been a winevault, hollowed out far down beneath the
foundations of the building.  The ceiling was so low that a tall
man must stoop to avoid knocking his head off.  The place was full
of smells that had crawled in a couple of hundred years before and
had died without benefit of clergy, and had remained there ever
since.  For its chief item of furniture the cavern had a wicked
old piano, with its lid missing, so that its yellowed teeth showed
in a perpetual snarl.  I judged some of its most important vital
organs were missing too--after I heard it played.  On the walls
were inscribed such words as naughty little boys write on schoolhouse
fences in this country, and more examples of this pleasing brand
of literature were carved on the whittled oak benches and the
rickety wooden stools.  So much for the physical furbishings.

By rights--by all the hallowed rules and precedents of the American
vaudeville stage!--the denizens of this cozy retreat in the bowels
of the earth should have been wearing high-waisted baggy velvet
trousers and drinking absinthe out of large flagons, and stabbing
one another between the shoulder blades, and ever and anon, in the
mystic mazes of the dance, playing crack-the-whip with the necks
and heels of their adoring lady friends; but such was not found
to be the case.  In all these essential and traditional regards
the assembled Innocents were as poignantly disappointing as the
costers of London had proved themselves.

According to all the printed information on the subject the London
coster wears clothes covered up with pearl buttons and spends his
time swapping ready repartee with his Donah or his Dinah.  The
costers I saw were barren of pearl buttons and silent of speech;
and almost invariably they had left their Donahs at home.  Similarly
these gentlemen habitues of the Cave of the Innocents wore few or
no velvet pants, and guzzled little or none of the absinthe.  Their
favorite tipple appeared to be beer; and their female companions
snuggled closely beside them.

We stayed among them fully twenty minutes, but not a single person
was stabbed while we were there.  It must have been an off-night
for stabbings.

Still, I judged them to have been genuine exhibits because here,
for the first, last and only time in Paris, I found a shop where
a stranger ready to spend a little money was not welcomed with
vociferous enthusiasm.  The paired-off cave-dwellers merely scowled
on us as we scrouged past them to a vacant bench in a far corner.
The waiter, though, bowed before us--a shockheaded personage in
the ruins of a dress suit--at the same time saying words which I
took to be complimentary until one of my friends explained that
he had called us something that might be freely translated as a
certain kind of female lobster.  Circumscribed by our own inflexible
and unyielding language we in America must content ourselves with
calling a man a plain lobster; but the limber-tongued Gaul goes
further than that--he calls you a female lobster, which seems
somehow or other to make it more binding.

However, I do not really think the waiter meant to be deliberately
offensive; for presently, having first served us with beer which
for obvious reasons we did not drink, he stationed himself alongside
the infirm piano and rendered a little ballad to the effect that
all men were spiders and all women were snakes, and all the World
was a green poison; so, right off, I knew what his trouble was,
for I had seen many persons just as morbidly affected as himself
down in the malaria belt of the United States, where everybody has
liver for breakfast every morning.  The waiter was bilious--that
was what ailed him.

For the sake of the conventions I tried to feel apprehensive of
grave peril.  It was no use.  I felt safe--not exactly comfortable,
but perfectly safe.  I could not even muster up a spasm of the
spine when a member of our party leaned over and whispered in my
ear that any one of these gentry roundabout us would cheerfully
cut a man's throat for twenty-five cents.  I was surprised, though,
at the moderation of the cost; this was the only cheap thing I had
struck in Paris.  It was cheaper even than the same job is supposed
to be in the district round Chatham Square, on the East Side of
New York, where the credulous stranger so frequently is told that
he can have a plain murder done for five dollars--or a fancy
murder, with trimmings, for ten; rate card covering other jobs on
application.  In America, however, it has been my misfortune that
I did not have the right amount handy; and here in Paris I was
handicapped by my inability to make change correctly.  By now I
would not have trusted anyone in Paris to make change for me--not
even an Apache.  I was sorry for this, for at a quarter a head I
should have been very glad to engage a troupe of Apaches to kill
me about two dollars' worth of cabdrivers and waiters.  For one
of the waiters at our hotel I would have been willing to pay as
much as fifty cents, provided they killed him very slowly.  Because
of the reasons named, however, I had to come away without making
any deal, and I have always regretted it.

At the outset of the chapter immediately preceding this one I said
the English had no night life.  This was a slight but a pardonable
misstatement of the actual facts.  The Englishman has not so much
night life as the Parisian, the Berliner, the Viennese or the
Budapest; but he has more night life in his town of London than
the Roman has in his town of Rome.  In Rome night life for the
foreigner consists of going indoors at eventide and until bedtime
figuring up how much money he has been skinned out of during the
course of the day just done--and for the native in going indoors
and counting up how much money he has skinned the foreigner out
of during the day aforesaid.  London has its night life, but it
ends early--in the very shank of the evening, so to speak.

This is due in a measure to the operation of the early-closing
law, which, however, does not apply if you are a bona-fide traveler
stopping at your own inn.  There the ancient tavern law protects
you.  You may sit at ease and, if so minded, may drink and eat
until daylight doth appear or doth not appear, as is generally the
case in the foggy season.  There is another law, of newer origin,
to prohibit the taking of children under a certain age into a
public house.  On the passage of this act there at once sprang up
a congenial and lucrative employment for those horrible old-women
drunkards who are so distressingly numerous in the poorer quarters
of the town.  Regardless of the weather one of these bedrabbled
creatures stations herself just outside the door of a pub.  Along
comes a mother with a thirst and a child.  Surrendering her offspring
to the temporary care of the hag the mother goes within and has
her refreshment at the bar.  When, wiping her mouth on the back
of her hand, she comes forth to reclaim the youngster she gives
the other woman a ha'penny for her trouble, and eventually the
other woman harvests enough ha'penny bits to buy a dram of gin
for herself.  On a rainy day I have seen a draggled, Sairey-Gamp-looking
female caring for as many as four damp infants under the drippy
portico of an East End groggery.

It is to the cafes that the early-closing law chiefly applies. 
The cafes are due to close for business within half an hour after
midnight.  When the time for shutting up draws nigh the managers
do not put their lingering patrons out physically.  The individual's
body is a sacred thing, personal liberty being most dear to an
Englishman.  It will be made most dear to you too--in the law
courts--if you infringe on it by violence or otherwise.  No; they
have a gentler system than that, one that is free from noise,
excitemnent and all mussy work.  Along toward twelve-thirty o'clock
the waiters begin going about, turning out the lights.  The average
London restaurant is none too brightly illuminated to start with,
being a dim and dingy ill-kept place compared with the glary, shiny
lobster palace that we know; so instantly you are made aware of a
thickening of the prevalent gloom.  The waiters start in at the
far end of the room and turn out a few lights.  Drawing nearer and
nearer to you they turn out more lights; and finally, by way of
strengthening the hint, they turn out the lights immediately above
your head, which leaves you in the stilly dark with no means of
seeing your food even; unless you have taken the precaution to
spread phosphorus on your sandwich instead of mustard--which,
however, is seldom done.  A better method is to order a portion
of one of the more luminous varieties of imported cheese.

The best thing of all, however, is to take your hat and stick and
go away from there.  And then, unless you belong to a regular club
or carry a card of admission to one of the chartered all-night
clubs that have sprung up so abundantly in London, and which are
uniformly stuffy, stupid places where the members take their
roistering seriously--or as a last resort, unless you care to sit
for a tiresome hour or two in the grill of your hotel--you might
as well be toddling away to bed; that is to say, you might as well
go to bed unless you find the scenes in the street as worth while
as I found them.

At this hour London's droning voice has abated to a deep, hoarse
snore; London has become a great, broody giant taking rest that
is troubled by snatches of wakefulness; London's grimy, lined face
shows new wrinkles of shadow; and new and unexpected clumping of
colors in monotone and halftone appear.  From the massed-up bulk
of things small detached bits stand vividly out: a flower girl
whose flowers and whose girlhood are alike in the sere and yellow
leaf; a soldier swaggering by, his red coat lighting up the grayish
mass about him like a livecoal in an ashheap; a policeman escorting
a drunk to quarters for the night--not, mind you, escorting him
in a clanging, rushing patrol wagon, which would serve to attract
public attention to the distressing state of the overcome one, but
conveying him quietly, unostentatiously, surreptitiously almost,
in a small-wheeled vehicle partaking somewhat of the nature of a
baby carriage and somewhat of the nature of a pushcart.

The policeman shoves this along the road jailward and the drunk
lies at rest in it, stretched out full length, with a neat rubber
bedspread drawn up over his prostrate form to screen him from
drafts and save his face from the gaze of the vulgar.  Drunkards
are treated with the tenderest consideration in London; for, as
you know, Britons never will be slaves--though some of them in the
presence of a title give such imitations of being slaves as might
fool even so experienced a judge as the late Simon Legree; and
--as perchance you may also have heard--an Englishman's souse is
his castle.  So in due state they ride him and his turreted souse
to the station house in a perambulator.

From midnight to daylight the taxicabs by the countless swarm will
be charging about in every direction--charging, moreover, at the
rate of eight pence a mile.  Think that over, ye taxitaxed wretches
of New York, and rend your garments, with lamentations loud! There
is this also to be said of the London taxi service--and to an
American it is one of the abiding marvels of the place--that, no
matter where you go, no matter how late the hour or how outlying
and obscure the district, there is always a trim taxicab just round
the next corner waiting to come instantly at your whistle, and
with it a beggar with a bleak, hopeless face, to open the cab door
for you and stand, hat in hand, for the penny you toss him.

In the main centers, such as Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus
and Charing Cross, and along the Embankment, the Strand and Pall
Mall, they are as thick as fleas on the Missouri houn' dawg famous
in song and story--the taxis, I mean, though the beggars are
reasonably thick also--and they hop like fleas, bearing you swiftly
and surely and cheaply on your way.  The meters are honest, openfaced
meters; and the drivers ask no more than their legal fares and are
satisfied with tips within reason.  Here in America we have the
kindred arts of taxidermy and taxicabbery; one of these is the art
of skinning animals and the other is the art of skinning people.
The ruthless taxirobber of New York would not last half an hour
in London; for him the jail doors would yawn.

Oldtime Londoners deplored the coming of the taxicab and the
motorbus, for their coming meant the entire extinction of the
driver of the horse-drawn bus, who was an institution, and the
practical extinction of the hansom cabby, who was a type and very
frequently a humorist too.  But an American finds no fault with
the present arrangement; he is amply satisfied with it.

Personally I can think of no more exciting phase of the night life
of the two greatest cities of Europe than the stunt of dodging
taxicabs.  In London the peril that lurks for you at every turning
is not the result of carelessness on the part of the drivers; it
is due to the rules of the road.  Afoot, an Englishman meeting you
on the sidewalk turns, as we do, to the right hand; but mounted
he turns to the left.  The foot passenger's prerogative of turning
to the right was one of the priceless heritages wrested from King
John by the barons at Runnymede; but when William the Conqueror
rode into the Battle of Hastings he rode a left-handed horse--and
so, very naturally and very properly, everything on hoof or wheel
in England has consistently turned to the left ever since.  I took
some pains to look up the original precedents for these facts and
to establish them historically.

The system suits the English mind, but it is highly confusing to
an American who gets into the swirl of traffic at a crossing--and
every London crossing is a swirl of traffic most of the time--and
looks left when he should look right, and looks right when he
should be looking left until the very best he can expect, if he
survive at all, is cross-eyes and nervous prostration.

I lost count of the number of close calls from utter and mussy
destruction I had while in London.  Sometimes a policeman took
pity on me and saved me, and again, by quick and frenzied leaping,
I saved myself; but then the London cabmen were poor marksmen at
best.  In front of the Savoy one night the same cabman in rapid
succession had two beautiful shots at me and each time missed the
bull's-eye by a disqualifying margin of inches.  A New York chauffeur
who had failed to splatter me all over the vicinage at the first
chance would have been ashamed to go home afterward and look his
innocent little ones in the face.

Even now I cannot decide in my own mind which is the more fearsome
and perilous thing--to be afoot in Paris at the mercy of all the
maniacs who drive French motor cars or to be in one of the motor
cars at the mercy of one of the maniacs.  Motoring in Paris is the
most dangerous sport known--just as dueling is the safest.  There
are some arguments to be advanced in favor of dueling.  It provides
copy for the papers and harmless excitement for the participants
--and it certainly gives them a chance to get a little fresh air
occasionally, but with motoring it is different.  In Paris there
are no rules of the road except just these two--the pedestrian who
gets run over is liable to prosecution, and all motor cars must
travel at top speed.

If I live to be a million I shall never get over shuddering as I
think back to a taxicab ride I had in the rush hour one afternoon
over a route that extended from away down near the site of the
Bastille to a hotel away up near the Place Vendome.  The driver
was a congenital madman, the same as all Parisian taxicab drivers
are; and in addition he was on this occasion acquiring special
merit by being quite drunk.  This last, however, was a detail that
did not dawn on my perceptions until too late to cancel the contract.
Once he had got me safely fastened inside his rickety, creaky
devil-wagon he pulled all the stops all the way out and went tearing
up the crowded boulevard like a comet with a can tied to its tail.

I hammered on the glass and begged him to slow down--that is, I
hammered on the glass and tried to beg him to slow down.  For just
such emergencies I had previously stocked up with two French
words--"Doucement!" and "Vite!" I knew that one of those words
meant speed and the other meant less speed, but in the turmoil of
the moment I may have confused them slightly.  Anyhow, to be on
the safe side, I yelled "Vite!" a while and then "Doucement" a
while; and then "Doucement" and "Vite!" alternately, and mixed in
a few short, simple Anglo-Saxon cusswords and prayers for dressing.
But nothing I said seemed to have the least effect on that demoniac
scoundrel.  Without turning his head he merely shouted back something
unintelligible and threw on more juice.

On and on we tore, slicing against the sidewalk,curving and jibbing,
clattering and careening--now going on two wheels and now on four
--while the lunatic shrieked curses of disappointment at the
pedestrians who scuttled away to safety from our charging onslaughts;
and I held both hands over my mouth to keep my heart from jumping
out into my lap.

I saw, with instantaneous but photographic distinctness, a lady,
with a dog tucked under her arm, who hesitated a moment in our
very path.  She was one of the largest ladies I ever saw and the
dog under her arm was certainly the smallest dog I ever saw.  You
might say the lady was practically out of dog.  I thought we had
her and probably her dog too; but she fell back and was saved by
a matter of half an inch or so.  I think, though, we got some of
the buttons off her shirtwaist and the back trimming of her hat.

Then there was a rending, tearing crash as we took a fender off a
machine just emerging from a cross street, but my lunatic never
checked up at all.  He just flung a curling ribbon of profanity
over his shoulder at the other driver and bounded onward like a
bat out of the Bad Place.  That was the hour when my hair began
to turn perceptibly grayer.  And yet, when by a succession of
miracles we had landed intact at my destination, the fiend seemed
to think he had done a praiseworthy and creditable thing.  I only
wish he had been able to understand the things I called him--that
is all I wish!

It is by a succession of miracles that the members of his maniacal
craft usually do dodge death and destruction.  The providence that
watches over the mentally deficient has them in its care, I guess;
and the same beneficent influence frequently avails to save those
who ride behind them and, to a lesser extent, those who walk ahead.
Once in a while a Paris cabman does have a lucky stroke and garner
in a foot traveler.  In an instant a vast and surging crowd convenes.
In another instant the road is impassably blocked.  Up rushes a
gendarme and worms his way through the press to the center.  He
has a notebook in his hand.  In this book he enters the gloating
cabman's name, his age, his address, and his wife's maiden name,
if any; and gets his views on the Dreyfus case; and finds out what
he thinks about the separation of church and state; and tells him
that if he keeps on the way he is headed he will be getting the
cross of the Legion of Honor pretty soon.  They shake hands and
embrace, and the cabman cuts another notch in his mudguard, and
gets back on the seat and drives on.  Then if, by any chance, the
victim of the accident still breathes, the gendarme arrests him
for interfering with the traffic.  It is a lovely system and sweetly
typical.

Under the general classification of thrilling moments in the night
life of Europe I should like to list a carriage trip through the
outskirts of Naples after dark.  In the first place the carriage
driver is an Italian driver--which is a shorter way of saying he
is the worst driver living.  His idea of getting service out of a
horse is, first to snatch him to a standstill by yanking on the
bit and then to force the poor brute into a gallop by lashing at
him with a whip having a particularly loud and vixenish cracker
on it; and at every occasion to whoop at the top of his voice. 
In the second place the street is as narrow as a narrow alley,
feebly lighted, and has no sidewalks.  And the rutty paving stones
which stretch from housefront to housefront are crawling with
people and goats and dogs and children.  Finally, to add zest to
the affair,there are lots of loose cows mooning about--for at this
hour the cowherd brings his stock to the doors of his patrons.
In an Italian city the people get their milk from a cow, instead
of from a milkman as with us.  The milk is delivered on the hoof,
so to speak.

The grown-ups refuse to make way for you to pass and the swarming
young ones repay you for not killing them by pelting pebbles and
less pleasant things into your face.  Beggars in all degrees of
filth and deformity and repulsiveness run alongside the carriage
in imminent danger from the wheels, begging for alms.  If you give
them something they curse you for not giving them more, and if you
give them nothing they spit at you for a base dog of a heretic.

But then, what could you naturally expect from a population that
thinks a fried cuttlefish is edible and a beefsteak is not?




Chapter XIV



That Gay Paresis

As you walk along the Rue de la Paix [Footnote: The X being one
of the few silent things in France.] and pay and pay, and keep on
paying, your eye is constantly engaged by two inscriptions that
occur and recur with the utmost frequency.  One of these appears
in nearly every shopwindow and over nearly every shopdoor.  It
says:

                       English Spoken Here.

This, I may tell you, is one of the few absolutely truthful and
dependable statements encountered by the tourist in the French
capital.  Invariably English is spoken here.  It is spoken here
during all the hours of the day and until far Into the dusk of the
evening; spoken loudly, clearly, distinctly, hopefully, hopelessly,
stridently, hoarsely, despondently, despairingly and finally
profanely by Americans who are trying to make somebody round the
place understand what they are driving at.

The other inscription is carved, painted or printed on all public
buildings, on most monuments, and on many private establishments
as well.  It is the motto of the French Republic, reading as follows:

                  Liberality! Economy! Frugality!
                   [Footnote: Free translation.]

The first word of this--the Liberality part--is applicable to the
foreigner and is aimed directly at him as a prayer, an injunction
and a command; while the rest of it--the Economy and the Frugality
--is competently attended to by the Parisians themselves.  The
foreigner has only to be sufficiently liberal and he is assured
of a flattering reception wheresoever his straying footsteps may
carry him, whether in Paris or in the provinces; but wheresoever
those feet of his do carry him he will find a people distinguished
by a frugality and inspired by an economy of the frugalest and
most economical character conceivable.  In the streets of the
metropolis he is expected, when going anywhere, to hail the
fast-flitting taxicab [Footnote: Stops on signal only--and sometimes
not then.], though the residents patronize the public bus.  Indeed,
the distinction is made clear to his understanding from the moment
he passes the first outlying fortress at the national frontier
[Footnote: Flag station.]--since, for the looks of things if for
no better reason, he must travel first-class on the de-luxe trains
[Footnote: Diner taken off when you are about half through eating.],
whereas the Frenchmen pack themselves tightly but frugally into the
second-class and the third-class compartments.

Before I went to France I knew Saint Denis was the patron saint
of the French; but I did not know why until I heard the legend
connected with his death.  When the executioner on the hill at
Montmartre cut off his head the good saint picked it up and strolled
across the fields with it tucked under his arm--so runs the tale.
His head, in that shape, was no longer of any particular value
to him, but your true Parisian is of a saving disposition.  And
so the Paris population have worshiped Saint Denis ever since. 
Both as a saint and as a citizen he filled the bill.  He would not
throw anything away, whether he needed it or not.

Paris--not the Paris of the art lover, nor the Paris of the lover
of history, nor yet again the Paris of the worth-while Parisians
--but the Paris which the casual male visitor samples, is the most
overrated thing on earth, I reckon--except alligator-pear salad
--and the most costly.  Its system of conduct is predicated, based,
organized and manipulated on the principle that a foreigner with
plenty of money and no soul will be along pretty soon.  Hence by
day and by night the deadfall is rigged and the trap is set and
baited--baited with a spurious gayety and an imitation joyousness;
but the joyousness is as thin as one coat of sizing, and the brass
shines through the plating; and behind the painted, parted lips of
laughter the sharp teeth of greed show in a glittering double row.
Yet gallus Mr. Fly, from the U.S.A., walks debonairly in, and out
comes Monsieur Spider, ably seconded by Madame Spiderette; and
between them they despoil him with the utmost dispatch.  When he
is not being mulcted for large sums he is being nicked for small
ones.  It is tip, brother, tip, and keep right on tipping.

I heard a story of an American who spent a month in Paris, taking
in the sights and being taken in by them, and another month motoring
through the country.  At length he reached the port whence he was
to sail for home.  He went aboard the steamer and saw to it that
his belongings were properly stored; and in the privacy of his
stateroom he sat down to take an inventory of his letter of credit,
now reduced to a wan and wasted specter of its once plethoric self.
In the midst of casting-up he heard the signal for departure; and
so he went topside of the ship and, stationing himself on the
promenade deck alongside the gang-plank, he raised his voice and
addressed the assembled multitude on the pier substantially as
follows:

"If"--these were his words--"if there is a single, solitary
individual in this fair land who has not touched me for something
of value--if there be in all France a man, woman or child who has
not been tipped by me--let him, her or it speak now or forever
after hold their peace; because, know ye all men by these presents,
I am about to go away from here and if I stay in my right mind I'm
not coming back!"

And several persons were badly hurt in the crush; but they were
believed afterward to have been repeaters.

I thought this story was overdrawn, but, after traveling over
somewhat the same route which this fellow countryman had taken, I
came to the conclusion that it was no exaggeration, but a true
bill in all particulars.  On the night of our second day in Paris
we went to a theater to see one of the topical revues, in which
Paris is supposed to excel; and for sheer dreariness and blatant
vulgarity Paris revues do, indeed, excel anything of a similar
nature as done in either England or in America, which is saying
quite a mouthful.

In the French revue the members of the chorus reach their artistic
limit in costuming when they dance forth from the wings wearing
short and shabby undergarments over soiled pink fleshings and any
time the dramatic interest begins to run low and gurgle in the
pipes a male comedian pumps it up again by striking or kicking a
woman.  But to kick her is regarded as much the more whimsical
conceit.  This invariably sets the audience rocking with uncontrollable
merriment.  Howsomever, I am not writing a critique of the merits
of the performance.  If I were I shou1d say that to begin with the
title of the piece was wrong.  It should have been called Lapsus
Lingerie--signifying as the Latins would say, "A Mere Slip." At
this moment I am concerned with what happened upon our entrance.

At the door a middle-aged female, who was raising a natty mustache,
handed us programs.  I paid her for the programs and tipped her. 
She turned us over to a stout brunette lady who was cultivating a
neat and flossy pair of muttonchops.  This person escorted us down
the aisle to where our seats were; so I tipped her.  Alongside our
seats stood a third member of the sisterhood, chiefly distinguished
from her confreres by the fact that she was turning out something
very fetching in the way of a brown vandyke; and after we were
seated she continued to stand there, holding forth her hand toward
me, palm up and fingers extended in the national gesture, and
saying something in her native tongue very rapidly.  Incidentally
she was blocking the path of a number of people who had come down
the aisle immediately behind us.

I thought possibly she desired to see our coupons, so I hauled
them out and exhibited them.  She shook her head at that and gabbled
faster than ever.  It next occurred to me that perhaps she wanted
to furnish us with programs and was asking in advance for the money
with which to pay for them.  I explained to her that I already
secured programs from her friend with the mustache.  I did this
mainly in English, but partly in French--at least I employed the
correct French word for program, which is programme.  To prove my
case I pulled the two programs from my pocket and showed them to
her.  She continued to shake her head with great emphasis, babbling
on at an increased speed.  The situation was beginning to verge
on the embarrassing when a light dawned on me.  She wanted a tip,
that was it! She had not done anything to earn a tip that I could
see; and unless one had been reared in the barbering business she
was not particularly attractive to look on, and even then only in
a professional aspect; but I tipped her and bade her begone, and
straightway she bewent, satisfied and smiling.  From that moment
on I knew my book.  When in doubt I tipped one person--the person
nearest to me.  When in deep doubt I tipped two or more persons.
And all was well.

On the next evening but one I had another lesson, which gave me
further insight into the habits and customs of these gay and
gladsome Parisians.  We were completing a round of the all-night
cafes and cabarets.  There were four of us.  Briefly, we had seen
the Dead Rat, the Abbey, the Bal Tabarin the Red Mill, Maxim's,
and the rest of the lot to the total number of perhaps ten or
twelve.  We had listened to bad singing, looked on bad dancing,
sipped gingerly at bad drinks, and nibbled daintily at bad food;
and the taste of it all was as grit and ashes in our mouths.  We
had learned for ourselves that the much-vaunted gay life of Paris
was just as sad and sordid and sloppy and unsavory as the so-called
gay life of any other city with a lesser reputation for gay life
and gay livers.  A scrap of the gristle end of the New York
Tenderloin; a suggestion of a certain part of New Orleans; a short
cross section of the Levee, in Chicago; a dab of the Barbary Coast
of San Francisco in its old, unexpurgated days; a touch of Piccadilly
Circus in London, after midnight, with a top dressing of Gehenna
the Unblest--it had seemed to us a compound of these ingredients,
with a distinctive savor of what was essentially Gallic permeating
through it like garlic through a stew.  We had had enough.  Even
though we had attended only as onlookers and seekers after local
color, we felt that we had a-plenty of onlooking and entirely too
much of local color; we felt that we should all go into retreat
for a season of self-purification to rid our persons of the one
and take a bath in formaldehyde to rinse our memories clean of the
other.  But the ruling spirit of the expedition pointed out that
the evening would not be complete without a stop at a cafe that
had--so he said--an international reputation for its supposed
sauciness and its real Bohemian atmosphere, whatever that might
be.  Overcome by his argument we piled into a cab and departed
thither.

This particular cafe was found, in its physical aspects, to be
typical of the breed and district.  It was small, crowded, overheated,
underlighted, and stuffy to suffocation with the mingled aromas
of stale drink and cheap perfume.  As we entered a wrangle was
going on among a group of young Frenchmen picturesquely attired
as art students--almost a sure sign that they were not art students.
An undersized girl dressed in a shabby black-and-yellow frock was
doing a Spanish dance on a cleared space in the middle of the floor.
We knew her instantly for a Spanish dancer, because she had a fan
in one hand and a pair of castanets in the other.  Another girl,
dressed as a pierrot, was waiting to do her turn when the Spanish
dancer finished.  Weariness showed through the lacquer of thick
cosmetic on her peaked little face.  An orchestra of three pieces
sawed wood steadily; and at intervals, to prove that these were
gay and blithesome revels, somebody connected with the establishment
threw small, party-colored balls of celluloid about.  But what
particularly caught our attention was the presence in a far corner
of two little darkies in miniature dress suits, both very wally
of eye, very brown of skin, and very shaved as to head, huddled
together there as though for the poor comfort of physical contact.
As soon as they saw us they left their place and sidled up, tickled
beyond measure to behold American faces and hear American voices.

They belonged, it seemed, to a troupe of jubilee singers who had
been imported from the States for the delectation of French
audiences.  At night, after their work at a vaudeville theater was
done, the members of their company were paired off and sent about
to the cafes to earn their keep by singing ragtime songs and dancing
buck dances.  These two were desperately, pathetically homesick.
One of them blinked back the tears when he told us, with the
plaintive African quaver in his voice, how long they had been away
from their own country and how happy they would be to get back to
it again.

"We suttin'ly is glad to heah somebody talkin' de reg'lar New
'Nited States talk, same as we does," he said.  "We gits mighty
tired of all dis yere French jabberin'!"

"Yas, suh," put in his partner; "dey meks a mighty fuss over cullud
folks over yere; but 'tain't noways lak home.  I comes from
Bummin'ham, Alabama, myse'f.  Does you gen'lemen know anybody in
Bummin'ham?"

They were the first really wholesome creatures who had crossed our
paths that night.  They crowded up close to us and there they
stayed until we left, as grateful as a pair of friendly puppies
for a word or a look.  Presently, though, something happened that
made us forget these small dark compatriots of ours.  We had had
sandwiches all round and a bottle of wine.  When the waiter brought
the check it fell haply into the hands of the one person in our
party who knew French and--what was an even more valuable
accomplishment under the present circumstances--knew the intricate
French system of computing a bill.  He ran a pencil down the figures.
Then he consulted the price list on the menu and examined the label
on the neck of the wine bottle, and then he gave a long whistle.
"What's the trouble?" asked one of us.

"Oh, not much!" he said.  "We had a bottle of wine priced at
eighteen francs and they have merely charged us twenty-four francs
for it--six francs overcharge on that one item alone.  The total
for the sandwiches should have been six francs, and it is put down
at ten francs.  And here, away down at the bottom, I find a
mysterious entry of four francs, which seems to have no bearing
on the case at all--unless it be that they just simply need the
money.  I expected to be skinned somewhat, but I object to being
peeled.  I'm afraid, at the risk of appearing mercenary, that we'll
have to ask our friend for a recount."

He beckoned the waiter to him and fired a volley of rapid French
in the waiter's face.  The waiter batted his eyes and shrugged his
shoulders; then reversing the operation he shrugged his eyelids
and batted his shoulderblades, meantime endeavoring volubly to
explain.  Our friend shoved the check into his hands and waved him
away.  He was back again in a minute with the account corrected. 
That is, it was corrected to the extent that the wine item had
been reduced to twenty-one francs and the sandwiches to eight
francs.

By now our paymaster was as hot as a hornet.  His gorge rose--his
freeborn, independent American gorge.  It rose clear to the ceiling
and threw off sparks and red clinkers.  He sent for the manager.
The manager came, all bows and graciousness and rumply shirtfront;
and when he heard what was to be said he became all apologies and
indignation.  He regretted more than words could tell that the
American gentlemen who deigned to patronize his restaurant had
been put to annoyance.  The garcon--here he turned and burned up
that individual with a fiery sideglance--was a debased idiot and
the misbegotten son of a yet greater and still more debased idiot.
The cashier was a green hand and an imbecile besides.  It was
incredible, impossible, that the overcharging had been done
deliberately; that was inconceivable.  But the honor of his
establishment was at stake.  They should both, garcon and cashier,
be discharged on the spot.  First, however, he would rectify all
mistakes.  Would monsieur intrust the miserable addition to him
for a moment, for one short moment? Monsieur would and did.

This time the amount was made right and our friend handed over in
payment a fifty-franc note.  With his own hands the manager brought
back the change.  Counting it over, the payee found it five francs
short.  Attention being directed to this error the manager became
more apologetic and more explanatory than ever, and supplied the
deficiency with a shiny new five-franc piece from his own pocket.
And then, when we had gone away from there and had traveled a
homeward mile or two, our friend found that the new shiny five-franc
piece was counterfeit--as false a thing as that manager's false
smile.  We had bucked the unbeatable system, and we had lost.

Earlier that same evening we spent a gloom-laden quarter of an
hour in another cafe--one which owes its fame and most of its
American customs to the happy circumstance that in a certain famous
comic opera produced a few years ago a certain popular leading man
sang a song extolling its fascinations.  The man who wrote the
song must have had a full-flowered and glamorous imagination, for
he could see beauty where beauty was not.  To us there seemed
nothing particularly fanciful about the place except the prices
they charged for refreshments.  However, something unusual did
happen there once.  It was not premeditated though; the proprietor
had nothing to do with it.  Had he known what was about to occur
undoubtedly he would have advertised it in advance and sold tickets
for it.

By reason of circumstances over which he had no control, but which
had mainly to do with a locked-up wardrobe, an American of convivial
mentality was in his room at his hotel one evening, fairly consumed
with loneliness.  Above all things he desired to be abroad amid
the life and gayety of the French capital; but unfortunately he
had no clothes except boudoir clothes, and no way of getting any,
either, Which made the situation worse.  He had already tried the
telephone in a vain effort to communicate with a ready-made clothing
establishment in the Rue St. Honore.  Naturally he had failed, as
he knew he would before he tried.  Among Europeans the telephone
is not the popular and handy adjunct of every-day life it is among
us.  The English have small use for it because it is, to start with,
a wretched Yankee invention; besides, an Englishman in a hurry
takes a cab, as his father before him did--takes the same cab his
father took, if possible--and the Latin races dislike telephone
conversations because the gestures all go to absolute waste.  The
French telephone resembles a dingus for curling the hair.  You
wrap it round your head, with one end near your mouth and the other
end near your ear, and you yell in it a while and curse in it a
while; and then you slam it down and go and send a messenger.  The
hero of the present tale, however, could not send a messenger--the
hotel people had their orders to the contrary from one who was not
to be disobeyed.

Finally in stark desperation, maddened by the sounds of sidewalk
revelry that filtered up to him intermittently, he incased his
feet in bed-room slippers, slid a dressing gown over his pajamas,
and negotiated a successful escape from the hotel by means of a
rear way.  Once in the open he climbed into a handy cab and was
driven to the cafe of his choice, it being the same cafe mentioned
a couple of paragraphs ago.

Through a side entrance he made a hasty and unhindered entrance
into this place--not that he would have been barred under any
circumstances, inasmuch as he had brought a roll with him.  A
person with a cluster of currency on hand is always suitably dressed
in Paris, no matter if he has nothing else on; and this man had
brought much ready cash with him.  He could have gone in fig-leaved
like Eve, or fig-leafless like September Morn, it being remembered
that as between these two, as popularly depicted, Morn wears even
less than Eve.  So he whisked in handily, and when he had hidden
the lower part of himself under a table he felt quite at home and
proceeded to have a large and full evening.

Soon there entered another American, and by that mental telepathy
which inevitably attracts like-spirit to like-spirit he was drawn
to the spot where the first American sat.  He introduced himself
as one feeling the need of congenial companionship, and they shook
hands and exchanged names, and the first man asked the second man
to be seated; so they sat together and had something together, and
then something more together; and as the winged moments flew they
grew momentarily more intimate.  Finally the newcomer said:

"This seems a pretty lachrymose shop.  Suppose we go elsewhere and
look for some real doings."

"Your proposition interests me strangely," said the first man;
"but there are two reasons--both good ones--why I may not fare
forth with you.  Look under the table and you'll see 'em."

The second man looked and comprehended, for he was a married man
himself; and he grasped the other's hand in warm and comforting
sympathy.

"Old Man," he said--for they had already reached the Old Man
stage--"don't let that worry you.  Why, I've got more pants than
any man with only one set of legs has any right to have.  I've got
pants that've never been worn.  You stay right here and don't move
until I come back.  My hotel is just round the corner from here."

No sooner said than done.  He went and in a surprisingly short
time was back, bearing spare trousers with him.  Beneath the
shielding protection of the table draperies the succored one slipped
them on, and they were a perfect fit.  Now he was ready to go where
adventure might await them.  They tarried, though, to finish the
last bottle.

Over the rim of his glass the second man ventured an opinion on a
topic of the day.  Instantly the first man challenged him.  It
seemed to him inconceivable that a person with intelligence enough
to have amassed so many pairs of trousers should harbor such a
delusion.  He begged of his new-found friend to withdraw the
statement, or at least to abate it.  The other man was sorry, but
he simply could not do it.  He stood ready to concede almost
anything else, but on this particular point he was adamant; in
fact, adamant was in comparison with him as pliable as chewing
taffy.  Much as he regretted it, he could not modify his assertion
by so much as one brief jot or one small tittle without violating
the consistent principles of a consistent life.  He felt that way
about it.  All his family felt that way about it.

"Then, sir," said the first man with a rare dignity, "I regret to
wound your feelings; but my sensibilities are such that I cannot
accept, even temporarily, the use of a pair of trousers from the
loan collection of a person who entertains such false and erroneous
conceptions.  I have the pleasure, sir, of wishing you good night."

With these words he shucked off the borrowed habiliments and slammed
them into the abashed bosom of the obstinate stranger and went
back to his captivity--pantless, 'tis true, but with his honor
unimpaired.




Chapter XV



Symptoms of the Disease

The majority of these all-night places in Paris are singularly and
monotonously alike.  In the early hours of the evening the musicians
rest from their labors; the regular habitues lay aside their air
of professional abandon; with true French frugality the lights
burn dim and low.  But anon sounds the signal from the front of
the house.  Strike up the band; here comes a sucker! Somebody
resembling ready money has arrived.  The lights flash on, the
can-canners take the floor, the garcons flit hither and yon, and
all is excitement.

Enter the opulent American gentleman.  Half a dozen functionaries
greet him rapturously, bowing before his triumphant progress. 
Others relieve him of his hat and his coat, so that he cannot
escape prematurely.  A whole reception committee escorts him to a
place of honor facing the dancing arena.  The natives of the quarter
stand in rows in the background, drinking beer or nothing at all;
but the distinguished stranger sits at a front table and is served
with champagne, and champagne only.  It is inferior champagne; but
because it is labeled American Brut--what ever that may denote--and
because there is a poster on the bottle showing the American flag
in the correct colors, he pays several times its proper value for
it.  From far corners and remote recesses coryphees and court
jesters swarm forth to fawn on him, bask in his presence, glory
in his smile--and sell him something.  The whole thing is as
mercenary as passing the hat.  Cigarette girls, flower girls and
bonbon girls, postcard venders and confetti dispensers surround
him impenetrably, taking him front, rear, by the right flank and
the left; and they shove their wares in his face and will not take
No for an answer; but they will take anything else.

Two years ago at a hunting camp in North Carolina, I thought I had
met the creature with the most acute sense of hearing of any living
thing.  I refer to Pearl, the mare.  Pearl was an elderly mare,
white in color and therefore known as Pearl.  She was most gentle
and kind.  She was a reliable family animal too--had a colt every
year--but in her affiliations she was a pronounced reactionary. 
She went through life listening for somebody to say Whoa! Her ears
were permanently slanted backward on that very account.  She
belonged to the Whoa Lodge, which has a large membership among
humans.

Riding behind Pearl you uttered the talismanic word in the thinnest
thread of a whisper and instantly she stopped.  You could spell
Whoa! on your fingers, and she would stop.  You could take a pencil
and a piece of paperout of your pocket and write down Whoa!--and
she would stop; but, compared with a sample assortment of these
cabaret satellites, Pearl would have seemed deaf as a post.  Clear
across a hundred-foot dance-hall they catch the sound of a restless
dollar turning over in the fob pocket of an American tourist.

And they come a-running and get it.  Under the circumstances it
requires self-hypnotism of a high order, and plenty of it, to make
an American think he is enjoying himself.  Still, he frequently
attains to that happy comsummation.  To begin with, is he not in
Gay Paree?--as it is familiarly called in Rome Center and all
points West? He is! Has he not kicked over the traces and cut loose
with intent to be oh, so naughty for one naughty night of his life?
Such are the facts.  Finally, and herein lies the proof conclusive,
he is spending a good deal of money and is getting very little in
return for it.  Well, then, what better evidence is required? Any
time he is paying four or five prices for what he buys and does
not particularly need it--or want it after it is bought--the average
American can delude himself into the belief that he is having a
brilliant evening.  This is a racial trait worthy of the scientific
consideration of Professor Hugo Munsterberg and other students of
our national psychology.  So far the Munsterberg school has
overlooked it--but the canny Parisians have not.  They long ago
studied out every quirk and wriggle of it, and capitalized it to
their own purpose.  Liberality! Economy! Frugality!--there they
are, everywhere blazoned forth--Liberality for you, Economy and
Frugality for them.  Could anything on earth be fairer than that?

Even so, the rapturous reception accorded to a North American pales
to a dim and flickery puniness alongside the perfect riot and
whirlwind of enthusiasm which marks the entry into an all-night
place of a South American.  Time was when, to the French understanding,
exuberant prodigality and the United States were terms synonymous;
that time has passed.  Of recent years our young kinsmen from the
sister republics nearer the Equator and the Horn have invaded Paris
in numbers, bringing their impulsive temperaments and their bankrolls
with them.  Thanks to these young cattle kings, these callow silver
princes from Argentina and Brazil, from Peru and from Ecuador, a
new and more gorgeous standard for money wasting has been established.
You had thought, perchance, there was no rite and ceremonial quite
so impressive as a head waiter in a Fifth Avenue restaurant squeezing
the blood out of a semi-raw canvasback in a silver duck press for
a free spender from Butte or Pittsburgh.  I, too, had thought that;
but wait, just wait, until you have seen a maitre d'hotel on the
Avenue de l'Opera, with the smile of the canary-fed cat on his
face, standing just behind a hide-and-tallow baron or a guano duke
from somewhere in Far Spiggottyland, watching this person as he
wades into the fresh fruit--checking off on his fingers each blushing
South African peach at two francs the bite, and each purple cluster
of hothouse grapes at one franc the grape.  That spectacle, believe
me, is worth the money every time.

There is just one being whom the dwellers of the all-night quarter
love and revere more deeply than they love a downy, squabbling
scion of some rich South American family, and that is a large,
broad negro pugilist with a mouthful of gold teeth and a shirtfront
full of yellow diamonds.  To an American--and especially to an
American who was reared below Mason and Dixon's justly popular
Line--it is indeed edifying to behold a black heavyweight fourthrater
from South Clark Street, Chicago, taking his ease in a smart cafe,
entirely surrounded by worshipful boulevardiers, both male and
female.

Now, as I remarked at an earlier stage of these observations, there
is another Paris besides this--a Paris of history, of art, of
architecture, of literature, of refinement; a Paris inhabited by
a people with a pride in their past, a pluck in their present, and
a faith in their future; a Paris of kindly aristocrats, of thrifty,
pious plain people; a Paris of students and savants and scientists,
of great actors and great scientists and great dramatists.  There
is one Paris that might well be burned to its unclean roots, and
another Paris that will be glorified in the minds of mankind forever.
And it would be as unfair to say that the Paris which comes flaunting
its tinsel of vice and pinchbeck villainy in the casual tourist's
face is the real Paris, as it would be for a man from the interior
of the United States to visit New York and, after interviewing one
Bowery bouncer, one Tenderloin cabman, and one Broadway ticket
speculator, go back home and say he had met fit representatives
of the predominant classes of New York society and had found them
unfit.  Yes, it would be even more unfair.  For the alleged gay
life of New York touches at some point of contact or other the
lives of most New Yorkers, whereas in Paris there are numbers of
sane and decent folks who seem to know nothing except by hearsay
of what goes on after dark in the Montmartre district.  Besides,
no man in the course of a short and crowded stay may hope to get
under the skin of any community, great or small.  He merely skims
its surface cuticle; he sees no deeper than the pores and the
hair-roots.  The arteries, the frame, the real tissue-structure
remain hidden to him.  Therefore the pity seems all the greater
that, to the world at large, the bad Paris should mean all Paris.
It is that other and more wholesome Paris which one sees--a
light-hearted, good-natured, polite and courteous Paris--when one,
biding his time and choosing the proper hour and proper place,
goes abroad to seek it out.

For the stranger who does at least a part of his sight-seeing after
a rational and orderly fashion, there are pictures that will live
in the memory always: the Madeleine, with the flower market just
alongside; the green and gold woods of the Bois de Boulogne; the
grandstand of the racecourse at Longchamp on a fair afternoon in
the autumn; the Opera at night; the promenade of the Champs-Elysees
on a Sunday morning after church; the Gardens of the Tuileries;
the wonderful circling plaza of the Place Vendome, where one may
spend a happy hour if the maniacal taxi-drivers deign to spare
one's life for so unaccountably long a period; the arcades of the
Rue de Rivoli, with their exquisite shops, where every other shop
is a jeweler's shop and every jeweler's shop is just like every
other jeweler's shop--which fact ceases to cause wonder when one
learns that, with a few notable exceptions, all these shops carry
their wares on commission from the stocks of the same manufacturing
jewelers; the old Ile de la Cite, with the second-hand bookstalls
stretching along the quay, and the Seine placidly meandering between
its man-made, man-ruled banks.  Days spent here seem short days;
but that may be due in some part to the difference between our
time and theirs.  In Paris, you know, the day ends five or six
hours earlier than it does in America.

The two Palaces of Fine Arts are fine enough; and finer still, on
beyond them, is the great Pont Alexandre III; but, to my untutored
instincts, all three of these, with their clumpings of flag standards
and their grouping of marble allegories, which are so aching-white
to the eye in the sunlight, seemed overly suggestive of a World's
Fair as we know such things in America.  Seeing them I knew where
the architects who designed the main approaches and the courts of
honor for all our big expositions got their notions for color
schemes and statuary effects.  I liked better those two ancient
triumphal arches of St.-Martin and St.-Denis on the Boulevard
St.-Denis, and much better even than these the tremendous sweep
of the Place de la Concorde, which is one of the finest squares
in the world, and the one with the grimmest, bloodiest history, I
reckon.

The Paris to which these things properly appertain is at its very
best and brightest on a sunny Sunday afternoon in the parks where
well-to-do people drive or ride, and their children play among the
trees under the eyes of nursemaids in the quaint costumes of
Normandy, though, for all I know, it may be Picardy.  Elsewhere
in these parks the not-so-well-to-do gather in great numbers; some
drinking harmless sirupy drinks at the gay little refreshment
kiosks; some packing themselves about the man who has tamed the
tree sparrows until they come at his call and hive in chattering,
fluttering swarms on his head and his arms and shoulders; some
applauding a favorite game of the middle classes that is being
played in every wide and open space.  I do not know its name
--could not find anybody who seemed to know its name--but this
game is a kind of glorified battledore and shuttlecock played with
a small, hard ball capable of being driven high and far by smartly
administered strokes of a hide-headed, rimmed device shaped like
a tambourine.  It would seem also to be requisite to its proper
playing that each player shall have a red coat and a full spade
beard, and a tremendous amount of speed and skill.  If the ball
gets lost in anybody's whiskers I think it counts ten for the
opposing side; but I do not know the other rules.

A certain indefinable, unmistakably Gallic flavor or piquancy
savors the life of the people; it disappears only when they cease
to be their own natural selves.  A woman novelist, American by
birth, but a resident of several years in Paris, told me a story
illustrative of this.  The incident she narrated was so typical
that it could never have happened except in Paris, I thought.  She
said she was one of a party who went one night to dine at a little
cafe much frequented by artists and art students.  The host was
himself an artist of reputation.  As they dined there entered a
tall, gloomy figure of a man with a long, ugly face full of flexible
wrinkles; such a figure and such a face as instantly commanded
their attention.  This man slid into a seat at a table near their
table and had a frugal meal.  He had reached the stage of demitasse
and cigarette when he laid down cup and cigarette and, fetching a
bit of cardboard and a crayon out of his pocket, began putting
down lines and shadings; between strokes he covertly studied the
profile of the man who was giving the dinner party.  Not to be
outdone the artist hauled out his drawing pad and pencil and made
a quick sketch of the long-faced man.  Both finished their jobs
practically at the same moment; and, rising together with low bows,
they exchanged pictures--each had done a rattling good caricature
of the other--and then, without a word having been spoken or a
move made toward striking up an acquaintance, each man sat him
down again and finished his dinner.

The lone diner departed first.  When the party at the other table
had had their coffee they went round the corner to a little circus
--one of the common type of French circuses, which are housed in
permanent wooden buildings instead of under tents.  Just as they
entered, the premier clown, in spangles and peak cap, bounded into
the ring.  Through the coating of powder on it they recognized his
wrinkly, mobile face: it was the sketch-making stranger whose
handiwork they had admired not half an hour before.

Hearing the tale we went to the same circus and saw the same clown.
His ears were painted bright red--the red ear is the inevitable
badge of the French clown--and he had as a foil for his funning a
comic countryman known on the program as Auguste, which is the
customary name of all comic countrymen in France; and, though I
knew only at second hand of his sketch-making abilities, I am
willing to concede that he was the drollest master of pantomime
I ever saw.  On leaving the circus, very naturally we went to the
cafe--where the first part of the little dinner comedy had been
enacted.  We encountered both artists, professional or amateur, of
blacklead and bristol board, but we met a waiter there who was
an artist--in his line.  I ordered a cigar of him, specifying
that the cigar should be of a brand made in Havana and popular in
the States.  He brought one cigar on a tray.  In size and shape
and general aspect it seemed to answer the required specifications.
The little belly band about its dark-brown abdomen was certainly
orthodox and regular; but no sooner had I lit it and taken a couple
of puffs than I was seized with the conviction that something had
crawled up that cigar and died.  So I examined it more closely and
I saw then that it was a bad French cigar, artfully adorned about
its middle with a second-hand band, which the waiter had picked
up after somebody else had plucked it off one of the genuine
articles and had treasured it, no doubt, against the coming of
some unsophisticated patron such as I.  And I doubt whether that
could have happened anywhere except in Paris either.  That is just
it, you see.  Try as hard as you please to see the real Paris,
the Paris of petty larceny and small, mean graft intrudes on you
and takes a peck at your purse.

Go where you will, you cannot escape it.  You journey, let us
assume, to the Tomb of Napoleon, under the great dome that rises
behind the wide-armed Hotel des Invalides.  From a splendid rotunda
you look down to where, craftily touched by the softened lights
streaming in from high above, that great sarcophagus stands housing
the bones of Bonaparte; and above the entrance to the crypt you
read the words from the last will and testament of him who sleeps
here: "I desire that my ashes may repose on the banks of the Seine,
among the French people I have so well loved." And you reflect
that he so well loved them that, to glut his lusting after power
and yet more power, he led sundry hundreds of thousands of them
to massacre and mutilation and starvation; but that is the way of
world--conquerors the world over--and has absolutely nothing to do
with this tale.  The point I am trying to get at is, if you can
gaze unmoved at this sepulcher you are a clod.  And if you can get
away from its vicinity without being held up and gouged by small
grafters you are a wonder.

Not tombs nor temples nor sanctuaries are safe from the profane
and polluting feet of the buzzing plague of them.  You journey
miles away from this spot to the great cemetery of Pere Lachaise.
You trudge past seemingly unending, constantly unfolding miles of
monuments and mausoleums; you view the storied urns and animated
busts that mark the final resting-places of France's illustrious
dead.  And as you marvel that France should have had so many
illustrious dead, and that so many of them at this writing should
be so dead, out from behind De Musset's vault or Marshal Ney's
comes a snoopy, smirky wretch to pester you to the desperation
that is red-eyed and homicidal with his picture post cards and his
execrable wooden carvings.

You fight the persistent vermin off and flee for refuge to that
shrine of every American who knows his Mark Twain--the joint grave
[Footnote: Being French, and therefore economical, those two are,
as it were, splitting one tomb between them.] of Hell Loisy and
Abie Lard [Footnote: Popular tourist pronunciation.] and lo, in
the very shadow of it there lurks a blood brother to the first
pest! I defy you to get out of that cemetery without buying something
of no value from one or the other, or both of them.  The Communists
made their last stand in Pere Lachaise.  So did I.  They went down
fighting.  Same here.  They were licked to a frazzle.  Ditto, ditto.

Next, we will say, Notre Dame draws you.  Within, you walk the
clattering flags of its dim, long aisles; without, you peer aloft
to view its gargoyled waterspouts, leering down like nightmares
caught in the very act of leering and congealed into stone.  The
spirit of the place possesses you; you conjure up a vision of the
little maid Esmeralda and the squat hunchback who dwelt in the
tower above; and at the precise moment a foul vagabond pounces on
you and, with a wink that is in itself an insult and a smile that
should earn for him a kick for every inch of its breadth, he draws
from beneath his coat a set of nasty photographs--things which no
decent man could look at without gagging and would not carry about
with him on his person for a million dollars in cash.  By threats
and hard words you drive him off; but seeing others of his kind
drawing nigh you run away, with no particular destination in mind
except to discover some spot, however obscure and remote, where
the wicked cease from troubling and the weary may be at rest for
a few minutes.  You cross a bridge to the farther bank of the river
and presently you find yourself--at least I found myself there--in
one of the very few remaining quarters of old Paris, as yet untouched
by the scheme of improvement that is wiping out whatever is medieval
and therefore unsanitary, and making it all over, modern and slick
and shiny.

Losing yourself--and with yourself your sense of the reality of
things--you wander into a maze of tall, beetle-browed old houses
with tiny windows that lower at you from under their dormered lids
like hostile eyes.  Above, on the attic ledges, are boxes of flowers
and coops where caged larks and linnets pipe cheery snatches of
song; and on beyond, between the eaves, which bend toward one
another like gossips who would swap whispered confidences, is a
strip of sky.  Below are smells of age and dampness.  And there
is a rich, nutritious garlicky smell too; and against a jog in
the wall a frowsy but picturesque rag-picker is asleep on a pile
of sacks, with a big sleek cat asleep on his breast.  I do not
guarantee the rag-picker.  He and his cat may have moved since I
was there and saw them, although they had the look about them both
of being permanent fixtures.

You pass a little church, lolling and lopped with the weight of
the years; and through its doors you catch a vista of old pillars
and soft half-lights, and twinkling candles set upon the high
altar.  Not even the jimcrackery with which the Latin races dress
up their holy places and the graves of their dead can entirely
dispel its abiding, brooding air of peace and majesty.  You linger
a moment outside just such a tavern as a certain ragged poet of
parts might have frequented the while he penned his versified
inquiry which after all these centuries is not yet satisfactorily
answered, touching on the approximate whereabouts of the snows
that fell yesteryear and the roses that bloomed yesterweek.

Midway of a winding alley you come to an ancient wall and an ancient
gate crowned with the half-effaced quarterings of an ancient house,
and you halt, almost expecting that the rusted hinges will creak
a warning and the wooden halves begrudgingly divide, and that from
under the slewed arch will issue a most gallant swashbuckler with
his buckles all buckled and his swash swashing; hence the name.

At this juncture you feel a touch on your shoulder.  You spin on
your heel, feeling at your hip for an imaginary sword.  But 'tis
not Master Francois Villon, in tattered doublet, with a sonnet. 
Nor yet is it a jaunty blade, in silken cloak, with a challenge. 
It is your friend of the obscene photograph collection.  He has
followed you all the way from 1914 clear back into the Middle Ages,
biding his time and hoping you will change your mind about investing
in his nasty wares.

With your wife or your sister you visit the Louvre.  You look on
the Winged Victory and admire her classic but somewhat bulky
proportions, meantime saying to yourself that it certainly must
have been a mighty hard battle the lady won, because she lost her
head and both arms in doing it.  You tire of interminable portraits
of the Grand Monarch, showing him grouped with his wife, the
Old-fashioned Square Upright; and his son, the Baby Grand; and his
prime minister, the Lyre; and his brother, the Yellow Clarinet,
and the rest of the orchestra.  You examine the space on the wall
where Mona Lisa is or is not smiling her inscrutable smile, depending
on whether the open season for Mona Lisas has come or has passed.
Wandering your weary way past acres of the works of Rubens, and
miles of Titians, and townships of Corots, and ranges of Michelangelos,
and quarter sections of Raphaels, and government reserves of Leonardo
da Vincis, you stray off finally into a side passage to see something
else, leaving your wife or your sister behind in one of the main
galleries.  You are gone only a minute or two, but returning you
find her furiously, helplessly angry and embarrassed; and on inquiry
you learn she has been enduring the ordeal of being ogled by a
small, wormy-looking creature who has gone without shaving for two
or three years in a desperate endeavor to resemble a real man.

Some day somebody will take a squirt-gun and a pint of insect
powder and destroy these little, hairy caterpillars who infest all
parts of Paris and make it impossible for a respectable woman to
venture on the streets unaccompanied.

Let us, for the further adornment and final elaboration of the
illustration, say that you are sitting at one of the small round
tables which make mushroom beds under the awnings along the
boulevards.  All about you are French people, enjoying themselves
in an easy and a rational and an inexpensive manner.  As for
yourself, all you desire is a quiet half hour in which to read
your paper, sip your coffee, and watch the shifting panorama of
street life.  That emphatically is all you ask; merely that and a
little privacy.  Are you permitted to have it? You are not.

Beggars beseech you to look on their afflictions.  Sidewalk venders
cluster about you.  And if you are smoking the spark of your cigar
inevitably draws a full delegation of those moldy old whiskerados
who follow the profession of collecting butts and quids.  They
hover about you, watchful as chicken hawks; and their bleary eyes
envy you for each puff you take, until you grow uneasy and
self-reproachful under their glare, and your smoke is spoiled for
you.  Very few men smoke well before an audience, even an audience
of their own selection; so before your cigar is half finished you
toss it away, and while it is yet in the air the watchers leap
forward and squabble under your feet for the prize.  Then the
winner emerges from the scramble and departs along the sidewalk
to seek his next victim, with the still-smoking trophy impaled
on his steel-pointed tool of trade.

In desperation you rise up from there and flee away to your hotel
and hide in your room, and lock and double-lock the doors, and
begin to study timetables with a view to quitting Paris on the
first train leaving for anywhere, the only drawback to a speedy
consummation of this happy prospect being that no living creature
can fathom the meaning of French timetables.

It is not so much the aggregate amount of which they have despoiled
you--it is the knowledge that every other person in Paris is seeking
and planning to nick you for some sum, great or small; it is the
realization that, by reason of your ignorance of the language and
the customs of the land, you are at their mercy, and they have no
mercy--that, as Walter Pater so succinctly phrases it, that is
what gets your goat--and gets it good!

So you shake the dust from your feet--your own dust, not Paris'
dust--and you depart per hired hack for the station and per train
from the station.  And as the train draws away from the trainshed
you behold behind you two legends or inscriptions, repeated and
reiterated everywhere on the walls of the French capital.

One of them says: English Spoken Here!

And the other says: Liberality! Economy! Frugality!




Chapter XVI



As Done in London

London is essentially a he-town, just as Paris is indubitably a
she-town.  That untranslatable, unmistakable something which is
not to be defined in the plain terms of speech, yet which sets its
mark on any long-settled community, has branded them both--the one
as being masculine, the other as being feminine.  For Paris the
lily stands, the conventionalized, feminized lily; but London is
a lion, a shag-headed, heavy-pawed British lion.

One thinks of Paris as a woman, rather pretty, somewhat regardless
of morals and decidedly slovenly of person; craving admiration,
but too indolent to earn it by keeping herself presentable; covering
up the dirt on a piquant face with rice powder; wearing paste
jewels in her earlobes in an effort to distract criticism from the
fact that the ears themselves stand in need of soap and water. 
London, viewed in retrospect, seems a great, clumsy, slow-moving
giant, with hair on his chest and soil under his nails; competent
in the larger affairs and careless about the smaller ones; amply
satisfied with himself and disdainful of the opinions of outsiders;
having all of a man's vices and a good share of his virtues; loving
sport for sport's sake and power for its own sake and despising
art for art's sake.

You do not have to spend a week or a month or a year in either
Paris or London to note these things.  The distinction is wide
enough to be seen in a day; yes, or in an hour.  It shows in all
the outer aspects.  An overtowering majority of the smart shops
in Paris cater to women; a large majority of the smart shops in
London cater to men.  It shows in their voices; for cities have
voices just as individuals have voices.  New York is not yet old
enough to have found its own sex.  It belongs still to the neuter
gender.  New York is not even a noun--it's a verb transitive; but
its voice is a female voice, just as Paris' voice is.  New York,
like Paris, is full of strident, shrieking sounds, shrill outcries,
hysterical babblings--a women's bridge-whist club at the hour of
casting up the score; but London now is different.  London at all
hours speaks with a sustained, sullen, steady, grinding tone, never
entirely sinking into quietude, never rising to acute discords. 
The sound of London rolls on like a river--a river that ebbs
sometimes, but rarely floods above its normal banks; it impresses
one as the necessary breathing of a grunting and burdened monster
who has a mighty job on his hands and is taking his own good time
about doing it.

In London, mind you, the newsboys do not shout their extras.  They
bear in their hands placards with black-typed announcements of the
big news story of the day; and even these headings seem designed
to soothe rather than to excite--saying, for example, such things
as Special From Liner, in referring to a disaster at sea, and
Meeting in Ulster, when meaning that the northern part of Ireland
has gone on record as favoring civil war before home rule.

The street venders do not bray on noisy trumpets or ring with bells
or utter loud cries to advertise their wares.  The policeman does
not shout his orders out; he holds aloft the stripe-sleeved arm
of authority and all London obeys.  I think the reason why the
Londoners turned so viciously on the suffragettes was not because
of the things the suffragettes clamored for, but because they
clamored for them so loudly.  They jarred the public peace--that
must have been it.

I can understand why an adult American might go to Paris and stay
in Paris and be satisfied with Paris, if he were a lover of art
and millinery in all their branches; or why he might go to Berlin
if he were studying music and municipal control; or to Amsterdam
if he cared for cleanliness and new cheese; or to Vienna if he
were concerned with surgery, light opera, and the effect on the
human lungs of doing without fresh air for long periods of time;
or to Rome if he were an antiquarian and interested in ancient
life; or to Naples if he were an entomologist and interested in
insect life; or to Venice if he liked ruins with water round them;
or to Padua if he liked ruins with no water anywhere near them.
No: I'm blessed if I can think of a single good reason why a sane
man should go to Padua if he could go anywhere else.

But I think I know, good and well, why a man might spend his whole
vacation in London and enjoy every minute of it.  For this old
fogy, old foggy town of London is a man-sized town, and a man-run
town; and it has a fascination of its own that is as much a part
of it as London's grime is; or London's vastness and London's
pettiness; or London's wealth and its stark poverty; or its atrocious
suburbs; or its dirty, trade-fretted river; or its dismal back
streets; or its still more dismal slums--or anything that is London's.

To a man hailing from a land where everything is so new that quite
a good deal of it has not even happened yet, it is a joyful thing
to turn off a main-traveled road into one of the crooked byways
in which the older parts of London abound, and suddenly to come,
full face, on a house or a court or a pump which figured in epochal
history or epochal literature of the English-speaking race.  It
is a still greater joy to find it--house or court or pump or what
not--looking now pretty much as it must have looked when good Queen
Bess, or little Dick Whittington, or Chaucer the scribe, or Shakspere
the player, came this way.  It is fine to be riding through the
country and pass a peaceful green meadow and inquire its name of
your driver and be told, most offhandedly, that it is a place
called Runnymede.  Each time this happened to me I felt the thrill
of a discoverer; as though I had been the first traveler to find
these spots.

I remember that through an open door I was marveling at the domestic
economies of an English barber shop.  I use the word economies in
this connection advisedly; for, compared with the average
high-polished, sterilized and antiseptic barber shop of an American
city, this shop seemed a torture cave.  In London, pubs are like
that, and some dentists' establishments and law offices--musty,
fusty dens very unlike their Yankee counterparts.  In this particular
shop now the chairs were hard, wooden chairs; the looking-glass
--you could not rightly call it a mirror--was cracked and bleary;
and an apprentice boy went from one patron to another, lathering
each face; and then the master followed after him, razor in hand,
and shaved the waiting countenances in turn.  Flies that looked
as though they properly belonged in a livery stable were buzzing
about; and there was a prevalent odor which made me think that all
the sick pomade in the world had come hither to spend its last
declining hours.  I said to myself that this place would bear
further study; that some day, when I felt particularly hardy and
daring, I would come here and be shaved, and afterward would write
a piece about it and sell it for money.  So, the better to fix its
location in my mind, I glanced up at the street sign and, behold!
I was hard by Drury Lane, where Sweet Nelly once on a time held
her court.

Another time I stopped in front of a fruiterer's, my eye having
been caught by the presence in his window of half a dozen
draggled-looking, wilted roasting ears decorated with a placard
reading as follows:

                 AMERICAN MAIZE OR INDIAN CORN
               A VEGETABLE--TO BE BOILED AND THEN
                            EATEN

I was remarking to myself that these Britishers were surely a
strange race of beings--that if England produced so delectable a
thing as green corn we in America would import it by the shipload
and serve it on every table; whereas here it was so rare that they
needs must label it as belonging to the vegetable kingdom, lest
people should think it might be an animal--when I chanced to look
more closely at the building occupied by the fruiterer and saw
that it was an ancient house, half-timbered above the first floor,
with a queer low-browed roof.  Inquiring afterward I learned that
this house dated straight back to Elizabethan days and still on
beyond for so many years that no man knew exactly how many; and I
began to understand in a dim sort of way how and why it was these
people held so fast to the things they had and cared so little for
the things they had not.

Better than by all the reading you have ever done you absorb a
sense and realization of the splendor of England's past when you
go to Westminster Abbey and stand--figuratively--with one foot on
Jonson and another on Dryden; and if, overcome by the presence of
so much dead-and-gone greatness, you fall in a fit you commit a
trespass on the last resting-place of Macaulay or Clive, or somebody
of equal consequence.  More imposing even than Westminster is St.
Paul's.  I am not thinking so much of the memorials or the tombs
or the statues there, but of the tattered battleflags bearing the
names of battles fought by the English in every crack and cranny
of the world, from Quebec to Ladysmith, and from Lucknow to Khartum.
Beholding them there, draped above the tombs, some faded but still
intact, some mere clotted wisps of ragged silk clinging to blackened
standards, gives one an uplifting conception of the spirit that
has sent the British soldier forth to girth the globe, never
faltering, never slackening pace, never giving back a step to-day
but that he took two steps forward to-morrow; never stopping--except
for tea.

The fool hath said in his heart that he would go to England and
come away and write something about his impressions, but never
write a single, solitary word about the Englishman's tea-drinking
habit, or the Englishman's cricket-playing habit, or the Englishman's
lack of a sense of humor.  I was that fool.  But it cannot be done.
Lacking these things England would not be England.  It would be
Hamlet without Hamlet or the Ghost or the wicked Queen or mad
Ophelia or her tiresome old pa; for most English life and the bulk
of English conversation center about sporting topics, with the
topic of cricket predominating.  And at a given hour of the day
the wheels of the empire stop, and everybody in the empire--from
the king in the counting house counting up his money, to the maid
in the garden hanging out the clothes--drops what he or she may
be doing and imbibes tea until further orders.  And what oceans of
tea they do imbibe!

There was an old lady who sat near us in a teashop one afternoon.
As well as might be judged by one who saw her in a sitting posture
only, she was no deeper than any other old lady of average dimensions;
but in rapid succession she tilted five large cups of piping hot
tea into herself and was starting on the sixth when we withdrew,
stunned by the spectacle.  She must have been fearfully long-waisted.
I had a mental vision of her interior decorations--all fumed-oak
wainscotings and buff-leather hangings.  Still, I doubt whether
their four-o'clock-tea habit is any worse than our
five-o'clock cocktail habit.  It all depends, I suppose, on whether
one prefers being tanned inside to being pickled.  But we are
getting bravely over our cocktail habit, as attested by figures
and the visual evidences, while their tea habit is growing on
them--so the statisticians say.

As for the Englishman's sense of humor, or his lack of it, I judge
that we Americans are partly wrong in our diagnosis of that phase
of British character and partly right.  Because he is slow to laugh
at a joke, we think he cannot see the point of it without a diagram
and a chart.  What we do not take into consideration is that,
through centuries of self-repression, the Englishman has so drilled
himself into refraining from laughing in public--for fear, you
see, of making himself conspicuous--it has become a part of his
nature.  Indeed, in certain quarters a prejudice against laughing
under any circumstances appears to have sprung up.

I was looking one day through the pages of one of the critical
English weeklies.  Nearly all British weeklies are heavy, and this
is the heaviest of the lot.  Its editorial column alone weighs
from twelve to eighteen pounds, and if you strike a man with a
clubbed copy of it the crime is assault with a dull blunt instrument,
with intent to kill.  At the end of a ponderous review of the East
Indian question I came on a letter written to the editor by a
gentleman signing himself with his own name, and reading in part
as follows:

SIR: Laughter is always vulgar and offensive.  For instance,
whatever there may be of pleasure in a theater--and there is not
much--the place is made impossible by laughter ...  No; it is very
seldom that happiness is refined or pleasant to see--merriment
that is produced by wine is false merriment, and there is no true
merriment without it ...  Laughter is profane, in fact, where it
is not ridiculous.

On the other hand the English in bulk will laugh at a thing which
among us would bring tears to the most hardened cheek and incite
our rebellious souls to mayhem and manslaughter.  On a certain
night we attended a musical show at one of the biggest London
theaters.  There was some really clever funning by a straight
comedian, but his best efforts died a-borning; they drew but the
merest ripple of laughter from the audience.  Later there was a
scene between a sad person made up as a Scotchman and another
equally sad person of color from the States.  These times no English
musical show is complete unless the cast includes a North American
negro with his lips painted to resemble a wide slice of ripe
watermelon, singing ragtime ditties touching on his chicken and
his Baby Doll.  This pair took the stage, all others considerately
withdrawing; and presently, after a period of heartrending
comicalities, the Scotchman, speaking as though he had a mouthful
of hot oatmeal, proceeded to narrate an account of a fictitious
encounter with a bear.  Substantially this dialogue ensued:

THE SCOTCHMAN--He was a vurra fierce grizzly bear, ye ken; and he
rushed at me from behind a jugged rock.

THE NEGRO--Mistah, you means a jagged rock, don't you?

THE SCOTCHMAN--Nay, nay, laddie--a jugged rock.

THE NEGRO--Whut's dat you say? Whut--whut is a jugged rock?

THE SCOTCHMAN (forgetting his accent)--Why, a rock with a jug on
it, old chap.  (A stage wait to let that soak into them in all its
full strength.) A rock with a jug on it would be a jugged rock,
wouldn't it--eh?

The pause had been sufficient--they had it now.  And from all parts
of the house a whoop of unrestrained joy went up.

Witnessing such spectacles as this, the American observer naturally
begins to think that the English in mass cannot see a joke that
is the least bit subtle.  Nevertheless, however, and to the contrary
notwithstanding--as Colonel Bill Sterritt, of Texas, used to
say--England has produced the greatest natural humorists in the
world and some of the greatest comedians, and for a great many
years has supported the greatest comic paper printed in the English
language, and that is Punch.  Also, at an informal Saturday-night
dinner in a well-known London club I heard as much spontaneous
repartee from the company at large, and as much quiet humor from
the chairman, as I ever heard in one evening anywhere; but if you
went into that club on a weekday you might suppose somebody was
dead and laid out there, and that everybody about the premises
had gone into deep mourning for the deceased.  If any member of
that club had dared then to crack a joke they would have expelled
him--as soon as they got over the shock of the bounder's confounded
cheek.  Saturday night? Yes.  Monday afternoon? Never! And there
you are!

Speaking of Punch reminds me that we were in London when Punch,
after giving the matter due consideration for a period of years,
came out with a colored jacket on him.  If the Prime Minister had
done a Highland fling in costume at high noon in Oxford Circus it
could not have created more excitement than Punch created by coming
out with a colored cover.  Yet, to an American's understanding,
the change was not so revolutionary and radical as all that. 
Punch's well-known lineaments remained the same.  There was merely
a dab of palish yellow here and there on the sheet; at first glance
you might have supposed somebody else had been reading your copy
of Punch at breakfastand had been careless in spooning up his
soft-boiled egg.

They are our cousins, the English are; our cousins once removed,
'tis true--see standard histories of the American Revolution for
further details of the removing--but they are kinsmen of ours
beyond a doubt.  Even if there were no other evidences, the kinship
between us would still be proved by the fact that the English are
the only people except the Americans who look on red meat--beef,
mutton, ham--as a food to be eaten for the taste of the meat itself;
whereas the other nations of the earth regard it as a vehicle for
carrying various sauces, dressings and stuffings southward to the
stomach.  But, to the notice of the American who is paying them
his first visit, they certainly do offer some amazing contradictions.

In the large matters of business the English have been accused of
trickiness, which, however, may be but the voice of envious
competition speaking; but in the small things they surely are most
marvelously honest.  Consider their railroad trains now: To a
greenhorn from this side the blue water, a railroad journey out
of London to almost any point in rural England is a succession of
surprises, and all pleasant ones.  To begin with, apparently there
is nobody at the station whose business it is to show you to your
train or to examine your ticket before you have found your train
for yourself.  There is no mad scurrying about at the moment of
departure, no bleating of directions through megaphones.  Unchaperoned
you move along a long platform under a grimy shed, where trains
are standing with their carriage doors hospitably ajar, and
unassisted you find your own train and your own carriage, and
enter therein.

Sharp on the minute an unseen hand--at least I never saw it--slams
the doors and coyly--you might almost say secretively--the train
moves out of the terminal.  It moves smoothly and practically
without jarring sounds.  There is no shrieking of steel against
steel.  It is as though the rails were made of rubber and the
wheel-flanges were faced with noise-proof felt.  No conductor comes
to punch your ticket, no brakeman to bellow the stops, no train
butcher bleating the gabbled invoice of his gumdrops, bananas and
other best-sellers.

Glory be! It is all so peaceful and soothing; as peaceful and as
soothing as the land through which you are gliding when once you
have left behind smoky London and its interminable environs; for
now you are in a land that was finished and plenished five hundred
years ago and since then has not been altered in any material
aspect whatsoever.  Every blade of grass is in its right place;
every wayside shrub seemingly has been restrained and trained to
grow in exactly the right and the proper way.  Streaming by your
car window goes a tastefully arranged succession of the thatched
cottages, the huddled little towns, the meandering brooks, the
ancient inns, the fine old country places, the high-hedged estates
of the landed gentry, with rose-covered lodges at the gates and
robust children in the doorways--just as you have always seen them
in the picture books.  There are fields that are velvet lawns, and
lawns that are carpets of green cut-plush.  England is the only
country I know of that lives up--exactly and precisely--to its
storybook descriptions and its storybook illustrations.

Eventually you come to your stopping point; at least you have
reason to believe it may be your stopping point.  As well as you
may judge by the signs that plaster the front, the sides, and even
the top of the station, the place is either a beef extract or a
washing compound.  Nor may you count on any travelers who may be
sharing your compartment with you to set you right by a timely
word or two.  Your fellow passengers may pity you for your ignorance
and your perplexity, but they would not speak; they could not, not
having been introduced.  A German or a Frenchman would be giving
you gladly what aid he might; but a well-born Englishman who had
not been introduced would ride for nine years with you and not
speak.  I found the best way of solving the puzzle was to consult
the timecard.  If the timecard said our train would reach a given
point at a given hour, and this was the given hour, then we might
be pretty sure this was the given point.  Timetables in England
are written by realists, not by gifted fiction writers of the
impressionistic school, as is frequently the case in America.

So, if this timecard says it is time for you to get off you get
off, with your ticket still in your possession; and if it be a
small station you go yourself and look up the station master, who
is tucked away in a secluded cubbyhole somewhere absorbing tea,
or else is in the luggage room fussing with baby carriages and
patentchurns.  Having ferreted him out in his hiding-place you
hand over your ticket to him and he touches his cap brim and says
"Kew" very politely, which concludes the ceremony so far as you
are concerned.

Then, if you have brought any heavy baggage with you in the baggage
car--pardon, I meant the luggage van--you go back to the platform
and pick it out from the heap of luggage that has been dumped there
by the train hands.  With ordinary luck and forethought you could
easily pick out and claim and carry off some other person's trunk,
provided you fancied it more than your own trunk, only you do not.
You do not do this any more than, having purchased a second-class
ticket, or a third-class, you ride first-class; though, so far as
I could tell, there is no check to prevent a person from so doing.
At least an Englishman never does.  It never seems to occur to
him to do so.  The English have no imagination.

I have a suspicion that if one of our railroads tried to operate
its train service on such a basis of confidence in the general
public there would be a most deceitful hiatus in the receipts from
passenger traffic to be reported to a distressed group of stockholders
at the end of the fiscal year.  This, however, is merely a supposition
on my part.  I may be wrong.




Chapter XVII



Britain in Twenty Minutes

To a greater degree, I take it, than any other race the English
have mastered the difficult art of minding their own affairs.  The
average Englishman is tremendously knowledgable about his own
concerns and monumentally ignorant about all other things.  If an
Englishman's business requires that he shall learn the habits and
customs of the Patagonians or the Chicagoans or any other race
which, because it is not British, he naturally regards as barbaric,
he goes and learns them--and learns them well.  Otherwise your
Britisher does not bother himself with what the outlander may or
may not do.

An Englishman cannot understand an American's instinctive desire
to know about things; we do not understand his lack of curiosity
in that direction.  Both of us forget what I think must be the
underlying reasons--that we are a race which, until comparatively
recently, lived wide distances apart in sparsely settled lands,
and were dependent on the passing stranger for news of the rest
of the world, where he belongs to a people who all these centuries
have been packed together in their little island like oats in a
bin.  London itself is so crowded that the noses of most of the
lower classes turn up--there is not room for them to point straight
ahead without causing a great and bitter confusion of noses; but
whether it points upward or outward or downward the owner of the
nose pretty generally refrains from ramming it into other folks'
business.  If he and all his fellows did not do this; if they had
not learned to keep their voices down and to muffle unnecessary
noises; if they had not built tight covers of reserve about
themselves, as the oyster builds a shell to protect his tender
tissues from irritation--they would long ago have become a race
of nervous wrecks instead of being what they are, the most stolid
beings alive.

In London even royalty is mercifully vouchsafed a reasonable amount
of privacy from the intrusion of the gimlet eye and the chisel
nose.  Royalty may ride in Rotten Row of a morning, promenade on
the Mall at noon, and shop in the Regent Street shops in the
afternoon, and at all times go unguarded and unbothered--I had
almost said unnoticed.  It may be that long and constant familiarity
with the institution of royalty has bred indifference in the London
mind to the physical presence of dukes and princes and things; but
I am inclined to think a good share of it should be attributed to
the inborn and ingrown British faculty for letting other folks be.

One morning as I was walking at random through the aristocratic
district, of which St. James is the solar plexus and Park Lane
the spinal cord, I came to a big mansion where foot-guards stood
sentry at the wall gates.  This house was further distinguished
from its neighbors by the presence of a policeman pacing alongside
it, and a newspaper photographer setting up his tripod and camera
in the road, and a small knot of passers-by lingering on the
opposite side of the way, as though waiting for somebody to come
along or something to happen.  I waited too.  In a minute a handsome
old man and a well-set-up young man turned the corner afoot.  The
younger man was leading a beautiful stag hound.  The photographer
touched his hat and said something, and the younger man smiling a
good-natured smile, obligingly posed in the street for a picture.
At this precise moment a dirigible balloon came careening over
the chimneypots on a cross-London air jaunt; and at the sight of
it the little crowd left the young man and the photographer and
set off at a run to follow, as far as they might, the course of
the balloon.  Now in America this could not have occurred, for the
balloon man would not have been aloft at such an hour.  He would
have been on the earth; moreover he would have been outside the
walls of that mansion house, along with half a million, more or
less, of his patriotic fellow countrymen, tearing his own clothes
off and their clothes off, trampling the weak and sickly underfoot,
bucking the doubled and tripled police lines in a mad, vain effort
to see the flagpole on the roof or a corner of the rear garden
wall.  For that house was Clarence House, and the young man who
posed so accommodatingly for the photographer was none other than
Prince Arthur of Connaught, who was getting himself married the
very next day.

The next day I beheld from a short distance the passing of the
bridal procession.  Though there were crowds all along the route
followed by the wedding party, there was no scrouging, no shoving,
no fighting, no disorderly scramble, no unseemly congestion about
the chapel where the ceremony took place.  It reminded me vividly
of that which inevitably happens when a millionaire's daughter is
being married to a duke in a fashionable Fifth Avenue church--it
reminded me of that because it was so different.

Fortunately for us we were so placed that we saw quite distinctly
the entrance of the wedding party into the chapel inclosure. 
Personally I was most concerned with the members of the royal
house.  As I recollect, they passed in the following order:

His Majesty, King George the Fifth.
Her Majesty, Queen Mary, the Other Four Fifths.
Small fractional royalties to the number of a dozen or more.

I got a clear view of the side face of the queen.  As one looked
on her profile, which was what you might call firm, and saw the
mild-looking little king, who seemed quite eclipsed by her presence,
one understood--or anyway one thought one understood--why an English
assemblage, when standing to chant the national anthem these times,
always puts such fervor and meaning into the first line of it.

Only one untoward incident occurred: The inevitable militant lady
broke through the lines as the imperial carriage passed and threw
a Votes for Women handbill into His Majesty's lap.  She was removed
thence by the police with the skill and dexterity of long practice.
The police were competently on the job.  They always are--which
brings me round to the subject of the London bobby and leads me
to venture the assertion that individually and collectively,
personally and officially, he is a splendid piece of work.  The
finest thing in London is the London policeman and the worst thing
is the shamefully small and shabby pay he gets.  He is majestic
because he represents the majesty of the English law; he is humble
and obliging because, as a servant, he serves the people who make
the law.  And always he knows his business.

In Charing Cross, where all roads meet and snarl up in the bewildering
semblance of many fishing worms in a can, I ventured out into the
roadway to ask a policeman the best route for reaching a place in
a somewhat obscure quarter.  He threw up his arm, semaphore fashion,
first to this point of the compass and then to that, and traffic
halted instantly.  As far as the eye might reach it halted; and
it stayed halted, too, while he searched his mind and gave me
carefully and painstakingly the directions for which I sought.  In
that packed mass of cabs and taxis and buses and carriages there
were probably dukes and archbishops--dukes and archbishops are
always fussing about in London--but they waited until he was through
directing me.  It flattered me so that I went back to the hotel
and put on a larger hat.  I sincerely hope there was at least one
archbishop.

Another time we went to Paddington to take a train for somewhere.
Following the custom of the country we took along our trunks and
traps on top of the taxicab.  At the moment of our arrival there
were no porters handy, so a policeman on post outside the station
jumped forward on the instant and helped our chauffeur to wrestle
the luggage down on the bricks.  When I, rallying somewhat from
the shock of this, thanked him and slipped a coin into his palm,
he said in effect that, though he was obliged for the shilling, I
must not feel that I had to give him anything--that it was part
of his duty to aid the public in these small matters.  I shut my
eyes and tried to imagine a New York policeman doing as much for
an unknown alien; but the effort gave me a severe headache.  It
gave me darting pains across the top of the skull--at about the
spot where he would probably have belted me with his club had I
even dared to ask him to bear a hand with my baggage.

I had a peep into the workings of the system of which the London
bobby is a spoke when I went to what is the very hub of the wheel
of the common law--a police court.  I understood then what gave
the policeman in the street his authority and his dignity--and his
humility--when I saw how carefully the magistrate on the bench
weighed each trifling cause and each petty case; how surely he
winnowed out the small grain of truth from the gross and tare of
surmise and fiction; how particular he was to give of the abundant
store of his patience to any whining ragpicker or street beggar
who faced him, whether as defendant at the bar, or accuser, or
witness.

It was the very body of the law, though, we saw a few days after
this when by invitation we witnessed the procession at the opening
of the high courts.  Considered from the stand-points of picturesqueness
and impressiveness it made one's pulses tingle when those thirty
or forty men of the wig and ermine marched in single and double
file down the loftily vaulted hall, with the Lord Chancellor in
wig and robes of state leading, and Sir Rufus Isaacs, knee-breeched
and sword-belted, a pace or two behind him; and then, in turn, the
justices; and, going on ahead of them and following on behind them,
knight escorts and ushers and clerks and all the other human cogs
of the great machine.  What struck into me deepest, however, was
the look of nearly every one of the judges.  Had they been dressed
as longshoremen, one would still have known them for possessors of
the judicial temperament--men born to hold the balances and fitted
and trained to winnow out the wheat from the chaff.  So many
eagle-beaked noses, so many hawk-keen eyes, so many smooth-chopped,
long-jowled faces, seen here together, made me think of what we
are prone to regard as the highwater period of American statesmanship
--the Clay-Calhoun-Benton-Webster period.

Just watching these men pass helped me to know better than any
reading I had ever done why the English have faith and confidence
in their courts.  I said to myself that if I wanted justice--exact
justice, heaping high in time scales--I should come to this shop
and give my trade to the old-established firm; but if I were looking
for a little mercy I should take my custom elsewhere.

I cannot tell why I associate it in my mind with this grouped
spectacle of the lords of the law, but somehow the scene to be
witnessed in Hyde Park just inside the Marble Arch of a Sunday
evening seems bound up somehow with the other institution.  They
call this place London's safety valve.  It's all of that.  Long ago
the ruling powers discovered that if the rabidly discontented were
permitted to preach dynamite and destruction unlimited they would
not be so apt to practice their cheerful doctrines.  So, without
let or hindrance, any apostle of any creed, cult or propaganda,
however lurid and revolutionary, may come here of a Sunday to meet
with his disciples and spout forth the faith that is in him until
he has geysered himself into peace, or, what comes to the same
thing, into speechlessness.

When I went to Hyde Park on a certain Sunday rain was falling and
the crowds were not so large as usual, a bored policeman on duty
in this outdoor forum told me; still, at that, there must have
been two or three thousand listeners in sight and not less than
twelve speakers.  These latter balanced themselves on small portable
platforms placed in rows, with such short spaces between them that
their voices intermingled confusingly.  In front of each orator
stood his audience; sometimes they applauded what he said in a
sluggish British way, and sometimes they asked him questions
designed to baffle or perplex him--heckling, I believe this is
called--but there was never any suggestion of disorder and never
any violent demonstration for or against a statement made by him.

At the end of the line nearest the Arch, under a flary light, stood
an old bearded man having the look on his face of a kindly but
somewhat irritated moo-cow.  At the moment I drew near he was
having a long and involved argument with another controversialist
touching on the sense of the word tabernacle as employed Scripturally,
one holding it to mean the fleshly tenement of the soul and the
other an actual place of worship.  The old man had two favorite
words--behoove and emit--but behoove was evidently his choice.
As an emitter he was only fair, but he was the best behoover I
ever saw anywhere.

The orator next to him was speaking in a soft, sentimental tone,
with gestures gently appropriate.  I moved along to him, being
minded to learn what particular brand of brotherly love he might
be expounding.  In the same tone a good friend might employ in
telling you what to do for chapped lips or a fever blister he was
saying that clergymen and armaments were useless and expensive
burdens on the commonwealth; and, as a remedy, he was advocating
that all the priests and all the preachers in the kingdom should
be loaded on all the dreadnoughts, and then the dreadnoughts should
be steamed to the deepest part of the Atlantic Ocean and there
cozily scuttled, with all aboard.

There was scattering applause and a voice: "Ow, don't do that!
Listen, 'ere! Hi've got a better plan." But the next speaker was
blaring away at the top of his voice, making threatening faces
and waving his clenched fists aloft and pounding with them on the
top of his rostrum.

"Now this," I said to myself, "is going to be something worth
while.  Surely this person would not be content merely with drowning
all the parsons and sinking all the warships in the hole at the
bottom of the sea.  Undoubtedly he will advocate something really
radical.  I will invest five minutes with him."

I did; but I was sold.  He was favoring the immediate adoption of
a universal tongue for all the peoples of the earth--that was all.
I did not catch the name of his universal language, but I judged
the one at which he would excel would be a language with few if
any h's in it.  After this disappointment I lost heart and came
away.

Another phase, though a very different one, of the British spirit
of fair play and tolerance, was shown to me at the National Sporting
Club, which is the British shrine of boxing, where I saw a fight
for one of the championship belts that Lord Lonsdale is forever
bestowing on this or that worshipful fisticuffer.  Instead of being
inside the ring prying the fighters apart by main force as he would
have been doing in America, the referee, dressed in evening clothes,
was outside the ropes.  At a snapped word from him the fighters
broke apart from clinches on the instant.  The audience--a very
mixed one, ranging in garb from broadcloths to shoddies--was as
quick to approve a telling blow by the less popular fighter as to
hiss any suggestion of trickiness or fouling on the part of the
favorite.  When a contestant in one of the preliminary goes, having
been adjudged a loser on points, objected to the decision and
insisted on being heard in his own behalf, the crowd, though plainly
not in sympathy with his contention, listened to what he had to
say.  Nobody jeered him down.

Had he been a foreigner and especially had he been an American I
am inclined to think the situation might have been different.  I
seem to recall what happened once when a certain middleweight from
this side went over there and broke the British heart by licking
the British champion; and again what happened when a Yankee boy
won the Marathon at the Olympic games in London a few years ago. 
But as this man was a Briton himself these other Britons harkened
to his sputterings, for England, you know, grants the right of
free speech to all Englishmen--and denies it to all Englishwomen.

The settled Englishman declines always to be jostled out of his
hereditary state of intense calm.  They tell of a man who dashed
into the reading room of the Savage Club with the announcement
that a lion was loose on the Strand--a lion that had escaped from
a traveling caravan and was rushing madly to and fro, scaring
horses and frightening pedestrians.

"Great excitement! Most terrific, old dears--on my word!" he added,
addressing the company.

Over the top of the Pink Un an elderly gentleman of a full habit
of life regarded him sourly.

"Is that any reason," he inquired, "why a person should rush into
a gentleman's club and kick up such a deuced hullabaloo?"

The first man--he must have been a Colonial--gazed at the other
man in amazement.

"Well," he asked, "what would you do if you met a savage lion loose
on the Strand?"

"Sir, I should take a cab!"

And after meeting an Englishman or two of this type I am quite
prepared to say the story might have been a true one.  If he met
a lion on the Strand to-day he would take a cab; but if to-morrow,
walking in the same place, he met two lions, he would write a
letter to the Times complaining of the growing prevalence of lions
in the public thoroughfares and placing the blame on the Suffragettes
or Lloyd George or the Nonconformists or the increasing discontent
of the working classes--that is what he would do.

On the other hand, if he met a squirrel on a street in America it
would be a most extraordinary thing.  Extraordinary would undoubtedly
be the word he would use to describe it.  Lions on the Strand would
be merely annoying, but chipmunks on Broadway would constitute a
striking manifestation of the unsettled conditions existing in a
wild and misgoverned land; for, you see, to every right-minded
Englishman of the insular variety--and that is the commonest variety
there is in England--whatever happens at home is but part of an
orderly and an ordered scheme of things, whereas whatever happens
beyond the British domains must necessarily be highly unusual and
exceedingly disorganizing.  If so be it happens on English soil
he can excuse it.  He always has an explanation or an extenuation
handy.  But if it happens elsewhere--well, there you are, you see!
What was it somebody once called England--Perfidious Alibi-in',
wasn't it? Anyhow that was what he meant.  The party's intentions
were good but his spelling was faulty.

An Englishman's newspapers help him to attain this frame of mind;
for an English newspaper does not print sensational stories about
Englishmen residing in England; it prints them about people resident
in other lands.  There is a good reason for this and the reason
is based on prudence.  In the first place the private life of a
private individual is a most holy thing, with which the papers
dare not meddle; besides, the paper that printed a faked-up tale
about a private citizen in England would speedily be exposed and
also extensively sued.  As for public men, they are protected by
exceedingly stringent libel laws.  As nearly as I might judge,
anything true you printed about an English politician would be
libelous, and anything libelous you printed about him would be true.

It befalls, therefore, as I was told on most excellent authority,
that when the editor of a live London daily finds the local grist
to be dull and uninteresting reading he straightway cables to his
American correspondent or his Paris correspondent--these two being
his main standbys for sensations--asking, if his choice falls on
the man in America, for a snappy dispatch, say, about an American
train smash-up, or a Nature freak, or a scandal in high society
with a rich man mixed up in it.  He wires for it, and in reply he
gets it.  I have been in my time a country correspondent for city
papers, and I know that what Mr. Editor wants Mr. Editor gets.

As a result America, to the provincial Englishman's understanding,
is a land where a hunter is always being nibbled to death by sheep;
or a prospective mother is being so badly frightened by a chameleon
that her child is born with a complexion changeable at will and
an ungovernable appetite for flies; or a billionaire is giving a
monkey dinner or poisoning his wife, or something.  Also, he gets
the idea that a through train in this country is so called because
it invariably runs through the train ahead of it; and that when a
man in Connecticut is expecting a friend on the fast express from
Boston, and wants something to remember him by, he goes down to
the station at traintime with a bucket.  Under the headlining
system of the English newspapers the derailment of a work-train
in Arizona, wherein several Mexican tracklayers get mussed up,
becomes Another Frightful American Railway Disaster! But a head-on
collision, attended by fatalities, in the suburbs of Liverpool or
Manchester is a Distressing Suburban Iincident.  Yet the official
Blue Book, issued by the British Board of Trade, showed that in
the three months ending March 31, 1913, 284 persons were killed
and 2,457 were injured on railway lines in the United Kingdom.

Just as an English gentleman is the most modest person imaginable,
and the most backward about offering lip-service in praise of his
own achievements or his country's achievements, so, in the same
superlative degree, some of his newspapers are the most blatant
of boasters.  About the time we were leaving England the job of
remodeling and beautifying the front elevation of Buckingham Palace
reached its conclusion, and a dinner was given to the workingmen
who for some months had been engaged on the contract.  It had been
expected that the occasion would be graced by the presence of Their
Majesties; but the king, as I recall, was pasting stamps in the
new album the Czar of Russia sent him on his birthday, and the
queen was looking through the files of Godey's Lady's Book for the
year 1874, picking out suitable costumes for the ladies of her
court to wear.  At any rate they could not attend.  Otherwise,
though, the dinner must have been a success.  Reading the account
of it as published next morning in a London paper, I learned that
some of the guests, "with rare British pluck," wore their caps and
corduroys; that others, "with true British independence," smoked
their pipes after dinner; that there was "real British beef" and
"genuine British plum pudding" on the menu; and that repeatedly
those present uttered "hearty British cheers." From top to bottom
the column was studded thick with British thises and British thats.

Yet the editorial writers of that very paper are given to frequent
and sneering attacks on the alleged yellowness and the boasting
proclivities of the jingo Yankee sheets; also, they are prone to
spasmodic attacks on the laxity of our marriage laws.  Perhaps
what they say of us is true; but for unadulterated nastiness I
never saw anything in print to equal the front page of a so-called
sporting weekly that circulates freely in London, and I know of
nothing to compare with the brazen exhibition of a certain form
of vice that is to be witnessed nightly in the balconies of two
of London's largest music halls.  It was upon the program of another
London theater that I came across the advertisement of a lady
styling herself "London's Woman Detective" and stating, in so many
words, that her specialties were "Divorce Shadowings" and "Secret
Inquiries." Maybe it is a fact that in certain of our states
marriage is not so much a contract as a ninety-day option, but the
lady detective who does divorce shadowing and advertises her
qualifications publicly has not opened up her shop among us.

In the campaign to give the stay-at-home Englishman a strange
conception of his American kinsman the press is ably assisted by
the stage.  In London I went to see a comedy written by a deservedly
successful dramatist, and staged, I think, under his personal
direction.  The English characters in the play were whimsical and,
as nearly as I might judge, true to the classes they purported to
represent.  There was an American character in this piece too--a
multimillionaire, of course, and a collector of pictures--presumably
a dramatically fair and realistic drawing of a wealthy, successful,
art-loving American.  I have forgotten now whether he was supposed
to be one of our meaty Chicago millionaires, or one of our oily
Cleveland millionaires, or one of our steely Pittsburgh millionaires,
or just a plain millionaire from the country at large; and I doubt
whether the man who wrote the lines had any conception when he did
write them of the fashion in which they were afterward read.  Be
that as it may, the actor who essayed to play the American used
an inflection, or an accent, or a dialect, or a jargon--or whatever
you might choose to call it--which was partly of the oldtime drawly
Wild Western school of expression and partly of the oldtime nasal
Down East school.  I had thought--and had hoped--that both these
actor-created lingoes were happily obsolete; but in their full
flower of perfection I now heard them here in London.  Also, the
actor who played the part interpreted the physical angles of the
character in a manner to suggest a pleasing combination of Uncle
Joshua Whitcomb, Mike the Bite, Jefferson Brick and Coal-Oil Johnny,
with a suggestion of Jesse James interspersed here and there.
True, he spat not on the carpet loudly, and he refrained from
saying I vum! and Great Snakes!--quaint conceits that, I am told,
every English actor who respected his art formally employed when
wishful to type a stage American for an English audience; but he
bragged loudly and emphatically of his money and of how he got it
and of what he would do with it.  I do not perceive why it is the
English, who themselves so dearly love the dollar after it is
translated into terms of pounds, shillings and pence, should insist
on regarding us as a nation of dollar-grabbers, when they only see
us in the act of freely dispensing the aforesaid dollar.

They do so regard us, though; and, with true British setness, I
suppose they always will.  Even so I think that, though they may
dislike us as a nation, they like us as individuals; and it is
certainly true that they seem to value us more highly than they
value Colonials, as they call them--particularly Canadian Colonials.
It would appear that your true Briton can never excuse another
British subject for the shockingly poor taste he displayed in being
born away from home.  And, though in time he may forgive us for
refusing to be licked by him, he can never forgive the Colonials
for saving him from being licked in South Africa.

When I started in to write this chapter, I meant to conclude it
with an apology for my audacity in undertaking--in any wise--to
sum up the local characteristics of a country where I had tarried
for so short a time, but I have changed my mind about that.  I
have merely borrowed a page from the book of rules of the British
essayists and novelists who come over here to write us up.  Why,
bless your soul, I gave nearly eight weeks of time to the task of
seeing Europe thoroughly, and, of those eight weeks, I spent upward
of three weeks in and about London--indeed, a most unreasonably
long time when measured by the standards of the Englishman of
letters who does a book about us.

He has his itinerary all mapped out in advance.  He will squander
a whole week on us.  We are scarcely worth it, but, such as we
are, we shall have a week of his company! Landing on Monday morning,
he will spend Monday in New York, Tuesday in San Francisco, and
Wednesday in New Orleans.  Thursday he will divide between Boston
and Chicago, devoting the forenoon to one and the afternoon to the
other.  Friday morning he will range through the Rocky Mountains,
and after luncheon, if he is not too fatigued, he will take a
carriage and pop in on Yosemite Valley for an hour or so.

But Saturday--all of it--will be given over to the Far Southland.
He is going 'way down South--to sunny South Dakota, in fact, to
see the genuine native American darkies, the real Yankee blackamoors.
Most interesting beings, the blackamoors! They live exclusively
on poultry--fowls, you know--and all their women folk are named
Honey Gal.

He will observe them in their hours of leisure, when, attired in
their national costume, consisting of white duck breeches, banjos,
and striped shirts with high collars, they gather beneath the rays
of the silvery Southern moon to sing their tribal melodies on the
melon-lined shores of the old Oswego; and by day he will study
them at their customary employment as they climb from limb to limb
of the cottonwood trees, picking cotton.  On Sunday he will arrange
and revise his notes, and on Monday morning he will sail for home.

Such is the program of Solomon Grundy, Esquire, the distinguished
writing Englishman; but on his arrival he finds the country to be
somewhat larger than he expected--larger actually than the Midlands.
So he compromises by spending five days at a private hotel in New
York, run by a very worthy and deserving Englishwoman of the middle
classes, where one may get Yorkshire puddings every day; and two
days more at a wealthy tufthunter's million-dollar cottage at
Newport, studying the habits and idiosyncrasies of the common
people.  And then he rushes back to England and hurriedly embalms
his impressions of us in a large volume, stating it to be his
deliberate opinion that, though we mean well enough, we won't do
--really.  He necessarily has to hurry, because, you see, he has
a contract to write a novel or a play--or both a novel and a play
--with Lord Northcliffe as the central figure.  In these days
practically all English novels and most English comedies play up
Lord Northcliffe as the central figure.  Almost invariably the
young English writer chooses him for the axis about which his plot
shall revolve.  English journalists who have been discharged from
one of Northcliffe's publications make him their villian, and
English journalists who hope to secure jobs on one of his publications
make him their hero.  The literature of a land is in perilous case
when it depends on the personality of one man.  One shudders to
think what the future of English fiction would be should anything
happen to his Lordship!

Business of shuddering!




Chapter XVIII



Guyed or Guided?

During our scientific explorations in the Eastern Hemisphere, we
met two guides who had served the late Samuel L. Clemens, one who
had served the late J. Pierpont Morgan, and one who had acted as
courier to ex-President Theodore Roosevelt.  After inquiry among
persons who were also lately abroad, I have come to the conclusion
that my experience in this regard was remarkable, not because I
met so many as four of the guides who had attended these distinguished
Americans, but because I met so few as four of them.  One man with
whom I discussed the matter told of having encountered, in the
course of a brief scurry across Europe, five members in good
standing of the International Association of Former Guides to Mark
Twain.  All of them had union cards to prove it too.  Others said
that in practically every city of any size visited by them there
was a guide who told of his deep attachment to the memory of Mr.
Morgan, and described how Mr. Morgan had hired him without inquiring
in advance what his rate for professional services a day would be;
and how--lingering with wistful emphasis on the words along here
and looking meaningly the while at the present patron--how very,
very generous Mr. Morgan had been in bestowing gratuities on parting.

Our first experience with guides was at Westminster Abbey.  As it
happened, this guide was one of the Mark Twain survivors.  I think,
though, he was genuine; he had documents of apparent authenticity
in his possession to help him in proving up his title.  Anyhow, he
knew his trade.  He led us up and down those parts of the Abbey
which are free to the general public and brought us finally to a
wicket gate, opening on the royal chapels, which was as far as he
could go.  There he turned us over to a severe-looking dignitary
in robes--an archbishop, I judged, or possibly only a canon--who,
on payment by us of a shilling a head, escorted our party through
the remaining inclosures, showing us the tombs of England's queens
and kings, or a good many of them anyway; and the Black Prince's
helmet and breastplate; and the exquisite chapel of Henry the
Seventh, and the ancient chair on which all the kings sat for their
coronations, with the famous Scotch Stone of Scone under it.

The chair itself was not particularly impressive.  It was not
nearly so rickety and decrepit as the chairs one sees in almost
any London barber shop.  Nor was my emotion particularly excited
by the stone.  I would engage to get a better-looking one out of
the handiest rock quarry inside of twenty minutes.  This stone
should not be confused with the ordinary scones, which also come
from Scotland and which are by some regarded as edible.

What did seem to us rather a queer thing was that the authorities
of Westminster should make capital of the dead rulers of the realm
and, except on certain days of the week, should charge an admission
fee to their sepulchers.  Later, on the Continent, we sustained
an even more severe shock when we saw royal palaces--palaces that
on occasion are used by the royal proprietors--with the quarters
of the monarchs upstairs and downstairs novelty shops and tourist
agencies and restaurants, and the like of that.  I jotted down
a few crisp notes concerning these matters, my intention being to
comment on them as evidence of an incomprehensible thrift on the
part of our European kins-people; but on second thought I decided
to refrain from so doing.  I recalled the fact that we ourselves
are not entirely free from certain petty national economies. 
Abroad we house our embassies up back streets, next door to bird
and animal stores; and at home there is many a public institution
where the doormat says WELCOME! in large letters, but the soap is
chained and the roller towel is padlocked to its little roller.

Guides are not particularly numerous in England.  Even in the
places most frequented by the sightseer they do not abound in any
profusion.  At Madame Tussaud's, for example, we found only one
guide.  We encountered him just after we had spent a mournful five
minutes in contemplation of ex-President Taft.  Friends and
acquaintances of Mr. Taft will be shocked to note the great change
in him when they see him here in wax.  He does not weigh so much
as he used to weigh by at least one hundred and fifty pounds; he
has lost considerable height too; his hair has turned another color
and his eyes also; his mustache is not a close fit any more, either;
and he is wearing a suit of English-made clothes.

On leaving the sadly altered form of our former Chief Executive
we descended a flight of stone steps leading to the Chamber of
Horrors.  This department was quite crowded with parents escorting
their children about.  Like America, England appears to be well
stocked with parents who make a custom of taking their young and
susceptible offspring to places where the young ones stand a good
chance of being scared into connipshun fits.  The official guide
was in the Chamber of Horrors.  He was piloting a large group of
visitors about, but as soon as he saw our smaller party he left
them and came directly to us; for they were Scotch and we were
Americans, citizens of the happy land where tips come from. 
Undoubtedly that guide knew best.

With pride and pleasure he showed us a representative assortment
of England's most popular and prominent murderers.  The English
dearly love a murderer.  Perhaps that is because they have fewer
murderers than we have, and have less luck than we do in keeping
them alive and in good spirits to a ripe old age.  Almost any
American community of fair size can afford at least two murderers
--one in jail, under sentence, receiving gifts of flowers and angel
cake from kind ladies, and waiting for the court above to reverse
the verdict in his case because the indictment was shy a comma;
and the other out on bail, awaiting his time for going through the
same procedure.  But with the English it is different.

We rarely hang anybody who is anybody, and only occasionally make
an issue of stretching the neck of the veriest nobody.  They will
hang almost anybody Haman-high, or even higher than that.  They
do not exactly hang their murderer before they catch him, but the
two events occur in such close succession that one can readily
understand why a confusion should have arisen in the public mind
on these points.  First of all, though, they catch him; and then
some morning between ten and twelve they try him.  This is a brief
and businesslike formality.  While the judge is looking in a drawer
of his desk to see whether the black cap is handy the bailiffs
shoo twelve tradesmen into the jury box.  A tradesman is generally
chosen for jury service because he is naturally anxious to get the
thing over and hurry back to his shop before his helper goes to
lunch.  The judge tells the jurors to look on the prisoner, because
he is going away shortly and is not expected back; so they take
full advantage of the opportunity, realizing it to be their last
chance.  Then, in order to comply with the forms, the judge asks
the accused whether he is guilty or not guilty, and the jurors
promptly say he is.  His Worship, concurring heartily, fixes the
date of execution for the first Friday morning when the hangman has
no other engagements.  It is never necessary to postpone this event
through failure of the condemned to be present.  He is always there;
there is no record of his having disappointed an audience.  So,
on the date named, rain or shine, he is hanged very thoroughly;
but after the hanging is over they write songs and books about him
and revere his memory forevermore.

Our guide was pleased to introduce us to the late Mr. Charles
Pease, as done in paraffin, with creped hair and bright, shiny
glass eyes.  Mr. Pease was undoubtedly England's most fashionable
murderer of the past century and his name is imperishably enshrined
in the British affections.  The guide spoke of his life and works
with deep and sincere feeling.  He also appeared to derive unfeigned
pleasure from describing the accomplishments of another murderer,
only slightly less famous than the late Mr. Pease.  It seemed that
this murderer, after slaying his victim, set to dismembering the
body and boiling it.  They boil nearly everything in England.  But
the police broke in on him and interrupted the job.

Our attention was directed to a large chart showing the form of
the victim, the boiled portions being outlined in red and the
unboiled portions in black.  Considered as a murderer solely this
particular murderer may have been deserving of his fame; but when
it came to boiling, that was another matter.  He showed poor
judgment there.  It all goes to show that a man should stick to
his own trade and not try to follow two or more widely dissimilar
callings at the same time.  Sooner or later he is bound to slip up.

We found Stratford-upon-Avon to be the one town in England where
guides are really abundant.  There are as many guides in Stratford
as there are historic spots.  I started to say that there is at
least one guide in Stratford for every American who goes there;
but that would be stretching real facts, because nearly every
American who goes to England manages to spend at least a day in
Stratford, it being a spot very dear to his heart.  The very name
of it is associated with two of the most conspicuous figures in
our literature.  I refer first to Andrew Carnegie; second to William
Shakspere.  Shakspere, who wrote the books, was born here; but
Carnegie, who built the libraries in which to keep the books, and
who has done some writing himself, provided money for preserving
and perpetuating the relics.

We met a guide in the ancient schoolhouse where the Bard--I am
speaking now of William, not of Andrew--acquired the rudiments of
his education; and on duty at the old village church was another
guide, who for a price showed us the identical gravestone bearing
the identical inscription which, reproduced in a design of burnt
wood, is to-day to be found on the walls of every American household,
however humble, whose members are wishful of imparting an artistic
and literary atmosphere to their home.  A third guide greeted us
warmly when we drove to the cottage, a mile or two from the town,
where the Hathaway family lived.  Here we saw the high-backed
settle on which Shakspere sat, night after night, wooing Anne
Hathaway.  I myself sat on it to test it.  I should say that the
wooing could not have been particularly good there, especially for
a thin man.  That settle had a very hard seat and history does not
record that there was a cushion.  Shakspere's affections for the
lady must indeed have been steadfast.  Or perhaps he was of stouter
build than his pictures show him to have been.

Guides were scattered all over the birthplace house in Stratford
in the ratio of one or more to each room.  Downstairs a woman guide
presided over a battery of glass cases containing personal belongings
of Shakspere's and documents written by him and signed by him. 
It is conceded that he could write, but he certainly was a mighty
poor speller.  This has been a failing of many well-known writers. 
Chaucer was deficient in this regard; and if it were not for a
feeling of personal modesty I could apply the illustration nearer
home.

Two guides accompanied us as we climbed the stairs to the low-roofed
room on the second floor where the creator of Shylock and Juliet
was born--or was not born, if you believe what Ignatius Donnelly
had to say on the subject.  But would it not be interesting and
valued information if we could only get the evidence on this point
of old Mrs. Shakspere, who undoubtedly was present on the occasion?
A member of our party, an American, ventured to remark as much to
one of the guides; but the latter did not seem to understand him.
So the American told him just to keep thinking it over at odd
moments, and that he would be back again in a couple of years, if
nothing happened, and possibly by that time the guide would have
caught the drift of his observation.  On second thought, later on,
he decided to make it three years--he did not want to crowd the
guide, he said, or put too great a burden on his mentality in a
limited space of time.

If England harbors few guides the Continent is fairly glutted with
them.  After nightfall the boulevards of Paris are so choked with
them that in places there is standing room only.  In Rome the
congestion is even greater.  In Rome every other person is a guide
--and sometimes twins.  I do not know why, in thinking of Europe,
I invariably associate the subject of guides with the subject of
tips.  The guides were no greedier for tips than the cabmen or the
hotel helpers, or the railroad hands, or the populace at large.
Nevertheless this is true.  In my mind I am sure guides and tips
will always be coupled, as surely as any of those standard team-word
combinations of our language that are familiar to all; as firmly
paired off as, for example, Castor and Pollux, or Damon and Pythias,
or Fair and Warmer, or Hay and Feed.  When I think of one I know
I shall think of the other.  Also I shall think of languages; but
for that there is a reason.

Tipping--the giving of tips and the occasional avoidance of giving
them--takes up a good deal of the tourist's time in Europe.  At
first reading the arrangement devised by the guidebooks, of setting
aside ten per cent of one's bill for tipping purposes, seems a
better plan and a less costly one than the indiscriminate American
system of tipping for each small service at the time of its
performance.  The trouble is that this arrangement does not work
out so well in actual practice as it sounds in theory.  On the day
of your departure you send for your hotel bill.  You do not go to
the desk and settle up there after the American fashion.  If you
have learned the ropes you order your room waiter to fetch your
bill to you, and in the privacy of your apartment you pore over
the formidable document wherein every small charge is fully specified,
the whole concluding with an impressive array of items regarding
which you have no prior recollection whatsoever.  Considering the
total, you put aside an additional ten per cent, calculated for
division on the basis of so much for the waiter, so much for the
boots, so much for the maid and the porter, and the cashier, and
the rest of them.  It is not necessary that you send for these
persons in order to confer your farewell remembrances on them;
they will be waiting for you in the hallways.  No matter how early
or late the hour of your leaving may be, you find them there in a
long and serried rank.

You distribute bills and coins until your ten per cent is exhausted,
and then you are pained to note that several servitors yet remain,
lined up and all expectant, owners of strange faces that you do
not recall ever having seen before, but who are now at hand with
claims, real or imaginary, on your purse.  Inasmuch as you have a
deadly fear of being remembered afterward in this hotel as a piker,
you continue to dip down and to fork over, and so by the time you
reach the tail end of the procession your ten per cent has grown
to twelve or fifteen per cent, or even more.

As regards the tipping of guides for their services, I hit on a
fairly satisfactory plan, which I gladly reveal here for the
benefit of my fellow man.  I think it is a good idea to give the
guide, on parting, about twice as much as you think he is entitled
to, which will be about half as much as he expects.  From this
starting point you then work toward each other, you conceding a
little from time to time, he abating a trifle here and there,
until you have reached a happy compromise on a basis of fifty-fifty;
and so you part in mutual good will.

The average American, on the eve of going to Europe, thinks of the
European as speaking each his own language.  He conceives of the
Poles speaking Polar; of the Hollanders talking Hollandaise; of
the Swiss as employing Schweitzer for ordinary conversations and
yodeling when addressing friends at a distance; and so on.  Such,
however, is rarely the case.  Nearly every person with whom one
comes in contact in Europe appears to have fluent command of several
tongues besides his or her own.  It is true this does not apply
to Italy, where the natives mainly stick to Italian; but then,
Italian is not a language.  It is a calisthenic.

Between Rome and Florence, our train stopped at a small way station
in the mountains.  As soon as the little locomotive had panted
itself to a standstill the train hands, following their habit,
piled off the cars and engaged in a tremendous confab with the
assembled officials on the platform.  Immediately all the loafers
in sight drew cards.  A drowsy hillsman, muffled to his back hair
in a long brown cloak, and with buskins on his legs such as a stage
bandit wears, was dozing against the wall.  He looked as though
he had stepped right out of a comic opera to add picturesqueness
to the scene.  He roused himself and joined in; so did a bearded
party who, to judge by his uniform, was either a Knight of Pythias
or a general in the army; so did all the rest of the crowd.  In
ten seconds they were jammed together in a hard knot, and going
it on the high speed with the muffler off, fine white teeth shining,
arms flying, shoulders shrugging, spinal columns writhing, mustaches
rising and falling, legs wriggling, scalps and ears following suit.
Feeding hour in the parrot cage at the zoo never produced anything
like so noisy and animated a scene.  In these parts acute hysteria
is not a symptom; it is merely a state of mind.

A waiter in soiled habiliments hurried up, abandoning chances of
trade at the prospect of something infinitely more exciting.  He
wanted to stick his oar into the argument.  He had a few pregnant
thoughts of his own craving utterance, you could tell that.  But
he was handicapped into a state of dumbness by the fact that he
needed both arms to balance a tray of wine and sandwiches on his
head.  Merely using his voice in that company would not have
counted.  He stood it as long as he could, which was not very long,
let me tell you.  Then he slammed his tray down on the platform
and, with one quick movement, jerked his coat sleeves back to his
elbows, and inside thirty seconds he had the floor in both hands,
as it were.  He conversed mainly with the Australian crawl stroke,
but once in a while switched to the Spencerian free-arm movement
and occasionally introduced the Chautauqua salute with telling
effect.

On the Continent guides, as a class, excel in the gift of tongues
--guides and hotel concierges.  The concierge at our hotel in
Berlin was a big, upstanding chap, half Russian and half Swiss,
and therefore qualified by his breeding to speak many languages;
for the Russians are born with split tongues and can give cards
and spades to any talking crow that ever lived; while the Swiss
lag but little behind them in linguistic aptitude.  It seemed such
a pity that this man was not alive when the hands knocked off work
on the Tower of Babel; he could have put the job through without
extending himself.  No matter what the nationality of a guest might
be--and the guests were of many nationalities--he could talk with
that guest in his own language or in any other language the guest
might fancy.  I myself was sorely tempted to try him on Coptic
and early Aztec; but I held off.  My Coptic is not what it once
was; and, partly through disuse and partly through carelessness,
I have allowed my command of early Aztec to fall off pretty badly
these last few months.

All linguistic freakishness is not confined to the Continent.  The
English, who are popularly supposed to use the same language we
ourselves use, sometimes speak with a mighty strange tongue.  A
great many of them do not speak English; they speak British, a
very different thing.  An Englishwoman of breeding has a wonderful
speaking voice; as pure as a Boston woman's and more liquid; as
soft as a Southern woman's and with more attention paid to the R's.
But the Cockney type--Wowie! During a carriage ride in Florence
with a mixed company of tourists I chanced to say something of a
complimentary nature about something English, and a little
London-bred woman spoke up and said: "Thenks! It's vurry naice of
you to sezzo, 'm sure." Some of them talk like that--honestly they
do!

Though Americo-English may not be an especially musical speech,
it certainly does lend itself most admirably to slang purposes. 
Here again the Britishers show their inability to utilize the
vehicle to the full of its possibilities.  England never produced
a Billy Baxter or a George Ade, and I am afraid she never will. 
Most of our slang means something; you hear a new slang phrase and
instantly you realize that the genius who coined it has hit on a
happy and a graphic and an illuminating expression; that at one
bound he rose triumphant above the limitations of the language and
tremendously enriched the working vocabulary of the man in the
street.  Whereas an Englishman's idea of slinging slang is to scoop
up at random some inoffensive and well-meaning word that never did
him any harm and apply it in the place of some other word, to which
the first word is not related, even by marriage.  And look how
they deliberately mispronounce proper names.  Everybody knows about
Cholmondeley and St. John.  But take the Scandinavian word fjord.
Why, I ask you, should the English insist on pronouncing it Ferguson?

At Oxford, the seat of learning, Magdalen is pronounced Maudlin,
probably in subtle tribute to the condition of the person who first
pronounced it so.  General-admission day is not the day you enter,
but the day you leave.  Full term means three-quarters of a term.
An ordinary degree is a degree obtained by a special examination.
An inspector of arts does not mean an inspector of arts, but a
student; and from this point they go right ahead, getting worse
all the time.  The droll creature who compiled the Oxford glossary
was a true Englishman.

When an Englishman undertakes to wrestle with American slang he
makes a fearful hash of it.  In an English magazine I read a
short story, written by an Englishman who is regarded by a good
many persons, competent to judge, as being the cleverest writer
of English alive today.  The story was beautifully done from the
standpoint of composition; it bristled with flashing metaphors and
whimsical phrasing.  The scene of the yarn was supposed to be
Chicago and naturally the principal figure in it was a millionaire.
In one place the author has this person saying, "I reckon you'll
feel pretty mean," and in another place, "I reckon I'm not a man
with no pull."

Another character in the story says, "I know you don't cotton
to the march of science in these matters," and speaks of something
that is unusual as being "a rum affair." A walled state prison,
presumably in Illinois, is referred to as a "convict camp"; and
its warden is called a "governor" and an assistant keeper is called
a "warder"; while a Chicago daily paper is quoted as saying that
"larrikins" directed the attention of a policeman to a person who
was doing thus and so.

The writer describes a "mysterious mere" known as Pilgrim's Pond,
"in which they say"--a prison official is supposed to be talking
now--"our fathers made witches walk until they sank." Descendants
of the original Puritans who went from Plymouth Rock, in the summer
of 1621, and founded Chicago, will recall this pond distinctly. 
Cotton Mather is buried on its far bank, and from there it is just
ten minutes by trolley to Salem, Massachusetts.  It is stated also
in this story that the prairies begin a matter of thirty-odd miles
from Chicago, and that to reach them one must first traverse a
"perfect no man's land." Englewood and South Chicago papers please
copy.




Chapter XIX



Venice and the Venisons

Getting back again to guides, I am reminded that our acquaintanceship
with the second member of the Mark Twain brotherhood was staged
in Paris.  This gentleman wished himself on us one afternoon at
the Hotel des Invalides.  We did not engage him; he engaged us,
doing the trick with such finesse and skill that before we realized
it we had been retained to accompany him to various points of
interest in and round Paris.  However, we remained under his control
one day only.  At nightfall we wrested ourselves free and fled
under cover of darkness to German soil, where we were comparatively
safe.

I never knew a man who advanced so rapidly in a military way as
he did during the course of that one day.  Our own national guard
could not hold a candle to him.  He started out at ten A.M. by
being an officer of volunteers in the Franco-Prussian War; but
every time he slipped away and took a nip out of his private
bottle, which was often, he advanced in rank automatically.  Before
the dusk of evening came he was a corps commander, who had been
ennobled on the field of battle by the hand of Napoleon the Third.

He took us to Versailles.  We did not particularly care to go to
Versailles that day, because it was raining; but he insisted and
we went.  In spite of the drizzle we might have enjoyed that
wonderful place had he not been constantly at our elbows, gabbling
away steadily except when he excused himself for a moment and
stepped behind a tree, to emerge a moment later wiping his mouth
on his sleeve.  Then he would return to us, with an added gimpiness
in his elderly legs, an increased expansion of the chest inside
his tight and shiny frock coat, and a fresh freight of richness
on his breath, to report another deserved promotion.

After he had eaten luncheon--all except such portions of it as he
spilled on himself--the colonel grew confidential and chummy.  He
tried to tell me an off-color story and forgot the point of it,
if indeed it had any point.  He began humming the Marseillaise
hymn, but broke off to say he expected to live to see the day when
a column of French troops, singing that air, would march up Unter
den Linden to stack their arms in the halls of the Kaiser's palace.
I did not take issue with him.  Every man is entitled to his
own wishes in those matters.  But later on, when I had seen
something of the Kaiser's standing army, I thought to myself that
when the French troops did march up Unter den Linden they would
find it tolerably rough sledding, and if there was any singing
done a good many of them probably would not be able to join in the
last verse.

Immediately following this, our conductor confided to me that he
had once had the honor of serving Mr. Clemens, whom he referred
to as Mick Twine.  He told me things about Mr. Clemens of which I
had never heard.  I do not think Mr. Clemens ever heard of them
either.  Then the brigadier--it was now after three o'clock, and
between three and three-thirty he was a brigadier--drew my arm
within his.

"I, too, am an author," he stated.  "It is not generally known,
but I have written much.  I wrote a book of which you may have
heard-- 'The Wandering Jew.'" And he tapped himself on the bosom
proudly.

I said I had somehow contracted a notion that a party named Sue
--Eugene Sue--had something to do with writing the work of that
name.

"Ah, but you are right there, my friend," he said.  "Sue wrote
'The Wandering Jew' the first time--as a novel, merely; but I wrote
him much better--as a satire on the anti-Semitic movement."

I surrendered without offering to strike another blow and from
that time on he had his own way with us.  The day, as I was pleased
to note at the time, had begun mercifully to draw to a close; we
were driving back to Paris, and he, sitting on the front seat, had
just attained the highest post in the army under the regime of the
last Empire, when he said:

"Behold, m'sieur! We are now approaching a wine shop on the left.
You were most gracious and kind in the matter of luncheon.  Kindly
permit me to do the honors now.  It is a very good wine shop--I
know it well.  Shall we stop for a glass together, eh?"

It was the first time since we landed at Calais that a native-born
person had offered to buy anything, and, being ever desirous to
assist in the celebration of any truly notable occasion, I
accepted and the car was stopped.  We were at the portal of the
wine shop, when he plucked at my sleeve, offering another suggestion:

"The chauffeur now--he is a worthy fellow, that chauffeur.  Shall
we not invite the chauffeur to join us?"

I was agreeable to that, too.  So he called the chauffeur and the
chauffeur disentangled his whiskers from the steering gear and
came and joined us.  The chauffeur and I each had a small glass
of light wine, but the general took brandy.  Then ensued a spirited
dialogue between him and the woman who kept the shop.  Assuming
that I had no interest in the matter, I studied the pictures
behind the bar.  Presently, having reduced the woman to a state
of comparative silence, he approached me.

"M'sieur," he said, "I regret that this has happened.  Because you
are a foreigner and because you know not our language, that woman
would make an overcharge; but she forgot she had me to deal with.
I am on guard! See her! She is now quelled! I have given her a
lesson she will not soon forget.  M'sieur, the correct amount of
the bill is two-francs-ten.  Give it to her and let us begone!"

I still have that guide's name and address in my possession.  At
parting he pressed his card on me and asked me to keep it; and I
did keep it.  I shall be glad to loan it to any American who may
be thinking of going to Paris.  With the card in his pocket, he
will know exactly where this guide lives; and then, when he is in
need of a guide he can carefully go elsewhere and hire a guide.

I almost failed to mention that before we parted he tried to induce
us to buy something.  He took us miles out of our way to a pottery
and urged us to invest in its wares.  This is the main purpose of
every guide: to see that you buy something and afterward to collect
his commission from the shopkeeper for having brought you to the
shop.  If you engage your guide through the porter at your hotel
you will find that he steers you to the shops the hotel people
have already recommended to you; but if you break the porter's
heart by hiring your guide outside, independently, the guide steers
you to the shops that are on his own private list.

Only once I saw a guide temporarily stumped, and that was in Venice.
The skies were leaky that day and the weather was raw; and one
of the ladies of the party wore pumps and silk stockings.  For the
protection of her ankles she decided to buy a pair of cloth gaiters;
and, stating her intention, she started to go into a shop that
dealt in those articles.  The guide hesitated a moment only, then
threw himself in her path.  The shops hereabout were not to be
trusted--the proprietors, without exception, were rogues and
extortioners.  If madame would have patience for a few brief moments
he would guarantee that she got what she wanted at an honest price.
He seemed so desirous of protecting her that she consented to wait.

In a minute, on a pretext, he excused himself and dived into one
of the crooked ways that thread through all parts of Venice and
make it possible for one who knows their windings to reach any
part of the city without using the canals.  Two of us secretly
followed him.  Beyond the first turning he dived into a shoe shop.
Emerging after a while he hurried back and led the lady to that
same shop, and stood by, smiling softly, while she was fitted with
gaiters.  Until now evidently gaiters had not been on his list,
but he had taken steps to remedy this; and, though his commission
on a pair of sixty-cent gaiters could not have been very large
yet, as some philosopher has so truly said, every little bit added
to what you have makes just a modicum more.  Indeed, the guide
never overlooks the smallest bet.  His whole mentality is focused
on getting you inside a shop.  Once you are there, he stations
himself close behind you, reenforcing the combined importunities
of the shopkeeper and his assembled staff with gentle suggestions.
The depths of self-abasement to which a shopkeeper in Europe will
descend in an effort to sell his goods surpasses the power of
description.  The London tradesman goes pretty far in this direction.
Often he goes as far as the sidewalk, clinging to the hem of your
garment and begging you to return for one more look.  But the
Continentals are still worse.

A Parisian shopkeeper would sell you the bones of his revered
grandmother if you wanted them and he had them in stock; and he
would have them in stock too, because, as I have stated once before,
a true Parisian never throws away anything he can save.  I heard
of just one single instance where a customer desirous of having
an article and willing to pay the price failed to get it; and that,
I would say, stands without a parallel in the annals of commerce
and barter.

An American lady visiting her daughter, an art student in the Latin
Quartier, was walking alone when she saw in a shop window a lace
blouse she fancied.  She went inside and by signs, since she knew
no French, indicated that she wished to look at that blouse.  The
woman in charge shook her head, declining even to take the garment
out of the window.  Convinced now, womanlike, that this particular
blouse was the blouse she desired above all other blouses the
American woman opened her purse and indicated that she was prepared
to buy at the shopwoman's own valuation, without the privilege of
examination.  The shopwoman showed deep pain at having to refuse
the proposition, but refuse it she did; and the would-be buyer
went home angry and perplexed and told her daughter what had
happened.

"It certainly is strange," the daughter said.  "I thought
everything in Paris, except possibly Napoleon's tomb, was for sale.
This thing will repay investigation.  Wait until I pin my hat
on.  Does my nose need powdering?"

Her mother led her back to the shop of the blouse and then the
puzzle was revealed.  For it was the shop of a dry cleanser and
the blouse belonged to some patron and was being displayed as a
sample of the work done inside; but undoubtedly such a thing never
before happened in Paris and probably never will happen again.

In Venice not only the guides and the hotel clerks and porters but
even the simple gondolier has a secret understanding with all
branches of the retail trade.  You get into a long, snaky, black
gondola and fee the beggar who pushes you off, and all the other
beggars who have assisted in the pushing off or have merely
contributed to the success of the operation by being present, and
you tell your gondolier in your best Italian or your worst pidgin
English where you wish to go.  It may be you are bound for the
Rialto; or for the Bridge of Sighs, which is chiefly distinguished
from all the other bridges by being the only covered one in the
lot; or for the house of the lady Desdemona.  The lady Desdemona
never lived there or anywhere else, but the house where she would
have lived, had she lived, is on exhibition daily from nine to
five, admission one lira.  Or perchance you want to visit one of
the ducal palaces that are so numerous in Venice.  These palaces
are still tenanted by the descendants of the original proprietors;
one family has perhaps been living in one palace three or four
hundred years.  But now the family inhabits the top floor, doing
light housekeeping up there, and the lower floor, where the art
treasures, the tapestries and the family relics are, is in charge
of a caretaker, who collects at the door and then leads you through.

Having given the boatman explicit directions you settle back in
your cushion seat to enjoy the trip.  You marvel how he, standing
at the stern, with his single oar fitted into a shallow notch of
his steering post, propels the craft so swiftly and guides it so
surely by those short, twisting strokes of his.  Really, you
reflect, it is rowing by shorthand.  You are feasting your eyes
on the wonderful color effects and the groupings that so enthuse
the artist, and which he generally manages to botch and boggle
when he seeks to commit them to canvas; and betweenwhiles you are
wondering why all the despondent cats in Venice should have picked
out the Grand Canal as the most suitable place in which to commit
suicide, when--bump!--your gondola swings up against the landing
piles in front of a glass factory and the entire force of helpers
rush out and seize you by your arms--or by your legs, if handier
--and try to drag you inside, while the affable and accommodating
gondolier boosts you from behind.  You fight them off, declaring
passionately that you are not in the market for colored glass at
this time.  The hired hands protest; and the gondolier, cheated
out of his commission, sorrows greatly, but obeys your command to
move on.  At least he pretends to obey it; but a minute later he
brings you up broadside at the water-level doors of a shop dealing
in antiques, known appropriately as antichitas, or at a mosaic
shop or a curio shop.  If ever you do succeed in reaching your
destination it is by the exercise of much profanity and great
firmness of will.

The most insistent and pesky shopkeepers of all are those who hive
in the ground floors of the professedly converted palaces that
face on three sides of the Square of Saint Mark's.  You dare not
hesitate for the smallest fractional part of a second in front of
a shop here.  Lurking inside the open door is a husky puller-in;
and he dashes out and grabs hold of you and will not let go, begging
you in spaghettified English to come in and examine his unapproachable
assortment of bargains.  You are not compelled to buy, he tells
you; he only wants you to gaze on his beautiful things.  Believe
him not! Venture inside and decline to purchase and he will think
up new and subtle Italian forms of insult and insolence to visit
on you.  They will have brass bands out for you if you invest and
brass knuckles if you do not.

There is but one way to escape from their everlasting persecutions,
and that is to flee to the center of the square and enjoy the
company of the pigeons and the photographers.  They--the pigeons,
I mean--belong to the oldest family in Venice; their lineage is
of the purest and most undefiled.  For upward of seven hundred
years the authorities of the city have been feeding and protecting
the pigeons, of which these countless blue-and-bronze flocks are
the direct descendants.  They are true aristocrats; and, like true
aristocrats, they are content to live on the public funds and grow
fat and sassy thereon, paying nothing in return.

No; I take that part back--they do pay something in return; a
full measure.  They pay by the beauty of their presence, and they
are surely very beautiful, with their dainty mincing pink feet and
the sheen on the proudly arched breast coverts of the cock birds;
and they pay by giving you their trust and their friendship.  To
gobble the gifts of dried peas, which you buy in little cornucopias
from convenient venders for distribution among them, they come
wheeling in winged battalions, creaking and cooing, and alight on
your head and shoulders in that perfect confidence which so delights
humans when wild or half-wild creatures bestow it on us, though,
at every opportunity, we do our level best to destroy it by hunting
and harrying them to death.

At night, when the moon is up, is the time to visit this spot. 
Standing here, with the looming pile of the Doge's Palace bulked
behind you, and the gorgeous but somewhat garish decorations of
the great cathedral softened and soothed into perfection of outline
and coloring by the half light, you can for the moment forget the
fallen state of Venice, and your imagination peoples the splendid
plaza for you with the ghosts of its dead and vanished greatnesses.
You conceive of the place as it must have looked in those old,
brave, wicked days, filled all with knights, with red-robed cardinals
and clanking men at arms, with fair ladies and grave senators,
slinking bravos and hired assassins--and all so gay with silk and
satin and glittering steel and spangling gems.

By the eye of your mind you see His Illuminated Excellency, the
frosted Christmas card, as he bows low before His Eminence, the
pink Easter egg; you see, half hidden behind the shadowed columns
of the long portico, an illustrated Sunday supplement in six colors
bargaining with a stick of striped peppermint candy to have his
best friend stabbed in the back before morning; you see giddy
poster designs carrying on flirtations with hand-painted valentines;
you catch the love-making, overhear the intriguing, and scent the
plotting; you are an eyewitness to a slice out of the life of the
most sinister, the most artistic, and the most murderous period
of Italian history.

But by day imperious Caesar, dead and turn'd to clay, stops a hole
to keep the wind away; and the wild ass of the ninety-day tour
stamps his heedless hoofs over the spot where sleeps the dust of
departed grandeur.  By day the chug of the motor boat routs out
old sleepy echoes from cracked and crannied ruins; the burnished
golden frescoes of Saint Mark's blare at you as with brazen trumpets;
every third medieval church has been turned into a moving-picture
place; and the shopkeeping parasites buzz about you in vermin
swarms and bore holes in your pocketbook until it is all one large
painful welt.  The emblem of Venice is the winged lion.  It should
be the tapeworm.

In Rome it appears to be a standing rule that every authenticated
guide shall be a violent Socialist and therefore rampingly
anticlerical in all his views.  We were in Rome during the season
of pilgrimages.  From all parts of Italy, from Bohemia and Hungary
and Spain and Tyrol, and even from France, groups of peasants had
come to Rome to worship in their mother church and be blessed by
the supreme pontiff of their faith.  At all hours of the day they
were passing through the streets, bound for Saint Peter's or the
Vatican, the women with kerchiefs over their heads, the men in
their Sunday best, and all with badges and tokens on their breasts.

At the head of each straggling procession would be a black-frocked
village priest, at once proud and humble, nervous and exalted.  A
man might be of any religion or of no religion at all, and yet I
fail to see how he could watch, unmoved, the uplifted faces of
these people as they clumped over the cobbles of the Holy City,
praying as they went.  Some of them had been saving up all their
lives, I imagine, against the coming of this great day; but our
guide--and we tried three different ones--never beheld this sight
that he did not sneer at it; and not once did he fail to point out
that most of the pilgrims were middle-aged or old, taking this as
proof of his claim that the Church no longer kept its hold on the
younger people, even among the peasant classes.  The still more
frequent spectacle of a marching line of students of one of the
holy colleges, with each group wearing the distinctive insignia
of its own country--purple robes or green sashes, or what not
--would excite him to the verge of a spasm.

But then he was always verging on a spasm anyway--spasms were his
normal state.




Chapter XX



The Combustible Captain of Vienna

Our guide in Vienna was the most stupid human being I ever saw. 
He was profoundly ignorant on a tremendously wide range of subjects;
he had a most complete repertoire of ignorance.  He must have spent
years of study to store up so much interesting misinformation. 
This guide was much addicted to indulgence of a peculiar form of
twisted English and at odd moments given to the consumption of a
delicacy of strictly Germanic origin, known in the language of the
Teutons as a rollmops.  A rollmops consists of a large dilled
cucumber, with a pickled herring coiled round it ready to strike,
in the design of the rattlesnake-and-pinetree flag of the Revolution,
the motto in both instances being in effect: "Don't monkey with
the buzz saw!" He carried his rollmops in his pocket and frequently,
in art galleries or elsewhere, would draw it out and nibble it,
while disseminating inaccuracies touching on pictures and statues
and things.

Among other places, he took us to the oldest church in Vienna. 
As I now recollect it was six hundred years old.  No; on second
thought I will say it must have been older than that.  No church
could possibly become so moldy and mangy looking as that church
in only six hundred years.  The object in this church that interested
me most was contained in an ornate glass case placed near the altar
and alongside the relics held to be sacred.  It did not exactly
please me to gaze at this article; but the thing had a fascination
for me; I will not deny that.

It seems that a couple of centuries ago there was an officer in
Vienna, a captain in rank and a Frenchman by birth, who, in the
midst of disorders and licentiousness, lived so godly and so
sanctified a life that his soldiers took it into their heads that
he was really a saint, or at least had the making of a first-rate
saint in him, and, therefore, must lead a charmed life.  So--thus
runs the tale--some of them laid a wager with certain Doubting
Thomases, also soldiers, that neither by fire nor water, neither
by rope nor poison, could he take harm to himself.  Finally they
decided on fire for the test.  So they waited until he slept--those
simple, honest, chuckle-headed chaps--and then they slipped in
with a lighted torch and touched him off.

Well, sir, the joke certainly was on those soldiers.  He burned
up with all the spontaneous enthusiasm of a celluloid comb.  For
qualities of instantaneous combustion he must have been the equal
of any small-town theater that ever was built--with one exit.  He
was practically a total loss and there was no insurance.

They still have him, or what is left of him, in that glass case. 
He did not exactly suffer martyrdom--though probably he personally
did not notice any very great difference--and so he has not been
canonized; nevertheless, they have him there in that church.  In
all Europe I only saw one sight to match him, and that was down
in the crypt under the Church of the Capuchins, in Rome, where the
dissected cadavers of four thousand dead--but not gone--monks are
worked up into decorations.  There are altars made of their skulls,
and chandeliers made of their thigh bones; frescoes of their spines;
mosaics of their teeth and dried muscles; cozy corners of their
femurs and pelves and tibiae.  There are two classes of travelers
I would strongly advise not to visit the crypt of the Capuchins'
Church--those who are just about to have dinner and want to have
it, and those who have just had dinner and want to keep on having
it.

At the royal palace in Vienna we saw the finest, largest, and
gaudiest collection of crown jewels extant.  That guide of ours
seemed to think he had done his whole duty toward us and could
call it a day and knock off when he led us up to the jewel
collections, where each case was surrounded by pop-eyed American
tourists taking on flesh at the sight of all those sparklers and
figuring up the grand total of their valuation in dollars, on the
basis of so many hundreds of carats at so many hundred dollars a
carat, until reason tottered on her throne--and did not have so
very far to totter, either.

The display or all those gems, however, did not especially excite
me.  There were too many of them and they were too large.  A blue
Kimberley in a hotel clerk's shirtfront or a pigeonblood ruby on
a faro dealer's little finger might hold my attention and win my
admiration; but where jewels are piled up in heaps like anthracite
in a coal bin they thrill me no more than the anthracite would. 
A quart measure of diamonds of the average size of a big hailstone
does not make me think of diamonds but of hailstones.  I could
remain as calm in their presence as I should in the presence of a
quart of cracked ice; in fact, calmer than I should remain in the
presence of a quart of cracked ice in Italy, say, where there is
not that much ice, cracked or otherwise.  In Italy a bucketful of
ice would be worth traveling miles to see.  You could sell tickets
for it.

In one of the smaller rooms of the palace we came on a casket
containing a necklace of great smoldering rubies and a pair of
bracelets to match.  They were as big as cranberries and as red
as blood--as red as arterial blood.  And when, on consulting the
guidebook, we read the history of those rubies the sight of them
brought a picture to our minds, for they had been a part of the
wedding dowry of Marie Antoinette.  Once on a time this necklace
had spanned the slender white throat that was later to be sheared
by the guillotine, and these bracelets had clasped the same white
wrists that were roped together with an ell of hangman's hemp on
the day the desolated queen rode, in her patched and shabby gown,
to the Place de la Revolution.

I had seen paintings in plenty and read descriptions galore of
that last ride of the Widow Capet going to her death in the tumbril,
with the priest at her side and her poor, fettered arms twisted
behind her, and her white face bared to the jeers of the mob; but
the physical presence of those precious useless baubles, which had
cost so much and yet had bought so little for her, made more vivid
to me than any picture or anystory the most sublime tragedy of The
Terror--the tragedy of those two bound hands.




Chapter XXI



Old Masters and Other Ruins

It is naturally a fine thing for one, and gratifying, to acquire
a thorough art education.  Personally I do not in the least
regret the time I gave and the study I devoted to acquiring
mine.  I regard those two weeks as having been well spent.

I shall not do it soon again, however, for now I know all about
art.  Let others who have not enjoyed my advantages take up this
study.  Let others scour the art galleries of Europe seeking
masterpieces.  All of them contain masterpieces and most of them
need scouring.  As for me and mine, we shall go elsewhere.  I
love my art, but I am not fanatical on the subject.  There is
another side of my nature to which an appeal may be made.  I can
take my Old Masters or I can leave them be.  That is the way I
am organized--I have self-control.

I shall not deny that the earlier stages of my art education
were fraught with agreeable little surprises.  Not soon shall I
forget the flush of satisfaction which ran through me on learning
that this man Dore's name was pronounced like the first two notes
in the music scale, instead of like a Cape Cod fishing boat.  And
lingering in my mind as a fragrant memory is the day when I first
discovered that Spagnoletto was neither a musical instrument nor
something to be served au gratin and eaten with a fork.  Such
acquirements as these are very precious to me.

But for the time being I have had enough.  At this hour of writing
I feel that I am stocked up with enough of Bouguereau's sorrel
ladies and Titian's chestnut ones and Rubens' bay ones and Velasquez's
pintos to last me, at a conservative estimate, for about seventy-five
years.  I am too young as a theatergoer to recall much about
Lydia Thompson's Blondes, but I have seen sufficient of Botticelli's
to do me amply well for a spell.  I am still willing to walk a
good distance to gaze on one of Rembrandt's portraits of one of
his kinfolks, though I must say he certainly did have a lot of
mighty homely relatives; and any time there is a first-rate Millet
or Corot or Meissonier in the neighborhood I wish somebody would
drop me a line, giving the address.  As for pictures by Tintoretto,
showing Venetian Doges hobnobbing informally with members of the
Holy Family, and Raphael's angels, and Michelangelo's lost souls,
and Guidos, and Murillos, I have had enough to do me for months
and months and months.  Nor am I in the market for any of the dead
fish of the Flemish school.  Judging by what I have observed,
practically all the Flemish painters were devout churchmen and
painted their pictures on Friday.

There was just one drawback to my complete enjoyment of that part
of our European travels we devoted to art.  We would go to an art
gallery, hire a guide and start through.  Presently I would come
to a picture that struck me as being distinctly worth while.  To
my untutored conceptions it possessed unlimited beauty.  There
was, it seemed to me, life in the figures, reality in the colors,
grace in the grouping.  And then, just when I was beginning really
to enjoy it, the guide would come and snatch me away.

He would tell me the picture I thought I admired was of no account
whatsoever--that the artist who painted it had not yet been dead
long enough to give his work any permanent value; and he would
drag me off to look at a cracked and crumbling canvas depicting a
collection of saints of lacquered complexions and hardwood
expressions, with cast-iron trees standing up against cotton batting
clouds in the background, and a few extra halos floating round
indiscriminately, like sun dogs on a showery day, and, up above,
the family entrance into heaven hospitably ajar; and he would
command me to bask my soul in this magnificent example of real art
and not waste time on inconsequential and trivial things.  Guides
have the same idea of an artist that a Chinaman entertains for an
egg.  A fresh egg or a fresh artist will not do.  It must have the
perfume of antiquity behind it to make it attractive.

At the Louvre, in Paris, on the first day of the two we spent
there, we had for our guide a tall, educated Prussian, who had an
air about him of being an ex-officer of the army.  All over the
Continent you are constantly running into men engaged in all manner
of legitimate and dubious callings, who somehow impress you as
having served in the army of some other country than the one in
which you find them.  After this man had been chaperoning us about
for some hours and we had stopped to rest, he told a good story. 
It may not have been true--it has been my experience that very few
good stories are true; but it served aptly to illustrate a certain
type of American tourist numerously encountered abroad.

"There were two of them," he said in his excellent English, "a
gentleman and his wife; and from what I saw of them I judged
them to be very wealthy.  They were interested in seeing only such
things as had been recommended by the guidebook.  The husband would
tell me they desired to see such and such a picture or statue. 
I would escort them to it and they would glance at it indifferently,
and the gentleman would take out his lead pencil and check off
that particular object in the book; and then he would say: 'All
right--we've seen that; now let's find out what we want to look
at next.' We still serve a good many people like that--not so many
as formerly, but still a good many.

"Finally I decided to try a little scheme of my own.  I wanted to
see whether I could really win their admiration for something.  I
picked out a medium-size painting of no particular importance and,
pointing to it, said impressively: 'Here, m'sieur, is a picture
worth a million dollars--without the frame!'

"'What's that?' he demanded excitedly.  Then he called to his wife,
who had strayed ahead a few steps.  'Henrietta,' he said, 'come
back here--you're missing something.  There's a picture there
that's worth a million dollars--and without the frame, too, mind
you!'

"She came hurrying back and for ten minutes they stood there
drinking in that picture.  Every second they discovered new and
subtle beauties in it.  I could hardly induce them to go on for
the rest of the tour, and the next day they came back for another
soul-feast in front of it."

Later along, that guide confided to me that in his opinion I had
a keen appreciation of art, much keener than the average lay
tourist.  The compliment went straight to my head.  It was seeking
the point of least resistance, I suppose.  I branched out and
undertook to discuss art matters with him on a more familiar basis.
It was a mistake; but before I realized that it was a mistake I
was out in the undertow sixty yards from shore, going down for the
third time, with a low gurgling cry.  He did not put out to save
me, either; he left me to sink in the heaving and abysmal sea of
my own fathomless ignorance.  He just stood there and let me drown.
It was a cruel thing, for which I can never forgive him.

In my own defense let me say, however, that this fatal indiscretion
was committed before I had completed my art education.  It was
after we had gone from France to Germany, and to Austria, and to
Italy, that I learned the great lesson about art--which is that
whenever and wherever you meet a picture that seems to you reasonably
lifelike it is nine times in ten of no consequence whatsoever;
and, unless you are willing to be regarded as a mere ignoramus,
you should straightway leave it and go and find some ancient picture
of a group of overdressed clothing dummies masquerading as angels
or martyrs, and stand before that one and carry on regardless.

When in doubt, look up a picture of Saint Sebastian.  You never
experience any difficulty in finding him--he is always represented
as wearing very few clothes, being shot full of arrows to such an
extent that clothes would not fit him anyway.  Or else seek out
Saint Laurence, who is invariably featured in connection with a
gridiron; or Saint Bartholomew, who, you remember, achieved
canonization through a process of flaying, and is therefore shown
with his skin folded neatly and carried over his arm like a spring
overcoat.

Following this routine you make no mistakes.  Everybody is bound
to accept you as one possessing a deep knowledge of art, and not
mere surface art either, but the innermost meanings and conceptions
of art.  Only sometimes I did get to wishing that the Old Masters
had left a little more to the imagination.  They never withheld
any of the painful particulars.  It seemed to me they cheapened
the glorious end of those immortal fathers of the faith by including
the details of the martyrdom in every picture.  Still, I would not
have that admission get out and obtain general circulation.  It
might be used against me as an argument that my artistic education
was grounded on a false foundation.

It was in Rome, while we were doing the Vatican, that our guide
furnished us with a sight that, considered as a human experience,
was worth more to me than a year of Old Masters and Young Messers.
We had pushed our poor blistered feet--a dozen or more of us--past
miles of paintings and sculptures and relics and art objects, and
we were tired--oh, so tired! Our eyes ached and our shoes hurt us;
and the calves of our legs quivered as we trailed along from gallery
to corridor, and from corridor back to gallery.

We had visited the Sistine Chapel; and, such was our weariness,
we had even declined to become excited over Michelangelo's great
picture of the Last Judgment.  I was disappointed, too, that he
had omitted to include in his collection of damned souls a number
of persons I had confidently and happily expected would be present.
I saw no one there even remotely resembling my conception of the
person who first originated and promulgated the doctrine that all
small children should be told at the earliest possible moment that
there is no Santa Claus.  That was a very severe blow to me, because
I had always believed that the descent to eternal perdition would
be incomplete unless he had a front seat.  And the man who first
hit on the plan of employing child labor on night shifts in cotton
factories--he was unaccountably absent too.  And likewise the
original inventor of the toy pistol; in fact the absentees were
entirely too numerous to suit me.  There was one thing, though,
to be said in praise of Michelangelo's Last Judgment; it was too
large and too complicated to be reproduced successfully on a
souvenir postal card; and I think we should all be very grateful
for that mercy anyway.

As I was saying, we had left the Sistine Chapel a mile or so
behind us and had dragged our exhausted frames as far as an arched
upper portico in a wing of the great palace, overlooking a paved
courtyard inclosed at its farther end by a side wall of Saint
Peter's.  We saw, in another portico similar to the one where we
had halted and running parallel to it, long rows of peasants, all
kneeling and all with their faces turned in the same direction.

"Wait here a minute," said our guide.  "I think you will see
something not included in the regular itinerary of the day."

So we waited.  In a minute or two the long lines of kneeling
peasants raised a hymn; the sound of it came to us in quavering
snatches.  Through the aisle formed by their bodies a procession
passed the length of the long portico and back to the starting
point.  First came Swiss Guards in their gay piebald uniforms,
carrying strange-looking pikes and halberds; and behind them were
churchly dignitaries, all bared of head; and last of all came a
very old and very feeble man, dressed in white, with a wide-brimmed
white hat--and he had white hair and a white face, which seemed
drawn and worn, but very gentle and kindly and beneficent.

He held his right arm aloft, with the first two fingers extended
in the gesture of the apostolic benediction.  He was so far away
from us that in perspective his profile was reduced to the miniature
proportions of a head on a postage stamp; but, all the same, the
lines of it stood out clear and distinct.  It was his Holiness,
Pope Pius the Tenth, blessing a pilgrimage.

All the guides in Rome follow a regular routine with the tourist.
First, of course, they steer you into certain shops in the hope
that you will buy something and thereby enable them to earn
commissions.  Then, in turn, they carry you to an art gallery, to
a church, and to a palace, with stops at other shops interspersed
between; and invariably they wind up in the vicinity of some of
the ruins.  Ruins is a Roman guide's middle name; ruins are his
one best bet.  In Rome I saw ruins until I was one myself.

We devoted practically an entire day to ruins.  That was the day
we drove out the Appian Way, glorious in legend and tale, but not
quite so all-fired glorious when you are reeling over its rough
and rutted pavement in an elderly and indisposed open carriage,
behind a pair of half-broken Roman-nosed horses which insist on
walking on their hind legs whenever they tire of going on four. 
The Appian Way, as at present constituted, is a considerable
disappointment.  For long stretches it runs between high stone
walls, broken at intervals by gate-ways, where votive lamps burn
before small shrines, and by the tombs of such illustrious dead
as Seneca and the Horatii and the Curiatii.  At more frequent
intervals are small wine groggeries.  Being built mainly of Italian
marble, which is the most enduring and the most unyielding substance
to be found in all Italy--except a linen collar that has been
starched in an Italian laundry--the tombs are in a pretty fair
state of preservation; but the inns, without exception, stand most
desperately in need of immediate repairing.

A cow in Italy is known by the company she keeps; she rambles
about, in and out of the open parlor of the wayside inn, mingling
freely with the patrons and the members of the proprietor's household.
Along the Appian Way a cow never seems to care whom she runs with;
and the same is true of the domestic fowls and the family donkey.
A donkey will spend his day in the doorway of a wine shop when he
might just as well be enjoying the more sanitary and less crowded
surroundings of a stable.  It only goes to show what an ass a
donkey is.

Anon, as the fancy writers say, we skirted one of the many wrecked
aqueducts that go looping across country to the distant hills,
like great stone straddlebugs.  In the vicinity of Rome you are
rarely out of sight of one of these aqueducts.  The ancient Roman
rulers, you know, curried the favor of the populace by opening
baths.  A modern ruler could win undying popularity by closing up
a few.

We slowed up at the Circus of Romulus and found it a very sad
circus, as such things go--no elevated stage, no hippodrome track,
no centerpole, no trapeze, and only one ring.  P. T. Barnum would
have been ashamed to own it.  A broken wall, following the lines
of an irregular oval; a cabbage patch where the arena had been;
and various tumble-down farmsheds built into the shattered masonry
--this was the Circus of Romulus.  However, it was not the circus
of the original Romulus, but of a degenerate successor of the same
name who rose suddenly and fell abruptly after the Christian era
was well begun.  Old John J. Romulus would not have stood for that
circus a minute.

No ride on the Appian Way is regarded as complete without half an
hour's stop at the Catacombs of Saint Calixtus; so we stopped. 
Guided by a brown Trappist, and all of us bearing twisted tapers
in our hands, we descended by stone steps deep under the skin of
the earth and wandered through dim, dank underground passages,
where thousands of early Christians had lived and hid, and held
clandestine worship before rude stone altars, and had died and
been buried--died in a highly unpleasant fashion, some of them.

The experience was impressive, but malarial.  Coming away from
there I had an argument with a fellow American.  He said that if
we had these Catacombs in America we should undoubtedly enlarge
them and put in band stands and lunch places, and altogether make
them more attractive for picnic parties and Sunday excursionists.
I contended, on the other hand, that if they were in America the
authorities would close them up and protect the moldered bones of
those early Christians from the vulgar gaze and prying fingers of
every impious relic hunter who might come along.  The dispute rose
higher and grew warmer until I offered to bet him fifty dollars
that I was right and he was wrong.  He took me up promptly--he had
sporting instincts; I'll say that for him--and we shook hands on
it then and there to bind the wager.  I expect to win that bet.

We had turned off the Appian Way and were crossing a corner of that
unutterably hideous stretch of tortured and distorted waste known
as the Campagna, which goes tumbling away to the blue Alban Mountains,
when we came on the scene of an accident.  A two-wheeled mule cart,
proceeding along a crossroad, with the driver asleep in his canopied
seat, had been hit by a speeding automobile and knocked galley-west.
The automobile had sped on--so we were excitedly informed by some
other tourists who had witnessed the collision--leaving the wreckage
bottom side up in the ditch.  The mule was on her back, all entangled
in the twisted ruination of her gaudy gear, kicking out in that
restrained and genteel fashion in which a mule always kicks when
she is desirous of protesting against existing conditions, but is
wishful not to damage herself while so doing.  The tourists, aided
by half a dozen peasants, had dragged the driver out from beneath
the heavy cart and had carried him to a pile of mucky straw beneath
the eaves of a stable.  He was stretched full length on his back,
senseless and deathly pale under the smeared grime on his face.
There was no blood; but inside his torn shirt his chest had a
caved-in look, as though the ribs had been crushed flat, and he
seemed not to breathe at all.  Only his fingers moved.  They kept
twitching, as though his life was running out of him through his
finger ends.  One felt that if he would but grip his hands he might
stay its flight and hold it in.

Just as we jumped out of our carriage a young peasant woman, who
had been bending over the injured man, set up a shrill outcry,
which was instantly answered from behind us; and looking round we
saw, running through the bare fields, a great, bulksome old woman,
with her arms outspread and her face set in a tragic shape, shrieking
as she sped toward us in her ungainly wallowing course.  She was
the injured man's mother, we judged--or possibly his grandmother.

There was nothing we could do for the human victim.  Our guides,
having questioned the assembled natives, told us there was no
hospital to which he might be taken and that a neighborhood
physician had already been sent for.  So, having no desire to look
on the grief of his mother--if she was his mother--a young Austrian
and I turned our attention to the neglected mule.  We felt that
we could at least render a little first aid there.  We had our
pocket-knives out and were slashing away at the twisted maze of
ropes and straps that bound the brute down between the shafts,
when a particularly shrill chorus of shrieks checked us.  We stood
up and faced about, figuring that the poor devil on the muck heap
had died and that his people were bemoaning his death.  That was
not it at all.  The entire group, including the fat old woman,
were screaming at us and shaking their clenched fists at us, warning
us not to damage that harness with our knives.  Feeling ran high,
and threatened to run higher.

So, having no desire to be mobbed on the spot, we desisted and put
up our knives; and after a while we got back into our carriage and
drove on, leaving the capsized mule still belly-up in the debris,
lashing out carefully with her skinned legs at the trappings that
bound her; and the driver was still prone on the dunghill, with
his fingers twitching more feebly now, as though the life had
almost entirely fled out of him--a grim little tragedy set in the
edge of a wide and aching desolation! We never found out his name
or learned how he fared--whether he lived or died, and if he died
how long he lived before he died.  It is a puzzle which will always
lie unanswered at the back of my mind, and I know that in odd
moments it will return to torment me.  I will bet one thing,
though--nobody else tried to cut that mule out of her harness.

In the chill late afternoon of a Roman day the guides brought us
back to the city and took us down into the Roman Forum, which is
in a hollow instead of being up on a hill as most folks imagine
it to be until they go to Rome and see it; and we finished up the
day at the Golden House of Nero, hard by the vast ruins of the
Coliseum.  We had already visited the Forum once; so this time we
did not stay long; just long enough for some ambitious pickpocket
to get a wallet out of my hip pocket while I was pushing forward
with a flock of other human sheep for a better look at the ruined
portico wherein Mark Antony stood when he delivered his justly
popular funeral oration over the body of the murdered Caesar.  I
never did admire the character of Mark Antony with any degree of
extravagance, and since this experience I have felt actually
bitter toward him.

The guidebooks say that no visitor to Rome should miss seeing the
Golden House of Nero.  When a guidebook tries to be humorous it
only succeeds in being foolish.  Practical jokes are out of place
in a guidebook anyway.  Imagine a large, old-fashioned brick
smokehouse, which has been struck by lightning, burned to the roots
and buried in the wreckage, and the site used as a pasture land
for goats for a great many years; imagine the debris as having
been dug out subsequently until a few of the foundation lines are
visible; surround the whole with distressingly homely buildings
of a modern aspect, and stir in a miscellaneous seasoning of beggars
and loafers and souvenir venders--and you have the Golden House
where Nero meant to round out a life already replete with incident
and abounding in romance, but was deterred from so doing by reason
of being cut down in the midst of his activities at a comparatively
early age.

In the presence of the Golden House of Nero I did my level best
to recreate before my mind's eye the scenes that had been enacted
here once on a time.  I tried to picture this moldy, knee-high wall,
as a great glittering palace; and yonder broken roadbed as a
splendid Roman highway; and these American-looking tenements on
the surrounding hills as the marble dwellings of the emperors; and
all the broken pillars and shattered porticoes in the distance as
arches of triumph and temples of the gods.  I tried to convert the
clustering mendicants into barbarian prisoners clanking by, chained
at wrist and neck and ankle; I sought to imagine the pestersome
flower venders as being vestal virgins; the two unkempt policemen
who loafed nearby, as centurions of the guard; the passing populace
as grave senators in snowy togas; the flaunting underwear on the
many clotheslines as silken banners and gilded trappings.  I could
not make it.  I tried until I was lame in both legs and my back
was strained.  It was no go.

If I had been a poet or a historian, or a person full of Chianti,
I presume I might have done it; but I am no poet and I had
not been drinking.  All I could think of was that the guide on
my left had eaten too much garlic and that the guide on my right
had not eaten enough.  So in self-defense I went away and ate a
few strands of garlic myself; for I had learned the great lesson
of the proverb:

When in Rome be an aroma!




Chapter XXII



Still More Ruins, Mostly Italian Ones

When I reached Pompeii the situation was different.  I could conjure
up an illusion there--the biggest, most vivid illusion I have been
privileged to harbor since I was a small boy.  It was worth spending
four days in Naples for the sake of spending half a day in Pompeii;
and if you know Naples you will readily understand what a high
compliment that is for Pompeii.

To reach Pompeii from Naples we followed a somewhat roundabout
route; and that trip was distinctly worth while too.  It provided
a most pleasing foretaste of what was to come.  Once we had cleared
the packed and festering suburbs, we went flanking across a terminal
vertebra of the mountain range that sprawls lengthwise of the land
of Italy, like a great spiny-backed crocodile sunning itself, with
its tail in the Tyrrhenian Sea and its snout in the Piedmonts; and
when we had done this we came out on a highway that skirted the bay.

There were gaps in the hills, through which we caught glimpses of
the city, lying miles away in its natural amphitheater; and at
that distance we could revel in its picturesqueness and forget its
bouquet of weird stenches.  We could even forget that the automobile
we had hired for the excursion had one foot in the grave and several
of its most important vital organs in the repair shop.  I reckon
that was the first automobile built.  No; I take that back.  It
never was a first--it must have been a second to start with.

I once owned a half interest in a sick automobile.  It was one of
those old-fashioned, late Victorian automobiles, cut princesse
style, with a plaquette in the back; and it looked like a cross
between a fiat-bed job press and a tailor's goose.  It broke down
so easily and was towed in so often by more powerful machines that
every time a big car passed it on the road it stopped right where
it was and nickered.  Of a morning we would start out in that car
filled with high hopes and bright anticipations, but eventide would
find us returning homeward close behind a bigger automobile, in a
relationship strongly suggestive of the one pictured in the
well-known Nature Group entitled: "Mother Hippo, With Young." We
refused an offer of four hundred dollars for that machine.  It had
more than four hundred dollars' worth of things the matter with it.

The car we chartered at Naples for our trip to Pompeii reminded
me very strongly of that other car of which I was part owner.
Between them there was a strong family resemblance, not alone in
looks but in deportment also.  For patient endurance of manifold
ills, for an inexhaustible capacity in developing new and distressing
symptoms at critical moments, for cheerful willingness to play
foal to some other car's dam, they might have been colts out of
the same litter.  Nevertheless, between intervals of breaking down
and starting up again, and being helped along by friendly passer-by
automobiles, we enjoyed the ride from Naples.  We enjoyed every
inch of it.

Part of the way we skirted the hobs of the great witches' caldron
of Vesuvius.  On this day the resident demons must have been
stirring their brew with special enthusiasm, for the smoky smudge
which always wreathes its lips had increased to a great billowy
plume that lay along the naked flanges of the devil mountain for
miles and miles.  Now we would go puffing and panting through some
small outlying environ of the city.  Always the principal products
of such a village seemed to be young babies and macaroni drying
in the sun.  I am still reasonably fond of babies, but I date my
loss of appetite for imported macaroni from that hour.  Now we
would emerge on a rocky headland and below us would be the sea,
eternally young and dimpling like a maiden's cheek; but the crags
above were eternally old and all gashed with wrinkles and seamed
with folds, like the jowls of an ancient squaw.  Then for a distance
we would run right along the face of the cliff.  Directly beneath
us we could see little stone huts of fishermen clinging to the
rocks just above high-water mark, like so many gray limpets; and
then, looking up, we would catch a glimpse of the vineyards, tucked
into man-made terraces along the upper cliffs, like bundled herbs
on the pantry shelves of a thrifty housewife; and still higher up
there would be orange groves and lemon groves and dusty-gray olive
groves.  Each succeeding picture was Byzantine in its coloring.
Always the sea was molten blue enamel, and the far-away villages
seemed crafty inlays of mosaic work; and the sun was a disk of
hammered Grecian gold.

A man from San Francisco was sharing the car with us, and he came
right out and said that if he were sure heaven would be as beautiful
as the Bay of Naples, he would change all his plans and arrange
to go there.  He said he might decide to go there anyhow, because
heaven was a place he had always heard very highly spoken of.  And
I agreed with him.

The sun was slipping down the western sky and was laced with red
like a bloodshot eye, with a Jacob's Ladder of rainbow shafts
streaming down from it to the water, when we turned inland; and
after several small minor stops, while the automobile caught its
breath and had the heaves and the asthma, we came to Pompeii over
a road built of volcanic rock.  I have always been glad that we
went there on a day when visitors were few.  The very solitude of
the place aided the mind in the task of repeopling the empty streets
of that dead city by the sea with the life that was hers nearly
two thousand years ago.  Herculaneum will always be buried, so
the scientists say, for Herculaneum was snuggled close up under
Vesuvius, and the hissing-hot lava came down in waves; and first
it slugged the doomed town to death and then slagged it over with
impenetrable, flint-hard deposits.  Pompeii, though, lay farther
away, and was entombed in dust and ashes only; so that it has been
comparatively easy to unearth it and make it whole again.  Even
so, after one hundred and sixty-odd years of more or less desultory
explorations, nearly a third of its supposed area is yet to be
excavated.

It was in the year 1592 that an architect named Fontana, in cutting
an aqueduct which was to convey the waters of the Sarno to Torre
dell' Annunziata, discovered the foundations of the Temple of Isis,
which stood near the walls on the inner or land side of the ancient
city.  It was at first supposed that he had dug into an isolated
villa of some rich Roman; and it was not until 1748 that prying
archaeologists hit on the truth and induced the Government to send
a chain gang of convicts to dig away the accumulations of earth
and tufa.  But if it had been a modern Italian city that was buried,
no such mistake in preliminary diagnosis could have occurred.
Anybody would have known it instantly by the smell.  I do not vouch
for the dates--I copied them out of the guidebook; but my experience
with Italian cities qualifies me to speak with authority regarding
the other matter.

Afoot we entered Pompeii by the restored Marine Gate.  Our first
step within the walls was at the Museum, a comparatively modern
building, but containing a fairly complete assortment of the relics
that from time to time have been disinterred in various quarters
of the city.  Here are wall cabinets filled with tools, ornaments,
utensils, jewelry, furniture--all the small things that fulfilled
everyday functions in the first century of the Christian era. 
Here is a kit of surgical implements, and some of the implements
might well belong to a modern hospital.  There are foodstuffs
--grains and fruits; wines and oil; loaves of bread baked in 79
A. D. and left in the abandoned ovens; and a cheese that is still
in a fair state of preservation.  It had been buried seventeen
hundred years when they found it; and if only it had been permitted
to remain buried a few years longer it would have been sufficiently
ripe to satisfy a Bavarian, I think.

Grimmer exhibits are displayed in cases stretched along the center
of the main hall--models of dead bodies discovered in the ruins
and perfectly restored by pouring a bronze composition into the
molds that were left in the hardened pumice after the flesh of
these victims had turned to dust and their bones had crumbled to
powder.  Huddled together are the forms of a mother and a babe;
and you see how, with her last conscious thought, the mother tried
to cover her baby's face from the killing rain of dust and blistering
ashes.  And there is the shape of a man who wrapped his face in a
veil to keep out the fumes, and died so.  The veil is there,
reproduced with a fidelity no sculptor could duplicate, and through
its folds you may behold the agony that made his jaw to sag and
his eyes to pop from their sockets.

Nearby is a dog, which in its last spasms of pain and fright curled
up worm fashion, and buried its nose in its forepaws and kicked
out with its crooked hind legs.  Plainly dogs do not change their
emotional natures with the passage of years.  A dog died in Pompeii
in 79 A. D. after exactly the same fashion that a dog might die
to-day in the pound at Pittsburgh.

From here we went on into the city proper; and it was a whole city,
set off by itself and not surrounded by those jarring modern
incongruities that spoil the ruins of Rome for the person who
wishes to give his fancy a slack rein.  It is all here, looking
much as it must have looked when Nero and Caligula reigned, and
much as it will still look hundreds of years hence, for the
Government owns it now and guards it and protects it from the
hammer of the vandal and the greed of the casual collector.  Here
it is--all of it; the tragic theater and the comic theater; the
basilica; the greater forum and the lesser one; the market place;
the amphitheater for the games; the training school for the
gladiators; the temples; the baths; the villas of the rich; the
huts of the poor; the cubicles of the slaves; shops; offices;
workrooms; brothels.

The roofs are gone, except in a few instances where they have been
restored; but the walls stand and many of the detached pillars
stand too; and the pavements have endured well, so that the streets
remain almost exactly as they were when this was a city of live
beings instead of a tomb of dead memories, with deep groovings of
chariot wheels in the flaggings, and at each crossing there are
stepping stones, dotting the roadbed like punctuation marks.  At
the public fountain the well curbs are worn away where the women
rested their water jugs while they swapped the gossip of the town;
and at nearly every corner is a groggery, which in its appointments
and fixtures is so amazingly like unto a family liquor store as
we know it that, venturing into one, I caught myself looking about
for the Business Men's Lunch, with a collection of greasy forks
in a glass receptacle, a crock of pretzels on the counter, and a
sign over the bar reading: No Checks Cashed--This Means You!

In the floors the mosaics are as fresh as though newly applied;
and the ribald and libelous Latin, which disappointed litigants
carved on the stones at the back of the law court, looks as though
it might have been scored there last week--certainly not further
back than the week before that.  A great many of the wall paintings
in the interiors of rich men's homes have been preserved and some
of them are fairly spicy as to subject and text.  It would seem
that in these matters the ancient Pompeiians were pretty nearly
as broad-minded and liberal as the modern Parisians are.  The mural
decorations I saw in certain villas were almost suggestive enough
to be acceptable matter for publication in a French comic paper;
almost, but not quite.  Mr. Anthony Comstock would be an unhappy
man were he turned loose in Pompeii--unhappy for a spell, but after
that exceedingly busy.

We lingered on, looking and marveling, and betweenwhiles wondering
whether our automobile's hacking cough had got any better by
resting, until the sun went down and the twilight came.  Following
the guidebook's advice we had seen the Colosseum in Rome by
moonlight.  There was a full moon on the night we went there.  It
came heaving up grandly, a great, round-faced, full-cream, curdy
moon, rich with rennet and yellow with butter fats; but by the
time we had worked our way south to Naples a greedy fortnight had
bitten it quite away, until it was reduced to a mere cheese rind
of a moon, set up on end against the delft-blue platter of a perfect
sky.  We waited until it showed its thin rim in the heavens, and
then, in the softened half-glow, with the purplish shadows deepening
between the brown-gray walls of the dead city, I just naturally
turned my imagination loose and let her soar.

Standing there, with the stage set and the light effects just
right, in fancy I repopulated Pompeii.  I beheld it just as it was
on a fair, autumnal morning in 79 A. D.  With my eyes half closed,
I can see the vision now.  At first the crowds are massed and
mingled in confusion, but soon figures detach themselves from the
rest and reveal themselves as prominent personages.  Some of them
I know at a glance.  Yon tall, imposing man, with the genuine
imitation sealskin collar on his toga, who strides along so
majestically, whisking his cane against his leg, can be no other
than Gum Tragacanth, leading man of the Bon Ton Stock Company,
fresh from his metropolitan triumphs in Rome and at this moment
the reigning matinee idol of the South.  This week he is playing
Claude Melnotte in The Lady of Lyons; next week he will be seen
in his celebrated characterization of Matthias in The Bells, with
special scenery; and for the regular Wednesday and Saturday bargain
matinees Lady Audley's Secret will be given.

Observe him closely.  It is evident that he values his art.  Yet
about him there is no false ostentation.  With what gracious
condescension does he acknowledge the half-timid, half-daring
smiles of all the little caramel-chewing Floras and Faunas who
have made it a point to be on Main Street at this hour! With what
careless grace does he doff his laurel wreath, which is of the
latest and most modish fall block, with the bow at the back, in
response to the waved greeting of Mrs. Belladonna Capsicum, the
acknowledged leader of the artistic and Bohemian set, as she sweeps
by in her chariot bound for Blumberg Brothers' to do a little
shopping.  She is not going to buy anything--she is merely out
shopping.

Than this fair patrician dame, none is more prominent in the gay
life of Pompeii.  It was she who last season smoked a cigarette
in public, and there is a report now that she is seriously considering
wearing an ankle bracelet; withal she is a perfect lady and belongs
to one of the old Southern families.  Her husband has been through
the bankruptcy courts twice and is thinking of going through again.
At present he is engaged in promoting and writing a little life
insurance on the side.

Now her equipage is lost in the throng and the great actor continues
on his way, making a mental note of the fact that he has promised
to attend her next Sunday afternoon studio tea.  Near his own stage
door he bumps into Commodious Rotunda, the stout comedian of the
comic theater, and they pause to swap the latest Lambs' Club
repartee.  This done, Commodius hauls out a press clipping and
would read it, but the other remembers providentially that he has
a rehearshal on and hurriedly departs.  If there are any press
clippings to be read he has a few of his own that will bear
inspection.

Superior Maxillary, managing editor of the Pompeiian "Daily
News-Courier," is also abroad, collecting items of interest and
subscriptions for his paper, with preference given to the latter.
He enters the Last Chance Saloon down at the foot of the street
and in a minute or two is out again, wiping his mustache on the
back of his hand.  We may safely opine that he has been taking a
small ad. out in trade.

At the door of the county courthouse, where he may intercept the
taxpayers as they come and go, is stationed our old friend, Colonel
Pro Bono Publico.  The Colonel has been running for something or
other ever since Heck was a pup.  To-day he is wearing his official
campaign smile, for he is a candidate for county judge, subject
to the action of the Republican party at the October primaries. 
He is wearing all his lodge buttons and likewise his G. A. R. pin,
for this year he figures on carrying the old-soldier vote.

See who comes now! It is Rigor Mortis, the worthy coroner.  At
sight of him the Colonel uplifts his voice in hoarsely jovial
salutation:

"Rigsy, my boy," he booms, "how are you? And how is Mrs. M. this
morning?"

"Well, Colonel," answers his friend, "my wife ain't no better. 
She's mighty puny and complaining.  Sometimes I get to wishing the
old lady would get well--or something!"

The Colonel laughs, but not loudly.  That wheeze was old in 79.
In front of the drug-store on the corner a score of young bloods,
dressed in snappy togas for Varsity men, are skylarking.  They are
especially brilliant in their flashing interchanges of wit and
humor, because the Mastodon Minstrels were here only last week,
with a new line of first-part jokes.  Along the opposite side of
the street passes Nux Vomica, M.D., with a small black case in his
hand, gravely intent on his professional duties.  Being a young
physician, he wears a beard and large-rimmed eyeglasses.  Young
Ossius Dome sees him and hails him.

"Oh, Doc!" he calls out.  "Come over here a minute.  I've got some
brand-new limerickii for you.  Tertiary Tonsillitis got 'em from
a traveling man he met day before yesterday when he was up in the
city laying in his stock of fall and winter armor."

The healer of ills crosses over; and as the group push themselves
in toward a common center I hear the voice of the speaker:

"Say, they're all bully; but this is the bullissimus one of the
lot.  It goes like this:

              "'There was a young maid of Sorrento,
                Who said to her--'"

I have regretted ever since that at this juncture I came to and
so failed to get the rest of it.  I'll bet that was a peach of a
limerick.  It started off so promisingly.




Chapter XXIII



Muckraking in Old Pompeii

It now devolves on me as a painful yet necessary duty to topple
from its pedestal one of the most popular idols of legendary lore.
I refer, I regret to say, to the widely famous Roman sentry of
old Pompeii.

Personally I think there has been entirely too much of this sort
of thing going on lately.  Muckrakers, prying into the storied
past, have destroyed one after another many of the pet characters
in history.  Thanks to their meddlesome activities we know that
Paul Revere did not take any midnight ride.  On the night in
question he was laid up in bed with inflammatory rheumatism.  What
happened was that he told the news to Mrs. Revere as a secret, and
she in strict confidence imparted it to the lady living next door;
and from that point on the word traveled with the rapidity of
wildfire.

Horatius never held the bridge; he just let the blamed thing go. 
The boy did not stand on the burning deck, whence all but him had
fled; he was among the first in the lifeboats.  That other boy
--the Spartan youth--did not have his vitals gnawed by a fox; the
Spartan youth had been eating wild grapes and washing them down
with spring water.  Hence that gnawing sensation of which so much
mention has been made.  Nobody hit Billy Patterson.  He acquired
his black eye in the same way in which all married men acquire a
black eye--by running against a doorjamb while trying to find the
ice-water pitcher in the dark.  He said so himself the next day.

Even Barbara Frietchie is an exploded myth.  She did not nail her
country's flag to the window casement.  Being a female, she could
not nail a flag or anything else to a window.  In the first place,
she would have used a wad of chewing gum and a couple of hairpins.
In the second place, had she recklessly undertaken to nail up a
flag with hammer and nails, she would never have been on hand at
the psychological moment to invite Stonewall Jackson to shoot her
old gray head.  When General Jackson passed the house she would
have been in the bathroom bathing her left thumb in witch-hazel.

Furthermore, she did not have any old gray head.  At the time of
the Confederate invasion of Maryland she was only seventeen years
old--some authorities say only seven--and a pronounced blonde. 
Also, she did not live in Frederick; and even if she did live
there, on the occasion when the troops went through she was in
Baltimore visiting a school friend.  Finally, Frederick does not
stand where it stood in the sixties.  The cyclone of 1884 moved
it three miles back into the country and twisted the streets round
in such a manner as to confuse even lifelong residents.  These
facts have repeatedly been proved by volunteer investigators and
are not to be gainsaid.

I repeat that there has been too much of this.  If the craze for
smashing all our romantic fixtures persists, after a while we shall
have no glorious traditions left with which to fire the youthful
heart at high-school commencements.  But in the interests of truth,
and also because I made the discovery myself, I feel it to be my
solemn duty to expose the Roman sentry, stationed at the gate of
Pompeii looking toward the sea, who died because he would not quit
his post without orders and had no orders to quit.

Until now this party has stood the acid test of centuries.  Everybody
who ever wrote about the fall of Pompeii, from Plutarch and Pliny
the Younger clear down to Bulwer Lytton and Burton Holmes, had
something to say about him.  The lines on this subject by the Greek
poet Laryngitis are familiar to all lovers of that great master
of classic verse, and I shall not undertake to quote from them here.

Suffice it to say that the Roman sentry, perishing at his post,
has ever been a favorite subject for historic and romantic writers.
I myself often read of him--how on that dread day when the devil's
stew came to a boil and spewed over the sides of Vesuvius, and
death and destruction poured down to blight the land, he, typifying
fortitude and discipline and unfaltering devotion, stood firm and
stayed fast while all about him chaos reigned and fathers forgot
their children and husbands forgot their wives, and vice versa,
though probably not to the same extent; and how finally the drifting
ashes and the choking dust fell thicker upon him and mounted higher
about him, until he died and in time turned to ashes himself,
leaving only a void in the solidified slag.  I had always admired
that soldier--not his judgment, which was faulty, but his heroism,
which was immense.  To myself I used to say:

"That unknown common soldier, nameless though he was, deserves to
live forever in the memory of mankind.  He lacked imagination, it
is true, but he was game.  It was a glorious death to die--painful,
yet splendid.  Those four poor wretches whose shells were found
in the prison under the gladiators' school, with their ankles fast
in the iron stocks--I know why they stayed.  Their feet were too
large for their own good.  But no bonds except his dauntless will
bound him at the portals of the doomed city.  Duty was the only
chain that held him.

"And to think that centuries and centuries afterward they should
find his monument--a vacant, empty mold in the piled-up pumice!
Had I been in his place I should have created my vacancy much
sooner--say, about thirty seconds after the first alarm went in.
But he was one who chose rather that men should say, 'How natural
he looks!' than 'Yonder he goes!' And he has my sincere admiration.
When I go to Pompeii--if ever I do go there--I shall seek out the
spot where he made the supremest sacrifice to authority that ever
any man could make, and I shall tarry a while in those hallowed
precincts!"

That was what I said I would do and that was what I did do that
afternoon at Pompeii.  I found the gate looking toward the sea and
I found all the other gates, or the sites of them; but I did not
find the Roman sentry nor any trace of him, nor any authentic
record of him.  I questioned the guides and, through an interpreter,
the curator of the Museum, and from them I learned the lamentably
disillusioning facts in this case.  There is no trace of him because
he neglected to leave any trace.

Doubtless there was a sentry on guard at the gate when the volcano
belched forth, and the skin of the earth flinched and shivered and
split asunder; but he did not remain for the finish.  He said to
himself that this was no place for a minister's son; and so he
girded up his loins and he went away from there.

He went away hurriedly--even as you and I.




Chapter XXIV



Mine Own People

Wherever we went I was constantly on the outlook for a kind of
tourist who had been described to me frequently and at great length
by more seasoned travelers--the kind who wore his country's flag
as a buttonhole emblem, or as a shirtfront decoration; and regarded
every gathering and every halting place as providing suitable
opportunity to state for the benefit of all who might be concerned,
how immensely and overpoweringly superior in all particulars was
the land from which he hailed as compared with all other lands
under the sun.  I desired most earnestly to overhaul a typical
example of this species, my intention then being to decoy him off
to some quiet and secluded spot and there destroy him in the hope
of cutting down the breed.

At length, along toward the fag end of our zigzagging course, I
caught up with him; but stayed my hand and slew not.  For some
countries, you understand, are so finicky in the matter of protecting
their citizens that they would protect even such a one as this. 
I was fearful lest, by exterminating the object of my homicidal
desires, I should bring on international complications with a
friendly Power, no matter however public-spirited and high-minded
my intentions might be.

It was in Vienna, in a cafe, and the hour was late.  We were just
leaving, after having listened for some hours to a Hungarian band
playing waltz tunes and an assemblage of natives drinking beer,
when the sounds of a dispute at the booth where wraps were checked
turned our faces in that direction.  In a thick and plushy voice
a short square person of a highly vulgar aspect was arguing with
the young woman who had charge of the check room.  Judging by his
tones, you would have said that the nap of his tongue was at least
a quarter of an inch long; and he punctuated his remarks with
hiccoughs.  It seemed that his excitement had to do with the
disappearance of a neck-muffler.  From argument he progressed
rapidly to threats and the pounding of a fist upon the counter.

Drawing nigh, I observed that he wore a very high hat and a very
short sack coat; that his waistcoat was of a combustible plaid
pattern with gaiters to match; that he had taken his fingers many
times to the jeweler, but not once to the manicure; that he was
beautifully jingled and alcoholically boastful of his native land
and that--a crowning touch--he wore flaring from an upper pocket
of his coat a silk handkerchief woven in the design and colors of
his country's flag.  But, praises be, it was not our flag that he
wore thus.  It was the Union Jack.  As we passed out into the damp
Viennese midnight he was loudly proclaiming that he "Was'h Bri'sh
subjesch," and that unless something was done mighty quick, would
complain to "Is Majeshy's rep(hic)shenativ' ver' firsch thing 'n
morn'."

So though I was sorry he was a cousin, I was selfishly and unfeignedly
glad that he was not a brother.  Since in the mysterious and
unfathomable scheme of creation it seemed necessary that he should
be born somewhere, still he had not been born in America, and that
thought was very pleasing to me.

There was another variety of the tourist breed whose trail I most
earnestly desired to cross.  I refer to the creature who must be
closely watched to prevent him, or her, from carrying off valuable
relics as souvenirs, and defacing monuments and statues and
disfiguring holy places with an inconsequential signature.  In the
flesh--and such a person must be all flesh and no soul--I never
caught up with him, but more than once I came upon his fresh spoor.

In Venice our guide took us to see the nether prisons of the Palace
of the Doges.  From the level of the Bridge of Sighs we tramped
down flights of stone stairs, one flight after another, until we
had passed the hole through which the bodies of state prisoners,
secretly killed at night, were shoved out into waiting gondolas
and had passed also the room where pincers and thumbscrew once did
their hideous work, until we came to a cellar of innermost,
deepermost cells, fashioned out of the solid rock and stretching
along a corridor that was almost as dark as the cells themselves.
Here, so we were told, countless wretched beings, awaiting the
tardy pleasure of the torturer or the headsman, had moldered in
damp and filth and pitchy blackness, knowing day from night only
by the fact that once in twenty-four hours food would be slipped
through a hole in the wall by unseen hands; lying here until
oftentimes death or the cruel mercy of madness came upon them
before the overworked executioner found time to rack their limbs
or lop off their heads.

We were told that two of these cells had been preserved exactly
as they were in the days of the Doges, with no alteration except
that lights had been swung from the ceilings.  We could well accept
this statement as the truth, for when the guide led us through a
low doorway and flashed on an electric bulb we saw that the place
where we stood was round like a jug and bare as an empty jug, with
smooth stone walls and rough stone floor; and that it contained
for furniture just two things--a stone bench upon which the captive
might lie or sit and, let into the wall, a great iron ring, to
which his chains were made fast so that he moved always to their
grating accompaniment and the guard listening outside might know
by the telltale clanking whether the entombed man still lived.

There was one other decoration in this hole--a thing more incongruous
even than the modern lighting fixtures; and this stood out in bold
black lettering upon the low-sloped ceiling.  A pair of vandals,
a man and wife--no doubt with infinite pains--had smuggled in brush
and marking pot and somehow or other--I suspect by bribing guides
and guards--had found the coveted opportunity of inscribing their
names here in the Doges' black dungeon.  With their names they had
written their address too, which was a small town in the Northwest,
and after it the legend: "Send us a postal card."

I imagine that then this couple, having accomplished this feat,
regarded their trip to Europe as being rounded out and complete,
and went home again, satisfied and rejoicing.  Send them a postal
card? Somebody should send them a deep-dish poison-pie!

Looking on this desecration my companion and I grew vocal.  We
agreed that our national lawgivers who were even then framing an
immigration law with a view to keeping certain people out of this
country, might better be engaged in framing one with a view to
keeping certain people in.  Our guide harkened with a quiet little
smile on his face to what we said.

"It cannot have been here long--that writing on the ceiling," he
explained for our benefit." Presently it will be scraped away.
But"-- and he shrugged his eloquent Italian shoulders and outspread
his hands fan-fashion--"but what is the use? Others like them will
come and do as they have done.  See here and here and here, if
you please!"

He aimed a darting forefinger this way and that, and looking where
he pointed we saw now how the walls were scarred with the scribbled
names of many visitors.  I regret exceedingly to have to report
that a majority of these names had an American sound to them. 
Indeed, many of the signatures were coupled with the names of towns
and states of the Union.  There were quite a few from Canada, too.
What, I ask you, is the wisdom of taking steps to discourage the
cutworm and abate the gypsy-moth when our government permits these
two-legged varmints to go abroad freely and pollute shrines and
wonderplaces with their scratchings, and give the nations over
there a perverted notion of what the real human beings on this
continent are like?

For the tourist who has wearied of picture galleries and battlegrounds
and ruins and abbeys, studying other tourists provides a pleasant
way of passing many an otherwise tedious hour.  Certain of the
European countries furnish some interesting types--notably Britain,
which producing a male biped of a lachrymose and cheerless exterior,
who plods solemnly across the Continent wrapped in the plaid mantle
of his own dignity, never speaking an unnecessary word to any person
whatsoever.  And Germany: From Germany comes a stolid gentleman,
who, usually, is shaped like a pickle mounted on legs and is so
extensively and convexedly eyeglassed as to give him the appearance
of something that is about to be served sous cloche.  Caparisoned
in strange garments, he stalks through France or Italy with an
umbrella under his arm, his nose being buried so deeply in his
guidebook that he has no time to waste upon the scenery or the
people; while some ten paces in the rear, his wife staggers along
in his wake with her skirts dragging in the dust and her arms
pulled half out of their sockets by the weight of the heavy bundles
and bags she is bearing.  This person, when traveling, always takes
his wife and much baggage with him.  Or, rather, he takes his wife
and she takes the baggage which, by Continental standards, is
regarded as an equal division of burdens.

However, for variety and individual peculiarity, our own land
offers the largest assortment in the tourist line, this perhaps
being due to the fact that Americans do more traveling than any
other race.  I think that in our ramblings we must have encountered
pretty nearly all the known species of tourists, ranging from sane
and sensible persons who had come to Europe to see and to learn
and to study, clear on down through various ramifications to those
who had left their homes and firesides to be uncomfortable and
unhappy in far lands merely because somebody told them they ought
to travel abroad.  They were in Europe for the reason that so
many people run to a fire: not because they care particularly for
a fire but because so many others are running to it.  I would that
I had the time, and you, kind reader, the patience so that I might
enumerate and describe in full detail all the varieties and
sub-varieties of our race that we saw--the pert, overfed, overpampered
children, the aggressive, self-sufficient, prematurely bored young
girls, the money-fattened, boastful vulgarians, scattering coin
by the handful, intent only on making a show and not realizing
that they themselves were the show; the coltish, pimply youths who
thought in order to be high-spirited they must also be impolite
and noisy.  Youth will be served, but why, I ask you--why must it
so often be served raw? For contrasts to such as these, we met
plenty of people worth meeting and worth knowing--fine, attractive,
well-bred American men and women, having a decent regard for
themselves and for other folks, too.  Indeed this sort largely
predominated.  But there isn't space for making a classified list.
The one-volume chronicler must content himself with picking out a
few particularly striking types.

I remember, with vivid distinctness, two individuals, one an elderly
gentleman from somewhere in the Middle West and the other, an old
lady who plainly hailed from the South.  We met the old gentleman
in Paris, and the old lady some weeks later in Naples.  Though
the weather was moderately warm in Paris that week he wore red
woolen wristlets down over his hands; and he wore also celluloid
cuffs, which rattled musically, with very large moss agate buttons
in them; and for ornamentation his watch chain bore a flat watch
key, a secret order badge big enough to serve as a hitching weight
and a peach-stone carved to look like a fruit basket.  Everything
about him suggested health underwear, chewing tobacco and fried
mush for breakfast.  His whiskers were cut after a pattern I had
not seen in years and years.  In my mind such whiskers were
associated with those happy and long distant days of childhood
when we yelled Supe! at a stagehand and cherished Old Cap Collier
as a model of what--if we had luck--we would be when we grew up.
By rights, he belonged in the second act of a rural Indian play,
of a generation or two ago; but here he was, wandering disconsolately
through the Louvre.  He had come over to spend four months, he
told us with a heave of the breath, and he still had two months
of it unspent, and he just didn't see how he was going to live
through it!

The old lady was in the great National Museum at Naples, fluttering
about like a distracted little brown hen.  She was looking for the
Farnese Bull.  It seemed her niece in Knoxville had told her the
Farnese Bull was the finest thing in the statuary line to be found
in all Italy, and until she had seen that, she wasn't going to see
anything else.  She had got herself separated from the rest of her
party and she was wandering along about alone, seeking information
regarding the whereabouts of the Farnese Bull from smiling but
uncomprehending custodians and doorkeepers.  These persons she
would address at the top of her voice.  Plainly she suffered from
a delusion, which is very common among our people, that if a
foreigner does not understand you when addressed in an ordinary
tone, he will surely get your meaning if you screech at him.  When
we had gone some distance farther on and were in another gallery,
we could still catch the calliope-like notes of the little old
lady, as she besought some one to lead her to the Farnese Bull.

That she came right out and spoke of the Farnese Bull as a bull,
instead of referring to him as a gentleman cow, was evidence of
the extent to which travel had enlarged her vision, for with half
an eye anyone could tell that she belonged to the period of our
social development when certain honest and innocent words were
supposed to be indelicate--that she had been reared in a society
whose ideal of a perfect lady was one who could say limb, without
thinking leg.  I hope she found her bull, but I imagine she was
disappointed when she did find it.  I know I was.  The sculpturing
may be of a very high order--the authorities agree that it is--but
I judge the two artists to whom the group is attributed carved
the bull last and ran out of material and so skimped him a bit. 
The unfortunate Dirce, who is about to be bound to his horns by
the sons of Antiope, the latter standing by to see that the boys
make a good thorough job of it, is larger really than the bull. 
You can picture the lady carrying off the bull but not the bull
carrying off the lady.

Numerously encountered are the tourists who are doing Europe under
a time limit as exact as the schedule of a limited train.  They
go through Europe on the dead run, being intent on seeing it all
and therefore seeing none of it.  They cover ten countries in a
space of time which a sane person gives to one; after which they
return home exhausted, but triumphant.  I think it must be months
before some of them quit panting, and certainly their poor, misused
feet can never again be the feet they were.

With them adherence to the time card is everything.  If a look at
the calendar shows the day to be Monday, they know they are in
Munich, and as they lope along they get out their guidebooks and
study the chapters devoted to Munich.  But if it be Tuesday, then
it is Dresden, and they give their attention to literature dealing
with the attractions of Dresden; seeing Dresden after the fashion
of one sitting before a runaway moving picture film.

Then they pack up and depart, galloping, for Prague with their
tongues hanging out.  For Wednesday is Prague and Prague is Wednesday
--the two words are synonymous and interchangeable.  Surely to
such as these, the places they have visited must mean as much to
them, afterward, as the labels upon their trunks mean to the trunks
--just flimsy names pasted on, all confused and overlapping, and
certain to be scraped off in time, leaving nothing but faint marks
upon an indurated surface.

There is yet again another type, always of the female gender and
generally middle-aged and very schoolteacherish in aspect, who,
in company with a group of kindred spirits, is viewing Europe under
a contract arrangement by which a worn and wearied-looking gentleman,
a retired clergyman usually, acts as escort and mentor for a given
price.  I don't know how much he gets a head for this job; but
whatever it is, he earns it ninety-and-nine times over.  This lady
tourist is much given to missing trains and getting lost and having
disputes with natives and wearing rubber overshoes and asking
strange questions--but let me illustrate with a story I heard.

The man from Cook's had convoyed his party through the Vatican,
until he brought them to the Apollo Belvidere.  As they ranged
themselves wearily about the statue, he rattled off his regular
patter without pause or punctuation:

"Here we have the far-famed Apollo Belvidere found about the middle
of the fifteenth century at Frascati purchased by Pope Julius the
Second restored by the great Michelangelo taken away by the French
in 1797 but returned in 1815 made of Carara marble holding in
his hand a portion of the bow with which he slew the Python observe
please the beauty of the pose the realistic attitude of the limbs
the noble and exalted expression of the face of Apollo Belvidere
he being known also as Phoebus the god of oracles the god of
music and medicine the son of Leto and Jupiter--"

Here he ran out of breath and stopped.  Fora moment no one spoke.
Then from a flat-chested little spinster came this query in tired
yet interested tones:

"Was he--was he married?"

He who is intent upon studying the effect of foreign climes upon
the American temperament should by no means overlook the colonies
of resident Americans in the larger European cities, particularly
the colonies in such cities as Paris and Rome and Florence.  In
Berlin, the American colony is largely made up of music students
and in Vienna of physicians; but in the other places many folks
of many minds and many callings constitute the groups.  Some few
have left their country for their country's good and some have
expatriated themselves because, as they explain in bursts of
confidence, living is cheaper in France than it is in America.  I
suppose it is, too, if one can only become reconciled to doing
without most of the comforts which make life worth while in America
or anywhere else.  Included among this class are many rather unhappy
old ladies who somehow impress you as having been shunted off to
foreign parts because there were no places for them in the homes
of their children and their grandchildren.  So now they are spending
their last years among strangers, trying with a desperate eagerness
to be interested in people and things for which they really care
not a fig, with no home except a cheerless pension.

Also there are certain folk--products, in the main, of the Eastern
seaboard--who, from having originally lived in America and spent
most of their time abroad, have now progressed to the point where
they now live mostly abroad and visit America fleetingly once in
a blue moon.  As a rule these persons know a good deal about Europe
and very little about the country that gave them birth.  The
stock-talk of European literature is at their tongue's tip.  They
speak of Ibsen in the tone of one mourning the passing of a near,
dear, personal friend, and as for Zola--ah, how they miss the
influence of his compelling personality! But for the moment they
cannot recall whether Richard K. Fox ran the Police Gazette or
wrote the "Trail of the Lonesome Pine."

They are up on the history of the Old World.  From memory they
trace the Bourbon dynasty from the first copper-distilled Charles
to the last sourmashed Louis.  But as regards our own Revolution,
they aren't quite sure whether it was started by the Boston Tea
Party or Mrs. O'Leary's Cow.  Languidly they inquire whether that
quaint Iowa character, Uncle Champ Root, is still Speaker of the
House? And so the present Vice-President is named Elihu Underwood?
Or isn't he? Anyway, American politics is such a bore.  But they
stand ready, at a minute's notice, to furnish you with the names,
dates and details of all the marriages that have taken place during
the last twenty years in the royal house of Denmark.

Some day we shall learn a lesson from Europe.  Some fair day we
shall begin to exploit our own historical associations.  We shall
make shrines of the spots where Washington crossed the ice to help
end one war and where Eliza did the same thing to help start
another.  We shall erect stone markers showing where Charley Ross
was last seen and Carrie Nation was first sighted.  We shall pile
up tall monuments to Sitting Bull and Nonpareil Jack Dempsey and
the man who invented the spit ball.  Perhaps then these truant
Americans will come back oftener from Paris and Florence and abide
with us longer.  Meanwhile though they will continue to stay on
the other side.  And on second thought, possibly it is just as
well for the rest of us that they do.

In Europe I met two persons, born in America, who were openly
distressed over that shameful circumstance and could not forgive
their parents for being so thoughtless and inconsiderate.  One
was living in England and the other was living in France; and one
was a man and the other was a woman; and both of them were avowedly
regretful that they had not been born elsewhere, which, I should
say, ought to make the sentiment unanimous.  I also heard--at
second hand--of a young woman whose father served this country
in an ambassadorial capacity at one of the principal Continental
courts until the administration at Washington had a lucid interval,
and endeared itself to the hearts of practically all Americans
residing in that country by throwing a net over him and yanking
him back home; this young woman was so fearful lest some one might
think she cherished any affection for her native land that once
when a legation secretary manifested a desire to learn the score
of the deciding game of a World's Series between the Giants and
the Athletics, she spoke up in the presence of witnesses and
said:

"Ah, baseball! How can any sane person be excited over that American
game? Tell me--some one please--how is it played?"

Yet she was born and reared in a town which for a great many years
has held a membership in the National League.  Let us pass on to
a more pleasant topic.

Let us pass on to those well-meaning but temporarily misguided
persons who think they are going to be satisfied with staying on
indefinitely in Europe.  They profess themselves as being amply
pleased with the present arrangement.  For, no matter how patriotic
one may be, one must concede--mustn't one?--that for true culture
one must look to Europe? After all, America is a bit crude, isn't
it, now? Of course some time, say in two or three years from now,
they will run across to the States again, but it will be for a
short visit only.  After Europe one can never be entirely happy
elsewhere for any considerable period of time.  And so on and so
forth.

But as you mention in an offhand way that Cedar Bluff has a modern
fire station now, or that Tulsanooga is going to have a Great White
Way of its own, there are eyes that light up with a wistful light.
And when you state casually, that Polkdale is planning a civic
center with the new county jail at one end and the Carnegie Library
at the other, lips begin to quiver under a weight of sentimental
emotion.  And a month or so later when you take the ship which is
to bear you home, you find a large delegation of these native sons
of Polkdale and Tulsanooga on board, too.

At least we found them on the ship we took.  We took her at Naples
--a big comfortable German ship with a fine German crew and a double
force of talented German cooks working overtime in the galley and
pantry--and so came back by the Mediterranean route, which is a
most satisfying route, especially if the sea be smooth and the
weather good, and the steerage passengers picturesque and
light-hearted.  Moreover the coast of Northern Africa, lying along
the southern horizon as one nears Gibraltar, is one of the few
sights of a European trip that are not disappointing.  For, in
fact, it proves to be the same color that it is in the geographies
--pale yellow.  It is very unusual to find a country making an
earnest effort to correspond to its own map, and I think Northern
Africa deserves honorable mention in the dispatches on this account.




Chapter XXV



Be it Ever so Humble

Homeward-bound, a chastened spirit pervades the traveler.  He is
not quite so much inclined to be gay and blithesome as he was
going.  The holiday is over; the sightseeing is done; the letter
of credit is worn and emaciated.  He has been broadened by travel
but his pocketbook has been flattened.  He wouldn't take anything
for this trip, and as he feels at the present moment he wouldn't
take it again for anything.

It is a time for casting up and readjusting.  Likewise it is a
good time for going over, in the calm, reflective light of second
judgment, the purchases he has made for personal use and gift-making
purposes.  These things seemed highly attractive when he bought
them, and when displayed against a background of home surroundings
will, no doubt, be equally impressive; but just now they appear
as rather a sad collection of junk.  His English box coat doesn't
fit him any better than any other box would.

His French waistcoats develop an unexpected garishness on being
displayed away from their native habitat and the writing outfit
which he picked up in Vienna turns out to be faulty and treacherous
and inkily tearful.  How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to
have a fountain pen--that weeps! And why, when a fountain pen makes
up its mind to cry a spell, does it crawl clear across a steamer
trunk and bury its sobbing countenance in the bosom of a dress
shirt?

Likewise the first few days at sea provide opportunity for sorting
out the large and variegated crop of impressions a fellow has been
acquiring during all these crowded months.  The way the homeward-bound
one feels now, he would swap any Old Master he ever saw for one
peep at a set of sanitary bath fixtures.  Sight unseen, he stands
ready to trade two cathedrals and a royal palace for a union depot.
He will never forget the thrill that shook his soul as he paused
beneath the dome of the Pantheon; but he feels that, not only his
soul but all the rest of him, could rally and be mighty cheerful
in the presence of a dozen deep-sea oysters on the half shell
--regular honest-to-goodness North American oysters, so beautifully
long, so gracefully pendulous of shape that the short-waisted
person who undertakes to swallow one whole does so at his own peril.
The picture of the Coliseum bathed in the Italian moonlight will
ever abide in his mind; but he would give a good deal for a large
double sirloin suffocated Samuel J. Tilden style, with fried onions.
Beefsteak! Ah, what sweet images come thronging at the very mention
of the word! The sea vanishes magically and before his entranced
vision he sees The One Town, full of regular fellows and real
people.  Somebody is going to have fried ham for supper--five
thousand miles away he sniffs the delectable perfume of that fried
ham as it seeps through a crack in the kitchen window and wafts
out into the street--and the word passes round that there is going
to be a social session down at the lodge to-night, followed, mayhap,
by a small sociable game of quarter-limit upstairs over Corbett's
drug-store.  At this point, our traveler rummages his Elks' button
out of his trunk and gives it an affectionate polishing with a
silk handkerchief.  And oh, how he does long for a look at a home
newspaper--packed with wrecks and police news and municipal
scandals and items about the persons one knows, and chatty mention
concerning Congressmen and gunmen and tango teachers and other
public characters.

Thinking it all over here in the quiet and privacy of the empty
sea, he realizes that his evening paper is the thing he has missed
most.  To the American understanding foreign papers seem fearfully
and wonderfully made.  For instance, German newspapers are much
addicted to printing their more important news stories in cipher
form.  The German treatment of a suspected crime for which no
arrests have yet been made, reminds one of the jokes which used
to appear, a few years ago, in the back part of Harper's Magazine,
where a good story was always being related of Bishop X, residing
in the town of Y, who, calling one afternoon upon Judge Z, said
to Master Egbert, the pet of the household, age four, and so on.
A German newspaper will daringly state that Banker ----, president
of the Bank of ---- at ---- who is suspected of sequestering the
funds of that institution to his own uses is reported to have
departed by stealth for the city of ----, taking with him the wife
of Herr ----.

And such is the high personal honor of the average Parisian news
gatherer that one Paris morning paper, which specializes in actual
news as counterdistinguished from the other Paris papers which
rely upon political screeds to fill their columns, locks its doors
and disconnects its telephones at 8 o'clock in the evening, so
that reporters coming in after that hour must stay in till press
time lest some of them--such is the fear--will peddle all the
exclusive stories off to less enterprising contemporaries.

English newspapers, though printed in a language resembling American
in many rudimentary respects, seem to our conceptions weird
propositions, too.  It is interesting to find at the tail end of
an article a footnote by the editor stating that he has stopped
the presses to announce in connection with the foregoing that
nothing has occurred in connection with the foregoing which would
justify him in stopping the presses to announce it; or words to
that effect.  The news stories are frequently set forth in a
puzzling fashion, and the jokes also.  That's the principal fault
with an English newspaper joke--it loses so in translation into
our own tongue.

Still, when all is said and done, the returning tourist, if he be
at all fair-minded, is bound to confess to himself that, no matter
where his steps or his round trip ticket have carried him, he has
seen in every country institutions and customs his countrymen might
copy to their benefit, immediate or ultimate.  Having beheld these
things with his own eyes, he knows that from the Germans we might
learn some much-needed lessons about municipal control and
conservation of resources; and from the French and the Austrians
about rational observance of days of rest and simple enjoyment of
simple outdoor pleasures and respect for great traditions and great
memories; and from the Italians, about the blessed facility of
keeping in a good humor; and from the English, about minding one's
own business and the sane rearing of children and obedience to the
law and suppression of unnecessary noises.  Whenever I think of
this last God-given attribute of the British race, I shall recall
a Sunday we spent at Brighton, the favorite seaside resort of
middle-class London.  Brighton was fairly bulging with excursionists
that day.

A good many of them were bucolic visitors from up country, but the
majority, it was plain to see, hailed from the city.  No steam
carousel shrieked, no ballyhoo blared, no steam pianos shrieked,
no barker barked.  Upon the piers, stretching out into the surf,
bands played soothingly softened airs and along the water front,
sand-artists and so-called minstrel singers plied their arts.  Some
of the visitors fished--without catching anything--and some
listened to the music and some strolled aimlessly or sat stolidly
upon benches enjoying the sea air.  To an American, accustomed at
such places to din and tumult and rushing crowds and dangerous
devices for taking one's breath and sometimes one's life, it was
a strange experience, but a mighty restful one.

On the other hand there are some things wherein we notably
excel--entirely too many for me to undertake to enumerate them
here; still, I think I might be pardoned for enumerating a conspicuous
few.  We could teach Europe a lot about creature comforts and open
plumbing and personal cleanliness and good food and courtesy to
women--not the flashy, cheap courtesy which impels a Continental
to rise and click his heels and bend his person forward from the
abdomen and bow profoundly when a strange woman enters the railway
compartment where he is seated, while at the same time he leaves
his wife or sister to wrestle with the heavy luggage; but the
deeper, less showy instinct which makes the average American believe
that every woman is entitled to his protection and consideration
when she really needs it.  In the crowded street-car he may keep
his seat; in the crowded lifeboat he gives it up.

I almost forgot to mention one other detail in which, so far as I
could judge, we lead the whole of the Old World--dentistry. 
Probably you have seen frequent mention in English publications
about decayed gentlewomen.  Well, England is full of them.  It
starts with the teeth.

The leisurely, long, slantwise course across the Atlantic gives
one time, also, for making the acquaintance of one's fellow
passengers and for wondering why some of them ever went to Europe
anyway.  A source of constant speculation along these lines was
the retired hay-and-feed merchant from Michigan who traveled with
us.  One gathered that he had done little else in these latter
years of his life except to traipse back and forth between the two
continents.  What particularly endeared him to the rest of us was
his lovely habit of pronouncing all words of all languages according
to a fonetic system of his own.  "Yes, sir," you would hear him
say, addressing a smoking-room audience of less experienced
travelers, "my idee is that a fellow ought to go over on an English
ship, if he likes the exclusability, and come back on a German
ship if he likes the sociableness.  Take my case.  The last trip
I made I come over on the Lucy Tanner and went back agin on the
Grocer K. First and enjoyed it both ways immense!"

Nor would this chronicle be complete without a passing reference
to the lady from Cincinnati, a widow of independent means, who was
traveling with her two daughters and was so often mistaken for
their sister that she could not refrain from mentioning the
remarkable circumstance to you, providing you did not win her
everlasting regard by mentioning it first.  Likewise I feel that
I owe the tribute of a line to the elderly Britain who was engaged
in a constant and highly successful demonstration of the fallacy
of the claim set up by medical practitioners, to the effect that
the human stomach can contain but one fluid pint at a time.  All
day long, with his monocle goggling glassily from the midst of his
face, like one lone porthole in a tank steamer, he disproved this
statement by practical methods and promptly at nine every evening,
when his complexion had acquired a rich magenta tint, he would be
carried below by two accommodating stewards and put--no, not put,
decanted--would be decanted gently into bed.  If anything had
happened to the port-light of that ship, we could have stationed
him forward in the bows with his face looming over the rail and
been well within the maritime regulations--his face had a brilliancy
which even the darkness of the night could not dim; and if the
other light had gone out of commission, we could have impressed
the aid of the bilious Armenian lady who was sick every minute
and very sick for some minutes, for she was always of a glassy
green color.

We learned to wait regularly for the ceremony of seeing Sir Monocle
and his load toted off to bed at nine o'clock every night, just
as we learned to linger in the offing and watch the nimble knife-work
when the prize invalid of the ship's roster had cornered a fresh
victim.  The prize invalid, it is hardly worth while to state, was
of the opposite sex.  So many things ailed her--by her own confession
--that you wondered how they all found room on the premises at the
same time.  Her favorite evening employment was to engage another
woman in conversation--preferably another invalid--and by honeyed
words and congenial confidences, to lead the unsuspecting prey on
and on, until she had her trapped, and then to turn on her suddenly
and ridicule the other woman's puny symptoms and tell her she didn't
even know the rudiments of being ill and snap her up sharply when
she tried to answer back.  And then she would deliver a final sting
and go away without waiting to bury her dead.  The poison was in
the postscript--it nearly always is with that type of female.  But
afterward she would justify herself by saying people must excuse
her manner--she didn't mean anything by it; it was just her way,
and they must remember that she suffered constantly.  Some day
when I have time, I shall make that lady the topic of a popular
song.  I have already fabricated the refrain: Her heart was in the
right place, lads, but she had a floating kidney!

Arrives a day when you develop a growing distaste for the company
of your kind, or in fact, any kind.  'Tis a day when the sea, grown
frisky, kicks up its nimble heels and tosses its frothy mane.  A
cigar tastes wrong then and the mere sight of so many meat pies
and so many German salads at the entrance to the dining salon gives
one acute displeasure.  By these signs you know that you are on
the verge of being taken down with climate fever, which, as I set
forth many pages agone, is a malady peculiar to the watery deep,
and by green travelers is frequently mistaken for seasickness,
which indeed it does resemble in certain respects.  I may say that
I had one touch of climate fever going over and a succession of
touches coming back.

At such a time, the companionship of others palls on one.  It is
well then to retire to the privacy of one's stateroom and recline
awhile.  I did a good deal of reclining, coming back; I was not
exactly happy while reclining, but I was happier than I would have
been doing anything else.  Besides, as I reclined there on my cosy
bed, a medley of voices would often float in to me through the
half-opened port and I could visualize the owners of those voices
as they sat ranged in steamer chairs, along the deck.  I quote:

"You, Raymund! You get down off that rail this minute." ... "My
dear, you just ought to go to mine! He never hesitates a minute
about operating, and he has the loveliest manners in the operating
room.  Wait a minute--I'll write his address down for you.  Yes,
he is expensive, but very, very thorough." ... "Stew'd, bring me
nozher brand' 'n' sozza." ... "Well, now Mr.--excuse me, I didn't
catch your name?--oh yes, Mr. Blosser; well, Mr. Blosser, if that
isn't the most curious thing! To think of us meeting away out here
in the middle of the ocean and both of us knowing Maxie Hockstein
in Grand Rapids.  It only goes to show one thing--this certainly
is a mighty small world." ... "Raymund, did you hear what I said
to you!" ... "Do you really think it is becoming? Thank you for
saying so.  That's what my husband always says.  He says that white
hair with a youthful face is so attractive, and that's one reason
why I've never touched it up.  Touched-up hair is so artificial,
don't you think?" ... "Wasn't the Bay of Naples just perfectly
swell--the water, you know, and the land and the sky and everything,
so beautiful and everything?" ... "You Raymund, come away from
that lifeboat.  Why don't you sit down there and behave yourself
and have a nice time watching for whales?" ... "No, ma'am, if
you're askin' me I must say I didn't care so much for that art
gallery stuff--jest a lot of pictures and statues and junk like
that, so far as I noticed.  In fact the whole thing--Yurupp itself
--was considerable of a disappointment to me.  I didn't run acros't
a single Knights of Pythias Lodge the whole time and I was over
there five months straight hard-runnin'." ... "Really, I think it
must be hereditary; it runs in our family.  I had an aunt and her
hair was snow-white at twenty-one and my grandmother was the same
way." ... "Oh yes, the suffering is something terrible.  You've
had it yourself in a mild form and of course you know.  The last
time they operated on me, I was on the table an hour and forty
minutes--mind you, an hour and forty minutes by the clock--and
for three days and nights they didn't know whether I would live
another minute."

A crash of glass.

"Stew'd, I ashidently turn' over m' drink--bring me nozher brand'
'n' sozza." ... "Just a minute, Mr. Blosser, I want to tell my
husband about it--he'll be awful interested.  Say, listen, Poppa,
this gentleman here knows Maxie Hockstein out in Grand Rapids."
... "Do you think so, really? A lot of people have said that very
same thing to me.  They come up to me and say 'I know you must be
a Southerner because you have such a true Southern accent.' I
suppose I must come by it naturally, for while I was born in New
Jersey, my mother was a member of a very old Virginia family and
we've always been very strong Southern sympathizers and I went to
a finishing school in Baltimore and I was always being mistaken
for a Southern girl." ... "Well, I sure had enough of it to do me
for one spell.  I seen the whole shootin' match and I don't regret
what it cost me, but, believe me, little old Keokuk is goin' to
look purty good to me when I get back there.  Why, them people
don't know no more about makin' a cocktail than a rabbit." ...
"That's her standing yonder talking to the captain.  Yes, that's
what so many people say, but as a matter of fact, she's the youngest
one of the two.  I say, 'These are my daughters,' and then people
say, 'You mean your sisters.' Still I married very young--at
seventeen--and possibly that helps to explain it." ... "Oh, is
that a shark out yonder? Well, anyway, it's a porpoise, and a
porpoise is a kind of shark, isn't it? When a porpoise grows up,
it gets to be a shark--I read that somewhere.  Ain't nature just
wonderful?" ... "Raymund Walter Pelham, if I have to speak to
you again, young man, I'm going to take you to the stateroom and
give you something you won't forget in a hurry." ... "Stew'd,
hellup me gellup."

Thus the lazy hours slip by and the spell of the sea takes hold
on you and you lose count of the time and can barely muster up the
energy to perform the regular noonday task of putting your watch
back half an hour.  A passenger remarks that this is Thursday and
you wonder dimly what happened to Wednesday.

Three days more--just three.  The realization comes to you with a
joyous shock.  Somebody sights a sea-gull.  With eager eyes you
watch its curving flight.  Until this moment you have not been
particularly interested in sea-gulls.  Heretofore, being a sea-gull
seemed to you to have few attractions as a regular career, except
that it keeps one out in the open air; otherwise it has struck you
as being rather a monotonous life with a sameness as to diet which
would grow very tiresome in time.  But now you envy that sea-gull,
for he comes direct from the shores of the United States of America
and if so minded may turn around and beat you to them by a margin
of hours and hours and hours.  Oh, beauteous creature! Oh, favored
bird!

Comes the day before the last day.  There is a bustle of getting
ready for the landing.  Customs blanks are in steady demand at the
purser's office.  Every other person is seeking help from every
other person, regarding the job of filling out declarations.  The
women go about with the guilty look of plotters in their worried
eyes.  If one of them fails to slip something in without paying
duty on it she will be disappointed for life.  All women are natural
enemies to all excise men.  Dirk, the Smuggler, was the father of
their race.

Comes the last day.  Dead ahead lies a misty, thread-like strip
of dark blue, snuggling down against the horizon, where sea and
sky merge.

You think it is a cloud bank, until somebody tells you the glorious
truth.  It is the Western Hemisphere--your Western Hemisphere. 
It is New England.  Dear old New England! Charming people--the New
Englanders! Ah, breathes there the man with soul so dead who never
to himself has said, this is my own, my native land? Certainly
not.  A man with a soul so dead as that would be taking part in a
funeral, not in a sea voyage.  Upon your lips a word hangs poised.
What a precious sound it has, what new meanings it has acquired!
There are words in our language which are singular and yet sound
plural, such as politics and whereabouts; there are words which
are plural and yet sound singular, such as Brigham Young, and there
are words which convey their exact significance by their very
sound.  They need no word-chandlers, no adjective-smiths to dress
them up in the fine feathers of fancy phrasing.  They stand on
their own merits.  You think of one such word--a short, sweet word
of but four letters.  You speak that word reverently, lovingly,
caressingly.

Nearer and nearer draws that blessed dark blue strip.  Nantucket
light is behind us.  Long Island shoulders up alongside.  Trunks
accumulate in gangways; so do stewards and other functionaries. 
You have been figuring upon the tips which you will bestow upon
them at parting; so have they.  It will be hours yet before we
land.  Indeed, if the fog thickens, we may not get in before
to-morrow, yet people run about exchanging good-byes and swapping
visiting cards and promising one another they will meet again.
I think it is reckless for people to trifle with their luck that
way.

Forward, on the lower deck, the immigrants cluster, chattering a
magpie chorus in many tongues.  The four-and-twenty blackbirds
which were baked in a pie without impairment to the vocal cords
have nothing on them.  Most of the women were crying when they
came aboard at Naples or Palermo or Gibraltar.  Now they are all
smiling.  Their dunnage is piled in heaps and sailors, busy with
ropes and chains and things, stumble over it and swear big round
German oaths.

Why, gracious! We are actually off Sandy Hook.  Dear old Sandy
--how one loves those homely Scotch names! The Narrows are nigh
and Brooklyn, the City Beautiful, awaits us around the second
turning to the left.  The pilot boat approaches.  Brave little
craft! Gallant pilot! Do you suppose by any chance he has brought
any daily papers with him? He has--hurrah for the thoughtful pilot!
Did you notice how much he looked like the pictures of Santa Claus?

We move on more slowly and twice again we stop briefly.  The
quarantine officers have clambered up the sides and are among us;
and to some of us they give cunning little thermometers to hold
in our mouths and suck on, and of others they ask chatty, intimate
questions with a view to finding out how much insanity there is
in the family at present and just what percentage of idiocy
prevails? Three cheers for the jolly old quarantine regulations.
Even the advance guard of the customhouse is welcomed by one and
all--or nearly all.

Between wooded shores which seem to advance to meet her in kindly
greeting, the good ship shoves ahead.  For she is a good ship, and
later we shall miss her, but at this moment we feel that we can
part from her without a pang.  She rounds a turn in the channel. 
What is that mass which looms on beyond, where cloud-combing office
buildings scallop the sky and bridges leap in far-flung spans from
shore to shore? That's her--all right--the high picketed gateway
of the nation.  That's little old New York.  Few are the art centers
there, and few the ruins; and perhaps there is not so much culture
lying round loose as there might be--just bustle and hustle, and
the rush and crush and roar of business and a large percentage of
men who believe in supporting their own wives and one wife at a
time.  Crass perhaps, crude perchance, in many ways, but no matter.
All her faults are virtues now.  Beloved metropolis, we salute
thee! And also do we turn to salute Miss Liberty.

This series of adventure tales began with the Statue of Liberty
fading rearward through the harbor mists.  It draws to a close
with the same old lady looming through those same mists and drawing
ever closer and closer.  She certainly does look well this afternoon,
doesn't she? She always does look well, somehow.

We slip past her and on past the Battery too; and are nosing up
the North River.  What a picturesque stream it is, to be sure! And
how full of delightful rubbish! In twenty minutes or less we shall
be at the dock.  Folks we know are there now, waiting to welcome
us.

As close as we can pack ourselves, we gather in the gangways. 
Some one raises a voice in song.  'Tis not the Marseillaise hymn
that we sing, nor Die Wacht am Rhein, nor Ava Maria, nor God Save
the King; nor yet is it Columbia the Gem of the Ocean.  In their
proper places these are all good songs, but we know one more
suitable to the occasion, and so we all join in.  Hark! Happy
voices float across the narrowing strip of rolly water between
ship and shore:

                  "'Mid pleasures and palaces,
                       Though we may roam,

(Now then, altogether, mates:)

                      Be it ever so humble,
                      There's no place like
                              HOME!"


End of The Project Gutenberg Etext of Europe Revised
by Irvin S. Cobb


Colophon

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