POPULAR LITERATURE AND SCIENCE.
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Footnote: Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1878, by J. B. LIPPINCOTT & CO., in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
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ALONG THE DANUBE.
Ada-Kale is a Turkish fortress which seems to spring directly from the bosom of the Danube at a point where three curious and quarrelsome races come into contact, and where the Ottoman thought it necessary to have a foothold even in times of profound peace. To the traveller from Western Europe no spectacle on the way to Constantinople was so impressive as this ancient and picturesque fortification, suddenly affronting the vision with its odd walls, its minarets, its red-capped sentries, and the yellow sinister faces peering from balconies suspended above the current. It was the first glimpse of the Orient which one obtained; it appropriately introduced one to a domain which is governed by sword and gun; and it was a pretty spot of color in the midst of the severe and rather solemn scenery of the Danubian stream. Ada-Kale is to be razed to the water's edge—so, at least, the treaty between Russia and Turkey has ordained—and the Servian mountaineers will no longer see the Crescent flag flying within rifle-shot of the crags from which, by their heroic devotion in unequal battle, they long ago banished it.
The Turks occupying this fortress during the recent war evidently relied upon Fate for their protection, for the walls of Ada-Kale are within a stone's throw of the Roumanian shore, and every Mussulman in the place could have been captured in twenty minutes. I passed by there one morning on the road from Orsova, on the frontier of Hungary, to Bucharest, and was somewhat amused to see an elderly Turk seated in a small boat near the Roumanian bank fishing. Behind him were two soldiers, who served as oarsmen, and rowed him gently from point to point when he gave the signal. Scarcely six hundred feet from him stood a Wallachian sentry, watching his movements in lazy, indifferent fashion. And this was at the moment that the Turks were bombarding Kalafat in Roumania from Widdin on the Bulgarian side of the Danube! Such a spectacle could be witnessed nowhere save in this land, "where it is always afternoon," where people at times seem to suspend respiration because they are too idle to breathe, and where even a dog will protest if you ask him to move quickly out of your path. The old Turk doubtless fished in silence and calm until the end of the war, for I never heard of the removal of either himself or his companions.
The journeys by river and by rail from Lower Roumania to the romantic and broken country surrounding Orsova are extremely interesting. The Danube-stretches of shimmering water among the reedy lowlands—where the only sign of life is a quaint craft painted with gaudy colors becalmed in some nook, or a guardhouse built on piles driven into the mud—are perhaps a trifle monotonous, but one has only to turn from them to the people who come on board the steamer to have a rich fund of enjoyment. Nowhere are types so abundant and various as on the routes of travel between Bucharest and Rustchuk, or Pesth and Belgrade. Every complexion, an extraordinary piquancy and variety of costume, and a bewildering array of languages and dialects, are set before the careful observer. As for myself, I found a special enchantment in the scenery of the lower Danube—in the lonely inlets, the wildernesses of young shoots in the marshes, the flights of aquatic birds as the sound of the steamer was heard, the long tongues of land on which the water-buffaloes lay huddled in stupid content, the tiny hummocks where villages of wattled hovels were assembled. The Bulgarian shore stands out in bold relief: Sistova, from the river, is positively beautiful, but the now historical Simnitza seems only a mud-flat. At night the boats touch upon the Roumanian side for fuel—the Turks have always been too lazy and vicious to develop the splendid mineral resources of Bulgaria—and the stout peasants and their wives trundle thousands of barrows of coal along the swinging planks. Here is raw life, lusty, full of rude beauty, but utterly incult. The men and women appear to be merely animals gifted with speech. The women wear almost no clothing: their matted hair drops about their shapely shoulders as they toil at their burden, singing meanwhile some merry chorus. Little tenderness is bestowed on these creatures, and it was not without a slight twinge of the nerves that I saw the huge, burly master of the boat's crew now and then bestow a ringing slap with his open hand upon the neck or cheek of one of the poor women who stumbled with her load or who hesitated for a moment to indulge in abuse of a comrade. As the boat moved away these people, dancing about the heaps of coal in the torchlight, looked not unlike demons disporting in some gruesome nook of Enchanted Land. When they were gypsies they did not need the aid of the torches: they were sufficiently demoniacal without artificial aid.
Kalafat and Turnu-Severinu are small towns which would never have been much heard of had they not been in the region visited by the war. Turnu-Severinu is noted, however, as the point where Severinus once built a mighty tower; and not far from the little hamlet may still be seen the ruins of Trajan's immemorial bridge. Where the Danube is twelve hundred yards wide and nearly twenty feet deep, Apollodorus of Damascus did not hesitate, at Trajan's command, to undertake the construction of a bridge with twenty stone and wooden arches. He builded well, for one or two of the stone piers still remain perfect after a lapse of sixteen centuries, and eleven of them, more or less ruined, are yet visible at low water. Apollodorus was a man of genius, as his other work, the Trajan Column, proudly standing in Rome, amply testifies. No doubt he was richly rewarded by Trajan for constructing a work which, flanked as it was by noble fortifications, bound the newly-captured Dacian colony to the Roman empire. What mighty men were these Romans, who carved their way along the Danube banks, hewing roads and levelling mountains at the same time that they engaged the savages of the locality in daily battle! There were indeed giants in those days.
When Ada-Kale is passed, and pretty Orsova, lying in slumbrous quiet at the foot of noble mountains, is reached, the last trace of Turkish domination is left behind. In future years, if the treaty of San Stefano holds, there will be little evidence of Ottoman lack of civilization anywhere on the Danube, for the forts of the Turks will gradually disappear, and the Mussulman cannot for an instant hold his own among Christians where he has no military advantage. But at Orsova, although the red fez and voluminous trousers are rarely seen, the influence of Turkey is keenly felt. It is in these remote regions of Hungary that the real rage against Russia and the burning enthusiasm and sympathy for the Turks is most openly expressed. Every cottage in the neighborhood is filled with crude pictures representing events of the Hungarian revolution; and the peasants, as they look upon those reminders of perturbed times, reflect that the Russians were instrumental in preventing the accomplishment of their dearest wishes. Here the Hungarian is eminently patriotic: he endeavors as much as possible to forget that he and his are bound to the empire of Austria, and he speaks of the German and the Slav who are his fellow-subjects with a sneer. The people whom one encounters in that corner of Hungary profess a dense ignorance of the German language, but if pressed can speak it glibly enough. I won an angry frown and an unpleasant remark from an innkeeper because I did not know that Austrian postage-stamps are not good in Hungary. Such melancholy ignorance of the simplest details of existence seemed to my host meet subject for reproach.
Orsova became an important point as soon as the Turks and Russians were at war. The peasants of the Banat stared as they saw long lines of travellers leaving the steamers which had come from Pesth and Bazros, and invading the two small inns, which are usually more than half empty. Englishmen, Russians, Austrian officers sent down to keep careful watch upon the land, French and Prussian, Swiss and Belgian military attaches and couriers, journalists, artists, amateur army-followers, crowded the two long streets and exhausted the market. Next came a hungry and thirsty mob of refugees from Widdin—Jews, Greeks and gypsies—and these promenaded their variegated misery on the river-banks from sunrise until sunset. Then out from Roumanian land poured thousands of wretched peasants, bare-footed, bareheaded, dying of starvation, fleeing from Turkish invasion, which, happily, never assumed large proportions. These poor people slept on the ground, content with the shelter of house-walls: they subsisted on unripe fruits and that unfailing fund of mild tobacco which every male being in all those countries invariably manages to secure. Walking abroad in Orsova was no easy task, for one was constantly compelled to step over these poor fugitives, who packed themselves into the sand at noonday, and managed for a few hours before the cool evening breezes came to forget their miseries. The vast fleet of river-steamers belonging to the Austrian company was laid up at Orsova, and dozens of captains, conversing in the liquid Slav or the graceful Italian or guttural German, were for ever seated about the doors of the little cafes smoking long cigars and quaffing beakers of the potent white wine produced in Austrian vineyards.
Opposite Orsova lie the Servian Mountains, bold, majestic, inspiring. Their noble forests and the deep ravines between them are exquisite in color when the sun flashes along their sides. A few miles below the point where the Hungarian and Roumanian territories meet the mountainous region declines into foot-hills, and then to an uninteresting plain. The Orsovan dell is the culminating point of all the beauty and grandeur of the Danubian hills. From one eminence richly laden with vineyards I looked out on a fresh April morning across a delicious valley filled with pretty farms and white cottages and ornamented by long rows of shapely poplars. Turning to the right, I saw Servia's barriers, shutting in from the cold winds the fat lands of the interior; vast hillsides dotted from point to point with peaceful villages, in the midst of which white churches with slender spires arose; and to the left the irregular line of the Roumanian peaks stood up, jagged and broken, against the horizon. Out from Orsova runs a rude highway into the rocky and savage back-country. The celebrated baths of Mehadia, the "hot springs" of the Austro-Hungarian empire, are yearly frequented by three or four thousand sufferers, who come from the European capitals to Temesvar, and are thence trundled in diligences to the water-cure. But the railway is penetrating even this far-off land, where once brigands delighted to wander, and Temesvar and Bucharest will be bound together by a daily "through-service" as regular as that between Pesth and Vienna.
I sat one evening on the balcony of the diminutive inn known as "The Hungarian Crown," watching the sunbeams on the broad current of the Danube and listening to the ripple, the plash and the gurgle of the swollen stream as it rushed impetuously against the banks. A group of Servians, in canoes light and swift as those of Indians, had made their way across the river, and were struggling vigorously to prevent the current from carrying them below a favorable landing-place. These tall, slender men, with bronzed faces and gleaming eyes, with their round skull-caps, their gaudy jackets and ornamental leggings, bore no small resemblance at a distance to certain of our North American red-skins. Each man had a long knife in his belt, and from experience I can say that a Servian knife is in itself a complete tool-chest. With its one tough and keen blade one may skin a sheep, file a saw, split wood, mend a wagon, defend one's self vigorously if need be, make a buttonhole and eat one's breakfast. No Servian who adheres to the ancient costume would consider himself dressed unless the crooked knife hung from his girdle. Although the country-side along the Danube is rough, and travellers are said to need protection among the Servian hills, I could not discover that the inhabitants wore other weapons than these useful articles of cutlery. Yet they are daring smugglers, and sometimes openly defy the Hungarian authorities when discovered. "Ah!" said Master Josef, the head-servant of the Hungarian Crown, "many a good fight have I seen in mid-stream, the boats grappled together, knives flashing, and our fellows drawing their pistols. All that, too, for a few flasks of Negotin, which is a musty red, thick wine that Heaven would forbid me to recommend to your honorable self and companions so long as I put in the cellar the pearl dew of yonder vineyards!" pointing to the vines of Orsova.
While the Servians were anxiously endeavoring to land, and seemed to be in imminent danger of upsetting, the roll of thunder was heard and a few drops of rain fell with heavy plash. Master Josef forthwith began making shutters fast and tying the curtains; "For now we shall have a wind!" quoth he. And it came. As by magic the Servian shore was blotted out, and before me I could see little save the river, which seemed transformed into a roaring and foaming ocean. The refugees, the gypsies, the Jews, the Greeks, scampered in all directions. Then tremendous echoes awoke among the hills. Peal after peal echoed and re-echoed, until it seemed as if the cliffs must crack and crumble. Sheets of rain were blown by the mischievous winds now full upon the unhappy fugitives, or now descended with seemingly crushing force on the Servians in their dancing canoes. Then came vivid lightning, brilliant and instant glances of electricity, disclosing the forests and hills for a moment, then seeming by their quick departure to render the obscurity more painful than before. The fiery darts were hurled by dozens upon the devoted trees, and the tall and graceful stems were bent like reeds before the rushing of the blast. Cold swept through the vale, and shadows seemed to follow it. Such contrast with the luminous, lovely semi-tropical afternoon, in the dreamy restfulness of which man and beast seemed settling into lethargy, was crushing. It pained and disturbed the spirit. Master Josef, who never lost an occasion to cross himself and to do a few turns on a little rosary of amber beads, came and went in a kind of dazed mood while the storm was at its height. Just as a blow was struck among the hills which seemed to make the earth quiver to its centre, the varlet approached and modestly inquired if the "honorable society"—myself and chance companions—would visit that very afternoon the famous chapel in which the crown of Hungary lies buried. I glanced curiously at him, thinking that possibly the thunder had addled his brain. "Oh, the honorable society may walk in sunshine all the way to the chapel at five o'clock," he said with an encouraging grin. "These Danube storms come and go as quickly as a Tsigane from a hen-roost. See! the thunder has stopped its howling, and there is not a wink of lightning. Even the raindrops are so few that one may almost walk between them."
I returned to the balcony from which the storm had driven me, and was gratified by the sight of the mountain-side studded with pearls, which a faint glow in the sky was gently touching. The Danube roared and foamed with malicious glee as the poor Servians were still whirled about on the water. But presently, through the deep gorges and along the sombre stream and over the vineyards, the rocks and the roofs of humble cottages, stole a warm breeze, followed by dazzling sunlight, which returned in mad haste to atone for the displeasure of the wind and rain. In a few moments the refugees were again afield, spreading their drenched garments on the wooden railings, and stalking about in a condition narrowly approaching nakedness. A gypsy four feet high, clad in a linen shirt and trousers so wide as to resemble petticoats, strolled thoughtlessly on the bank singing a plaintive melody, and now and then turning his brown face skyward as if to salute the sun. This child of mysterious ancestry, this wanderer from the East, this robber of roosts and cunning worker in metals, possessed nor hat nor shoes: his naked breast and his unprotected arms must suffer cold at night, yet he seemed wonderfully happy. The Jews and Greeks gave him scornful glances, which he returned with quizzical, provoking smiles. At last he threw himself down on a plank from which the generous sun was rapidly drying the rain, and, coiling up as a dog might have done, he was soon asleep.
With a marine glass I could see distinctly every movement on the Servian shore. Close to the water's edge nestled a small village of neat white cottages. Around a little wharf hovered fifty or sixty stout farmers, mounted on sturdy ponies, watching the arrival of the Mercur, the Servian steamer from Belgrade and the Sava River. The Mercur came puffing valiantly forward, as unconcerned as if no whirlwind had swept across her path, although she must have been in the narrow and dangerous canon of the "Iron Gates" when the blast and the shower were most furious. On the roads leading down the mountain-sides I saw long processions of squealing and grunting swine, black, white and gray, all active and self-willed, fighting each other for the right of way. Before each procession marched a swineherd playing on a rustic pipe, the sounds from which primitive instrument seemed to exercise Circean enchantment upon the rude flocks. It was inexpressibly comical to watch the masses of swine after they had been enclosed in the "folds"—huge tracts fenced in and provided with shelters at the corners. Each herd knew its master, and as he passed to and fro would salute him with a delighted squeal, which died away into a series of disappointed and cynical groans as soon as the porkers had discovered that no evening repast was to be offered them. Good fare do these Servian swine find in the abundant provision of acorns in the vast forests. The men who spend their lives in restraining the vagabond instincts of these vulgar animals may perhaps be thought a collection of brutal hinds; but, on the contrary, they are fellows of shrewd common sense and much dignity of feeling. Kara-George, the terror of the Turk at the beginning of this century, the majestic character who won the admiration of Europe, whose genius as a soldier was praised by Napoleon the Great, and who freed his countrymen from bondage,—Kara-George was a swineherd in the woods of the Schaumadia until the wind of the spirit fanned his brow and called him from his simple toil to immortalize his homely name.
Master Josef and his fellows in Orsova did not hate the Servians with the bitterness manifested toward the Roumanians, yet they considered them as aliens and as dangerous conspirators against the public weal. "Who knows at what moment they may go over to the Russians?" was the constant cry. And in process of time they went, but although Master Josef had professed the utmost willingness to take up arms on such an occasion, it does not appear that he did it, doubtless preferring, on reflection, the quiet of his inn and his flask of white wine in the courtyard rather than an excursion among the trans-Danubian hills and the chances of an untoward fate at the point of a Servian knife. It is not astonishing that the two peoples do not understand each other, although only a strip of water separates their frontiers for a long stretch; for the difference in language and in its written form is a most effectual barrier to intercourse. The Servians learn something of the Hungarian dialects, since they come to till the rich lands of the Banat in the summer season. Bulgarians and Servians by thousands find employment in Hungary in summer, and return home when autumn sets in. But the dreams and ambitions of the two peoples have nothing in common. Servia looks longingly to Slavic unification, and is anxious to secure for herself a predominance in the new nation to be moulded out of the old scattered elements: Hungary believes that the consolidation of the Slavs would place her in a dangerous and humiliating position, and conspires day and night to compass exactly the reverse of Servian wishes. Thus the two countries are theoretically at peace and practically at war. While the conflict of 1877 was in progress collisions between Servian and Hungarian were of almost daily occurrence.
The Hungarian's intolerance of the Slav does not proceed from unworthy jealousy, but rather from an exaggerated idea of the importance of his own country, and of the evils which might befall it if the old Serb stock began to renew its ancient glory. In corners of Hungary, such as Orsova, the peasant imagines that his native land is the main world, and that the rest of Europe is an unnecessary and troublesome fringe around the edges of it. There is a story of a gentleman in Pesth who went to a dealer in maps and inquired for a globus of Hungary, showing that he imagined it to be the whole round earth.
So fair were the land and the stream after the storm that I lingered until sunset gazing out over river and on Servian hills, and did not accept Josef's invitation to visit the chapel of the Hungarian crown that evening. But next morning, before the sun was high, I wandered alone in the direction of the Roumanian frontier, and by accident came upon the chapel. It is a modest structure in a nook surrounded by tall poplars, and within is a simple chapel with Latin inscriptions. Here the historic crown reposes, now that there is no longer any use for it at Presburg, the ancient capital. Here it was brought by pious hands after the troubles between Austria and Hungary were settled. During the revolution the sacred bauble was hidden by the command of noblemen to whom it had been confided, and the servitors who concealed it at the behest of their masters were slain, lest in an indiscreet moment they might betray the secret. For thousands of enthusiasts this tiny chapel is the holiest of shrines, and should trouble come anew upon Hungary in the present perturbed times, the crown would perhaps journey once more.
It seems pitiful that the railway should ever invade this out-of-the-way corner of Europe. But it is already crawling through the mountains: hundreds of Italian laborers are putting down the shining rails in woods and glens where no sounds save the song of birds or the carol of the infrequent passer-by have heretofore been heard. For the present, however, the old-fashioned, comfortless diligence keeps the roads: the beribboned postilion winds his merry horn, and as the afternoon sun is getting low the dusty, antique vehicle rattles up to the court of the inn, the guard gets down, dusts the leather casing of the gun which now-a-days he is never compelled to use: then he touches his square hat, ornamented with a feather, to the maids and men of the hostelry. When the mails are claimed, the horses refreshed and the stage is covered with its leathern hood, postilion and guard sit down together in a cool corner under the gallery in the courtyard and crack various small flasks of wine. They smoke their porcelain pipes imported from Vienna with the air of men of the world who have travelled and who could tell you a thing or two if they liked. They are never tired of talking of Mehadia, which is one of their principal stations. The sad-faced nobleman, followed by the decorous old man-servant in fantastic Magyar livery, who arrived in the diligence, has been to the baths. The master is vainly seeking cure, comes every year, and always supplies postilion and guard with the money to buy flasks of wine. This the postilion tells me and my fellows, and suggests that the "honorable society" should follow the worthy nobleman's example. No sooner is it done than postilion and guard kiss our hands; which is likewise an evidence that they have travelled, are well met with every stranger and all customs, and know more than they say.
The Romans had extensive establishments at Mehadia, which they called the "Baths of Hercules," and it is in memory of this that a statue of the good giant stands in the square of the little town. Scattered through the hills, many inscriptions to Hercules, to Mercury and to Venus have been found during the ages. The villages on the road thither are few and far between, and are inhabited by peasants decidedly Dacian in type. It is estimated that a million and a half of Roumanians are settled in Hungary, and in this section they are exceedingly numerous. Men and women wear showy costumes, quite barbaric and uncomfortable. The women seem determined to wear as few garments as possible, and to compensate for lack of number by brightness of coloring. In many a pretty face traces of gypsy blood may be seen. This vagabond taint gives an inexpressible charm to a face for which the Hungarian strain has already done much. The coal-black hair and wild, mutinous eyes set off to perfection the pale face and exquisitely thin lips, the delicate nostrils and beautifully moulded chin. Angel or devil? queries the beholder. Sometimes he is constrained to think that the possessor of such a face has the mingled souls of saint and siren. The light undertone of melancholy which pervades gypsy beauty, gypsy music, gypsy manners, has an extremely remarkable fascination for all who perceive it. Even when it is almost buried beneath ignorance and animal craft, it is still to be found in the gypsy nature after diligent search. This strange race seems overshadowed by the sorrow of some haunting memory. Each individual belonging to the Tsiganes whom I saw impressed me as a fugitive from Fate. To look back was impossible; of the present he was careless; the future tempted him on. In their music one now and then hears hints of a desire to return to some far-off and half-forgotten land. But this is rare.
There are a large number of "civilized gypsies," so called, in the neighborhood of Orsova. I never saw one of them without a profound compassion for him, so utterly unhappy did he look in ordinary attire. The musicians who came nightly to play on the lawn in front of the Hungarian Crown inn belonged to these civilized Tsiganes. They had lost all the freedom of gesture, the proud, half-savage stateliness of those who remained nomadic and untrammelled by local law and custom. The old instinct was in their music, but sometimes there drifted into it the same mixture of saint and devil which I had seen in the "composite" faces.
As soon as supper was set forth, piping hot and flanked by flagons of beer and wine, on the lawn, and the guests had assembled to partake of the good cheer, while yet the afterglow lingered along the Danube, these dusky musicians appeared and installed themselves in a corner. The old stream's murmur could not drown the piercing and pathetic notes of the violin, the gentle wail of the guzla or the soft thrumming of the rude tambourine. Little poetry as a spectacled and frosty Austrian officer might have in his soul, that little must have been awakened by the songs and the orchestral performances of the Tsiganes as the sun sank low. The dusk began to creep athwart the lawn, and a cool breeze fanned the foreheads of the listeners. When the light was all gone, these men, as if inspired by the darkness, sometimes improvised most angelic melody. There was never any loud or boisterous note, never any direct appeal to the attention. I invariably forgot the singers and players, and the music seemed a part of the harmony of Nature. While the pleasant notes echoed in the twilight, troops of jaunty young Hungarian soldiers, dressed in red hose, dark-green doublets and small caps sometimes adorned with feathers, sauntered up and down the principal street; the refugees huddled in corners and listened with delight; the Austrian officials lumbered by, pouring clouds of smoke from their long, strong and inevitable cigars; and the dogs forgot their perennial quarrel for a few instants at a time.
The dogs of Orsova and of all the neighboring country have many of the characteristics of their fellow-creatures in Turkey. Orsova is divided into "beats," which are thoroughly and carefully patrolled night and day by bands of dogs who recognize the limits of their domain and severely resent intrusion. In front of the Hungarian Crown a large dog, aided by a small yellow cur and a black spaniel mainly made up of ears and tail, maintained order. The afternoon quiet was generally disturbed about four o'clock by the advent of a strange canine, who, with that expression of extreme innocence which always characterizes the animal that knows he is doing wrong, would venture on to the forbidden ground. A low growl in chorus from the three guardians was the inevitable preliminary warning. The new-comer usually seemed much surprised at this, and gave an astonished glance: then, wagging his tail merrily, as much as to say, "Nonsense! I must have been mistaken," he approached anew. One of the trio of guardians thereupon sallied forth to meet him, followed by the others a little distance behind. If the strange dog showed his teeth, assumed a defiant attitude and seemed inclined to make his way through any number of enemies, the trio held a consultation, which, I am bound to say, almost invariably resulted in a fight. The intruder would either fly yelping, or would work his way across the interdicted territory by means of a series of encounters, accompanied by the most terrific barking, snapping and shrieking, and by a very considerable effusion of blood. The person who should interfere to prevent a dog-fight in Orsova would be regarded as a lunatic. Sometimes a large white dog, accompanied by two shaggy animals resembling wolves so closely that it was almost impossible to believe them guardians of flocks of sheep, passed by the Hungarian Crown unchallenged, but these were probably tried warriors whose valor was so well known that they were no longer questioned anywhere.
The gypsies have in their wagons or following in their train small black dogs of temper unparalleled for ugliness. It is impossible to approach a Tsigane tent or wagon without encountering a swarm of these diminutive creatures, whose rage is not only amusing, but sometimes rather appalling to contemplate. Driving rapidly by a camp one morning in a farmer's cart drawn by two stout horses adorned with jingling bells, I was followed by a pack of these dark-skinned animals. The bells awoke such rage within them that they seemed insane under its influence. As they leaped and snapped around me, I felt like some traveller in a Russian forest pursued by hungry wolves. A dog scarcely six inches high, and but twice as long, would spring from the ground as if a pound of dynamite had exploded beneath him, and would make a desperate effort to throw himself into the wagon. Another, howling in impotent anger, would jump full at a horse's throat, would roll beneath the feet of the team, but in some miraculous fashion would escape unhurt, and would scramble upon a bank to try again. It was a real relief when the discouraged pack fell away. Had I shot one of the animals, the gypsies would have found a way to avenge the death of their enterprising though somewhat too zealous camp-follower. Animals everywhere on these border-lines of the Orient are treated with much more tenderness than men and women are. The grandee who would scowl furiously in this wild region of the Banat if the peasants did not stand by the roadside and doff their hats in token of respect and submission as he whirled by in his carriage, would not kick a dog out of his way, and would manifest the utmost tenderness for his horses.
Much as the Hungarian inhabitants of the Banat hate the Roumanians, they do not fail to appreciate the commercial advantages which will follow on the union of the two countries by rail. Pretty Orsova may in due time become a bustling town filled with grain- and coal-depots and with small manufactories. The railway from Verciorova on the frontier runs through the large towns Pitesti and Craiova on its way to Bucharest. It is a marvellous railroad: it climbs hills, descends into deep gullies, and has as little of the air-line about it as a great river has, for the contractors built it on the principle of "keeping near the surface," and they much preferred climbing ten high mountains to cutting one tunnel. Craiova takes its name, according to a somewhat misty legend, from John Assan, who was one of the Romano-Bulgarian kings, Craiova being a corruption of Crai Ivan ("King John"). This John was the same who drank his wine from a cup made out of the skull of the unlucky emperor Baldwin I. The old bans of Craiova gave their title to the Roumanian silver pieces now known as bani. Slatina, farther down the line, on the river Altu (the Aluta of the ancients), is a pretty town, where a proud and brave community love to recite to the stranger the valorous deeds of their ancestors. It is the centre from which have spread out most of the modern revolutionary movements in Roumania. "Little Wallachia," in which Slatina stands, is rich in well-tilled fields and uplands covered with fat cattle: it is as fertile as Kansas, and its people seemed to me more agreeable and energetic than those in and around Bucharest.
He who clings to the steamers plying up and down the Danube sees much romantic scenery and many curious types, but he loses all the real charm of travel in these regions. The future tourist on his way to or from Bulgaria and the battle-fields of the "new crusade" will be wise if he journeys leisurely by farm-wagon—he will not be likely to find a carriage—along the Hungarian bank of the stream. I made the journey in April, when in that gentle southward climate the wayside was already radiant with flowers and the mellow sunshine was unbroken by cloud or rain. There were discomfort and dust, but there was a rare pleasure in the arrival at a quaint inn whose exterior front, boldly asserting itself in the bolder row of house-fronts in a long village street, was uninviting enough, but the interior of which was charming. In such a hostelry I always found the wharfmaster, in green coat and cap, asleep in an arm-chair, with the burgomaster and one or two idle landed proprietors sitting near him at a card-table, enveloped in such a cloud of smoke that one could scarcely see the long-necked flasks of white wine which they were rapidly emptying. The host was a massive man with bulbous nose and sleepy eyes: he responded to all questions with a stare and the statement that he did not know, and seemed anxious to leave everything in doubt until the latest moment possible. His daughter, who was brighter and less dubious in her responses than her father, was a slight girl with lustrous black eyes, wistful lips, a perfect form, and black hair covered with a linen cloth that the dust might not come near its glossy threads. When she made her appearance, flashing out of a huge dark room which was stone paved and arched overhead, and in which peasants sat drinking sour beer, she seemed like a ray of sunshine in the middle of night. But there was more dignity about her than is to be found in most sunbeams: she was modest and civil in answer, but understood no compliments. There was something of the princess-reduced-in-circumstances in her demeanor. A royal supper could she serve, and the linen which she spread on the small wooden table in the back courtyard smelled of lavender. I took my dinners, after the long days' rides, in inns which commanded delicious views of the Danube—points where willows overhung the rushing stream, or where crags towered above it, or where it flowed in smooth yet resistless might through plains in which hundreds of peasants were toiling, their red-and-white costumes contrasting sharply with the brilliant blue of the sky and the tender green of the foliage.
If the inns were uniformly cleanly and agreeable, as much could not be said for the villages, which were sometimes decidedly dirty. The cottages of the peasants—that is, of the agricultural laborers—were windowless to a degree which led me to look for a small- and dull-eyed race, but the eloquent orbs of youths and maidens in all this Banat land are rarely equalled in beauty. I found it in my heart to object to the omnipresent swine. These cheerful animals were sometimes so domesticated that they followed their masters and mistresses afield in the morning. In this section of Hungary, as indeed in most parts of Europe, the farm-houses are all huddled together in compact villages, and the lands tilled by the dwellers in these communities extend for miles around them. At dawn the procession of laborers goes forth, and at sunset it returns. Nothing can give a better idea of rural simplicity and peace than the return of the peasants of a hamlet at eventide from their vineyards and meadows. Just as the sun was deluging the broad Danube with glory before relinquishing the current to the twilight's shades I came, in the soft April evening, into the neighborhood of Drenkova. A tranquil afterglow was here and there visible near the hills, which warded off the sun's passionate farewell glances at the vines and flowers. Beside the way, on the green banks, sat groups of children, clad with paradisiacal simplicity, awaiting their fathers and mothers. At a vineyard's hedge a sweet girl, tall, stately and melancholy, was twining a garland in the cap of a stout young fellow who rested one broad hand lightly upon her shoulder. Old women, bent and wrinkled, hobbled out from the fields, getting help from their sons or grandsons. Sometimes I met a shaggy white horse drawing a cart in which a dozen sonsie lasses, their faces browned by wind and their tresses blown back from their brows in most bewitching manner by the libertine breeze, were jolting homeward, singing as they went. The young men in their loose linen garments, with their primitive hoes and spades on their shoulders, were as goodly specimens of manly strength and beauty as one could wish to look upon. It hurt me to see them stand humbly ranged in rows as I passed. But it was pleasant to note the fervor with which they knelt around the cross rearing its sainted form amid the waving grasses. They knew nothing of the outer world, save that from time to time the emperor claimed certain of their number for his service, and that perhaps their lot might lead them to the great city of Buda-Pesth. Everywhere as far as the eye could reach the land was cultivated with greatest care, and plenty seemed the lot of all. The peasant lived in an ugly and windowless house because his father and grandfather had done so before him, not because it was necessary. It was odd to see girls tall as Dian, and as fair, bending their pretty bodies to come out of the contemptible little apertures in the peasant-houses called "doors."
Drenkova is a long street of low cottages, with here and there a two-story mansion to denote that the proprietors of the land reside there. As I approached the entrance to this street I saw a most remarkable train coming to meet me. One glance told me that it was a large company of gypsies who had come up from Roumania, and were going northward in search of work or plunder. My driver drew rein, and we allowed the swart Bohemians to pass on—a courtesy which was gracefully acknowledged with a singularly sweet smile from the driver of the first cart. There were about two hundred men and women in this wagon-train, and I verily believe that there were twice as many children. Each cart, drawn by a small Roumanian pony, contained two or three families huddled together, and seemingly lost in contemplation of the beautiful sunset, for your real gypsy is a keen admirer of Nature and her charms. Some of the women were intensely hideous: age had made them as unattractive as in youth they had been pretty; others were graceful and well-formed. Many wore but a single garment. The men were wilder than any that I had ever before seen: their matted hair, their thick lips and their dark eyes gave them almost the appearance of negroes. One or two of them had been foraging, and bore sheeps' heads and hares which they had purchased or "taken" in the village. They halted as soon as they had passed me, and prepared to go into camp; so I waited a little to observe them. During the process of arranging the carts for the night one of the women became enraged at the father of her brood because he would not aid her in the preparation of the simple tent under which the family was to repose. The woman ran to him, clenching her fist and screaming forth invective which, I am convinced, had I understood it and had it been directed at me, I should have found extremely disagreeable. After thus lashing the culprit with language for some time, she broke forth into screams and danced frantically around him. He arose, visibly disturbed, and I fancied that his savage nature would come uppermost, and that he might be impelled to give her a brutal beating. But he, on the contrary, advanced leisurely toward her and spat upon the ground with an expression of extreme contempt. She seemed to feel this much more than she would have felt a blow, and her fury redoubled. She likewise spat; he again repeated the contemptuous act; and after both had gratified the anger which was consuming them, they walked off in different directions. The battle was over, and I was not sorry to notice a few minutes later that paterfamilias had thought better of his conduct, and was himself spreading the tent and setting forth his wandering Lares and Penates.
A few hundred yards from the point where these wanderers had settled for the night I found some rude huts in which other gypsies were residing permanently. These huts were mere shelters placed against steep banks or hedges, and within there was no furniture save one or two blankets, a camp-kettle and some wicker baskets. Young girls twelve or thirteen years of age crouched naked about a smouldering fire. They did not seem unhappy or hungry; and none of these strange people paid any attention to me as I drove on to the inn, which, oddly enough, was at some distance from the main village, hard by the Danube side, in a gully between the mountains, where coal-barges lay moored. The Servian Mountains, covered from base to summit with dense forests, cast a deep gloom over the vale. In a garden on a terrace behind the inn, by the light of a flickering candle, I ate a frugal dinner, and went to bed much impressed by the darkness, in such striking contrast to the delightful and picturesque scenes through which I had wandered all day.
But I speedily forgot this next morning, when the landlord informed me that, instead of toiling over the road along the crags to Orsova, whither I was returning, I could embark on a tug-boat bound for that cheerful spot, and could thus inspect the grand scenery of the Iron Gates from the river. The swift express-boats which in time of peace run from Vienna to Rustchuk whisk the traveller so rapidly through these famous defiles that he sees little else than a panorama of high rocky walls. But the slow-moving and clumsy tug, with its train of barges attached, offers better facilities to the lover of natural beauty. We had dropped down only a short distance below Drenkova before we found the river-path filled with eddies, miniature whirlpools, denoting the vicinity of the gorges into which the great current is compressed. These whirlpools all have names: one is called the "Buffalo;" a second, Kerdaps; a third is known as the "Devourer." The Turks have a healthy awe of this passage, which in old times was a terrible trial to these stupid and always inefficient navigators. For three or four hours we ran in the shade of mighty walls of porphyry and granite, on whose tops were forests of oaks and elms. High up on cliffs around which the eagles circle, and low in glens where one sometimes sees a bear swimming, the sun threw a flood of mellow glory. I could fancy that the veins of red porphyry running along the face of the granite were blood-stains, the tragic memorials of ancient battles. For, wild and inaccessible as this region seems, it has been fought over and through in sternest fashion. Perched on a little promontory on the Servian side is the tiny town of Poretch, where the brave shepherds and swineherds fought the Turk, against whose oppression they had risen, until they were overwhelmed by numbers, and their leader, Hadji Nikolos, lost his head. The Austrians point out with pride the cave on the tremendous flank of Mount Choukourou where, two centuries ago, an Austrian general at the head of seven hundred men, all that was left to him of a goodly army, sustained a three months' siege against large Turkish forces. This cave is perched high above the road at a point where it absolutely commands it, and the government of to-day, realizing its importance, has had it fortified and furnished with walls pierced by loopholes. Trajan fought his way through these defiles in the very infancy of the Christian era; and in memory of his first splendid campaign against the Dacians he carved in the solid rock the letters, some of which are still visible, and which, by their very grandiloquence, offer a mournful commentary on the fleeting nature of human greatness. Little did he think when his eyes rested lovingly on this inscription, beginning—
IMP. CAES. D. NERVAE FILIUS NERVA. TRAJANUS. GERM. PONT. MAXIMUS.
—that Time with profane hand would wipe out the memory of many of his glories and would undo all the work that he had done.
On we drifted, through huge landlocked lakes, out of which there seemed no issue until we chanced upon a miraculous corner where there was an outlet frowned upon by angry rocks; on to the "Caldron," as the Turks called the most imposing portion of the gorge; on through an amphitheatre where densely-wooded mountains on either side were reflected in smooth water; on beneath masses that appeared about to topple, and over shallows where it looked as if we must be grounded; on round a bluff which had hidden the sudden opening of the valley into a broad sweep, and which had hindered us from seeing Orsova the Fair nestling closely to her beloved mountains.
THE PARIS EXPOSITION OF 1878.
I.—BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS.
It is customary to speak of things by comparison, and the question is constantly propounded here, as it will be to returned Americans: "How does the Exposition compare with the Centennial of 1876?" This is not to be answered by vague generalities nor by sweeping statements.
It must of course be true that a great nation could not fail to make interesting an object upon which it has lavished money and which has obtained the co-operation of the principal foreign nations. So much is true equally of Philadelphia and Paris, and the merits of each are such that comparisons may be instituted which shall be derogatory to neither.
The scale of each is immense, and the buildings of both well filled and overflowing into numerous annexes. Fairmount had the advantage of breadth of ground for all comers. The Champ de Mars is but little over one hundred acres in area, while the portion of Fairmount Park conceded to the Exposition was two hundred and sixty acres.
The Champ de Mars is simply crowded with buildings, and is hemmed in by houses except at the end where it abuts upon the Seine. The space between the river and the main building is the only breathing-ground on that side of the river, the only place large enough for a band to play in the open air with allowance for a moderate crowd of listeners; and even this portion has a far larger number of detached houses than elegance or convenience of view would dictate. It was otherwise in Philadelphia, where the ample room gave a sensation of freedom, and the wide lawns, and even rustic hollows, permitted rambles, picnic lunches and parties. Herein consists one of the most striking features of dissimilarity between the Philadelphia and Paris expositions. The former had plenty of room—the latter has insufficient. The former, with the exception of the Main and Machinery Buildings, with a few adjuncts, and the Art-Gallery, a little retired from the Main Building, had its structures dotted over a wide expanse bordering its lakes or along an encircling drive. For want of any other sufficient opportunity to display the architecture of the countries assembled, one of the interior facades of the Paris building has a series of characteristic house-fronts looking upon an allee of but fifty feet in width, which is dignified by the title of "The Street of Nations."
This tight packing has, however, one compensation: it has permitted a degree of finish to the grounds far superior to what was possible at Philadelphia. All the space inside the enclosure is admirably laid out in walks and parterres, and the two open places between the principal buildings and the Seine display a truly beautiful and picturesque garden, with winding walks, ponds, fountains, artificial mounds with clumps of trees and evergreens, grottos, statues, trickling rivulets with ferns and mosses, cozy dells with little cascades, and the walks in the more open spots bordered with charming flowers and plants of rich leafage. The lawns are something marvellous in the speed with which they have been created. Thousands of tons, as it seems, of rich mould have been deposited and levelled or laid upon the swelling tumuli which border the more open space, and the grass grows with denseness and vigor under the stimulating treatment of phosphates, its greenness mocking the emerald, and forming a most vivid setting for the darker leaves of the tree-rhododendrons, whose globular masses of bloom look like balls of fire.
After all, it is only justice to mention two things at Philadelphia which render it memorable among exhibitions, and which, I observe in conversation with foreigners who visited it and are here now, made a great and lasting impression. I do not mean that it had but two, but these are so frequently referred to that it is fair to cite them specially, even at the risk of a little repetition as to the first—namely, the wide area and beautiful situation, with the views of hill and river; the means of approach by carriage-drives through the lovely Park, those so disposed being able to drive for miles along the water-side, in the groves and to various commanding points of view on their way to such of the remoter entrances as they might elect; the railway, which enabled one not only to see the grounds without fatigue, but while resting from the pedestrian work of the interiors of the buildings; the sense of comfort in being able to retire for a while to sylvan or floral retreats to digest the thoughts and rest from seeing. Secondly, the various and ample accommodations offered to the public—the postal and telegraph facilities; the Department of Public Comfort; the lavatories and retiring-rooms so abundantly furnished. A Moresque gentleman in turban who was in Philadelphia fairly rubbed his hands as he referred to the lavish opportunities for washing which were freely given in Philadelphia, and contrasted them with the state of things here, where it costs ten cents to wash your hands, and the supply of water is but meagre at that. But he is an African, you know, and had learned to appreciate water, and plenty of it, in a land where the washing of the face, hands and feet is among the first civilities offered to a stranger.
A few figures, dry enough in themselves if there were nothing more, will serve as a means of comparison of the relative spaces under cover. The building on the Champ de Mars is stated officially to be 650 metres long by 350 metres broad, which, reduced to our measurement, will give 2,447,536 square feet. Deducting 150,000 feet for two enclosed alleys, the area under roof will be 2,297,536 feet. The area of the five principal buildings at the Centennial Exhibition was:
Main Building.................... 872,320
Machinery Hall.................. 504,720
Agricultural Hall................ 442,800
Horticultural Hall............... 73,919 1,970,409
So that the difference in favor of Paris is 327,127 feet. In round numbers, the Paris Exposition building is one-fifth larger than the united areas of the five principal buildings at the Centennial. Without making a close calculation of the areas of the annexes and detached buildings either of Philadelphia or Paris, I am disposed to think that the 1876 Exhibition was not in excess of the present one in this respect. Either exceeds, both in the main buildings and the swarm of detached structures, any preceding exhibitions. The difference between the Paris exhibitions of 1867 and 1878 is as 153 is to 240: the London building of 1862 would bear to both the proportion of 92, without any important annexes.
The high ground on the right bank of the Seine is occupied by the Trocadero Palace, which faces that on the Champ de Mars, each building being about five hundred yards from the bank of the river, which flows in so deep a depression that it is visible from neither building, and the grounds between the two appear to be continuous, though the bridge suggests the contrary.
The cascade in front of the Trocadero occupies the site of the old steps by which the steep hill was ascended, but the ground nearer to the Seine has been so raised that the river-roads on each side run in subways spanned by bridges, thus permitting free use of the great thoroughfares without impeding communication between the two portions of the Exposition. Indeed, they appear as one viewed in either direction, notwithstanding the intervening streets and wide and rapid river.
The change in the shape of the Trocadero hill to bring it into a symmetrical position in front of the Champ de Mars has required the quarrying of twenty-four thousand cubic metres of rock, leaving a rough scarp on the northern edge quarried into steps, walks and grottos, with flowers, ferns and mosses cunningly planted on the ledge and creepers on the walls.
The Trocadero Palace is the most striking architectural feature of the Exposition. Standing on a level one hundred and six feet above the Quai de Billy and overlooking the city of Paris, the dome and glittering minarets of the building are visible from many miles' distance. It is not easy to describe its architecture, though it is called "half Moorish, half Renaissance;" which is not very definite. It has a large rotunda capable of accommodating seven thousand persons, and the river-front has two spacious corridors on as many stories. The central building is flanked by two tall square campaniles, and from its sides extend long wings which curve toward the river: these have colonnades and terraces in front overlooking the garden, its picturesque and grotesque cottages and pavilions, its fountains and its parterres of gay flowers.
The Trocadero has been purchased by the town council of Paris, and is to be a permanent structure, its flanking salons, forty-two feet wide, being known as "Galeries de l'Art Retrospective." Its collection is to form a history of civilization, and will probably include the Egyptian, Assyrian and similar collections from the Louvre, as well as the Ethnological, which is at St. Germain. It is designed to represent in chronological order ancient and historic art, both liberal and mechanical, with the furniture, arms and tools of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, arms, implements and fabrics from the East, Africa and Oceanica, and a collection of musical instruments of all ages and countries. This is an ambitious programme, but will no doubt be well accomplished. Its general color is that of the beautiful stone of this region, a delicate cream. The uniformity is broken by great boldness and variety in the structural form of the building, and by its pillars, deep colonnades and heavy cornices, giving shadows which prevent monotony of tint.
While artists and architects disagree like the proverbial doctors, and purists shudder at the jumble of orders, periods and nationalities, a tyro may well hesitate. An opinion of the building will no more suit everybody than does the building itself; but one cannot entirely forfeit one's reputation for taste, for each will find some agreeing judgments. All must acknowledge that it has a gala air. Its central dome, tall minarets and wings widespread toward the river crown the height and seem to foster the beauties they partly enclose.
The circular corridor of the rotunda is surmounted by the Muses and other figures typical of the future purposes of the building. The rotunda-walls are themselves castellated, the towers being interplaced with windows of Saracenic arched form. The beton pavement of the corridors and balcony is made of annular fragments, facets upward, of black, red, white and slate-colored marbles, feldspar and other stones. It is as hard as natural rock and as smooth as half-polished marble. A tessellated fret pattern is made along the borders of the corridor floor, consisting of triple rows of smooth cubes of marble inserted in the cement. The square balusters are of red-mottled marble, with base and entablature of dull rose. The square corner pillars support figures allegorizing the six divisions of the earth.
The vestibules at the sides of the tower are open east and west for the passage to and from the garden, and at the sides have doors which admit to the Grande Salle and the flanking galleries respectively. The interior red scagliola columns of the vestibule are in pairs, with white bases and capitals, the latter combining the lotus-leaf with the volute. The soffits of the ceiling have panels of yellow with orange border, contrasting with iron beams painted a chocolate brown.
The uniformity of the long and curved colonnades which form the wings of the building is broken by square porticoes, which have entrances to the galleries and small terraces in front, with steps leading to the garden. The wall back of the white pillars of this long promenade is painted of a warm but not glaring red. The roof is of tile and skylight. The base of the colonnade beneath the balustrade and pillars is a rough concrete wall hidden by a sloping bank of evergreens, upon which the eye rests pleasantly amid so much wall-space and architectural decoration.
In front of the corridor of the rotunda is a projecting balcony, with six gigantic female figures on the corners of its balustrade representing Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa and Australia. These statues are of metal gilt, and typify by countenance and accompanying emblems the portions of the globe they represent. Europe is an armed figure with sword: at her side are the caduceus, olive-branch, books and easel. Asia has a spear and a couch with elephant heads. Africa is a negress, with the characteristic grass-rope basket containing dates. North America is an Indian, but the civilization of the land is indicated by an anchor, beehive and cog-wheel. Australia is a gin, with a waddy, boomerang and kangaroo. South America sits on a cotton-bale, has a condor by her side, and at her feet are tropical fruits—pineapples, bananas and brazil-nuts.
The balustrade of the balcony is of a light marble with faint red mottling, and in front of it is a boiling pool of water at the level of the hand-rail. A large volume of water overflows the curved edge of this pool and falls twenty feet into a basin beneath, the first of a series of nine whose overflows in successive steps form the cascade technically known as a "chateau d'eau," the finest of which description of ornamental waterworks is at the Chateau St. Cloud, one of the mementos of the fatal luxury which precipitated the Revolution of 1789. The cascade of St. Cloud plays once a month for half an hour—that at the Exposition during the whole day. From one jet at St. Cloud issue five thousand gallons per minute: the supply at the Exposition is twenty-four thousand cubic feet per hour. Most of this water runs over the edge of the balcony-pool, and the fall of fifty-six cubic feet per second a distance of twenty feet creates no mean roar and mist in the archway beneath the balcony, where visitors walk behind the falls and look through the sheet of water. It is not fair to compare at all points the cascades of the Exposition and St. Cloud. The amount of water may probably not be greatly different, but the fantastic profusion of spiratory objects and long succession of overflow basins and urns in the works at the chateau has no parallel in those of the Trocadero. The cascades of St. Cloud are disappointing: the object should be to add to landscape effect by water in motion, and the principle is entirely missed when the water is made a mere accessory to a series of stone steps, jars and monsters. Steps are made to walk upon, jars to hold water. An interminable series of either with water poured over them is not the work of a genius. If the first suggestion to the mind be that a thing is a stairway, the fact that it is made too wet to walk upon does not constitute it a beautiful cascade. A row of jars on pedestals around a grass-plat has a pretty effect, because they do or may hold flowers, but to set several rows of them on a hillside and turn on the water is not art. As an admirable illustration of fantasy well wrought out the Fountain of Latona at Versailles may be cited. There Latona, having appealed to Jupiter against the inhabitants of Argos, who had deprived her of water, is deluged by jets from the unfortunates, who appear in various degrees of transformation into frogs.
The cascade of the Trocadero has nothing meretricious about it. It is, like the building of which it is the finest ornament, of Jura marble, while much of the adjacent work is of artificial stone so admirably made that one cannot tell the difference, and is disposed to give the preference to the latter as evincing greater ingenuity than the mere patient chiselling of the quarry-stone. The pools are symmetrical, in conformity to the style of their surroundings, their overflows curved, the successive falls being about two feet after the first dash nine hundred and twenty feet from the balcony level. Each side of the cascade is flanked by six small pools in which are spouting and spray jets. The course ends in a pool which may be described as square, with circular bays on three of its sides. In this are one large jet and two smaller ones, which are themselves beautiful and keep the surface in a pleasant ripple. The corner pillars are crowned by colossal gilt figures of animals, supposed to represent what we were used to call the "four quarters of the earth"—Europe, Asia, Africa and America, as the books had it before America had attained any prominence in public estimation. These are typified by a horse, an elephant, a rhinoceros and a bull, the latter probably a tribute to our bison, but not much like him. These face the four winds, so to speak, and do indeed more nearly, as they are set obliquely, than do the grounds and buildings, the length of which runs north-west and south-east. Each animal has his back to the pool, and with one exception is in a rampant attitude.
Many thousands of cubic metres of stone were quarried away to afford a site for the cascade, for the system of water-pipes which supply the various pools and jets and conduct off the surplus. The size of the site occupied by these hydraulic works is 360 by 75 feet.
The balcony of the Trocadero facing toward the river and the Champ de Mars affords the most extensive view obtainable in the grounds. Beneath is the cascade with its basins and fountains, and spreading away on each side is the garden with its various national buildings, neat, gaudy or grotesque. Spanning the invisible roads and river is the broad Pont d'Iena, and then comes a repetition of the garden, the sward dotted with parterres and buildings. A broad terrace, crowned with the splendid facade of the main building, does not quite terminate the view, for from the height of the lower corridor of the rotunda the buildings of Paris are seen to stretch away in the distance. The hill of Montmartre on the north and the heights of Chatillon and Clamart on the south terminate the view in those directions.
The cascade immediately beneath us has been already described, but how shall we give an impression of the appearance of the buildings collected in groups on each side of the main avenue? So great is the variety of objects to be presented that any very large unbroken surface of sward is impossible. The general plan is geometrical, and the absence of large trees on the newly-made ground has prevented any attempt at woodland scenery.
The French make great use of common flowers in obtaining effects of color. Some square beds of large size have centres of purple and white stocks, giving a mottled appearance, with a border of the tender blue forget-me-nots and a fringe of double daisies. Other beds are full of purple, red and white anemones, multicolored poppies or yellow marigolds. The sober mignonette is too great a favorite to be excluded, though it lends little to the effect. The gorgeous rhododendron is here massed in large beds, and there forms a standard tree with a formal clump of foliage and gay flowers, contrasting with the bright green of the succulent grass. The roses are by thousands in beds and lining the walks, and here are especially to be seen the standard roses for which Europe is so famous, but which do not seem to prosper with us.
Besides the flowers and flowering shrubs, a most profuse use is made of evergreens, which are removed of surprising size and forwardness of spring growth. We can form little conception from our gardens at home of the wealth, variety and exuberance of the evergreen foliage in Southern England and Northern France—the Spanish and Portuguese laurel, laurustinus, arbutus, occuba, bay, hollies in variety, tree-box, with scores of species of pines, firs, arborvitae and yews, relieved by the contorted foliage of the auraucarias, the sombre cedar of Lebanon and the graceful deodar cedar of the Himalayas. As already remarked, the tree-growth is small, as the ground was a blank and rocky hillside two years ago, and was quarried to make a site for the garden. The tree which seems best to bear moving, and is consequently used in the emergency, is the horse-chestnut, the red and white flowering varieties being intermingled. This is perhaps the most common tree in the streets of Paris, though the plane and maple are also favorites.
Against the rocky scarp on the south of the garden a plantation of aloes, yuccas and cactus has been made. These are in great variety, and some of them in flower. It was especially pleasant to see the independence which the gardener has shown in placing a fine clump of rhubarb in one place where he wanted a green bunch. Some persons would have been afraid of injurious criticism in the use of so common a plant, but we all know what a vigorous, healthy green it is, and as such not to be despised by the artist in color. There are a few specialties in the way of gardening which are worth notice: one is the array of tulips planted by the city of Haarlem, and representing the municipal coat-of-arms in tulips of every imaginable color of which the plant is capable, and around the figures the words "Haarlem, Holland," in scarlet tulips on a ground of white ones.
Another novelty is the Japanese garden with its bamboo fence, the posts and door of entrance being carved with remarkable taste and boldness. The double gates are surmounted by a cock and hen in natural attitudes, which is a relief from the absurdities of their impossible storks and hideous griffins. Perhaps it shows that modern and European ideas are at work there. The flag of Japan, by the way—a red circle on a white ground—is a sensible design, and can be seen at a distance: it contrasts favorably with the dragon on a yellow ground of the Chinese pavilion. The Japanese garden has several large standard umbrellas for permanent shade, and little bamboo-fenced yards for the game chickens and the ducks. Two shrines are in the garden, and a fountain with a feeble jet issuing from a stump and falling into a little fanciful pond with small bays and promontories. On the miniature deep a walnut-shell ship might ride, and on the shoals near the bank aquatic plants are beginning to sprout, and their leaves will soon touch the opposite shore if they are not attended to.
Rather a disparagement, as a matter of taste, to the somewhat formal grace but undoubted beauty of this floral scene are the buildings which are placed here and there over the surface. However, it is these that we have come to see, for if we were in search of landscape or Dutch gardening we should find it better elsewhere. This gardening is only a setting, a frame, in which the various nations have set up their cottages and villas. The ground surface between the houses has been laid off ornamentally to please the eye and satisfy the sense of order and beauty, but is not itself the object of which we are in search. It is impossible perhaps to harmonize such an incongruous set of buildings, adapted for different climates, habits, tastes and needs. Here on the left is a large white castellated house of Algiers. It has blank walls and loopholed towers, and no suggestion of a tree or flower, but gives an idea of the land where the sand of the desert comes up to the doorstep and beggars and thieves go on horseback. On the opposite extremity, at the right, is a Chinese house with its peculiar curved roof, suggested originally, doubtless, by the Tartar tent, but having more curves and points than were ever shown by canvas or felt. In a district by themselves the readers of the Koran—or a set of people passing for such—have their Persian, Tunisian, Morocco and Turkish kiosques, and the inhabitants seem perhaps one shade cleaner than they did in Philadelphia. They are supposed, at least, to be the same, and have an exactly similar lot of rubbish and brass jewelry for sale, and oil of cassia, which they sell for the attar of the "gardens of Gul in their bloom." Next is a campanile of Sweden, and near it are the Swedish and Norwegian houses, armed against winter. Then the Japanese cottage with sides all open, mats on the floors and no furniture to speak of. Then comes a Moorish pavilion of Spain with nondescript ornaments, the bulbous domes and pinnacles supporting the flags of yellow and red—of barbaric taste, color and significance.
We have yet to notice the Italian villa, the Oriental mosque, the Swiss chalet and the log hut; also the modern pavilion with zinc roof, the thatched houses of Britain and of Normandy, the Elizabethan cottage and the English farm-house. What they lack in size they make up in variety, may be said of the greenhouses and conservatories dotted about the place. In and outside of them the marvellous skill and patience of the gardener is seen in the rigidly-formal or abnormally-directed limbs of the fruit trees. The fish-ponds and fountains are neither numerous nor large, but the aquarium may merit more extended description when completed.
Standing, sensible-looking and tasteful, in the midst of much that is trumpery, but good enough for a summer fete, and placed here not as exhibits of good taste, but of what their owners think good, rises the wooden building with skylight roof of "The Administration of Forests and Waters." It is on a beautiful knoll, and has a wooden frame with tongued and grooved panels, the whole varnished to show the natural grain of the timber. On the panels outside are arranged the tools and implements of arboriculture and forestry.
The flags of the different nations displayed upon these buildings give animation to the scene, and the glance might pass at once from this panorama to the other side of the Seine, where the scene is repeated, but for the intervention of long barnlike sheds with tile roofs which intrude themselves along the banks of the river, and quench the poetry of the fanciful and picturesque as the eye passes from the immediate foreground and seeks the magnificent facade of the Salle d'Iena, the river front of the main building occupying the Champ de Mars. The flags of all nations are flying from the numerous minor pinnacles, while the six domes on the ends and centres of the east and west facades display the tricolor of France.
The best view of the exterior is obtained from the Trocadero. The building itself is so large that some distance is necessary to take in the whole at a glance. The approach to it by way of the Pont d'Iena has been marred by raising the bridge to too great a height, so that the impression in crossing the Seine is that the building stands upon low ground. Standing upon the east end of the bridge, one cannot see the base on the other side of the river, which suggests descent and dwarfs the building. The bridge retains its colossal statuary, each of the four groups consisting of an unmounted man and a horse. They respectively represent a Greek, Roman, Gaul and Arab. The bridge was erected to commemorate the victory over the Prussians in 1806, and Bluecher, who had his head-quarters at St. Cloud in 1815, threatened to blow it up. After crossing the bridge we find ourselves reaching the work-a-day world. On the left are represented the foundries and workshops of Creuzot, Chaumont and Serrenorri. Near by is a model of the observatory of Mount Jouvis and an annex of the state tobacco-factory of France.
The building on the Champ de Mars is 2132 feet by 1148. A wide and lofty vestibule runs across the full extent of each end, and these afford the most imposing interior views of the building. They are known respectively as the Galerie d'Iena and Galerie de l'Ecole Militaire, from their vicinity to the bridge and school respectively. Being lofty themselves, and having central and flanking domed towers which break the uniformity, their fronts form the principal facades of the building, of which, architecturally speaking, they are the principal entrances; but in fact, as happens with buildings of such acreage, the actual inlets depend upon the predominance in numbers of the people on one or another side of the building, the means of approach by land and water, and the contiguous streets of favorite and convenient travel. In the present case the bulk of the people reach the grounds either by water at the south-east corner or by land at the intersection of Avenue Rapp with the Avenue Bourdonnaye, which latter bounds the Champ de Mars on its southern side.
The end-vestibules are connected by five longitudinal galleries on each side of the open area in the middle of the building. The five galleries on the southern side belong to France, and the five on the northern side are divided by transverse partitions among the foreign nations present, in very greatly differing quantities. England, for instance, occupies nearly two-sevenths of the whole space devoted to foreign exhibitors, being more than the sum of the amounts allotted to Spain, China, Japan, Italy, Sweden, Norway and the United States. The end-vestibules have curved roofs with highly ornamented ceilings of a succession of flat domes along the centres, with three rows of deep soffits on each side, gayly painted. The walls are nearly all glass in iron frames, and the panes of white glass alternate in checkerwork with those having blue tracery upon them. The whole building is principally of iron and glass, the roof of wood, with zinc plates and numerous skylights over the interior galleries. The machinery galleries of each side are much the largest of the longitudinal ones, and have high roofs with side windows above the levels of the roofs on each side of them; but the four other galleries on each side of the building have quite low ceilings, which make one fear for the quality of the ventilation when the heat is at its greatest.
In the interior of the quadrangular building is an open space about two hundred feet broad and nearly two thousand feet long, reaching from one vestibule to the other; and in this space are two rows of fine-art pavilions and a building for the exhibition of the municipal works of the city. This isolated building is in the central portion of the whole structure, the fine-art pavilions being arranged in line with it, four in a group, the salons of a group connected by lobbies and also with the large end-vestibules at the end upon which they abut.
The French and foreign sides of the Exposition building on the Champ de Mars have frontages upon the interior court, and the facades of the foreign sections are made ornamental and are intended to be characteristic of the countries. There is a great discrepancy in the space assigned to each: that of Great Britain is the longest, amounting to five hundred and forty feet in length, while the little territories of Luxembourg, Andorra, Monaco and San Marino, which are clubbed together, have unitedly about twenty-five feet of frontage. In some cases the space assigned to a nation does not run back the full four hundred feet to the outside of the building, but it is intended that each shall have some part of the facade in this allee. Much taste and more expense have been lavished upon the architectural construction and embellishment of the facades, and the row reminds one of the scenes in a theatre, where palace, cottage, mosque and jail stand side by side, giving a particolored effect as various as the different emotions which the respective buildings might be supposed to elicit. The English space being so large, no single design was adopted, as it could have but a monotonous effect, but the frontage was divided into five portions, each of which illustrates some style of villa or cottage architecture, and is separated from the adjoining one by garden-beds. The first, counting from the Salle de la Seine, is of the style of Queen Anne's reign. It is built of a patented imitation of red brickwork. Thin slabs of Portland cement concrete are faced with smaller slabs of red concrete of the size of bricks and screwed to the wooden frame of the building. The house has tall casements in a bay with a balcony, and an entablature on top of the wall. The second house is the pavilion of the prince of Wales, and is of the Elizabethan style. It is built of rubble-work faced with colored plaster in imitation of red brickwork and Bath-stone dressings. The front has niches for statuary, and above the windows are shield-shaped panels for armorial bearings. The windows are in square clusters, with small lights in hexagonal leaden cames. The union jack flies from the staff. The third house is constructed of red brick and terra-cotta, and is not specially characteristic of any period. It is, in fact, a jumble of the early Gothic with a Moorish entablature and a balustrade parapet. The stained-glass casement windows are surmounted with circular lights in the arches. The fourth house is built of pitch-pine framework, enriched with carving and filled in with plaster panels—a style of construction known as "half-timbered work," much employed in England from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century. This house is placed at the disposal of the Canadian commissioners. It has a large square two-story bay-window, with the customary small glass panes in cames of lozenge and other patterns, and is perhaps the neatest and most cozy house in the row. The fifth is of the construction of an English country-house in the reign of William III. It is of timber, with stucco and rough-cast panels, and has a large bay-window in the second story, surmounted by a gable to the street and covering an old-fashioned stoop with seats on each side. The five houses have a pretty effect, and each has a home look. The facades only are on exhibition, the interiors being private. They contrast with others in the "street" in the same way as the habits of the different peoples. Some build their houses to retire into, and others to exhibit themselves. Each nation being asked for the facade of a house, the Italian has built a portico where he can lounge, see and be seen; the Englishman has in all serenity represented what he deems comfort, and shuts the front door.
The next in order is the United States house, which is plain and commodious; the latch-string would be out, but that the front door is everlastingly open. The style is perhaps to advertise to the world that we have not yet had time to invent an order of architecture or devise anything adapted to our climate, which has extremes utterly unknown to our ancestors in Britain. The building is light and airy, has office-rooms on each floor, and is described by one English paper as "a sort of school-building which combines elegance with usefulness." Another paper states that "it exemplifies the utilitarian notions of our Transatlantic cousins rather than any artistic intent." These comments are as favorable as anything we ourselves can say: we accept the verdict with thanks and think we have got off pretty well. In the squareness of its general lines, with arched windows on the second floor and square tower over the centre, perhaps the architect thought it was Italian. Sixteen coats-of-arms on the outside excite admiration.
The building of Norway and Sweden is a charming cottage of handsome and ample proportions. It has three sections: one of two stories with low-pitched roof, and gable to the street, a middle structure with colonnade, and one of three stories with high-pitched roof. The windows are round-topped, made in an ingenious way, the upper member being an arched piece with sloping ends, to match the springing on the tops of the posts which divide the openings. The horizontal and vertical bands are enriched by carving.
The facade of Italy may be pronounced pretentious and disappointing. It is constructed of various kinds of unpolished marble and terra-cotta panels. A tall archway is flanked by two wings having each two smaller arches, the entablatures of which are enriched, if we must so term it, with gaudy mosaic figures, portraits and heraldic bearings, while the spans of the arches surmount pyramidal groups of emblems, scientific, medical, lyrical and so forth. Red curtains with heavy gilt cords and tassels behind the arches throw the columns with composition (not Composite) capitals and the emblems into high relief. Beneath the centre arch is the armorial bearing of the country. The vestibules display statuary.
Japan has a quaint little house with a very massive gateway of solid timber, flanked by two characteristic fountains of terra-cotta. These represent stumps of trees, with gigantic lily-cups, leaves of water-lilies, and frogs in grotesque attitudes in and around the water.
China has a grotesque house, painted in imitation of octagonal slate-colored bricks, covered with a pagoda-roof full of curves and points. The red door has rows of large knobs and is surmounted by colored and gilded carvings, representing genii probably. The pointed flag has in a yellow field a blue dragon in the later stages of consumption.
Spain has a Moorish building rich in gold and color—a central portion with Italian roof, and two colonnade side-sections flanked by castellated towers. Five forms of arches span the doors and windows, and the artist has contrived to associate all forms of ornament, running from an approach to the Greek fret down through the Arabesque to the Brussels carpet.
Austro-Hungary has a long colonnade of white stone ornamented with black filigree-work and supported by columns in pairs. The entablature is surmounted by a row of statues, and the end-towers have parapets with balustrade. The colonnade, with a chocolate-brown back wall, affords shelter and relief for bronze and marble statuary. At each end of this facade is a tall flagstaff striped like a barber's pole, and so familiar to all who have visited the Austrian stations, at Trieste, for example. From it flies the flag of horizontal stripes of red, white and green, with the shield of many quarterings and two angelic supporters.
Russia has a log-and-frame house of somewhat more than average picturesque character. The projecting centres and wing-towers, the outside staircase, and roofs conical, flat, pyramidal, bulbous and Oriental, give it a miscellaneous toyshop appearance, characteristic perhaps of the mosaic character of the nation. Barge-boards and brackets of various cheap patterns are plentifully strewed over the building.
Passing from the Russian to the Swiss building suggests inevitably Mr. Mantalini's description of his former cheres amies: "The two countesses had no outline at all, and the dowager's was a demmed outline." A semicircular archway, over which is a high-flying arch with a roof of six slopes surmounted by a bell-tower and pinnacle roof; on the pillars two lions supporting a red shield with white Greek cross in the field; two wings with flat arches containing gorgeous stained-glass windows. But what avails description? There are twenty-two armorial bearings on the spandrils of the arches, beating the United States by six; but we had only room for the original thirteen, the United States and two more. Oh that they had granted us more space! High up aloft is the motto Un pour tous, tons pour un, which was adopted by the French Commune.
Belgium is pre-eminent in the whole row, if expense determines. This country has about three times as much space in the building as the United States, and has worthily filled it. The Belgian facade on the "Street of Nations" is reputed to have cost nearly as much as the whole appropriation made by Congress for the United States exhibit. It is of dark red brick with gray stone quoins and corners and blue and gray marble pillars. The centre building is joined by two colonnades to a flanking tower at one end and an ornate gable at the other. The style is one familiar in the times when the great William of Orange was alive, and was to some extent introduced into England soon after another William took the place of his bigoted father-in-law. It cannot be denied that the general effect is gray, sombre and uncomfortable—that it is too much crowded with objects, and, though of admirable and enduring materials, suggests a spasmodic attempt to assimilate itself to the gala character of the occasion which called it forth. It is the saturnine one of the row. It is said that the pieces are numbered for re-erection in some other place.
Greece has an Athenian house painfully crude in color, white picked out with all the hues of the rainbow and some others, suggesting muddy coffee and chibouques.
Denmark has about twenty feet of front, utilized by a gable-end of brick with facings of imitation stone.
The Central American States have about sixty feet of yellow front, with three arched openings into the vestibule, which is flanked by a tower and a gable.
Anam, Persia, Siam, Morocco and Tunis have unitedly a gingerbread affair of four distinct patterns—we cannot call them styles. Siam in the centre has a chocolate-colored tower picked out with silver, and surmounted by a triple pagoda roof, whence floats the flag, a white elephant in a red field. The six feet of homeliness belonging to Tunis has a balcony of wood which neither reveals nor hides the almond-eyed whose supposed relatives are selling trumpery in booths on the other side of the Seine.
Luxembourg, Andorra, Monaco and San Marino unite in a facade representing the different styles of architecture which prevail in the several states: 1. A portion faintly suggesting the ancient palace of Luxembourg, to-day the residence of Prince Henry of Holland; 2. An entrance erected by the principality of Monaco as the model of that of the royal palace; 3. A window contributed by San Marino, and showing that the prevalent type in the little republic is more useful than ornamental; 4. A balustrade surmounting the facade, supplied by the republic of Andorra.
Portugal has an imitation in cream-colored plaster of a Gothic church-entrance, and a highly-enriched arch with flanking towers, whose canopied niches have figures of warriors and wise men.
Holland shows an architecture of two hundred years ago, the counterpart of the houses we see in the old Dutch pictures. It is of dark red brick with stone courses, and a tall slate roof behind its balustered parapet.
We are at the end of the Street of Nations, somewhat under a third of a mile in length.
It is evening, and the sun in this latitude—for we are farther north than Quebec—seems in no hurry to reach the horizon. Two hours ago the whistle sounded "No more steam," and the life of the building went out. The attendants, tired of the show and blases or "used up," according to their nationality, with exhibitions, have shrouded their cases in sack-cloth and gone to sip ordinaire, absinthe or bitter ale. I sit on a terrace of the Champ de Mars, the gorgeous building at my back, and look riverward. Before me stretches away the green carpet of sward one hundred feet wide and six hundred long, a broad level band of emerald reaching to the gravel approach to the Pont d'Iena, each side of which is guarded by a colossal figure of a man leading a horse. The gravel around the tapis vert is black with the figures of those whom the fineness of the evening has induced to take a parting stroll in the ground before retiring.
Flanking the gravel-walks the ground is more uneven, and Art, in imitation of the wilder aspects of Nature, has done what the limited space permitted to enhance the allied beauties of land and water, where
Each gives each a double charm, Like pearls upon an Ethiop's arm.
On the left is a rockery and waterfall on no mean scale, with a romantic little lake in front. On the right a rocky island in a corresponding lake is crowned with a thatched pavilion, the reflection of which shines broken in the water ruffled by the evening breeze. Groups of detached buildings hem in the view on each side, and their flags wave with the sky for a background. Paris is invisible: at this point the grounds are isolated from outside view.
Rising clear beyond the bridge, the approach to it on the other side hidden by the lowness of the point of view, stands the palace of the Trocadero, a broad sweep of green covering the hill, along whose summit are the widespread wings of the colonnade, uniting at the central rotunda, of which the domed roof and square campaniles rise one hundred feet above all and dominate the middle of the picture. The traces of the indefatigable swarms of workmen are obliterated, except in the magical and finished work. The spray of the fountains of the chateau d'eau drifts to leeward and hides at times patches of the velvety grass on the hill. The central jet plays sturdily, and from where I sit appears to reach the level of the second corridor of the rotunda.
The eye fails to detect a single object, excepting the four statues on the bridge, which is not the creation of a few months. The hill beyond has been torn to pieces and sloped, and the palace built upon it. Every house in sight is new. The very ground in front on which I look down has been raised, and the terrace on which I sit has been built. The ponds have been excavated, the mimic rocky hills have been piled up, and the water led to the brink of the tiny precipice from the artesian wells which supply this part of Paris.
The hum of many voices and the dash of waters make a deep undertone, and one comes away with the feeling—not exactly that the scene is too good to last, but—of regret that the result of such lavish care should be ephemeral. In a few months all on the left side of the river may again be parade-ground, and the thirty thousand troops which can be readily man[oe]uvred upon it be getting ready for another conflict, while the palace which the Genius of the Lamp had builded, as in a night, shall be a thing of the past, as if whirled away by the malevolent magician.
EDWARD H. KNIGHT.
Child! Such thou seemest to me that am more old In sorrow than in years, With that long pain that turns us bitter cold, Far worse than these hot tears
Of thine, that fall so fast upon my breast. I know they ease thy grief: I know they comfort, and will bring thee rest, Thou poor wind-shaken leaf!
Ah yes, thy storm will pass, thy skies will clear. Thou smilest beneath my kiss: Lift up the blue eyes cleansed by weeping, dear, Of every thought amiss.
What seest thou, child, in these dry eyes of mine? Grief that hath spent its tears— Grief that its right to weeping must resign, Not told by days, but years.
The bitterest is that weeping of the heart That mounts not to the eyes: In its lone chamber we sit down apart, And no one hears our cries.
It comes to this with every deep, true soul: 'Tis neither kill nor cure, But a strong sorrow held in strong control, A girding to endure.
For no such soul lives in this tangled world But, like Achilles' heel, Hath in the quick a shaft too truly hurled— Flesh growing round the steel.
And with its outcome would come all Life's flood: Joy is so twined with pain, Sweetness and tears so blended in our blood, They will not part again.
For at the last the heart grows round its grief, And holds it without strife: So used we are, we cry not for relief, For we know all of life.
And this is why I kiss thy tear-wet eyes, Nor think thy grief so great. Thou untried child! at every fresh surprise Thy heart springs to the gate.
OF THE LANDLADY'S DAUGHTER.
Early in that December the landlady's daughter came home. Percival could not fix the precise date, but he knew it was early in the month, because about the eighth or ninth he was suddenly aware that he had more than once encountered a smile, a long curl and a pair of turquoise earrings on the stairs. He had noticed the earrings: he could speak positively as to them. He had seen turquoises before, and taken little heed of them, but possibly his friends had happened to buy rather small ones. He felt pretty certain about the long curl. And he thought there was a smile, but he was not so absolutely sure of the smile.
By the twelfth he was quite sure of it. It seemed to him that it was cold work for any one to be so continually on the stairs in December. The owner of the smile had said, "Good-morning, Mr. Thorne."
On the thirteenth a question suggested itself to him: "Was she—could she be—always running up and down stairs? Or did it happen that just when he went out and came back—?" He balanced his pen in his fingers for a minute, and sat pondering. "Oh, confound it!" he said to himself, and went on writing.
That evening he left the office to the minute, and hurried to Bellevue street. He got halfway up the stairs and met no one, but he heard a voice on the landing exclaim, "Go to old Fordham's caddy, then, for you sha'n't—Oh, good gracious!" and there was a hurried rustle. He went more slowly the rest of the way, reflecting. Fordham was another lodger—elderly, as the voice had said. Percival went to his sitting-room and looked thoughtfully into his tea-caddy. It was nearly half full, and he calculated that, according to the ordinary rate of consumption, it should have been empty, and yet he had not been more sparing than usual. His landlady had told him where to get his tea: she said she found it cheap—it was a fine-flavored tea, and she always drank it. Percival supposed so, and wondered where old Fordham got his tea, and whether that was fine-flavored too.