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election takes place early in November, and for weeks before that time, mass meetings are held in the cities. Barbecues are held in the country, where the people roast whole oxen, and spend sometimes several days listening to political speeches; and clubs of young men march through the streets at night, with bands of music and torches, to excite enthusiasm and increase their numbers. In 1860 the most noted of these organisations were the Wide-Awakes, who wore glazed capes and caps, carried lamps swinging on the tops of poles, burning the coal-oil or petroleum, which has recently been introduced into this country, and marching most frequently to the strains of "Dixie,” which was the Republican banner tune. On election day, the people do not vote for the President, but for electors, men whose business it is to assemble at the state capital to cast all their votes for one man, and appoint one of their number to carry that vote to Washington. Each state has as many electors--and, therefore, votes for President-as it has representative senators in Congress. Thus, Ohio has 21 representatives and 2 senators, and is therefore entitled to 23 votes for President. The polling papers used by the people in the general elections are printed slips of coloured paper, provided by the several political parties. These papers are of various colours. Thus, for instance, the Republican tickets may be yellow, the Democratic blue; and so it is easy to understand how the ballot, as practised by the Americans, is unable to secure secrecy. When a man goes to vote, he receives at the entrance of the polling booth whatever ticket he wishes to vote. He goes to the counter or bar, for he is not permitted to deposit his own vote in the ballot box, and gives his name, which is entered by one of the clerks. The presiding officer takes his ticket, and although he does not open it, what can prevent his knowing what colour it is? The opposing parties use different sizes, and, as I have said, various colours for their voting papers. The presiding officer drops the ticket into the box. But the ballot is not universal in America. At the last election 33 states voted; for one, Kansas, has been added since. In 15 of these 33, or nearly half of the entire number, the voting was open, and by word of mouth, just as it is in this country. On the 6th November, 1860, the last Presidential election day, I visited most of the polling booths in Cincinnati, in the morning,
and saw the farce of voting by ballot. In the afternoon I crossed the Ohio, and in Kentucky, a Southern state, I saw open voting. A man came up to the place of voting, and was asked-"For whom do you vote?" He stated for whom, and his vote was entered.
That theory of the Americans that all men are equal, is sometimes acted upon and sometimes departed from, just as it suits their purpose. There are no dearer lovers of rank, nor greater observers of caste, than the people of New York city. There is, at the same time, everywhere a sort of democratic feeling, and an assumption and quasi recognition of equality which I never observed elsewhere. The Americans are in no respect a venerating people; and, "like father like son,” the children grow up with very little regard for their parents, or anybody else. The children are also excessively precocious. There were in my Sunday School class in Sacramento (and this shows the democracy of the people in one respect), two sons of a general, and two sons of the chapel-keeper, all on terms of friendly acquaintance. While I was absent on one of my excursions in California, a friend took my class in the Sunday School, and, on my return, I inquired if matters had gone on pleasantly. He said he would not take the class again. The lesson, during my absence, turning on the power of God, one of the boys inquired if God could do everything? The teacher replied that God's power was unbounded. One of the general's sons rejoined "I know one thing that God cannot do,he cannot make a stick with only one end." A little boy was once playing in a room (in which his mother was sewing), with a two-legged stool that he had made; and he seemed to be vastly amused with trying to make it stand upright. "Mother," he said, "can God see everything?" "Yes, my dear; why do you ask?" "Well," said the child, "I guess he'll laugh when he sees this stool." Publicity is one of the features of the people's life. The less retirement they can have, the better. An amusing instance of this love of publicity occurred one day in one of the cities of the great west. The Detroit "Free Press" says: "An ox team attached to a lumber shed, and bearing astride of its cross beans a coarse-grained young man and a buxom girl of about eighteen, dragged its slow length along Larned street, yesterday, and halted in front of Justice Purdy's office. The couple dismounted and entered the office, where
they made known their wishes, and requested to be married immediately. The expectant bridegroom said he had come to town with a load of produce for his employer, who owned the team; and as Susan wanted to buy a kaliker dress, he had brought her along, on the top of the bags On the way in, they talked the matter over, and, in view of the fact that they sorter liked each other, and had done considerable courting on the sly, concluded to get married. They declared themselves of age, and took the bonds for better or for worse. The bridegroom was very much elated, and kissed the bride an unreasonable number of times. Then he requested the Court to kiss her, and even went so far as to intimate that all respectable persons among the spectators might enjoy the same privilege. He was especially elate on the newspaper question. Put 'er in,' he said, in a reckless manner,put 'er in the paper, and make Susan's name all capitals. I'll pay for big letters. What's the use in gettin' married to a gal unless you can git it in the papers?" In the midst of this jubilation, the thought of the old gentleman at home struck him, and he sobered down as though a shower bath had fallen upon his head. Come, Susan,' he said, taking her hand, 'let's go home and see it out. Lord, won't he be mad!" And he drew a sigh, and switched up the cattle, whose slow gait seemed all too fast for his palpitating hopes and fears."
Though the people are not all that we might expect or wish-and what people or what individual is for the country they inhabit I have nothing but unqualified praise. Their climate is one of the most beautiful in the world The atmosphere is fresh and clear, and when it suffers clouds to gather, it makes the sun lie down at eventide in a couch so gorgeous with crimson and gold, that it is worth a journey across the Atlantic to see it. When he is gone, the stars peep out, not with a faint glimmer, but with a diamond sparkle as vivid as it is constant. I have known the light of Sirius, the dog-star, to shake a telescope with its intense flashings; and once, while in Mexico, I saw Venus shining so brightly as to cast a considerable shadow. Even in the winter, the cold, which is so much more intense than it ever is in England, is not so much felt; for it is generally a bracing frost without wind. Then is the time, too, when the sleighs glide along the snow-bound earth, and the merry jingle of the sleigh-bells round the horses' necks
enough to make the blood run faster through one's ins.
The pleasantest month in America, to my fancy, is ovember. While we here are shrouded in perpetual fog, ey are enjoying the beauties of the Indian summer. No inter can depict, and no poet can tell, the glories of that ne. It is a sort of lingering or looking back of summer, er winter has put one finger on the year. The country ems more hushed than when the forest aisles resounded th the merry songs of birds. A dreamy, pensive melanoly, which yet has no sorrow in it, pervades the landpe. The woods are arrayed in grander than royal robes. pecially the leaves of the maple tree have a rich ruddy lour, that seems to shine and blaze beside the plainer rb of its neighbours, with a glory that I have never seen ualled.
In the summer, the mocking-bird fills the air of the nny south with waves of luscious melody-so full that e fancies a choir of birds are singing, when only one tle throat is pouring forth the vocal joy. In the north, e bobolink whistles his four or five sweet notes; and in e evening the whip-poor-will, or the katydid, wakens e woods with his plaintive cry; while the woodpecker, ith scarlet crown, all day knocks at the door of the poor orms' caves in the bark, and so makes a dainty meal at eir expense. When night comes, I have seen the fireflies eam and flash their tiny lights, as thousands of them have own about a meadow, until I have been constrained to say at no exhibition of fireworks ever approached this display nature's splendours.
I saw the fireflies in a state which has adopted the Maine Law, and as there is some little fermentation going n just now about a Permissive Bill, I may refer to it. In e state of New Hampshire, where the Maine Law, , as it is called there, "The Act for the Suppression of temperance," has been upon the statute book since June, 355, it is, practically, a dead letter. I asked why that as so? and was answered that the popular feeling was gainst the enforcement of the law,-it was an interference ith personal liberty to which the people would not submit. here is, however, an outward show of conformity to the w, and the consequence is, that the law is a premium upon
hypocrisy and deceit. People can get whisky, or gin, or rum, or any other liquor they desire, as a medicine; and it is wonderful how many sick people there are, according to the books of the men who are allowed to sell the spirits. A temperance paper published in the state which first adopted this law, remarked, while I was in the neighbourhood-"Step into almost any saloon in the city, from seven to ten o'clock in the evening, and it swarms with customers, beyond the power of the attendants to meet their demands promptly." So much for this compulsory law, that will find no place, I think, in our liberty-loving isle. If you are convinced of the evils of spirit-drinking, give up, and persuade others to do the same. But,
"Convince a man against his will,
He's of the same opinion still."
From the country of the Maine Law I went into Canada, and visited Niagara. The best way to understand this wonder of the world, is first to strike Lake Erie about two miles above the falls. There the water lies calm and beautiful, with only a gentle current. But proceed on your way eastward, and how soon the character of the scene is changed! The water has now begun to flow down an incline, and, gaining speed as it descends, it soon rushes along with terrific velocity. Now stand upon the western end of Goat Island, whose other end (not quite a mile off) divides the falls in two, and look at the water as it hurries with a maddening rush, now leaping in white foam where it meets an obstacle and cannot stay to flow round it, but leaping far onwards, as though in haste to meet its doom; then sliding over the smooth rock at a giddy rate. The water seems wild-mad with some intoxicating delight. It dances, it prances, it leaps, it runs, it slides, it foams-all the time seething and singing merrily. Thus it comes on, on-faster, faster still-until it reaches the edge of the falls. There is no hesitation now, but a wild leap-and where is it? If your head is steady enough, cross the bridge that connects the American shore with Goat Island, and cross the island to the edge of the great horse-shoe, or Canadian fall, where you will find that some rocks brought down by the water have been used as the supports of a plank bridge, by which you gain access to a tower at the edge of the falls, and perhaps a hundred feet from the land. No-the