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ly twilight faded into night, and I was obliged, of a young Russian noble and diplomate who was notwithstanding many entreaties to the contrary, well informed on all current gossip, and learned to take my leave. These gypsies had been very from him some curious facts. The first young friendly and kind to me in a strange city where I gentleman whom I had seen among the Romhad not an acquaintance, and where I had ex- manies of Moscow was the son of a Russian pected none. They had given me of their very prince by a gypsy mother, and the very noble best-for they gave me songs which I can never Englishman whose photograph I had seen in forget, and which were better to me than all the Sarsha's collection had not long ago (as rumor opera could bestow. The young Russian, polite averred) paid desperate attentions to the belle of to the last, went bareheaded with me into the the Rommanies without obtaining the least sucstreet, and hailing a sleigh-driver began to bar- cess. My informant did not know her name. gain for me. In Moscow, as in other places, it Putting this and that together, I think it highly makes a great difference in the fare, whether one probable that Sarsha was the young lady, and takes a public conveyance from before the first that the latcho bar, or diamond, which sparkled hotel or from a house in the gypsy quarter. I on her finger had been paid for with British gold, had paid seventy kopecks to come, and I at once while the donor had gained the same “unluck" found that my new friend and the driver were which befell one of his type in the Spanish gypsy engaged in wild and fierce dispute whether I song as given by George Borrow : should pay twenty or thirty to return. Oh, give him thirty," I exclaimed. “It's
“Loud sang the Spanish cavalier, little enough.”
And thus his ditty ran“Non," replied the Russian, with the air of a ‘God send the gypsy maiden here, man of principles. "Il ne faut pas gåter ces
But not the gypsy man.' gens-la.” But I gave the driver thirty all the same when we got home, and thereby earned the “On high arose the moon so bright, usual shower of blessings.
The gypsy 'gan to sing, A few days afterward, while going from Mos
'I see a Spaniard coming here, cow to St. Petersburg, I made the acquaintance
I must be on the wing.'
FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF THE NEW WORLD.
of the Cunard line, with most agreeable to give some account in the pages which follow. fellow passengers, both English and American, In one great feature of landscape the States landed me at New York on June 3, 1879. Such and the Provinces of North America differ very a ship, under such a hospitable and pleasant com- much from any expectation I had formed. That mander as Captain Hains, is a sort of ark to feature is the nature and disposition of the woods. which every bird would willingly return, and so They are not the woods that stand round the by the same vessel I reëmbarked for Liverpool "stately homes of England”; neither is there on July 16th. A visit of only six weeks to the any hedgerow timber such as, from every elevacontinent of America can give nothing more than tion in the midland counties, gives to the whole first impressions, and these, too, of only a very country, even to the verge of a distant horizon, small portion of the country. My visit was purely the appearance of one rich and continuous forest. personal and private. I saw little of men and Still less are they woods of France or of Gernothing of institutions. From politics of all kinds, many, where arboriculture is a regular branch of whether Eastern or Western, it was my great study, where the maximum of produce to the object to escape. But to the forests, to the hills, acre is carefully considered, and where every to the rivers, to the birds, to the general aspects scrap, even the “lop and top," is neatly collected of nature in the New World, I went with a fresh and piled in “cords.” In America, with the exeye, and in these I found much of which no de- ception of the trees which are planted with adscription had given me any accurate idea. Of a mirable effect in the streets of cities and towns,
there is hardly any indication of the cultivation is not under the plow or divided into fields caof trees being attended to at all. I saw nothing pable of arable cultivation. The truth is, that in that could be called fine timber, and no woods our island there is, properly speaking, no waste which showed any carè in thinning, with a view land at all. The roughest pastures are all utilto the production of such timber in the future. ized. Even the rugged mountains are the supAnd yet the woods of North America are very port of great flocks of sheep, which may or may varied in form and very beautiful in composition. not be seen by the tourist from Cheapside. There They are by no means mere patches of original is, indeed, abundance of land which, under other forest left in the midst of “clearings," nor is the conditions of demand, might be, and some day cultivated country generally bare, with the re- will be, capable of a higher cultivation. This, mains of that forest standing in ragged edges however, is as true of the land which now yields round it. There are, indeed, some districts where the finest crops of wheat, or turnips, or potatoes, this is the aspect of the land, and a very dreary as it is of the hillside which yields only grass and aspect it is; but the general character of all the heather. It is conceivable that the whole soil country which has been long settled is very dif- may at some future time be under the conditions ferent. It is not a land of “ brown heath,” but of a market-garden, when abundance of manure, it is emphatically a land of “shaggy wood"; a cheapness of labor, and great demand for prodland in which clumps, and thickets, and lines, uce by vast consuming populations combine to and irregular masses of the most beautiful foliage render such cultivation possible and remuneravary and adorn the surface. This is what I had tive. But in the middle of the oldest States of not expected, and what it delighted me much to North America there are immense areas of counsee. The secret of it lies in one circumstance, try which in the strictest sense may be said to which is the secret also of much else that is be waste. On the line of railway between Boscharacteristic of the American Continent—the ton and Fall River, a line which connects the over-abundance of land as compared with the most renowned city with one of the most fashcultivating and occupying power of the settled ionable watering-places of New England, Newpopulation. It is not worth while to cultivate port, I was not a little surprised to see the great any land but the best. Every acre which is of extent of land occupied by the wildest jungle of inferior quality or in an inconvenient situation, shaggy wood, in some places not unlike the lovely every rocky knoll too hard, every bank and brae clothing which covers the rocks of Loch Katrine too steep to plow, the sides of every stream, the or Loch Lomond. Marshy ground, carpeted with banks of every dell, and frequent tracts on ev- a plant which, in general effect, reproduces our ery hillside, are left in a state of nature. But own “ bog myrtle," abounded also. The scenery throughout the Eastern States and Provinces, of the Hudson-the beauty of which far exceeded the soil being full of the seeds of trees, the state my expectations—depends largely on the beauty of nature is a state of woodedness. Even where of the woods. Everywhere, even in the midst the whole face of the country has been burned of the villas which are the retreat of the citizens by forest-fires, and the settler has appropriated of New York, there are the most beautiful thickets whatever portion of it was best and most easily of wood, climbing the steep banks, hanging over worked, the after-growth which has sprung up the swampy hollows, and fringing the rocky promis a beautiful tangle of birch and oak and elmontories which form the margin of that magnifiand maple ; and these tangles, wholly uncared cent estuary. In truth, the woodedness of the for, are left to flourish as they may. To a large landscape is in excess. A mountain-range loses extent these woods are of no value for any eco- in picturesque effect when it is covered to the nomical purpose, except firewood and fencing. top with wood, when no rocks appear upon the The fine trees have disappeared with the original surface, and no bald top rises above the vegetaforest, and there has been no time, so young are tion of the base ; yet this is the uniform character even the oldest settled countries of America, for of all the mountains and hills which I happened the new growth to attain any size. The struggle to see on the American Continent. The Catskill for existence is allowed to go on among the con- Mountains, which are a conspicuous feature in tending species, and it requires a long time under the scenery of the Hudson, seem to be everysuch conditions to develop even fair-sized timber. where covered to the very summits by trees, It astonished me to see, even in the close neigh- which, though larger than those which we should borhood of the oldest cities of New England, call copsewood, are yet not large enough to have the extent of land which is abandoned to what he aspect of fine timber. The hills round and may be called “ bush.” Cockney travelers and above West Point, the great military seminary cockney economists are accustomed to talk of of the United States, are one vast wood. And the “waste lands" of England and Scotland—a there is another feature of these woods which phrase under which they designate all land which surprised me, and that is, the very small propor
tion of the pine tribe as compared with deciduous that best pleased him, or which he thought would trees. In the valley of the Hudson there are afford the most agreeable shade to the open portico hardly enough to give variety; and even farther at his door, which was surrounded by seats, and north, and throughout the settled parts of Cana- ascended by a few steps. It was in these that each da, where portions of the original forests survive domestic group was seated in summer evenings to on the plains or on the hills, nowhere do we meet enjoy the balmy twilight or serenely clear moonwith the monotonous aspect of a purely pine
light. vegetation. The woods and forests are all largely The valley of the Mohawk, into which the composed of elm, ash, and maple, with frequent railway passes to the north of Albany, has a tracts of birch and aspen.*
character and a beauty of its own, very different It was with much regret that I passed through from that of the valley of the Hudson. In the Albany without stopping to see it in detail. The first place, the Mohawk is a true river, and not charming picture given by Mrs. Grant of Lag- an estuary; in the second place, it is a small gant of the life led by the early settlers there, river as compared with the mighty streams of about a hundred years ago, is the picture of a the American Continent; a river not like a lake condition of society which has passed away. But or an inland sea, but a river that the eye can some features remain, and among these there is take in, and understand as such—a river like the one which especially strikes a stranger in all the Thames, only greatly more rapid, winding among towns and villages of New England. Where green meadows, round pleasant islets, under wiltrees are rare in Europe, they are most striking lowy banks, with here and there a few stately in America. Planting, superfluous, and therefore elms. The breadth of the valley, too, is comneglected elsewhere in the New World, has been paratively small, not unlike some parts of the carefully attended to in the cities. Their streets valley of the Thames above Maidenhead, but are almost all avenues of handsome trees, the with sides rising in longer slopes and to far greatboughs meeting over the ample roadway, their er elevations. These slopes are occupied by foliage everywhere conspicuous among the houses, farms, in which grass seemed to predominate and often giving a comfortable rural aspect even over crops, and they are adorned by ample reto the most crowded seats of industry. The view mains of the ancient forests, beautifully disposed of Albany from a distance on the railway is very in irregular clumps, and lines, and masses of evstriking, the State-House, like most of the publicery conceivable size and form, the sky-line being buildings in America, being large and handsome, generally a line of unbroken wood, with an inand seen rising out of a most picturesque inter- creasing proportion of pine. Nowhere did I obmixture of tiles and leaves. This peculiar fea- serve a more favorable specimen of the wooditure of American towns is, like so many other ness of American landscape-the mixture of evthings in that country, a consequence of its wealth ergreen with deciduous trees was perfect. There of land. No economy of its surface is ever needed, are, of course, in America no stiff plantations and none is attended to. Mrs. Grant's descrip- such as too frequently mar the landscapes of the tion of Albany, as it existed in her day, is the Old World. All had the appearance of natural description, more or less accurate, of all the towns wood, and not even the most skillful planting in and villages of New England:
the great places of England or of Scotland could
show a more beautiful variety of foliage or a The town (she says), in proportion to its popula- more picturesque intermixture of field and wood. tion, occupied a great space of ground. The city, It is impossible to pass through the beautiful in short, was a kind of semi-rural establishment; valley of the Mohawk without having one's mind every house had its own garden, well, and a little turned to the many curious and interesting quesgreen behind ; before every door a tree was planted, tions on the history and fate of the Indian tribes rendered interesting by being coeval with some be- of North America. It is but as yesterday that loved member of the family. Many of these trees it was the home of one of the most remarkable were of prodigious size and extraordinary beauty, of those tribes. Hardly a vestige of them now but without regularity, every one planting the kind
remains. Within the compass almost of a single
human life there has disappeared from the world * Might I suggest to my friends in America the possibility of limiting the nuisance of advertisements on the
a people who, though savage in some respects, lovely banks of the Hudson ? Every available surface of had nevertheless either the vestiges or the germs rock is covered with the hideous letters of some pill, or of an ample civilization. It is very difficult in some potion, or some embrocation, or of some applica- America to recollect how young everything there tion still more offensive, for the ills of humanity. To is, and how rapidly the culture of the Old World such an extent is this nuisance carried, that it seemed to has overflowed and submerged all that remained me to interfere seriously with the beauty of one of the most beautiful rivers in the world.
of, or all that might have come from, the culture t" Memoirs of an American Lady," New York, of the native races. This youth of America as
we now see it was forcibly impressed upon me thusiastic admiration of the picturesque in Inby an accidental circumstance. On entering the dian life and character, there can be no doubt harbor of New York I was very kindly presented, that there was a substantial foundation for this by General Wilson, of that city, with a copy of a representation of them. On the assumption that new edition of the work already quoted, the the law of development has always worked in “Memoirs of an American Lady,” by Mrs. Grant one direction, it is hard, indeed, to account for of Laggan. Mrs. Grant was my mother's friend the total decay of races who had advanced so and teacher, and few names were more familiar far; but, if that assumption be a false one-if to me in early years. She did not die till 1838; the development of evil is as certain and even yet her girlhood was spent in Albany when that more rapid in its work than the development of city was one of the advanced posts of European good—then the phenomenon is not incapable of settlement in America, and when it was still so explanation. It is now well ascertained that the weak that it was not altogether indifferent to the disappearance of the North American tribes is friendship and protection of the Indians of the not a result of contact and collision with the Mohawk. In the long and bitter contest for su- higher civilization of the European settlers. premacy in North America between France and Even if it had been due to this contact, the reEngland both nations had need of native allies. sult would not have been the less one requiring It was mainly by Indian auxiliaries that only three explanation. The uncivilized races of India and years before Mrs. Grant's arrival in America a of Africa do not wither or melt away in the small body of Frenchmen had defeated and de- “ fierce light” of European culture. In general stroyed a well-appointed British army command- they not only survive but multiply and flourish. ed by a veteran in the wars of Europe. The Something else must have been at work in the tribes of the great Algonquin family were those case of the aboriginal population of North Amerwhose friendship was cultivated by the French; ica. The truth is, that their decay is only the while the Iroquois, or Five Nations, were the spe
consummation of a process which had begun cial allies of the English colonists. In this di- long before Europeans had come into contact vision we had the best of it, for the Iroquois, of with them, and that it has been consummated whom the Mohawks were the most powerful from the operation of causes purely internal. tribe, were the great warriors of that portion of And one of these causes is inseparably connected the American Continent. It is curious to ob- with the very name of the Mohawks. In them serve the very different estimate formed of those there was a wonderful development of the paspeople by scientific writers of the present day, sion and the power of fighting. It became an and by such writers as Mrs. Grant, who repre- insatiable thirst for blood. Their very name was sents the feeling of the colonists in immediate a terror in all the vast and fair regions of Amercontact with the Mohawks. “In regard to their ica which stretch between the ocean and the internal condition and progress in the arts," says Great Lakes. Whole tracts of country, in which Mr. Dawson, “notwithstanding the gloss with
the first Jesuit missionaries had seen flourishing which time may to some extent cover these abo- villages with a settled population, and a prosperrigines, we can not disguise from ourselves that ous agricultural industry, were devastated by the they were for the most part the veriest savages.”* fierce Mohawks. The population was extirpated,
the few survivors driven into the marshes and Were they savages (on the other hand, asks Mrs. the forests, to live thenceforward solely by the Grant] who had fixed habitations, who cultivated chase, and to be quoted thenceforward by modrich fields, who built castles (for so they called their not incommodious houses surrounded with palisades), The evolution of savagery has thus, on an ex
ern anthropologists as the type of primeval man. who planted maize, beans, and showed considerable tended scale, been seen and described by eyeingenuity in constructing and adorning their canoes, witnesses, not only in historic but in very recent arms, and clothing? They who had wise though unwritten laws, and conducted their wars, treaties, and
times. And then the conquerors themselves bealliances with deep and sound policy; they whose
came the victims of the vices and of the unnatueloquence was bold, nervous, and animated, whose ral habits which had been developed along with language was sonorous, musical, and expressive; their sole addiction to war and with their thirst who possessed generous and elevated sentiments, of blood. One of these vices was the cruel heroic fortitude, and unstained probity-were these, treatment of women, on whom the whole burindeed, savages?
den of work was laid, and whose wretched con
dition has been described by many writers. Was Making every allowance for a woman's en- this primeval? If so, man was born into the
* "Sketches of the Past and Present Condition of world with lower habits and poorer instincts the Indians of Canada.” By George M. Dawson. Re- than the brutes. All the analogies of nature printed from “The Canadian Naturalist.”
and all the presumptions of reason are in favor of the conclusion that these destructive and sui- grown up in thickets, and are then left to stand cidal habits and vices are the results of develop- in the open. ment, the end of small beginnings of evil, and of This is the aspect of country of which I had departures, at first slight, from the order of na-expected to see a great deal--and no doubt in ture. The American Continent is covered with many districts large tracts must be in this condithe remains of an ancient civilization which has tion. But it is the condition only of the country passed away, and which for the most part had where the processes of settlement are in their already passed away long before it suffered any first stage. In a few years the soil, pregnant violence from external enemies. The history of with seeds of all kinds, soon sends up a rich and its destruction is to a great extent unknown. tangled arboreal vegetation on every spot which But such indications of that history as can be is not kept in continual cultivation. derived from what we know of the aboriginal The shades of night had blotted out the landraces point directly to American savagery as the scape long before we reached Niagara. The result of vices evolving their own natural conse- northwestern horizon, however, had been for quences through a long lapse of time.
some time illuminated by summer lightning, As we passed, in the course of a few hours, which soon became forked and very brilliant. through an extent of country which it took Mrs. As we crossed the suspension-bridge, seeing Grant, with her father's detachment of the Fifty- nothing but a dim whiteness in the distance, a fifth Regiment, nearly three weeks to traverse, it flash unusually long and vivid lit up the whole was difficult to realize the change which had been splendor of the Falls with its pallid and ghastly brought about during an interval of time so short light. in the life of nations. The peaceful homesteads There is perhaps no natural object in any part of the Mohawk Valley, and its thriving towns, of the world which, when seen, answers so acpresented a contrast with its past even more ab- curately to expectation as the Falls of Niagara. solute than that which is presented by the scenes Pictures and photographs without end have made of our own old Border warfare ; and the beauti- them familiar in every aspect in which they can ful lines in which this contrast has been presented be represented. Those in what they can not be by the great Border Minstrel come involuntarily represented are the last to be seen and the last to to one's mind :
be appreciated. The first approach to them is
perhaps the least imposing view of all. They are “Sweet Teviot, on thy silver tide
seen at the distance of about a mile. They are The flaring bale-fires blaze no more ;
seen, too, from an elevation above the level of No longer steel-clad warriors ride
the top of the Falls, and the great breadth of the Along thy wild and willowed shore: Where'er thou wind'st, by dale or hill,
river, as compared with the height of the preciAll, all is peaceful, all is still,
pice, makes that height look comparatively small. As if thy waves since Time was born,
Nevertheless, the effect of the whole, with the Since first they rolled upon the Tweed,
two great columns of spray from the “ HorseHad only heard the shepherd's reed,
shoe,” suddenly revealed by a flash of lightning, Nor started at the bugle horn.” *
is an effect which can never be forgotten. The
power and beauty of Niagara are best seen from As we emerged from the valley of the Mohawk the point on the Canadian bank whence the into the open rolling country whose streams fall Table-Rock" once projected. This arises from into Lake Ontario, I was struck with the vast ex- the fact that the deepest convexity of the “Horsetent of pasture-land, apparently of the finest shoe" is only well seen from that point, and it is quality. The number of cattle visible on its sur- along the edges of that convexity that the greatface seemed strangely below its capabilities of est mass of water falls, with an unbroken rush, feeding. It gave me the impression of a country which is only to be seen here, and in the heaviest very much understocked, and cultivated, when billows of the Atlantic when their crests rise cultivated at all, in the most careless manner. It transparent against the light. The greens and was here I first saw an American forest-clearing blues of that rush are among the most exquisite -and nothing more dreary can well be imagined. colors in nature, and the lines upon it, which exThe stumps of the trees, some eight or ten feet press irresistible weight and force, are as impreshigh, are left in the ground; some charred quite sive as they are delicate and indefinable. The black, others bleached quite white—all looking awfulness of the scene is much increased when the picture of decay. The edges of the surround- the wind carries the spray-cloud over the specing woods are of course ragged—the trees shab- tator and envelops him in its mists ; because, by and unhealthy, as trees always are which have while these are often thick enough wholly to con
ceal the foaming water at the bottom of the *"Lay of the Last Minstrel," canto iv. Falls, they are rarely thick enough to conceal the