Toward the end of October we went on to Exeter, and there, at Heavitree Church, heard Bishop Bickersteth preach admirably, meeting him afterward at our luncheon with the vicar, and taking supper with him at the episcopal palace. He was perhaps best known in America as the author of the poem, "Yesterday, To-day, and Forever"; and of this he gave me a copy, remarking that every year he received from the American publisher a check for fifty pounds, though there was no copyright requiring any payment whatever. In his study he showed me a copy of "The Book Annexed," which presented the enrichments and emendations which a number of devout scholars and thinkers were endeavoring to make in the Prayer-book of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, and he spoke with enthusiasm of these additions, which, alas! have never yet been adopted.
Next came a visit to Torquay, where Kent's Cavern, with its prehistoric relics, interested me vastly. Looking at them, there could be no particle of doubt regarding the enormous antiquity of the human race. There were to be seen the evidences of man's existence scattered among the remains of animals long ago extinct—animals which must have lived before geological changes which took place ages on ages ago. Mixed with remains of fire and human implements and human bones were to be seen not only bones of the hairy mammoth and cave-bear, woolly rhinoceros and reindeer, which could have been deposited there only in a time of arctic cold, but bones of the hyena, hippopotamus, saber-toothed tiger, and the like, which could have been deposited only when the climate was torrid. The conjunction of these remains clearly showed that man had lived in England early enough and long enough to pass through times of arctic cold, and times of torrid heat; times when great glaciers stretched far down into England and, indeed, into the Continent, and times when England had a land connection with the European continent, and the European continent with Africa, allowing tropical animals to migrate freely from Africa to the middle regions of England.
The change wrought by such discoveries as these, not only in England, but in Belgium, France, and elsewhere, as regards our knowledge of the antiquity of the human race and the character of the creation process, is one of the great things of our epoch.
 I have discussed this more fully in my "History of the Warfare of Science with Theology," Vol. I, chap. vi.
Thence we visited various cathedral towns, being shown delightful hospitality everywhere. There remains vividly in my memory a visit to Worcester, where the dean, Lord Alwyn Compton, now Bishop of Ely, went over the cathedral with us, and showed us much kindness afterward at the deanery—a mediaeval structure, from the great window of which we looked over the Severn and the famous Cromwellian battle-field.
Salisbury we found beautiful as of old; then to Brighton and to "The Bungalow" of Halliwell-Phillips the Shaksperian scholar, and never have I seen a more quaint habitation. On the height above the town Phillips had brought together a number of portable wooden houses, and connected them with corridors and passages until all together formed a sort of labyrinth; the only clue being in the names of the corridors, all being chosen from Shakspere, and each being enriched with Shaksperian quotations appropriate and pithy. At his table during our stay we met various interesting guests, one of whom suggested the idea regarding the secret of Carlyle's cynicism and pessimism to which reference is made in my "Warfare of Science." Next came visits to various country houses, all delightful, and then a stay at Oxford, to which I was reinitiated by James Bryce; and for two weeks it was a round of interesting visits, breakfasts, luncheons, and dinners with the men best worth knowing at the various colleges. Interesting was a visit to All Souls College, which, having been founded as a place where sundry "clerks" should pray for the souls of those killed at the battle of Crecy, had, as Sir William Anson, its present head, showed me, begun at last doing good work after four hundred years of uselessness. In the chapel was shown me the restored reredos, which was of great size, extending from floor to ceiling, taking the place of the chancel window usual in churches, and made up of niches filled with statues of saints. As the heads of all the earlier statues had been knocked off during the fanatical period, there had been substituted, during the recent restoration, new statues of saints bearing the heads of noted scholars and others connected with the college, among which Max Muller once pointed out to me his own, and a very good likeness it was. Interesting to me were Bryce's rooms at Oriel, for they were those in which John Henry Newman had lived: at that hearth was warmed into life the Oxford Movement. At one of the Oriel dinners, Bryce spoke of the changes at Oxford within his memory as enormous, saying that perhaps the greatest of these was the preference given to laymen over clergymen as heads of colleges. An example of this was the president of Magdalen. I had met him not many years before in Switzerland, as a young man, and now he had become the head of this great college, one of the foremost in the university. This impressed me all the more because my memory suggested a comparison between him and the president at my first visit, thirty years before: Warren, the present president, being an active-minded layman hardly over thirty, and his predecessor, Routh, a doctor of divinity, who was then in his hundredth year. It was curious to see that, while this change had been made to lay control, various relics of clerical dominance were still in evidence, and, among these, the surplice worn by Bryce, a member of Parliament, when he read the lessons from the lectern in Oriel chapel. At another dinner I was struck by a remark of his, that our problems in America seemed to him simple and easy compared with those of England; but as I revise these recollections, twenty years later, and think of the questions presented by our acquisitions in the West Indies and in the Philippine and Hawaiian islands, as well as the negro problem in the South and Bryanism in the North, to say nothing of the development of the Monroe Doctrine and the growth of socialistic theories, the query comes into my mind as to what he would think to-day.
November 9, 1885.
Dining at All Souls with Professor Dicey, I met Professor Gardiner, the historian, whom I greatly liked; his lecture on "Ideas in English History," which I had heard in the afternoon, was suggestive, thorough, and interesting: he is evidently one of the historians whose work will last. In the hall I noted Lord Salisbury's portrait in the place of honor.
Tuesday, November 10.
Breakfasting at Oriel with Bryce, I met Broderick, warden of Merton, and there was an interesting political discussion. Bryce thought Chamberlain had alarmed the well-to-do classes, but trusted to Gladstone to bring matters around right, and, apropos of some recent occurrences, remarked upon the amazing depth of spite revealed in the blackballing at clubs. Took lunch at Balliol, where the discussion upon general and American history was interesting. Dined with Bryce at Oriel, and, the discussion falling upon English and American politics, sundry remarks of Fowler, president of Corpus Christi College, were pungent. He evidently thinks bitterly of political corruption in America, and I find this feeling everywhere here; politely concealed, of course, but none the less painful. I could only say that the contents of the caldron should not be judged from the scum thrown to the surface. In the evening to Professor Freeman's and met Mr. Hunt, known as a writer and an examiner in history. He complained bitterly of the cramming system, as so many do; thought that Jowett had done great harm by promoting it, and that the main work now done is for position in the honor list,—cram by tutors being everything and lectures nothing.
Wednesday, November 11.
Took luncheon with Fowler, president of Corpus Christi, a most delightful and open-minded man. I have enjoyed no one here more, few so much. We discussed the teaching of ethics, he lamenting the coming in of Hegelianism, which seems mainly used by sophists in upholding outworn dogmas. Afterward we took a long stroll together, discussing as we walked his admirable little book on "Progress in Morals"; I suggesting some additions from my own experience in America. In the afternoon came Professor Freeman's lecture on Constantine. It was a worthy presentation of a great subject, but there were fewer than ten members of the university present, and only two of these remained until the close. In the evening I dined at Balliol, and, the conversation falling upon the eminent master of the college, Jowett, and his friendship with Stubbs, Bishop of Oxford, and Freeman, a budding cynic recalled the verses:
"I go first; my name is Jowett; I am the Master of Balliol College; Whatever's worth knowing, be sure that I know it; Whatever I don't know is not knowledge."
 This is given differently in Tuckwell's reminiscences.
Whereupon some one cited a line from an Oxford satire: "Stubbs butters Freeman, and Freeman butters Stubbs"; at which I could only say that Jowett, Stubbs, and Freeman had seemed to me, in my intercourse with them, anything but dogmatic, pragmatic, or unctuous.
In the morning breakfasted with Bryce and a dozen or more graduates and undergraduates in the common room at Oriel, and was delighted with the relations between instructors and instructed then shown. Nothing could be better. The discussion turning upon Froude, who had evidently fascinated many of the younger men by his style, Bryce was particularly severe against him for his carelessness as to truth. This reminded me of a remark made to me by Moncure Conway, I think, that Froude had begun with the career of a novelist, for which he had decided gifts; that Carlyle had then made him think this sort of work unworthy, urging him to write history; and that Froude had carried into historical writing the characteristics of a romance-writer. In the afternoon to a beautiful concert in the great hall of Christ Church. A curious sort of accommodation in quasi-boxes was provided by pushing the dining-tables to the sides of the room and placing the audience in chairs upon them and in front of them; it seemed to me more serviceable than cleanly. In the evening dined at Lincoln College with the rector, Dr. Merry, who was very agreeable and entertaining, giving interesting accounts of his predecessor, Mark Pattison, and of Wilberforce when Bishop of Oxford. One of the guests, a fellow of New College, told me that some fifty years ago an American, being entertained there showed the college dons how to make mint-julep, or something of the sort, and then sent them a large silver cup with the condition that it should be filled with this American drink every year on the anniversary of the donor's visit, and that this is regularly done. This pious donor must have been, I think, "Nat" Willis.
Sunday, November 15.
Lunched with Johnson, fellow of Merton, and met my old friend Mlle. Blaze du Bury. Her comments, from the point of view of a brilliant young Frenchwoman, on all she saw about her at Oxford were pungent and suggestive. In the evening heard the Archbishop of York Thompson, preach at St. Mary's. He urged the students to consecrate themselves by their example to the maintenance of a better standard of morality; but, despite his strength and force, the sermon seemed heavy and perfunctory.
To Windsor with a party of friends, and as we had a special permit to see a large number of rooms and curious objects not usually shown, the visit was very interesting. Sadly suggestive was Gordon's Bible, every page having its margins covered with annotations in his own hand: it was brought from Khartoum after his murder, presented by his sister to the Queen, and is now preserved in an exquisitely wrought silver casket.
Tuesday, November 18.
Visited Somerville Hall for women, which shows a vast advance over Oxford as I formerly knew it. To think that its creation honors the memory of a woman who attained her high scientific knowledge in spite of every discouragement, and who, when she had attained it, was denounced outrageously from the pulpit of York Minster for it! Dined at Merton College with the warden, Hon. George Broderick, in the hall, which has been most beautifully restored by Sir Gilbert Scott. When will the founders of our American colleges and universities understand the vast educational value of surroundings like these, and especially of a "hall" in which students meet every day, beneath storied windows and the busts and portraits of the most eminent men in the history of science, literature, and public service?
In answer to the question whether in American universities there was anything like the association between instructors and students in England, I spoke of the evolution of our fraternity houses as likely to bring about something of the sort. The fraternal relation between teachers and taught is certainly the best thing in the English universities, and covers a multitude of sins. If I were a great millionaire I would establish in our greater universities a score or so of self-governing colleges, each with comfortable lodging-rooms and studies and with its own library and dining-hall. In the common room, after dinner, I sat next Professor Wallace, whose book on Kant I had read. He thinks the system of ethics really predominant in England is modified Kantianism.
To Mortimer, near Reading, on a visit to Sir Paul Hunter, who once visited me at Cornell. Extracts from my diary of this visit are as follows:
To Bearwood, the seat of John Walter, M.P., proprietor of the "Times," and for the first time in my life saw a fox hunt, with the meet, the huntsmen in red coats, and all the rest of it.
Visited the old Abbey Church at Reading with Sir Paul, and in the evening met various interesting people at dinner, among them Sir John Mowbray, M.P. for Oxford and Mr. Walter.
Sunday, November 22.
After morning service in the beautiful parish church which, with its schools, was the gift of Mr. Benyon, several of us took a walk to Silchester, with its ruins of an old Roman bath, on the Duke of Wellington's estate. In the evening Mr. Walter, who usually appears so reticent and quiet, opened himself to me quite freely, speaking very earnestly regarding the unfortunate turn which the question between Catholics and Protestants has taken in England under pressure from the Vatican, especially as regards marriages, and illustrating his view by some most suggestive newspaper cuttings. He also gave me what he claimed was the true story of Earl Russell's conduct in letting out the Confederate cruisers against us during the Civil War, attributing it to the fact that an underling charged with preventing it went suddenly mad, so that the matter did not receive early attention. But this did not modify my opinion of Earl Russell. Thank Heaven, he lived until he saw Great Britain made to pay heavily for his obstinacy. Pity that he did not live to see the present restoration of good feeling between the two countries; esto perpetua (1905).
Monday, November 23.
In the afternoon drove to "Bramshill," the magnificent seat of Sir William Cope; after all, there has never been any domestic architecture so noble as the Elizabethan and Jacobean. In the evening to a Tory meeting, Sir John Mowbray presiding; his opening speech astounded me. Presenting the claims of his party, he said that the Tories were not only the authors of extended suffrage under Lord Beaconsfield, but that they ought also to have the credit of free trade in grain, since Sir Robert Peel had supported the bill for the repeal of the corn laws. Remembering the treatment which Sir Robert Peel received from Disraeli and the Tory party for this very act, it seemed to me that Sir John's speech was the coolest thing I had ever heard in my life. It was taken in good part, however. In America I am quite sure that such a speech would have been considered an insult to the audience.
To Cambridge, where I met a number of old friends, including Dr. Waldstein, director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, and Sedley Taylor, fellow of Trinity; and in the evening dined at King's College with the former and a number of interesting men, including Westcott, the eminent New Testament scholar (since Bishop of Durham).
Dined at Trinity College with Sedley Taylor and others, and thence to the Politico-Economic Association to hear a discussion upon cooperation in production; those taking the principal part in the meeting being sundry leading men among the professors and fellows devoted to political economy. During the day I called on Robertson Smith, the eminent biblical critic, who, having been thrown out of the Free Church of Scotland for revealing sundry truths in biblical criticism a dozen years too soon, has been received into a far better place at Cambridge.
Had a delightful hour during the morning in King's College chapel with Bradshaw, the librarian of the university—a most accomplished man. He has a passion for church architecture, and his discussions of the wonderful stained windows of the chapel were very interesting. The evening service at King's College was most beautiful: nothing could be more perfect than the antiphonal rendering of the Psalms by the two choirs and the great organ. More and more I am impressed by the EDUCATIONAL value of such things.
During the greater part of the day in the library of Trinity College with Sedley Taylor. Years before, I had explored its treasures with Aldis Wright, but there were new things to fascinate me. Dining at King's College with Waldstein, met Professor Seeley, author of the "Life of Stein," a book which, ever since its appearance, has been an object of my admiration.
In the morning, at King's College chapel, I was greatly struck by the acoustic properties of this immense building; for, having seated myself near the door at the west end, I distinctly heard every word of the prayer for the church militant as it was recited before the altar at the other end. Afterward, at Oscar Browning's rooms, looked over a multitude of interesting documents, including British official reports from New York during our War of the Revolution; and in the evening, at Waldstein's rooms, met Sir Henry Maine and discussed with him his book on "Popular Government." He interested me greatly, and I pointed out to him some things which, in my opinion, he might well dwell more strongly upon in future editions, and among these the popularity of the veto power in the United States, as shown in its extension by recent legislation of various States to items of supply bills.
At noon to luncheon at Christ's College with Professor Robertson Smith, the Scotch heretic. This was the Cambridge home of Milton and Darwin, interesting memorials of whom were shown me. Among the guests was Dr. Creighton, professor of ecclesiastical history. The early part of Creighton's book on the "History of the Papacy During the Reformation Period" had especially interested me, and I now enjoyed greatly his knowledge of Italian matters. He discussed Tomasini's book on Machiavelli, and sundry new Italian books on the relations of the Popes and Fra Paolo Sarpi.
Took tea at St. Mary's Hall with Sir Henry Maine, and continued our discussion on his "Popular Government," which, while opposed to democracy, pays a great tribute to the Constitution of the United States. Dined with Professor Creighton; met various interesting people, and discussed with him and Mrs. Creighton sundry points in English history, especially the career of Archbishop Laud; my opinion of Macaulay's injustice being confirmed thereby.
Went in the morning with Sedley Taylor and Professor Stuart, M.P., an old friend of former visits, and inspected the mechanical laboratory and workshops. There were about seventy university men, more or less, engaged in these, and it was interesting to see English Cambridge adopting the same line which we have already taken at Cornell against so much opposition, and surprising to find the Cambridge equipment far inferior to that of Cornell. Afterward visited the polling booths for an election which was going on, and noted the extraordinary precautions against any interference with the secrecy of the ballot. Also to the Cavendish physical laboratory, which, like the mechanical laboratory, was far inferior in equipment to ours at Cornell. In the evening to the Greek play,—the "Eumenides" of Aeschylus,—which was wonderfully well done. The Athena, Miss Case of Girton College, was superb; the Apollo imposing; the Orestes a good actor; and the music very effective. I found myself seated next Andrew Lang, so well known for his literary activity in various fields; and on speaking to him of the evident delights of life at Cambridge and Oxford, I found that he had outlived his enthusiasm on that subject.
In the morning took a charming walk through St. Peter's, Queen's, and other colleges, enjoying their quiet interior courts, their halls and cloisters, the bridges across the Cam, and the walks beyond. Then to a lecture by Professor Seeley on "Forces of Government in History." It was admirably clear, though, in parts, perhaps too subtle. As to England he summed all up by saying that its present system was simply revolution at any moment. Walking home with him afterward, I asked why, if his statement were correct, it did not realize the old ideal in France—namely, that of "La revolution en permanence." At luncheon with Waldstein at King's College we found Lord Lytton, recently governor-general of India, known to literature as "Owen Meredith," with Lady Lytton; also Sir William Anson, provost of All Souls; as well as the Athena of last evening, Miss Case; the Orestes, the Apollo, Sir Henry Maine, and others. I was amused at the difference between Lord Lytton's way of greeting me and his treatment of Sir William Anson. When I was introduced, he at once took me by the hand, and began talking very cordially and openly; but when his eminent countryman was introduced, each eyed the other as if in suspicion, did not shake hands, bowed very coldly, and said nothing beyond muttering some one of the usual formulas. It was a curious example of the shyness of Englishmen in meeting each other, and of their want of shyness in meeting men from other countries. At table Lord Lytton spoke regarding the annexation of Burmah, likely to be accomplished by the dethronement of the king, Theebaw; said that it ought to have been accomplished long ago, and that the delay of action in the premises was due to English timidity. Both he and Lady Lytton were very agreeable. He gave an interesting account of a native drama performed before him in India at the command of one of the great princes, though speaking of it as "deadly dull." Speaking of difficulties in learning idioms, he told the story of a German professor who, priding himself on his thorough knowledge of English idioms, said, "We must, as you English say, take ze cow by ze corns." At this some one rejoined with the story of the learned baboo in India who spoke of something as "magnificent, soul-inspiring, and tip-top." As another example of baboo English was mentioned the inscription upon one of the show-cases in an exhibition in India: "All the goods in this case are for sale, but they cannot be removed until after the day of judgment."
In the evening met the Historical Club at Oscar Browning's rooms, and heard an admirable paper by Professor Seeley on "Bourbon Family Compacts." He said that the fact of their existence was not fully established until Ranke mentioned them, and that he, Seeley, then examined the English Foreign Office records and found them. He spoke of them as refuting the arguments of Macaulay and others as to the folly of supposing that different branches of the same family on different thrones are likely to coalesce. Oscar Browning then read a paper on the flight of Louis XVI to Varennes. It was elaborate, and based on close study and personal observation. Browning had even taken measurements of the distance over which King Louis passed on that fatal night, with the result that he proved Carlyle's account to be entirely inaccurate, and his indictment against Louis XVI based upon it to be absurd. So far from the King having lumbered along slowly through the night in Mme. Korf's coach because he had not the force of character to make his driver go rapidly, Browning found that the journey was made in remarkably quick time.
Breakfasting with Sedley Taylor, I met Professor Stuart, M.P., who thinks a great liberal, peaceful revolution in the English constitution will be accomplished within the next fifty years. Thence walked with Taylor to Newnham College, where we were very kindly received by Miss Gladstone, daughter of the prime minister, and shown all about the place. We were also cordially received by Miss Clough, and made the acquaintance of two American girls, one from New Jersey and the other from California. Much progress had been made since my former visit under the guidance of Professor and Mrs. Fawcett. Thence to Jesus College chapel and saw William Morris's stained glass, which is the most beautiful modern work of the kind known to me.
Visited St. John's, St. Peter's, and other colleges; in the afternoon saw the eight-oared boats come down the river in fine style; and in the evening went to the annual "audit dinner" at Trinity College, the number of visitors in the magnificent hall being very large. I found myself between the vice-master, Trotter, and Professor Humphrey, the distinguished surgeon. The latter thought Vienna had shot ahead of Berlin in surgery, though he considered Billroth too venturesome, and praised recent American works on surgery, but thought England was still keeping the lead. At the close of the dinner came a curious custom. Two servants approached the vice-master at the head of the first table, laid down upon it a narrow roll of linen, and then the guests rolled this along by pushing it from either side until, when it had reached the other end, a strip of smooth linen was left along the middle of the whole table. Then a great silver dish, with ladles on either side, and containing some sort of fragrant fluid, was set in front of the vice-master, upon the narrow strip of linen which had formed the roll, and the same thing was repeated at each of the other tables. The vice-master having then filled a large glass at his side from the dish, and I, at his suggestion, having done the same, the great dish was pushed down the table to guest after guest, each following our example. Waiting to see what was to follow, I presently observed a gentleman near me dipping his napkin into his glass and vigorously scrubbing his face and neck with it, evidently to cool himself off after dinner; this was repeated with more or less thoroughness by others present; and then came a musical grace after meat—the non nobis, Domine—wonderfully given by the choir. In the combination room, afterward, I met most agreeably Mr. Trevelyan, M.P., a nephew of Macaulay, who has written an admirable biography of his uncle.
Dined at Trinity College as the guest of Aldis Wright, and met a number of interesting men, among them Mahaffy, the eminent professor of Greek at Trinity College, Dublin. Both he and Wright told excellent stories. Among those of the latter was one of a Scotchwoman who, on being informed of the change made by the revisers in the Lord's Prayer,—namely, "and deliver us from the evil one,"—said, "I doot he'll be sair uplifted." Mahaffy gave droll accounts of Whately, Archbishop of Dublin. One of these had as its hero a country clergyman who came to ask Whately for a living which had just become vacant. The archbishop, thinking to have a little fun with his guest, said, "Of course, first of all, I must know what your church politics are: are you an attitudinarian, a latitudinarian, or a platitudinarian?" To which the parson replied, "Thank God, your Grace, I am not an Arian at all at all, if that's what ye mane." The point of this lay in the fact that among the charges constantly made by the High-church party against Whately was that of secret Unitarianism. But the reply so amused Whately that he bestowed the living on the old parson at once. Mahaffy also said that when Archbishop Trench, who was a man exceedingly mindful of the proprieties of life, arrived in Dublin he assured Mahaffy that he intended to follow in all things the example of his eminent predecessor, whereupon Mahaffy answered, "Should your Grace do so, you will in summer frequently sit in your shirt sleeves on the chains in front of your palace, swinging to and fro, and smoking a long pipe."
Some one capped this with a story that, on a visitor once telling Whately how a friend of his in a remote part of Ireland had such confidence in the people about him that he never locked his doors, the archbishop quietly replied, "Some fine morning, when your friend wakes, he will find that he is the only spoon left in the house."
For several days visiting attractive places in London. Of most interest to me were talks with Lecky, the historian. He especially lamented Goldwin Smith's expatriation, and referred to his admirable style, though regretting his lack of continuity in historical work. Though an Irishman devoted most heartily to Ireland, Lecky thought Gladstone's home rule policy suicidal. On my telling him of Oscar Browning's study of Louis XVI's flight to Varennes, he stood up for Carlyle's general accuracy. He liked Sir Henry Maine's book, but was surprised at so much praise for "The Federalist," since he thought Story's "Commentaries" much better. He thought Draper's "History of the Intellectual Development of Europe" showed too much fondness for very large generalizations. He liked Hildreth's "History of the United States" better than Bancroft's, and I argued against this view. He praised Buckle's style, and when I asked him regarding his own "Eighteenth Century," he said it was to be longer than he had expected. As to his "European Morals," he said that it must be recast before it could be continued. Returning to the subject of home rule in Ireland, he said it was sure to lead to religious persecution and confiscation. He speaks in a very low, gentle voice, is tall and awkward, but has a very kind face, and pleases me greatly. During my stay in London I did some work in the British Museum on subjects which interested me, and at a visit to Maskelyne and Cooke's great temple of jugglery in Piccadilly saw a display which set me thinking. Few miracle-mongers have ever performed any feats so wonderful as those there accomplished; the men and women who take such pleasure in attributing spiritual and supernatural origin to the cheap jugglery of "mediums" should see this performance.
FRANCE, ITALY, AND SWITZERLAND—1886-1887
New Year's day of 1886 found my wife and myself again in Paris; and, during our stay of nearly a fortnight there, we met various interesting persons—among them Mr. McLane, the American minister at that post, whom I had last seen, over thirty years before, when we crossed the ocean together—he then going as minister to China, and I as attache to St. Petersburg. His discussions both of American and French politics were interesting; but a far more suggestive talker was Mme. Blaze de Bury. Though a Frenchwoman, she was said to be a daughter of Lord Brougham; his portrait hung above her chair in the salon, and she certainly showed a versatility worthy of the famous philosopher and statesman, of whom it was said, when he was appointed chancellor, that if he only knew a little law he would know a little of everything. She apparently knew not only everything, but everybody, and abounded in revelations and prophecies.
On the way from Paris to the Riviera we encountered at Lyons very cold weather, and, giving my wraps to my wife, I hurried out into the station in the evening, bought of a news-vender a mass of old newspapers, and, having swathed myself in these, went through the night comfortably, although our coupe was exposed to a most piercing wind.
Arriving at Cannes, we found James Bryce of the English Parliament, Baron George von Bunsen of the German Parliament, and Lord Acton (since professor of history at the University of Cambridge), all interesting men, but the latter peculiarly so: the nearest approach to omniscience I have ever seen, with the possible exception of Theodore Parker. Another person who especially attracted me was Sir Charles Murray, formerly British minister at Lisbon and Dresden. His first wife was an American,—Miss Wadsworth of Geneseo,—and he had traveled much in America—once through the Adirondacks with Governor Seymour of New York, of whom he spoke most kindly. Discussing the Eastern Question, he said that any nation, except Russia, might have Constantinople; he gave reminiscences of old King John of Saxony, who was very scholarly, but the last man in the world to be a king. Most charming of all were his reminiscences of Talleyrand. The best things during my stay were my walks and talks with Lord Acton, who was full of information at first hand regarding Gladstone and other leaders both in England and on the Continent. Although a Roman Catholic, he spoke highly of Fraser, late Anglican Bishop of Manchester. As to Americans, he had known Charles Sumner in America, but had not formed a high opinion of him, evidently thinking that the senator orated too much; he had with him a large collection of books, selected, doubtless, from his two large libraries, in London and in the Tyrol, and with this he astonished one as does a juggler who, from a single small bottle, pours out any kind of wine demanded. For example, one day, Bunsen, Bryce, and myself being with him, the first-named said something regarding a curious philological tract by Bernays, put forth when Bunsen was a student at Gottingen, but now entirely out of print. At this Lord Acton went to one of his shelves, took down this rare tract, and handed it to us. So, too, during one of our walks, the talk happening to fall upon one of my heroes, Fra Paolo Sarpi, I asked how it was that, while in the old church on the Lagoon at Venice I had at three different visits sought Sarpi's grave in vain, I had at the last visit found it just where I had looked for it before. At this he gave me a most interesting account of the opposition of Pope Gregory XVI—who, before his elevation to the papacy, had been abbot of the monastery—to Sarpi's burial within its sacred precincts, and of the compromise under which his burial was allowed. This compromise was that his bones, which had so long been kept in the ducal library to protect them from clerical hatred, might be buried in the church on the island, provided Sarpi were, during the ceremonies, honored simply as the discoverer of the circulation of the blood,—which he probably was not,—and not honored as the greatest statesman of Venice—which he certainly was. This, as I then supposed, closed the subject; but in the afternoon a servant came over, bringing me from Lord Acton a most interesting collection of original manuscripts relating to Sarpi,—a large part of them being the correspondence between the papal authorities and the Venetians who had wished to give Sarpi's bones decent burial, over half a century before. I now found that the reason why I had not discovered the grave was that the monks, as long as they were allowed control, had persisted in breaking up the tablet bearing the inscription; that they could not disturb the bones for the reason that Sarpi's admirers had inclosed them in a large and strong iron box, anchoring it so that it was very difficult to remove; but that since the death of the late patriarch and the abolition of monkish power the inscription over the grave had been allowed to remain undisturbed.
During another of our morning walks the discussion having fallen on witchcraft persecution, Lord Acton called in the afternoon and brought me an interesting addition to my collection of curious books on that subject—a volume by Christian Thomasius.
On another of our excursions I asked him regarding the Congregation of the Index at Rome, and its procedure. To this he answered that individuals or commissions are appointed to examine special works and reports thereupon to the Congregation, which then allows or condemns them, as may seem best; and I marveled much when, in the afternoon of that day, he sent me specimens of such original reports on various books.
He agreed with me that the papal condemnation of Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables" was a mistake as a matter of policy—as great a mistake, indeed, as hundreds and thousands of other condemnations had been. Of Pope Leo XIII he spoke with respect, giving me an account of the very liberal concessions made by him at the Vatican library, so that it is now freely opened to Protestants, whereas it was formerly kept closely shut. At a later period this was confirmed to me by Dr. Philip Schaff, the eminent Protestant church historian, who told me that formerly at the Vatican library he was only allowed, as a special favor, to look at the famous Codex, with an attendant watching him every moment; whereas after Pope Leo XIII came into control he was permitted to study the Codex and take notes from it at his ease.
In another of his walks Lord Acton discussed Gladstone, whom he greatly admired, but pointed out some curious peculiarities in the great statesman and churchman,—among these, that he worshiped the memory of Archbishop Laud and detested the memory of William III.
Very interesting were sundry little dinners on Saturday evenings at the Cercle Nautique, at which I found not only Lord Acton, but Sir Henry Keating, a retired English judge; General Palfrey, who had distinguished himself in our Civil War; and a few other good talkers. At one of these dinners Sir Henry started the question: "Who was the greatest man that ever lived?" Lord Acton gave very interesting arguments in favor of Napoleon, while I did my best in favor of Caesar; my argument being that the system which Caesar founded maintained the Roman Empire during nearly fifteen hundred years after his death; that its fundamental ideas and features have remained effective in various great nations until the present day; and that they have in our own century shown themselves more vigorous than ever. Lord Acton insisted that we have no means of knowing the processes of Caesar's mind; that we know the mode of thinking of only two ancients, Socrates and Cicero; that possibly, if we knew more of Shakspere's mental processes, the preeminence might be claimed for him, but that we know nothing of them save from his writings; while we know Napoleon's thoroughly from the vast collections of memoirs, state papers, orders, conversations, etc., as well as in his amazing dealings with the problems of his time; that the scope and power of Napoleon's mental processes seem almost preternatural and of this he gave various remarkable proofs. He argued that considerations of moral character and aims, as elements in greatness, must be left out of such a discussion; that the intellectual processes and their results were all that we could really estimate in comparing men. Sir Henry Keating observed that his father, an officer in the British army, was vastly impressed by the sight of Napoleon at St. Helena; whereupon Lord Acton remarked that Thiers acknowledged to Guizot, who told Lord Acton, that Napoleon was "un scelerat." That seemed to me a rather strong word to be used by a man who had done so much to revive the Napoleonic legend Lord Acton also quoted a well-authenticated story—vouched for by two persons whom he named, one of them being the Count de Flahaut, who was present and heard the remark—that when the imperial guards broke at Waterloo, Napoleon said, "It has always been so since Crecy."
Toward the end of February we went on to Florence, and there met, frequently, Villari, the historian; Mantegazzi; and other leading Florentines. Mention being made of the Jesuit Father Curci, who had rebelled against what he considered the fatal influence of Jesuitism on the papacy, Villari thought him too scholastic to have any real influence. Of Settembrini he spoke highly as a noble character and valuable critic, though with no permanent place in Italian literature. He excused the tardiness of Italians in putting up statues to Giordano Bruno and Fra Paolo Sarpi, since they had so many other recent statues to put up. As I look back upon this conversation, it is a pleasure to remember that I have lived to see both these statues—that of Bruno, on the place in Rome where he was burned alive, and that of Sarpi, on the place in Venice where the assassins sent by Pope Paul V left him for dead.
Early in March we arrived in Naples, going piously through the old sights we had seen several times before. Revisiting Amalfi, I saw the archbishop pontificating at the cathedral: he was the finest-looking prelate I ever saw, reminding me amazingly of my old professor, Silliman of Yale. Then, during the stay of some weeks in Sorrento, I took as an Italian teacher a charming old padre, who read his mass every morning in one of the churches and devoted the rest of the day to literature. He was at heart liberal, and it was from him that I received a copy of the famous "Politico-Philosophical Catechism," adopted by Archbishop Apuzzo of Sorrento, than which, probably, nothing more defiant of moral principles was ever written. The archbishop had been made by "King Bomba" tutor to his son, and no wonder that the young man was finally kicked ignominiously off his throne, and his country annexed to the Italian kingdom. This catechism, written years before by the elder Leopardi, but adopted and promoted by the archbishop, was devoted to maintaining the righteousness of all that system of extreme despotism, oath-breaking, defiance of national sentiment, and violations of ordinary decency, which had made the kingdom of Naples a byword during so many generations. Therein patriotism was proved to be a delusion; popular education an absurdity; observance of the monarch's sworn word opposition to divine law; a constitution a mere plaything in the monarch's hands; the Bible is steadily quoted in behalf of "the right divine of kings to govern wrong"; and all this with a mixture of cynicism and unctuousness which makes this catechism one of the most remarkable political works of modern times.
At this time I made an interesting acquaintance with Francis Galton, the eminent English authority on heredity. Discussing dreams, he told me a story of a lady who said that she knew that dreams came true; for she dreamed once that the number 3 drew a prize in the lottery, and again that the number 8 drew it; and so, she said, "I multiplied them together, 3 X 8 = 27, bought a ticket bearing the latter number, and won the prize."
Very interesting were my meetings with Marion Crawford, the author. Nothing could be more delightful than his villa and surroundings, and his accounts of Italian life were fascinating, as one would expect after reading his novels. Another new acquaintance was Mr. Mayall, an English microscopist; he gave me accounts of his visit to the Louvre with Herbert Spencer, who, after looking steadily at the "Immaculate Conception" of Murillo, said "I cannot like a painted figure that has no visible means of support."
On my return northward I visited the most famous of Christian monasteries,—the cradle of the Benedictine order,—Monte Cassino, and there met a young English novice, who introduced me to various Benedictine fathers, especially sundry Germans who were decorating with Byzantine figures the lower story, near the altar of St. Benedict. At dinner the young man agreed with me that it might be well to have a Benedictine college at Oxford, but thought that any college established there must be controlled by the Jesuit order. He professed respect for the Jesuits, but evidently with some mistrust of their methods. On my asking if he thought he could bear the severe rule of his order, especially that of rising about four o'clock in the morning and retiring early in the evening, he answered that formerly he feared that he could not, but that now he believed he could. On my tentative suggestion that he come and establish a Benedictine convent on Cayuga Lake, he told me that he should probably be sent to Scotland.
The renowned old monastery seems to be mindful of its best traditions, for it has established within its walls an admirably equipped printing-house, in which I was able to secure for Cornell University copies of various books by learned Benedictines—some of them, by the beauty of their workmanship, well worthy to be placed beside the illuminated manuscripts which formerly came from the Scriptoria.
At Rome I was taken about by Lanciani, the eminent archaeologist in control of the excavations, who showed me beautiful things newly discovered and now kept in temporary rooms near the Capitol. To my surprise, he told me that there is absolutely no authentic bust of Cicero dating from his time; but this was afterward denied by Story, the American sculptor, who pointed out to me a cast of one in his studio. Story spoke gloomily of the condition of Italy, saying that formerly there were no taxes, but that now the taxes are crushing. He added that the greatest mistake made by the present Pope was that, during the cholera at Naples, he remained in Rome, while King Humbert went immediately to that city, visited the hospitals, cheered the cholera-stricken, comforted them, and supplied their wants.
On Easter Sunday I saw Cardinal Howard celebrate high mass in St. Peter's. He had been an English guardsman, was magnificently dressed, and was the very ideal of a proud prelate. The audience in the immediate neighborhood of the altar were none too reverential, and in other parts of the church were walking about and talking as if in a market; all of this irreverence reminding me of the high mass which I had seen celebrated by Pope Pius IX at the same altar on Easter day of 1856.
Calling on the former prime minister, Minghetti, who had been an associate of Cavour, I found him very interesting, as was also Sambuy, senator of the kingdom and syndic of Turin, who was with him. Minghetti said that the Italian school system was not yet satisfactory, though young men are doing well in advanced scientific, mathematical, historical, and economic studies. On my speaking of a statistical map in my possession which revealed the enormous percentage of persons who can neither read nor write in those parts of Italy most directly under the influence of the church, he said that matters were slowly improving under the new regime. He spoke with respect of Leo XIII, saying that he was not so bitter in his utterances against Italy as Pius IX had been. Discussing Bismarck and Cavour, he said that both were eminently practical, but that Cavour adhered to certain principles, such as free trade, freedom of the church, and the like, whereas Bismarck was wont to take up any principle which would serve his temporary purpose. Minghetti hoped much, eventually, from Cavour's idea of toleration, and spoke with praise of the checks put by the American Constitution on unbridled democracy, whereupon I quoted to him the remark of Governor Seymour in New York, the most eminent of recent Democratic candidates for the Presidency, to the effect that the merit of our Constitution is not that it promotes democracy, but that it checks it. Minghetti spoke of Sir Henry Maine's book on "Free Government" with much praise; in spite of its anti-democratic tendencies, it had evidently raised his opinion of the American Constitution. He also praised American scientific progress. Sambuy said that the present growth of the city of Rome is especially detested by the clergy, since it is making the city too large for them to control; that their bitterness is not to be wondered at, since they clearly see that, no matter what may happen,—even if the kingdom of Italy were to be destroyed to-morrow,—it would be absolutely impossible for the old regime of Pope, cardinals, and priests ever again to govern the city; that with this increase of the population, and its long exercise of political power, the resumption of temporal power by the Pope is an utter impossibility; that even if revolution or anarchy came, the people would never again take refuge under the papacy.
Very interesting were sundry gatherings at the rooms of Story, the sculptor. Meeting there the Brazilian minister at the papal court, I was amazed by his statements regarding the rules restricting intercourse between diplomatists accredited to the Vatican and those accredited to the Quirinal; he said that although the minister from his country to the Quirinal was one of his best friends, he was not allowed to accept an invitation from him.
The American minister, Judge Stallo of Cincinnati, seemed to me an admirable man, in spite of the stories circulated by various hostile cliques. At the house of the British ambassador Stallo spoke in a very interesting way of Cardinal Hohenlohe as far above his fellows and capable of making a great pope. The political difficulties in Italy, he said, were very great, and, greatest of all, in Naples and Sicily. Dining with him, I met my old friend Hoffmann, rector of the University of Berlin, and a number of eminent Italian men of science, senators, and others.
At the house of Dr. Nevin, rector of the American Episcopal church, I met the Dutch minister, who corroborated my opinion that the British parliamentary system generally works badly in the Continental countries, since it causes constantly recurring changes in ministers, and prevents any proper continuity of state action, and he naturally alluded to the condition of things in France as an example.
Among other interesting people, I met the abbot of St. Paul Outside the Walls, to whom Lord Acton, in response to my question as to whether there was such a thing as a "learned Benedictine" extant, had given me a letter of introduction. The good abbot turned out to be an Irishman with some of the more interesting peculiarities of his race; but his conversation was more vivid than illuminating. He had reviewed various books for the Congregation of the Index, one of these, a book which I had just bought, being on "The Architecture of St. John Lateran." He held a position in the Propaganda, and I was greatly struck by his minute knowledge of affairs in the United States. The question being then undecided as to whether a new bishopric for central New York was to be established at Utica or Syracuse, he discussed both places with much minute knowledge of their claims and of the people residing in them. I put in the best word I could for Syracuse, feeling that if a bishopric was to be established, that was the proper place for it; and afterward I had the satisfaction of learning that the bishop had been placed there. The abbot had known Secretary Seward and liked him.
Leaving Rome in May, we made visits of deep interest to Assisi, Perugia, Orvieto, and other historic towns and, arriving at Florence again, saw something of society in that city. Count de Gubernatis, the eminent scholar, who had just returned from India, was eloquent in praise of the Taj Mahal, which, of all buildings in the world, is the one I most desire to see. He thinks that the stories regarding juggling in India have been marvelously developed by transmission from East to West; that growing the mango, of which so much is said, is a very poor trick, as is also the crushing, killing, and restoration to life of a boy under a basket; that these marvels are not at all what the stories report them to be; that it is simply another case of the rapid growth of legends by transmission. He said that hatred for England remains deep in India, and that caste spirit is very little altered, his own servant, even when very thirsty, not daring to drink from a bottle which his master had touched.
Dining with Count Ressi at his noble villa on the slope toward Fiesole, I noted various delicious Italian wines upon the table, but the champagne was what is known as "Pleasant Valley Catawba," from Lake Keuka in western New York, which the count, during his journey to Niagara, had found so good that he had shipped a quantity of it to Florence.
A very interesting man I found in the Marquis Alfieri Sostegno, vice-president of the Senate,—a man noted for his high character and his writings. He is the founder of the new "School for Political and Social Studies," and gave me much information regarding it. His family is of mediaeval origin, but he is a liberal of the Cavour sort. Preferring constitutional monarchy, but thinking democracy inevitable, he asks, "Shall it be a democracy like that of France, excluding all really leading men from power, or a democracy influenced directly by its best men?" In his school he has attempted to train young men in the practical knowledge needed in public affairs, and hopes thus to prepare them for the inevitable future. This college has encountered much opposition from the local universities, but is making its way.
Another man of the grand old Italian sort was Peruzzi, syndic of Florence, a former associate of Cavour, and one of the leading men of Italy. Calling for me with two other senators, he took me to his country villa, which has been in the possession of the family for over four hundred years, and there I dined with a very distinguished company. Everything was large and patriarchal, but simple. The discussions, both at table and afterward, as we sat upon the terrace with its wonderful outlook over one of the richest parts of Tuscany, mainly related to Italian matters. All seemed hopeful of a reasonable solution of the clerical difficulty. Most interesting was his wife, Donna Emilia, well known for her brilliant powers of discussion and her beautiful qualities as a hostess both at the Peruzzi palace in Florence and in this villa, where one meets men of light and leading from every part of the world.
From Florence we went on to the Italian lakes, staying especially at Baveno, Lugano, and Cadenabbia. Especially interesting to me were the scenes depicted in the first part of Manzoni's "Promessi Sposi." An eminent Italian told me at this time that Manzoni never forgave himself for his humorous delineations of the priest Don Abbondio, who figures in these scenes after a somewhat undignified fashion. Interesting also was a visit to the tomb of Rosmini, with its portrait-statue by Vela, in the monastery looking over the most beautiful part of the Lago Maggiore. Thence by the St. Gotthard to Zurich, where we visited my old colleague, Colonel Roth, the Swiss minister at Berlin. Very simple and charming was his family life at Teufen. In the library I noticed a curious shield, and upon it several swords, each with an inscription; and, on my asking regarding them, I was told that they were the official swords of Colonel Roth's great-grandfather, grandfather, father, and himself, each of whom had been Landamman of the canton. He told me that as Landamman he presided from time to time over a popular assembly of several thousand people; that it was a republic such as Rousseau advocated,—all the people coming together and voting, by "yes" and "no" and showing of hands, on the proposals of the Landamman and his council. Driving through the canton, I found that, while none of the people were rich, few were very poor, and that the Catholic was much behind the Protestant part in thrift and prosperity.
My love for historical studies interested me greatly in a visit to the Abbey of St. Gall. The mediaeval buildings are virtually gone, and a mass of rococo constructions have taken their place. Gone, too, in the main, is the famous library of the middle ages; but the eminent historian and archivist, Henne Am Rhyn, showed me the ancient catalogue dating from the days of Charlemagne, and one or two of the old manuscripts referred to in it, which have done duty for more than a thousand years. Then followed my second visit to the Engadine, reached by two days' driving in the mountains from Coire; and during my stay at St. Moritz I made the acquaintance of many interesting people,—among them Admiral Irvine of the British navy. Speaking of the then recent sinking of the Cunarder Oregon, he expressed the opinion that a squadron of seven-hundred-ton vessels with beaks could best defend a harbor from ironclads; and in support of this contention he cited an experience of his own as showing the efficiency of the beak in naval warfare. A few years before he had anchored in the Piraeus, his ship, an ironclad, having a beak projecting from the bow, of course under water. Noticing a Greek brig nearing him, he made signals to her to keep well off; but the captain of the brig, resenting this interference, and keeping straight on, endeavored to pass, at a distance which, no doubt, seemed to him perfectly safe, in front of the bows of the ironclad. The admiral said that not the slightest shock was felt on board his own vessel; but the brig sank almost immediately. She had barely grazed the end of the beak. At another time the admiral spoke of the advance of the British fleet, in which he held a command, upon Constantinople in 1878. The British Government supposed that the Turks had virtually gone over to the Russians, and the first order was to take the Turkish fortresses at Constantinople immediately; but this order was afterward withdrawn, and the matter at issue was settled in the ensuing European conference.
It was a pleasure to find at this Alpine resort my old friend Story the sculptor. He gave us a comical account of the presentation at the Vatican of Mr. George Peabody by Mr. Winthrop of Boston. Referring to Mr. Peabody's munificence to various institutions for aiding the needy, and especially orphans, Mr. Winthrop, in a pleasant vein, presented his friend to Pope Pius IX as a gentleman who, though unmarried, had hundreds of children; whereupon the Pope, taking him literally, held up his hands and answered, "Fi donc! fi donc!"
Our stay at St. Moritz was ended by a severe snowstorm early in August. That was too much. I had left America mainly to escape snow; my traveling all this distance was certainly not for the purpose of finding it again; and so, having hugged the stove for a day or two, I decided to return to a milder climate. Passing by Vevey, we visited our friends the Brunnows at their beautiful villa on the shore of Lake Leman, where my old president at the University of Michigan, Dr. Tappan, had died, and it was with a melancholy satisfaction that I visited his grave in the cemetery hard by.
Stopping at Geneva over Sunday, I observed at the Cathedral of St. Peter, Calvin's old church, that the sermon and service carefully steered clear of the slightest Trinitarian formula, as did the churches in Switzerland generally. Considering that Calvin had burned Servetus in that very city for his disbelief in the doctrine of the Trinity, this omission would seem enough to make that stern reformer turn in his grave. Returning to Paris, I again met Lecky, who was making a short visit to the French capital; and, as we were breakfasting together Mme. Blaze de Bury being present, our conversation fell on Parisian mobs. She insisted that the studied inaction of the papal nuncio during the Commune caused the murder of Darboy, Archbishop of Paris, who was hated by the extreme clerical party on account of his coolness toward infallibility and sundry other dogmas advocated by the Jesuits. Lecky thought Lord Acton's old article in the "North British Review" the best statement yet made on the St. Bartholomew massacre The discussion having veered toward the Jewish question, which was even then rising, Lecky said that Shakspere probably never saw a Jew—that Jews were not allowed in England in his time, the only exceptions being Queen Elizabeth's physician and, perhaps, a few others.
During the latter part of September I started on an architectural tour through the east of France, and was more than ever fascinated by the beauty of all I found at Soissons, Laon, Chalons, Troyes, and Rheims, the cathedral at the latter place seeming even more grand than when I last saw it. I have never been able to decide finally which is the more noble—Amiens or Rheims; my temporary decision being generally in favor of that one of the two which I have seen last. But I found iniquity triumphant: the "restorers" had been at work, and had apparently done their worst. A great scaffolding covered the superb rose-window of the west front, perhaps the finest of its kind in Christendom, and, in a little book published by one of the canons, I soon learned the reason. It appears that the architect superintending the "restoration" had dug a deep well at one corner of one of the massive towers for the purpose of inspecting the foundations; that he had forgotten to fill this well; and that, during the winter, the water from the roofs, having come down into it and frozen, had upheaved the tower at one corner, with the result of crumbling and cracking this immense window adjacent.
At Troyes it was hardly better. It is a city which probably never had sixty thousand inhabitants, and yet here are four of the most magnificent architectural monuments in Europe. But the work wrought upon them under the pretext of "restoration" was no less atrocious than that upon the cathedral at Rheims, and of this I have given an example elsewhere.
 See Chapter XXI.
Continuing my way homeward, I stopped a few days in London. From my diary I select an account of the sermon preached in one of the principal churches of the city by Dr. Temple,—then bishop of London, but later archbishop of Canterbury,—before the lord mayor, lady mayoress, and other notable people. The sermon was a striking exhibition of plain common sense, without one particle of what is generally known as spirituality. The text was, "Freely ye have received, freely give," and the argument simply was that the congregation worshiping in that old church had received all its privileges from contributions made centuries before, and that it was now their duty, in their turn, to contribute money for new congregations constantly arising in the new population of London. Of spiritual gifts to be acknowledged nothing was said. In the afternoon took tea with Lecky, and on my referring to Earl Russell, he spoke of him as wonderful in getting at the center of an argument. Of Carlyle he said that he knew him in his last days intimately, often walking with him; but that his mind failed him sadly; that the last thing Lecky read him was a selection from Burns's letters; and that Carlyle, when left to himself, often toned down his harsh judgments of men. At his funeral, in Scotland, Lecky was present, and, judging from his account, it was one of the most dismal things ever known. Speaking of America, Lecky said that Carlyle was really deeply attached to Emerson; and he added that Dean Stanley, on his return from America, told him that the best things he found there were the private libraries, and the worst the newspapers. Lecky thought Americans more prone to give themselves up to a purely literary life than are the English, and cited Prescott, Irving, and others. He spoke of "The Club," of which he is a member. It is that to which Sir Joshua Reynolds, Dr. Johnson, Burke, and Goldsmith belonged; its members dine together every fortnight; one black ball excludes. Speaking of Gladstone, he thought that he had greatly declined as a speaker of late years, and that no one had had such power in clouding truth and obscuring a fact.
Returning to America, I again settled in my old quarters at Cornell University, hoping to devote myself quietly to the work I had in hand. My old home on the campus had an especial charm for me, and I had begun to take up the occupations to which I purposed to devote the rest of my life, when there came upon me the greatest of all calamities—the loss of her who had been for thirty years my main inspiration and support in all difficulties, cares, and trials. For the time all was lost. In all calamities hitherto I had taken refuge in work; but now there seemed no motive for work, and at last, for a complete change of scene, I returned to Europe, determined to give myself to the preparation of my "History of the Warfare of Science with Theology."
EGYPT, GREECE, AND TURKEY—1888-1889
While under the influence of the greatest sorrow that has ever darkened my life, there came to me a calamity of a less painful sort, yet one of the most trying that I have ever known. A long course of mistaken university policy, which I had done my best to change, and the consequences of which I had especially exerted myself to avert, at last bore its evil fruit. On the 13th of June, 1888, I was present at the session of the Court of Appeals at Saratoga, and there heard the argument in the suit brought to prevent the institution from taking nearly two millions of dollars bequeathed by Mrs. Willard Fiske. I had looked forward to the development of the great library for which it provided as the culminating event in my administration, and, indeed, as the beginning of a better era in American scholarship. Never in the history of the United States had so splendid a bequest been made for such a purpose. But as I heard the argument I was satisfied that our cause was lost,—and simply from the want of effective champions; that this great opportunity for the institution which I loved better than my life had passed from us during my lifetime, at least; and then it was that I determined to break from my surroundings for a time, and to seek new scenes which might do something to change the current of my thoughts.
At the end of June, taking with me my nephew, a bright and active college youth, I sailed for Glasgow, and, revisiting the scenes made beautiful to me by Walter Scott, I was at last able to think of something beside the sorrow and disappointment which had beset me. Memorable to me still is a sermon heard at the old Church of St. Giles, in Edinburgh. The text was, "He wist not that his face shone," and the argument, while broad and liberal, was deeply religious. One thought struck me forcibly. The preacher likened theological controversies to storms on the coast which result only in heaps of sand, while he compared religious influences to the dew and gentle rains which beautify the earth and fructify it.
Healing in their influences upon me were visits to the cathedral towns between Edinburgh and London. The atmosphere of Durham, York, Lincoln, Ely, Peterborough, aided to lift me out of my depression. In each I stayed long enough to attend the cathedral service and to enjoy the architecture, the music, and my recollections of previous visits. At Lichfield Cathedral I heard Bach's "Easter Hymn" given beautifully,—and it was needed to make up for the sermon of a colonial bishop who, having returned to England after a long stay in his remote diocese, was fearfully depressed by the liberal tendencies of English theology. His discourse was one long diatribe against the tendency in England toward broad-churchmanship. One passage had rather a comical effect. He told, pathetically, the story of a servant-girl waiting on the table of the late Archbishop of Canterbury, who, after hearing the clergymen present dealing somewhat freely with the doctrine of the Trinity, rushed out into the passage and recited loudly the Nicene Creed to strengthen her faith. I, too, felt the need of doing something to strengthen mine after this tirade, and fortunately strolled across the meadows to the little Church of St. Chad, and there took part in a lovely "Flower Service," ended by a very sweet, kindly sermon to the children from the fatherly old rector of the parish. Nothing could be better in its way, and it took the taste of the morning sermon out of my mouth.
Of various experiences in London, the one of most interest to me was a visit to the House of Commons, where the Irish Home Rulers were attempting to bait Mr. Balfour, the government leader. One after another they arose and attacked him bitterly in all the moods and tenses, with alleged facts, insinuations, and denunciations. Nothing could be better than his way of taking it all. He sat quietly, looking at his enemies with a placid smile, and then, when they were fully done, rose, and before he had spoken five minutes his reply had the effect of a musket-shot upon a bubble. It was evident that these patriots were hardly taken seriously even by their own side, and, in fact, did not take themselves seriously. I then realized as never before the real reasons why the oratorical and other demonstrations of Irish leaders have accomplished so little for their country.
A Liberal political meeting in Holborn also interested me. The main speaker was the son of the Marquis of Northampton, Earl Compton, who was standing for Parliament. His speech was all good, but its best point was his answer to a man in the crowd who asked him if he was prepared to vote for the abolition of the House of Lords. That would seem a trying question to the heir of a marquisate; but he answered instantly and calmly: "As to the House of Lords, better try first to mend it, and, if we cannot mend it, end it."
He was followed by a Home Ruler, Father McFadden, whose speech, being simply anti-British rant from end to end, must have cost many votes; and I was not surprised when, a day or two afterward, his bishop recalled him to Ireland.
Very pleasing to me were sundry excursions. At Rugby I was intensely interested in the scenes of Arnold's activity. He had exercised a great influence over my own life, and a new inspiration came amid the scenes so familiar to him, and especially in the chapel where he preached.
Visiting some old friends in Hampshire, I drove with them to Selborne, stood by the grave of Gilbert White, and sat in his charming old house in that beautiful place of pilgrimage.
Most soothing in its effect upon me was a visit to Stoke Pogis churchyard and the grave of Thomas Gray. The "Elegy" has never since my boyhood lost its hold upon me, and my feelings of love for its author were deepened as I read the inscription placed by him upon his mother's monument:
"The tender mother of many children, only one of whom had the misfortune to survive her."
A Sunday afternoon in Kensal Green cemetery, with a visit to the graves of Thackeray, Thomas Hood, and Leigh Hunt, roused thoughts on many things.
Somewhat later, revisiting Mr. Halliwell-Phillips's "Bungalow" at Brighton, I met at his table the most bitter and yet one of the most just of all critics of Carlyle whom I have ever known. He spoke especially of Carlyle's treatment of his main historical authorities,—many of them admirable and excellent men,—and dwelt on the fact that Carlyle, having used the results of the life-work of these scholars, then enjoyed pouring contempt and ridicule over them; he also referred to Carlyle's address to the Scotch students, in which he told them to study the patents of nobility for the deeds which made the nobility of England great, but did not reveal to them the fact that the expressions in these patents were stereotyped, and the same, during many years, for men of the most different qualities and services.
Running up to Cambridge for a day or two, and dining with Oscar Browning at King's College, I afterward saw at his rooms a collection of intensely interesting papers, and, among others, reports of British spies during the Revolutionary War in America. Very curious, among these, was a letter from the British minister at Berlin in those days, who detailed a burglary which he had caused in that capital in order to obtain the papers of the American envoy and copies of American despatches. The correspondence also showed that Frederick the Great was much vexed at the whole matter; that the British ministry at home thought their envoy too enterprising; that he came near resigning; but that the whole matter finally blew over. This was brought back to me somewhat later at a dinner of the Royal Historical Society, where the president, Lord Aberdare, recalled a story bearing on this matter. It was that Frederick the Great and the British minister at his court greatly disliked each other, and that on their meeting one day the old King asked, "Who is this Hyder Ali who is making you British so much trouble in India?" to which the bold Briton answered: "Sire, he is only an old tyrant who, after robbing his neighbors, is now falling into his dotage" ("Sire, ce n'est qu'un vieux tyran qui, apres avoir pille ses voisins, commence a radoter").
Having made with my nephew a rapid excursion on the Continent, up the Rhine, and as far as Munich, I returned to see him off on his return journey to America, and then settled down for several weeks in London. It was in the early autumn, Parliament had adjourned, most people of note had left town, and I was left to myself as completely as if I had been in the depths of a forest. Looking out over Trafalgar Square from my pleasant rooms at Morley's Hotel, with all the hurry and bustle of a great city going on beneath my window, I was simply a hermit, and now found myself able to resume the work which for so many years had occupied my leisure. At the British Museum I enjoyed the wonderful opportunities there given for investigation; and there, too, I found an admirable helper in certain lines of work—my friend Professor Hudson, since of Stanford University, California.
The only place where I was at all in touch with the outside world was at the Athenaeum Club; but the main attraction there was the library.
Now came a sudden change in all my plans. My health having weakened somewhat under the influence of this rather sedentary life in the London fog, I consulted two eminent physicians, Sir Andrew Clarke and Sir Morell Mackenzie, and each advised and even urged me to pass the winter in Egypt. Shortly came a letter from my friend Professor Willard Fiske, at Florence saying that he would be glad to go with me. This was indeed a piece of good fortune, for he had visited Egypt again and again, and was not only the best of guides, but the most charming of companions. My decision was instantly taken, and, having finished one or two chapters of my book, I left London and, by the way of the St Gotthard, soon reached Florence. Thence to Rome, Naples, and, after a charming drive, to Castellammare, Sorrento, Amalfi, and Salerno, whence we went by rail to Brindisi, and thence to Alexandria, where we arrived on the 1st of January, 1889.
Now came a new chapter in my life. This journey in the East, especially in Egypt and Greece, marked a new epoch in my thinking. I became more and more impressed with the continuity of historical causes, and realized more and more how easily and naturally have grown the myths and legends which have delayed the unbiased observation of human events and the scientific investigation of natural laws. On a Nile boat for many weeks, with scholars of high character, and with an excellent library about me, I found not only a refuge from trouble and sorrow, but a portal to new and most fascinating studies.
Nor was it only the life of old Egypt which interested me: the scenes in modern Eastern life also gave a needed change in my environment. At Cairo, in the bazaar in contact with the daily life, which seemed like a chapter out of the "Arabian Nights," and also in the modern part of the city, in contact with the newer life of Egypt among English and Egyptian functionaries, there was constant stimulus to fruitful trains of thought.
For our journey of five weeks upon the Nile we had what was called a "special steamer," the Sethi; and for our companions, some fourteen Americans and English—all on friendly terms. Every day came new subjects of thought, and nearly every waking moment came some new stimulus to observation and reflection.
Deeply impressed on my mind is the account given me by Brugsch Bey, assistant director of the Egyptian Museum, of the amazing find of antiquities two or three years before—perhaps the most startling discovery ever made in archaeology. It was on this wise. The museum authorities had for some time noted that tourists coming down the river were bringing remarkably beautiful specimens of ancient workmanship; and this led to a suspicion that the Arabs about the first cataract had discovered a new tomb. For a long time nothing definite could be found; but, at last, vigorous measures having been taken,—measures which Brugsch Bey did not explain, but which I could easily understand to be the time-honored method of tying up the principal functionaries of the region to their palm-trees and whipping them until they confessed,—the discovery was revealed, and Brugsch Bey, having gone up the Nile to the place indicated, was taken to what appeared to be a well; and, having been let down into it by ropes, found himself in a sort of artificial cavern, not beautified and adorned like the royal tombs of that region, but roughly hewn in the rock. It was filled with sarcophagi, and at first sight of them he was almost paralyzed. For they bore the names of several among the most eminent early sovereigns and members of sovereign families of the greatest days of Egypt. The first idea which took hold of Brugsch's mind while stunned by this revelation was that he was dreaming; but, having soon convinced himself that he was awake, he then thought that he must be in some state of hallucination after death—that he had suddenly lost his life, and that his soul was wandering amid shadows. But this, too, he soon found unlikely. Then came over him a sense of the reality and importance of the discovery too oppressive to be borne. He could stay in the cavern no longer; and, having gone to the entrance of the well and signaled to the men above, he was drawn up, and, arriving at the surface, gasped out a command to them all to leave him. He then sat down in the desert to secure the calm required for further thought; and, finally, having become more composed, returned to the work, and the mummies of Rameses the Great and of the other royal personages were taken from their temporary home, carried down the river, and placed in the museum at Cairo.
Another experience was of a very different sort. I had passed a day with the Egyptian minister of public instruction, Artin Pasha, at the great technical school of Cairo, which, under the charge of an eminent French engineer, is training admirably a considerable number of Egyptians in various arts applied to industry; and at luncheon, I had noticed on the wall a portrait of the Khedive, Tewfik Pasha, representing him as most commanding in manner—over six feet in height, and in a gorgeous uniform. On the evening of that day I went to dine with the Khedive, and, entering the reception-rooms, found a large assemblage, and was welcomed by a kindly little man with a pleasant face, and in the plainest of uniforms, who, as I supposed, was the prime minister, Riaz Pasha. His greeting was cordial, and we were soon in close conversation, I giving him especially the impressions made upon me by the school, asking questions and making suggestions. He entered very heartily into it all, and detained me long, I wondering constantly where the Khedive might be. Presently, the great doors having been flung open and dinner announced, each gentleman hastened to the lady assigned him, and all marched out together, my thought being, "This is the Oriental way of entertaining strangers; we shall, no doubt, find the sovereign on his throne at the table." But, to my amazement, the first place at the table was taken by the unassuming little man with whom I had been talking so freely. At first I was somewhat abashed, though the mistake was a very natural one. The fact was that I had been completely under the impression made upon me by the idealized portrait of the Khedive at the technical school, and the thought had never entered my mind that the real Khedive might be physically far inferior to the ideal. But no harm was done; for, after dinner, he came to me again and renewed the conversation with especial cordiality. I also had a long talk with the real Riaz, and found him intelligent and broad-minded. One thing he said amused me. It was that he especially liked to welcome Americans, because they were not seeking to exploit the country.
In Cairo and Alexandria I enjoyed meeting the American and English missionaries,—among them my old Yale friend Dr. Henry Jessup, who has for so many years rendered admirable services at Beyrout; but the most noteworthy thing was a lecture which I heard from Dr. Grant, an eminent Presbyterian physician connected with the mission. It was on the subject of the Egyptian Trinities. The doctor explained them, as well as the Trimurtis of India, by expressing his belief that when the Almighty came down in the cool of the day to refresh himself by walking and talking with Adam in the garden of Eden, he revealed to the man he had made some of the great mysteries of the divine existence, and that these had "leaked out" to men who took them into other countries, and there taught them!
I also found at Cairo another especially interesting man of a very different sort, an Armenian, Mr. Nimr; and, on visiting him, was amazed to find in his library a large collection of English and French books, scientific and literary—among them the "New York Scientific Monthly" containing my own articles, which he had done me the honor to read. I found that he had been, at an earlier period, a professor at the college established by the American Protestant missionaries at Beyrout; but that he and several others who had come to adopt the Darwinian hypothesis were on that account turned out of their situations, and that he had taken refuge in Cairo where he was publishing, in Arabic, a daily newspaper a weekly literary magazine, and a monthly scientific journal. I was much struck by one remark of his—which was, that he was doing his best to promote the interests of Freemasonry in the East, as the only means of bringing Christians and Mohammedans together under the same roof for mutual help, with the feeling that they were children of the same God. He told me that the worst opposition he had met came from a very excellent Protestant missionary, who had publicly insisted that the God worshiped by the Mohammedans was not the God worshiped by Christians. This reminded me of a sermon which one of my friends heard in Strasburg Cathedral in which a priest, reproving his Catholic hearers for entering into any relations with Protestants, especially opposed the idea that they worshiped the same God, and insisted that the God of the Catholics and the God of the Protestants are two different beings.
Among the things which gave me a real enjoyment at this period, and aided to revive my interest in the world about me, was the Saracenic architecture of Cairo and its neighborhood. Nothing could be, in its way, more beautiful. I had never before realized how much beauty is obtainable under the limitations of Mohammedanism; the exquisite tracery and fretwork of the Saracenic period were a constant joy to me, and happily, as there had been no "restorers," everything remained as it had left the hands of the men of genius who created it.
In this older architecture a thousand things interested me; but the greatest effect was produced by the tombs at Beni Hassan, as showing the historical linking together of human ideas both in art and science—the development of one period out of another. Up to the time of my seeing them I had supposed that the Doric architecture of Greece, and especially the Doric column, was of Greek creation; now I saw the proof that it was evolved out of an earlier form upon the lower Nile, which had itself, doubtless, been developed out of forms yet earlier.
At one thing I was especially surprised. I found that, excellent as are our missionaries in those regions, their work has not at all been what those who send them have supposed. No Mohammedan converts are made. Indeed, should the good missionaries at Cairo wake up some fine morning in the spacious quarters for which they are so largely indebted to the late Khedive Ismail, and find that they had converted a Mohammedan, they would be filled with consternation. They would possibly be driven from the country. The real Mohammedan cannot be converted. There were, indeed, a few persons, here and there, claiming to be converted Jews or Mohammedans; but we were always warned against them, even by Christians, as far less trustworthy than those who were true to their original faith. Whatever good is done by the missionaries is done through their schools, to which come many children of the Copts, with perhaps a certain number of Mohammedans desirous of learning English; and the greatest of American missionary successes is doubtless Robert College at Constantinople, which has certainly done a very noble work among the more gifted young men of the Christian populations in the Turkish Empire.
Several times I attended service in the United Presbyterian church at Cairo, and found it hard, unattractive, and little likely to influence any considerable number of persons, whether Mohammedan or Christian. It was evident that the preachers, as a rule, were entirely out of the current of modern theological and religious thought, and that even the best and noblest of them represented ideas no longer held by their leading coreligionists in the countries from which they came.
After a stay of three months in Egypt, we left Alexandria for Athens, where I enjoyed, during a considerable stay, the advantages of the library at the American School of Archaeology, and the companionship of my friend Professor Waldstein, now of Cambridge University. Very delightful also were excursions with my old Yale companion, Walker Fearne, our minister in Greece, and his charming family, to the Acropolis, the Theater of Dionysus, the Bay of Salamis, Megara, and other places of interest. An especial advantage we had in the companionship of Professor Mahaffy of Trinity College, Dublin, whose comments on all these places were most suggestive.
Very interesting to me was an interview with Tricoupis, the prime minister of the kingdom. His talk on the condition of things in Greece was that of a broad-minded statesman. Speaking of the relations of the Greek Church to the state, he said that the church had kept the language and the nationality of the people alive during the Turkish occupation, but that, in spite of its services, it had never been allowed to domineer over the country politically; he dwelt on the importance of pushing railway communications into Europe, and lamented the obstacles thrown in their way by Turkey. His reminiscences of Mr. Buchanan and Mr. Dallas, whom he had formerly known at the Court of St. James during his stay as minister in London, were especially interesting.
The most important "function" I saw was the solemn "Te Deum" at the cathedral on the anniversary of Greek independence, the King, Queen, and court being present, but I was less impressed by their devotion than by the irreverence of a considerable part of the audience, who, at the close of the service, walked about in the church with their hats on their heads. As to the priests who swarmed about us in their Byzantine costumes and long hair, I was reminded of a sententious Moslem remark regarding them: "Much hair, little brains."