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Immense female symposia at which every delicacy is provided are one of the most striking features of American life, and would seem to prove that our sex is scarcely so indispensable in the scheme of creation as it sometimes supposes. I’ve been admitted on the footing of an Englishman —“just to show you some of our bright women,” the hostess yesterday remarked. (“Bright” here has the meaning of intellectually remarkable.) I noted indeed the frequency of the predominantly cerebral — as they call it here “brainy”— type. These rather oddly invidious banquets are organised according to age, for I’ve also been present as an inquiring stranger at several “girls’ lunches,” from which married ladies are rigidly excluded, but here the fair revellers were equally numerous and equally “bright.” There’s a good deal I should like to tell you about my study of the educational question, but my position’s now somewhat cramped, and I must dismiss the subject briefly. My leading impression is that the children are better educated (in proportion of course) than the adults. The position of a child is on the whole one of great distinction. There’s a popular ballad of which the refrain, if I’m not mistaken, is “Make me a child again just for to-night!” and which seems to express the sentiment of regret for lost privileges. At all events they are a powerful and independent class, and have organs, of immense circulation, in the press. They are often extremely “bright.” I’ve talked with a great many teachers, most of them lady-teachers, as they are here called. The phrase doesn’t mean teachers of ladies, as you might suppose, but applies to the sex of the instructress, who often has large classes of young men under her control. I was lately introduced to a young woman of twenty-three who occupies the chair of Moral Philosophy and Belles-Lettres in a Western University and who told me with the utmost frankness that she’s “just adored” by the undergraduates. This young woman was the daughter of a petty trader in one of the South-western States and had studied at Amanda College in Missourah, an institution at which young people of the two sexes pursue their education together. She was very pretty and modest, and expressed a great desire to see something of English country life, in consequence of which I made her promise to come down to Thistleton in the event of her crossing the Atlantic. She’s not the least like Gwendolen or Charlotte, and I’m not prepared to say how they would get on with her; the boys would probably do better. Still, I think her acquaintance would be of value to dear Miss Gulp, and the two might pass their time very pleasantly in the school-room. I grant you freely that those I have seen here are much less comfortable than the school-room at Thistleton. Has Charlotte, by the way, designed any more texts for the walls? I’ve been extremely interested in my visit to Philadelphia, where I saw several thousand little red houses with white steps, occupied by intelligent artisans and arranged (in streets) on the rectangular system. Improved cooking-stoves, rosewood pianos, gas and hot water, esthetic furniture and complete sets of the British Essayists. A tramway through every street; every block of exactly equal length; blocks and houses economically lettered and numbered. There’s absolutely no loss of time and no need of looking for, or indeed at, anything. The mind always on one’s object; it’s very delightful.


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“It has been there a long time,” the boy replied rummaging his book.




He explains the many kinds of ships that there are—the rogues, the wickedly malicious, 35the sly, the benevolent, the proud, the adventurous, the staid, the decorous. For even the worst of these he has indulgences that he would never offer to the soul of man. He cannot be severe before such a world of fine spirits.

(1.) They will scoff.

I give you my little notes; you must make allowances for haste, for bad inns, for the perpetual scramble, for ill-humour. Everywhere the same impression — the platitude of unbalanced democracy intensified by the platitude of the spirit of commerce. Everything on an immense scale — everything illustrated by millions of examples. My brother-inlaw is always busy; he has appointments, inspections, interviews, disputes. The people, it appears, are incredibly sharp in conversation, in argument; they wait for you in silence at the corner of the road and then suddenly discharge their revolver. If you fall they empty your pockets; the only chance is to shoot them first. With this no amenities, no preliminaries, no manners, no care for the appearance. I wander about while my brother’s occupied; I lounge along the streets; I stop at the corners; I look into the shops; je regarde passer les femmes. It’s an easy country to see; one sees everything there is; the civilisation’s skin deep; you don’t have to dig. This positive practical pushing bourgeoisie is always about its business; it lives in the street, in the hotel, in the train; one’s always in a crowd — there are seventy-five people in the tramway. They sit in your lap; they stand on your toes; when they wish to pass they simply push you. Everything in silence; they know that silence is golden and they’ve the worship of gold. When the conductor wishes your fare he gives you a poke, very serious, without a word. As for the types — but there’s only one, they’re all variations of the same — the commis-voyageur minus the gaiety. The women are often pretty; you meet the young ones in the streets, in the trains, in search of a husband. They look at you frankly, coldly, judicially, to see if you’ll serve; but they don’t want what you might think (du moines on me l’assure); they only want the husband. A Frenchman may mistake; he needs to be sure he’s right, and I always make sure. They begin at fifteen; the mother sends them out; it lasts all day (with an interval for dinner at a pastry-cook’s); sometimes it goes on for ten years. If they haven’t by that time found him they give it up; they make place for the cadettes, as the number of women is enormous. No salons, no society, no conversation; people don’t receive at home; the young girls have to look for the husband where they can. It’s no disgrace not to find him — several have never done so. They continue to go about unmarried — from the force of habit, from the love of movement, without hopes, without regrets. There’s no imagination, no sensibility, no desire for the convent.

“I know. It’s Stepanida I must bring you. Her husband is away in town, just the same as a soldier. and she is a fine woman, and clean. You will be satisfied. As it is I was saying to her the other day — you should go, but she . . . ”


2.About midway in the short vista which my dreamy vision took in, one small circular island, profusely verdured, reposed upon the bosom of the stream.



“And I cannot in conclusion,” says Our Missis, with her spitefullest sneer, “give you a completer pictur of that despicable nation (after what I have related), than assuring you that they wouldn’t bear our constitutional ways and noble independence at Mugby Junction, for a single month, and that they would turn us to the right-about and put another system in our places, as soon as look at us; perhaps sooner, for I do not believe they have the good taste to care to look at us twice.”


The upper windows of the pavilion commanded a considerable spread of links in the direction of Graden Wester. To avoid observation, it was necessary to hug the beach until I had gained cover from the higher sand-hills on the little headland, when I might strike across, through the hollows, for the margin of the wood. The sun was about setting; the tide was low, and all the quicksands uncovered; and I was moving along, lost in unpleasant thought, when I was suddenly thunderstruck to perceive the prints of human feet. They ran parallel to my own course, but low down upon the beach instead of along the border of the turf; and, when I examined them, I saw at once, by the size and coarseness of the impression, that it was a stranger to me and to those in the pavilion who had recently passed that way. Not only so; but from the recklessness of the course which he had followed, steering near to the most formidable portions of the sand, he was as evidently a stranger to the country and to the ill-repute of Graden beach.

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All the marvels of the world sink before the first entrance into Karnak. It may vie with the Alps and the Andes. The obelisks of Luxor may be unrivalled, the sculptures of Medcenet Habu more exquisite, the colossus of Memnonion more gigantic, the paintings of the royal tombs more curious and instructive, but criticism ceases before the multifarious wonders of the halls and courts of Karnak and the mind is open only to one general impression of colossal variety.


"Dear Sir,—I have made special inquiry into the subject of your letter of the 14th inst., and find that on the 31st of the last month the number of outstanding applications to have fair rents fixed was 44,295, and that the number of cases disposed of in the months of July and August (the latest month for which the figures are made up) was 5,380. You will see, therefore, that the arrear is less than one-half of the amount stated by the Separatist lecturer to whom you refer, and the rate of progression in disposing of it is considerably higher than that alleged by him. It may reasonably be hoped also (though the statistics are not yet available) that this rate has since been increased, as several additional Sub-Commissioners have been appointed to hear the cases. I would observe also that under the provisions of the Land Act, passed by the present Government in 1887, the tenant gets the benefit of the judicial rent from the date of his application, an advantage which he did not possess under Mr. Gladstone's Act. Such unavoidable delay as may occur, therefore, does not, under the existing law, involve the serious injury to the tenant implied by the lecturer. I enclose a printed paper, which will give you further information on this subject. In conclusion, I would point out that the suggestion that the agrarian trouble in Ireland arises from the difficulty experienced by the tenants in getting judicial rents fixed is not warranted by the facts. Take as illustrations the cases of two estates which have lately been prominently before the public—namely, the Ponsonby and the Olphert. In the former case the landlord is anxious, I believe, to get the tenants to go into Court, and offers to give retrospective effect to the decisions, though not bound by law to do so, but under the influence of the agitators the tenants refuse to go into Court. In the latter instance judicial rents have long since been fixed in the great majority of cases.