Sunny Memories Of Foreign Lands - Volume 2 - By Harriet Beecher Stowe




































































































 -  As Spenser says, - 

  The angelical, soft, trembling voices made
   Unto the instruments respondence meet.

During the course of the services - Page 40
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As Spenser Says, -

"The angelical, soft, trembling voices made Unto the instruments respondence meet."

During the course of the services, when any little one was overcome with sleep or fatigue, he was carefully handed down, and conveyed in a man's arms to a refreshment room.

There was a sermon by the Bishop of Chester, very evangelical and practical. On the whole, a more peculiar or more lovely scene I never saw. The elegant arches of St. Paul's could have no more beautiful adornment than those immortal flowers.

After service we lunched with a large party, with Mrs. Milman, at the deanery near by. Mrs. Jameson was there, and Mrs. Gaskell, authoress of Mary Barton and Ruth. She has a very lovely, gentle face, and looks capable of all the pathos that her writings show. I promised her a visit when I go to Manchester. Thackeray was there with his fine figure, and frank, cheerful bearing. He spoke in a noble and brotherly way of America, and seemed to have highly enjoyed his visit in our country.

After this we made a farewell call at the lord mayor's. We found the lady mayoress returned from the queen's drawing room. From her accounts I should judge the ceremonial rather fatiguing. Mrs. M. asked me yesterday if I had any curiosity to see one. I confessed I had not. Merely to see public people in public places, in the way of parade and ceremony, was never interesting to me. I have seen very little of ceremony or show in England. Well, now, I have brought you down to this time. I have omitted, however, that I went with Lady Hatherton to call on Mr. and Mrs. Dickens, and was sorry to find him too unwell to be able to see us. Mrs. Dickens, who was busy in attending him, also excused herself, and we saw his sister.

To-morrow we go - go to quiet, to obscurity, to peace; to Paris - to Switzerland: there we shall find the loneliest glen, and, as the Bible says, "fall on sleep." For our adventures on the way, meanwhile, I refer you to C.'s journal.

JOURNAL

LONDON TO PARIS

June 4, 1853. Bade adieu with regret to dear Surrey parsonage, and drove to the great south-western station house.

"Paris?" said an official at our cab door. "Paris, by Folkestone and Boulogne," was our answer. And in a few moments, without any inconvenience, we were off. Reached Folkestone at nine, and enjoyed a smooth passage across the dreaded channel. The steward's bowls were paraded in vain. At Boulogne came the long-feared and abhorred ordeal of passports and police. It was nothing. We slipped through quite easily. A narrow ladder, the quay, gens-d'armes, a hall, a crowd, three whiskers, a glance at the passport, the unbuckling of a bundle, _voila tout_. The moment we issued forth, however, upon the quay again, there was a discharge of forty voices shouting in French. For a moment, completely stunned, I forgot where we were, which way going, and what we wanted. Up jumped a lively little _gamin_.

"_Monsieur veut aller a Pan's, n'est ce pas?_" "Going to Paris, are you not, sir?"

"_Oui._"

"Is monsieur's baggage registered?"

"Yes."

"Does monsieur's wish to go to the station house?"

"Can one find any thing there to eat?"

"Yes, just as at a hotel."

We yielded at discretion, and _garcon_ took possession of us.

"English?" said _garcon_, as we enjoyed the pleasant walk on the sunny quay.

"No. American," we replied.

"Ah!" (his face brightening up, and speaking confidentially,) "you have a republic there."

We gave the lad a franc, dined, and were off for Paris. The ride was delightful. Cars seating eight; clean, soft-cushioned, _nice_. The face of the country, though not striking, was pleasing. There were many poplars, with their silvery shafts, and a mingling of trees of various kinds. The foliage has an airy grace - a certain _spirituelle_ expression - as if the trees knew they were growing in _la belle France_, and must be refined. Then the air is so different from the fog and smoke of London. There is more oxygen in the atmosphere. A pall is lifted. We are led out into sunshine. Fields are red with a scarlet white-edged poppy, or blue with a flower like larkspur. Wheat fields half covered with this unthrifty beauty! But alas! the elasticity is in Nature's works only. The works of man breathe over us a dismal, sepulchral, stand-still feeling. The villages have the nightmare, and men wear wooden shoes. The day's ride, however, was memorable with novelty; and when we saw Mont Martre, and its moth-like windmills, telling us we were coming to Paris, it was almost with regret at the swiftness of the hours. We left the cars, and flowed with the tide into the Salle d'Attente, to wait till the baggage was sorted. Then came the famous ceremony of unlocking. The officer took my carpet bag first, and poked his hand down deep in one end.

"What is this?"

"That is my collar box."

"_Ah, ca_" And he put it back hastily, and felt of my travelling gown. "What is this?"

"Only a wrapping gown."

"_Ah, ca_" After fumbling a little more, he took sister H.'s bag, gave a dive here, a poke there, and a kind of promiscuous rake with his five fingers, and turned to the trunk. There he seemed somewhat dubious. Eying the fine silk and lace dresses, - first one, then the other, - "Ah, ah!" said he, and snuffed a little. Then he peeped under this corner, and cocked his eye under that corner; then, all at once, plunged his arm down at one end of the trunk, and brought up a little square box. "What's that?" said he. He unrolled and was about to open it, when suddenly he seemed to be seized with an emotion of confidence. "_Non, non_" said he, frankly, and rolled it up, shoved it back, stuffed the things down, smoothed all over, signed my ticket, and passed on.

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