« VorigeDoorgaan »
Palace, not the one at London, but its progenitor, the original, built by Paxton, and from which he designed the great Exhibition Palace. This looked crystalline; it had no painted columns, by scores and hundreds, and no drapery; but a concave without these, of clearest glass, so arranged as scarcely to show the sash, and all strong. Terraces, hedges, and flowers surround it; while, in the lake near, a fountain plays two hundred and eighty feet high! We entered, and saw the same beautiful arrangement which distinguishes the transept of the Great Palace; large palms and blooming creepers, flowers of every clime, dressed in their gala colors, and rocks streaming with tendrils! Some idea of its extent may be had, when it is considered that there are in the building seven miles of six-inch heated piping.
Is it strange that such magnificence exists where there are one hundred and twenty-seven gardeners alone engaged? Or, with such an immense revenue as belongs to the duke, and with such a manager as Paxton? Before leaving the domain, you may survey it from a tower, so erected as to comprehend all its beauty. There is no smoke to obscure the view. It is all carried off to a great distance, by underground flues. The very coal used by so many hot-houses, is conveyed by a subterranean railway. The farming arrangements and the village without the domain, are a complement to what I have faintly pictured. The village is the model of England. All the cottages were either Gothic or Swiss-of stone, exact and elegant, with grass and flower-plots. Surrounding church and school-house were linden-trees, trimmed neatly and inwoven as one, meeting and arching. Could there be scandal, or gossip, or backbiting, or aught but harmony in such a paragon of a town? Sir Thomas Moore, in the picture he has drawn of the towns of Utopia, so precise and perfect, might have given grace to the drawing, had a Chatsworth been contemporaneous with his time.
The owner of all this paradise is a bachelor. Hold! Not so fast, ladies! A confirmed bachelor, a bachelor bound hand
and foot! Some difficulty as to the title of the duke was started; which was hushed by an arrangement between the contending families. The duke agreed to live and die unmarried; so that Lord Mortington, the claimant, should be his heir. The duke is old and infirm. He is liberal in the use which he makes of his wealth. His fruitage and venison load the tables of his friends; and he has freely opened to the public these grounds and this palace, where, in its consummate perfection, the luxury of the East and the arts of Italy vie with the tasteful elegance of France and the natural beauties of Switzerland and Scotland; and where all combine to render Chatsworth one of the most attractive spots for the traveller in Great Britain, if not in Europe.
Such spots are needed, to show man from what a beautiful estate he has fallen. If immense fortunes must be entailed, let them thus be transformed into the poetry and music of nature, that they may allay or divert the passions and perturbations of our sinful state. Sir William Temple says, that human life is at the best and greatest but like a froward child, that must be played with and humored a little to keep it quiet, till it falls asleep, and then the care is over. Then why not please it with such charms as Chatsworth displays, until it reposes on the bosom of its mother earth? It was our last-may not I saygreatest pleasure, in this land of our ancestors. It will not be forgotten, until we repose in that sleep that knows no waking. Will it then? Not if a thing of beauty be a joy forever.
From Sheffield, through Manchester, a huge, compact, black and busy city-we have returned to Liverpool, where all the day we have been reading letters from home-thinking of home, and what is better, packing for home, whither we will be soon going.
The Buckeye for Bome.
"Ever drifting, drifting, drifting,
Currents of the restless heart;
Till at length in books recorded,
They like hoarded
Household words, no more depart."
T was with unwonted alacrity that we packed our luggage, and
3d of September, we were down upon the Mersey's brink, awaiting the return of the tender, which was to bear us to the vessel's side. Nearly two hundred Americans were with us upon that tender, and they now float with us as I write. We did not feel much reluctance in leaving England. With our faces turned westward, where could our hearts be, but westward-in our own blessed home! The perils of the great sea are forgotten; or what is worse, its disagreeableness is joyfully encountered; for through all, we see smiling the faces of those who wait to welcome our return. Liverpool is not noted; its superb customhouse and miles of docks receive no encomium. When the heart bounds so warmly, the eye is blind to external things. The Mersey's green banks scarcely are thought of; for there comes the greeting of friend with friend. Old companions in voyaging shake hands, laugh, and talk over scenes that they have viewed since separation, and of their gladness in anticipating their return to America. A few there were who were leaving dear friends in England. The wave of the handkerchief from steamer and
shore, the hand-kissing, the tear-dropping, the stifled sobbing; did they not bring to mind our own parting, when the Asia cleft the waves of New-York harbor?
The mails were aboard, the guns fired, the cheers given and answered; and the noble "Pacific" bore away with as hopeful a cargo of humanity as ever trod a steamer's deck,—hopeful in that sense which antedates the joy of the future with large and generous impulses.
Our first two days out were pleasant in the extreme. I began to think myself quite a sailor. True, the channel was not rough; but then there were two days gone, and not a sign of mine ancient enemy. Not even his advanced guard was visible. I began to tread the deck proudly-looked people in the face, as if I were an old salt-perfectly accustomed to nautical experiences. Complacency sat serenely on my front like 'Halcyon on the wave.' Besides, was not the Pacific a larger boat, with less rocking and rolling than the Asia? Bravely I marched down to dinner; called the waiter with a confidence which solid earth might have inspired; had no misgivings but that travelling had indurated the system; in fine, conducted myself as if I were already a triumphant champion over the insidious foe. The sequel is plain. Pride fell with the Son of the Morning; why not with fallible humanity? I felt, rather than saw my enemy approach. He came upon a tall wave, with a white ensign, and a sparkling lance. His first blow was aimed at the very point of the system, where the Ancients seated courage. If the citadel itself was beseiged, where were the outposts? Not without a struggle did I yield. With Sir Jack, I may now say, 'that had I known he was so cunning o'fence, I would have seen him d-d, ere I had fought him.' I marched the deck with determination, pursed up my lip, perked up my eyebrows, and assumed that serio-careless air which seemed to say: "tis a little disturbance of the animal economy-soon be right good ship—rather like the sea-it's so bracing-ahem!' But it would not do. I walked stoutly, did not look at any other object than the wheel-house,
made imaginary speeches to evanescent juries, tried every abstraction and even my best expedient, viz., hummed 'Scot's wha ha,' and whistled that air, known in Buckeyedom, as the 'big muster tune,' to whose inspiring music the corn-stalk militia of the Miami, Sciota, and Muskingum valleys were wont to march in disorganized and timeless array, in the good old days when training was the duty of Ohio's citizenry. All would not do. A large billow gave the vessel a lurch and a twist, I changed my tune, struck my colors, and with more precipitation than grace, retired below. In the piteous strain of an old bard, let me ask,
"Was ever mortal wight in such a woeful case?"
Ask me not to renew the infandum dolorem of the six subsequent days, during which without intermission we have had tempestuous weather. How the winds raved, the boat snapped and creaked, the waters roared and the rains came; these are a part of the malignant triumphings of my enemy, which I would fain forget. Yesterday the fog enveloped us; but the sun soon shone through, the Newfoundland banks were near; the sea was calm; and it was said by a few tough old fellows without stomach or sympathy, who had been on deck for eight days, that we had stopped on the banks to wood, when there mysteriously appeared on deck over 150 strange passengers!
Ours is a stanch steamer. She has braved the continuous storms nobly. True we have lost about a day on account of the weather; but on our worst day we ran two hundred and thirty miles, and in a good sea we can run three hundred and thirty. I will not undertake to compare her with the Cunard steamers; comparisons are odious; but for elegant saloons, comfortable berths, an excellent table and speed, the Pacific has no superior, any equal. She has made the four best trips ever made over the Ocean, except the one great great trip of the Baltic, which Capt. Nye will not suffer long to eclipse his fame.