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for this old architecture. Nature has taken it lovingly to herself, has set her seal upon it, and adopted it into her system. Just the foil which beauty,-especially the crystallic beauty of architecture,-needs, has been given by this hazy, mellowing atmosphere. As the grace and suggestiveness of all objects are enhanced by a fall of snow,-forest, fence, hive, shed, knoll, rock, tree, all being laid under the same white enchantment, so time has wrought in softening and toning down this old religious architecture, and bringing it into harmony with nature.

Our climate has a much keener edge, both of frost and fire, and touches nothing so gently or creatively: yet time would, no doubt, do much for our architecture, if we would give it a chance-for that apotheosis of prose, the National Capitol at Washington, upon which, I notice, a returned traveler bases our claim to be considered "ahead" of the Old World, even in architecture; but the reigning gods interfere, and each spring or fall give the building a clean shirt, in the shape of a coat of white paint. In like manner, other public buildings never become acclimated, but are annually scoured with soap and sand, the national passion for the brightness of newness interfering to defeat any benison which the gods might be disposed to pronounce upon them. Spotlessness, I know, is not a characteristic of our politics, though it is said that whitewashing is, which may account for this ceaseless paint-pot renovation of our public buildings. In a world lit only by the moon our Capitol would be a paragon of beauty, and the spring whitewashing could also be endured; but under our blazing sun and merciless sky it parches the vision, and makes it turn with a feeling of relief to rocks and trees, or to some weather-stained, dilapidated shed or hovel.

How winningly and picturesquely. in comparison the old architecture of London addresses itself to the eye-St. Paul's Cathedral, for instance, with its vast blotches and stains, as if it had been dipped in some black Lethe of oblivion, and then left to be restored by the rains and the elements. This black Lethe is the London smoke and fog, which has left a dark deposit over all the building, except the upper and more exposed parts, where the original silvery whiteness of the stone shows through, the effect of the whole thus being like one of those graphic Rembrandt

photographs or carbons, the prominences in a strong light, and the rest in deepest shadow. I was never tired of looking at this noble building, and of going out of my way to walk around it, but I am at a loss to know whether the pleasure I had in it arose from my love of nature or from a susceptibility to art for which I had never given myself credit. Perhaps from both, for I seemed to behold Art turning toward and reverently acknowledging Nature— indeed, in a manner already become Nature. I believe the critics of such things find plenty of fault with St. Paul's; and even I could see that its bigness was a little prosy, that it suggested the historic rather than the poetic muse, etc.; yet, for all that, I could never look upon it without a profound emotion. Viewed coolly and critically, it might seem like a vast specimen of Episcopalianism in architecture. tonic in its grandeur and proportions, and Miltonic in its prosiness and mongrel classicism also, yet its power and effectiveness are unmistakable. The beholder has no vantage ground from which to view it, or take in its total effect, on account of its being so closely beset by such a mob of shops and buildings; yet the glimpses he does get here and there through the opening made by some street, when passing in its vicinity, are very striking and suggestive; the thin vail of smoke, which is here as constant and uniform as the atmosphere itself, wrapping it about with the enchantment of time and distance.


The interior I found even more impressive than the exterior, perhaps because I was unprepared for it. I had become used to imposing exteriors at home, and did not reflect that in a structure like this I should see an interior also, and that here alone the soul of the building would be fully revealed. It was Miltonic in the best sense; it was like the mightiest organ music put into form. Such depths, such solemn vastness, such gulfs and abysses of architectural space, the rich, mellow light, the haze outside becoming a mysterious, hallowing presence within, quite mastered me, and I sat down upon a seat, feeling my first genuine cathedral intoxication. As it was really an intoxication, a sense of majesty and power quite overwhelming in my then uncloyed condition, I speak of it the more freely. My companions rushed about as if each one had had a search-warrant in his pocket; but I was content to uncover my head and drop into a seat, and

busy my mind with some simple object near at hand, while the sublimity that soared about me stole into my soul, and possessed it. My sensation was like that imparted by suddenly reaching a great altitude; there was a sort of relaxation of the muscles, followed by a sense of physical weakness, and after a half hour or so I felt compelled to go out into the open air, and leave till another day the final survey of the building. Next day I came back, but there can be only one first time, and I could not again surprise myself with the same feeling of wonder and intoxication. But St. Paul's will bear many visits. I came again and again, and never grew tired of it. Crossing its threshold was entering another world, where the silence and solitude were so profound and overpowering, that the noise of the streets outside, or of the stream of visitors, or of the workmen engaged on the statuary, made no impression. They were all belittled, lost, like the humming of flies. Even the afternoon services, the chanting, and the tremendous organ were no interruption, and left me just as much alone as ever. They only served to set off the silence, to fathom its depth.

The dome of St. Paul's is the original of our dome at Washington; but externally I think ours is the more graceful of the two, though the effect inside is tame and flat in comparison. This is owing partly to the lesser size and height, and partly to our hard, transparent atmosphere, which lends no charm or illusion, but mainly to the stupid, unimaginative plan of it. Our dome 'shuts down like an inverted iron pot; there is no vista, no outlook, no relation, and hence no proportion. You open a door and are in a circular pen, and can look in only one direction-up. If the iron pot were slashed through here and there, or if it rested on a row of tall columns, or piers, and was shown to be a legitimate part of the building, it would not appear the exhausted receiver it does now.

The dome of St. Paul's is the culmination of the whole interior of the building. Rising over the central area, it seems to gather up the power and majesty of the nave, the aisles, the transepts, the choir, and give them expression and expansion in its lofty firmament.

Then those colossal piers, forty feet broad, some of them, and nearly one hundred feet high; they easily eclipsed what I had recently seen in a mine, and which I,

at the time, imagined shamed all the architecture of the world-where the mountain was upheld over a vast space by massive piers left by the miners, with a ceiling unrolled over your head, and apparently descending upon you, that looked like a petrified thunder-cloud.

The view from the upper gallery, or top of the dome looking down inside, is most impressive. The public are not admitted to this gallery, for fear, the keeper told me, it would become the scene of suicides; people unable to withstand the terrible fascination would leap into the yawning gulf. But with the privilege usually accorded to Americans, I stepped down into the narrow circle, and leaning over the balustrade, coolly looked the horrible temptation in the face.

On the whole, St. Paul's is so vast and imposing that one wonders what occasion or what ceremony can rise to the importance of not being utterly dwarfed within its walls. The annual gathering of the charity children, ten or twelve thousand in number, must make a ripple or two upon its solitude, or an exhibition like the thanksgiving of the Queen, when sixteen or eighteen thousand persons were sembled beneath its roof. But one cannot forget that it is, for the most part, a great toy-a mammoth shell, whose bigness bears no proportion to the living, (if, indeed, it is living) indwelling necessity. It is a tenement so large that the tenant looks cold and forlorn, and in danger of being lost within it.


No such objection can be made to Westminster Abbey, which is a mellow, picturesque old place, the interior arrangement and architecture of which affects one like some ancient, dilapidated forest. Even the sunlight streaming through the dim windows, and falling athwart the misty air, was like the sunlight of a long gone age. The very atmosphere was pensive, and filled the tall spaces like a memory and dream. I sat down and listened to the choral service and to the organ, which blended perfectly with the spirit and sentiment of the place.


One of my best days in England was spent amid the singing of sky-larks on the South Down Hills, near an old town at the mouth of the little Ouse, where I paused on my way to France. The prospect of hear

ing one or two of the classical birds of the old world had not been the least of the attractions of my visit, though I knew the chances were against me so late in the season, and I have to thank my good genius for guiding me to the right place at the right time. To get out of London was delight enough, and then to find myself quite unexpectedly on these soft rolling hills, of a mild October day, in full sight of the sea, with the larks pouring out their gladness overhead, was to me good fortune indeed.

The South Downs form a very remarkable feature of this part of England, and are totally unlike any other landscape I ever saw. I believe it is Huxley who applies to them the epithet of muttony, which they certainly deserve, for they are like the backs of immense sheep, smooth, and round, and fat-so smooth indeed, that the eye can hardly find a place to take hold of, not a tree, or bush, or fence, or house, or rock, or stone, or other object, for miles and miles, save here and there a group of straw-capped stacks, or a flock of sheep crawling slowly over them, attended by a shepherd and dog, and the only lines visible, those which bound the squares where different crops had been gathered. The soil was rich and mellow, like a garden-hills of chalk with a pellicle of black loam.

These hills stretch a great distance along the coast, and are cut squarely off by the sea, presenting on this side a chain of white chalk cliffs suggesting the old Latin name of this land, Albion.

Before I had got fifty yards from the station I began to hear the larks, and being unprepared for them I was a little puzzled at first, but was not long in discovering what luck I was in. The song disappointed me at first, being less sweet and melodious than I had expected to hear, indeed I thought it a little sharp and harsh,—a little stubbley, but in other respects, in strength and gladness and continuity, it was wonderful. And the more I heard it the better I liked it, until I would gladly have given any of my songsters at home for a bird that could shower down such notes, even in Autumn. Up, up, went the bird, climbing the silver spiral of his song, till he attained an altitude of three or four hundred feet, when, spread out against the sky for a space of six or eight minutes, he poured his delight, filling all the vault with sound. The song is of

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the sparrow kind, and, in its best parts, perpetually suggested the notes of our vesper sparrow-but the wonder of it is its copiousness and sustained strength. There is no theme, no beginning, middle or end, like most of our best bird songs, but a perfect swarm of notes pouring out like bees from a hive and resembling each other nearly as closely, and only ceasing as the bird nears the earth again. We have many more melodious songsters; the bobolink in the meadows, for instance; the vesper sparrow in the pastures, the purple finch in the groves, the winter wren, or any of the thrushes in the woods, or the woodwagtail, whose air song is of a similar character to that of the sky-lark's and is even more rapid and ringing, and is delivered in nearly the same manner; but our birds all stop when the sky-lark has only just begun. Away he goes on quivering wing, inflating his throat fuller and fuller, mounting and mounting, and turning to all points of the compass as if to embrace the whole landscape in his song, the notes still raining upon you as distinct as ever, after you have left him far behind. This strain indeed suggests some rare pyrotechnic display, musical sounds being substituted for the many-colored sparks and lights. And yet I will add what perhaps the best readers do not need to be told, that neither the lark song, nor any other bird song in the open air and under the sky is as noticeable a feature as my description of it might imply, or as the poets would have us believe; and that most persons, not especially interested in birds or their notes, and intent upon the general beauty of the landscape, would probably pass it by, unremarked.

I suspect that it is a little higher flight than the facts will bear out when the writers make the birds go out of sight into the sky. I could easily follow them on this occasion, though if I took my eye away for a moment it was very difficult to get it back again. I had to search for them as the astronomer searches for a star. It may be that in the Spring, when the atmospere is less clear, and the heart of the bird full of a more mad and reckless love, that the climax is not reached until the eye loses sight of the singer.

Several attempts have been made to introduce the lark into this country, but for some reason or other the experiment has never succeeded. The birds have been liberated in Virginia and on Long Island, but do not seem to have ever been heard

of afterwards. I see no reason why they should not thrive anywhere along our Atlantic sea-board, and I think the question of introducing them worthy of more thorough and serious attention than has yet been given it, for the lark is really an institution, and as he sings long after all other birds are silent,-as if he had perpetual spring in his heart, he would be a great acquisition to our fields and meadows. It may be that he cannot stand the extremes of our climate, though the English sparrow thrives well enough. The Smithsonian Institute has received specimens of the skylark from Alaska, where, no doubt, they find a climate more like the English.

They have another prominent singer in England, namely the robin,-the original robin redbreast,-a slight, quick, active bird with an orange front and an olive back, and a bright musical warble that I caught by every garden, lane and hedge row. It suggests our blue-bird, and has similar habits and manners, though it is a much better musician.

The European bird that corresponds to our robin is the black-bird of which Tennyson sings:

"Oh Black-bird! sing me something well;
While all the neighbors shoot thee round
I keep smooth plats of fruitful ground
Where thou may'st warble, eat and dwell."

It quite startled me to see such a resem


blance, to see, indeed, a black robin. size, form, flight, manners, note, call, there is hardly an appreciable difference. The bird starts up with the same flirt of the wings, and calls out in the same jocund, salutatory way, as he hastens off. The nest of coarse mortar in the fork of a tree, or in an out-building, or in the side of a wall, is also the same.

The bird I wished most to hear, namely the nightingale, had already departed on its southern journey. I saw one in the zoological, gardens in London, and took a good look at him. He struck me as bearing a close resemblance to our hermitthrush, with something in his manners that suggested the water-thrush also. Carlyle said he first recognized its song from the description of it in "Wilhelm Meister," and that it was a “sudden burst," which is like the song of our water-thrush.

I have little doubt our songsters excel in melody, while the European birds excel in profuseness and volubility. I heard many bright, animated notes, and many harsh ones, but few that were melodious. This fact did not harmonize with the general drift of the rest of my observations, for one of the first things that strikes an American in Europe is the mellowness and rich tone of things. The European is softer voiced than the American and milder mannered, but the bird voices seem an exception to this rule.



YES, it certainly was the door-bell. "De-liverance!" said Miss Phrygia," and I've just taken the comb out of my back hair!"

In emergencies of this kind Miss Phrygia had a way of drawing back the tidy chintz curtain just far enough to speer through and see whether it would do to run down "just as she was." If it would do, down she ran, and if it wouldn't, she called softly through her window "Immediately!" and then flashed through her preparations with a speed truly miraculous, for Miss Phrygia had a love of promptitude that covered the

whole superficial stratum of her nature, and "Immediately! was so favorite an expression of this quality, that if she had been asked graciously to set a time for her own execution, those who knew her best would have expected it as the natural and unhesitating reply.

But this time, as the chintz curtain revealed a pony phaeton at the gate, and on the door-step a slight, maidenly figure, a sweet young face, and a mist of golden hair, she only said "Dear heart!" and laying the comb on the dressing-table, she glided down stairs, her own locks falling into an undulation of chestnut rings, that might well have been the

envy of a goddess in her own namesake land.

with every opportunity I've had," said Miss Phrygia, dropping her eyes thought'So glad you are at home," said a voice fully-"You can't seem to find any way from under the golden mist. "I've just of doing it but by marrying some man, and brought you my little book. I've kept the that," with a little shiver running over her last page for you, you always have every-shoulders, "puts it so out of the question!" thing so nice. Any trifle, 'light as air,' you know, will do."

It was one of those blessed old towns, rare to find in these days, where the lofty and the lowly knew and respected, loved and took an interest in, each other, and Miss Phrygia, instead of waiting for the book, which the maidens of the place, when about to assume the duties of wife and housekeeper, had a fashion of circulating among their friends for collections of choice receipts, reached forth and took both the slender, gauntleted hands in her own. As she did so, her right thumb pressed a diamond on the left forefinger of her visitor, and her face, so beaming as she ran down stairs, suddenly melted into a different expression, and she gazed into the hazel eyes confronting her with a yearning tenderness pitiful to see.

"Poor thing!" she said softly, "poor little thing!'

"Why, what's the matter, Miss Phrygia? I know you don't like engagement rings, but you can't understand that I am, and am going to be, the happiest little woman in the world."

"Poor little thing!" was all Miss Phrygia said, again, much as you would coo over an unfledged doveling that will fall out of the nest.

"And then," with a caressing squeeze from the slender hands, "I'm not going far, you know, only a step, you can see the chimneys right up there through the trees. You'll come and see me often, won't you?"

"That's what they say when people die, but a pretty long step, I call it," said Miss Phrygia; "still, its always a sort of a comfort to visit their graves, and I'll come with pleasure."

"Oh, Miss Phrygia! Well, I only wish you did understand. I wish you'd get married yourself! You'd be a hundred times better off: didn't you ever feel so in your secret heart?"

"Yes," said Miss Phrygia, quietly, “a great many times."

"Don't you think it would be pleasanter

than living here all alone?"

"Yes," said Miss Phrygia.

"Then why haven't you tried it?"

"There's been always just one difficulty

A rippling laugh, that made the golden mist seem like moonlight on the lake, answered Miss Phrygia.

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"Then if you could come across an angel you think you would venture?" Immediately," said Miss Phrygia. "Well, I'm sorry I'm so fond of the only one in the world that I can't give him up to you, but it does seem as if you might find something," and with another little squeeze, the dainty hands left a marblecoveted book in Miss Phrygia's, took up the pony-reins, and drove away.

Miss Phrygia went slowly up stairs, put in her comb, and sat down to the receipt book, for "immediately" was deed as well as word with her. A soft evening cloud that alternately lets fall a few drops of refreshing upon the flowers, and then illuminates its whole surface with a heaving flash, direful to be encountered, is a fit type of Miss Phrygia's face, as, gazing at the open page, her thoughts turned first to the gentle heart that would ponder its puddings, and then to the "man" into whose keeping that heart's happiness was to be confided.

"Poor thing! Sweet heart!" she murmured, with a tender moisture in her eyes, and then, with a dangerous flash, "Horrid creature! I wonder what he looks like!'

The alternations went on for a few minutes, and then a sudden gleam of humor lighted up her face, as if some stray, belated sunbeam had tipped the cloud with pink.

"A trifle light as air," she said, "I'll write it for her!" and seizing a pen, Miss Phrygia wrote:


Eggs (cockatrice), 1.

Milk (human kindness), just ready to sour, I drop.

Cream of Tartar-caught, 2 large spoons, heaping.

Flower (of an hour), 1 full cup.

Salt (of the Earth), very small pinch, mere dusting.

Raise with fermentations brewed as follows:

Hop(e)s realized, 1.

disappointed, 99.

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