Date of publication: 2017-08-31 13:10
It seems to me nobody else runs such risks as a man of business, because he risks everything. Every other man, into whatever depth of poverty he may sink, has still something left, be he author, scholar, handicraftman, or what not the merchant has nothing.
... I believe I cannot go on to recount any further this evening the experiences of to-day. It has been a very rich day only that I have seen more than my sluggish powers of reception can well take in at once. After quitting Stirling, we came in somewhat less than an hour to
There was a parrot in a corner of the dining-room, and, when prayers were over, Mrs. ---- praised it very highly for having been so silent it being Poll s habit, probably, to break in upon the sacred exercises with unseemly interjections and remarks. While we were at breakfast, Poll began to whistle and talk very vociferously, and in a tone and with expressions that surprised me, till I learned that the bird is usually kept in the kitchen and servants hall, and is only brought into the dining-room at prayer-time and breakfast. Thus its mouth is full of kitchen talk, which flows out before the gentlefolks with the queerest effect.
It should be mentioned, that in the morning, before embarking S----- and the children on board the steamer, I saw a fragment of a rainbow among the clouds, and remembered the old adage bidding sailors take warning. In the afternoon, as J----- and I were railing from Southampton, we saw another fragmentary rainbow, which, by the same adage, should be the sailor s delight. The weather has rather tended to confirm the first omen, but the sea-captains tell me that the steamer must have gone beyond the scope of these winds.
Yesterday, after dinner, I took a walk with my family. We went through by-ways and private roads, and saw more of rural England, with its hedge-rows, its grassy fields, and its whitewashed old stone cottages, than we have before seen since our arrival.
While Easy A might not be remembered ten years from now like such films as Pretty in Pink, Pretty Woman, and Boomerang, but it's still a refreshing addition to today's genre.
An old Newcastle gentleman and his friend came into the smoking-room, and drank three glasses of hot whiskey-toddy apiece, and were still going on to drink more when we left them. These respectable persons probably went away drunk that night, yet thought none the worse of themselves or of one another for it. It is like returning to times twenty years gone by for a New-Englander to witness such simplicity of manners.
This is a most beautiful day of English winter clear and bright, with the ground a little frozen, and the green grass along the waysides at Rock Ferry sprouting up through the frozen pools of yesterday s rain. England is forever green. On Christmas Day, the children found wall-flowers, pansies, and pinks in the garden and we had a beautiful rose from the garden of the hotel grown in the open air. Yet one is sensible of the cold here, as much as in the zero atmosphere of America. The chief advantage of the English climate is that we are not tempted to heat our rooms to so unhealthy a degree as in New England.
A steamboat comes to the pier as many as six times a day, and stage-coaches and omnibuses stop at the door still oftener, communicating with Ambleside and the town of Windermere, and with the railway, which opens London and all the world to us. We get no knowledge of our fellow-guests, all of whom, like ourselves, live in their own circles, and are just as remote from us as if the lake lay between. The only words I have spoken since arriving here have been to my own family or to a waiter, save to one or two pedestrians who met me on a walk, and asked me the distance to Lowwood Hotel. Just beyond here, said I, and I might stay for months without occasion to speak again.
To a cool observer, a country does not show to best advantage during a time of war. All its self-conceit is doubly visible, and, indeed, is sedulously kept uppermost by direct appeals to it. The country must be humbugged, in order to keep its courage up.
Mr. J---- s daughters, two pale, handsome girls, were present. One of them is to be married to a grandson of Mr. ----, who was also at the dinner. He is a small man, with a thin and fair mustache.... and a lady who sat next me whispered that his expectations are £ 6,555 per annum. It struck me, that, being a country gentleman s son, he kept himself silent and reserved, as feeling himself too good for this commercial dinner-party but perhaps, and I rather think so, he was really shy and had nothing to say, being only twenty-one, and therefore quite a boy among Englishmen. The only man of cognizable rank present, except Mr. ---- and the Mayor of Liverpool, was a Baronet, Sir Thomas Birch.
I might have seen a great deal more, had there been time and I have forgotten much of what I did see but it is an exceedingly interesting place. There is an avenue of old yew-trees, which meet above like a cloistered arch and this is called the Monks Walk. I rather think they were ivy, though growing unsupported.
From the church, a street leads to the marketplace, in which I found a throng of men and women, it being market-day wares of various kinds, tin, earthen, and cloth, set out on the pavements droves of pigs ducks and fowls baskets of eggs and a man selling quack medicines, recommending his nostrums as well as he could. The aspect of the crowd was very English,--portly and ruddy women yeomen with small-clothes and broad-brimmed hats, all very quiet and heavy and good-humored. Their dialect was so provincial that I could not readily understand more than here and there a word.
The train left Lancaster at half past nine, and reached Liverpool at twelve, over as flat and uninteresting a country as I ever travelled. I have betaken myself to the Rock Ferry Hotel, where I am as comfortable as I could be anywhere but at home but it is rather comfortless to think of home as three years off, and three thousand miles away. With what a sense of utter weariness, not fully realized till then, we shall sink down on our own threshold, when we reach it. The moral effect of being without a settled abode is very wearisome.