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Letters sent home. Out and home again by way of Canada and the United States; or, What a summer's trip… Morris, William, of Swindon, Eng. 1875

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The following letters are reprinted from the columns
of the Swindon Advertiser newspaper, where they
appeared at weekly intervals during*.the year 1874.
And they are practically what they profess to be—
" Letters sent Home"'— during a visit to Canada and
America in the summer of the previous year. The
letters describe a journey which occupied exactly two
months from the departure to the return home. To
claim, under such circumstances, to be an authority
on Canadian or American matters, would be sheer
madness on the part of the writer. It has not been,
therefore, with the view of setting up any such claim
that these letters have been republished. Their object
has simply been to place in a chatty kind of way *the
notes and experiences of one desirous of turning his
capacity for seeing to a profitable account, in the first
place before his own family, then before the readers
of his newspaper (the letters having in the meantime
received such additions of statistical and other details
as would only have encumbered them in their original
form), and now in their collected form before that
larger class denominated the public.
Whilst, however, the writer sets up no claim to be iii. Introduction.
considered an authority on Canadian or American
matters, he claims to have written fairly and
impartially on all those things which came under his
observation ; and in publishing his letters to have no
other object or desire than that of imparting such
information as he possessed on a subject engaging the
serious attention of tens of thousands of his countrymen. There are many reasons why the writer should
speak kindly both of Canada and America, and hold
his visit to the American continent in happy memory :
He received a generous welcome from all with whom
he came in contact; acts of kindness were shewn him
by many, and books, documents, and statistics were
placed at his service whenever asked for, the only
rebuff he met with being from a recently imported
Englishman at St. Louis, a Vice President of a
railway company having a line running from that
city. At Ottawa, and also at Washington, the
government authorities afforded him every possible
assistance, and to their kindness he is indebted for
much of the statistical information contained in the
letters. To the Honorable J. H. Pope, Minister of
Agriculture, Ottawa, and Dr. Young, Chief of the
Bureau of Statistics, Washington, his thanks are
A second edition of this book having been called
for within a few months of its first appearance, the
present edition has been issued at a considerably
reduced price, so as to bring it within the reach of
those who may contemplate emigrating, or be desirous
of learning the feelings and experiences of an Englishman on first visiting British North America.
And this step has been the more readily taken
because both the Canadian and the English Press
have borne most generous testimony to the independent spirit in which the Letters were written, and
to the value of the information they contain.
The following extracts are taken from notices by
the Canadian Press :—
" We doubt if we have ever met a writer who gave a more straightforward account of what he had seen in Ganada than Mr. Morris has
done. "—Daily Globe, Toronto.
"The book contains a great deal of information, and has been
written with care, and will not fail to interest the reader."—TitE Sun,
"We thank Mr. Morris for having placed before his readers iri
England so much valuable information about Ganada, as it cannot fail
to assist in making this country better understood by our fellow subjecta
at home."—The Mail, Toronto.  . VI.
Advertisement to Second Edition.
Nor have English journalists been less decided in
their testimony to the usefulness of the book :—
"The Author gives a graphic account of the country which he
travelled. . . Those about to visit Canada can gather from these
pages a foretaste of what their experiences are likely to be."—Anglo-
American Times.
"Mr. Morris spent two months in the New World, during which time
he visited various important cities, such as Quebec, Montreal, Baltimore,
and New York. All who wish to obtain an insight into North
American life and manners should read these pleasant, chatty letters.
Mr. Morris is an altogether agreeable companion. His advice to
emigrants is sound and useful."—Examiner.
" We commend the book for its straightforward, plain, honest Vidir
of America and the Americans.—The Hornet.
" This most interesting and informatory volume. . . There is a fine
literary flavour about many parts of the book. . . It is a most genial
book, and one which will stand criticism."—Liverpool Mercury.
" It is this want of pretension which is the great recommendation of
the volume : the letters are natural and unaffected, being the genuine
outpourings of an intelligent traveller who faithfully describes what he
saw, and who writes with an agreeable freshness, which is partly the
result of the absence of all straining after effect, and partly the reflex bf
the evident zest with which he throws himself into the enjoyment of his
holiday-"—Bristol Mercury.
"It is impossible to read these pages without being struck at the
pleasant, easy style in which they are written, and, at the same time, at
the care and accuracy with which important details and statistics are
dealt with. Mr. Morris travels with his eyes open, and what he has to
tell us is sure to be amusing and instructive."—Weekly Despatch.
" Mr. Morris is a close observer of men, manners, and things, a plain
yet graphic describer of character and scenery, and brings to bear upon
the subjects handled much steady, sound sense."—Pireston Guardian.
"The letters contain much interesting matter, and the last chapter
much sound reasoning on emigration. Intending emigrants have to
thank the author for much valuable information."—Public Opinion.
" There is a vast fund of information in these letters, and the volume
is one which may be taken up and read for purposes of study as well as
Amusement."—Land and Water.
These,   however,   are   but  a   few of  the   many
favourable   notices the   book  has received, and it
is sincerely hoped that in its cheaper form it may
meet with a still further generous approval
Septembery 1875. Contents.
letter I.
Going Out From Home.—Stroud Valley—Gloucester Station
and the Emigrant Family—Herefordshire and Shropshire—Old
Shrewsbury — The Workman's Holiday — Chester — Liverpool —
Growth of English Cities    .   pp. i-*-9
Going Out From Home.—Development of the Canadian Trade-
Liverpool Waifs and Strays—Emigrant's Boarding Houses.
pp. 10—15
On Board the Moravian.—A Run through Liverpool—Libraries,
Museums, and the Working Classes—The Moravian—Meeting with
a Friend on board—Our Cabin and Bill of Fare—The Sleeping
Berths—Government Inspection of Ship, Stores, and Passengers.
pp. 16—23
On Board the Moravian.—The Catholic Priest, who is something
more than a Priest—Father Nugent's Children—Miss Macpherson's
Children—My berth companions—Ludicrous scene — Our first
toilet—The Children Singing on deck in the Early Morning—The
Irish coast and arrival at Moville.   .,„...,    pp. 24—30 x.
Moville.—Lock Foyle—A Proclaimed District—Irish Mendicants
waiting for Prey—Proffered.Blessings in Exchange for " Coppers"
—Bird Sellers and their Customers—The Ruins at Greencastle—Our
Car Driver—The "sold" Yankee—Arrival of another batch of
Passengers and " The Mails.".   . pp. 31—38
Life on the Ocean.—-Exciting Scene—Fairly Out on the Atlantic—•
"Tory" Island—A Scene of Beauty—Whiling the time away—-
. Difference in time;—Taking "The Log"—Measuring Distances—
Miss Macpherson's Children—The Scene on Deck—The Histories of
the Children—Sunday Morning on Board—Our Captain, pp. 39—47
Life on the Ocean.—Fifth Day Out.—A Birth on Board—A
Doctor's Tak—The Ship's Stores—" Characters" on Board—An
Old Sea Captain—A Horsey Young Man—Scott and Tiffins—Lord
♦ Gasbags and the Mail Officer—Tale told about him—Manchester
Man, Wife, and Daughter pp. 48—56
Life on the Ocean.—Sixth Day Out.—The Winter and the
Summer Route to Canada—The Scenery of the Sea—A Storm
Rising—Going Down to his berth and taking a mental leave of
wife and Children—The Sailors and the Children—Punch on Sea
Sickness—On the look-out for Icebergs—Sea Gulls—The class of
Literature patronized by the Passengers—The Smoke-room, and the
Characters meeting there pp. 57—66
Life on the Ocean.—Tenth Day Out.—Watching Gulls and
.'^seeing Whales—Temperature of the Air and Water—Sailors
fishing for information to know where they were—The Gulf
Stream—A Canadian Story—Sunset at Sea—Our Second Sunday—
The Fog Signal—A Christening on Board—Miss Macpherson's Work
and what it has done and is doing pp. 67—76
Life on the Ocean.—Twelfth Day Out.—Sighting Rock
Island—Five hundred miles from Quebec—The Children Singing—
A Glorious Night—An Entertainment on Board—First Sight of the Contents. xi.
North American Coast—Journey up the St. Lawrence—St. Ann's
and the Shickshock Mountains—How the River's Banks have been
trimmed, and Boulder Stones carried out to sea—Preparing for
Port—Arrival at Farther Point—The Log-huts along the coast—
.How Mother Church took Care of Herself.    ....   pp. 77—87
On the St. Lawrence.—Fourteenth Day Out.—Nearing
Quebec—The " French Settlers—Canadian Loyalty—The Isle
d'Orleans—The Suburbs of Quebec—Quebec, as seen from the
River—The Gibraltar of Canada—-Singular appearance of the roofs
and steeples covered with Tin—Old Quebec—Arrival of the vessel
at Point Levi—The Landing Stage—Waiting for New-Arrivals—•
Employers in Search after Servants—The Customs' Officers and the
" Checking " of Luggage.    . pp.88—97
At Quebec.—Arrangements for Receiving Emigrants at Point Levi—
The Forwarding of Emigrants into the Interior, and Precautions
against their being Swindled—Canadian Money—The Canadian and
the American Dollar—The Emigrant Barracks—The Hotel at Point
Levi—Canadian Cattle—Quebec Market Place—The Price of Meat—
Maple Sugar—Gosse's account of Maple Sugar faking, pp. 98—106
At Quebec.—A Run through Quebec—The Quaint Houses—Quebec
Fires—The Upper and Lower Towns—The Wretched Roads—The
Cathedrals, Churches, and Chapels of Quebec—The Citadel and its
deserted appearance—The Mail Officer and rthe Children—The
Eastern Townships—The U. E. Loyalists—The Government Sale of
Land—The Conditions of Purchase and Sale—The Free Grant
Districts—Unsurveyed Land of the Province—The Division of the
Country into Districts for the purposes of Local and General
Government pp. 107—116
The Province of Quebec.—Education for Every Child—How the
EeKgious Difficulty is met—The Public Schools and how they-are
Managed—The Cost and how it is met—A Classical Education
within the- reach of all pp. 117—122
J Xll.
A French Canadian Village, and the Falls of Montmorency.—The Old French Calashe—On the Road for Montmorency
—The Rich-looking Land—The French Village of Beauport—The
Picturesque Cottage Dwellings — The Children — The People
"stagnant," doing only as the Priest bids them—The Produce of
the Land—The Duke of York's Residence—The View around the
Falls—The "Natural Steps "—The Primeeval Forest—The Scenery
of the "Natural Steps"—The incessant rush of Boiling Waters—
The Falls, as seen from below—The Falls in Winter—The Lumber
Shoots—A Visit to Messrs. Hall's Saw Mills—Quebec, as seen on the
Return Journey pp. 123—134
Montreal.—The Indian Squaw and her Wares—The Grand Trunk
Railway — The Country between Quebec and Montreal — The
peculiar Fencing to the Enclosures of Land—A fine Dairy District
—Cheese Factories—Manufacture and Export of Butter—The
Shoe-black—Canadian Hotels—The Yankee Tourist—The Roman
Catholic Cathedral—The Building of the Victoria Bridge, and the
difficulties in the way—Mount Royal Cemetery—The Scenery around.
PP- 135—150
Ottawa.—Railways and Railway Travelling in Canada—Origin of
Canadian Cities and Towns, and how they are Planned—Canadian
Engines and Carriages—Beset by Sharpers and Luggage-lifters.
pp. 151—159
Ottawa.—The Country between Prestcott and Ottawa, and how it
was Cleared—Burst of Vegetation—The Parliament Buildings and
Government Offices—Canadian Newspapers—Unexpected interview
—Interview with the Minister of Agriculture— Rates of Wages and
Cost of Living—Importance of Seeing the Country before Settling
Down—System of Farming—Mineral Resources of the Ottawa
District and the Timber Trade pp. 160—176
Brockville.—Sunday.—Missing one Boat and catching Another—
A Canadian Town: It's Rise and Progress—Grandfather and
Grandchild : A pretty scene—Five-and-thirty years looking out
for someone from "Home"—-The Successful Tradesman and his Contents. xiii.
Sons—The Canadian Lakes—The Boundary Line^Between America
and Canada—The Scotchman's Twelve Year's Experience of
Canadian Life—The Robin—The Thousand Islands—Scenery to
Feed a Life-time—Canadian Winters—The Social Life of Canada.
pp. 177-191
Kingston.—An Old Canadian Town—Finding myself in a fix, and
the Mail Officer helping me out of it—The Old Seat of Government—The Liquor Laws—A ride out to the Penitentiary—The
Prince of Wales in Kingston Harbour—The Criminal Classes in
Canada, and how they are treated—Visit to the Rockwood Lunatic
Asylum, "and Reception by " Queen Victoria." .   .   .   pp. 192—201
Toronto.—It's Wonderful History—The Educational Establishments
—The University and Normal Schools—The Cost of Education, and
how it is met—The Law Courts—Morley Punshon's Church—
Meeting with a Man, balancing himself on a stool, who asked if
my name was not Morris—The Successful Man from New Swindon,
and his singular account of how he first made a start—The
Police Court and the Drunkards—An American Toddy Time-table—
How Spirits are served to Customers at a Drinking-bar, and the
Stuff sold as Beer—Wages at Toronto—Local Government and its
cost • pp. 202—219
Niagara.—Approaching Niagara—The Falls much to answer for—
Charles Dickens at Niagara—Journey across the Lake—Niagara
Fort and River—Stepping for the first time on American Soil—The
Pests of a Show Place—A Visitor's Experiences with a Hack Driver
—My First View of the Falls—The Geography of the Falls, and
how they were formed—-The Bridges across the River—Chippawa
Village and the Burning Springs—A Night View of the Falls.
pp. 220—235
Hamilton to Detroit.—Its Staple Trade and its Mountain-The
Police Magistrate—Artizan's Wages and. the great Drink Curse—
Value of Land in the Town and Neighbourhood—The Petroleum
Oil District—A Great Fruit and Cheese District—Old Country
Names of Places—Crossing into America—The Mosquito Curtains—
My First Sleep under the " Stars and Stripes."    .   .   pp. 236—245 Contents.
Detroit.—The Market-place and the People I saw there—Court
House and Monument—The German Element—How the Population
of the State of Michigan is made up—Statistics connected with its
Trade—Reports published and experiments made for the Public
Good—Information freely distributed, the like of which we cannot
get in England—The State Educating a Man up to his best, that it may
get the most out.of him for the common good of himself and others.
!a '-, 'o,t PP« 246—260
Chicago.—Its History and its Fires—Michigan State—The remains
of the Fire—Singular appearance of the Ruins by Night—The
Great Fire of 1871—The Re-building of the City—The Grand
Pacific Hotel—Marvellous Enterprize of the People.     pp. 261—270
Chicago.—The Hog Market: Thirty-seven Thousand Hogs standing
over for the Next Market—Details of the Trade of Chicago—Visit
to the Corn Exchange, and the way in which trade is conducted
there—Wheat sold on an Inspector's Certificate—Rules for the
Inspection of Flour—Rules for the Inspection of Provisions.
pp. 271—279
Chicago.—Splendid Buildings—Fire-proof Banks and Safe Depository
—A Ride through Michigan Avenue—The Water Supply—A
Tunnel under the Lake Two Miles Out—Wages of Artizans in
Chicago and the Cost of Living—Visit to the Tribune Newspaper
Offices—The View from a Roof—A Fireman on the Look-out-
Absence of all Superstition or Exclusiveness in the use of Buildings
for Religious Purposes pp. 280—290
St. Louis.—The Prairie Lands of America—The Farm Produce of
Illinois—Indian Corn—The Mississippi River—Singular Appearance
of the Streets on the Sunday Morning:—Bands of Music and
Processions in the Streets—The Back Slums of the City—An
Irish Row—Singular Combination of Trades—Monday Morning's
Experience at the Police Court—The "Terrible" away down
Kentucky—The conduct of cases in the Police Court—The Ice
Supply—Mules as Beast of Burden—Visit to the Chamber of
Commerce—My First Check—The Editor of the Journal interests
himself on my behalf—American Plagiarism of English Works—
American Newpaper News :—" Local Personals"—Jefferson Davis
at the " Planter's House "—I saw him, but did not Interview him.
pp. 291—303 Contents. xv.
Cincinnatti.—A Mistake that cost me a Long Walk—Picked
up by a Train and put on the Right Track—Indianopolis—The
Mississippi Valley and its Vineyards—Meeting with Colonel J	
and Ride through the City—Our Hibernian Jarvey guessing he
would do the city justice on receiving permission to do as he liked—
Nicholas Longworth and his Singular History—Mrs. Trollope and
Charles Dickens on Cincinnatti—The Rottenness of the Municipal
Institutions of America at the bottom of all her troubles—The
Popular Vote in America, and what it too often leads to—Some
Striking Instances—The Suburbs of Cincinnatti—The Dutchman's
Welcome—Bass's Pale Ale brought out—The house where " Uncle
Tom's Cabin" was Written—The City of the Dead—Burial of the
President's Father—American Trotting Horses—Visit to some Wine
Vaults—" Cholera Specific "—German Bear Gardens, pp, 304—320
Cincinnatti to Washington.—Across the Alleghanies. —
Travelling by Pullman's Cars—Fire flies—The Alleghany Mountains
—Fine Scenery—Harper's Ferry, and the Late War—Passing over
a Bridge crossing a Mountain Torrent PP* 321—327
Washington.—Out of Town—A City done up in Brown Hollands
—'"Confidence" Men-trying on their Little Game—Washington
little better than a desert—Visit to the Capitol—The National,
State, Municipal, and Territorial Government of America—Visit to
the Government.Offices—Information collected for the American
people—Butter-making in Factories—Setting Milk for Butter—
Amount of Milk to a Pound of Butter—The Manufacture of
Condensed Milk—The Smithsonian Institute—Dr. Young, Chief of
the Bureau of Statistics—Wages and the Cost of Living in various
States—Visit to the " White House"—The President not at Home
—The House in the hands of the Painters and Paperers.
pp. 328—346
Baltimore—Changing English Gold for American Greenbacks—
Precautions against the Fleecing of Emigrants—Maryland—The
Trade of Baltimore—Open Sewers and Public Streets—Door-step
Evening Parties—George Peabody »   pp. 347—352
New York.—New Jersey State—First View of the Hudson River—
The Ferry Boat and First View of New York—Dray and Waggon
Drivers— Population of New York—The Island of Manhattan and
its History — The Streets and Avenues of New York — The
Educational Departments and their Statistics—The Religious Bodies
and their Numbers—Total Absence of all Religious Tests.
.PP. 353-364
New York.—The Fourth of July.—The day's Programme, as
•   announced in the Herald—The Parks and Public Squares of New
York—The Fireworks .   . pp. 365—374
New York.—Castle Gardens.—Arrival of the Emigrant—New
York Bay and Harbour—Castle Gardens and its History—Protection
for the   Emigrant—The Number of Emigrants arriving, and the
0 disposal of those who are Not Wanted—Ward's Island—Blackwell's
Island—The Labour Bureau—Where the Emigrant comes from, and
his Money Value to the Country.   .    .   .   .   .   .   .pp.375—3^6
Sunday in New York.—The Churches and Chapels of New York
—Visit to Plymouth Church, Brooklyn—Ward Beecher's Sermon—
Visit to Greenwood Cemetery—Coney Island and the Democracy of
New York—A New York Light Railway    .    *   .    .    pp 387—398
New York.—The Graphic Office, and Interview with Professor Wise
—New York Dry Goods Stores and Mr. Stewart, the Great
Storekeeper—" The Tombs " and the Law Courts—Lawlessness in
America—The Croton Water Works, one of the Wonders of the
World—Central Park and its Attractions—Astor-house Hotel and
Cooper Institute—Signs of Death and a Funeral Procession—An
Addition to the ordinary Obituary Notices   ....    pp. 399—410
New York to Boston.—American Railways—A Walk down Wall
Street—Hell Gate and the preparations for blowing it up*-^-
River and Lake Boats leading features in American Travel—Boston
and its Board of Trade—Boston Fires and their History.
pp. 411—421 Contents.
Boston to Portland—The New England States : Their Trade and
History—The Maine Liquor Law—Thirty-five cases of Drunkenness
for disposal at the Police Court—Liquor Easily Obtained, and
Drunkenness Everywhere—The Puritanism of the New England
States—The Switzerland of America—A Mountain Ride and an
Early Breakfast—"I Guess they were Bull Frogs."—Postscript.—The
Maine Law—The Idiots and Insane of the New England States—
The use of adulterated drinks produces idiots and makes lunatics.
pp. 422—442
Shooting the Rapids of the St. Lawrence.—Montreal at
Second Sight—Indians and Gipsies—Understanding by Contrast—
The Company on Board—Approaching the Rapids—The Cedars and
the Coteau-du-Lac Rapids—Immense Sensation—Moore's Songs—
The Indian Pilot—Timber Rafts—Again at Montreal pp.   442—454
Home Again.—Quebec Market: wonderful change in its appearance—
The Company on Board — Anticosta — Labrador — Ice-bergs—
Canadian " Delegation" to Vienna—Some of the People on Board—
A Norwegian Doctor who knew not a word of English—The
Drunkard, and the midnight abstraction of the bottle of brandy—
Moville—The Irish Coast and return to the Mersey . -pp. 455—461
Looking Back.—The Experience of Two Months—Treatment of
Steerage Passengers—The Discomforts of the Voyage beyond the
control of Shipping Companies—The Doctor—Who ought, and
who ought not, to Emigrate—The Future of the Emigrant—No
Chance for the Idle and Drunken—Billiard Rooms and Gambling
Houses—The Drunkenness/of Boston—Cases of Delirium Tremens
increased four-fold—The Better Side of Canadian and American
Life—The Welcome awaiting the sober and industrious Emigrant—
The Future of Canada and America—Third-term and Pacific
Scandal Checks, leading only to a great future—Education and the
prospect it opens up—The Undeveloped Resources of Canada.
pp. 462—476  Letter
*HERE were querulous people who
predicted troublous times for the old
country, because, forsooth, while millionaires were springing up on every hand,
and, as a people, we had reached an
unexampled state of prosperity, a large section of the
wealth-producers had asked for something beyond
the mere privilege to live. So I resolved to take a
holiday ramble out in the new country, and see what
the chances were there when the deluge should come
and drive us all out from the old country.
It was holiday time in the old country when I left
on my way for the new country. As I went out, I
saw large bodies of our working classes, stnrie with
their wives and families, crowding the various railway
stations through which we passed, waiting for the
trains which should take them for their "outing."
The weather was most propitious; and all looked Going out to the Great West.
gladsome and joyous. But nothing more so than the
country itself. The work in the fields was still going
on; man and beast were still plodding away there.
But the factory and the mill—many of them—were
quiet for a time, those who usually crowded them,
now dressed in their best, abandoning themselves to
the festivities and the pleasures of the occasion.
Liverpool was the port from whence I was to go out
to Canada ; and on my way to that great busy city I
had to pass by many a spot of marvellous beauty
and historic interest. There was the Stroud valley,
telling as well of enterprise and industry as of that
beauty which nature only can glvt us. It lay there
in the glorious sunlight, a great picture, that made
the heart swell as the eyes looked out upon it, and,
taking us away as by enchantment, drew us nearer and
nearer to the great author of us, and of it. As I have
said, it was holiday time; the smokeless chimneys up
and down the valley and on the hillside told of it, as
did also the sunlight as it danced on the canal
(undisturbed by the customary traffic) ; on the
meadows ; on the house-tops; on factory and mill;
and on the faces of men, women, and children, happy
in that rest from toil which their honest labour had
won for them. Day by day these people had been
working in the great busy hive of England's industry,
building up a nation's greatness in her trade and
commerce; but building on still deeper foundations
when they severally did their part in the building up
of English homes, although they had no other help
to giv^ than the child's smile or the infant's
prattle. But I had heard of spots teaming with
beauty and richness out in the far west, and of a
people who loved that country well. Here, it seemed
to me, if there was a lack of love for the country it
was either through want of capacity for loving, or
some radical wrong that cankered the heart of the Going out to the Great West 3
people, and ate the soul out of them. And then
there stood out in its unique beauty and grandeur the
old cathedral pile, telling of a patient endurance, and
of an art and skill never since surpassed, and barely
since maintained, of centuries ago. As I passed by
Gloucester I was forcibly reminded of what a
Canadian friend had once told me. He was about
to visit England, and when he came to take stock
of the many commissions his friends had imposed
upon him, he found the majority of their wishes to be
for photographs of old English churches. What a
great anchor ground for man's best nature is there in
the grand old churches of England! I had often
wandered through the cloisters, the afeles, and the
chapels of the grand old building that stood out in
the open before me, and as I now" looked on it—
somehow—I felt impelled towards the people I was
going to visit, and respected them, if nothing more,
because of their commissions to my friend from
Canada. But when we left the Gloucester station, we
had with us several whole families of people going
out from their old homes to the new ones their
pioneers had got ready for them in the new country.
When we arrived at the station, I noticed on the
platform many working men, women, and children.
In due course, some of them got into the train;
those left behind telling more plainly than mere
words could do that those from whom they were
parting were starting on a journey never, in all
human probability, to be repeated. Before the train
started I left the compartment where I had been
riding, and got into another, into which I had
watched a family of six persons, and, seating myself
in a corner of the carriage, waited patiently until I
could read the history of my fellow travellers. In
due course the last word was spoken, and the last
shake of the hand given, and the train was again on 4 Going out to the Great West.
its way through the orchards and over the fertile
lands of Gloucestershire. The children soon began
to interest themselves by finding mines of great wealth
in deep paper bags containing cakes, and nuts, and
lollypops, which they brought forth in such overpowering abundance that it was only after they had
replaced and brought forth their stores many times
they could venture upon reducing the bulk after the
fashion so general among children. And then I
watched the parents of these children, and saw how
occasionally their eyes would meet, and again and
again try to be brave, but failing in the attempt
would pass off into a dreaming listlessness as the
mind wandered back, away perhaps to the scenes
of the first home, passing on from thence to the
home of their own lives, and from thence again to
the great future in which they were as in a vast
wilderness, and floundered about, until eyes meeting
eyes brought them back to the starting point, and
sent them off again. It was a touching sight to
watch this man and woman in the fresh moments
after the last word had been spoken to friends here,
and to see how they went to and fro into the past
and into the future. But it will not be long before
they will be hailing old friends in the new country,
and I hope to keep by them, or such as they,
until that event is consummated. Very often the
man found ample employment in wiping sticky
fingers, and bedaubed mouths, while the woman
nestled still closer the infant she was carrying at her
breast. It was clear she felt she was obeying the call
of duty, and the thought of her infant child was
helping her to do it bravely. It was not long before
the man had told me his history. He was a cloth-
worker from the Stroud valley, and had come on the
day before to Gloucester to take leave of friends
living there.   Eighteen months ago a relative of his Going out to the Great West.
had gone out to Canada. The country had proved
so bountiful to him that he had sent home inviting
all his friends to join him, and offering them such
assistance as his means would admit of to enable
them to do so. "It will not cost me a penny to
get right to him," remarked my informant, 3 for he
has sent me over a ticket which will clear my
railway fare and passage money across the ocean,
right to him, he wants me and my family to come
to him so bad." I asked if it was common for
people who had gone out to Canada in a like
manner to send home tickets to their friends, and
he said it was common, for he knew many who
had been sent for like him. If he found the country
to be all he had been told it was, he hoped very
shortly to send tickets for some of his friends. I
could not help thinking of this man's words many
times afterwards in course of the journey as I passed
through Herefordshire and Shropshire, in both of
which counties I had heard the farm labourer tell, in
his own simple, but graphic, language, how he and his
could barely live;—how their lives were listless
existences, without hope. I had seen the farm
labourers of these two counties trooping to some
central spot by hundreds to talk over their condition,
and to reason together about their wrongs ; I
had seen how our poor-houses were crowded,
and had felt how our rates increased for the
maintenance of our poor when they had spent the
little labour there was in them, or when accident or
sickness overtook them, and they were not worth
their bread! I could see plainly that it was a great
struggle for this man and woman to leave home and
country—they could not have told me in words how
deep the struggle was had they tried. They spoke
most clearly in their silence. But there was this
sustaining them: the land across the sea was big with [f
Going out to the Great West
bright promises t6 them—promises which had become
realised facts to those they had known, and who had
gone out before them. And they had faith in their
friends, for they had sent them home money, and
were not selfish of their good fortune, but were
wanting others to come and share it with them.
There is a wonderful power in such sympathy as
And then we got into Herefordshire, and saw more
old churches, and many noble trees, telling of nature
cultivated for centuries past. You may recollect the
anecdote told of the old gentleman at one of the
Oxford colleges, who, on being asked by a lady visitor
how he had managed to make so beautiful a lawn,
replied, "We water it, and we mow it, for a thousand
years, ma'm." And then there rose up towards the
skies another old cathedral. And then we passed by
many fruit orchards, and hop gardens, and on through
verdant fields, through which the river wandered until
it wriggled itself out of sight in the distance. There
were mansions, and manor-houses, and squalid hovels,
and towering spires, and level tracts of land dotted
over with timber-covered hillocks. So that there was
much to be seen—enough, in fact, to excite a man's
love and veneration for a country of which it formed
a part. We stopped at Ludlow, where the fine old
church stands up high above all the country round ;
the remains of the old baronial castle lying appropriately in the back ground, its age being past, and
which is now kept in memory rather in connection
with the poet than the warrior—Milton's " Masque of
Comus" having been first performed there in 1631.
A little farther on, on the left, near Craven Arms,
we pass another old stronghold, situate down in the
lowlands, now, happily, turned into a farm house.
And then we pass on again, and entering upon new
scenes, come to the towering hills, and the broad Going out to the Great West
expanse of down land; placards at the various
railway stations announcing pic,-nic parties out on
the open, where mill-hands might get the smoke and
dust blown out of them. In due course we arrived
at quaint—always interesting—old Shrewsbury. I
recollect that once I went out in the night time and
wandered about the deserted streets that I might
the better see the singular old place in the grim
mockery of the moonlight. Here we had to wait
some half-hour for the other half of the train, that
was coming via Birmingham and Wolverhampton.
So I ran out into the town, and went up and down
the streets, and tried to read the history of the old
town as it stood there in the time of the Ancient
Britons—who called it Uniconium—and trace its
history down through the part it had played in the
affairs of the country, to the new Assembly Rooms
at the Raven Hotel, where, some months before, I had
seen tears stealing down stout men's cheeks as
the agricultural labourers of the neighbourhood,
assembled there, told of their struggles to live, and
how hard it was to do it. Started on our road again,
we came to the Chirk valley, and, passing over
the wonderful viaduct—with the equally wonderful
aqueduct stretching across the valley higher up—
went by Offer's Dyke, the ancient boundary between
England and Wales—to pass which no Welshman
dared, under penalty of death, in the olden times.
A little farther on we came to the vale of Llangollen;
the praises of which I had heard sung in my childhood. And then there followed Ruabon, and its train
loads of coal, its heaps of cinders and debris, and
smoking chimneys, and huge wheels twisting and
coiling up interminable ropes and chains, drawing up
the precious minerals from the bowels of the earth.
It was a marvellously enchanting sight looking down
that valley, teeming as it was with life and activity. 8 Going out to the Great West
Both here, and at all the neighbouring stations, our
train took in many passengers, until we could not
find room enough for all, and were obliged to leave
some behind. Many of them were holiday folk, who
had come from Bradford, and Manchester, and other
busy cities, for a holiday, and to see the beauties of
the place. They were orderly and sober ; and I
listened with much interest to their talk about where
they had been, and what they had seen and done.
And then we came to Chester—the quaintest of all
quaint places—the old border city that had made for
itself a history and a name ages before the great
West, out yonder, had been heard of. From thence
to Birkenhead there is but little to interest the
traveller. But, Birkenhead reached,—the city built
up within a few years—we are again in the very thick
of British industry and enterprise. Here, and on the
other side of the Mersey—at the twin city of Liverpool—are to be found the great entrepots for the
produce of the world. A writer has remarked " that
the wide valley of the Mississippi, the banks of the
Amazon, the plains of India, and the classic soil of
Egypt, fill the market of Liverpool with cotton.
Wool is brought to the shores of the Mersey from
thirty different countries, scattered round the
temperate zones of the earth. The plains of South
• America, and the high lands of India, supply the
hides of millions of cattle. The pastures of the
Ohio furnish provisions for the spinners and weavers
of Lancashire; whilst the grain grown on the banks of
the St. Lawrence, the Delaware, the Loire, the Elbe,
the Vistula, the Danube, and the Don, meet in the
markets of Liverpool to furnish them with their daily
bread. The olive woods of Italy, the palm groves of
Africa, the plain groves of Belgium, the floating ice
of Newfoundland, and the depths of the Arctic sea,
all furnish their varieties of oil.    Copper and silver Going out to the Great West.
ore are brought in large quantities from South
America, to be smelted with the coal of St. Helen.
Ceylon sends in Coffee; the East and West Indies
their sugar ; America its rice ; Bengal its jute ;
Honduras its mahogany ; Peru its guano ; the
Mollucas their spices ; Maryland its tobacco ; and
the forests of America their timber. There is,
indeed, no article of use in the arts, or in the support
of life, which is not found in the long list of products
imported into Liverpool."
Yet, in this England of ours, it is said there is
not room enough for all, and that we have a surplus
population. So that, from the same port into which
more than " the wealth of the Indies " is being
continually poured, tens of thousands of emigrants
yearly go out, seeking new homes in far distant lands.
Birkenhead, with a population of 2,551, in 1831, had
increased to a population of 24,175, in 1851, and to
51,600, in 1870. ' Liverpool, which was described by
Leland, in the beginning of the sixteenth century, as
being "a paved towne, and hath but one chapel,"
and which, towards the latter part of the same
century, was rated at £25—Bristol at the same time
standing at ;£ 1,000—now stands unrivalled in the
history of the whole world for its docks, its shipping,
its merchandise, and its wealth. It has now nearly
200 churches and places of worship, and 503,874 of
population. As you go across the river, by the
steam ferry, you may see how busy and active a
place it is. Tr
Letter 2.
' Y ride to Liverpool showed me English life,
and character, and scenery, in various
aspects, and I could not help being struck
with the variety of things presented. But
the greatest contrast of all was to be seen
in Liverpool itself, because there there was no room
for theory or surmise ; nor had recollections of the
past to be brought into contrast with that which lay
out fairly and clearly in the present. The two
opposite poles—as wide asunder as the poles of the
globe—stood out shoulder to shoulder, the one jostling
the other.
Having taken leave of some of my fellow-
travellers by the train, who, knowing my destination,
were both profuse and hearty in their expressions of
good-will, I crossed the river by the ferry-boat ;
and the tide running very rapidly, the boat, as it
crossed the current, rolled and pitched along rather Going out to the Great West.
extensively; so much so, indeed, that many a timid
person, judging of sailing on the ocean by the
experience of a journey across the Mersey, would
have been inclined to give up their venture, and
resolve for ever after to keep wrjthin sight, at least, of
land. But at last the pier was reached ; and having
seen to the proper keeping of my small stock of
luggage for the night, I made my way, as best I
could, to the offices of the Messrs. Allan, by whose
line of steamers I intended to go out to Quebec, for
the purpose of securing a berth and making the
necessary arrangements for the voyage. When I
got to the offices I found them crowded by persons
going out on the morrow, and who were to be my
fellow-passengers. Outside the office there were
others sauntering about, apparently waiting for their
turn. Wishing to see what I could in Liverpool of
the arrangements made for the convenience of
emigrants 'arriving in the place, and waiting for the
starting of the vessel, I left my ticket until the
following morning, and made at once for the offices
of a friend, who I knew would render me what
assistance he could in the way of picking up
information, and seeing what was to be seen. The
first information he gave* me was that the Circassian,
one of the newest and largest of the Messrs. Allan's
fleet of steamships, by which I had intended going
out, would not start on the morrow—her machinery,
which had become heated on the journey home, was
undergoing an overhaul—and that the Moravian, a
smaller and older vessel, would take her place. This
was at first rather disappointing; but when I afterwards had pointed out to me the Moravian, lying out
in the river, I felt quite satisfied, and could only
wonder, if she was one of the small ones of the fleet,
what the large ones were like. There were other
steamships lying out in the Mersey, belonging to the 12
Going out io the Great West
Cunard, the White Star, the Guion, the National, and
other " lines," the history of either one of which would
read more strange than some old eastern fiction, and
yet be sterling fact. Practically, all these si lines "
have been created and set afloat within the last
twenty-five years. Up to the year 1840 the whole
of Our trade with Canada was carried on with some
seven or eight sailing ships, of from 300 to 400
tons burden ; in the aggregate, less than the
■ tonnage of the Circassian, the vessel by which I had
intended going out. Allowing a sailing vessel to
perform two out and home voyages in course of the
year, we find that at this time the whole of the
Canadian exports and imports could not have
exceeded twelve thousand tons annually. In the
year 1872, the gross tonnage cleared, inward and
outward, at the ports of the dominion amounted to
over thirteen million tons. Much of this development
of the Canadian trade appears to be due to the
enterprise of the Messrs. Allan, who were among the
early Scotch settlers in that country. At all events,
if they have not actually created the trade, they have
moved along with it; for, in addition to a fleet of
thirteen sailing ships, they have a line of twenty-five
steam ships, representing a total net tonnage of over
48,000 tons. When we know "that men like these
have had to do with the building up of Liverpool,
and making the place what it is, we can understand
how it is we are enabled to record such growth as
that noticed in the last sentence of my first letter.
Before going to visit some of the boarding-houses
for emigrants, I found it was quite time to pay some
little attention to my own inner wants, so I and my
friend made for Salmon's restaurant. To reach that
place we had to pass up narrow streets, where dim
lights, struggling through dusty window panes,
seemed to tell of the fag end of the day struggling Going out to the Great West
to make the most of itself. And then we reached
the flags in front of the Exchange, where the
merchant-princes of the world congregate. Evening
had now well set in, and the place had a strange,
deserted, look about it. Men owning their millions
were just now jostling against each other on this very
spot, and the trade done there that day probably
was fabulous in amount; and, ere this, the turn of
the day's business had been sent to all parts of the
world, to rule on the morrow, more or less, all its
markets. But the men who had been so active there
were now gone to their offices or their homes—
counting up their gains and losses, or resting for
the morrow's work. There were a few lights in some
of the office-windows around, and the outline of
Nelson's monument stood out against the darkness;
but there was nothing else to be seen. So we crossed
the open Exchange court, and proceeded up a narrow
alley towards the restaurant we had decided upon
visiting for our supper. As we did this, I noticed
that on either side of us there was a line of women
and children crouched down on their haunches, quite
motionless—not a word being uttered. I had never
seen such a sight before. The women were, as a rule,
cleanly and decently attired, after the fashion -so
common in the Midland counties. They wore no
head covering ; their profuse and well-dressed hair
shining even in the twilight. Around their shoulders
they wore small shawls, or kerchiefs, the ends of
which, with their bare arms, they folded tightly
across the breast. The children were also cleanly,
although poorly, dressed, both head and feet being
uncovered. Some few of the children were talking
together, but, like the women, most of them were
maintaining a stolid silence. If the eyes were raised
to us as we passed, it was but momentary, and they
went back again to the ground, or the wall, watching i4
Going out to the Great West
and waiting. The scene puzzled me much; so that
we had entered the restaurant, and taken our seats
there, before I had asked my friend what it all meant.
They were waiting for the broken food from the place
which we were then in. These scraps of existence—
the waifs and strays of this great Liverpool—were
waiting for scraps of food—crumbs from bountiful
tables—by the aid of which they hoped to wriggle
themselves into the next day—then again to go
through the. same process. Standing so convenient
to the Exchange, the restaurant was much frequented
in the day by merchants and others. The " leavings "
on the plates in such a place would sometimes, when
collected together, form an immense mass. Mr.
Salmon, instead of sending these leavings to the
hog-tub, had them all carefully collected, and, in the
evening, after the work of the establishment was
well over, caused them to be distributed to such of
the needy poor as came for them. There may
often be seen hundreds of women and children
waiting for the evening distribution to take place,
moving barely a muscle until the longed-for signal
is sounded, announcing that the distribution is about
to take place.
Wishing to see some of the Emigrants' Boarding
Houses, I was next taken into some of the narrow
streets leading down to the river. To-morrow I
shall know something of the number of passengers
going out by the Moravian. All I can gather at
present is that there are but a few short of a thousand
souls going out by her. When it is recollected that
there are two or three other similar vessels leaving the
port to-morrow, and nearly every day in the week,
with emigrants, it may be easily seen how important
' it is that proper arrangements should be made for the
convenience of the thousands of men, women, and
children who are daily arriving in Liverpool, awaiting Going out to the Great West
the sailing of vessels. In some of the streets leading
down towards the river most of the houses are
furnished for this purpose. I went into some of
them, kept by men connected in some way with, or
employed by, the leading shipping companies; and
it is but fair I should say I was much pleased
with the scrupulous cleanliness I noticed in them all.
For an exceedingly moderate sum, a bed and
breakfast, with other meals, if needed, are provided.
For those who prefer to find their own food, provision
is made for cooking the same. In the bedrooms I
found iron bedsteads invariably used—the clothes
being equal to anything generally found in
respectable commercial houses. There are, no
doubt, many houses in Liverpool where emigrants
are not only taken in, but " done for" ; but it is
satisfactory to know that there are others where their
every reasonable want is provided for, and comfort
to themselves, and protection to their property,
secured. These places may best be found by
asking at the shipping office, from whence the
emigrant obtains his ticket. Near these boarding-
houses—?and frequently connected with them—there
are stores, where the necessary ship's kit required by
steerage passengers may be purchased for a few
Having made these enquiries, we took a tram-way
car for Sefton Park; and at that delightful suburb,
after a stroll of an hour or so in the moonlight, out
in the park, viewing, as best I could, its many
striking points, I repaired to lodgings my friend
had kindly secured for me, and was soon oblivious
to all I had seen and done on my first day from
home, on my way for Canada and the United States. ON BOARD THE MORAVIAN.
1 RADUALLY, but grandly, we are
making our way for the broad Atlantic.
I use the term "grandly" because those
who have never been on board one of the
Allan Line of Steamships can form the
least idea of what the sensation of travelling by them
is like. We are, in fact, gliding along so smoothly that
we could barely tell we were moving were it not that
on either side the river, which is gradually getting
wider, and the banks becoming more indistinct, we
are now and again enabled to fix upon some landmark which we know cannot well be running away
from us, and as one or the other must be moving, the
land mark or the ship, it must be the latter that is
moving away from the former. Occasionally the thud
of the engines may be heard in the stillness of th«
beautiful evening, while such of the passengers as are
on  deck, looking  out  on  the   broad  waters  with On Board the Moravian.
suspended breath, evidently absent even to themselves
because of the new -charm that is holding them spellbound, seem to make the place and the scene more
solemn and deserted because of their presence.
But it has been a real busy day. In the morning I
spent several hours, along with crowds of holiday-
folk, in viewing the great sights of Liverpool. You
will not expect me to give you any particulars of
these, worthy as they are of the most ample notice.
But I must say how pleased I was when visiting such
places as the noble Public Library, the Museum, and
St. George's Hall, to find them well attended by
respectably dressed working men and women. I
have already told you that the working classes in this
district are "out" enjoying the holiday season, and
this morning it was a real pleasure to me to see
crowds of these people congregating around the
entrances to the principal public buildings, waiting for
the hour of ten to arrive, when the doors would be
thrown open, and they would be privileged to feast on
the wonders these buildings contain. Later on in
the morning, and when going into these buildings, I
was again much impressed by the intelligent and
appreciative manner in which the visitors were
enjoying the lesson these places afforded. In the
magnificent free library there were both men and
women of the artizan class, poring over the books
they had obtained from the librarians, many of them
having pencil and paper with them making notes or
taking extracts. Others were consulting the catalogues for the class of book they wanted, whilst all
appeared thoroughly to appreciate the great boon the
place afforded them. In the Brown Museum there
were crowds of visitors, and it was only to linger
occasionally amongst them, and listen to their
remarks, to feel how great a work is being done
among the people in the effort to bring them  up 18
On Board the Moravian.
to the highest and best, instead of, as has been too
much the case, pandering to the lowest and worst in
them. In St. George's Hall I several times noticed
men and women standing in front of some marble
bust or statue with which the place is adorned, giving
the children they had brought with them some particulars or slight history of the work and life of the
man whose memory was there commemorated. I was
particularly struck with what I heard and saw, and I
could not help thinking that a great lesson was thus
being taught me that, going out as I was to see what
I could of the great New World out in the West, there
was much to remember and be thankful for in the old
country I was about leaving behind.
But, naturally, my chief concern was with the
departure of the Moravian. On application at
Messrs. Allan's offices, I found that the steerage
passengers would be required to be on board by
eleven o'clock in the morning, and the cabin
passengers by four in the afternoon. I also learnt
the unpleasant, and rather alarming, intelligence that
it was doubtful if I could go by the vessel at all, the
full compliment of tickets having already been issued.
The Moravian has accommodation for eighty cabin
passengers, and there were fully that number of
tickets issued. Persisting, however, in my wish to
go by that vessel rather than wait for another, and
being promised that I should be made as comfortable
as possible, I accepted my ticket, and shortly before
four o'clock started from the landing stage in the
steam tug for the Moravian as she lay out at anchor
in the river. It was a strange sight on board this
steam tug. Such an heterogeneous mass I think I
never before saw anywhere. There was luggage piled
up after a most random fashion, passengers and
sailors being mixed up with the luggage, sometimes
most ludicrously.    The vessel's side, however, was On Board the Moravian. iQ
soon reached, and in an incredibly short space of
time the tug was relieved of its load—animate and
inanimate—and the way made clear for the most
trying scene of all—getting rid of the . leave-takers."
But at length this also was accomplished, and the old
lady who would not leave the ship until she was fairly
taken by the shoulders and led off, and who
afterwards managed to elude the vigilance of the
sailors, and got back again after her umbrella, was
effectually disposed of, and was to be seen, with an
increasing space of water intervening, frantically
engaged in the double duty of wiping her eyes and
flaunting her handkerchief in the air.
I was pretty well armed with letters for Canada,
and I felt confident that when I got there I should
meet with friends who would afford me what
information they could, and who would put me
in the way of learning more than what they could
tell me. Until I could reach Canada, I had concluded, I should be thrown on my own resources,
but in this I was most agreeably surprised. On board
the steam tug, before I had reached the Moravian, I
had recognised  Colonel D , of Toronto, whose
acquaintance I had been fortunate enough to make
in Wiltshire, in course of the past winter; so that
I felt quite at home. The Colonel, who was
accompanied by his wife and sister-in-law, was
on his way home in consequence of a telegram
announcing the sudden death of his father. This
unexpected, but most agreeable, meeting with an
old friend soon enabled me to make many new
friends, and by the time we had started on our
journey I had the opportunity of exchanging a kind
word with many of those who were to be my fellow
What excellent order there is even in disorder,
when we are enabled to look at things in their right 20
On Board the Moravian*
light. Everybody was in everybody's way, looking
after their luggage, and finding everybody's luggage
except their own; and the sailors' patience was
becoming sorely tried in their vain endeavour to find
somebody's luggage that might be put below out
of the way, or some that might be taken off by the
stewards to the berths, as being wanted on the
voyage, when the dinner bell rang, and there was
a regular scamper off to the chief cabin by those
' who had been just previously almost frantic over
missing luggage, and the ship's officers and servants
were left undisturbed to themselves.
As the conveniences and arrangements made for
the comfort of passengers by this popular line of
vessels must be of general interest, I will give
you, as far as I can, some account of the ship as I
found it. First of all, then, as to the chief cabin for
the cabin passengers. This is a large room, the full
width of the vessel, nearly square, and occupying
rather more than a third of the after-part of the
vessel. Running parallel down this room there are
three tables securely fastened to the floor, with seats
on either side, also fixed, but with reversible backs.
The two outer tables are lighted by the port holes
in the sides of the vessel, and the centre table by
a raised skylight, which projects through on to the
upper deck, the sides forming seats for those who
resort there for promenade. Over the tables there
are hanging shelves, or trays, for wine glasses,
bottles, and the like. At the end of the cabin there
is a large sideboard, with hot water pipes and sunk
dishes for the reception of joints of meat, &c. The
tables, as laid out for dinner, presented a very pleasing appearance, there being on each of them a fine
display of hot-house plants in pots, interspersed
with dishes containing pastry, fruit, &c. To each
table there are at least   four stewards or waiters. On Board the Moravian. 21
Plentifully distributed over the tables there are bills
of fare for the day. From these passengers make
their selections, and are supplied by the stewards from
the sideboard, where the chief cook and his assistants
preside in due state. A copy of one of these bills of
fare will best show how bountiful are the Messrs. Allan
in providing for the wants of their friends :—
Breakfast—Beefsteak and horse radish, mutton chops in mashed
petatoes, fried soles, veal cutlets and ham, fried. ham and eggs, Irish
stew, cold meats, &c. Dinner—Soups—turtle. Fish—turbot and
anchovy sauce. Joints, &c.—beef, a la George IV., saddle of mutton
and currant jelly, calve's head and brain sauce, roast duck and apple
sauce, boiled turkey and oyster sauce, cold ham, tongue, cold round of
beef, fillet of veal and bacon, pigeon pies, tripe and onions, vola a vent
of lobster. Vegetables—assorted. Puddings and Pastry—plum and
vermicelli pudding, transparent jellies, Chester cakes, Italian creams,
apple and rhubarb pies, maid of honour cakes.   Dessert—assorted.
I may just add that these bills of fare are very
nicely got up, and in addition to the interesting
particulars I have just quoted, give ground plans
of the cities of Liverpool, Quebec, and Montreal,
so that, if so disposed, when over your wine and
walnuts, you may study the geography of the city
you have left, as well as those you are going to.
In addition to these meals, there is luncheon at
twelve, tea at six, and supper at nine o'clock, the
leading dish at this latter meal being invariably boiled
herrings and potatoes. Beer, and wine, and spirits,
may be had at all times on board. For these an
extra charge is made.
But perhaps the strangest places of all to a
"land-lubber" are the sleeping berths. They are
invariably double—that is, they are arranged to take
two passengers. Imagine a square space of about
ten feet, boxed off, and lighted either by a small round
port-hole, or a piece of glass let in the roof. On one
side there is a sofa, or lounge; in front of you, as you
open the door, awashstand and looking-glass; and on
the other side a couple of trays or shelves, the bottom 23
On Board the Moravian.
of the one being about a foot from the floor, and the
top of the other about two feet from the roof.
These are the berths, or cribs. To prevent sleepers
falling off the shelves, there are boards in front, about
a foot deep. Between the sofa and the cribs there is
an open space of about three or four feet, where the
occupiers of the berth stand to dress, undress, &c.
My berth is down on a lower deck, under the great
cabin; but it has this important difference—instead
of a sofa it has two extra shelves, and is arranged
for four passengers instead of two. The vessel is
sufficiently wide to take four of these rooms across it.
In the middle part there are two rows of rooms, back
to back, with two single rows running down the sides,
thus allowing for two passages leading right on to the
-open spaces between the middle and outer tables in
the large state cabin. In the intermediate and
steerage divisions the arrangements are somewhat
similar, although the space is still more utilised.
These two divisions occupy the whole of the fore
part of the vessel, and there there are from eight to
nine hundred people stowed away. It seems almost
incredible that it can be so. The women and children
have rooms somewhat similar to the cabin passengers,
but instead of there being two berths to a compartment they vary from eight up to as many as twenty.
They are arranged in tiers, one over the other, and
three or four wide, according to the space to be filled
The men sleep in hammocks suspended from the
ceiling. The tables on which the meals are served
are between the berths, and under the hammocks.
These tables slide up and down a pair of square
uprights at either end. When in use they are let
down to the required distance from the floor; when
not in use they are slung up to the roof with the
hammocks. On land it would be simply impossible
for people to live in such a crowded state ; but I am On Board the Moravian.
told that the ventilation is so strictly looked after that
no inconvenience whatever is experienced. I have
told you the steerage passengers had to be on board
some hours before the cabin passengers. This is
done simply that the Government inspectors may see
that every passenger is properly cared for, and has
proper accommodation provided. A medical officer
f passes " every passenger as being " fit" to undertake
the journey, and other officers see that the vessel has
every convenience provided, and that there is nothing
wanting, either for preserving the health or meeting
the reasonable requirements of all. Although a
knowledge of this gives one confidence that there
will be nothiilg serious the matter, it is not without
some misgivings that a land-lubber goes down below
to turn in on his shelf for his first night at sea.
JELL, I have passed my first night on
board the Moravian, and will now do
what I can to give you some account
of my experiences. There were too
many things to engage my attention
last night to permit of my thinking of retiring for
the night until the rules of the vessel compelled
it. After dinner, last evening, I made the
acquaintance of Father Nugent, the Roman
Catholic chaplain to the Liverpool Penitentiary,
who is going out as far as Moville, where he will
land in course of to-day, for a few days' fishing in
some of the Irish rivers. We paced the deck
together for some time last night, for I was
deeply interested both in him and his work. From
what I have seen of him, his professions are as
nothing when placed by the side of his work,
accomplished and done.   He is a man of medium On Board the Moravian. 2$
height, and moderately stout. He has a round,
kindly-looking face, with sharply cut mouth and nose,
and with peculiarly piercing but winning grey eyes.
I have seen but few faces in which there was so much
decision. Yet he seems as gentle as a woman, and as
winning as a child: There is also a peculiar crispness
in his short " yes, yes," which he throws in like notes
of exclamation in your remarks in conversation with
him. He is the Father Matthew of Liverpool. His
work is essentially with, and among, the poor of that
large city. I told him of the pleasing scenes I had
witnessed in the Museum, the Library, and other like
places, crowded with men and women of the industrial
and poorer classes, who evidently had a right true
idea of life, and who could appreciate and profit by
the great lessons the better spirit of the present age
was providing for them. He has painted the other
side of the picture, and has told me of the back
slums, and of scenes- of wretchedness and vice—of
places where human life is reduced to a mere animal
existence. But it has not been the telling of these
dreadful things that has drawn me to him. On board
the Moravian there are some twenty-five or thirty
young lads and girls—orphans and deserted ones—
children who know nothing of childhood ; the waifs
and strays of a great wealth-stricken city ; God's
creatures, who knew not of human sympathy, who
have heard much cursing, oaths, and blasphemy;
who could barely tell the meaning of " father" or
"mother." There are, I say, twenty-five or thirty
of what are called Father Nugent's children on
board. They are his children because they belong
to nobody else, and he has been picking them up
in the places he has been telling me of. After some
preliminary teaching and training they have been
placed on board the Moravian, in charge of two
matrons, who are going out with them to the great 26
On Board the Moravian.
West, there to find homes for them, and put them
down in those places where such energy as they
possess, both of body anfi brain, is loudly called for,
and will have its reward. Father Nugent tells me he
has administered the temperance pledge to over
twenty thousand persons in course of the last twelve
months; and it is very clear he is a most thorough
worker. Some time ago he went out, as I am doing,
to Canada and America, for the purpose of seeing
for himself what promises these countries really held
out to those who had no hope here, and who were
not wanted here, and were only in the way. He had
been much pleased with what he saw on the other
side of the Atlantic, and spoke most hopefully of
the prospects promised to the steady and willing
worker out there, and that was why he was sending
his " children " out. This is not his first offering to
Canada of that of which she stands most in need. He
had sent others out before, and they had been heartily
welcomed and provided for, and had won for
themselves faith and hope in their new homes. He
had, therefore, confidence in increasing their numbers.
But there are other workers in this great work. I
hear, but have not yet seen them all, that there
are one hundred and twenty of Miss Macpherson's
children on board, going out to her " Homes" in
Canada. And we have all heard of Miss Rye, and
her work in this same direction. Having mentioned
to Father Nugent that I hoped to visit the State
of Maine before returning to England, I was not
surprised to find that he had little faith in repressive
legislation, or total prohibition, as the means for the
suppression of intemperance. No one had seen the
evils of intemperance more than he, nor could any one
more honestly lament the consequences it brought both
upon individuals and society, but he believed the evil
was only to be put down, and the consequences got On Board the Moravian, 27
rid of, by honest earnest work amongst the drunkards,
and not by Act of Parliament.
But I have to tell you of my first night on board.
The most I knew of my cabin was that it was No. 78,
and that it was down below under the general state
cabin. So, shortly before eleven, I went below in
search for No. 78. I was not long in finding it in a
room which also contained Nos. 75, 76 and 77. Two
of the berths were already occupied, and the third was
about being occupied by a passenger who was then in
the act of undressing. The room for this process
being exceedingly limited, I resolved on having
another turn on deck, allowing the gentleman who
held the floor full and undisputed possession for a
time. Returning again to the cabin, I found three of
the berths occupied, and the curtains in front of them
drawn. I also found that No. 78 was situate aloft,
and that it was necessary to resort to some little
• device to reach it. In due course I managed this by
mounting the side board, which was to serve as a
protection against self and bed finding our way into
some other berth, or on to the floor. For a time it
was quite clear, in the stillness, that each of the four
persons occupying the berths was lying with suspended
breath, waiting to hear something of his neighbour.
But from neither tray was there a sound to be heard.
I had no thought of sleeping, but the slight motion of
the vessel must have had a soothing influence, for
when I next looked out the morning light was
shining strongly through the port-hole. It was quite
clear from the motion of the vessel that there was a
strong wind blowing. This fact appeared to break
upon the minds of all the occupants of the cabin at
one and the same time, and impel them to get up.
So that, as by one impulse, the*whole four sprang as
best we could from our berths into the small space
intervening,  where  we  became  packed  so  firmly 3§
On Board the Moravian.
together, that to move to dress was a physical
impossibility. There must, I think, have been some
noise or sudden motion of the vessel to have caused
us all thus to act. Of this I am certain : up to this
time no word in common had passed between us.
But this was to be the case no longer. The ludicrous
position in which we all found ourselves caused us to
burst out in one unanimous shout of laughter, and the
question which must have existed in our minds as to
"Who's who," at once gave way to "Pretty well,
thanks, how are you ?" To proceed, however,
with our toilet was out of the question, so the two
bottom berth men good humouredly crept back into
their places, and the two top ones completed their
work. But this was no easy matter. We had not
as yet found our sea legs, and our elbows had a most
awkward tendency of running into each others' sides,
whilst an attempt to stoop was almost invariably
followed by • a violent effort to avoid a pitching
But I was not long in getting on deck and into the
glorious bracing sea air. On either side of us land
could be seen : Ireland to the left, and Scotland to the
right. Before I could well look round I heard the
voices of children singing. You cannot imagine how
enchanting the sound was. There came the full
burst of joyous song, and then the low cadence, and
then the hushed suspense. So sudden, so fresh, so
joyous was the whole thing that for a time I stood
entranced. Going forward, I found one of the ladies
in charge of Miss Macpherson's children standing up
with about thirty girls around her. The lady was
giving out a verse at a time of a hymn, which the
children sang as children only can sing. There were
a number of the steerage passengers and several of
the crew standing around, much interested in what
was going on.   It was a most touching sight, and On Board the Moravian. 29
one I shall not soon forget. The eldest of the
girls could not be more than twelve or thirteen
years of age, the youngest not being more than six
or seven. They had evidently been well trained,
and knew both the tune and the words well. They
were all neatly and comfortably dressed in dark
serge dresses, their shawl, cloak, or kerchief being
the only remains of their original wardrobe. On
their heads they wore scarlet hoods, with a fall
hanging sufficiently down the back to protect "the
neck. But as my seat at the dinner table is directly
opposite that of the lady in charge of the children,
no doubt the opportunity will soon present itself
for making myself fully acquainted with the
scheme they have at heart, and are so thoroughly
carrying out.
When the children went below, I turned my
attention to the Irish coast, Father Nugent, who
appears to know the district well, pointing out the
direction of things worth seeing, such as the Giant's
Causeway, and the marvellous bassaltic formation.
I had never yet been able to take in this coast in any
of my rambles, but had longed to do so, and even
now all I could do was to notice that the coast is very
bold and precipitous all along its northern|line. It
looks, in fact, like the great boundary line to the
blasts and surges of the great northern seas, and to
have been placed there in a wise order, as an
everlasting barrier. Our course lay too far out to
admit of more than this being seen. Sometimes,
I am told, the vessels go much nearer land, when all
the marvellous formations of the coast may be
clearly noted. I have booked the hope that it may
be so on our return journey.
We are expecting to reach Moville between eleven
and twelve this morning; and as we shall have to wait
there till probably between five and six this evening, 3o
On Board the Moravian.
I intend going on shore for an hour or so. The passage
across the Atlantic has been reduced to a few days,
but for speed, travelling on the water, even by an
Allan steamer, is not like travelling by rail. The
mails which we shall take on board at Moville left
London many hours after we had left Liverpool.
These mails, however, will have travelled only some
68 miles, from Holyhead to Dublin by sea, the
other parts of the journey being done by rail. We,
however, have travelled 250 miles by water. When
the Gulf stream has connected the two hemispheres
by a bank of dry land, the out and home journey
from England to Canada will probably be done in
a week. Letter 5,
»S the head of the Moravian was turned
to the left, to enter Loch Foyle, the
sun was shining brilliantly ; the sea
was as smooth as a small inland pond,
and the deck was crowded by
hundreds of passengers, looking out for what they
might see, yet evidently on good terms with
themselves and all the world beside. We had to
go up the loch, or river, for such it really is,
some three or four miles before reaching Moville,
and as we went along I could not help thinking
the scene was eminently characteristic of Ireland.
We were passing up what appeared like a huge
cleft in the island To our right, there were green
fields, apparently well cultivated and well timbered*
Lying out on the hill side, with a bright southern
aspect,- there was the old castle in view, and there
was a fine sprinkling of modern built villas and 32
country residences. Looking out upon the scene,
there appeared nothing to preclude the existence
of comfort, prosperity, and even luxury. On the
left of us could be traced an immense track of sand,
intervening between the narrow channel open for the
passage of vessels entering the loch and the bold
and precipitous headland which originally formed the
river's bank, but which now stood some considerable
way inland ; this accumulation of sand, by taking a
. sweeping curve-like form, near the mouth of the river,
prevented probably by the power of the Atlantic
current from going farther out, formed a barrier to
the course of the river, and made it into a loch or
lake. Looking out on to this waste, and on to the
hills beyond, all appeared desolate, if not wretched.
But our attention was directed mainly to the scene
on our right, and the first fact we learned in
connection with it was that it was a proclaimed
district, and that the people living there were not
to be trusted with the use of fire-arms, fire-arms
being deemed the most ready weapon for the taking
of human life on the sly when in the hands and
under the control of a lawless people. In this ugly
fact there was more to encourage a desire to remain
on deck than to go on shore; but the sight of the
ruins of the old stronghold was more to me than any
fear, even had not my personal knowledge of the
Irish people told me that a stranger had nothing whatever to fear from them, so that directly the boat from
the shore came up to the ship's side, I went on board
her, with several others, and in due course passed
under one of the arches of a wooden landing stage
or pier, erected for the purpose of reaching ships
lying in deep water from the shore. This landing
stage was, of course, unused, and in ruins : a mere
wreck of "good intentions." Passing under the
archway I have referred to, we came upon a scene MovMe.
the like of which probably would not be possible in
any country in the world except Ireland. There was
a small bay or cove, the bed of which gradually
shelved off from the beach into three or four
feet of water. Shooting under the archway, the
head of our boat was turned right into the little
cove; but we had barely passed the bridge when we
came to a dead halt, and could proceed no further,
for, in front of us there was a double row of Irish
jaunting cars backed into the water as far as it was
practicable to take them without floating. Each
car had its driver, a tout or two, and a fair
complement of women with children in their arms,
and a number of other children who had outgrown
their-perches on the arms, and were big enough ot
do a little cadging on their own account. Many of
these people were standing well out in the water,
some of them being up to their knees in it, the
Irish predilection for going without shoes and
stockings enabling them to do this without the
necessity of undressing, or the alternative- of getting
wet garments. Even the horses maintained silence
until the moment when we were within a dozen
yards of this scene, and our boat had turned well
into it. Then, there arose a shout and a commotion
that might have been heard a long way around, and
which made the neighbourhood ring. A party of
wild Indians never danced more frantically over
the immolation of some poor wretch who had fallen
their victim than did this motley crew, when, as it
were, another boat load of victims came to their
hands. To land was simply impossible, except by
getting on the cars, which we were invited in true
Milesian fashion to do, the loudest of protestations
being made that they were placed there solely for
our accommodation, and to prevent our feet getting
wet.    But an unlucky wight no sooner put his foot 34
on the car than he was at once rsiezed on as a fare
for a drive round the neighbourhood of Moville, to
see the wonders it had to shew. For some time the
scene was of the most lively character. Each driver
was loud in singing the praises and the beauties of his
own horse and car, and in good humoured banter
picking holes in those of his neighbour, while the
women and children were incessant in their clatter,
supporting the claims of their male friends, and
proffering any amount of "blessings" in return for
coppers. Some of our party became easy victims,
and were driven off right from the boat's side, but
others, preferring a stroll into the town, made the best
of their way through the crowd of mendicants who
appear to infest the place, and who seem to live for no
other purpose than that of cadging and selling cheap
blessings for halfpence. But we had a sorry time of
it: at almost every step we took we were surrounded
by fresh batches of these wretched creatures, each one
trying to look more forlorn and wretched than
her neighbour, and each striving to the full extent
of their ingenuity to concoct the most horrible tale
of distress.
But there are a few characters in Moville who are
pretty well known to travellers by the Allan line.
The best known is perhaps an old shoemaker, who
does a great trade in birds, especially in thrushes.
These he professes to raise and teach to sing, and the
Canadians' love for birds leads them to pay high prices
for them. I am told that large sums are often spent
in importing birds into Canada, where they are let
loose. The winter, however, often kills them. No
doubt I shall have occasion to refer to this matter
after I reach Canada, but as it is with the old
churches, so it is with the birds, these little -matters
seem to tell me much of the people I am going to,
and to raise them in my estimation.   There were a Moville. 35
number of boys who came running after our party
with their birds and cages, and it was rare fun to listen
to them as they tried hard to effect a sale. If the
poor birds could only have heard and understood all
that was said about them they must have thought
themselves peacocks at least.
Moville itself is a fair sample of a small Irish town.
The roads are very uneven and ragged, and the houses
are of all possible shapes and sizes. As usual, the
principal place is the market place, which is very
broad and long, and which to-day looks wretched and
deserted. On market days, when the farmers, with
their pigs and poultry, are all assembled there, the
scene is no doubt of quite another character.
After some little time we hired a car, and proceeded
to Greencastle, a distance of about three miles.
Along the course the scene was of a somewhat mixed
character. The land told of a most wretched cultivation, and seemed as impoverished as the people. To
the left of us the country was mountainous and
barren, but to the right, looking down on to the Loch,
the scenery was occasionally striking. I should not
like to say how many beggars we passed on the road.
As we neared the old ruins at Greencastle, we could
see them coming in from all directions, making for
the entrance to the old ruins, there to ply their
abominable calling. The old castle was once the
residence of one of the races of Irish kings. When in
its prime it must have been a most formidable and
important stronghold, the ruins covering an extensive
tract of country, and the remains of its dungeons
telling clearly of the purpose to which it was applied.
From the character of the masonry, and the general
appearance of the ruins, it is probable that the glory
of the place had passed away before the Great
Western world was known to England, for but little
more than three hundred and fifty years have passed 36
away since our King Henry VII. gave a reward from
his privy purse "to hym that found the new Isle,
io/.," the said new Isle subsequently proving to be the
immense continent known as Canada and America.
Our driver was not a good sample of his class. We
tried to draw him out, but could not succeed. He had
no traditions or legends about the old castle. Perhaps
this was because he had not included " story telling "
in his contract for the car, or he might have felt sulky
in consequence of an uncomplimentary remark or two
made by some of our party in reference to the district
being proclaimed.   As a last resort, Colonel D	
asked him what he did in the winter months, when
there were no visitors ? " Then we live on taters and
salt," was the brief answer. This question once put
to a Killarney driver and guide produced a very
different answer. A Yankee visitor to the Lakes was
immensely taken up with the historical knowledge of
this man. For a week or more he had been looking
upon him as possessing a marvellous amount of
antiquarian learning and local history. There was not
a place they had visited but the history of it had been
related in the most complete and circumstantial
manner possible, the details being carefully booked
by the visitor as perfectly true and above all suspicion.
Never was Yankee so blessed as was this one in having
fallen upon such a store of learning and veritable
antiquarian research. At length, when taking a most
affectionate leave of his guide, it occurred to the
Yankee to ask him how he spent his time in the winter
months, when there were no visitors requiring his
services. " Oh, faith! we spend the winter in inventing
stories for the summer," was the prompt answer. The
Yankee parted from his Irish guide a wiser if not a
sadder man.
On our return journey we took another road further
out into the country, and nearer the mountain side, Movilk*
the heather growing thereon being in full bloom
presented a very bright and pleasant sight. We also
passed by many of the cabins or dwellings of the
poor, peculiar to Ireland. Many of them being newly
lime-washed, looked very bright in the sun-light, the
bright walls bringing out in ugly contrast the dirty-
looking thatched roof and the pools of surrounding
filthf As a rule, they appeared totally unfit for
human habitation, and to be used in common by
men, women, and children, pigs and poultry. After
making a few purchases in the village, and
posting my letters, we made our way back to the
boat, and to the vessel, which was still riding to her
anchor in Loch Foyle. About three o'clock we
noticed the steam tender approaching down the
river, and at once we began to think that our time
for starting was not far off, but somewhat to our
dismay we soon made the discovery that the vessel
was laden with emigrants for Quebec, instead of tjae
mails. You may form some idea of the capacity of a
ship like that of the Moravian when I tell you that
although we had been previously quite satisfied
that the ship was full in every compartment, the extra
two hundred men, women and children brought down
by the tender were taken on board and stowed away,
there being no palpable appearance of over-crowding,
over that which had previously existed. Two hours
after this a second steam tender hove in sight, and she
proved to have the London mails on board. I was
somewhat interested in watching the removal of the
mail-bags from the tender on to our vessel, as it
gave me some idea of the correspondence between
England and Canada. There are two mails out
direct weekly, besides other mails sent indirect.
There appeared to be fully fifty large sacks of
letters, &c, each sack being as heavy as a man could
well carry.   I am told by the officer in charge of the  Letter 6.
jN leaving Moville, we were treated to a
little scene, which, for a time, proved
really exciting, and which displayed the
daring character of seafaring men in a
surprising manner. The charge of our
vessel had hitherto been in the hands of a pilot, but
he was now about to deliver up his charge to Captain
Graham, the captain of the Moravian. The pilot's
duties would cease on the vessel leaving Loch Foyle.
To enable him to leave the vessel and return to land
a boat manned by four sailors was fastened to the end
of a long rope, the other end of which was fastened to
the Moravian. We steamed but slowly down the
Loch ; but still our pace was sufficiently fast to play
extraordinary pranks with the boat, which one
moment was flying along fairly out of the water, and
the next dashing down into it as though it would go
right through to the bottom of the sea. All the
time the boat was riding thus, now in air, now in
water, the sailors in charge maintained their seats, 40
Life on the Ocean.
apparently unmoved and unconcerned, but clearly
exhibiting as much jockeyship as men riding horses
in a great race, and so steering and manning the boat
as to keep it fairly alongside and away from the rear
of the vessel. Indeed, the scene was as exciting as a
race meeting, and produced almost as much commotion amongst the passengers. Having now Her
Majesty's mails on board, barely a moment could be
lost, so that our speed was only momentarily checked
for the pilot to leave the vessel for the boat, which he
did by means of a rope ladder, and then, judging
carefully the time, dropping into the body of the boat
just as it was leaping, as it were, from the water. To
all on board the risk attending this appeared to be
very great, and when the feat was accomplished in
safety a hearty cheer burst forth from the deck of our
In due course we rounded Inishowen Head, and
met the roll of the Atlantic, and it was not long before
the waves rose and the ship began to heave, different
to anything we had yet experienced, so that in a very
short time the decks were pretty well cleared, and
most of us were preparing for a rough night at sea.
But this was not to be, the evening proving very
beautiful and pleasant. For several hours our course
lay in sight of the Irish coast, which proved to be very
rugged and precipitous, so much so, indeed, that but
little could be seen of the inland country. With the
exception of a mountainous district in the back
ground, the land coming right out to the sea-line
appeared to be higher than the inland country, so
that, as a rule, the line of coast stood out boldly
against the horizon. As the night was setting