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Life of Harriet Beecher Stowe
Chapter XII: Dred, 1856.

by Harriet Beecher Stowe

After reaching England, about the middle of August, 1856, Mrs. Stowe and her husband spent some days in London completing arrangements to have an English edition of "Dred" published by Sampson Low & Co. Professor Stowe's duties in America being very pressing, he had intended returning at once, but was detained for a short time, as will be seen in the following letter written by him from Glasgow, August 29, to a friend in America:--

DEAR FRIEND,--I finished my business in London on Wednesday, and intended to return by the Liverpool steamer of to-morrow, but find that every berth on that line is engaged until the 3d of October. We therefore came here yesterday, and I shall take passage in the steamer New York from this port next Tuesday. We have received a special invitation to visit Inverary Castle, the seat of the Duke of Argyll, and yesterday we had just the very pleasantest little interview with the Queen that ever was. None of the formal, drawing-room, breathless receptions, but just an accidental, done-on-purpose meeting at a railway station, while on our way to Scotland.

The Queen seemed really delighted to see my wife, and remarkably glad to see me for her sake. She pointed us out to Prince Albert, who made two most gracious bows to my wife and two to me, while the four royal children stared their big blue eyes almost out looking at the little authoress of "Uncle Tom's Cabin." Colonel Grey handed the Queen, with my wife's compliments, a copy of the new book ("Dred"). She took one volume herself and handed the other to Prince Albert, and they were soon both very busy reading. She is a real nice little body with exceedingly pleasant, kindly manners.

I expect to be in Natick the last week in September. God bless you all.

C. E. STOWE.

After her husband's departure for the United States, Mrs. Stowe, with her son Henry, her two eldest daughters, and her sister Mary (Mrs. Perkins), accepted the Duke of Argyll's invitation to visit the Highlands. Of this visit we catch a pleasant glimpse from a letter written to Professor Stowe during its continuance, which is as follows:--

INVERARY CASTLE, September 6, 1856.

MY DEAR HUSBAND,--We have been now a week in this delicious place, enjoying the finest skies and scenery, the utmost of kind hospitality. >From Loch Goil we took the coach for Inverary, a beautiful drive of about two hours. We had seats on the outside, and the driver John, like some of the White Mountain guides, was full of song and story, and local tradition. He spoke Scotch and Gaelic, recited ballads, and sung songs with great gusto. Mary and the girls stopped in a little inn at St. Catherine's, on the shores of Loch Fine, while Henry and I took steamboat for Inverary, where we found the duchess waiting in a carriage for us, with Lady Emma Campbell. . . .

The common routine of the day here is as follows: We rise about half past eight. About half past nine we all meet in the dining-hall, where the servants are standing in a line down one side, and a row of chairs for guests and visitors occupies the other. The duchess with her nine children, a perfectly beautiful little flock, sit together. The duke reads the Bible and a prayer, and pronounces the benediction. After that, breakfast is served,--a very hearty, informal, cheerful meal,-- and after that come walks, or drives, or fishing parties, till lunch time, and then more drives, or anything else: everybody, in short, doing what he likes till half past seven, which is the dinner hour. After that we have coffee and tea in the evening.

The first morning, the duke took me to see his mine of nickel silver. We had a long and beautiful drive, and talked about everything in literature, religion, morals, and the temperance movement, about which last he is in some state of doubt and uncertainty, not inclining, I think, to have it pressed yet, though feeling there is need of doing something.

If "Dred" has as good a sale in America as it is likely to have in England, we shall do well. There is such a demand that they had to placard the shop windows in Glasgow with,--

"To prevent disappointment, 'Dred' Not to be had till," etc.

Everybody is after it, and the prospect is of an enormous sale.

God, to whom I prayed night and day while I was writing the book, has heard me, and given us of worldly goods more than I asked. I feel, therefore, a desire to "walk softly," and inquire, for what has He so trusted us?

Every day I am more charmed with the duke and duchess; they are simple-hearted, frank, natural, full of feeling, of piety, and good sense. They certainly are, apart from any considerations of rank or position, most interesting and noble people. The duke laughed heartily at many things I told him of our Andover theological tactics, of your preaching, etc.; but I think he is a sincere, earnest Christian.

Our American politics form the daily topic of interest. The late movements in Congress are discussed: with great warmth, and every morning the papers are watched for new details.

I must stop now, as it is late and we are to leave here early to- morrow morning. We are going to Staffa, lona, the Pass of Glencoe, and finally through the Caledonian Canal up to Dunrobin Castle, where a large party of all sorts of interesting people are gathered around the Duchess of Sutherland.

Affectionately yours,

HARRIET.

>From Dunrobin Castle one of his daughters writes to Professor Stowe: "We spent five most delightful days at Inverary, and were so sorry you could not be there with us. From there we went to Oban, and spent several days sight-seeing, finally reaching Inverness by way of the Caledonian Canal. Here, to our surprise, we found our rooms at the hotel all prepared for us. The next morning we left by post for Dunrobin, which is fifty-nine miles from Inverness. At the borders of the duke's estate we found a delightfully comfortable carriage awaiting us, and before we had gone much farther the postilion announced that the duchess was coming to meet us. Sure enough, as we looked up the road we saw a fine cavalcade approaching. It consisted of a splendid coach-and-four (in which sat the duchess) with liveried postilions, and a number of outriders, one of whom rode in front to clear the way. The duchess seemed perfectly delighted to see mamma, and taking her into her own carriage dashed off towards the castle, we following on behind."

At Dunrobin Mrs. Stowe found awaiting her the following note from her friend, Lady Byron:--

LONDON, September 10, 1856.

Your book, dear Mrs. Stowe, is of the "little leaven" kind, and must prove a great moral force,--perhaps not manifestly so much as secretly, and yet I can hardly conceive so much power without immediate and sensible effects; only there will be a strong disposition to resist on the part of all the hollow-hearted professors of religion, whose heathenisms you so unsparingly expose. They have a class feeling like others. To the young, and to those who do not reflect much on what is offered to their belief, you will do great good by showing how spiritual food is adulterated. The Bread from Heaven is in the same case as baker's bread. I feel that one perusal is not enough. It is a "mine," to use your own simile. If there is truth in what I heard Lord Byron say, that works of fiction lived only by the amount of truth which they contained, your story is sure of long life. . . .

I know now, more than before, how to value communion with you.

With kind regards to your family,

Yours affectionately,

A. T. NOEL BYRON.

>From this pleasant abiding-place Mrs. Stowe writes to her husband:--

DUNROBIN CASTLE, September 15, 1856.

MY DEAR HUSBAND,--Everything here is like a fairy story. The place is beautiful! It is the most perfect combination of architectural and poetic romance, with home comfort. The people, too, are charming. We have here Mr. Labouchere, a cabinet minister, and Lady Mary his wife,-- I like him very much, and her, too,--Kingsley's brother, a very entertaining man, and to-morrow Lord Ellsmere is expected. I wish you could be here, for I am sure you would like it. Life is so quiet and sincere and friendly, that you would feel more as if you had come at the hearts of these people than in London.

The Sutherland estate looks like a garden. We stopped at the town of Frain, four miles before we reached Sutherlandshire, where a crowd of well-to-do, nice-looking people gathered around the carriage, and as we drove off gave three cheers. This was better than I expected, and looks well for their opinion of my views.

"Dred" is selling over here wonderfully. Low says, with all the means at his command, he has not been able to meet the demand. He sold fifty thousand in two weeks, and probably will sell as many more.

I am showered with letters, private and printed, in which the only difficulty is to know what the writers would be at. I see evidently happiness and prosperity all through the line of this estate. I see the duke giving his thought and time, and spending the whole income of this estate in improvements upon it. I see the duke and duchess evidently beloved wherever they move. I see them most amiable, most Christian, most considerate to everybody. The writers of the letters admit the goodness of the duke, but denounce the system, and beg me to observe its effects for myself. I do observe that, compared with any other part of the Highlands, Sutherland is a garden. I observe well- clothed people, thriving lands, healthy children, fine school-houses, and all that.

Henry was invited to the tenants' dinner, where he excited much amusement by pledging every toast in fair water, as he has done invariably on all occasions since he has been here.

The duchess, last night, showed me her copy of "Dred," in which she has marked what most struck or pleased her. I begged it, and am going to send it to you. She said to me this morning at breakfast, "The Queen says that she began 'Dred' the very minute she got it, and is deeply interested in it."

She bought a copy of Lowell's poems, and begged me to mark the best ones for her; so if you see him, tell him that we have been reading him together. She is, taking her all in all, one of the noblest- appointed women I ever saw; real old, genuine English, such as one reads of in history; full of nobility, courage, tenderness, and zeal. It does me good to hear her read prayers daily, as she does, in the midst of her servants and guests, with a manner full of grand and noble feeling.

Thursday Morning, September 25. We were obliged to get up at half past five the morning we left Dunrobin, an effort when one doesn't go to bed till one o'clock. We found breakfast laid for us in the library, and before we had quite finished the duchess came in. Our starting off was quite an imposing sight. First came the duke's landau, in which were Mary, the duke, and myself; then a carriage in which were Eliza and Hatty, and finally the carriage which we had hired, with Henry, our baggage, and Mr. Jackson (the duke's secretary). The gardener sent a fresh bouquet for each of us, and there was such a leave-taking, as if we were old and dear friends. We did really love them, and had no doubt of their love for us.

The duke rode with us as far as Dornach, where he showed us the cathedral beneath which his ancestors are buried, and where is a statue of his father, similar to one the tenants have erected on top of the highest hill in the neighborhood.

We also saw the prison, which had but two inmates, and the old castle. Here the duke took leave of us, and taking our own carriage we crossed the ferry and continued on our way. After a very bad night's rest at Inverness, in consequence of the town's being so full of people attending some Highland games that we could have no places at the hotel, and after a weary ride in the rain, we came into Aberdeen Friday night.

To-morrow we go on to Edinburgh, where I hope to meet a letter from you. The last I heard from Low, he had sold sixty thousand of "Dred," and it was still selling well. I have not yet heard from America how it goes. The critics scold, and whiffle, and dispute about it, but on the whole it is a success, so the "Times" says, with much coughing, hemming, and standing first on one foot and then on the other. If the "Times" were sure we should beat in the next election, "Dred" would go up in the scale; but as long as there is that uncertainty, it has first one line of praise, and then one of blame.

Henry Stowe returned to America in October to enter Dartmouth College, while the rest of the party pursued their way southward, as will be seen by the following letters:--

CITY OF YORK, October 10, 1856.

DEAR HUSBAND,--Henry will tell you all about our journey, and at present I have but little time for details. I received your first letter with great joy, relief, and gratitude, first to God for restoring your health and strength, and then to you for so good, long, and refreshing a letter.

Henry, I hope, comes home with a serious determination to do well and be a comfort. Seldom has a young man seen what he has in this journey, or made more valuable friends.

Since we left Aberdeen, from which place my last was mailed, we have visited in Edinburgh with abounding delight; thence yesterday to Newcastle. Last night attended service in Durham Cathedral, and after that came to York, whence we send Henry to Liverpool.

I send you letters, etc., by him. One hundred thousand copies of "Dred." sold in four weeks! After that who cares what critics say? Its success in England has been complete, so far as sale is concerned. It is very bitterly attacked, both from a literary and a religious point of view. The "Record" is down upon it with a cartload of solemnity; the "Athenaeum" with waspish spite; the "Edinburgh" goes out of its way to say that the author knows nothing of the society she describes; but yet it goes everywhere, is read everywhere, and Mr. Low says that he puts the hundred and twenty-fifth thousand to press confidently. The fact that so many good judges like it better than "Uncle Tom" is success enough.

In my journal to Henry, which you may look for next week, you will learn how I have been very near the Queen, and formed acquaintance with divers of her lords and ladies, and heard all she has said about "Dred;" how she prefers it to "Uncle Tom," how she inquired for you, and other matters.

Till then, I am, as ever, your affectionate wife,

H. B. STOWE.

After leaving York, Mrs. Stowe and her party spent a day or two at Carlton Rectory, on the edge of Sherwood Forest, in which they enjoyed a most delightful picnic. From there they were to travel to London by way of Warwick and Oxford, and of this journey Mrs. Stowe writes as follows to her son Henry:--

"The next morning we were induced to send our things to London, being assured by Mr. G. that he would dispatch them immediately with some things of his own that were going, and that they should certainly await us upon our arrival. In one respect it was well for us that we thus rid ourselves of the trouble of looking after them, for I never saw such blind, confusing arrangements as these English railroads have.

"When we were set down at the place where we were to change for Warwick, we were informed that probably the train had gone. At any rate it could only be found on the other side of the station. You might naturally think we had nothing to do but walk across to the other side. No, indeed! We had to ascend a flight of stairs, go through a sort of tubular bridge, and down another pair of stairs. When we got there the guard said the train was just about to start, and yet the ticket office was closed. We tried the door in vain. 'You must hurry,' said the guard. 'How can we?' said I, 'when we can't get tickets.' He went and thumped, and at last roused the dormant intelligence inside. We got our tickets, ran for dear life, got in, and then waited ten minutes! Arrived at Warwick we had a very charming time, and after seeing all there was to see we took cars for Oxford.

"The next day we tried to see Oxford. You can have no idea of it. Call it a college! it is a city, of colleges,--a mountain of museums, colleges, halls, courts, parks, chapels, lecture-rooms. Out of twenty- four colleges we saw only three. We saw enough, however, to show us that to explore the colleges of Oxford would take a week. Then we came away, and about eleven o'clock at night found ourselves in London. It was dripping and raining here, for all the world, just as it did when we left; but we found a cosy little parlor, papered with cheerful crimson paper, lighted by a coal-fire, a neat little supper laid out, and the Misses Low waiting for us. Wasn't it nice?

"We are expecting our baggage to-night. Called at Sampson Low's store to-day and found it full everywhere of red 'Dreds.'"

Upon reaching London Mrs. Stowe found the following note from Lady Byron awaiting her:--

OXFORD HOUSE, October 15, 1856.

DEAR MRS. STOWE,--The newspapers represent you as returning to London, but I cannot wait for the chance, slender I fear, of seeing you there, for I wish to consult you on a point admitting but of little delay. Feeling that the sufferers in Kansas have a claim not only to sympathy, but to the expression of it, I wish to send them a donation. It is, however, necessary to know what is the best application of money and what the safest channel. Presuming that you will approve the object, I ask you to tell me. Perhaps you would undertake the transmission of my £50. My present residence, two miles beyond Richmond, is opposite. I have watched for instructions of your course with warm interest. The sale of your book will go on increasing. It is beginning to be understood.

Believe me, with kind regards to your daughters,

Your faithful and affectionate

A. T. NOEL BYRON.

To this note the following answer was promptly returned:--

GROVE TERRACE, KENTISH TOWN, October 16,1856.

DEAR LADY BYRON,--How glad I was to see your handwriting once more! how more than glad I should be to see you! I do long to see you. I have so much to say,--so much to ask, and need to be refreshed with a sense of a congenial and sympathetic soul.

Thank you, my dear friend, for your sympathy with our poor sufferers in Kansas. May God bless you for it! By doing this you will step to my side; perhaps you may share something of that abuse which they who "know, not what they do" heap upon all who so feel for the right. I assure you, dear friend, I am not insensible to the fiery darts which thus fly around me. . . .

Direct as usual to my publishers, and believe me, as ever, with all my heart,

Affectionately yours,

H. B. S.

Having dispatched this note, Mrs. Stowe wrote to her husband concerning their surroundings and plans as follows:--

"Friday, 16th. Confusion in the camp! no baggage come, nobody knows why; running to stations, inquiries, messages, and no baggage. Meanwhile we have not even a clean collar, nothing but very soiled traveling dresses; while Lady Mary Labouchere writes that her carriage will wait for us at Slough Station this afternoon, and we must be off at two. What's to be done? Luckily I did not carry all my dresses to Dunrobin; so I, of all the party, have a dress that can be worn. We go out and buy collars and handkerchiefs, and two o'clock beholds us at the station house.

"Stoke Park. I arrived here alone, the baggage not having yet been heard from. Mr. G., being found in London, confessed that he delayed sending it by the proper train. In short, Mr. G. is what is called an easy man, and one whose easiness makes everybody else un easy. So because he was easy and thought it was no great matter, and things would turn out well enough, without any great care, we have had all this discomfort.

"I arrived alone at the Slough Station and found Lady Mary's carriage waiting. Away we drove through a beautiful park full of deer, who were so tame as to stand and look at us as we passed. The house is in the Italian style, with a dome on top, and wide terraces with stone balustrades around it.

"Lady Mary met me at the door, and seemed quite concerned to learn of our ill-fortune. We went through a splendid suite of rooms to a drawing-room, where a little tea-table was standing.

"After tea Lady Mary showed me my room. It had that delightful, homelike air of repose and comfort they succeed so well in giving to rooms here. There was a cheerful fire burning, an arm-chair drawn up beside it, a sofa on the other side with a neatly arranged sofa-table on which were writing materials. One of the little girls had put a pot of pretty greenhouse moss in a silver basket on this table, and my toilet cushion was made with a place in the centre to hold a little vase of flowers. Here Lady Mary left me to rest before dressing for dinner. I sat down in an easy-chair before the fire, and formed hospitable resolutions as to how I would try to make rooms always look homelike and pleasant to tired guests. Then came the maid to know if I wanted hot water,--if I wanted anything,--and by and by it was time for dinner. Going down into the parlor I met Mr. Labouchere and we all went in to dinner. It was not quite as large a party as at Dunrobin, but much in the same way. No company, but several ladies who were all family connections.

"The following morning Lord Dufferin and Lord Alfred Paget, two gentlemen of the Queen's household, rode over from Windsor to lunch with us. They brought news of the goings-on there. Do you remember one night the Duchess of S. read us a letter from Lady Dufferin, describing the exploits of her son, who went yachting with Prince Napoleon up by Spitzbergen, and when Prince Napoleon and all the rest gave up and went back, still persevered and discovered a new island? Well, this was the same man. A thin, slender person, not at all the man you would fancy as a Mr. Great Heart,--lively, cheery, and conversational.

"Lord Alfred is also very pleasant.

"Lady Mary prevailed on Lord Dufferin to stay and drive with us after lunch, and we went over to Clifden, the duchess's villa, of which we saw the photograph at Dunrobin. For grace and beauty some of the rooms in this place exceed any I have yet seen in England.

"When we came back my first thought was whether Aunt Mary and the girls had come. Just as we were all going up to dress for dinner they appeared. Meanwhile, the Queen had sent over from Windsor for Lady Mary and her husband to dine with her that evening, and such invitations are understood as commands.

"So, although they themselves had invited four or five people to dinner, they had to go and leave us to entertain ourselves. Lady Mary was dressed very prettily in a flounced white silk dress with a pattern of roses woven round the bottom of each flounce, and looked very elegant. Mr. Labouchere wore breeches, with knee and shoe buckles sparkling with diamonds.

"They got home soon after we had left the drawing-room, as the Queen always retires at eleven. No late hours for her.

"The next day Lady Mary told me that the Queen had talked to her all about 'Dred,' and how she preferred it to 'Uncle Tom's Cabin,' how interested she was in Nina, how provoked when she died, and how she was angry that something dreadful did not happen to Tom Gordon. She inquired for papa, and the rest of the family, all of whom she seemed to be well informed about.

"The next morning we had Lord Dufferin again to breakfast. He is one of the most entertaining young men I have seen in England, full of real thought and noble feeling, and has a wide range of reading. He had read all our American literature, and was very flattering in his remarks on Hawthorne, Poe, and Longfellow. I find J. R. Lowell less known, however, than he deserves to be.

"Lord Dufferin says that his mother wrote him some verses on his coming of age, and that he built a tower for them and inscribed them on a brass plate. I recommend the example to you, Henry; make yourself the tower and your memory the brass plate.

"This morning came also, to call, Lady Augusta Bruce, Lord Elgin's daughter, one of the Duchess of Kent's ladies-in-waiting; a very excellent, sensible girl, who is a strong anti-slavery body.

"After lunch we drove over to Eton, and went in to see the provost's house. After this, as we were passing by Windsor the coachman suddenly stopped and said, 'The Queen is coming, my lady.' We stood still and the royal cortege passed. I only saw the Queen, who bowed graciously.

"Lady Mary stayed at our car door till it left the station, and handed in a beautiful bouquet as we parted. This is one of the loveliest visits I have made."

After filling a number of other pleasant engagements in England, among which was a visit in the family of Charles Kingsley, Mrs. Stowe and her party crossed the Channel and settled down for some months in Paris for the express purpose of studying French. From the French capital she writes to her husband in Andover as follows:--

PARIS, November 7, 1856.

MY DEAR HUSBAND,--On the 28th, when your last was written, I was at Charles Kingsley's. It seemed odd enough to Mary and me to find ourselves, long after dark, alone in a hack, driving towards the house of a man whom we never had seen (nor his wife either).

My heart fluttered as, after rumbling a long way through the dark, we turned into a yard. We knocked at a door and were met in the hall by a man who stammers a little in his speech, and whose inquiry, "Is this Mrs. Stowe?" was our first positive introduction. Ushered into a large, pleasant parlor lighted by a coal fire, which flickered on comfortable chairs, lounges, pictures, statuettes, and book-cases, we took a good view of him. He is tall, slender, with blue eyes, brown hair, and a hale, well-browned face, and somewhat loose-jointed withal. His wife is a real Spanish beauty.

How we did talk and go on for three days! I guess he is tired. I'm sure we were. He is a nervous, excitable being, and talks with head, shoulders, arms, and hands, while his hesitance makes it the harder. Of his theology I will say more some other time. He, also, has been through the great distress, the "Conflict of Ages," but has come out at a different end from Edward, and stands with John Foster, though with more positiveness than he.

He laughed a good deal at many stories I told him of father, and seemed delighted to hear about him. But he is, what I did not expect, a zealous Churchman; insists that the Church of England is the finest and broadest platform a man can stand on, and that the thirty-nine articles are the only ones he could subscribe to. I told him you thought them the best summary (of doctrine) you knew, which pleased him greatly.

Well, I got your letter to-night in Paris, at No. 19 Rue de Clichy, where you may as well direct your future letters.

We reached Paris about eleven o'clock last night and took a carriage for 17 Rue de Clichy, but when we got there, no ringing or pounding could rouse anybody. Finally, in despair, we remembered a card that had been handed into the cars by some hotel-runner, and finding it was of an English and French hotel, we drove there, and secured very comfortable accommodations. We did not get to bed until after two o'clock. The next morning I sent a messenger to find Mme. Borione, and discovered that we had mistaken the number, and should have gone to No. 19, which was the next door; so we took a carriage and soon found ourselves established here, where we have a nice parlor and two bedrooms.

There are twenty-one in the family, mostly Americans, like ourselves, come to learn to speak French. One of them is a tall, handsome, young English lady, Miss Durant, who is a sculptress, studying with Baron de Triqueti. She took me to his studio, and he immediately remarked that she ought to get me to sit. I said I would, "only my French lessons." "Oh," said he, smiling, "we will give you French lessons while you sit." So I go to-morrow morning.

As usual, my horrid pictures do me a service, and people seem relieved when they see me; think me even handsome "in a manner." Kingsley, in his relief, expressed as much to his wife, and as beauty has never been one of my strong points I am open to flattery upon it.

We had a most agreeable call from Arthur Helps before we left London. He, Kingsley, and all the good people are full of the deepest anxiety for our American affairs. They really do feel very deeply, seeing the peril so much plainer than we do in America.

Sunday night. I fear I have delayed your letter too long. The fact is, that of the ten days I have been here I have been laid up three with severe neuralgia, viz., toothache in the backbone, and since then have sat all day to be modeled for my bust.

We spent the other evening with Baron de Triqueti, the sculptor. He has an English wife, and a charming daughter about the age of our girls. Life in Paris is altogether more simple and natural than in England. They give you a plate of cake and a cup of tea in the most informal, social way,--the tea-kettle sings at the fire, and the son and daughter busy themselves gayly together making and handing tea. When tea was over, M. de Triqueti showed us a manuscript copy of the Gospels, written by his mother, to console herself in a season of great ill-health, and which he had illustrated all along with exquisite pen-drawings, resembling the most perfect line engravings. I can't describe the beauty, grace, delicacy, and fullness of devotional feeling in these people. He is one of the loveliest men I ever saw.

We have already three evenings in the week in which we can visit and meet friends if we choose, namely, at Madame Mohl's, Madame Lanziel's, and Madame Belloc's. All these salôns are informal, social gatherings, with no fuss of refreshments, no nonsense of any kind. Just the cheeriest, heartiest, kindest little receptions you ever saw.

A kiss to dear little Charley. If he could see all the things that I see every day in the Tuileries and Champs Elysées, he would go wild. All Paris is a general whirligig out of doors, but indoors people seem steady, quiet, and sober as anybody.

November 30. This is Sunday evening, and a Sunday in Paris always puts me in mind of your story about somebody who said, "Bless you! they make such a noise that the Devil couldn't meditate." All the extra work and odd jobs of life are put into Sunday. Your washerwoman comes Sunday, with her innocent, good-humored face, and would be infinitely at a loss to know why she shouldn't. Your bonnet, cloak, shoes, and everything are sent home Sunday morning, and all the way to church there is such whirligiging and pirouetting along the boulevards as almost takes one's breath away. Today we went to the Oratoire to hear M. Grand Pierre. I could not understand much; my French ear is not quick enough to follow. I could only perceive that the subject was "La Charité," and that the speaker was fluent, graceful, and earnest, the audience serious and attentive.

Last night we were at Baron de Triqueti's again, with a party invited to celebrate the birthday of their eldest daughter, Blanche, a lovely girl of nineteen. There were some good ladies there who had come eighty leagues to meet me, and who were so delighted with my miserable French that it was quite encouraging. I believe I am getting over the sandbar at last, and conversation is beginning to come easy to me.

There were three French gentlemen who had just been reading "Dred" in English, and who were as excited and full of it as could be, and I talked with them to a degree that astonished myself. There is a review of "Dred" in the "Revue des Deux Mondes" which has long extracts from the book, and is written in a very appreciative and favorable spirit. Generally speaking, French critics seem to have a finer appreciation of my subtle shades of meaning than English. I am curious to hear what Professor Park has to say about it. There has been another review in "La Presse" equally favorable. All seem to see the truth about American slavery much plainer than people can who are in it. If American ministers and Christians could see through their sophistical spider-webs, with what wonder, pity, and contempt they would regard their own vacillating condition!

We visit once a week at Madame Mohl's, where we meet all sorts of agreeable people. Lady Elgin doesn't go into society now, having been struck with paralysis, but sits at home and receives her friends as usual. This notion of sitting always in the open air is one of her peculiarities.

I must say, life in Paris is arranged more sensibly than with us. Visiting involves no trouble in the feeding line. People don't go to eat. A cup of tea and plate of biscuit is all,--just enough to break up the stiffness.

It is wonderful that the people here do not seem to have got over "Uncle Tom" a bit. The impression seems fresh as if just published. How often have they said, That book has revived the Gospel among the poor of France; it has done more than all the books we have published put together. It has gone among the les ouvriers, among the poor of Faubourg St. Antoine, and nobody knows how many have been led to Christ by it. Is not this blessed, my dear husband? Is it not worth all the suffering of writing it?

I went the other evening to M. Grand Pierre's, where there were three rooms full of people, all as eager and loving as ever we met in England or Scotland. Oh, if Christians in Boston could only see the earnestness of feeling with which Christians here regard slavery, and their surprise and horror at the lukewarmness, to say the least, of our American church! About eleven o'clock we all joined in singing a hymn, then M. Grand Pierre made an address, in which I was named in the most affectionate and cordial manner. Then followed a beautiful prayer for our country, for America, on which hang so many of the hopes of Protestantism. One and all then came up, and there was great shaking of hands and much effusion.

Under date of December 28, Mrs. Perkins writes: "On Sunday we went with Mr. and Mrs. (Jacob) Abbott to the Hôtel des Invalides, and I think I was never more interested and affected. Three or four thousand old and disabled soldiers have here a beautiful and comfortable home. We went to the morning service. The church is very large, and the colors taken in battle are hung on the walls. Some of them are so old as to be moth-eaten. The service is performed, as near as possible, in imitation of the service before a battle. The drum beats the call to assemble, and the common soldiers march up and station themselves in the centre of the church, under the commander. All the services are regulated by the beat of the drum. Only one priest officiates, and soldiers are stationed around to protect him. The music is from a brass band, and is very magnificent.

"In the afternoon I went to vespers in the Madeleine, where the music was exquisite. They have two fine organs at opposite ends of the church. The 'Adeste Fidelis' was sung by a single voice, accompanied by the organ, and after every verse it was taken up by male voices and the other organ and repeated. The effect was wonderfully fine. I have always found in our small churches at home that the organ was too powerful and pained my head, but in these large cathedrals the effect is different. The volume of sound rolls over, full but soft, and I feel as though it must come from another sphere.

"In the evening Mr. and Mrs. Bunsen called. He is a son of Chevalier Bunsen, and she a niece of Elizabeth Fry,--very intelligent and agreeable people."

Under date of January 25, Mrs. Stowe writes from Paris:--"Here is a story for Charley. The boys in the Faubourg St. Antoine are the children of ouvriers, and every day their mothers give them two sous to buy a dinner. When they heard I was coming to the school, of their own accord they subscribed half their dinner money to give to me for the poor slaves. This five-franc piece I have now; I have bought it of the cause for five dollars, and am going to make a hole in it and hang it round Charley's neck as a medal.

"I have just completed arrangements for leaving the girls at a Protestant boarding-school while I go to Rome.

"We expect to start the 1st of February, and my direction will be, E. Bartholimeu, 108 Via Margaretta."
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