Across the Atlantic, by the author of 'Sketches of Cantabs'.

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1851
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Page 10 - Manchester;—I found a city which appeared to me to possess a strong infusion of Brussels. I know the prevailing idea of tourists is that Boston is more like an English town than any other in the States. There seemed to me, however, to be a union of the British and the Continental in its exterior aspect; an idea which was, perhaps, fostered by the blue, cloudless sky above, and the heat of the atmosphere around, as well as the bright, clean aspect of the houses—three features which would not immediately,...
Page 24 - ... and interesting. But the name which it bears is its greatest attraction. Barnum is not an ordinary showman. He is not one who will be handed down to posterity, only on the strength of the objects which he has exhibited, or the curiosities which he has brought to light. He stands alone. Adopting Mr. Emerson's idea, I should say that Barnum is a representative man. He represents the enterprise and energy of his countrymen in the nineteenth century, as Washington represented their resistance to...
Page 249 - While men of philosophical spirit and cultivated minds have been sent from England to ransack the poles, to penetrate the deserts, and to study the manners and customs of barbarous nations, with which she can have no permanent intercourse of profit or pleasure ; it has been left to the broken-down tradesman, the scheming adventurer, the wandering mechanic, the Manchester and Birmingham agent, to be her oracle respecting America.
Page 150 - ... events, I should see human beings who belonged to other human beings. One felt a secret glow of pride and self-congratulation, when the reflection arose in the mind, that the black servant who showed you up to your bed-room — all that complicated machinery of legs and arms, bones and sinews — all that head, with the ideas (if any) which it was capable of producing — that all this might become as effectually and thoroughly your property, as the ring on your finger or the boots on your feet...
Page 87 - Well, as I was saying, besides the common gift of writing turgid nonsense, my predecessor had but two qualifications. He was a good shot and a great cheat. The first made him generally feared, the second universally beloved. But neither was calculated to contribute much to the sale of his paper. In a short time, I had raised its sale fourfold. I wrote the prose and my wife the poetry. It was she who composed that celebrated Ode to the Winds, which, you may recollect, begins with the stanza : —...
Page 181 - You are a delegate, not a representative — a flunkey, not a man. A constituency of so many thousands meet and proclaim, by a majority of so many hundreds or thousands, that such and such are their opinions. " Now, then, who'll carry our opinions up to Washington ? Come, the place is vacant. Who offers himself for the plush and shoulder-knot ?" or, " Who'll be our errand-boy ?" " Please, gentlemen, I will," cry half-a-dozen. Homer Smith, or Artaxerxes Brown, or Nahum Robinson, as the case may be,...
Page 25 - ... and a man. I firmly believe that there are few commercial people in the United States who would not look upon Barnum as a congenial, though a superior spirit ; or at all events who do not feel a pride, albeit a secret one, in his exploits. The rise of this illustrious person, like that of some of his fellows, would seem to be veiled in obscurity. Whether he rose to fame on a fabulous griffin, or reached the wished-for goal on the back of an eight-legged horse, must remain matter of conjecture.
Page 105 - Hotel, where he was desirous that I should catch a glimpse of his great countryman. I assented, resolving, however, in my own mind, that I would not thrust myself unduly forward, and, in case of an introduction taking place, depart after the interchange of a few common-place observations. On our arrival, we found that he had gone off to his room, and I .was, accordingly, preparing to return to my hotel, when my companion proposed that we should peep through the window of the statesman's apartment,...
Page 246 - Wester, tells you, very reasonably, that the same refinement cannot be expected in a new and unsettled country, as is to be found in cities of longer standing, (Boston and Baltimore for example,) should remember that the very same remark, though in a modified form, is applicable to the manners of his own city and state, when compared with those of Europe. The same touchiness which is exhibited, when their institutions are spoken of in any terms short of the inimitable bombast of their own native...
Page 161 - You might be walking in a shady lane, of a dark night, unconscious that there was a line of railway within a hundred miles, and suddenly hear the engine turn in out of a field behind you, and see it whisk past you, or feel it go over you, according as you did, or did not, get out of the way in time. As for villages and country towns, it rattles right up their main streets, not unfrequently stopping at the door of the hotel, or in front of the church, by way of a station. On these occasions, you might...

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