Down South - Lady Duffus Hardy - ebook

A dull haze hangs over the city; St. Paul has put on his cap of clouds, and the great dome looms dimly on our sight; the mystery of twilight has taken possession of the city, and shrouds the streets in the open day. The fine old trees in the parks and in the squares are losing their green foliage, and stand half naked, shivering in the damp autumn air, while their yellow shrunken leaves are swept rustling along the ground, moaning their melancholy protest against the wandering wind, and even thus early in the season—for it is only late September—visions of November fogs are looming in the near future. But we turn our backs upon the dreary prospect, and send our thoughts onward towards the City of Rome whither we are fast journeying—not that ancient city which sits upon its seven hills, like a discrowned queen, still ruling the world of Art, swaying the minds of men, and, like a gigantic loadstone, drawing the heart of the world towards herself, grander in her age of ruin than her youthful pride; the glory of her dead days circles her with a halo of poetry and romance which renders her immortal.

Ebooka przeczytasz w aplikacjach Legimi na:

czytnikach certyfikowanych
przez Legimi

Liczba stron: 288

Odsłuch ebooka (TTS) dostepny w abonamencie „ebooki+audiobooki bez limitu” w aplikacjach Legimi na:


UUID: 1ff7edb6-d0fe-11e6-90fb-0f7870795abd
This ebook was created with StreetLib Write

Table of contents





















Two cities.—Our home upon the waters.—Southward bound.—“Only a brass star.”—At Ford’s hotel.A dull haze hangs over the city; St. Paul has put on his cap of clouds, and the great dome looms dimly on our sight; the mystery of twilight has taken possession of the city, and shrouds the streets in the open day. The fine old trees in the parks and in the squares are losing their green foliage, and stand half naked, shivering in the damp autumn air, while their yellow shrunken leaves are swept rustling along the ground, moaning their melancholy protest against the wandering wind, and even thus early in the season—for it is only late September—visions of November fogs are looming in the near future. But we turn our backs upon the dreary prospect, and send our thoughts onward towards the City of Rome whither we are fast journeying—not that ancient city which sits upon its seven hills, like a discrowned queen, still ruling the world of Art, swaying the minds of men, and, like a gigantic loadstone, drawing the heart of the world towards herself, grander in her age of ruin than her youthful pride; the glory of her dead days circles her with a halo of poetry and romance which renders her immortal. Her ruined palaces and temples lift their hoary heads and crumbling columns heavenward—impressive, awe-inspiring, and time-defying, showing only the footprints of the ages as they have passed solemnly onwards. The stir and bustle of every-day commonplace life, the cavalcade of nineteenth-century frivolities and fashions, have failed to drive the spirit of antiquity from the place; it still sits brooding in the air, permeating the souls and stirring the hearts of men with a passionate enthusiasm for the days that are gone. There is no coming and going of armies, no heathenish maraudings, no slave-trading, war-waging population nowadays; no centurion guards, no glittering cohorts flashing their arms and tossing their white plumes in the face of the sun; yet they seem to have left their ghostly impression on the air, and in the still evening hours we feel their presence revealed to us through (what we call) our imagination, and the past marches solemnly hand-in-hand with the present before our spirit’s eyes; and while we think we are merely day-dreaming—indulging in pleasant reveries—the subtle essence of ourselves is mingling with an immortal past. But it is not towards this ancient city we are fast hastening; our City of Rome is the creation of to-day, it has nothing to say to the yesterdays; its kingdom belongs to the to-morrows, which are crowded into the years to come. It is not throned like its ancient namesake on seven hills, but rides upon the myriad waves of a limitless ocean, and looks as though it could rule them too—this floating city, which is to carry us three thousand miles across the fascinating, fickle, and inconstant sea. Like a strong young giant our noble vessel lifts its great black bulwarks into the sunlight, and we climb its steep sides in the full confidence that much of the nauseating horrors of a sea voyage will be spared to us. The Atlantic steamers, as everyone knows, are all luxuriously appointed, but this is the most luxurious; our state room has two windows draped with green rep, a cosy sofa, and—luxury of luxuries—a reading lamp; one berth is four feet wide, with a spring mattress, downy pillows, and plenty of them; the upper berth is the usual size.It takes us some hours to explore the vessel from end to end, as we are kindly permitted to do; occasionally we lose ourselves, and are picked up by a stray hand and set in the right way. We stroll through the grand saloon, where some frantic musician is already evoking solemn sounds from the grand organ, while the passengers are clamouring for seats at special tables, and the bewildered stewards are distracted in their endeavour to oblige everybody. It is a case of bull-baiting—British bull-baiting; the poor bull is on the horns of a dilemma; he manages to extricate himself somehow, and things settle down to general satisfaction. Descending to the engine-room, we seem to have a glimpse of the infernal regions—such a rattle and clatter of machinery, whizzing and whirling amid the blaze of a hundred fires, some lashed to white heat, others blazing with a steady roar, their red flames leaping over their fiery bed, lighting up the swarthy faces of the firemen, who look like dusky gnomes flitting among eternal fires. By the time we reach the upper deck the tender has departed, the anchor is up, and—are we moving? We seem to be still stationary, but the shores of England are receding from us, the long, curving lines of the shore growing dim and more dim, the forest of shipping with its tall masts and fluttering sails fades slowly from our sight, and as the twilight closes in we are almost out of sight of land; it vanishes away till it looks like a bank of low-lying clouds fringing the horizon; now and then a white sail flashes out of the darkness and is gone.The night is simply superb, and the heavens are ablaze with stars, like a jewelled canopy stretching over us as far as the eye can reach. Such brilliancy above! Such a soft, hazy atmosphere around us! We seem to be floating away into dreamland, as our giant vessel glides like a phantom ship through the drowsy night; but for the phosphorescent waves which run rippling at the side, or swirl in white feathery foam round the bow, we should not know that we are moving—yet we are going at the rapid rate of sixteen knots an hour, so steadily her iron keel treads through the world of waters. Some of our fellow-passengers group themselves on the deck, or stroll up and down singing old home songs or catches, and glees. Lulled by these pleasant sounds and occasional echoes of the sailors’ voices, we sleep soundly through our first night at sea.To some this voyage is a new experience, and to them everything is a pleasure and delight; their senses are on the qui vive, and they extract a keen enjoyment from the slightest matter; whether they are watching the shifting colours of the sea and skies, strolling idly up and down, or leaning over the bulwarks, straining their eyes over the vast expanse, eagerly expecting a school of whales to go spouting past, they are equally happy and content, seeing mountains where never a molehill exists; the atmospheric changes interest them, the whistling of the wind through the shrouds makes a new music to their ears, and the life on board ship with all its variations has the charm of novelty. But the novelty soon wears off and they gradually awake to the fact that a sea-voyage is a most monotonous affair. This the habitués, to whom the voyage is as an oft-told tale, realise from the first moment; they know precisely how the next ten days are likely to pass, and at once set their minds to enliven the monotony, every one contributing something to the amusement of the whole. We are especially fortunate on the present occasion, there being several of Colonel Mapleson’s company on board, who are most amiable in their endeavours to amuse their fellow-passengers. There is also an unusual amount of amateur musical and dramatic talent on board, and they combine together and organise a concert or some kind of dramatic entertainment every evening.About eight o’clock everybody turns out in pretty, simple toilettes, and the stream sets towards the music-room. Great Britain is sparsely represented, and I don’t think with the best specimens; the scanty few seem manufactured for foreign travel only, and are not of the finest workmanship, either of art or nature.On the evening of the first entertainment a gorgeous apparition appeared in the shape of the master of the ceremonies, the only evident reason for his filling that position being his possession of a swallow-tail coat. He was a fair, slim young man, with his hair parted down the middle. He was in full evening dress, with a huge artificial flower—a sunflower—in his buttonhole, and white gloves too long for his fingers. He was a British-Australian, we learned. When he opened his mouth he dropped, not pearls, but h’s; he dropped them in one place and picked them up in another, and in his attempt to announce the different operatic airs he mangled the soft Italian language till it fell upon the ear a mass of mutilated sounds. He had to run the gauntlet of a good deal of masculine chaff, which he bore with a stolid equanimity born of self-contentment; however, he unconsciously contributed to the general amusement, and gave rise to some humorous illustrations which served to beguile the time.The weather continues delightful, a balmy atmosphere brooding over a smooth, grey sea. In quiet uninteresting calm the days pass by, but at night nature rallies her forces and gives us some glorious sunsets, filling the pale skies with cloud islands of golden light, while white and crimson feathery plumes, like spectral palms, float hither and thither across the sea-green sky. But nobody cares for a second-hand sunset, it must be seen to be appreciated—no word-painting or most brilliant colouring on canvas can convey an idea of it.About mid-ocean we fall into foul weather, and a violent game of pitch and toss ensues; a clatter of broken china, contused limbs, and half a score of black eyes are the result. There is a tough-fibred, strong-brained missionary on board, whose very face in its stern rigidity is suggestive of torments here and hereafter. He takes advantage of the occasion and lifts up his eyes and voice in violent denunciation of all miserable sinners, exhorts everybody to repent upon the spot as the day of doom is at hand—the Lord has come in storm and tempest to break up the good ship and bury her living freight at the bottom of the sea! He aggravates the fear, and tortures the nerves, of the weaker vessels, till several ladies are carried to their berths in violent hysterics. Some few husbands, fathers, and lovers, expressed a strong desire to have that missionary “heaved overboard.” We pitied the poor heathens who would presently benefit by his ministrations.We pass out of the storm into genial American weather—blue skies, soft, ambient air, and brilliant sunshine. A foretaste of the lovely Indian summer greets us long before we reach the shore. Our vessel, owing to its gigantic size, is a long time swinging round and entering its dock. We are in sight of New York at three in the afternoon, but it is late in the evening before we are able to effect a landing.Everybody knows what a New York winter is like. We plunge at once into the hurly-burly, and for the next few months we “do as the world doth—say as it sayeth,” and being bound to the wheel whirl with it till the hard king, frost, melts and disappears under the genial breath of a somewhat humid spring; then we turn our faces southward.It is impossible for the best disposed person to extract much pleasure from a dismal drive across the plains of Pennsylvania, while the heavens are weeping copiously, drenching the sick earth with their tears, and dropping a grey cloud mantle over it. A heavy mist is hiding everything, and moves like a shrouded funeral procession among the tall trees, as though it had wrapped the dead winter in its grave-clothes, and was carrying it away for burial in some invisible world we know not of. A damp chillness clings and crawls everywhere; it finds its way to our very bones; we shiver, and draw our wraps closer round us. The whole world seems veiled in mourning for the sins of our forefathers; even the buoyant spirits of the famous Mark Tapley must have gone down under these dreary surroundings.There is nothing to be seen, nothing to be heard, but the pattering rain upon the windows, and the snort or occasional scream of our engine, like the shriek of a bird of prey, as it sweeps on its iron road. We look round us; everything and everybody seems in a state of depression, wrapped in a general gloom. The whimpering cries of the children sink into a dismal rhythmical wail, as though they wrangled by arithmetic, and wept according to rule.There was a small family of these human fledglings aboard, and the parent bird was sorely tried in her endeavour to keep within bounds the belligerent spirits of her flock; in vain she called their attention to imaginary “gee-gees” and the invisible wonders outside—they stared out into the blankness, discovered the deception, and howled louder than ever. The cock-horse limped on its way to Banbury Cross, and even the lady with rings on her fingers and bells on her toes made music in vain. At last a mysterious voice issued from a muffled man in a corner, offering “ten dollars to anybody who would smother that baby.”We all sympathised with the spirit of the offer, but perhaps the fear of after-consequences prevented anybody from accepting it. The mother dived into a boneless, baggy umbrella, which apparently served as luncheon basket, wardrobe, and, I verily believe might have been turned into a cradle; thence she abstracted crackers, apples, and candies—and cotton handerchiefs which she vigorously applied to their little damp noses.This interesting family got off at Baltimore and left us for diversion to our own resources, to feed upon our own reserve fund of spirits, which afforded but poor entertainment.As we reached Washington there was a rift in the clouds overhead, and a brilliant ray of sunlight darted through, lighting up the city, and gilding the great dome of the Capitol with heavenly alchemy; it might have been that some immortal eye had opened suddenly, winked upon this wicked world, and shut again, for in a moment it was as dark and cheerless as before.Here we change cars, and as we pass through the little waiting-room there is a general rush, a clustering at one spot, and a babel of voices clash one with another; we catch a few wandering words—“Here’s where he fell, right here,” “Carried out that way,” “The wretch, I hope he’ll be hung,” &c. We look down and see a small brass star let into the ground, which marks the spot where poor Garfield fell; women prod it with their parasols, men assault it with their walking-sticks. We have no time to shed the “tributary tear”; the bell rings “All aboard, all aboard,” and in another moment we are on our way to Richmond. The weather clears, a few glancing gleams of golden sunlight stream through the broken clouds, then the sun closes its watery eye and goes to sleep, with a fair promise of a bright to-morrow.We roll on through the fresh greenery of Maryland till the evening shadows fall and the death of the day’s life goes out in gloom and heaviness. We spend the hours in anticipatory speculations till we reach Richmond about ten o’clock; we drive at a rapid pace through the rough stony streets till we pull up at Ford’s hotel, where we intend taking up our quarters. A night arrival at a strange hotel is always more or less depressing—on this occasion it is especially so; we pass from the dim obscurity of the streets without to a still greater obscurity within. Preceded by a wisp of a lad we ascend the stairs and pass through a dimly-lighted corridor; not the ghost of a sound follows us, the echo of our footsteps is muffled in the thick carpet, and swallowed up in the brooding silence.Our attendant unlocks and throws open a door, flourishes a tiny lamp above his head, then, with an extra flourish, sets it on the table, inquiring with a hoarse voice, as though he had just made a meal of sawdust, “do we want anything more”; as we had had nothing we could not very well require any more of it. By the light of our blinking lamp we inspect our apartment, which is at least amply supplied with beds; there are three of them, each of Brobdignagian proportions—rivals to the great bed of Ware—they fill the room to overflowing and seem struggling to get out of the window. We are soon lost in a wilderness of feathers and wandering through the land of Nod. It seems to me that the worst room in the house is always reserved for the punishment of late arrivals, which is bad diplomacy on the part of hotel proprietors, as it frequently drives their guests away in search of better quarters. It might have been so with us; but the next morning our smiling host appears and ushers us into a delightful suite of rooms on the ground floor, opposite the gardens of the Capitol, where the playful squirrels are so numerous and so tame that they will come jumping across the road to your windows to be fed, take nuts from your hand, and sit demurely by your side and crack them.


To-day and the yesterdays.—Richmond.—Its monuments.—Its surroundings.—The sculptor’s studio.—Andromache.It is at Richmond we get our first view of the South and the Southern people. Although we are only twelve hours from the booming, hustling city of New York, yet we feel we have entered a strange land. The difference is not so much in mere externals, as that the whole character of life is changed, and from all sides it is borne upon us that we are in the land of a “lost cause;” it impregnates the very air we breathe, and is written on the grave earnest faces of the people; it reveals itself everywhere and in everything.A few hours in Richmond, and somehow we feel as though the war was of yesterday. The victor may forget, but the vanquished, who have tasted the bitterness worse than death, remember; it is ever “yesterday” with the mother who mourns her dead. The passion for Virginia glows in every Virginian breast, and a myriad hearts beating as one mourn with proud regret for her noblest sons. Not Virginia alone; the generous North and faithful South unite in yielding due reverence to the indomitable Jackson and to Lee—the stainless gentleman and pure patriot. Here, in Richmond, those names are household words, and every day we hear fresh anecdotes of their lives and deaths. But the South does not waste its time in lamenting over their graves; there is no greater mistake than to imagine that it is frittering away its energies in vain regrets. The past is past, the dead are buried; and on the ruins of the old life the South is building up a new—in fact, it is recreating itself. New railways opening, great factories arising on every side, bear witness to the energy with which the South is throwing itself into the work of restoration. The reviving South of to-day bears promise of fairer fruitage, a far nobler future than could ever have been reaped from their beloved and buried past. Now that the curse of slavery, the inherited evil—not their crime, but their misfortune—has been torn out of the fair land, at the root of whose seeming prosperity it lay coiled like a canker worm—now that the blot is effaced, washed away in the life blood of the best and bravest of the North and South—their undaunted spirits are united in one grand effort to lift up their beautiful land till it shall stand in the foremost rank among many nations.No one visiting the South to-day can recognise a single feature of its ancient self, so complete is the change that has swept over the whole land, so silent the revolution that has worked in the minds of men and the arrangement of things. It is like a creature that has been dead, buried, and resurrected to a higher and nobler state of existence; in fact, looking back upon its life among the yesterdays it can scarcely recognise itself; the very atmosphere seems changed from a sultry enervating air to an invigorating breeze, affecting the spirits as well as the bodies of the people.Never was ruin so proudly met, defeat so grandly borne; there is no useless looking back, no lingering regrets over the irrevocable past—their eyes and their energies are bent on the onward march. But we must hasten to take our first view of the city of Richmond.It is situated something like its namesake, our own English Richmond, only instead of being laved by our broad familiar Thames, it is girdled by the grand historic river “James,” which winds in graceful coils in and out and round and round like a silver serpent gliding through a paradise of green. The city stands on a series of low-lying softly undulating hills; the Capitol, a building of pure classical architecture, stands in the centre of the city silhouetted against the bright blue sky, and is a landmark for miles round. Standing on this Capitol Hill, the highest point, we have a magnificent view spread panoramically before and around us, while on every side the landscape blends all the softness and brilliant colouring of the lowlands with the strength and majesty of the highland scenery, variegated by picturesque near views of land and water, here a white sail flutters in the soft breeze, and groups of grand old forest trees lift their leafy crowns high into the cloudland, and are sometimes lost among the fleecy cloudlets grey and white that are sailing by, leaving the azure blue far above them; from this point of vantage, we look down, to where the city fades away in ragged fringes of poor squalid-looking dwellings, apparently inhabited by our brethren of African descent. The principal residential streets are certainly fine and wide, with handsome detached houses in varied styles of architecture, which redeem from any monotony the quiet, dignified, and emphatically “gentlemanly neighbourhood.” Looking to the left we see the shabby one-horse cars crawling along the crazy up-and-down streets, running hither and thither, stretching away till they are hidden in a wilderness of green or lost in the pale blue mist of the distant horizon, and the public buildings, cathedral, and many-spired churches are prominent features therein. The river stretching away to the right widens and hides among the foothills, then reappears again and again till it dwindles into a narrow thread, seeming to sew the land and skies together. Looking round on this imposing scene, so rich in memories of bygone days, our thoughts naturally connect the present with the past, and wander through the long line of dead years to a time more than two centuries ago, when the great ships ploughed the breast of this river, and brought the first freight of civilisation to what was then a wilderness.Away to the left, about two miles along the banks of the river, we descry the spot where Powhatan wielded his sceptre and ruled his dusky tribe as kings rule not in these days; we can almost fancy we see Pocahontas launch her frail skiff upon the bosom of the placid water.All trace of the tribe and of their dwelling is swept away; only the grand old trees marked by the finger of passing ages still stand, with gnarled and knotted trunks, quivering leaves, and withering branches, as though they were struggling in their death agony, and must soon lie low, with the rest of earth’s perishable things. Only a stretch of fancy, and we see Captain Smith surrounded by swarms of threatening faces, passing under their green vigorous branches, as he believes, to a barbarous death.Before descending the hill, we make a tour of inspection around the splendid groups of statuary which adorn the gardens. First in public favour and in general interest stands the Washington monument; a gigantic and finely executed equestrian figure of George Washington, mounted on an imposing granite column, rising from a star-shaped base; beneath and around him, standing on separate pillars, are the full sized figures of Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and sundry other heroes and statesmen of past days; but of later and fresher interest, is the bronze statue said to be a life-like portrait of Stonewall Jackson. This fine production is believed to be the last and best work of the celebrated English sculptor Foley; it bears the following inscription:— “Presented by English gentlemen as a tribute of admiration for the soldier and patriot, Thomas J. Jackson, and gratefully accepted by Virginia in the name of the Southern people. Done A.D. 1875, in the year of the Commonwealth.” “Look! There is Jackson, standing like a stone wall.”Yes; there he stands to-day, in dark and strong relief against the burning blue of his own Virginian skies! Stands, every inch a chief, as he will stand for ever shrined in the hearts of the Southern people—a monument of all that is staunch and true in human kind; not more immovable now upon his marble pedestal, than at that hour when the ranks of his men in grey stood like granite under the Federal fire. In the Capitol library hangs the Confederate flag, dusty and battle-worn, proudly pointed out to strangers, and regarded with reverence by those who followed it, and saw it flutter through the smoke of battle. Round the library walk are ranged the portraits of the great Southern leaders. Here is the noble and thoughtful face, “the good grey head that all men knew,” of General Lee, and there the dark stern brow of Stonewall Jackson; and here is Jefferson Davis, and many other statesmen and patriots of the fallen Confederacy.An ardent Virginian accompanied us on our tour through his beloved city; with lingering eyes, he gazed tenderly upon the figure of the general who had led them through so many fires. “Ah!” said he, shaking his head regretfully, “there’ll never be another Stonewall, he was popular even with the union men; they all admired our dashing commander.” He added with kindling eyes, “I remember one day, when our troops were camped on the south bank of the Rappahannock about a mile from the shore, the Federal troops occupied the opposite side; both encampments extended for several miles, a line of pickets was stretched along both banks, and though within easy rifle shot of each other, firing was by tacit agreement for a while suspended. Although talking across the river was strictly prohibited, the orders were not heeded, and lively wordy skirmishing was carried on. One day, loud cheering was heard on the left of the Confederate line, and as brigade after brigade took it up, the sound rolled down the southern side of the river. “‘What’s all that cheering about, boys?’ asked the Federal pickets. “‘It’s old Stonewall riding along the line,’ was the reply, shouted across the water; and the pickets on both sides of the river took up the cry, and foes and friends together were waving their hats and shouting— “‘Hurrah! hurrah! for old Stonewall!’”Having duly admired all we ought to admire, we descend the hill and commence our explorations of the town. We thread the pretty shady streets, pass the Monumental Church, erected above the ruins of the Richmond Theatre, which was destroyed by fire in 1811 during the performance of The Bleeding Nun, when scarcely a dozen of the audience were saved, and many of the most influential families of the town perished in the flames. We pause a moment before the “Allan House,” where that strange mystical genius, Edgar Allan Poe, passed the early years of his most troublous self-tormented life. It is a square, old-fashioned, brick building, with a high sloping roof, surrounded by ragged, forlorn-looking weedy grounds; ruin is fast working its will with the old house, and desolation seems to flap its wings from the tumbling chimney stacks, while memories of brighter days are brooding behind the shuttered windows. Presently we pass the Libby Prison—a large, low, melancholy-looking building on the banks of the river. We shudder as we remember the tales of bygone sufferings there, and pass quickly on our way to visit the tobacco factory of Messrs. Mayo and Co. No overpowering odour such as we had apprehended greets us there as we enter the premises, but a sweet pleasant fragrance, like that of Spanish liquorice or some agreeable confection, pervades the atmosphere. We arrive at the busiest business hour of the day, and the “hands,” consisting of several hundred negroes, are industriously at work, weighing, sorting, sifting, and pressing with all their might; a hive of the busiest of human bees, singing their quaint songs, but never for a moment relaxing in their labours—their melancholy, melodious voices rising and falling, swelling and rolling, in waves of harmonious sounds. As, one after the other, they become conscious of the presence of strangers, their voices die away, and a hush gradually falls over the entire mass.Seeing how much we are struck by those peculiarly sweet negro voices, Mr. Mayo courteously desires a select number to gather at one end of the extensive room, and sing for our special benefit. Chairs are brought, an impromptu auditorium formed, the dusky troop assemble, and a tall, coal-black negro, with white gleaming teeth and shining eyes, steps forward, strikes the first note, and leads his fellows through the musical maze. They wander away from the fields of their own quaint melodies, and, I presume in deference to our presence, start at a run into the realms of religious poetry, and sing some of their stirring revivalist hymns, characteristic of their race and reflecting their tone of mind.Before we leave, however, they descend from their heights, and ring out some catching popular airs, winding up with an old favourite, “The Suwanee River.” After a most pleasant hour we take our leave, and carry with us an impression we shall not easily forget. Down on the main street we pass the “old stone house,” the most ancient building in the city. Tradition connects it with the names of Washington, Lafayette, and many other celebrities of bygone days; there are several other roomy old-fashioned houses scattered about the city, more interesting from their historical association than their architectural beauty. Progressing still downwards, we cross the bridge which connects Richmond with the suburb of Manchester, a dreary-looking, scattered town on the opposite bank of the river. We stand for many minutes on the centre of the bridge, and gaze round in simple awe and admiration. The river, no longer a tranquil stream, boils and bubbles in whirling eddies beneath our feet, rushing in roaring rapids on its tempestuous way, leaping in white foam flecks over the rough boulders, and hissing round the base of the beautiful islands which rise from its stormy breast—not bald or barren islands, but covered with a rich growth of variegated shrubs and trees, which spread their green branches, like blessing hands, over the face of the stormy waters. It is a wonderfully fine view, full of suggestive poetry and romance, and for many moments holds us spell-bound; this rich woodland, growing out of the depths of the turbulent water in serene loveliness, contrasting with the white gnashing teeth of the foaming wave-crests below. On our left rises the city of Richmond, seated like a queen upon her throne, clasped by her girdle of green, and living waters flowing at her feet. On our right stands the homely city of Manchester, a foil to the grace and loveliness of the fair city on the opposite shore; before us lie the ancient hunting grounds of Powhatan; around us the land-locked waters rush foaming and roaring on, winding through banks of glorious green till they fall into the quiet far-off bay and there find peace, like unquiet spirits sinking to eternal rest. Low-lying upon the shore close by are the Tredegar Iron Works, belching forth flames and smoke, flinging their lurid light in the face of the summer sun.We are travelling with flying feet, and have little time to loiter on our way; having taken in the chief points of interest in the city of Richmond, we drive out to the beautiful cemetery of Hollywood; this is rather a melancholy pleasure, for on every side are monuments raised to the illustrious dead, whose names are familiar to our ears as household words; they are written in emblazoned letters on the scroll of fame, and will be read by trumpet-tongue when they are unrolled in the light of heaven. Here is the invariable monument to the “Confederate dead;” it is the first we see, but not the last, by many. No Southern city is so poor but it can afford to lavish its tribute of honour to its loved and lost.Before leaving Richmond we pay a visit to the studio of the well-known sculptor, E. V. Valentine, of whom Virginia is so justly proud. The studio is full of minor works of art; hands and feet, as though they were lately amputated, are flung in dusty corners; masks and faces frown or smile from the walls, and many-winged cherubs are flying over our heads. Some have flown away, and are fixed in monumental marble in some far-away graveyard; and bygone beauties, some robed in white, some in the salmon-coloured glory of terra-cotta, are crowded on the shelves, face downward or upward, tumbled one over the other without the slightest regard to their dignity. On one side of the room stands a dwarfed equestrian figure of General Lee; he appears to have been arrested sword in hand as he was galloping to the front, the look and attitude are startlingly life-like; we can almost fancy we hear the word of command issuing from the stony lips; one touch of the magic wand would make the marble palpitate and live; but the living must die, and this piece of sculptured stone will stand for ages to come; long after generation on generation has passed away, he will still stand in the light of the world’s eyes even as he is standing before us now, with the “light of battle on his face” and the word of command upon his lips. On the opposite side of the room lies the reverse figure; there the patriot chief is stretched full length upon his bier as on a bed of rest, the noble face set in a mighty calm, the left arm thrown across his breast, the right straightened at his side, grasping his sword, “the attitude in which he always slept upon the battle-field.” So one of his faithful followers tells us as he looks down on the recumbent figure. “Why represent him in repose?” he demurs. “To me, who have seen him so often in action, it is not the attitude in which he should have been immortalised.”We think otherwise as we gaze on the serene and noble face set in the calm of—is it sleep? or death? After action, repose; after the battle-fever, rest. To us it is sweet, not sad, to think how— “To the white regions of eternal peaceThe General has gone forward!”In the centre of the room a huge calico extinguisher has descended from the ceiling, and hides something we are about to see; some invisible machinery upraises the extinguisher, and reveals a muffled group, swathed in wet linen, which is slowly unwound—and we gaze upon the sculptor’s masterpiece, Andromache, modelled in clay. He has chosen no moment of tragic agony for his work; but a still scene of home life. Hector has gone to the war—the pain of parting is over, and Andromache sits at her spinning-wheel, her hands lying listlessly in her lap, the thread still between her fingers, her eyes looking forward but seeing nothing. Her thoughts have wandered after her hero, and are lost on the battle-field. The attitude, full of grace, is one of utter despondency, the lovely face is full of sadness and longing, shadowed by a weariness that tells of almost helpless despair. A lizard, the emblem of death, is stealing out from among the folds of her drapery, to snap the thread that lies so loosely in her hand. Her child, a sunny-faced, smiling cherub, has climbed upon her lap, and is playing with her neck ornament, trying in vain to attract her attention, and watching for the smile of recognition to dawn upon her lips.The work is still in an unfinished state; the artist being occupied in arranging the draperies and carrying out other details of his work. It is exquisite in design and finely executed. I have no doubt that this rare work of art, will, when completed, find its way into the European galleries. Meanwhile the artist turns a shower of spray upon the beautiful group, wraps her again in her damp swathing clothes, the calico extinguisher descends, and Andromache is lost to view.