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THE TOURIST'S GUIDE.
Interesting hints to Tourists; Pleasant jaunt abroad during the sum.
mer months; Preference given to Packet-ships : Icebergs; English Channel; Ireland; Holly Head; Liverpool; Elopement of an Ame. rican lady; Docks; Disgusting sight; Prodigious strength of the English dray-horse; Royal Exchange; Nelson's monument; Custom House and Post Office; The market-house; Immense importation of Eggs; Hotels ; Expenses; Admirable police ; Museum; Theatre; St. James' Cemetery ; Factories; Environs of Liverpool ; English politeness, &c.
The American tourist, before leaving his native land, should procure from the State Department a passport, so requisite when abroad; this document is forwarded without any expense to the citizen who makes the application, the applicant stating his age, complexion, colour of his eyes, hair, height, &c. No passport is demanded on landing in England, but when leaving for the Continent, the tourist must call and deposit it with the American Minister, who will file it, and issue one under his own hand and seal, -if going from England to France, Belgium, Holland, &c., the document must be taken to the Minister in whose country the tourist intends to land, for his endorsement, which is attended to immediately, free of charge, and on arriving on the Continent, it is demanded by the police, examined, and returned, for which a small fee is given. All luggage, however, is strictly examined in England, as well as on the Continent, and books, prints, paintings. cigars, tobacco, &c., are made to pay a duty. The tourist should also provide himself with one of Mitchell's maps of the United States, the pocket edition, which he will find a very necessary
appendage while abroad, and if he has not travelled, nor made himself acquainted with his own country, previous to embarking, he should study the map well on the voyage, in order to make himself perfect with all the states, rivers, mountains, latitudes, productions, &c., to be ready in a moment to answer any questions relative to his native land, without referring to his notes, or map; which will be often asked while travelling, from inquisitive stran. gers, who are now particularly anxious to know every thing about the United States. I hope these hints will not be idly thrown aside by those intending to cross the Atlantic, for it must be conceded that a more mortifying situation cannot be conceived than for a tourist, in a foreign country, associating with men of letters, or in finding himself by accident thrown among strangers, and be unable to answer even common-place questions, relative to the geographical, political, or moral position of his native land, or its institutions. Comment is unnecessary, his position, however, would not be a very enviable one, especially if he happens to be a gentleman of standing and refinement.
While roving through foreign countries, admiring the beautiful scenery, and indulging myself in studying the manners, customs, and political movements of the people, I have often wondered how so many fashionable young men, of comparatively easy fortunes, can possibly prefer visiting our watering-places during the summer months, to idle away their time in drinking water, playing at cards, billiards, &c., or attending balls with the thermometer at ninety degrees, then retiring to a small, confined room, or cabin, to be lulled to sleep by a serenade from the harmless musquitoes, and dream of the passing events of the day, and on rising the next morning to see the same faces, scenery, &c., and this from day to day, and week to week, when, but a trifling amount added to their daily expenses for such comforts, without any information or improvement to be derived therefrom, they would be enabled to visit three or four kingdoms, their capitals, institutions, and people, and in addition have a pleasant sail of seven thousand miles on the Atlantic. I need not inquire which would prove most conducive to health, throwing aside the great fund of information, coupled with amusement, to be derived from such a pleasing and instructive summer excursion.
In crossing the Atlantic, I would advise all travellers, if they consult their own comfort and pleasure, by all means to take a packet-ship in preference to a steamer. in the American ships will be found every luxury, and excellent attendance, with splendidly-furnished state-rooms, for single persons or families. The commanders, generally, are perfect seamen, gentlemanly and intelligent, and do the honours of the table equal to a Chesterfieldian of the old school; strictly temperate, as well as their excellent
crews, who are generally selected, first-rate seamen, and their language at all times, in tempest or calm, decorous, as not to cause a tinge in the cheek of the most fastidious. A packet-ship rides easy and gracefully over the billows like a thing of life, and her deck free from dampness. On the contrary, a steamer, with a head-wind and sea is forced through the waves, dashing the spray from stem to stern, making the deck a place too unpleasant for those wishing the air, or for promenading, so much desired at sea, and the constant jar from the head sea prevents at night the ne. cessary repose. I have tried both, in calms and heavy gales, on the Atlantic, and in the North Sea, and should ever give preference to the splendid American packet-ships, with their usually polite and attentive commanders.
The Columbus packet-ship was considered a crack craft for sailing, as well as having excellent accommodations. In her ( took passage from New York to Liverpool. Among the passengers were several British officers, with their ladies, from Canada, returning to England ; also a young lady from Washington city, who had eloped with a gentleman from New York, and who I frequently met with afterwards in different parts of England, and last in London, at the Victoria Hotel, Euston Square, West End, -all of which will be mentioned in a future number of “Pencillings Abroad.” Our gallant ship was on the Banks of Newfoundland in six days out, where we fell in with an immense field of icebergs; and the sight was beautiful, resembling floating castles, lighthouses, &c.; and during their proximity, we found a change of clothing necessary, so cold was the atmosphere, especially at night. A double watch was placed on the forecastle all night, on the look out, both for the ice and the numerous fishing vessels which were there lying at anchor; and to make all more careful, our bell continued tolling all night, to give warning to the fishermen to hoist their lights. The eighteenth day out, we made Cape Clear, and in running up channel along the Irish coast, under a four knot breeze, I made arrangements with Colonel G., of the British army, to land at Cork, by taking one of the fishing vessels which always come off as the ships pass up channel, to sell fish and take passengers to Cork, &c.; but, unfortunately for us, when off Cork, a nine knot breeze suddenly springing up, we soon left the fishing vessel, and no entreaty could induce our polite captain to lie to for the small craft to come up. The next morning we were off Holly Head, and telegraphed, and the following morning the captain knocked at my state-room, to come on deck to see the ship enter the ponderous gates of Prince's Dock. On landing, I took a cab and drove to the Queen's Arms, Castle Street, where I partook for the first time of an excellent English breakfast, which was quite a treat, after a sail of 3000 miles, confined on board ship.
Liverpool, at first, is not apt to make so favourable an impression on the tourist as is most generally expected after a long voyage; but after a few days' sojourn, he will not only be pleased with its location, but with its truly hospitable inhabitants. The docks are, indeed, a master-piece of solid masonry: their extent and magnificence are said to be not surpassed in the world and all who first view them, wonder how the merchants ever made out without them, considering the rise and fall of the Mersey, and so unprotected the harbour from storms. No fire or light is permitted on board vessels after entering the Docks. The captains, as well as the mates and crew, board on shore, and the police are active to see the regulations strictly adhered to.
The most disgusting sight to me, on passing the great thoroughfares in Liverpool, was seeing women and young girls employed in scraping up street manure with their naked hands, and placing it in baskets, or their aprons; when filled, it is deposited in piles near the side-walk, each party having their own separate heap, and each female with watchful eye fixed on the passing animals, and making a rush for the prize as it may be,-and in the scramble, oft-times, blows are given and returned by the contending parties. These scenes are so common, as not to be noticed by the citizens, but cause feelings of pity in the bosom of the modest, enlightened American.
The noble dray horses attract the notice of all strangers in Liverpool, not only for their symmetry, but for their great strength, size, and sleek appearance. I have frequently seen one of these animals drawing with apparent case over the stone pavement, a dray carrying thirty bales of American cotton, when an American dray-horse would be compelled to put forth his whole strength in drawing the empty dray.
The Royal Exchange is a noble pile, built of stone, to which is added a news and reading-room, very capacious and convenient, and has not its equal in the kingdom. On the day of my arrival, Mr. Wilmer politely called and introduced me to the rooms by placing my name on the strangers' book. In the court-yard of the Exchange stands a beautiful, faultless marble monument, erected by the town of Liverpool, in memory of the gallant achievements of Lord Nelson.
The Custom-House is the largest public building in Liverpool, of stone, one wing of which is occupied by the Post-office. The spot on which this beautiful building stands, was, but a few years since, covered by water. Having a letter of introduction to the collector of the port, that gentleman politely conducted me over the whole edifice, introducing me to the principal officers and post-master, the latter inviting me at all times to visit his private room to write, or read the papers, during my sojourn in the town.
The market-house is the most spacious of any in England, and best supplied; the roof covers over an acre, and from within, no pillars are seen by which it is supported. It has an imposing effect to the stranger. The market is attended mostly by women, all dressed in the neatest style possible, and all their stalls and stands show clearly women's handiwork: neatness with regularity. I was truly astonished on being informed by a merchant that the quantity of eggs yearly sent from Ireland to Liverpool, amounted to the enormous sum of £500,000 sterling—that good and bad eggs were the same price, as the factories used both for sizing in immense quantities.
The Hotels in Liverpool all appeared in the most perfect order, cleanliness seemed to reign throughout, the servants strictly attentive, and, as in all hotels in England, a chamber is engaged, and you only pay for what is called for; dine, breakfast, and sup where you please and when you please. The sleeping-rooms are without fault, and the sweet smile and courtesy from the chamber-maid, as she presents a light of pure wax, in a candle-stick of silver, on a silver salver at the head of the stairs, is alone sufficient to make a stranger feel contented and at home in an English hotel.
The police are numerous, and may be seen in every square, and known by their uniform of blue cloth, trimmed with silver lace. Their regulations are most admirable, and their polite attention to strangers, both day and night, is proverbial : going frequently much out of their way to serve them, and are never known to take the smallest fee for their trouble.
The Museum is a handsome building, and contains a very numerous and well-selected assortment of curiosities, and well worth a shilling to examine them. It seemed a place of resort for all strangers, and the music, which is invisible, was, to my ear, truly enchanting.
The Theatre appeared crowded nightly. It is a handsome edifice, and the boxes are far more comfortable than in any of the American theatres, and good order seemed to prevail over the whole house during the performance.
The ladies dress without any desire to make a display; neatness with comfort combined, seemed their object, which should ever be the case in all nightly public places of amusement.
St. James' Cemetery is a great resort for strangers on visiting Liverpool. It is at the head of Duke Street, where stands in beautiful bold relief, St. James' Chapel. Should the tourist be at the post-office, a ten minutes' walk will take him to this beautiful, unique resting-place for the dead. The summit of the hill in Duke Street was a quarry, from which all the stone used in the public buildings was taken, to the depth of sixty feet, and about three acres in extent. St. James' Chapel faces the head of Duke Street,