Our Foreign Correspondent
Here I really sit at a front window of the Bath Hotel, Piccadilly. It's not a fashionable
place, but Uncle stopped here years ago, and won't go anywhere else. However, we don't
mean to stay long, so it's no great matter. Oh, I can't begin to tell you how I enjoy it all! I
never can, so I'll only give you bits out of my notebook, for I've done nothing but sketch
and scribble since I started.
I sent a line from Halifax, when I felt pretty miserable, but after that I got on delightfully,
seldom ill, on deck all day, with plenty of pleasant people to amuse me. Everyone was
very kind to me, especially the officers. Don't laugh, Jo, gentlemen really are very
necessary aboard ship, to hold on to, or to wait upon one, and as they have nothing to do,
it's a mercy to make them useful, otherwise they would smoke themselves to death, I'm
Aunt and Flo were poorly all the way, and liked to be let alone, so when I had done what
I could for them, I went and enjoyed myself. Such walks on deck, such sunsets, such
splendid air and waves! It was almost as exciting as riding a fast horse, when we went
rushing on so grandly. I wish Beth could have come, it would have done her so much
good. As for Jo, she would have gone up and sat on the maintop jib, or whatever the high
thing is called, made friends with the engineers, and tooted on the captain's speaking
trumpet, she'd have been in such a state of rapture.
It was all heavenly, but I was glad to see the Irish coast, and found it very lovely, so
green and sunny, with brown cabins here and there, ruins on some of the hills, and
gentlemen's countryseats in the valleys, with deer feeding in the parks. It was early in the
morning, but I didn't regret getting up to see it, for the bay was full of little boats, the
shore so picturesque, and a rosy sky overhead. I never shall forget it.
At Queenstown on of my new acquaintances left us, Mr. Lennox, and when I said
something about the Lakes of Killarney, he sighed and and, with a look at me...
"Oh, have you e'er heard of Kate Kearney?
She lives on the banks of Killarney;
From the glance of her eye,
Shun danger and fly,
For fatal's the glance of Kate Kearney."
Wasn't that nonsensical?
We only stopped at Liverpool a few hours. It's a dirty, noisy place, and I was glad to
leave it. Uncle rushed out and bought a pair of dog-skin gloves, some ugly, thick shoes,
and an umbrella, and got shaved à la mutton chop, the first thing. Then he flattered
himself that he looked like a true Briton, but the first time he had the mud cleaned off his
shoes, the little bootblack knew that an American stood in them, and said, with a grin,
"There yer har, sir. I've given 'em the latest Yankee shine." It amused Uncle immensely.
Oh, I must tell you what that absurd Lennox did! He got his friend Ward, who came on