Frank G. (Frank George) Carpenter.

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The people were already skilled in handling tools, and
they soon learned to make things by machinery.

At present Birmingham produces millions of steel pens
every year, and millions upon millions of screws and nails,
and so many pins and needles that if you should sit down
and try to count the number made in one month, you could
hardly finish the job in your lifetime. The city has also
foundries and factories for heavy machinery, steam engines,


and cannon; it makes vast numbers of bicycles and
sewing machines, and also buttons and jewelry and other
articles of every description from iron, brass, steel, copper,
and tin, as well as from silver and gold. It makes so
many toys that it has been called the toy shop of Europe,
and we enjoy ourselves going through the establishments
where toy engines, little iron wagons, and countless other
things to amuse children are made in large quantities.

From Birmingham we take a train for Manchester, situ-
ated in the Lancashire coal fields, to see the cotton
mills which are fed by the plantations of our southern
States. England is our best customer for cotton, and we
sell her millions of bales every year. Her soil is such
that she cannot raise cotton ; but, nevertheless, making
cotton thread and weaving cotton cloth are by far the
most important of all her industries, and she has twenty-
five hundred factories, in which more than a half million
people ,are employed, including one hundred thousand

We pass through many cotton-spinning towns on our
way to Manchester, for the Lancashire coal fields are
densely populated. The country is dotted with smoke-
stacks, and the water is so discolored by the dyes used for
calicoes and other cloths that the streams and canals seem
to flow ink. We visit Preston, where in 1768 Arkwright
set up his first mill to weave cotton by machinery, and at
Blackburn, in a little valley nine miles away, see where
Hargraves established his " spinning jenny " at about the
same time. Both towns are still important weaving places,
Preston being noted for its yarns and fine cotton cloths.

We spend some days in Manchester going through its
many warehouses and its numerous factories. It is the
fourth city of Great Britain in size, and its commerce has


been much increased by the canal which its people have
dug out to the sea.

For a long time all the cotton used here was landed at
Liverpool, and thence shipped by rail to the factories. By
the Manchester Canal large steamers can come from the
ocean right into the city, and bririg the cotton from our
country almost to the doors Of the mills.

Manchester Canal.

This canal is one of the wonders of Great Britain. It
is more than thirty-five miles long, one hundred and twenty
feet wide, and twenty-six feet deep. It cost a vast sum,
but Manchester people believe it will make their city grow
as Glasgow did after the deepening of the Clyde. A part
of this canal was made by deepening the little river Irwell,
which flows through Manchester on its way to the sea.

We take a trip on the canal, passing cotton mills all
the way down. Now we pass ships from New Orleans,


Savannah, and Galveston, coming up or unloading cotton
bales at the mills on the banks, and now pass cotton ships
from Egypt and India. There are other vessels loaded
with manufactured goods going down stream, and we have

The Harbor, Liverpool.

company all the way until we enter the mouth of the Mersey
(mer'zi)in the crowded harbor of Liverpool, and anchor
there in one of the chief commercial ports of the world.

Liverpool is about as big as Boston ; it is next to Lon-
don the chief port of Great Britain, and is one of the busi-


est places in Europe. We land at the magnificent stone
docks which wall the banks of the Mersey for miles, look-
ing longingly at the great steamers from New York, which
are unloading meat, wheat, and other American products,
and taking on English manufactured goods to carry back
home. See that ocean greyhound which is about starting
out ! We might go on board and within less than a week
be back in dear old America ! We hesitate only a moment,
however, and then turn our eyes toward the great steamers
from Germany, France, Scandinavia, and the Mediter-
ranean ports, remembering the many strange countries of
Europe which we have yet to see.

We stroll about the docks. Many of them surround
great pools into which the ships are admitted through
water gates, for it is often difficult to unload in the harbor
on account of the great rise and fall of the tide in the
Mersey. Other ships use floating landing stages for this
reason, the floats rising and falling as the tide comes in
and goes out.

We soon leave the wharves for a trip through the city.
We visit the custom house, the town hall, und the stock
exchange, and then take
a train for Stratford-on-
Avon, for all of our
party are eager to spend
a day in visiting the
birthplace of Shake-
speare, the great poet
and dramatist. We stay
overnight here at the old " the house in which Shakespeare
Red Horse Inn where was born '"

Washington Irving l^ved when he was in Stratford, and
next morning wander about the town, visiting the house


in which Shakespeare was born, the church where he was

buried, and the cottage in which he courted Ann Hatha-
way who became his
wife. In the after-
noon we drive to the
old castle of Kenil-
worth, only a few
miles away. Thence
we go into Coventry,
a town famous for
Kenilworth. its manufactures of

watches, bicycles, and ribbons, and from there by fast

express to London.


WE start out this morning to see something of Lon-
don. It is the biggest city of the whole world,
bigger than any two capitals of continental Europe, or both
New York and Chicago combined. It has more people
than New England, so many that it forms a little world
of its own. The most of its citizens are English, but
there are thousands of others who have come here to
live and do business. It is said London has more Scotch-
men than Edinburgh, more Irishmen than Dublin, and
more Jews than the Holy Land. It has a vast number
of French, Germans, and Italians, and many thousand
Americans. It grows so fast that a new house goes up
every hour, a baby is born every six minutes, and enough
people to make a large city are added to its population
every year.


London has been described as an enormous beehive of
humanity. It is a great sea of bricks and mortar, and we
are appalled in our attempts to comprehend its extent
We might climb to the top of the monument in the center
of the chief business section and look over the great city,
but we could not see it all. It has thousands of factories,
which cause dense clouds of smoke to hang over it. The
Thames, which flows through it, sometimes sends up fogs,
which at certain seasons are so thick that the people can
hardly see their way through the streets. Some of the
fogs have a yellowish tint, and in them you seem to be
looking through spectacles of yellow smoked glass.

How long do you think it would take to explore the city
on foot ? A week ? More than that. A month ? More
than that. Perhaps a year? More than that. If we
should walk day and night, not stopping a minute, we could
not go through all its streets in a year. Indeed, the streets
are so long that if they were placed end to end, beginning
at the Thames, they would reach across Europe, making a
paved walk walled with houses through France, Germany,
and Russia, over the Ural Mountains and the Highlands
of Thibet, and clear across China to the Pacific Ocean.

We might learn something about London by a trip down
the Thames which flows through it on its way to the sea.
The city is sixty miles inland on this wide, deep, and
smooth-flowing river, so situated that it is the natural out-
*let for the rich Thames valley, and so connected with
other parts of England by railways and canals that it
forms the best port for the shipment of all sorts of English
manufactures to Europe and the other continents, and the
place from which goods from abroad can most easily be
sent out to all parts of England.

London is the greatest commercial port of the world,


and the Thames has always thousands of ships anchored
within it. The river for miles is lined with wharves, and
there are so many vessels in some places that you can
hardly make out the houses behind them. Standing upon
London Bridge, we see a forest of masts extending on
and on until our eyes are lost among them in the dis-
tance, and in the inclosed docks near by, the rigging of
the vessels rises high among the chimneys of the great
warehouses surrounding them.

We shall get an idea of the immensity of London by a
visit to the grain and provision docks, where Darne Com-
merce is kept busy unloading food for its gigantic stomach.
They are taking off live cattle and sheep by the thousands,
and discharging shiploads of beef which have come across
the ocean from the United States in cold storage chambers.
London eats so much beef every year that the cattle required
to supply it, if driven along close together in single file,
would make a drove as long as the distance from New
York to a hundred miles beyond Omaha. The city eats
so much mutton that vast factories have grown up in Aus-
tralia, New Zealand, and Argentina to freeze mutton for
its markets. The mutton is frozen hard before it is put
into the cold chambers of the ships, and when it reaches
here is thawed out and sold.

In the fish markets there are hundreds of vessels, for
London eats more than one million pounds of fish every
day ; and there are many great oyster farms all along the
Thames which supply the city with oysters. The peo-
ple of Denmark would suffer if it were not for the money
they get from the butter which spreads London's bread,
and northern France receives much of its income by
supplying London with poultry and eggs. Canada and
the United States send it vast quantities of cheese, and


6 9

indeed almost every part of the world finds something to
do towards supplying food for it.

We are fortunate in having good weather during our
travels in London. To-day the Thames is glistening like
diamonds under the rays of the sun, and the dingy build-
ings about us look less somber than they did last night in
the fog. We leave
our hotel at Trafal-
gar Square, near the
great granite col-
umn with the bronze
statue of Admiral
Nelson on top, and
walk down to the
Strand at Charing
Cross, where we get
an omnibus for Lon-
don Bridge. This
will take us through
the very center of
business London.

How narrow the
streets are and how
crowded ! They are
so thronged from

" We climb up."

morning till night, that there is no room for car lines, and
those who ride must go in cabs, carriages, or omnibuses.
We climb up and take our places on the knifeboard in front
on each side of the driver, who points out the sights as we
go. He is a jolly, rosy-cheeked, man in a tall hat and
rough clothes, who uses his h's in a way that seems strange
to us. He calls "he" "e," and "horses" "osses," and
speaks so queerly that we hardly understand half he says s



How interesting it is ! We are high up above the
crowds that are hurrying in all directions ; while a tangle
of hansoms, four-wheeled carriages, drays, and omnibuses
reaches on and on, filling the streets as far as we can
see. The buildings on each side of us are dingy and
old. There are few tall structures like our so-called " sky
scrapers " of New York, and were it not for the dense
throng of people, we could not believe we are in the

world's chief busi-
ness center.

We are traveling
through a part of old
London where many
of the houses were
built generations ago,
and where the streets
are narrow and
crooked. Now we
are passing through
Fleet Street by the
great publishing
houses. See the boys
and girls coming out
with bundles of
newspapers under their arms. The girls are bareheaded,
and they cry out the papers almost as loudly as the boys.
It is here that the chief London dailies are printed.

Now we are going past Saint Paul's Cathedral ! What an
enormous building it is. It is one of the grandest churches
of the world. It is twelve o'clock, and its great bell is
striking the hour. That bell is tolled only at the death of
one of the royal family of England, but it strikes the hours,
and its rich mellow tones can be heard far out of the city.

Saint Paul's Cathedral.


Leaving Saint Paul's, we pass through Cheapside and
Poultry to Lombard Street, where we get down and walk
about through the alleys lined with banks and business
houses. We are now in the money center of London. We
walk through Cornhill, Lombard, and Threadneedle Streets,
seeing banking signs everywhere. The buildings are usually
of five or six stories. They are substantial, but not so large
as the great office buildings of New York and Chicago.
We see many well-dressed men about the stock exchange,
and realize that this is the chief money market of the
whole world. There are men here interested in under-
takings all over the globe. Railroads in South America,
diamond -mines in Africa, silk factories in China, sugar
plantations in Cuba, vast sheep farms in Australia, and
gold, silver, and copper mines everywhere, are worked
with capital supplied from this part of London. These
buildings are filled with offices. They are occupied only
by day ; at night they will be deserted by all but the care-
takers, for,the rich men and their clerks will then be in
their homes in other parts of the city.

But what is that vast structure of somber gray stone ?
It covers eight acres, and is the biggest building of this
part of London. It looks like a prison. There is a guard
at the door in a long scarlet gown and a velvet cocked
hat. He has a staff in his hand, and at first we wonder if
he is not some great money king and whether the staff is
his scepter. That is the Bank of England, one of the
most famous banks of the world. It has charge of the
government funds, and also does so much private business
that it often has as much as a half billion dollars worth of
gold and other valuable things in its vaults. We have
a permit from a banker, which we show to the scarlet-
gowned guard, and he waves us to enter.


"That is the Bank of England."

We first come into a large square room surrounded by
counters, behind which clerks are giving out gold. They
are not counting the coins as we do, but are weighing
them on scales like those used by our grocers. See that
man there scooping up gold just as a grocer scoops up sugar.
He knows exactly how many coins go to the ounce or the
pound, and in giving out large sums can count more easily
by weight than by numbers. For this reason the coins
used by the bank must be perfect, and none that are much
worn or chipped will be taken. Every coin which the
bank receives is weighed separately to see that it has just
the right amount of gold in it ; but this is done by machines
which work very rapidly, automatically throwing out the
light coins. There are ten such machines in the bank, each
of which can weigh six thousand pieces of gold a day.

Quitting the bank, we visit the Royal Exchange near
by, and -then cross over to the Mansion House where the



Lord Mayor lives. We next visit the Tower of London,
which for years was the prison and place of execution for
the celebrated criminals and traitors of England. It is a
gloomy building on the banks of the Thames, some of it
almost one thousand years old. A quaintly attired warder
acts as our guide, taking us from room to room, upstairs

"We next visit the Tower of London."

and down, and making us shudder as he tells the horrible
stories of the suffering and death which have occurred
within it. He shows us Queen Elizabeth's armory, where
are all sorts of weapon's and instruments of torture, and
lets us handle an ax which has cut off the heads of some
of England's great nobles.

In another room we see the crown jewels of England.
They are kept in glass cases inside iron cages and carefully
guarded. That crown there which fairly blazes with
precious stones was once Queen Victoria's. It has two
thousand, seven hundred and eighty-three diamonds in it,
and the large ruby in front was worn by Henry V on his


helmet in one of his battles with the French, hundreds of
years ago. The great stone near it is the celebrated Koh-i-
noor, one of the largest diamonds known. It once belonged
to an Indian rajah, and came into the possession of the
English when they conquered him.

From the Tower we visit the Tower Bridge over the
Thames, and thence walk on to London Bridge, the busi-
est of all the twenty bridges which cross the Thames in
the city. The bridge is of granite, and the bronze lamp
posts upon it were cast from cannon which the English

London Bridge.

had captured in battle. We stand on the bridge watch-
ing the throng of people and vehicles which is always
moving over this way and that. The Thames is filled
with shipping. There are steamers carrying passengers
up and down stream, .and we are told by the policemen
that we, if we wish, can ride back on one of them to
Charing Cross for a penny. We decide, however, to return
by the underground railroad.



"We . . . return by the underground railroad."

The streets in the heart of London are so thronged that
people in a hurry travel under ground. Great tunnels
have been dug out under the houses and streets, below the
gas pipes and sewers. There are railroads in the tunnels,
and fast express trains fly along through them, stopping at
the openings which have been made here and there with
stairs to the streets. A trip costs but four cents, and the
cars are so convenient that the trains annually carry many
million passengers. The tunnels are lighted by electricity.
They are walled with brick, and are so well ventilated that
we find riding in them more pleasant than jolting along on
the omnibus.



PUT on your best clothes this morning. We are to go
through the fashionable parts of London. We shall
drive in the chief shopping sections, take a turn in Hyde
Park, and later visit Parliament, and perhaps meet the chief
officials of the great British Empire.
We go in couples, each couple taking
a hansom, a queer two-wheeled cab
entirely open in front. The driver
has a seat fastened to the back of the
roof, and directs his horses with lines
which are high over our heads.

We leave Trafalgar Square for a
ride through Regent Street, Ox-
ford, and Piccadilly. The build-
ings are cleaner and better than
farther down in the city, and
the stores are filled with fine
goods of every description. We
stop here and there to buy pres-
ents or things we need on our
tour ; and then go on into Hyde
Park, by the great statue of
Wellington cast from twelve French cannon, some of which
were captured from Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo.

How beautiful the park is ! The drives are through
groves of magnificent trees and thick velvety lawns of the
greenest green. We go to the Serpentine, a long winding
lake where, before eight o'clock in the morning and after
eight in the evening, crowds of boys and men may be seen

Nelson Monument, Trafal-
gar Square.


swimming and plunging about in the water. The time for
bathing is limited by the raising and lowering of a flag, the
park authorities setting aside an hour twice a day for the

Not far from the Serpentine is Rotten Row, where fash-
ionable London rides every afternoon. The usual riding
hour is in the afternoon from twelve till two, when hun-

Rotten Row.

dreds of finely dressed ladies and gentlemen and boys and
girls may be seen on their spirited steeds, walking, trot-
ting, or galloping along.

After looking at the magnificent houses near Hyde
Park, we are driven on to the palaces of St. James and
Buckingham, two of the residences of the king of England,
where he sometimes holds his levees or receptions. The
palaces are enormous structures more like our great gov-
ernment department buildings at Washington than ordi-
nary residences. They face St. James Park, and each
palace has a beautiful garden about it.

At the times of royal receptions richly dressed ladies,
gentlemen in uniforms trimmed with gold lace, and serv-


ants in gorgeous liveries wearing knee breeches, silk
stockings, and powdered hair, may be seen going into the
palaces. Then the mounted band of the Life Guards
plays outside, and gay carriages, driven by coachmen wear-
ing curled wigs and three-cornered hats, dash through the
streets, the policemen keeping the crowds back from the

Had we the proper introductions, we might enter and be
presented to the ruler of England. We should probably
find him only a man after all ; and if he should tell us
just what his powers are, we should learn that, although he
is a king, he has little more authority over his people than
the President of the United States has over us.

The government of the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Ireland is a limited monarchy ; that is, its king
can rule only as the constitution and laws prescribe. The
laws are fixed by Parliament, a body of men representing
the people, much like our Congress. Parliament directs
what the king shall do ; it' directs just what taxes shall
be collected, how the money shall be spent, and it makes
all the laws for the people. For this reason the English
say they have a country as free as our own, although ours
is a republic.

But let us visit the Houses of Parliament. They are in
Westminster Palace, a magnificent building covering more
than twice as much ground as the Capitol at Washington,
situated on the north bank of the Thames. We call up
to our cabman through the little hole in the roof to go
through St. James's Park, and down Whitehall Street to
the river. We dismount in front of the palace, but are
stopped at the gates by one of the policemen on guard,
until we show him our pass from the American Minister.
We find other policemen in the halls, who wear uniforms



and tall helmets, and look very imposing. The door-
keepers also wear uniforms, and each of the messengers
has a brass medal as big around as a teacup, with a lion
and unicorn upon it, on his breast.

Westminster Palace.

We are taken through room after room. There are
more than a thousand in the palace. We visit the library
and then go on into the House of Commons, and sit down
in the galleries surrounding the great rectangular pit
where the House meets. The walls of the pit are of
richly carved English oak, darkened by age, and the roof
is composed of panels of stained glass through which the
light comes.

Cast your eyes into the pit. There, on those long, cush-
ioned benches, sit the men who, elected by the people, really
rule England. Nearly all are dressed in black clothes, and
each has a tall silk hat on his head, or on his knees, or on
the seat beside him. There are no desks, and many of



the members are writing on papers which they rest on
their hats.

Notice that man in the long black gown sitting in the
pulpit at the end of the chamber. How white his hair is
and how curly ; it is done up in a queue at the back, and
it surrounds his rosy face and falls down on his breast.
Still, the man's face is unwrinkled, as are those of the
other white-haired men who are writing at that table

" the great rectangular pit where the House meets."

below him. They seem to be young men notwithstanding
their hair. You are right. They are young. They are
the speaker and clerks of the House of Commons, and
custom requires they wear black gowns and gray wigs, as
was done by judges and some other officials of our coun-
try in early days.

There a member rises to speak. He uses a conversa-
tional tone and his fellows are quietly listening, l^ow he
is growing excited. His words stir up the whole House.


There are cries of Hear ! Hear ! and No ! No ! from
all parts. The Speaker calls Order ! Three other mem-
bers have jumped to their feet. They cry out their objec-
tions, and for a time there is quite a hubbub in the great

Online LibraryFrank G. (Frank George) CarpenterEurope → online text (page 4 of 25)