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- Seven English Cities - 1/29 -


SEVEN ENGLISH CITIES

by

W. D. HOWELLS

Illustrated

[Illustration: A VIEW OF MONK BAR]

* * * * *

BOOKS OF TRAVEL AND COMMENT BY WILLIAM DEAN HOWELLS

ROMAN HOLIDAYS............................... net $3.00 Traveller's Edition...................... net 3.00

CERTAIN DELIGHTFUL ENGLISH TOWNS, Ill'd...... net 3.00 Traveller's Edition...................... net 3.00

LONDON FILMS. Illustrated.................... net 2.25 Traveller's Edition...................... net 2.25

A LITTLE SWISS SOJOURN....................... .50

MY YEAR IN A LOG CABIN. Illustrated.......... .50

CRITICISM AND FICTION........................ 1.00

HEROINES OF FICTION. Illustrated............. net 3.75

IMPRESSIONS AND EXPERIENCES.................. 1.50

LITERARY FRIENDS AND ACQUAINTANCE. Ill'd..... 2.50

LITERATURE AND LIFE.......................... net 2.25

MODERN ITALIAN POETS. Illustrated............ 2.00

MY LITERARY PASSIONS......................... 1.75

STOPS OF VARIOUS QUILLS...................... 2.50 Limited Edition......................... 15.00

* * * * *

CONTENTS

A MODEST LIKING FOR LIVERPOOL SOME MERITS OF MANCHESTER IN SMOKIEST SHEFFIELD NINE DAYS' WONDER IN YORK TWO YORKISH EPISODES A DAY AT DONCASTER AND AN HOUR OUT OF DURHAM THE MOTHER OF THE AMERICAN ATHENS ABERYSTWYTH, A WELSH WATERING-PLACE LLANDUDNO, ANOTHER WELSH WATERING-PLACE GLIMPSES OF ENGLISH CHARACTER

* * * * *

ILLUSTRATIONS

A VIEW OF MONK BAR ST. GEORGE'S HALL, LIVERPOOL THE WELLINGTON MONUMENT, LIVERPOOL THE LIVERPOOL DOCKS MANCHESTER CATHEDRAL TOWN HALL, MANCHESTER THE MANCHESTER SHIP-CANAL TOWN HALL, SHEFFIELD YORK MINSTER--THE GRANDEST IN ALL ENGLAND BOOTHAM BAR AND THE MINSTER WALMGATE BAR HAS A BARBICAN ST. MARY'S ABBEY CLIFFORD'S TOWER YORK AS SEEN FROM THE RIVER DURHAM CATHEDRAL--NORTHWEST VIEW FINCHALE PRIORY DURHAM CATHEDRAL--ITS MATCHLESS SEAT ON THE BLUFFS OF THE RIVER THE "STUMP" OF ST. BOTOLPH'S CHURCH AGAINST THE SKY THE WORTHY ANCESTRESS OF FANEUIL HALL AND QUINCY MARKET-PLACES THE RIVER AT EVENING LIFTING ITS TOWER FROM THE BRINK OF THE WITHAM FISHING-SHIPS AT GREAT GRIMSBY THE BEACH, ABERYSTWYTH ABERYSTWYTH FROM CRAIG GLAS ROCKS LLANDUDNO--THE CITY AND HARBOR LLANDUDNO FROM GREAT ORME'S NECK THE GREAT PIER, LLANDUDNO CONWAY CASTLE PLAS MAWR A PRESENTATION AT COURT THE ENGLISH HOUSEMAID LEADS A LIFE OF GAYETY ON THE SANDS

* * * * *

A MODEST LIKING FOR LIVERPOOL

Why should the proud stomach of American travel, much tossed in the transatlantic voyage, so instantly have itself carried from Liverpool to any point where trains will convey it? Liverpool is most worthy to be seen and known, and no one who looks up from the bacon and eggs of his first hotel breakfast after landing, and finds himself confronted by the coal-smoked Greek architecture of St. George's Hall, can deny that it is of a singularly noble presence. The city has moments of failing in the promise of this classic edifice, but every now and then it reverts to it, and reminds the traveller that he is in a great modern metropolis of commerce by many other noble edifices.

I

Liverpool does not remind him of this so much as the good and true Baedeker professes, in the dockside run on the overhead railway (as the place unambitiously calls its elevated road); but then, as I noted in my account of Southampton, docks have a fancy of taking themselves in, and eluding the tourist eye, and even when they "flank the Mersey for a distance of 6-7 M." they do not respond to American curiosity so frankly as could be wished. They are like other English things in that, however, and it must be said for them that when apparent they are sometimes unimpressive. From my own note-book, indeed, I find that I pretended to think them "wonderful and almost endless," and so I dare say they are. But they formed only a very perfunctory interest of our day at Liverpool, where we had come to meet, not to take, a steamer.

Our run from London, in the heart of June, was very quick and pleasant, through a neat country and many tidy towns. In the meadows the elms seemed to droop like our own rather than to hold themselves oakenly upright like the English; the cattle stood about in the yellow buttercups, knee-deep, white American daisies, and red clover, and among the sheep we had our choice of shorn and unshorn; they were equally abundant. Some of the blossomy May was left yet on the hawthorns, and over all the sky hovered, with pale-white clouds in pale-blue spaces of air like an inverted lake of bonnyclabber. We stopped the night at Chester, and the next evening, in the full daylight of 7.40, we pushed on to Liverpool, over lovely levels, with a ground swell like that of Kansas plains, under a sunset drying its tears and at last radiantly smiling.

II

The hotel in Liverpool swarmed and buzzed with busy and murmurous American arrivals. One could hardly get at the office window, on account of them, to plead for a room. A dense group of our countrywomen were buying picture-postals of the rather suave office-ladies, and helplessly fawning on them in the inept confidences of American women with all persons in official or servile attendance. "Let me stay here," one of them entreated, "because there's such a draught at the other window. May I?" She was a gentle child of forty-five or fifty; and I do not know whether she was allowed to stay in the sheltered nook or not, tender creature. As she was in every one else's way there, possibly she was harshly driven into the flaw at the other window.

[Illustration: ST. GEORGE'S HALL, LIVERPOOL]

The place was a little America which swelled into a larger with the arrivals of the successive steamers, though the soft swift English trains bore our co-nationals away as rapidly as they could. Many familiar accents remained till the morning, and the breakfast-room was full of a nasal resonance which would have made one at home anywhere in our East or West. I, who was then vainly trying to be English, escaped to the congenial top of the farthest bound tram, and flew, at the rate of four miles an hour, to the uttermost suburbs of Liverpool, whither no rumor of my native speech could penetrate. It was some balm to my wounded pride of country to note how pale and small the average type of the local people was. The poorer classes swarmed along a great part of the tram-line in side streets of a hard, stony look, and what characterized itself to me as a sort of iron squalor seemed to prevail. You cannot anywhere have great prosperity without great adversity, just as you cannot have day without night, and


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