August 4.It seems delightful to be here again where our own language is spoken. We found the same pretty rolling country between Canterbury and London. Again we had views of the Cathedral and Castle at Rochester and again there were bright wild flowers that I longed for.
L. did errands this morning. He brought back with him our mail (twelve letters) from Brown, Shipley and Co., which we were very glad to receive.
He has been to the office of the Atlantic Transport Line to-day and has secured passage on the Cleopatra for September 1. I have been busy all day in our room writing, unpacking and putting things in order. We are stopping in Bedford Place.
August 5.These two days we are resting from sight-seeing but have walked about Russell Square and saw Up-per Bedford Place where we made our home last summer. We have been to a shoemaker and an umbrella maker and L. hunted up a washerwoman. Tonight there has been hand-organ music nearly opposite here with grotesque dancing by a very lively man, two young boys and a girl.
August 6.This morning we have begun sight-seeing again although we are not rested. Day before yesterday it was five weeks since we left Kissingen. During that time we have visited in all thirteen different cities. It is no wonder that we long for rest but our time is limited and we cannot stop.
This morning we began where we left off last summer. We visited the Tower. This historically interesting place is outside the ancient city walls on the banks of the Thames. It is an irregular mass of buildings erected at various periods. At first a royal palace and afterwards an ancient fortress-also a prison surrounded by battlemented wallsit is now an arsenal and is still used as a fortress. We entered at the Lion’s Gate which is the principal entrance. First we passed into the Regalia Room where the crown jewels are kept. The total value of these jewels is estimated at fifteen million dollars. We looked with much interest at Queen Victoria’s crown, made in 1838, in which there are two thousand, seven hundred and eighty-three diamonds. A ruby, perhaps as large as a black walnut, ornaments the front of this gold crown. It contains also a large and magnificent sapphire and other showy jewels. The cap of crimson velvet is a fine background for the diamonds and other jewels. Other splendid crowns are there among them St. Edward’s crown. This was once stolen by robbers, who did not succeed, however, in escaping with it. We saw the crown of pure gold, with no jewels, made for the Prince of Wales and the Queen Consort’s crown of gold set with jewels. Another crown was called the Queen’s and is ornamented with diamonds and pearls, made for Queen Maria d’Este, wife of James II. We noticed especially St. Ed-ward’s Staff, made of gold, four and a half feet long and about ninety pounds in weight, and the royal sceptres which are made of gold and richly adorned with precious stones. We saw Queen Victoria’s sceptre and also the model of the Koh-i-noor (Mountain of light), one of the largest diamonds known, weighing 162 carats. The original is now in Windsor Castle. There are also several enormous and elaborate golden salt cellars bearing no resemblance to an ordinary salt cellar; a baptismal font of gold for the royal children; a monstrous gold basin for the distribution of the Queen’s alms, swords, and other things. From the Regalia Room we passed up stairs into the Council Chamber where there is a collection of old armor-” Twenty-two equestrian figures in full equipment as well as numerous figures on foot in armor affording a faithful picture in chronological order of English war array from the time of Edward I (1272) down to that of James II (1688).” The execution block and the axe are in this room. On our way back and forth we looked with interest upon the great Bank of England, a one-story stone building without visible windows. A garrison of soldiers protects the building at night. The cannon on the top of the building, we were told, is there to be used in case of a mob. Other buildings interested us, including the Mansion House, where the Lord Mayor of London resides during his one year of office, and the Royal Exchange building. We saw the wonderful Tower bridge, which cost three million seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars. This bridge over the Thames is near the Tower. This afternoon all we have done has been to walk out and buy some illustrated post cards of London.
August 7.Today on account of the rain we were housed during the morning. The National Gallery attracted us first this afternoon. There we saw Murillo’s painting of the Holy Family; also his St. John the Baptist as a boy with the lamb, and many other splendid paintings which we much enjoyed. From the National Gallery we walked to Charing Cross to see a facsimile of one of the nine crosses erected by Edward I to mark the resting places of Queen Eleanor’s body on its way to Westminster Abbey. It is a stone monument surmounted by a cross. Two of the original crosses remainone at Northhampton and one at Waltham. Then we took a long ride in omnibuses to the west part of London. Passed Green Park, Hyde Park, Westminster Cemetery and South Kensington Museum. We walked about in Trafalgar Square before taking the second omnibus. The statue of Lord Nelson on the summit of the high column near the center of the square with a colossal lion at each of the four corners of the pedestal, we admired, also the two large fountains. We rode by a house that had window boxes full of blossoming plants in all the front windowsthirtyfour in number.
We got out of the omnibus and walked about and went into stores. We saw the Strandone of the busy, lively streets.
In the heart of London there are no street carsonly omnibuses, hansoms or cabs are used for the public on ac-count of the narrow, crowded streets. We saw the great Ferris wheel built here in imitation of the Ferris wheel in Chicago.
The glad news has been received that Spain has accepted the conditions made by the United States and we are to have peace!
August 8. L. went to Cook’s alone this morning to talk about a trip to Scotland. Then we went together to the British Museum. L. gave his book”Here and There in the Greek New Testament” to the Library and copied the prayer offered by his great grandfather the day before he died. This was to replace my copy which L. had lost with his diary last year.
The National Gallery again attracted us this afternoon. Turner’s paintings and Landseer’s gave us much pleasure. The dogs and lions we thought fine. The “Shoeing of the Bay Mare,” so remarkably life-like, I much enjoyed. Even the wrinkles made by the lifting of the foot are wonderfully natural. We saw Rosa Bonheur’s Horse Fair, Rembrandt’s portrait of himself and all the great paintings.
We went also into the National Portrait Gallery where we saw an interesting painting of Queen Victoria in water colors and a standing portrait of Prince Albert not far from Queen Victoria’s. There are portraits of Cowper, Carlyle,. Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Wesley, Walter Scott, Dickens, George Eliot, Mrs. Browning, a number of Queen Elizabeth, Mary Queen of Scots, Bloody Mary, Henry VIII, Mary wife of William Prince of Orange, and many others. There seemed to be no end.
August 9.One Sabbath evening last summer while we were in London we attended a service in St. Paul’s Cathedral. This afternoon we have again been to see this most conspicuous building in London. This “Cathedral church of the See of London” was completed in 1710 and is said t& be the third largest church in ChristendomSt. Peter’s in Rome and the Cathedral in Milan being larger. It may be’ the third in ,size but in magnificence the interior does not compare with the other two. Very bare it seems after seeing so many beautiful interiors. Its proportions, however, are grand and many might enjoy its simplicity. Like Westminster Abbey it is the burial place of eminent men, especially naval and military officers. Both the Duke of Wellington and Lord Nelson are buried there and have monuments. Gordon also has a monument. We came home by Ludgate Hill, Fleet Street, the Strand, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus, where we saw the Duke of York column which is very high. A statue of the Duke crowns the summit.
Before visiting St. Paul’s Cathedral we rode to Cheapside by two omnibuses and bought photographs of Queen Victoria and Princess Beatrice while there.
Professor Platner called this evening. We have been here side by side nearly a week without knowing it. He has been hunting high and low for us, feeling sure that we ought to be in London at the present time. This morning I was standing on the porch of our boarding place when I saw Mrs. P. going by with her sister. Imagine our surprise and how glad we were to see each other ! We have met these Cleveland friends also in Naples and in Rome since leaving America.
August 10.This morning we again visited the British Museum. The monstrous dome of glass and iron, one hundred and forty feet in diameter, is one foot larger than the dome of St. Peter’s in Rome. I first visited the Reading Room with L. There are in this great circular room three stories of books which receive light not only from the dome but from the windows above the long rows of books. I went upstairs to see the curiosities in the Museum, beginning where I left off the other day. L. was with me a short time. He was anxious to see John Milton’s watch, which I discovered one day when I was there alone. He was much interested in it.
August 11.We both rested yesterday afternoon except that L. took a short walk “to wake himself up” and I went in next door to call upon Professor and Mrs. Platner.
Last evening instead of staying at home to rest we visited Madame Tussaud’s waxworks exhibition. We found London beautiful by gas light and electric light, especially on and near Piccadilly Circus. The building containing the waxworks was beautiful in the distance when lighted. The wax figures were quite life-like, especially those sitting by shaded lamps apparently writing or otherwise occupied. As we went by the underground railway our lungs were well filled with gas.
Our friends, Professor and Mrs. Platner, sailed today for America. They will reach Cleveland before us.
August 12.The steam railway carried us yesterday afternoon from Victoria Station to the Crystal Palace at Sydenham-into the palace itself. As the weather was warm and considerable walking was necessary we found it a wearisome trip. The Crystal Palace, wholly of glass and iron, is made with the materials from the first great Crystal Palace of 1851. This exhibition, called the “World’s Fair,” I well remember. The Crystal Palace was a building that astonished the world at that time. Now it would not be so astonishing. In this monstrous glass house we saw many enormous ferns and ornamental tropical plants. The interior, like a great Bazar, contains an organ with over four thousand pipes and a variety of souvenirs which includes considerable statuary, but the grounds about the palace and the glass palace itself were the greatest things to see. Among the side courts is one representing a part of the Alhambra or Moorish Palace at Granada. There is a collection of birds in an enormous cagesome with red topknots on their heads. One little bird sang sweetly for us. Crowds of people were gathering to see the splendid evening fire-works. We could not wait. We took our first ride in a hansom this afternoon.
August 13.At the Zoological Gardens yesterday after-noon we saw many curious and interesting birds. Among others were cranes, storks, flamingoes, penguins, pelicans, ostriches and condors. The cranes and storks were beautiful in form and plumagedifferent from any we had seen. Their long, slender legs looked too frail to bear the weight of their bodies. We enjoyed having a near view of the storks but there were no birds we admired so much as the flamingoes. These were white and pinkish salmon in color with sometimes a little black. Their long, slender,, delicate legs, also pinkish salmon, harmonized beautifully with the color of their feathers. Their large angular bills at the end of their long necks, with a downward curve near the middle making it necessary at times for the bird to reverse its bill when seeking food, we thought most remarkable. L. admired these beautiful birds immensely. The ostriches and condors were the largest birds we saw. One enormous condor lay flat on the ground, overcome by the heat. Half human looking monkeys were there and an ant-eater. We saw the lions, tigers and leopards fed. An enormous wild cat was there with a four weeks old kitten which was larger than a full grown ordinary cat, and very playful. The mamma left meat for her kitten and from an inner room watched the eating.
Two elephants were constantly employed in carrying people around the grounds. I thought that I too, even in my old age, would like a ride on an elephant. L. laughingly consented but would not go himself. He bought a ticket for twopence. I mounted the high step ladder and with the help of the driver seated myself with others on the big elephant saddle. A lady sat beside me with her children. The driver hurried the elephant some which joggled us well. We were pretty high up in the air with only a leather strap to hold us, but with my hands I held on to the frame of the seatotherwise I should have felt very unsafe. I was enough of a child to enjoy it and like to look back upon it and feel that I have been on an elephant’s back. There were two wild looking camels there. Only children rode on them. We saw polar bears and other bears, and many other animals.
This morning (August 13) we left London as soon as we could after our nine o’clock breakfast. Twelve o’clock found us at Windsor Castle. The journey there was wearisome, as the weather was warm and the ride not refreshing or attractive the most of the way, although the scenery improved as we approached Windsor. We obtained our tickets of admission to the Castle in the Lord Chamberlain’s office. After being conducted through the state apartments by a guide we ascended the round tower for a view. We were glad to reach the top, from which point we enjoyed fine views of the surrounding country. We were also enabled to see the castle itself to good advantage. We looked down into the grounds about the castle and saw in one place a variety of old-fashioned flowers. I think the Queen must be fond of them. In another place we saw long winding strips of flowers with a star in the center representing the order of the Star and the Garter. They were beautiful.
In the state apartments we were interested in the Van Dyck room. The paintings in this room were by him. They were chiefly of Charles I and his family. In another room were splendid youthful pictures of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria. Other rooms contained the Queen’s Jubilee presents. We looked into the Albert Memorial Chapel.
The castle itself and the grounds about it interested us. The last thing we did was to walk on the east terrace all around the Queen’s flower garden which is large and tastefully laid out and contains marble and bronze statues and a fountain in the center. Broad steps descend into the flower garden and we could’ have walked about in it but it was warm and we were tired and could see it well from the terrace. It was rather too stiff and prim. From the tower, and in walking about, we had good views of the exterior of the Queen’s private apartments. The interiors are seldom shown.
The grounds of James Veitch and Sons, which we passed on our way to and from Windsor, were brilliant with flowersfields of themall grown there for seeds.
August 14.After spending three hours “trying to get there” as L. said, we finally reached the entrance to the Kew Gardens. Our boat starting from Westminster Bridge went down to London Bridge which is near the Tower Bridge. There we had a fine view of the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral. We then returned to Westminster Bridge, passing the Victoria Embankment, Cleopatra’s Needle, the high Egyptian obelisk, the Albert Embankment, the Houses of Parliament and the Hospital buildings on the opposite side. Then we started for Kew but as the tide was against us we thought we should never get there. The chiming of the Kew church bells at seven o’clock was delightful. We re-turned to London by steam railway. Did not have our lunch until a quarter before nine in the evening. L. has been anxious for a ride on the river but returned more than satisfied.
August 16.-The Natural History Museum, which contains the Natural History collection of the British Museum, occupied our time yesterday afternoon. It is a wonderful collection. The stuffed birds, seeming almost as natural as life, include the following birds of prey: the condor, or great vulture, the great eagle owl of Europe, and the dwarf falcon, which is not much larger than a sparrow and preys upon insects. The birds of paradise, so beautiful and wonderful, and the humming birds, as lovely as flowers, are there. We admired the varieties of form and the brilliant colors of the Gould collection of humming birds. A large number of splendid penguins were there without legs, apparently, to stand on, poor things; and yet how straight they stood! We saw the live ones walk in the Zoo the other day. It was slow work ! Many other birds were there that seemed to have all the colors of the rainbow and more too. We saw the little stormy petrel, a clay-colored bird, which is the smallest web-footed bird in existence, we are told. We saw cranes and storks and birds large and small. Those with enormous beaks, too heavy, one would think, to carry, were astonishing ! How wonderfully our Heavenly Father has made all these creatures ! The eggs of the birds were there also. Those of the humming birds were about as large as a white field beanlarge, I thought, for such small birds. There are always just two in a nest, we are told. A monstrous skeleton of the American mastodon, now extinct, an enormous sea lion, a splendid stuffed hippopotamus, as natural as life, a stuffed giraffe, tigers and lions were all there. The zebras attracted our attention because of the wonderful way in which they are marked. In the whale gallery was one perfect skeleton of a whalesixty-eight feet longand a white stuffed whale not so large as the dark whales. A section of a big tree from California interested us. When cut down it was proved by its rings to be 1335 years old. It is sixteen and one-half feet in diameter. L. says that “we came to London to see one of our big trees.” He says it came up in about the year 560.