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The innocents abroad, or, The new Pilgrim's progress

being some account of the steamship Quaker City's pleasure excursion to Europe and the Holy land ; with descriptions of countries, nations, incidents and adventures, as they appeared to the author






THE next morning we were up and dressed at ten o'clock.
We went to the commissionaire of the hotel—I don't
know what a commissionaire is, but that is the man we went to
—and told him we wanted a guide. He said the great International
Exposition had drawn such multitudes of Englishmen
and Americans to Paris that it would be next to impossible to
find a good guide unemployed. He said he usually kept a
dozen or two on hand, but he only had three now. He called
them. One looked so like a very pirate that we let him go at
once. The next one spoke with a simpering precision of pronunciation
that was irritating, and said:

“If ze zhentlemans will to me make ze grande honneur to
me rattain in hees serveece, I shall show to him every sing zat
is magnifique to look upon in ze beautiful Parree. I speaky
ze Angleesh pairfaitemaw.”

He would have done well to have stopped there, because he
had that much by heart and said it right off without making
a mistake. But his self-complacency seduced him into attempting
a flight into regions of unexplored English, and the
reckless experiment was his ruin. Within ten seconds he was
so tangled up in a maze of mutilated verbs and torn and
bleeding forms of speech that no human ingenuity could ever
have gotten him out of it with credit. It was plain enough
that he could not “speaky” the English quite as “pairfaitemaw”
as he had pretended he could.

The third man captured us. He was plainly dressed, but
he had a noticeable air of neatness about him. He wore a


Page 119
[ILLUSTRATION] [Description: 500EAF. Page 119. In-line Illustration. Image of three men: one with no hat, wild hair and a full moustache; the second with a casual hat and a small moustache; and the third with a top hat and no moustache at all. The caption reads, "THE THREE GUIDES."] high silk hat which was a little old, but had been carefully
brushed. He wore second-hand kid gloves, in good repair,
and carried a small rattan cane with a curved handle—a
female leg, of ivory. He stepped as gently and as daintily as
a cat crossing a muddy street; and oh, he was urbanity; he
was quiet, unobtrusive self-possession; he was deference itself!
He spoke softly and guardedly; and when he was about to
make a statement on his sole responsibility, or offer a suggestion,
he weighed it by drachms and scruples first, with the
crook of his little stick placed meditatively to his teeth. His
opening speech was perfect. It was perfect in construction,
in phraseology, in grammar, in emphasis, in pronunciation—
every thing. He spoke little and guardedly, after that. We
were charmed. We were more than charmed—we were over-joyed.
We hired him at once. We never even asked him his
price. This man—our lackey, our servant, our unquestioning
slave though he was, was still a gentleman—we could see that
—while of the other two one was coarse and awkward, and the
other was a born pirate. We asked our man Friday's name.
He drew from his pocket-book a snowy little card, and passed
it to us with a profound bow:

Guide to Paris, France, Germany,
Spain, &c., &c.,
Grande Hotel du Louvre.


Page 120

“Billfinger! Oh, carry me home to die!”

That was an “aside” from Dan. The atrocious name grated
harshly on my ear, too. The most of us can learn to forgive,
and even to like, a countenance that strikes us unpleasantly
at first, but few of us, I fancy, become reconciled to a jarring
name so easily. I was almost sorry we had hired this
man, his name was so unbearable. However, no matter. We
were impatient to start. Billfinger stepped to the door to call
a carriage, and then the doctor said:

“Well, the guide goes with the barber-shop, with the billiard-table,
with the gasless room, and may be with many another
pretty romance of Paris. I expected to have a guide
named Henri de Montmorency, or Armand de la Chartreuse,
or something that would sound grand in letters to the villagers
at home; but to think of a Frenchman by the name of Billfinger!
Oh! this is absurd, you know. This will never do.
We can't say Billfinger; it is nauseating. Name him over
again: what had we better call him? Alexis du Caulaincourt?”

“Alphonse Henri Gustave de Hauteville,” I suggested.

“Call him Ferguson,” said Dan.

That was practical, unromantic good sense. Without debate,
we expunged Billfinger as Billfinger, and called him Ferguson.

The carriage—an open barouche—was ready. Ferguson
mounted beside the driver, and we whirled away to breakfast.
As was proper, Mr. Ferguson stood by to transmit our orders
and answer questions. Bye and bye, he mentioned casually—
the artful adventurer—that he would go and get his breakfast
as soon as we had finished ours. He knew we could not get
along without him, and that we would not want to loiter
about and wait for him. We asked him to sit down and eat
with us. He begged, with many a bow, to be excused. It
was not proper, he said; he would sit at another table. We
ordered him peremptorily to sit down with us.

Here endeth the first lesson. It was a mistake.

As long as we had that fellow after that, he was always


Page 121
hungry; he was always thirsty. He came early; he stayed
late; he could not pass a restaurant; he looked with a lecherous
eye upon every wine shop. Suggestions to stop, excuses
to eat and to drink were forever on his lips. We tried all we
could to fill him so full that he would have no room to spare
for a fortnight; but it was a failure. He did not hold enough
to smother the cravings of his superhuman appetite.

He had another “discrepancy” about him. He was always
wanting us to buy things. On the shallowest pretenses, he
would inveigle us into shirt stores, boot stores, tailor shops,
glove shops—any where under the broad sweep of the heavens
that there seemed a chance of our buying any thing. Any
one could have guessed that the shopkeepers paid him a per
centage on the sales; but in our blessed innocence we didn't,
until this feature of his conduct grew unbearably prominent.
One day, Dan happened to mention that he thought of buying
three or four silk dress patterns for presents. Ferguson's
hungry eye was upon him in an instant. In the course of
twenty minutes, the carriage stopped.

“What's this?”

“Zis is ze finest silk magazin in Paris—ze most celebrate.”

“What did you come here for? We told you to take us to
the palace of the Louvre.”

“I suppose ze gentleman say he wish to buy some silk.”

“You are not required to `suppose' things for the party,
Ferguson. We do not wish to tax your energies too much.
We will bear some of the burden and heat of the day ourselves.
We will endeavor to do such `supposing' as is really
necessary to be done. Drive on.” So spake the doctor.

Within fifteen minutes the carriage halted again, and before
another silk store. The doctor said:

“Ah, the palace of the Louvre: beautiful, beautiful edifice!
Does the Emperor Napoleon live here now, Ferguson?”

“Ah, doctor! you do jest; zis is not ze palace; we come
there directly. But since we pass right by zis store, where is
such beautiful silk—”


Page 122

[ILLUSTRATION] [Description: 500EAF. Page 122. In-line Illustration. Image of three male passengers and two male drivers in an open carriage. The carriage is in front of a silk shop, and the men look surprized to be there. The caption reads, "ZE SILK MAGAZIN."]

“Ah! I see, I see. I meant to have told you that we did
not wish to purchase any silks to-day; but in my absentmindedness
I forgot it. I also meant to tell you we
wished to go directly to the Louvre; but I forgot that also.
However, we will go there now. Pardon my seeming carelessness,
Ferguson. Drive on.”

Within the half hour, we stopped again—in front of another
silk store. We were angry; but the doctor was always serene,
always smooth-voiced. He said:

“At last! How imposing the Louvre is, and yet how
small! how exquisitely fashioned! how charmingly situated!
—Venerable, venerable pile—”

“Pairdon, doctor, zis is not ze Louvre—it is—”

What is it?”

“I have ze idea—it come to me in a moment—zat ze silk in
zis magazin—”

“Ferguson, how heedless I am. I fully intended to tell you


Page 123
that we did not wish to buy any silks to-day, and I also intended
to tell you that we yearned to go immediately to the
palace of the Louvre, but enjoying the happiness of seeing you
devour four breakfasts this morning has so filled me with
pleasurable emotions that I neglect the commonest interests
of the time. However, we will proceed now to the Louvre,

“But doctor,” (excitedly,) “it will take not a minute—not
but one small minute! Ze gentleman need not to buy if he
not wish to—but only look at ze silk—look at ze beautiful
fabric.” [Then pleadingly.] “Sair—just only one leetle moment!”

Dan said, “Confound the idiot! I don't want to see any
silks to-day, and I won't look at them. Drive on.”

And the doctor: “We need no silks now, Ferguson. Our
hearts yearn for the Louvre. Let us journey on—let us journey

“But doctor! it is only one moment—one leetle moment.
And ze time will be save—entirely save! Because zere is
nothing to see, now—it is too late. It want ten minute to
four and ze Louvre close at four—only one leetle moment, doctor!”

The treacherous miscreant! After four breakfasts and a
gallon of champagne, to serve us such a scurvy trick. We
got no sight of the countless treasures of art in the Louvre
galleries that day, and our only poor little satisfaction was in
the reflection that Ferguson sold not a solitary silk dress pattern.

I am writing this chapter partly for the satisfaction of abusing
that accomplished knave, Billfinger, and partly to show
whosoever shall read this how Americans fare at the hands of
the Paris guides, and what sort of people Paris guides are.
It need not be supposed that we were a stupider or an easier
prey than our countrymen generally are, for we were not.
The guides deceive and defrand every American who goes to
Paris for the first time and sees its sights alone or in company
with others as little experienced as himself. I shall visit


Page 124
[ILLUSTRATION] [Description: 500EAF. Page 124. In-line Illustration. Image of man half in western clothes and half in native american clothes. He is carrying a tomahawk. The caption reads, "RETURN IN WAR-PAINT."] Paris again some day, and then let the guides beware! I
shall go in my war-paint—I shall carry my tomahawk along.

I think we have lost but little time in Paris. We have
gone to bed every night tired
out. Of course we visited the
renowned International Exposition.
All the world did
that. We went there on our
third day in Paris—and we
stayed there nearly two hours.
That was our first and last visit.
To tell the truth, we saw at a
glance that one would have to
spend weeks—yea, even months
—in that monstrous establishment,
to get an intelligible idea
of it. It was a wonderful
show, but the moving masses
of people of all nations we
saw there were a still more
wonderful show. I discovered
that if I were to stay there a
month, I should still find myself
looking at the people instead
of the inanimate objects
on exhibition. I got a little interested in some curious old
tapestries of the thirteenth century, but a party of Arabs
came by, and their dusky faces and quaint costumes called my
attention away at once. I watched a silver swan, which had
a living grace about his movements, and a living intelligence
in his eyes—watched him swimming about as comfortably and
as unconcernedly as if he had been born in a morass instead
of a jeweller's shop—watched him seize a silver fish from
under the water and hold up his head and go through all the
customary and elaborate motions of swallowing it—but the
moment it disappeared down his throat some tattooed South
Sea Islanders approached and I yielded to their attractions.


Page 125
Presently I found a revolving pistol several hundred years
old which looked strangely like a modern Colt, but just then
I heard that the Empress of the French was in another part
of the building, and hastened away to see what she might
look like. We heard martial music—we saw an unusual
number of soldiers walking hurriedly about—there was a
general movement among the people. We inquired what it
was all about, and learned that the Emperor of the French
and the Sultan of Turkey were about to review twenty-five
thousand troops at the Are de l'Etoile. We immediately departed.
I had a greater anxiety to see these men than I could
have had to see twenty Expositions.

We drove away and took up a position in an open space
opposite the American Minister's house. A speculator bridged
a couple of barrels with a board and we hired standing-places
on it. Presently there was a sound of distant music; in another
minute a pillar of dust came moving slowly toward us;
a moment more, and then, with colors flying and a grand
crash of military music, a gallant array of cavalrymen
emerged from the dust and came down the street on a gentle
trot. After them came a long line of artillery; then more
cavalry, in splendid uniforms; and then their Imperial Majesties
Napoleon III. and Abdul Aziz. The vast concourse
of people swung their hats and shouted—the windows and
house-tops in the wide vicinity burst into a snow-storm of
waving handkerchiefs, and the wavers of the same mingled
their cheers with those of the masses below. It was a stirring

But the two central figures claimed all my attention. Was
ever such a contrast set up before a multitude till then? Napoleon,
in military uniform—a long-bodied, short-legged man,
fiercely moustached, old, wrinkled, with eyes half closed, and
such a deep, crafty, scheming expression about them!—Napoleon,
bowing ever so gently to the loud plaudits, and watching
every thing and every body with his cat-eyes from under
his depressed hat-brim, as if to discover any sign that those
cheers were not heartfelt and cordial.


Page 126
[ILLUSTRATION] [Description: 500EAF. Page 126. In-line Illustrations. The images are of military men in their respective uniforms. The first caption says, "NAPOLEON III." The second caption says, "ABDUL AZIZ." ] Abdul Aziz, absolute lord of the Ottoman Empire,—
clad in dark green
European clothes,
almost without ornament
or insignia
of rank; a red
Turkish fez on his
head—a short, stout,
dark man, black-bearded,
stupid, unprepossessing—a
whose whole appearance
suggested that if he
only had a cleaver
in his hand and a
white apron on, one
would not be at all surprised to hear him say: “A muttonroast
to-day, or will
you have a nice
porter-house steak?”

Napoleon III.,
the representative
of the highest modern
civilization, progress,
and refinement;
the representative
of a people by nature
and training
filthy, brutish, ignorant,
and a government
whose Three Graces
are Tyranny, Rapacity, Blood. Here in brilliant Paris, under


Page 127
this majestic Arch of Triumph, the First Century greets the

Napoleon III., Emperor of France! Surrounded by shouting
thousands, by military pomp, by the splendors of his
capital city, and companioned by kings and princes—this is
the man who was sneered at, and reviled, and called Bastard
—yet who was dreaming of a crown and an Empire all the
while; who was driven into exile—but carried his dreams
with him; who associated with the common herd in America,
and ran foot-races for a wager—but still sat upon a throne, in
fancy; who braved every danger to go to his dying mother—
and grieved that she could not be spared to see him cast aside
his plebeian vestments for the purple of royalty; who kept
his faithful watch and walked his weary beat a common policeman
of London—but dreamed the while of a coming
night when he should tread the long-drawn corridors of the
Tuileries; who made the miserable fiasco of Strasbourg; saw
his poor, shabby eagle, forgetful of its lesson, refuse to perch
upon his shoulder; delivered his carefully-prepared, sententious
burst of eloquence, unto unsympathetic ears; found himself
a prisoner, the butt of small wits, a mark for the pitiless
ridicule of all the world—yet went on dreaming of coronations
and splendid pageants, as before; who lay a forgotten
captive in the dungeons of Ham—and still schemed and
planned and pondered over future glory and future power;
President of France at last! a coup d'etat, and surrounded by
applauding armies, welcomed by the thunders of cannon, he
mounts a throne and waves before an astounded world the
sceptre of a mighty Empire! Who talks of the marvels of
fiction? Who speaks of the wonders of romance? Who
prates of the tame achievements of Aladdin and the Magii of

Abdul-Aziz, Sultan of Turkey, Lord of the Ottoman Empire!
Born to a throne; weak, stupid, ignorant, almost, as
his meanest slave; chief of a vast royalty, yet the puppet of
his Premier and the obedient child of a tyrannical mother; a
man who sits upon a throne—the beck of whose finger moves


Page 128
navies and armies—who holds in his hands the power of life
and death over millions—yet who sleeps, sleeps, eats, eats,
idles with his eight hundred concubines, and when he is surfeited
with eating and sleeping and idling, and would rouse
up and take the reins of government and threaten to be a Sultan,
is charmed from his purpose by wary Fuad Pacha with a
pretty plan for a new palace or a new ship—charmed away
with a new toy, like any other restless child; a man who sees
his people robbed and oppressed by soulless tax-gatherers, but
speaks no word to save them; who believes in gnomes, and
genii and the wild fables of the Arabian Nights, but has
small regard for the mighty magicians of to-day, and is nervous
in the presence of their mysterious railroads and steamboats
and telegraphs; who would see undone in Egypt all
that great Mehemet Ali achieved, and would prefer rather to
forget than emulate him; a man who found his great Empire a
blot upon the earth—a degraded, poverty-stricken, miserable,
infamous agglomeration of ignorance, crime, and brutality,
and will idle away the allotted days of his trivial life, and then
pass to the dust and the worms and leave it so!

Napoleon has augmented the commercial prosperity of
France, in ten years, to such a degree that figures can hardly
compute it. He has rebuilt Paris, and has partly rebuilt
every city in the State. He condemns a whole street at a
time, assesses the damages, pays them and rebuilds superbly.
Then speculators buy up the ground and sell, but the original
owner is given the first choice by the government at a stated
price before the speculator is permitted to purchase. But
above all things, he has taken the sole control of the Empire
of France into his hands, and made it a tolerably free land—
for people who will not attempt to go too far in medding with
government affairs. No country offers greater security to life
and property than France, and one has all the freedom he
wants, but no license—no license to interfere with any body,
or make any one uncomfortable.

As for the Sultan, one could set a trap any where and catch
a dozen abler men in a night.


Page 129

The bands struck up, and the brilliant adventurer, Napoleon
III., the genius of Energy, Persistence, Enterprise; and
the feeble Abdul-Aziz, the genius of Ignorance, Bigotry and
Indolence, prepared for the Forward—March!

We saw the splendid review, we saw the white-moustached
old Crimean soldier, Canrobert, Marshal of France, we saw—
well, we saw every thing, and then we went home satisfied.