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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






WE have got so far east, now—a hundred and fifty-five
degrees of longitude from San Francisco—that my
watch can not “keep the hang” of the time any more. It has
grown discouraged, and stopped. I think it did a wise thing.
The difference in time between Sebastopol and the Pacific
coast is enormous. When it is six o'clock in the morning here,
it is somewhere about week before last in California. We are
excusable for getting a little tangled as to time. These distractions
and distresses about the time have worried me so
much that I was afraid my mind was so much affected that I
never would have any appreciation of time again; but when
I noticed how handy I was yet about comprehending when it
was dinner-time, a blessed tranquility settled down upon me,
and I am tortured with doubts and fears no more.

Odessa is about twenty hours' run from Sebastopol, and is the
most northerly port in the Black Sea. We came here to get coal,
principally. The city has a population of one hundred and
thirty-three thousand, and is growing faster than any other
small city out of America. It is a free port, and is the great
grain mart of this particular part of the world. Its roadstead
is full of ships. Engineers are at work, now, turning the open
roadstead into a spacious artificial harbor. It is to be almost
inclosed by massive stone piers, one of which will extend into
the sea over three thousand feet in a straight line.

I have not felt so much at home for a long time as I did when I
“raised the hill” and stood in Odessa for the first time. It
looked just like an American city; fine, broad streets, and


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straight as well; low houses, (two or three stories,) wide, neat,
and free from any quaintness of architectural ornamentation;
locust trees bordering the sidewalks (they call them acacias;)
a stirring, business-look about the streets and the stores; fast
walkers; a familiar new look about the houses and every
thing; yea, and a driving and smothering cloud of dust that
was so like a message from our own dear native land that we
could hardly refrain from shedding a few grateful tears and
execrations in the old time-honored American way. Look up
the street or down the street, this way or that way, we saw
only America! There was not one thing to remind us that we
were in Russia. We walked for some little distance, reveling
in this home vision, and then we came upon a church and a
hack-driver, and presto! the illusion vanished! The church
had a slender-spired dome that rounded inward at its base, and
looked like a turnip turned upside down, and the hackman
seemed to be dressed in a long petticoat without any hoops.
These things were essentially foreign, and so were the carriages
—but every body knows about these things, and there is no
occasion for my describing them.

We were only to stay here a day and a night and take in coal;
we consulted the guide-books and were rejoiced to know that
there were no sights in Odessa to see; and so we had one good,
untrammeled holyday on our hands, with nothing to do but
idle about the city and enjoy ourselves. We sauntered through
the markets and criticised the fearful and wonderful costumes
from the back country; examined the populace as far as eyes
could do it; and closed the entertainment with an ice-cream
debauch. We do not get ice-cream every where, and so, when
we do, we are apt to dissipate to excess. We never cared any
thing about ice-cream at home, but we look upon it with a sort
of idolatry now that it is so scarce in these red-hot climates of
the East.

We only found two pieces of statuary, and this was another
blessing. One was a bronze image of the Due de Richelieu,
grand-nephew of the splendid Cardinal. It stood in a spacious,
handsome promenade, overlooking the sea, and from its base a


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vast flight of stone steps led down to the harbor—two hundred
of them, fifty feet long, and a wide landing at the bottom of
every twenty. It is a noble staircase, and from a distance the
people toiling up it looked like insects. I mention this statue
and this stairway because they have their story. Richelien
founded Odessa—watched over it with paternal care—labored
with a fertile brain and a wise understanding for its best interests—spent
his fortune freely to the same end—endowed it
with a sound prosperity, and one which will yet make it one
of the great cities of the Old World—built this noble stairway
with money from his own private purse—and—. Well, the
people for whom he had done so much, let him walk down
these same steps, one day, unattended, old, poor, without a
second coat to his back; and when, years afterwards, he died
in Sebastopol in poverty and neglect, they called a meeting,
subscribed liberally, and immediately erected this tasteful
monument to his memory, and named a great street after him.
It reminds me of what Robert Burns' mother said when they
erected a stately monument to his memory: “Ah, Robbie, ye
asked them for bread and they hae gi'en ye a stane.”

The people of Odessa have warmly recommended us to go
and call on the Emperor, as did the Sebastopolians. They
have telegraphed his Majesty, and he has signified his willingness
to grant us an audience. So we are getting up the anchors
and preparing to sail to his watering-place. What a
scratching around there will be, now! what a holding of important
meetings and appointing of solemn committees!—and
what a furbishing up of claw-hammer coats and white silk
neck-ties! As this fearful ordeal we are about to pass through
pictures itself to my fancy in all its dread sublimity, I begin
to feel my fierce desire to converse with a genuine Emperor
cooling down and passing away. What am I to do with my
hands? What am I to do with my feet? What in the world
am I to do with myself?